In This Issue:

FEATURED TRIP: Elegant Canadian Rockies
CRUISE OF THE MONTH: 4th of July with the Queen
JOURNEY OF THE MONTH: Peaks to the Pacific
BEHIND THE SCENES: Haven on the Rails
THE WAY IT WAS: History at Sea
PHOTO OF THE MONTH: View from a Train
DID YOU KNOW? Healthy Parks, Healthy People
HISTORIC SNAPSHOT: Surprising Waterton
A TASTE FOR TRAVEL: Natchez-Style Beignets
TRAVEL TIPS: Insider Guide to the Queen Mary 2
NATIONAL PARK TRIVIA: Getting the Most Out of Grand Teton

 

EXCLUSIVE OFFER FOR NEWSLETTER READERS

FREE NIGHT IN DENVER! Receive an additional pre-trip hotel night in historic Brown Palace Hotel in Denver before our 10-Day Peaks to the Pacific train tour departing September 30, 2016. Note that this is an EXCLUSIVE offer that is made available ONLY to subscribers of this e-newsletter and must be redeemed by calling Uncommon Journeys at 1-800-323-5893. This offer expires Thursday, March 31.



Featured Trip

 Elegant Canadian Rockies

If you’ve been talking recently with a friend or family in the Northeast or Midwest, they probably weren’t too happy. As one family member told an Uncommon Journeys team member, “Sometimes it seems like Mother Nature has completely forgotten that summer even exists.” They were up to their ears in snow, biting winds, ice and slippery roads. It’s probably not surprising that now is the time of year when bookings surge for our summer-only vacations and space starts to go quickly. If you wait until spring to book, you just might be left behind. 

One of our favorite summer trips is our 8-day Elegant Canadian Rockies train tours departing June 23, July 21, August 18 and September 15. There is nothing more glorious than summer in the Canadian Rockies, especially when coupled with a train ride along Puget Sound and through the Cascades.

The stunning beauty of the Canadian Rockies.

While there are many tour programs to the Canadian Rockies, only Uncommon Journeys offers one with a magical and nostalgic beginning. Travel aboard a 1940's style private Vista-Dome streamliner train, our own Great Western Limited, to stunning Glacier National Park, Montana. Enjoy a manner and style of train travel that has all but vanished with a choice of Pullman sleeping car accommodations, featuring private facilities, comfortable beds, fluffy pillows and turn-down service. Onboard, there is an inviting dining and lounge area for relaxing. Meals are freshly prepared onboard by a skilled chef and served on tables graced with fresh roses and white linen. All meals, wines and spirits while aboard are included and there is simply no finer way to travel from Seattle to glorious Glacier National Park.

At Glacier National Park we have included the storied Going to the Sun Road on the famed red open-air “jammer” buses but this is only an entreé to our next visual treat, breathtakingly beautiful and seldom-visited Waterton National Park in Alberta. Waterton is a charming village many of our guests consider the highlight of their Canadian Rockies holiday. Then travel to Banff, stopping en route at the acclaimed Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy a four-night stay in the heart of Banff Township. Few tours offer four nights in Banff and this allows time not only to see the nearby area but we have included visits to lovely Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Yoho National Park and more. However, there’s also large amounts of free time for you to enjoy this remarkable mountain setting at your own pace. All sightseeing in the Canadian Rockies is included. Many meals are also included with such treats as breakfast at Chateau Lake Louise one day and dinner one evening at Le Beaujolais overlooking the Bow River, one of the highest rated restaurants in Canada.

