Last Chance to Get to Greenland on the Cheap

Okay, it’s not at the top of many people’s travel lists. Who thinks about Greeland? Well, I do, and I’ve wanted to go for a while. Hurtigruten is pretty sympathetic to this fact and has a new deal that makes it pretty easy to get it to one of the most remote destinations in the world … but, you have to act fast. This deal expires on August 31, 2009, and space is limited.

Hurtigruten’s new ship, MS Fram, has 318 berths and takes its guests around a seascape that hasn’t changed in 5,000 years. On land, much is frozen in time as well, with Hurtigruten’s passengers able to move among villages that have seen little of what the rest of the world would call progress. Eqip Sermia Glacier, icebergs in Disko Bay and Jakobshavn Ice Fjord (a World Heritage Site) are on the itinerary, as well as guided walking tours of Inuit towns, such as Qeqertarsuaq, Ukkusissat, Itelleq and Ilulissat.

Curious about the deals? Check them out after the jump.

“Three Countries – One Deluxe Ship” – a At a savings of 64 percent to 67 percent ($8,667 to $13,117 in savings), the voyage starts in a European country and ends in New York (by way of Canada). Along the way, you’ll explore one of the world’s most remote destinations (Greenland), and guests on the 18-day voyage aboard the MS Fram are treated to a unique historical perspective as they are joined by Benedicte Ingstad, the daughter of the famed explorer Helge Ingstad. Ms. Ingstad joined her parents, Anne Stine and Helge, on their expedition to L’anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland in 1960, where they discovered and excavated what is believed to be the “Vinland settlement” of Leif Eriksson from around AD 1000 – 500 years before the Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of North America. Other highlights include visits to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: L’anse Aux Meadows, Red Bay (provisional World Heritage list) and Gros Morne National Park. The September 22 departure ranges from $4,249 to $7,249 and include flights from New York/Newark, one night hotel in Copenhagen.

“25% Off + 2 Hotel Nights” – This deal results in a cost savings of $1,990 to $5,745 per person and comes with a pretty hefty perk: two free hotel nights in Copenhagen, Denmark. Guests will have a chance to poke around the medieval city. And, the stop in Denmark stretches the 8- and 15-day Greenland sailings into 10- and 17-day vacations. The reduced prices for the four August and September departures are $4,597 to $15,862 per person.

“Go Solo And Save” – Interested in checking out Greenland on your own? Solo travelers can pay the same rate as if they were sharing a cabin, a savings that can reach 47 percent ($3,065 to $19,034 off brochure prices). Single passenger prices are $6,129 to $21,149.

Sit or Squat: Website helps you find a public toilet anywhere using your cell phone

One of my fondest memories of the U.S. when I lived in a dusty village in The Gambia without indoor plumbing was the smell of my grandparents’ bathroom. I remembered it as smelling clean and fresh, like Charmin. Oh, how I missed it. (Actually, it might have been White Cloud, come to think of it.)

But, regardless, that’s not the reason to sing Charmin praises today. Today, it’s about public toilets. Charmin has a website that helps travelers locate a public toilet anywhere in the world. If you have a public toilet you know about that isn’t included, you can add it. The beauty of this system is you can access it with your phone.

When you type in a location, up comes a map with markers showing where the toilets are. For example, when I typed in Venice, Italy I found one toilet. Copenhagen, Denmark has three. Columbus, Ohio is a real toilet mecca. There are so many public toilets, the markers cover each other up in certain places.

Banjul, The Gambia doesn’t have any public toilet markers as of yet. Here’s a tip, for The Gambia that I have found works in other places as well. If you’re in a touristy area, duck into a hotel and look like you belong. There’s bound to be a toilet, just don’t ask where it is.

By the way, I used my computer to access the system. I’m a dinosaur when it comes to technology. My cell phone doesn’t even flip. I don’t even know how to play the games. But, if you go to the website you can get what you need to use your phone.

For a better description to how this service works, check out Tom Barlow’s post on Wallet Pop. He’s the guy who clued me in on Charmin’s endeavor and has the latest gismos.