Monday, January 17, 2011

Huge New Dive Attraction for Cayman Islands

Earlier this month, the USS Kittiwake was intentionally sunk in the waters off Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach. The 1945-vintage submarine rescue ship weighs 2,200 tons and has a length of 251 feet. The USS Kittiwake now rests at a depth of 62 feet, enabling the ship to be an easily accessible dive attraction for snorkelers and divers. In addition to being an attraction for divers, the USS Kittiwake will act as an artificial reef that will shelter sea life.

The Cayman Islands’ acquisition of the decommissioned naval vessel marks the first time that a US MARAD ship has been donated to a foreign government for the creation of an artificial reef to preserve the marine environment.

Check out the video:

Now that you are excited about your new dive location, call us at Unique Travel Concepts, to book your air, resort and provide information abouth this unique new dive experience.

Call now! 619-464-6426 or email us at

Friday, January 14, 2011

Disney's California Adventure® Overview

To book your next Disney Vacation please contact Unique Travel Concepts
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

We Are The Caribbean - Sandals Resorts Chairman & CEO

To book your Sandals Vacation please contact Unique Travel Concepts
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

Transatlantic Crossings

Queen Mary 2
New York to Southampton
7 Days-Eastbound
26 April, 17 May, 10 June, 6 July, 27 July, 22 August, 5 September, 7 October, 23 October, 17 November
3 January
Accommodation Category
Queen Suites (Q7) from $700 per day
Princess Suites (P3) from $530 per day
Britannia Club Balcony (AA) from $360 per day
Deluxe Balcony (A4) (OB) from $270 per day
Premium Balcony (B5) (S) from $240 per day
Standard Ocean view (C4) from $206 per day
Standard Inside (D8) from $185 per day
*prices are subject to change, without notice, until ticked.

Southampton to New York
7 Days-Westbound
19April, 10 May, 3 June, 24 June, 20 July, 15 August, 29 August, 20 September, 16 October, 10 November, 12 December
Accommodation Category Rates are equal to New York to Southampton sailing.
*prices subject to change, without notice, until ticketed.

Please contact Unique Travel Concepts to book your Transatlantic Crossing Cruise
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

50 States & 50 Vacations (Alabama to Massachusetts)

Hey kids: Want to lift off at 4Gs, do a real moonwalk, build your own rocket or work in a space station simulator? Children ages 9 to 11 can sign up for a week of Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. Focus on the space track, with extensive Mars training, the aviation track, with fighter pilot skills, or the robotics track, where you design and program the ultimate robot.- Article by Robin Dalmas

