Last Minute Cheap Airline Ticket Specialist-1

Baker County Tourism – basecampbaker.com 31441
Source: Flickr

The pace of life has been faster now since the Right Brothers have invented the airplane. We are left with very little time to do more of our work in the least available time. So the people are choosing air travel as a necessary part of their life. To plan a vacation, business trip or personal travel within the 50 States of USA or abroad, you need the help of on line travel specialists like Eros Tours and Travel Inc. who have been serving their customers for more than 24+ years. The prompt and effective service is the key essential and also the goal of saving your hard earned money is also another advantage of having of dealing with us. If you require any sort of extensive planning, such as, a tour out of the country or even to a popular destination in a different state, we can provide you that service also at the time you book your ticket with us. Our travel consultants are always ready to help you with that.
Before choosing any travel agency as your travel companion, you need to find out some more information about the travel agency you are considering. If this agency is associated with more extensive (think global) affiliations then they are more likely to be able to get you lower prices and last minute services with added favors for your vacation. Keep in mind, however, that just because they are affiliated with a large group does not mean that the agency itself has to be large. Common knowledge would suggest that the bigger the agency, the easier it is to negotiate smaller prices. We have been the authorized wholesale agent of some domestic airlines including Air Tran Airways and also of Air India.
As a wholesale agent of Air Tran Airways, we can sell tickets at a rate which even airline cannot provide in even high seasons. Also as overseas letter of credit agent of Air India we enjoy catering to our customers of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan the cheapest possible to reach the Indian subcontinent. Finally, you have to ask for references from the agency for both clients and suppliers.
Clients, of course, are people like you who have used the agency services to go on
vacation before. Suppliers are the people with whom the agency deals in order to purchase items such as hotel rooms and airline tickets, and will often have a clearer view of how the agency operates and whether or not they can do all that they claim as far as cost- cutting and favors. Most of our client has developed via references from customer and suppliers over these years.
EROS TOURS AND TRAVEL can provide you with last minute cheap airline tickets within USA, Caribbean, Hawaii, Canada, Europe, Asia, South Pacific, Mexico and South Central America.
Our 24+ Years of Experience in travel industry brings you the best possible discount.
Available for all your travel, whether traveling on Coach (Economy class), Biz (Business class) or First class. No Advance Purchase Required for most fares. Buy on line and save up to 45% on all your Last Minute Domestic travel. We provide Consolidator fares with up to 70% savings on airline tickets for cheap international flights, generally the best overseas travel bargain that is available. Now you can visit our own booking Engine and Search flights, make on line Reservation and save on Flight Booking, Hotel, Car Rental, Cruise Reservation, and Vacation Packages.
Plan your Air Travel with confidence. Airtkt Guarantees Low Prices even in high seasons when the regular airline ticket prices are higher. Example Atlanta to Los Angeles starting As low As $ 228.00 (No Advance Required) For further information and assistance you can call us during 8:10 am to 4:15 pm (PST) California Time on the following numbers: 1 213 955 9695

Travel To South America: How To Start

Travel To South America: How To Start

Buenos Aires (215)
Source: Flickr


You set your mind and you’re ready to travel to South America, a magical place of immense beauty where myth and legend continue to walk hand in hand.
I’ve traveled 18 months in South America and can give you some tips on how to prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure.

Common Sense

We all hear the unpleasant stories and South America has a fame of being dangerous. I traveled thousands of miles traversing cities, jungles, islands and mountains. I survived 6 weeks in a street child care center in the favelas of Salvador da Bahía (Brazil) and had the party of a lifetime during carnival. Nothing, I repeat, nothing happened. Use your common sense. Avoid badly lit streets at night and if your sixth sense is giving you the “something is wrong” sign then take a taxi to your destination.

Travel Guide Book

The first thing that you will need is a travel guide book. It will be your best companion in your search for adventure. I can highly recommend Lonely Planet´s South America on a Shoestring
to get you started. The book covers all you need to know to get the most out of your trip and is ideal to plan your journey ahead. I’ve used the guide extensively during my 18 month adventure. They offer excellent separate travel guides of all the countries (besides using the Lonely Planet Shoestring I’ve used their separate travel guides of Peru and Brazil). Their guides are the most popular among backpackers.

