Q&A with Dale Woods, Ponant- a Luxury Yacht Expedition Company

Hi,

Hope you are well. Are you longing for an expedition adventure while still enjoying the aesthetic and comfort of a beautiful small ship that offers fine French cuisine? If so, Ponant, a luxury yacht expedition company that sails around all continents is a great fit for you.

Here in this video, I am with Dale Woods, Director of Business Development in the Northeast for Ponant. He explains why Ponant is unique and tells us some of the places they sail on their Smithsonian Journeys.

Each guest that books with me receives a $100 credit as a Virtuoso amenity that can be used on the ship. For any questions on Ponant, please contact Stefany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany

Cavallo Point: Away from it all but so close to the action

Are you looking for a mix of a retreat like setting not far from a big city? If so, you will love Cavallo Point.

Cavallo Point, the Lodge at Golden Gate is an award-winning luxury Virtuoso resort located on 45 acres of land in a natural setting in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with amazing views of the Golden Gate bridge and San Francisco Bay. The 142-room (68 historic/74 contemporary) hotel was named the #1 Best Hotel in the San Francisco Bay Area by Travel + Leisure and is known as a culinary destination with its cooking school and Murray Circle restaurant. For families, this summer they are having Camp Cavallo, a kid’s program where children can have their own fun.

They are offering a Third Night Free Promotion valid through December 31, 2021. When booking with me, you will also get these Virtuoso amenities:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast for two guests per bedroom
  • $100 USD Resort/Hotel credit, to be utilized during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

There is plenty to do here on and or off property- yoga, spa treatments, hiking, biking, sailing, shopping and or exploring San Francisco city! For questions please contact Stefany at:  stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany

Asheville: Mountains, Waterfalls and Good Food

Looking for a weekend getaway? If so, Asheville is a great spot for it.

Daniele and I spent a couple of nights in Asheville in October. We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch and a beautiful view at Sunset Terrace at the Omni Grove Park Inn, lovely dinners at Bouchon downtown and Red Stag Grill at the Grand Bohemian, explored a couple of beautiful waterfalls-Looking Glass and High Falls, admired the leaves changing color on a scenic drive and had a relaxing stroll through Biltmore Village. See if you can spot the rainbow in the video! If you are feeling festive, a stay at the Biltmore Estate will check that box during the holiday season.

For any questions and or to start planning your Asheville trip, contact Stefany at: stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

With passion and adventure,

Stefany

New Adventures in Store for 2021 and Beyond

The world still needs time to heal, but there is universal optimism among the travel community that safe and responsible international travel is on the horizon. That’s the key takeaway from the two-day “Ready, Set, Grow” virtual conference Largay Travel hosted this past January. More than 100 advisors and suppliers exchanged updates on the current state of travel and what’s in the immediate future. Our preferred partners shared the COVID protocols their companies are enacting, along with some truly inspired itineraries that will show you the world in ways you never imagined.

The last year has been trying in so many ways, and it was revitalizing to think about the prospects of seeing friends old and new across the globe. Travel dreaming has sustained us throughout, and we’re getting so close to making those dreams a reality. If you are ready to travel now or want an escape to look forward to, reach out to your advisor. While we will continue to keep you updated on the latest requirements for travelers flying into the U.S., from COVID tests to quarantines, we’re brimming with exciting travel ideas we can’t wait to share.

We heard about Tauck’s new 84-passenger ms Andorinha that will cruise Portugal’s Douro River, bringing guests through the golden countryside and fairytale cities of the region with a glass of the valley’s best wines in hand. We learned of the three new river cruise ships Ama Waterways will introduce and the company’s return to the Nile, of Uniworld’s cruise and rail itinerary in Northern Italy that will include an overnight at Burano in the Venetian lagoon. There are options for private versions of Natural Habitat Adventures’ revealing national parks tours. There’s rapid COVID testing on Quark Expeditions vessels with results in 30-60 minutes, and self-cleaning ships on Lindblad Expeditions, introduced before the pandemic but oh so important now.We heard about waived single supplements on certain Ponant sailings and a four-category upgrade Presidents Day sale from Oceania, and about the possibility of Galapagos sailings in the spring on several cruise lines.

We’re excited for the opening of Paradero Todos Santos, set on a 160-acre farm in a pueblo magico with 300 years of history in Baja California Sur. The experience is unlike anything you’ve seen around Los Cabos before, and our travelers will be welcomed with VIP treatment. We can’t wait to get to Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana, a 12-suite love letter to the African bush powered by renewable energy.

 

We’re excited about 12-passenger small group Nordic adventures with 50 Degrees North, visiting Kenya’s Mbulia Hills Conservancy with Big Five, new villas at Rocco Forte’s Verdura Resort in Sicily and so much more. We’re excited about seeing the world again, and getting you out there safely and responsibly. If you’re ready to talk about how to do that, contact Stefany at: (917) 653-9346 or stefany@largaytravel.com and or info@dmctraveltailor.com.

Destination spotlight: Hawaii

With so many international borders closed, our thoughts turn to a tropical island paradise in the Pacific you don’t need a passport to visit. Your choice of Island in Hawaii has always been important and tailored to the type of your experience you’re looking for, as each has its own unique style and charm. With COVID-19 restrictions, the choice and order of islands you visit is more important than ever, as requirements vary.

When it reopened for travel without a mandatory 14-day quarantine in October, the state introduced its Safe Travels program with testing requirements to avoid a 10-day quarantine. Kauai, however, has opted out of the program and developed its own. So not only will you need a negative NAAT test provided by an approved partner within 72 hours of your departure to the state, you’ll also need to either pass another test to go to Kauai or spend a three-day quarantine in one of the island’s approved bubble resorts (and test negative) before exploring the Garden Isle.

