Publication Date: May 18, 2017This is a full color edition to compliment the regular black and white edition that is also available. The fjords of Norway are almost legendary for their magnificent landscapes, which combine dramatic skies, snow capped mountains, steep sided gorges and deep water inlets. During the last Ice Age, the fjords were carved by tongues of ice that carved through preexisting river valleys, gouging them into deep gorges. When the ice started to melt around 10,000 years ago and sea levels rose, these gorges were flooded to become today's fjords. The best way to enjoy the 1,500 kilometer or 1,000 mile long coast of Norway is to see it from the deck of a ship. You can choose between local ferries and a variety of cruise ships that vary in luxury from basic to ultra luxurious. This book explores each of the ports of call generally visited by cruise ships. It provides a detailed account of the geography and history and then offers suggestions as to what you should see and where you should dine or shop. The book contains a vast array of my pictures, all displayed in full color. In its 8.5 x 11 inch format, it is easy to use while on the trip as well as in planning for your Norwegian cruise. Happy cruising and may my book be helpful.
Publication Date: May 21, 2017México is the most visited country by Americans and Canadians of all the other nations in the Western Hemisphere. It is famous for its long history, many layers of culture dating back to the first great civilizations in the Americans and for its magnificent beaches. One of the most popular ways to visit México is by cruise ship. There are Western Caribbean cruises that include the major ports of the Yucatan Peninsula, but the most extensive are the West Coast cruises that visit ports from Ensenada in the farm north to Acapulco in the south. México's West Coast has outstanding weather, especially during the winter months, as many of the ports are in arid to semi-arid environments. Ports of call such as Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa and Acapulco have become almost legendary with regard to their charm and flavor. But in recent years, the drug wars have discouraged many visitors from doing extended vacations in the major beach resorts, many preferring the safety and security of being on board a cruise ship and just spending a day in each port. This book is designed to present you with all of the important need to know information on all of the West Coast ports of call. It also contains important recommendations for dining and shopping while ashore. And it covers the security issue most adequately. The book is filled with maps and beautiful photographs all taken by the author and presented in this edition in vivid color.
Publication Date: May 21, 2017As the author, I am proud to be a dual Canadian-American. And as a geography professor and world traveler, I enjoy writing about the world for those who have that sense of wanderlust or curiosity. But I have always been shocked by how little most Americans really know about Canada unless they have traveled widely or have family north of the border. There tends to be greater focus upon Mexico, our southern neighbor while north of the border most Americans simply believe Canada is just like the U. S. Yes there is a common historic thread and Canadians live at a very high standard. But there are so many historic, cultural and political differences. Canada is a totally different country despite the similarities that exist on the surface. This book, which is available in both black and white and this full color edition, is my answer to this apparent lack of coverage of Canada and its people. You will find it a very informative and enlightening book, written in a serious, yet light manner. It will give you a whole new perspective on what we Canadians often call "The Great White North." I hope you will enjoy it. And if your travel plans include Canada, this will be a most helpful book even though it is not a travel guide. But I do have two city guide books on Toronto and Vancouver that are already available on Amazon.
Publication Date: May 18, 2017This is a full color version of the black and white edition that is also available through Amazon. By printing this edition in full color, you can see the glorious landscapes of Alaska with all their magnificent drama. Alaska, the largest and most isolated state in the United States, is like a world of its own. It extends from the shores of the North Pacific Ocean to those of the Arctic Ocean. It contains the highest mountains, the most active volcanoes, the largest glaciers, the most pristine of forests and the longest coastline in the entire country. Most of Alaska is virtually inaccessible by road with the exception of the central part of the state from Seward in the south, through Anchorage and on to Fairbanks on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Most visitors come by ship, taking cruises from Vancouver, British Columbia up through the calm waters of the inside passage, and traveling as far as Seward or Whittier, the two ports for Anchorage. A few ships make a twice a year journey between the eastern shores of Asia and Vancouver, eastbound in the spring and westbound in the fall. These ships spend the winter months cruising through eastern and southeastern Asia, and summers on the Alaska coast. On these repositioning cruises, passengers get to visit some of the more remote ports on the Alaska mainland and out into the Aleutian Islands. This book is oriented toward all of the important ports of call between Vancouver and Anchorage and also contains chapters on the outer ports between the Anchorage area and the Pacific shores of Asia. You will find very important tips as to what to see and where to dine in each of these ports of call. And the book is filled with glorious photographs of the sights along the way as well as numerous regional maps. In its 8.5 x 11 inch soft cover format, it is a book you can easily take with you when you cruise.