Other popular guides are The Rough Guide to South America and the South American Handbook. Ideal, but not practical because you want to travel light, would be to enjoy the adventure with a Lonely Planet and either the Rough Guide or the Handbook.

Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese

The most rewarding thing for me was the fact that you can travel in a huge continent like South America with only 2 languages. Spanish and Portuguese. If you plan to travel just for a few weeks you can invest in a Spanish and/or Brazilian Portuguese Phrase Book. English is not widely spoken and even a basic knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese makes the trip so much more rewarding (they’re extremely willing to help you, so don’t worry, be happy).

If on the other hand you’re planning to travel for a few months I can highly recommend taking a language course. Ideal would be in a school in South America (I took lessons in Quito, Ecuador, and had a private teacher for $2.50/h).

Walking Shoes

South America’s nature is overwhelming. You’ll walk for many hours day after day. It would be a shame to walk in the footsteps of the Incas with blisters on your feet. My biggest recommendation is to invest in high quality walking shoes with Gore-Tex.

Health Vaccinations

Yellow Fever (if you plan to go to the Amazon Basin), Typhoid (consists of two injections taken 4 weeks apart), Diphtheria-Tetanus, Polio, Cholera (only when necessary), Smallpox

Medical Kit:

Depending on what you plan to do you can include the following:
Antiseptic cream, aspirin, lomotil for diarrhea, antibiotics, throat lozenges, ear and eye drops, antacid tablets, motion sickness medication, alcohol swabs, water purifier, lip salve, foot and groin powder, thermometer (in a case), surgical tape, assorted sticky plasters, gauze, bandages, butterfly closures, scissors and last but not least, first-aid booklet

Note: malaria pills are required in the amazon basin, please be aware that those pills are very b and you should check with your doctor before departure

Traveling Gear

Backpack:

Obviously a high quality backpack is a must. Choose the type that has different compartments that can be opened separately. Very handy if you need something quickly. Travel as light as possible. A heavy backpack is destined to undermine your traveling pleasure.

Clothing:

Depends on where you go. If it’s the mountains and the jungle, get some quality clothing from home. If it’s the beach, buy your t-shirts there (cheap).

Camping and Climbing Gear:

You can rent camping and climbing material in South America but the quality may be questionable. Always check the material. Bring your own gear if possible. I traveled 18 months with my own tent and various camping utensils.

Photography

Pictures are something personal. Some people just want some snap shots, others want to publish in the National Geographic. All my pictures were taken with a cheap Nikon F50 camera. Have a look at some amazing photographs at www.travel-amazing-southamerica.com.

I had two zoom lenses, a 35-80 mm. and a 70-210mm. I also dragged a tripod and an excellent flash with me. I used FUJI slides (100 ASA) but you definitely need 200 to 400 ASA if you plan to go to the jungle. A polarize filter enhances the colours tremendously on sunny days.

Conclusion

South America will embrace you with open arms. It’s nature, people and history are overwhelming. With the right preparation and set of mind you’re ready for an unforgettable adventure.

Travel to South Africa: Modern Nation, Ancient Origin

Travel to South Africa: Modern Nation, Ancient Origin

South Africa is an extraordinarily unique sub-Saharan African nation jutting formidably – for sailors who have planned to round its cape – into the Atlantic and Indian Oceans at the southernmost top of Africa. The archeological evolution of humanity has been documented in South Africa, with a history as old as any on the planet. Even more, the wildlife and biodiversity of South Africa’s semi-arid plateaus, bush and coastline are possibly the most thrilling and rewarding in all of Africa. Explore the vibrancy of a multiethnic, forward thinking democracy interlaced with the splendor and community of traditional Africa!

The South African Identity – 11 Languages Strong
South Africa stands apart from the rest of Africa with its unique colonial origin that carried over to modern day. Those who travel to South Africa are often drawn by the fascinating multicultural immersion found in a modern country that is confronting racial issues head on. Dutch navigators and settlers occupied the area for much of the 17th and 18th century, importing slaves from India, Madagascar and Indonesia to make up for a labor shortage. The descendents of the resulting interracial marriages make up a large population of the Western Cape today (“Cape Malays”) and displaced much of the local Xhosa and Bantu people. The British ultimately colonized South Africa when the Dutch could no longer fight their own battles against native resistance.

