Boutique river cruise
Save up to 30 percent on select 2019 river cruises with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and its new active line, U by Uniworld. The Our Best Offer deal applies to more than 200 voyages. For example, Uniworld's 10-day Magnificent Moselle and Rhine cruise from Frankfurt to Cologne, Germany, starts at $3,499 per person double, down from $4,999. Add $220 in port charges. U by Uniworld's new Northern France at a Glance cruise, which sails round-trip from Paris, starts at $1,679 per person, plus $170 port charges. The regular price is $2,399. Book by Dec. 31 (1-866-883-3684784-5755, ubyuniworld.com).
Icelandair has transported Twin Cities travelers to Reykjavik, with connections to many other European cities, since 1998. The airline just announced a merger with Wow Air, an Icelandic low-cost carrier that does not serve MSP. The two Nordic airlines would operate codeshare flights under their respective brands. Iceland Review speculated that the merger could lead to an expanded schedule and destinations — the two airlines now fly to a combined 56 cities, with some redundancy. Destinations that Wow currently brings to the table, via the Reykjavik hub, include Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Warsaw, the Canary Islands and even New Delhi.
Simon Peter Groebner
Long lines are the bane of the airline passenger's existence, especially during peak holiday travel. Airlines offer line-beating perks that you can buy when you book your airfare. For $15 Delta will let you board the plane along with its preferred frequent fliers, giving you early access to the overhead bins; and for the same price United will let you use the priority check-in line or board the plane earlier than your fare would otherwise warrant.
Tribune News Service
Better snorkeling in Maui
Snorkeling at Maui's Molokini Crater, you feel like you're in an aquarium, albeit one packed with other observers. For an experience that feels more "Blue Planet" than "Life Aquatic," rent equipment and head to Puu Kekaa on the island's West Side. This lava promontory, also known as Black Rock, is at the north end of famous Kaanapali Beach. Entry from the shoreline is easy, but this is a DIY snorkeling experience, so check beach safety signs. Go early, before the afternoon trade winds pick up, and snorkel along the edge of the rock. You'll reach a vertical wall about 30 feet deep, where you're likely to see sea turtles, spotted eagle rays and a sandy bottom blanketed in starfish and urchin. In season, you might also be serenaded by singing humpback whales. Excursions with the Pacific Whale Foundation cost $125 for adults (1-800-942-5311; pacificwhale.org).
With kids, bring backup
Will you be traveling solo with kids or grandkids? Of course you want to spend time with the kids. But every grown-up deserves a little R&R on their own holiday. Bring along a favorite auntie, your college roommate or another bestie who will relish some vacation time with you and your children. That way, you'll have a built-in pal for spa time while the youngsters are at the resort's kids camp or for a late-night chat while the little ones are snoozing. You may also want to take turns as the "adult in charge" while the other heads to the gym, takes a nap or grabs an hour by the pool with a great book.