Discover the New with Cosmos

For over 5 decades, Cosmos has been turning travel dreams into reality with over 100 vacations to destinations around the world. This year, choose to travel to those undiscovered destinations that will inspire you to experience the new.

Indulge yourself in a kaleidoscope of architectural delights on our tour of BEST OF THE BALTICS; visit the stunning coastlines at COAST & CITIES OF CROATIA; get blown away by the spectacular beauty of Iceland in ICELANDIC ADVENTURE; explore the most vibrant cities in the southern hemisphere in the BEST OF BRAZIL vacation; visit the captivating country of Cuba with its unique colors and culture in our tour of CUBA DISOVERY!

And for the value conscious travelers, Cosmos has also unveiled its collection of 9 great vacations under $1000 that include accommodation at smart hotels, touring by deluxe coaches, sightseeing with local guides, services of a professionally trained tour director, breakfast and some additional meals.

Globus provides a richer vacation experience with 4 star or higher category hotels and more included sightseeing; Monograms offers independent vacations without the hassles faced while traveling without a group. Avalon Water ways offers unrivaled river cruising in Europe, Asia, Amazon & the Galapagos Islands with a more intimate destination experience.


airplane wallpaper

News From The Airline And Airport Industry

1. Check Your ID

REAL ID Act airports

Sings have sprouted up at many airports to alert travelers that beginning Jan. 22, the Transportation Security Administration will begin strict enforcement of the REAL ID Act requirements at airport security checkpoints.

That means that passengers presenting a driver’s license or identification card from a state where those documents don’t meet the REAL ID Act’s minimum security standards – and where extensions to meet those requirements have not been granted – may be turned away. (Find out your state’s status here: dhs.gov/current-status-states-territoires)

TSA will continue its current practice of accepting alternate forms of ID, such as a passport, military ID or permanent resident card, at airports. But next year, driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards from states that don’t yet have real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID won’t be accepted.

Enacted by Congress in 2005, the real ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued IDs and requires them to include a person’s full legal name, birth date, gender, address, signature, an ID number, a photo and a security feature such as a bar code or hologram.

2. Finding Cheap Fares

Cheap Fares

The peak summer travel season is well underway, but there are still days where you can find less expensive airfares. Just remember, fare hikes (and drops) can vary slightly depending on the route, and airlines are constantly tweaking prices.

U.S DOMESTIC FLIGHTS:
– June 15: Expect a hike as the most expensive vacation fares go into effect. You can still save by departing on or before June 14.
– Aug. 30: The fall deal zone gets, a little later start than in recent years, but if you can delay a trip until Aug. 30, you will see a drop from peak-season pricing.

FLIGHTS TO EUROPE:
– Aug. 21: Trans-Atlantic fares drop on this date; fly in late August and avoid summer fares and summer crowds.

FLIGHTS TO ASIA:
– Jun 20: The final price hike of the season.
– Aug.7: Summer prices drop somewhat.
– Aug. 20: A more significant drop; this would be a good time to fly.

3. Southwest, Delta Win Kudos

Southwest and Delta

Frequent fliers, listen up. Tuesday is the “cheapest” day to use your airline miles. And you’re most likely to find the lowest-mileage domestic coach-class award tickets on Southwest and Delta.

At least that’s the finding of a new report out by MileCards.com, a website that lets users compare travel credit cards based on where they want to fly. The group says it analyzed “over 100,000 award travel date and route combinations among the frequent-flier programs of the five biggest US. airlines,” which are American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska Airlines.

The MileCards.com analysis looked exclusively at domestic awards for economy class travel. Among the notable findings:

On average, frequent fliers will expend the fewest miles or points for award travel on Tuesdays. According to MileCards.com, “across all airlines studied, prices on Tuesday are 26 percent lower on average than those on the most expensive day,” which is Sunday.

Southwest’s Rapid Rewards and Delta’s SkyMiles were cheapest for awards in the U.S., according to MileCards.com. Its analysis found Southwest charged an average of 13,629 miles for a round-trip award. “The catch,” according to MileCards.com, is that “Southwest doesn’t fly to Hawaii, or some popular award destinations in the mainland U.S., like Vail and Anchorage.”

4. Fewer Flights To Cuba

cuba-flights

It’s going to be a little more dflflcult to get to Cuba from the U.S. Spirit Airlines has become the latest U.S. airline to give up on scheduled passenger service to the island nation; it was scheduled to halt its Havana-Fort Lauderdale flight schedule May 31.

