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Solstice Live: Australia/NZ/Hawaii, Many Pix’s, Jan. 20-Feb. 3

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   38 minutes ago,  BarbinMich said: 

Terry, there's a typo in the link you posted:  a "d" in the midst of cruisecritic in the link.  I'm just now catching up with your travels.

Appreciate Barb catching of this "goof".  Have corrected and will update the other posts with this better link.

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

CORRECT LINK

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

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From the Travel Section of the Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax newspapers in Australia late last year, they had this headline: “The world's greatest train journeys” with this sub-head: "FIVE AMAZING AUSTRALASIAN TRAIN JOURNEYS".  This was their opening story summary: "There's something magical about a journey by train. Sometimes the magic is inside – in a restaurant car with white tablecloths. Sometimes the magic is outside, in the landscape the train traverses – an adventure, an experience, an insight into the heart of a nation.  I've been hooked on the magic of train travel since the tender age of 13."

 

Here are the highlights related to what we did on New Zealand's South Island: One the world's most scenic one-day train rides commences in Christchurch, crosses the Canterbury Plains and then climbs through the Southern Alps. After traversing remote alpine scenery, descend through a thrilling tunnel to on the South Island's West Coast, all in less than five hours. See greatjourneysofnz.co.nz

 

We super enjoyed this NZ adventure, including seeing the various mountains, wild river, unique bridges and tunnels, etc.

 

We also did in NE Australia this rail trip that was cited in this best in the world profile: "KURANDA RAILWAY, AUSTRALIA.  This heritage locomotive winds its rickety way through rugged mountains and steep ravines, from Cairns through Barron Gorge National Park to the picturesque village of Kuranda in Australia's Far North Queensland. In operation since 1891, this unique route of 15 handmade tunnels and more than 37 bridges is an architectural wonder. See ksr.com.au." 

 

Full story at:

http://www.traveller.com.au/the-worlds-greatest-train-journeys-h187ix

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Kotor/Montenegro:  Exciting visual samples, tips, details, etc., for this scenic, historic location. Over 46,413 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1439193

 

From this Australian newspaper profile, here is one of the pictures used to illustrate the rail adventure we did on NZ's South Island.:

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From the CNBC cable news source earlier this week, they had this headline: best countries for tourists to visit in 2019” with Australia being one of the top, best locations cited by the World Economic Forum.  

 

Here are some of the story highlights: “Australia, famed for its diverse landscapes and unique wildlife, scored well for safety and tourist infrastructure but fell short in the price competitiveness category.  In May, Australia was named the top dream vacation destination in a survey of U.S. travellers.”

 

Full story at:

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/04/these-are-the-best-countries-for-tourists-to-visit-in-2019-wef-says.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 237,284 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

Here is one of the pictures featured by CNBC in this news article to highlight Australia and its options.:

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This live/blog is now over 225,000 views.  Appreciate those who have dropped by, posted comments, asked questions, etc.  Don't be shy.  Keep up the great sharing!!  Happy to answer any questions. 

 

From the Travel Section of USA Today last month, they had this headline: “10 best things to do in Auckland, New Zealand” with these highlights: “Auckland is New Zealand's largest city and it is beautiful and buzzing with potential”.  They have a video slide show with ideas, tips and suggestion for this dynamic city and nearby.  Lots of good ideas and options to consider.

 

From our early 2014 cruise from Sydney to Auckland, we fortunately had a great, initial sampling of New Zealand's North and South Islands.  Plus a couple of added days in Auckland after completing that cruise.   Before doing this upcoming Feb. 2020 Oceania Regatta sailing from Auckland to Papeete, we will arrive nearly a week early and be able to explore and enjoy more on the North Island and around Auckland.  Love seeing these various ideas.  Those fresh oysters look tasty and fun!!  What other good ideas and tips would you share for us to consider in visiting these scenic areas?

