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Crystal Cruises celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, and to mark the occasion it scheduled a world cruise — not an ordinary world cruise like the ones it and other cruise lines schedule every year but a true world cruise, a circumnavigation of the globe, from Miami to Miami, for 108 days. 

This cruise was divided into six segments ranging from 15 to 21 days each. Passengers could sign up for all or some of the segments. I was told that Crystal had never had more than 400 passengers sign up for one of their “full world” cruises, but in 2015, because of the...


When my wife, Carolyn, and I reflect on our April 2015 trip to France, we inevitably focus on our love of Saint-Émilion, the Dordogne region, the castle within a castle of Carcassonne, the wines of Burgundy and all the expressways, country roads and medieval streets undertaken in our little white Peugeot. 

We had little in the way to guide us: a foldout map provided by the rental-car company and the small city illustrations in our Rick Steves guidebook. Carolyn imposed a ban on GPS and smartphones, which meant relying on instinct and our wits without the comforting aid of...


The thump of bus tires on cobblestone streets announced our arrival in the city of Antigua, Guatemala. Six miles to the south, Volcán de Agua peered shyly through its cloud cover, reminding visitors that this is a land of volcanoes and welcoming our small photo-tour group to the Highlands of Guatemala, where our leader, Jim Cline of Jim Cline Photo Tours (San Diego, CA; 877/350-1314,, promised to show us its remarkable landscape and share a more intimate view of a Mayan culture he called “the living Maya.”


On arrival by chartered...


After six visits to Paris over 42 years, the last of which was in 2010, I announced that I was “done” with Paris. But when my husband, Thom, and I were scheduled to begin a river cruise in Paris in April 2015, I couldn’t resist adding on three days at the beginning of our trip. 

Then my research began. What could we do that we hadn’t done before? What was new or different? 

Consulting my bulging file of articles culled from magazines and travel sections of the paper, I read about macarons, about Paris’ best pâtisseries and about some...


In my extensive travels, my goal is always to find unique cultural experiences. When planning my January 2015 trip to Indonesia, I discovered just such an experience: the opportunity to stay in a traditional Papuan island village. Such a stay would offer accommodations in private bungalows and the chance to interact with locals, view exotic wildlife and swim over the most diverse coral reefs in the world.

Some of my family members, ages 42 to 70, were enthusiastic, so we chose three villages to visit and headed to Raja Ampat, a collection of remote South Pacific islands located in...


In contemplating a trip to Southeast Asia, there are few adventures more alluring than taking a slow boat down the Mekong River. Standing atop the breezy deck of a comfortable, modern riverboat as it cruises past lush rice fields, towering palm trees and lazy fishing villages affords one of those rare experiences that simultaneously relaxes the body while energizing the mind.

When my wife, Arlene, and I started preparing for our 2015 Southeast Asia trip several months in advance, we knew we wanted to spend one of our travel weeks on the lower Mekong, sailing from Siem Reap in...


Many of the great cities of the world warrant multiple visits to discover all of their hidden gems. London is no exception. 

Despite visiting often, I still find exciting things to see and do. On a one-week visit in November 2014, I managed to see several museums and other sights that have been on my “to do” list for a long time. 

All these venues are an easy 15- to 20-minute walk from nearby Underground stations. Bletchley is about an hour’s journey by train from Euston Station, then a 10-minute walk.

The sites

Leighton House...


My husband, Jack, and I are longtime subscribers of International Travel News and have gleaned much from readers’ advice over the years. However, a September 2014 trip to Italy was the first we took from an ad we found in The Mart section, printed at the end of each month’s magazine — a small ad that finally drew me in after years of reading it. 

With our first phone call, I immediately took to June Morrocco, owner of To Italy With Love Tours (Grants Pass, OR; 971/706-9328, She sent me materials that were interesting but,...