In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • American civil war buffs will find plenty to satisfy their appetites...

    about 8 years ago

    American civil war buffs will find plenty to satisfy their appetites as the US marks 150 years since hostilities began in 1861. One example is the publication of a new guide to sites in Boston associated with the conflict, It has been published by the Freedom Trail Foundation (see our review: Boston on Foot ). The city was the hub of the abolitionist movements and places listed include the “underground railway” for escaped slaves and locations  where firebrand speeches were made, prisoners were rescued in jail breakouts, and troops trained. The book costs $9 – or around £6. Go to www.TheFreedomTrail.org

  • Fond of touring independently in the US? Hotel prices there are predicted to rise by 5.5% next year and by roughly the same amount in 2013.

    about 8 years ago

    Fond of touring independently in the US? Hotel prices there are predicted to rise by 5.5% next year and by roughly the same amount in 2013. The forecast come from PKF Consulting USA. It expects demand for rooms to rise this year by 4.0%. This might suggest hoteliers will be able to up rates aggressively. The reason that isn't happening immediately is that, where most American destinations are concerned, travellers haven't yet started to worry again that they might not be able to find a room.

  • News 139

    Burlesque shows in the music lounge and books in all 135 rooms are promised at a new hotel scheduled to open this autumn in New Orleans.

    about 8 years ago

    Burlesque shows in the music lounge and books in all 135 rooms are promised at a new hotel scheduled to open this autumn in New Orleans. The Hotel Modern, in the city's Warehouse-Arts district, is the latest development by Klaus Ortlieb, the European hotelier behind New York's Cooper Square and Gotham hotels. Also this autumn the Hyatt Regency New Orleans will reopen after some £170 millions-worth of refurbishment. First guests are scheduled to arrive on October 19.

  • News 138

    Vienna's Belvedere gallery is to mount an exhibition this autumn dedicated to ther work of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918).

    about 8 years ago

    Vienna's Belvedere gallery is to mount an exhibition this autumn dedicated to ther work of Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and his contemporary, architect and designer Josef Hoffmann. Opening on October 25 it will mark the 150th anniversary of Klimt's birth. Collaboration between the two started with the birth of the Secession movement towards the close of the 19th century and lasted until Klimt's death in 1918. Klimt and Hoffman worked together on exhibitions drawing together different branches of the arts. Go to www.belvedere.at.

  • Transatlantic air passengers may soon be able to watch live television.

    about 8 years ago

    Transatlantic air passengers may soon be able to watch live television, according to a report in Flight International magazine. They would be able to receive sports or other broadcasts wirelessly on their own hand held devices or via in flight entertainment systems. The development is planned by LiveTV, a subsidiary of the US airline JetBlue, which already provides its satellite supported DirectTV service to airlines flying over North America. Now the company plans to go global. It hopes to reach an agreement with one or more airlines to launch broadcasts over the  North Atlantic late next year.

  • Ryanair has announced huge expansion at Manchester.

    about 8 years ago

    Ryanair has announced huge expansion at Manchester. The controversial low cost airline will up the number of routes it operates from the city's airport from six to 17 in October, and to 26 by summer next year. They will include Barcelona (Girona), Biarritz, Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Rome, Oslo and Valencia.

  • News 134

    Monarch Airlines is to launch flights from Gatwick to Barcelona on October 21, with fares from £57 return

    about 8 years ago

    Monarch Airlines is to launch flights from Gatwick to Barcelona on October 21, with fares from £57 return including all taxes and charges. It will start with a daily service, increasing it to 11 round trips a week from October 30. Monarch recently scrapped fees for passengers booking with debit cards and introduced a fixed charge for credit cards bookings, regardless of the transaction value or the number of people travelling.

  • You might be tempted to parrot Oates' famous line if you pop outside for a breath of air.

    about 8 years ago

    You might be tempted to parrot Oates' famous line if you pop outside for a breath of air. Customers booking Antarctic cruises to coincide with this year's centenary of expeditions by Scott and Amundsen's are being offered the chance to camp overnight and make a snowshoe traverse to rejoin the ship. The trips, which will take place in December and January, are being organised by  Santiago based company Antarctic Dream (/www.antarcticdream.com), which operates a former Chilean naval vessel which was transformed into an expedition ship. This won't be the cheapest camp site you'll have used though: on top of cruise prices starting at US$6900 (about £4300), camping costs $590 for one night or $990 for two.

