Royal City Carlson Wagonlit Travel's Blog

Head to Ponchatoula, Louisiana, for the annual Strawberry Festival

Ponchatoula might be a small city but it is a giant when it comes to strawberries. In fact, Ponchatoula is known to be the ”Strawberry Capital of the World”!

Located in the Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, Ponchatoula is probably one town you haven’t even heard of, and we can’t blame you, as the city only covers a total area of 4.2 square miles and is inhabited by a few thousand people. It was a mining camp until it was incorporated in 1861. It was at the turn of the 20th century when the town turned into commercial farming as its main industry, and its main produce was strawberry, Thus,earning the moniker of being the "Strawberry Capital of The World". Aside from strawberries, the city is also known for its antique shops. The city is perfect for a day trip from New Orleans which is 40 miles away, or Baton Rouge which is 42 miles away. The best time to visit the city is during the Strawberry Festival held every April.

The second largest festival in the state, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival was first celebrated in 1972. It is a three-day festival that was established to pay homage to local farmers, promote the strawberry industry, and to raise funds for local charitable organizations. True to its objectives, non-profit organizations are the only vendors on the official festival grounds. The festival features a Strawberry King and Queen, Little Miss and Masters Pageant, jambalaya cook-offs, strawberry auction, strawberry eating contest, children games and activities, carnival rides, a strawberry parade, vendors selling their strawberry produce, and lots of strawberry-themed food and beverages!

The next time you plan to visit Louisiana, make it on an April so you can drop by Ponchatoula and have a “berry” great time at the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. Consult your travel agent for more details. 

Toasting the Home of Tomato Juice Where else but at French Lick?

By Anita Draycott
The story goes that one day in 1917, Louis Perris, a harried chef at the French Lick Hotel, ran out of orange juice. Eager to please his customers, Perrin squeezes some fresh tomatoes, adds a dash of sugar and seasoning. Voilà, tomato juice is born.
Before dinner at the 1875 Restaurant, (named for the year of the first Kentucky Derby in nearby Louisville), we thirsty Warriors met bartender,Tomi Parker, whose been working at the French Lick resort for almost 30 years. Tomi takes her role as mixologist at the 1875 seriously. When I asked her if she had any special concoctions to pay tribute to the tomato juice legacy, Tomi whipped up her signature 1875 Bloody Mary.  This “meal in a glass” contains vodka that Tomi has infused with whole black peppercorns, Tabasco, Worchestire sauce and tomato juice (canned). Tomi garnishes it with slices of lemon and lime, green olives and a colossal cocktail shrimp. The black pepper vodka adds depth and bite.


Scream your heart out while enjoying the numerous thrills at the Royal Gorge Bridge, Colorado

Looking for a place where you can enjoy a number of extreme adventures? Head to Royal Bridge and Park located in Cañon City, Colorado, where you can experience heart-stopping adventures!

Located on a mountain bowl along the Arkansas River valley, Cañon City is a small town with about 16,000 inhabitants, established in 1858. Known as the "the Climate Capital of Colorado", the city is also dubbed as the “Prison Town” with 13 prisons and correctional located in the city. The city has numerous attractions including the Museum of Colorado Prisons, Temple Canyon Park, Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center, Cañon City Municipal Museum, Garden Park  Fossil Area, The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, and of course, the famous Royal Bridge and Park. The city is accessible by land and air travel. The closest major airport is Colorado Springs Municipal Airport which is about an hour away.

There is so much to experience in Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. It is where you and the entire family can have lots of fun. The first thing you must do is to visit the Visitor Center which provides you a bird’s eye view of that you can enjoy in the park, as well as where you can shop and dine. This is also where you can take a gondola ride and zip line across the gorge, definitely not for the faint hearted.  You can also walk or drive through the Royal Gorge Bridge, the, highest suspension bridge in the country which will leave you breathless. The waterclock located behind the visitor center, one of the three in the world, is simply amazing. The one-mile open-air train ride is a great bonding experience for the entire family. For the kids, they will definitely enjoy the Children’s Playland where they can learn more about the park and enjoy fun activities. The Royal Rush Skycoaster, named one the “world’s scariest skycoaster” is where you can scare yourself by free-falling at a speed of 50 miles per hour!

