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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Museo Subacuático de Arte

The Cancún-Isla Mujeres Marine Park (Museo Subacuático de Arte, or MUSA) is an enchanting underwater museum that now consists of over 500 permanent life-size sculptures featured on the ocean floor. It is one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world.

The layout is divided into two galleries called Salón Manchones and Salón Nizuc. The first is eight meters deep and suitable for both divers and snorkelers. The second is four meters deep and only permitted for snorkeling. All the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and have been designed to promote marine and coral life.

The monumental underwater museum, which came into being in 2009, receives over 750,000 visitors every year from every part of the world.

Luxury hotel makes foray into Mexico

The luxury hotel operator Montage Hotels and Resorts will open its first international property in Los Cabos in late 2017. Montage currently has luxury properties in Laguna Beach and Beverly Hills, California; Deer Valley, Utah; and Maui. The 122-room Montage Los Cabos will be set on 39 acres on the shores of Santa Maria Bay on the Sea of Cortez.

Special rates at deluxe beach hotels

Three beautiful venues on Mexico’s famous beaches are offering special rates for travelers seeking an exclusive atmosphere. The offers must be booked by June 30 for travel through December 17, 2015. The 4.5-star Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Cancun Resort and Spa is offering a Junior Suite Ocean View room for four nights from US$589 per person. The four-star Fiesta American Condesa Cancún, an all-inclusive hotel, is offering a Deluxe Ocean View Room for four nights from US$779 per person. And the four-star Fiesta American Cozumel, an all-inclusive hotel, is offering a Deluxe Ocean View Room for four nights from US$609 per person.

Cruise News

Cruises in Cuba

AdventureSmith Expeditions, a small-ship specialist, will begin a series of eight-day sailings in Cuba starting in December 2015. The company will use the 49-passenger, three-masted schooner Panorama, that has 25 cabins.

The itinerary will visit five ports including Havana, Maria La Gorda, Cayo Largo, Trinidad, and Cienfuegos. This part of Cuba is famous for its culture, music, warm people, and art. The cruises will depart from Havana and qualify for people-to-people exchanges.

The cruises include round-trip airfare from Miami to Cuba, all meals from arrival in Cuba to breakfast on day of departure, Cuban visa, mandatory Cuban medical insurance, and transportation, from US$4,999 per person.

China gets the newest ships

North American cruisers are accustomed to getting the newest, hottest ships in their home markets. But the industry increasingly is looking to Asia for growth, and several cruise lines have concluded that the secret to success is the deployment of new ships.

California-based Princess Cruises revealed that its newest ship would be devoted to Chinese travelers instead of North Americans. Currently under construction in Italy, the vessel will be based year-round in Shanghai and cater to a local Chinese market when it debuts in the summer of 2017. Princess also has been expanding in Japan with cruises aimed at the local market.

Rival cruise line Royal Caribbean has already moved the six-month-old, 4,180 passengers Quantum of the Seas to Shanghai year round to serve the Chinese market. The Miami-based operator announced that it will send a second new ship, the soon-to-debut Ovation of the Seas, to China in 2016.

The Italian cruise line Costa Cruises has also been expanding rapidly in China. And Princess began basing a ship in China on a seasonal basis last year with the deployment of the Sapphire Princess in Shanghai. The vessel will return to the city in June for a second season of sailings that will last through October.

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys that specializes in crafting personalized cruise and land itineraries for couples, families and small groups. She applies her knowledge and experience in designing trips that are carefully tailored to suit client’s interests, ability and budget. 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 or view the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.

Sources: Farebuzz, Montage Hotels and Resorts, Fiesta Americana Hotels and Resorts, AdventureSmith Expeditions, Cruise Critic, USA Now, American Queen Steamboat Company


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