In the News this Week...
brought to you by News Editor, Roger Bray
The south west gets a new air link with Switzerland this winter.over 8 years ago
The south west gets a new air link with Switzerland this winter when Helvetic Airways starts flying between Bristol and Zurich, From December 5 the Berne-based airline will operate three round trips a week with fares from £145. Departures from Bristol will be at 10.55am on Mondays and 1.25pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. Homeward flights will leave at 7.40am on Mondays, and at 11.55am on the other days.
Invoking the horrors of battle against a backdrop of social change, a new Museum of the Great War has opened in Meaux, north east of Paris.over 8 years ago
Invoking the horrors of battle against a backdrop of social change, a new Museum of the Great War (www.museedelagrandeguerre.eu) has opened in Meaux, some 35 miles north east of Paris. Officially inaugurated on Armistice Day by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, it features artefacts gathered by a private collector. They include many from Verdun, a theatre of war whose history is less familiar in the UK than the slaughter on the Somme. The exhibition, which includes an early tank and aircraft, leads the visitor through a period of French history which begins with the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, a humiliation for France which contributed to the causes of the First World War.
British Airways will launch a daily Heathrow-Bologna service on 29 April 2012.over 8 years ago
British Airways will launch a daily Heathrow-Bologna service on 29 April 2012, with fares from £139 return. The flights will complement BA’s 20 services a week from Gatwick to the Italian city during the summer. In addition, weekly services from Heathrow to Barcelona will increase from 56 to 63, to Brussels from 39 to 46, to Amsterdam from 48 to 55 and to Rome Fiumicino from 42 to 49 from 25 March to 27 October.
Reopening of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh - 1 Dec 2011over 8 years ago
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery will reopen its doors with 17 new and exciting specially chosen galleries on 1 Dec 2011. The national gallery was already the second largest collection of portraits in the world with over 3,500 paintings, sculptures and drawings, with a further 25,000 prints and around 3,000 works on long-term loan. In addition, the Gallery is home to the Scottish National Photography Collection. Comprising around 38,000 photographs, this outstanding collection of photographic art demonstrates how Scotland has been at the centre of the history and development of photography since the 1840s. This has been a £17.6m project and the first major renovation in the gallery's 120-year history. With this much reinvention, even the most seasoned art purveyor is in for a few welcome surprises.
Among other developments, the renovation provides for the first time, full public access throughout the three floors of the building: the magnificent suite of five top-lit galleries on the upper floor has been restored to its former splendour, creating one of the finest display spaces in Scotland.
Lights, Camera, Action: England On Filmover 8 years ago
From the coarse beauty of Yorkshire's moorland to the opulent exteriors of the National Trust's most lavish Stately Homes, England is one big, beautiful movie set. Don't just take our word for it – moviemakers have filmed some true classics here and this weekend sees the release of another: Andrea Arnold's adaptation of Emily Brontë's classic novel Wuthering Heights. Here, VisitEngland showcases some of the locations featured in this film season's most anticipated releases.
St Petersburg is to get a new luxury hotel.almost 9 years ago
St Petersburg is to get a new luxury hotel. The InterContinental group will open a 119 room property there under its boutique Indigo brand in summer 2012. A 101 year old convefrted townhouse – also previously a hotel – it is is east of the city center, next to the Summer Gardens and the Stieglitz Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts. To be known as the Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg Tchaikovskiy, it is a short walk from the Hermitage Museum, the Russian Museum and the Winter Palace and within easy reach of Nevsky Prospect. Meanwhile the group plans to open the InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya by the end of the year.
I walk, therefore I am.almost 9 years ago
I walk, therefore I am. Well, alright, we know Descartes wasn't Greek but his much quoted premise will surely spring to the minds of travellers joining one of a series of “Philosophical Walks” in the south west Peloponnese. The walks, which will take around 1hr 30mins, have been organised by tourism officials on the Costa Navarino, in the Messinia region of Greece. University professors will lead en route discussions of the works of Greek philosophers with themes including “Socrates on madness and love” and “Plato on the physical universe”. If they call on you to keep up, they may be complaining about your mental agility rather than your fleetness of foot.
Like the sound of a quick break across the Channel before the Christmas madness kicks in?almost 9 years ago
Like the sound of a quick break across the Channel before the Christmas madness kicks in? Brittany Ferries has announced a fare of £99 return for a car and two passengers on its routes from Portsmouth to Caen and St Malo and Plymouth to St Malo and Roscoff. You can stay for up to 60 hours and you must book by 21 November 2012 for travel until 18 December 2012. There's surcharge of £10 each way if your trip includes a weekend.
