Belmond Royal Scotsman, Edinburgh

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If you haven’t yet spent an entire vacation aboard a moving hotel-train hybrid, you’re missing out. The Belmond Royal Scotsman is a once-in-a-lifetime intimate travel experience comprised of private cabins, a cool, lounge-like observation car, and a spa; the train accommodates just 40 passengers and makes great stops along the journey through the Highlands. You can design your own itinerary, choosing from excursions like the Strathisla Distillery in Keith, the Rothiemurchus Estate for some clay pigeon shooting, and of course, an opportunity to explore a giant castle or two in true Scottish fashion, plus much more. This beautifully designed time machine will sweep you off your feet, both figuratively and literally.

Where to Stay on Turks and Caicos? 

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If you’re planning a trip to the Turks and Caicos, you’re in for a treat. Unless you’re visiting on a cruise ship, you’ll most likely be staying on Providenciales (Provo), which is the chain’s most visited island. If you have visions of sugar white sand, dazzling turquoise water, and plenty of shade umbrellas, you’re going to LOVE Turks and Caicos. The good news is that Provo is home to quite a few magnificent beach resorts, hotels, villas, and vacation homes.

The bad news is it can be pretty overwhelming trying to sort through all the options and pick the best one for your trip. Turks and Caicos has also gotten a reputation for being super expensive and while it’s definitely not a cheap island, you can find a wide range of accommodation options to fit any taste and budget. To take some of the guess work out of it, here’s a guide to where to stay on Provo including which part of the island you’ll like best and my picks for the best places to stay.

Lay of the Land

Grace Bay: If you know anything about Provo, you’ve heard of Grace Bay. And for good reason. Grace Bay is the most beautiful beach in the Turks and Caicos and the bug of tourism on Provo. This stunning 12 mile beach on the north shore of Provo seems to be home to about 90% of the shopping, dining, and accommodation options on the island. It’s highly likely that this is where you’ll end up staying. It’s the only area of the island where you can easily walk to shops and restaurants from where you’re staying so it’s also possible to get away without renting a car if you’re staying here.

Leeward: This northeast portion of the island is largely residential so it’s much more quiet and low key than nearby Grace Bay but it has some perfectly lovely beaches.

Chalk Sound: Located on the southwest side of the island, Chalk Sound is a stunningly beautiful place to stay. In addition to Chalk Sound national park, Sapodilla Bay and Taylor Bay are also nearby and are some of the island’s best beaches. This area has the majority of the island’s rental villas but it’s also quite a ways away from all of the amenities of Grace Bay.

Long Bay: This is probably Provo’s second most famous beach and a great place to stay if you’re looking for a world-class beach with a little more quiet and seclusion than Grace Bay. It’s world known for kite boarding and this is also where Provo Ponies does their rides, but otherwise you won’t find any shops or restaurants in the area.

Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos

So now that you know the layout of the island and where everything is, here are some picks on where to stay:

All Inclusive Resorts

If an all-inclusive is your style, Provo has a couple of options. For families, Beaches takes the cake. It’s opulent and full of more fun than you can imagine. It’d be easy to spend a whole week here and never leave. Even though it feels a little dated, Club Med is still the go to spot on the island for singles searching for an all-inclusive experience.

Luxury Beach Resorts

If you’re looking for a little luxury, Turks and Caicos can’t be beat. The Gansevoort has a seriously swanky vibe that’s “Manhattan chic” meets the tropics. For something a little more “old world,” the Venetian offers everything you’d expect from a luxury beach resort with the option to book a 3 bedroom/3 bathroom “condo” for extra space. The Seven Stars Resort has a prime location right in the middle of Grace Bay with a huge pool area. The Tuscany gets the best reviews of any resort on Provo and is renowned for its friendly staff, gorgeous grounds, and uncrowded portion of beach. For a truly lavish experience, book a villa at the Amanyara Resort on the northwest point of the island. It will cost you but you’re unlikely to find its equal in the luxury department anywhere else.

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Racing across the U.S. to see as many sights as possible isn’t always the best thing to do with kids on a road trip. There is a lot to see in the state of Arizona. No matter if you are passing through or on a cross-country road trip  across the country a stop at the Grand Canyon is a must. Even if you only have  a morning to check it out.

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Start out your Grand Canyon adventure on the South Rim pull into the parking spot outside of Yavapai Lodge in the park. This will be your home for the night. 


El Tovar Hotel is the place to stay in the Grand Canyon. As one of the Fred Harvey Company hotels opened in 1905, it is still considered one of the top park lodges in the nation. You might get lucky enough to snag a room before it is booked up, but if not, you could have breakfast there. 

