By Judy Newell
Mexico Travel News
Volaris to Fly to San Juan
Travel to historic San Juan, Puerto Rico, will expand Mexico’s Caribbean travel options when new weekly direct airline service begins July 2 from Cancun. Volaris will operate Thursday and Sunday flights with connections from Mexico City. The Puerto Rico Tourism Commission reports that Mexico is the Latin American country that sends the most visitors to Puerto Rico.
First cruise ship homeport 50 percent complete
The first cruise ship homeport in Mexico is eyeing completion in 2017. Although other resort towns in Mexico serve as popular ports of call for cruise ships, Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point, will be a departure and arrival point for passengers coming from the US
The US$100 million dollar project along the Gulf of California began in December 2013 and is expect to be finished by January 2017. The port will stretch about a mile in length west of the city’s tourist strip. Officials said the project would include a state-of-the-art terminal and convention center. Plans are to start with smaller ships and eventually host 3,000 passenger ships.
The main market is Arizona, but the port will also bring people from other states to start their cruise on the Sea of Cortez. Rocky Point is situated just 200 miles southwest of Phoenix and Tucson and is the closest beach to El Paso, Texas. Some have nicknamed the town “Arizona‘s beach” because it’s a three and half hour drive from both cities. In addition to attracting international visitors, the port is expected to allow cruise lines to tap into an overlooked market in Mexico as many of the country’s residents are unable to cruise because they lack visas for the US.
JetBlue to fly to Cuba
Flights from New York‘s Kennedy Airport to Havana’s José Marti International Airport will begin July 3 with JetBlue. The Queens, New York-based airline is the first major carrier to service flights to Cuba since travel restrictions were recently eased.
Cuba Travel Services is offering the round-trip flights every Friday, and reservations should be made directly with cubatravelservices.com. The JetBlue charter flight will be on an Airbus 150-seat A320.
The carrier currently offers two weekly charter flights to Havana from Tampa and one to Santa Clara in central Cuba, operated in partnership with ABC Charters. A flight from Fort Lauderdale to Havana is operated with Xael Charters.
Ferry service to Cuba approved
Four Florida companies have been given the green light by the US Treasury and Commerce Department to begin ferry service to Cuba after receiving approval from Cuba to commence operations.
Ferry services between Cuba and the United States were cut off in the early 1960s, following the Cuban revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. In December 2014, the United States and Cuba announced plans to renew diplomatic relations after 54 years and have since held high level talks.
Americans no longer need a special license in order to travel to Cuba, but they still must be authorized under any one of 12 different categories, including family visits.
The ferry companies plan to offer a service that would be cheaper than a charter flight and perhaps more convenient, given that passengers could transport more luggage without being charged extra fees.
According to the Sun Sentinel, four companies are Havana Ferry Partners of Fort Lauderdale, Baja Ferries of Miami, United Caribbean Lines Florida of Greater Orlando, and Airline Brokers Co. of Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Summertime travel strong
More travelers are planning to go on overseas trips this summer with Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Paris and London among the top 10 destinations for US travel listed by TripAdvisor in its Summer Vacation Value Report.
American Express Travel lists Reykjavik, Iceland; Incheon, South Korea; and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, among the top 10 city destinations for travel.
Deal of the Week
Prost! Beer themed river cruises
AmaWaterways is offering a 10-night Christmas Markets sailing from Nuremberg to Budapest that will focus on brews throughout the region as AmaPrima makes its way through Germany and Austria. Beer tastings, historic brewery tours, lectures on traditional techniques, guided city tours, and a beer pairing dinner held by acclaimed beer expert and writer Don Russell are among the highlights. Cruise dates are December 14-21, 2015, and fares start at US$2,899 for the cruise only.
Avalon Waterways will be hosting a series of beer themed cruises in 2016. Onboard activities may vary but include tastings, historic brewery tours, and lectures on European beer-brewing techniques. Cruises depart on March 30, 2016-Ten days from Prague to Budapest onboard Panorama, starting at US$2,739; April 12, 2016-Eight days from Amsterdam to Vilvoorde onboard Expression, starting at US$2,599; November 9, 2016-Thirteen days from Budapest to Prague onboard Panorama, starting at US$3,289.
Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys that specializes in tours, cruises, and travel for the discerning traveler. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111-8765; Vonage 949 300-3682; email firstname.lastname@example.org or view the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.
Sources: Travel Pulse, The Arizona Republic, Travel Weekly, NBC-Universal Media, Reuters