Ready for a thrilling adventure at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park? Call or email us and ask when is the best time to visit the park.

The Rustic Perhentian Islands in Malaysia

Perhentian, when roughly translated to English means "stopping point." True enough, the rustic Perhentian Islands in Malaysia have become a favorite stop for many tourists. Many vacationers find themselves staying a little longer when they reach the Perhentian Islands. Who wouldn't spend a bit more time here, anyway? With its picturesque views and clear waters, this is definitely an ideal place for an extended vacation!

Composed of two islands, Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar, this is a well-known destination for snorkeling and diving with its crystalline waters that house a variety of coral, sea turtles, small sharks, and reef fish. But aside from exploring the underwater world, tourists really come to the Perhentian Islands to relax under the sun. When you're here, remember to give some time to soak up the sun with a good book and a refreshing drink beside you. There is nothing like relaxing in the Perhentian Islands!

If you're done snorkeling, diving, or sunbathing, there are many more in-land activities you can do in the Perhentian Islands. Such include jungle trekking, joining a fire and hula party at Bubu Long Beach Resort, eating out at Kecil (Senja is a highly recommended seaside restaurant), or even doing volunteer work so you can contribute in helping conserve the homes of sea turtles.

The Perhentian Islands truly is a beautiful place to stay in for an extended holiday. Relax, rejuvenate. Book your vacation with a travel agent today!

Explore the Off-the-Beaten-Path Destinations in Jamaica

When going to Jamaica, most vacationers think about the resorts that line the island's northern coast. It's not surprising that most travelers will head to that direction because Jamaica is known for exactly that: lounging in the pool, basking in the sun, or enjoying the buffets. But if you're tired of the usual Jamaican scene, why not try exploring the off-the-beaten-path destinations in the island?

It takes an adventurous spirit should you want to explore the other side of Jamaica. However, we can assure you that it's an adventure worth taking! Here are some of the destinations you can visit:

  1. Port Antonio: Located in the eastern side of the northern coast, you can enjoy a slow-paced stay in this local secret destination with lush and green secluded beaches. But, Port Antonio is not just about the beaches. You can try waterfall hikes here or go bird watching. You might also want to try dining on authentic jerk cooking.
  2. Southwestern Jamaica: Just a 90-minute drive from Montego Bay, Southwestern Jamaica is less isolated than Port Antonio, but can still offer you a less crowded vacation spot. Some of the activities you can join are a safari excursion on the Black River, a tour of the historic Appleton Rum Estate, and a relaxing dip at YS Falls. You might also want to visit Treasure Beach, which is the site of Lovers Leap where two Jamaican slaves were said to have leapt to their deaths.
  3. Pelican Bar: A 20-minute boat ride out on the sea, Pelican Bar stands on stilts. Guests can enjoy a frosty Red Stripe and some fresh-caught seafood here.
  4. Mandeville: When you think of Jamaica, you think of beaches. However, land-locked Mandeville is something else. Here you can find the Caribbean's oldest golf course, the Manchester Golf Club, which dates back to 1868. Expect an English vibe when you visit this place, with cricket games and English-style pubs all over the place.
  5. Flower Forest and River Head Adventure Trail: Go to this ecotourism attraction and enjoy a 130-acre tropical forest and 40 acres of landscaped gardens. Follow a hiking trail along Little River and feast on the beautiful sights that include dozens of tropical plants, flowers, and birds. At the end of your hike, you will find yourself in a 14-foot deep pool where you can relax and enjoy the view.

Experience Jamaica differently by exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations. Book your holiday with a travel agent today and get the best deals!

Fun-filled day at Portland, Maine

Visiting Portland, Maine offers various activities that you will definitely enjoy: from amusement parks to museums and wildlife encounters, from sports and recreation to pampering and relaxation. Every member of the family will surely agree that this vacation is one for the books!

