Jamaica Private Tours

Jamaica Private Tours

Jamaica is an island that offers something special for everyone. The northern coast of Jamaica is loaded with excursions, that are suited for every type of visitors to enjoy. Regardless of the nature of your vacation, whether you arrived on a cruise or by air. Or, if you will be a guest for a few hours or for several days; Your accommodation could be at one of the many all-inclusive resorts on the island, at a villa in the hills or by the sea; there is undoubtedly something for you.
Jamaica is an intriguing island with a rich history that has given birth to Reggae Music and gifted a delicious array of culinary selections to include the famed, Jerk Chicken, Sumptuous Beef Patties, warm and friendly people with infectious smiles. It is the land of beautiful beaches, rolling mountains and majestic waterfalls. It is also known for its great coffee, Blue Mountain, rum and fast runners. Whatever adventure you are looking for you can find it in Jamaica.

 

Like other tourist destinations you may hear of, or may have visited, transportation is an important part of the vacation experience. There are usually several options available for travel when in Jamaica. On one hand, there are big tour coach buses in Jamaica that offer tours to many of the popular attractions. These tours are normally good, but can loose the great-effect, especially because there are too many personalities to be managed. They usually lack flexibility and so it somewhat more ridged. On these group tours, there is normally a schedule, but the tour can sometimes go at a slower pace than is expected, and so can be a bit infuriating and inconvenient for as some persons.

It is always great to have choices, so, on the other side of the coin, there is the private tours catering to your unique and specialized needs. For most guests, this is certainly a better experience because you get to enjoy the company of your group members in a more intimate space; you all get to control the outcome of your adventure. Customized private tours Jamaica permit guests to touch, feel and see the culture of the island in a way that is not available when you travel on group tours. Tours are enhanced when there is a private driver who will more or less become a friend for the day. The treats are better because the focus is totally on your party regardless of the size.

Each traveler has different interests and has peculiar ways of having fun. Being from different walks of life, and having different perspectives on life, your tours should be able to accommodate and reflect that too. Considering this, a small tweak on a private tour could make all the difference- this is what a private tour offers and much, much more.

Heliskiing in Courmayeur: for a True Off Piste Experience

Heliskiing in Courmayeur: for a True Off Piste Experience

If you dream of making tracks through virgin powder fields and previously unmarked mountainsides, then heliskiing is definitely something you should consider.
Imagine climbing on board a helicopter in the heart of your resort and being flown deep into the Alps, away from the lifts and other people, and then being dropped off on deserted peaks to make your way down. If this sounds like you, then you need to book a heliskiing excursion as part of your next winter sports holiday.

 

Heliskiing Courmayeur

Unfortunately heliskiing is not available throughout much of the Alps: France and Germany have both banned the activity to reduce helicopter activity in the area. The good news is that in Italy there are no such restrictions. So if you dream of descending a blank canvas of snow down the south face of Mont Blanc, you can make that dream a reality from the picturesque Italian resort of Courmayeur.

Don’t be put off if this Mont Blanc adventure sounds a little too high octane for your first time heliskiing; Courmayeur also offers more gentle opportunities across a wide variety of non-glacial terrain, which greatly reduces any risks.

Many companies in the area offer everything from a full day (including two flights) to weekend or even week long adventure in heliskiing. Courmayeur is the perfect base for the sport as helicopters can land right in the centre of the piste area. That way, after your adrenaline-pumping experience, you can stop off for a hot wine at one of the resort’s beautiful mountainside restaurants before heading back to your accommodation.

What You’ll Need

Obviously to try this you’ll need a basic level of expertise. The ideal time for heliskiing is from January through to May, with the conditions in winter being tougher thanks to the larger volume of fresh powder. It is therefore advised that those taking part during the winter need experience of skiing in deep powder.

For those trying it in the spring snow, expertise in deep powder is not so important although, as with any skiing or snowboarding, you will still need a relatively good level of fitness.

