In the News this Week...

brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
  • 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 The link will also allow you to make reservations. 

    Experience the very best of the USA & Canada with North America Travel Service & Tauck World Discovery

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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.

  • Plymouth Airport will close at the end of this year

    over 8 years ago

    Plymouth Airport will close at the end of this year, and the city will lose its air links with UK, Irish and Channel Islands destinations. The airport has been losing money for some and its owner, the Sutton Harbour Group, “has concluded there is no realistic prospect of trade improving in the near future”. Air Southwest currently operates from Plymouth to destinations including Manchester, Dublin, Glasgow, Jersey and Guernsey.

  • Low cost airline Jet2 has launched flights between Edinburgh and Budapest

    over 8 years ago

    Low cost airline Jet2 has launched flights between Edinburgh and Budapest. It operates three round trips a week to the Hungarian capital in summer – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. In winter it will drop the Tuesday service. Jet2, whose headquarters are at Leeds Bradford Airport, also flies to Budapest from Manchester.

  • Ready, set, go! Harley Davidson and bike enthusiasts from around the world...

    over 8 years ago

    Ready, set, go! Harley Davidson and bike enthusiasts from around the world will be coming together for the first time in Rockford, Illinois. The inaugural ‘Ride the Rumble to Rockford’ is expected to draw up to two thousand Harley enthusiasts with an impressive line up over four days.

    Starting on 9 June, 2011, the event will open with ‘Get Tilted at the Kilt’ pre-opening party. Join in with an evening of Irish fun and foolery, along with the girls from Tilted Kilt, and performances from McNulty Irish Dancers and the City of Rockford Bagpipe and Drum Band.

    The event hosted by the Harley Owners Group (HOG), will take to the road on a guided ride along the beautiful Rock River that runs through Rockford and McHenry County. Bikers can also explore the town of Rockford on a self guided ride in search of five special Harley Sock Monkeys, “hidden” in plain sight, on this 80 mile ride, and make sure to get all the answers to the clues correct to be entered into the prize draw.

    The fun doesn’t stop there – there is a huge range of entertainment available throughout the rally including a Biker Jam event at Kegel’s Harley Davidson; live entertainment from some of Rockford’s local musicians; bike events and bike displays. Along with the world’s largest HOG Friday night Fish Fry, an American take on traditional British fish and chips, and all topped off with a closing ceremony and of course an all night party.

    For more information visit   

    Experience the very best of the USA & Canada with North America Travel Service & Tauck World Discovery

  • Last minute travel bargains?

    over 8 years ago

    May looks like bring a month of price cuts, according to travel industry insiders. Word is that the extra Bank Holiday, which has enabled people to enjoy substantial breaks without taking too many days off work, has scooped up customers who might otherwise have waited until the schools went back. Couple this with the fact that unease about the economy in general and jobs in particular is making holidays hard to sell and next month looks likely to produce a bumper crop of discounted packages.

  • Star Clippers, whose passengers get the chance to journey under sail.

    over 8 years ago

    Star Clippers, whose passengers get the chance to journey under sail, is launching a cruise aimed at beginner or budding artists. On board the 170-passenger Star Flyer for the 7-night voyage from Cannes on September 24 will be Suffolk-born Richard Nichols who specialises in seascapes and coastal scenes.  He will run workshops in techniques from sketching to painting with watercolours. Passengers will be provided wih the necessary equipment. The ship calls at Corsica, Elba, Portofino and the Hyeres islands, winding up  in Monaco, and the cruise costs £1469 (singles pay £1659).

    Read our Star Review about Star Clippers by Steve Newman 

  • Lovers of the impressive wines produced in Portugal's Alentejo.

    over 8 years ago

    Lovers of the impressive wines produced in Portugal's Alentejo will be surprised to learn that the region has been barely touched by tourism from Britain. The numbers visiting are a tiny fraction of those going to the Algarve. New flights there, scheduled for take off in May, could give the area a boost.. As well as a long Atlantic coastline, the Alentejo's attractions include the city of Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  • News 39

    Buckingham librarian wins our £4000 AmaWaterway river cruise competition.

    almost 9 years ago

    Librarian Louise Hammond from Buckingham, was stunned to receive a phone call from one of our team telling her she had won a luxury river cruise for two in the March prize draw.

    The competition was run in conjunction with luxury river cruise operator AmaWaterways and the first prize, won by Louise, is a 7 night fully inclusive cruise holiday along the Rhine, taking in a visit to the Koblenz horticultural festival.

    Louise said: “I am still in shock from winning this holiday!  What a wonderful prize, a luxury Rhine River cruise including the Koblenz flower show.  My partner Andrew was delighted when I phoned him to say I have won this holiday.   It is certainly worth entering a review on the Silver Travel Advisor website, with such excellent prizes on offer and I’ll certainly be writing up this cruise holiday as it’s a real chance of a lifetime”.

  • Granny and Grandad can go free

    almost 9 years ago

    Granny and Grandad can go free with families booking a Canvas Holidays package this summer although not if the kids have started school. The deal is only valid for trips starting on or before June 30 – or after September 2. Provided there have to be two adults in your party paying the full price, two other adults can join them with no extra charge. For example, says the operator, a week starting on June 3 at Camping les Deux Fontaines in Brittany, costs £417 per family. That includes accommodation for four adults and two children in a Select Plus mobile home (3 bedrooms, 2 shower rooms and 2 toilets) and midweek Dover – Calais ferry crossings. (

  • Low cost airline bmibaby is to axe flights from Manchester and Cardiff.

    almost 9 years ago

    Low cost airline bmibaby is to axe flights from Manchester and Cardiff at the end of the coming summer. But on the positive side it has announced it will fly to seven new destinations from Belfast City Airport. It plans summer services in 2012  to Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Faro and Ibiza, new year round flights to Amsterdam. Meanwhile this winter it will fly from Belfast City to Geneva. The airline has also announced it will launch services from East Midlands Airport to Toulouse and Chambery for winter 2011. Managing directo Julian Carr says: “In the current economic climate it is essential for bmibaby to focus on airports where the airline already has a strong market presence and where there are strong growth opportunities for the bmibaby business” BMI and its regional arm will continue to operate to a range of destinations from Manchester.

