Calling All Wine Lovers

Ok wine lovers I have a special treat for you today. We are sharing an article by CNN on the 11 undiscovered wine regions. If you are looking for a lovely libation spot that isn’t overrun with tourists this is the list for you. Of course we all know if you want good wine we could head to Tuscany, Napa or Champagne, but some of the worlds best wine comes from places around the globe you may have never even heard of–including a local favorite–Door County Wisconsin. So, take your time, peruse the article and call us today to make your next vacation all about the Vino.

Inle Lake region, Myanmar

Aythaya Wine Estate is one of the only two wineries in Myanmar.

Myanmar possesses only two wine estates, both located near Inle Lake, famous for its Intha fisherman who row standing up with one leg while manipulating their conical fishing nets.
A 30-minute drive from the lake into the Shan mountains is the Aythaya wine estate, opened in 1999.
Wine tasting takes place in the Sunset Wine Garden restaurant, where the sun drops over the vineyards for an otherworldly feel.
The Red Mountain Estate opened in 2002, and is the only other winery in Myanmar.
Its 400,000 plants were imported from France and Spain after experiments to determine which would grow best in the hilly region.

Kakheti, Georgia

Located at the intersection of Europe and Asia, Georgia is not known for succulent peaches, but for its grape varieties.
Georgia, the country (not the US state) is one of the world’s oldest winemaking regions.
Archaeologists have found evidence of wine production from 6,000 BC, which has earned it a place on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Kakheti is Georgia’s most famous wine region: highlights include sipping wine at Pheasant’s Tears  in the quaint hilltop town of Sighnaghi.
Rather than producing wine in wooden barrels or steel containers, Georgian-grown grapes ferment in clay jars known as qvevri.
The resulting sweet taste is pleasing and distinct from the usual palate of Western wines.

Brda, Slovenia

The 72-square-kilometer (28 mile) wine region of Brda sits along the Italian border and has been described as a “mini Tuscany” — even the cuisine is influenced by Italy.
An hour’s drive from Ljubljana, most of the vineyards are small, family-run operations, and almost all offer some combination of wine tastings, tours, meals, accommodation and wine sales.
Best way to experience Brda?
A slow, multi-course meal on a terrace overlooking the vineyards.

Douro Valley, Portugal

Douro might be the world's most beautiful wine regions.

Northern Portugal is home to the Douro region and is the birthplace of port wine.
There has been wine production in the region for more than 2,000 years.
The new Six Senses hotel — the group’s first in Europe — presents a renovated 19th-century manor house set high on a hill overlooking the Douro Valley and the river below.
Its highlights include panoramic views while lounging in the pool, or leisurely strolls through the property’s organic garden.

Okanagan Wine Region, Canada

Situated in British Columbia and a 4-hour drive from bustling Vancouver, the Okanagan Wine Region is the perfect place to do a bike tour through a vineyard.
The Fairview Trail Network is a 6.2 mile loop that begins at Tinhorn Creek Winery, where it’s possible to bike through the vineyards and Fairview Townsite, a former Gold Rush town.
Afterwards, enjoy wine tasting at a number of vineyards with a view of lovely rolling hills.

Finger Lakes Region, New York

The Finger Lakes Region of New York State is a 9,000 square mile picturesque landscape of waterfalls, gorges, rolling hills, and miles of shoreline encompassing 11 glacial lakes and one Great Lake.
Visitors can try one of the four wine trails in the Finger Lakes region: the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Keuka Lake Wine Trail, or Canandaigua Wine Trail.
White wines are the main draw, as the Finger Lakes has burst onto the scene with its tasty Rieslings.
The region has more than 100 wineries and is the largest wine-producing region in the US east of California.

Franschhoek, South Africa

Leeu House, an exclusive boutique hotel,  is a new addition to South Africa's Franschhoek wine region.