For food enthusiasts, try out the Maine Foodie Tour which gives you an opportunity to interact with culinary artists and even get to taste their creations. Have an idea of the food’s history in a 2-3 hour walking tour around town. However if you’re more of a wine enthusiast, Portland also offers something for your needs through Wine Wise.

Once your stomach is all filled up, you can try out the different outdoor activities in Portland. There's Summer Feet Cycling Adventures, which caters to all level of cyclists where you can ride around different lighthouses. Portland Paddle, on the other hand, offers water activities where you can rent kayaks and paddle boards or join a guided tour at Casco Bay. You can also visit Portland Observatory to experience a close encounter with nature.

This is just a grasp of what to expect when you visit Portland, Maine. Surely there are more hidden activities out there that will enrich your experience and knowledge about the place. Have a memorable trip with your family and you’ll no doubt come back for more. Book a holiday with a travel agent today to make the most of your trip!

Celebrity watch in Punta del Este, Uruguay

One of the ritziest cities in South America, Punta del Este is the playground of the rich and famous. It is a city where the fun never stops. The moment the sun rises until the moon fades, Punta del Este will leave you breathless.

A small city located in a narrow peninsula in southeast Uruguay, Punta del Este’s population is about 20,000, but is teeming with thousands of tourists all year round. It is the safest city in Uruguay and its mild climate means you can enjoy a visit at anytime of the year. Because it draws in thousands of visitors, Punta del Este has its own international airport, the Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta del Este, located in the municipality of Maldonado, just a few minutes from the city.

There are so many things to enjoy in Punta del Este including water activities in the beaches of Playa Mansa and Playa Brava. Enjoy savoring delightful dishes in its  restaurants, a walk along its promenade, the view of the famous sculpture known as “The Hand on the Sand”, people watch in its main avenue called ”la Gorlero”, and visit Artigas Square where you can shop for beautiful handicrafts. You can also visit the Taller de Casapueblo museum, Museo del Mar, Arboretum Lussich, La Barra Bridge, and Alto de la Ballena Vineyards, to name a few. Party when the sun sets at the Buddha Bar, Mambo Club, El Barcito, Moby Dick or Tio Jack.

Naomi Campbell, George Clooney, Martin Amis, and Shakira are among the famous celebrities who have been spotted in the city. Who knows who you will be hobnobbing with, when you take a vacation in Punta del Este! 

5 reasons why you must visit Pike Place Market in Seattle

The largest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle and its metropolitan area is home to some of the country’s superb art scenes, fun festivals and events, natural landmarks, numerous attractions, and one of the country’s oldest and most visited public markets, Pike Place Market. 

Pike Place Market is a mishmash of a fresh produce market, restaurants, cafes , craft and arts stores, art galleries and studios, smoke shops, book stores, florists, and just about anything! It is located on a nine-acre stretch in the historic district of Seattle. It was established in 1907 and has been in operation since then. It is visited by about ten million people annually!  Here are five reasons why you must pay it a visit:

  • The first original Starbucks was opened in Pike Place Market in 1971. It is a throwback experience you must not miss especially if you are a fan! Don’t forget to take some pictures.
  • You have got to eat at Pike Place Chowder Restaurant. It serves the best clam chowder in town!
  • Visit the Pike Place Fish Market. You do not have to buy anything; just enjoy the experience of watching fish flying around.
  • Shop for comics and manga, games and toys, and hard to find collectibles at Golden Age Collectables, the country’s oldest comic shop.
  • Find unique and authentic crafts at the Pike Place Crafts Market. All the items have been screened, guaranteeing that they are all handcrafted.

These are just teasers of what Pike Place Market offers.  There are more than a hundred reasons why you must visit Pike Place Market soon!

Please click the link below to visit the flyer with details, pricing and sign up form!