After independence, the European minority remained in political control and apartheid ensued until 1994 when black Africans finally gained full political rights and enfranchisement. Interestingly, South Africa is the only African nation to be ruled by a continuous democracy and the first and only nation in the world to build nuclear weapons only to voluntarily dismantle the weapons program altogether.

Whales, Wine and Wetlands
Since the end of apartheid, it has been much easier to enjoy the spectacular sights of South Africa. From the busting city of Cape Town, hike the iconic Table Mountain National Park when the flat top is covered in an eerie layer of clouds or travel west to the Shipwreck Coast of the Cape of Good Hope where a graveyard of unfortunate naval expeditions are well preserved and add character to the stunning coastline. Also signature of South Africa’s coastline is the abundance of whales. Spend an afternoon in the seaside town of Hermanus, famous for whale watching, or take a guided boat trip to catch a closer glimpse of the majestic creatures. From here, a trip along the popular Garden Route winds through hidden nature reserves, tucked-away coastal towns, national monuments, indigenous forests, sea caves and borders the peaceful desert highlands of the Karoo. The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park to the north is worth a visit to see the massive hippos rummaging quietly through the marsh. Unwind from your expeditions in South Africa’s prosperous and productive wine region northeast of Cape Town. Arrange for a stay on an estate in Stellenbosch and treat yourself to a tour of some of the world’s best wine, introduced by Europeans in the 17th century.

Most of the popular areas are in the Western Cape and along the coast, although more pristine wilderness and less urbanized indigenous culture will be found inland. Also, the commercial capitals of Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria (the administrative capital) are exciting for their urban juxtaposition to the African wilderness at large. South Africa is a wondrous and historic land of global culture that has never been more accessible or enjoyable. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to explore the gem of the oldest and most diverse continent on earth!

Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel

Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel

Saint Petersburg
Source: Flickr


Summary: Making a Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel Dream Come True

The tropics. For the Europeans who more than often have to wear parkas and miffs, a chance to shed this added weight can be a pleasant experience. That’s why they head to Acapulco, where sun, beaches, and party are in overflowing supply. Don’t be cooped indoors for the winter. Go to a place where there is always sun, not endless sun mind you and nonstop party.

Winter’s approaching. So book and make your Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel dream come true. If you have the money to spend why not spend it where it is most fun. Here are the keys that could make your Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel dream come true.

Cheapflights
Flights are cheaper than ever with Cheapflights. So for your Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel, Cheapflights is your ticket. You may not feel the cheap ticket price but you will once you arrive in Acapulco and witness the price listings there.

Cheapflights was awarded in 2006 as the Best Website in the Travel category by .net. Following shortly is the Innovative Business on the Year Award. Prior to that, Cheapflights won the London Business Awards in 2005. Being included in the Top Ten ‘Hit-wise’ website October to December 2005, Cheapflights is surely on its way to success. Are you planning a Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel? Why not make it cheap with Cheapflights.

Book a Europe to Acapulco vacation travel with the money-saver by clicking on this link www.cheapflights.co.uk

Just The Flight
Just The Flight is the rising star of online flight booking service. Having the biggest database would mean more Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel choices. Just The Flight is not about online bookings though. By also doubling its server infrastructure and capacity, it targets to stay at the top of online booking demand. To that effect, Just The Flight is not only bookings though, It gives out news, abroad and local, flight news, company news, news specific to certain place and news that can have an impact to air travel. Just The Flight is one of those online ticket booking sites that have evolved to keep pace in time.

Book a Europe to Acapulco vacation travel with the contemporary by clicking on this link: www.justtheflight.co.uk

Expedia.co.uk
A few other sites can rival Expedia.co.uk for the most diverse travel related info. Travel products, services and info are readily available, giving expectant travelers access to a wide array of destination information. Expedia.co.uk also caters to a diverse consumer group. Be it couples or families or corporate travels, Expedia.co.uk has deals that are specific to them. In many ways Expedia.co.uk is more than helpful for any Europe to Acapulco Vacation Travel dream realization.

Book a Europe to Acapulco vacation travel with the wide-ranging by clicking on this link: www.expedia.co.uk

Going to Asia? Save Time and Money on Your Next Trip.

Going to Asia? Save Time and Money on Your Next Trip.