Beginning at just $2,995 per person, our 8-day Elegant Canadian Rockies train tours departing June 23, July 21, August 18 and September 15 will sell quickly so call us at 1-800-323-5893 for more details. So slough off those winter blues and set you sights on summer with Uncommon Journeys!
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 4th of July with the Queen

Join us for a star-spangled 7-day 4th of July with the Queen cruise tour on June 30 that celebrates Independence Day in Boston Harbor, with its fantastic evening fireworks display! We have the grandest possible location for this spectacular visual treat, the Queen Mary 2, the greatest ocean Liner afloat, and docked overnight in Boston Harbor for this epic event. Nicely, Boston is just one of the great features of this short affordable mini-cruise. We set sail from New York on July 1st and enjoy a full day at sea aboard this great ship before our arrival in historic Halifax, Nova Scotia on July 3rd where there is a full day to enjoy this colorful port. Naturally, there is an excursion available to nearby much photographed Peggy’s Cove, famed for its great lobster meals. After Halifax, we steam south to Boston arriving there at noon on July 4th, with ample time to explore Boston and enjoy the Fireworks later this evening. July 5th is spent at sea, giving you time to explore the many amenities of Queen Mary 2 including the Canyon Ranch at Sea Spa, the largest ballroom afloat, the largest library afloat and the only ocean-going Planetarium! There are acres of open deck, swimming pools, grand dining and more choices of enjoyment than most small cities. Queen Mary 2 does very few shorter cruises and this is a rare chance to sample this extraordinary ship without spending a huge amount of time or money.

The unforgettable Queen Mary 2.

While there are many ordinary cruise ships, there is only one Queen Mary 2, heir to a proud tradition first established by the original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth and we invite you to join us on this spectacular 4th of July holiday. Beginning at just $2,895 per person, this 7-day 4th of July with the Queen cruise tour departing New York on June 30 is an ocean liner lover’s dream. Call us at 1-800-323-5893 for more details.
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 Peaks to the Pacific

Here at Uncommon Journeys, we know what our guests like. Each year we run many of our most popular trips from prior years, often with a tweak here and there to offer an even better vacation based on the feedback of our guests. Bur only a few times a year do we launch an all-new itinerary and that’s why I’m so excited to present our 10-Day Peaks to the Pacific train tours departing April 1, and September 30, 2016.

Join us on this very special journey of discovery from the Colorado Rockies to where the Pacific begins in San Francisco. We’ll visit some of the most fabled hotels in the country along the way, including the stunning Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite. With visual treats like Pikes Peak, the High Sierra passage over the original Transcontinental Railroad, Yosemite National Park and the Golden Gate Bridge, seldom has one holiday packed more beauty into one elegant and leisurely vacation. And, offering something only available from Uncommon Journeys, our guests enjoy travel aboard our own exclusive vintage Streamliner train, the Great Western Special, from Colorado to California. Onboard, there are comfortable Pullman accommodations, fine dining with our own chef and little touches abound, from welcome gifts to a lovely afternoon tea.

The highlight is our private train, the Great Western Limited.

The holiday begins in grand style at the historic Brown Palace Hotel in Denver with an overnight stay and plenty of time to explore Denver before departing for one of the most acclaimed resorts in America, the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs for two indulgent nights. With amenities including swimming pools, a superb spa, golf, tennis and riding, there is enough here to keep busy for a week. Not to mention the glorious vies of the Rocky Mountains since the Broadmoor is cradled in the mountains’ foothills. In Colorado Springs, we offer a trip aboard the legendary Pikes Peak Cog Railway, rising to over 14,000 feet for a view that will take you breath away. 

After two nights at this opulent resort, guests board the Great Western Special for a journey west to California, an overnight passage via the Union Pacific Railroad to Sacramento. After a visit to Old Sacramento and an overnight stay aboard the famous Delta King steamboat, it’s just a short drive to Yosemite National Park and the extraordinary Ahwahnee Hotel, for a two-night stay. Words do not do justice to Yosemite or the Ahwahnee and this is simply one more visual spectacle on a trip filled with many.

Next up is San Francisco for a three-night stay at the ultra-luxe JW Marriott at Union Square with an elegant mixture of free time and included highlights such as a breakfast at Cliff House overlooking Seal Rock at Lands' End beach as well as a visit to colorful North Beach and picturesque Sausalito along with plenty of free time. While the train is called the Great Western Special, in fact the entire program is quite special, due in part to being limited to only 24 lucky guests. Alas, with such an intimate scale, the legendary hotels and the special train, both departures will sell out quickly so prompt reservations are highly encouraged to avoid disappointment. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Beginning at just $5,295 per person and offered twice only on April 1 and September 30, our 10-Day Peaks to the Pacific train tours will sell quickly so call us at 1-800-323-5893 for more details.
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 Haven on the Rails

Reliving the Golden Age of Rail Travel.

