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European Waterways new experiential barge cruises
European Waterways new experiential barge cruises

ARTISTS OPEN STUDIOS TOUR

Celebrate the arts and support artists at the Cape Ann Artisans Spring Tour (June 2-3; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Now in its 35th year, the self-guided tour features 23 artisans at 20 locations in Gloucester and Rockport. Studio visits allow visitors to chat with artists, and observe up close how they create their work, including jewelry, wearable art, mosaics, paintings, sculpture, drawings, fiberarts, and more — all set against the scenic backdrop of these seaside communities. If you miss this weekend tour (or if you love it and want an encore performance) a Fall Tour will encompass the entire three-day Columbus Day Weekend (Oct. 6-8). Printed brochures with studio descriptions and tour map are available at all studios, the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, the Rockport Information Booth on Route 127, and many other public venues. Or download a PDF on the Artisans’ website. capeannartisans.com

RESERVE GUIDED TOURS TO MOUNT WASHINGTON

Loathe to tackle the scenic 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington in your own vehicle? Why not leave the driving to experts, and sign up for seasonally available guided tours along the Mount Washington Auto Road. (May 26 though Oct. 21) Not only will you spare your car the effort, you’ll also learn about the history and ecology of the mountain through stories and anecdotes provided by knowledgable guides. These tours have always been available on a first-come, first-served basis, however — new this summer — guests have the opportunity to reserve online a specific time for their two-hour tour. Travel to the summit in 12-passenger vans; includes 60 minutes at the summit, and complimentary access to the interactive Extreme Mount Washington exhibition located inside the Visitor Center. Rates $16-$36. 603-466-3988, mtwashingtonautoroad.com/guided-tours/2-hour-guided-tours

INTIMATE LUXURY BARGE TOURS IN FRANCE

Luxury barge cruises in Europe just got a whole lot more interesting with the debut of European Waterways’ new experiential tours. A cruise operator for more than 35 years, the company aims to create memorable moments in its 2018 offerings. Examples from trips in France include: a private tour of the moat-encircled Château de Commarin, accompanied by Count Bertrand de Vogue whose family has been in continuous residence since the 13th century (on 12-passenger L’Impressionniste); a private tasting at the Alexandre Bonnet Champagne House in Les Riceys, an off-the-beaten path and unspoiled part of the Champagne region (on 12-passenger La Belle Epoque); a visit to a local oyster farm, and the Camargue National Park, renowned for its wild horses, pink flamingos, and lush green wetlands (on the 8-passenger Anjodi). Rates from $3,890 per person. 877-879-8808, www.europeanwaterways.com.

SCENIC TRAINS TO MACHU PICCHU

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There are now four distinct ways to travel by train from Cusco to Machu Picchu on Inca Rail: 360° Machu Picchu Train, Private Machu Picchu Train, First-Class Machu Picchu Train and Voyager Machu Picchu Train. The elegantly designed carriages with new features and amenities include sleek panoramic windows to view the passing scenery, including the roaring Urubamba river valley, cloud forest draped peaks and Inca ruins. The new 360° Machu Picchu Train, considered the crown-jewel of panoramic journeys, consists of six carriages and features a stand-out observation deck with a bar and outdoor viewing platform. Amenities include a light meal with organic ingredients from the surrounding Sacred Valley; and complimentary, GPS-activated informative audio guide. One way $83; roundtrip $191. incarail.com

PREMIUM WIRELESS HEADPHONES

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In this noise-filled world, a great pair of headphones is a necessity when traveling. RHA, an independent audio company based in Glasgow, has released MA750, their newest premium wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones. The sophisticated stainless steel design features a 12-hour battery, remote to control all smart devices, and LED battery level indicator and power saving auto function so you won’t run out of juice on long-haul flights. Over-the-ear hooks and multiple ear tips create a secure, noise-isolating fit to drown out the snoring of your sleeping seatmate. Sweat and splashproof to IPX4. Magnetized aluminum on the earbuds allow you to clip them together when on the go. Three-year warranty. Free delivery. $169.95.

TECHNO RUNNING TEE FOR MEN

Summer running, hiking, and trekking gear receive a techno boost with Rhone’s new “Run Seamless” short-sleeve Celliant shirt. By using thermo-reactive fabrics, Celliant naturally traps body heat — promoting a temporary increase in blood flow — and safely recycles it back into your body to increase endurance and performance. Additionally, SilverTech threads reduce bacteria and odor. Featherweight seamless construction allows for breathability in this anti-chafing and moisture wicking four-way stretch fabric. Easy to pack; dries quickly. Available in four colors. $74.

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