Riding the Rails in Luxury, Chicago to FLA
Pullman Rail Journeys is running a one-time holiday itinerary from Chicago to the “Sunshine State” for a New Year’s celebration. Traveling in first-class rail style, the itinerary departs Chicago’s Union Station in restored Pullman cars the evening of Dec. 27, arriving at its southernmost stop of Miami the evening of Dec. 29. The return journey departs for Chicago from South Florida the morning of Jan. 2, 2015. Guests ride the Capitol Limited to Washington, D.C. and Silver Meteor along the East Coast routes. Historic menus will be served with renowned Pullman service for a timeless rail travel experience.
A round-trip rail-only package begins at $2,408 per person, based on double occupancy.
Pullman/Hotel Packages include:
Grand Floridian (Orlando)
Package begins at $4,198 per person, based on double occupancy and includes three-day Park Hopper passes, Grand Floridian Garden View Room, three meals and two snacks per person per night and a Magic Your Way Platinum Package with unlimited use of select recreation including golf, Cirque du Soleil LaNouba admission, fireworks cruise and reserved seating at Fantasmic, plus a select spa treatment and as round-trip transfers between the train station to the hotel.
The Biltmore (Coral Gables)
Package begins at $2,737 per person, based on double occupancy and includes the New Year’s Gala and dinner along with daily breakfast and round-trip sedan transfers between the hotel and train station.
Chesterfield (Palm Beach)
Package begins at $2,497 per person, based on double occupancy and includes New Year Champagne and Dreams Package with a five-course New Year’s Eve Gala dinner for two in the Leopard Lounge, champagne toast at midnight and New Year’s Eve Day brunch. Daily breakfast and round-trip town car transfer between the hotel and train station are included.
The Chesterfield Palm Beach is also running a “Home for the Holidays” package between December 1 and December 30, that puts a certain glow into the holiday season.
The Home for the Holidays package includes:
- Two nights’ accommodations in a beautifully appointed room or suite
- Traditional English Breakfast for two each morning
- Pre-packed towels, chairs and sunscreen to take to the beach
- A personal mixology lesson with skilled bartenders (includes two drinks per person)
Rate: $314 per room per night for two people with a minimum two-night stay.
For stays that overlap Santa’s visit, there are Christmas Eve and Christmas Day celebrations in the Leopard Lounge and Restaurant with a holiday feast that brings Prime Rib Roast, Roast Duckling, and Pan Seared Salmon. Meals are priced at $65 per adult and $21.95 per child under 12, excluding tax and gratuity.
Pullman Rail Journeys
The Chesterfield Palm Beach
Christmas in Poland Full of Tradition and Local Color
On this unique holiday tour of Poland, guests will make traditional pierogi with their own private chef, experience the traditional Christmas Eve vigil and dinner with a local family, meet the artists who produce Poland’s renown hand-blown Christmas ornaments, enjoy a torch-lit sleigh ride bundled in blankets, and more.
The traditional Christmas Eve vigil and dinner known as a Wigilia is a high point. In Polish communities, Wigilia is considered more important than Christmas Day itself. Guests will sample 12 traditional dishes, as well as desserts like the poppy-seed pastry called makowiec. The foods represent the four corners of the earth – mushrooms from the forest, grain from the fields, fruit from the orchards, and fish from the lakes and sea.
Following the dinner, voyagers will join their host family for a midnight church service and Christmas caroling, known as Pasterka. This yearly service is so integral to the Polish Christmas tradition that even non-Christians participate in the joyful ritual.
Rates: The 8-day “Christmas Traditions of Poland” tour runs from December 18-25, 2014. Prices start at $3,395.
Island Odyssey with “South Pacific Splendor” Package in Fiji
The 17-room Qamea Resort and Spa Fiji has a “splendid” South Pacific Package that is good for travel through May 15, 2015 if booked by December 31, 2014.