Watch our for tempting fare deals to Vancouver next summer.almost 9 years ago
Watch our for tempting fare deals to Vancouver next summer. Virgin Atlantic is to launch flights there from Heathrow. The airline will operate four times a week between May 24 and October 27, 2012 – on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, using Airbus A340-300 aircraft. The new service promises to increase by around 10% the number of seats available between Heathrow and the British Columbia city and will provide fresh competition for British Airways and Air Canada.
Next year's Olympic weeks could be a great time to visit Britain's tourist honeypots.almost 9 years ago
Next year's Olympic weeks could be a great time to visit Britain's tourist honeypots. Attractions usually busy with overseas visitors may be much quieter than usual. Leading inbound tour operators are reporting an average downturn of 95% in bookings for travel to London during the August games, according to the European Tour Operators Association. Even in the July and August weeks before and after the Games, bookings are down by 60%. With many visitors travelling from the capital to other parts of the UK, there's bound to be a knock on effect beyond London. Tom Jenkins, the association's executive director, says: “The expectations of visitor numbers currently circulating within the hotel industry are hugely inflated. If UK businesses are basing their plans on data in some prominent visitor forecasts, London will suffer financially, as has been experienced by previous host cities.”
Ancient mummies ans shimmering salt flats compelling enough reasons to visit Chile's fascinating Atacama Desert,...almost 9 years ago
Ancient mummies ans shimmering salt flats compelling enough reasons to visit Chile's fascinating Atacama Desert, reckoned to be the driest place on earth. Stargazing is a bonus. Following the opening of the major Atacama Large Millimetre Array radio telescope facility, a hotel near San Pedro has installed its own observatory. The region's clear Southern Hemisphere skies make it one of the world's best places to enjoy the night skies. The Alto Atacama Lodge (www.altoatacama.com) has added an observatory platform with a Meade Lightbridge 16in telescope.
Spanish low cost airline Vueling is ti start flying between cardiff and Barcelona on 27 March 2012.almost 9 years ago
Spanish low cost airline Vueling is to start flying between Cardiff and Barcelona on 27 March 2012. Initially it will operate three round trips a week, by Airbus A320 aircraft, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Meanwhile another budget carrier, Wizz air, is reported to be planning to operate a new twice weekly service between Liverpoool and the Lithuanian capital, Vilnious, from May 2012.
Shanghai has a new luxury hotel with the opening of the first property in Asia under Hyatt's Andaz brand.almost 9 years ago
Shanghai has a new luxury hotel with the opening of the first property in Asia under Hyatt's Andaz brand. The 28 storey, "boutique inspired", 307 room hotel is in Xiantiandi, and entertainment area in the heart of the city full of restaurants and bars and noted for restored houses in Shikumen style, a sort of architectural cross between oriental and European which were home to Chinese people in the western quarters. Rooms have views over the city. It has a spa and fitness centre with an indoor pool, and eateries with cooking ranging from contemporary Shanghai to french bistro.
The Pipe and Glass Inn, in South Dalton, near Beverley in East Yorkshire has been named Pub of the Year by Michelinalmost 9 years ago
The Pipe and Glass Inn, in South Dalton, near Beverley in East Yorkshire has been named Pub of the Year by Michelin. The award is given to the pub which best combines factors such as character and the friendliness of staff as well as the food. The Pipe and Glass Inn is run by James and Kate Mackenzie. In 2006 they took over what was the the shell of a building dating from the 17th century and they continue to upgrade it. Rebecca Burr, editor of the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs Guide describes it as “a wonderfully warm pub and nothing is ever too much trouble for the owners.” Michelin's verdict is that “James’s cooking has developed markedly over the years. He is a great advocate of local suppliers and also uses produce from his own garden. His cooking may display elements of refinement as well as some original touches, but it comes with an inherent and satisfying heartiness because, above all, James never forgets that this is a pub, not a restaurant”.
A house in the grounds of Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn, is now on offer from CV Travel.almost 9 years ago
A house in the grounds of Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn, is now on offer from CV Travel. Customers renting Tudor House, which was added too the Kent castle complex by William Waldorf Astor in 1903, will get access to much of the gardens, lake and and parkland at times when they are closed to the public. The house, which has four bedrooms and sleeps up to seven people, is one of a number of new properties added by the company, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. It has a terrace with views of the double moated castle and its gardens. And the cost: from £1000 for a two night stay.
Viking River Cruises win ‘Best River Cruise Line’ at the British Travel Awards.almost 9 years ago
Viking River Cruises picked up their latest accolade as they were awarded ‘Best River Cruise Line’ at the British Travel Awards 2011 for the third year running. More than 700,000 customers voted for the awards since July 2011 and the winners were announced at a Gala Dinner in Battersea on Wednesday 2nd November.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have won Best River Cruise Line for the third year running and what’s so fantastic about this award is that it is voted for by customers” said Wendy Atkin-Smith, Managing Director Viking River Cruises UK Limited. “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do as a company so to pick up this award again is a great honour.”