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Ultimate Chile Vacation!! 

ACCOMMODATIONS•3 Nights Santiago•3 Nights Easter Island•3 Nights Puerto Natales


All Ground Transfers plus

 Bus Ticket from Puerto Natales

 to Punta Arenas

Santiago City Tour

Orongo Village &

Torres del Paine National Park

 Tour plus Lunch

Serrano & Balmaceda Glaciers

 Tour plus Lunch•Daily Breakfast

ARRIVAL SANTIAGO: Fronting the snowcapped Andes; the Chilean capital is a blend of colonial and modern architecture. There are lovely parks and gardens, excellent museums, fine restaurants and great shopping. Arrival greeting and transfer to your selected hotel.

(Accommodations, Santiago)

SANTIAGO:After breakfast, take a tour:

Santiago City Tour

One of the best ways to experience Santiago is through its historical development. You will begin your excursion by passing Santa Lucia Hill, which is called Huelen in the native Aborigin dialect. It came about by the Spanish conqueror Pedro Valdivia who founded the city, and gave the name Santiago de Nueva Extremadura, in honor of the apostle Santiago, who was the patron Saint of Spain.

You will continue to Plaza de Armas (Main Square), which is the central point of the city`s earliest urbanization. Today, the buildings of the Cathedral, the main post office, the National Historic Museum and the Municipalidad de Santiago (city council) are situated around the square. You will wander around in Plaza de la Constitucion square, where you will have the privilege of seeing La Moneda government palace. Here, you will learn about the historical milestones from Independence to present day.

Finally, visit the Pre-Colombino Art Museum where more than three decades have passed since Sergio Larrain Garcia-Moreno and the Municipality of Santiago founded the Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. It was a pioneering initiative for Latin America to create an institution to guard, study, and disseminate the artistic legacy of all pre-Columbian peoples of America, without regard to political boundaries that today divide countries.

(Breakfast, Accommodations, Santiago)

SANTIAGO TO EASTER ISLAND: Transfer to the airport for a flight to Easter Island in the South Pacific, one of the most remote islands in the world. Airport greeting and transfer to hotel. Relax by the pool, go to the beach or start exploring on your own. Dinner and overnight in Rapa Nui (Polynesian name for Easter Island).

(Breakfast, Santiago; Accommodations, Easter Island)

EASTER ISLAND:After breakfast, take a tour:

Private Orongo including Ceremonial Village

You will leave your hotel at Hanga Roa and set off for Rano Kao, a volcano whose crater is now a fresh water lake covered with reeds. The main highlight, though, is a stopover at Orongo, stone village and ceremonial center near the crater. It was here that the annual tangata manu or birdman ceremony (a foot race) was performed by the natives. Today, this rite takes place every summer. There are over 100 petroglyphs representing the islanders’ supreme diety Make Make, the birdman, and sooty terns, a seabird known in the Rapa Nui language as manutara. You will also visit the caves at Ana Kai Tangata the cavern walls of which are covered with primitive paintings. You can also step out upon the Ahu Vinapu, a ceremonial platform that is famous for its architectural perfection; today, its construction is still a mystery.

(Breakfast, Accommodations, Easter Island)

EASTER ISLAND:After breakfast, take a tour:

Private Anakena Tour with Lunch

You will leave your hotel in Hanga Roa to begin your journey along the route that passes by the Moai: huge statues carved from volcanic rock lining the perimeter of the island that make Easter Island famous. You will also visit the ahus, which are ceremonial platforms upon which some of the statues stand: first is Ahu Vaihu, surrounded by enormous statutes that have been knocked over and are lying face down. Next is Ahu Akahanga, which is the burial spot of the first king of the island. Your next destination is Rano Raraku on the southern coast and at the foot of the extinct volcano Poike, which possesses the island’s most spectacular crater.

This is where the islanders sculpted these stone giants. After this break, you will head out to Ahu Tongariki, which has the largest number of moais on the island, 15 to be exact. This spot was washed away during a tidal wave that struck Easter Island in 1960, but it was restored, thanks primarily to the efforts of Japanese foundations. Finally, you will visit Ahu Te Pito Kura, where there is a huge spherical stone and the largest moai on the island. Your last stop is Anakena, an incredibly lovely beach. You will return to your hotel at Hanga Roa.

(Breakfast, Accommodations, Easter Island)

EASTER ISLAND TO SANTIAGO: Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago. Take the day to relax or explore with one of our optional tours.