At Uncommon Journeys, one of the things that appeals the most to travelers is our great many trips that include an overnight journey on our private train, the Great Western Limited. While some of our guests remember what train travel was like in the heyday of the Streamliner era in the 1940s and 1950s or have taken short trips of just a few hours between major cities on commuter trains or Amtrak, for many it is their first time on a long distance train and certainly their first time on a private train.

The fun of a private train is that passengers aren’t getting on and off at each stop. Everyone boards in one city and leaves in another as the second phase of our tours begin. The group becomes a family and conversation flows freely. Wines, spirits and beer also flow freely since we have an open bar policy while aboard the Great Western Limited. Our staff quickly learns your name and your drink preferences and before you can even think to ask, they’re at your elbow ready to bring you your favorite libation. And unlike today’s trains with packaged sandwiches or even vending machines, we serve a multi-course meal with silver cutlery, fine china, and white tablecloths.

But our guests are most fascinated by their accommodations for the evening. There is nothing more enjoyable than savoring an after-dinner drink in our dining and lounge car chatting with new friends while knowing that a cozy Pullman stateroom awaits. During the day, each stateroom boasts a comfortable couch but, quite honestly, rarely used since most of our guests prefer to sit in the expansive banquettes of the dining and lounge Vista-Dome Streamliner car to enjoy the 360-degree view and the camaraderie of their fellow travelers.

While our guests dine, our stewards unobtrusively head below and convert each stateroom into a sleeping cabin. The large couch is transformed into a berth and an additional berth, completely hidden in the wall, folds down. The beds are turned down and the bathroom restocked with sundries. Each bathroom is small and efficient, some with ingenious fold-down sinks while others have a sink in a niche in the sleeping compartment. There are strategic reading lights that illuminate each berth making the temptation of relaxing with a good book irresistible for many guests. The pillows are soft, the blankets warm, and the beds comfortable. Each Pullman stateroom is a cozy, ergonomic, delightful haven on the rails.

But one of the best parts is the expansive picture window in each room. There is nothing in this world more enjoyable than curling up in bed, your nose almost pressed against the glass, watching the nocturnal world flash by. Across the plains the lights of a grain silo, a railroad crossing, and the tidy bustle of a small town race by. In the mountains, lights are rarer but on those glorious nights when the moon illuminates the landscape, the result is absolutely magical.

All the while, the gentle movement of the train rocks you to sleep and the click-clack of the tracks becomes a soothing metronome that has a hypnotic effect. Despite your excitement and desire to stay awake to see everything the world has to offer outside your window, you’re lulled into a wonderful traveler’s sleep on the rails.
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History at Sea

The elegant Queen Mary 2 is a piece of history. Photo courtesy of Cunard Line

One of our most valued travel partners are making news. At Uncommon Journeys, we offer several trips with Cunard Line on the Queen Mary 2 such as our 7-day 4th of July with the Queen cruise departing June 30 and our 12-day Canada and New England with the Queen cruise tour departing September 30. Cunard has just announced some fascinating photos will be included in the refurbishment of the Queen Mary 2.

We find it wonderful that Cunard’s former office buildings in Britain and North America are to become an integral part of the fleet’s flagship Queen Mary 2 during her major 2016 refit. The Cunard Buildings in Liverpool, New York and Southampton will each be featured in a specially-commissioned set of images that will be displayed in the ship’s suites and staterooms when she re-enters service following her three-week refit next June.