If you’re going to the Big Island, there’s a 25% chance you’ll be randomly selected to take a test on arrival (paid for by Hawaii County). If you’re going to Maui, you’ll need to download the AlohaSafe Alert App. If you’re going from an outer island to Oahu, you don’t need to meet additional requirements or add that trip to your Safe Travels profile. If you’re going from Oahu to an outer island, you probably do, but rules vary depending on which island it is. No matter which island you visit, you’ll need to complete a health declaration and upload your test results to the Safe Travels website. 

Suffice it to say, it’s complicated. The above is not even an exhaustive list of the various requirements. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the adventures in the rainforest, beneath the waves and at the top of volcanoes that formed the islands so many years ago. You can still relax on some of the most scenic beaches you could ever hope to find. It just means you need some help from a travel advisor to comply with all the protocols. Let us do what we do best, navigate the ins and outs of travel so you can make the most of your vacation. Not only will we help you get there, we know where to stay, where to eat and what to do to make your Hawaii getaway a true tropical paradise escape.

COVID entry protocol

A 10-day mandatory quarantine will be required for trans-Pacific travelers arriving WITHOUT a confirmed negative COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours before departure of the final leg of their trip to Hawai‘i. Travelers will not be able to obtain a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) upon arrival at any Hawaiʻi airport.

All trans-Pacific travelers who board a plane on the final leg of their trip to the Hawaiian Islands without first securing a negative test will be subject to mandatory quarantine. Tests must be taken with trusted testing and travel partners with 72 hours of departure.

The negative test result must be uploaded onto Safe Travels prior to departure or printed out prior to departure and hard copy in hand when arriving in Hawai‘i.

Travelers without a negative test result before boarding the final leg of their flight MUST quarantine for 10 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter.

It is important travelers consider the duration and considerable expense of possible quarantine before embarking.

County of Kauai entry protocol

Travelers from out of state now have the option of a shortened three-day quarantine by participating in the resort bubble post-travel testing program. To qualify, travelers must do the following:

  • Create a Safe Travels account and complete the mandatory State of Hawaii Travel and Health Form at: https://travel.hawaii.gov/
  • Take a pre-travel test within 72 hours before arriving on Kauai and receive a negative test result.

This test can be any COVID-19 diagnostic test (antigen or PCR test) with emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The lab does not need to be on the state’s Trusted Testing and Travel Partners list for use in Kauai’s resort bubble program.

  • Make a reservation at an approved Enhanced Movement Quarantine (EMQ) “resort bubble” hotel on Kauai

Inter-island travel protocols

Requirements differ depending on which island you are traveling from and to. Consult with your travel to plan your itinerary to ensure you meet all requirements.

Resorts Respond to New CDC Testing Order

As you may have heard, starting Jan. 26 all travelers flying into the U.S. will need to present proof of a negative PCR, NAT or antigen COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your flight’s departure. Or, if you have tested positive for COVID in the previous three months, you can submit a note from a health provider or public health official authorizing you to travel. You can read about the requirements in detail here: https://largaytravel.com/cdc-to-require-negative-covid-test-from-all-inbound-passengers/

Naturally, your first question might be, “How am I going to get results back in time to board my flight?” Fortunately, airlines and many of our preferred resort and tour partners are making strides to ensure travelers are able to comply with the CDC order.

American Airlines is making its VeriFLY app available to all passengers starting Jan. 23. Passengers can upload the documentation they need, including proof of a negative test, in the app. Where will you be able to get tested so you can get those results promptly?

Several Caribbean destinations and resorts are already putting testing sites in place to make things easy and convenient for their guests. Aruba has expanded testing centers near resort areas that offer appointments so visitors can meet the requirements without spending too much of their vacation working. Average turnaround time for test results is 24 hours.

The Bahamas already requires visitors to take a test on the fifth day of their stay, so guests staying between five and eight days will already meet the CDC’s requirements, and testing centers are already set up if you don’t fit in that category.

Most resorts on St. Lucia already have testing facilities, and others are setting them up to make sure their guests can get test results within the 72-hour time frame. Jamaica is working to expand its testing infrastructure to meet the rising demand, as are Belize and Costa Rica.

Sandals Resorts will make on-site complimentary tests available to guests through March 31. Karisma Hotels & Resorts will do the same for guests at its Riviera Maya, Dominican and Jamaica properties. AMResorts has the same offer at most locations. Palace Resorts in Mexico and Jamaica will have complimentary tests for up to two guests per room, with a charge of $19 per test for additional guests. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar offers appointments for RT-PCR tests ($134.40 per person, results within 6 hours) or rapid antigen tests ($16.80 per person, result within an hour).  Playa Resorts will offer complimentary on-site testing through April 30 in Mexico and the Dominican Republic ($49 per person in Jamaica).

Grace Bay Resorts in Turks & Caicos will make RT-PCR testing available to guests for $150 per person. Testing will be at Grace Bay Club, with complimentary transportation  for guests at West Bay Club, Point Grace and the private villa collection. Appointments will be scheduled based on departure date. Case de Campo in the Dominican will offer PCR testing on-site for $150 per person with same-day results and a VIP testing lounge.

We will keep you updated on further developments as travel rules continue to change by the week and even day. Make sure to consult with your travel advisor about requirements for your trip. If you need help with your trip planning, contact Stefany at: (917) 653-9346 and or stefany@largaytravel.com or info@dmctraveltailor.com.