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Senior Travel Newsletter: nature, cruise, barging, volunteer vacations.
Senior travel newsletter: nature travel, educational, cultural, volunteer, cruise and barging vacations worldwide.
New stories, April 1, 2015 
TravelWatch: Senior Travel Newsletter.

What's on the Travel News Menu for YOU Today
Senior travel nature vacations, cruise and barging vacations, volunteer vacations worldwide & much more! Would you like to be notified of each bi-monthly issue as it is launched? Click here to add your email to our TravelWatch newsletter notification list. [See our Privacy Policy]

1. We spotlight the less-traveled French island of Corsica, the Mediterranean's fourth largest island, with new walking and kayaking tours suitable and stimulating for the active senior traveler.
2. A classic 70-foot schooner, Passing Cloud, is the elegant "hotel" for memorable natural and cultural explorations of different regions of British Columbia's extensive coastline. See 2015 itineraries.
3. Health, Wellness and Spiritual Tourism now accounts for 14% of total tourism in the world. Are you a wellness traveler? Discover the many possibilities and newest interests for wellness travelers to sample.
4. We introduce readers to a new book that celebrates "chance encounters" and the influence they have to change our journey, our experiences and even our lives. The 23 stories are inspiring.
5. It's hard to get excited about airports or airport hotels, but a stopover of even a few hours or an overnight at Vancouver International Airport will change your mind. Millions of travelers have voted (time and again!) for this international airport and its singular airport hotel as the best of the best. See why.

And here's a P.S. to our usual roster of five newsworthy stories ... the 92nd year of Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies week-long summer rides into national parks in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is coming up. A tried and true camping and riding adventure attracting plenty of seniors and multi-generational families.

Before planning your next adventure, you may compare accommodation alternatives with sites such as www.trivago.com or use their data base for further information about your destination and read traveler hotel reviews.

Kayaking and Walking in the Birthplace of Napoleon
The island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea is a unique blend of French and Italian culture with a backdrop of towering mountains and dramatic seascapes, a destination only lightly explored by active travelers to date. Here is an opportunity to join the few as a new itinerary is launched in 2015 by multi-award-winning adventure tour operator, ROW Adventures. www.rowadventures.com. Offered in May/June and September/October, the nine-day "Corsica Unbound" itinerary will focus on walking and hiking the northern half of the island and on kayaking in the Gulf of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In terms of physical challenge, the trip is rated 3 out of 5.
Hiking in the forest on Corsica.
Kayaking in the Corsican waters of the French Mediterranean Sea.
Left: Paddling in the cerulean waters of the French Mediterranean promises dramatic seascapes.
Right:Walking through a fragrant Corsican forest expect to see oak, pine, heather, juniper, and herbs.
Dubbed by the ancient Greeks as Kalliste meaning "The Most Beautiful," Corsica is the Mediterranean's fourth largest island. It offers beaches, tangled scrubland, and fragrant forests of oak, pine, heather, juniper, and herb. With the island's dramatic rise from the sea to mountain peaks over 8,800 feet (2,700 meters) and three distinct climate zones, there is a wealth of sites to see and landscapes to explore.
Corsican mountain village. Corsican cuisine.
Left: Visit remote Corsican villages during mountain hikes.
Right: Corsican cuisine reflects a blend of French and Italian cultures.
Corsica Unbound also allows a small group of participants to explore the town once declared the capital of the briefly-independent Corsican Republic. History lines the valleys and stone pathways in Corsica; its historic villages and towns have been walked by Victor Hugo and claimed Napoleon Bonaparte as a favorite son. As British author Dorothy Carrington, a prominent authority on Corsica, observed, "One cannot know Corsican history without regretting that Shakespeare never heard of its tales."

