By Judy Newell
Mexico Travel News
Tijuana Airport’s New Terminal in the US
The new Cross Border Xpress (CBX) terminal in San Diego highlights the complexity of the Tijuana-San Diego border, where millions of people crossing both ways each year make it one of the busiest in the world. It provides a bridge to the Tijuana airport and straddles the border in tacit recognition of how much the two cities depend on each other.
To use the bridge passengers must present an airline boarding pass for a flight either departing Tijuana Airport within 24 hours or having arrived within four hours of their border crossing time.
The CBX terminal, billed as the Tijuana Airport terminal in San Diego, is targeting an estimated 60 percent of Tijuana airport passengers who cross into the United States—about 2.6 million travelers in 2014.
Passengers previously have had to drive about 15 minutes to the congested San Ysidro-Otay Mesa crossing, where wait times often extend for several hours. Instead, the airport bridge offers a five-minute walk to a US border inspector. Planning and approvals for the project started over eight years ago. CBX will offer travelers a parking lot, airline tickets, a duty-free shop, rental car companies, restaurants, and other concessions. Travelers arriving in San Diego from the Tijuana Airport will find buses, taxis, shuttles, and Uber available as well.
The US$120-million terminal occupies less than half of a 22.3-hectare piece of land and the city of San Diego has approved a 340-room hotel, shopping center, and gas station.
Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP) manages the Tijuana airport. After the announcement of the opening of CBX, GAP stock was up 1.46 percent, closing at 159.17 pesos (US$9.27).
Overnight Visits to Historic Kyoto Temples
Guests at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto will now be able stay at five temples throughout the city. Activities include Zen meditation sessions and lectures from priests about the history of the temples.
Tenryuji is considered first among the city’s five great Zen temples and is a World Heritage site. Nanzenji, a large complex with some 12 sub-temples, was established in 1291 and rebuilt multiple times after fires. The hojo or abbot’s quarters of Nanzenji are notable for both their gardens and works of art. The Daitokuji temple complex covers over 57 acres (23 hectares) and is linked to the Japanese tea ceremony, thanks to a close connection to the master of the Japanese tea ceremony, Rikyu.
Temple visits are available for up to five guests, with breakfast and dinner included. The visit costs between 100,000 yen (US$808) and 200,000 yen per night.
Unusual Cruise Itineraries in 2016 and 2017
Searching for unusual new cruise itineraries in 2016 and 2017? These four offer something a bit different.
Cruising into Bangladesh: Silversea Expeditions’ Silver Discoverer will take the industry’s first cruise ship visit to Bangladesh when the 120-passenger ship is scheduled to call in Chittagong as part of its “Remote Encounters on the Bay of Bengal” voyage. The ship will also visit Maheshkhali Island and the Sundarbans, the world’s largest saltwater mangrove forest, home to 350 Bengal tigers and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 16-day sailing from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Kolkata, India, departs on February 11, 2017. Numerous wildlife and rural life experiences await on this intensely exotic cruise, which starts at US$11,750 per person.
Wildlife & Marine Life Adventure: If you’re a marine life or wildlife buff, one particularly appealing new itinerary is Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s first ever “Falklands 360” cruise on the 102-passenger National Geographic Orion. The line is offering this 13-day expedition on both October 19 and October 28, 2016, round trip from Ushuaia, Argentina. The itinerary will circumnavigate the Falklands, plus call at Argentina’s Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), the Southern Hemisphere’s newest nature preserve. Both departures include National Geographic photographers and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo experts to help guests bring their photography skills to the next level. Rates for this around-the-Falklands cruise begin at US$10,850 per person double in a Category 1 cabin.
Southern Cross Sojourn: For those seeking an extensive voyage Down Under, Oceania Cruises’ new 684-passenger Sirena will circumnavigate the Australian continent with its 34-day “Southern Cross Sojourn” voyage. It sails round trip from Sydney on March 6, 2017. Port calls within Australia include Brisbane, Whitsunday Islands, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Exmouth, Perth (Fremantle), Esperance, Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island), Portland, Melbourne, Geelong, Hobart (Tasmania), and Eden.
The itinerary also takes guests to Alotau and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, as well as Komodo and Bali (Benoa), Indonesia. Promotional fares for this round-Australia voyage started at US$9,999 per person double for an inside stateroom; brochure rates started at US$24,998.
Words of the Wise and Well-traveled
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.”
—James A. Michener
Deal of the Week
2-for-1 Savings for Uniworld Past Guests
What’s even better than an all-inclusive Uniworld river cruise in Europe? A two-for-one Uniworld cruise! This exceptional offer—extended only to past guests—applies to select 2016 departures of three popular itineraries in Germany, Austria, and Italy, cruising along the scenic Danube, Po, and Rhine rivers. Enjoy 2-for-1 savings and 25 percent off a second cabin, available only to River Heritage Club members.
•Castles Along the Rhine, Amsterdam to Basel, 8 days, April 3, 2016
•Gems of Northern Italy, Milan to Venice, 10 days, April 29, 2016
•Enchanting Danube, Passau to Budapest, 8 days, May 1, 2016
Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes personalized cruises and tours. She designs trips that are tailored to suit a client’s 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 email@example.com. View the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net where you can book your hotels, tours, and cruises online.
Sources: Mexico News Daily, Frequent Business Traveler, Travel Agent Central, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises