Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Greyhound bus service in Mexico

Greyhound has become the first bus company based in the United States to operate domestic service within Mexico. The largest provider of intercity bus transportation in North America, it began service to and from Mexico on June 15 with 23 departures per day, connecting major cities like Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas.

Greyhound passengers can expect big things from the private terminals that were recently built in both Monterrey and Nuevo Laredo, with amenities like free Wi-Fi and charging stations, free short-term parking, and paid long-term parking. The buses themselves include free on-board Wi-Fi, power outlets, leather seats, on-board restrooms, and much more.

 

Aeromexico direct flight Mexico City to Cozumel

Aeromexico will begin daily service between Mexico City and the island of Cozumel October 1, using Embraer 145 jets with 50 passenger seats. The 700 weekly seats on this route will strengthen domestic flight connectivity in the Mexican Caribbean. The addition of Cozumel to Aeromexico’s network marks this as the 46th destination it serves in Mexico that will connect with the 16 cities in the United States from where the carrier operates.

Cruise News

Ships, riverboats, yacht, and airplane for Crystal

Luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises is planning a massive expansion that includes the most spacious ocean-going ships ever, as well as riverboats, a yacht, and even an airplane.

The two-ship line has signed a letter of intent with Germany’s Lloyd Werft shipyard to build three ocean vessels with all-suite accommodations nearly twice the size of those on other luxury ships and over-the-top amenities like submarines and helicopters. The ships will sail with 1,000 crew members, resulting in an also unprecedented one-to-one crew-to-passenger ratio.

In an unusual twist, the new ocean ships will also have 48 residences that travelers will be able to buy as second homes. Ranging from 600 to 4,000 square feet, each residence will occupy a top deck and come with its own private restaurant, reception, and facilities.

Crystal will enter the fast-growing river cruise market in the spring of 2017 with two custom-built luxury ships that will be part of a brand extension called Crystal River Cruises.

The line also is jumping into super-high-end, yacht-like cruising starting December 2015 with the addition of a 62-passenger vessel, the Crystal Esprit. It will carry a boat for adventuring, zodiacs, jet skis, kayaks, and even a two-person submarine and will be part of the brand extension called Crystal Yacht Cruises.

The vessel is available for booking through August 31 by Crystal Society members (the line’s repeat guest loyalty program) for voyages in 2015 through early 2018. After that, bookings will open to other consumers.

The airplane that Crystal plans to acquire will be a Boeing 787 configured to hold just 60 passengers instead of the usual 300. It will  offer extravagant, around-the-world trips as part of the brand extension called Crystal Luxury Air. The 28-day itineraries will feature stops in 10 to 12 remote and/or sought-after locales, with accommodations at some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts.

Crystal is aiming to move well beyond its luxury ocean cruise origins to become a leader in luxury travel of all kinds. The announcements come just four months after Hong Kong-based Genting Hong Kong purchased Crystal from Japan-based shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) with the promise of injecting new capital into the company.

Deal of the Week

Outback rock and reef

Embark on an outback adventure, discover the mysteries of Uluru, then fly to North Queensland and the peerless Great Barrier Reef. This is an ideal Australia vacation for those in search of nature’s most spectacular offerings Down Under. The 10-day trip is priced from US$2,939 per person, including international air from the US and flights within Australia.

Your adventure starts in Alice Springs, the unofficial capital of Australia’s red center, rich with outback history and culture. Enjoy a bush meal under the stars in Simpson’s Gap National Park. Then discover what it means to live in “The Alice” and beyond, visiting the Telegraph Station, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the School of the Air. Meet the desert’s reptilian inhabitants at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, and then take in the vastness of the outback from the top of Anzac Hill.

Head deeper into the desert, bound for Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) and the 36 sandstone domes of Kata Tjuta. Enjoy the sunset over the Rock and an unforgettable “Sounds of Silence” dinner. You’ll have a full day to discover the scientific and spiritual significance of Uluru, opening your eyes to its unique relationship with the native Anangu people of this region.

Then fly to Cairns, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the spectacular North Queensland hinterland. Your time here is at leisure, but no visit is complete without at least one day exploring the reef. Enquire about a broad range of snorkeling or dive tour options, or consider a helicopter adventure to enjoy its beauty from the air.

 

Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys that specializes in crafting personalized cruise and land itineraries for couples, singles, families, and small groups. She designs trips that are carefully tailored to suit clients interests, abilities and budgets. 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 judynewell@perfectjourneys.net or view the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.

Sources: Greyhound Bus Company, Aeromexico, Apple Vacations, Crystal Cruises, USA Today, Goway

 

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