Sunday, 31 May 2015

Green light for cruise casinos


CRUISE liners in Malta and Gozo harbours have been given permission to open their on-board casinos between 6pm. and 6am, in return for a license fee paid to the government.

Said Stephen Xuereb, chief executive officer of Valletta Cruise Port: ‘These regulations make Malta a more attractive proposition for cruise liners, particularly those which call at Malta for an overnight stay. This is undoubtedly an incentive to encourage cruise liners to include both Malta and Gozo in their Mediterranean itinerary.’

The all-night casinos will be open only to cruise passengers.


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Picture Credit: Queen Elizabeth, Cruise Terminal, Liverpool by El Pollock. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Take Afternoon Tea at the Treasure Houses of England

ENJOY the English tradition of Afternoon Tea in the finest houses, castles, and palaces in England.

Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire: The quintessential English tradition of Afternoon Tea is said to have been started around 1840 by Duchess Anna Maria, wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford, who entertained her friends in the Blue Drawing Room at Woburn Abbey. 

Visitors today can experience Afternoon Tea at Woburn at the Duchess' Tea Room or at the estate's hotel in the village.

Burghley House, Lincolnshire: Have tea in Capability Brown's Orangery restaurant overlooking the topiary in the South Gardens. 

Beaulieu, Hampshire: Try Afternoon Tea with a wide selection of cakes and pastries all baked in-house in the Brabazon coffee shop and restaurant. Some of the produce comes from Lord Montagu's Victorian Kitchen garden.

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire: Take tea to dizzy heights with Hatfield's Helicopter Discovery Tour, an eight-mile helicopter flight over the estate followed by a cream tea at the house.

Castle Howard, North Yorkshire: From traditional sponge cake and scones with jam and cream to golden flapjack and caramel shortbread, try afternoon treat at one of Castle Howard's cafés.

Leeds Castle, Kent: Cream teas are served the 17th century oak-beamed Fairfax Restaurant or on the terrace overlooking the castle.

www.treasurehouses.co.uk


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Picture Credit: Richard Edward Miller - Afternoon Tea by Richard Edward Miller - http://www.pinterest.com/jloonvan/richard-edward-miller/. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, Afternoon tea at Windsor Armsby ~Bani~ - Afternoon tea at Windsor Arms. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Paris? Who needs it?










A NEW direct train from London to Marseille means it's no longer necessary to change trains in Paris. Passengers can buy tickets in a single transaction exclusively at the train-booking website loco2.com

The new route on Eurostar will connect London St Pancras to Marseille in six hours, 27 minutes, beating the best journey time by more than 30 minutes. The 776-mile journey is the furthest a regular scheduled train has ever travelled direct from London.

The Eurostar service from London to Marseille operates three times a week in May and June (Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays), increasing to five times a week in July (daily except Tuesday and Wednesday)

The train departs London at 07.19 and arrives in Marseille at 2.46pm. On the return journey, it departs Marseille at 3.22pm and arrives in London at 10.12pm. Fares start from £49.50 one way.

www.loco2.com


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Picture Credit: Pont des Arts, Paris by Benh LIEU SONG - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Homeland holidays set to boom


A SURVEY of 2,000 UK adults for VoucherCodes.co.uk has found that 83 percent of respondents planned a holiday at home this summer, a rise of 17 percent on 2014, with Cornwall, London, the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales leading the list of favoured destinations

The lure of British shores, country pubs, and cosmopolitan cities means the UK is now the number one holiday destination for Brits, beating the nearest contender, Europe, by 16 percent.

Despite spending less than they would abroad, British holidaymakers are set to spend more than £56 billion on summer breaks, with an average of £1,352 on accommodation, travel, visiting attractions, food, and holiday extras.

