Category: Cruising

About Mega Yacht Charters

Mega yacht charter accommodations and hospitality areas are ideal for important celebrations such as weddings, birthday parties or special anniversaries. Large staterooms and quiet conversation areas offer charter guests appropriate privacy when aboard.

A well-planned mega yacht charter provides all the toys for your guests to use and enjoy. The abundance of space onboard most mega yachts allow for kayaks, jet skis, sailing dingys, water-skis and jet boats for guests with a thirst for adventure. Scuba diving equipment and a certified diving crew will take family and friends for an underwater experience of a lifetime.

Chartering your own private luxury yacht ensures privacy for you and your family and friends. It provides for luxurious living on a comfortable modern yacht, with a crew eager to pamper you and your company. It gives you the freedom to select your own itinerary, visit the sites you want to see, or simply to follow the wind wherever it leads.

A mega yacht is a vessel of over 90 feet in length that can accommodate a small number of guests in luxury. Prices start around $4,000 per person, plus expenses, for 6 guests, for a week. For a 160-foot yacht, expect to pay $14-18,000 per person for 10, plus expenses. Larger yachts can cost considerably more.

Sail the Cheap Cruise

The best thing about a cruise ship vacation is that you get something completely different. While a lot of vacations turn into nothing but shopping in a different country, cruise lines offer something unique. Travelers get to be trapped in a fun filled environment they’ll never want to leave. It’s true. If you get on a ship that offers the activities you enjoy or would like to try, you end up in a very social environment that offers you a chance to lay back and relax or spend your day playing games, watching shows and hanging out with energetic crowds.

For the inexperienced vacationer this all sounds expensive. The happy fact is that an average cruise can cost the same or less then equal time in a hotel. The better news is that a cheap cruise is by no means a bad cruise. Really, offers of cheap cruises are most often just better prices on the exact same trip everyone else spent a fortune on.

Getting the good deals isn’t at all hard. It does, however, require a less then picky taste. Also, like any other vacation, it leaves you traveling in the off season.

The first thing you can do to get a cheap cruise vacation is worry less about where the ship goes. If, for instance, you like the events, layout, and activities offered by a certain cruise line and you aren’t picky about which destination you wind up on, then you can get away with not planning ahead. Much like people who get cheap airfare by buying last minute tickets, you can get deals on a cruise the same way. Like any other transportation these cruises want to be full. When the ship is scheduled to leave no matter what, then selling a cheap ticket is better then selling no ticket at all. Further, the enjoyment of their guests depends on a populated boat.

This is the same reason why traveling in non-peak seasons can get you cheap cruise tickets. It also comes down to simple supply and demand. A holiday season brings with it millions of people fighting for tickets to any given place. In turn, the price goes up because it can. Going on vacation at a time when most other people are staying home can mean the difference between a five hundred dollar cruise and a fifteen hundred dollar cruise.

Caribbean Yacht Charters

The Bahamas contain 700 islands covering 150,000 square miles of tropical sea with approximately 5,000 square miles of land. The islands have flat coral formations and some low rounded hills.

Each island of The Bahamas has a unique personality. The cosmopolitan Nassau city has duty free shops, golf, museums and restaurants. There are bright, white sand beaches on the island.

If you love sea diving, the coast of San Salvador offers challenging and exciting adventure. The Inagua National Park offers the spectacle of nesting flamingos and other exotic wildlife. The Exumas offers a 100-mile-long cruise along a string of pristine cays.

The main cruising islands in The Bahamas are: The Abacos Islands, Bimini and the Gulf Stream Islands, the Berry Islands, the Exuma Cays chain, Harbour Island, Eleuthera and Cat Island, the Out-Islands, Grand Bahama, Freeport and Port Lucaya, Nassau and Paradise Island.

With more than 40 islands and cays, the Virgin Islands in the Caribbean archipelago are ideal cruising ground, particularly for the honeymooners. They are ideal for yachting and water sports as well.

To 60 miles east of Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands comprise of rugged mountain peaks silhouetted against blue Caribbean Sea. The islands have such unusual names as Prickly Pear, Fallen Jerusalem, Great Dog and Pelican Island.

Many of these islands are uninhabited and reachable only by boat, idyllic exploration grounds for those who seek solitude.

Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean islands in 1493, who named them after St. Ursula and her 11,000 virgins slain by the Huns in the 13th century.

Honeymooners prefer the Virgin Islands mainly because of their quiet, pristine beaches. The yachts chartered by the honeymooners offer personalized and discreet service, magnificent accommodations and excellent dining.

Some couples even prefer to have their weddings aboard the yacht or on the Virgin Islands.