Located 45 minutes from Cape Town, Franschhoek is gearing up to be South Africa’s next great wine destination.
The valley was originally known as Olifantshoek (Elephant’s Corner) after the huge herds that roamed the area, and is now a premier vino destination in the Cape Winelands.
The new Leeu House is an exclusive boutique hotel with six of the rooms opening to private gardens, and guests can enjoy a complimentary tasting of the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers a hop-on hop-off tour that passes by pretty vineyards with stops at several wineries.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

With its rich volcanic soil, Tenerife, the largest island in the Canaries, produces tasty red and white wines.
The island offers grape varieties that were wiped out from mainland Europe during the Phylloxera epidemic in the mid-1800s.
It also has many vineyards for wine tasting including Bodega Monje  in the North of the island, and Bodega Frontos  in the southern part.
The red Listan Negra is similar to a hearty Spanish wine while the white Listan Bianco is a dry, crisp wine that complements the island’s fresh seafood and shellfish.

Marche, Italy

Percorino is the prominent grape in Offida, home to traditional estates like Ciu Ciu.

Perched in central Italy, Marche offers a beautiful landscape next to the Adriatic Sea, minus the heavy tourism of neighboring Tuscany or Umbria.
Every year, about 18 million bottles of its famous wine, Verdicchio, are sold globally.
In the small town of Offida, Pecorino is the most important grape.
Estates like Ciù Ciù have thrived and maintained a sense of local tradition.

Healdsburg, California

Instead of following in the footsteps of the oft-mentioned Napa Valley vacation, one alternative is to visit northern California’s emerging wine scene in Healdsburg.
Located one hour north of San Francisco, Healdsburg celebrated 40 years of the Wine Road organization last year, where 200 wineries are dotted along the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys.
The aim behind the Road’s establishment was that decades ago, Napa was the only place to have tastings in the region and Californians wanted some variety.
Guests can join the husband and wife team, Herald and Kirsten Jones, that lead the Wine Country Walking Tours in downtown Healdsburg and taste some of the area’s wines.
They lead the tour with a fun twist on wine tasting while visiting several tasting rooms like Williamson Wines and Stephen & Walker.

Door County, Wisconsin

The “Cape Cod of the Midwest” is the affectionate term given to the wholesome, tranquil lakeside destination of Door County, Wisconsin.
The Midwestern locale has eight wineries that are part of the Door County Wine Trail.
One of the oldest in Wisconsin, Door Peninsula Winery, opened in 1974 and is one of the largest producers in the state.
The area is known for its fruit wines, particularly with locally grown tart cherries.
The Orchard Country Winery produces a number of estate wines from grapes, cherries, apples and other fruits that they grow on their 100-acre farm near Fish Creek.
Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777| ambassadortravelltd.com
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Travel Tid Bits

9781472339010_Z.jpgToday I am mixing things up on our normal travel trivia blog and I am going to bring you some travel tid bits about a few interesting places from around the world. I stumbled across a post from a website/blog/travel publication called the Lonely Planet where they talk about 10 geeky facts from around the globe. I decided to highlight a couple of the places they talk about and some of the cool facts I found out (or already knew) about some exciting travel locations. So let’s learn a little bit on this Travel Trivia Tuesday shall we!

Location number one is Mount Everest, located in Nepal. As most of us know Mt. Everest at it’s highest point is the highest point on earth, but do you know just how tall that is? Currently Mt. Everest measures just over 29,035 feet. That is one tall point! Another thing you may not have known is that it is still growing! Now you may ask, how does a mountain grow. Well Mt. Everest sits on a bunch of tectonic plates that are pushing together raising the mountain 4mm per year. It may not seem like a lot but times that by the millions/billions of years the earth has been around and you’re going to get about 29,035 feet! If you aren’t into climbing to the very top (because well that takes a lot of training, millions of dollars, and you could die) there are plenty of opportunities in the foothills for climbing enthusiasts!