Other favourites in the top ten destinations list were Bournemouth, the Isle of Wight, Edinburgh, the New Forest, Brighton, and Cardiff rounded up

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Picture Credit: A591 road, Lake District - June 2009 Edit 1 by Diliff - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Up in the air …

LinksAir has started Cardiff-Norwich flights. www.linksair.co.uk

Thomson Airways passengers flying long-haul Premium Club on the Thomson Dreamliner from Stansted in summer 2016 will have access to a lounge at the airport, fast track security, and priority boarding. Flights will run to Cancun in Mexico and Orlando. www,flights.thomson.co.uk

Flybe has launched its summer 2015 schedule with almost 300 flights a week from Southampton. www.flybe.com

Canadian carrier WestJet is to startfrom May 30 – a non-stop daily summer transatlantic service from Glasgow to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The aircraft continues onto Toronto following a brief stopover to clear customs. The flight time between Glasgow and Halifax is 6 hours, 15 minutes and fares start at £198. The route is the airline’s second transatlantic service following the introduction of flights from Dublin to St John’s, Newfoundland, last year. www.westjet.com

Thomson and First Choice are to increase capacity at Leeds Bradford Airport through the introduction of additional seats and new routes to Paphos, Cyprus and Menorca. www.Thomson.co.uk

Qatar Airways has been named the World’s Most Dependable Airline in a study of all major carriers published by CBS MoneyWatch and conducted by travel site, WanderBat. The airline topped the list of 22 international airlines based on on-time percentages, baggage costs, and average age of airline fleet. The study also highlighted the airline’s five-star service and amenities, including Giorgio Armani kits with fragrances, earplugs, eye masks, socks, and lotions for business and first class passengers. www.QatarAirways.com

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Orlando sets new record for tourism

VISIT ORLANDO reports that more than 62 million people visited the city in 2014, an all-time record for the US travel industry.

A record 32 million room nights were sold in Orlando in 2014, resulting in bed tax collections topping $200 million ($136.3 million) for the first time in Orange County, home to the Central Florida tourism district.


In 2014, Walt Disney World Resort completed New Fantasyland and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Diagon Alley at the Universal Orlando resort opened.

Other new venues include the Dr Phillips Center for Performing Arts.


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Picture Credit: Disney Orlando castle at night by Veryhuman - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

YHA enters the glamping market


THE YOUTH HOSTELS ASSOCIATION (YHA) in England and Wales has invested £1 million in camping, glamping, and cabin facilities at 63 of its hostels.
As well as hostels and camping pods, the YHA’s alternative accommodation includes glamping, for people who like camping but don't like roughing it. Solar-powered luxury bell tents are available at six YHAs in the south-west of England. The tents come with a double bed and three singles. Rates start at £70 a night.

Caroline White, chief executive of YHA (England and Wales), said: ‘We have so many properties with great outdoor space, acres in some instances, that it made sense to utilize it to entice more people to stay with and experience YHA. 

‘We acknowledge that not everyone wants a home-from-home experience when on holiday, but guests who choose to camp or glamp with YHA have access to our great self-catering facilities, bars, cafes, restaurants, and indoor communal areas should the weather be awful.’

www.yha.org.uk/places-to-stay/camping-and-cabins


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Picture Credit: Courtesy of YHA

Ryanair posts 66% profit rise

RYANAIR has seen profits rise 66 percent for the year to the end of March, reporting net full-year profits of €867 million (£613 million).

The company’s Always Getting Better programme had attracted ‘millions of new customers to Ryanair’ chief executive Michael O’Leary said. Also, falling oil prices reduced operating costs.

Passenger traffic was up 11 percent to 90.6 million for the year.


*The carrier has announced plans to increase flights on its Edinburgh to London service from four to five times daily, as part of its expanded winter 2015 schedule, which also includes two new routes to Frankfurt Hahn and Santander, and extra flights on five routes: Alicante, Krakow, London Stansted, Malaga, and Tenerife.


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Picture Credit: Ryanair pescara 04by Ra Boe - selbst fotografiert DigiCam C2100UZ. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 29 May 2015

Travel facts …

FIGURES published by Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority reveal that on-time performance for all scheduled flights operating from the UK's ten main airports in 2014 dipped to 79%, one percentage point down from 2013 figures. The overall on- time percentage of charter flights dipped four percentage points to a low of 73% with an average delay of 18 minutes, up from 17 minutes in 2013.

Research by refund.me, a global passenger rights service provider, confirms that passengers are increasingly experiencing disrupted travel from flight delays, cancellations and re-routings, with peak holiday season travellers experiencing the worst in airline punctuality.

With our skies becoming increasingly crowded, many UK passengers travelling in the summer peak travel season of mid-June through to August are likely to experience sub-standard on time performance," said Eve Buchner, refund.me founder and CEO.