(Breakfast, Easter Island; Accommodations, Santiago)

SANTIAGO TO PUERTO NATALES:Transfer to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas (we recommend arriving into Punta Arenas by 1:00 pm or earlier to connect to a 1:00 pm or 2:30 pm bus), and then transfer to the bus terminal where you will board a regular scheduled bus to Puerto Natales. The journey takes you past large estancias and fields of grazing sheep, with mountains far away on the horizon. You will be met at the bus station and transferred to your hotel with a view of the Sound.

(Breakfast, Santiago; Accommodations, Puerto Natales)

PUERTO NATALES:After breakfast, take a tour:

Private Torres del Paine With Lunch

After lunch the trip continues with a walk on the shores of Grey Lake, where blue icebergs can be seen, and in the background the vast Grey glacier.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Accommodations, Puerto Natales)

PUERTO NATALES:After breakfast, take a tour:

Shared Serrano and Balmaceda Tour With Lunch

This voyage starts from Puerto Natales Pier at 8:00 a.m.

Once passengers are on board, enjoy a snack served by the crew as the vessel sails through Puerto Bories. This port is a National Historical Monument. For more than 60 years, it was the most important cold-store in the area. Its brickwork and industrial post English Victorian architecture stand-out within the area. The trip continues to Guanaco Island, where small and wonderful Tonina dolphins and sea lions will be spotted. Through Estancia Margot, the trip continues to Pared de Cormoranes (Wall of Cormorants), where hundreds of cormorants can be seen spreading their wings at the wind.

You will then continue to Punta de Lobos, where Agunsa-Tonina stops to visit Cascada de Cóndores (Condor Cascade).

The trip continues to Balmaceda’s Glacier. In Puerto Toro, passengers disembark to start a one-hour walk by the lake shore and through a native forest of coigües, towards Serrano Glacier, where they can enjoy the amazing vegetation with the contrast of clean sky and sea ice, all of this with the unique flavor of a whisky with millenary glacier ice and a second snack.

Finally, depart from Puerto Toro, to Eberhard Fjord. Here, passengers enjoy a short walk through Puerto Consuelo ranch. You can enjoy a delicious barbecue on a big skewer/Magellan lamb barbecue at a quincho (special area where barbecues are prepared) at the Eberhard ranch. Departure to Puerto Natales and passengers disembark at 5:00 p.m. approx.

(Breakfast, Lunch, Accommodations, Puerto Natales)

DEPARTURE:After breakfast, transfer to Punta Arenas before continuing on to your next Avanti destination.

(Breakfast, Puerto Natales)

New Orleans Jazz Fest for beginners

New Orleans Jazz Fest for beginners


The New Orleans Jazz Festival (known here at Jazz Fest) is my favorite New Orleans event. I love it more than Mardi Gras and all the other NOLA holidays combined. Jazz Fest starts Friday April 27 and runs through Sunday May 7

Jazz Fest is a 2 weekend music festival that takes place each year at the Fair Grounds Race Course. Over 400 musical acts grace the eleven stages over the course of the Fest. I’ve been attending Jazz Fest for a few years now, and I actually stay very close to where Jazz Fest takes place.

But first, some basics. For those who’ve never been to JazzFest, it’s quite a party. Established in April 1970, the 10-day cultural fest, which normally draws about 400,000 visitors, is comprised of thousands of musical acts, delicious Crescent City food and an international crafts fair.

With more than 500 acts scheduled, it’s one of the hottest music tickets of the year. Big names are on the bill, including Moroon 5, Pitbull, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, Alabama Shakes, Kings of Leon, Earth Wind and Fire, and the Snoop Dog, to name a few. 

But navigating the massive festival, which attracts tens of thousands of fans from around the globe for the music, food and crafts, is no Big Easy.

This year the music kicks off on April 27 and runs until May 7,  with the headline events mainly occurring on the weekends. Gates at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course, where the festivities will take place, open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., which allows plenty of time to explore all there is to offer. The grounds will have 12 different stages where you will hear everything from jazz to rock to pop to R&B to Zydeco and Cajun. Tickets cost less than $100.00 per day. 

Practical Tips for the Virgin

For the Jazz Fest virgin, the sights, sounds and smells can be overwhelming. With over 70 food booths, the local and international cuisine is a large part of the experience. With numerous options of Cajun and international fare, Jazz Fest offers everything from po’boys, to Étouffée (fish stew over rice), to boudin (a type of sausage), to beignets (like a donut), to muffulettas (a New Orleans submarine sandwich), to gumbo. Even if you haven’t heard of half of this cuisine, try it. 

