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Sailing Along Iconic Rivers Around the World

River cruises are one of the most popular honeymoon options, wedding destination and/or anniversary activity be it sailing across iconic rivers such as Danube and Moselle in Europe or being on board a Paddle-wheel cruise in New Orleans. Both options provide stunningly beautiful views, culinary experiences and striking cities that fits the bill for any romantic getaway, but there are some lesser-known gems that offers the same romance that should not be overlooked.

Paddle Wheel Cruise

 

A slightly off-the-beaten-path option lies in the south of France, in the Bordeaux region and Portugal’s Douro River. The river cruise offers beautiful sceneries from the lovely lavender fields to the famous chateaux of Bordeaux and the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Douro Valley.

The cruise destinations also bring you to well-known wine regions, and you can expect an unforgettable wine journey with your partner. Pair this amazing wines with mouth-watering cuisines and you get an equally exceptional dining experience. All three sailings make the perfect backdrop to celebrate a couple’s love with spectacular views and experiences.

Rio Douro Cruise
Image credit: Adam Jones

Going beyond Europe to the regions of Southeast Asia, the Mekong river is one of the world’s most exotic rivers that gives off a different feel of romance. A river cruise along the Mekong river is a unique experience of colourful cultural encounters and delectable local cuisines. The cruise stops by quiet and remote stretches of the river, giving couples the time and solitude that is well needed to relax and reflect.

Mekong River Cuise
Image credit: Basil Morin

Though these river cruises all offer stunning romantic getaways with amazing scenic sights and excellent cuisines, it doesn’t really matter where you are as long as you’re with your partner.

Set Foot on 56 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Across 6 Continents With This Cruise

Amalfi Coast

Let ancient history, natural beauty and diverse culture blow you away as you embark on a trip to visit UNESCO’s famous World Heritage Sites on a world cruise. With Regent Seven Seas Cruises, adventurers, travellers, outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs can now all come together to take on a 117-day journey across six continents, 30 countries and visit 56 different World Heritage Sites.

You’d be boarding the cruise line’s Seven Seas Mariner, which is known to be the first all-suite and all-balcony ship of its kind. Guests would then be well on their way as they set off from Miami towards 61 ports in South America, French Polynesia, Australia, Asia and the Mediterranean.

The cruise would also bring travellers to the Caribbean islands such as Aruba and the Bahamas before passing through the Panama Canal towards South America’s west coast. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites in this region includes the ancient city of Chan Chan, Peru’s Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu. Travellers can also look forward to spending a night at Easter Island and be amazed by its moai statues, pink sand beaches as well as volcanoes.

Great Barrier Reef

As guests head towards Australia, they would be visiting the famed Great Barrier Reef as well as lesser-visited sites such as the Bay of Islands and the uninhabited Whitsunday Islands National Park.

Feast on traditional Arabic cuisine and learn about traditional dance as the cruise sails to Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan before continuing along the Red Sea. As guests arrive in the Mediterranean, they would be visiting the coast of Limassol in Cyprus before moving on to the Amalfi Coast in Italy and swim in hidden locations such as the fjord of Furore. Roam the streets of the medieval town on the island of Rhodes. Spend a total of 11 overnight stays in locations which include Dubai, Bali, Singapore and Mumbai.

Departing on 5th January 2021, fares start from US$61,999 which includes first class airfare to Miami with complimentary airport to ship transport as well as business class airfare back from the final stop in Barcelona. Guests would also be entitled to a pre-cruise gala event alongside a one-night hotel stay in Miami, unlimited onboard beverages, luggage services, dry cleaning and pressing services and onboard medical services.

Save the World While You’re on Vacation

It doesn’t take much for people to realise the uncomfortable truth we have been facing in recent years – severe climate change, intrusion of nature by humans as well as overtourism. Unfortunately, this threatens our earth’s wildest and most beautiful natural destinations.

It is of course never too late for us to play a part for the earth. Conscious travellers can take part in sustainable tourism activities so as to do good for the earth while still enjoying the thrills of adventure travel. With a growing trend in citizen-science expedition, travellers are able to explore some of the most extraordinary locations of the globe while simultaneously aiding researchers and local communities understand and protect the environment.

To play your part as a conscious traveller, you can get started with these options:

Saving the Peruvian Rainforest
Peru Rainforest

Rainforest Expeditions is a Peru-based ecotourism company which operates Tambopata Research Center, an Amazonian retreat inclusive of meals, river transportation and a selection of field activities. Guests can help the resident scientists conduct bird censuses, collect Jaguar behavioural data with the use of night cameras as well as examine the health of the forest canopy with the air of drones in the surrounding Tambopata Nature Reserve.

Travellers can spend three-nights at the retreat starting from US$1884.

Learn about elephants in Kenya
Kenya Elephants

Take part in an expedition focusing on elephants and sustainable agriculture on your next trip to Eastern Africa. Travellers would have the opportunity to study the human-animal conflict in and around the Tsavo Conservation Area located in southeastern Kenya. It is known that local farms in that area have a precarious relationship with the native elephants residing there. Travellers would be working together with farmers and conservationists to come up with methods to protect crops while at the same time minimizing the impact of agriculture on the elephant herds.

A 12-day trip with Earthwatch Institute begins from US$2,995.