Publication Date: May 14, 2017This is a full color edition in which the text, photos and maps are the same as in the black and white edition. Although more costly, this edition brings Saint Petersburg alive in glorious color giving you the feeling of already being there. Most people visit Saint Petersburg by cruise ship, many companies spending three days in port. I have been to Saint Petersburg nearly 45 times, and still I find new sites to visit. In three days, you barely scratch the surface so to speak. Other visitors come either by fast train from Helsinki, Finland or fly in from various destinations in Europe. There are advantages and disadvantages to both means of travel. If you come by cruise ship, you do not require a visa, but you are only able to leave the ship when you have valid tours arranged. If you have secured a visa, which is no easy task, you then can leave the ship on your own. But the larger cruise ships dock in the main port, which is quite far from the city. Using public transportation can be daunting without a knowledge of either the written or spoken language. To visit on your own, coming by rail or air, you absolutely need a visa unless you are from one of a handful of countries that has a reciprocal agreement with Russia where visas are not required. This book is designed for those travelers who want to get out and really see Saint Petersburg rather than being a part of packaged guided tours. However, if you are going to follow the guided tour route, this book is still valuable in helping you to decide which of the many tour options offered are going to give you what you are looking for. Most people come with the expectation of visiting grand palaces, majestic cathedrals and fabulous gardens. And this is very much a part of what the city offers. But remember that Saint Petersburg is home to over six million people. It is Russia's second largest city. And if you are at all curious as to what life in truly like in Russia, then you must be willing to do some more in depth exploring. And this book will provide you with many valuable suggestions based upon the years of collective experience that have gone into its creation. Saint Petersburg is the jewel in Russia's crown. It is a magnificent city. Its people are friendly, but for the most part rather shy since few speak adequate English or other foreign languages. Given half a chance, their warmth and subtle sense of humor will add to your overall enjoyment.
Publication Date: May 14, 2017This is one of the most comprehensive books on the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia. It has been created for those who will visit the city either as part of a Baltic Sea cruise, or for those who arrive on their own either by rail or plane. As the author, I have been to Saint Petersburg 45 times. I speak Russian well enough to be out on my own, and I have explored every aspect of the city. Most visitors feel a sense of intimidation because of the spoken and written language factor since few Russians are speak English well enough to be of assistance. So most visitors stick with a guide and see the city on packaged tours. What they see are the magnificent palaces, museums and churches. They seldom explore the city where over six million people live and work. And if they are visiting as part of a cruise, they rarely have a meal in a local restaurant. This book will give you so much more of the city, its people and their lives. It will make it possible for you to really explore and come to understand not only Saint Petersburg, but Russia itself. Remember this is the world's largest country in size. It is a harsh land dominated by long, cold winters. And it has been invaded by outsiders so many times during its formative years. Then from 1917 until 1991 it was under the rule of Communist masters. Only now are Russians becoming exposed to the outside world. They are essentially shy, but friendly and if you make half the effort to show that you are enjoying yourself, you will find your journey most rewarding. This book can be a useful tool to that end.
Publication Date: May 11, 2017
This is a full color edition of the book "Cruising Through the Panama Canal," Revised for 2016-17 that already exists, but with all photographs and maps in black and white. These books are printed by Amazon only when ordered. Thus the printing cost in color is relatively high, necessitating a higher price for sale. But several of my readers have asked that full color editions be made available The Panama Canal, which is now in its second century of operation, is an absolute marvel of engineering. There is an elegance to the way in which the locks operate to lift ships from the sea to the man-made cut and artificial lake at an elevation of 85 feet above sea level. And after making the transit, crossing the Continental Divide, locks lower ships back down to sea level on the other side. Today there are now new locks on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the canal to enable even larger ships to make the transit and thus save thousands of miles or kilometers on their trans oceanic voyages. The Panama Canal is a major link in the global pattern of shipping, the other great link being the Suez Canal. However Suez is a sea level canal with no locks. It is a straight cut across the land and it lacks the drama and magnitude of engineering seen in the Panama Canal. Taking a cruise that will make the transit of the Panama Canal is one of the most memorable of voyages. Itineraries vary between those that travel between the eastern and western coasts of the United States or Canada to those that travel from North America and journey around the continent of South America. And for long itineraries between Australia or New Zealand and Europe, a transit of the Panama Canal is the shortest distance. No matter how you do it, a transit of the Panama Canal should be high on your list of future journeys. This book provides extensive details on the geography, history of development and the actual transit in both directions. It also offers port information based upon the most common Panama Canal cruise, which is between California and Florida.