U.S.-based ROW Adventures is the life passion of Peter Grubb and his wife, Betsy Bowen. For over 30 years, they have poured heart and soul into creating adventure travel experiences that enrich lives and exceed expectations. The result is a loyal following of repeat travelers and a bucket load of awards and recognitions that just keep flowing in. ROW was named Travel + Leisure #1 Tour Operator in 2012, and among the "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth" by National Geographic Adventure Magazine. It is also a five-time winner of National Geographic Traveler Magazine's "50 Tours of a Lifetime".
Images courtesy of ROW Adventures.
The Perfect Way to Explore Canada's West Coast
Owner of Passing Cloud and founder of Outer Shores Expeditions, Russell Markel, sketches a typical day of cruise adventures aboard his classic sailing ship … "Our day begins in a beautiful, protected anchorage. Golden morning light and the calls of ravens, eagles, and kingfishers echo around us as the smells of breakfast and freshly brewed coffee waft from the galley. … Each day we travel, under sail or power, between 2 and 6 hours as we move between our beach and forest walks, zodiac tours, cultural site visits, wildlife encounters, and overnight anchorages. We go ashore frequently using our rigid-hull inflatable skiff. … Although the crew always has a general plan for each day, we have no fixed itineraries – our days are guided by the weather, tides, sailing opportunities, wildlife sightings, and specific interests of our guests. … The interpretive and educational elements of our expeditions occur informally as activities unfold, and through semi-formal talks and discussions. Each evening, guests and crew gather to discuss the day, and our plans for the next day." Are you ready to sign up?
Passing Cloud is a 70-foot schooner designed by William James Roué, famous for designing the legendary schooner Bluenose. Built in Victoria, British Columbia in 1974, Passing Cloud has a rich history on the B.C. coast, renowned for her elegant design, robust construction, fine sailing abilities and exceptional accommodation. Designed to sail around the world, here is an ideal vessel for natural and cultural history, educational, and research expeditions each season from the southern tip of Vancouver Island north to the bottom of the Alaska Panhandle.
Passing Clouid, B.C. schooner offering cruise tours of the coast.
Left: Built in 1974, Passing Cloud is an ideal vessel for natural and cultural history, educational, and research expeditions on the B.C. Coast.
© James Thompson Photography
Right: Captain Russell Markel leads many of the daily expeditions aboard a rigid-hulled inflatable skiff to view wildlife and visit First Nations native cultural sites.
© James Thompson Photography.
Outer Shore Expeditions shore excursion by inflatible skiff.
The Outer Shores crew is a team of professional guides, mariners, marine ecologists and fisheries biologists, marine mammal experts, archaeologists and anthropologists, photographers, and avid naturalists. Throughout your selected cruise, they give guests behind-the-scenes insights into the natural wonders and distinctive cultures of the BC Coast and take great care of you along the way.
Guest accommodation is in four private staterooms. The three forward staterooms each have two spacious single berths complete with fluffy duvets and wool blankets, a private vanity with sink, mirror, and hot and cold running water, a skylight or deck prism, brass reading lamps, and drawers and a hanging locker for personal effects. The aft stateroom is accessed from the wheelhouse, and boasts a large skylight, two double berths, private vanity with hot and cold water, and a small head (marine toilet). There is a more spacious head and shower for all guests accessed from the main salon.
Passing Cloud sailing schooner has four private staterooms for guests.
Passing Cloud offers four private staterooms, a gorgeous salon, traditional wheelhouse, and generous deck space.
© James Thompson Photography
With 19 sailings ranging from 5 days/4 nights to 9 days/8 nights, Outer Shores Expeditions, www.outershores.ca, has developed a respected reputation for its educational ship-based explorations since first launching its itineraries in 2013. Its destinations include renowned Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island's west coast, the protected inside passage between Vancouver Island and the B.C. Mainland, the Great Bear Rainforest on the central coast, and the Haida Gwaii archipelago (formerly Queen Charlotte Islands). See schedules and pricing for the 2015 season.
Passing Cloud's salon where guests gather to talk and hear lectures.
Passing Cloud's salon is her centerpiece below deck. Robust overhead beams support a massive skylight through which natural light illuminates her varnished old growth Douglas
fir cabin floor.
© James Thompson Photography
Are You a Health and Wellness Traveler?
Yoga class on Hawaii's Big Island, health and wellness tourism.
With a net worth of US$494 billion, wellness tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. This is according to the last report unveiled by the Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a US-based, non-profit research center. Wellness tourism currently accounts for about 14% of total tourism in the world.

The European market, with 216 million trips in 2013, is out front but North America is quickly catching up with 172 million trips, and Asia ranks third with 152 million trips. India is viewed as the fastest-growing nation in terms of attracting wellness tourism, according to the GWI.
A yoga session at the Kalani Oceanside Resort on Hawaii's Big Island is just one of dozens of health and wellness options offered in the Hawaiian Islands. Explore them all in our Hawaii Wellness Providers article.
There are many ways to experience this kind of travel. Relaxation and Rejuvenation focuses on nurturing and relaxing the body; Inner Pilgrimage holidays may include meditation, spiritual retreats, art and dance therapy; also very popular is Outer Pilgrimage travel to destinations with a longstanding tradition of spiritual significance; Fitness and Sports vacations develop tools for appropriate fitness levels, leadership and a sense of achievement.

In addition, Lifestyle Modification holidays focus on nutrition, exercise, and shedding unhealthy habits; and Complementary Wellness therapies explore alternative approaches to wellness beyond the western medicine model. Nature as a Healer suggests eco-tours into wilderness areas, farm vacations, and garden themes; and lastly Volunteer Vacations bring growth and healing through service in ways participants never dreamed possible.
A signature Equine Experience is offered at Miraval Resort & Spa outside Tucson, Arizona.
At the Miraval Resort & Spa in the desert of southern Arizona,, there are many options for benefiting from their diverse "Life in Balance" menu. A signature Equine Experience is not to be missed. See our article recounting a stimulating five-day health and wellness stay. Miraval Resort & Spa
2015 will be the year for 'Forest Bathing,' a trend coming straight from Japan. It is about rediscovering the benefits of walking in the wild, more specifically in forests, something that – besides reducing the level of stress – appears to give good results in terms of the individual's general health. The European leader for delivering this type of wellness trip is Finland.

