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Fighting invasive species on one island led to plan for all – Great Lakes Echo

Boys stand with a healthy crop of invasive Phragmites at Cheyenne Point on Beaver Island in 2004. Image: stoptheinvasives.wordpress.com

By Helen KorneffelCapital News Service

Michigan researchers recently created a series of steps to show people how to rid Great Lakes islands of plants and animals that invade their ecosystems.

Pamela Grassmick started a grassroots educational campaign to treat invasive species on northern Lake Michigans Beaver Island, where she was born and raised. She targeted phragmites, a non-native plant that grows in wetlands, along roadsides and shorelines.

We always felt that the state wasnt going to ride in on a white horse and solve all of our problems because we are in the middle of Lake Michigan, Grassmick said.

Invasive species locations on High Island. Image: Michigan Natural Features Inventory

The program told Beaver Islanders how phragmites devastated the shoreline and how to remove the invasive plant. About 30 acres of the islands shoreline was affected by phragmites at the time.

Grassmicks work inspired researchers at the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, a group of scientists who conduct fee-for-service and grant-funded projects for public, nonprofit and private clients. They maintain the most comprehensive database on rare species and natural communities in the state.

I used to think invasive species work was too overwhelming and that there was nothing I could do about it, said Phyllis Higman, a senior conservation scientist with the group and co-leader of the invasive species prevention effort.

After I saw Pam and her team on Beaver Island bring down 30 acres of phragmites to two acres in their first year, I was inspired to do similar work, she said. The work these folks are doing is so extraordinary and proactive.

Higman and the research team developed a series of questions to diagnose invasive species problems and solutions: What are you trying to protect? Is the invader a real threat? Do we know how to control it? Where is it? How much of it is there?

Oftentimes, when people learn about invasive species, they just want to go out and kill things, Higman said. That is almost never an effective approach. You need to see where those species actually occur and where you can be effective at addressing them.

The research team saw how invasive species directly affected ecosystems by travelling to Great Lakes islands. Michigan has 1,709 islands, but 14 comprise 90% of the states entire island area.

Brandon Shroeder, senior educator with Michigan Sea Grant, and students monitor Phragmites on Charity Island. Image: Tracy DAugustino

The research team recorded rare animals, plants and high-quality communities on each island. They comprise about 10% of the organizations database, but they are only 1% of the area of Michigan. More than 90 percent of the colonial waterbirds in the Great Lakes were observed on islands.

The Great Lakes has the largest group of freshwater islands in the world, and its a really critical resource, said Daria Hyde, a co-leader of the research team. I feel that because we live in Michigan and a Great Lakes state, its upon us to make sure that were taking care of and providing stewardship for that important resource.

Higman and Hyde were asked to spearhead the invasive species project by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy because of a lack of attention to Michigans islands.

The diversity and number of islands in the Great Lakes goes unrecognized, said Matt Preisser, the lake coordinator for the state agencys Water Resources Division. While the islands across the different lakes have different needs by virtue of their geographies, all are vulnerable to invasive species, colonization and establishment.

The team accumulated data over a year on where invasive species are located on the islands. They want to ensure the beauty of the islands and that invasive species do not squash their dynamic ecosystems, Hyde said.

Invasive species are literally marching across landscapes, including islands, and theyre simplifying ecosystems, Higman said. Theyre taking species out systematically by displacing them and that crashes food webs. The more species are taken out by invasion, the less resilient the islands and Michigan will be.

View the developed invasive species proactivity guide developed by the group here https://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/reports/MNFI-Report-2019-20.pdf.

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Fighting invasive species on one island led to plan for all - Great Lakes Echo

Guest rooms at Petit St. Vincent resort don’t have WiFi or locking doors and that’s OK – USA TODAY

Diane Bair and Pamela Wright, USA TODAY "Go Escape" magazine Published 8:00 a.m. ET Nov. 10, 2019 | Updated 9:48 a.m. ET Nov. 11, 2019

Petit St. Vincent(Photo: Mike Toy)

From afar, you may not be impressed. Petit St. Vincent (PSV) looks like a green hump of land as you approach it by ferry from Union Island, about 6 miles from the destination. Then, a series of cottages emerges, built into the hillside and bluffs and along the beach. Thats when things begin to look promising. And, once youre whisked by golf cart to your stone-and-hardwood abode through a whorl of sweet-scented tropical blooms, you realize youre in for something special.

Welcome to your own nearly private island. Theres no town on this 115-acre volcanic isle, just a single resort with a practical name that reiterates its location: Petit St. Vincent. Its been called one of the worlds most enchanting hideaways. Part of the island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, lying between St. Lucia (to the north) and Grenada (to the south), Petit St. Vincent is not easy to get to. For many U.S. guests, it involves a day of travel a flight to Barbados, a shorter flight to Union Island and then a ferry ride to PSV. Any travel-induced crabbiness vanishes once you see this place up close: a collection of 22 rustic one- and two-bedroom cottages and villas, ringed by 2 miles of white sand and lapped by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. Do the math: Every guest has a couple of acres each, says Matt Semark, general manager of the resort, which owns the island.

This is peaceful luxury: vibrant artwork, teak furnishings, a wood-paddled ceiling fan and of course a hammock tied between two palm trees. (Theres also air conditioning, but you probably wont need it thanks to those ocean breezes.) Cottages and villas have king-size beds, Italian linens, Bulgari toiletries, Nespresso coffee machines and Bose MP3 docks.

What you wont find in your room: Wi-Fi, TV or locks on the doors.

You can see the weight shift off peoples shoulders when they are unplugged from their devices.

Guests are often taken aback when they learn that the only connected spot is at the resorts main pavilion. (Rooms do have intercoms in case of emergency.) At first, some guests panic, Semark admits. But the following day, they appreciate it. You can see the weight shift off peoples shoulders when they are unplugged from their devices.

It can also be disconcerting that the doors dont lock but in such an open-air space, it probably doesnt matter anyway. The resort has never had an issue with security, Semark says. Its been like this (no locks) since the resort opened in 1968. On this island, its just us. Theres no crime. Everyones auntie or uncle.

Untethered from the 24/7 news cycle, its easy to fall into the carefree rhythm of island life. PSV uses a flag system to alert butlers if you need anything, and you place your breakfast order in a bamboo tube the previous night. Like magic, your meal appears in the morning. Its easy to go into major chill mode and spend the day sitting under a palapa watching the sailboats glide by. But most guests cant resist the array of sporty activities available at the resort: kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, Sunfish sailboating, sailboarding and snorkeling all included in the room rate. Some of the finest snorkeling in the West Indies is found in the Grenadines, and you can snorkel right off the beach. Once youve found the perfect spot for sunbathing, dont bother getting up. On some beaches, guests can order food using the flag system.

Rather sail or scuba dive? Sessions and courses provided by Professional Association of Diving Instructors guides are available. Or spend a day aboard Beauty, a classic 49-foot sloop (extra charges apply for both of these). Captain Jeff Stevens and crew sail Beauty to the famed Tobago Cays (named one of the most beautiful places on Earth in the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die) for a snorkel tour, an island hike and barbecue lunch of local fish and Caribbean lobster.

If hiking is more your speed, lace up those sneakers and trek to the top of Marni Hill (an elevation of 275 feet), for sweeping views of the northern Grenadines. Or get plenty of exercise riding your bike around the island; every cottage is supplied with bikes for guests use. Other things not to be missed: a Balinese massage at the resorts treetop spa with an ocean view and morning yoga at the Conch Bay Yoga Pavilion.

Swim with marine life in Petit St. Vincent(Photo: Jean-Michel Cousteau Diving)

As if choosing which sport to try and which hammock has the best views werent difficult enough, youll also have to decide what to order at PSVs restaurants. Theres no wrong answer the food is delicious, and it couldnt be fresher. The resorts gardens are lush with kale, different types of lettuces and herbs, and the kitchen relies on the bounty of farmers and fishermen from the islands. Sustainable practices are a priority. (Refill stations for water bottles are one example.) You can literally dine with your toes in the sand at the casual Beach Restaurant, where the menu leans toward Caribbean tapas and pizza from a clay oven. The Main PavilionRestaurant and Bar offers a more formal three-course dining experience, atop a hill overlooking the harbor amid flowering frangipani and hibiscus.

With rates starting at around $1,260 per night in low season, Petit St. Vincent is a splurge, but its the rare resort that makes unwinding so effortless. And while youre here, watching the world go by from your hammock, it sure feels like it all belongs to you.

Studio Gannett's "Go Escape" Winter 2020 magazine(Photo: Studio Gannett)

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Guest rooms at Petit St. Vincent resort don't have WiFi or locking doors and that's OK - USA TODAY

A Guide to the Aland Archipelago, Where You Can Sleep on Your Own Island – The New York Times

Situated 25 miles east of the Swedish coast, and officially an autonomous region of southwestern Finland, the Aland archipelago consists of about 6,700 named islands and 20,000 smaller rocky outcrops and islets waiting to be discovered. Conquered by Russia in the early 19th century, Aland was declared a Finnish territory in 1921, but the core of its traditions are Swedish, as is the official language. With the Baltic Sea as its backdrop, the archipelago ranges topographically from barren coastal cliffs to stunning white-sand beaches to forests and fertile farmland. Only 35 of the Aland Islands are inhabited and easily accessible from mainland Sweden and Finland; the central islands are linked to one another by bridges and cable ferries, while car ferries connect the archipelagos more remote reaches.