Publication Date: May 5, 2017This is a full color edition of my Eastern Caribbean Islands book that is presently out in paperback, but in black and white. The Eastern Caribbean islands are essentially the Lesser Antilles, a group of primarily volcanic islands that extend in an arc from the Virgin Islands in the north all the way down to Trinidad just off the coast of South America. Many of the islands are still volcanically active. Remember in the 1990's, the massive eruption that almost totally destroyed the small island of Monserrat. In 1902, a violent eruption on the northern end of Martinique destroyed the then capital city of St. Pierre, killing over 30,000 residents in a Vesuvius type explosion. Despite the danger on some of the islands, there is great beauty in the tropical rain forests, sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the Lesser Antilles. And culturally these islands blend the majority population of African extraction with the basic cultural traits of the former colonial powers that include British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Danish. There is an overall charm in these islands that is the true heart of the Caribbean. Puerto Rico is not one of the Lesser Antilles, but it is often the start or end point for cruises to these islands. And physically it is so close to the Virgin Islands, that for practical purposes I have included it in this book. But it is geographically part of the Greater Antilles, which include Cuba, Hispaniola and Jamaica. This book will provide great detail for those who are cruising, as it does not offer hotel recommendations. It primarily focuses upon the major ports of call for one-day visits by ship.
Publication Date: May 5, 2017The islands of the Caribbean Sea are flung over millions of square kilometers or miles of ocean. They can be grouped into the Western Caribbean and Eastern Caribbean groups. Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands being the largest and best known in the west. Puerto Rico and the chain known as the Lesser Antilles comprise the major portion of the eastern group. This book is oriented toward those who plan to cruise among the eastern islands, especially the Lesser Antilles. This chain of primarily volcanic islands begins in the north with the United States and British Virgin Islands and extends almost to the edge of South America, terminating with the island of Trinidad. They are exceptionally beautiful with their majestic peaks, many still being active volcanoes. There are those islands exposed more to the Trade Winds that have lush tropical rainforest while in the north islands such as Saint Martin and Antigua tend to be drier, often called the Leeward Islands. In preparing this book I have taken into consideration the amount of time most cruise passengers have in each island. I have offered suggestions as to what are the prominent sights to be seen either on group or private tours. I also provide select restaurant listings, as in many instances you do have time to sample some traditional Caribbean cuisine, which is part of the experience. And yes I do offer some tips on good shopping. But remember that you can shop almost anywhere today, especially on line. So try to consider these islands not as tropical shopping malls, but as magnificently beautiful works of nature that you want to be able to explore and gather memories for the rest of your life. Not only are the islands beautiful, but so are the people who are a mixture of Europeans descended from the colonial rulers, African slaves and the original native population. Their outlook on life, their music and distinctive ways of speaking also add to the overall ambiance of each island. So plan a visit to the Eastern Caribbean islands and then relax and enjoy.
Publication Date: May 4, 2017This edition is a duplicate of my paperback with the title "Fall Cruising in Eastern Canada and New England 2016-17." However, this edition has been produced in full color, as twol reviewers have commented that they would have liked to have seen the book in color. And I have been contacted by numerous fellow travelers with the same comment. These books are printed one at a time as ordered, and thus the full color cost is quite significant. But it should be worthwhile, as the autumn landscapes of Eastern Canada and New England are so majestic and inspirational that once you make the journey you want to return. In this book I have documented all of the major ports between Montreal and New York. The various ship itineraries vary, but I believe I have covered almost all possible ports of call. There is a full description of each port with recommendations as to what you should see, where to dine and shop in those ports that offer worthwhile experiences. The book begins by discussing the landscape, presenting a brief historic sketch and a cultural and political comparison of Canada and the United States. For those travelers going to Canada for the first time and with the assumption it is just like the United States, this book will surprise you. I am a dual Canadian-American and a student of Canadian history and government, and I have made it a point in this book to dispel that notion. For those readers living in the United States, this is an easy cruise to embark upon. For those who come from across the sea, it may be a once in a lifetime cruise, but one you will remember forever.
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2017With the success of my first Baltic Sea book, I have taken the material and greatly expanded it, adding more detail, restaurant and shopping recommendations and new photographs. The Baltic Sea is one of the most popular regions in Europe for those who want to cruise. There are seven to 10-day cruises offered that include such memorable cities as Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm. And the crown jewel of any Baltic Sea cruise is Saint Petersburg, the grand imperial capital of Russia. Normally the weather is cool, yet bright. And the days during summer are long, what the Russians call the "White Nights." If you have ever wanted to learn about this region and what it offers, this is the book to purchase. It is NOT a detailed guide that offers individualized walking tours or presents dozens of hotel and restaurant listings. I have included my favorite restaurants and shopping venues, but the focus of the book is to describe the landscape, discuss the relevant history and give you tips as to how to maximize your days in port. Remember that when you cruise, you have a limited amount of time in each port. So it is best to become familiar with where you are going before you get there. Not all cruise lines offer a comprehensive lecture program that will provide you with such valuable information. I have been lecturing for Silversea Cruises for ten years and I have made 42 tours through the Baltic Sea. Combined with my 46 years as a geography professor, I believe I am in a good position to present you with a valid picture of what you will find in the Baltic Sea.
