BOB'S cruises & tours's Blog

North Coast  Highway 500 Travel Itinerary Spending five days driving around Scotland’s north coast, taking in beautiful sites and visiting magnificent places. read more
Visit the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum in Fife An exquisite museum dedicated to Andre Carnegie. read more
Get on your bike and cycle Scotland! Mountain biking is hugely popular in Scotland and the country is home to some of the best cycling ranges and trails in the UK. read more
Duart Castle, Argyll: Home of the MacLean Clan Explore the historic Duart Castle which has been the base of the McLean clan for over 400 years. read more
Get Thee to a Convent in Old San Juan El Convento, originally a 17th century Carmelite convent, has been listed as one of the world’s best places to stay by both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines. read more
Marrakech: Feast for the senses Marrakech is an ancient caravan town, a gathering place where Arabs and Berbers mingle with Sahara nomads and mountain people. read more
The Ultimate Operatic Experience in Venice Live opera in the 12th century Palazzo Barbarigo Minotto on the Grand Canal read more
Meet the Tequila Goddess and Beware of the Snake Bite The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, a tequila bar in Scottsdale. read more
Chihuahua: Take a stroll down memory lane in Batopilas

By Anita Draycott

Batopilas, a small town nestled in the Western Sierra Madre at the bottom of a cliff has tales to share. It’s home to beautiful plazas and bridges built of rope and river rocks, but the main surprise is a beautiful aqueduct built in the 19th century.

Walk its streets and Batopilas will reveal stories about the discovery of silver deposits and its glory days during the Porfirio Diaz era when its most notable buildings were erected, such as the impressive City Hall, built around 1890 and the San Miguel and Shepherd Haciendas. Visit La Bufa mine, where the mining entrepreneur Alexander Robert amassed a fortune.

Saint Michael Archangel Temple is another emblematic building with a triple dome that dates back to the 17th century. To reach the temple, you need to travel 8 km on foot from the town to the Satevo Valley. It’s a bit of a hike but the views are worthwhile.

The warm climate of Batopilas is ideal for the tropical and semi-tropical vegetation. Expect to find orange, mango, avocado and papaya orchards. Likewise, it is not uncommon to find bougainvillea, tabachines and ceibas along the streets.

From La Bufa viewpoint, located in the surrounding area of a Tarahumara community called Quirare, you’ll get a fantastic view of the canyons, the Batopilas River and the minerals at La Bufa. Another viewpoint is Piedra Redonda, where you can admire the Banana Canyons.

Along the Batopilas River you can set up camp and take a refreshing dip. Close by, the La Bufa bridge, which crosses one of the canyon’s deepest sections. You will soon discover that Chihuahua, the largest Mexican state, has a multitude of charms, attractions and surprises.

That’s Entertainment in Myrtle Beach Myrtle’s plenty of theatre venues. read more
Boo! The Ghosts of Charleston The Ghosts of Charleston. read more
Enjoy a fairy tale stay at the Montaña Mágica Lodge, Chile

One of the coolest hotels in the world, the Montaña Mágica Lodge will mesmerize you with its uniqueness and setting. If you want to experience an enchanting vacation, you must book a room at the Montaña Mágica Lodge in Chile.

Montaña Mágica Lodge is nestled in the Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve right in the heart of the Andes. Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve was established in 1999 and owned by businessman Víctor Petermann. The reserve covers a total area of 232 square miles of forest which aims to conserve the flora and fauna of the area.  Montaña Mágica Lodge is part of the Hulio Hulio complex which includes the Nawelpi Lodge, Nothofagus Hotel, Reino Fungi Lodge, and Le Chatelet Hotel. The only way to get to Montaña Mágica Lodge is via land travel from the city of Valdivia located 80 miles away, where Pichoy Airport is located. It is your gateway to Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve and Montaña Mágica Lodge. Transfers to and from the hotel can be requested, but you must be forewarned, to get to the hotel, you have to cross a wooden bridge!