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East Germany in tourism push




EAST GERMAN destinations are trying to raise awareness in a drive to attract domestic and international tourists.
Many of Eastern Germany’s attractions were lost during WW2 and in the subsequent decades of Soviet rule. Despite 25 years of re-unification, few tourists visit the region, and when they do, they tend to go to sites associated with the 1939-45 war.

Tourism bodies want to promote cities such as Weimar and Dresden – the latter was destroyed by British and US bombing, but the historic centre of the city has since been re-constructed – along with contemporary art and music events.


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Picture Credit: Dresden-nightpanorama-dri by User:Kolossos - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Devon delights in June

JUNE in Devon means Devon Restaurant Month, when locals and visitors will be able to celebrate the county’s producers, chefs, and nosheries through a selection of one-off specials, seasonal lunches and dinners, tasting menus, and afternoon treats

Venues who have already confirmed involvement in this year's Devon Restaurant Month include The Royal Castle in Dartmouth, Hannah's at Seale-Hayne in Newton Abbot, Buckland Tout Saints Hotel, near Kingsbridge and Home Farm Café in Parke, Bovey Tracey. Now in its fourth year, Devon Restaurant Month aims to put the county more firmly on the map for food tourism in the South-West and beyond.


For a second year The Royal Castle, Dartmouth and The Royal Seven Stars, Totnes will be running 'Devonians Stay for Free!' During June (Monday – Thursday) guests who are lucky enough to live in Devon will be able to enjoy a special 'Devon Taster Menu' for just £45 per person and stay in the hotel for one night absolutely free.

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Picture Credit: Clovelly (Devon, UK) -- 2013 by © Dietmar Rabich, rabich.de - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Breaking News: Spanish air traffic controllers set dates for strike action

SPANISH air traffic controllers are to take strike action in June.

They plan to strike on June 8, 10, 12, and 14 for two hours each morning and two hours each afternoon.

The dispute is about fines and suspensions given by airport operator AENA to 61 controllers for a walk-out that happened in 2010, when 600,000 travellers were stranded in Spain and the army was called in to take over control towers.


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Record April for Bristol airport

A RECORD of more than 500,000 passengers used Bristol airport in April, a year-on-year increase of 7.1%. The performance ensured a 13th consecutive month of growth at the south-west airport.

BMI Regional saw traffic grow following the launch of new services to Paris and Düsseldorf. Brussels Airlines, easyJet, Ryanair, and Thomas Cook Airlines also recorded strong growth from Bristol.

Further growth is forecast for May and June, with charter airlines commencing their summer programmes.

New destinations include Bilbao, the lsle of Man, Porto, Gibraltar and Catania in Sicily by easyJet and Cape Verde, Paphos and Hurghada with Thomson Airways. Wizz Air makes its Bristol debut in June with twice-weekly flights to Katowice in Poland.

An eastern terminal extension is due to open in July to help cater for the increased services.


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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Wizz Air to open new UK routes to Lublin


DONCASTER-SHEFFIELD and Glasgow airports will get flights to Lublin as Wizz Air establishes a base at the regional airport in eastern Poland.

Up to three flights a week on the new routes will be offered from September 14, while frequency on an existing service from Luton will be increased from five to seven flights a week.


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Picture Credit: Lublin1by Lukaszprzy (lukaszprzy@msn.com) - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Fests in the Med … Coming up in Malta & Gozo


Malta’s International Arts Festival (July 10 to August 3) features local and international artists and performers, workshops, and masterclasses in Valletta.

This year’s highlights include classical pianist and Debussy specialist Noriko Ogawa from Japan, and from the Czech Republic, the Talich Quartet – one of the world’s finest string quartets. 
www.maltaartsfestival.org


On Gozo, the Victoria International Arts Festival (June 10-July 13) offers 33 concerts by musicians from nearby Sicily to far-flung South Korea and Australia.

A special feature is the inclusion of a five-day mini-festival of Baroque music within the larger programme. 
www.viaf.org.mt



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Picture Credit: Valetta by NoFear0710 - Steven Cogburn. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, Orquesta de camara Sibeliusby Jlpeli - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Ulster mansion re-opens

MOUNT STEWART HOUSE – a National Trust neo-classical 18th century mansion in County Down, Northern Ireland – has re-opened after a three-year, £7 million restoration project.

