In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • Best of British Bubbles

    about 8 years ago

    British Airways has become the first airline to serve an English sparkling wine on board its flights and in its lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5.



    The sparkling wine, ‘Balfour Brut Rosé’ from the Hush Heath winery in Kent, will be served alongside an existing range of Champagnes to customers in First class between July and September.



    The bold move by British Airways signifies staunch support for British growers. As well as English sparkling wine, British produce including Herefordshire beef, Loch Fyne fresh fish and Cropwell Bishop Stilton also feature regularly on the airline’s menus.



    Although the first vineyards were only planted by Richard Balfour-Lynn at the Hush Heath Estate in 2002, the wines made from these Kentish grapes have enjoyed tremendous success both nationally and internationally.

  • It's A Whopper! Pembrokeshire Fish Week 25 June-3 July

    about 8 years ago

    Packed with more than 250 events Pembrokeshire Fish Week, 25th June – 3rd July, will be a celebration of the county’s fantastic seafood, spectacular coastline, wonderful beaches and maritime heritage. 

    This year’s seriously fishy festival has many exciting new events including ‘Cook your Catch’, a seafood cookery masterclass with five top British chefs. Mark Hix, Valentine Warner, Mitch Tonks, Bryn Williams and Anthony Evans will be cooking inspirational fish and shellfish dishes at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven on 29th June.  But there’s a catch! Earlier in the day, they will all go fishing off the South Pembrokeshire coast and they must cook their own rod-caught fish or shellfish in their demonstration – whatever it may be.

    Tickets for ‘Cook your Catch’ are £17 per person (£15 concessions) including a glass of wine, courtesy of Celtic Wines. Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm, to book call the Torch Theatre Box Office on 01646 695267.

    Other new events include beginners’ kayaking, mackerel fishing and a fishy BBQ on 27th June with TYF Adventure. If you love foraging for your own wild food, gain the confidence to recognise several species of seaweeds, shellfish and seashore plants with Jonathan from Café Mor – or join him for a family seashore picnic and forage at Freshwater West.



    New foodie events include a lobster and champagne evening at the Harbourmaster, Milford Haven and a fish supper with live music at the Lavender Café in Solva. There’s also a tasting evening at the Ocean in Broad Haven with fish from around the world and a fish-themed quiz night.  Activities for families include beach explorer sessions at Goodwick discovering and identifying shells, seaweed and live creatures; marine wildlife explorer days at Broad Haven and a beach clean at Tenby.



    To find out more and download the 2011 Fish Week brochure with event listings visit www.pembrokeshirefishweek.co.uk or call 01437 776 168. Pembrokeshire Fish Week is organised by Pembrokeshire County Council. Accommodation suggestions can be found on www.visitpembrokeshire.com or call 0844 888 5115 for a free copy of the Pembrokeshire Holiday Guide.

  • News 101

    Smoking is to be banned in staterooms on ships of three cruise operators

    about 8 years ago

    Smoking is to be banned in staterooms on ships of three cruise operators. Carnival Cruise Lines' ships from December 1. Travellers will still be able to smoke cigarettes and cigars on cabin balconies, however. Since June 15 smoking has been limited to designated areas on deck and in other public spaces aboard 13 of Carnival's vessels. The move follows surveys showing nearly 90% of its customers are non smokers with under 5% smoking in their staterooms. From January 15  sister operator Princess Cruises, which is also part of the Carnival Corporation, will ban smoking in staterooms and balconies. Passengers will still be able to smoke – but only in specified areas. And from the same date Holland America will also ban smoking in staterooms.

  • News 99

    The Great Barrier Reef resort of Hayman Island is scheduled to re-open on August 1

    about 8 years ago

    The Great Barrier Reef resort of Hayman Island is scheduled to re-open on August 1. It has been closed since early March for repairs to damage  caused by tropical cyclones Anthony and Yasi, storms which wrought havoc in North Queensland and in January and February. Work has included restoration of the resort's 14 hectares of landscaped gardens, habitat of birds including white cockatoos, kookaburras and pheasant coucals.
     

  • Tablets will soon replace current in flight entertainment devices

    about 8 years ago

    Tablets will soon replace current in flight entertainment devices in premium cabins on many American Airlines' flights. Later this year passengers will be offered Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Though the airline is still working on the features which will be available they will come loaded with a choice of movies and other entertainment and will be available on services including those by Boeing 767-300 jets flying to and from Europe. On wi-fi enabled flights over North America travellers will also be able to use the tablets to download content, browse the internet and send and stay connected via email.