The package includes accommodations, welcome arrival drink, Continental breakfast buffet, afternoon tea and coffee, daily housekeeping and turn down. In addition the daily tariff includes water sport activities, sea canoeing, kayaking, and scheduled snorkeling trips with gear. Guests can participate in a Kava ceremony (ceremonial drink of Fiji), Meke, (Fijian dance and storytelling), Sunday Church services, hosted wine tasting, and nightly entertainment.
The resort fronts onto a private white sand beach of just under a kilometer in length and accommodates up to 34 adult guests in 17 spacious bures and exclusive Royal Beach Houses with private swimming pools and Jacuzzi Spas, all facing the beach.
Rates: $293 per night per couple represents a 50% savings from regular rates (Booking Code: QAM – WTAS), based on space availability.
For those couples creating a new booking with a minimum of five nights the resort includes a one-hour complimentary “Qamea Signature Couples Massage.”
The resort is located in the Fiji island group, about 10 hours via non-stop flight from LAX into Nadi airport. Qamea is accessible by air, and is roughly an 80-minute flight from Nadi International Airport to the Tavenui Airport, followed by a short scenic private transfer and 10-minute boat trip to Qamea Island.
$40 Retro Rate at Golden Arrow in Lake Placid, NY
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, on the shores of Mirror Lake at Main Street Lake Placid, is giving back to its guests with an exclusive $40/person travel deal, available throughout November and December 2014.
The retro rate includes:
- 10% multi-generational discount to families traveling with three generations or more
- Free bottle of wine for guests who are celebrating an anniversary while staying at the resort
- All-day happy hour pricing for hotel guests and other promotions at the resort’s Generations Restaurant
‘Tis the Season: HAL Season Savings on Caribbean Sailings
Cruise-lovers can put a holiday cruise aboard Holland America Line on the gift list this season with special all-inclusive packages that fit the wish and budget.
All-Inclusive Package: Guests looking to splurge on a verandah cabin or suite can take advantage of the all-inclusive package that starts at just $1,899 per person, double occupancy. The package includes roundtrip air from select U.S. gateways*; transfers between the airport and ship; the cruise fare; taxes; a Signature Beverage Package valued at $50 per person, per day; and a $25 per-person shipboard credit. All-inclusive third and fourth fares for guests in the cabin with two full fares start at $799 per person and include air, transfers, cruise and taxes.
Special Packages for Third/Fourth Guests: In addition to all-inclusive fares, Holland America Line offers special cruise-only ocean-view and interior stateroom fares for third and fourth guests on seven-day Caribbean holiday sailings. Cruise-only rates start at just $599 per person and reduced third/fourth fares begin at $199 per person.
‘Tis the Season to Cruise to the Caribbean: Holland America Line has six ships cruising the eastern and western Caribbean on seven-day itineraries in December 2014 that are included in the packages. Guests can sail roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on ms Eurodam, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Noordam, ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam. Each ship offers two holiday sailings: one over Christmas and one over New Year’s.
The ships call at a variety of ports including Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Falmouth and Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Key West, Fla.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. All roundtrip Fort Lauderdale itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay. The only ship in the fleet sailing roundtrip from Tampa, Fla., ms Ryndam also has two holiday departures and calls at Key West; Banana Coast, Honduras; Santo Tomas,Guatemala; and Costa Maya, Mexico. Amsterdam, ms Maasdam and ms Prinsendam also will be in the Caribbean during the holidays, but those cruises are not included in the Holiday all-inclusive packages.
‘Deck the Hulls’ Onboard: During holiday cruises, guests can take part in a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, enjoy traditional holiday meals with all of the trimmings and indulge in a special Royal Dutch High Tea with fanciful holiday cookies and pastries. The ships’ international crew chorus performs a magical holiday show, while caroling and singalongs take place around the ship. Kids will delight in a visit from Santa Claus and holiday-themed crafts.
*Air gateways for the all-inclusive package are Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; and New York, N.Y. (JFK only); The all-inclusive package also is available from 21 additional U.S. and Canadian cities for an additional surcharge.