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Princess Cruise Line Offers Exotic Sailings Covering Six Continents

Princess Cruises’ 2014-15 Exotics program offers a world of options for globetrotting travelers. The line’s global itineraries will take passengers to the colorful ports of Asia & Africa, Australia & New Zealand, Tahiti & the South Pacific, and South America – plus even a special connoisseur itinerary in the Caribbean.

Princess Cruises Offers Exotic Sailings Covering Six Continents

The lineup also includes Princess’ first-ever World Cruise sailing roundtrip from North America and additional capacity in Tahiti & the South Pacific. In Australia, Princess will continue to offer the biggest choice of ships, homeports and itineraries with four ships deployed in the region. The West Africa itinerary, returning to the lineup due to popular demand, will add a new port to Princess’ roster of more than 300 around the world, with a maiden call to the island nation of São Tomé.

In total, the fall 2014 to spring 2015 program spans six continents and calls to more than 145 worldwide destinations. Eight ships will cover the globe with 114 departures of 37 itinerary options.

“Worldwide cruising has long been a Princess specialty,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Our expertise in these exciting destinations offers passengers the perfect way to check that ‘must-see’ place off their bucket list.”

Princess’ 2014-15 Exotics program includes:

Asia & Africa

Sailing between Beijing and Bangkok or Singapore, the 17-day Grand Asia itinerary is the line’s most popular Asia cruise.

*  Sapphire Princess in Asia – Sailing between Beijing and Bangkok or Singapore, the 17-day Grand Asia itinerary is the line’s most popular Asia cruise. Sapphire Princess will offer three departures in fall 2014 – each including an overnight stay in spectacular Hong Kong as well as calls to Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Busan, and Nagasaki. Cruise departures run from October 7 to November 10, 2014.

*  Ocean Princess to Asia and Africa – Small ship Ocean Princess sails through the Indian Ocean along the coast of West Africa in spring 2015. The ship’s 32-day Singapore to Cape Town voyage is followed by a 30-day Cape Town to London (Dover) voyage featuring visits to a number of intriguing destinations in West Africa. True world travelers can combine these voyages for a 62-day cruise to a variety of exotic calls such as Ghana, Togo, Namibia, Senegal, and Princess’ maiden call to the island nation of São Tomé. Sailings depart April 3 and May 5, 2015.

*  Land & Sea Vacations – In Asia, passengers can add to their cruise with a land tour to the top attractions in China – including UNESCO sites like Beijing’s Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, The Great Wall, Xian and the Terra Cotta Warriors – as well as three nights on a Yangtze River cruise.

Australia & New Zealand

Diamond Princess in Australia & New Zealand – The ship once again sails on this favorite itinerary between Sydney and Auckland.

*  Diamond Princess in Australia & New Zealand – The ship once again sails on this favorite itinerary between Sydney and Auckland. The 12- or 13-day voyages include calls in both countries, and spectacular cruising through the dramatic Fiordland National Park. Departures run from December 16, 2014 through February 15, 2015.

*  Diamond Princess Round Australia – For the first time, Diamond Princess offer a full 28-day circumnavigation of the Australian continent. Featuring Princess’ largest ship ever on this route, the Sydney to Sydney voyage offers two departures – November 18, 2014 and February 27, 2015.

*  Australia Homeport Cruising – Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess will offer sailings from three homeports – Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne – on a series of New Zealand, Fiji, South Pacific and Tasmania cruises geared especially for local tastes.

*  Australia & Asia – Diamond Princess and Ocean Princess offer Australia & Asia departures between Sydney and Singapore featuring the Northern Territory, Queensland as well as ports in Vietnam and Indonesia.

*  Land & Sea Vacations – Travelers can add more of the wonders of Australia with land tours that visit iconic UNESCO sites such as Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kakadu National Park in the Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, and cosmopolitan Sydney.

Tahiti & South Pacific

Princess returns to the blue waters of Tahiti & Polynesia with two ships for increased capacity in to this beautiful destination.

