Keukenhof Gardens in The Netherlands

I photographed Keukenhof Gardens, near Amsterdam in The Netherlands, last spring partly to get a photo of one of the boats that cruise on the canals on the perimeter of the gardens and adjacent to the commercial tulip fields. Another image is being used in my book, Cruising the World. I suspect that this season these boats packed with tourists will not be operating. Cover Photo: © Dennis Cox / WorldViews, All Rights Reserved

Yachting in the Galápagos With Latin Trails: Preserving for Posterity

EASTERN ISLANDS – January 10-11, 2020 – Since the appearance of Charles Darwin’s “The Voyage of the Beagle” brought attention to the incredible diversity of wildlife and the scenic views on the volcanic Galápagos islands, they have ranked among the most exotically beautiful places in the world. Birds and animals that make these islands their home generate a fascination like no other spot on earth. This fascination was recognized by UNESCO’s declaring the Galápagos Islands as a …

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Yachting in the Galápagos with Latin Trails: Blue-Footed Booby Spotting

January 9, 2020 By Dennis Cox FLOREANA ISLAND – Charles Darwin, after his visit to the Galápagos Islands in 1835, was inspired to conceive his theory of evolution by natural selection based primarily on his observations of the unusual animal life here – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise, mockingbirds, land snails, and the many types of finch. Since the publication of Darwin’s book, “Voyage of the Beagle,” in 1839, the ecological, evolutionary and biogeographic …

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Yachting in the Galápagos With Latin Trails: A Galapago-go of Activity

ESPANOLA ISLAND — January 8, 2020 — Cruises of the Galápagos Islands range from four to fifteen days in duration. There are 64 small yachts cruising the islands carrying 16 passengers. These have the advantage over a dozen larger ships by providing intimate encounters with wildlife while efficiently reaching remote areas of the archipelago. Yachts also maintain a smaller ecological footprint, but are less stable in the some times choppy waters of the Galápagos (16-passenger catamarans being …

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Yachting in the Galápagos With Latin Trails: A Yacht to Love

SAN CRISTOBOL ISLAND — January 7, 2020 — High on the bucket list of many travelers, the Galápagos Islands have a special attraction due to their isolation, unique animal life, and designation by UNESCO in 1978 as a World Heritage site and in 1985 as a biosphere reserve.  Quito-based travel company Latin Trails offers Galápagos cruises on board two recently rebuilt and refurbished luxury yachts, Sea Star Journey and Seaman Journey (a catamaran), both exclusive to 16 …

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Yachting in the Galápagos With Latin Trails: Love, Chocolate and Roses (Dennis Cox Cruise Diary)

QUITO, Ecuador — Jan. 6, 2020 — When my wife, Jialin, and I arrived in Quito, Ecuador’s capital, late yesterday evening, I expected it would be one of those “déjà vu-all-over-again” experiences that occur upon returning to a destination visited once long ago. But I recalled little about the city I visited on a whirlwind Pan Am tour around South America in 1974. Perhaps partly because we landed at a new airport an hour outside the city …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay (Dennis Cox’s Cruise Diary)

Day 1, Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay November 18, 2019 by Dennis Cox SAN FRANCISCO – The largest cruise ship in the world when it was launched in 1998, Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess carries 2,600 passengers and a crew of 1,150, making it a standard-size ship compared to today’s megaships with passenger capacities nearing seven thousand. Partially refurbished this past March, details for which I will explore in the coming …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Views & News

ABOARD the GRAND PRINCESS – Like a comfortable decades-old La-Z-Boy reclining rocker that you couldn’t imagine parting with, the 22-year old Grand Princess keeps sailing on with a satisfied clientele that does not dismiss the benefits of maturity. Only partially refurbished, mainly with new carpeting in much of the ship, the traditional cruise ship ambiance of the public areas obviously suits the tastes of many old-time cruisers. From all appearances passengers on this cruise have enjoyed themselves. …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises on Grand Princess: Origins of the Islands

HILO, Hawai’i – It took Mark Twain ten days to cruise from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands on a newly launched passenger and cargo steamer in 1866.  He was immediately charmed upon arrival, writing that “…no other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me.” Consequently, Twain’s travel dispatches describing “the loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean” published in the Sacramento Union newspaper, and later in book form as Roughing It …

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Destination Hawai’i With Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess: Eating Well in the Neighborhood

ABOARD the GRAND PRINCESS – Deciding on where to eat the next meal on a cruise ship is a bit like deciding which neighborhood restaurant to eat at back home. There are choices to be made, and onboard the Grand Princess the choices are numerous. There are two main dining rooms for passengers who like the flexibility of eating anytime within the posted hours. They are on separate decks and appear identical, except for the paintings on …

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