At the archipelagos center is Mainland Aland, home to the regions capital, Mariehamn, and much of the Alands population. The seat of the areas grain trade in the 19th century, the port town is now home to a maritime museum, a rich craft culture and restaurants that make use of local ingredients like fresh fish and dairy, wild red berries and spirits produced nearby. The archipelago also draws outdoors-minded visitors thanks to its back-to-nature lodgings, cycling routes, hiking trails and kayak-friendly waterways and its status as the sunniest area in northern Europe.

Set amid the hills of the town of Geta (on the northernmost tip of Mainland Aland), this Scandinavian hideaway offers 30 rooms and suites in its main lodge, most with floor-to-ceiling windows, plush oak interiors and seaside saunas; there are also 20 wooden villas, with fully equipped kitchens and spacious terraces. Guests can explore the nearby pine forest by bicycle or jog along the islands red granite cliffs and the arrival to HavsVidden is an attraction in and of itself; some visitors take a helicopter from Stockholm or travel by sailboat to the propertys private harbor. havsvidden.com

These lodgings extend across a trio of islands in the northern Alands; Silverskar, for which the business is named, is home to several wooden cottages and traditional log cabins. Farther afield on Klobben Island, 10 gray oceanfront cottages built to mimic the overnight refuges fishermen used in the early 1900s are positioned near a cliffside sauna cut to match the curvature of the surrounding red granite rocks. And on neighboring Sviskar, an off-the-grid, four-bed log cabin offers a back-to-basics experience complete with a wood-fired sauna for guest use. silverskar.ax

The celebrated Finnish chef Michael Bjorklund put Aland on the culinary map in the fall of 2012 when he opened the Smakbyn campus which comprises a restaurant, separate cafe, distillery, wine cellar, market and cooking school next to Kastelholm Castle, about 20 minutes by car from Mariehamn. The Smakbyn kitchen uses only ingredients found on the Aland Islands to form traditional dishes like oven-baked cod with hand-peeled shrimp basted in brown butter or horseradish and berries preserved in housemade rum and served with lingonberry, pear and cinnamon ice cream. Bjorklund himself leads five-hour-long cooking classes, the price of which includes a complimentary apron and wine or beer. smakbyn.ax

At this family-run farm in Finby, in northeastern Aland, Jennifer Sundman and Lars-Johan Mattsson (and their six cows) produce a range of specialty dairy products, from homemade kernel butter to rapeseed-oil cheese spiced with seasonings like rose pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and garlic. Visitors can tour the facilities before stopping at the farms own cafe for light bites like salads with freshly made halloumi or decadent organic ice cream from the in-house creamery that comes in flavors such as sea buckthorn, rhubarb and lingonberry. mattas.ax

Founded in 2014 by the brewmaster Tony Asumaa, this factory produces the sole soft drink in the archipelago, known as lemonade, despite being carbonated. Free of artificial colors and flavors, the cold-pressed juice is mixed with fresh water and a touch of sugar, and packaged in an old-fashioned glass bottle. Visitors can book private tastings to sample the 12 varieties flavors include apple peel, lingonberry, rhubarb-elderflower and cranberry all made from fruits grown deep in Finlands verdant forests. limonad.ax

This Mariehamn studio once belonged to a traditional goldsmith, but now houses the archipelagos leading jeweler, founded by Maria Karlstrom in 1989. Each Guldviva piece is handmade from either 18-karat gold or recycled sterling silver, and designed to reflect Karlstroms childhood summers spent in the Alands. Though she now has a team, Karlstrom still crafts the brands signature cowslip-shaped blomman charms by hand: She twists, solders and hammers the metal into the form of the official flower of the Aland islands. guldviva.com

Founded nearly two decades ago by a small group of full-time artisans, this cooperative in Mariehamn is a one-stop shop for handmade wares produced in the Aland archipelago. Customers can browse a selection of goods by 60 Aland craftspeople, from traditional earthenware and stoneware to wool socks made using sheepskin sourced from local farms. Edible items are also on display, like the shops proprietary line of salt-and-herb mixes for cooking and Aland-made jellies and chocolates. salt.ax

What began in the 1920s as a private collection of antique sailing regalia like ship bells and figureheads belonging to the former sea captain Carl Holmqvist is now the largest museum in Mariehamn, open to the public since 1949. Among the objects on display: one of the worlds only authentic skull-and-crossbones pirate flags, a 200-year-old artifact that came to the Aland Islands from the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Following a renovation in 2012, the museum now features a self-guided tour of the Pommern, a four-masted, iron-hulled barque docked in front of the museum with an exhibit that recounts the crews voyages to carry grain from England to Australia in the 1920s. sjofartsmuseum.ax

Originally built as a fortress in the late 1300s, this medieval castle situated on the shores of Lumparn Bay, 20 minutes by car from Mariehamn has withstood sieges, fires and rebellions; until the 1600s, the building served as the administrative center of Aland and was, at one point, the royal hunting lodge for Gustav Vasa, the King of Sweden from 1523 to 1560. Today, visitors can take one-hour tours of the open-air Jan Karlsgarden museum, where 20 traditional farmhouses offer insight into how native Alanders have lived and worked since the 1930s. The grounds are also home to the prison museum Vita Bjorn, which explores the castles history of jailing notable Swedish royals. kastelholm.ax

Visitors to Finlands southernmost apple orchard have been known to arrive by ferry, bike, sailboat and even kayak since it opened to visitors in 2016. But Peders Aplagard started to produce sweet and crisp rubinola, lobo and raike apples decades before then, in 1985. Now, the orchard includes 1,200 trees, and has its own farmhouse cafe and shop where travelers can taste and take home jams, baked goods, locally produced honey and apple ciders flavored with lingonberry, juniper berries and gooseberries. aplagarden.ax

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A Guide to the Aland Archipelago, Where You Can Sleep on Your Own Island - The New York Times

Exclusive: how Royal Caribbean’s private Island will "chill and thrill" – Cruise Passenger

Lelepa island in Vanuatu boasts pristine white sand beaches and swaying palm trees with limited access to fresh water and power. It is remote, stunning and almost stands still in time. But not for long.

Lelepa is home to a number of traditional island villagers with a long and beautiful ancestry and is one of 83 islands in the Republic of Vanuatu, a stunning archipelago of natural reefs and volcanos known as the ring of fire including one extinct volcano in the distance on the island of Nguna.

But fast forward exactly two years to October 2022, and Lelepa is forecast to look vastly different. The Royal Caribbean day club is proposed to open for passengers up to 4,500 of them per day to begin with offering the opportunity to experience a Perfect Day on a tropical island.

Pristine Lelepa island is about to be transformed

Ever since the announcement that the worlds second biggest cruise ship company had negotiated a lease with the Vanuatu Government, speculation has been rife about what that would mean.

In an exclusive interview with the Australian architects behind Royal Caribbeans new private waterpark island in Vanuatu, we discover what a Perfect Day at Lelepa is going to look like. According to head designer David Holm, of Cox Architects, its going to be all about chill and thrill.

A look at Coco Cay in the Bahamas RCCLs existing island

There will be huge water slides, some of the worlds longest and fastest zip lines, kids water parks, swimming pools, numerous dining options, a wave pool, hot air balloon rides, private beach clubs for adults, family designated beach areas, possible over water bungalows and of course, a pier large enough to receive the cruise ships.

Perfect Day at Coco Cay under construction earlier in 2019

The difference between this island design and existing RCCL private islands such as Coco Cay in the Bahamas is that Cox Architects say they will be attempting to integrate as much of the local Vanuatu design and culture as possible, to give it a more aesthetically sensitive look and feel.

So what exactly does this mean?

The main pavilion areas will be based on traditional Vanuatu meeting place designs called Nakamals, with large open-air roofs, woven natural materials, bamboo, local wild cane, and naturally sourced timbers and furniture sourced in the South Pacific, says Mr Holm.

A traditional open air nakamal meeting place

This will be a fully carbon neutral island, with a sustainable energy and waste management system, and we aim to immerse ourselves in the local culture and design to achieve an authenticity and calibre of thoughtfulness, Mr Holm says.

Vanuatus culture and style will be integrated into Perfect Day

Think of Indiana Jones, with a bit of Mad Max mixed in, Mr Holm says, when describing how the island is going to feel for passengers when they arrive. We want to leave a light footprint with no pipes in and no pipes out and we want the guests to feel like they are explorers.

We will collaborate with local builders, businesses and villagers to blend the indigenous culture into the island experience. We want this Perfect Day to be grown and crafted in-keeping with the Vanuatu style, Mr Holm added.