Behind the images is renowned UK architectural photographer, Paul Ward, who accepted the Cunard commission and spent a month researching, visiting and photographing the buildings. Ward’s work started in December at the Cunard Building in Liverpool, this year celebrating the centenary of its opening as the line’s headquarters in 1916. It remained the global focal point of Cunard operations until 1967 and in 2004 became part of the City of Liverpool’s acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site at Pier Head overlooking the River Mersey.

Moving to Manhattan, Ward spent time studying and photographing the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, which is highly noted for its architectural significance and grandeur, with the entrance lobby and first-floor ticketing office designated a New York City Landmark in 1995.

The last of the former offices photographed in the current commission is South Western House in the company’s home city of Southampton, a Grade II listed property in England which signifies and preserves the special architectural and historic interest of the building.

Queen Mary 2’s major 25-day refit will see all Princess and Queens Grills Suites and all Britannia Club staterooms, together with more than half of balcony staterooms redesigned. Fresh design schemes and fine details will pay tribute to the original Queen Mary’s iconic art deco heritage while keeping this grand ocean liner at the forefront of luxury. During her time in dry dock, Queen Mary 2 will also receive a wide range of upgrades, including the addition of 30 new Britannia Club Balcony staterooms and 15 Britannia Single staterooms.

A selection of Paul Ward’s photography can be viewed online. For Liverpool, visit http://bit.ly/1SekqCl, for New York City http://bit.ly/1PAiChc, and for Southampton http://bit.ly/20mJ2bu.
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View from a Train

The scenery is one of the biggest lures of train travel.

For me, there are so many appealing aspects of traveling by train, it’s difficult to pick my favorite. I’m quite fond of the personalized service. The cuisine is superb. The settings are elegant, with flowers on every table, white tablecloths, fine china, and gleaming silver cutlery. There are the intimate staterooms in the sleeping cars, tidy and orderly with big picture windows showing you the world pass by as you snuggle into the fluffy blankets. There are the complimentary wines and spirits on our private train, the Great Western Limited.

But then there’s the view. Trains take you beyond the highways and you travel at “see” level, not suspended 35,000 feet in the air. While you dine, views surround you in our restored Vista-Dome Streamliner cars. The views are there as you enjoy an after dinner drink. They’re there as you chat with new friends, read a book or play cards. The views are more than just a thing - they’re everything.

If you’d like to see a photo from one of your own Uncommon Journeys trips featured in our newsletter, just email it to us at uncommon@uncommonjourneys.com and be sure to note in your email that we can use it for marketing purposes.
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Healthy Parks, Healthy People

Parks like Canyonlands are a source of inspiration.

It seems like when our Uncommon Journeys guests come back from a trip to a national park, whether it be American or Canadian, that they come back with a new attitude as well. There’s something about seeing unspoiled nature, breathing clean air, seeing crystal clear lakes and streams, and watching wildlife roam the landscape without fear of traffic or humans that takes us back to a state of bliss, a state many of us forget in our everyday lives. It also raises of awareness of what a world without belching factories, trash-strewn landscapes, honking cars, paved parking lots, and glaring fast food restaurant signs can be like. And it reminds us of the importance of protecting our natural resources for future generations.

It turns out the National Park Service (NPS) feels the same way as well. Under the banner of “Healthy Parks, Healthy People: Connecting Health and Nature,” the NPS and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) have partnered to increase awareness among people of all ages and all walks of life about the benefits of contact with nature for health and wellness.

NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis and PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne formalized the partnership with a signing ceremony at PAHO headquarters after which the two leaders took a walk to the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall. Under this new agreement, the two organizations committed to collaborate in promoting the health and well-being of people of the Americas through initiatives that support a healthy planet and healthy humanity.

“Human health and well-being depend very much on our connections to the environment, from our need for clean air and safe water to our enjoyment of outdoor activities,” said PAHO Director Etienne. “Through this partnership, our two organizations will be better able to raise public awareness of the important connections between health and the environment, and to advocate for policies that protect and promote them.”

"We are honored to partner with the Pan American Health Organization, to deliver on key actions that will advance parks as go-to-resources for healthy living,” said NPS Director Jarvis. “This partnership is a great example of a collaborative action that will advance one of our key goals of connecting people to parks, as we approach our NPS Centennial in 2016.”