Visitors will be able to see new rooms, nationally and internationally significant family portraits, silver collections, and other family treasures. 


The gardens are another must see feature of this beautifully restored mansion and have many interesting, curious and humerous aspects to be found within them.




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Picture Credit: Mount Stewart - geograph.org.uk - 70209 by Dr Charles Nelson. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons,The Ark with dodos - geograph.org.uk - 70463 by Dr Charles Nelson. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Jordan bins tourist visa fee

THE abolition of Jordan’s 40 dinar (£37) visa fee is one of a number of changes to be introduced over the next few months as part of the government's aim to make travelling to Jordan ‘more convenient and affordable for people of all nationalities’.

Tourists who use a tour operator to arrange their travel to the kingdom will be exempt from the visa fee, provided they spend a minimum of two consecutive nights in the country. They will still have to obtain a visa on arrival at the airport, but there will be no fee.

The situation is slightly more complicated for independent travellers. To avoid the visa fee, those making their own arrangements will be required to stay for three consecutive nights and purchase a “unified tourist site ticket”, the details of which are yet to be finalized.

Jordan’s tourism industry has suffered as a result of conflict in neighbouring Iraq and Syria, although the British Foreign Office deems the vast majority of the country suitable for travellers, advising only against visiting areas close to the Syrian border.

Amidst the tangle of conflict elsewhere in the region, foreigners have shunned Jordan’s holy sites and nature reserves, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site at Petra, where visitor numbers have halved since 2010.


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Picture Credit: Petra Treasury by David Bjorgen - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Barcelona clamps down on tour group numbers

TOUR groups larger than 15 have been banned from Barcelona’s historic La Boqueria market in La Rambla on Friday and Saturday mornings, following complaints about overcrowding from stallholders, local shoppers, and residents.



In other moves – prompted by local protests – 
to curb the negative impact of tourism, the 
number of visitors allowed into Gaudi’s Park 
Güell has been restricted to 800 a day.

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Picture Credit: Mercat St. Josep by Serge Melki from Indianapolis, USA - Mercat St. JosepUploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Park Güell Barcelona by Oh-Barcelona.com - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Heading to Australia? . . .

Fancy a bite with a great white? - Adventure Bay Charters on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula has launched an aqua submarine for observing sharks in their natural environment without getting wet. The trip costs from AU$395 (£206) per adult and AU$285 (£150) per child (3-15 years), plus AU$100 (£52) to step into the cage or AquaSubmarine. 

Take tea with the dolphins - TEMPTATION SAILING in South Australia is offering an afternoon tea experience with a difference. Sail from Glenelg’s Marina Pieron board a 58-foot catamaran. The cruise offers dolphin-spotting opportunities with an afternoon tea platter. Prices start from AU$50 (£27.85) per person.  dolphinboat.com.au
Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, Australia, has again taken out the top gong for the South Pacific's Best Beach in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards. In the Great Barrier Reef, the turquoise waters and silica sand of Whitehaven Beach stretch over four miles along Whitsunday Island off the Queensland coast.

Where to see the whale sharks - Whale shark swim tours will begin from Coral Bay and Exmouth from mid-March until August, allowing visitors the opportunity to have a face-to-fin encounter with whale sharks – which can grow up to 59ft in length.

AUSTRALIA’S Great Beach Drive - has been launched to provide 125 miles of motoring along Queensland’s Sunshine and Fraser coasts. The drive starts in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast.


Bushwalking - NEW SOUTH WALES is Australia's most popular bushwalking region, with more than 5.5 million visitors trekking on the state's bushwalk trails, according to Destination NSW. 

Tuck into some croc - AYERS ROCK RESORT has devised a Bush Tucker Trail highlighting indigenous Australian flavoursayersrockresort.com.au



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Picture Credit: Great white aqurium by Brocken Inaglory - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Dolphins Swimming Near Catalina Island, CA by Jameyson MacDonald - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Whitsunday Island - Whitehaven Beach by Damien Dempsey from Melbourne, Australia - Whitehaven Beach. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Requin baleine ningaloo reef by Chewb62 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Bushwalking in the rain at Kosciuszko National Park by Michael Jordan - IMG_0030. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Fly high over Key West


VISITORS to Key West, Florida, can get a birds-eye-view of the island’s marine life, turquoise waters, and sunsets with Air Adventures Helicopter Tours.

