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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Iberostar Playa Mita earns AAA Four Diamond Rating

The Iberostar Playa Mita, which has been open only since December, received the AAA Four Diamond rating, AAA’s second-highest rating for hotels and restaurants. All told, the company now has six Four Diamond properties, including Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraíso, Iberostar Paraíso Maya and Iberostar Cancun in the region as well as Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall and Iberostar Rose Hall Suites in Jamaica.

International News

Single parent fun month

Beaches Resorts announces that single-parent families who book a minimum of a three-night stay in any room category at Beaches Negril, Beaches Ocho Rios or Beaches Turks & Caicos from now through September 23, will be treated to a variety of special events and a waived single supplement fee. Travel must occur from September 1 – 30 to take advantage of the promotion.

Eurostar Plus cultural discounts

With the purchase of a Eurostar Plus ticket you receive a cultural discount program offering “2 for 1” entry into 14 museums and galleries in London, Paris and Brussels for Eurostar ticket holders.

Examples include London: British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern and more. Paris: Musée d’ Art Moderne, Grand Palais, Musée de Quai Branly and more. Brussels: Bozar, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Modern Art and more.

Since 1994 Eurostar high-speed trains have been redefining travel between Britain and the Continent. They are the best way to travel between the heart of London and Paris or Brussels.

Cruise News

Crystal’s book-now savings

Last chance to book your Crystal cruise by June 30, 2014 to enjoy the lowest Book Now Fares and take advantage of these special offerings:

• New Book-Now Fares: With cruise-only fares starting at just US$1,360 per person, be it a five to nine day Crystal Getaway or a luxurious 108-day World Cruise, the choices are endless.

• Special Solo Traveler Fares: You can enjoy limited-time Solo Traveler Book Now Fares on select 2014 and 2015 voyages starting at US$3,055 per person.

• Exotic Escapes: If you’re looking for a more exotic voyage, venture to South America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, China, Japan, Africa and more with fares starting at just US$1,360 per person

• Asia/Australia Air Allowance Credit: Asia and Australia are that much easier to visit and enjoy with limited-time additional savings up to US$800 per person in air allowance credits off their cruise fare!

Book by June 30, 2014 and be pampered aboard the world’s two highest rated ships Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity as they explore the world on their next great adventures.

Carnival Foundation donates US$2.5 million to The Nature Conservancy

To help celebrate World Environment Day and World Oceans Day, Carnival Foundation in partnership with Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company, is providing a US$2.5 million gift over five years to support The Nature Conservancy’s global marine protection priorities.

Carnival Foundation’s support will be directed toward identifying locations where industry and community are most dependent on marine and coastal resources − including key conservation priority sites where Carnival Corporation and its 10 cruiseline brands operate. The Nature Conservancy’s work in these regions, backed by the Carnival Foundation, will help quantify the value of marine ecosystems and help the Conservancy develop mapping tools to guide investment decisions for conservation in the regions.

Air News

Airlines tempting well-heeled travelers with luxury seating

Some long-haul carriers are updating their cabins to pamper their highest-paying customers with luxuries that go beyond a seat that lies flat. UAE-based Etihad will have three-room suites, including showers, in its newest Airbus A380 first class. SAS’s new business-class seats feature new in-flight entertainment systems, Wi-Fi and an “ultra modern” aesthetic. Air Canada leads the pack with secluded cabins with lie-flat seats with unique massaging headrests.

Deal of the Week

Edinburgh Military Tattoo Package

The Military Tattoo is a military drum performance that dates back to the 17th century. One of the best known of these events is held on the Esplanade in front of Edinburgh Castle every August. It is the showcase event of the annual Edinburgh Festival.

The event features performers on bagpipes and drums who travel from all over the world to perform and participate.

The package includes roundtrip economy class airfare from New York, five nights at the Roxburghe Hotel in Edinburgh, a ticket to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Ticket, a 24-hour hop-on/hop-off tour city tour, and breakfast daily. The dates are between August 1 and August 18; from US$2,252 from New York. Service charges and tax, including 20 percent VAT are included.

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 “In the Footsteps of Shakespeare,” departing September 20, 2014. It is a fundraiser for the San Miguel Theater Company. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone at 415-111-8765, email, or view the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Iberostar, Travel Agent Central, Rail Europe, Crystal Cruises, Travel Pulse, Forbes, Scepter tours

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