Under the new agreement, PAHO/WHO and NPS will collaborate on events including World Health Day, the World Parks Congress, Great Outdoors Month, U.S. National Park Week, and the Healthy Parks Healthy People International Congress. They will also share links with each other’s networks to facilitate new alliances with organizations throughout the Americas, including national and local governments, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the private sector, youth networks, and other community-based organizations.

In addition, PAHO/WHO and NPS plan to carry out research and evaluation projects and other joint initiatives in areas such as evaluation of health equity, analysis of health indicators, and health risk and impact assessments.

Here at Uncommon Journeys, we applaud this partnership. As a company that has taken thousands of people to national parks over the past 26 years, we recognize the importance of preserving the land, respecting the beauty of nature, and planning for the future.
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Luxury in Yellowstone

Surprising Waterton

An unexpected treasure in the Canadian Rockies

There is nothing more fun than taking an Uncommon Journeys vacation, figuring out what will be the highlights beforehand, and then running into an unexpected hidden gem that is just as dramatic as the “big” attractions to which you were looking forward. Our 8-Day Elegant Canadian Rockies train tours departing June 23, July 21, August 18, and September 15, 2016 offer just such a moment in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta.

Before departing, it seems like there are several highlights. The ride in our private train, the Great Western Limited, along Puget Sound and through the Cascades to Glacier National Park is one. Staying in an historic lodge on Lake McDonald inside Glacier National Park or the excursion over the Continental Divide on the Going to the Sun Road in the famed red “jammer” buses is another. Three glorious nights in Banff with two included dinners, trips to the sapphire beauty of Moraine Lake and the stunning grounds of the hotel hugging the shores of Lake Louise are no slouch either. A gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain overlooking Banff with a 360-degree panoramic view of the show-dusted peaks of the Canadian Rockies is, literally and figuratively, a clear highlight.

But it is the night we spend in the little town of Waterton, located completely inside Waterton Lakes National Park, which is the surprise hit of the trip. We stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel perched on a bluff overlooking an alpine lake ringed by mountains. The hotel itself is one of Canada’s National Historic Sites and opened on July 25, 1927. Canada’s park service describes it as having a “striking design” that along with its location, makes it “Waterton's most recognized landmark.”

The origins of the hotel date back to 1910 and the Great Northwestern Railway’s James Hill who, having visited Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and the adjacent Glacier National Park in the United States, wanted to make the area a “playground of the Northwest.” He built a number of hotels, roads, camps and boats to get people to form and around the area. When he found a site on a bluff overlooking Upper Waterton Lake, it was too good to pass up. His other hotels were in the United States but his resort in Canada boasted “soaring roofs, gables and balconies conveying the appearance of a giant alpine chalet and enclosing a magnificent timber-framed interior that continues to evoke the rustic atmosphere of mountain lodges built in that period.” It is a wonderful reminder of the Golden Age of Rail Travel.
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Ibn Battuta

 

“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battutn
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Natchez-Style Beignets

Beignets are a true taste of the South  

We love that staple of the South, beignets and in a few weeks will be announcing an exciting new travel partner that will cover the area in depth. Until then, here is a taste of the South by acclaimed chef Regina Charboneau, a Natchez tradition herself. When cooking beignets, do not overcrowd them in the oil. Just do a few at a time and let the oil come back up to temperature between batches by waiting a minute or two, or they will not cook properly.