Try one of the five airborne experiences offered, The Discovery Ride, Island Tour, Key West Eco Tour, The Ultimate Island Experience or the ultimate . . . The Sunset Celebration.

Groups of up to three people can choose from the five helicopter rides that highlight different aspects of Key West. The longest trip is the 30-minute sunset excursion.


Tours start at $69 per person.
www.fly-keywest.com 


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Picture Credit: "Early morning Smathers Beach Key West by Juliancolton - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, www.fly-keywest.com


Virgin Trains East Coast targets airlines' market share

VIRGIN TRAINS EAST COAST is aiming to capture market share from domestic airlines through a series of initiatives.

A more flexible reservation system is to be introduced allowing bookings to be made closer to departure to better suit travellers who make last-minute travel arrangements.


Customers booking online or via the company’s app will be able to collect two Nectar points for every pound spent, while passengers can also earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles.

The plans come as the rail operator approaches the 100th day of business since taking over the inter-city East coast franchise in March.

The company is promising faster journey times between London King’s Cross and Leeds of two hours and Edinburgh in four hours, with improved catering designed by local chefs with menus changed regularly.

Longer-term plans include the introduction of 65 new ‘Super Express’ trains from 2018.

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Picture Credit: Virgin Trains East Coast Super Express Train by Virgin Trains East Coast - http://www.virgintrainseastcoast.com/media-centre/#/images/image-of-iep-new-train-in-virgin-trains-east-coast-livery-395152. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Wizz Air introduces allocated seating

WIZZ AIR is to introduce allocated seating across all of its routes from May 2015. It will allocate neighbouring seats to passengers travelling together on the same booking where possible.

Passengers will be able to change their free seat allocation and choose a different seat for a fee, starting from €1 (£0.73) at any time up until three hours prior to departure. Preferred seats, such as front row seats for quick disembarking or seats with extra legroom, can be reserved for a higher fee upon availability on a first come first served basis.

Passengers with WIZZ Premium and WIZZ Privilege Pass memberships will be able to select any seat for free and also continue to enjoy Priority Boarding to avoid queues.

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They went, they saw, they spent

ITALY’S Liguria region welcomed more than 71 million tourists in 2014, and according to the region’s chambers of commerce, they spent a total €4.9 billion (£3.56 billion)

Sun and beaches attract many holidaymakers to Liguria, in north-west Italy, which once again is the Italian region with the highest number of Blue Flags awarded for eco-compatibility, good service, and sea water quality.

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Picture Credit: SestrilevanteLicensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

They’re off to the Azores

AT NOON on June 6, more than 70 yachts will sail out of Falmouth Harbour for the start of the Red Ensign AZAB 2015, the largest ocean-going race leaving Britain this year.

The 2,500-mile race, established by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club in 1975, takes competitors to the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, and back to Falmouth.

Taking part will be Lucy Campbell from Helston. At 16, she will be the youngest female competitor in the history of the race

Lucy will be racing with the help of her father in their boat, Zulu Warrior.



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Picture Credit: Racing yachts photo D Ramey Logan by WPPilot - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 


Jet2 offers twilight check-in at Manchester Airport

JET2.COM and Jet2holidays passengers flying from Manchester Airport now have the option to check their luggage in the afternoon or early evening before their flight.

The twilight check-in service is available from 3pm-8pm each day at Jet2.com and Jet2 holidays’ check in area in Terminal One.

The company hopes to roll the service out to other airports in Britain.


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Monday, 25 May 2015

More flights from New York to Havana

CUBA TRAVEL SERVICES, an authorized carrier service with offices in California, New York, and Florida, will soon be offering a second direct flight from New York JFK airport to Havana, Cuba.

Cuba Travel Services currently arranges flights operated by American Airlines and Sun Country Airlines to popular destinations including Havana, Cienfuegos, Camaguey, Santa Clara, Holguin, and Santiago de Cuba. Adding a second rotation on Fridays with JetBlue to its existing Tuesday flight with Sun Country will provide more flexibility for passengers.

