Will luxury yachting go green

Will luxury yachting go green

Driven by electric propulsion and a radical aesthetic, the EAU concept electric luxury yacht by Tjep, reimagines a cleaner future for the luxury yacht industry…
The impact of leisure boating on marine environments is a well-documented problem. Even as regulations seek to alleviate the issue, engine emissions and the incorrect disposal of waste by yachts contribute to marine pollution. Dutch designer Frank Tjepkema proposes to veto this with the introduction of the EAU concept electric luxury yacht.

Considering the growing projection of the automobile industry towards electrically-operated vehicles, Frank anticipates the same influence in the yacht building industry. He prophesies that although the pace of progress is extremely low, developments in areas such as electric cargos, hydrogen trucks and electric cars (TESLA) will find their way to the luxury yacht industry ultimately, by increasing the availability of large volume on-board electricity storage and charging points in ports. In such a scenario, questions Frank, “Would it not be nice if the leisure category, where there’s an abundance of capital, would lead the way? Why should enjoyment be combined with heavy pollution?”

Taking a step in the desired direction, Frank has conceptualised EAU to precision – at a length of 63 m, width of 13.5 m and beam of 18 m. Designed to have 100% electric propulsion with a speed of 25 knots, the yacht will host 12 cabins, a swimming pool and a helipad, its hull and superstructure crafted from aluminium. The future for a green yacht industry looks bright since Tjep. has been shortlisted for Yacht Concept over 40 Metres Award in The International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2018.

But, the EAU yacht isn’t just at the technological frontier of this industry; it also floats aesthetic qualities that represent the ultimate in cleanliness. Pushing simplicity and refinement to its limit, the design is inspired by the qualities of water. The design’s most striking element is a water droplet-shaped wheelhouse that floats like an abstract sculpture above the deck. The yacht also uses familiar elements from traditional yacht craftsmanship, such as the way in which wooden planks form the layered lines along the hull of wooden ships.

Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

For travel zealots or first timers, this will be a lifelong experience. Just you, your best friend, your favorite classic game, and the open road. Route 66 may be a well-known option, but for the adventurous souls longing to go off the beaten track: Iceland Ring Road calls you! Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland
Be sure to see this exciting sight

Just like a road trip, you have to do a bit of advanced planning to be able to see the scenery in all their glory. Ice crystal ice caves The Karnataka glacier must be booked prior to arrival to avoid disappointment, for example. The stunning natural caves can only be reached during the winter, and are very dangerous. Hire a guide to get the most out of your visit, and discover their depth.

The Crash Site of Sólheimasandur Plane may be hard to find, but it is even better for the challenges it faces in finding it. Wander through the simultaneous remnants of a US Navy aircraft of the 1970s for an interesting diversion on your journey.

Whale audiences should be at the top of your list, and the fjord near Akureyri is an ideal location to see minke whales, humps and bottles. There is something very miraculous when seeing these great beings in the flesh, and this is an experience you will never forget. Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Top Tips for Making Your Trip Tick Again Without Exams or Tribulation

There are many places to stop admiring the natural wonders of this special country on this journey. The route itself can, in fact, be driven in a tight 24-hour non-stop circle, but why do you do that and skip all that fun ?! Better take your time and get it all done. A week would be a good time to see all the best pieces, but much longer would be even better. It is also a good idea to leave a little time at the end of your trip if your flight is affected by bad winter weather.

Rent a van, collect the crew and go there with all your winter wool, playlists and cameras with plenty of space on your memory card … Wherever you look is a photo opportunity.

On the practical side you might want to practice your night driving so you can enjoy spending some of your trip in the dark when the Northern Lights are visible. Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Do not forget the GPS, the right tires for winter weather, and adequate insurance. You can combine your insurance needs in a trip like this and get travel and rent a car excess insurance one-fold.

