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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Hepatitis outbreak in Tulum

Travelers visiting Tulum, Mexico, are being cautioned by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that, as of May 1, more than two dozen cases of hepatitis A have been reported by US travelers who visited there.

The CDC recommends that travelers planning a trip to Tulum or nearby destinations should look into getting vaccinated if they have not previously done so, to eat and drink safe food and beverages, and to practice good hygiene and cleanliness.

International News

Nepal Aid passes $200,000 CAD

The adventure tour operator G Adventures announced that it has passed the $200,000 CAD mark (US$164,000) in its aid appeal launched in response to the earthquake that struck Nepal in April, killing more than 8,000 people.

The Toronto-based company has been operating small group adventure tours in Nepal for 15 years. It is now involved with efforts on the ground to bring assistance to those in need. The group sent $10,000 CAD for emergency relief in the form of water, food, fuel, and blankets to villages impacted in the Kathmandu Valley. The balance of funds will be used for the long-term repairing and rebuilding of homes in the region.

On April 27, G Adventures set a fund-raising goal of $75,000 CAD. It hit the mark within 48 hours. The company is covering administrative costs, and 100 percent of the donations will benefit those in need in Nepal.

Cruise News

World’s largest tall ship

Star Clippers has begun construction on what will be the largest square-rigged sailing ship in the world. The new vessel, the fourth ship in the Star Clippers fleet, is expected to launch mid-2017.

It will be modeled on the five-masted sailing ship France II, which was commissioned in 1911 and was also the largest square-rigger in the world when it launched. It will supersede the line’s flagship Royal Clipper, which carries 227 passengers and is currently the largest square-rigged passenger ship.

The new ship will carry 300 passengers in 150 cabins, weigh 8,770 tons, and be powered by 6,350 square meters of sails. Technically known as a five-mast barque, its facilities will include four bars, three swimming pools, a dining room, a library, a watersports platform, and a spa and beauty center.

Construction started 10 months ago in Croatia’s Brodosplit shipyard on the Adriatic coast. “Larger, more established shipyards are unable or unwilling to cope with the demands of hand-building a sailing ship of this size,” said Mikael Krafft, founder and owner of Star Clippers.

Commenting on his difficulty in finding shipyards capable of building large sailing ships—rather than the more conventional “sail-assisted” engine-powered vessels—Krafft joked that construction of his vessel had started “100 years too late.”

The company has also announced its return to Southeast Asia, where it will operate a winter season in Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. Star Clipper will sail in December 2016 to its new home port of Phuket, Thailand, where it will operate seven-night round-trip cruises on two different routes exploring beaches, islands, and anchorages not visited by other cruise ships.

Family river cruises with Disney

River cruising in Europe will attract a new audience when Adventures by Disney partners with AmaWaterways for new family cruises in July 2016. The all-new AmaViola will cruise on the Danube River and feature destinations in four countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. The 8-day cruises will also offer a three-day pre- or post-cruise trip in Prague.

The ship features a family-friendly design with six sets of connecting staterooms and some rooms and suites that can accompany three- and four-person families. Shipboard spaces are designed to provide for activities geared toward kids, teens, and adults.

Deal of the Week

Crystal Cruises limited-time fares from US$1,700

From five-day Crystal Getaways to a history-making Northwest Passage cruise, you can follow your wanderlust with two-for-one Cruise-Only Fares from US$1,700 per person—a limited-time offer that must be confirmed by June 30, 2015. Sail to classic destinations on five to 11 day itineraries and indulge in all Crystal has to offer, including:

Complimentary select fine wines, champagne and premium spirits; complimentary gratuities for all dining, bar, housekeeping, and Penthouse butler staff; complimentary evening of specialty restaurant dining; complimentary enrichment via the innovative Creative Learning Institute and the Computer University@Sea; and complimentary fitness programs.

Cruises available include Amsterdam to Reykjavik, seven days on Aug. 3, from US$2,390; Reykjavik to New York, seven days on Sep. 6, from US$2,390; Miami to Colón, six days on Nov. 28, from US$1,700; Miami to San Juan, seven days on Dec. 12, from US$2,045.

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: CDC, G Adventures, Star Clippers, Adventures by Disney, Telegraph (London), Crystal Cruises


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