Said Michael Zuccato, general manager at Cuba Travel Services: ‘A second JFK rotation will provide additional options for travellers in the Tri-State area as well as those connecting passengers who prefer a New York gateway to Cuba.

Cuba Travel Services' charter flight will use JetBlue's Airbus A320 aircraft for the three-hour, 20 minute flight.

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Picture Credit: Hotel nacional habana Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons 

All aboard for the Balmoral

FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES will base its 1,350-passenger flagship, Balmoral, in Newcastle, England, for the first time this summer.

Mike Rodwell, managing director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, says: ‘It means we are almost doubling our capacity and offering our loyal guests in the North-East an even greater number of cruise departures than ever before, with a choice of 11 in total


Bookings for 2016 have shown that, so far, our 14-night Wonders of Spitsbergen and 11-night Icelandic Wildlife, Falls & Hot Springs cruises are bestsellers.

‘The Port of Tyne is ideally placed for our ever-popular Scandinavian and Baltic itineraries. We can save up to three days’ cruising time sailing from Newcastle to Norway than from southern ports.’  Andrew Moffat, chief executive officer, Port of Tyne, said: ‘The port has 27 cruise calls planned during the year. 2015/2016 promises to be a record year for cruise calls.’
The Port of Tyne’s International Passenger Terminal (in North Shields, eight miles from Newcastle city centre) welcomes approximately 620,000 passengers each year. Passenger shipping generates some 60 million for the North-East economy annually, supporting more than 2,000 tourism-related jobs.

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Picture Credit: www.fredolsen cruiselines

Zip along in Wales


NEW in North Wales is Zip World, which claims to have the planet’s largest fully- underground zip line course and its biggest subterranean adventure playground.

In Blaenau Ffestiniog, Snowdonia, Zip World has a slate cavern – big enough to house 75 double-decker buses – in which visitors can take a journey through historic mine chambers.

Zip World Caverns takes daring adventurers on a number of thrilling zip lines interspersed with rope bridges, balance beams, tunnels, and stretches of via ferrata – an Italian term literally translated as 'iron road' designed to assist soldiers crossing mountain passes.

Zip World Titan (left) gives visitors the chance to fly over five miles of wire in teams of four, reaching up to 70mph through some of Britain’s most dramatic scenery.

Check Zip World’s website – www.zipworld.co.uk – for weight, height, and age limits.




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Picture Credit: www.zipworld.co.uk

Warning over sharing holiday details on social media

INSURANCE against burglary could be jeopardized if holidaymakers share details of their trips on social media. The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has warned that comments on Twitter and Facebook, locations check-ins on Foursquare and selfies uploaded onto Instagram could be used by burglars to target empty properties.

Many consumers are unaware that insurers are likely to check social media accounts if they are the victims of crime – a practice that is already common for investigating medical claims, The Times reports.

Most insurance policies include clauses that specify that “reasonable care” must be taken to protect property.

The FOS said: ‘People will cancel newspaper deliveries to make their absence less obvious, but then post pictures of their trips – and even dates – online for everyone to see.’

Travellers should be particularly wary of posting comments that detail their itinerary, such as saying they are enjoying the first day of a two-week holiday.


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Sunday, 24 May 2015

To tip, or not to tip? And how much?


GOBANKINGRATES has published a guidefor US travellers – to tipping in 25 of the most popular vacation destinations, from Australia to the United Kingdom.


The #tipping guide lists the services for which tips are expected, the percentage tip that's appropriate, and offers advice on how to deal with awkward tipping situations in each country. For example, in Austrian restaurants, a service charge is included in the bill, but customers are expected to round up (with a simple danke sufficing to mean keep the change). In many parts of China, it's illegal to tip taxi drivers; in fact, no one tips for most services, except tour guides.

‘It's not until you leave the US that you realize how strange American tipping etiquette is,’ said Casey Bond, GOBankingRates' editor in chief. ‘In fact, in many countries across Europe and Asia, a service charge are either already factored into the price or automatically included in the bill. On the other hand, in some countries in Asia, it's customary not to tip at all. It's important to read up on how much to tip in the country you're visiting, or risk overspending, offending someone or embarrassing yourself."