 

Full story at:

https://www.usatoday.com/media/cinematic/video/2363962001/10-best-things-to-do-in-auckland-new-zealand/

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 85,369 views. 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

 

From USA Today, here are some screen shot samples fromtheir video and some of their top suggestions and ideas to enjoy in and around Auckland.  Look good and interesting?:

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From the New York Times Travel Section that will be coming this weekend, they will have this headline: 36 Hours in Hobart with this sub-head: "Pristine nature, an unhurried vibe, incredible food: The popularity of Hobart, and Tasmania in general, is growing, and for good reason."

 

Here are some of the story highlights: “Tasmanians have heard all the tired jokes from mainland Australians. The country’s isolated southern island state has been so overlooked in the past, it’s even been left off maps of Australia. In recent years, however, Australians have changed their tune. Tasmania is experiencing a surge of weekenders and property buyers, driven by a newfound interest in its pristine nature, unhurried way of life and an increasingly diverse food and art scene that really started to take off with the arrival, in a Hobart suburb, of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in 2011. The biggest transformation has taken place in the once-sleepy capital of Hobart, which now boasts a plethora of creative new restaurants and an edgy spirit, particularly during the winter Dark Mofo festival. Tasmania’s profile is rising overseas, as well. International visitors jumped by 21 percent from mid-2017 to mid-2018 — the biggest rise by far of any Australian state. Tasmanians have always known how good the life is here. The rest of the world is only now starting to find out.”.

 

This profile has many options outlined and detailed.  Plus, an interactive map, many visuals.  Brings back nice memories.  Here is another story highlight: "Salamanca Place has been a focal point of Hobart life since the early 1800s, when warehouses lined the harbor to store whale oil, wool, apples and other goods for export. Today, at the lively Salamanca Market, there are slightly more contemporary, artisanal goods on offer: wallaby and scallop pies; Tasmanian-made gin, saffron, truffle mustard and pepperberry salt; and all manner of handicrafts, antiques and echidna- (spiny anteater) printed tourist kitsch. Arrive early to beat the crowds — thousands descend here on most pleasant Saturdays — and have enough time to saunter through the 300-plus stalls and take in a busker or two."

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/travel/36-hours-in-hobart-and-environs.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 65,015 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

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From Travel and Leisure magazine yesterday, they had this headline: “50 Best Places to Travel in 2020” with spotlighted attention as a top option for: Big Island, Hawaii.  T+L rates these top areas as "must-visit vacation destinations, and with something to suit every interest — food, shopping, culture, history, and nature."

 

Here are some of the story highlights: "Despite the eruption of Kīlauea volcano in 2018 and the subsequent tourism downturn, visitors to Hawaii’s largest island were never really in danger — the volcanic activity was limited to its east side, far from the resorts on the Big Island’s western coast. But now that the lava has stopped flowing, there’s new energy in the air. The island’s biggest resort opening in years is set to debut in January 2020 — a reimagining of Mauna Lani by Auberge Resorts, the first Hawaiian venture by the Bay Area-based luxury hotel brand. After a yearlong, $200 million renovation, the property will unveil a redesigned spa that’ll incorporate Hawaiian botanicals grown on-property into its treatments, as well as Canoe House, a beachfront restaurant with a menu full of local items like grilled Kona lobster. Elsewhere, a new wave of artisans is taking hold, like Kona’s Big Island Distillers, which sources ingredients for its spirits — like honey, sweet potatoes, and coffee — directly from the island."

 

Glad in 2014 that we enjoyed the Big Island after we did our Australia/NZ adventure.  Super great location and so much fun to explore there.

 

Full story at:

https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-places-to-travel-in-2020

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 238,089 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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For those interested in Australia and New Zealand, there were three mentions from Travel and Leisure magazine yesterday with this headline: “50 Best Places to Travel in 2020”.  They spotlighted attention as top options for: Tasmania, Brisbane and NZ's North Island.  T+L rates these top areas as "must-visit vacation destinations, and with something to suit every interest — food, shopping, culture, history, and nature."

