Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Explore Japan by Rail: JR Pass Rates February 28 2013

The Japan Rail Pass, which is issued by the JR (Japan Railway) Group, offers travelers excellent value for money and convenience. The Rail Pass enables the almost unlimited use of JR trains and its affiliated bus and ferry services within various areas of Japan. The Japan Rail Pass can also be used for the Tokyo monorail to Haneda Airport and the Narita Express to Narita Airport.

The Japan Rail Pass is available only to people from abroad who wish to travel to Japan as “temporary visitors” for sightseeing. The pass must be purchased before entering Japan.

Japan Rail Pass exchange rate for February 28th 2013 through March 6th 2013 - 1 USD = 94.33 JPY

JR Pass prices are updated for the current exchange rate every Thursday.

See http://www.nakastrav … for details and current pricing.


Japan’s four major islands, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are covered by an extensive and reliable network of railways. About 70 percent of Japan’s railway network is owned and operated by the Japan Railways (JR), while the remaining 30 percent belongs to dozens of other private railway companies, especially in and around metropolitan areas.

The Japan Railways Group, more commonly known as JR Group (JRグループ), is made up of six regional passenger railway companies, which are JR Hokkaido, JR East, JR Central, JR West, JR Shikoku, and JR Kyushu, and one nationwide freight railway company, JR Freight. Together they operate a nationwide network of urban, regional and inter-regional train lines, night trains and shinkansen (bullet trains).

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

China Airlines Resumes Taipei to Honolulu Nonstop Service


China Airlines Resumes Taipei – Honolulu Nonstop Service

Starting June 2nd, 2013 China Airlines will resume nonstop service between Taipei Taoyuan and Honolulu, after 3 years of service suspension. China Airlines last operated this nonstop service in March 2010.

The new nonstop service will operate with the Airbus A330-300, and fly twice a week:

  • Flight CI 1, departing Honolulu for Taipei on Monday and Thursday at 1:20 A.M. and arriving in Taipei the next morning at 6:00 A.M.
  • Flight CI 2, departing Taipei for Honolulu on Wednesday and Sunday at 11:55 P.M. and arriving in Honolulu the same afternoon at 3:40 P.M.

With the return of the nonstop Honolulu-Taipei route it will once again be possible to make same day connections from Honolulu to Okinawa on China Airlines.

Save on Avalon Waterways in 2014


Save $1,000 per couple on select 2014 Avalon Europe Book Now Sailings.*

Austrian Highlights & Bavaria From Vienna To Munich

Starting At: $ 2639.00
Ship: Avalon Artistry II

On this marvelous cruise vacation, visit Austria’s capital, Vienna, and be delighted by its charming small towns-like Melk, Dürnstein, and Grein-before heading into Germany’s Bavaria. First, enjoy Vienna, with its spectacular museums, awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and delightful music. In Dürnstein, explore the small town above which stand the ruins of the castle where King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in 1192. Visit magnificent Melk Abbey, and Grein’s quaint historical theater. In Germany, visit the Bavarian capital of Munich, the charming town of Oberammergau, and the fairytale castles of Neuschwanstein and Linderhof. All of this and much more await you on this wonderful cruise on the Danube River through Austria’s highlights and Bavaria-it’s a vacation of a lifetime!

Tulip Time Cruise

Starting At: $ 2329.00
Ship: Avalon Artistry II

Discover picturesque Holland and Belgium in the spring on this marvelous river cruise vacation! Drink in the colorful blooming beauty of famous Keukenhof Gardens, vibrant gardens with the world’s largest bulb flower park, visit one of the charming windmills at Kinderdijk, and learn about Holland’s complex flood controls at the fascinating Delta Works. Discover St. Baaf’s Cathedral in medieval Ghent, explore Antwerp, and visit Maastricht, the university town on the borders of Belgium and Germany. End your cruise with a canal cruise in Amsterdam. All of this is waiting for you on this vacation sure to delight all of your senses!

Capitals Of Central Europe From Prague To Budapest

Starting At: $ 2739.00
Ship: Avalon Panorama

On this magnificent cruise vacation, enjoy seeing some of Central Europe’s splendid capitals-Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest-as well as many small towns that dot the landscape along the way. Explore the grounds of majestic Hradcany Castle in Prague, savor a Sachertorte in Vienna, visit St. Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava, and shop for paprika in Budapest. But in addition to these vibrant cities, there’s even more.explore Germany’s Passau, located at the confluence of three rivers, and Linz, Austria’s third-largest city. Visit the quaint historical theater in the resort town of Grein and one of Europe’s largest and most spectacular monasteries at Melk. Discover Krems in Austria’s Wachau Valley or choose to learn about wine, which is an important part of life in the Wachau region. Guided sightseeing with Certified Local Guides in each city is sure to heighten your experience.

Book an Avalon Waterways river cruise online, or contact us to book your Avalon Waterways river cruise today! See the Cruise with Naka’s page for more cruises and cruising information.

Avalon Waterways sets the standard in river cruising with the newest fleet and extraordinary itineraries. Avalon Waterways also offers small-ship cruises to the Galapagos Islands! Unpack only once, then relax, take in the sights, and let us do the rest.

