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Travel News

Mexico Travel News

By Judy Newell

New Dolphin Discovery at Tulum-Akumal

Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa opened the newest marine attraction, Dolphin Discovery, in the Riviera Maya area. The dolphinarium, which opened in June, offers resort guests an opportunity to learn about, view, and play with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Set along the eastern shores of Riviera Maya, the Tulum-Akumal dolphinarium is a saltwater lagoon with panoramic ocean views. As a member of Alliance of Marine Mammals Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), Dolphin Discovery adheres to the highest standard of training and care of marine mammals and has created a safe environment for both dolphins and guests.

The oceanfront setting is home to four Atlantic bottlenose dolphins – Charly, Athos, Gigio and Porthos. Visitors can get an up-close perspective and understanding of the dolphins while floating in the lagoon, standing upon an underwater platform or on the observation deck encircling the lagoon. Rates start at US$39 for infants, US$89 for minors and US$119 for adults.

Aeromexico increases flights for summer

Aeromexico announced an increase in the number of flights it offers between Mexico City and major destinations such as Acapulco, Cancun, Huatulco, Los Cabos, Merida, Oaxaca, Puerto Vallarta and Zihuatanejo in Mexico, and Miami, Orlando and San Antonio in the United States for this summer season.

The airline will add over 100 flights a week to its connectivity network, with more than 3,000 seats per week for the domestic market and over 2,000 additional seats for the international market.

Aeromexico recently also reported an increase of its offer on international routes such as London, Madrid, Shanghai, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro, reaffirming its commitment to create greater connectivity for Mexico.

International News

Exploring Italy on Italo trains

Italy’s new high speed rail marvel, the Italo train, is at the center of a 14-day comprehensive package, Highlights of Italy, which calls at Venice, Florence, Rome and the Amalfi Coast.

The privately owned Italo train has added a new level of competition to the rail scene in Italy. That competition is reportedly improving service on the government-owned Trenitalia. The Italo line uses Alstom’s AGV high speed trains with a double-decker configuration that can travel commercially at about 220 miles an hour, but maintains an average of 187 mph.

Italo trains offer three service levels ranging from Club class to Prima class to Smart class. All classes promise complimentary live Sky TV, movies and free Wi-Fi as well as Frau leather seats. Primo Class offers air-conditioning, reclining seats and catering by Eataly.

The rail tour from TourCrafters can be taken from Venice to Rome or vice versa, with daily departures from US$2,925 land only per person double through October 31. The package uses three-star Superior hotels includes daily breakfast. Transportation between cities is in second class.

In Venice, the package includes a walking tour and two nights hotel; in Florence there are four nights as well as a cooking class, a full day excursion to the Cinque Terre and a full day excursion to Siena and San Gimignano; in Salerno, a transfer to Amalfi is provided for a three-night stay; and finally, there are four nights in Rome with a 48-hour Hop On Hop Off tour, as well as a walking tour and a departure transfer from the hotel to the airport.

Air News

Could mood blankets make your flight happier?

If you’re old enough to remember ‘mood rings’ from the 1970s then this will amuse you. If you’ve read 1984, maybe not so much.

British Airways is experimenting with the ‘Happiness Blanket,’ a high-tech blanket that changes colors based on your mood and emotions. The LED blanket was recently tested in the premium cabin on a BA flight from London to New York. The blanket has neurosensors and fiber optics woven into its fabric and changes color based on the mental state of the wearer. A blue blanket indicates the passenger is relaxed, while a red blanket suggests a person is tense.

It’s unclear whether this blanket would ever be for general use, or if it’s simply a way to understand passenger moodiness better. Either way, kudos to British Airways for thinking way outside the box at a time when it seems like most airlines are busy calculating just how little they can offer passengers.

Boeing delivers all-black Dreamliner 787-9

In a word … wow! Boeing recently delivered the first of its highly anticipated Dreamliner 787-9 jets to customer Air New Zealand, doing so in dramatic fashion – in a ceremony before nearly 1,000 people at Boeing’s Everett, Washington headquarters, where the plane emerged from the hangar decked out in a special edition all-black livery.

A carbon composite frame allows the 787-9 to be 20 percent more fuel efficient than similar 787s. It is 20 feet longer than its sister planes and seats 40 more passengers. The 787-9 also has a range of 8,000-8,500 nautical miles. Air New Zealand is one of 26 carriers to have ordered the new Dreamliner from Boeing. Its inaugural flight will be in October from Auckland to Perth, Australia.



Deal of the Week

Independent Tuscan experience

Enjoy five nights at the Villa Casagrande, dating from the 14th century. The Villa Casagrande is located in the medieval town of Figline Valdarno, 25 kilometers from Florence. Experience the Tuscan region independently with your car rental. Plus enjoy a welcome dinner with drinks, and breakfast is included each morning. From your villa, you can easily enjoy nearby Florence, Pisa and Siena.

The independent package includes:

•Five nights at the Villa Casagrande – Standard room or upgrade to Superior

•Six-day car rental – Economy Standard Shift (Grp B) – upgrades are available

•Breakfast daily (except day of arrival)

•Welcome dinner, including local wine

The package starts at US$749 per person.


Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys which specializes designing tours, cruises and independent travel for discerning travelers. Perfect Journey’s next outstanding small group tour is “Golden Treasures of Myanmar” departing March 4, 2015. A special group discount of US$1,000 off per double occupancy cabin applies. The 14-day cruise and land tour starts at US$5,139 per person. 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: Travel Pulse, Travel Industry Wire, British Airways, Celtic Tours


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