Cruise Line Ratings

Six stars is the highest rating. These cruise lines have everything of the finest possible quality. Interiors are lavish and made of high quality wood, leather, fabric. The crockery used is expensive. Food served is exotic and tasteful. The cabins are very large. The staff is quite large and they try to provide personal attention to all passengers. These are meant for very high income groups. The atmosphere is quiet and social with few activities and few passengers. 5 Star cruise lines are also of very good quality. They have more activities as compared to 6 stars. These are more suitable for upper middle class. 4 star cruises are quite affordable with good quality service and food. These are more suitable for family vacations and first timers. 3 star cruises are very popular and find customers coming back again and again. These are full of activity and good for any age group and budget. They exist in large numbers and cover many locations. 2 and 1 star cruises are very pocket friendly but lack the spic and span glamour of new ones. Services are not bad and provide a good experience of cruising at a very reasonable price. The number of passengers is also quite high. The mood is more festive and carnival like.

Cruise lines vary in their mood, atmosphere, activities, facilities and comfort. They can give you a life time of an experience if chosen well. Brochures and websites provide detailed ratings of various cruise lines. To decide, one can read them in detail to look at destination options, travel time, affordability and whatever caters to individual interests. Whatever the rating, any cruise line experience is, overall, enjoyable.

About Viking Ships

The Viking ships basically fall in three categories, large transport vessels (Knarr), Longships, for military use, and small coastal sailing and exploration vessels (Karv). Although as often depicted, all Viking ships did not carry the ?dragonhead? or ?serpent? figures. They were used mainly on warships or ships owned by high-ranked people. The Knarr were known for their maneuverability and loading capacity. The other designs included Byrdling, Skute and Ferje. The longships also had a number of variations, the Busse, the Skeide, the Snekke, the Sud, and Drakkar. The Busse were reportedly large capacity Viking ships with cargo capability, such as the “Ormen Lange” of King Olav Tryggvason, and they could have as many as 35 pair of oars. The Skeide was a Busse variation with smaller size and capacity. The Snekke were the most common ships, used by
Canute the Great, and William the Conqueror, renowned for their speed and durability. The Suds evolved near the end of the Viking era and are said to be the biggest Longships. The Drakkar are the most easily recognizable Viking ships due to their distinct dragon or serpent design that symbolized the superior rank of the commanding warrior.

The basic characteristic of Viking ships can be summed up as having a single mast, exceptionally long parallel oars, and the clinker design used for construction, which involved overlapping thick wooden boards.

Inclusive Caribbean Cruises

It is always good to gather some general information about a proposed vacation destination. Cruise liners offer their best rates during the months of January, May, September, October, November and first two weeks of December. If you want a smooth sailing experience, then June is the month to plan your vacation in as the Caribbean sees the smoothest seas in June. February is the month for the roughest seas and is best avoided. The general forecast for the Caribbean is that the most likely time for hurricanes is in the month of September.

All inclusive Caribbean cruises are a wonderful way to unwind and relax. All inclusive is a concept that refers to all the expenses of the vacation paid in a lump sum usually upfront. Once this is done one can just sit back and relax, without having to worry about paying for each and every thing.

Your all inclusive Caribbean cruises could be a Western Caribbean cruise starting from Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, or Port Canaveral and going on to New Orleans or Galveston, and sometimes Baltimore and Charleston. Typical ports of call on this route are Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Cancun (Calica), Belize, and Key West.

The other route is an Eastern Caribbean route where the ports of call would include San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maartin, Nassau, or Labadee. Many cruise lines have access to private islands. These islands are used for barbecues and water activities. An all inclusive cruise would entitle you to the use of all on-board amenities.

If the cruise is along a Southern Caribbean route then the ports of call would include Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Johns (Antigua), St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Martinique, Caracas (Venezuela), Dominica, Guadeloupe, Catalina Island (Dominican Republic), Grenada, St. Croix, St. Barts, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.

Hurricane Season Cruises

Statistically speaking the chances that your particular cruise is going to be affected by a hurricane are slim. However, it does happen. Cruising during these months requires you to be flexible. Itineraries can be disrupted by even the mere threat of a storm. Usually the cruise lines whose Eastern Caribbean itinerary appears to be in the path of the storm will simply switch over to the Western Caribbean schedule and vice versa. If the cruise line can’t find a port then the ship spends those days at sea. You will not get a refund for the missed ports of call as the cruise lines reserve the right to change the itinerary. The cruise lines strategy has always been to avoid a storm and they have specific hurricane storm emergency response plans to help them do this.

Best thing to do if your cruising during this time is to plan ahead. Arrive at the port of embarkation at least one day prior to departure in case difficulties arise, especially if your cruising out of Florida. Also prepare for the possibility that you might arrive home a day or two late. The ship will wait out at sea if the hurricane is threatening Florida.