Massive humpback whales are relatively easy to spot from the Alaska Marine Highway, the state’s ferry system or a cruise ship. Smaller cruise lines such as Cruise West will even stop the engines and let you watch the behemoths slap their giant tails on the water. On cruise lines with larger ships, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, you might spot them in the distance from the glassed-in health spa.
Visit the annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture, scheduled for Aug. 7-8 at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, to see art from Arizona’s 22 different Native American communities. More than 60 artists will demonstrate jewelry, painting, pottery and weaving techniques. You can also commission jewelry at artists’ studios. Lydia Sakiestewa, for example, produces custom-made Hopi inlay silver jewelry at her studio at Sakiestewa Plaza in Phoenix.
The Buffalo River Trail in the Ozark Mountains is 37 miles long and runs from Boxley Valley to Pruitt. The trail rewards the hiker with million-dollar vistas of the river, homesteads and historic cemeteries. Look for wildlife, too. More than 400 Rocky Mountain elk live in and around Buffalo National River. In the early 1980s, elk were relocated to the Buffalo River region to replace an eastern elk subspecies that was killed off in the 1800s.
Drive Highway 1 along the coast to visit Big Sur, a scenic area popularized by writers and artists including Henry Miller, Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac. Orson Welles and his wife at the time, Rita Hayworth, bought a Big Sur cabin during a trip down the coast in 1944. The property is now the location of the popular Nepenthe restaurant. Big Sur has nine state parks, including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, where a waterfall plunges directly into the ocean.
Gold was initially discovered at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, about 60 miles north of Pikes Peak. Is there still gold in them thar hills? Find out at one of Colorado’s 11 gold and silver mine tours. At Country Boy Mine in Breckenridge, for example, your tour guide will teach you how to pan for gold in Eureka Creek.
The sea has been the lifeblood of the town of Mystic since it was founded in 1654. Though the days of the mighty sailing ship are largely past, they live on at Mystic Seaport, the nation’s largest maritime museum. Besides serving as home port for a number of historic tall ships, Mystic Seaport features a reconstructed fishing village, a maritime gallery, a research center and a shipyard. And to help build the next generation of sailors, Mystic Seaport also offers sailing lessons for all ages.
The Hagley Museum in Wilmington and its outdoor park setting can lull you into serenity as the gentle Brandywine River flows past rose-covered fences, and ducks waddle by with ducklings in tow. The peace belies a violent past, however. This is the birthplace of the DuPont Co. in America, whose first product was black gunpowder. Death and injuries from explosions were a common byproduct for the leading supplier of black gunpowder to the U.S. government.
Universal Orlando's new mini-park, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opened recently to great fanfare. The 20-acre park brings the Harry Potter books and movies to life with reproductions of the fictitious village of Hogsmeade, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the Hogwarts Express train. The park's marquee ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, takes guests on a flight through Harry's life, including encounters with Dementors and a dragon.
It’s said that during the Civil War, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman spared Savannah from destruction because he was so taken by its beauty. Whatever his reason, the city is indeed gorgeous — and it’s one of the South’s few major cities with its antebellum architecture still intact. A tour of Savannah’s many historic homes is a must; some of the notable ones include the Spencer Woodbridge House, the Greene House, the Owens-Thomas House and the Mercer Williams House.
Like biking, but hate pedaling? Bicycling down Maui’s Haleakala volcano is a sublimely beautiful adventure — and no elevation gains are required. Several companies offer bike tours on Haleakala, both guided and unguided, that transport you to the crater and then let you head down on your own two-wheeled power. The views are breathtaking; you’re likely to see the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai. For the best experience, take one of the popular early-morning tours that get you to the summit in time to watch the sun rise over the crater’s rim.
The Coeur d’Alene resort is one of a kind. The towering building overlooks the cobalt blue waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Book a deluxe or premier room with a perfect waterfront view. For a special treat, the Hagadone Suite boasts its own glass-bottom swimming pool, wet bar, fireplace, two large balconies and an indoor and outdoor hot tub.
Of all the ballparks in Major League Baseball, few have a cachet that can match that of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The home of the Cubs (the “Friendly Confines” to Chicagolanders) has seen some of baseball’s most memorable moments, including Babe Ruth’s “called shot” in the 1932 World Series. Although the ivy-strewn brick edifice has had night games since lights were installed in 1988, Wrigley Field is best enjoyed in the daytime. For a unique experience, you can also watch the game from one of the park-sanctioned rooftop viewing areas atop neighboring buildings.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to travel at the ridiculous speeds attained by Indy 500 drivers? You can find out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The racetrack has events throughout the summer where you can zoom at up to 180 mph in an IndyCar Series vehicle with a veteran driver at the helm. There are also motorsports courses available for youth and adults. And even though this year’s Indy 500 was in May, there are more races happening this summer for those who prefer just to be a spectator.
John Wayne has been gone for more than 30 years, but The Duke still lives large in our popular consciousness — in fact, he’s the only actor to place on Harris Interactive’s list of America’s favorite movie stars every year since the survey began in 1994. Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, and the four-room house where he took his first breath is open to the public. The house has been restored to what it would have looked like when Wayne was born in 1907, and many of his family members have been known to stop by.
During the latter half of the 19th century, Fort Hays in northwest Kansas was one of the U.S. Army’s most important frontier outposts, serving as home base for notable regiments such as some of the first Buffalo Soldiers. The Fort Hays State Historic Site brings the fort’s military and pioneer history to life, with features such as the original blockhouse and guardhouse, officers’ quarters and native artifacts from the tribes that first called this land home. Make sure to visit the herd of buffalo that has been maintained here for almost 60 years.
During the latter half of the 19th century, Fort Hays in northwest Kansas was one of the U.S. Army’s most important frontier outposts, serving as home base for notable regiments such as some of the first Buffalo Soldiers. The Fort Hays State Historic Site brings the fort’s military and pioneer history to life, with features such as the original blockhouse and guardhouse, officers’ quarters and native artifacts from the tribes that first called this land home. Make sure to visit the herd of buffalo that has been maintained here for almost 60 years.
Lafayette — about 50 miles west of Baton Rouge — is Cajun central, and there’s no better place to do some serious Cajun-style eating. You must sample crawfish here (according to Louisiana’s tourism department, crawfish are a freshwater species and unaffected by the recent oil spill), along with spicy boudin sausage, gumbo, jambalaya and “cracklin’,” or pork rinds. Some of the city’s notable eateries include Prejean’s, Randol’s Restaurant and Hub City Diner. Lafayette is also a great destination for music and dancing to help you work off the extra calories you’ve consumed.
Sure, you’ve heard of Maine’s famous lobster — but how would you like to catch your crustacean yourself? Take a guided lobster-fishing excursion with a company such as Lucky Catch Cruises, which teaches its guests about lobsters, their behavior and conservation during 90-minute cruises into Casco Bay, off the coast of Portland. Once you get off the boat, you can take your lobster across the pier to the Portland Lobster Company and have it turned into dinner on the spot.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore attracts 1.6 million visitors annually to see its dolphin display, rooftop rain forest, ray pool and multiple-story shark tank. Its newest exhibit, Jellies Invasion: Oceans out of Balance, displays nine species of jellyfish. Be sure to visit the aquarium’s Immersion Theater, which offers a 20-minute movie presentation that includes a 3-D film and special sensory effects such as mist and wind.
Cape Cod is justifiably famous for its beaches. Indeed, the hook-shaped cape is practically one big beach, so you may find yourself wondering which one to visit. Our recommendation: Sandy Neck Beach Park, which looks out onto Cape Cod Bay between the towns of Sandwich and Barnstable. The six-mile-long beach is the longest in the area, and it’s perhaps the loveliest as well. If you’d rather ride than swim, sunbathe or beachcomb, Sandy Neck is open for four-wheel driving by permit.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Cruise Ports

