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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Mexican tourists accidentally killed by Egypt security forces

Egyptian security forces hunting militants mistakenly opened fire on a caravan of tourist vehicles in the country’s Western Desert on September 13, killing at least eight people visiting from Mexico and injuring six others. There were 14 or 15 Mexicans who were traveling on a desert oasis tour at the time. The other four dead are believed to be Egyptians.

The tourists were traveling in a group of four sport utility vehicles in an area roughly 30 miles from Bahariya Oasis, security officials said. The oasis, a verdant desert outpost, is about 230 miles south of Cairo, and is a popular stop for groups on desert tours.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi called Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on September 15 to offer his condolences and reiterate that Egypt will provide all necessary medical assistance for the injured, presidency spokesman Alaa Youssef said in a statement in Cairo.

In an open letter to the Mexican people, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry promised a thorough and impartial investigation and said the facts of the case remain “confusing.”

The Embassy of Egypt in Washington released a statement that read in part: “I assure the Mexican people that an impartial inquiry is being held, under the leadership of Egypt’s Prime Minister himself, and that Egypt is prepared to do its utmost to help in any way it can.”

The incident, among the deadliest involving tourists in Egypt, comes as the country is trying to revive its vital tourism industry after the turmoil following the 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

International News

Reunification Anniversary in Germany

Celebrations are taking place across Germany, as the country prepares to observe 25 years of reunification since the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) united in 1990 to form the reunited nation of Germany. The German Unity Day, on October 3, marked the end of the unifications process and the addition of several federal states-Brandenburg, Thuringia, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and Saxony-Anhalt-areas that are ripe for exploring.

Cruise News

Free Air to Italy with Uniworld

Special limited time offer with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises: Book by October 31, 2015, and enjoy complimentary economy airfare on select 2016 departures on the all-inclusive, 15-day “Splendors of Italy” cruise/tour from Milan to Rome.

Embrace la dolce vita on a culturally rich journey through beautiful Italia, tracing the Renaissance from its most famous cities-Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan-to the hidden gems of Northern Italy. Featured cities: Milan, Venice, Padua or Ferrara, Chioggia, Verona, Florence, Rome. 2016 available departures: April 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29; May 6 and 13. From US$6,799 per person.

Free Air to France with Scenic

Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours is offering free international air to travelers on 11and 12-day Bordeaux sailings onboard the Scenic Diamond in 2016, when booked by October 31, 2015.

Guests will enjoy a night in Paris before traveling aboard the ultra-fast Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) for Bordeaux. They will make stops in Cadillac, Saint-Émilion, Libourne, Cognac, Médoc, and Arcachon. On the company’s new “Scenic Sundowners” concept, guests will enjoy unique activities, including an afternoon at the estate of Château Soutard sipping wine, or participate in “Scenic Enrich,” a private dinner and classical concert in the Château Giscours.

Other excursions include walking tours, a visit to Charlemagne’s Roquetaillade Castle with the family in residence, trips to the Terres d’Oiseaux nature park with its 100 species of birds, a 19-mile cycling adventure along Captain’s Road near Bourg, and a “shop with the chef” opportunity in Bordeaux.

Fares for the Bordeaux itineraries start at US$5,625 per person, for a double cabin. Available dates are: April 25; May 5, 15, 25; June 4, 14, 24; September 2, 12, 22; October 2. Scenic’s free international air offer is available through dozens of major U.S. and Canada gateways.

Air News

Dreamliner Painted like Star Wars’ Droid R2-D2

Star Wars theme music played and Storm Troopers held guard as the hangar doors began to open. Within moments, a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” painted with the likeness of R2-D2 emerged to a cheering crowd at Boeing’s wide-body assembly line facility in Everett, Wash.

The airplane featuring images of the loyal droid from the Star Wars franchise belongs to Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) and will begin flying paying passengers October 18 on a run between Tokyo’s Haneda Airport and Vancouver, Canada. It will soon get company, becoming one of three ANA aircraft to be painted in a Stars Wars theme.

First-class Pet Cabins on Flights

American Airlines created first-class pet compartments for select transcontinental flights on Airbus A321s because pets could not be stored under the lie-flat seats. The carrier “adapted storage compartments adjacent to the two front-row seats to become fully ventilated pet compartments,” American wrote in its employee newsletter.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.” Mohammed

Deal of the Week

Cruise Croatia and The Adriatic on New Mega Yachts

10 days/nine nights including two nights in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb with prices starting from US$2,399 per person. Tour the magnificent Plitvice Lakes and take a fabulous seven-night cruise aboard the brand new motor yachts President and Prestige. Featuring oversized cabins and public areas, the yachts carry a maximum of 38 passengers. The cruise/tour includes 18 meals and nine tours and excursions.

Departures: April through October 2016. Book in 2015 by October 30 and save US$300 per person; by November 30 and save US$200 per person; by December 30 and save US$100 per person. A non-refundable deposit of US$250 per person is required.

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 View the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours, and cruises online.

Sources: The New York Times, Recommend, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, USA Today, American Airlines, Value World Tours


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