  • Can't get tickets to Wimbledon?

    about 8 years ago

    Can't get tickets to Wimbledon? London's Park Plaza Hotel will show the women's and men's singles finals in 3D – on a 47in screen in JB's Bar. It says over 100 pairs of glasses will be available. The matches take place on July 2 and 3. (www.parkplaza.com)

  • News 97

    AmaWaterways introduces new `home to cabin’ luggage service

    about 8 years ago

    For clients sailing on any of its European and Russian luxury river cruises AmaWaterways is offering a home to cabin luggage collection and delivery service, with prices from £82 for one case (20kg) one way, regardless of start point or destination.



    Steve Williams, MD of Fred Olsen Travel who represent AmaWaterways in the UK said “This new luggage transportation service is part of AmaWaterway’s ongoing commitment to customer excellence, in keeping with the continually upgraded enhancements on board the cruise line’s luxury river cruisers.



     

    Guests can travel much faster and more easily through airports unencumbered by luggage, and for those travelling by train, it’s much simpler to change platforms and stations without having heavy bags, making the entire cruise experience and the holiday itself more pleasurable”.



    Luggage can be collected from anywhere within the UK and the Channel islands and delivered directly to the ship, for guests to find in their cabins or suites on arrival. Prices are £82 for one case, £142 for two cases, £201 for three cases, £260 for four cases, outbound or return, for each journey.



    AmaWaterways 5* luxury river cruises start from £1376 per person for 2011 cruises, including all meals, free flowing wine with dinner, complimentary wi-fi and free use of on-board bicycles. Flights and transfers can be arranged on request.



    AMAWATERWAYS UK reservations: Freephone 0808 223 5009
    www.amawaterways.co.uk

  • News 96

    Belfast, which has just celebrated the centenary of the launch of Titanic ...

    about 8 years ago

    Belfast, which has just celebrated the centenary of the launch of Titanic with the opening of an exhibition on the ship at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, has introduced a new visitor pass (www.gotobelfast.com/default.aspx?page=8014). The pass allows unlimited buss and train travel in the city plus discounts on entry to visitor attractions, tours, eating out and shopping. It costs from £6.50 per adult and £4 per child. The Titanic exhibition recounts the liner's story with the aid of over 500 artefacts, some of which have never been displayed publicly.

  • News 95

    Flying with Air India?

    about 8 years ago

    Flying with Air India? Make sure you go to the right terminal at Heathrow. After more than 40 years in Terminal 3, from which it operated the airport's first link with Mumbai in the 1960s,  the airline has moved to Terminal 4 – whose refurbishment is now virtually finished.

  • EasyJet is to launch flights from Southend

    about 8 years ago

    EasyJet is to launch flights from Southend. Starting next April, the airline will operate from the Essex airport to some ten European destinations including Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza. By then Southend will have a new, multi million pound terminal, scheduled to open this Autumn. It will be under a minute's walk from a new rail station, with up to eight services an hour from Liverpool Street and Stratford – gateway to the Olympics complex. Next year a hotel will open at the airport. EasyJet claims passengers will be able to get from plane to train in 15 minutes.

  • Germanwings (www.germanwings.com ) is the latest airline to recognise

    about 8 years ago

    Germanwings (www.germanwings.com ) is the latest airline to recognise that some passengers are prepared to pay a modest amount extra for a little more legroom. Taking advantage of the installation of new seats throughout its fleet, the carriers is providing greater comfort in the front ten rows for a €15 supplement per flight. Germanwings operates to cities in Germany and onward from a range of UK airports and from Jersey.

  • Passengers who buy first class return tickets on the Gatwick Express

    about 8 years ago

    Passengers who buy first class return tickets on the Gatwick Express (www.gatwickexpress.com) now get free lounge access in the airport's North and South Terminals. The move results from a deal struck between Gatwick and No. 1 Traveller, the independent airport lounge operator. Access to the lounges, which offer complementary food, drinks and wi-fi, normally costs £25 per adult (children are also admitted). You need your email confirmation and receipt to get in. Initially, the offer is available for booking until August 31.

  • Venice will impose a hotel room tax on tourists from next month

    about 8 years ago

    Venice will impose a hotel room tax on tourists from next month, according to reports. Like their counterparts in Florence the city authorities will to levy a charge of  €1 per person per night per star rating. The move is planned to take effect from July 1. Between November and February the tax, which will not apply to children under 10,  is expected to be reduced. 