*  Small Ship Cruising in French Polynesia – Princess returns to the blue waters of Tahiti & Polynesia with two ships for increased capacity in to this beautiful destination. Intimate sister ships Pacific Princess and Ocean Princess offer the small ship cruising experience in fall and spring on a 10-day Tahiti & French Polynesia itinerary roundtrip from Tahiti (Papeete). Each departure includes two full days in Bora Bora as well as Moorea, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Huahine – all selected in Condé Nast Traveler’s 10 best islands in the South Pacific. Sailings depart between October 9, 2014 and February 16, 2015.

*  Pacific Princess to Marquesas & Polynesia – Pacific Princess will also feature three departures of a 10-day Marquesas & Polynesia itinerary featuring the remote island of Nuku Hiva – famed as the island where Herman Melville penned his first book, Typee, about life on a Polynesian island. Departures are offered on October 29, November 28 and December 28, 2014.

South America & the Caribbean

Golden Princess in South America – Two itineraries aboard Golden Princess offer passengers the best of Southern Hemisphere cruising. Sailing between Santiago (Valparaiso) and either Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires, the Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan or Route to Rio

*  Golden Princess in South America – Two itineraries aboard Golden Princess offer passengers the best of Southern Hemisphere cruising. Sailing between Santiago (Valparaiso) and either Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires, the Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan or Route to Rio itineraries each include the dramatic cruising of the southernmost tip of South America and the Chilean Fjords. Sailings depart between December 20, 2014 and February 28, 2015.

*  Golden Princess Andes & South America – At the beginning and end of the season, Golden Princess will also sail between two continents and cross the Equator on two departures of a Andes & South America itinerary between Los Angeles and Santiago, featuring calls in Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica and an optional overland tour to magnificent Machu Picchu. Departures are offered on December 3, 2014 and March 14, 2015.

*  Ocean Princess Caribbean Connoisseur – A special 14-day Caribbean Connoisseur voyage aboard Ocean Princess over the holidays adds a new sailing choice from Ft. Lauderdale. A unique opportunity to enjoy small ship-cruising in the Caribbean, this voyage includes calls at small gems such as St. Barts, Martinique and Virgin Gorda. Ocean Princess departs on December 19, 2014.

*  Land & Sea Vacations – Land tour options offer the opportunity to explore dramatic UNESCO sites like Iguazu Falls on the Brazilian-Argentine border or mysterious Machu Picchu in the Andes in addition to a South America cruise.

World Cruise

World Cruise on Pacific Princess – For the first time, Princess’ World Cruise will depart and return from North America.

*  World Cruise on Pacific Princess – For the first time, Princess’ World Cruise will depart and return from North America. The 111-day voyage aboard Pacific Princess sails roundtrip from Los Angeles, with an option for a 94-day itinerary from Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale. Spanning six continents and featuring more than 34 destinations to 25 countries, this unique World Cruise includes four overnight calls in Sydney, Hong Kong, Dubai and Barcelona. Overland excursions and day excursions will be available to see some of the most iconic destinations such as Sydney Harbour, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal and Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Pacific Princess sets sail on January 23, 2015.

Book These Exciting Adventures by Disney Itineraries to Greece and France

There’s a magical world out there just waiting to be explored. And Adventures by Disney® guided group vacations are the best way for you to experience it all.

Offering worldwide itineraries across six continents, Adventures by Disney delivers all the ingredients for unforgettable trips to some of the world’s most popular destinations – including new trips to Greece and France! And, in 2013, you can once again explore the breathtaking sights of these famous European countries.

Greek Odyssey - Adventures by Disney

Greece – Greek Odyssey
This 10-day/9-night guided group family vacation to Greece includes visits to Athens, Delphi, Santorini and Crete. From ancient ruins to cosmopolitan Athens, quaint seaside villages to rustic mountain hamlets, Greece will captivate and entertain you with its idyllic islands and 4,000 years of history, traditions and culture.