Ni Vanuatu locals are hoping to be consulted on the plans

So the chill and thrill? It will have something for everyone catering to a large density of guests, but people who also do not want to queue. It will be fun, with escape areas too, says Mr Holm.

Over water bungalows are on the cards for a more chilled zone

Community consultation meetings are being held with local residents in the coming weeks, with detailed designs promised to be made public by April next year.

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Exclusive: how Royal Caribbean's private Island will "chill and thrill" - Cruise Passenger

Prince Andrew accuser target of suit questioning her claims of forced sex – USA TODAY

According to The Guardian, Andrew met Epstein in the 1990s through Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of British media mogul Robert Maxwell. Wochit

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz filed a defamation claim Thursday against a woman who says she was a Jeffrey Epstein "teen sex slave" forced to have sex with powerful men, including Dershowitz and Britain's Prince Andrew.

It's the latest development in a long-running legal struggle between former Epstein lawyer Dershowitz, 81, and Virginia Roberts Giuffre, 35, an American living in Australia, who's claimed since 2011 that convicted sex offender Epstein and his associates groomed her as a sex slave when she was a young Florida teen.

She says they trafficked her to powerful men who were Epstein's friends,with whom she said she was compelled to have sex in planes, hotels, mansions and on private islands.

But Dershowitz's lawsuit raises multiple questions about Giuffre's credibility regarding him and others. She and her legal team have made it clear she's not going to stop accusing Andrew of dark deeds, insisting he "should go to jail" and should submit to questioning by the FBI. But so far she has not gone after him in court.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on Sept. 7, 2019 in Bruges, Belgium.(Photo: JOHN THYS, AFP/Getty Images)

"Giuffres credibility has been completely destroyed," Dershowitz's suit argues. "She has repeatedly and deliberately lied and committed perjury for money."

Dershowitz's lawsuit features multiple examples that call Giuffre's credibility into question, saysone of Dershowitz's lawyers, Imran Ansari. "Certainly, there is a strong argument to support the claim that her allegations lack a shred of truth as they pertain to Mr. Dershowitz."

Giuffre's lawyer, CharlesCooper, dismissed Dershowitz' counterclaim as just another attack on Giuffre.

"Recycling the same false claims from his increasingly stale playbook, Alan Dershowitz has once again launched an attack on Virginia Giuffre and her lawyers," he said in a statement to USA TODAY. "Let's call his counterclaim what it is:a failed attempt to make something old and tired look new."

In April this year, Giuffre filed a defamation suit against Dershowitz in federal court in New York, for calling her a liar; that suit is pending.

Now Dershowitz has filed a counterclaim in federal court, accusing her of defaming him.In it,he describes his anguish and fury about the damage he says Giuffre has caused to his reputation, business and health.

Alan Dershowitz leaves the federal courthouse in Manhattan in March 2019.(Photo: Frank Franklin II/ AP)

He says he has travel records, credit card statements and phone records proving he was never in places when Giuffre claims to have had sex with him. Her "false claims" have led him to suffer severe emotional distress, including "cardiac conditions," the filing says.

Dershowitz is seeking a jury trial and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages if he wins, plus attorney's fees.

All of the men whose names have surfaced in connection with Epstein and Giuffre,including Dershowitz and Andrew, have denied her claims. Nothing she has said about either man has yet been proven in any court, civil or criminal.

Giuffre's allegations have been place in the public record via documents and depositions in her own and others'lawsuits, and through her book proposal.

If an Americanjury concludes she is mistaken or lying about Dershowitz, then that could alleviate some of the pressure that's burdened Andrew and Buckingham Palace for nearly five years.And if a jury believes her, that could be more bad news for Andrew and the British royals.

Her allegations exploded inheadlines in January 2015, when she claimed incourt documents that Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz and with Andrew when she was 17. She said she had encounters with Andrew in New York, in the Virgin Islands and in London.

Buckingham Palace issued multiple statements emphatically denying Andrew had any sexual contact or relationship with Giuffre.

Dershowitz immediately went on TV to denounce her, then known as Virginia Roberts, asserting if she's lying about him then she can't be believed about her Andrew claims.

Later that year, a federal judge in Florida called these claims "immaterial" and irrelevant to the case at issue and threw them out.

Meanwhile, Giuffre has donemultiple media interviews, includinga sit-down with Australia's "60 Minutes," which aired Sunday. She reiterated her allegations against Andrew and said she is sick of his "lame excuses" for denying them. She also publicly called Dershowitz an Epstein"co-conspirator."

British tabloids, who have called Andrew "Randy Andy" for years,have been especiallyeager to hear details of her accusations against the Duke of York, 59, Queen Elizabeth II's second son and anacknowledged former friend of Epstein.

Giuffre stepped up the pace of her public statements afterEpstein was found hanging in his cell in August in a federal detention facility in New York while awaiting trial on new sex-crime charges. His death means there will be no jury trialat which Epstein's many accusers, including Giuffre, hoped to tell their stories.

Instead, they're hiring lawyers andfiling civil lawsuits against his estate and his associates.In 2015, Giuffre filed a defamation lawsuit against Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell (for calling her a liar) and settled for an undisclosed sum in 2017.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre at press conference outside a Manhattan court in New York, Aug. 27, 2019.(Photo: Bebeto Matthews, AP)

In his counterclaim, Dershowitz revives his argument that copies of a May 2011 exchange of emails between Giuffreand a reporter for the British tabloid Daily Mail, Sharon Churcher, seem to suggest that Churcher gave Giuffre the idea of accusing Dershowitz in her book proposal pitch.

According to these emails, Churcher told her to include him as one of the accused because he would be a "good name" to drop in a pitch.

"This evidence proves that Giuffres claim that she had sex with Dershowitz is a fabrication and she published her claim while knowing it was false," Dershowitz's filing says. "Indeed, Giuffre has lied about these emails by falsely testifying under oath that no such emails between her and Churcher about Dershowitz existed."

Dershowitz maintains Giuffre and her lawyers are engaged in a campaign to "maliciously disparage and attack" him by making defamatory statements herselfor speaking through her lawyers and representatives.

Giuffre recently lost her lead lawyer, celebrity trial attorney David Boies (with whom Dershowitz isengaged in a separate legal battle ), and his law firmafter a federal judge ruled he could no longer represent her in her defamation suit against Dershowitz due to a conflict.

I await the opportunity to cross examine my false accuser and the lawyers who pressured her to falsely accuse me. I will prove, by overwhelming evidence...that I never met her and that she made up the entire story for money," Dershowitz said in a statement to USA TODAY.

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Prince Andrew accuser target of suit questioning her claims of forced sex - USA TODAY

5 ski chalets and mountain homes on the market right now – The Spaces

Theres nothing better than cosying up in front of the fire after a long day on the slopes. But if the classic alpine ski chalet aesthetic leaves you cold, weve got the remedy. This cache of mountain homes offers proximity to the best slopes with design credentials to match. Think innovative A-frames, minimalist retreats and moody Scandinavian interiors. Get a closer look.

Via Windermere Real Estate

$746,000 via Windermere Real EstateThis prefab A-frame cabin by Mark Rylant of Buildhouse puts a contemporary spin on rustic, with raw plywood walls, exposed iron beams, and modern Scandinavian-inspired furnishings. Architect Ryan Stephenson designed the chalet, whose interiors are deliberately simple, with lots of natural wood finishes and a neutral colour palette. The two-bedroom cabin took just two days to build and has a fully glazed front facade that peeks onto its setting two miles from the summit at Snoqualmie in the Washington community of Snoqualmie Pass 28 miles from Seattle.

Via 212 Property

6.35m KR via MaklarhusetThe alpine aesthetic is stripped back to basics inside this Vemdalsskalet cabin on the slopes of Vamdalen, which reboots the classic ski chalet as a minimalist retreat. Knotted pine is swapped for waxed birch plywood walls, clean lines and moody colour pops. Developer 212 Property built the four-bedroom Swedish home conceived as a house within a house and the double-height kitchen and living room follow the contour of the roof, while rectangular picture windows look out onto the valley below. Vemdalen has some 50km of snow-shoe and backcountry skiing trails. See more.

Via Barnes International

POA via Barnes International Real EstateWhile its pitched roof and terraced exterior is classic alpine architecture, this Verbier chalet takes a sophisticated twist inside via skylit ceilings, soaring woodburning fireplaces and a mix of metal and stone finishes. The five-bedroom Swiss property is in the skiing community of Verbier, serviced via an elevator, and has ski-in, ski-out facilities. The loft-style chalet was built in 2018 and has a minimalist vibe thanks to shuttered windows, brick fireplaces and contemporary furniture.

Via Windermere Real Estate

$3.9m via Windermere Real EstateAIA architects Tracy Stocking and David Hunter designed this fieldstone-clad mountain home in the town of Alta to maximise its views a two-storey wall of windows peeks out towards Sugarloaf and the Greely Bowl canyon. The heart of the house is the double-height family room, while the master bedroom one of four inside the ski-in, ski-out Utah property has a private terrace. The mountain home is accessible by a gravel road in summer and snowmobile or snowshoe in winter. Luckily, a PistenBully 100 snowcat is included in the sale for ferrying around guests, groceries, and gear.