Publication Date: Apr 25, 2017What is a fjord? It is a deep water channel where glaciers cut into a former river valley and created a very deep gouged out valley that was later flooded by the sea at the end of the last Ice Age. There are fjords in Alaska, southern Chile, Greenland and the South of Island of New Zealand. But the most spectacular and dramatic fjords are found along the 1,000 mile long coast of Norway. The very word fjord comes from the ancestral language of Norway. Here people have learned to live on narrow plots of land that often cling to the steep shorelines; fishing, farming and becoming very adept at making the most out of difficult conditions, yet developing a great love for and pride in their land. Norway is without question one of the most magnificent of European nations. And the best way to appreciate the beauty and drama of this exceptional landscape is on board a cruise ship or even a local ferry where you can travel in and out of the many fjords without the trauma and tension of attempting to travel overland. There are good roads and rail services, but to truly relax and allow the countryside to roll by without having to rush, cruising is the best way to see the fjords. And a ship can often get into places where roads do not exist or are very limited. So you end up seeing more but doing so in comfort. Summer is the most popular season of the year when temperatures are mild and daylight seems to be almost perpetual. Actually between mid June and the early part of August if you are north of the Arctic Circle, there is 24-hour daylight. During winter the days are very short, or above the Arctic Circle there is perpetual darkness. But this is the time to see the snow-covered landscape illuminated by the dancing shimmer of the Northern Lights. Norway will excite and amaze you. This book is a guide for cruising Norway. I have made many recommendations as to how to best enjoy each port of call, dine in style and come away with lasting memories.
Publication Date: April 13, 2017Russia is the largest country in the world by physical area. It is rich in raw materials, but is hindered by great distances. Its harsh winter climate and long and turbulent history have both played a role in shaping the lives of its people. To those of us in the West, Russia is often seen as mysterious, forbidding or as an enigma. It takes years of travel and exposure to really say that you know Russia. I have the experience, speaking the language moderately well and having traveled extensively from the Arctic shores to the Black Sea and from the Baltic Sea to the Kamchatka Peninsula on the Pacific Coast. And yet I am always learning something new each time I visit. This book is not a guide that you will want to take with you if you plan a trip. It is the kind of book you should read, especially if you are an American or Canadian, as it is written to bring Russia to you both as a land and as a people with distinctive characteristics. As the author, I am a dual Canadian-American, so I feel quite capable of showing you Russia within the context of our two North American cultures. This book will help you understand current events and how Russians view their position among the major powers of the world. I have attempted to be as unbiased and forthright as is possible in bringing Russia to you in a forthright manner.
Publication Date: April 5, 2017The late, great Peter Ustinov once said that Toronto was like New York, but run by the Swiss. And that summarizes this incredible Canadian city. Toronto is world class in every way. It is dynamic, glitzy, cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic and vibrant. And it is impressive with a skyline that rivals that of New York. If you are planning a trip or have even thought of visiting, this is the book for you. It is a very comprehensive look at Toronto written by a Canadian with deep roots in this venerable city. And as a starter, the book introduces you to Canada in a way you may never have thought of yourself. So please give it a read and you will not be disappointed. And if you do visit, you will be even more amazed by Toronto.
Publication Date: March 19, 2017This is a special edition for those who plan to take a cruise along the west coast of México, either the short cruise to Ensenada or the longer cruise all the way to Acapulco or beyond. México is a country that has lately been given so much bad publicity because of the violence that is continuing, especially along the border, due to drug trafficking. But the coastal resorts have experienced far less of a problem than the border or major interior cities. And traveling by ship, spending a day in each port often on group excursions, is the best way to appreciate the beauty and historic charm of this great country. Unlike a guidebook, this small edition is designed to present the geography, history and socio-economic aspects of each of the ports of call along México's west coast where cruise ships routinely stop. If you are planning a trip, this book will be of immense value. It also informs you as to how to keep yourself safe and maximize the enjoyment of the trip. There are limited restaurant listings, mainly places close to where the ships dock since it is not recommended to use local taxis in any of the ports of call. I hope you find this book more useful than the large guidebooks that are designed more for people staying in hotels and touring on their own.
