In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • News 74

    Jilly Goolden to host AmaWaterways’ wine themed river cruise

    almost 8 years ago

    AmaWaterways is offering UK guests a wine themed river cruise hosted by a British celebrity when British wine critic, journalist and television personality Jilly Goolden comes on board the cruise line’s luxurious AmaDolce for a Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest on 14th November 2011. Jilly Goolden, known for her eccentric descriptions of wine that have included pear drops, liquorice and even rubber, presented BBC’s `Food & Drink’ show for 18 years. She went on to write a series of books on wine and food, and to appear in a number of TV shows, including the fifth series of `I’m a Celebrity – Get me out of here’.



    Ms. Goolden will be joining guests on AmaWaterways’ picturesque `Romantic Danube’ river cruise past rolling hillsides, vineyards and medieval castles, through Austria’s captivating Wachau Valley with highlights that include visits to Vienna and Budapest. While on board, she will present her knowledge of local wines, host wine tastings, accompany guests on a wine-themed shore excursion and mingle freely with passengers during meals and in the ship’s public areas.



    All presentations, wine tastings and excursions are complimentary to guests and are included in the 7 night cruise price, starting from £1376, which also includes all meals, free-flowing wine with dinner, free wi-fi and free use of on-board bicycles.

    Contact AMAWATERWAYS on freephone 0808 223 5009,  www.amawaterways.co.uk

  • The UK Foreign Office (FCO) is warning travellers heading for Portugal

    almost 8 years ago

    The UK Foreign Office (FCO) is warning travellers heading for Portugal of the dangers of violent attacks in the Algarve region following the death of a British tourist in the resort of Albufeira. The British man died after being attacked, robbed and beaten by four youths, and this incident followed another attack last month on an Irish man in the same resort. In light of these attacks the FCO has updated its travel advice for Portugal to warn holidaymakers about street violence  in the southern Algarve region.

     

  • Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are revamping their hold baggage limits

    about 8 years ago

    Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are revamping their hold baggage limits on European and many long haul flights. Economy class passengers, for example, will be able to check in one bag weighing up to 23 kilograms. Currently they can take any number weighing a total of 20kg. The new allowances are already in force on some long haul routes, among them those across the North Atlantic. They will affect passengers buying tickets on or after June 1. Long haul routes on which they will now apply include those to Asia, the Middle East and, in Lufthansa's case, to some countries in Africa and South America.

  • Thirsty Planet water sales bring water supplies to around 350,000 people in Africa

    about 8 years ago

    Thomson Airways has announced that in just three years, sales of 'Thirsty Planet' bottled water have raised over £142,000 towards Pump Aid, the charity that aims to provide clean water for underprivileged communities.  In this time Pump Aid has built over 4,000 Elephant Pumps, bringing water supplies to at least an estimated 350,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa.



    Thomson Airways first started working with 'Thirsty Planet' in November 2007 and have since sold millions of bottles of their water. For every bottle of 'Thirsty Planet' water sold onboard, five pence is donated directly to Pump Aid. This money is used to help people living in some of the poorest communities in Africa to gain access to clean water, funding the digging of wells and the installation of easy-to-maintain water pumps in more than 200 villages in Zimbabwe and Malawi.

  • News 71

    Political unrest in the Middle East has prompted Norwegian Cruise Line...

    about 8 years ago

    Political unrest in the Middle East has prompted Norwegian Cruise Line to cut the number of sailings it will operate in the Eastern Mediterranean this winter. Customers booked to travel on the 2400-passenger Norwegian Jade between November 26 and April 11 have been offered the option of switching to similar itineraries with earlier or later departure dates or to any other cruise operated by NCL until the end of nest year. They include some British customers.

  • Overcoming fear of height seems to be this year's tourism theme

    about 8 years ago

    Overcoming fear of height seems to be this year's tourism theme. Latest in a string of vertiginous new attractions is Edgewalk, about to open at Toronto's CNTower. Scheduled to open imminently, this is described as a “full circle hands free walk on a 5ft wide ledge around the building". 116 floors – or 1168ft – above the ground. Visitors will walk in groups of six to eight, attached by harness to an overhead safety rail. Those who dare will be able to lean back over the edge with nothing but air between them and the ground. Ticket sales will open next month. www.cntower.ca.

  • Britons took 5% fewer holidays abroad in the year to the end of March

    about 8 years ago

    Britons took 5% fewer holidays abroad in the year to the end of March, figures from the Office for National Statistics show. But if the economic crisis hit holidays it had less impact on family loyalties, with trips overseas to see friends or relatives down by only 2%. We also spent only 2% less, which could mean Brits are cutting out cheaper or second holidays or that the figures were skewed by higher expenditure on business travel.

