The world is chockfull of fascinating holidays that not many people may be aware of. One of these holidays just so happens to fall next week: International Museum Day. Every year, since 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) organizes International Museum Day on May 18 to raise awareness of the role museums play in the development of culture and society. Each year centers around a different theme, and participating museums plan an array of activities that can last anywhere from a day to an entire week.
In honor of next week’s International Museum Day, we thought it fitting to highlight some of the incredible museums we visit on some of our Shore Excursions. Below are seven of the most fascinating, extraordinary, and unexpected museums you can explore on our tours:
ABBA Museum (Stockholm, Sweden) – Named one of the top three destinations in Sweden by international travel agencies at the yearly Swedish Tourist Gala 2013, ABBA The Museum pays tribute to Sweden’s most successful band. On this tour, you’ll enjoy the unique opportunity to trace the band’s historically acclaimed career from the group’s beginnings in 1970, through their grand world tours, to their split in 1983. Read More
Fine art and food are not necessarily natural bed partners, although for city travelers they are both essential elements of a world-class vacation—particularly in Europe. Both are also integral to the Celebrity Cruises® modern luxury experience, not to mention that the preparation of fine food is itself an art form that so many of us delight in—whether as creators or consumers.
A new cookbook, Monet’s Palate Cookbook, by Aileen Bordman and Derek Fell (Gibbs Smith), speaks to two of Claude Monet’s lesser-known passions—gardening and fine cuisine—shedding light on the private life of the very public painter. Though many art lovers are more than familiar with the Giverny house where Monet lived and its garden, which boasted the now infamous waterlillies heralded by the green Japanese bridge, food lovers will delight in uncovering the detailed description of Monet’s two-acre kitchen garden, as well as the recipes it has inspired.
Spending Mother’s Day on a Celebrity Cruises® vacation? If so, there’s no better way to forge incredible memories together during your time in port than by treating her to one of our amazing Shore Excursions. Whether the goal is to relax and recharge with mom, or to cut loose and let your hair down together, we have an array of unique destination experiences that the entire family can enjoy and that will leave mom feeling like a queen.
What better way to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her than by ensuring she enjoys a carefree day, spoiled and pampered? Try our new and enriching Wellness Rituals, featuring a bevy of fitness, nutrition, spa, and spiritual experiences that will nurture mom’s mind, body, and soul. From an invigorating yoga session in Ravenna, Italy to a delicious – and nutritious – organic food experience at a garden farm in Skagway, Alaska, there are endless wellness shore excursions to choose from to help your mother unwind and find her inner Zen.
For a scenic and luxurious experience, treat your mom to an intimate and exclusive ride aboard the legendary White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad’s opulent Legacy Club Car, complete with a private guide, delicious appetizers, and all-inclusive beverages along the way.
Maria Ho, who is currently ranked in the world’s top 3 best female poker players (she’s been last woman standing in two World Series of Poker finals) is also extremely well traveled, globe trotting on frequent trips to Europe, the Caribbean, and Australasia. However, you might know her best as a contestant on the 15th season of award-winning CBS show, The Amazing Race.
Born in Taiwan http://www.celebritycruises.com/destinations/ports/taipei, Maria moved to LA with her parents and sister at the age of 4. She attended the University of California at San Diego and received a degree in communication studies and a minor in law. It was then that she picked up poker, playing occasionally for fun with friends. After graduating, Maria moved back to Los Angeles and built enough confidence and skill set to pursue poker professionally. Taking the industry by storm just one year after launching her career, Maria played in The World Series of Poker and, in 2007 and was The Last Woman Standing, finishing 38th out of over 6,000 players. In 2011, she won the same title, finishing 27th at the World Series of Poker Europe main event, which—to date—makes her the first and only player to ever hold both titles at the 2 tournaments’ main events, which have earned her more than $1.6 million in the short course of her whirlwind career.
We recently caught up with Maria to discuss poker-playing prowess and world-class travel.
What would be your top 5 tips for poker playing novices?
- Study and apply yourself to the game. There is always something more to learn about poker and tons of resources to help you become a great player.
- Be humble and realize there is always room for improvement. Be willing to honestly look at the holes in your game and correct them.
Buying gifts for the people we love most can often be challenging—we want them to be thoughtful, personal, and demonstrative of our sentiments. Additional woes, such as purchasing a present for the person who has everything, traveled everywhere, and has discerning international tastes to boot, only serve to make the pursuit more difficult. So, with May around the corner, cue Mother’s Day-buying angst for so many of us who want to shower Mom with love, gratitude, and—of course—a gift she’ll cherish and enjoy. With this in mind, we’ve curated our favorite presents for the Moms out there with wanderlust.
The Food-Loving Mom
Try the World, $50 – $210
We’re a little bit smitten with this subscription box service that’ll bring Mom a taste of world travel right to her doorstep. Choose from a single stop, a “6-Month Journey,” or a “1-Year World Tour,” and Mom will receive a culinary expedition of six or seven signature delicacies selected by a celebrated chef from the “country of the month.”
