Costa Rican Cruises – Rare But Remarkable

If you’re planning a vacation to Costa Rica, why not bring along your hotel and restaurant? The most delightful way to experience Costa Rica’s marvelous beaches and coastal rainforests is from a cruise ship, and when you treat yourself to a Costa Rican cruise, getting there will be a big part of the fun!

Coata Rican cruises range from seven-or-eight night budget trips with a single Costa Rican port-of-call at Puerto Caldera on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, Seabourn’s to four-week affairs which begin at Puerto Caldera and wend their way along the Central American Coast, stopping at Puerto Quepos and Puerto Moins, before touring the Caribbean and ending at Fort Lauderdale.

These Costa Rican Cruises traverse the Panama Canal to get from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, but before they get underway allow their passengers a day at Puerto Caldera to enjoy the sights of San Jose. One of the most popular attractions is the National Theater at the Plaza Del Culturas. Modeled after the Paris Opera House, the National Theater houses magnificent Italian paintings, sculptures, and frescoes.

Coat Rican cruise passengers who want a glimpse of the country’s wild side before heading for the Panama canal can take an excursion to Poas Volcano National park during their day in Puerto Caldera (Caldera referring to the volcanic crater). Some Poas tours also include side trips to the Doka Coffee Estate and the village of Sarchi, the heart of Costa Rica’s artisan community.

At Sarchi you can shop for hand-carved wooden figures and elaborate canes, hand-woven wall tapestries, leather goods, and toys. You can also purchase charming miniature replicas of Sarchi’s famous hand-painted wooden carts to use as planters or decorative accents. Or you can spend your off shore day river rafting on the Corobici River, gliding along through the heart of the Costa Rican jungle and glimpsing some of the hundreds of bird species which make Costa Rica a birdwatcher’s Paradise.

Windstar is one of the two cruise lines which cruises to Costa Rica’s Golfo Dulce, where you’ll find Central America’s largest rainforest and one of the few rain forests on Earth which slopes directly down to meet the ocean. Declared a national treasure by the Costa Rican government, Golfo Dulce such a remarkably diverse ecosystem that you can actually identify 100 different species of trees growing on a single acre!

During your stop at Golfo Dulce you can explore the tiny town of Golfito, established in the 1930s as a banana port, and arrange an excursion to the Corcovado national Park and the remarkable black sand beach at Zancudo.

Even Windstar and Seabourne offer only a few Costa Rican cruises each year, and they aren’t chape. Even when you arrange thses cruises through online discount cruise booking services at 50% discounts, you can expect to pay a minimum of $7500 for a four-week cruise. For your money, however, you’ll enjoy a month on one of two of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships. Windstar’s ships are actual sailing vessels, motor-sail yachts with automated riggings. The can be under full sail within two minutes of having their riggings engaged, and the largest of their four-ship fleet has a passenger capacity of only 312. Sailing on Windstar entitles you to complimentary water sports activities, including windsurfing, snorkeling, and kayaking right off the ship’s Water Sports Platforms.

Travel to Learn

Many would love to believe that one of the purposes of living is Travel, exploring new lands, expiring different cultures, listening to different music and tasting different cuisines. Our planet has so many beautiful places which is probably God’s gift to Mankind. The incredible and magnificent natural beauty of mountain ranges, lakes, waterfalls, and forests are unbelievable. Even the man made structures built by human being throughout ancient times are remarkable. The efforts that human being is putting towards preserving these monuments as well as preserving nature are also truly remarkable.

When you see all the beauty that surrounds you when you go to visit a place it leaves a lasting impression on minds, it opens new doors and new dimensions to people. Traveling also makes it possible for us to meet different people, see different sights and do different things. The most important part is not what we see but what we learn from visiting these places. Although the whole human kind is kind of similar with the same need and desires, there are small things which are different form one community to other. While traveling we meet new people of different communities and learn form them. Traveling to new cultures and interacting with strangers teaches one as much about oneself as it does about other people. The challenge of new experiences will push one’s personal barriers back.