The top five suggestions from YVGS: the cochon de lait po’boy (juicy, roasted pork sandwiched in between two piece of French bread), the fried shrimp po’boy, the crawfish monica (crawfish pasta in a secret sauce) the pheasant, quail and andouille gumbo (a delicious Cajun stew in a dark roux) and the crawfish bread (bread stuffed with crawfish and cheese). Is your mouth watering yet?

Also mentally prep for large crowds. While you’ll see lighter crowds on Thursdays and earlier in the day, when it comes to big name performances, seasoned Jazz Fest goers typically camp out at the stages several hours prior to a performance.

New Orleans weather is unpredictable and the Fair Grounds tend to be muddy, so bring lawn chairs, an umbrella, and garbage bags, which double as a raincoat and a dry place to sit. The Louisiana heat can be unforgiving, so pack your sunscreen and a hat too.

Do not forget toilet tissue, as you are sharing those port-o-potties with 400,000 others.

To avoid the heavy crowds, walk on the circular horse racing track around the perimeter of the Fair Grounds, and venture out to the grandstands for food demonstrations, art installations, shade and clean restrooms.

While you’re at it, go to the Gospel or Blues tent to discover new bands. Also, get a copy of the official performance schedule and laminate it (the “cubes” schedule- days, times, stages-when they  are released. Remember  the Fest ends at 7 pm, which gives you a chance to venture out into the city and experience the nightlife of New Orleans.

Last but not least, remember to call YVGS for all your travel plannings needs. 

After Dark

There are endless entertainment and dining venues options in New Orleans on a regular evening, but during Jazz Fest you can find an assortment of specials on music, food and of course drinks. Bourbon Street is obvious for a non-stop party atmosphere, but go beyond the Crescent City staple.

“The spirit of the festival doesn’t end at 7 pm. “That energy is transferred throughout the city.”

The Rock-n-Bowl has highly recommended jazz night shows. For a local, New Orleans music scene, Frenchmen Street area, the local version of Bourbon, is an entertainment district within walking distance of the French Quarter in the Marigny neighborhood with the B&B’s. Here, you can hear anything from blues, jazz, blue grass, and reggae. Preservation Hall is another classic venue to hear the sounds of New Orleans, but it is small so make sure you get their early.

As far as food outside the parade grounds, the NOLA tourist board offered up suggestions for three places. First, the Redfish Grill, located on Bourbon; get the BBQ Oysters at this casual dining place. Another casual place is Deanie’s Seafood, located on Iberville, which is a block from Canal Street. Seafood platters are a local favorite at the cozy diner.

Finally, a fine dining option where you can wash off the mud and dust and get into something fancy is Maximo’s Italian Grill. Located on Decatur Street, it’s a great place for pasta or a steak or a rack of lamb.

Hotel bars are also a great option. The classic Carisol Bar in the Hotel Monteleone (bar that looks like a carousel) has been recently renovated and is a must see. The Sazerac bar at the Roosevelt Hotel is another not to be missed. The Burgundy Bar in the new Saint Hotel is a great music venue, with all of the traditional jazz music your ears desire.

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Where to Stay

Hotels close to JazzFest go fast, so book early. The Fair Grounds are about a 10- minute drive away from the French Quarter. Stay here or near Canal Street. The hotel sponsor this year’s Fest is the Sheraton New Orleans, located on Canal Street. A shuttle bus, called the Jazz Fest Express leaves directly from the hotel.

If we cannot find a room in the French Quarter, our  best bet is to look for a place in the in the Garden, Central Business or Warehouse Districts. All of these districts are an easy cab ride to the grounds. Faubourg Marigny is a residential area close to the French Quarter with other jazz venues and bed and breakfast accommodations.

If a bed and breakfast is more your style, we can check out one in the Garden District and French Quarter, like Creole Gardens, Fairchild House or Melrose Mansion.

Melrose Mansion, located on Frenchman Street, is ideal for the music lover.“It’s a gorgeous place to stay.”

 Just call us (615 219-5831) and ask for the JAZZ FEST RATE.

Getting Around

New Orleans isn’t known for its efficient public transportation system. But, for those who have a bit of time, take a ride on its famous street cars. The Canal Street line takes you along 5.5 mile route from the French Market, to the Business District and into Mid-City, where the final stop is the New Orleans Museum of Art. For $1.25, the Canal Street Line takes you just a few blocks from the Fairgrounds Race Track. You can also take the Jazz Fest Express –even if you’re not staying at the Sheraton. It takes you directly to and from the Fair Grounds and has three pickup spots: the Sheraton New Orleans, the Steamboat Natchez Dock and City Park. The city bus system also takes you by the fairgrounds, which is a bit cheaper than the Jazz Fest Express.