Turkey is the meeting point of Europe and Asia, and a melting pot of color, flavor, and culture. Boasting grandiose architectural structures, fantastic cuisine, and stunning landscapes, the country offers a host of incredible experiences for everyone to enjoy. And if you’re planning on visiting Turkey on a Celebrity cruise, there’s no better way to soak in all of this magnificent country’s marvels than on a Multi-Day Adventure Shore Excursion, like our Turkish Delights: Cappadocia Overnight Tour. This three-day journey takes you across some of Turkey’s most beloved landmarks and attractions, with visits to Istanbul, Kusadasi, and Cappadocia.
First, you’ll head to Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city and the epicenter of the country’s economy, history, and culture, for an in-depth tour of the Old City. You’ll explore such sights as the Hippodrome, the center of Byzantium life for 1,000 years; the breathtaking Blue Mosque (Mosque of Sultan Ahmed I), the only original mosque in the world with six minarets; St. Sophia Museum (Hagia Sophia), renowned for its magnificent dome, beautiful frescoes, and ancient mosaics; and Topkapi Palace, a great walled complex that was once home to the Ottoman Empire’s Sultans.
Celebrity guests headed to Italy this summer or fall should consider a detour to Milan where Andrea Bocelli will open Expo Milano 2015 on April 30. Running through October 31, the international fair will showcase technology from over 140 countries, and welcome over 20 million visitors. The historical city, which is home to majestic Gothic cathedral, the Duomo, and Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, previously hosted the Expo in 1906, when the show—which opened in conjunction with the opening of the Simplon Tunnel—was dedicated to transportation.
Participating countries will put forward their best cultural and technological ideas on this year’s timely theme, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, encouraging visitors to consider how we can continue to produce food safely and sufficiently. Exhibits include a 12-acre wheat field built near the city’s new Porta Nuova business district, and a “sustainable hub,” sponsored by Celebrity’s official coffee, Lavazza. With food being the central theme, Expo 2015 will also pay tribute to the best of each exhibiting country’s gastronomic traditions, including Italian specialties from Mario Batali’s American delicatessen chain Eataly, and frozen treats courtesy of the Gelato Festival.
This scene will probably seem all too familiar. You arrive home from your grand vacation adventure. You can’t wait to display trophies of your trip: pieces of unique art, photos from famous locales, neat little doodads that bring a sense of worldliness into your home. In a flurry of excitement, you throw black-framed photos on your wall and an exotic statuary on your end table. But now it seems dull, disjointed. Your exciting souvenirs fade into the rest of your decor. We consulted interior design professionals for tips on how to draw focus to your vacation mementos in ways that are as elegant as they are creative.
The go-to method for displaying photos is usually picture frames, of course. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a dull collection of unrelated snapshots in homogeneous frames. Berley Farber, personal curator, designer, and owner of
San Francisco-based Farber Art Services, recommends creating a montage of your vacation photos and mementos on one wall to tell the complete story of your trip. He also mentions that if you want that extra artist’s eye, you can always hire a professional designer for hanging photos. Rates can run around $150 per hour. Read More
In honor of yesterday’s Earth Day, we wanted to highlight just one of the many ways we carry out our commitment to protecting Mother Earth each and every day: by partnering with tour operators that share our passion for environmental protection, like Tura Turizm. Since 2009, Turkey-based Tura Turizm has been a member of the Green Globe, the global certification for sustainable tourism which recognizes companies and organizations that are committed to making positive contributions to the environment and people. The company prides on running an ‘eco-conscious’ tour program, as well as practicing a host of other conservation and humanitarian efforts.
Here, we’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the incredible environmentally-friendly practices Tura Turizm upholds that help to further cultivate a bond between guests and the destination visited, while fostering a greener, more habitable world.
Whether enjoying one of Tura Turizm’s Shore Excursions in Istanbul or Kusadasi, Celebrity Cruises® guests will be treated to an array of environmentally-friendly keepsakes, including a pen, refreshing towel, and gift pack. In Istanbul, an eco-friendly apron and gloves are offered to cruisers participating in the Mediterranean Cooking Experience tour, while environmentally safe “Mosque Bags” are given to guests to store shoes during mosque visits.
Planning a visit to the Virgin Mary’s House in Ephesus? If so, you’ll receive a holy water pot, made from organic soil that can be used to collect holy water from the fountain outside the house. The material is also aimed at reflecting the pottery used by Ephesians in the 1st Century A.D.
While the initial entrants in the wearable tech field tended to feature clunky designs that would only appeal to a niche market more interested in functionality than fashion, wearables have now officially begun their evolution into wardrobe-staple status, with some of today’s top designers lending their stylish sensibilities to the growing wearables market, such as Diane von Furstenberg and Google, Tory Burch and FitBit, and Diesel and Samsung.
Here, some suggestions to bring your wardrobe into the future.
Tech enthusiasts around the world have one date circled on their calendars—April 24—the day that the Apple Watch will finally hit stores and might even hit the Celebrity iLounge℠ in the near future. The sleek timepiece, which is the tech giant’s first foray into the personal luxury goods market, not only keeps time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard, but it also “taps” your wrist every time you get an incoming message, and learns your activity and fitness levels to suggest personalized all-day activity goals.
Prices start at $349, and go up to $17,000 for the 18-karat gold-cased version.