• Taj Mahal Heritage Travel

    Heritage Travel: Visit the Land of Your Ancestors

    At <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a>, we believe the best way to explore a country is through authentic travel experiences that allow you to connect with locals and personally interact with the unique cultural aspects of a destination. What better way to cultivate a connection with a culture than jetting off to the place where your ancestors once lived — where you can explore family history and see your cultural heritage for yourself. If you&#39;ve ever wondered what life was like in your ancestors&#39; cottage in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">Ireland</a> or what your distant family used to see when they awoke to a morning in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vietnam/" target="_blank">Vietnam</a> or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/spain/" target="_blank">Spain</a>, then it may be the perfect time to hop on the latest travel trend: <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/heritage-travel/" target="_blank">heritage travel</a>. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/heritage-travel/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsE&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zVig" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Travelers are increasingly interested in letting their family trees inspire vacation destinations. <a href="https://www.legacytree.com/classicjourneys" target="_blank">At-home genetic testing is on the rise</a>, providing the opportunity to discover your ancestors&#39; lives and making it easier than ever to add an engaging extra dimension to your travel. Getting the opportunity to reconnect with your roots is enriching, rewarding, and has allowed many travelers to reconnect with family members, discover their homelands, and take a step into their family&#39;s past. A vacation becomes a wonderful opportunity to learn more about yourself and your personal history on a journey of self-discovery. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/heritage-travel/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsE&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zViR" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Past guests of ours have arranged a visit to their <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/roots-on-a-norwegian-farm/" target="_blank">ancestral Norwegian farm</a>, where a local guide pulled a few strings to allow two sisters to tour the actual farm where their ancestors once lived. Others have booked heritage-based tours to show their children and grandchildren family roots on the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/seeking-greek-origins/" target="_blank">Greek island of Lesbos</a> where their relatives lived before migrating to the United States many years ago. Some of our guests have even <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/back-home-to-cuba/" target="_blank">returned to Cuba</a> where they were able to reconnect with family members with whom they&#39;d been out of touch with for more than five decades. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/heritage-travel/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsE&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zViW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>You can go about heritage travel with Classic Journeys a few different ways. If you already happen to have knowledge of your genealogical past, we can help curate a private trip that can take you to the very town, maybe even the exact street, where it all started. Alternatively, you can ask us to adapt one of our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank">published itineraries</a> or we can help you create your own from scratch to help create the ultimate personal discovery. If you need help researching your genealogy, <a href="https://www.legacytree.com/classicjourneys" target="_blank">click here</a> to be connected with genealogists to discover the details of your ancestors&#39; life before you arrange a trip to explore your legacy on a deeper level. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/heritage-travel/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsE&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zVib" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>With heritage travel, you&#39;ll gain eye-opening insights and cultural immersion that can bring your family&#39;s past to life with an itinerary handcrafted to bring travelers into close personal contact with a region&#39;s people and culture. With <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a>, your full-time local guides know the farmers, the craftspeople and the everyday folk who can speak of the rich tradition and history that is meaningful to you and your family.  To find out more about private heritage trips we offer, call us at 833.387.1210. <br> 

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  • International Day of Friendship

