Category Archives: France

Exclusive D-Day Private Package with Context Travel

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2019 promises to be a huge year in terms of D-Day events in France, as this year marks the 75th anniversary of this historic landing. with commemorations all across Normandy, Paris and London. So you can bet that availability for tours this summer are extremely limited!

Which is why we were thrilled when Context Travel, one of the most esteemed guides in the world, announced a special D-Day overnight tour running this year.

If you’re lucky enough to be in France this year and a military history buff, it just might be up your alley.

The tour includes a full two days of insight the historic event from a French perspective, including the daily life of Parisians at the time, with an excursion to the Normandy beaches.

No online booking available! Call your WIT Travel Agent to book – but hurry as spaces are extremely limited! 503-224-0180 or inquiry@wittravel.com.

Subject to availability of Context Travel’s specialist guides. 

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75th ANNIVERSARY D-DAY PRIVATE TOUR PACKAGE

from $2648

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visits both Paris and Normandy
  • The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
  • Juno Beach
  • Omaha Beach
  • Place de la Concorde
  • Champs-Elysées
  • Normandy Beaches
  • École Militaire

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Day One

We’ll pick up our story in the Paris of 1940, exploring what life was like in the city under the four years of Nazi Occupation. Over the course of roughly 3 hours, we’ll learn about individuals like Helen Berr, Marchal Pétain, Sacha Guidry, François Mitterrand, the French Gestapo group Bonny-Lafont, and artists like Chanel and Picasso, using their stories as a window into the Occupation, the French Resistance, and the experiences of Jewish families living in Paris up to the Allied liberation in 1944. Our route will weave from the Left Bank to the Right, visiting sites relevant to the Occupation years like the Champs Elysees (where Hitler’s Grand Tour took place) and the Place de la Concorde. We’ll finish by discussing what happened to German collaborators, the return and reaction of Jewish survivors to their homes in Paris, and how France has since managed the historical weight of this turbulent period.

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Day Two

On our second day, we’ll pivot from a strictly Parisian viewpoint to take in a broader understanding of D-Day itself with a 12-hour excursion to Normandy. Starting in Paris, you’ll take a 2-hour train to meet your Context expert and driver at the Caen station. We’ll vary our particular stops based on the interests of your group, but typical sites along the Normandy beaches and coastline include Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, Normandy American Cemetery, and Arromanches (where we’ll discuss Operation Overlord). In the company of your expert, you’ll witness firsthand the cliffs, beaches, and fortifications that were the site of the greatest amphibious landing in history as well as unspeakable losses on both sides.

Those venturing back to Paris will follow the footsteps of Allied soldiers as they officially reclaimed the French capital in August 1944, a mere 10 weeks after the D-Day landings. Regardless of your next destination, our two days examining the decisive impact of D-Day on France will leave us with a greater understanding of World War II in Europe as a whole.

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More posts with Context Travel: 

Japan for Families

London Walking Tours with Context Travel

Stockholm with Context Travel

Vatican After-Hours

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Travel News: Owner of Famed French Hotel may have left it to the Dogs

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Owner Of Famed French Hotel May Have Left It To The Dogs

Uncertainty surrounds the future of one of the most famous grand hotels in Europe after the property’s flamboyant owner and chief executive died at the age of 95 without an heir, amid speculation that she may have left her hotel to animals. Jeanne Augier personally ran the striking pink-domed Negresco Hotel, in the French Riviera city of Nice, for more than 60 years after inheriting it from her father in 1957. She died this week in her 96th year and legal disputes are reportedly already underway about what will happen to the hotel. In 2009, it was reported that Augier planned to leave the hotel and its profits to a new foundation devoted to animals and the poor. A great lover of dogs, she championed both causes, and she was determined to keep the hotel out of the clutches of international hotel chains. Whether dogs will inherit her hotel has not yet been determined. The Negresco opened in 1913 in Nice and quickly became a favorite with European royalty. It has more than 140 rooms, each with its own unique furnishings and French art “collection pieces.” The property has always been open to pets and guests are encouraged to bring them along. Augier famously told Microsoft founder Bill Gates that he was not rich enough to buy her fabulous hotel. In an interview with French newspaper Liberation in 2009, she said: “I must have a hundred offers a year to buy the Negresco. It’s out of the question.”

