January 24, 2013

Tips, Advice and Things You Need To Know When Going On a Cruise to Bilbao

Bilbao, the fifth-largest city in Spain, barely registered on the tourist radar until fairly recently. But with the construction of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a masterpiece of contemporary architecture from Frank Gehry, the city truly put itself on the cruise map and the increased focus on the city led to a major revamp of its port and its plazas and the city has much to offer even for those with little or no interest in art and architecture.

Tempting tapas bars, eye-pleasing plazas, a scenic and atmospheric Old Quarter and some really excellent shopping opportunities are just some of the features of a cruise stopover in Bilbao.

Cruise Stopovers in Bilbao

A visit to the Guggenheim Museum will be the first port of call for most cruise visitors to Bilbao and it would be a crying shame to visit the city without stepping inside. The building itself is magnificent, its riverside setting is incredibly scenic and the collections of mainly contemporary art are always worth a look. Nearby, the Torre Iberdrola, built in 2011, is the tallest building in Spain and worth a quick photo-call from outside, while a vast former warehouse has been transformed into an impressive shopping, arts and leisure centre, known as Alhondinga.

While the modern part of the city is worth a visit, much of Bilbao's charm lies in its rustic Old Quarter, which is home to what many gourmands believe are some of the best tapas restaurants in Spain. Winding cobbled streets lead through the historic part of the city and the handsome medieval buildings are home to arts and crafts stores and delicatessens as well as traditional restaurants and tapas bars. Seafood dishes are predictably good and Bilbao is known as one of the best places in Spain to sample Paella, the national dish. Visitors should note that many shops open early and close late, but are closed for several hours during the midday siesta.

Getting Around Bilbao

While many cruises offer organised shore excursions in Bilbao, independently-minded travellers will find it is easy to navigate the city on foot. A relatively small and compact city centre sees the Old Quarter connected with its museums via a pathway that runs parallel to the riverfront and, should time allow, it is worth crossing one of the bridges to the north side of the city, where a funicular railway makes the ascent to the top of Mount Artxanda, which offers splendid views across the city and its mountainous surrounds. There are several arresting cathedrals and historic buildings to be seen in the city itself, while those with a longer stopover may find it is worthwhile to hire a car and explore the famously beautiful Basque Country surroundings.

While many cruises will stop at Bilbao for just one day or even half a day - leaving just enough time for the obligatory shore excursion to the Guggenheim Museum, those with longer stopovers will find it is well worth venturing out to the mountains, forests and beaches that surround the city. Cruises with longer stopovers in Bilbao may offer excursions to local beauty spots such as San Sebastian and Biarritz. Take the time to sample local fruits, vegetables and cured meats - and grab some to take home if possible - and to relax with a glass of wine or Sangria in a traditional bar.

Post by Tony, a UK based blogger on behalf of the UK’s favourite cruise agent, cruise.co.uk.

January 23, 2013

The Best Hotels in New York

New York is one of the most interesting cities in the world. If you’re planning to do some traveling in the United States, you need to consider visiting it. And if you’re going to visit New York, why not stay at one of its best hotels? Here are some options to consider. There’s the Casablanca Hotel Times Square. One of its main selling points is that it’s located at one of the most well-known parts of the city, Times Square. Once you step out of the hotel, you’re already right in the middle of where the action is. But at the same time, it’s relaxing and peaceful inside the hotel itself.

Another option is The Carlton, especially if you enjoy a good meal. The Carlton has a restaurant which has been lauded as one of the best hotel restaurants in the New York area. At the same time, you can head outside and just a short distance away, you’ll be able to find other well-known and well-liked New York eating places. One other hotel to consider is the Library Hotel. It’s close to some of the major landmarks in the city, such as the Public Library and Grand Central Station. They’re just a short walk away.

January 16, 2013

The World’s Greatest Romantic Cruises

If you want to impress the lady of your dreams, and give her a vacation that she will remember for a very long time, you might want to consider booking her on a romantic cruise. You’ll experience what it’s like to travel from port to port, enjoying the sun and the seas together. If you’re interested, one of the ships to consider booking is the Sea Cloud from Sea Cloud Cruises. Part of the romance of this ship stems from the fact that it is rich in history. It was built in 1931 by one of Wall Street’s richest persons, and designed and decorated by his wife. Its interior is luxurious, with bathroom fixtures of gold and much marble, brass and wood.
Or, you might want to consider the Royal Clipper from Star Clippers Cruises. It has five masts and forty-two sails. It has an old world look to it, but at the same time, it’s decked out with high tech navigational systems. It has three swimming pools and a three level dining area. This cruise will allow you to feel like you stepped back in time, while surrounded by comfort and luxury. These are just two of the possible cruises you can take, so that you can truly experience a great romantic adventure.

January 11, 2013

Your Ultimate Fun and Exciting Los Angeles Trip

Bringing out the kid in you and enjoy the mouthwatering displays of your Disney Character in almost all directions that you look at is something that you will never forget. When going to Disney Land theme park always remember to bring a fully charged camera to capture every moment.

Treasure every moment when you are in Disney Land where you can see your favorite characters performs and entertains you on their Disney Holliday Celebration. This would be the ultimate place for every kid and kids at heart like to spend your vacation in Los Angeles. You can also meet and greet Mr. and Misses Clause to make your Disney holiday adventures come true. Since Los Angeles has different theme parks that you can go to and different landmarks to remember, getting to Disneyland is easy. You can get a shuttle from Los Angeles airport to the Disneyland resort where you would also get to visit America’s oldest theme park and resort worlds.

You can also get to dine at Medieval Times as Kings and Queens or Dutch and Ladies with their mouth watering dishes catered for you and you family. Traveling to Los Angeles Disneyland gives you a blast of time to enjoy and to be enchanted with their celebrations but make sure that you brought the right camera and video recorders to treasure every moment that you have.

January 7, 2013

Culture Clash and What to Do in Chicago

Finding the best theatrical workshop and shows in Chicago had always been the top destinations for tourists. You could just ride a taxi and take you to some of the world’s renowned theaters, opera houses and historical places. One specific place that you can visit is Chicago Cultural Center.

Chicago Cultural Center gives you different captivates the heart of every theatrical lover and those who wanted to learn traditional and contemporary arts through their workshop. Imagine having your wedding during your vacation in Chicago to be held in one of their spectacular function rooms where you get to pose afterwards in their famous two glass domes where concerts and performances usually play.

What is more exciting is that you can get a free view from the different performances that are held almost every week. They can provide you with the aid that you needed like ALD or assisted listening device and wheelchairs but make sure that you have it reserved ahead of time.

Chicago Cultural Center is known for its splendid performances and grandeur. It became a historical landmark that every traveler and music, art and culture lover would want to watch. If you wanted to experience the sheer elegance and relaxing ambiance through their music and art then this is the perfect place for you.