Direct link:


Mount Carmel's Caves, a Study into Human Evolution The four caves of Mount Carmel include Tabun, Jamal, El-Wad and Skhul. The cave’s terraces are clustered next to each other on the southern side of Nahal Me’arot Valley which opens to the coastal plain on the western end of the Carmel range. read more
Best Beachfront Restaurants in Myrtle Beach Marina Inn is Myrtle Beach City's premiere dining destination. It is ideal for both family nighouts and romantic dinners. It is popular for its Fish Tacos that are served with a Mango Margarita. read more
Go Big, Go Better, Go Best Celebrity Cruises new Go Big, Go Better, Go Best offers are an excellent value for your cruise. How does it work? Let's take a look. read more

We have a bucket list tour coming at great pricing.  For now, to get the imagination going,


Last Day to Book - July 31, 2015
Click below for fullsize or to download a copy of the flyer

13 Nights / 14 Days to discover India visiting: Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur & Mumbai.  

Have a look at some of the places you'll see on our pinterest board:

Click the picture to get a downloadable flyer.


Save on a quick Montreal getaway for these dates:

August 13 - 16   |   August 20 - 23   |   August 27 - 30

Package includes:

              Via Rail from Guelph in economy class   

  •  Guelph Departs:   09:44  |  Arrives Toronto:  10:53 - Departs Toronto: 11:30  |  Arrives Montreal 16:47
  •  Montreal Departs: 11:50  |  Arrives Toronto:  16:50 - Departs Toronto: 17:40  |  Arrives Guelph:  18:49

  • 3 Nights at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel in a fairmont room. 
    Located on the rail station, at the heart of romantic and cosmopolitan Montréal where French and English meet, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth offers guests outstanding comfort and attentive service.

  • A walking tour of Old Montreal.
    Experience Old Montreal's birthplace in depth with a walking tour. The Old Montreal Walking tour is designed to allow you to see Montreal in all its grandness, feel its energy and to know its heart. This is the sincerity of effort and dedication that separates us from the others. Old Montreal is a National Historic site of Canada not to be missed on your next visit to our beautiful city!


Price:   609.00 Per person + 24.83 tax per person based on double occupancy.  2 people sharing one room.
Price is based on availability of contracted room rates and rail service is Escape Fare.
Full payment at time of booking.  Package is non-refundable and Non-changeable.

Call 519-763-3520 and ask for the Montreal special you saw on our website!


Experience a Life of Luxury at Hotel Estherea This is a blog about one of the best hotels in the world - the Hotel Estherea. That the hotel is located on Singel, Amsterdam's oldest canal, makes it a must visit for those intent on seeing what Amsterdam has to offer. read more
So Much Greatness! India Travel Planner and Itineraries. Come into the office and pick one up. Air Canada direct flights to Delhi in partnership with the India Tourism Board and Tourcan Vacations. read more
Who takes care of what bills for a  Destination Wedding? Make no mistake. Destination weddings can be pricey, but not if you know how to make them work. Besides, the fact that you will host your wedding at your dream destination is all that matters. read more
The World's Best Yoga Spots The spot is located on the foothills of Kerala's western Ghat in India. The beauty of nature coupled with the graceful flow of Neyyar Dam water makes it the ideal place to meditate. Among the lessons learnt here includes hatha yoga courses which involves chanting, yoga practice and meditation. read more
Royal Caribbean's BOGO 50% is Back! Summer’s in full swing, and it never has to stop. Royal Caribbean’s most popular offer returns with the new BOGO’S Back sale.* For a limited time, get half off your second guest on hundreds of sailings – including some of their newest ships. read more
Laurisilva of Madeira, The Mustn't Miss Destination In Portugal Laurisilva of Madeira comprises of 15,000 hectares and is located in the larger 27,000 hectares Madeira Nature Reserve. The site is made up of primary laurel forest, a vegetation species that is only found in the Azores, Canary Islands and Madeira. read more


Check out the price and full page discription here =


It's Time You Explore The Madriu-Perafita-Claror Valley in Andorra The upper part of the valley features an exposed glacial landscape with picturesque steep cliffs, rock and lake glaciers. Further down, the valley narrows and becomes more wooded. A secondary valley is also to be seen here at the point where Perafita Claror Valley blends into the Madriu Valley to the South West. read more

Big Savings on the popular tours.  Call us to book  519 763 3520

See the full page and download a copy here:

See the full page and download a copy here:

Check out the itineraries online -