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Travel News

norway-Voyages to Antiquity

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Mexico Tourism Secretary Seeks Presidential Nomination

Mexico’s tourism secretary, Enrique de la Madrid, has expressed interest in becoming the next presidential candidate for the PRI, Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party. De la Madrid was appointed to the role of tourism secretary by current president Enrique Pena Nieto in 2015. Pena Nieto, whose presidential term ends in 2018, is also a member of the PRI.

De la Madrid is no stranger to politics. He is the son of Miguel de la Madrid, who was president of Mexico from 1982 to 1988. The former PRI federal congressman also holds a law degree and masters in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Swim With Whale Sharks

It’s whale shark season in the waters of the Mexican Caribbean.

The largest fish in the ocean, whale sharks can reach lengths of 40 feet and can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Filter feeders that eat mostly plankton, whale sharks pose no threat to humans. But humans pose a threat to them. Their numbers have dwindled significantly in recent years. They’re on the endangered species list, protected by both international and Mexican laws.

Strict rules restrict the number of licensed boats allowed to approach the pods surrounding Isla Mujeres, Contoy and Holbox. Only two passengers at a time from each boat can enter the water to swim or snorkel near them. It’s the experience of a lifetime, though. To see the “gentle giants” up close is magical. One proviso: You’re looking at a boat ride of one and a half hours or so each way. The waters can be choppy, so seasick meds might be in order.


Mexico City Museum Tour

Perfect Journeys will sponsor a 5-day tour to Mexico City, Wed, Aug 30–Sun, Sep 3, which features two specialist bi-lingual guides, 4* hotel accommodations in the Centro Historico, roundtrip transportation, all entrance fees, and more. Contact Judy Newell for details and reservations.

Cruise News

The Simple Pleasures of Adult-Only Viking Cruises

Not that there’s anything wrong cruising with children, but the absence of kids on Viking Ocean Cruises is pleasurable. Other cruise lines may have their selective adults-only retreats, but Viking’s entire ship is exclusive to those of age. Technically, minors are not outright prohibited onboard, but they are not encouraged either. Viking touts what it is not, saying on its website: “You will not find casinos, kids, umbrella drinks or needless distractions.”

As Viking is all about the destination, learning and reflection, children really would be a distraction on its ships. It’s not an environment they would find particularly fun anyway. There are neither costumed characters nor waterslides, for instance. That leaves solitude to those who wish it or social interactions for like-minded discoverers to bond on the Viking Star, Viking Sea and Viking Sky (with many more sister-ships to come). While there is a time and a place for children—and certainly family-friendly cruise travel should be fostered in other segments—Viking Ocean Cruises offers an oasis for those seeking a refreshing alternative.


International News

North Korea Travel Ban

The United States government is set to ban travel to North Korea starting September 1.

US passports will be invalid for travel to North Korea beginning September 1, the New York Times reported. The new ban comes during tensions over intercontinental ballistic missile tests by North Korea. According to Reuters, the ban will still allow for an exemption that would let Americans, including journalists and humanitarian workers, obtain passports with a special validation for visits to the country. A US State Department travel warning for North Korea has been in effect for some time. The travel warning advised US citizens that traveling to the country places them at “serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement.”

Journeys for the Solo Traveler

Calling all the single ladies and lads. Intrepid Travel has just announced a new range of tours that are for solo travelers only. The variety of trips features six new solo-only tours for 2018, including:


Beautiful Bali–For Solo Travelers: A nine-day adventure that conquers the slopes of Mount Batur, explores Bali Barat National Park’s underwater world, offers peaceful moments in Pura Ulun Danu Bratan and more.

Best of Morocco–For Solo Travelers: 15-day journey starting in the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, visiting the Sahara Desert, stopping in Fes and finishing in Marrakech.

Golden Triangle–For Solo Travelers: Stops in Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Also includes a homestay during an eight-day journey through India.

Mexico Real Food Adventure–For Solo Travelers: Explores Mexico’s distinctive—and delicious—cuisine while Oaxaca, Puebla, Mazunte and Mexico City.

Classic Peru–For Solo Travelers: Trek into the Andes Mountains to retrace the steps of the Inca on a nine-day journey.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Magic isn’t imaginary. It’s just very well planned.” – Anonymous

Deal of the Week

Explore Britain, Iceland, and the North Atlantic

Join the award-winning Aegean Odyssey of Voyages to Antiquity in summer 2018 as she sets sail on an exploration of Britain, Ireland, and the North Atlantic.

The magnificent fjords of Norway, Iceland’s wonderfully diverse natural landscapes, the serenity of northern Wales—the beauty of our natural world is at the forefront of these unique itineraries.

Includes: 2-night hotel stay in London; guided shore excursions; curated guest lecture series; all meals on board with choice of restaurants; wine, beer, or soft drinks with dinner on board; onboard gratuities.

The Norwegian Fjords, 18 days, roundtrip from London, departs June 20, 2018. Save up to US$1,200 per cabin. Special offer fares from US$5,695.

Iceland, Faroes and Shetlands, 19 days, roundtrip from London, July 4, 2018 and August 2, 2018. Save up to US$1,400 per cabin. Special offer fares from US$5,995.

The British Isles, 19 days, roundtrip from London, departs July 19, 2018. Save up to US$1,200 per cabin. Special offer fares from US$5,695.


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 your interests, abilities and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on Travel News topics; cell phone 415-111-8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website


Sources: Travel Pulse, Travel Agent Central, Viking Ocean Cruises, Intrepid Travel, Voyages to Antiquity


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