Montaña Mágica Lodge is where you can get away from it all! You can enjoy a luxurious stay while enjoying a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. No traffic, car noises, and rowdy tourists; just you, your family, and nature. The lodge is made out of local wood and stone, and shaped like a volcano with water instead of lava spewing from the top. The lodge has nine rooms that are equipped modern amenities. Its facilities include hot tubs made out of huge trunks of trees, a mini golf in the forest, a bar, restaurant, spa, and a game room. You can enjoy numerous activities including rafting, hiking, horseback riding, trekking, and guided expeditions.

Be immersed in nature, book a room at the Montaña Mágica Lodge in Chile. Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Treat your kids to a stay at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Orlando, Florida

The city of Orlando spells lots of fun and activities for the entire family, and Nickelodeon Suites Resort is where the fun starts!

One of the most visited cities in the United States, the city of Orlando is also known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World”. It is one city that caters to kids of all ages! If you are planning to bring the kids for a vacation that is centered on them, the city must be on top of your list! You and your kids will enjoy the Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Discovery Cove, Universal Studios Florida, Walt Disney World, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, SeaWorld, Orlando, Fun Spot America, SKELETONS: Animals Unveiled, Madame Tussauds Orlando, The Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium, K1 Speed Orlando, and Ripley's Believe It or Not, just to name a few. There is so much going on in Orlando that will make your kids the happiest in the country, and if you stay at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, you will make them the happiest kids in the world!

Nickelodeon Suites Resort is a theme hotel resort where your kids can be up close and personal with Dora, Sponge Bob, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and their friends. It has three types of accommodations ranging from one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom suites. It’s amenities and facilities include two water parks, pool side entertainment where you kids will enjoy being slimed, a 4-D Experience Theater, a kid’s spa, a nine-hole miniature golf course, a 3,000-square-foot arcade room, Studio Nick, shops, and a number of restaurants where the kids get to meet their favorite Nickelodeon characters, and sing and dance with them. It also features scheduled events throughout the year. The resort also offers complimentary scheduled shuttles to the major theme parks in Orlando.

Book a suite in Nickelodeon Suites Resort and have fun with the entire family! Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Take a trip to the First German Settlement in Texas, New Braunfels

A tourist destination in Texas, New Braunfels is where you can see street signs and billboards with German sounding names.  A quick trip to the city will afford you lots of activities to experience, and sights to visit.

Founded in 1845 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels and a group of German settlers, the city is located just 32 miles from San Antonio, 48 miles from Austin, and 19 miles from San Marcos. It has more than 66,000 inhabitants and covers a total area of 44.3 square miles. Blessed with a humid subtropical climate, the city can be visited at any time of the year. It draws in a large number of tourists from all over Texas especially from the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and San Marcos, who are lured by its attractions and numerous outdoor activities.

There is so much going on in New Braunfels! For history buffs, you can visit the New Braunfels Railroad Museum, Sophienburg Greune,  Antique Company, and the Museum Of Texas Handmade Furniture. Kids will love the McKenna Children's Museum, Schlitterbahn New Braunfels Waterpark, Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo, Jumpy Place, and the Texas Ski Ranch. For everyone else, have fun enjoying water activities including tubing, river rides and jet skiing at the Comal River, Canyon Lake, Landa Falls,  and Prince Solms Park. The city is not all about outdoor activities, you can also take a tour of the New Braunfels Brewing Co., the Dry Comal Creek Vineyards, Winery on the Gruene, and the Vineyard at Gruene. For the ladies, you must shop at the Downtown Antique Mall and at the The Gruene Flea Antique Mall.

New Braunfels is one city that must be visited annually. It is a great place for a family vacation. Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Enjoy an Authentic Indian Experience in Little India, Singapore

Comprising about 9% of Singapore’s population, the Indians have their own enclave in Singapore which will make you feel like you are in a neighborhood in Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai.  It is where you can relish an authentic Indian experience right in heart of Singapore.  

An ethnic district in Singapore, Little India is located east of the Singapore River and across from Chinatown. The third largest ethnic group after Chinese and Malays, the Indians started migrating to Singapore in 1819. Most of them were young men who were workers, soldiers or convicts. In fact, the area where Little India is located was said to have been a settlement of Tamil convicts. It was during the turn of the 20th century when it became an ethnic Tamil neighborhood. The community is served by Little India and Farrer Park MRT Stations which links Little India to the numerous neighborhoods in Singapore.  It is 19 kilometers from Changi International Airport.