*Book a select 2014 Europe Avalon Waterways vacation to receive $500 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. For A Taste of the Danube (WBV) the promotion applies only to the land inclusive price. Offer available on select dates of select cruises. Booking must be made, under deposit, and discount applied between January 30 and April 9, 2013 for travel at select times in 2014. Avalon and Royal Suites excluded. Offer reliant on space availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Not combinable with any other offer, other than Journeys Club Repeat Traveler benefit. Applies to new 2014 bookings only, and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply.

Discover Paris and Normandy: Save $1,000 per stateroom


Discover the Rivers of Paris & Normanday

Save $1,000 Per Stateroom
7-night Seine River Cruises Starting From $2,699 Per Person

Begin your journey through bucolic northern France in Paris, the “City of Lights,” where your cruise embarks. Visit the village of Giverny and Claude Monet’s famous gardens, immortalized forever in his beloved series of Impressionist paintings. Explore Honfleur, a charming French harbor town that has inspired generations of artists, and Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. You will take an unforgettable excursion to the infamous Normandy D-Day beaches of WWII and also visit Les Andelys, home to the impressive Château Gaillard. Conclude your journey back in Paris, with a panoramic city tour and a visit to Musee d’Orsay.

7-night Seine cruise aboard the beautiful AmaLegro
US Departure Dates: July 25; August 22, 29 & October 10, 2013
Starting from $2,699* per person (savings of $1000 per stateroom)
Additional 2-nights in Paris: $520 per person
Paris | Vernon | Giverny | Rouen | Normandy Beaches | Honfleur
| Les Andelys | Conflans | Paris
Solo Travelers’ Special: Single Supplement waived on cruise portion

Limited-Time Savings - Book by March 31, 2013!

Contact us to book an AMA Waterways river cruise or see the Cruise with Naka’s page for more cruises and cruising information.

About AmaWaterways

Founded in 2002 by river cruise pioneer Rudi Schreiner, river cruise executive Kristin Karst and founder of Brendan Vacations, Jimmy Murphy, AmaWaterways is the premier river cruise line on Europe’s Danube, Rhine, Main, Mosel and Rhône rivers. Known for its custom-designed ships, extensive complimentary amenities and personalized service levels, AmaWaterways consistently leads the way in river cruising. Whether you join us on the great waterways of Europe, Russia, Africa or the storied Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia, you are sure to capture an experience of a lifetime with an AmaWaterways river cruise vacation.

Terms and conditions: All prices listed are in U.S. dollars and reflect offers listed. Offers are valid on new FIT cruise bookings made by March 31, 2013. Offer is not combinable with any other promotions or discounts. Rates may vary per departure date. Savings is per stateroom, based on double occupancy in a Cat. E stateroom; single bookings receive waived single supplement on cruise portion. Port charges, airfare and gratuities are additional. Availability is limited on these cruises, capacity controlled and subject to change or discontinuation without notice. Other restrictions may apply. AmaWaterways is registered as a seller of travel in the State of California. CST#2065452-40

Friday, February 22, 2013

Manifest Destiny - Go West on This Uniquely Edifying Journey


Explore the Intricacies of Manifest Destiny as
You Journey West on the Tennessee & Mississippi Rivers

“And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.”
- John L. O’Sullivan

In the mid-nineteenth century, it was clear to the world that the relatively new nation known as the United States of America would soon be, if it were not already, the most powerful nation in the world. O’Sullivan’s argument that Oregon belonged to the United States rather than Great Britain as a matter of Manifest Destiny gained quite a bit of popularity.

While the concept was certainly not new, the Louisiana Purchase having occurred decades prior, O’Sullivan’s writing justified the sense of entitlement many Americans were feeling. Even at its inception, Manifest Destiny was rife with controversy which only seemed to fan the flames as the idea spread throughout the United States. Manifest Destiny fueled decades of westward expansion for the young nation: the annexation of Texas, the Mexican-American war, and the acquisitions of Alaska, Oregon and Hawaii. The socio-political effects of Manifest Destiny have certainly left their mark in the history books, and you may be surprised how frequently the philosophy can still be seen in foreign policy today.

Let notable historians Robert W. Merry and Dr. Steven E. Woodworth be your guides to the Manifest Destiny philosophy on our September 20-28, 2013 journey from Chattanooga, Tennessee to St. Louis, Missouri. Merry is currently Editor of The National Interest, with an impressive resume in political journalism including the Denver Post, National Observer, The Wall Street Journal and Managing Editor for Congressional Quarterly Inc. Merry’s writing skills are not limited to reporting. He also authored many critically-acclaimed books including New York Times Best Seller A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War, and the Conquest of the American Continent. Dr. Steven E. Woodworth has been author, co-author or editor of 31 books. An expert in Civil War history, Dr. Woodworth will explain the role Manifest Destiny played in the bloodiest war in U.S. History.

Our September 20-28, 2013 journey is the ONLY Chattanooga departure this season and is not to be missed. Fares start at just $2,495 and limited staterooms remain.

For information and booking cruises worldwide please contact us or see the Cruise with Naka’s page at:

http://www.nakastrav … eatured-cruises.html