(Makes 18)
INGREDIENTS
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
4 tablespoons sugar
1 envelope 2¼ teaspoons (active dry yeast)
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon salted butter, soft
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Vegetable oil, for frying
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

DIRECTIONS
1. In a microwavable bowl, combine the milk, 1/2 cup water microwave on low until the liquid is hot but not scalding. Remove and let sit until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F. Stir in sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Let begin to activate for 10 minutes. Add flour to bowl in stand mixer.
2. Add the yeast mixture to the flour and mix on medium speed until blended, about 2 minutes. Add the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla and mix on medium speed until a soft dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 1 to 2 minutes. If the dough is too soft, add the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to make pliable dough that is not too tacky.
3. Oil a large bowl with the vegetable oil. Put the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with oil on all sides. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Let stand in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (If you prefer to make your dough the day before, at this point, the dough can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Let warm to room temperature before proceeding to step 4.)
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into twelve 2 1/2 x 3-inch rectangles.
5. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Clip a deep-frying thermometer to the side of a Dutch oven, half fill it with oil, and heat to 350°F. (Alternatively, an electric skillet or deep fryer set to 350°F can be used.)
6. Working in batches and using a long-handled slotted spoon or strainer, gently lower the dough into the oil, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook until the beignets are golden brown, turning once, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
7. Transfer the beignets to the paper-lined baking sheet to drain. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot.
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  Insider Guide to the Queen Mary 2

Once aboard, all you need to do is relax. Photo courtesy of Cunard Line

Many of our Uncommon Journeys include a cruise either as the primary core of the trip or in addition to train touring as well. One of our most popular partners is Cunard Line and we know from experience that figuring out just what to expect on a trip, and packing and planning accordingly, is half the battle. We thought you might be interested in Cunard Line’s answer to some of their most frequently asked questions, as displayed on the Cunard website at www.cunard.com/frequent-questions/faq/. You’ll also find questions about traveling, packing and shore excursion there as well but we present the key bits of info about life onboard and what to expect. Below are some of the insider guide tips for traveling on the glorious Queen Mary 2. Bon voyage!

How many formal nights are there?
Formal nights are one of the most distinctive parts of the Cunard experience and are a great opportunity to socialize with like-minded travelers. The number of formal nights varies by cruise and will be detailed in your pre-cruise documents. Cruises typically have two to five formal nights depending on length and number of sea days. Of course, single travelers are welcome at all events, and Gentleman Dance Hosts are on board to waltz and salsa with single ladies.

Is there Internet connection on board?
Yes, you may access the Internet in each ship’s Internet Centre. Guests with laptops may access the web via our wireless network, available in every stateroom as well as many public rooms. Charges apply for these services.

Will I need money on board?
For your convenience, we operate a “cash-free” system where you simply sign for all purchases using your personal identification key card, which is provided at check-in. This card is also your pass on and off the ship. It should be signed immediately and kept securely about your person at all times. You may choose to settle your account by credit card, registered at check in, or with cash. If settling with cash you will, however, need to keep your account in credit at all times. Please note we do not accept Personal Checks, Travelers Checks or Pre-Paid Credit Cards on board.

Will I be able to clean my clothes on board?
Yes. Full laundry services are available on board, and will be billed to your stateroom. Complimentary self-service washers, dryers and ironing facilities are also available.

Are there medical facilities on board?
Yes, but these basic medical facilities are equipped primarily to deal with illness and accidents and are not intended to provide ongoing treatment of pre-existing conditions. If you happen to be taken ill whilst cruising with us and your condition were so serious that we needed to get you to shore, you would be placed into the care of our port agents and a member of our team ashore would stay in contact with you and provide support if required. Please note, however, that all medical services on board are charged for. If you anticipate a need for medical services aboard the ship, your special requirement must be advised to us in writing before your booking can be finalized. Because medical facilities are limited and shoreside medical care is not always readily available, we will not be able to carry guests who will be 24 weeks or more pregnant by the end of the intended cruise.

What is the smoking policy on board?
The safety, comfort and enjoyment of all our guests has always been a key concern at Cunard. With this in mind, and as a direct result of the feedback we have received from our guests, we have amended our policy with regard to smoking on board Cunard ships. Smoking is no longer permitted in any public area with the exception of Churchill’s Cigar Lounge, designated areas on the open decks and the upper level of G32 on Queen Mary 2. Pipe and cigar smoking is only permitted in Churchill’s Cigar Lounge and on the permitted open deck spaces. Smoking is not permitted in staterooms or on stateroom balconies. Electronic cigarettes may be used in staterooms and on stateroom balconies, however, they are not permitted in non-smoking public areas. Electronic cigarettes that do emit a vapor should be used in designated smoking areas only.