Hanoi City Life - Vietnam
Source: Flickr

You can travel to Asia for half of what others spend. No, that isn’t a phony promise, but if you properly research your options you will find that it’s easy to save money on airfare to Asia. Start preparing for your trip months in advance by signing up online for mailing lists. Sounds crazy, right? No one likes to junk up their inbox by useless offers for credits cards or so-called discount travel packages. But there are some mailing lists that you can sign up for and specify what you’re looking for. In this case, express your interest in traveling to Asia and you’ll receive newsletters on last-minute and discount flights.

If you can’t afford to get in through the front door, go in the back. That’s what stand-by flights are all about! You should never rely on a stand-by flight as a definite way to travel, but if you aren’t picky about your dates, then it’s an excellent way of saving money – especially on international travel. You can improve your chances of making a stand-by flight by arriving at least one hour early to the gate. (Remember, you did not purchase a confirmed seat.) Immediately approach the check-in agents and let them know you are a stand-by passenger. If someone with a confirmed seat fails to show up before the scheduled departure time, they’ll know to come to you with the seat first.

Again, if you have a flexible schedule and dates are not an issue, then traveling on a courier flight may be a great option. You can travel to Asia on a courier flight for significantly less than commercial fares, but the downside to courier flights is that they don’t usually work well if you are traveling with other people. You run the risk of being placed on separate flights and arriving to your destination at different times. However, it still remains a possibility if you are traveling alone or with just one other person.

If you’re a frequent traveler by plane, chances are you’ve racked up some major reward points with your airline. Use those points to your advantage and apply them towards your trip to Asia. You can reduce your airfare by 50% or more depending on how many reward points you have saved over time. Also remember to ask for any specials or discounts when purchasing your plane ticket. Lots of airlines offer a variety of discounts, such as senior citizen, student, or military. Finally, look into discount travel websites. These sites will often list airfares at a discounted rate depending on the date you travel. With these helpful tips, you are sure to save money on your trip to Asia!

Protecting Yourself During Your European Jaunt

Protecting Yourself During Your European Jaunt


Before making the determination to buy health insurance for travel in Europe you should check your own health insurance policy.
You’ll want to determine if that health insurance policy might cover you not only for a medical emergency during your travel in Europe but also to resolve situations such as your luggage being lost, your trip being cancelled for yours or your family’s medical emergency, or bankruptcy or fraud of any trip vendor – cruise ship or airline, for example.
If your current health insurance policy is not clear on any of these issues about Europe travel, then call your agent and get clarification. Where your health insurance does cover events occurring during Europe travel determine the amount and extent of coverage. Make sure you find out the exclusions as well.
Should you make the determination to purchase travel health insurance for your European vacation your travel agent can help with this. The price for this health insurance during your travel in Europe will vary according to the number of people traveling and their ages, the length of your trip and your destinations. If your travel in Europe includes an adventure trip or sports activities you may pay more. In fact, you may need a different health insurance policy altogether. There may be some dangerous activities that are excluded.
Your current health insurance will probably cover you for some portion at least of your travel in Europe. The exceptions are if you have an HMO, or if you are on Medicare. These do not cover you outside of the United States.
Even if you have health insurance that says it covers travel in Europe keep in mind that most other countries’ medical facilities and caregivers are going to want you to pay cash up front for your care and then wait for reimbursement from your health insurance carrier after your travel in Europe. Are you financially prepared for this?
The other issue that can be very costly is evacuating for medical emergency. What if care is not adequate where you are? Or what if there is a local medical emergency that requires you to leave that country immediately? Your current health insurance is unlikely to help you abruptly end your travel in Europe and complete an immediate departure.
As you plan your travel in Europe, you’re probably going to want to purchase travel health insurance, no matter what your current coverage.

Safari Travel Tips

Safari Travel Tips

Checkers, Zambia
Source: Flickr


Before stepping on that plane for a marvelous safari adventure, plan like there’s no tomorrow.
You will thank your self for being precautious when faced with untoward incidents.

Here are the important things you should consider when going on a safari travel:

1. Remember that it is one challenging endeavor.

Planning a safari can be one of the most exciting feats one can ever manage to make happen. It is not one of the generic travels, usual jetsetters indulge in. Though you are provided with a tour brochure and a tourist guide, it still is better to research on your own regarding the various itineraries.

2. Best spots for safari should be spotted.

The most suggested parts of Africa to enjoy safari include East and Central Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean Islands.