  • Air Asia X will switch its flights from Stansted to Gatwick on October 24.

    about 8 years ago

    Air Asia X will switch its flights from Stansted to Gatwick on October 24. It currently operates six round trips a week to Kuala Lumpur. The airline, long haul arm of low cost carrier Air Asia, wants to take advantage of Gatwick's bigger European network, which it thinks will attract more passengers to its services. It says it will notify individually any passengers already booked to fly from Stansted.

    Silver Travel Advisor recommends Selective Asia.

  • A self service system allowing passengers to tag their own bags has been carried out successfully at Gatwick Airport.

    about 8 years ago

    A self service system allowing passengers to tag their own bags has been carried out successfully at Gatwick Airport. News of the test, which appear to have slipped under the publicity radar, emerged today in the final report by the Government's South East Airports task force. The report said Gatwick had been working with Norwegian Air Shuttle but further details of the system and a timetable for its permanent introduction were not immediately available. Two years ago transport communications and information technology specialist company SITA launched a self service check in kiosk which are able to print tags and allow passengers to check on the status of delayed bags and file reports if their luggage doesn't turn up without queuing to talk to an agent. Self check in is already widespread. The advantage of DIY bag tagging is that it allows passengers with hold baggage to avoid the check in desk altogether.

  • Porto has a new luxury hotel.

    about 8 years ago

    Porto has a new luxury hotel. The InterContinental Porto-Palacio das Cardosas, which opened last week, is housed in a 200 years old palace on the city's main Liberdade square. It incorporates the Cafe Astoria – replicating the cafe which was part of the palace's ground floor at the start of the 20th century – with an outdoor terrace where guests can drink coffee and eat pastries. The hotel has 105 bedrooms, 16 suites, a gym and a “wellness centre”. Porto, Portgual's second city, lies on the Douro. Among its attractions are tours and tastings in the great Port lodges such as Sandeman, Cockburn and Taylor's.

  • News 110

    Dartford globe-trotter wins Silver Travel holiday prize.

    about 8 years ago

    When she signed up for Silver Travel Advisor, 64 year old retired local government officer Jennifer Shapcott from Dartford, Kent, had no idea it would pave the way to a two night stay at Newquay’s renowned landmark, the 4* luxury Headland Hotel.

    Jennifer was the first name out of the hat in the prize draw among all new members signing up during May 2011.

    She said “I’m really chuffed to have won and I can’t wait to spend a couple of nights at The Headland Hotel in Cornwall. We love travelling, which is why I signed up to share some of our travel experiences on Silver Travel Advisor. My favourite holiday destination is the Canadian Rockies, though I wouldn’t mind if I had to keep going back to Austria . I love grand scenery and my partner and I love visiting historic houses and gardens and old market towns. When cash allows, we very much enjoy cruising, especially from Dover as it’s so close to where we live. I was surprised and delighted to get the good news from Silver Travel Advisor!”

    Debbie Marshall, who heads up the Silver Travel Advisor team, said “we were delighted to bring Jennifer and her partner Clive Bishop news of their win and we look forward to reading all about it when she posts her next review”.



    Jennifer Shapcott and her partner Clive Bishop are pictured above on holiday.

  • News 106

    `Travelling’ Yorkshire pharmacist wins Silver Travel holiday competition.

    about 8 years ago

    A lively, colourful and fun article about a visit to the Italian Lake Iseo has won 53 year old Doncaster pharmacist Dave Harcombe and his wife Barbara an unexpected return to Italy, with a first prize of a week’s holiday to Lake Garda, travelling with lakes and mountains holiday specialist Inghams.
    Dave Harcombe, who posts his holiday and travel reviews on Silver Travel Advisor under the pseudonym `travelling pharmacist’, wrote of his visit to Lake Iseo and peppered it with colourful references to eating local biscuits at the base of Garibaldi’s statue and coming across a ticket officer who answered his query about ferry times with a broad northern English accent. He was fortunate enough to be drawn from the hundreds of reviews posted on the site during June 2011 and can now go back and enjoy the Italian Lakes all over again!



    Dave Harcombe said “Hearing the news that we’d won a holiday to Lake Garda came on Father’s Day, which also happens to be my 29th wedding anniversary, so it was a triple celebration and I can now take Barbara back to the only Italian lake that we haven’t so far visited”.



    Click here to read Dave’s review.



    Dave and Barbara are pictured above on their holiday to the Columbia icefield in Canada.

  • Lufthansa is to launch flights to Frankfurt from Gatwick.

    about 8 years ago

    Lufthansa is to launch flights to Frankfurt from Gatwick. The German airline  will start flying from the  airport daily when it switches to its winter timetable on October 30. It already operates to Frankfurt from other UK airports including Heathrow and London City. 

