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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Nova Scotia to Restart Ferry Service from Maine Next Summer

Great news out of Nova Scotia yesterday with the announcement that the province of Nova Scotia has signed an agreement with Nova Star Cruises to re-establish round-trip ferry service between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, starting May 2014. The ferry service ended in 2009, forcing New Englanders to drive through New Brunswick to reach Nova Scotia, making the trip far more arduous. As part of the agreement, the Province of Nova Scotia will provide Nova Star Cruises with up to CDN $21 million of financial support over seven years to assist the company with re-establishing the ferry service. Nova Star will leave Portland each evening at 8 pm EST and arrive in Yarmouth at 7 am AST the next morning. The ship will depart two hours later and arrive back in Portland at 5 p.m. local time. If you’re considering visiting Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, this might be the summer. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/14/13 at 11:00 AM
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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Miami Curated, Mandatory Reading for Those Headed to Miami

If you’re headed to Miami for Art Basel this December or maybe some much needed R&R on Key Biscayne or South Beach, do yourself a favor and check out the new blog by longtime travel PR maven, Karen Weiner Escalera, MiamiCurated. Known for her impeccable taste in food, fashion, and culture when she lived in Manhattan, Escalera has now set her sites on her new home base, Miami. A recent blog divulges top 5 new restaurant openings this fall. District Miami in the Design District, offering Pan-American fare. “Think creative ceviches, lobster malanga tacos, Vermont brie and chipotle burger and pastelitos with guava and goat cheese,” says Escalera. I’m sold!

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/06/13 at 11:00 AM
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Friday, November 01, 2013

A Great Time to Be in Boston!

Call it justice for a city still healing from the loathsome murder and mayhem committed on one of our celebrated days of the year, the annual running of the Boston Marathon. Or simply pay heed to the remarkable job Red Sox GM Ben Cherington did by dumping the salaries of big name ballplayers like Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez and picking up the unheralded Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, and a journeyman 38-year old pitcher named Koji Uehara. After last year’s laughable season, where we ended up in last place, all we wanted was a chance to have fun at the old ballpark again. But when you’re led by a man named Big Papi, the Babe Ruth of our time, anything is possible. As a travel writer, I’m constantly on the road. Fortunately, I had no trips booked these past two weeks so I could enjoy every game of the World Series with my family. This weekend, there’s no place I’d rather be than home watching the duck boats drive by in a well-deserved parade. 

Enjoy the weekend and stay active!

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/01/13 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Newsletter Now Available at

Analysis Paralysis. That’s how one of our latest members described the galling task of going through thousands of pages on the web to decide where to go, where to stay, where to eat on your next vacation. A recent study said that the average traveler spends 29 hours on the web researching his next trip. 29 hours! There’s nothing with doing a little exploration to get yourself excited about your next vacation, but 29 hours definitely sounds like analysis paralysis to me. One of the reasons we started is to give unbiased travel advice on the 80-plus countries I’ve already visited as a travel writer. We can cut through the layer upon layer of unnecessary travel content and pinpoint the exact locale that suits each client based on his or her passions. By all means, research a country to your heart’s content, but please call us to hear our viewpoint long before analysis paralysis sets in! 

October, when each day gets a wee bit chillier in the Northeast, is the time of year when folks start to think about winter escapes. In our October Newsletter, we discuss five of our favorite affordable Caribbean lodgings, a Costa Rican land operator already beloved my many of our clients, and getting away from Cancun to see Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and the numerous Mayan sites on the Yucatan Peninsula. I also talk about one of my favorite cities in North America, Toronto, perfect for a quick escape in October, and Lisa will share her newfound affection for the TravelPro Carry-On. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/22/13 at 10:00 AM
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Friday, September 27, 2013

September Newsletter Now Available at

Calling all tortoise lovers, especially those of you who love mega-sized tortoises in the 100 year-old range! In our September newsletter, we describe our recent trip to the Galapagos, where we encounter many of these big boys. We also divulge our favorite all-inclusive resorts in America, including another summer outing to Vermont’s Basin Harbor Club; a new B&B in Provincetown, Salt House Inn, ideally suited for a quick getaway in September and October; and the outfitter, Tropic, that we used for our Ecuador trip to the Galapagos and the Amazon and who we highly recommend. 

All of our newsletters will soon be itemized, so you can quickly find a story on South Africa, Turkey, Nova Scotia, Oregon, and hundreds of other locales if you’re thinking of planning a trip there. That service will only be available to members who join Other benefits of our yearly membership include easy access to a travel writer who’s been to more than 80 countries and can answer all questions saving you hours of research on the web, a full-service travel agency that can book all vacations and can usually get VIP service and complimentary upgrades and meals through our connections, and most importantly, someone to call when something goes wrong, which is inevitable. Good luck calling customer service at Orbitz, Expedia, or Travelocity when your flight is canceled or your luggage goes missing. We’re here to help make your vacation memorable! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/27/13 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inaugural Crossroads International Celtic Festival to Be Held in Western Maine

