Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Sri Lanka beach

Riviera Maya resort offers clothing-free escape

You may be planning to travel light this summer but how about not packing any holiday clothes at all? Hidden Beach Resort offers guests the chance to enjoy the beach, swim-up suites, yoga and dining − all without needing a stitch of clothing. The nudist resort even offers au naturel disco, water volleyball and weddings.

Hidden Beach Resort bills itself as the only luxurious all-inclusive nudist resort in the Mexican Caribbean. The adults-only hotel has 42 beachfront suites which look out across the Caribbean Sea.

The ‘bare necessities’ of nudism are explained to guests on arrival and hotel etiquette requires that they carry a towel around with them at all times. Activities include naked yoga, water-volleyball and catamaran cruises − there’s even an option for body painting classes.

Dining in the resort’s restaurant can also be done ‘au naturel’ and there is a naked disco for anyone who finds that clothing hinders their well-rehearsed Saturday Night Fever dance routine.

Cruise News

Royal Caribbean to offer 53-day segmented world cruise

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will sail a whopper of a journey when it spends 53 nights at sea between its first homeport of New York City and Shanghai, its new homeport. Called the Quantum Global Odyssey, the journey will be split into five legs with the first departing New York on May 2, 2015.

Cruisers may book the entire sailing or one (or more) of the following segments: an 11-night transatlantic crossing; a 16-night sailing across the Suez Canal; a 14-night sailing in Southeast Asia and India; a three-night round-trip cruise from Singapore to Malaysia; and a nine-night journey from Singapore to Shanghai that includes calls at Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City and Xiamen, China

A Rosa Cruises new shore excursions concept

A Rosa Cruises launched in North America and Canada just over a year ago, creating what they called the most all-inclusive upscale river cruise product in the industry. They have increased the number of departures in 2015 to 116 covering the rivers Rhine, Rhone, Danube Saone, Main, and Moselle. A Rosa’s taken a new approach for shore excursions in 2015. They will no longer be offering shore excursions on a complimentary basis, but will give guests a 200 euro credit towards whichever shore excursions they want.

They actively seek the younger in “attitude” guest by providing a full spa, fitness center, heated year-round swimming pool and plenty of bicycles on board. All alcoholic beverages are included in the price and after dinner guests can enjoy local entertainment onboard.

New cruise itinerary: Seychelles to Sri Lanka

Looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure for 2015? Expedition cruise line Lindblad is out with a new “Indian Ocean Odyssey: Seychelles, Maldives, and Sri Lanka” itinerary that pairs stops in the islands of the Seychelles with an Indian Ocean crossing to little-visited Sri Lanka.

The adventure-travel pioneer will offer a single sailing of the 21-day trip April 18, 2015 aboard the 102-passenger National Geographic Orion, which joined the Lindblad fleet this year.

The voyage kicks off in Mahe in the Seychelles and includes stops in the nearby Seychelles islands of Silhouette, Praslin and Aride. Then it’s on to the Maldives for several stops before continuing to Sri Lanka.

Highlights of the trip will include snorkeling and diving and the chance to see hundreds of species of fish and thousands of seabirds as well as endangered Seychelles giant tortoises in the wild. Fares for the sailing begin at US$19,930.

Air News

Airlines magic-themed suites cast a spell

Asiana Airlines has revealed what they’ve had up their sleeve for their A380. With clever sleight of hand they’ve worked some nifty magic in the skies.

Asiana opted to include 12 First Suites for passengers with sliding doors to provide both privacy and a sense of space. Each First Suite comes with 83-inch pitch seat and a buddy seat. The private cabins also come with entertainment − attendants dress up as magicians to perform magic tricks and, for those who like, read tarot cards.

Entertaining airport amenities

A stroll past San Francisco International’s T2 area is typically met with sights of yoga aficionados practicing their warrior pose. Yes, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of travel you too may want to drop your bags and head straight into the yoga room to release the stress of airport-madness.

This aviation hub has created the first yoga studio for passengers who may need to find solace in its powerful stretches. So the next time you find yourself stuck at San Francisco International Airport, don’t hesitate in zoning out along with other flyers who may also need to practice their breathing and stretches.

Deal of the Week

Golden Treasures of Myanmar

A special introductory offer of US$1,500 off per cabin or the single supplement waived is available on the 10-night cruise from Pyay to Mandalay (or reverse) aboard the AmaPura of AMA Waterways. The discount is applicable for the 2014 embarkation dates December 8, 18, and 28.

The journey begins in Yangon, followed by a 10-night upstream cruise embarking in Mandalay. Visit sacred sites, small villages, craftsmen’s workshops, markets and Buddhist monasteries, and enjoy a full-day tour of Bagan and its rich collection of stupas, temples and pagodas. Take in the stunning view from atop Mt. Popa and visit Pyay before returning to Yangon via plane for another overnight stay.

The 56-passenger AmaPura (built in 2014) is a custom-designed, all-suite ship and features a private balcony in every suite. Discounts are taken off the cruise fares from US$4,899 cruise only or US$5,739 cruise and land.

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys which specializes in custom-designed tours, cruises and travel for couples, singles, and groups of friends. Perfect Journey’s next outstanding small group tour is “Argentina & Chile −A Wine Lovers Adventure”, departing October 2, 2014. Please contact Judy for further information or reservations on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone at 415-111-8765, email at, or view the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Calgary Herald, Cruise Critic, Travel Pulse, USA Today, Skift, AMA Waterways

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