 

Here are some of the story highlights for Tasmania:   "This heart-shaped Australian island rose to international prominence in 2011 with the opening of the quirky-cool Museum of Old and New Art in southeastern capital city of Hobart. Now the Tamar Valley in the state’s central north region is beginning to attract travelers with its zippy sparkling wines, balanced chardonnays, and easy-drinking pinot noirs. The region is also experiencing a boutique-property boomlet. One of the most promising new options: the charming seven-suite Ship Inn Stanley. Housed inside a refurbished building from 1849 that at one point also served as a pub for the seaside town of Stanley, the inn celebrates local history, decorating rooms with maritime antiques and custom artwork. Some small winemakers have also branched out to offer their own accommodations. The husband-and-wife team behind Loira Vines recently introduced The Shed, a well-appointed studio apartment on their five-and-a-half acre vineyard." 

 

Here are some of the story highlights for Brisbane:   "Though the massive Queen’s Wharf revitalization project in the Queensland capital won’t be complete until 2022, headway is already being made in the form of three buzzy waterfront recreation areas. Family-friendly Waterline Park courts outdoor enthusiasts with a climbing wall and other sporting equipment; Mangrove Walk focuses on indigenous culture and local wildlife, with educational signposts stationed throughout the quarter-mile path; and the initial section of a rehabilitated Bicentennial Bikeway features wider lanes, better sight lines, and improved traffic flow. A hotel boom in 2018 and 2019 brought such high-profile openings as the Calile, Ovolo Inchcolm, and Fantauzzo, but a host of five-star properties slated for the Queen’s Wharf — including a Ritz-Carlton and a Rosewood — will elevate the Australian city’s cache even further."

 

Here are some of the story highlights for New Zealand's North Island:   "New Zealand’s upper isle is a study in delightful contrasts: it’s smaller than its southern counterpart, yet more populous, and the scenery varies widely, from geothermal geysers to mud pools to white-sand beaches. The rugged South Island has long been the traveler’s go-to for its mix of adventure and wine.  Come November, the secluded, ultramodern Owhaoko will open in the Kaimanawa and Kaweka Forests for adventurers willing to fly in by helicopter. Until then, head to Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the new Sky Waka gondola, the largest of its kind in the country, takes visitors into the clouds of Mt. Ruapehu".

 

Full story at:

https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/best-places-to-travel-in-2020

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

From late 2018, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East. Now at 16,770 views.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

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From the Travel Section of the London/UK Sunday Times last week, they had this headline: “Move over Sydney, Brisbane is Australia’s city on the rise” with this subhead: "The Queensland capital is bidding for the Olympic Games — and to supplant its southern neighbour as the gateway to the country."

 

Here are some of their story highlights: “Brisbane had a rough childhood. Queensland’s still youthful capital was born in 1824 as the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement — a supermax prison for the most hardened criminals in Australia. In the Second World War, it braced itself for a Japanese invasion; and from 1968 to 1987, under the autocratic Queensland premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, vicious police repression of protest and dissent earned the place the nickname Pig City.  Now Brisbane has come of age, announcing a £5.25bn plan to oust Sydney as Australia’s gateway city and to host the 2032 Olympics. And it might just pull it off: it’s closer to the Asian airline hubs and better placed than Sydney for the Great Barrier Reef, the beaches of the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and the Red Centre.

 

Full story at:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2019-12-08/travel/brisbane-is-australi-city-move-over-sydney-dt779zd2v

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 238,120

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

From the London Sunday Times, here is their visual of the Story Bridge, on the Brisbane River.:

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As I am researching for our upcoming New Zealand-South Pacific adventure in February, I noticed today this profile from Forbes magazine three days ago.  They had this headline: Ten Bucket List Trips For The Next Decade” with this opening highlight for this listing of great potential future travel options: “With the imminent arrival of the Roaring Twenties, why not give your travel life a jolt? New decade, new you... New travel plans..