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Courtesy of Le Negresco

United Airlines Replaces Delta As World’s Second-Largest Carrier

Travelmole reports United Airlines has reclaimed the world’s number-two spot for passenger traffic. It edged in front of Delta thanks to mostly domestic expansion with capacity increases at hubs like Chicago, Houston and Denver. Capacity has been increasing by up to 6%. United recorded 230.2 billion revenue passenger miles last year, ahead of Delta’s 225.2 billion. Delta overtook United as the second largest airline in 2015. United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said: “Our goal is not to be the biggest. We want to be the best and as we implement our strategy, we are looking to build on this momentum in 2019.” Following a couple of years in the doldrums after several high profile missteps, United’s share price has rebounded. While other major US airline stock values have contracted, United saw a 24% bump last year. American Airlines hasn’t released its full-year traffic results yet but is expected to remain the world’s largest airline.

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New Zealand Tourism App Adds Enhanced Reality

An “augmented reality” (AR) app is giving New Zealand visitors the chance to experience a once-famous geological formation that disappeared over 130 years ago. The Pink and White Terraces were once known as the “eighth wonder of the world” and were obliterated by the Mount Tarawera eruption in 1886. They were located 20 km from Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand. In the 19th century, intrepid tourists traveled from around the world to visit the terraces, which became the most famous tourist attraction in the country. Visitors would gather on the terrace shores to experience the natural spa and health benefits that continue to be a feature in the Rotorua region. The popularity of the terraces signaled the start of organized tourism in New Zealand. Old reference photos and paintings, plus work by early explorers and scientists, have been used to recreate the terraces in augmented reality. The terraces have been brought to life again with a specially developed app launched as an eco-tourism experience. Visitors can download the free app and experience the recreated terraces on daily cruises across Lake Rotomahana to the place where the terraces once were. Users need only hold up their device to explore the site and discover its hidden secrets. The Pink and White Terraces were formed over thousands of years, as silica-rich water emerging from springs and boiling geysers crystallized into giant tiered staircases. The White Terrace covered more than three hectares while the smaller Pink Terrace was used for bathing on the lower levels.

Hawaii Issues Warning Of High Bacterial Levels At Several Beaches

HawaiiNewsNow reports high bacterial levels were detected Wednesday at several beaches across Oahu, and have even prompted the closure of a popular spot. The state Department of Health Clean Water Branch said inspectors found elevated levels of enterococci at the following beaches: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Ala Moana Regional Park, and two sites at Queen’s Beach in Waikiki. The normal level for enterococci doesn’t surpass 130% per 100 mL. DOH officials issue alerts when levels exceed 130. Due to the elevated levels, a city spokesperson said Hanauma Bay would be closed Thursday. The upper viewing area, parking lot, and visitor center will remain open. Officials say swimming in waters with elevated bacteria counts could make you sick. Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable. The most common symptoms associated with swimming in affected waters include nausea, vomiting, stomachache, diarrhea, headache or fever. Other minor illnesses include ear, eye, nose and throat infections. But the warning wasn’t enough to keep many beachgoers out of the water here in Waikiki. “The water was nice and clean from what I could see,” said Canadian visitor John Jonker. “We didn’t see any problem in the water at all, and we never noticed anything on the shore either. Everything is nice and clean.” The advisories will remain in effect for the beaches until levels return to normal. In addition, a Brown Water Advisory has been issued for Punaluu Beach Park in Windward O’ahu.

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Turkey Has Introduced A Passenger Security Tax

Travelwirenwews reports Turkey has introduced an airline passenger security tax of 1,5€ applicable as from 1 January 2018 without any advance notification. In addition, the Turkish Tourism Minister is considering changes to the tourism strategy and marketing activities. He wants to cut the state-financed budget for tour operators promoting Turkish destinations and plans a more centralized approach focusing on high-end products.

