Travel News: Cruise Edition

Unusual guests, deals to Guatemala, and a leaf peeper’s dream Web site

It’s heading into cruise season, and everyone from The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels to Archbishop Desmond Tutu is packing a swimsuit and getting in on the action. Michaels’s Ultimate Wellness Cruise set sail from Miami yesterday, offering group workouts with her and a team of trainers, healthy eating, and all the usual cruise entertainment, along with a photo opportunity with Michaels for each guest. Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu is set to give the keynote address at Enrichment Voyages’ December cruise, departing from San Diego and traveling through Mexico and South America. Who says vacations aren’t good for you?

We’re a little short on deals this week, but TravelZoo did bring our attention to this four-night trip to Guatemala from DC. The trip includes round-trip airfare, four nights in top-rated hotels, all ground transportation, and sightseeing tours for $486 per person. Local attractions include a tour of Antiqua, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its Baroque architecture; a trip to the open-air market in Chichicastenango; and a tour of Lake Atitlan. The deal is valid for multiple dates in 2011 and should be booked by November 3.

Autumn-leaf enthusiasts should keep their eyes peeled (and their browsers refreshed) at Virginia.org, where the “fall” section of the site offers lists of festivals, suggested driving tours, and even a foliage report. In case you were wondering exactly how colorful the leaves are from the mountains to the coast, the site has barometers that move from green through orange to red, depending on how the colors are developing. And a daily report tells you exactly where in the state to find trees at their peak.

In DC this weekend, the USA Science & Engineering Festival hits the National Mall, with exhibits from jazz-improvising robots to a simulated helicopter tour of DC, as well as lectures and demonstrations from scientists. The event is free, so there’s no excuse not to get your inner nerd on. See usasciencefestival.org for more details.

And finally, Groupon and Living Social enthusiasts might want to follow the development of a new deal site for hotels. TripAlertz is still currently in beta but offers low prices on hotel rooms that continue to drop as more deals are sold. Even better: The site promotes only hotels and resorts that rate three stars or more.

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