Ethan Bailey is an experienced adventure traveler and insurance expert with Let’s Go Insure team. Ethan’s spirit is to inspire his clients to go further, deeper and higher on their journey and his expertise in providing ideal insurance allows them to do just that. If you’re looking for the best travel policy, including overpaid car insurance, Let’s Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers to offer competitive insurance without sacrificing protection. Road Trip Round Route Ring Road Iceland

Get Ready to Rock the Mountain: Musilac 2018

Get Ready to Rock the Mountain: Musilac 2018

If you’re planning a ski holiday to Chamonix with a group of mates and can’t decide when to go, my advice would be to wait until April 2018. That way, you can participate in Musilac Mont-Blanc 2018, the ultimate party on the mountain! This new spring festival is expected to become one of the biggest annual music events in Chamonix.
What to Expect

 

Musilac is already famous in Aix-les-Bains, where it is a popular summer festival. Past headliners have included everyone from Elton John and Sting to The Chemical Brothers and David Guetta. For Chamonix, festival organisers promise an equally stellar line up: so far, 15 acts are scheduled to play from April 19 to 21.

The Festival will be a massive affair: it’s estimated that up to 30,000 spectators will attend the three-day event. An open-air stage will be set up at the Bois du Bouchet paragliding landing area, which will play host to audiences of around 15,000 each night.

To ensure that this is one of the major events in Chamonix’s 2018 calendar, Musilac organisers have partnered with MontBlanc Médias, a renowned French media group that specialises in extreme sports.

Ski the End of the Season or Just Hang Out

Whether you’re a keen skier and want to take advantage of Chamonix’s cheap ‘end of season’ deals or you just love the party atmosphere of a festival, April in Chamonix is perfect for you.

Set at the foot of Mont Blanc, the resort’s skiing opportunities are guaranteed throughout the spring, during which there’s a fantastic range of glacial skiing that really comes into its own from April onwards.

There are a range of nursery runs for beginners, – although the snow cover this late in the season can be risky – and for intermediate and advanced skiers, Chamonix’s challenging runs provide the ultimate high-thrill playground.

In town, you’ll discover that Chamonix is a bustling place with a cool, hip crowd that populates the resort all year round. There are some great bars and clubs, and the pretty centre is equipped with many nice café terraces.

If you’re looking for a group holiday during which you don’t want to hit the pistes every day, combining a ski holiday with one of the best events in Chamonix ensures that you’ll have a blast!

How to Get There

Taking part in the many events in Chamonix couldn’t be easier, as there are regular flights from the UK to Geneva, Chambery, Grenoble and Lyon airports during the ski season.

For a good-value transfer option, book a group transfer with Shuttle Direct before you leave home. Choose either a private or a more economical shared group transfer, and our drivers will pick you up from the airport and deliver you straight to your resort. It doesn’t get easier than that!

Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

Man vs Wildlife – Creating a Sustainable Society on Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are primarily known for their abundance of unique wildlife and as the place in which Charles Darwin’s conducted the research that led to his Theory of Evolution. For those who explore the area on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, a visit to this fragile, fascinating chain of islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; but for more than 25,000 people, the archipelago is home.
A Growing Population

 

Since the 1970s the population has increased greatly, with more than 75% of the current number having migrated from the mainland. Human occupation is restricted to an area that encompasses just 3% of the total land, with the vast majority living in the coastal towns on Santa Cruz, Floreana, San Cristobal and Isabela. A far smaller proportion (around 15%) lives in the more rural areas.

Most of the migration occurred for economic reasons, with a rapidly growing tourism industry and a declining standard of living on the Ecuadorian mainland. Before the implementation of the special immigration protocols in 1998, it was estimated that at the then-current rate, the population of the archipelago could double every decade. Since then, stricter controls have been put in place by the Ecuadorean government, which include a system of Transit Control Cards for all visitors coming into the area on Galapagos wildlife cruise itineraries.

Creating a Sustainable Society

Creating a sustainable society in a conservation area is not without its challenges, but the Conservancy of the islands is dedicated to the ongoing education of residents to “become champions of conservation”. The aim is to encourage locals to look at subsistence through a different lens to that of mainland living. Rather than trying to recreate a lifestyle that relies heavily on imported produce, machinery and techniques that are at odds with the environment, it encourages locals to consider themselves “stewards of the archipelago”, and live within a system more compatible with biodiverse preservation.