  • Margate's renaissance continues, thanks in part to Tracey Emin

    about 8 years ago

    Following the opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery the Walpole Bay Hotel in Cliftonville – traditionally regarded as the genteel end of the Kent resort – is offering to pick up guests from the station by Rolls Royce Silver Spirit. The ride costs £39. The Walpole Bay claims Tracey Emin, Margate's best known export, as a regular. Opened just before the First World War, it is in process of  restoration by its current owners. It has a caged lift installed in 1927 and a 1920s ballroom with a sprung maple floor.

  • News 67

    Spice up the art of ageing

    about 8 years ago

    A luxury spa resort in India’s Himalayas claims that their `Healthy Aging’ programme is the way forward for smoothing the aches and pains of age and are targeting the  health conscious`Baby Boomer’ generation with a range of restorative treatments. The Ananda Spa  is located 260kms north of New Delhi in the Himalayas and is built around a restored Maharaja’s estate. It has 75 deluxe rooms and suites, 3 private villas, 21 treatment villas and 4 consultation rooms and offers 79 different treatments.



    The Ananda Spa’s anti-aging 7 night package includes diet and lifestyle advice from an Ayurvedic doctor, a yoga and meditation consultation, an eye rejuvenating treatment, personalised yoga guidance, personalised Pranayama (the yogic art of breathing control) and a Yoga Nidra, a sleep like state to reduce tension and anxiety.

    Good living and longevity come at a price, 7 night packages cost from £3320 for 7 nights based on single occupancy in a Palace View Room, excluding flights www.anandaspa.com

  • News 65

    Cruise guests in beach clean-up

    about 8 years ago

    Cruise guests from niche tall ship operator Star Clippers have removed 1,700 pounds of rubbish from North Friar’s Beach and Keys Beach in St. Kitts in a beach clean-op operation organised by on-board marine biologist, Mariano Peruzzo. This is the third time Star Clippers guests have take part in beach clean-ups, on this occasion joining volunteers from a local charity to rid the island’s beaches of plastics and other litter.



    The marine biology team on board the flag-ship five-masted Royal Clipper have been resident for two years, carrying out research in the marine environments of the Mediterranean and Caribbean as well as leading dives, beach walks and conservation efforts and giving talks to guests.
    This is the latest initiative of an ongoing eco-awareness programme operated by Star Clippers, one of the world’s leading niche cruise operators, owned and operated by passionate environmentalist Mikael Krafft. For information about Star Clippers' tall ship cruises, visit www.starclippers.co.uk

  • News 63

    Guests at a Western Australia's remote Home Valley Station

    about 8 years ago

    Guests at a Western Australia's remote Home Valley Station can take part for the first time in a cattle drive across the rugged Kimberley region. In June and July guests at the will help drive feral cattle across a landscape of red dust, gorges and waterfalls, dotted with distinctive boab trees. There will be lessons in horsemanship and the chance to sleep in swags under the blazing glory of southern stars. Local drovers will provide insights into the country you cross. It'll cost A$3805 (about £2500) all in, based in two sharing accommodation, with most drinks and transfers to and from Kununurra included (but not flights). The cattle drive will run on the following dates: 10 June, 17 June, 24 June, 30 June and 7 July. www.hvstation.com.au.

  • News 61

    If you've visited Vancouver it's probable you'll already have walked gingerly

    about 8 years ago

    If you've visited Vancouver it's probable you'll already have walked gingerly across the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This summer there will be a compelling reason to go again. The attraction is opening a dizzying route through rainforest vegetation on a series of subtly cantilevered and suspended walkways jutting out from the granite cliff face above the river. Described as “not for the faint of heart” the walk is high and narrow and in some sections tough glass is all that separates guests from the canyon some 90 metres below. www.capbridge.com

  • News 60

    Flights from Southampton to Dijon are good news...

    about 8 years ago

    Flights from Southampton to Dijon are good news for travellers heading for Burgundy. Eastern Airways will operate the summer service three times a week from June 6 with fares starting at £75 one way. Flights by 29-seat Jetstream aircraft will depart at 12.50pm on Mondays, 1.50pm on Fridays and 1.40pm on Sundays. Departures from the French city will be at 11.30pm, 12.30pm and 12.10pm local time respectively. For those jaundiced at the prospect of paying extra fees on top of the fare, it is worth noting that Eastern Airways carries checked bags and allows customers to choose seats at no additional charge. Flights can be booked at www.easternairways.com or www.easternairways.fr

  • News 64

    Enjoy cycling but not quite up to the Tour de France

    about 8 years ago

    Enjoy cycling but not quite up to the Tour de France these days? Following expansion this year Austria's Kitzbuhel Alps region now claims to offer the world's largest network of electric bike trails and battery charging points. A total of 275 power assisted bikes are available at 75 hire stations. (www.kitzalps.com/ebikes).