Via Cardis / Sothebys International Realty

POA via Cardis Immobilier / Sothebys International RealtyThis mountainside Swiss chalet is accessed via a private funicular railway and is set across four floors. The six-bedroom cabin has four balconies all of which have views of the nearby Matterhorn and a ground floor sauna, jacuzzi and massage room to ease tired muscles after a long day on the slopes.

7 private islands for sale right now

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5 ski chalets and mountain homes on the market right now - The Spaces

All the New Places to Stay in Australias Whitsunday Islands – Cond Nast Traveler

When Cyclone Debbie tore through Australia's Whitsunday Islands in March 2017, the storm left wispy white-sand isles thrashed, hotels destroyed, and renowned natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach in ruin. With losses to the tourism industry estimated at $114.5 million, the event could have wrought lasting damage. But just two years on, the islands are back.

The revival began with a mega-makeover of palm-fringed Airlie Beach, unveiled in June: A sleek new waterfront promenade, bursting with restaurants and markets, has allowed the formerly backpacker-filled beach town to pivot from being a regional jump-off point to a destination unto itself. New and improved hotels, too, have perked up the area's prospects, with adults-only wellness retreat Elysian opening in March. The 20-guest escape brings unprecedented exclusivity to the islands, not to mention sustainabilityit's the first fully solar-powered resort in the Great Barrier Reef. In April, the family-friendly Daydream Island Resort reopened, showing off a $100 million renovation and breezy, barefoot-luxe rooms; then came the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, which has taken over from One&Only in one of the Whitsunday Islands' most glamorous spots. Unveiled in July, it includes eight sumptuous private beachfront villas and the 4,300-square-foot Hayman Beach House, set up steps from the ocean. Plus, travelers can now snorkel to a six-sculpture underwater exhibit, opened in September.

From left: Michaelmas Reef, Arlington Reef, and Bramble Reef all part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Alistair Taylor-Young

Next month the Museum of Underwater Artthe first of its kind in the Southern Hemispheremakes its much-anticipated debut, with installations scattered among the islands that double as sites for coral and marine-life regeneration. Perhaps the most original development, though, comes courtesy of tour operator Cruise Whitsundays; the outfitter has just launched Reefsuites, Australia's first underwater hotel, where guests spend the night in a fully-submerged glass-walled suite, taking in an incredible hidden world. All of these eyes focused on the reef will amplify the attention needed to protect its future.

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All the New Places to Stay in Australias Whitsunday Islands - Cond Nast Traveler

Inside the World’s Most Expensive Real Estate of 2019 – Maxim

The 439-acre Casteel Creek Retreat near Vail, Colorado is currently listed for sale with LIV Sothebys International Realty for $78 million.

LIV Sotheby's International Realty

In our last survey of over-the-top real estate for Maxim,we noted that $100 million listings, almost unheard of until a few years ago, had become the new benchmark for the ultra rich buyer. Now in the space of less than a year that figure seems to have doubled. In August one of the most expensive estates ever listed for sale, the historic Villa Les Cdres in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera, once owned by King Leopold II of Belgium, sold to an undisclosed, but undoubtedly extremely well off, buyer for about $221 million. And that was after a 43% price drop.

Nor is the picturesque property, surrounded by a 34 acre botanical garden on a peninsula perched between Nice and Monaco, alone in that realm. A similarly well heeled house hunter can now write a check for $279 million for a 26,000+ square foot Colorado compound (see below) owned by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks that comes complete with a car museum. Not to mention an airstrip, airplane hangar, helipad, horse stables, and private observatory, all on a total of 8,700 acres. And in January billionaire Citadel hedge fund founder Ken Griffin set a new record for the highest priced house ever sold in the United States when he paid $238 million for a New York City penthouse. With an unbelievable 24,000 square feet, its owner was immediately crowned the new king of Gotham.

Discovery Channel founder John Hendrickss Colorado compound is on the market for $279 million via LIV Sothebys International Realty.

LIV Sotheby's International Realty

If billionaire real estate deals are anything to go by, this has certainly been a banner year. In January private equity mogul Henry Kravis listed his White River Valley Colorado ranch on 4,600 acres for $46 million. The property comes with five miles of private fly fishing on both forks of the White River, as well as a Greg Norman designed four hole golf course; the famous golf champion has a place nearby. That same month banking billionaire Nurzhan Subkhanberdin closed on the sale of a pair of penthouses atop Manhattans Time Warner Center for about $20 million. They span a total of 4,743 square feet and could easily be combine to create a grand home, as the listing noted.

Speaking of grand homes, in February the billionaire investor,hedge fund manager and philanthropist Steve Cohen listed his 9,600 square foot Manhattan triplex for a not inconsiderable $33.5 million, then sold it just over a month later for close to the asking price at $30 million. In May Russian oligarch Andrey Borodin paid $23 million for an enormous equestrian compound near Palm Beach that was once home to the Lechuza Caracas polo team, to add to his real estate portfolio that includes the one-time most expensive home in England. And in June in Bridgehampton, natural gas billionaire Michael Smith sold a beachfront compound for close to its $42.5 million asking price; not to worry, he still has a $110 million spread in East Hampton as well as a another estate in Malibu worth the same eye-popping amount.

Casteel Creek Retreat features a 32,000-square-foot main residence as well as an indoor sports arena, five-story rock climbing wall, Olympic size lap pool, a shooting range and a fully-stocked trout pond.

LIV Sotheby's International Realty

At times multiple properties have changed hands in a single megabucks deal. Also in May Howard Marks, the billionaire co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, spent $35 million to buy four properties in Amagansett from Barbara Zuckerberg, the ex-wife of former Goldman Sachs executive Roy Zuckerberg, according to the New York Post. He already owned a neighboring $30 million property, making his combined compound worth $65 million. That was dwarfed however by the news that billionaire WhatsApp cofounder Brian Acton had quietly amassed a portfolio of adjacent propertiesmore than half a dozen of them on a single residential blockin Palo Alto, California worth a combined $86 million.

The summer was equally sizzling. In June billionaire British inventor and entrepreneur Sir James Dyson made headlines when he bought Singapores most expensive penthouse for a reported $54.2 million. It was actually something of a bargain considering the three story aerie complete with a private pool was once valued as high as $100 million. And in July an unnamed Chinese billionaire reportedly paid $75 millioncashfor a 24,000 square foot mega mansion in Bel Air that he stumbled across one day while idly browsing Zillow, the online real estate database.

Casteel Creek Retreat features stunning views of the Rocky mountains.

LIV Sotheby's International Realty

So what do these extremely wealthy gentleman intend to do with such awe-inspiring properties? We may not find out for several years, but considering these are some of the most accomplished and successful men in the world, its reasonable to assume theres a profit to be made somewhere down the line. In 2013 when Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev paid somewhere around $150 million for the private Greek island of Skorpios which was once owned by Aristotle Onassis, it was reported to be an investment for his daughter. This past summer his vision for the property was finally revealed.

Billion-dollar views from Hendricks' West Creek Ranch.

LIV Sotheby's International Realty

The investment project, expected to be completed in two to three years, includes a luxury resort complex with spa, restaurants, and marina, as he told Wealth Management. In addition, there will be showrooms, an amphitheater, a helipad, a farm, and recreation areas. It will, he promises, be unique in the Mediterranean.

Having first sailed by on his yacht, I remember being captivated by this earthly paradise with its enchanting natural beauty, Rybolovlev, owner of the AS Monaco Football Club among other assets, recounted. After buying it and spending a lot of vacation there, Skorpios means so much to me. He describes it as a private shelter that helps me relax, recharge my batteries and return to my responsibilities.

Toys on offer atHendricks' West Creek Ranch.

LIV Sotheby's International Realty

Want to acquire a private Greek island of your own? Private Islands Inc. has several listed for sale, ranging from 26 acres to over 1,300 acres, most of them uninhabited and ripe for development on a comparable scale to the Skorpios project. Of course if you just decided to live there quietly untroubled by nosy paparazzi, troublesome ex-wives or autograph seekers, we would hardly blame you.

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Inside the World's Most Expensive Real Estate of 2019 - Maxim

Inside the latest issue of Spears: 5 Hertford Street, the inaugral luxury index and more – Spear’s WMS

The latest issue of Spears is an embarrassment of riches, covering the best in luxury, as well as everything from 5 Hertford Street to Maldivian private islands, writes Alec Marsh

Those with what used to be called a Classical education will take pleasure in the cover of this edition, supplied by our brilliant cover artist Adam Dant. Odi profanum vulgus et arceo, of course, is a quote from Horace, meaning: I hate the unholy rabble and keep them away. As coverlines go, its not terribly inclusive.