    International Day of Friendship: Best Trips to Take with Friends

    Today is International Day of Friendship — an excellent opportunity to appreciate your loved ones and cherish the friendships in your life. The holiday was created in 2011 by the <a href="https://www.un.org/en/events/friendshipday/background.shtml" target="_blank">UN General Assembly</a> in order to foster the idea that friendships can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. On this day, the UN encourages a celebration of your relationships and friendships between individuals, countries, cultures and beyond. What better way to bond with friends, create new ones and connect communities than through a friend-inspired getaway. Whether you&#39;re looking to escape to a remote beach, explore the great outdoors, galavant through a big city or take a cultural tour, these locations are guaranteed to deliver a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with friends. <br><br><b>Tuscany </b><br><br>There&#39;s no better place to spend time with friends than sitting around a dinner table bonding over the perfect plate of gnocchi in butter and sage paired with a glass of house wine—far better, however, if this dinner table happens to be in the hills of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">Tuscany</a>. Taking a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">culinary tour of Italy</a> is a wonderful way to explore the country, delight your tastebuds and learn Italian cooking secrets alongside a group of friends. Chat for hours over <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">wine tastings</a> and catch up as you stroll through vineyards. Get the chance to make new friends in the kitchen, as you visit cheesemakers, bakeries and local chefs and experience firsthand how Italians cook and eat at home. (We&#39;ll bet that you make even more friends upon return when you bring back a secret recipe for the best <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank">crostata di ricotta</a> around town). <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0V" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Cuba</b> <br><br>A trip full of cultural immersion to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba&#39;s Caribbean paradise</a> may be the perfect vacation for your group of friends if you enjoy exploring the fascinating history, lounging on beautiful beaches and sitting at a streetside restaurant with a <i>Cuba Libre</i> and cigar in hand. Enjoy time with one another as you explore the colorful colonial cities of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cienfuegos</a> and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Trinidad</a> and exchange looks of awe as you tour <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Havana</a>&#39;s 500-year-old city center and Hemingway&#39;s home. This destination is the perfect combination for lovers of history who have an appreciation for white-sand beaches and a rich and vibrant culture. Your group will not be disappointed as you ride down the oceanside <i>Malecòn </i>in a vintage convertible as the sun sets.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0a" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Provence</b><br><br>There is no bad occasion to visit the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank">south of France</a>. But this destination is perfect for a group trip with your nearest and dearest. Think quiet country trails that wind through cherry orchards beneath rustic perched villages. Meander through the ribbons of purple lavender that drape the hills surrounding <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank">Sénanque Abbey</a> and bask in the legendary sunlight as you chat for hours. Lunches will end with ripe figs and goat cheese—all washed down with a sip of chilled rosé. Make sure your group stops to shop in the colorful village markets featuring fresh cheeses, fruits, wines and other local products that make for the perfect midday picnic.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provence-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0k" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Dalmatian Coast - Croatia</b> <br><br>The red rooftops of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank">Dubrovnik</a> and the sweeping vistas along the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank">Adriatic sea</a> are enough to ignite a desire to visit the stunning Dalmatian Coast. If you and your friends are <i><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/5-classic-journeys-destinations-on-the-game-of-thrones-shot-list/" target="_blank">Game of Throne</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/5-classic-journeys-destinations-on-the-game-of-thrones-shot-list/" target="_blank">s</a> </i>fans, this ancient city just so happens to be the setting of the infamous King&#39;s Landing. As you explore the city on this gorgeous bay, imagine for a moment that you&#39;re sitting in the site of the Iron Throne itself. Game of Thrones obsessions aside, this region feels undisturbed and offers a provocative glimpse into the past that will excite your group of travelers. The region&#39;s balmy weather, geography and natural beauty paired with friendly locals and delicious food make this destination one of our most popular destinations for groups. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatia/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW0p" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>Santa Fe &amp; Taos </b><br><br>The glories of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">American Southwest</a> have drawn in centuries of cultures and visitors from far and wide. People flock to this enchanting area of the United States for a reason. Every view seems to have a backdrop of mountains, the air is clear, and the sage-strewn plateaus and art-lined streets will keep you and your friends charmed and enthused for days. Explore the architectural wonder of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">Santa Fe</a>, stroll through the streets of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">Taos</a> Pueblo, and marvel at the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico/" target="_blank">ancient cliff-dwellings</a> of Anasazi Indians. If you enjoy art, architecture and fine regional food—you and your friends will not want this journey to end. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/newmexico" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000001vxsd&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000zW19" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Traveling with a group of friends can be full of wonderful bonding moments—discovering common interests, sharing laughs and creating memories you will remember long after you&#39;ve returned home. In the name of <a href="https://www.un.org/en/events/friendshipday/background.shtml" target="_blank">International Day of Friendship</a>, call up your pals and start planning a trip! No better excuse to travel than reconnection with loved ones, bonding with some of your closet friends and creating connections with foreign cultures and communities around the world!<br> 

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  • Havana Skyline, Cuba

    Latest News on Cuba Travel Restrictions - June 2019

    <b>What do the New Cuba Travel Restrictions Mean?</b><br>On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the Trump administration announced new rules about people-to-people and cruise travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba.</a> If you have plans for such a trip – or have been thinking about making them – you may naturally wonder what’s going on. Here’s a summary of the changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations announced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (the section at the Department of the Treasury that regulates the trade and travel embargo to Cuba and which issues licenses for travel to Cuba) and the Commerce Department, respectively.<br><br><b>How do the new regulations affect cruise travel to Cuba?</b><br>The changes end travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> by U.S.-flagged cruise ships or foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from the U.S. The Commerce Department has not included a “grandfather” clause to allow cruises that have already been scheduled, and for which passengers have already made arrangements. If you have a paid money toward a deposit or final payment for cruise travel to Cuba, you should contact your cruise company for a refund.<br><br><b>How do the new regulations affect people-to-people travel?</b><br>OFAC has allowed U.S. organizations whose people-to-people programs in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> fall under a ‘grandfather’ clause, such as those operated by Classic Journeys, to proceed with those programs.  OFAC has, however, prohibited people-to-people programs that do not fall under this ‘grandfather’ clause to proceed.<br><br><b>Can I travel legally to Cuba with Classic Journeys on its People-to-People programs? </b><br>Yes. Your travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> on Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs is 100% legal because our programs fall under OFAC’s ‘grandfather’ clause. OFAC considers the grandfather clause to apply when a people-to-people organization like Classic Journeys had completed a travel-related transaction prior to June 5, 2019, in connection with a particular departure date, even if, prior to June 5, 2019, you as a traveler had not yet reserved your trip with Classic Journeys. In other words, because we had already reserved our hotel accommodations for our People-to-People trips in Cuba prior to June 5, 2019, your travel to Cuba on our People-to-People programs is grandfathered in as completely legal.<br><br><b>So, what is a qualifying “travel-related transaction” that allows Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs to Cuba to be legal under the grandfather clause? </b><br>The qualifying “travel-related transaction” that needs to have been completed prior to June 5 could be, for example: having made a reservation for an accommodation (whether or not paid for) or booking and paying for transportation. These are just two examples and are not meant to be exhaustive. In the case of Classic Journeys, our close relationships with local people in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> mean that we already had our hotel reservations confirmed prior to June 5.<br> <br><b>What People-to-People programs and dates are legal with Classic Journeys under the new regulations? </b><br>All three of our People-to-People programs (<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-havana-art-music/" target="_blank">Long Weekend in Havana</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cubafamily/" target="_blank">Cuba for Families: Havana and the Viñales Valley</a>, and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-cienfuegos-trinidad-havana/" target="_blank">Havana, Cienfuegos &amp; Trinidad</a>) and all of their departure dates for 2019 are 100% legal.<br><br><b>Can you still fly to Cuba legally on commercial air flights?</b><br>Commercial air flights are not affected by the changes. And so, yes, they are still legal. Note that your airline will ask you at the time of ticketing to select from a listing of the type of license under which you are traveling to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> legally. Your first choice option for the license will be a “people-to-people” exchange with the “grandfather clause” aka referencing the fact that your People-to-People organization– Classic Journeys – has made its arrangements prior to June 5, 2019. If that option is not available, you can select “educational activities” (so long as there is no mention of a degree requirement). If the airline you are considering does not have one of these options right now, they are likely playing catch up with the new regulations; so you can check back with them in a few days or try one of the many other airlines with commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba.<br><br><b>What about private aircraft and boats; can they travel legally to Cuba? </b><br>The authorization for private vessels and private aircraft (such as private fishing boats and private sailboats, and corporate or private jets) is revoked. So, they are no longer legal for travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a>.<br><br><b>How will the changes under President Trump affect the people of Cuba?</b><br>We’ve made so many wonderful friends in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> and seen the lives of the Cuban people change for the better during recent years. So, of course, we’re concerned about what it will mean to their prosperity and general welfare with the enaction of these new travel regulations. The Cubans have been through so much in the last 60 years. They’ve always managed to bear their hardships with grace and warm solidarity in their families and communities.<br><br>One known feature of the new regulations is that they will cap remittances – the money that can be sent to Cubans from friends and family members in the U.S. – at $1,000 per person every three months. In a country where the median monthly salary is just $32, you can only imagine how a reduction in remittance income will impact everyday life. In addition, travel had become a major source of income for Cubans, as well, so any reduction in that resource will echo throughout the country in a way for the people who can least afford it and whom we and our government want to help.<br><br><b>We choose guarded optimism.</b><br>We are approaching <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> as we always have – with care, enthusiasm, and with pride in the fact that legal travel for Americans to Cuba has changed the lives of our American guests and the everyday local Cubans they’ve met, in overwhelmingly positive ways. You can still travel to Cuba legally with Classic Journeys. We like to think of this way of travel as an informal version of ‘Voice of America” with boots on the ground… yours in fact, as you communicate a positive story of the American people to local Cuban people. We urge you to hold fast to your plans. And if you’ve been hesitating to plan a Cuba trip, you know now that you can, and we encourage you to do so now.

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