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Swim with Whale Sharks — Maldives  Whale Sharks are the biggest fish in the sea — they can be the size of a school bus and can weigh up to 47,000 pounds. Yet they feed on some of the ocean’s tiniest creatures — mostly plankton and small fish.  One of the best places to see them is Maldives, because whale sharks live there year round. Biosphere Expeditions has a diving program where you stay on a liveaboard research ship and help marine biologists study and protect the coral reefs and the resident whale shark population. You don’t need to be a scientist, but you do need to be a qualified diver to participate. And you can’t be afraid of whale sharks. There’s no doubt that diving in Maldives is spectacular. You’ll see lionfish, moray eels, devil rays and manta rays. Overall, it’s a super cool experience.  For more information, visit www.biosphere-expeditions. org. Gladiator Training — Rome This one’s for the guys: If you want to impress your lady, here’s your chance to look like Russell Crowe. The Rome Cavalieri, a Waldorf Astoria hotel in the heart of Rome, has a program where guests can experience what it’s like to be a gladiator. You dress in a traditional tunic, Roman sandals, belt, protective gloves and even a wooden training sword as an instructor shows you ancient combat techniques and tells you the history of gladiators. And at the end, you receive a medal that shows you are now a gladiator. Afterwards, if you have any energy left, you can check out the spa or the extensive art collection that outshines many museums. For reservations or for more information, contact the concierge at ROMHI.Concierge@waldorfastoria.com Snowy Hideaways: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Jasper, Alberta This secluded 1922 lakeside lodge is perfect for the outdoorsy couple who enjoys cross-country skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or canyon ice-walk tours. Set in the Canadian Rockies’ largest national park beside Lake Beauvert, the 903-acre lodge has 446 rooms. The historic, upscale cabins are worth the splurge; you might even consider booking a replica of the sixbedroom Outlook, which once housed Queen Elizabeth. Make time for a couples massage at the Fairmont Reflections Spa and high tea, a daily tradition where a selection of teas are available along with tiered trays of sandwiches and fancy desserts.  Without a doubt, it is the quintessential mountain getaway. They don’t call it the “jewel of the park” for nothing.  www.fairmont.com/jasper McKinley Chalet Resort Denali National Park, Alaska The McKinley Chalet Resort, with its 345 luxury rooms and suites, sits in the northeast corner of Denali Park. It has all the basics you’ll need, including two full-service restaurants, courtesy shuttles and a friendly staff. But the real reason couples come here is to enjoy the great outdoors, specifically Mount McKinley, the highest mountain peak in North America. Hop aboard one of the shuttles to get to the Denali Park visitor center where you can visit dozens of sled dogs, learn about the area and sign up for the Tundra Wilderness Tour, a six-hour bus trek through Denali, where you are bound to see hordes of animals including porcupine, moose, caribou, grizzles and Dall sheep. www.denaliparkresorts.com may/june 2013 65


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