Our second pick is Vatican City. Did you know that this tiny 109 acre area is actually the smallest country in the world? That right, to put this in comparison, many of us have been to Central Park in New York City, well that is just over 840 acres. Yup, there is a country that is about 1/8th the size of Central Park! This traditional State has it’s own military known as the Swiss Guard and to this day they still wear the traditional garb inspired by the Renaissance artist Raphael. The country has 800 inhabitants and 450 of them are citizens.

Finally we are going to head back to the east and talk about the Great Wall of China. Obviously located in China, this was the largest military construction ever built on earth. And did you know the myth about being able to see it from space isn’t true! Today there are still about 1243 miles of the original 4535 miles of the wall remaining. The wall was built over the course of 300 years from the 7th century BC to the 4th century BC. One thing you may not know is that one of the hottest locations to view the wall is near Beijing. One small thing many tourists don’t know is that isn’t even part of the original wall. That’s right, the Beijing section was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty 14-17th centuries AD.

For more travel knowledge make sure to check back each week and find out what we want you, our lovely followers, to know! If you are ready to see the world and this blog has inspired you it’s time to give us a call or check out our website!

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

Pina Colada

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, today we are featuring the Pina Colada. Most of us have enjoyed this delicious umbrella drink, but do we know anything about its history? If not, then keep reading; if so I guess go make yourself a Pina Colada and wait until tomorrow’s blog post.

esmokeking-pina-colada-finest-selection-eliquid-10ml-600_5Pina Colada is Spanish for strained pineapple, which comes from one the drink’s main ingredients. Other ingredients include white rum and coconut cream. It has been the national drink of Puerto Rico since 1978 and the people of the island celebrate national Pina Colada day every year on July 10th. Like many popular drinks the Pina Colada has a history that is debated and still to this day a definite rivalry. The two main accounts of where the drink was first made come from a dispute between two bartenders. The first, Ramon Marrero Perez, claims to have made the delicious drink first at the Caribe Hilton Hotel’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan in 1954. Another Ramon tells a different story though; Ramon Portas Mingot says he created the drink in 1963 at the Barrachina Restaurant in Old San Juan. And regardless of which account you believe you can still visit both locations to sample what claims to be the original Pina Colada.

Want to try this delicious drink in its native land? Call us today to book your next trip to Puerto Rico. Also make sure to check out our website, here you can request an appointment online and learn more about what we do. 920.236.7777 or ambassadortravelltd.com

Locate that Monument

We are going to have a little fun today by playing a little matching game to see if you know the names of these 10 famous monuments from around the world! Tell us how you did at the end and how many you’ve been to by commenting below or on our Facebook page! I personally have been to 5 of the 10, can you guess which ones?

1.                                                             2.

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3.                                                              4.

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5.                                                                        6.

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7.                                                                         8.

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9.                                                                          10.

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Word Bank:

A. Brandenburger Tor (gate)

B. Stonehenge

C. St. Basil’s Cathedral

D. La Sagrada Familia

E. Christ the Redeemer

F. the Eiffel Tower

G. Big Ben

H. the Taj Mahal

I. the Pyramids of Giza

J. the Gold Gate Bridge

Scroll down now to see if you got the answers right

Answers:

  1. F Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)
  2. C St. Basil’s Cathedral (Moscow, Russia)
  3. E Christ the Redeemer (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  4. G Big Ben (London, England)
  5. J. the Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, USA)
  6. I. Pyramids of Giza (Giza, Egypt)
  7. A. Brandenburger Tor (Berlin, Germany)
  8. B. Stonehenge (Amesbury, England)
  9. D. La Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain)
  10. the Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

 

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

Oh Canada

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What’s the number one country

to travel to in 2017?

According to Lonely Planet, the world’s most successful travel publisher, it’s Canada. With the entire country celebrating the lead up to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017 with special events, concerts and more, there’s never been a better time or reason for your clients to visit and experience the world renowned beauty of Western Canada on a Rocky Mountaineer journey. 