That makes Spirit the third US. carrier to exit the Cuban market this year, after similar plans were announced in March by Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways. American and JetBlue have reduced capacity to Cuba, though they’ve done so by changing frequency or switching to smaller aircraft rather than discontinuing routes.

Spirit’s decision to exit Cuba comes about eight months after regular passenger flights to the island resumed for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Despite Spirit’s move, South Florida travelers will still have numerous options for non-stop flights to Havana. American and Delta fly to Havana from Miami, while JetBlue and Southwest fly from Fort Lauderdale.

5. Tiny Airports Go Intl.

old-terminal-at-bradley-airport

An old terminal of Bradley Airport – U.K

In the past, only the biggest and busiest US. airports had international air service. Now smaller airports — such as Bradley International near Hartford, Conn.; T.F. Green Airport near Providence, R.l.; and Stewart international Airport in New York’s Hudson Valley — have snagged direct flights to Europe and a slice of the trans-Atlantic air service pie. They’ re adding amenities and sprucing up facilities. Bradley, which is adding Norwegian Air flights to Edinburgh, built a duty-free shop for international travelers.

T.F. Green is currently expanding its international arrival facility, with the goal of having enhancements in place for Norwegian Air flights beginning in June.

Stewart just finished razing a World War ll vintage hangar to make room for more aircraft parking. lt gets international service with Norwegian Air’s daily flights to Edinburgh starting in June. Flights from Stewart to Dublin and Belfast begin July 1, and flights to Shannon, Ireland, and Bergen, Norway, kick off on July 2.

6. United Makes It Up to Passengers

United Airlines $10 000

In the wake of negative publicity over its treatment of passengers, United Airlines now offers up to $10,000 compensation for travelers who voluntarily give up their seats on an overbooked flight.

United also said it would reduce overbooking, and will no longer attempt to involuntarily remove passengers who’ve already boarded their flights “unless safety or security is at risk.”

And the carrier is making permanent a policy it adopted April 12 that it will no longer call law enforcement officers to remove passengers except in cases of “safety and security.”


LE MONT SAINT-MCHEL normandy france

Places of Myths & Legends

LE MONT SAINT-MCHEL, NORMANDY, FRANCE (above)

Disney reportedly used this fortified gothic island castle as inspiration for Rapunzel. At high tide it appears to rise majestically out of the sea.of-montsaintmichel.com

CORVIN CASTLE, HUNEDOARA, ROMANIA

corvin castle

Also called Huniazilor, this fairytale castle, complete with a drawbridge over a flowing river, inspired Bram Stoker’s fictional vampire, Dracula, who was based on the very real Vlad the Impaler. castelulcorvinilor.ro

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE, BAVARIA

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE

Cinderella’s castle at Disney World and Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disney Land are reportedly fashioned on this 19th-century palace with its iconic turrets and cylindrical towers. neuschwanstein.de

PRAGUE CASTLE, CZECH REPUBLIC

prague castle

This 10th-century UNESCO World Heritage Site and Guinness World Record holder is the ‘largest coherent castle complex in the world’. Hrad.cz

ALCAZAROF SEGOVIA, SPAIN

ALCAZAROF SEGOVIA

Constructed by the Moors, this medieval fortress sits on a large rock promontory on a hill overlooking the city — 156 creaky steps lea d to the top. alcazardesegovia.com


New Places to Fly and Flop

The Reef by CuisinArt

The Reef by CuisinArt

It has all the trappings of a tropical idyll, with yoga and infinity pools a go-go, but it’s the food that’s tempting travellers to this just-opened beach resort right on the water at secluded Merrywing Bay. Think global menus, the freshest seafood and wood-fired pizza on the beach. thereefbycuisinart.com

Zemi Beach House

zemi-beach-house

With just 129 rooms, this intimate new beach resort is proving a hit with both parents and their children. The kids’ club has coconut bowling and beachfront movie nights; the spa is set in an elaborate hut, shipped over from Thailand; while the bar boasts some 100 varieties of fine, small-batch rum. zemibeach.com

The Manoah

The Manoah shoal bay

Just along the coast from Zemi Beach House, you’ll find a taste of St Tropez at Shoal Bay. There, Manoah Ocean Beach Club, a spanking new blue and white retreat, with just 25 rooms, awaits. The sleek, refined decor is infused with Caribbean flavour.


sunsnet sailing

The at-Sea Retiree – Why Sailing into the Sunset Might Be the Smartest Retirement Choice

One out of every ten Americans is set to retire this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and there’s a new option for post career bliss: Sail away. Intrepid travelers are downsizing on land and opting to spend a portion of their time at sea. And while retirees’ individual needs vary (a cruise doesn’t offer the same care as an assisted living facility, for example), one industry report found that extended time on a ship can cost less than living in several major U.S. cities.