But it is, of course, deliberately ironical and as the Spanish artist Velazquez proved in 1647 when he inserted a gure of Eros into what was otherwise a racy nude of his girlfriend in the Rokeby Venus (on display at the National Gallery, room 30), a cloak of classicism can work wonders. In this edition we celebrate 100 of the leading gures working in luxury today. Our inaugural Spears Luxury Index, published in association with Boadicea the Victorious, identifies and profiles the elite cadre of individuals making waves across luxury goods and services from horologists to hoteliers and hatters qualifying by their sheer excellence, innovation or in influence. Its an unrivalled journey into the best of the best.

This November/December edition, offers a cornucopia of riches: first, we have a conversation with Salman Rushdie, one of the worlds greatest living authors. Hes on page 40. We also meet Stephen Schwarzman, the co-founder of Blackstone and one of the worlds richest the worlds richest men, in an interview which charts his rise. Find out what keeps a man with $18 billion awake at night.

We also take two walks this issue one through Londons Theatreland with the inestimable Simon Callow and our intrepid editor-at-large William Cash goes for a mind-expanding and waist-shrinking hike along the West Highland Way.Finally, our Issues section is completed by two important contributions: first,a visit to 5 Hertford Street, where our writer Edwin Smith finds out what has made this, quite plausibly, the most important private members club in the world today.

John Arlidge sketches out the new battle lines between BA and Virgin as both unveil new and improved services.

There is so much of which I am proud in this edition: thank you to all our contributors not least Nicholas Coleridge, Lucia van der Post, Jason Cowley, Clive Aslet, Nick Foulkes and Annamaria Koerling.

Thank you also to our other interview guests, including Andrew Bainbridge, Colin Davidson and Alexandra Tolstoy As Oscar Wilde put it,nothing succeeds likes uccess. And we dont need Latin for that.

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Inside the latest issue of Spears: 5 Hertford Street, the inaugral luxury index and more - Spear's WMS

Love Islands Jourdan Riane reveals hurtful Danny Williams split – Metro.co.uk

The love affair is sadly over for Jourdan and Danny (Picture: Jourdan Riane, Instagram)

Love Island star Jourdan Riane has opened up about her shocking split from Danny Williams and admits shes done with dating other celebrities after their hurtful break-up.

Fans of the couple were shocked earlier this month when Jourdan and Danny confirmed the end of their relationship after falling in love on the ITV2 dating series this summer.

It came days after Danny, 21, was accused of cheating on Jourdan and flirting with other women, which he strongly denied.

There were rumours the couple had reconciled after flying to Los Angeles together for a work trip with JD Sports last weekend, but Jourdan insists theyre not back together.

Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, the model said: Im out here in LA for work, hes out here for work and I was never going to say to him, You cant work. So its more a case of lets just keep it amicable and keep it moving.

We havent spoken about things on the trip, mainly because its been about work. But Id be lying if I said it was easy.

She continued: Definitely not the easiest, definitely quite a hard situation to be in. But I kind of try and put the amicable side of things to the front of it.

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Because out of everything, I did get really hurt by the situation so Im trying to stand my ground and have my self-respect.

My mum raised me to be the type of person that, regardless of anything, to be the adult and take the high ground because to me it was about forgetting everything that happened and just be civil.

In fact, Jourdan says she was so hurt by the ordeal that she has no interest in dating another famous man again. That includes her fellow Love Islander Ovie Soko whom some have tried to ship together now that hes single again after splitting from India Reynolds.

I think Im done with dating someone else in the public eye, she admitted confidently.

No more public relationships for me, I think Im going to go back to being as private as possible and the easiest way to do that is to date someone whos relatively unknown.

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Jourdan added of Ovie: Hes an amazing guy, we really got on in the villa. Hes such a sweet guy. But Ovies a national figure now so Im pretty sure hes got about a million people waiting for him.

The 24-year-old explained that her relationship with Danny broke down in a short amount of time.

It kind of happened quite fast and, from being in the public eye, something I really like to cherish is the private moments. So as much as its impossible to have a private relationship when youre in the public eye, I tried to keep my relationship quite private, she explained.

In light of Yewande Bialas famous warning about Danny what goes around comes around does Jourdan regret not listening to the advice?

No, not at all, she admits.

I feel like theres multiple men and women in the world based on what theyve done in the past, who kind of get pre-judged. My mum always raised me to give people the benefit of the doubt because someone can do things with multiple women but act different in a situation with someone else.

With all the recent Love Island break-ups Ovie and India, Amber Gill and Greg OShea fans of the series have wondered if the couples are under a contract to stay together for a certain amount of time.

Jourdan refutes the idea and states: I went on the show to genuinely find a connection, found it and it just didnt go to plan.

Theres no contracts. They put you in an environment where natural feelings and natural relationships develop at a faster pace. And we are still real people with real feelings and as much as people love to sit there and say its fake, unless youre in it, you dont really know what it feels like.

You genuinely feel like that person is the one for you.

She added: For me there was no, you have to be in the relationship for this long, but its for real people with real feelings and the hardest part of all of the relationship is the basic regularities of every normal relationship that everyone has, but in the public eye with millions of people judging you for it.

Jourdan may be putting her dating life on hold for a while but her career at least seems to be taking off the model teased shes got some exciting projects in the pipeline with her acting, including a mysterious project that will be released in the US next week.

In other words, shes well and truly booked and busy, heartbreak aside.

Jourdan spoke on behalf of Bliss Sanctuary for Women, which offers a tranquil retreat for women who are travelling and want ultimate relaxation hassle free. To enjoy yoga and petal baths like Jourdan did at the retreat, visit the Bliss website.

If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you.

MORE: Gabby Allen thinks winter Love Island will be make or break and reveals how she copes with fame

MORE: Maura Higgins swaps Love Island for Hollywood as she parties with Paris Hilton at Boohoo launch

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Love Islands Jourdan Riane reveals hurtful Danny Williams split - Metro.co.uk

Royal Caribbean Will Build A Luxurious Sustainable Private Island In The South Pacific By 2022 – Singapore Tatler

Vanuatu, located in the South Pacific, is comprised of around 80 islands

It's touted to be the first carbon-neutral cruise destination in the world

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Earlier this week, cruise line Royal Caribbean announced its plans to build a sustainable private island in the South Pacific.

According to the announcement, the island, located in Vanuatu, will be called Perfect Day at Lelepa and will be built with features that will safeguard the islands ecosystems, and will be the first carbon-neutral cruise destination in the world.

(Related: How This Private Island Near Singapore Is A Champion For Sustainability)

We believe our destinations should be sustainably designed, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement. That idea goes beyond simply protecting the ecological features of Lelepa and includes showing respect for the people and traditions that make this a special place.

(Related: Celebrity Cruises' New Eco-Friendly Superyacht Will Let You Visit The Galpagos Islands In Luxury)

Bayley also stated that the island was created in collaboration with the community of Vanuatu to provide employment and education opportunities for locals while showcasing the distinct natural ecological beauty and diverse culture of the island nation.

Today marks a major step forward in our island nations close relationship with Royal Caribbean and one that will support sustainable growth for future generations, said Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai in a statement. The Ni-Vanuatu people look forward to welcoming Royal Caribbean guests from around the world to enjoy extraordinary adventures and relaxation during their Perfect Day at Lelepa.

(Related: Our Review Of A Luxury Cruise In Iceland: See Puffins, Glaciers And More With Ventures By Seabourn)

According to Royal Carribean, Perfect Day at Lelepa will have a distinctly different look and feel from the cruise lines other private islands, Perfect Day at CocoCay, because our guests around the world all have different definitions for their perfect dayand all of them are right, says Bayley, Our designers and nature have created the ideal South Pacific experience and we expect the results will be stunning.

The island is set to open sometime in 2022.

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Royal Caribbean Will Build A Luxurious Sustainable Private Island In The South Pacific By 2022 - Singapore Tatler

Royal Caribbean is Launching a New Beach Club Collection for its Customers – World of Cruising

When it comes to the cruising the Caribbean and relaxing on gleaming white beaches, few lines spring to mind more than Royal Caribbean.

The cruise line is already delighting customers with its fleet of floating resort mega-ships and idyllic private islands, but its now going one step further, by announcing the launch of a brand new Royal Beach Club collection.

Built exclusively for Royal Caribbean guests, the first Royal Beach Club will launch in Antigua, occupying a half-mile spot of beachfront near Fort James.

Scheduled to open in 2021, the club will combine the islands striking and desirable features (think sugar-like beaches and crystalline waters) with all the amenities and perks of being on a cruise ship.

With more destinations in the pipeline, the Royal Beach Club Collection will champion the unique vibe and culture of each destination. In Antigua, customers will be able to relax in private cabanas or take a plunge in its pool with swim-up bar, before ordering a fruity rum punch.

The Royal Beach Club Collection is an adventure we cannot wait to reveal to our guests, said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.

We have incredible partners in the government of Antigua and Barbuda to bring the first of our collection to life. Together, we are designing an experience that will bring more visitors to these idyllic islands and will create significant economic benefits and opportunities for local employment for years to come.

The Honourable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development and Investments, Government of Antigua and Barbuda, said: The government of Antigua and Barbuda welcomes this multimillion-dollar investment into our tourism product by Royal Caribbean.