Taxis are another viable option. Cab stands are located all over the city, and hotel bellmen are very helpful in getting you a cab. After the Fest, hundreds of cabs line up outside the Fair Ground gates to take visitors all over the city; they have a pretty efficient setup. New Orleans creates a special line from Canal Street to the Fair Grounds specifically for Jazz Fest. 

If you want to party, do not drive. You have too many options to get you where you need to be safely.

Classic Vacations is giving stuff away!! 

Make ANY Classic Europe booking and be automatically entered to win a fabulous 7-night trip to Italy, with roundtrip airfare for two on Delta Air Lines! 

EVERY Classic Europe booking made and deposited between 2/14/17 – 6/30/17 qualifies, and the winner will be notified the first week of July. 

No minimum night requirements, and the more bookings you make, the more entries you’ll receive—it’s that simple. 

Plus, keep your eyes peeled for another fantastic European trip giveaway with air included, to be announced in the coming months and awarded at the end of the year. 

Your bookings will continue to accumulate throughout the year—the more you make, the more chances you have to win!

Where will you go next? Your Vacation Gurus Travel Agency is ready to help with some great Classic Vacations . Could it be Spain, England, Greece, Italy, France? Follow us on social media for our  itinaries about trips to Europ, U.S, Asia, and tours all over the World. Click here to contact us

Welcome to the underwater hotel

Click here for more information. Call or email us for this great trip, and any other trips, tours, cruises,adventure and international packages we have available.


Get your passport ready, as you are about to embark on a world–class voyage to a location that nobody knew existed… until now.

 The mystery will begin once you arrive in Fiji. Via our twin–engine aircraft, a uniformed pilot will whisk you and your party to Poseidon Mystery Island, where you will receive a tour of the fantastic resort that will be your place of escape.

The magnificent island is the result of an inactive volcano, which eventually housed a thriving coconut plantation. An abundance of palm trees still encircle the island, providing shade and homes for many species of birds. Expect to also see local fauna like coconut crabs, giant clams, sea turtles and dolphins.

If you choose to arrive by boat, the lagoon surrounding the island accommodates vessels 500 or more feet long. The entrance to the lagoon is 35 feet deep and 200 feet wide. A marina and moorings will be available.

Poseidon Mystery Island is the only one of its kind but overwhelming interest has led to consideration for future locations. Check this website regularly for updates. all the comforts, conveniences and opportunities only a five-star resort can offer, Poseidon’s Mysterious Island is the culmination of every elite vacationer’s vision.

Activities abound for adventurers who wish to explore the unimaginable, like maneuvering a personal Triton submarine through a lagoon, exploring the ocean’s depths as the passenger of a 1,000-foot luxury submersible, and scuba diving in pristine waters.

 Those who seek solitude will find the epitome of relaxation when indulging in marine-focused spa treatments and meditation under the gaze of only the moon and stars. Whether traveling alone, as a pair, or in a group, you will find what you seek.             

Services available include two fine dining establishments, one on land and one below the sea, presenting plates of culinary excellence day and night. A dive shop and retail boutique will also be at your service, along with a library/lounge, theater area and conference room/wedding chapel. Fitness amenities include a nine-hole executive golf course, tennis courts, private splash pools and a fitness center.

And then there’s your definitive playground… the ocean.

Poseidon Mystery Island comprises approximately 225 acres and is about a mile long. Surrounded by a 5,000-acre (7.8-square-mile) lagoon, it boasts pristine waters that range to 90 feet (27.4 meters) in depth, replete with abundant sea life.

Just outside the lagoon the reef plunges into an abyss, providing virgin territory to explore with our deep submersibles.

Whether you plan to hold a unforgettable wedding or a vox–renewal ceremony, or if you simply wish to experience a romantic escapade without bounds. Poseidon’s facilities are un–matched. And there’s no need to worry about the details; our wedding/event consultants and guest services staff will help make your wishes come true.


Or, for a wedding ceremony or vow renewal truly unlike any other, reserve the undersea chapel. This splendid space offers an enchanting environment made all the more interesting with its ever-changing backdrop: a transparent wall overlooking a coral garden.

 After the ceremony, guests can be escorted to the dining room for cocktails and gourmet hors d’oeuvres as our staff quickly rearranges the space to produce a dance floor and suitable sit-down dining arrangements.


There’s something undeniably sensual about the sea: the salty fragrance of the ocean breeze, the rhythmic beat of the surf, the gentle curve of a rising wave… You and your partner will gladly abandon yourselves to this all-enveloping world where each sense is heightened. Want your ceremony to take place in private, on the sand, at sundown, under a white hibiscus-covered arbor with a steel drum band performing? Just ask. We’ll take care of everything.

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