If you can’t visit India, then you must travel to Singapore and enjoy Little India. Although the community is an attraction by itself, you can take a stroll along its streets and visit the  Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Leong San Temple, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, and the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple. Enjoy shopping at Tekka Market, Mustafa Centre, Little India Market, and Tekka Mall where you can practice the art of haggling. Craving for authentic Indian cuisine? Head to Jungle Tandoor Restaurant, Komala Vilas, Jaggis North Indian Cuisine, Khansama tandoori Restaurant, or the more expensive Delhi Restaurant and Mustard Restaurant.

One of the most vibrant and energetic districts in Singapore, Little India will awaken all your senses. Take it all in when you book a trip to Singapore to visit Little India.

 

Good Eats in Barbados

By Anita Draycott

The Cliff

Chef Paul Owens's mastery is the foundation of one of the finest dining experiences in the Caribbean (with prices to match) at The Cliff. Steep steps hug the cliff on which the restaurant perches and every night hundreds of lit torches create a magical ambiance. Every candlelit table has a sea view. Service is impeccable. Reserve days or even weeks in advance to snag a table at the front of the terrace for the best view.

www.thecliffbarbados.com

Round House

On the wind-blown east coast, the Round House has fabulous views of the sea and surfers. Bajan specialties include flying fish, macaroni pie and pumpkin fritters. They also make the best rum punch on the island.

www.roundhousebarbados.com

Lobsters and Jazz

Lobster Alive, just outside of the capital, Bridgetown, is small and rustic with seating both indoors and on the beach. Fresh spiny lobsters are flown in daily from the Grenadines and kept in the restaurant’s own large tank. The best time to go is for a long lunch on Sundays when a jazz band performs.

www.lobsteralive.net

Cin Cin

Serving Mediterranean cuisine with a Caribbean twist, glamorous and contemporary Cin Cin teeters over the sea.

www.cincinbarbados.com

 

Enjoy a  Peaceful and Satisfying Tea Time in Meijiawu, China

One of the most important tea production bases in China, the village of Meijiawu is where you must go to learn the history of tea and savor the best tea in China.

The village of Meijiawu is located 30 minutes from Hangzhou City, the capital of of Zhejiang province. The village is composed of about 500 households and 160 teahouses. The village is nestled in a deep and isolated valley, amidst   lush green hills and tea plantations.  Although a small village, it has been visited by  famous personalities such as the former President of the Soviet Union Voroshilov, Princess of Thailand, as well as the first Premier of the People's Republic of China Zhou Enlai and the former General Secretary of the Communist Party Jiang Zemin who were lured to the village by its world famous tea. The only way to get to the village is by bus or car from the city of Hangzhou.

The village of Meijiawu best represents the tea culture of China. It is known for its exquisite teas particularly the Longjing Tea (Dragon Well Tea) which is a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II. Its light refreshing taste and pleasing fragrance has made it world famous. The village is where you will learn about the intricacies of tea making and why elaborate tea ceremonies are important. If you are lucky enough to visit the village while the villagers are picking tea leaves, you are welcomed to join them.  The village is also famous for its tea food including Longjing fish, Shrimp Bucket in Bi Luo Tea, and shrimp in Longjing Tea. You can also try delicious dishes in one of its restaurants, visit its plantations, and shop at its local market.

Can you imagine sipping one of the most delicious teas in the world while enjoying some peace and quiet? You can make this into a reality when you visit the village of Meijiawu in China. Call your travel agent for more details. 

Dip into the therapeutic waters of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

Who would have thought that the state of Idaho has a city named Lava Hot Springs!  It is known for its hot springs that are natural and therapeutic. Bring the entire family to Lava Hot Springs and enjoys days of fun, relaxation and rejuvenation.

