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  • Writer's pictureAnne Heintz

Dear TravelAnne Explorers, Focused on the Horizon!

The holidays are in the rear-view mirror and warm weather is on the horizon. Travel planning is afoot and our Explorers are setting their sights on their next adventures!

By: Anne Heintz


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Dear Explorers,

January may not be the longest month of the year but for many of us it sure seems that way. Post-holiday doldrums, cold weather and days with less sunlight have TravelAnne Explorers planning to venture beyond the confines of home!

That makes January a busy month for me. I love it. I get to live vicariously through all of your upcoming adventures… whether it be extended vacations abroad or 2-to-3-day escapes.

This particular January has been especially busy. Many of you Explorers have used this post-holiday period to plan your next voyage. It’s wonderful to see. January is one of 7 months in the calendar with 31 days. And many of you have taken advantage of those extra days to set your sights on new adventures and new memories.

What’s “hot” right now? Small, expedition ship and or yacht cruising.

Back in the day there was Sea Goddess (now SeaDream), and a few Lindblad Expedition ships, then Seabourn, Silversea and Windstar made waves with 200 passenger luxury ships. There is still something called the UnCruise which has plied the waters of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska since 1996, for those who cared about “up close and personal experiences” at a reasonable price.

With trumpets blaring, the rage is “bespoke, curated, intimate and extravagant” cruising in any part of the world. Honestly thanks to Covid a lot of people want just the remote destinations whether it’s the North Pole, South Pole, Greenland, islands off of Africa, South America or in the South Pacific to name a few. The cruise lines have upped their game to offer new and unique itineraries.

If you are intellectually curious, enjoy the outdoors and like to be immersed in flora and fauna then you are in luck as several lines have added more toys like Zodiacs, double sea kayaks and submersibles.

Seabourn even has parka warming closets and Swarovski binoculars. Doesn’t everyone need access to that at home? But seriously you can be out at sea and because the ship is small they can slow the ship down, pull out the toys and see the wildlife in real time (pending sea conditions of course!) They even have a robust staff of 26 called their expedition team consisting of scientists, historians, and naturalists.

For those that don’t need bragging rights to far off places but want to be pampered and have always avoided the cruising life because you think “it’s for old retirees” we now have new players in the small luxury cruise market. Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Aman, Orient Express are either already sailing or will be in the not-too-distant future.

I have very sweet and patient clients who made a booking on the Evrima Ritz Carlton yacht in late 2019. It became kind of a joke. The inaugural sailing, which was scheduled for February of 2020, didn’t end up sailing until mid-October 2022. The couple were actually on the ships’ second sailing. It was well worth the wait!

Related: The Ultimate Guide to The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

With 149 suites, 5 restaurants including one with Michelin 3-starred chef, concierge for every suite, large bathrooms with dual sinks, high quality artwork, spa, gym, fancy Marina deck…and the list goes on. My client says “if you are looking for the typical cruise experience this is not for you. There aren’t any announcements over the P.A. or dedicated group activities. This is a luxury hotel on the water! They also have sailings from 4 to 12 days so if you are very much still in “work mode,” it is a bit more manageable.

I have lots of cruises booked for 2023 and some for 2024. If you are unsure what is a “good fit” for you whether by river or ocean just give me a call and we will find something to meet your interests and budget!

If you still aren’t ready to get your “sea legs” then we can of course talk about other “adventures” even if it is only for a weekend. Both are equally important to your travel planning. The big adventure represents “something to look forward to.” The weekend escapes help you get there!

As an example, this December, we hosted my family at The Salamander Resort in Middleburg for my birthday celebration. It’s a wonderful property and perfect destination for a get-away and reset. The staff was wonderful and attentive. The food was fantastic. The Spa and gym are a must. The environment was just what the doctor ordered during the holiday season.

Let’s start planning… whether it be a few days or a few weeks. There are so many places to go!

As always,

Happy trails and keep dreaming of your next destination!

Editor's Note:

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**Anne Heintz is a luxury travel advisor based in Washington, D.C. who creates lifetime memories for her clients located all over the world. She loves the fact that the journeycreates memories and connections for her clients. She is affiliated with Worldwide Travel Associates in DC and Tzell Travel in NYC. She is co-founder and namesake of

Anne can be reached at Follow her on Instagram @TravelAnneBlog


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