With four unique rail routes connecting Vancouver, British Columbia – a cosmopolitan city surrounded by beaches, oceans and mountains – to the majestic Canadian Rockies and iconic Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper, Rocky Mountaineer offers your clients a truly Canadian and one-of-a-kind travel experience. 

Watch the video and learn why Lonely Planet named Canada the number one country to visit in 2017 and why your clients should visit next year.

For more information on how you can travel to Canada by plane, train or automobile then give us a call at Ambassador Travel today! We have great options on guided tours, setting you up with hotels, excursions and transportation and so much more!

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

Alaskan Adventure

Alaskan cruises are a truly unique experience. Offering different perspectives of life in Alaska at each port, every day is a new adventure. With the main draws being the tranquil scenery and the rugged wildlife, Alaska is a true frontier adventure. Cruises to Alaska range anywhere from 6-30 days with the average being about 7-14 days. The cruising season begins in May and ends in September, with temperatures ranging from mid 50s to mid 70s throughout.

A great addition to Alaskan Cruises are land portions. This gives you the opportunity to see Mt. Mckinley, which is located in Denali National Park. One of the coolest excursions offered on land portions is late night golfing thanks to the Midnight Sun. Travelers can book Tee times ranging from 5am until as late as Midnight.

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Although I have never been on an Alaskan Cruise the idea of whale watching in the morning and spending my late night golfing under the midnight sun is something I do not want to miss. I have experienced midnight sun when I traveled to Russian and it is one of the coolest, weirdest feelings I have ever been though. If you are interested in finding out more information we have several vendors that we use to book our Alaska Cruises. When discussing this blog post this morning with one of our Alaskan cruise experts, Connie, she said that when she sells this particular tour she likes to use Holland America. Connie is one of our most seasoned travel consultants and if you want a truly wonderful experience her judgment and advice is always top notch. Liz is another cruise expert here at Ambassador Travel. She cruised upward of 40 days last year so she knows the ins and outs of the seas. Give us a call today and we would love to set you up with one of our lovely ladies and help you fulfill a trip of a lifetime.

Ambassador Travel Ltd., 1528 Oregon St. Oshkosh WI 54915, 920.236.7777

Guess the Site

On which island and World Heritage Site would you find these distinctive carved stone statues (pictured)?

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Make your guess in the comments below. Good luck!

Because this is our first Trivia Tuesday I don’t have the answer to reveal from last weeks, so I figured I would just share a few Interesting facts that have to do with travel:

  • There are 61,000 people in the air over the U.S. at any given time on any given day.
  • Studies show that money spent on travel makes you happier than money spent on material goods.
  • Monaco is smaller than Central Park in New York City.
  • Las Vegas, Nevada has the most hotel rooms of any city in the world.
  • All the money that is tossed into Rome’s Trevi Fountain is collected each night and donated to multiple charities.

Now that you know so much more about the world and travel in general give us a call and let us help you plan the next trip of a lifetime. Through all the facts that I filtered through a surprising amount of them dealt with a person’s overall health and happiness. It seems that vacations are good for the body and soul and to me that is as good a  reason as any to start my next journey. Where can we send you? Maybe to the answer of our trivia question? Don’t forget to submit your answers below.

 

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

Are you a Wine Expert?

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Hello all and welcome to this glorious Monday! Today we are going to test your knowledge of all things wine. Sure we all love it and we have our favorites, but how much do you know about wine? Think you’re an expert? Find out here!

How High Is Your Wine IQ

Now that you’ve taken the quiz do you have a better appreciate for your favorite vinos? Will you do anything different? Share with us in the comments here or on our Facebook page!

