Travel and love go well together. I knew that even before going on a monthlong journey with my new wife after getting married. But in the years since, our trips together have become more fun and more adventurous. We’re always planning our next trip on our way back home!
Maybe that’s why there often are fun travel deals leading up to Valentine’s Day. The deals remind me that it’s fun to grab the one you love and make St. Valentine’s Day super-special.
La Compagnie is an all-business-class airline that operates just a few routes. From its U.S. base at Newark’s Liberty Airport, the carrier flies single-aisle A321 planes to three destinations: Paris, Milan and Nice.
The planes are outfitted with just 76 lie-flat seats. French chefs design multi-course offerings for the seven- to eight-hour nonstop flights to and from Europe. Fast Wi-Fi service is included, along with lounge privileges at each airport — the lounge at Orly Airport in Paris is temporarily closed.
Between now and Feb. 14, La Compagnie is offering two round-trip lie-flat business class seats for as little as $3,800 on select dates through the end of 2023. The best deals are for tickets to either Paris or Milan. The seasonal flights to Nice cost more: $4,800 for two, round-trip.
During the summer, Alaskans can fly nonstop from Anchorage to Frankfurt. Otherwise, travelers have to transit the Lower 48 to visit Europe. Is it worth it to stop in Newark for a sweet ride “across the pond”? It sounds like a fun adventure to me.
Speaking of adventure, the Galapagos Islands is near the top of the list for me. I haven’t been there, but everyone I know who has says it’s a great experience and that I should go without delay.
Hurtigruten Expeditions has a “Fall in Love with Galapagos” promotion in conjunction with Valentine’s Day. Purchase a qualifying Galapagos cruise between now and Feb. 15 and get a 100% discount for the second person. Flights, hotels and transfers are not included in the special — but this is a great offer. The cruises, aboard the MS Santa Cruz II, depart March 31-Dec. 26, 2023. Space is limited.
There are several itineraries from which to choose. I looked at “Galapagos Islands Expedition in Darwin’s Footsteps,” departing in late March. It’s a nine-day itinerary. First, fly to Quito, Ecuador, for two nights. Then, fly to the Galapagos Islands and board the MS Santa Cruz II.
Throughout the cruise, watch for the unique wildlife in the Galapagos, including sea lions, turtles, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, flamingos, Nazca and red-footed boobies, and iconic Darwin’s finches. The regular price for this cruise is $13,162 per person. But with the Valentine’s Day special, the prices is $7,426 per person.
The Santa Cruz II, which was refurbished in 2021, has room for 90 guests. It’s small enough to get in close to key areas in the islands, but large enough to include a science center, a workout area and storage for kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and other fun accessories.
Closer to home, the entire month of February is “Museum Month” in Seattle.
Tracy Wickersham is the senior director of cultural tourism with Visit Seattle. Back in 2014, the city hosted a conference for the American Alliance of Museums. As part of that meeting, Visit Seattle was tasked with putting a program together to highlight the area’s museums.
“That’s how Museum Month got its start,” Wickersham said. “We partner with downtown hotels and some of the areas wonderful museums in Seattle, Tacoma and points north and west.”
During the month of February, all the museums in the program offer 50% off to pass-holders. To get the pass, travelers must stay at one of the participating downtown hotels in Seattle.
When travelers check in to their hotel, they receive a pass for up to four people, a museum information packet and a map.
Wickersham and I compared notes on our favorite museums in the Seattle area, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Aquarium and the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field.
What’s her favorite museum? “Well, every museum in the program has something special to recommend it,” she said.
Many museums are renovating and improving their space. That’s true of the Burke Museum, located at the University of Washington north of downtown.
Now you can take the light rail to the University Station, which is close to the museum.
Wickersham is impressed with the Burke’s new labs and its impressive collection of Northwest Coast Indigenous art. “They’ve opened up the labs so now you can watch them excavating dinosaur bones from fossils,” she said.
The National Nordic Museum is the largest museum in the U.S. about Nordic countries.
In March, the Nordic Museum is hosting a unique exhibit. And although it falls outside of the Museum Month program, Wickersham is very excited about it. “Jonsi, the lead singer of the Icelandic band Sigur Ros, will debut an immersive artwork created just for the museum,” she said.
Other museums like Chihuly’s Garden and Glass, at the base of the Space Needle, continue to be popular options for visitors using the Museum Month pass.
San Diego also hosts a city-wide Museum Month in February, according to Bob Lehman, executive director at the San Diego Museum Council.
“This is our 34th year hosting Museum Month,” said Lehman. “Last year, more than 100,000 people took advantage of the pass.”
There’s no purchase necessary to get the pass, which travelers can download from the council’s website.
Lehman said the council works to promote more than 60 museums in and around San Diego. “We want to remove the financial barrier to families to be able to go to the museums,” he said.
The biggest museum in San Diego is the USS Midway, with more than 60 exhibits and 29 restored aircraft. It’s adjacent to the Maritime Museum.
Lehman recommends visitors explore Balboa Park, San Diego’s largest park. “The park has 17 museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art, the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum,” he said.
Whether you want to go on a fancy flight, a fancy cruise or explore some incredible museums, there’s a Valentine’s Day special just for you.