The economic impact into our economy is projected to be approximately $80 million USD from direct revenue to the Government over the next 30 years and over $1 billion USD in indirect revenue during the same period.

The project will also provide meaningful employment to Antiguans and Barbudans for both the construction phase and the operations of the project for years to come, continued Fernandez.

We are truly grateful and appreciative that Royal Caribbeans first Royal Beach Club will be in Antigua, which confirms confidence in our twin-island state.

While we wont be getting accurate renders of the beach club for several months, the line has given hints it will offer island-style BBQs, local cuisine, live music and Royal Caribbean-style experiences, like paddleboarding, snorkelling and wave running.

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Royal Caribbean is Launching a New Beach Club Collection for its Customers - World of Cruising

ILTM Cannes 2019 set to be biggest event yet, revealing 2020 to be their year of ‘Conscious Luxury’ – Travel Daily News International

The worlds leading luxury travel event -ILTM- will welcome more buyers, more exhibitors and more VIP media from across the world than ever before when the 18th edition takes place in Cannes, 25 December. ILTM will host 1850 buyers from across the world - including concierge companies, travel agents and private travel designers - and 30% will be new to the event.

With increasing numbers of travellers looking to balance personal fulfilment with experiences that benefit others as well as themselves, ILTM will also reveal plans to ensure a theme of conscious luxury for ILTM events in 2020.

ILTM 2019 welcomes a plethora of new suppliers, many of whom will embrace Conscious Luxury ranging from art hotel Casa Malca in Tulum in Mexico; to the new Hotel Villa Copenhagen in Denmarks capital; cultural, wildlife and wellness specialists in India and Nepal Amber Tours; luxury nature retreat Kayan Jungle Bali and Octolo Luxury Lodges in Lapland.

Global tourism destinations - including Dubai, Italy, Greece, Japan, the Maldives and Morocco - as well as private yachts, private jets, private villas and private islands will also take part, not to mention established luxury hotel brands, almost without exception. These include Leading Hotels of the World, Relais & Chateaux, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Capella Hotels and Resorts, Aman Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Nobu Hotels, Marriott Luxury Brands, ACCOR Luxury Brands, Belmond, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hilton Luxury Brands, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Small Luxury Hotels and many more.

The ILTM Global Forum takes place on the eve of the show Monday 2 December - and will mark the launch of ILTMs Year of Conscious Luxury.

Alison Gilmore, ILTM Portfolio Director comments: Today, a powerful and influential group of ultra HNW and HNW consumers are preferring to view travel as a gateway to experiences including philanthropy, conservation, wellness, cultural & intellectual pursuits, sport and more. With travel as the means but not an end in itself, travel categories are converging, and travel brands find themselves at the centre of a vast new, eco-system. So, how do we respond? What do we need to know to navigate through this transformation?

Attendees will hear from a range of experts that go beyond the traditional ideas and explore new and exciting possibilities from a world-renowned economist, to the CEO of one of the worlds largest marketing businesses to a former surgeon general of the USA. ILTM Cannes attendees will also be the first to read a bold new piece of research into todays new breed of Ultra-HNW and HNW traveller, commissioned by ILTM in collaboration with Wealth-X.

In addition, The Retreat will return to the ILTM 2019 show floor (open 35 December) where attendees are able to sample treatments and experiences from leading brands in Health and Wellness. Buyers will be able to reserve a 15 minute slot within their pre-scheduled appointment diaries to sample mini-treatments and experiences with experts from brands including Six Senses, SHA Wellness and Canyon Ranch.

Ms Gilmore continues: With 5000 people gathering in Cannes for ILTM 2019, we will introduce global travel buyers to an unrivalled collection of international travel experiences. We are the relationship brokers providing a platform for our guests to do business and build relationships. ILTM is the easiest way to travel the world from one destination in 4 days, meeting new contacts and re-connecting with others in a real community for business.

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ILTM Cannes 2019 set to be biggest event yet, revealing 2020 to be their year of 'Conscious Luxury' - Travel Daily News International

11 under-the-radar destinations to hit before they become the next big thing | Mapped – Daily Hive

Ready to escape the travel routine? Our Expert Travellers are ready to show you the world like youve never seen it before. From tailor-made holiday packages to some of the most immersive tours on the planet, weve got the world covered. Book your adventure today!

Paris is always a good idea, theres always time for a quick jaunt to New York City, and Cancun offers a reliable tan and a good party. The common theme, however, is that each destination is already filled with camera-snapping and social media-posting tourists. And that can be a bit of a buzz kill compared to the experience more under-the-radar destinations have to offer.

Sometimes, the best vacation spots remain relatively yours, yet to be discovered by the masses.

If youre looking, here are 11 under-the-radar destinations to hit before they become the next big thing.

For a less tourist-filled trip to Portugal, check the Azores off your travel bucket list especially if you have a soft spot for the outdoors, chasing waterfalls, hot springs, authentic local experiences, and dreamy cheese. An autonomous group of Portuguese islands located in the mid-Atlantic, the Azores have become an increasingly buzzed-about destination in recent years, but remain relatively pristine, peaceful, and undiscovered by the masses (subsequently, youll find few tourist traps here). A trip to the Azores should definitely include more than one island, andAzores Airlinesoffers short and affordable daily flights between the islands.

When you think Mexico, wine probably isnt the first thing that comes to mind. Tequila and mezcal, yes but wine? Not so much. A surprise to many, however, Mexicos pristine wine region is blossoming and beautiful heaven for wine-loving foodies who seek more of a genuine Mexico experience than that of an all-inclusive beach vacation. In Baja California, Mexico, you can enjoy some of the best local cuisine at everything from street stands and charming mom and pop spots to high-end restaurants. Take in stunning views of the sea, get an adrenaline rush on Latin Americas largest zip-line, and of course sip and swirl at one of the regions many wineries.

Another bucket list spot for curious foodies (and seasoned salsa dancers) is Cali, Colombia. Known as the salsa dancing capital of the world, in Cali, youll find colourful streets filled with quality local cuisine, thoughtful breweries, artsy cafes, coffee shops and high-energy nightclubs. In addition to the wining, dining, and dancing, other things to do in this vibrant city include hiking (either through a lush national park or up the famed Hill of Three Crosses), biking along the Rio Cali, and shopping the goodness-packed local markets.

If youre in the market for a digital detox (and one that redefines the meaning of Out of Office), St. Vincent and the Grenadines has the perfect option for you. The island of Petit St. Vincent is the epitome of a secluded and unplugged private paradise.On site, you will find two yoga pavilions along with a luxury spa and wellness centre. Activities on this private island paradise include kayaking, sailing, snorkelling, and hiking. The idea here is to go completely off the grid rather than phones or the Internet, guests communicate with staff through coloured flags.

Since the 1980s, Shenzhen, located in southeastern China, has steadily grown to become a modern metropolis and an increasingly popular city to explore. The buildings including a 600-metre-tall skyscraper will impress the lovers of intricate architecture. Meanwhile, the seasoned shoppers will appreciate Shenzhens coveted shopping spots, like the massive Luohu Commercial City shopping mall, and a handful of amusement parks attract the thrill-seekers.

In Honduras, the most breathtaking of the Bay Islands is decidedly Roatn. Here, youll find Instagram-ready white-sand beaches to quickly put you in vacation mode, an ancient coral reef to explore and lush jungles to hike. Whether you opt for a cheap and cheerful backpacking experience, or splurge on something fancier, this relatively unexposed part of the Honduran Caribbean caters to travellers with varying agendas.

While Buenos Aires is definitely worth a visit, so is Argentinas northwest. The peaceful region is filled with rolling hills, beautiful red rock valleys and sweeping, dramatic landscapes, making it a great spot for hiking, running, rafting, and biking. The slow-paced city of Salta features history-rich Spanish colonial architecture, incredible local cuisine, a caf-lined square, and preserved cobblestone streets.

For an off-the-well-travelled path Belize experience, south on the countrys mainland, youll find the charming and picturesque waterfront fishing village of Placencia. The storybook-like region features bright houses, a public art-filled main street, some of the most celebrated restaurants in Southern Belize and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. You can either opt for quaint accommodations or treat yourself at Itzana, the areas first luxury resort.

For an African safari experience of a lifetime, book a trip to Botswana. The country is one of the most sparsely populated in the world, with just two million people, yet rich in majestic creatures that dominate the vast land. From rugged to romantic, a selection of eco-friendly glamping spots offer a comfortable place to rest your head after a day of exploring Botswanas captivating landscapes.

To find a sense of inner peace, book a ticket to Bhutan, the last great Himalayan Kingdom. With Buddhist culture and values front and centre, the focus in Bhutan is on happiness. Highlights here include dramatic landscapes, monk ceremonies (including Tibetan Buddhist Rites and theritual Cham dance), and stunning monasteries, like the famed cliff-side Tigers Nest. Tourists are required to pay a minimum tariff of $250 USD per day, but this covers accommodation, food, transportation, and an official guide to ensure you make the most out of your stay.