This App Will Deliver Food Right To Your Boarding Gate

Airwise reports most people-and certainly most underrated comedy writers-agree that airline food is bad. Luckily a food delivery app wants to make sure that you never fly hungry again and won’t be tempted to eat whatever it is the airlines are serving. AtYourGate is a food delivery service that will bring you food while you loom around the boarding gate, even though you’re sitting in Row 44. The delivery team doesn’t have to bring your loaded baked potato through security, though, because for better or worse, the app only lets users choose from options within the airport. To use it, just download the app, browse the options, make your selection, and they will run it over to you, usually within 20-30 minutes. AtYourGate has just announced it is landing in the New York area, making it easier for passengers flying through Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, and Terminal 7 of John F. Kennedy International to decide whether it’s worth paying someone to bring them an Auntie Anne’s pretzel. (New York and New Jersey airport travelers who download the app qualify for free delivery on their first purchase by entering the promotion code AYGFREE. There is no minimum order requirement.) The app is still pretty new, with only New York City, San Diego, and Minneapolis St. Paul airports on board, but if it rolls out nationwide, those traveling through Portland International Airport (hello, Country Cat) or O’Hare (where Rick Bayless has a torta restaurant) may never eat airplane food again.

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3 Cool Places to Take the Kids Over Winter

As most tried and true families know, winter doesn’t just mean bundling up and curling up by the fire. Sometimes you want to hit the ski slopes! Here are just a few ideas of cool winter fun to take the kids over the holidays.

Family Ski Vacations – Club Med

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Club Med is usually associated with its awesome beach resorts in the Caribbean. But there are several top-of-the-line ski lodges as well. An all-inclusive ski vacation can be just what you need to pack it all in one package: ski lessons, entertainment, guides, meals, childcare—all included in a roasty-toasty chalet in the French Alps. Club Med offers 18 locations in France, Italy and Switzerland for the little ones to try out their ski legs – so you can relax and focus on making memories. There is Val Thorens Sensations, a must for the ski fanatic; Peisey-Vallandry, a charming chalet with classic Savoy architecture. Their newest resort, Les Arcs Panorama, will open December 2018 and will offer cross-country and downhill skiing alike, plus a heated swimming pool and a Children’s Club.

Japan for Kids

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With loads of attractions, quirky shops and street festivals, Japan can be a real treat for kids. Blow their minds with the awesome view from the Skytree, the city’s highest observation deck at 1476 foot. The Akihabara district is a Mecca for anime-fans, while Asakusa Temple will transport you to the old Edo period. Robot-themed restaurants, ninja school, novelty capsule machines — what’s not to love? Brush up on their Hayao Miyazaki film trivia at the Ghibli Museum, or if they get bored, try out fun foods like okonomiyaki (“Japanese pizza”), dessert crepes, tempura and fish-shaped waffles. If all else fails, there’s always Tokyo Disneyland or Disneysea.

Thailand with Kids

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With its affordable prices, colorful landscapes and tons of adventures to be had, Thailand is great for families! Show them around temples in Bangkok, gorge on funky fruit you just can’t find at home, or hit the beaches at Phuket. They might not be ready for Thai spice, but start them off slow with something universal like Pad Thai or Pad See Ew or banana pancakes. I bet you anything they’ll get addicted to mango sticky rice! The best part about Thailand is that the dollar goes a long way. For a family of 4 in the touristy areas, you’ll spend around $40 per night—less in the countryside or mountains. In Phuket, Krabi or Koh Phi Phi, kids can try out sea kayaking, snorkeling, elephant trekking. Hint: If you can, try to save Bangkok for last. The hubbub of this wild town can be a bit dramatic for young kids not used to the fast pace. Start off with a few days in Krabi or Phuket, then head up north to Chiang Mai before capping off your trip with Bangkok.

We’ve booked countless families on adventures abroad. What are you waiting for? Just go! 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com. 

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8 Alternative Attractions in Paris you shouldn’t miss

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1. Auld Alliance in the Marais

This cozy Scottish bar is a must-see for any scotch aficionados. Yes, it might be known for its strong Scottish personality, but even if you’re in Paris, it’s a worth a visit. Sample a range of top-shelf whiskies or come for the cozy, intimate atmosphere. The name Auld Alliance refers to a historical agreement (we’re talking 1295) between Scotland and France against the English.

80 Rue François Miron. 

2. Pomze Paris

This quirky Parisian restaurant has been called a hidden gem, and is the only eatery in town to focus squarely on apples. Choose from the finest French ciders or order from entrées that know how to seduce the apple flavor right… duck, smoked salmon smoked on apple wood, foie gras, pan-seared cod fish… the tantalizing menu goes on and on.