Some cruise companies may be adding some sought after ports that are sure to enhance your cruising experience.

Santorini, Greece

Skagen, Denmark

Gozo, Malta

New Zealands South Island

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

L’Anse-aux-Meadows National Historic Site, Newfoundland

Rockland, Maine

Rovinj, Croatia

For more information or to book you next cruise vacation please contact Unique Travel Concepts
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

High-End Car Rentals

Aston Martin V8 Vantage
     If you decide to push the Vantage to its 180-mph maximum speed, the car rents for $695 per day. It's not a bad deal when you consider that its sticker price is around $120,000. The 2-seater is the most diminutive Aston Martin on the road, but that doesn't mean it isn't a powerhouse; the rear of this supercar has been compared to the flanks of a wild animal.

Bentley Continental GT
     It has British roots, but in the late 20th century, the Bentley morphed into the car of choice for American royalty: rappers and professional athletes. Bentley customers range from the queen of England to the rapper Ludacris, James Bond to Shaquille O'Neal. Buying a Continental will set you back at least $200,000, but renting one runs $1,200 per day. Its full-size television screens, exotic woods and natural leather are luxurious, but the Continental is also a driver's car; it can go from zero to 60
mph in 4.7 seconds.

Bugatti Veyron
     "Nothing short of astonishing," is how Stewart Reed, chairman of the transportation design department at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., describes the Bugatti Veyron. "It's a piece of art, and yet it performs astonishingly well." With a sticker price north of $2 million and a top speed of 267 mph, the Veyron is among the fastest and most expensive cars in the world. Rents for the purchase price of a new MINI Cooper: $25,000 a day.

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
You may have to upgrade your insurance policy before renting it. To get behind the wheel of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, you'll need a minimum of $250,000 in property-damage coverage. A wraparound rear window maximizes aerodynamics, and the interior of the car is draped in natural leather. Rentals are about one-hundredth the car's sticker price; Platinum charges $2,499 for drivers to take a daylong spin.