Equipment you will need includes: wide skis, good bindings, skiwear suitable to the conditions (including special ski gloves), hat or helmet, goggles or sunglasses.

How to Get To There

If this has whet your appetite for heliskiing, Courmayeur couldn’t be easier to reach. There are regular flights from the UK to nearby Turin or Geneva airports with airlines including BA, Ryanair, easyJet and Swiss International.

Book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct and just an hour and a half after touching down you could be strapping on your skis in Courmayeur. Just let us know when you book online what ski equipment you will be carrying and we’ll transport it to the resort for you at no extra charge.

Sacred art meets sophisticated technology!

Sacred art meets sophisticated technology!

Multi-media entertainment studio Moment Factory creates a multi-sensory experience within Montreal’s grandiose Notre-Dame Basilica using sound, light and video projection-mapping.
Designed by Irish-American architect James O’Donnell in 1824, the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal is a picture of divinity. Now, as part of the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations, the iconic heritage landmark has been given a new, and luminous, lease of life. Montreal-based multimedia entertainment studio Moment Factory has created AURA, a transformative experience that propels visitors on a sacred journey using layers of augmented reality and spatial orchestral scoring within the walls of the Gothic Revival cathedral.

 

Since its opening in March 2017, AURA, which seats 600 people at a time, has been performed over 400 times. The 45-minute experience, presented in two acts, unfolds beneath the grandiose Basilica’s lofty rood screens. Before being seated, visitors are encouraged to discover and connect with sublime artworks highlighted by multimedia-enhanced installations on a self-led tour.

The second act, when the Basilica’s interior is bathed in a series of animated projections, is just as, if not more, breathtaking. Coupled with an orchestral composition interpreted by 30 musicians, 20 chorists and the Basilica’s resonant organ, the experience is soul-stirring.

Conceived in 2015 by the Moment Factory team and the cathedral’s managers, Fabrique de la Paroisse Notre-Dame, the project was produced by over 100 people. Bringing this vision to reality required an intensive year of musical composition and recording, four months of visual content production, 90 days of installation and a month of content integration and testing.

The technical rig of a total of 21 projectors — seven for the exploratory introduction and 14 for the second act — and 140 lights, four lasers and 20 mirrors is but one of the cogs in the machine.

To fully utilize the cathedral’s intricate architecture as a complex digital canvas, in a seamless manner, Moment Factory developed X-Agora, a specialized projection-mapping software that permits the creation of complex 3D maps of concave surfaces and ornate carvings. The video projections were also tuned to match the cathedral’s vibrant chromatic palette so as to enrich the existing details.

Water History: Barge Building in France

Water History: Barge Building in France

Even though you may be a barge vacation lover in France, how much do you really know about the history of this mode of transportation? Although waterways are now reserved for holiday activities, tourism and barge holidays, the French have relied on simple barges to maintain and grow their economies. Actually, for centuries the canals and rivers are an important component of the French trading network, connecting the English Channel, Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Water History: Barge Building in France
Standardization and Transportation

Despite this crucial relation of the river, transportation is sluggish due to lack of standardization across the country. At the end of the nineteenth century, Minister of Public Works, Freycinet, had a lightbulb moment: he decided to set up a waterway network by building the same sized locks across the country. This key measures 40m x 5.20m and, once installed, the ship must be redesigned to fit within it. The new timber ship, sometimes known as the ‘Freycinet barge’, is built in dimensions of 38.5m with 5.0mm as standard. This modern standard cargo ship can deliver goods across Europe. Water History: Barge Building in France

However, how do these non-motorized ships move around the complex European canal network? The answer is the power of man – even though actual pulling is done by women, horses and even children throughout the 1800s, as well as men. Some – like Klippers and Tjalks who travel to England – use screen and other power, in Belgium and Holland, are pulled by steam-powered tugs. Progress, though faster because of standardization, can not be called fast because most people will travel on foot.