Buy insurance, whether through the cruise line or an independent provider and make sure the policy covers disruption in case of weather-related events.

If the cruise is actually canceled you will get a refund. However, it’s very rare for the cruise lines to cancel a cruise.

Cruise and Travel expert specializing in Honeymoon Vacations.

European Cruise

There are many ways of getting to know Europe. You can go on your own, stay at a Bed & Breakfast, rent a car, have lunch at diners, and really spend serious money on overpriced European goods. Traveling on your own apparently seems less expensive, but if you write down everything you spend, you might be alarmed at the expenses. Let’s say you’re walking around London and you feel thirsty, wouldn’t it be terrible to pay for bottled water at a price three times what you pay at home? Paying a local tour guide is almost always more expensive and not always do they have understandable English. The best option for land traveling is going on a package deal if you want to save on a travel guide but that is about it. If you are going on a package deal you might as well go on a cruise!

Think about the advantages of a European cruise. All your food and drink is already paid for, so you won’t pay European prices on food and drink, you will pay what you would pay at home. When the cruise arrives at a city, you have a tour guide with good English. The only downside to cruises is the time limit for exploring the cities ashore, but the advantages totally overshadow this. If you take the total expense for cruising and divide it by the total number of days you will be traveling, the outcome might be much less expensive than land traveling.

So you should stop thinking that cruises are just for rich people because they are not. It is just a question of class and self-allowance. If you believe you can go on a cruise, you will because it turns out less expensive than land traveling.

There are two main routes on European cruises. You can take the cold Northern route, which is the Baltic Sea (Scandinavia and Russia), Norwegian fjords, the Arctic Circle, and British Isles. Make sure you take plenty of winter clothes, because out at sea is much colder than on land. It is a beautiful cruise, although it is more indoors. You can also take the Mediterranean course, which is probably more appealing. You get to know Barcelona, Southern France, Italy, and Greece. It is warm and pleasant there and you can go to the pool on the cruise ship and enjoy the outdoors. There are also possibilities of making a connection between both courses and get to know the entire European coastline.

Cruise Line Brochures

Some cruise lines feature their entire fleet with the itineraries in one brochure. Others have brochures for each destination–such as the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska, Hawaii and Europe.

The front of the brochure has the table of contents. Here you will also find the illustrations and photos, along with description of the cruise line and the itineraries available in that particular brochure.

Next you will usually find information on any special programs offered such as their kids programs. You will also find a brief description of the ports of call and shore excursions offered.

Deck Plans, Staterooms & Fares, hotel stays and past guest programs are usually listed next. A deck plan is a map of the ship that lists all levels of accommodations, shows the location of the restaurants, bars & lounges, swimming pools, fitness center, spa, shops, casino, kid’s center and everything else the ship has to offer.

The last few pages of the brochure is where you will find the “fine print”. This section usually includes the following information –welcome aboard info, Q&A’s, terms and conditions, what you need to know before you go, important policies and has cruise line contact information. Make sure you read it very carefully!! Always be prepared for modifications in the itinerary as well on board amenities. Never book a cruise based on the itinerary only. If you read the “fine print” you will find that the cruise line reserves the right to change the itinerary for any reason.

The back of the brochure is also where you usually find the information on Air&Sea programs, cancellation insurance and and amenity packages offered for your cruise.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania that was just a short drive to Harpers Ferry. I would go there often as a day trip, sometimes just to get away from the hustle and bustle of work and school and other times to share the town with friends and family. Every trip I made, I always learned something new about the area or saw something that I hadn’t noticed before.

There is so much to see and do at Harpers Ferry. When you arrive in the town, you will think that you can go through it in about 2 hours and be done. While it is a small town, it is packed full of interesting stores and tours that could easily keep you around for a long weekend. If you visit this town, prepare to arrive early in the morning so that you can take it all in.

Harpers Ferry history includes the site of the famous John Brown’s raid. You can read about the raid and trace the steps of this famous event. This town is also the site of the first integrated high school and the site of the first successful railroad. There are historic homes that you can tour and an old grave yard that contains tomb stones that predate the Civil War. You can use a map to do your own tour or take a guided tour of the area.

If you want to shop, you will find anything from antique stores to stores that sell local arts and crafts. There is a jewelry store that contains beaded and gem jewelry. There are a few restaurants that all have great food and an ice cream parlor that you must visit. Don’t forget to take pictures of yourself with famous people in the wax museum.

Once you have toured the town itself, you can hike the outlying areas. There is an old railroad track that overlooks the rivers. You can hike up to the top of Maryland Heights. You can find walking and driving guides online or at the entrance to the park.

If you are ever in the West Virginia area, I highly recommend that you make a stop in Harpers Ferry. Between the beauty, the history and the shopping, you will find a little something for everything in this quaint town.

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