Just in case you need another excuse to visit the glorious mountains and large lakes of western Maine, the region is holding its first Crossroads International Celtic Festival September 11-15. More than 100 entertainers including musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers from all over the Celtic world will descend on the region for a series of performances. The unique choice of venues include Stratton Brook, the newest hut in the Maine Huts and Trails system, and Church of the Good Shepherd in one of my favorite towns in the state, Rangeley. One performance that should not be missed is the “Fiddles on the Frontier” show Thursday, September 12th at 7 pm at the Eustis Community Building in Stratton. The list of impressive fiddlers includes Cape Breton’s Dwayne Cote and Rachel Davis. Better be ready to dance! 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/27/13 at 10:00 AM
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Monday, July 15, 2013

Time for a Much Needed Break

Just returned from the Mount Auburn Hospital Travel Clinic to get necessary shots and a malaria pill prescription for an upcoming family trip to the Ecuadorean Amazon and the Galapagos Islands. Before we leave next Sunday, I have two stories to write, itineraries to design for clientele traveling to Scandinavia, Costa Rica, Iceland, and the UK, and two days of R&R with high school buddies at a lake in upstate New York. So I’m taking a break from blogging. I’ll be back the week of August 4th with 5 highlights from our trip to Ecuador. Enjoy the summer!


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/15/13 at 03:00 PM
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Friday, July 12, 2013

July Newsletter Now Available at

The Oregon road trip my brother Jim and I just returned from is the feature story in the July 2013 newsletter at We also discuss why Montreal is an ideal quick escape in summer, the rise of upscale properties in Puerto Rico, and a reputable outfitter Lisa uses for trips to Peru. I also bring up the fact that now is the best time to book your flight to the Caribbean or Mexico next winter, especially over the busy school breaks, because nonstop flights sell out quickly. As always, if you have any questions regarding the world of travel, we’re here to help. Enjoy the weekend and stay active!


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/12/13 at 10:00 AM
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Monday, July 08, 2013

A Moronic Move in Maine

In 1995, I was hired to write a book called Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England. My task was to partake in as many outdoor adventures as possible both summer and winter and write about that experience. Seemed pretty simple for the five southernmost states in New England. Then there was Maine. Just the thought of traversing close to 3500 miles of coastline had me second-guessing my decision. An even more absurd task was trying to find the hidden gems in Maine’s vast interior. I needed help, so I contacted Nancy Marshall Communications, the public relations firm that was hired by the State of Maine’s Office of Tourism to work with media.
Much to my delight, I would quickly learn that few people know Maine better than Nancy Marshall and none are as impassioned about its travel opportunities. Nancy divulged everything, from the French chef working the stoves at Chesuncook Lake House to a Registered Maine Guide who would bring guests at the Rangeley Inn on a 5 am paddle to view moose to the small B&B in Georgetown that specialized in sea kayaking.
Since that fateful day, I would work with Nancy and her amazing team of Charlene Williams and Kevin Gove on more than 100 stories on Maine for The Boston Globe, Yankee Magazine, Outside Magazine, Sierra and many other publications. Just this past year, I would snowmobile and see the Northern Lights in Aroostook County, sail Linekin Bay, and visit the Cushing house that inspired Andrew Wyeth’s famous “Christina’s World.” All of those story ideas came from the people at Nancy Marshall Communications.
Now I have learned that after 20 years on the job, as of last week, the Maine Office of Tourism will replace Nancy Marshall Communications with a PR firm from New York. Oh sure, there will continue to be travel stories about Portland, Freeport, Camden, and Bar Harbor, locales New Yorkers know best. For those of you who work in the travel industry in the rest of the state, the Maine government just threw you off the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/08/13 at 10:00 AM
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Newsletter Now Available at

May marks the first anniversary of, the travel consulting business that my wife and I created. Thanks to all of you, it’s been a great success! Over the course of the first year, we've compiled top-notch contacts around the world. So if you want to go on a weeklong safari in Tanzania, a guided 4-day trek from Mumbai to Agra to Jaipur, a half-day walking tour of the Gaudi architecture in Barcelona, or jaguar viewing in the Brazilian Pantanal, we know who to call. The beauty of this business is that as soon as our clients give us the thumb’s up on a certain outfitter, resort, or day guide, upon return from their trip, we pass this precious information along to everyone.
We’ve also been busy this past year building our inventory of Dream Day Itineraries, highly detailed daily trip planners for independent travelers. They include recommended lodging, sights, restaurants, outdoor recreation, and, most importantly, how to get from Point A to Point B. Tried and true itineraries have already been created for Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Costa Rica, London and the UK, Paris, Italy, Barcelona and Madrid, the Canadian Rockies, the Atlantic Maritimes, Yellowstone and the Tetons, Utah's National Parks, Durango and Telluride, Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Parks, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, the Florida Keys, and New England.
New this year is we hope to itemize all travel stories from our previous newsletters, so if you're headed to Kenya, you'll find our description of the country without having to peruse every issue. Talking about newsletters, in the May issue we go on a driving trip through Canada’s Atlantic Maritimes, review the hotels we love in the Sarapiqui region of Costa Rica, remember our quick escape to Block Island, announce Abercrombie & Kent's new Connections trips, and comment on how the sequester is going to effect the National Parks this summer. Thanks again for coming along for the ride! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/28/13 at 02:00 PM
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about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

Adventure Travel Trade Association