3. Prepare for the climate.

It is a must to know the seasonal trends and how they will affect your travel. But also remember that the weather is fickle-minded so you can never really accurately predict the outcome of your travel if you will base it one the weather alone.

If you are going to visit East and Central Africa, long rains start early in April to early June. Short rains abound during late November to December.

Southern Africa has its rainy season from late November through mid-April for the safari areas. However, during that time, it will be summer in Southern Cape.

When one prefers Indian and Ocean Islands he or she can expect the seasonal trend to be more like of that of Southern Africa. In these islands, summer rains last from November through April. Cyclones can also be experienced during those seasons. From May to October, the dry season occurs.

4. Choose your activities.

Among others, safari traveling offers these fun-filled activities:

a. gorilla trekking
b. sailing
c. birdwatching
d. participatory camping
e. self driving

5. Know what you can afford.

When choosing a trip, budget constraints should never be overlooked. Decide on a price range that you can work on. To make your budgeting more effective consider the level of luxury of your safari travel, length of your trip, activities, accommodations preferences, meals and season.

6. Determine your travel style.

Do you prefer your safari to be more luxurious, moderate or rustic? Will you let kids tag along? Are you traveling with a group or will you be one bold, independent traveler? Will you travel by air or road? What about your guide and your vehicle?

Answering those questions will more or less improve your overview of your dream safari travel.

Have fun!

Travel to South America

Travel to South America

You set your mind and you’re ready to travel to South America, a magical place of immense beauty where myth and legend continue to walk hand in hand. I’ve traveled 18 months in South America and can give you some tips on how to prepare yourself for an unforgettable adventure.
Common Sense
We all hear the unpleasant stories and South America has a fame of being dangerous. I traveled thousands of miles traversing cities, jungles, islands and mountains. I survived 6 weeks in a street child care center in the favelas of Salvador da Bahía (Brazil) and had the party of a lifetime during carnival. Nothing, I repeat, nothing happened. Use your common sense. Avoid badly lit streets at night and if your sixth sense is giving you the “something is wrong” sign then take a taxi to your destination.
Travel Guide Book
The first thing that you will need is a travel guide book. It will be your best companion in your search for adventure. I can highly recommend Lonely Planet´s South America on a Shoestring to get you started. The book covers all you need to know to get the most out of your trip and is ideal to plan your journey ahead. I’ve used the guide extensively during my 18 month adventure. They offer excellent separate travel guides of all the countries (besides using the Lonely Planet Shoestring I’ve used their separate travel guides of Peru and Brazil). Their guides are the most popular among backpackers.
Other popular guides are The Rough Guide to South America and the South American Handbook. Ideal, but not practical because you want to travel light, would be to enjoy the adventure with a Lonely Planet and either the Rough Guide or the Handbook.
Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese
The most rewarding thing for me was the fact that you can travel in a huge continent like South America with only 2 languages. Spanish and Portuguese. If you plan to travel just for a few weeks you can invest in a Spanish and/or Brazilian Portuguese Phrase Book. English is not widely spoken and even a basic knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese makes the trip so much more rewarding (they’re extremely willing to help you, so don’t worry, be happy).
If on the other hand you’re planning to travel for a few months I can highly recommend taking a language course. Ideal would be in a school in South America (I took lessons in Quito, Ecuador, and had a private teacher for $2.50/h).
Walking Shoes
South America’s nature is overwhelming. You’ll walk for many hours day after day. It would be a shame to walk in the footsteps of the Incas with blisters on your feet. My biggest recommendation is to invest in high quality walking shoes with Gore-Tex.
Health Vaccinations
Yellow Fever (if you plan to go to the Amazon Basin), Typhoid (consists of two injections taken 4 weeks apart), Diphtheria-Tetanus, Polio, Cholera (only when necessary), Smallpox
Medical Kit:
Depending on what you plan to do you can include the following: Antiseptic cream, aspirin, lomotil for diarrhea, antibiotics, throat lozenges, ear and eye drops, antacid tablets, motion sickness medication, alcohol swabs, water purifier, lip salve, foot and groin powder, thermometer (in a case), surgical tape, assorted sticky plasters, gauze, bandages, butterfly closures, scissors and last but not least, first-aid booklet
Note: malaria pills are required in the amazon basin, please be aware that those pills are very strong and you should check with your doctor before departure
Traveling Gear
Backpack:
Obviously a high quality backpack is a must. Choose the type that has different compartments that can be opened separately. Very handy if you need something quickly. Travel as light as possible. A heavy backpack is destined to undermine your traveling pleasure.
Clothing:
Depends on where you go. If it’s the mountains and the jungle, get some quality clothing from home. If it’s the beach, buy your t-shirts there (cheap).
Camping and Climbing Gear:
You can rent camping and climbing material in South America but the quality may be questionable. Always check the material. Bring your own gear if possible. I traveled 18 months with my own tent and various camping utensils.
Photography
Pictures are something personal. Some people just want some snap shots, others want to publish in the National Geographic. All my pictures were taken with a cheap Nikon F50 camera. Have a look at some amazing photographs at www.travel-amazing-southamerica.com.
I had two zoom lenses, a 35-80 mm. and a 70-210mm. I also dragged a tripod and an excellent flash with me. I used FUJI slides (100 ASA) but you definitely need 200 to 400 ASA if you plan to go to the jungle. A polarize filter enhances the colours tremendously on sunny days.
Conclusion
South America will embrace you with open arms. It’s nature, people and history is overwhelming. With the right preparation and set of mind you’re ready for an unforgettable adventure.