 

One of these top ten tips/destinations was for New Zealand.  Here is part of their headline to suggest: "Island-Hopping" .  Hare are some of their profile highlights: "New Zealand, also known as the 'real middle earth,' may be the best place on the planet for an outdoors-loving traveler to escape. The North and South Islands of New Zealand are all about the wilderness said species inhabit. Trust us that the natural environment in New Zealand is supernatural in its beauty—and, as an added bonus, the people of New Zealand (also known as Kiwis) are equally awe-inspiring in their friendliness. Which is perfect, considering you will spend quite some time navigating from place to place—and therefore relying occasionally on the kindness, aka directions, of strangers—though, in this situation, the journey truly is the destination.  Head to Hawke's Bay for some glamping and wine tasting along the nation's gorgeous East Coast."

 

Looking forward to our Feb. 10-17 period to be exploring NZ's North Island prior to boarding the Oceania Regatta in sailing to Bora Bora, Papeete, etc., etc.  Need to finalize in January that exact schedule/plan as to where exactly we travel during this pre-cruise period.  Don't be shy with any good ideas and creative tips for these scenic areas.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherineparkermagyar/2019/12/11/2020-travel-goals-10-bucket-list-trips-for-the-next-decade/#19b69f8d5f9d

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast.  Now at 30,001 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.: 

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

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Many will be flying into and/or out of Auckland's airport before doing cruising as we will be in boarding the Oceania Regatta on Feb. 17.  

 

From Travel Section of the Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax newspapers in Australia earlier this week, they had this headline: “Best new travel discoveries of 2019” with these highlights: “If only every airport looked like this. Auckland Airport is investing $1 million every working day towards building one of the best airports in the southern hemisphere and one that is capable of handling 40 million passengers a year. A refurbishment of its restaurant precinct also earned it top honours at the 2019 Airport Food & Beverage Awards in Dallas. There's even a pizzeria here deemed the best in Oceania. Accessing the Pacific Islands has never been so easy. See aucklandairport.co.nz.

 

Full story at:

https://www.traveller.com.au/traveller-writers-name-their-best-travel-finds-of-2019-h1kbew

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 86,020 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

 

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From the Travel Section of the London/UK Guardian this past week, they had this headline: “New Zealand's landscape under pressure from booming tourist industry” with this sub headline: "Country could face Venice-style overcrowding and lose tranquility that attracts visitors in the first place." 

 

Here are more of the story highlights: “New Zealand’s booming tourist industry is threatening to ruin its most popular landscapes and could see the country face the kind of overcrowding seen in cities such as Amsterdam, Venice and Barcelona. International visitor numbers are approaching four million and could rise to 10–13 million every year by 2050, said the report by the parliamentary commissioner for the environment,  'The sheer numbers of people are eroding the sense of isolation, tranquillity and access to nature that many overseas tourists seek when visiting New Zealand.'  Increasing pressures from tourism have impacted six main areas, the report found: visitor density and loss of natural quiet, water quality degradation, solid waste generation and management, infrastructure development and landscape modification, biodiversity loss and biosecurity risk, and greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

Great that New Zealand is so popular and glad that we will be there in February 2020 before things get too busy and/or crowded.  BUT, there is a challenge and serious questions as to how the economic/job benefits of tourism are "BALANCED" . . . versus . . . the potential environmental pressures cited in this government report.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/18/new-zealands-landscape-at-risk-from-booming-tourist-industry-report-says

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 47,947 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta. 

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

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Happy New Year and best wishes for a great 2020.  From the AP Newswire this morning, they had this headline: “Cheers, tears, prayers for 2020: A new decade is ushered in” with these highlights: “Revelers around the globe are bidding farewell to a decade that will be remembered for the rise of social media, the Arab Spring, the #MeToo movement.  More than a million people descended on a hazy Sydney Harbour and surrounding areas ahead of the ringing in of the new year despite the ongoing wildfire crisis ravaging New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state.”  