Are there any other places to eat on board?
The Queen Mary 2 features the Golden Lion, Boardwalk Cafe©, Todd English restaurant, Winter Garden, Sir Samuel’s and the Kings Court buffet with alternative dining options La Piazza (Italian), The Carvery (traditional British) and Lotus (pan Asian). Advance bookings are required for Todd English on board Queen Mary 2 as well as the specialty dining options in the evening offered in the Lido and Kings Court respectively. These dining options carry a nominal charge. Room service is also available 24 hours a day.

What if I need a special diet?
Please advise us of your needs six months prior to departure or at the time of booking, whichever is closer to your departure date. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that special dietary requests are met, please note this cannot be guaranteed. For guests who require kosher food, we are pleased to provide this for dinner only. Please advise us at the time of booking where we will send you a menu to make your selection; this must be returned no later than four weeks prior to departure. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer kosher food for bookings that are made less than four weeks prior to embarkation.

Are there any bars or lounge areas on board?
Queen Mary 2 features the Commodore Club, Golden Lion pub, The Pavilion, Queens Room (Afternoon Tea) and Churchill’s Cigar Lounge plus the Chart Room Lounge and Bar, G32 (nightclub), Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar and Winter Garden.

Can I bring alcohol on board?
You may bring wine or champagne on board to celebrate special occasions. However if it is consumed in any of the dining rooms, alternative restaurants or bars then each bottle will be subject to a corkage fee.

Will I be able to attend religious services?
A Catholic Priest will be permanently on board Queen Mary 2 and a Rabbi will also be on board during major religious holidays. Non-denominational services are conducted at sea. During cruises coinciding with a major religious holiday, ecumenical clergy will be aboard to conduct services.

You can experience the Queen Mary 2 on our 7-day 4th of July with the Queen cruise tour departing New York on June 30 and featuring an evening fireworks display in Boston Harbor or on our 12-day Canada & New England with the Queen cruise/train tour departing September 30 with a train trip through the fall foliage from New York to Montreal and then an autumnal voyage on the Queen Mary 2 from Montreal back to New York. Both trips feature an overnight pre-trip stay in New York at the acclaimed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
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Getting the Most Out of Grand Teton

Grand Teton partners with the David T. Vernon Collection.

In a partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and Google, Grand Teton National Park's David T. Vernon Collection of American Indian artifacts will be featured in the Google Cultural Institute, a digital platform which makes hundreds of culturally significant objects in the National Park Service's museum collection available online. The Google Cultural Institute photographs and virtually maps important artifacts, photos, records and works of art to share with global audiences and digitally preserve them for future generations.

Grand Teton National Park has 75 objects from the David T. Vernon Collection featured as part of the partnership with Google Cultural Institute. The objects featured include a number of saddle bags, dresses, belts, vests, moccasins, cradleboards, and tools. Each object is accompanied by a brief description of the item which tells the story of the object and provides a window into American Indian life and culture. The digitization work for this online collection was made possible through the support of Grand Teton National Park Foundation and Grand Teton Association. More objects may be photographed and uploaded to expand the online museum in the future.

Laurance S. Rockefeller purchased a 10,000 item collection from Indian artifact collector David T. Vernon in 1965. Seven years later, Rockefeller transferred a portion of that collection totaling 1,428 items to Grand Teton National Park. For more than 40 years, the Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum displayed and housed that collection in the park. Currently the collection is undergoing conservation work at the Western Archaeological Conservation Center in Tucson, AZ. More than 80 objects have returned to the Colter Bay Visitor Center and the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.
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* Note that this is an EXCLUSIVE offer that is made available ONLY to subscribers of this e-newsletter and must be redeemed by calling Uncommon Journeys at 1-800-323-5893. This offer expires on Thursday, March 31, 2016 and is only available for new bookings.