For an under-the-radar, but truly breathtaking beach vacation, become one of the growing number of sun-seekers who have recently discovered Bazaruto Island. Located in Bazaruto National Park, off the coast of southern Mozambique, here, youll find a picture-perfect paradise of turquoise water, white-sand beaches, dune-filled landscapes and some of the worlds best diving. A handful of the regions beaches are so untouched that theyre only accessible through private transport.

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11 under-the-radar destinations to hit before they become the next big thing | Mapped - Daily Hive

Cruise: Receive a free upgrade on board this tropical Princess Cruises route – Express

Princess Cruises has expanded its luxury holiday offering by reinstating one of its most loved routes, set to transport passengers to paradise. The latest route will take cruisers on a tropical escape to French Polynesia. Island stops include Tahiti, Moorea, Rangiroa, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Huahine.

Passengers can expect to experience coral reefs, snorkelling opportunities and long stretches of sandy beaches aboard one of the new routes.

The cruise operator is offering a variety of luxury expeditions ranging from eight to 29 days depending on the route plan.

Its 2020 offering will be the first time the ship has returned to the French Polynesian waters since 2015.

Prices start at 599 per person aboard the Pacific Princess - one of Princess Cruises smaller and more intimate liners.

Just 670 guests will have the opportunity to board this exclusive, luxury excursion.

READ MORE: Spain holidays: Costa del Sol to open huge 515million theme park - will you go? [PICS]

Customers can also benefit from a free stateroom upgrade if they book before 31 October.

Meanwhile, the cruises More Ashore program will offer passengers a late-night departure from Raiatea, as well as two overnight experiences in both Bora Bora and Tahiti, to ensure they get the most out of each destination.

Guests will also have the opportunity to pick from a selection of excursions which will see guides lead the way to some of the regions holiday hotspots.

One of the main draws of the South Pacific is its famed aquamarine waters, something Princess Cruises describe as the richest aquarium, on Earth.

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For adventurous cruisers, the French Polynesian region boasts abundant diving opportunities rich in wildlife, plants and coloured pearls.

For those less keen on exploring below the surface, there is the option to hop onboard one of the area's popular unique glass-bottom boat tours.

When at sea, the Pacific Princess greets passengers with a luxurious onboard experience.

Guests can enjoy all of the amenities of a fine resort while travelling between the islands.

The ships opulent offering includes seven different dining opportunities-from traditional dining to exclusive restaurant Crafted by Curtis Stone.

Passengers can also satisfy their sweet tooth with the exclusive Chocolate Journeys-an array of treats specifically hand-crafted to elevate the holiday experience by master chocolatier Norman Love.

For passengers tired out after a long day of exploring on land, the ship also offers round-the-clock room service.

While sailing, keep boredom at bay by enjoying one of an expanse of entertainment options, from a Vegas-style casino, shopping and even a golf practice cage, to swimming pools, live music and guest entertainers.

Little travellers are also welcome on this Pacific voyage, with the new Discovery at Sea program developed to provide fun and educational activities suitable for the whole family. Perks include star gazing on the ship's top deck.

The cruises will depart from Australian ports including, Adelaide, Brisbaine, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as Auckland New Zealand.

Tahiti and French Polynesia lure travellers from all over the world seeking pure unspoiled paradise, snorkelling, swimming adventures and relaxation, said Jan Swartz Princess Cruises president.

With our return to Tahiti in 2020, Princess Cruises offers the best way to explore this remote island life aboard our intimate Pacific Princess.

Paul Sloan, Tahiti Tourisme, Directeur Gnral and CEO adds: Princess Cruises has a long history with Tahiti and is a highly valued partner showcasing the diversity of our islands, the rich authentic local culture, and the great variety of experiences that await discovery.

We are eagerly looking forward to next year and welcoming Pacific Princess back to The Islands of Tahiti.

The South Pacific has become a popular hotspot for travellers, with Royal Caribbean also recently announcing its own routes to the Paradise islands.

The cruise operator will offer passengers a trip to a private island known as Perfect Day at Lelepa, Vanuatu.

The destination will be created in partnership with the community of Vanuatu to showcase the distinct natural ecological beauty and diverse local culture of the island nation as well as provide employment and education opportunities.

Cruisers can experience the adventure in 2020.

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Cruise: Receive a free upgrade on board this tropical Princess Cruises route - Express

Cruise Fever Here to Stay | Business – The Weekly Journal

The Caribbean will always be the top cruise destination in the world, according to various cruise industry leaders.

During the recent Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association convention in San Juan, their forecast for the future looks bright, with expectations that there could be as many as 45 million people cruising by 2030, which would represent a 50 percent increase from the current 30 million.

Its thriving and the outlook for the region is robust, said Royal Caribbean Cruises Vice Chairman Adam Goldstein, noting that it was imperative for the Caribbean cruise industry to remain competitive with new ships and provide enhanced offerings, such as new experiences.

As previously reported by THE WEEKLY JOURNAL, visitors today want more experiences, and Bayley highlighted the success of the Perfect Day at CocoCay, which is Royal Caribbeans $250 million private island in the Bahamas. The popular cruise stop features a waterpark with a water slide that is reportedly the tallest in the region, a massive wave pool and on-the-water beach cabaas.

Echoing these words was Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbeans president and CEO, who sees continuing growth in the Caribbeansaying that eight out of the top-10 cruise destinations worldwide are in the Caribbeanand that more cruise passengers will be coming to the Caribbean in the future. The Caribbean was, is, will always be, the number one cruise destination in the world We need to find a way to accommodate the growth that is inevitably coming to cruise tourism in the Caribbean, he indicated.

In the Caribbean, Old San Juan is a perennial cruise stop favorite, as are Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, Philipsburg in St. Maarten and Nassau in the Bahamas.

Puerto Rico continues to strengthen its position as a leader in the cruise industry. Last fiscal year [2018-2019], a record figure of more than 1.8 million passengers and 558 boat visits were established, for an economic impact of more than $217 million. This 2019 calendar year, we are headed to break the record of passenger arrivals with over 1.7 million cruise passengers enjoying our beautiful island. Being hosts of this important event, we reaffirm our leadership in the region and seek business opportunities to continue growing this sector strategically for Puerto Rico, said Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director Carla Campos.

According to Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Laboy, during the convention, government officials coordinated 26 business meetings between 10 Puerto Rican companies, to initiate those first conversations and for entrepreneurs to showcase their products in order to make business.

Last year, two local companies established talks with Royal Caribbean. As a result, that cruise line began to buy Tres Monjitas products, thanks to the effort of the agencys team. We trust that the exhibition of local products and services at the international level will be positively reflected in the development of manufacturing and an increase in exports. During fiscal year 2017-2018, the consumption of the cruise ships that used Puerto Rico as their base, was $28 million. We continue to maximize our efforts to increase this figure in favor of the economic development of the island, Laboy added.

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and the Dominican Republic were also among neighboring destinations that lauded their offerings during the conclave. USVI Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said he was focused on balancing the cruise business between St. Thomas, which has been a long time favorite, and St. Croix, an emerging travel destination. On average, the USVI receives about 2 million cruise visitors every year.

The Dominican Republic, which receives millions of tourists through its inexpensive all inclusive offerings, welcomed more than 1.3 million cruise passengers last year.

Record of Cruise Visitors Broken Worldwide

Worldwide, another record was broken in 2018, with 28.2 million guests cruising globally a 5.6 percent increase compared to 2017s previous high of 26.7 million, according to the FCCAs 2019 Cruise Industry Overview and Statistics report. The associations projections are that the 30 million mark will be hit this year.

The Caribbean is by far the most popular region, with 34.4 percent (roughly 9.7 million) of the 28.2 million cruise passengers worldwide visiting this destination in 2018.

The second leading destination was the Mediterranean, with 17.3 percent, or nearly 4.9 million passengers. Europe without the Mediterranean, such as cruising the Baltic Sea, was the third most popular, with 11.1 percent, or just over 3.1 million.

Based on 2017 figures, most cruise passengers come from the United States (11.9 percent), followed by China (2.4 percent) and Germany 2.2 percent.

St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands >Courtesy

The Caribbean s Strong Numbers

The highlights of the FCCA report for the Caribbean included:

$3.36 billion in direct expenditures were generated by cruise tourism, up 6.3 percent compared to the last study in 2015 and the previous record.

78,954 jobs were attributable to the industry, up 5.2 percent compared to the last study, paying a total employee wage income of $902.7 million.

Destinations welcomed 25.2 million onshore visits from cruise passengers, with an average expenditure of $101.52, generating a total of $2.56 billion.

$534 million was generated by cruise line expenditures, including port fees and taxes, payments to local tour operators and payments to local businesses for supplies and services.

The highest expenditure per passenger was $165.42 in U.S. Virgin Islands, and the highest expenditure per crew member was $130.63 in Puerto Rico.

On average, a single transit cruise call with 4,000 passengers and 1,640 crew generates $378,500 in passenger and crew spending alone: $339,500 and $39,000, respectively.