Panama Gets a New Cruise Port in Colon

Panama Gets a New Cruise Port in Colon

Baker County Tourism – basecampbaker.com 32175
Source: Flickr


Introduction – Today it was announced that Panama is opening a new cruise ship port and terminal in Colon on the Atlantic side.
The port will open in Dec. 2008. At the present time there is a cruise terminal in Colon to receive ships for a day stop only. Ships generally not passing through the canal will stop at Colon disembarking passengers for tours, shopping trips etc. The ships will generally pull in during the morning and leave at dinnertime. Colon is the second largest duty free zone in the world second to Hong Kong. It is simple for one to take a tour from Colon to the Panama Canal.

Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas – Royal Caribbean has announced that it will be deploying one of its modern ships by the name of Enchantment of the Seas. This cruise ship is 80,000 tons and was built in 1997 and refurbished in 1999 and again in 2005. It is not a flag ship of the line, yet still quite a respectable cruise liner. The boat was stretched out when refurbished in 2005 and is now 990 feet long, roughly as long as an aircraft carrier. The ship carries 2446 passengers and has a crew of 760. There are 6 hot tubs, three swimming pools, a rock climbing wall, spa, gym, full beauty salon, jogging track, and of course it has a rock-climbing wall. How can you cruise without a rock-climbing wall? There is a casino, 10 bars, and the ship has 11 decks extending above the water. This is no slouch of a boat. The itinerary of the boat will be Columbia, Aruba and Curacao with 17 such one-week cruises planned during the first season.

Discussion – Okay so now Panama is going to become a cruise port. The major ports in the general region, broadly speaking, are Miami, and Ft. Lauderdale. Many people in Central and South America have difficulty getting visas to go to America. To take a cruise starting or terminating in the USA one must obtain a visa to go to the USA unless they are able to travel to the country without a visa. Most of the countries are not this way with Argentina being the exception.

The visa process involves waking up early in the morning to go stand online at the USA Embassy waiting to go in for an interview. Numerous documents are required, reasons for the trip, why you are not a risk for overstaying the visa etc. There are fees involved, which are about $165 a person. Many people do not wish to go through this process. Many others are willing to go through the process but are unable to get the visa for various reasons.

Additionally people have been complaining about the treatment they get from USA immigration being unpleasant when they arrive and depart America. This has been hurting the cruise industry in the USA in a big way. Check cruise prices and it is common to see discounts of 50% most of the time from the USA ports of departure. This will give the cruise companies a chance to recover a market they have been missing out on in recent years which is the Central and South American market. It will also give Panama a chance to gain some tourism dollars. People taking cruises frequently come in a day or two before the cruise and stay a day or two after the cruise to see the local attractions.

The word we got was that the other cruise lines would follow suit and begin originating cruises from Panama as well. One could expect to see a bustling cruise port like Miami in the near future is what we were told to expect. We welcome the cruise industry and see it as having a positive effect.