  • Budget airline Jet2.com is to launch three new routes from Manchester

    about 8 years ago

    Budget airline Jet2.com is to launch three new routes from Manchester next year. In March it will start flying on four days a week to Paris. May will see the introduction of weekly services to Bergamo, a jumping off point for the Italian lakes and an alternative gateway to Milan. Also in time for next summer Jet2 will start flying three times a week to Toulouse. Fares on all three routes will start at £29.99, including taxes. Flights are already available for booking.

  • News 89

    America's romance with Mississippi sternwheelers is blowing hot again.

    about 8 years ago

    America's romance with Mississippi sternwheelers is blowing hot again. Two companies are currently planning to start new cruises down the mighty US river – one building an all new vessel, the other aiming to refurbish an existing one. American  Cruise Lines (http://www.americancruiselines.com) says its Queen of the Mississippi, currently under construction in Maryland, will be “the first brand new overnight sternwheeler” built for use on the river in almost 20 years”. Its plans is to reflect the history of paddlewheel vessels while providing 21st century comforts. So after dining under crystal chandeliers, passengers will be able to take lifts back to their staterooms.

    She'll be faster than her predecessors, too, enabling her to call at more river towns on each seven night itinerary. Meanwhile the Great American Steamboat Company formed by a group of cruise and travel veterans, aims to bring the 436 passenger American Queen, built in 1995, out of mothballs. Like the Queen of the Mississippi her itineraries – likely to include a fall foliage cruise – will also take in the Ohio River.

  • Premium economy seats are now available on all Delta Airlines' long haul flights

    about 8 years ago

    Premium economy seats are now available on all Delta Airlines' long haul flights The airline says they offer 4in more leg room and 50% greater recline than those in standard economy – plus travellers booking them can board earlier and drink themselves to sleep with free spirits. Bad news is that legroom is 2 – 3in less generous that that in British Airways or Virgin Atlantic's  premium economy cabins – but don't dismiss it on those grounds until you've also made a price comparison.

  • News 88

    AmaWaterways introduces new `home to cabin’ luggage service

    about 8 years ago

    For clients sailing on any of its European and Russian luxury river cruises AmaWaterways is offering a home to cabin luggage collection and delivery service, with prices from £82 for one case (20kg) one way, regardless of start point or destination.



    Steve Williams, MD of Fred Olsen Travel who represent AmaWaterways in the UK said “This new luggage transportation service is part of AmaWaterway’s ongoing commitment to customer excellence, in keeping with the continually upgraded enhancements on board the cruise line’s luxury river cruisers.



    Guests can travel much faster and more easily through airports unencumbered by luggage, and for those travelling by train, it’s much simpler to change platforms and stations without having heavy bags, making the entire cruise experience and the holiday itself more pleasurable”.



    Luggage can be collected from anywhere within the UK and the Channel islands and delivered directly to the ship, for guests to find in their cabins or suites on arrival. Prices are £82 for one case, £142 for two cases, £201 for three cases, £260 for four cases, outbound or return, for each journey.



    AmaWaterways 5* luxury river cruises start from £1376 per person for 2011 cruises, including all meals, free flowing wine with dinner, complimentary wi-fi and free use of on-board bicycles. Flights and transfers can be arranged on request.

    AMAWATERWAYS UK reservations: Freephone 0808 223 5009
    Website:  www.amawaterways.co.uk

  • Visitors to Florence could face paying a new hotel tax

    about 8 years ago

    Visitors to Florence could face paying a new hotel tax as early as July. According to the European Tour Operators Association the city plans to levy a fee of  €1 per person, per star, per night. So two people taking a short break of three nights  in a 5 star property, say, would pay an extra €30. ETOA says the tax was proposed as a way of offsetting the removal of a charge for permits paid by coach operators who bring groups into Florence.

  • News 85

    2011 year marks a half century since the building of the Berlin Wall

    about 8 years ago

    2011 year marks a half century since the building of the Berlin Wall. To mark the anniversary large black and white photographs will be placed along its former path, snapshots of the city as it was in 1961. They'll be on view from June 15, the date when Walter Ulbricht, the communist leader of East Germany, denied there was any plan to erect a wall,  until the end of August, the month when building began that same summer.

  • British Airways is launching new daily flights to San Diego

    about 8 years ago

    British Airways is launching new daily flights to San Diego – its latest
    Californian holiday hotspot, from June 1st. As the only airline flying
    directly from Europe, the new route offers greater access to local markets
    for business, as well as a popular leisure destination.