Travel Blog

I just returned from a one-week journey on the Fathom "Adonia" cruise which is part of an ongoing cultural exchange program that gives travelers a chance to interact with the Cuban people and experience their history and everyday lifestyle. This opportunity hasn't been open to the U.S. traveler for more than 50 years.

The "Adonia" visits three historic ports: Havana, the country's capital (2-days); the French influenced city of Cienfuegos, and Cuba's second largest city, Santiago de Cuba.

HAVANA, is probably best known for its Spanish influenced architecture of Old Havana, with castles, fortresses, cathedrals, and mansions. You will enjoy lively music, dance, open-air festivals and a "flea market".

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Traveling to Australia has always felt like a very distant and nearly impossible goal of mine. My grandmother was born in Australia and I was fortunate to have a close relationship with her. She surrounded herself with Australia. She painted images of the gum trees. She had a kangaroo skin rug on the floor, a sheepskin rug on the couch. A black emu egg rested next to brilliant white coral on her mantel. A very large seahorse hung on her wall and now hangs on mine in an 8 X 10 frame. A toy koala that sat on her piano was actually a music box playing ‘Waltzing Matilda’. A portrait of her 16 year old self hung in a wooden frame carved in the shape of the Island of Tasmania. Homemade lamingtons were always our Christmas treat; and every night was vegemite on toast for dinner. My visit to Australia felt very familiar.

Southern Crossings, travel specialists for Australia, was the catalyst that made my Australia vacation happen. They provided the opportunity for the adventure of a lifetime; to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of the Great Barrier Reef, to participate in an outback wilderness experience in the rugged and beautiful Blue Mountains, and to experience the hustle and bustle of downtown Sydney.

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Cancun has become a favorite vacation spot for Utahns – possibly the most popular vacation destination for those seeking a quick getaway to sun, sand, sea, fine food and drink, comfortable accommodations and relaxation.

After spending five days in Cancun in late April visiting 15 different resorts with 21 other travel agents, seeing vacationers at each stop floating in a pool on a lounger or lying on the beach, wading out into the waves, most sipping on a cocktail, it’s no mystery to me why so many choose Cancun as their vacation destination.

I was impressed with one main feeling. Though there are nearly 100 different resorts in the Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Riviera Maya areas that make choosing a destination somewhat confusing, you really cannot go wrong. All have amazing views, outstanding pools, amazing sand, great food, fun and exciting entertainment. You’ll find golf, water activities, excursions, history and an atmosphere that produces exactly what you are after – fun and relaxation. Also, few destinations offer a better atmosphere for romance. It’s easy to understand why so many return to Cancun year after year.

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I Love River Cruising! I recently returned from my 2nd River Cruise in Europe and I’m hooked. My husband and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary aboard UniWorlds ‘Maria Teresa’.

Our adventure began in Antwerp and ended in Amsterdam. Our trip started exactly a week after the terrorist bombing in Brussels. Other than changing our departing flight from Brussels, to Amsterdam, our trip was uninterrupted and felt completely safe. In fact, the only time we saw guards or any indication that an attack had happened a week prior was in the subway stations in Antwerp. Our guide explained that there was actually more security, but they wear plain cloths and are unnoticeable to tourists. We had a great time touring Antwerp. It was mostly about the food for us. We had a day and a half there, and made sure we tasted all the local favorites. We toured the Chocolate factory (of course), ate double fried Frits (which are way better than our American ‘single fried’ fries), couldn’t get enough Belgium waffles from the street vendors (seriously amazing), and although I am not a drinker, many of our ship mates told us the beer was the best.

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Ever wondered would it would be like to travel 20 hours on an airplane to the other side of the world?? Other than an uncomfortable plane ride, it was amazing!

Our adventures first started out in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. What a wonderful, clean, and beautiful city. Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. What a view from the 140th floor!! It is also home to the largest shopping mall in the world. I really felt comfortable in this city and appreciated that fact that everything is new and clean. Our guide explained to us the nationalities that make up this city of 2.4 million people. Only 20% are from the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Of the remaining 80%, 50% are from India, the rest are from Pakistan, Philippines, and Bangladesh, in that order.

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