Sandals® Royal Curaçao Is Now Open!

This month Sandals Resorts International (SRI) opened their 16th resort, Sandals Royal Curacao. This beautiful property stays true to the parts of Sandals couples expect while adding new concepts guests will love.

“Our vision for the Sandals Royal Curaçao experience was inspired just as much by the island’s natural beauty and colorful culture, as it was by our guests and the many ways they can engage with this amazing destination,” said Sandals Resorts Executive Chairman Adam Stewart. “This resort — a true labor of love years in the making with my father and our late founder, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, at the helm — is a testament to the transformative power of tourism via next-generation experiences that not only up the ante on all-inclusive vacations, but celebrate the local people, flavors and terrains every step of the way.”

In a recent Travel Leaders blog post, writer Dayna Engberg, reviews her favorite parts of this resort which include

  • New Restaurants
    • eight restaurants — including one perched over the ocean
    • three food trucks
    • you’ll never have to dine at the same place twice
Aolos (INCLUDED)
AT SANDALS ROYAL CURAÇAO

An authentic open-air Mediterranean dining experience.
Aolos (INCLUDED)AT SANDALS ROYAL CURAÇAO
An authentic open-air Mediterranean dining experience.
Sandals.com
  • Stunning Suites
    • the iconic Kurason Island Poolside Bungalows
    • the Amante One Bedroom Oceanview Royal Suite
    • Awa Seaside Butler Bungalows
Awa Seaside Butler Bungalow with Private Pool - ASP, Sandals.com
Awa Seaside Butler Bungalow with Private Pool – ASP
Sandals.com
  • and Luxurious Firsts
    • Dos Awa, the expansive two-level infinity pool
    • 38,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space
    • butler service and access to a convertible MINI Cooper to explore the island
44 Acres Set Within an Iconic 3,000-Acre Estate
44 Acres Set Within an Iconic 3,000-Acre Estate
Sandals.com

Ready to experience the new Sandals Royal Curacao? Contact your KaliKosmos Travel advisor and get started today.

Simply Tahiti

Whether visiting the Islands of Tahiti by boat with Paul Gauguin or island hopping over land with a Down Under Answers package, Tahiti is a tropical paradise worthy of exploring.

Tips for visiting Tahiti

  • The local currency is the French Pacific Franc, but USD and Euros, as well as credit cards, are widely accepted.
  • Tahiti is situated close to the equator which keeps local temperatures around 80 year round. Rain is common year round as well, but the wetter months are December through March.
  • Because Tahiti is so remote, your cell phone, even with an international plan, will likely not work. And, while some hotels offer WiFi, it’s often slow. You can purchase a sim card locally if communication is a must, but our suggestion is to take the chance to truly disconnect and enjoy the beauty of the region.
  • Make time for the locals. They love sharing their culture and traditions of music, dance, massage, food, lei making, and more. French and Tahitian are the main languages but many people, especially in the tourism industry, know some English.
  • The food truck craze has not missed Tahiti! And fear not foodies, these trucks offer delicious gourmet local dishes of open-sea fish, pork, tropical fruit, and coconut milk. They also offer New Zealand favorites of lamb and excellent Chinese chow mein.

Ready to begin planning your Tahiti experience? Contact your KaliKosmos Travel advisor and let us work for you!

The Hair Goes There: Seeking the Northern Lights

Last month my family and I went in search of those elusive beauties- the Northern Lights.

The best places for viewing the lights, scientifically called the Aurora Borealis, are, as exploratorium.edu explains, “near the magnetic poles. These include areas of northern Greenland, the Scandinavian coast, Siberia (brrr!), and Alaska in the north.”

We chose the viewing site of Fairbanks, Alaska, which allowed for our Northern Lights hunt to be a two-for-one as we checked off our 49th state road tripping as a family.

We’d explore the Fairbanks area during the day, having fun riding on dog sleds (and watching dog sled races), driving the treacherous Dalton Highway to the Arctic Circle, snowmobiling, and museum hoping. Then, at night, we’d bundle up in our super warm clothes and head out to sites like Murphy Dome and Clearly Summit.

We assumed we’d be able to see The Lights on our own- expecting to see them dance brightly across the sky like we’d seen it pictures. We assumed this kind of hunt was a no-guides-required experience.

We were wrong.

On one night we saw people get out of their cars, hold up their phones, and take pictures. We joked about how they were going to go home and photoshop in what, obviously, wasn’t there. And then we drove back to our accommodations to try and get some sleep, disappointed with our lack of a catch.

It wasn’t until we decided to use a professional guide, that we learned a valuable piece of information– the Northern Lights are more visible when viewed through a phone or camera than they are with the human eye.

Oh. My. Word. Those people weren’t pretending! They were seeing something we couldn’t!

On our last night, with the help of a professional, we finally saw them in all their glory!