Education: the Key to the Future

Along with the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Ministry of Education, the Conservancy is working towards education reform designed to foster a strong sense of values and engagement. Their focus is on demonstrating examples of “best practice” to teachers and administrators first, with a view to transferring this to classrooms.

Sustainable Practices in the Community

Another area in which the Conservancy is active is in increasing the capacity of sustainable agriculture throughout the archipelago, by demonstrating alternative methods of farming and environmental management.

Introduced domestic pets present a grave danger to the local wildlife; the Conservancy’s Humane Pet Management promotes responsible pet ownership and sterilisation in partnership with the Animal Balance organisation.

FUNDAR

The local Foundation for Responsible Alternative Development (FUNDAR) believes the establishment of a strong civil society is imperative to the base of any social change in the archipelago. “Citizens must act together with a common goal in order for change to happen.” While only a very small percentage of locals oppose the concept of sustainable development, in reality not much is understood about what it entails. They say it is an inter-generational process, which involves allowing residents to benefit in the “now”, but in a way that also assures that future generations can benefit too.

The Responsibility of All

While there is still some way to go until the region becomes a truly sustainable society, everybody who visits can do their part to ensure that the values are upheld. For anyone visiting on a Galapagos wildlife cruise, this means respecting the National Park Code of Conduct at all times and not doing anything to upset the balance of the ecosystem.

Ceramics and Châteaus: Discover Genteel Gien

Ceramics and Châteaus: Discover Genteel Gien

There’s little doubt that an essential element of all barge holidays in France is being able to dock at the myriad towns and villages that line the waterways and entice visitors in with their charms. As part of the itinerary of the hotel barge Renaissance, guests will be able to see the sights of Gien, renowned for its pottery and royal château.
Finding your Bearings

 

Prior to diving into the town, it is well worth disembarking on the south bank to take in the attractions of Gien all at once: from this vantage point, you can savour the spectacle of the river as it passes below the eighteenth-century bridge, under the watchful gaze of the sixteenth-century château.

Not even the loss of much of Gien’s historic buildings during World War II can detract from the pleasant view. Indeed, the painstaking and very convincing post-war reconstruction has done much to bury these ghosts of the past.

Marvel at Gien’s Pottery

Cultural exploration is an integral part of our barge holidays. In France, there are always abundant opportunities for the discerning traveller to discover regional produce, and Gien is no exception. The town has crafted a fine reputation for the calibre of its pottery, in particular for its Faïence pottery. Production began when Thomas Hall, an Englishman from Stoke-on-Trent who was intent on bringing high-quality English earthenware to France, established a factory in 1821.

In deciding to base his enterprise in Gien, Hall chose wisely, capitalising on the town’s physical amenities. The Sologne forest, which is in close proximity to Gien, provided a ready source of wood for the kilns. What’s more, the Loire granted access to markets throughout France (until water travel was superseded by the railways), in addition to providing sand and water for making clay.

While production continues to this day, the factory has also taken on a new guise as a museum dedicated to telling the story of the industry and shedding light on the making of these exquisite ceramics.

A Château Fit for Kings and Queens

There’s one more attraction that certainly merits a visit before you return to the hotel barge. Holidays in France are rarely complete without sojourning for a while at a château, and Gien’s has certainly welcomed its fair share of royal visitors. This elegant edifice was constructed for the use of Anne de Beaujeu, the daughter of Louis XI, in the final years of the fifteenth century. Future guests included Henri II and his wife Catherine de Médici, as well as Louis XIV, the famous ‘Sun King’.

Despite being bombed during World War II, the château was successfully restored. Since 1952, it’s housed a museum, which is dedicated to the most royal of pastimes: hunting. Through paintings, sculptures and an array of weapons and trophies from successful forays, the museum details how hunting and its depiction has developed through the centuries.

Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK’s most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge holidays in France. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.