  • The Stena Express Fastcraft has returned to Stena Line’s Fishguard to Rosslare route...

    about 8 years ago

    The Stena Express Fastcraft has returned to Stena Line’s Fishguard to Rosslare route on its summer schedule and will operate until Sunday September 4.



    The vessel, which caters for up to 520 passengers and up to 120 cars, boasts a Stena Plus ferry lounge, Metropolitan Grill and Barista coffee house, free Wi-Fi and an onboard shop which offers a wide range of gifts, jewellery, spirits, confectionery and fragrances.

  • Poland Tops Poll As Best Value For Money Out Of 30 Destinations

    about 8 years ago

    A recent study by Skyscanner has shown Poland to offer the best value for money out of 30 worldwide destinations.  The study, released last month (June) looked at 30 popular holiday destinations, taking into account the cost of a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer, a three course meal including a bottle of wine and one night’s accommodation.  The study concluded that those looking for real value should head to Poland, as it is a fantastic year round destination, combining winter sports opportunities with beautiful summer beaches, excellent city break options – and a wide choice of cheap flights.

  • The World's Ultimate Holiday Souvenir...?

    about 8 years ago

    Forget t-shirts and postcards; splash out on Brighton Pier instead!



    Forget souvenirs, t-shirts, postcards and keyrings, why not make your trip to Brighton even more memorable this summer and invest in the city’s iconic pier?

    On behalf of Noble Entertainments Group, GVA Humberts Leisure today announced (29 June) that the seaside city's most visited attraction is up for sale, for the first time in over 25 years.

    Since it opened on 20 May 1899 Brighton Pier has played host to many celebrities; Winston Churchill, Grace Kelly and Ewan McGregor have all stepped foot on this striking structure. Stump up enough cash and you could be watching your Brighton souvenir on screen in films including Doctor Who, Sweeney Todd and the recent Brighton Rock.

    Like all beautiful icons Brighton Pier has even graced the front cover of Vogue magazine, and appeared on the Disney Channel.  With a selection of successful bars, restaurants and rides, it’s a must for all visitors to the city-by-the-sea.

     

    “This is the ultimate souvenir; a leading visitor attraction with eighteen rides and thousands of visitors, it certainly has far more uses than any mug, tea towel or baseball cap.”  says John Carmichael, Marketing Manager, VisitBrighton.

    “and it won’t end up tucked away in the back of your cupboard!”

    For more information on how to make the most of the long weekend in Brighton, go to www.VisitBrighton.com

  • Spain has upped the speed limit on its motorways to 120 kilometres per hour (75mph) again after temporarily reducing it.

    about 8 years ago

    Spain has upped the speed limit on its motorways to 120 kilometres per hour (75mph) again after temporarily reducing it. The Madrid Government cut the maximum to 110kms per hour for four months as oil prices rocketed, arguing the move would help the country's economy, improve safety and be good for the environment. It says petrol prices have eased and the reduction, which was unpopular with many Spaniards. is no longer necessarily. The switch back to the higher limit coincides with the start of the main Spanish holiday season. Slower speeds are reported to have reduced the number of deaths in accidents and save the country some 450 millions euros in fuel costs.

  • One of the few advantages of advancing age is not having to travel in the summer peak, when prices are at their highest.

    about 8 years ago

    One of the few advantages of advancing age is not having to travel in the summer peak, when prices are at their highest. This year that advantage may not be quite so marked. Tour operators the number of Britons booking holidays abroad with departures during the school holiday period is down by about 7% overall compared with the same month last year. And reliable sources indicate things aren't much better on the home front, with sales of holidays in the UK down by about the same percentage. The main reason? Widespread nervousness about the economy and jobs. The impact? Expect more high season price cuts and the disappearance of some holiday firms –  not necessarily because they're in financial difficulties but because some owners are simply getting fed up with the struggle to stay afloat.

  • Car hire prices around the world have fallen for the first time in four years, says Holiday Autos.

    about 8 years ago

    Car hire prices around the world have fallen for the first time in four years, says Holiday Autos. The biggest drop is in Ireland, whose economic crisis has helped cut average weekly rates roughly by half to £125, according to the  rental company. There have also been big reductions in two other countries facing an economic squeeze. Greek rates are down 24% to an average of £261 a week. And while Spain remain among the priciest countries in which to hire a car, rates charged in Gerona and Valencia, for example, have plunged by 29% and 28% respectively to £228 and £217. These average price calculations are based on hire of a compact car in this month, compared with July last summer.