Viking River Cruises have already won a number of awards this year including ‘River Cruise Line of the Year’ at the Cruise International Awards and ‘River Cruise Specialist’ at the Travel Bulletin Awards.
The British Travel Awards have categories spanning 100 types of holiday experience including transport, destination, cruise, customer service, holiday extras and accommodation.
Viking River Cruises
NZ's Southern Lakes Named one of the World's Must-visit Destinations for 2012.almost 9 years ago
Influential travel authority, Lonely Planet, has chosen New Zealand's Southern Lakes region as one of the world's Top 10 Regions to visit in 2012.
The Southern Lakes region of Queenstown, Lake Wanaka and Fiordland is the only New Zealand region to feature in the new book, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2012 – the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year.
Queenstown and Southern Lakes is ranked eighth in the book's list of Top 10 Regions for its year-round activities and spectacular scenery. An excerpt from the book reads, "There isn't a bad time to turn up in the world's top adventure playground. There're nonstop outdoor activities year-round in the resort towns of Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau, as well as the surrounding mountains, lakes and parks… Where else can you ski in the morning and golf or water ski in the afternoon? Add excellent wineries and superb restaurants and what more is there to say?"
The Southern Lakes region is renowned as one of the most diverse and spectacular regions in the world, encompassing the tranquil beauty of Lake Wanaka, the international four-season resort of Queenstown and Fiordland's dramatic landscapes, all surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area.
Lonely Planet New Zealand spokesperson Sarah Bennett said, "This news is hardly the shock of the century. Anyone who lives in or has visited the Queenstown region will back up this accolade. Words like breathtaking, jaw-dropping, exhilarating and stunning are grossly overused in the tourism industry but the Southern Lakes region has a right to them all."
Cox & Kings scoops runner-up prize at Telegraph Travel Awards for 2011.almost 9 years ago
Silver Travel Advisor partner company, Cox & Kings, is delighted to have been voted as a runner-up Favourite Specialist Independent Tour Operator in the 2011 Telegraph Travel Awards. The Telegraph polled 23,000 readers about their favourite travel companies and this award is testament to the consistently high quality service and attention to detail that Cox & Kings prides itself on. The awards were made during a ceremony at London’s St. Pancras Renaissance hotel last week.
Cox & KIngs
Cadogan Holidays, which has been operating for over 64 years, has confirmed it will take no more bookings after 31 October 2011.almost 9 years ago
Cadogan Holidays, which has been operating for over 64 years, has confirmed it will take no more bookings after 31 October 2011. The firm has not gone bust or entered administration. All customers who have already booked have been promised they will get their holidays as planned. The operator has been faced not just with long term changes in the way consumers book holidays but by the economic downturn and by upheavals in North Africa during the Arab Spring. It specialised in travel to Gibraltar, Egypt. Madeira, Morocco and Tunisia. Managing director Neil Chapman says: “This is a very sad day. It was a very hard decision to take. The way people book holidays now is very, very different from when we started and we could not see a viable model for the brand going forward. Other parts of our business, including our flight only operation, will keep going, however. I need to stress that Cadogan Holidays has not failed nor have we gone ‘bust’ but instead we have taken what we feel is a responsible and purely voluntary decision to stop taking bookings. Additionally I would like to offer my thanks not just to the millions of customers who enjoyed their holidays with us but also to the many suppliers and partners who worked with us to build and maintain a reputation which has lasted for over six decades.”
Royal Caribbean International announces winter 2012/2013 deployment for Independence of the Seas.almost 9 years ago
Royal Caribbean International has announced that Independence of Seas will be based in the Caribbean for the 2012-13 winter season and return to the UK for the summer season in April 2013.
Independence of the Seas will depart on its trans-Atlantic voyage from Southampton on 22 November 2012, and arrive at Port Everglades on 5 December 2012. The hugely popular ship is re-locating to the Caribbean for the winter season, offering UK & Irish guests six and eight night sailings in Eastern and Western Caribbean. Since its launch in April 2008, Independence of the Seas remains the largest and most innovative cruise ship in Europe and is a real game-changer for the industry.
Dominic Paul, vice president and group managing director, UK, Ireland and Northern Europe, Royal Caribbean International explains:
"Our guests are passionate about Independence of the Seas and the winter deployment presents a great opportunity to introduce sailings on Independence of the Seas in the Caribbean to our loyal guests and introduce new guests to the ship.”