Five Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance

Five Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance

One of the best ways to maintain your personal wellbeing is by having a health insurance plan. Because of the large number of companies that offer this type of insurance policy, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Here are five tips to help you find the best plan on the market today.
Check Network of Plans

Five Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance

If you have a select group of doctors you choose, ask them which insurance network they are part of. You can also use one of the many accredited online directories to know which networks each plan on your list. On the other hand, if you have just moved to a new city and you do not yet have a doctor of choice, choose a plan that has a large network of healthcare practitioners.

Know the Maximum Premium Budget

Consider your average monthly spend to see how much money you can spend on a policy without compromising your financial ability. Low premiums often result in high out-of-pocket costs. Therefore, what seems to be the cheapest plan may actually be the most expensive, because you will be forced to pay for most services. One of the best ways to choose the right premium is to estimate the total amount of money you spent on health care last year, including costs and premiums out of pocket. Then choose a plan that has the same deductible, copays, and monthly premiums. High premium plans will save thousands of dollars for out of pocket expenses if you need expensive procedures or frequent medical care services.

Look for Additional Benefits Five Tips for Choosing the Right Health Insurance

In an effort to attract more clients, insurance companies usually offer policies that have additional benefits other than medical coverage. Based on this fact, it is wise to check the summary of the benefits of each policy on your list until you find it that has the scope of service of your choice. For example, some policies provide better coverage for mental health care and physical care while others have more comprehensive emergency coverage.

Structure of Research Plan

Once you estimate your monthly premium, the next step is to determine the structure of your ideal plan. Some of the most common plans are HMO, EPO, POS, and PPO. The plan you choose will determine which doctors you can see and your costs. More often than not, referral plans, such as POS and HMO, require that you first consult a primary care physician before ordering an appointment with a specialist. If you already have a network of doctors you want to see, avoid plans they do not do.

Compare Out-of-Pocket Costs

Your preferred health insurance plan should clearly indicate which service will be required to pay and the amount. The amount includes coinsurance, co-pay, and deductible. Plans that have low out-of-pocket costs are an ideal choice if you regularly need emergency services, use expensive drugs, have planned upcoming operations, or have recently been diagnosed with chronic conditions such as cancer or diabetes.

Finally, make sure that the health insurance company is legally accredited, reputable, and reliable to protect yourself from any inconvenience.

Flying Solo Taking Personal Health Insurance

Flying Solo Taking Personal Health Insurance

To date, most people have health insurance through their employers. Their company works to choose the provider and the set of options within the company, and that is given to their employees. Fewer people have group coverage today due to economic reasons and health care costs and improved medical procedures. As more companies cut their health care programs, more people are discovering their own individual health insurance plans. Although it takes a little time and research, there are many advantages to choosing your own plan. Flying Solo Taking Personal Health Insurance
Selection

Flying Solo Taking Personal Health Insurance

With an individual plan, you can choose the provider, options, and details that work best for you and your family. There are seemingly endless options offered by many organizations, and many people who may or may not qualify for a health insurance company are forced to find their own service provider that meets their needs.

Freedom

The ability to change plans and companies is important to many people, because trying different options may be part of the process of finding the right one. In addition, if you have your own health insurance, you do not have to worry about losing coverage if you change jobs or lose jobs. This allows you to choose a job based on your wants and goals, not on the benefits you receive. Flying Solo Taking Personal Health Insurance

Independence

When you go with group insurance, you allow your boss to have control over your health care choices. For example, many women want access to birth control but are under group insurance that does not cover birth control. With an individual plan, you can meet your coverage of your own values ​​and priorities.

Doctor

Many group plans only allow you to see a particular doctor; With individual coverage, you can see a doctor you trust and visit a hospital you already know.

Who Gets Individual Health Care?

As mentioned above, fewer entrepreneurs are currently offering group insurance than in the past. Traditionally, individual plans are reserved for people who are in the workplace, self-employed, refreshed from their parent’s coverage, or who only work for companies that do not offer coverage (whether or not they offer at all or are ineligible employees). Currently, the number of people working for the company without the coverage grows, so does the number of entrepreneurs.