 

Can't wait till Feb. 8 when we depart to return "down under" again.  

 

Full AP story and pictures

at:

https://apnews.com/5ad9012c0e0aa91f816d57da58a176a1

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Recently completed Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Lots of visuals and details from our first visits to these scenic areas!!  That live/blog is at: 
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

 

 

From the AP, here are three of their visuals from Sydney's super scenic harbor as they welcome the New Year!!:

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Terry -- Do you recall the tour operator you used in Tasmania?  We are on the Solstice starting in Auckland on 2/17 and ending in Melbourne on 2/29.  Our plan is to visit Kangaroo island, but given the fires raging there, we may need an alternate plan so we are thinking of going to Tasmania.  Thanks for your reply.

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20 hours ago, mfabz said:

Terry -- Do you recall the tour operator you used in Tasmania?  We are on the Solstice starting in Auckland on 2/17 and ending in Melbourne on 2/29.  Our plan is to visit Kangaroo island, but given the fires raging there, we may need an alternate plan so we are thinking of going to Tasmania.  Thanks for your reply.

 

For Tasmania, we worked with Judy Livingston of Eye See Personalised Tours, e-mail to eyesee@netspace.net.au, to design a custom schedule that worked for our group to the historic Port Arthur prison site and Bonorong Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Plus, a wonderful lunch, etc. For this popular wildlife area, you can see more at: http://www.bonorong.com.au.
Judy’s website is: http://www.eyeseetasmania.com.au 

 

YES, sadly, regarding Kangaroo Island, it appears to be very, very tragic.  From news reports, it appears that a third of this super scenic location has been destroyed or damage by fire.  Huge wildlife losses, etc. We super loved KI and its people, animals, sights, nature, etc.    

 

From the Australian Broadcasting Company, they had this headline story: “Kangaroo Island fires continue as locals count cost of damage to infrastructure, animals” with these key highlights: “About 170,000, or a third of Kangaroo Island, has been burnt in bushfires.  SA Water estimates it could take two weeks to restore a water treatment plant after it was damaged. There are concerns for endangered wildlife recovery, especially for the endangered glossy black cockatoo.   The fires started on Kangaroo Island on December 20 but they spread rapidly on Friday when the temperature in Parndana topped 39 degrees Celsius and winds reached up to 80 kilometres per hour. ll buildings within the Flinders Chase National Park appeared to have been destroyed, apart from the Cape du Couedic and Cape Borda lighthouses on the far west coast.”

 

From the London/UK Daily Mail, they indicated that the famed and pricy Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island has totally been destroyed by this fire. Their story summarized: "The Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island off the coast of Australia was razed by the ferocious fires on Friday afternoon.  The 21-suite accommodation was evacuated on Friday and staff were relocated to Adelaide and the small Kangaroo Island township of Kingscote amid threats of the oncoming bushfire.  The luxury retreat suffered structural damage and has been closed with no reopening date decided."

 

Full stories at:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-05/firefighting-continues-on-kangaroo-island-on-sunday/11841610

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7850737/Southern-Ocean-Lodge-Kangaroo-Island-wiped-Raven-bushfire-killed-two-people.html

 

THANKS!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 238,273

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

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From the Travel Section of the National Herald in New Delhi, India, four days ago, they had this headline: “Travel: New Zealand, the most beautiful country in the world” with these highlights: “New Zealand is far off.  Travel even from its next-door neighbour Australia requires a three-hour long flight. This amazing landmass has been endowed by nature, owing to its location and other climatic factors, with such scenic beauty that it remains unquestionably the most beautiful place on the planet.  The country is best explored by road. The country saw human habitation just seven hundred years ago (the local Maoris are descendants of Polynesians who came here in the fourteenth century). Europeans settled no more than two hundred years ago, and New Zealand has nothing to showcase by way of history in terms of old architecture or great archaeological sites. New Zealand makes a conscious effort to maintain its eco system. Restrictions on bringing in plant and animal products into the country are stringent and strict. Any food material, seeds and herbal/animal products are not allowed either with passengers or in the baggage.”

