Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Riviera Nayarit Zipline

In the mountains across from the town of Higuera Blanca, visitors will find the longest zipline in the Riviera Nayarit, measuring one kilometer—over half a mile—in length. The adrenaline-fueled adventure is offered by Vista Paraíso within its Canopy Tour, made up of 10 lines. With an amazing, jaw-dropping view from the lookout, you can see the Islas Marietas and, at times, all the way to the Islas Marías.

International News

Tour Operator Stops Selling Many Animal Attractions

TripAdvisor recently announced that it would stop selling hundreds of attractions in which tourists come into physical contact with captive wild animals.

The website sells hundreds of thousands of attractions to travelers, and of those, thousands involve animals in some way. Hundreds will be impacted by the new policy, such as riding an elephant, petting tigers, and swimming with dolphins.

TripAdvisor will continue to sell attractions that involve domesticated animals, such as horseback riding and children’s petting zoos; aquariums that have touch pools used for educational purposes; feeding programs where tourists are under the supervision of zoo or wildlife officials; and volunteerism programs in which the volunteers work with endangered species at zoos, aquariums, or sanctuaries.

According to the advocacy group World Animal Protection, the decision came six months after they launched a petition urging TripAdvisor to take action, and more than 558,000 supporters around the world called upon it to stop profiting from the sale of wildlife tourist attractions.

TripAdvisor is the latest company that has decided to stop offering certain animal encounters.

For years, it has prohibited the listing or publishing of reviews for businesses that used captive wild animals or endangered species for blood sport, such as bullfights and captive hunts. That policy still stands.

World’s Biggest Train Station to Be Built under the Great Wall

China, already home to the world’s highest bridge, is planning to build the world’s deepest and largest high-speed railway station at the popular Badaling section of the Great Wall. The station is expected to be completed by the end of 2019 in preparation for the Winter Olympics in 2022.

At a depth of 335 feet, the station’s underground area will span about 380,000 square feet—the size of five standard soccer fields—according to China Daily. There will be three floors, with separate levels for passengers who are arriving and departing, connected by what will be the country’s tallest escalators at 62 feet. The station will be part of a railway network connecting Yanqing and Chongli on which trains will reach a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour.

Cruise News

Star Clippers Waives Single Supplement on Transatlantic Crossings

Star Clippers is offering special single rates for two different transatlantic sailings in 2017 on the Royal Clipper and the Star Flyer.

 

The Royal Clipper will cruise from Barbados to Lisbon, Portugal for a 16-night voyage with the option to extend the stay for a 28-night voyage from Barbados to Cannes. Sixteen-night Eastbound Crossing: April 8–24, 2017, with rates starting at US$2,210 per person, no single supplement.

Royal Clipper 28-night Eastbound Crossing: April 8–May 2, 2017, Barbados to Cannes, with rates starting at US$3,880 per person, no single supplement.

The Star Flyer will sail from St. Maarten to Malaga, Spain, for a 20 night Eastbound Crossing April 1–21, 2017, with rates starting at US$2,250 per person, no single supplement.

Queen Mary 2’s Space Week Cruise

Cunard has planned a cosmic cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2 in honor of World Space Week in October 2017.

Passengers on the ship’s eastbound crossing of the Atlantic won’t leave the atmosphere, but they will be treated to a roster of guest scientists and an on-board planetarium with a dome featuring virtual trips to the stars. Of course, there’s always stargazing off the top deck too.

NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman, a veteran of five space flights and now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Charles Barclay of Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society, NASA historian Ken MacTaggart, and Stephen Attenborough of space tourism pioneer Virgin Galactic will sail on the cruise.

The seven-night transatlantic crossing sails from New York City to Southampton, England.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.”

—Lawrence Block

Deal of the Week

Simple Discoveries—Simple Pleasures

7-Day/6-Night Bordeaux Package, starting at US$1,495 per person.

As part of the new “Simple Discoveries Collection,” Eurobound is offering guests comfortable accommodations at smaller properties and authentic local experiences designed for active travelers with moderate budgets. Included are hand-picked charming three-star properties along with shared small-group activities. You will experience warm hospitality and welcoming hosts without draining your bank account.

Bordeaux land-only package pricing includes:

• Private transfer on arrival to Bordeaux hotel

• 2 nights accommodation at Coeur de City Hotel Bordeaux Clemenceau, standard double room, breakfast, and VAT

• 4 nights accommodation at Chateau de L’Hoste, superior room, breakfast, and VAT included, plus daily 3-course dinner
• Half day Grands Crus Chateau & Saint Emilion Tour

• 3-hour cooking lesson “all about foie gras”

• Entry to the foie gras museum in Frespech

• 1-day bicycle rental

• Wine tasting at the Château Lamartine

• Car rental from Bordeaux train station, Toulouse Airport, or Bordeaux Airport—compact, automatic, air-conditioned Citroen c4 or similar

 

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She designs journeys that are tailored to suit a client’s interests, abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email judynewell@perfectjourneys.net. Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo; hours Mon–Fri, 11am–4pm. View the latest travel specials on the website perfectjourneys.net.

 

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