Publication Date: March 27, 2017Most Americans know so little about Canada relative to what they know about Mexico. Somehow Canada is taken for granted and therefore forgotten. The majority of Americans are under the false impression that Canada is just like the United States. On that assumption so many Americans can not tell you anything about Canadian geography, history, government or social customs. Even the news media in the United States will only present a story from Canada if it is of great importance such as the terrorist attack on the Parliament Buildings in the fall of 2014. As of now in March 2015, I have not heard one word from the news media in the United States about the fact that Canada will be having a federal election this fall, or the fact that the Canadian military is going to continue conducting air strikes in Iraq. These matters are ignored by our media. As a retired geography professor, and as the son of Canadians who has lived and taught in Canada, I thought it was time to write a short book to provide a concise, yet easy to read picture of Canada and of Canadians. This new book should be in everyone's collection because it makes you aware of our great northern neighbor and closest partner. So I hope you will read by new book on "The Great White North."
Publication Date: March 15, 2017The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most popular destinations in the world in which to cruise on a luxury ship, enjoying the warm weather, beautiful scenery, romantic countries and gorgeous beaches. And I must mention the crystal clear blue waters of this sea that has been home to so much of Western history. The Mediterranean Sea has been the birthplace of the ancient Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Moors and many other smaller civilizations. Even ancient Egyptians are believed to have left the confines of the Nile River and traded along its shores. Today the Mediterranean Sea serves as the cultural divide between the Islamic World to the south and the European nations to the north. For thousands of years, trade across its waters has created many great ports of call that today are visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year. And the easiest way to enjoy the Mediterranean is by ship. But it is not possible to cruise the entire sea in one journey because of its vast size and the scope of its many nations. This book is the first of three volumes that will be issued over the next year on the topic of cruising the Mediterranean. This volume covers the ports of call in France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. The second volume will explore cruising the ports of Monaco, Corsica, Sardinia, Italy, Malta and Tunisia. The third and final volume will explore the ports of Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt. In this first volume you will learn about such romantic places as Nice, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Cadiz and Lisbon as well as the three major ports of Morocco, which are Tangier, Casablanca and Agadir. Although the Portuguese and Moroccan ports are primarily in the Atlantic Ocean, they are often included on Western Mediterranean itineraries. I hope you find this book useful and enriching. This is not a comprehensive guide to hotels, restaurants and every sight possible, as those types of books flood the market. This is a more specific book that introduces you to the history and culture of the ports with recommendations for the best restaurants in which to have lunch during your brief call.
Publication Date: March 9, 2017Vancouver is the magnificent jewel in the crown of Western Canada. This dazzling city sits between the blue waters of the Georgia Straits and the towering snow-capped mountains of the Cascade Range. It is the gateway to the striking scenery of the western interior of Canada, and for cruise passengers it becomes the summer gateway to Alaska. This new paperback book is a personalized guide to this incredible city where I have lived and worked in past years. It also introduces visitors to Canada in general, providing you with valuable information regarding the country, its people and their lifestyles, especially of interest to those of you who have never been to Canada. But more specifically, it presents Vancouver in an easy to read format, loaded with maps and pictures and my recommendations for the best hotels and restaurants. I have only recommended four and five-star hotels as well as the best known and locally loved restaurants. This is not your ordinary travel guide, but rather a very personalized view of a city I still hold very dear to my heart. You will find Hello Vancouver very informative as well as enjoyable. So come along and say Hello Vancouver, a city that charms almost everyone that visits.
Publication Date: March 4, 2017One of the most popular cruise destinations in the world is the coast of Alaska. Each summer the major cruise lines offer a variety of options for cruising the Inside Passage and continuing on to Anchorage. Twice a year there are repositioning cruises when ships are moved either to Alaska in the spring from Southeast Asia and again in the autumn when ships return to cruise South East Asia. These cruises continue on past Anchorage and stop in places like Kodiak, Homer and Dutch Harbor in the remote Aleutian Islands. Thus it is possible to sail to Vancouver all the way from Hong Kong or Tokyo in the spring or to Tokyo or Hong Kong in mid autumn. This traveler's companion edition has been produced to provide you with geographic, historic and cultural detail regarding all of the ports of call between Vancouver and the outer Aleutian Islands. Unlike the major guidebooks, it does not provide hotel or restaurant recommendations. You will not be staying over in any Alaskan port except Anchorage, if you choose to remain one or more nights. And in Vancouver most passengers tend to go directly to the airport or arrive at the ship directly from their flight. For those who want to spend time in Vancouver, I do have a wonderful in depth guide called "Hello Vancouver." This volume offers you a detailed look at what makes Alaska special, and the text is augmented by many of the author's personally taken photographs. You will find Cruising Alaska a valuable companion to read before departing or to take with you to refresh you on each port you will visit.It will offer you much insight into each port and give you an idea as to what there is to see. Most cruise lines offer a variety of outdoor activities that get you out of the ports of call since they do not really have much of historic or architectural interest.