  • FREE holidays with the NBFA

    almost 9 years ago

    The National Benevolent Fund for the Aged (NBFA) provides free holidays for older people who are living on a low income. Each holiday is for four nights, five days accommodation at a UK resort.  The holiday includes coach travel from a local pick up point to the holiday destination, bed, breakfast, a three course evening meal, nightly entertainment and daily excursions.  The next break away is from the 9th – 13th May 2011.  The coach is picking up from Staines, Woking, Crawley and Reigate and is going to the holiday destination of The South Downs (Bracklesham Bay)!  Anyone able to make their way to one of these pick up points are more than welcome to go on the break away, please call for an application form as soon as possible as limited places are available. To qualify for a FREE break away with NBFA you need to be; over 60 years old, living on a low income, able to get off and on a coach and look after yourself. Please contact the NBFA office 0207 828 0200 for further information.

  • Airlines flying to and within the US will soon have to refund baggage fees.

    almost 9 years ago

    Airlines flying to and within the US will soon have to refund baggage fees if luggage is lost. The regulation is part of a package, due to come into force later this year, which will also force carriers to up compensation to passengers who are bumped off flights because of overbooking. But “lost” means just that. You won't get your money back if your luggage is merely delayed. In that case, the Department of Transportation in Washington has decided, you'll still have to demand compensation from the airline. It says: “We have decided against requiring carriers to reimburse passengers for any fee charged to transport a bag that is not timely delivered. Arguably, as is the case with transporting passengers themselves, while delay in receiving baggage may be inconvenient, once the carrier delivers a bag the service has been performed. Consumers may, of course, seek reimbursement for damages caused by delay in the
    delivery of their baggage by filing a claim with the airline or, if dissatisfied with the airline's resolution of the matter, with an appropriate civil court.” Most passengers no face charges for taking more than their free allowance of checked bags. And some low cost airlines offer no free allowance at all.

  • News 38

    World's Largest Fresh Produce Market Opens To Public In Paris

    almost 9 years ago

    Journey through the belly of Paris! The tradesmen’s market of Rungis is opening its doors to the public for guided tours for the first time in its history.  

    Fish, meat, fruit, vegetables and flowers are delivered on a daily basis by over 26,000 vehicles to the market site at Rungis which is spread over 232 hectares.

    The market provides over half the fresh seafood consumed in the French capital, 45% of Paris’ fruit and vegetables, 35% of its meat and 50% of the flowers that adorn Parisian homes and businesses.

    Usually closed to the public, tourists now have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the market on the second Friday of each month. Strictly for morning people, the pickup from Paris is at 5am! The visit ends at 8.30am with a traditional market breakfast.

    Prices: €75 per person including transport to and from Paris city centre, guided tour, and breakfast.
    More information:

  • Hotel prices have rocketed in some cities over the past year

    almost 9 years ago

    Hotel prices have rocketed in some cities over the past year, says reservations system operator HRS. Rates in Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Cape Town jumped by 68%, 26.86% and 25.51% respectively between the first quarter of 2010 and the same period this year, Rates in Buenos Aires were up 20.16% and New York prices rose by 14.97%. Those in Zurich increased by 17.59%, Moscow by 15.37% and Stockholm by 13.59%.  Two caveats when reading these figures: first, the economic climate was much chillier a year ago, depressing rates, And second, the rates are calculated in Euros, whose value against some of these cities' domestic currencies has fallen. This skews some of the figures a bit – but not by very  much. On the bright side, rates in Prague , Copenhagen, Rome and Milan, changed hardly at all, while those in Barcelona and Budapest even fell slightly.

  • "Feel part of the vivid in-room installations"

    almost 9 years ago

    “Feel part of the vivid in-room installations” is the promise made to guests at a new hotel opening on June 1 in the centre of Athens. Don't be confused but that’s what it's called – New Hotel. It's been created by Greek Cypriot art collector Dakis Joannou, owner of the Yes!hotel group, with the help of Brazilian designers Humberto and Fernando Campana, who have exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Design Museum in London. They have turned fittings such as  chairs and doors from the old Olympic Palace hotel, which the building formerly housed, into art works. The hotel is 200 metres from Syntagma (Constitution) Square. Prices start at €180 (about £160) –

    For European citybreaks, we recommend Kirker Holidays

  • Why does it take so long for cabin crew to reach you with the drinks?

    almost 9 years ago

    Why does it take so long for cabin crew to reach you with the drinks? A speedier solution could be at hand. Two German companies, SkyMax and Air-Eltec Luftfahrtelektrik have come up with an automated trolley which can produce any of 30 hot or cold drinks at the push of a button. No more groping around for the right can or pouring hot tea from a jug. Called Sky-Tender, it looks like a no brainer. But, of course, we can't vouch for the quality of the coffee.

  • Tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show (May 24-28)

    almost 9 years ago

    Tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show (May 24 – 28) are included in two packages on offer from tour operator Superbreak ( A night's b&b on May 27 and entrance to she show next day costs £138 at the Lancaster Gate Hotel and £162 at the Malmaison