Group health insurance generally has a partial or full benefit funded by your employer, but can keep you in an unsatisfactory job for fear of losing coverage and can also get you stuck in a situation that does not meet all your needs. Many people feel overwhelmed when presented with the various providers and plans that each offer. When considering moving to an individual plan, it may be worth trying to work with a local agent to find what suits your needs, both medically and financially. Flying Solo Taking Personal Health Insurance

Go Sky High & Ski Free in Courmayeur

Go Sky High & Ski Free in Courmayeur

Courmayeur, nestled in the Italian Alps at the foot of Mont Blanc, may be famous as an elegant ski resort but for those who want the snow and mountains without the high octane thrills, it also offers a range of other activities.
With exclusive boutiques and excellent restaurants scattered around the resort’s pretty pedestrianised centre, combined with the short transfer from Geneva to Courmayeur, it makes a wonderful spot for a winter break, even without the skiing.

 

Mountain Views Without Skis

Restaurants and boutiques are all very well, but if you’ve come to the Alps for stunning mountain views but don’t want to do too much walking then you’ll be thrilled to discover that the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car makes the mountains accessible to all.

First built as a way of connecting the Italians of Courmayeur with the town of Chamonix in France as early as the 1930s, the original cables were destroyed by French fighter planes during World War Two.

After the war, a station was opened at 3300m, but engineers were unable to reach the summit due to the shifting glacier ice. It wasn’t until 2015 that the top station at Punta Helbronner was finally opened at 3466m.

Today the Skyway Monte Bianco takes visitors from Courmayeur, up through a series of stations, to the summit of Mont Blanc with views of many of the Alps’ highest peaks.

Spend Time at the Skyway Stations

Starting at Pontal, visitors are swept up the face of Mont Blanc to the first station of Pavillon du Mont Fréty.

Those who just want to feel they are at the heart of the mountain landscape will enjoy spending the day at the station here, enjoying the botanical garden (which specialises in Alpine plants) or relaxing in its restaurant, shopping area or cinema.

For a truly breathtaking view of the Alps, carry on up the cable car to the top station at Punta Helbronner. The modern structure (designed to look like a shard of ice) has a 360º viewing terrace and a crystal museum, as well as a café, bar and restaurant.

Relax with a Skyway Spa

Put all thoughts of aching skiing muscles out of your mind and instead imagine staying at the Pré-Saint-Didier Spa and indulging in its ‘Spa and Cable Car’ package. The deal includes days spent on Mont Blanc at the Skyway’s beautiful stations, followed by relaxing, rejuvenating treatments in the spa’s elegant therapy rooms.

How to Get There

Since relaxation and beautiful scenery is at the heart of your winter break to Courmayeur, it’s good to know that getting there couldn’t be easier. There are regular flights from the UK to Geneva, and a short, easy transfer of an hour and a half from Geneva to Courmayeur.

For the ultimate stress-free transfer from Geneva to Courmayeur, book an executive car with Shuttle Direct before you leave home and we’ll be there to meet you at the arrivals lounge when you land and take you directly to your resort accommodation.

Enjoy Christmas With the Children in La Plagne

Enjoy Christmas With the Children in La Plagne

Christmas decorations have started to appear in the shops, meaning that now’s the time to start preparations for the festive period (especially if you have little ones!). If you want to treat the family to a special Christmas and something a little different this year, then I highly recommend spending the holidays in the snowy La Plagne. Chalets serve as fan-tastic holiday havens, and there are many cosy and family-friendly ones to choose from. Additionally, the resort is always transformed into a winter wonderland. What could be better than a magical white Christmas?
I adore the holiday season in La Plagne, and families always seem to have an unforget-table celebration. Here is what you can expect over the Christmas period.

 

Atmosphere

It is impossible not to get caught up in festive excitement, as everybody is on their holiday and the entire area looks like something out of a Christmas film! This creates an electric atmosphere that simply cannot be matched back at home.