Publication Date: February 27, 2017Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon and an incredible array of dramatic landscapes unlike any found in the rest of the world. I have written about the state in my book "The Arizona Story," put pictures are worth far more than words when attempting to describe the magnitude and beauty of Arizona. This full color portfolio in 8.5 x 11 inch format draws together the best of my photographs of the state that has been my home for over 50 years. Many people think of Arizona as a land of deserts whose burning sands and blistering heat are the image they call to mind. But Arizona has tall mountains and plateaus where cool pine forests thrive and where we can ski during the winter months. And in between the two extreme seasons, the fall colors dazzle the eyes. The high Colorado Plateau is laced with deep gorges, massive canyons representing eons of erosion on a scale not found elsewhere in such profusion. The lower deserts are rich in plant life, including the gigantic Saguaro cacti, which can weigh several tons. Hundreds of other species of cactus, yucca and hardy trees grow in the rich biome that is the Sonoran Desert. The state is home to elk, deer and mountain sheep in the high country, cougars, javelina, raptors and numerous reptiles in its lower deserts. And of course Arizona has been home to mankind for over 2,000 years with rich native cultures having developed, many of whom still occupy their native lands. And lastly the state's two great cities of Phoenix and Tucson represent the 21st century, as it forges ahead to make life both comfortable and rewarding. Come along and take a fascinating journey through the Grand Canyon State via this colorful portfolio.
Publication Date: February 9, 2017Arizona calls to mind vast deserts dominated over by tall cacti or the vast depths of that massive chasm called the Grand Canyon. To many the name Arizona calls to mind stories of marauding native people, rip roaring mining towns, gunfights in the streets or lonesome cowboys on the open range. But today's reality is one of major cities, magnificent resorts with their verdant golf courses and high tech industries. But Arizona is still a land of breathtaking scenery, traditional Native American cultures, mining towns and vast ranches. This is a land of paradoxes. It is a new state as far as American history, but one of the oldest settled regions relative to Native American history. This is a state with a romantic image that has a magnetic appeal. There is an old saying, "Once you have sand in your boots, you will never get rid of it. And that's the magic of Arizona. This illustrated book introduces you to the varied landscapes of Arizona, its unique geology and geography. Then it walks you through over 2,000 years of history. And finally it takes you on a tour of each of the major regions that combine to produce this one of a kind state. THIS IS NOT A TOUR BOOK. There are no hotel or restaurant recommendations. Those books are easy to find. This is a book that makes Arizona come alive and gives you information the tour books either ignore or skip over briefly. Come and visit Arizona through the pages of this book and then hopefully plan your next vacation in the Grand Canyon State.
Publication Date: February 5, 2017As a compliment to my detailed tour book "Fall Cruising in Eastern Canada and New England, 2016/17, this supplement brings the magnificent beauty of the scenery and ports of call to life in "living colour." It was necessary to publish the tour book in black and white because of the per page cost of printing. This supplement contains very little text, but presents a kaleidoscope of my best pictures in full colour to bring you into this incredible part of Canada and the United States. Fall in the Valley of the St. Lawrence River, out on the Gaspe Peninsula and the state of Maine along with calls in less visited ports is an experience that many who have made the journey will often repeat again. Soaking in the brilliant reds, gold and yellow of the changing of the seasons has a magic that is hard to duplicate in any other environment. Apart from North America, the only other place in the world where there is such a diversity of colour is Japan. But Eastern Canada and New England are much closer for the majority of Canadian, American and even European cruisers. Come along and explore this breathtaking beauty in my colour supplement and then hopefully book a cruise or get in your car and experience the drama and majesty of the changing of the leaves in real life.
Publication Date: November 14, 2015With the success of my first Baltic Sea book, I have taken the material and greatly expanded it, adding more detail, restaurant and shopping recommendations and new photographs. The Baltic Sea is one of the most popular regions in Europe for those who want to cruise. There are seven to 10-day cruises offered that include such memorable cities as Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm. And the crown jewel of any Baltic Sea cruise is Saint Petersburg, the grand imperial capital of Russia. Normally the weather is cool, yet bright. And the days during summer are long, what the Russians call the "White Nights." If you have ever wanted to learn about this region and what it offers, this is the book to purchase. It is NOT a detailed guide that offers individualized walking tours or presents dozens of hotel and restaurant listings. I have included my favorite restaurants and shopping venues, but the focus of the book is to describe the landscape, discuss the relevant history and give you tips as to how to maximize your days in port. Remember that when you cruise, you have a limited amount of time in each port. So it is best to become familiar with where you are going before you get there. Not all cruise lines offer a comprehensive lecture program that will provide you with such valuable information. I have been lecturing for Silversea Cruises for nine years and I have made 38 tours through the Baltic Sea. Combined with my 46 years as a geography professor, I believe I am in a good position to present you with a valid picture of what you will find in the Baltic Sea.