Trip highlights:
• Set sail around the island of Santorini aboard a private jet boat and climb to the summit of a volcano.
• Kayak across the Aegean Sea to the island fortress of Spinalonga.
• As adults enjoy delicious wine tasting, Junior Adventurers can get into the fun with some grape stomping.

France – Esprit de France
This 8-day/7-night guided group family vacation to France includes visits to Versailles, Giverny, Deauville, Normandy, the Loire Valley and Paris. From breathtakingly beautiful countryside to the City of Light, opulent châteaux to historical landmarks like Omaha Beach, you can experience it all on this très magnifique journey through France.

Trip highlights:
• Visit the medieval monastery that sits atop the magnificent Mont Saint-Michel.
• Discover Omaha Beach and take a privately guided tour to the American Cemetery.
• Bike through the royal gardens of the Châteaux de Chambord and taste the wines that make this scenic region famous.

16th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: A Passport to a World of Flavors Sept. 30-Nov. 13

Paradise Found: Tastes of Hawaii and Caribbean now on the Menu. Exotic cocktails will pair like a tropical daydream with fresh new tastes from more than one island paradise at the 16th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival epcot-food-wine-festival-2011-300Sept. 30-Nov. 13, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort®. The one-of-a-kind 45-day festival serves up international cuisine, culture and entertainment from six continents, with more than 25 international marketplaces featuring tapas-sized portions paired with beer, wine and inventive new cocktails.

Be sure to watch Travel with Rick for updates with videos, pictures and other special information direct from Epcot during this amazing event.

Swimmers Across Central Florida Join Disney Guests to Set Guinness Record for World’s Largest Swimming Lesson

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world_s_largest_swim_lesson

Hundreds of guests at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon on June 14 joined nearly 30,000 participants on six continents to set a record for the world’s largest simultaneous swimming lesson.

Participants at more than 70 locations across Florida took part, including swimmers at the Blanchard Park YMCA in Orlando, Celebration Lakeside Park and the Lakeland Park District’s Simpson Pool.

Olympic gold medalists Rowdy Gaines and Summer Sanders joined Disney characters Lilo and Stitch just outside the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool for the official start to the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. Gaines served as master of ceremonies for the second consecutive year while Sanders spoke on behalf of one of event’s sponsors, Coppertone, about the importance of applying sunscreen before entering the water.

During the 30-minute lesson taking place simultaneously all over the world, guests received instruction on proper swimming strokes, kicks and floating techniques.

“We were honored Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park served as the official headquarters location for a second consecutive record-breaking World’s Largest Swimming Lesson,” said Jean Gallagher, general manager of water parks for Walt Disney World Resort. “The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is a reminder to guests of all ages that when they enjoy the sunshine and water activities this summer, we want them to be safety smart. Sun protection and swimming lessons ensure that no one gets hurt and extends the fun for everyone.”

Tragically, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintended, injury-related death in children over the age of one. In fact, more than one in four fatal drowning victims is under the age of 14.  Research shows if a child doesn’t learn to swim before the third grade, they likely never will.

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Epcot Adds Hawaii Portugal and Caribbean Booths to the 2011 Food and Wine Festival

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Epcot Food and Wine Festival FranceExotic cocktails will pair like a tropical daydream with fresh new tastes from more than one island paradise at the 16th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Sept. 30-Nov. 13, 2011, at Walt Disney World Resort. The one-of-a-kind 45-day festival serves up international cuisine, culture and entertainment from six continents, with more than 25 international marketplaces featuring tapas-sized portions paired with beer, wine and inventive new cocktails.

Marketplace tasting menus offer variety and adventure for guests on a mission to tantalize their taste buds during a scenic stroll around the 40-acre World Showcase Lagoon. The adventure can take them to the festival’s first Hawaii marketplace, which will cook up Kalua pork sliders and tuna poke with seaweed salad and lotus root chips to team with a refreshing Seven Tiki Mai Tai or a Kona Longboard or Pipeline beer. A new Caribbean Islands marketplace will serve ropa vieja with rice and jerk-spiced chicken with mango salsa. A beverage menu featuring a frozen Dragon Berry Colada and frozen Rock Coconut Mojito is sure to conjure steel-drum fantasies.