 

This article helps build excitement as we get ready to return to New Zealand early next month.  This profile also shared other ideas and background, including: "Kia Ora is a Maori phrase of general greeting that literally means stay safe."

 

Full story at:

https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/travel/the-most-beautiful-country-in-the-world

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Venice: Loving It & Why??!!  Is one of your future desires or past favorites? See these many visual samples for its great history and architecture.  This posting is now at 86,390 views. 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1278226

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On 1/6/2020 at 5:37 AM, mfabz said:

Terry -- Do you recall the tour operator you used in Tasmania?  We are on the Solstice starting in Auckland on 2/17 and ending in Melbourne on 2/29.  Our plan is to visit Kangaroo island, but given the fires raging there, we may need an alternate plan so we are thinking of going to Tasmania.  Thanks for your reply.

We board the Solstice on the 29th so please look after her 🙂

We went to KI May 2019 and loved it, but I would not go there right now if you are after wildlife and the National Parks. Save it for next time?

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On 1/23/2020 at 7:52 PM, peter1956 said:

We board the Solstice on the 29th so please look after her.   We went to KI May 2019 and loved it, but I would not go there right now if you are after wildlife and the National Parks. Save it for next time?

 

Good luck with your upcoming Solstice sailing.  We will see the Solstice in Auckland on Feb. 17.  On that day, 2800+ passenger will depart from the ship and then a whole new group will board this Celebrity ship.  Then, on Feb. 18, both our Oceania Regatta (on its way over 18 days to Papeete/Tahiti) AND the Solstice will be at Bay of Island, tendered in this port for the day.  Then, the Solstice will head to Sydney, etc.   Look forward to seeing the Solstice again.  BUT, Feb. 17 will be a busy port day with these two ships being in Auckland on that date with much to happen, unloading and loading, etc. 

 

From the Washington Post and Omaha newspaper three days ago, they had this headline: “On Australia's Kangaroo Island, wildfires left death and destruction” with these highlights: On Kangaroo Island, its sand and brush-covered bluffs visible just a few miles offshore from Adelaide, the fires burned without mercy, guided only by the stiff wind.  Georgie Dolphin, the program manager for animal welfare at Humane Society International, estimated that at least half the koala habitat was destroyed, killing the vast majority of the animals as the fire crackled though it.  Before the fire, an estimated 50,000 koalas lived on the island. Today, there are fewer than half that. It is unclear here whether the eucalyptus forests will recover, almost certainly not to the same near-ubiquitous pre-fire extent. The island is lovely, just now so very full of death.  For the koalas, the recovery will be slow.

 

Yes, very sad what has happened on Kangaroo Island.  That location was one of the top, "Best of the Best" highlights during our 2014 exploring of this amazing part of the world.

 

Full story at:

https://www.omaha.com/news/trending/on-australia-s-kangaroo-island-wildfires-left-death-and-destruction/article_9e2b9f94-454b-5e28-992c-ab967796d400.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 65,639 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

 

Below is a graphic that I prepared for our upcoming South Pacific sailing with Oceania.  Prior to the start of this cruise on Feb. 17, we will travel by car with two nights each in Coromandel Town, Lake Taupo/Oreti Village and Cambridge (for Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Hobbiton Movie Set.  Then, one night in Auckland before boarding the ship.  Any special tips from experienced travelers as to the must-sees for NZ's North Island before starting our South Pacific sailing.  In 2014, we did various NZ North Island exploring in Wellington, Napier/Hawke’s Bay and Cape Kidnappers/gannets, Tauranga-Rotorua/Maori culture, Bay of Islands/sailing and Auckland plus nearby Waiheke Island.  NZ suggestions/ideas for us in 2020??:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

2009685477_S.Pacific2020GraphicMap**.thumb.png.591168b4b2ce73670db74ff1fa9eb4c7.png

Edited by TLCOhio

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