Publication Date: January 18, 2017My recently published book, "Cruising the Baltic Sea" had to be published in black and white because of the cost of producing such a large text in colour. To enable readers to fully appreciate the beauty and charm of the Baltic Sea, I am adding this full colour book in 8.5 x 11 inch format. There is very little text, but the book contains nearly 100 pages of beautiful photographs from all of the ports of call that are discussed in great detail in the regular text. The Baltic Sea is one of the most popular destinations in Europe during the summer months. The region is rich in history, architecture and it contains many cultures with rich traditions. This is also a diverse sea in which to cruise because you visit Scandinavia, Russia, the three small Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania along with coastal Poland and Germany. Many cruise lines offer extended day trips to Moscow or Berlin, further enriching the cultural experience. And the weather is generally mild with a good number of blue sky days. I have cruised around the Baltic every summer for the past ten years and still am captivated by its landscapes and people.
Publication Date: November 25, 2015Towering majestic mountains draped in permanent snow, massive glaciers plunging into crystal clear fjords, lush forests of southern beech and other exotic plants combine to make the journey by ship between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Valparaiso, Chile one of the most incredible cruise itineraries in the world. With the revere of seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, the cruises to this part of the world are scheduled between December and March, which is that part of the world's summer. Days are generally mild and the nights a bit nippy. And on occasion it can snow right down to the shore in the middle of summer. This is a land not only of rare beauty, but it is populated by guanaco, vicuna and penguins. And there are pods of wales and herds of sea lions that feed in the rich offshore waters. Along the route you will see many magnificent volcanic cones that sit in quiet repose, draped in snow. But every so often, as in 2015, one of them will put forth a catastrophic eruption that is both terrifying as well as spectacular. And yes this is also earthquake country. It is the volatility of the geology that is what has created the great beauty of the fjord and lake country of southern Argentina and Chile. The small port towns all have more of a central European flavor as opposed to what one expects in South America. In fact German and Welsh are the next most widely spoken languages after Spanish. And the local architecture even has somewhat of a Bavarian feel. On restaurant menus you will see the word "kuchen" instead of "torts" to describe cakes and you are more likely to have spaetzle as a side dish at lunch or dinner. This book will bring the geography, history, lifestyle of the people and ports of call to life in a way that the mass market tour guides cannot do. It is a culmination of my many years of travel in this part of the world after 46 years as a university geography professor.
Publication Date: January 25, 2017This full colour supplement in 8.5 x 11 inch format is intended to provide the reader with a visual picture of the incredible natural landscapes and the ports of call on a cruise between Buenos Aires, Argentina and Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile. This book will compliment the book titled Cruising Between Buenos Aires and Valparaiso that has been issued in black and white because of the greater cost that would have been involved with publishing it in full colour given that it has extensive text. If you purchase both, you will find that the colour photographs that make this more of a coffee table book are totally different in content than the ones in the regular edition. The landscapes are among the most magnificent in the world, and they rival those mountain, fjord and glacial landscapes of Alaska and Norway. Then you add the flavor of Spanish cultural heritage and you have a region that is very special. I have cruised these water many times, and I plan to return again because I have found it to be such an emotionally satisfying experience. Then add to this the fact that Buenos Aires and Santiago are two of the most dynamic and progressive cities in South America. Buenos Aires is often called the "Paris of the Americas," while Santiago is known for its indescribable setting, nestled against the high Andes Mountains, which tower over the countryside like a great wall.
Publication Date: January 30, 2017There is nothing more majestic than to witness the annual spectacle of the changing of fall colours. When the sugar maples turn flame red and are accompanied by so many other trees turning yellow, orange or crimson, the landscape takes on a glow that is beyond breathtaking. Fall is often a time of year in Eastern Canada and New England when the sky tends to be deep azure, as the sun still shines bright, but its warmth begins to ebb. What better time than to board a cruise ship and sail from one port to the next while viewing this ongoing spectacle. I always recommend the later cruises from mid October until the end of the fall season, which is around the start of November. As the global climate changes, colours now come later, but they will often stay into early November unless a quick gale or snowstorm finishes the season with a sudden bang. The ports of call exude either the New England charm in places like Boston, Portland or Bar Harbor while the Canadian ports offer that gentile flavor that is so characteristic of Canada. Visiting historic Halifax, the Victorian charm of Charlottetown or the Old World French speaking cities of Québec, you will be delighted with Canadian hospitality along with incredibly delicious cuisine. This book provides initially provides you with some geographic and historic background for both Eastern Canada and New England. There are also chapters that illustrate how the lifestyles and governments of the two neighbouring countries differ. And alas there is a chapter on each of the ports that are visited by cruise ships at this time of year. Most cruises last for a period of from ten to 14-days, so no single cruise can visit all the possibilities. There are recommendations as to the major sights in each port along with dining and shopping tips, all based upon my personal experience as one who simply adores this part of both countries, especially in the autumn. Bon Voyage - let's go cruising.