Triggering the Nation

In a drastic change in how channel transportation operated, the 1900s saw the launch of a diesel engine that eliminated the need for a puller altogether. However, because the engine is not very strong, motorized vessels like Spitzen and Luxemotors must have a distinctive pointed bow similar to the pull. This new creation is very luxurious because it comes with a kitchen and toilet – more than a few houses at that time – and independent.

By the 1920’s the wooden hull had been exchanged for steel, making stronger and tougher cargo ships that could withstand potential impacts with locks. Twenty years later the diesel engine has gained more power and many motorized barges are built throughout France, Belgium and the Netherlands. This is the peak of this industry in Europe. Non-motorized ships are drawn by diesel-powered tractors, not horses, so travel time is greatly reduced.

Goodbye to all that

The decline in French water transport began in the 1970s as faster and more efficient railways and road vehicles grew in popularity. The canals, once the source of life of the country, fell into disrepair and unfortunately not restored. Hundreds of Freycinet barges were canceled and it seemed to be the end of this crucial vessel lane.

Fortunately, barge holidays in France make this traditional form of water transport alive. Tourism blossomed in the 1970s, attracting visitors to the canals and rivers of France has not subsided in nearly four decades. Barge holidays in France showcase the country’s most beautiful and interesting areas to visitors who appreciate the gentle pace, and an alternative point of view, that barge hotels give them access.

Paul Newman is a Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider if you are looking for all the luxury holidays in France or other great destinations. Part of an experienced barge team, Paul first queued to support a slow-paced barging cruise facility for anyone looking for a unique holiday experience. Water History: Barge Building in France

Airport Taxi Service in Jamaica

Airport Taxi Service in Jamaica

Airport Taxi Service in Jamaica is getting better and better. Long gone are the days when taxi service on the island was just a means of getting from point A to point B. With the advent of the internet guests now have the convenient option to research and pre-book. In this new and competitive era, operators now have to step up their game to meet the demands of the Airport Taxi market.
Montego Bay, the prided city, is the gateway to Jamaica and boasts an international airport as well as a cruise port. As such, Private Taxi Taxi Service in Jamaica is crucial, as visitors need to move around quite often. In securing Airport Taxi Service, there are various options to consider that can be made prior to arriving in Jamaica.

 

As an add-on, some airline tickets do offer ground transportation which takes guests to their final destination. Further, some hotels do provide shared shuttle service as another option for transportation. Upon arrival in Jamaica, there is a taxi stand at the airport in Montego Bay where one could just walk up to the desk and get a cab immediately. Usually, this option is more expensive; as you know anything to do with airport comes at a higher price.

The best and most convenient option for securing a taxi in Montego Bay is to pre-book online. There is a myriad of options online all waiting to provide you with the best service ever. For the most part, the vehicles used are modern and fully air-conditioned and kept in an immaculate condition. These vehicles range from sedans to mini -vans which are capable of fitting up to 10 persons comfortably. As a commitment to the safety of your children, some taxi service on the island even offer complimentary child seats.

Though categorized as an island, Jamaica is a little bigger than most first time visitors think. It measures 4,411 square miles and has a population of almost 3 million people. This also means that some final destinations may be a bit farther than expected; up to three hours at most; so a comfortable ride with an amiable driver will be welcomed perk to your road trip experience.

Additionally, Tours and Excursions can also be booked on line and enjoyed as a private exploration of the island. For sure, a private tour is a better option than shared and it may not even cost more. You become the master of your vacation experience for an affordable cost. This option also gives the opportunity to save time so you can do more during what is already too short a stay in Paradise. Vacation time is precious, no need to wait on a big bus to be filled. Private taxi service in Jamaica is a better option.

The Anatomy of an Archipelago

The Anatomy of an Archipelago

For anyone with an interest in natural history, the group of islands collectively known as the Galapagos Archipelago is one of the most fascinating places on the planet. The region is renowned for its unique wildlife and the vital role it played in naturalist Charles Darwin’s research, from which he developed his revolutionary Theory of Evolution.
While the majority of visitors on guided Galapagos holidays arrive to experience a close encounter with the iconic wildlife, learning a little of the area’s geologic history can enrich the experience even beyond expectation.

