If you’re thinking of a winter holiday in the Arctic dressing for the winter weather is a must!
My advice to clients is “Think Like an Onion”! When you peel an onion you can pull it apart layer by layer, so the same goes for dressing for cold weather.
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Alaska’s tourism slogan is “Beyond Your Dreams, Within Your Reach” and my trip there was definitely both of those things! Alaska was a place I’d always had on my “wish list” to visit and I had the chance to go there on a Northern Lights tour.
The tour I did was our Northern Lights, Alaskan Nights with Anchorage added on at the beginning. We did a lot of interesting, fun things in Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, like visiting the Anchorage zoo and the Anchorage Museum. The zoo was really different from what people think of as a zoo – it is set amongst a forest with paths lined with wood chips and the wildlife is housed amongst the trees. We were also very lucky to be in Anchorage at the same time as the famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race – 56 teams racing over 1,000 miles from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. That’s a lot of mushing (and barking)! Cool to see them race through the city on the start day.
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Sounds idyllic, and it is! Norway as a cruise destination was fabulous, stunning scenery and had many interesting places to visit.
My husband and I decided on a cruise to Norway. A few people told us about their experience on the ‘rough waters’ of the North Sea. I was a bit apprehensive about ‘cruising’ the rough waters, but we didn’t experience any of that. We had wonderful calm waters, and fabulous warm weather in Norway. To borrow an old well used phrase, “it was smooth sailing”.
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After reading this very interesting article (it’s not as negative as it sounds and is well worth a read!), I realized that now, more than ever, really is the time to get to Cuba!
The article talks about the nostalgic, but not always realistic, remembrances of the Cuba of “then”; the positive and hopeful changes seen in the Cuba of “now”; and the probably, and not always positive, imagined Cuba of “later”, that is post-influx of American tourists and their dollars.
There are a variety of ways to visit Cuba sooner rather than later. Fly on a scheduled airline or charter flight and book accommodation in the lively and passionate capital of the country, Havana. On a sun package that includes charter airfare and hotel accommodation, usually at one of the variety of popular tourist beach locations, and maybe a couple of local tours thrown in. On an escorted, small group tour that gets you away from the touristy beach areas into the countryside. Or on a cruise that sails around the island, stopping at a number of diverse and interesting ports. All of these options are great for the variety of people that want to visit Cuba. And don’t worry, it really isn’t too late!
It seems that there’s always a health “curve ball” being thrown at travellers and the latest is the Zika Virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) is predicting that up to four million people could become infected by the end of 2016, especially with the Olympics coming up in August in Rio, an area already heavily infected.
South and Central America, the Caribbean and parts of the southern US are in the early stages of this rapidly developing health crisis that may eventually post a dire threat to people all over the world. Well, other than some high altitude, colder climate regions in Chile and Canada, that won’t support breeding of the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito species, the same ones that transmit dengue and chikungunya. So there are some benefits of living in cold climates! However, that’s not to say that cases of Zika won’t be reported in these areas, as testing has now confirmed Zika can be transmitted through blood and sexual activity. However, it is not an airborne disease which is good news for flying, and it is relatively easy to protect oneself against contracting it. Read More >
Arctic Sea Ice Day is Friday, July 15th, 2016.
Founded by Polar Bears International, this day was created to draw attention to sea ice loss in the Arctic, why it matters, and how we can help.
Why should we care about sea ice? Here are a few facts from Polar Bears International about this remarkable part of the Arctic ecosystem:
- Sea ice is as important to the Arctic ecosystem as soil is to a forest. The food chain begins with algae and other tiny organisms that live on and within the sea ice. Arctic cod feed on them. Seals eat Arctic cod. And polar bears prey on seals.
- Polar bears rely on sea ice to efficiently catch their seal prey. The polar bear’s main prey, the ringed seal, relies on sea ice, too—for giving birth to and raising their pups.
- Arctic sea ice is important to people living in the North and to our global climate. In fact, the Arctic is sometimes called the earth’s air conditioner because the sea ice helps cool the planet by reflecting some of the sun’s light and heat back into space.
- Arctic sea ice is declining in both extent and thickness due to human-caused climate change. Just as a warm summer’s day melts the ice in a glass of water, a warming planet causes Arctic sea ice to melt.
- Declines in the amount of sea ice means less heat is reflected away from the earth. Instead, more exposed ocean absorbs additional heat, further warming the planet and disrupting the climate.
- Despite year-to-year variation, satellite data show that the September sea ice extent has declined more than 13.4% per decade since the satellite record began in 1979. That’s a loss four times the size of Texas!
- Scientists say we have entered a new era with sea ice. Today there is more thinner, seasonal ice in some parts of the Arctic rather than thicker, multi-year ice. This young ice is much more vulnerable to rapid melting.
- Without action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the probability of ice-free summers in the Arctic increases significantly from the middle to the end of this century. This will greatly reduce the polar bear’s ability to hunt during the summer months, reduce ice seal abundance, and impact people and wildlife around the world.
- It’s not too late to save Arctic sea ice! You can help by asking your government representatives for a fair price on carbon. This will level the playing field for renewable energy and speed up our transition from fossil fuels.
- Another sector where we can work together to #saveourseaice is to encourage sustainable food production and consumption and reduced food waste in our communities. Visit Polar Bears International Arctic Sea Ice Day page to learn about the Greenhouse Grocery List Challenge.
You guessed it – seasickness!
Yes, it can certainly put a damper on your cruise vacation. Although not fatal, it’s still not pleasant and is the #1 reason people choose against cruising on their vacations.
Seasickness, as with all kinds of motion sickness, is theorized to be a result of the disorientation caused by the natural desire of our body to remain in balance (a function of our brain working with our eyes and our ears) competing with the motion of the moving object we are in (car, bus, ship).
If this is the technical cause or not, being in a car or bus that is travelling on winding roads and up and down hills, or on a rough and rocking sea, can leave some travellers feeling under the weather and less than their best. Oddly enough, there are others who don’t feel the effects at all, no matter what!
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Say the word “cruise” and, to most people what comes to mind is a large, gleaming ship with 10, 15, 20 decks; thousands of passengers (the current largest cruise ship can accommodate 6,410 passengers at maximum capacity); large and lavish meals six times a day; multiple pool, spas, gyms and sporting activities on-board; Las Vegas-style entertainment. But, an increasing number of travellers know that, when it comes to soft adventure cruising, bigger isn’t better!
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A first aid kit is a travel essential, especially when you are going on a multi-day hiking tour with limited (or no) access to stores for supplies. Each traveller will have specific needs such as medical conditions, but some items are commonly used by nearly everyone.
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Not everyone or every hike needs the same kind of hiking boot. In fact, some hikes don’t even require a boot, just a good walking shoe.
The key is thinking through the type of hike you are planning to do, getting good advice from a reputable store and trying on lots of styles until you find the perfect fit!
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