Publication Date: January 4, 2017It is the 23rd century, and Earth has sent a manned exploratory team out into deep space. Humankind's first expedition to the stars proves to be the ultimate voyage! After traversing 4.5 light years to the Alpha Centuari system, Captain Ben Canaan and his crew find that the arid planet is already inhabited by two groups of humanoids, one of which is highly sophisticated and enslaves the nomads who roam the deep desert. But what Ben Canaan discovers is a surprise beyond expectation, as he becomes deeply embroiled in the politics of attempting to end the age old practice of bondage. And his mixed Arab-Israeli crew learn much about themselves in the process, as they join the nomads in a long march across desert and mountains to reach the great city of Taab in an attempt to free the brethren of the desert nomads. Come along on this epic, adventure-filled journey across the stark, yet beautiful planet of Centauri and discover a secret so significant that it will change mankind's ultimate destiny.
Publication Date: January 5, 2017PROLOGUE It was a bleak winter morning at Tarova, an Eltonan estate on the edge of Dubrono. It was first im, the gray dawn. The sky to the east was clear, showing a faint trace of a dawn not quite ready to break into a new day. The Emana family were all warmly tucked in their sleeping lofts, covered by thick, down blankets while outside tiny rodent-like Kiami scurried across the hard-packed snow in search of roots and fallen twigs, their movements sending faint scratching sounds through the cold, heavy air of the long night. To the west, down a cascade of gentle hills, the lights of Dubrono shone in shades of yellow and amber against the dark outline of the distant mountains. With the suddenness of a thunderclap, a ball of intense white heat seared the scene of peaceful winter calm. Dubrono was incinerated. Buildings imploded as metal, glass, brick and mortar vaporized. Flesh was ripped from disintegrating bone and charred to ash in an instant. There were no cries of anguish, as thousands perished without agony in a microsecond. On the edge of the five kilometer-wide inferno, the heat was less intense, but still murderous. At Tarova, the house heaved and buckled under the shock wave created by the fireball. Then it burst into flames. Fire and smoke trapped the Emana family in their lofts. The children cried in vain and shouted for help as their blankets blazed around them, painfully searing their flesh. One by one, their small lungs filled with smoke as their bodies writhed in the painful terror of cremation. Their parents were more fortunate in that a gust of super-heated air ruptured their windows turning the sleeping chamber into an instant inferno. Their pain was momentary as they were overcome by lashing flames. And so it was that winter morning as photon missiles in a show of alien force blasted three Eltonan cities. Death and suffering came to a world of peace in one shattering moment, and all because these proud, independent people would not bend to the demands of the alien commander. These aliens from beyond known space were warriors whose race had known hardship and the ravages of war. Their code was strict and left no room for compromise. Within one day, the world surrendered itself to their occupation, but in their hearts, the people of Eltona did not surrender. Nor did they retreat into hopeless fantasies of rescue. They retained their pride and dignity and sought to best endure the occupation of their homeland until the time was right for their liberation by the Federation.
Publication Date: January 25, 2017The Panama Canal is one of the great human engineering feats of the world. Now operating in its second century, it still never ceases to amaze people when they stand on the deck of a ship and watch as the vessel is slowly raised upward through three locks to an elevation of 85 feet or 26 meters above sea level then sails through an artificial channel and lake, crossing the continental divide to be finally lowered back to sea level. And this journey of around six to seven hours takes the vessel from one ocean to the other with ease. It is nothing less than thrilling. Cruises through the Panama Canal generally begin or end in either Florida or California depending upon the direction of travel. The majority of the ports of call are found along the Pacific Coast, but some cruise lines stop in Cartagena, Colombia or Limon, Costa Rica on the Caribbean Coast. This book provides very detailed information regarding the operation of the canal, the experience of making the transit along with a descriptive chapter on each of the major ports of call that comprise a Panama Canal cruise. And the book is filled with a great many pictures. However, the volume is done in black and white because of the high per page cost of printing even if it only contains text. But there will be a companion volume of new colour photographs without text to compensate. So come along for the journey through the Panama Canal.