 

The Anatomy of an Archipelago

The most common way for an archipelago to form is through constant volcanic activity. (They can also form from continental islands, due to erosion or evaporation of water.) Volcanic archipelagos can form in the ocean and in rivers or lakes as they erupt on beneath the surface of the water. When oceanic, the resulting land masses are known as an “island arc”. In many cases this forms as a result of a “hot spot”, in which parts of the Earth’s crust (tectonic plates) continually shift and create friction.

Where two tectonic plates meet and create a hot spot, magma (red-hot molten rock) can push through the sea floor to create an underwater volcano. As tectonic plates continue to shift over the hot spot, the constant eruptions cause lava to build up and up over millions of years until they emerge from the surface of the ocean to create an island.

In some cases, activity ceases when the tectonic plate eventually moves away from the hot spot. But in others, for example in Hawaii and Japan, the island chains continue to evolve, with many of the volcanoes still active today.

The Geology of Galapagos

The Galapagos Archipelago was formed through the repeated movement of the Nazca tectonic plate over millions of years. As it took place over such a long time period, the eastern islands in the chain are actually millions of years older than some of those in the west. The younger ones, like Isabela and Fernandina, for example, are thought to only be around a few hundred thousand years old, and are still in formation today. Some of the older ones, like San Cristobal and Espanola, may be up to five million years old – still relatively young in the history of the world. With the exception of Isabela (which, as the largest, is made up of six), each island was formed from a single volcano.

Due to their volcanic nature, most of the islands in the chain have a similar conical appearance, but they range from those with very low, gentle slopes to some that soar steeply more than 5,000 feet above sea level. It is this varied of topography that has created the astonishing diversity of habitat that supports the magnificent array of unique wildlife – much of which is endemic.

Discover a Unique Region on Galapagos Holidays

The geology and ecology of this isolated island chain make it one of the most unique places in the world. For those who want to learn more, organised small group Galapagos holidays provide the opportunity to explore this rich, bio-diverse part of the planet in an intimate, educational and truly memorable way.

African Safari – Kenya Safari Tour has Become Affordable These Days!

African Safari – Kenya Safari Tour has Become Affordable These Days!

Exploring the African safari can bring a lifetime experience. There are many people who use to dream about such a tour. But this time you can make it happen! As such tours have become more affordable and convenient these days, many people from across the globe have started to head towards the Kenya safari tour. If you are also searching for a lifetime tour experience, then you must move for the African safari now. This type of tour can offer you a great chance to take part in wildlife adventure and to explore the actual culture of Africa. During such tours, you will explore the vital cultural encounters and the spectacular sceneries that have always managed to maintain the flow of tourists for African safaris. There are some big reasons why you should opt for the Kenya safari.
When you are looking forward to escape from the hustling and bustling daily life, a tour to African safari is what you should consider first. The safaris located at this part of the world are going to bring a complete change with the scenery that you use to explore daily. This type of tour can really take you away from the hustles and bustles of daily busy schedule. While exploring those big cats and the other animals dwelling under their natural habitat can bring a different touring experience for you. You might have visited different places on this earth. But moving for the Kenya safari is surely going to bring a different experience for you.

 

When you travel in the African safari under a relaxed and natural environment, you stay in a close touch with the Mother Nature. Really, the Mother Nature has blessed this part of the world with so many things. And exploring these aspects can help you find a perfect get away from the daily busy life. This is a kind of touring experience you are going to remember for a long time in your life. It’s the stresses that the modern life has exerted on us have really made us more mechanical. So, sometime we need to have a perfect leisure and this leisure should be spending at the Kenya safari. Moving in the Kenya safari can help you recharge all your batteries as well as explore the untamed places.