If you’re interested in viewing the Northern Lights in Fairbanks, the season runs from August 21-April 21 and our tour providers – those who know the ticks and can help your hunt be successful too – already have their 2022-2023 season available for reservations.

Ready to make your Northern Lights plans? Contact us today!

Celebrating Britain

This summer Britain will celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee June 2-5. If you’re able to visit during the celebration you’ll be rewarded with special events both in London and throughout the country. But, even if you can’t be in Britain during the celebration, there is still plenty to do and see in the United Kingdom.

In her recent Travel Leaders Network blog post, TLN writer Amy Mutscher gives examples of ways to spend time when jumping across the pond.

London

Amy’s top suggestions include visiting movie and TV filming sights of

  • Scotland for the Outlander’s fans,
  • Liverpool for the Peaky Blinders fans,
  • Cardiff Castle for Doctor Who fans,
  • and Bridgerton Hall for Bridgerton fans.
Cardiff Castle

For those wanting an active tour of Britain, Amy suggests

  • climbing the historic Cutty Sark and zip lining over the River Thames,
  • taking a speed boat on the River Thames,
  • exploring Britain’s rivers, coasts and canals on a paddle board,
  • or clocking speeds of 70mph while zip lining in Aberdare, South Wales
The Cutty Sark

And for those visiting Britain with kids, Amy suggests

  • spending time at the Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground near Kensington Palace
  • and visiting The Shard for a special Peter Pan Afternoon Tea.
Diana, Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground

With Britain removing most of the COVID restrictions, now is fantastic time to hire KaliKosmos Travel to plan your British experience. Contact us today.

The Hair Goes There: Virgin Voyages

In February 2020 I was set with a reservation for a sneak-a-peek aboard Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady before she was released to the market.  But, COVID shut down that sailing.

I’ve been waiting for almost two years and earlier this month I was finally able to experience her industry-changing voyage!

One way Virgin Voyages is making waves of change is that their cruise is adult by design.  That’s right, no kids.  Zero.  No one under 18.  At.  All.  Their no-kids allows them to push the envelope with their avant-garde,  Vegas style entertainment.

And, their no-kids policy also allows for a more adult-focused contemporary design for their lady ships. The wide open spaces and cozy resting nooks call sailors to breathe deep and enjoy their time at sea.

Secondly, their waves of change are seen in their inclusion of all group works.  Morning yoga, cycling, bungee cardio, HIIT, and more!  If working out is your thing, your thing is included at no extra cost.

Thirdly, their waves are shown in their all-food-included policy.  There are no off-limits eateries, no extra pricing to enjoy a good steak.  From the Galley’s food truck style choices to the culinary tasting experience of the Test Kitchen or from Pink Agave’s Mexican fusion to the Wake’s steak and seafood, your food in over 20 eateries is included.

And, finally, their waves of change are seen in their crew.  It was so refreshing to see crew that was able to be who they are- colored hair, tattoos, flare, and all!  And all of the gratuities for these friendly, happy people are included with the cruise fare.  All the time.  Every time.

Want to learn more about Virgin Voyages?  Or, are you ready to experience the Virgin Voyage sea change for all?  Contact KaliKosmos Travel’s Katie Hartman, a gold tier First Mate with Virgin Voyages.

Utforsk Norge! (explore Norway)

Norway, that big, beautiful country that takes up the western half of the Scandinavian peninsula, is an amazing place to visit.

However, since two-thirds of the country is mountainous and much of Norway is only accessible through a ferry system, exploring Norway is best done by cruise.

A few of my favorite ways to cruise Norway are:

  • aboard Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Costal Express that travels along the coast, following the country’s mail route,
  • aboard Quark Expeditions where travelers can explore some of Norway’s archipelagos,
  • and, for a family friendly approach, aboard Disney Cruise Line, where travelers can explore Norway in full Frozen style.

In a recent blog post, Dayna Engberg, tells of another way to cruise Norway, aboard Holland America.

In post, Engberg lists a few of her favorite Holland America ports such as Oslo, where travelers can visit he Bygdøy peninsula or the eclectic neighborhood of Grünerløkka; the Norwegian Riveria town of Stavanger; and the charming village of Flåm.

Contact your KaliKosmos Travel advisor and book your Holland America reservation by February 28, 2022 to take advantage of their Ultimate Upgrade Event* and receive:

  • Free stateroom upgrades
  • Kids Alaska cruise price of $75
  • 50% reduced deposit
  • Shore excursion(s)
  • Drink package
  • Speciality dining
  • WiFi

*terms and conditions apply

Let’s Get Back Out There

There are 72 days before the start of the spring travel season! Can you believe it!?!?

I’m a planner by profession and by nature (I’m sure that shocks you all). But, this means my 2022 travel is, #COVIDWilling, already mapped out.