109 Boulevard Haussmann.

3. Musée des Arts Forains

The private Musée houses a collection of funfair objects, curated by actor and antiques dealer Jean Paul Favand. Among the artifacts include 14 amusement rides, carousels, bicycles, Japanese billiards, a Hooghuys Organ, and so much more—all from 1850-1950. Open by reservation only, it also includes a Italian opera-based automata show and a glimpse into early 20th century world fairs.

53 Avenue des Terroirs of France.

4. Musée de Cluny

Though a bit on the beaten track, the de Cluny is a unique museum that shouldn’t be missed. Also known as the National Museum of the Middle Ages, the de Cluny is housed in a medieval structure, and stores illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, and most famously the 15th century tapestry cycle La Dame à la Licorne.

28 Rue du Sommerard.

5. Le Louxor Palais Du Cinema

Lovingly restored in 2013, this historic picture house is the perfect attraction for any cinephile. Watch French films in the company of breathtaking Art Deco and neoclassical staircases and columns.

170 Boulevard Magenta. 

6. 59 Rivoli

Marvelous 59 Rivoli was once a well-known artists’ haunt back in the 1800s. Recently renovated, it’s a celebration of creative and artistic spirit. The six stories are free and open to the public. On Saturdays and Sundays starting at 6 p.m. there are free concerts in the ground-floor gallery.

59 Rue de Rivoli.

7. Dodo Manège

This grandiose Art Deco carousel might look like a historic relic, but it was only erected in 1992. Located close to the Natural History Museum, you can hop onboard to ride a dodo, panda, or even an aepyornis (once the world’s largest bird, now extinct).

Jardin des Plantes, 57 rue Cuvier. 

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8. Montmartre Vineyard

It’s a wonder how it’s managed to survive so long, but the Montmartre Vineyard is Paris’ last active vineyard and a beautiful staple of the neighborhood for the past 800 years. Be sure to be in town in October, when the annual Fête des Vendanges kicks off in full force.

Rue des Saules.

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Quick Guide to the Paris Navigo Pass

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Last week, we announced the upcoming release of the Navigo Easy Pass, due out April 2019. This is an electronic (that means totally paperless!) system of navigating Paris’ maze of public transport networks.

This means: unlimited travel in selected zones and unlimited validity. Oh la la!

Conde Nast reports that the Navigo Easy Pass will be identical to London’s Oyster or Stockholm’s Access cards. It will charge a flat 2 euros then you can load it up with tickets. They’ll be unlimited – that means you can go virtually anywhere, without that pesky Monday business (read below for that fiasco).

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The only catch is you’ll have to wait at least until next April to enjoy all its benefits.

But there DOES currently exist a Navigo Pass, aka the Navigo Découverte that’s open to tourists RIGHT NOW and may be a good bet for travelers staying in Paris more than a week. So what’s all that about and is it worth it? Read on to find out more.

Where is the Navigo Découverte valid?

You can use it on the metro, RER, bus, tramway and train — but NOT  Orlyval, SNCF train lines with reserved seating, and the Optile special fare lines.

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Wait – isn’t there already the Paris Visite Pass?

The Paris Visite is specially designed for tourists and offers discounts on museums and tours. It’s more expensive, but better in a lot of ways. If you’re into sightseeing and wandering around all corners of Paris, the Visite is your best bet. The Visite is also valid from any day of the week (the Navigo is only valid from Mondays), and it’s available in 1-, 2-, 3-, and 5-day versions. BUT if you’re a total veteran of Paris and choose to go barebones aka the Navigo, it’ll only set you back a little bit.

Monday what now?

The Navigo pass starts on Monday morning with the first cars, and ends on Sunday. This may impact you, a traveling tourist, especially if you’re not arriving in Paris on Monday.

Navigo Liberté or Navigo Découverte?

We’ll make this easy. The Navigo Liberté is reserved for locals. Navigo Découverte is open to anyone. In this article, we always refer to the Découverte, naturally.

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So how much?

The card itself is €5 for one week, and you add on the duration you want:

  • €21.25 for Paris for the week starting Monday
  • €70 for the month (for those staying longer than a week)

How do I get one?

You can buy a Navigo pass at almost any transport ticket window in Paris.

You can also go to the website Navigo.fr to complete all of the application procedures online.