Now days you can also find the budget tours to African safari. These are the most affordable tour choices that you can find these days. Surely, these tours are going to help you save more and also ready to help you explore the natural, untouched and tranquilizing environment of the Kenya safari. Most of the African safaris are equipped with accommodation facility, game viewing, sightseeing and meals. This helps a tourist to manage his or her budget in a more efficient manner while going for the Kenya safari.

When you go for this type of tour to the African safari, you can also avoid those unexpected costs that use to add up with other holiday packages. When you choose the Kenya safari tour package that is offered by leading tour planners, you can always expect to get unbeatable deals.

Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

A successful school ski trip does not just happen. Every teacher who takes on the task knows that it takes planning and commitment to make sure everyone has a good time with snow! Success lies in the shoulders of those charged with the organization and, in order to make the schedule run smoothly and also offer an interesting prospect, the devil is very clear in the details.
Experts recommend early and systematic approaches to facilitate the logistics of school ski trips, to ensure that the slippery slope of the organization is navigable with ease. Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Setting a Budget

Setting a budget is very important to create a travel plan framework, and almost all other aspects depend on it. Working backwards is a very easy way to determine the right budget: how many parents or guardians are in a position to spend time on their child’s journey? This of course will depend on the demographic and water catchment areas of the school, but has a realistic figure to work in the most accurate way of managing costs from the start. Once the budget is set, it’s also a good idea to consult a Senior Leadership Team as they may be able to share valuable past experiences and suggestions. Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Get Students Involved

Involving students in the early stages of planning is a sure way to generate enthusiasm, but keeping them in the lead until departure can be a challenge in itself. Keep up-to-date with the conditions and facilities of the resort (both above and beyond the snow), show local videos and pictures, create regular social media posts during countdown (if any school guidelines), or make a PowerPoint presentation to give a detailed description of the resort and activities. And go heavy on the fun aspect!

Keep Everyone in the Circle

As registrations start rolling, it is very important that students, colleagues, parents or guardians are kept informed. Nightlife hosting information is an excellent tactic to ensure the lines of communication are opened, as well as the right moment to show presentations and travel.

Help list

It is undeniable that planning a school ski trip is a time-consuming exercise even for the most organized teacher; Signing up for help from a dedicated tour operator is one way to make life easier. Not only can they ease the pressure by making practical use of travel, transportation and accommodation, they also have the skills and resources to manage budget and administration tasks.

John Gardiner is Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specializing in school ski trips and educational tours for school and youth groups to the UK, Europe and beyond. As a father and avid traveler, John is keen to provide students with a valuable and exciting learning experience outside the classroom. By sharing expert advice with teachers, he allows them to inspire their students and continue their studies into life. Go with Snow: Plan a Successful Ski School Trip

Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

Giant tortoises are one of the best known animals in the Galapagos Islands. And, for nature lovers who choose wildlife holidays in the Galapagos, this is one of the most sought-after encounters. Like many other animals, however, despite its iconic status as the world’s largest tortoise, it faces the challenge of survival, and is now extinct or nearly extinct on several islands in the archipelago.
Of the 14 native populations, only eleven are left – with many of them considered to be highly threatened. The GTRI (The Giant Tortoise Recovery Initiative) is a conservation project  aimed at changing the flow and restoring its population across the island. Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

GTRI work

Established in 2014, GTRI has worked closely with the Directorate of National Parks to achieve a number of objectives. The long-term goals of the initiative include:

• Restoring population to historical summits throughout the archipelago. This includes breeding programs to recover the islands where endemic subspecies have become extinct. Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

• Rejuvenate and restore the required habitat.

• Survey of current population to inform future conservation research and efforts.

• Use genetic advances to improve future conservation programs.

Why Do They Need Help?

In an environment where it has no natural predators for millions of years, the Giant Turtles become the animals most affected by human arrivals on the islands. For years, they were used as a food source by settlers and maritime tourists, who managed to find out that they were able to survive for long at sea. They transport them aboard in holding the ship, and then kill them as needed.

In addition to being a source of food, the population is devastated by the introduction of animals such as dogs, goats, cows and pigs. Dogs and pigs loot eggs and hatchlings, while cattle and goats compete with the turtle’s own food source.

