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In the News this Week...
brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
Seychelles comeback for BAabout 3 hours ago
British Airways will fly to the Seychelles next year for the first time since 2004. Starting on 24 March the airline will operate two round trips a week by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft between Heathrow and the capital, Mahe. Flights will depart from London on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 5.50pm, arriving at 7am next morning, Return services will leave at 9am, reaching Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at 4.20pm. Sean Doyle, the airline’s director of network and alliances, notes that the direct link will shave three hours off the 13 hours it takes to fly to the Indian Ocean islands via the Middle East.
Latest spectacular hotel to open in Macau3 days ago
Macao’s image as the home of Las Vegas style hotels is set to get another boost with the opening of a property offering what’s described as ‘the ultimate entertainment experience’. MGM Cotai will have Asia’s first dynamic theatre, comprising 23 LED walls. Scheduled to open by the end of the year, it will have no fewer than 1400 rooms and suites and a spa. And it promises a range of restaurants including one headed by two Michelin star winning French-Argentinian chef Mauro Colagreco and another with one of the biggest chocolate fountains in the world.
Art in the GDR – new exhibition to open4 days ago
How did East Germany’s state approved artists cope during the paranoid period of the communist GDR? That’s the question a fascinating exhibition at Potsdam’s recently opened Museum Barberini will attempt to answer. Behind the Mask: Artists in the GDR, which will run from 28 October until 4 February, will explore the ways they ‘walked the fine line between their position as role models and their withdrawal from society, and between the collectivism prescribed by the state and their own creative individuality’.
BA to run German Christmas market flights5 days ago
Planning a Christmas shopping break? A reminder that British Airways is to operate flights between Gatwick and Nuremberg between 30 November and 7 January. The city is home to one of Germany’s oldest Christmas markets. Open each year from 1-24 December in the main square, it dates from the mid 16th century.
Sri Lanka gets remote wilderness camp6 days ago
A new luxury camp reached by seaplane is scheduled to open next month on a deserted beach in south east Sri Lanka. The Wild Coast Tented Lodge, on the edge of Yala National Park with its leopard population, will comprise 28 ‘cocoon’ tents – dotted around pools designed to attract wildlife – claimed to offer “the comfort of a luxury hotel with the excitement of a safari style wilderness experience’. Holidays at the camp, which is operated by Resplendent Ceylon, are on offer from various UK tour operators.
Yves St Laurent Museums to open7 days ago
A new museum dedicated to the work of the French couturier Yves St. Laurent is due to open on 3 October on the Avenue Marceau in Paris. In a frequently changing display, around 50 designs will be on show, along with accessories, sketches, photographs and videos. The studio where he worked and the salons where his creations were shown will also be open to the public. The museum will be housed in the premises of the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves St.Laurent, which previously staged exhibitions and which has been closed since April last year while the conversion was carried out. The Paris opening will coincide with that of another museum dedicated to the fashion designer, in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. This will be on a street named after him near the Jardin Majorelle, a garden which he and Pierre Bergé – the Fondation’s president – saved from development in 1980. With its museum of Berber culture it has become a significant attraction Marrakech, drawing nearly 700,000 visitors a year.
Cape Town: new African art gallery set to launch10 days ago
Contemporary African art is about to get a major new showcase in a converted grain silo on Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Claimed to be the first such museum on the continent, Zeitz MOCAA will incorporate 80 galleries housing facilities of art education plus permanent and temporary exhibitions of work in areas including photography, costume and the moving image. The museum is scheduled to open on 22 September with three exhibitions. Including one by Kudzanai Chiurai, a Zimbabwean artist working in self imposed exile after depicting Robert Mugabe as a demonic figure in the run up to his native country’s 2008 election.
Luxury safari camp set to open11 days ago
A luxurious new safari camp is scheduled to open on 15 September in Tanzania’s relatively little visited Ruaha National Park. Jabali Ridge is set among boulders on a rocky kopje. Overlooking a landscape dotted with palms and baobob trees, it has eight suites with wi fi, a spa and an infinity pool. With high densities of lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo close by, operator Asilia Africa promises the feeling of having the wilderness all to yourself in an area the size of New Jersey that attracts only a handful of visitors at any one time. Walking safaris and game drives are available. UK tour companies including the camp in their programmes include Expert Africa.
Chagall in Basel12 days ago
The early works of Marc Chagall will be the subject of a major exhibition scheduled to open at Basel’s Kunstmuseum on Saturday 16 September. It covers the years 1911-1919, a period which the artist spent partly in Paris, becoming acquainted with other progressives, including Picasso., and partly back in Russia, where he was trapped by the outbreak of war. The exhibition includes many self portraits, depictions of Jewish life, and stage set designs for the celebrations of the first anniversary of the October revolution, which he organised in his role as commissar for arts and director of the arts school in his home town of Vitebsk, now in Belarus. His works are accompanied by photographs of shtetls – Russian Jewish communities taken by Solomon Yudovin, with the am of capturing a world constantly endangered by political upheaval and pogroms. The exhibition runs until January 21 next year.
Rescued Ming buildings to be part of Chinese hotel13 days ago
An extraordinary hotel incorporating centuries old Ming and Qing dynasty buildings is scheduled to open before the end of the year just outside the busy centre of Shanghai. The buildings are among 50 relocated from villages in Jianxhi province, some 800 miles away, after being threatened with inundation by a new reservoir. Along with newly built parts of the hotel, they will be surrounded by camphor trees also saved from the flooding. The original rescue project was the brainchild of a Shanghai businessman. Operated by Singapore based Aman Resorts, the Amanyangyun hotel complex will be laid out in village style. Thirteen of the reassembled buildings will be villas with private swimming pools. There will also be 34 contemporary suites. The hotel will also have a spa and two larger pools. The Ming dynasty ran from 1368 – 1644. The Qing dynasty followed its and lasted until 1912.