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But I’ll also need…

You will need a picture of yourself for the pass, 3cm high by 2.5cm wide, which is smaller than passport sized. You can purchase them in photo kiosks near the ticket windows that sell passes on the Metro, RER and Ile-de-France trains.

Learn more

There is an excellent page explaining how a foreigner purchased a Navigo pass here.

BOOKED A TRIP TO FRANCE WITH WITTRAVEL? ASK YOUR WITTRAVEL AGENT FOR MORE DETAILS ON HOW TO NAVIGATE THE PARIS METRO. IS THE PARIS VISITE OR NAVIGO DECOUVERTE RIGHT FOR YOU? CALL US AT 503-224-0180 OR EMAIL INQUIRY@WITTRAVEL.COM.

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Travel News! The Planetarium Aboard the Viking Ship

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Big Sur Road Is Coming Back

LA Times reports Big Sur road coming back: Highway 1, closed for a year and a half because of massive slide, to reopen by July 20 (that’s today!). Travelers soon will be able to do something they haven’t in a year and a half: drive the 650-plus miles of California’s Highway 1 between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Caltrans announced Tuesday that full access to the blocked area south of Gorda would reopen by 11 a.m. July 20. The new stretch of road could open to traffic a few days sooner, depending on when work is completed, according to Caltrans.

The Mud Creek Slide, which rained debris in one of the state’s largest landslides, destroyed a quarter-mile section of roadway on May 20, 2017. The road will be open to traffic in both directions, meaning there’s still time to take an uninterrupted summer road trip along the Big Sur coast. Last year, heavy rains led to slides and debris flow that wiped out a bridge and closed several points on Highway 1, including Paul’s Slide, roughly at Post Mile 21. The road is now open with a single lane and a traffic signal to direct drivers, which may cause some slowing. Construction crews worked round the clock seven days a week to complete the $54-million emergency repairs. They built new roadway across the slide, fortifying with embankments and other support features such as berms, rocks, netting and other materials.

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Courtesy of Silversea

Luxury Line Silversea To Cruise The Northeast Passage 

Silver Explorer will become the most luxurious cruise ship to sail the Northeast Passage through the Arctic when it sets sail from Nome, Alaska, to Tromso, Norway, on August 10, 2019. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Silversea’s expedition arm, the line is offering a rare cruise ship itinerary to the far northern reaches of the globe. The 25-night cruise will take in destinations in Alaska, Russia and Norway, including Wrangel Island, a UNESCO site where polar bears and walruses live; the otherworldly Champ Island with its mysterious stone spheres; Murmansk, a Russian city that dates to the early 20th century; and coastal villages like Chukotka’s Uelen, where passengers can interact with and learn about the native Chukchi and Yupik people who live there. A highlight will be the day Silver Explorer spends sailing as far north as it can toward the edge of the polar ice cap. The expedition team will be in search of seals, walruses and polar bears hanging out on the ice floes. Its onboard expedition leaders will offer lectures and workshops, and lead Zodiac trips and other shore excursions to educate passengers on the itinerary’s remote destinations. The ship carries a mere 144 passengers, and pampers them, even in rugged climates, with suite accommodations, butler service and all-inclusive fares that cover all drinks, gratuities and unlimited Wi-Fi. Fares for this sailing start at $37,260 per person, based on double occupancy. Note that all suite categories but the lowest three are currently showing waitlist status.

EU Gets Tough With AirBnB On Pricing and Policy

the European Commission and EU consumer authorities are calling on Airbnb to be more transparent with its pricing. They say Airbnb’s current pricing and some of its terms do not comply with EU rules and it has given the homeshare giant until the end of August to fall into line. Consumers must easily understand what for and how much they are expected to pay for the services and have fair rules e.g. on cancellation of the accommodation by the owner. Airbnb has been told to show all fees and charges from the initial search or, where that’s not possible, clearly inform customers that additional fees might apply. It must also clearly identify if the accommodation offer is made by a private host or a professional, as consumer protection rules differ.