For more information on how you can rent these high-end cars please contact Unique Travel Concepts.
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get Your Passport Some Action

Please contact Unique Travel Concepts to book your Contiki Vacation
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

Contiki...A trip of a lifetime!

Please contact Unique Travel Concepts to book your Contiki Vacation
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

Southern States Vacation

22 States!
California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York
26 Days (Grand Southern)
Day 1: Los Angeles to Las Vegas
Meet up with your Contiki crew & head out across the vast Mojave Desert to the bright lights of Vegas. Hotel. (D)
Day 2: Las Vegas
It's glitz & glamour as you hang out on 'the Strip', relax by the pool, or hit up Sin City's party hot spots. Hotel. (B)
Day 3: Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon
Get your kicks on historic Route 66 as you journey to the breath-taking Grand Canyon. Cabin. (D)
Day 4: Grand Canyon National Park
Hike, walk, or maybe take an optional helicopter flight for an up close experience with this phenomenal natural wonder. Cabin. (B)
Day 5: Grand Canyon to Cortez via Monument Valley
Snap some photos of Monument Valley's 'Wild West' landscape before arriving in Cortez, the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Hotel. (D)
Day 6: Cortez to Albuquerque via Durango
Time for a Rocky Mountain high in Durango, an adventure seekers paradise. Then it's on to Albuquerque. Hotel. (B,D)
Day 7: Albuquerque to Amarillo
Explore the exotic mix of Native American & Hispanic cultures in artistic Santa Fe. Then stop by the quirky "Cadillac Ranch" roadside attraction on your way into "Cowboy Country". Hotel. (D)
Day 8: Amarillo to Dallas
We're off to Dallas, where you'll discover why everything is bigger & better in Texas! Hotel. (B,D)
Day 9: Dallas
From big cars to big hair to big belt buckles to big attitude-you'll see it all as you explore this slick city nicknamed "Big D". Hotel. (B)
Day 10: Dallas to Memphis
Stop in Little Rock as you journey through the Deep South to Memphis, the birthplace of blues, rock-n-roll & soul music. Hotel. (B,D)
Day 11: Memphis
Pay homage to "the King" on a tour of his mansion, Graceland. This afternoon, make your pilgrimage through this 'musical mecca' before partying on happening Beale Street. Hotel. (B)
Day 12: Memphis to New Orleans
Let the good times role as we take you sightseeing through swingin' New Orleans, a fun-spirited city that gave birth to jazz music. Hotel. (B)
Day 13: New Orleans
A free day to simmer in the warm & soulful culture of "The Big Easy." Meander through the French Quarter, feast on Creole cuisine, feel the spell of voodoo & this evening , get dancing in this party town! Hotel. (B)
Day 14: New Orleans to Tallahassee
Roll on through "Sweet Home Alabama" to the 'Gone with the Wind' feel of Florida's state capitol. Hotel. (B,D)
Day 15: Tallahassee to Orlando
Leave the quiet country charm of Tallahassee behind & get set for the energy of Florida's entertainment hub, Orlando. Hotel. (B,D)
Day 16: Orlando
The thrill & excitement of Orlando's many theme parks like Disney World, will keep you fully entertained all day and night! Hotel.
Day 17: Orlando to Miami
Venture south to the hot & hip adult playground of Miami. Hotel (B,D)
Day 18: Miami
Get into the up-tempo groove of this flashy global city-chill out on one of the many beaches, max out your credit card shopping, or star spot in South Beach's hottest clubs. Hotel
Day 19: Miami to Cocoa Beach
Head north along the coast to the surfing capitol of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach. Hotel.
Day 20: Cocoa Beach to St. Augustine via Kennedy Space Center
Touch base with outer-space as you explore Kennedy Space Center before arriving in picturesque St. Augustine. Hotel. (B,D)
Day 21: St. Augustine to Savanna
Walk the cobblestone streets of America's oldest city before an evening out along Savannah's lively waterfront. Hotel. (B,D)
Day 22: Savannah to Raleigh via Charleston
Get your last dose of Southern charm in Charleston en route to the college town of Raleigh. Hotel. (B, D)
Day 23: Raleigh to Washington D.C.
On your way to the nation's capitol, take a break in Richmond, a city steeped in American history. Tonight experience an orientation tour after dark with all the city lights. Hotel. (B,D)
Day 24-25: Washington D.C.
There's plenty to do with two free days in this distinguished city. See all the famous memorials & monuments & choose from an endless list of other must-do's, including museums, politics, shopping, sports & nightlife. Hotel (D)
Day 26: Washington D.C. to New York
Stop in both Annapolis & Philadelphia before seeing the iconic sights of NYC, where the tour ends & it's time to day farewell to your new friends. (B)