Burma’s largest city has new 'lifestyle' hotel14 days ago
As evidence of how rapidly Burma has become established on the tourist map, a ‘lifestyle’ hotel has opened in Yangon. Claimed to be the first of its type in the capital, Hotel G is in the Yaw Min Gyi district, close to the Bogyoke Aung San (Scot’s) market and not far from the Shwedagon Pagoda. Its 85 rooms have free Wi-Fi, smart TVs and e-reader apps enabling guests to access a huge choice of international newspapers and magazines.
Titanic Hotel set to open in Belfast17 days ago
Belfast’s Titanic Hotel is set to open this weekend In the headquarters of Harland & Wolff, where the ill fated vessel was designed. Guests will be able to look out on the slipway where the ship was launched on 31 May 1911. Features such as the original corniced ceilings and parquet floors have been retained and restored. Tiles found under layers of linoleum – the same as those in the Titanic’s swimming pool – have been used to decorate a bar. An elderly Belfast resident donated furniture made by her father, who was a carpenter in the shipyards. The property, which incorporates the vaulted drawing rooms where Titanic and other great ocean liners were designed, has 119 rooms.
Monet masterpiece makes a home visit18 days ago
The painting said to have given birth to the term impressionism is set to go on show this weekend in the town where it was created. For a month starting on Sunday (10 September – 8 October) Monet’s masterpiece Impression, Sunrise, will be displayed at the Andre Malraux Museum of Modern Art in the Normandy port of Le Havre.
19 days ago
Docklands airport to get new Alps flights
New flights from London City Airport to the Swiss Alps are set to take off in December. Slovenian airiine Adria will operate a twice daily, year round service to Sion on behalf of newly launched PowdAir, which is based at the Swiss airport. Sion is within an hour of resorts including Crans Montana, Anzere and Nendaz – part pf the Four Valleys lift network that includes Verbier. The airline had already announced it would fly to Sion this winter from Manchester, Bristol, Southampton, Luton and Southend.
Cruise ship drones will stream undersea images20 days ago
Norway’s Hurtigruten plans to introduce underwater drones, to provide adventure cruise passengers with live colour images from beneath the surface of the Arctic Ocean. The company has partnered with another Norwegian company, Blueye Robotics, which has developed a drone capable of reaching a depth of 150 metres. Hurtigruten has ordered 60 of them for use on six of its ships. The drones’ wide angle camera work in low light and will stream HD images to screens on vessels such as the Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen. The same images can also be sent to screens on smaller explorer boats and customers wearing digital diving masks. Hurtigruten says relevant video material will be sent to scientists. Its CEU Danield Skjeldam says: “With underwater drones on our ships we can take guests to areas less explored than Mars.”
Stansted-Aalborg flights set to take off21 days ago
Ryanair is scheduled to launch services from London to the Danish city of Aalborg on 5 September. The low cost carrier will fly there three times a week – on Thursdays and Saturdays besides Tuesdays. Aalborg has developed something of a reputation as the centre of North Jutland’s gastronomy scene. A new, permanent, street food market called The Lighthouse opened there recently, in a former furniture factory on Skudehavnen, a harbour in the western part of the town. The city is also a gateway to other destinations in the region, not least Skansen, close to the point where the Skaggerak and Kattegat meet, with its wonderful gallery celebrating the work of painters drawn there around the end of the 19h century by the special light.
Historic Swiss hotel to get Hard Rock treatment24 days ago
A hotel in Davos, named after the doctor who put the Swiss resort on the map when he pioneered a treatment for tuberculosis there involving cold showers, fresh cows’ milk and relaxation while inhaling the mountain air, is to be re-born in December under the Hard Rock banner. The 130 years old, recently renovated Spenglers Hotel (after Dr Alexander Spengler) will evolve into ‘a music inspired city escape’. The building, which is close to Davos station, also incorporates apartments named after Willem Jan Holsboer, who planned the railway line there.In its new guise the property will now have 80 rooms and 31 service apartments.
New Dublin – Miami flights ready for take off25 days ago
Aer Lingus is set to start flying between Dublin and Miami tomorrow – creating a new option for connecting passengers from the UK who can clear US customs and immigration at the Irish airport before boarding. The airline will operate three round trips a week on the route, with departures on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The launch comes as the airline plans a major increase in capacity on routes to North America for the coming winter, with a total of 350 more flights. Expansion includes a near doubling of seats on services between Dublin and Toronto, which will be operated by larger Airbus A330 aircraft.
Elgar museum set to re-open26 days ago
Worcestershire’s Elgar Birthplace Museum is scheduled to reopen this weekend. The only museum dedicated to the English composer, it has been closed since September following its takeover by the National Trust. Elgar, who died in 1934 requested that his cottage at Lower Broadheath on the outskirts of Worcester should become the place where his music – and his inspiration from the surrounding landscape – would be remembered. Exhibits include letters, manuscripts, photographs and concert programmes.
Stansted gets new transatlantic link27 days ago
WOW is to fly from London’s Stansted Airport for the first time, providing new connections with its transatlantic routes from Reykjavik. The budget airline has also announced plans to serve four additional US cities from the Icelandic capital. Starting next spring it will operate to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit and St Louis. Daily flights between Stansted and Reykjavik will start on April 25. WOW already operates to nine North American destinations: New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Miami, Toronto and Montreal.