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American Airlines To Eliminate Plastic Straws From Cabins, Lounges

Reuters reports American Airlines on Tuesday said it plans to no longer offer plastic straws and stir sticks in its lounges and onboard its flights, amid a broader global push to abandon one-time use plastics. Starting this month, American said drinks in its airport lounges will no longer come with plastic utensils and will instead feature biodegradable straws and wooden stir sticks. The phase-out onboard its planes will begin in November, with plastic straws and stirrers to be replaced by environmentally friendly bamboo. The carrier will also transition to “eco-friendly” flatware in its lounges. American said that the move will eliminate more than 71,000 pounds (32,200 kg) of plastic each year. On Monday, Starbucks Corp, the world’s largest coffee chain, said it would no longer offer plastic straws at its 28,000 locations by 2020.

Disneyland Just Experienced The Hottest Day Ever At A Disney Park 

Travel + Leisure reports Disneyland just had its hottest day ever. While southern California experienced a heat wave temperatures in Anaheim (home of Disneyland) soared to 113°F on July 6. It is not only the hottest temperature on record since the park opened in 1955, it is the hottest temperature recorded at any of the Disney parks around the world (including Orlando, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong), according to Theme Park Insider. Because of the oppressive heat, park officials closed all outdoor rides, including Big Thunder and Mountain Railroad – several food vendors also shut down because of the heat. Those who went to the park on that day said that lines for rides were short, as the park was practically empty. Disney first aid staff were on call to help guests experiencing dehydration. “There was one medic run right after the other,” one park cast member said. Wait times for many popular attractions dropped to the point where it was basically possible to walk right on.

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This High-Tech Planetarium Is On A New VIKING Cruise Ship

The Explorers’ Dome is located on the second level of the Viking Orion’s Explorers’ Lounge. The newest Viking Ocean Cruise ship, made its debut in Italy on June 14, revealing a unique high-tech feature: a planetarium at sea. The ship is named after the constellation Orion (the hunter) and NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the first crewed capsule designed to carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit. The ship’s name also honors retired NASA astronaut Anna Fisher, who is the “godmother” of Viking Orion and worked on the Orion spacecraft before retiring in May 2017.

The planetarium, called the Explorers’ Dome, features shows about space and exploration, including two 3D films: “Journey to Space” and “Under the Arctic Sky.” “The Explorers’ Dome onboard Viking Orion is currently the highest-definition 7K planetarium in the world,” Ralph de Klijn, Viking’s executive director of ocean operations, told Space.com. “The Explorers’ Dome is a versatile space that can operate as a high-tech planetarium, as well as show films and other programming in 2D or 3D.” Viking Orion is only the second cruise ship in the world to have a planetarium; the other is the Queen Mary 2.

Although Viking Orion is not the first cruise ship to offer a planetarium, the company says this one is the most advanced, with:

– Digistar 6 display system, five projectors and studio speakers.

– Viking resident astronomer. Howard Parkin, a Royal Astronomical Society fellow and founding member of the Isle of Man Astronomical Society

– lectures on the wonders of the cosmos

– offer guided tours of the night sky during stargazing sessions using Viking’s portable telescope.

While other Viking ships have resident historians, Orion is the only one with a resident astronomer and historian. Parkin will continue to offer lectures through the ship’s 2018 maiden season, de Klijn said.

Read more on Space.com: https://www.space.com/41145-space-cruise-vacation-viking-orion-reflections.html

Club Med Cancún Yucatán Introduces Expanded Family Area 

Club Med Cancún Yucatán has doubled the size of its Aguamarina family area, adding 60 rooms and a new pool. The Aguamarina family area now offers an additional 30 Club Rooms and 30 Deluxe Rooms. Both of the two-bedroom accommodation options provide oceanfront views. This expansion doubles the Aguamarina area’s capacity to 120 families. Club Med Cancún Yucatán also introduced a new Aguamarina reception area and concierge service. The resort also added a new family pool, offering water games, lounge areas and outdoor activities. After a long day in the water, guests can dine at the pool area’s new family bar La Marina. Here kids can visit the restaurant’s kids’ corner and the whole family can order special treats that change from day to day. Guests of the Aguamarina area receive all the benefits featured in a stay at Club Med Cancún Yucatán. This includes dining at the resort’s three restaurants, water and land sports such as snorkeling and flying trapeze, kids’ and teens’ clubs and nightly entertainment. The additions to the Aguamarina area follow a full renovation the resort completed at the end of 2017. The work included improvements to all the resort’s rooms, its meetings and events spaces and the 5-Trident Jade area. The property also introduced new wellness opportunities as well as new and improved dining options.