    For cycling holidays Silver Travel Advisor recommends Headwater.

  • Belfast International Airport is charging passengers a £1 fee for a last minute smoke

    about 8 years ago

    Belfast International Airport is charging passengers a £1 fee for a last minute smoke before boarding their flights. The fee gets them into a special room airside – beyond passport and security checks. A spokesperson for the airport pointed out that travellers may still light up free in designated areas outside the check in hall but added that the new facility “cost a certain amount to design, construct and maintain and we have therefore levied a small cover charge to offset this, which we will review over time.”

  • News 59

    Cruise guests in beach clean-up

    about 8 years ago

    Cruise guests from niche tall ship operator Star Clippers have removed 1,700 pounds of rubbish from North Friar’s Beach and Keys Beach in St. Kitts in a beach clean-op operation organised by on-board marine biologist, Mariano Peruzzo. This is the third time Star Clippers guests have take part in beach clean-ups, on this occasion joining volunteers from a local charity to rid the island’s beaches of plastics and other litter.

    The marine biology team on board the flag-ship five-masted Royal Clipper have been resident for two years, carrying out research in the marine environments of the Mediterranean and Caribbean as well as leading dives, beach walks and conservation efforts and giving talks to guests.

    This is the latest initiative of an ongoing eco-awareness programme operated by Star Clippers, one of the world’s leading niche cruise operators, owned and operated by passionate environmentalist Mikael Krafft.

    For information about Star Clippers' tall ship cruises, visit www.starclippers.co.uk
     

  • News 58

    Life begins at 80...

    about 8 years ago

    London’s Metro newspaper reports that “the oldest triplets in Britain have celebrated their 80th birthday together. Ron, Eric and david Thurman inhaled helium from party balloons to speak in squeaky voices and competed to see who could stand on one leg for the longest. The Thurmans were joined by relatives for the bash in Turville, Oxfordshire. The triplets were born in Gravesend, Kent, in 1931”.

  • News 57

    Tallinn opens new restaurant for high fliers

    about 8 years ago

    For just five days in June 2011 diners in Estonia’s cultural capital, Tallinn, can enjoy champagne, aperitifs, lunch or dinner 50 metres in the air with spectacular views over the medieval Old Town, Tallinn’s steel and glass business sector and the Bay of Finland.



    Dinner in the Sky® (www.dinnerinthesky.ee) can be enjoyed daily between 8th and 12th June, in Tallinn’s Rotermann quarter, the transformed former industrial area between the Old Town and the sea. Guests harnessed into specially constructed dining chairs and seated with 21 other diners at a table, suspended to a height of 50 metres, and enjoy cuisine prepared under the auspices of award winning Executive Chef Rene Uusmees, a patron of modern Estonian cuisine.



    High flyers in Tallinn are offered four choices of `lift length’ and menu, from a 20 minute champagne & aperitif `taster’ (29 euros pp), to an 80 minute four course meal with aperitif, wine and cognac, with the final dinner of the day served at sunset by the chef with Tallinn’s skyline as a backdrop (84 euros pp). A 40 minute 3 course lunch and a 60 minute 4 course dinner is also offered.



    For information about Tallinn go to www.visitestonia.com

  • News 56

    New `Rail and sail’ tall ship cruises for summer 2011

    about 8 years ago

    Tall ship cruise operator Star Clippers  (0845 200 6145) has added a new range of `rail & sail’ departures for summer 2011, allowing guests to take the train directly from the UK to the south of France to join one of its magnificent tall ship sailings, completely avoiding airports and flying.

    The company’s tall ship cruises from Cannes or Monaco operate between June and October 2011 and new rail-cruise packages cost from £1599 per person including all meals, return rail travel from London, a night’s b&b pre-cruise accommodation in a 4* hotel in Monaco or Nice, non-UK transfers to and from the ship and all port taxes.
     
    The sailings are on board Star Clippers’ four masted, head-turning tall ship `Star Flyer’, departing from Cannes or Monaco on 4th June, 10th September and 1st October 2011.
     

  • Travellers to Mexico are probably more likely...

    about 8 years ago

    Travellers to Mexico are probably more likely to associate eating out with Montezuma's revenge than with gourmet dining. Tour company Travel the Unknown is out to banish the conventional wisdom. It has launched a package to what it calls the country's “culinary capital” – the southern state of Oaxaca. It promises customers will learn cooking sercrets from some of the area's best chefs. The trip will include instruction in the techniques of leading restaurant chefs and a visiting a family home, where Dona Marina will show them how to make Amarillo, a rich mole sauce (www.traveltheunknown.com).