Located in Bannock County, Idaho, Lava Hot Springs is a resort community inhabited by less than 500 people. It is 5,020 feet above sea level and covers a total area of   0.71 square miles.  It is actually nearer Salt Lake City, Utah, than Boise, Idaho. You can travel into Lava Hot springs by land but the quicker way is by air travel. You can either fly into Pocatello Regional Airport which is about 45 miles away or via Salt Lake City International Airport which is about 152 miles away. There are regular shuttles to Lava Hot Springs from both airports.

Lava Hot Springs might be a small city but it packs a power punch for travelers who would like to enjoy numerous activities in a place that is extremely peaceful and relaxing. Its natural hot pools temperature ranges from 102F to 110F with no chemicals and sulfur. You can spend hours enjoying its waters without smelling like a chemical lab! The city also features swimming pools and water parks including an Olympic Swimming Complex, Indoor Aquatic Center, Portneuf Kiddie Cove, Water Slides and Diving Platform. Aside from water activities, the city showcases beautiful sunken gardens, hiking and biking trails, and fishing in its local trout pond. To cap your day, enjoy a relaxing massage in one of its spas.

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life with the entire family, take a trip to Lava Hot Springs! Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Explore the Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations in Jamaica

When going to Jamaica, most vacationers think about the resorts that line the island's northern coast. It's not surprising that most travelers will head to that direction because Jamaica is known for exactly that: lounging in the pool, basking in the sun, or enjoying the buffets. But if you're tired of the usual Jamaican scene, why not try exploring the off-the-beaten-path destinations in the island?

It takes an adventurous spirit should you want to explore the other side of Jamaica. However, we can assure you that it's an adventure worth taking! Here are some of the destinations you can visit:

  1. Port Antonio: Located in the eastern side of the northern coast, you can enjoy a slow-paced stay in this local secret destination with lush and green secluded beaches. But, Port Antonio is not just about the beaches. You can try waterfall hikes here or go bird watching. You might also want to try dining on authentic jerk cooking.
  2. Southwestern Jamaica: Just a 90-minute drive from Montego Bay, Southwestern Jamaica is less isolated than Port Antonio, but can still offer you a less crowded vacation spot. Some of the activities you can join are a safari excursion on the Black River, a tour of the historic Appleton Rum Estate, and a relaxing dip at YS Falls. You might also want to visit Treasure Beach, which is the site of Lovers Leap where two Jamaican slaves were said to have leapt to their deaths.
  3. Pelican Bar: A 20-minute boat ride out on the sea, Pelican Bar stands on stilts. Guests can enjoy a frosty Red Stripe and some fresh-caught seafood here.
  4. Mandeville: When you think of Jamaica, you think of beaches. However, land-locked Mandeville is something else. Here you can find the Caribbean's oldest golf course, the Manchester Golf Club, which dates back to 1868. Expect an English vibe when you visit this place, with cricket games and English-style pubs all over the place.
  5. Flower Forest and River Head Adventure Trail: Go to this ecotourism attraction and enjoy a 130-acre tropical forest and 40 acres of landscaped gardens. Follow a hiking trail along Little River and feast on the beautiful sights that include dozens of tropical plants, flowers, and birds. At the end of your hike, you will find yourself in a 14-foot deep pool where you can relax and enjoy the view.

Experience Jamaica differently by exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations. Book your holiday with a travel agent today and get the best deals!

Flow with the Beat in New Orleans!

One of the most captivating cities in the United States, New Orleans is a fusion of different culture, cuisine and music.  It is one city that will keep you on your toes with its attractions, historic districts, events and entertainment. You will just have to flow with the beat in New Orleans!

A lot has changed since the devastation that hurricane Katrina brought about to the city.  It was a trying time but the city has survived and is fast recovering from its effects. In 2013, the city drew in about 9.28 million visitors spending a whopping $6.47 billion, according to the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. Not everyone knows that New Orleans is the home of many firsts in the United States including the place where voodoo was first introduced, the birthplace of craps and poker, the home of Creole cuisine, the birthplace of Jazz, the first place where the Opera was performed, the highest number of historic districts, and the home of the Mardi Gras festival.