Coping with situations that have not been previously encountered can show you that you are capable of achieving, or succeeding at so much more than you had thought. Learning about different cultures can teach you things about your own culture – things you had erstwhile neither appreciated nor understood. Spending time with friends from another culture will challenge stereotypes that may be held by both parties. Some of the greatest joys of travel are gleaned from knowing that your preconceptions were wrong. Some travel to escape, others to explore. While traveling you may feel that you are just an onlooker or alternately when you visit a new place you learn the vagaries of their life and culture. Traveling gives you an opportunity to experience different foods, arts and language and helps bring you so much closer to people.

To make the most of you travels and to learn the most one should plan to travel to different places in the world. One shouldn’t just travel to the nearby beach or the neighboring hill resort or just one or two favorite destinations of yours. There are many countries in Europe which are rich in cultural history and have beautiful scenery and relaxing activities. Places like Greece and Rome, Berlin and Munich and the picturesque villages of Black Forest prompt travelers to come to these places again and again. Winter sports enthusiasts find snow covered mountains of Austria and France enthralling enough to show off their skiing and snowboarding skills. Asia and Africa with their vast natural sceneries and historical and cultural heritages have made their tourist sites attractive to woo international visitors. The top animal reserves of Africa are found nowhere else. So you have bag full of options to spend your vacations at some of the stunning locations of Asia, Africa and Europe.

Retro Air Travel Returns to Tanzania

When I was a little boy in the 60s and 70s, the Douglas DC-3, which, like they did in Britain we used to call the Dakota, was all the rage. I used to travel around the country in that aircraft with my mum and dad. It was an awesome experience. I used to love the way the tail dipped when the aircraft was on the ground and how it lifted as it taxied down the runway before take off. A remarkable airplane, and one I couldn’t forget even when the Fokker Friendship came to replace it on domestic routes. As it happens, the DC-3 never really went away. 73 years after the DC-3 first flew, it has remained in the skies in quite a few countries around the world… it is believed there are 400 DC-3 aircraft still in service. In this article, I will discuss retro travel and the opportunity that awaits you to rekindle vintage travel in a remarkable tourist haven and setting that is, Tanzania.

One of the most successful airplanes ever built, the DC-3 made its maiden flight on December 17, 1935. The Gooney Bird, as it was sometimes called, was one of the first airplanes built primarily out of metal, replacing the wood-framed-and-doped-fabric airplanes that had evolved out of the Wright Flyer and the many models of airplanes developed during World War I. In the 1930s and 1940s, this American fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft — generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made because of its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II — is still taking to the skies to this day in many parts of the world. Like its land equivalent, the marvels of yesteryear engineering — the steam train — offers a lap of luxury to its passengers to this present day on packaged rail safaris like the Blue Train in South Africa, aviation too brings back the the beauty and luxury of vintage travel to the skies.

Air travel in the 50s was much more regulated than it is today. All fares were fixed by the International Air Traffic Association (IATA). It seems almost inconceivable today, but IATA dictated exactly what could be charged on any particular route. Airlines could compete on standards of service, but not price. Hence a desire to offer the passenger the very best prevailed. In the early fifties there was only one class of travel: first or better than first class. Such luxuries as cocktail bars, and even beds had been provided on transatlantic flights. Fares were expensive and passengers were either very wealthy or claiming the trip on expenses. By the end of the fifties, there were four classes of travel, deluxe (better than first), first class, tourist class and economy class. The Indigo Aviation Dakota plying the Zanzibar, Selous, Pemba and Mafia routes from Dar es salaam, Tanzania, judging from the luxurious cabin alone, takes you back to the early 50s when, literally, there was only one way to travel – first class.

When I saw an ad on the cover of a local magazine (Advertising Dar) back in May 2009, I was thrilled to see the DC-3 back in action. To me, she is the most beautiful bird that ever took to the skies. My plan is to get on that plane to travel to Mafia island, a fascinating island steeped in history, and what I consider to be the ideal destination to fly to to write a series of articles on, in retro style.