Cruise lines are ready to welcome their new nautical citizens: Oceania Cruises recently introduced “Snowbirds in Residence” perks for select 58- and 72-day voyages in 2017 and 2018, and Crystal Cruises announced it’s developing permanent residences that will be available for purchase on new ships. Maybe it’s time to rethink buying that second home on the coast and book a long-term suite at sea instead.

Life at Sea

Mario Salcedo has spent 6,000 days (and counting) on Royal Caribbean’s fleet since 2000. The 67-year-old retiree keeps a small condo in Miami for those few days he’s on land.

I cruise because: “I have a passion for the ocean and a desire to make life easy. Plus, it gives me maximum time for the activities I’ve always wanted to pursue.”

The best aspect of life on board: “The opportunity to make friends from all over the world, especially the crew members. They’ve become like my family.”

My typical day: “I started a small, Internet-based business when I moved on board. I spend four or five hours a day running that from the pool deck. The rest of the day is the fun part: touring ports of call, scuba diving, and discovering new beaches, plus dancing, trivia, and enrichment lectures on the ship.”

A Floating Second Home

 Ralph Bias

Ralph Bias

Miami Beach-based agency executive Ralph Bias practices what he promotes: Beyond helping others cruise, he and his partner, Mark Zilbert, sail frequently. When they retire, they plan to spend extended time on Seabourn’s fleet.

We chose cruising over buying a second home because: “A ship truly is a home away from home, and it’s a better investment for us. Instead of going somewhere and looking at the same lake for three months, we’re traveling the world.”

You’ll find us: “Sailing through Asia. I love Hong Kong, and Vietnam is amazing. That will probably be followed by the French Riviera – there’s no better place to be in the summer.”

If you want to retire at sea: “You must love cruising, and you should have a financial manager at home to take care of your affairs. Most important: Choose the right ship, because that’s what you’re going to fall in love with. An advisor can help you find the best fit.


Silversea

Silversea’s All-Inclusive Lifestyle

Take a break from winter and let Silversea whisk you away to the coolest tropical wonderlands in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. You could be spending lazy days in the yachting playgrounds of the Lesser Antilles, ziplining in a rainforest in Puerto Rico or island hopping in sunny Greece. Come experience small-ship cruising at  its most divine aboard the all-inclusive ultra-luxury ships of Silversea.

Discover the highly personalised style of travel that discerning travelers prefer. The camaraderie of like-minded guests in the open bars and lounges. The spacious suites with butler service and award winning cuisine. The almost infinite choice of land programs. This  is the exclusive world of Silversea, where every day is extraordinary. Here, ensconced in luxury, enjoy your perfect winter getaway.

  • Sailing to over 800 destinations, across all 7 continents — more than any other cruise line
  • Free WiFi for every guest*
  • Intimate ultra-luxury ships for no more than 540 guests
  • A butler for every suite
  • Spacious suites, most with private verandas
  • Open seating and specialty restaurants
  • Champagne, wines and spirits served throughout the ship
  • In-suite bar with your preferred beverages
  • Exclusive partnership with Relais & Châteaux
  • Gratuities always included

*  One hour free WiFi per day for all guests unlimited free WiFi for guests sailing on select suite categories.


Canadian Rockies rail

Experience the Canadian Rockies by Rail

Journey into the Heart Of Luxury

Operating from spring to mid-October and travelling by daylight only, Rocky Mountaineer offers four different rail routes from the Pacific Northwest to the majestic Canadian Rockies. This unforgettable journey takes us back to a time when travelling was just as much about the journey as the destination.

Guests from across the globe come to appreciate the exceptional on-board experience and to revel in the stunning Western Canadian and American scenery with endless views of old growth forests, glacier-capped mountain peaks and shimmering waterfalls.

Inside Rocky Mountaineer train

Inside Rocky Mountaineer train

The voyage comes alive with Rocky Mountaineer’s on-board Hosts keeping guests engaged and entertained with stories of the passing region. With its impeccable on-board service, gourmet cuisine and luxurious surroundings, it is no wonder a Rocky Mountaineer rail vacation is considered by many to be one of the world’s ultimate travel experiences.

The Canadian Rockies offer unlimited options for both relaxation and adventure, and are the perfect way to start or end a journey. Rocky Mountaineer is more than an extraordinary trip – it is a feast for the senses.