Travel blog

The Ballad of the Buicks: Why So Many American Classic Cars are in Cuba




Chevy Bel Airs and Ford Thunderbirds still rumble down the Malecón in Havana, Cuba; 1950s American classics with polished chrome bumpers and candy-apple red paint jobs. Like something from an old movie set, the relics motor along the city streets and seaside boulevards and, for a cost, you can take a ride or pose for a photo with a piece of automotive history. But just where did all these Studebakers and Nash Ramblers come from? Why are there so many? And what do they have to say about the Cuban Revolution?





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Topics: Cuba, Caribbean


What to Do in Harvest Caye: Southern Belize’s Island Playground




From atop a 3,000-foot zipline course, you get a bird’s eye view of Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in Southern Belize and a stop on the YMT Vacations New Orleans & Western Caribbean Cruise tour. Gathering your courage, you close your eyes and jump, falling through the sky in an experience that will forever top your personal bucket list..and that’s only the beginning. Besides tandem ziplining, free-fall jumps and soft-footed walks over dangling suspension bridges, Harvest Caye offers plenty of chances for adventure and just as many ways to relax.




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Topics: Americas, Caribbean


Split-Personality: The Two Sides of St. Maarten and St. Martin




On 37 square miles of land in the eastern Caribbean you’ll find two nations at home on a single island. The countries of St. Maarten and St. Martin sit side by side with no border patrol and easy access between them. While visitors can travel back and forth almost unnoticeably, there are some subtle cultural distinctions. The Dutch side of the island, St. Maarten, pulses with the energy of casinos, large resorts and a lively nightlife scene, while the French area of St. Martin is a bit more laid back. Here, visitors can enjoy restaurants and patisseries, upscale shopping and the sleepy nature of a small fishing village. The sun-drenched island is ringed by aquamarine waters that lap at some of the world’s most picturesque beaches -- ideal for the many thrilling watersports. If a visit to this tropical island is in your future, take a look at these top 7 tips for visiting St. Maarten and St. Martin:




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Topics: Planning a Vacation, Europe, Caribbean, Travel Tips


What Should I Know About a Transatlantic Cruise? Top 10 Tips for Crossing the Atlantic




There’s no denying the nostalgia of a grand ocean voyage but just what should you know about a Transatlantic Crossing? With days spent at sea and few ports of call, the focus of the trip is the onboard lifestyle where the joy is truly in the journey. To make the most of your sailing, here are the top tips for taking a Transatlantic Cruise:




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Topics: Europe, Caribbean


What Should I Eat in the Canary Islands? Savoring Canarian Mojo Sauce




Once named by the Greeks as “the fortunate islands,” the Canary Islands are blessed with a sunny climate and seaside location that make for an abundance of fresh flavors. From exotic fruits and vegetables to a bounty of seafood, the cuisine here is a far cry from what you’d expect to find throughout the rest of the Iberian Peninsula. Whatever you order up, from the sopa de pescado tinerfena fish soup to the gofio roasted maize meal, you’re sure to find it served with the ubiquitous bowl of mojo.




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Topics: Europe, Caribbean


Roatán: The Honduras Island You Never Knew You’d Love




Just off the coast of Honduras lies a small Caribbean island surrounded by turquoise waters and encircled by the second largest coral reef in the world. Roatán, in the Bay Islands, is the dream vacation you may not have known even existed. Built on a foundation of volcanic rock and once a haven for pirates, it features silky-sand beaches and crystal seas, lush green forests and an abundance of marine life.




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Topics: Americas, Caribbean


Old Man River: An Authentic New Orleans Paddleboat Cruise



As recently as a century ago, the only way to reach the Crescent City was by boat. The muddy waters of the Mississippi River cut a swath through the heart of America, from Minnesota to the Delta region of New Orleans. Cruise lines that road the “Great River” once traced the path of our nation’s history from the tranquil Antebellum era to the Civil War, the Gay Nineties right up to the modern day.




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Topics: Americas, Caribbean


How to Eat Crawfish: Enjoying the Cajun delicacy in New Orleans




So you’re headed to New Orleans and in search of that “authentic local experience.” Well there’s nothing more beloved by Louisians than a small, freshwater crustacean known as the crawfish. While there’s no regulated season for these lobster-like Cajun delicacies, there is an ideal time to order up a plateful. Since the critters need a lot of rain and warmer temps, it seems that early-February through mid-summer are your best bets.




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Topics: Americas, Caribbean


Things to do in Cozumel




So you've just discovered that your upcoming Caribbean cruise has a port of call in Cozumel, Mexico. With hours at your disposal, just what types of activities are there in Cozumel for a visiting day-tripper? As the largest inhabited island in the country, there are plenty of ways to spend your time in the sun — from snorkeling in one of the world’s top 5 dive destinations to exploring the Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula. To help make the most of your time in port, here are our suggestions of the top things to do in Cozumel.




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Topics: Americas, Caribbean


D.C. Museum Musts: Tips for Visiting the Smithsonian Institution




As our nation’s treasure trove, the Smithsonian Institution is a collection of our most-prized artifacts. From Dorothy’s ruby slippers to Julia Child’s kitchen, the Wright brothers’ plane to the Hope Diamond, it’s all here. Housed mainly along the National Mall, the Smithsonian is actually 19 different museums containing 138 million artifacts, works of art, archives, and scientific specimens — there’s even a National Zoo. And best of all, most of it is free. But before you arrive, here are some of the top tips for visiting the Smithsonian Institution.




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Topics: Americas, Planning a Vacation, Caribbean