Track Siberian tigers
Siberian Tiger

With only approximately 530 Siberian tigers left in the world, Natural World Safaris offers a Siberian tiger tracking expedition in Far East Russia. Conversationalist Alexander Batalov would be leading small groups around the Durminskoye Reserve where you would be setting up and collecting camera traps that document the animals’ movements and interpreting the camera footage retrieved. Take the opportunity to get acquainted with the region’s snow owls, red deer and wild hogs.

Seven-day trips start from US$3,150.

Bizarre Eats Around the World

Everyone has their own reasons to travel and the best part of travelling is that it gives us the opportunity to explore the different cultures and history. Food tourism has always been an ‘it’ thing for most travellers, writing their experiences down on their blogs, making video diaries or just savouring the moment in pictures.

 There are tonnes of dishes to be discovered by your taste buds around the world, and it’s only natural to be curious about them. But to pique your curiosity a bit further, we suggest bizarre foods. Of course, what seems to be bizarre to us may be normal to the locals and vice versa. The world is a complex place, so as a traveller, remember to be open-minded.

Balut, Philippines
At first glance the Balut looks like any other harmless egg until you crack it open. Commonly found in most South Asian Countries, Balut can be bought as a street food in the Philippines. Balut is a fertilised duck egg that has been boiled. Yes, fertilised. So when you crack open the shell, you can see the entirety of the baby duck. Balut is meant to be eaten as a whole and is usually dipped in spicy vinegar.

Balut
Image credit: Judgefloro

Hakarl, Iceland
Popular among the Icelandic locals, Hakarl is a kind of fermented food made from the Greenland Shark. Poisonous when fresh, it is important to ferment the Greenland Shark for months before consuming it. Hakarl can be a bit too much for first time eaters as to any fermented dishes, but after you get pass the smell, the taste is nutty and a little sweet. It is a must try when you’re in Iceland.

Hakari
Image credit: Chris 73

Sannakji, South Korea
Considered to be hazardous to consume, Sannakji is a challenge to eat. Sannakji refers to live octopus that has been washed and chopped into bite size pieces, eaten raw with a variety of dips for you to choose from. Eating Sannakji may be difficult because you have to fight the octopus while eating it, since it’s still very much alive. Caution is advised while eating this dish as the tentacles can get stuck in you throat and may choke you.

Sannakji
Image credit: LWY

Haggis, Scotland
Haggis is made with the sheep’s heart, lungs and liver together with onions, oatmeal and spices that is further mixed with the stock taken from the sheep’s stomach. All these ingredients are cooked inside the animal’s stomach. Though the preparation is slightly disturbing, Haggis is a savoury dish and is truly a bizarre dish that is worth the try.

Haggis
Image credit: Tess Watsons

May/June 2018 Issue Out Now!

Issue 81 May:June

Our Culture Issue is out!

May/June is what’s considered by the travel industry as ‘shoulder season’ which is a great time to travel because it’s less crowded and cheaper to do so. This issue is also our Culture Issue, which focuses on what makes each country unique.

Pick up our free mag now (check locations here) or read online!

Mar/Apr 2018 Issue Out Now!

Issue79

Our Nature Issue is out!

Spring is in the air, and it’s the perfect time to explore nature’s glory. This issue, we explore a variety of destinations known for their outdoor offerings, from the isolated archipelago of the Azores to the snow-white tundra of Svalbard and the volcanic wonderland of Hawaii. We’ve also got Asian offerings like Taiwan’s Udon Thani, Taiwan’s Green Island, and Nepal’s Chitwan NP.

Pick up our free mag now (check locations here) or read online!

Glamping destinations that blow your mind (and cash)

Pool-at-Zarafa-Camp

From lush forests to glacial mountains and vineyards, tented camps are the new byline in luxury, and it’s even got its own vocabulary. Gone are the days of dingy tents and flimsy collapsible chairs – glamorous camping, or ‘glamping’, prove that you don’t need solid walls to soak in the riches. Some of these tents literally take your breath – and your cash – away.

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Hilarious Finalists Of The 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Batuangus Nature Reserve, Indonesia © Katy Laveck Foster / CWPA / Barcroft Images

The finalists for this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards have been revealed, and they are as hilarious as usual.

There were more than 3,500 entries from 86 countries, with a total of 40 finalists announced, ranging from penguins going to church to a pair of monkeys zooming off on a motorcycle.

The winners will be announced on December 14. Which is your favourite?

2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards - Final 40

Three king penguins approach the only church on South Georgia Island © Carl Henry / CWPA / Barcroft Images

2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards - Final 40

Baby Dormouse on a yarrow flower in Monticelli Brusati, Italy © Andrea Zampatti / CWPA / Barcroft Images

2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards - Final 40

Outsourcing Seatbelt Checks © Graeme Guy / CWPA / Barcroft Images

2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards - Final 40

WTF? © George Cathcart / CWPA / Barcroft Images

Animals Caught in Compromising Positions

comedy-wildlife-photography-awards-shortlist-2016-27-57fb40cca28b7__880

‘A tough day at the office’ © Angela Bohlke

 

While there may be plenty of prestigious (read: serious) photography awards these days, there’s no doubt that most of us would agree that the most endearing is the ‘Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.’

While we’re so used to seeing nature in compelling shots that frame plenty of magazine covers, we rarely get to see the other side – something that’s more adorable, and downright goofy. That’s what this annual competition is about: showcasing Mother Nature’s comedic side.

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Food Etiquette Around the World

typical-cuisine-913992_640

As a traveller, food etiquette may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you visit a new country. But don’t be naive to this, there are certain things individuals may find offensive overseas which would seem totally acceptable in other cultures.

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