Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

New daily flights Los Angeles to Mazatlan

Delta Air Lines will service Mazatlan International Airport (MZT) with daily, non-stop flights from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning on December 20, 2014. Delta will become the first major US airline to provide daily, year-round flights. Alaska Airlines also serves Mazatlan from Los Angeles with direct flights and US Airways offers flights connecting through Phoenix.

Delta’s new flight will bring approximately 4,960 additional airline seats to Mazatlan each month, representing a potential tourism-related revenue boost to the city by US$1.9 million per month through consumer spending on hotels, restaurants, shopping and transportation services.

International News

Story of the whales

The Journey of Giants, (Ruta de Gigantes), an exhibit that illustrates the story of whales and their annual migration to Latin America, has been unveiled at Miami International Airport’s South Terminal. The exhibit was adapted from a major outdoor installation in Mexico City designed to foster awareness for the beauty of whales and the urgent need for their protection and conservation.

Journey of Giants is the compilation of years of work by photographers at the Albatros Media Foundation, a Panama-based, nonprofit organization which seeks to increase awareness about sustainable development in the Americas. The exhibit was led by Alejandro Balaguer, the organization’s director, a renowned photographer and former Associated Press correspondent who spent 12 years photographing humpback and gray whales in the Pacific Ocean.

The Journey of Giants is sponsored in part by Lindblad Expeditions, the marine-based expedition travel company whose worldwide conservation efforts include the protection of  whales and marine mammals.

Drinking your way around the world for US$1.27 million

Thirsty for the most expensive cocktails, wines and spirits on the planet? For a mere US$1.27 million, you can sign up for a round-the-world drinking tour that features a US$21,000 shot of 1788 Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac, a US$24,000 bottle of Henri Jayer Richebourg Grand Cru ‘78 and other gold-plated beverages.

The “Ultimate Drink Connoisseurs’ Holiday” is the creation of UK-based travel company Holidaysplease. This once-in-a-lifetime holiday is all about lavish parties, the culture of the wine tours and the extravagance of sipping a cocktail that literally costs hundreds of dollars per sip.

Cruise News

New single cabins on Cunard

Cunard Line’s newest ship, Queen Elizabeth, has entered dry dock for a multimillion-dollar refurbishment, the first since the 2,068-passenger, 90,900-ton vessel entered service in 2010.

The refit will include the addition of nine single cabins − a first for Queen Elizabeth, which Cunard says it, is creating in response to passenger demand and changing demographics. The refurbishment also includes general cabin enhancements, improvements to the restaurant, shopping and leisure amenities, plus the installation of environmentally friendly engineering technology.

The Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to leave the shipyard on Sunday, June 1, and sail to Southampton ahead of a four-night roundtrip cruise to Amsterdam on Wednesday, June 4.

Carnival to operate four cruises from China

Carnival announced that it will reposition the Costa Serena to China next year to operate year-round sailings. Carnival earlier deployed the Costa Victoria and Costa Atlantica in China and is about to send the Sapphire Princess to Shanghai, where it will stay for a four-month season. The decision comes as cruise lines turn their eyes toward Asia’s blossoming cruise market.

Experience the beauty of fall on an American River Cruise

Each fall leaves across the nation turn from green to vibrant shades of gold, scarlet, purple and orange. These dazzling colors reflect upon calm waters to create a stunning setting for American Cruise Lines’ journeys along some of the country’s most beautiful waterways. Behold the magnificent scenery during the following times:

Puget Sound and San Juan Islands peak foliage – October 4 through November 1, 2014

Chesapeake Bay peak foliage – October 19 through November 4, 2014

Columbia & Snake Rivers peak foliage – October 4 through October 25, 2014

Hudson River peak foliage – October 4 through November 1, 2014

Air News

United adds Mercedes-Benz tarmac service

United Airlines expanded its Mercedes-Benz tarmac transportation service to Los Angeles International Airport, offering the airline’s top frequent flyers increased comfort and a new way to save time when connecting through the airline’s hub.

United will chauffeur selected Global Services members and United Global First customers to their connections in Los Angeles using its fleet of Mercedes-Benz SUVs, powered by clean diesel technology. United representatives will meet customers at the aircraft, escort them to the waiting Mercedes-Benz vehicle and drive them across the tarmac to their connecting flight. The expediting service gives priority to customers with close connections.

United also offers the transfer service at its hubs in Chicago, Houston, Newark and San Francisco, and the airline plans to further expand it this year.

Deal of the Week

Save up to US$1,500 on Food & Wine River cruises

As a limited time offer on all 2014 AMA Waterways Wine Cruises in Europe, you can save up to US$1,500 per stateroom or receive a single supplement waiver. The wine cruises feature: exclusive excursions to historic wineries and vineyards; select premium wine tastings from European and North American wineries; private wine cellar tours; inspired wine and food pairings; exciting lectures and discussions with acclaimed wine experts. Book now, availability is limited.

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes in custom-designed tours, cruises and travel for couples, singles, and groups of friends. Contact Judy by cell phone at 415-111-8765, by email at, or view the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Industry Wire, Travel Pulse, Cruise Critic, ARC, CNN, ASTA Smart Brief, AMA Waterways


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