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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Colchagua Valley

Mexico Travel News

Aeromexico strengthens WestJet alliance

Aeromexico announced that they have increased their cooperation with Canadian airline WestJet, providing passengers with added connectivity to more destinations in Mexico and Canada with more competitive fares.

More service will be offered from Mexico to Canadian destinations including Vancouver,

Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. It will also include better connectivity deeper into Mexico from Canada through connection cities in the United States and Mexico.

International News

Ireland’s Ashford Castle celebrates reopening

Ashford Castle is offering a deal to those who are the first to experience its new renovation. The castle closed on January 6 for the first stage of what will be a complete overhaul of the property. The castle reopened on March 14 with the public areas and the first set of guest rooms completed. Ashford is offering a reopening package that includes two nights with full Irish breakfast for two adults and one table d’hote evening meal for two in the newly re-opened George V Restaurant. The deal is available midweek Sunday to Thursday and is priced from €120 (US$165) per person based on two people sharing (including VAT and taxes). The deal is valid from April 1 to 30 and subject to availability.

Eurail early bird special for France, Italy and Spain

Customers will receive one free travel day when they purchase a Eurail Italy, Eurail France-Italy, Eurail France-Spain and Eurail Italy-Spain Pass between March 15 and April 30. For example, a traveler who purchases a four-day pass will receive a pass valid for four plus one days. Eurail Passes can be activated within six months of their date of purchase.

France honors D-Day Landings in 70th anniversary year

This is a special year in Normandy, where 9,387 Americans are buried at the American Cemetery, because June 6 will mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. There are 24 American military cemeteries overseas where the remains of 125,000 US soldiers are interred and Normandy is the most visited, receiving about one million visitors each year.

The American Cemetery’s US$30 million Visitor Center tells the story of D-Day with all of the dignity it commands.

France has taken the Franco-American relationship seriously and nowhere is that more apparent than in the way France honors the memory of the battle and tells the story of the D-Day landings, the most famous military beach landing in history. France has invested almost €50 million recently to polish up the battlefields, monuments and memory trails of both the First and Second World Wars. This year also marks the centennial of the beginning of WW1.

On June 6, Normandy will host a program of events and commemorations of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy. From spring to autumn there will be many events in the towns and villages of Normandy. The program includes historical reconstructions, concerts, film screenings, firework displays, exhibitions, themed tours and guided walks.

Visitors should spend some free time in Bayeux to stroll its medieval streets, tour the 11th-century cathedral, visit the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy, and see the famed Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot embroidery that tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England. Normandy offers other attractions including the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel.

Cruise News

Save up to US$1,000 on May Galapagos voyages

Discover the Earth’s most storied haven for curious wildlife as you walk in the footsteps of Darwin, snorkel in Pacific waters, and experience an enchanting Galapagos voyage under the guidance of International Expeditions’ expert naturalist guides.

IE has added guest lecturer Joan Embery, a wildlife expert who you may know from her appearances on the Tonight Show, and money-saving offers on both of the May departures aboard the 32-guest Evolution. May 2: US$500 off per person, with guest lecturer Joan Embery. May 30: US$1000 off per person.

New Irrawaddy River cruises

River cruise operator AmaWaterways will launch AmaPura, a new 56-passenger river ship, on a series of voyages on Myanmar’s Irrawaddy River beginning in November 2014.

AmaWaterways will offer 10-night “Golden Treasures of Myanmar” and 14-night “Hidden Wonders of Myanmar” journeys featuring storied “Road to Mandalay” icons including Yangon (Rangoon) and other centuries-old cultural sites plus spectacular ancient temples, shrines, cities and pagodas.

AmaWaterways will offer four-night post-cruise land extensions for both itineraries, featuring three nights in Inle Lake and one night in Yangon, and a three-day, two-night pre- or post-cruise extension in Bangkok.

Deal of the Week

Luxury Argentina & Chile – A Wine Lover’s Adventure

Stunning natural scenery and elegant cities, the fiery tango, gauchos, the finest beef and seafood, snow-capped Andean peaks, the Lake District…all this awaits you in Argentina and Chile. Join a custom-designed small group tour led by Judy Newell to learn the secrets of wine-making from grape to glass in the Mendoza, Maipo and Colchagua Valleys.

You’ll visit Buenos Aires, an Argentinean estancia, Mendoza, Santiago, the Chilean wine valleys, Puerto Varas, make an Andean lake-crossing and have a grand finale in Bariloche: 16 days, October 2-18. US$6,400 per person, based on double occupancy; US$2,400 additional single supplement. Optional pre-trip extension to Iguazú Falls and optional post-trip extension to Easter Island.


Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys which specializes in custom-designed independent tours, cruises and travel for couples, singles, and groups of friends. Perfect Journey’s next small group tour is “Argentina & Chile for Wine Lovers” on October 4, 2014. There will be a free seminar on Iguazú Falls and Easter Island at 3pm in the Biblioteca on Tuesday, April 1.

Contact Judy by cell phone at 415-111-8765, by email at, or view the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Pulse, USA Today, Toberua Island Resort


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