Although it is illegal to catch them today, and introduce animals gradually controlled or removed, in some cases too late. But generating an extinct subspecies, such as endemic disease on the island of Floreana, becomes a reality in itself by GTRI’s deductive work.

Progress Created

Species from Floreana Island have been deemed extinct since 1850. But thanks to advances in DNA testing, scientists were able to determine their genetic traces in 2008. They then tested the hybrid population on Wolf Isabela volcano island that has different DNA, and found that it fits well the extinct Floreana species. How this cross-crossing takes place is a mystery, although the most likely explanation is through human intervention, perhaps by dismantling them among the different islands.

A group of 30 have been transferred to a research center in Santa Cruz, where scientists can analyze their DNA even further. It was found that two were classified F1, meaning that they were descended from two elderly races. Through a breeding program, GTRI now intends to refill Floreana Island with the offspring of these animals – effectively bringing the species back from the dead.

Visit the Past and Future on Holidays in the Galapagos

Thanks to GTRI, past species are now closely related to their future, and it is highly likely that populations can be restored to their natural habitat. Visitors to wildlife vacations in the Galapagos can visit the Tortoise Center in Santa Cruz to see the resurrection of Tortoise Giant Floreana in (albeit very slowly). Restoring the Past in the Galapagos

The Finest Vineyards in France: The Wine of Saint-Émilion

The Finest Vineyards in France: The Wine of Saint-Émilion

Part of experiencing of the culture and heritage of any place to is to taste it. In Bordeaux, this means sampling the area’s many rich wines from one of the oldest and largest growing regions. For connoisseurs, Bordeaux is a paradise for enjoying wine tours.
Saint-Émilion is a must-see region for any traveller in search of the finest wine, which is bound to exceed your highest expectations. On board Rosa, you’ll experience a wide range of luxurious flavours, whether it’s a rich and full-bodied red, or a light and aromatic white.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1999, Saint-Émilion was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s easy to see why. The history of grape-growing in the region is like no other, as the taste proves. Saint-Émilion, the oldest and largest appellation in Bordeaux, dictates over 5,500 hectares of land to growing grapes.

On board Rosa, you’ll cruise along the Dordogne River, soaking up the sights, smells and tastes of Bordeaux. Learn all about the varieties of wines produced here, from Médoc to the left to the vast selection found on the right bank of the river.

Types of Grape

Two of the most widely grown grapes in Saint-Émilion are the Merlot and the Cabernet Franc. Differing in taste and structure, these varieties have something for every connoisseur’s palate.

Merlot is composed of a rich, full-bodied combination of flavours with hints of plum, blackberries, dark cherries and chocolate, while Cabernet Franc is lighter and floral. The latter has become increasingly popular in recent years, due to its ability to thrive in spite of changes in climate.

Saint-Émilion Soil

Wines vary greatly in this region, which is due in large part to the differences in soil from vineyard to vineyard. For the most part, Grand Cru wines that are produced in this area are grown in soils that are rich in limestone, which can be found in the hills that surround Saint-Émilion. This greatly benefits the grapes, as the soil has vital minerals, such as calcium, that are needed to help vines grow. What’s more, its consistency provides excellent drainage.

Alternatively, the soil around Canon-La-Graffeliére boasts a sandy texture, which produces widely enjoyed and lighter-bodied tipples. When you join one of the many wine tours on offer, you can discover even more about the growing conditions and flavours of the region.

Itinerary Imperatives

When travelling through France, wine tours must be on any itinerary. You’ll be able to wow friends and family back home with your extensive knowledge at dinner parties and events. While on board Rosa, you’ll experience the process of wine-making from the very first grapes harvested to the first sip of a freshly uncorked bottle. You won’t find a more authentic or delicious taste of France anywhere.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge holidays. Offering holidays to France and other great destinations, itineraries include wine tours and other cultural and themed activities. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.