The first thing you must do in the city is to take a stroll along Bourbon Street, the heart of the French Quarter, which dates back to 1798. This is where you will find renowned restaurants and bars in iconic buildings, and where you might be caught dancing along the street! Because it is filled with a dazzling array of attractions, it might be best to join a tour so you won’t miss out on anything. You can take a bike tour, walking tour, historical and heritage tour, cultural tour, food tour, city tour, Segway tour, and even a ghost & vampire tour!

Can’t wait to visit the city? Book a tour now and enjoy the “Big Easy”. 

Feel the Electrifying Energy of Miami at the JW Marriott Located in the downtown area of Miami, a city with an electrifying energy, the JW Marriott stands amidst trendy nightclubs, bars, spas, shops, and museums. Its fantastic location, world-class facilities, amenities and service will spoil you rotten! read more
Japans Magical Place: Let the good times roll at Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea

Are there any Disneyland lovers in the house? If you love Disneyland, one park you might want to visit is Tokyo Disney Resort, which is located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan. The resort is made up of two parks: Disneyland and DisneySea. Since there is no current option for park hopper tickets, you can only visit one park per ticket. The question now stands: which one should you visit?

Tokyo Disneyland is a 115-acre park inside Tokyo Disney Resort. It's a "Magic Kingdom" style park similar to those in California, Florida, and Hong Kong. You will find seven worlds inside: World Bazaar, Tomorrowland, Toontown, Fantasyland, Critter County, Westernland, and Adventureland. Unlike DisneySea, Disneyland has the Cinderella Castle, which is the complete replica of the one in Florida. This park is more family-oriented so the kids will really enjoy their time here. Plus, it has more rides than its counterpart and gives off a more "Disney feel." Furthermore, if you want to see the parade and fireworks, you'll find them here.

Tokyo DisneySea, on the other hand, is 176 acres big and houses that is ocean-themed so don't expect to see castles here. Mount Prometheus, which erupts randomly throughout the day, is the center of the park. DisneySea has seven ports, namely Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront, Port Discovery, Lost River Delta, Arabian Coast, Mermaid Lagoon, and the Mysterious Island. If you want to be taken to a different place, this is the park to choose. The park is so well decorated you'd feel like you've been transported! This is something the bigger kids will enjoy, too, since the rides here are more thrilling and adult/couple-oriented.

So where do you plan to go? Well, if you have time to spare, then you might as well check out both parks! Book your Tokyo Disneyland holiday with a travel agent today.

The Camper's Diary - A Smart Guide for an Extreme Adventure

Gone are those days when camping meant just looking for a campsite, set up camp, enjoy the views, relax, and laze away the day. Today, people are looking for extreme adventures while having a great time camping alone or with friends. There are hundreds of locations that offer extreme adventure, but the first thing you should ask yourself is what kind of adventure would you like to experience.

Some of the extreme adventures include bungee jumping, rock climbing, paragliding, white water rafting, waterfall kayaking, sand kiting, and so many more. Heart pumping and pulse racing extreme adventure experiences are offered all over the world. Some of the countries that are popular when it comes to extreme adventures are New Zealand, Canada, USA, Switzerland, and Africa.  

Depending on your ability and level, you can choose which extreme adventure, the best place to experience it, and what are your expectations. This will serve as a guide as you plan your trip. Make sure that all bases are covered, and you are well-equipped. Be prepared and check out such things as the weather, customs and traditions, emergency facilities, and even the political situation of the country, if you do plan to go out of town. You wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation where you have to be rescued on top of the mountain because of a blizzard or worse, trapped because of a political upheaval. Lastly, inform your family or friends where you are going, so they can keep tabs on you.

Extreme Adventures will give you the adrenaline rush and thrill you have been yearning.  Just come prepared, and have fun!

Mount Carmel's Caves, a Study into Human Evolution The four caves of Mount Carmel include Tabun, Jamal, El-Wad and Skhul. The cave’s terraces are clustered next to each other on the southern side of Nahal Me’arot Valley which opens to the coastal plain on the western end of the Carmel range. read more
Timgad, The Algerian Roman Ruin Timgad is a Roman Ruin that is located on the northern slopes of Aures Mountains. The complex was built during the reign of Emperor Trajan in AD100. It was formerly known as Thamugadi and was created as a military colony. read more