Highlights from the tipping etiquette guide:

Brazil: Restaurants often write a 10% service charge on the bill, but don't require that you pay it.


France: According to French law, all bills in restaurants carry a 15% service charge — not paid to the waiter, but the proprietor, who factors it into staff wages. As such, tipping in France is less of a custom.


Greece: Some restaurants don't allow staff to keep their tips — it's best to ask beforehand.

Iceland: Service fees will be already included in almost everything you buy, so tipping isn't expected.

India: Tourists are expected to tip almost all service workers except taxi drivers.

Ireland: There's not a huge tipping culture, but a good rule of thumb is 10%.

Italy: Tipping is fairly transparent, as service charges are often displayed on menus - and you may be charged for the tablecloth or silverware, too.

Japan: Tipping isn't mandatory, and in many cases tips will be returned.

Spain: It’s more a matter of manners than necessity: It's considered polite to leave at least something, whether it's small change or rounding to the nearest euro.

www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/much-tip-traveling-25-countries

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Fun fortnight in Adelaide


THIS year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival runs from June 5 to June 20, and in charge as artistic director will be Australia’s comic genius, Barry Humphries … better known to some as Dame Edna Everage and the Australian beer-swilling, foul-mouthed cultural attaché, Sir Les Patterson.

Humphries promises ‘beauty, wit and astonishment’ in a programme of music, story-telling, and comedy featuring more than 350 artists in 152 performances over 14 days and nights.

www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/adelaide-cabaret-festival


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Picture Credit: Dame Edna by Eva Rinaldi from Sydney Australia - Dame EdnaUploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons, Adelaide Festival Centre Triangles by Michael Zimmer from Brisbane, Australia Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Your pass to Dallas

DALLAS, Texas, will soon join New York City, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, and more than half a dozen other tourist destinations as an official CityPASS city


The pass is a pre-paid programme that cuts ticket prices at attractions.

Each Dallas CityPASS booklet will save visitors 41 percent off combined admission to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Reunion Tower GeO-Deck, a choice between the Dallas Zoo and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, and a choice between the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. 


The pass also saves time, allowing holders to skip most main-entrance ticket lines.

The Dallas CityPASS will retail for $44 (£29.50) for adults, $30 (£20.12) for children aged 3-12.





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Picture Credit: Perot Museum Alamosaurus by Rodney - Flickr: Perot Museum. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons ,Dallas World Aquarium Entranceby Jay R Simonson Jsimo1 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Red Funnel Ferries reports Q1 traffic growth

ISLE OF WIGHT ferry operator Red Funnel has reported strong growth in the first quarter of 2015, with 7.1% more cars, 38.3% more coaches, and 5.4% more passengers using the service, compared to the same period last year.

The past 12 months have been significant for Red Funnel, with the company investing more than £4.4 million in the refurbishment of passenger accommodation on its Red Falcon and Red Osprey vessels.

Kevin George, CEO of Red Funnel, said: ‘We continue to be encouraged by the growth in visitors to the Isle of Wight, and we are confident that this trend is set to continue.’


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Picture Credit: Red Funnel Ferry by grassrootsgroundswell - Red Funnel Ferry. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, 23 May 2015

BA plans record winter flights to Ibiza

British Airways(BA) is planning to offer a record 26,000 seats from London City Airport to Ibiza next winter

The one-way hand baggage only winter fares from London City to Ibiza start from £71, and are available to book on ba.com/londoncity

British Airways is the only airline to operate from London City to Ibiza during the winter.

Luke Hayhoe, BA’s general manager at London City, said: ‘Ibiza has long been a popular summer destination, but the island is now attracting thousands of visitors looking for some winter sun and alternative places to visit. It’s a great short break destination.’

Carmen Sanchez, director of the Ibiza Tourist Board said: ‘We are delighted that BA s is increasing flights to Ibiza for winter 2015/2016. The capacity increase is testament to the appeal of the island throughout the winter when the balmy climate, scenery, UNESCO culture, and relaxed atmosphere make Ibiza an ideal break from the UK winter.’

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Picture Credit: G-CIVK B747-436 British Aws(OneWorld c-s) YVR 18JUL13 by Ken Fielding/http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfielding. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons