La Estrella Amazonica to Set Sail on the Amazon

La Estrella Amazonica
La Estrella Amazonica
International Expeditions new riverboat, the La Estrella Amazonica, is set to sail the Amazon River starting this summer. The 31-passenger riverboat is replacing the more rustic, wood-hulled La Amatista, which has been retired.

The La Estrella Amazonica offers a range of amenities new to the region, including private balconies for every cabin, a multimedia lecture room, fitness center, kayaks, a nightly reception with complimentary Peruvian cocktails, wine and beer, and the Amazon’s largest observation deck.

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International Expeditions Offers Two New Ways to Cruise the Amazon and Save $500 This Summer

International Expeditions, a pioneer in travel to the Peruvian Amazon, is offering $500 savings on two new programs designed to help explorers discover more of Peru’s wonders within often limited vacation time.

International Expeditions is offering travelers two new tour options combining a four-night Amazon River cruise with many of Peru’s other wonders. Guests traveling on June 29 or July 27, 2012 departures have the option of pairing a four-night Amazon riverboat expedition with four nights at either Machu Picchu or IE’s rainforest lodges. As a special introduction to these new Amazon programs, IE is also offering guests a discount of $500 per person.

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Smithsonian Magazine Introduces EvoTourism – An Evolution World Tour

In the January 2012 issue, Smithsonian Magazine is introducing Evotourism. The word isn’t in the dictionary. But they think it’s worth adding to the lexicon because it describes a new kind of travel.

evo•tourism (ē vō toor’ iz’ əm) n. travel intended to promote awareness of evolution.

The article celebrates ten desinationa that span 300 million years and six continents. The destinations include:

  • Kangaroo Island, Australia – Where the Wild Things Are
  • Foraminifera Sculpture Park, China – 330-Million-Year-Old Organisms
  • Wadi Hitan, Egypt – Whales Walked Here
  • The Cradle of Humankind, South Africa – Human Evolution History
  • Jurassic Coast, England – A Fossil Treasure Trove
  • Mendel’s Garden, Czech Republic – Where Modern Genetics Was Born
  • Ashfall Fossil Beds, Nebraska – The Prehistoric Pompeii
  • Isle Royale, Michigan – A Fight for Survival
  • Galápagos Islands, Ecuador – Where Darwin Found Natural Selection
  • Mount St. Helens, Washington – Life Begins Anew

Of these, the last two are destinations visited by small ships (which, of course, excites us at Sunstone Tours & Cruises).

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Amazon Rainforest Destruction on the Decline in 2011

Decline in Amazon Rainforest Destruction

As reported by International Expeditions, the work of the WWF and many other organizations in fighting for more than 40 years to preserve the rainforests seems to be paying off. Forest loss in Brazil fell to the lowest levels since the government began tracking it in 1988. reports that only about 2,400 square miles of forests were cleared in 2011, which is down 10.9 percent from last year’s losses.

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2011 Holidays Aboard Small Ships

Many people settle down with family during the holidays to catch up, and reconnect with loved ones. For a small group, the holidays are a perfect time to explore and experience the world.

Small ship cruises have been busy this holiday season, exploring diverse areas of our world, from the southern reaches of Antarctica and the South Pacific, up to the unique Galapagos Islands and Central America, and further to Europe and America’s southern Atlantic coast.

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No Single Supplement Fee on Select 2012 Galapagos Cruises from International Expeditions

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby
Galapagos Blue Footed Booby

Solo travelers looking for savings can take advantage of no single supplement ($1,200 savings) on eight Galapagos adventures offered by International Expeditions. The single supplement fees will be waived on International Expeditions’s February 3 and 17, March 16 and 30, May 11 and 25, and October 12 and 26, 2012 Galapagos Island cruises.

On the 10-day Galapagos Islands cruise, solo travelers join a group of like-minded guests aboard International Expeditions’ 32-passenger yacht M/V Evolution. This immersive expedition navigates to captivating islands, where the small group size allows for easy access to the wildlife and far more personal attention than guests find aboard larger cruise ships. Onboard, guests sail in comfort with spacious accommodations, fine cuisine and a host of amenities including an observation deck (perfect for whale watching) and canopied bar, plus complimentary snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks.

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Celebrate in the New Year with an Authentic Pisco Sour

A Pisco Sour
A Pisco Sour

Celebrating New Years and looking for a different cocktail to ring in the new year? Look no further than an authentic Pisco Sour, a claimed national drink of both Chile and Peru.

Pisco is a clear, fermented brandy that has been distilled from fresh musts of Muscat grapes in copper alembic stills since the Spanish conquest, and is considered part of Peru’s cultural heritage. This liqueur is also the national spirit of Chile, although each country has a distinct history and uses Pisco for different cocktails.

Here’s a Pisco Sour recipe from International Expedition’s Amazon River tour Expedition Leader, Jorge Salas. The frozen Pisco Sour is a happy hour staple on their Amazon River cruise aboard, La Amatista.
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