Decorations

Christmas decorations and lights are placed all over the resort, transforming the area and creating a festive vibe. There is also a gigantic Christmas tree in the centre, which will take your breath away.

Skiing

Skiing in La Plagne is an absolute must, and you can even do this on Christmas Day. It is a great way to get some exercise before indulging the rest of the day! The ski lifts and schools operate as normal, but there’s a unique atmosphere in the air. Be sure to look out for skiing Santas!

Christmas Events

La Plagne has many cheerful Christmas events that the whole family can enjoy. Im-merse yourself in the festivities by checking out a fun play or show, or spend time trawl-ing the bustling Christmas markets. Here you can discover all kinds of great gifts or find something tasty to eat.

Santa Visits

No Christmas is complete without seeing jolly old Saint Nick, and he always stops by on his sleigh to visit the kids and bring plenty of festive cheer (and presents, of course!).

Fireworks and Street Parades

Another reason that the atmosphere is so spirited is because wonderful street parades take place around La Plagne. These colourful, lively and often musical parades really unite the village and bring people together. There are also brilliant firework displays that are set against the stunning backdrop of the Alps and the twinkling blanket of stars above.

Restaurants

Need another fantastic motive for coming for Christmas? You don’t have to cook or wash up! Simply book a table at one of the many terrific restaurants, which have special festive menus with traditional dishes and all the trimmings. If you want to enjoy Christmas dinner at a restaurant, be sure to book in advance.

It gets better: the cosy accommodation is perfect for a snug Christmas in La Plagne. Chalet catering is available as well, which is convenient if you want to take a break from cooking and have all of your food taken care of.

Gifts

Whilst you may be able to find a few presents at the markets and around town, it is im-portant to be aware that the shops are quite limited, so it is best to bring your big presents with you.

Landscape Quality Perks Perks

Landscape Quality Perks Perks

Instead of going with a creeping plastic or metal landscape, many homeowners are now turning to a functioning concrete landscape instead. And there’s a good reason why quality concrete markings for lawns and gardens make smart in homes in the United States and around the world. Not only does concrete have the durability that ensures the long-term look of your page, this is a much more exciting solution for the short term as well. Many people wonder about what a steep landscape is, and here’s the guide.
What is Landscape Curbing?

 

Simply curbing describes the fields in landscape design. The clean edges determine and separate the lawns from the garden beds, driveways and terraces. With concrete restraints, you receive an attractive and affordable permanent edging solution. This is also a very versatile solution, which means you can change the settings and contents of your page without worrying whether the restraint will suit the new style. We can further assess some of the benefits associated with using the confinement to improve the look of your landscape and why it is becoming so popular.

Curbing Benefits

Thanks to the new installation method, the process is very fast and leaves almost no mess. Everything is done automatically and this presents a permanent solution. You do not have to worry to keep or touch the edges. Even if you stay in the same house for ten or twenty years, the edge will stand the test of time.

Another reason to follow this method is because how you can avoid pruning and weeding at any time. It also saves you money, as you will preserve the blanket material. And because crawling also prevents erosion and helps irrigation, it is ideal for those who want the perfect green grass or neat beds or shrubs.

This is an ideal barrier to invasive roots and provides a perfect boundary for your lawn, porch or driveway. If you feel as though your page has some potential but no definite structure and boundaries, add a restriction on your landscape design is the perfect solution. Everything is elevated, both in terms of growth and stability, but also in terms of how the page looks.

Concrete vs. Other Options

The main challenge is deciding whether you want to go with concrete or stick with plastic or metal. Although metals and plastics are more popular in the past, concrete is now the top choice – and with good reason.

Concrete will not rust, rotten, broken or shifted. He remains vibrant in appearance and strong in his foundation. It will survive in all types of climate, which means it is the perfect solution wherever you live. If you want to have a landscape retrograde to your front or back yard, just contact the curbing company or fence in your area. They will persuade you through this process, and they can even show you some pictures of how the yard will look with confinement settings. Landscape Quality Perks Perks