For more information of to book please contact Unique Travel Concepts
619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635

Aussie Word of the Day!

A small woven bag carried by Aboriginal women. Often used to describe a small bag of any sort.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Economical Excursions

Friendly Excursions Inc. has offered quality tours for over 35 years. They are one of the leading travel companies in trips and tours. They continue to be successful in fully escorted tours, in planned tour packages and specialized itineraries. Their Company Motto is: “Quality Travel Programs at Economical Prices”.

2011 Departures

Arizona Gem Tour                                                                              January 12th -13th

Monterey & Lake Tahoe (Departs SO CAL)                                     May 9th-13th

Frog Jumping Jubilee & Gold Country (Departs SO CAL)                  May 17th-20th

Frog Jumping Jubilee & Gold Country (Departs SO CAL)                  May 17th-20th

Yosemite (Departs SO CAL)                                                              June 15th-17th

Yosemite (Departs NO CAL)                                                             June 15th-17th

Forests and Shorelines of California and Oregon (Departs SO CAL)   August 19th-26th

San Diego Tour (Departs NO CAL)                                                   September 13th-18th

California Mission Tour (Departs SO CAL)                                        September 27th-30th

Sedona & Grand Canyon National Park (Departs SO CAL)               October 3rd-7th

Sedona & Grand Canyon National Park (Departs NO CAL)              October 3rd-7th

Venetian Passage Cruise (From Venice to Ft. Lauderdale)                  October 27th-November 13th
Holiday Celebration in Branson (Branson, MO)                                  November 10th-15th

For more information please contact Unique Travel Concepts

619-464-6426 or 800-879-8635


Friendly Excursions


Please mention Unique Travel Concepts if you contact them directly!

Travel and Leisure Top 5 Hotels for 2011

Oberoi Vanyavilas
Rajasthan, India
25 luxe jungle tents, a fresco-painted haveli main lodge, and a 3-room spa on 20 acres next to Ranthambore National Park & Tiger Reserve.
Insider Tip: Visit the crafts stores that sell block-print textiles in the nearby town—proceeds support local schools.
Cost: From $885

Triple Creek Ranch
Darby, Montana
Adults-only mountain retreat on thousands of acres with recently refreshed log cabins (wood-burning fireplaces; hot tubs).
Insider Tip: Take a free birding and nature tour in the Bitterroot Valley to look for peregrine falcons, hawks, and eagles, as well as elk, moose, and possibly even a bear or wolf.
Cost: $750, all-inclusive

Fairmont Mara Safari Club
Masai Mara, Kenya
50 renovated tents on a Mara River oxbow (prime for hippo-viewing) known for activities including balloon safaris.
Insider Tip: Accompany a staff guide on a birding walk through camp—more than 70 species inhabit the area.
Cost: $429 (includes two game drives)
San Ysidro Ranch, A Rosewood Resort
Santa Barbara, California
500 bucolic acres and clapboard cottages for only 90 guests; a renovation updated the rooms and restaurants and added a wine cellar.
Insider Tip: The hotel has been pet-friendly since the 1930’s, when the former owner’s dachshunds wandered freely. Now dogs receive food and water dishes, toys, and even in-room massages.
Cost: $650
Oberio Amarvilas
Agra, India
Moghul-themed palace mirroring the nearby Taj Mahal—all Moorish archways, intricate pavilions, and fountained courtyards.
Insider Tip: After a dip in the pool, have a gin and tonic in the hotel’s Verandah Lounge and watch the last of the day’s light illuminate the Taj Mahal.
Cost: $895
all rates are subject to change.