With a swing across the Atlantic, guests will be transported to the new Portugal marketplace, where the Portugal Wine Bar will offer best sips to pair with calamari salad with olives and smoked paprika. The Scandinavia marketplace will return after a hiatus with a fresh new Xante Sunshine cocktail made from Xante pear and cognac liquer. And the Canada marketplace will introduce a sweet treat: apple ice wine.

Disney and celebrity chefs will team with winemakers and brew masters from around the world to get the party started Sept. 30. During the six-week festival, guests will discover:

  • Three new tasting marketplaces — Hawaii, Caribbean Islands and Portugal — plus new menu offerings at popular returning marketplaces
  • Celebrity chef appearances starring top culinarians like Jeff Henderson, Cat Cora, Alan Wong, Gale Gand, Suvir Saran, Jamie Deen, Rock Harper, Celina Tio, Robert Irvine, Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro, Warren Brown, Art Smith, Keegan Gerhard and more.
  • First-ever HGTV home entertaining seminars each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Cranberry Bog display by Craisins telling the story behind the venerable cranberry’s rich agricultural heritage.
  • Daily wine seminars, bottle signings, author events and culinary demonstrations at the Festival Welcome Center.
  • Eat to the Beat! concerts three times nightly at America Gardens Theatre.

New Sips, Fresh Bites

Festival guests can make a day of circumnavigating the World Showcase Promenade, grazing and sipping as they go. Tapas-sized portions of regional specialties run $3 to $8 each, and recommended wines, cocktails and beers make perfect pairings at each marketplace. For quicker marketplace visits, guests can purchase a festival-themed mini-Disney Gift Card that can be worn on a wristband and loaded and reloaded at several park locations.

Live daily entertainment showcases many cultures with music, acrobatics and improv performances along the promenade. Evening Eat to the Beat! concerts at America Gardens Theatre feature acts from many musical genres. Appearing for the first time on the Eat to the Beat! stage are The Pointer Sisters, The Orchestra starring former members of ELO and Gin Blossoms. Fan favorite Taylor Dayne kicks off the festival Sept. 30-Oct. 2, and crowd pleaser Big Bad Voodoo Daddy wraps the event Nov. 11-13.

The festival attracts a diverse audience — from wine connoisseurs and epicures to novices wishing to boost their culinary IQs. Special culinary programs showcase a lineup of renowned winemakers, guest chefs and speakers participating in elegant dinners, luncheons, seminars and wine schools.

Festival highlights include:

  • The Festival Welcome Center, with a Wine Bar, Authentic Taste Seminars, Authors Without Borders weekend conversations and more.
  • More than 270 chefs including Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the country conducting culinary demonstrations and hosting dinners and tasting events.
  • A complimentary Marketplace Discovery Passport to be stamped at each international marketplace visited for the perfect scrapbook souvenir.
  • Popular returning events that include First Bites Opening Reception on Sept. 29; Kitchen Memories (formerly Celebrating Family and Friends in the Kitchen); Mixology Seminar; and “3D” Disney Dessert Discovery.
  • The weekly Party for the Senses grand tasting event beginning Oct. 8 and with a new Saturday evening time of 7:30-10 p.m. featuring tempting bites from eminent chefs, more than 50 wines and beers and live entertainment presented by Cirque du Soleil.

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Dates Announced for the 2011 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Epcot Food and WineA veritable world of culinary adventures is on the menu Sept. 30-Nov. 13, 2011, during the 16th edition of the festival presented by Vanity Fair Napkins. The journey along the promenade around Epcot’s World Showcase Lagoon includes more than two dozen marketplaces where everyone from neophytes to epicures and aficionados can nibble and sip their way across six continents of food and beverage adventures. Talented culinarians from across America and around the world will be involved with specialty dinners, seminars featuring cooking demonstrations and wine tastings, the popular Saturday night grand tastings – Party for the Senses – and more.  The festival also will feature the popular Eat to the Beat! concert series each evening.

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