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Cruising the World

  1. The Shire of Hobbiton »

    Outside of Matamata, New Zealand on the North Island is The Shire, home of the Hobbiton movie set made for the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies. Over 42 hobbit holes are in the shire, part of a 1250 acre sheep farm owned by the Alexander family. Bag End, the largest hole and home to the Baggins family, has a commanding view of the Shire.


  2. Australia Beach Boxes »

    Running from $40K to over $100K are Australia’s famous “Beach Boxes.” Many popular beaches feature these brightly colored private refuges. ​Some can be over 100 years old!


  3. The Penguins of Phillips Island »

    During the Australian summer the penguin colony on Phillips Island is home to nesting boxes and hungry chicks, sometimes two to a box. Located 90 miles east of Melbourne, the Island is a must see attraction. Each evening a thousand penguins come ashore after gathering fish in the rich offshore waters and feed their chicks. The penguin parade of returning adults can be seen from viewing positions with the penguins only feet away from the spectators. Photos are not permitted of the parade but earlier in the day we did see these chicks awaiting their meal ticket.


  4. For Those Who Want the Savings of an Inside Cabin but Hate the Dark »

    Royal Caribbean Lines has upped Disney Cruises “Magic Porthole” with the introduction of an 80-inch high “Virtual Balcony” for inside cabins on its newest ship - Quantum of the Seas, now sailing out of Port Liberty, New Jersey for the Bahamas and Caribbean. Each of the Quantum’s 373 windowless inside cabins comes with a “virtual balcony” - an 80-inch LED high definition projection screen that stretches from floor to ceiling. Now you can see a digital real-time view of the ocean and destinations visible from the ship’s exterior at sea and in port on the side of the ship your virtual balcony is facing…...an yes, you can turn off the screens whenever you want. On Disney ships inside cabins come with an round “Magical Porthole - an LCD flat-screen monitor in a nautical frame disguised as a porthole. Besides a view of the outside world, Disney animated characters pop in from time to time.


  5. Watch Out for Hidden Cruise Fees »

    Beware the Internet Special.

    Occasionally we hear from a client that they found an internet price for a cruise at a price below our quote. Be careful on the Internet. Our quote will always include the “hidden” charges such as taxes, fees and port charges that some websites, even the cruise lines themselves, put deep in the fine print. We generally have access to the same prices or better as any other agency, plus we return 10% of our commission to your favorite charity. We also track your cruise bookings and negotiate with the cruise line on your behalf to lower your costs prior to final payment if the cruise lines place the itinerary on sale, or we ask for cabin upgrades whenever possible. Our passion is to design for you the best value vacation package that meets your desires and budget and to thrill you with our service. Let us know what we can do for you.


  6. Consider a Private Day Tour When Time is Tight »

    We recently enjoyed a private guided tour of St John and the surrounding area of New Brunswick, Canada. Our local driver brought the tour to life with his recollections of life growing up in St John. If you have only a few hours to spend and want to cover the highlights or want to see something special ask us to arrange for a private day tour. Leave the details to your “Bucket List Concierge.”