Ambassador Travel Ltd. | 920.236.7777 | ambassadortravelltd.com

Digital Age of Travel

Today we are sharing an article with you written for http://www.afar.com about one girl realizing how Zika has changed her life, not in the way you may expect. Travel, just like life, comes with risks and Brianna Rice makes a intuitive discovery after contracting the headline making disease. Find out what she learned after her trip to El Salvador and how it may change the way you take in travel news. We perceive that the world is becoming more dangerous because we receive news so quickly due to the internet and specifically social media. In what used to take hours, days, months and even years to receive news from across the world now can happen live thanks to things like snapchat, Facebook Live and Instagram stories new live feature. Social media has made connect with our loved ones and even strangers possible from anywhere, but it does come with a cost. Taking in the digital age of travel means understanding what the headlines mean and digesting them relatively to the massive amount of information we receive on a daily basis now. Sharing an article like this helps us put something that seems so scary and distant from our lives into perspective.

I Got Zika and I Will Never Be the Same

What contracting Zika taught one traveler about traveling fearlessly

remember looking down at my polka-dotted legs as I lay by the pool of a small hostel in El Tunco, El Salvador. As I fought the urge to scratch, I counted the number of mosquito bites. Thirty-seven. I had thirty-seven bites on my legs, not to mention a few on my arms and the one driving me crazy on my back. I shrugged, sprayed my legs with more 99.9 percent DEET spray, and continued basking in the sun. A week after I tallied up my bites, on the last day of my trip to Central America, I suddenly felt feverish and exhausted. The flight home was miserable and I was plagued with a bloody nose and ears that wouldn’t pressurize for hours.

Luckily, I had already scheduled a routine doctor’s appointment for three days after my return home. Between the fever and the full-body rash that developed, my doctor insisted on blood tests to check for various tropical mosquito-borne viruses. Among them: the dreaded Zika virus.

Now, anyone who owns a television, has access to the Internet, or reads the news knows about Zika. Images of small-headed newborns and warnings from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were plastered all over the place last spring, and it seemed that every time I blinked, another destination was placed on the “do not travel” list, due to Zika. At the time, I worked for a small travel agency and was well versed in Zika “fun facts” before traveling to Central America, but I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant anytime soon so saw no reason to cancel my trip.

By the time I officially received a positive diagnosis for Zika, I had no symptoms. The virus had already run its course, which usually lasts about a week. I had been through a fever, which gave way to red spots all over my body,  followed by pain in my ankle and knee joints—all within the span of one week. After that? Nothing.

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The worst effect I experienced was the multitude of people who asked me if I was OK in a tone of voice that said “yeah, you’re probably going to die.” No matter how many times I asserted that I was fine, I was always met with “puppy eyes” and disbelief. These people had been convinced by the intentionally terrifying images and stories all over the media that Zika was a horrific, life-changing disease. However, as it turns out, both the media and my concerned peers got one thing right: Zika did change my life.

Contracting the Zika virus taught me that all travel comes with risks. It could be the risk of terrorism, of danger, of getting lost, or of contracting a tropical disease. But with risks come rewards. If I hadn’t risked contracting Zika, there is so much I would have missed out on.

I would not have felt the thrill of being surrounded by volcanoes in Antigua, Guatemala. I would not have experienced a rush of excitement as I reached the top of an ancient Mayan pyramid in Copan, Honduras. My taste buds would have never savored the wonder of the Salvadoran pupusa. Zika changed my life because I learned that I would gladly endure one week of illness in order to experience the amazing things the world has to offer.

I’m no doctor and I can’t tell you what you should or should not do concerning your own health. But if you are afraid to visit a place because of a Zika-related CDC warning, I can tell you that the risk can be worth the reward. If you and your partner are not looking to get pregnant in the near future, the Zika virus generally need not be feared. Only one in five people who contract Zika actually present any symptoms at all, and my own experience was not that bad. If you can live through the flu, you can easily live through Zika. The off-chance risk that you’ll both contract the virus and present symptoms is not worth canceling your trip or avoiding a wonderful destination altogether.

There will always be some disaster, some disease, some reason to stay hidden at home, but with so many amazing places to see, cultures to experience, and people to meet, traveling abroad is worth the risk. No virus is going to hold me back from experiencing the world, and it shouldn’t hold you back either.