2015 also reveals a rapid expansion of spas in airports. Air carriers are currently offering wellness services in their lounges and on arrival, as a courtesy service for passengers to recover their strength from jet lag.
But the trend that, more than others, is increasingly influencing wellness-related trips is the concept of 'Social Fitness.' Engaging in fitness is turning more and more into a broadened concept of socialization and sense of belonging to a community. These groups attend big fitness happenings and traditional spas offering special packages with 'gurus.' This trend is attracting specialized tour operators for this kind of trips.
La Salette, a monastery and pilgrimage site in the French Alps.
The monastery and pilgrimage site of La Salette high in the French Alps is an inspiring all-inclusive balance between spiritual reflection and active exploration. See our article on the stages of pilgrimage travel. Alison Gardner
The other side of the coin is the luxury trend in wellness. The most exclusive venues do not invest in 'stars' but in experiences. New luxury means both exotic and local, 'less is more,' solitude and lots of space as a plus.

If you are new to wellness travel, you will find a major resource that clearly presents the diversity of health, wellness and spiritual travel is our web magazine's Wellness and Spiritual Travel Theme page. This theme page collects together for readers all our richly-illustrated feature articles around these themes.
Ronda LaRue shares the art of living your destiny.
An interview article with spiritual teacher and guide, Ronda LaRue, on "The Art of Living Your Destiny" illustrates the role of travel as a healing tool and a stepping stone to living a richer, more meaningful life. Ojai SoulArts
A New Read to Inspire and Motivate Meaningful Travel
There is a saying that those we meet while traveling can change our journey, our experiences or even our lives. A new book, available in both paperback and e-book formats, illustrates that saying in 23 different ways with true stories of travel encounters with unforgettable, extraordinary people.

Chance Encounters: Travel Tales from Around the World features 20 of the world's top travel writers sharing short stories from around the globe:

Meet three Americans who help a Belgian woman find her voice
Bust a move with harmonica-playing pygmies in Uganda
See how a former enemy can become your friend
Watch a Kenyan girl face a heartbreaking custom with bravery
Learn from a wise young monk as he hikes in Bhutan
Marvel at the kindness of strangers on a pilgrimage in Japan
Take an unforgettable elevator ride with a courageous woman in Paris
Gain new understanding during an unspoken conversation in Cambodia
Experience Nepal through the eyes of a child
Take a wild ride in Turkey depending only on the kindness of strangers.
Chance Encounters bookcover, Travel Tales from Around the World.
Travel never goes quite like we expect. Planes are late, maps are misread and unexpected detours are made. When this happens, the twisting roads of travel can lead to adventures we never imagined — and lessons we never expected to learn. Sometimes, if we're lucky, we cross paths with people who show us life from a different angle or provide kindness when it's needed most.

Chance Encounters: Travel Tales from Around the World (World Traveler Press, Colorado USA). Edited by award-winning travel journalist, Janna Graber. ISBN: 9780990878605; 2014; Print edition $16.95; E-book $9.95, www.WorldTravelerPress.com.
Vancouver International Airport Awards
Vancouver International Airport showcases First Nations native art.
Vancouver was in the spotlight at the 2015 World Airport Awards, with Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel receiving top honors from Skytrax. This is an influential airline rating and reviews website for over 681 airlines and 725 airports. There are traveler reviews for Airlines and Airports, Seat Reviews, Lounge Reviews, and direct access to the Skytrax Airline Star Rating and Airport Star Rating.
Right: Entering the Customs Hall in the International Terminal, the world's largest Coast Salish Spindle Whorl, titled "Flight", is a focal point carved in red cedar with a waterfall backdrop. Alison Gardner
Below: YVR's International Terminal hosts a "Pacific Coast" relaxation area with a plant-lined creek, dozens of exquisite glass salmon, artwork and a large west coast sea-life aquarium. Alison Gardner
For the sixth consecutive year, YVR took the title of Best Airport in North America as well as the best airport worldwide in the 10-20 million passenger category, while the Fairmont Vancouver Airport was named Best Airport Hotel in North America and sixth best airport hotel in the world. The hotel category was introduced five years ago and Fairmont Vancouver Airport has held first place in all but one year.

As editor of Travel with a Challenge web magazine, I am delighted by this news as YVR is my personal favorite airport in a travel world where the vast majority of airports are places to be endured not celebrated. Judge for yourself by visiting a richly-illustrated YVR article in our collection.
Vancouver International Airport features art, educational spaces and relaxation spaces throughout the airport.
And the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel, situated above YVR's U.S. Departures terminal, is also a particular treat for the weary traveler. For luxurious and completely sound-proof overnight stays within the Vancouver International Airport or for a few hours of down time between connecting flights, enjoy day room rates, a health club and full service spa, bar and a world-class restaurant. You may also order Food for Flight to combat boring airplane meals and snacks with a gourmet lunch bag.
Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel wins global awards from Skytrax.
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel is the only accommodation in the Vancouver International Airport. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts


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