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Cruise Fever Here to Stay | Business - The Weekly Journal

Supreme Court allows boatyard to use reserve in Opua, Bay of Islands – Stuff.co.nz

A decision by New Zealand's highest court allows a boatyard to use waterfrontland andcementscouncils' authority over esplanade reserves.

The Supreme Court decision allowsDoug's Opua Boatyardto use the esplanade reserve in Walls Bay in Northland's Bay of Islands.

The ruling published on Tuesday ends decades of legal wrangling over whether the business should be allowed to use the reserve for repairing and washing boats.

Google Maps

Doug's Opua Boatyard, left, is allowed to use the esplanade reserve between its building and the water for boatyard activities.

Douglas Schmuck, who runs the boatyard, said it was justice "well and truly deserved".

READ MORE:*DOC says dolphins come first as swimming ban hits Bay of Islands tour operators*Hap from Northland's Bay of Islands sad its story missed from Tuia 250 events*Bay of Islands: New Zealand's slice of Tahiti in Northland*Waitangi Treaty Grounds made first National Historic Landmark, UNESCO bid next

The Supreme Court rulingbacks Far North District Council's decision to grant the boatyard an easement to use the land.

Schmuck saidit pavedthe way for all district councilsto decide how esplanades couldbe used, without fear of being taken to court.

"It's not necessarily easier for all boatyards - they've got to go through the process," he said.

"All district councils have the ability to deal with boatyards as they should."

Julie Simpson

Opua in Northland's Bay of Islands is a popular spot for boaties.

The council's decision to allow the boatyard to use the reserve, initially made in 1999, was firstopposed by the Department of Conservation and later appealed by Opua Coastal Preservation Incorporated.

A spokesman for the society said members were still reading through the Supreme Court's decision and were not prepared to make comments.

But its website said the society was working toprotect reserves on behalf of all New Zealanders, opposing the use of the reserve for a private business.

Schmuck said the group was wasting time and money, opposing the council's decision which was up-front and above board "from the get-go".

LEGAL FIGHT TIMELINE

The complicated 21-year legal battle culminated in the 48-page decision by the Supreme Court, released after a hearing in July.

1966: Boatyard established and started using what was then an unformed road to pull boats from the water to the boatyard.

1998:Far North District Council stopped the road and turned it into an esplanade reserve.

Google Maps

In Bay of Island's Walls Bay, an esplanade reserve runs between Doug's Opua Boatyard and the water.

1999:The district council granted Schmuck various easements to use the reserve for boatyard activity. The easements were made under the Reserves Act, requiring consent from the Minister of Conservation.

2000: Department of Conservation's Northland conservator, who had delegated authority from the minister, agreed to the boatyard using the reserve for access but not for the repair of boats. Schmuck did not accept the outcome and the easements were not formalised.

2002: Schmuck applied for resource consent for boatyard activities on the reserve, including repairing and washing down boats. The Environment Court ordered Northland Regional Council and the district council to grant the consents.

2004: Schmuck again applied for easements. Far North District Council agreed to grant some easements but not for repairing and washing down boats.

2005: Schmuck again applied for easements. These were granted by the district council's independent commissioner in 2006.

2007: Department of Conservation's Northland conservator again refused to give consent for all the easements. The consent process was put on hold while Schmuck, unsuccessfully, tried a legislative change.

2013: The District Council asked the Department of Conservation to make a decision on the easements. The conservator again decided the district council could grant easements allowing access but not the washing-down and repairing of boats.

Later in 2013: The Conservation Minister changed the laws, giving councils authority under the Reserves Act.

2014: After the Environment Court declared the resource consents granted in 2002 remained valid, the district council granted permission to Schmuck to use the reserve land as allowed in the resource consents.

2015: Schmuck applied for a legal review of the conservator's decision and itwas quashed in the High Court. The district council again granted consent for the easements, this time on behalf of the minister.

2017: Opua Coastal Preservation Incorporated, formed in late 2014, asked for a judicial review of the district council's 2015 consent, saying the easements for business activities were not authorised. This argument failed in the High Court but was upheld in the Court of Appeal in 2018.

2019: Supreme Court disagrees with Court of Appeal, reinstating the 2015 consent by the district council to allow the easements as a delegate ofthe minister.

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Supreme Court allows boatyard to use reserve in Opua, Bay of Islands - Stuff.co.nz

Drowned Emirati father and son pulled from Abu Dhabi sea – The National

Bodies spotted by helicopters in Al Shalila area

Police have retrieved the bodies of an Emirati father and son believed to have drowned in Al Shalila sea on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi.

The bodies were spotted by an aerial team from the National Centre for Search and Rescue and the coastguard was able to recover their remains, police said on Sunday.

Police did not reveal how or when the father, 38, and his son, seven, drowned.

Al Shalila a small town 55 kilometres off Abu Dhabi city near Al Shahama and Al Bahia is on the coast and is home to beach houses, a childrens park and a number of beaches that overlook private islands.

Police warned against leaving children to swim unattended and urged the public to abide by safety regulations to avoid such incidents.

Updated: October 28, 2019 01:44 PM

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Drowned Emirati father and son pulled from Abu Dhabi sea - The National

Evrima: what you need to know about Ritz-Carlton’s first 190m Superyacht Cruise – Yacht Harbour

Swedish design company Tillberg Design that is working in collaboration with Ritz-Carltons in-house team on their first superyacht, has released new renderings of her interior. The first vessel of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will carry the name Evrima, which originates from the Greek islands and means Discovery.

Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection says they believe the name will inspire travellers to immerse themselves in exceptional experiences, explore new destinations and foster the spirit of adventure.

In its inaugural season, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will offer 40 different voyages, most ranging from 7 to 10 nights. Number of experiences will be available, such as visiting a renowned winery in Bordeaux, France, learning how baby oysters are grown in a private farm in Sete, France or even meeting with a spiritual shaman in the Grenadines.

The shore excursions will be grouped into five categories: Iconic Sights (art and culture); Stirring the Senses (wellness); Cultural Connections (wild life); Active Explorations; and Epicurean Experiences. The trips illustrate our commitment to providing rare opportunities to todays luxury traveler, said Lisa Holladay, global brand leader for The Ritz-Carlton, in a statement.

The uniquely designed yachts will measure 190 metres, with 149 suites accommodating up to 298 passengers. Each stateroom has its own private terrace. The yachts will also feature two 158-square-metre penthouses, each with its own private whirlpool. Prices have not yet been released.

The 190-metre vessel will be ready for delivery in June 2020. The first cruise with Evrima will embark several destinations from Barcelona to Palma De Mallorca with a number of stops in the Balearic Islands. Ritz-Carlton has started reservations from its loyalty members and those of its parent company Marriott International.

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Evrima: what you need to know about Ritz-Carlton's first 190m Superyacht Cruise - Yacht Harbour

Would You Buy One of These 5 BC Private Islands For $2.3 Million? – 604 Now

Vancouver, BC is pretty well known for its un-affordable housing.I guess that doesnt include private islands?

Currently, theres not one, or two, or three private islands for sale, theresfive, all under $2.3 million.

Take a look.

Location:Gulf Islands, British Columbia

Price:$2,225,000

Approximate Size: 100 acres

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

This little island is about a 20-minute floatplane ride away from Vancouver International Airport and about 3 miles away from Vancouver Island. At its highest peak, the island reaches an elevation as high as 109 feet.

Location:Gulf Islands, British Columbia

Price:$1,499,000

Approximate Size:8 acres

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Lily Island, located in Silva Bay near Gabriola Island, is much smaller than West Ballenas Island, but it has a lot of beautiful landscapes. The island is mostly undeveloped, which means that its a great place to build a dream home.

Location:Gulf Islands, British Columbia

Price:$1,100,000

Approximate Location:7 acres

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Located just off of Lasqueti Island, Jelina Island is a nature lovers dream. (Most private islands in BC are, if were being honest.) This islands varied topography provides multiple unique lots to built a residence, including ones that allows for whale-spotting!

Location:Gulf Islands

Price:$1,995,000

Approximate Size:9.67 acres

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

On the market for the first time in 50 years, Halibut Island is conveniently located near Victorias Port Sidney Marina and comes with a beautiful soft-gravel beach, as well as multiple naturally-carved sandstone benches.

Location:Discovery Islands, British Columbia

Price:$1,695,000

Approximate Size:50 acres

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

Photo: Colliers Unique Properties

At 50 acres, South Octopus Island offers a tremendous amount of space, as well as privacy. The island comes with a pre-existing dock and cabin thats become a destination for tourists. Its located on the northeast side of Quadra Island and is a short boat-ride away from Herriott Bay, which has access to a BC Ferries terminal.

Well, which would of these would you choose? Or would you rather go even bigger, like the 340-acre Fawn Bluff Cove?

Nonetheless, these islands seem like a better buy than the most expensive condo in downtown Vancouver, and maybe even some new townhouses.

Let us know what you think!

All photos via Colliers Unique Properties.

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Would You Buy One of These 5 BC Private Islands For $2.3 Million? - 604 Now


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