More glimpses of the family area here: https://www.clubmed.us/r/Cancun-Yucatan/y

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Paris Métro Ditches Paper Tickets, Moves to London-Like System 

Cntraveler reports Paris’s more-than-a-century-old, white paper Métro tickets are on their way out. Starting in 2019, entry to Paris’s efficient public transport system, including buses and express RER trains, will be done through contactless Navigo cards. The city’s transport agency, Ile-de-France Mobilités, announced Wednesday that it would be rolling out two different travel cards, in addition to the unlimited Navigo card for residents already available, over the next year for all sorts of travelers and commuters. If you’re visiting the city for a short time, you’ll need the Navigo Easy pass, available starting in April 2019. Almost identical to London’s Oyster card, the Easy pass costs €2 ($2.34) to buy. Then, you’ll load up the card with T+ rides, what the paper tickets represent now, which will cost the same in 2019 as they do today: €1.90 ($2.22) per ride or €14.90 ($17.39) for a pack of 10 rides. That’s a more than 20% discount, and will cover one-way Métro rides, RER trains in Zone 1 (central Paris), and bus trips. Much like the Oyster card in London, you can top the card up as needed at all transit stations so be sure not to throw yours away. There will be no time limit on them and the card is not nominative, meaning it can be given to a friend. You can also load Orlybus (to Paris Orly Airport) or Roissybus (to Charles de Gaulle Airport) tickets on the Easy pass as well.

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6 Mouthwatering Vegan Restaurants in Paris

We know that you all visit Paris for the food (Well, we do anyway…), but for those of us who are vegan, eating out can be a bit of challenge when you’re traveling.

Leaders in gastronomic innovation, Parisians have even mastered the art of plant-based vegan recipes. Check out these cafés putting an unapologetic spin on the traditional brasserie-fare.

Le Potager du Marais

Craving traditional French? You don’t have to go without – this amazing restaurant revives classic French onion soup, crème brûlée, Bourguignon—all in vegan guiltless delight! Go for the spinach-walnut lasagna with melted vegan cheese.

24 rue Rambuteau

Le Potager de Charlotte

Le Potager de Charlotte promises seasonal menus with wild global flavors. Start off with roasted carrot with mustard, cumin and paprika. Spring for the rice and chickpea pancake topped with roasted squash seed, or go eastern with soba noodles and roasted shallots. Another vegan pancake is crowned with mouthwatering cashew cream. Each dish is an obvious labor of love that will tantalize the tongue.

12 Rue de la Tour d’Auvergne

Hank Pizza

Hank—an acronym of Have a Nice Karma—is a widely popular vegan pizza and burger joint dedicated to its positive ecological values. Here you’ll find simple and flavorful patties topped with fresh veggies and vegan bread. It’s a well-known staple of Le Marais that never disappoints.

18 Rue des Gravilliers

Cloud Cakes

This luscious café is piled high with cupcakes, croissants, carrot cakes and lattes—of course everything is 100% vegan! Lovers of the sweet should go for the cloud breakfast, which including a croissant, drinks and a basket of bread served with chocolate spread. There are also avocado toast and buddha bowls for those craving something a bit more healthy.

6 rue Mandar.

VG Patisserie

Since we’re in Paris, we can’t go without mentioning a vegan patisserie. VG bakes everything fresh to whet your appetite, from pain au chocolate, éclairs, and whipped-good croissants. You can even order a light yoghurt with granola, fruit salads and your birthday cake!

123 boulevard Voltaire.

Gentle Gourmet

Imagine vegan lies in the sheets with haute cuisine—this is Gentle Gourmet. Perfect for a special occasion, romantic dinner, or just in the neighborhood on a European tour, GG promises seasonal, local, mostly organic, made in-house, succulent Vegan fare. Tomato carpaccio with saffron oil and pesto sauce. Gazpacho served with black bread toast and tofu cream cheese. Tempeh tartar with cocktail sauce and vegetable tagliatelles. Eggplant teriyoki, homemade seitan with seaweed, portobello mushroom burger with red onion fondue. Is your mouth watering yet?

24 Boulevard de la Bastille

Need more recommendations or a whole trip planned? Ask your WIT travel agent

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Filed under Europe, France, Travel by Taste