Remember this port is not designed to attract the USA tourist dollar. While some USA tourists will come here the overwhelming majority of the cruisers will be from Central and South America. It is cheaper and easier for the USA resident to take a cruise departing from: Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, Tampa, New York, Orlando, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or Puerto Rico. This is not going to give the USA some sort of leverage to use on Panama to get them to do what they want like weaken banking laws etc. If the Caymans Islands or the Bahamas did not comply with the USA regarding bank or corporate laws the USA could make like very difficult for anyone cruising to these destinations with lots of searching, long delays clearing customs and immigration etc. Places like the Caymans and Bahamas have heavy cruise and tourism industries that provide many more jobs than the banking industry. If you have ever been to the Caymans not many locals work in the banking sector. The new cruise port in Panama has no applicability to the USA since the passengers will not be subject to USA immigration and customs since the cruise boat will not be originating, terminating or traveling to the USA and the passengers will by and large not be Americans.

We are expecting to see a lot of South and Central American destinations like Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Aruba, Curacao, and Columbia. On longer cruises of 10 days or longer the cruise ships could travel to some of the popular Caribbean destinations like Nassau, Caymans, and Jamaica etc. Panama has very wisely chosen to go after the Central and South American tourism market. Is there going to be a Disney Amusement Park in Panama? Stay tuned.

St. Maarten Travel Tips (2)

St. Maarten Travel Tips

Benefits of Taking A River Cruise
Source: Flickr

One of the Leeward Islands located in the West Indies, St. Maarten is an island less than forty-square miles in size and is divided in half shared by two governments. St. Martin is the northern side of the region and answers to France, while St. Maarten is part of the Netherlands Antilles on the southern side. Both regions are autonomous and have had a peaceful coexistence over the past three-hundred fifty years. Like most West Indies islands, its sunny nature, lush natural beauty, and amazing beaches attracts visitors year-round.

Visitors traveling to this “hidden gem of the Spanish main” should be aware of some essential information about the place to help prepare and plan a great trip. Here are some St. Maarten Travel tips to keep you on top of things on your visit:

St. Maarten travel tips #1 –Climate
The temperature of St. Maarten remains constant year-round averaging about 80F and water temperature averages 78F. Trade winds give a little cooling on the coasts. Occasional rain showers in the late summer and early fall are be expected, with an average yearly rainfall of forty-five inches.

St. Maarten travel tips #2 – Currency
Dutch St. Maarten’s official currency is the Netherlands Antilles Florin or Guilder (NAF). However, US dollars are widely accepted as well. Almost all of the prices in the island are listed in dollars and the local currency.

St. Maarten travel tips #3 – Banking Hours
Dutch St. Maarten banks are open from 8:30am to 3:30pm Monday through Friday, although some banks also open on Saturdays.

St. Maarten travel tips #4 – Customs
The island of St. Maarten is fully and completely duty free.

St. Maarten travel tips #5 – Entry Requirements
For US citizens entering St. Maarten for three months or less need a current passport or an original birth certificate together with a picture ID. For Canadian citizens entering for fourteen days or less must have a valid passport or birth certificate, or naturalization certificate. If staying more not fourteen days but less than thirty days, a certificate of admission for temporary stay is issued upon arrival. Also required are return tickets, documents for next destination, and sufficient funds. For UK citizens or British protected persons entering for three months or less is required a valid passport, return tickets, sufficient funds, and documents for next destination. Citizens from other countries should verify with a travel agent for the proper documents needed to enter St. Maarten. Vaccinations are not required unless travelers are arriving from places experiencing an epidemic.

St. Maarten travel tips #6 – Departure Tax
The departure tax is $20.00

St. Maarten travel tips #7 –Language
The official language of St. Maarten is Dutch; however, almost everybody speaks English. Spanish and Papiamento are also other common languages spoken in the island.

St. Maarten travel tips #8 – Time Zone
The island of St. Maarten follows Atlantic Standard Time all year-round. For the duration of fall and winter, noon on the East Coast of the US is 1pm on the island. During US daylight savings time, the hour on the Eastern Seaboard is the same as it is on the island.

St. Maarten travel tips #9 – Shopping
Shopping in the island is completely duty-free. Stores are open from Monday through Saturday from 9am till 6pm, other shops on the island open till 10pm or later.

St. Maarten travel tips #10 – Tipping
The majority of restaurants and hotels add ten to fifteen percent to the bill as a service charge. Tourists may tip more for special service and it is traditional to tip taxi drivers ten to fifteen percent. Porters at the airport usually receive one dollar per bag.