This spring my family will be traveling to Alaska for spring break (shh, it’s our Christmas present for the kids). We’ll spend time in Anchorage and ride the train to Fairbanks where we hope to see the Northern Lights.

How about you? Have you planned your spring travel yet?

Take our traveler poll. Then, on December 30th look for the results on our Facebook page.

Still looking for travel inspiration? Check out this article by Amy Mutscher about some amazing travel experiences available when you travel with Celebrity Cruises.

Ready to make your travel plans? Contact KaliKosmos Travel and let us work for you.

A suitcase full of thankfulness

Tis the season for Thanksgiving. I am, of course, thankful for my family, my friends, and the many other blessings in my life. But, as we move closer to the end of year-two of the COVID pandemic, I am all-the-more thankful for what travel brings to my life.

Travel creates moments to grow closer.

During the past two years my family has traveled to 27 states! While on the road we’ve had a lot of time together. We created memories in the cold waters of Cannon Beach. We slept in the Christmas Story House in Cleveland. We walked on the Woodstock site in Bethel, NY. These memories thread through the lives of my four boys and bind them together with shared experiences.

The boys (ages 17, 14, 7, and 6) inside Harvey the RV

Travel introduces us to new foods.

You can ask my family and they’ll tell you- I’d go back to Sedona for the cactus fries. I’d stay in Salt Lake City again for the scones. I’d travel to Missoula for the burgers. All these foods were amazing! On the opposite side of the spectrum, I’ve had hákarl in Iceland, endured spicy Ema Datshi in Bhutan, and swallowed horrifically stinky Morbier cheese in Vilnius (seriously – it was bad!!).

No matter which end of the spectrum you go, the adventure of trying new foods broadens both our menus back home (how does one make “sukuma wiki“?) and our “never have I ever” options.

Whale blubber in Reykjavik

Travel reminds us how big this beautiful world is.

As the leaves in my back yard turn from green to gold to orange, I’m reminded of how beautiful central Oklahoma can be (no, I’m not kidding). But, through travel, I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by the amazing stars in the night sky of Mombassa, Kenya, see the vibrant colors of the Great Barrier Reef, and stand in awe in thin spaces, like Caha pass, Ireland.

In these moments I’m not only appreciative of how beautiful this world is, but I’m also astounded by how vastness and diversity of each place as well. Every time I travel, I’m reminded that it is, indeed, a beautiful world.

Caha Mountain on the Caha pass

In what ways are you thankful for travel?


Ready to experience more of this beautiful world? Contact KaliKosmos and experience the difference of professionally planned travel.

Travel Fore-Caddie: A Guide to Golfing

Now is the perfect time to start planning for your spring and summer travel. And, just as the fore-caddie goes ahead of golfers on the course to locate the shots, KaliKosmos Travel advisors are here to locate and plan your perfect golfing get-away.

While California, the Robert Trent Jones trail, and Georgia are the usual places to plan golfing experiences, there are also some fantastic choices along the East Coast.

This month, a Travel Leaders’ guest contributor breaks down top courses on the East Coast with information of courses like The Homestead, Pinehurst No. 2 Course, and TPC Sawgrass, to name a few.

And for the those who need a vacation to appease more than just the golfers, try Long Island, New York where the golfers can play the public Bethpage Black course, while the non-golfers hike the trails or play tennis or polo.

Ready to plan your next amazing travel experience? Contact KaliKosmos Travel and let us turn your travel dreams into amazing travel stories.

Sun, Surf, and the Unexpected of Los Cabos

From sun to surf to the unexpected, Los Cabos offers endless possibilities for travelers looking for anything from a relaxing get-away to an off-the-beat-path adventure.

Each of our clients who spend time in Cabo come back with their favorite way to have spent their time away.

For me, the San Jose del Cabo Thursday night art walk is a top option to meet locals and view amazing art, and, in my opinion, the farm-to-table dining experience offered at Flora Farms is not to be missed!

Guest writer, Dayna Engberg, offers three of her favorite Cabo spots she believes everyone should hear about: Santiago, Miraflores, and Cabo Pulmo.

Santiago

When visiting Santiago, traveler can find “verdant botanical gardens to natural hot springs … scenic hiking trails leading to secluded waterfalls and … a hidden gem and literal oasis for outdoor adventure.” 

Miraflores

In Miraflores, Engberg says travelers can “purchase a unique handmade souvenir directly from the artists to bring back home.”

Cabo Pulmo

If the less crowded scene is for you, Engberg recommends Cabo Pulmo as an ideal spot “for diving, snorkeling and kayaking.” In this area travelers can explore “three living reefs and the only hard coral reef in North America”.

Ready to make your Los Cabo reservations? Contact Katie Hartman, KaliKosmos Travel’s Cabo specialist.