In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • News 71

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

    over 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.

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

    over 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.

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

    over 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.

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

    over 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

    over 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

    over 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

    over 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

    over 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...

    over 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

    over 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

    over 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

    over 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...

    over 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

    over 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

    over 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...

    over 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).

  • News 53

    You'll need a good head for heights to enjoy...

    over 8 years ago

    You'll need a good head for heights to enjoy the latest attraction in the Swiss mountain resort of Leukerbad.  A spectacular new viewing platform, scheduled to be open this summer, juts out ten metres from a cliff and has an open grid floor, allowing views straight down to the valley floor 250 metres below. The platform is an extension of the sun terrace at the Wildstrubel restaurant next to the Gemmi cable car station.

  • Heading to the Big Apple this summer?

    over 8 years ago

    Heading to the Big Apple this summer? Lookout for some tasty lunch and dinner deals. New York's Summer Restaurant Week will take place from July 11 – 24. It'll be the 20th anniversary of what is claimed to be the first such event anywhere. Prix fixe lunches at participating eateries have been frozen for the 12th Consecutive year at $24.07 (approx. £14.50) for lunch and $35 (approx. £21) for dinner (excluding drinks, taxes and gratuities). The deals will be available on weekdays and at some restaurants on Sundays – but not on Saturdays. Restaurants taking part will be listed before then event at www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek. The link will also allow you to make reservations. 



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  • News 52

    May one have an iPad?

    over 8 years ago

    According to newspaper reports in The Sun and Daily Telegraph, the Queen, who is 85, has asked for an iPad after seeing her grand children use theirs. http://bit.ly/Queenipad

    The Telegraph reports "A ‘royal insider’ apparently told The Sun: “The Queen hadn’t seen anything like the iPad before. She was very impressed.” Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the report. The Queen has had a mobile phone for almost a decade, having been bought one by her son, the Duke of York. Previously she had banned her staff from using mobile phones on duty but she it is understood that she uses her mobile to keep in touch from her estates, though never in public.

    In 2007, the Queen upgraded to a BlackBerry and got her own email address. Last year, while touring the headquarters of Research In Motion, the Canadian firm that makes the BlackBerry, the Queen was given a white BlackBerry Bold.  If the Queen has ordered an iPad, it won’t even be her first Apple product. She is said to have bought a silver iPod mini in 2005 – again at the suggestion of Prince Andrew – she was given an iPod by Barack Obama, when the American president visited Buckingham Palace in 2009. The iPod was loaded with photos and videos from the Queen’s 2007 trip to America".

  • Travel bridges the generation gap in 2011

    over 8 years ago

    According to escorted touring specialist, Journeys of Distinction, 2011 is the year of the 60+ gap year with more older travellers taking more exotic and longer travels than ever before, a marked change from 2000 when a much younger gap year generation were travelling the world between school and university.

    The survey of 1000 regular travellers was undertaken to establish how social attitudes and attitudes towards travel have changed in the last 10 years.

    Journeys of Distinction MD Karen Gee says “There’s a marked trend that older people are the new gap year generation, those aged 60+ are travelling more often and further afield than ever before. We also discovered that of there is a much greater concern about the environment and the effects of travel, as well as a far greater interest in taking part and experiencing local life”

    “It’s clear we are becoming increasingly adventurous in our choice of destinations as we get older, people are inspired by their grandchildren taking time off to see the world and now many older people are now taking the time to explore and take their own gap year.