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Travel News


By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Cruise Lines Returning to Acapulco

Acapulco tourism officials have announced a large increase in the number of new cruise ship arrivals this year, with the port expected to welcome 32 ships, a 78% increase. Nine cruise lines—Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas, V-Ships, Silversea, Oceania Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Global, Saga and Hapag Lloyd Cruises—currently are visiting the Mexican port.

Once a popular resort that drew an international slate of A-list celebrities, Acapulco saw its fortunes turned when crime increased in the region. But Acapulco is working to improve its reputation internationally and federal, state, and municipal authorities are collaborating with cruise lines to resolve their concerns.

Another piece of good news for including Acapulco is the recent announcement that a new Magellan Mexican coastal cruise is expected to depart from the city’s port in 2018, making stops in Ixtapan, Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas before returning to Acapulco.


Punta Mita Gourmet and Golf Classic

Ticket sales have opened for the seventh annual American Express Punta Mita Gourmet and Golf Classic. The event takes place from November 30 to December 3, and will highlight Punta Mita’s two Jack Nicklaus golf courses and the destination’s many culinary options.

Punta Mita participating resorts include The St. Regis Punta Mita and Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita.

The package options include:


  • Gourmet Package (without hotel): $655 per person, including Opening Celebration Event, lunch and dinner Friday, lunch and Gala Dinner on Saturday, and Sunday brunch
  • Gourmet and Golf Package (without hotel): $918 per person, including two rounds of PMGG Golf and Breakfast for PMGG Participants, Opening Celebration Event, lunch and dinner Friday, lunch and Gala Dinner on Saturday, and Sunday brunch
  • Gourmet and Golf Package plus three-night stay: $1,999 per person, including ground transportation to/from the event and two rounds of golf or two 60 minute massages.


International News

Tuvalu: the Least Visited Place in the World

Tucked away in the South Pacific, Tuvalu is a picture-perfect collection of nine islands, sitting about halfway between Hawaii and Australia.

But according to a new report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Tuvalu was the least visited place on the planet in 2016. It welcomed 2,000 tourists over 12 months, despite having a warm tropical climate and low crime.

What Tuvalu lacks in architectural splendor, it makes up for in empty, palm tree-fringed beaches. The islands are not built up and the population of 10,000 is thinly spread. But there is a strong traditional local culture, kept alive by the people of Tuvalu. You can watch traditional dancing, basket weaving and woodcarving by local people.

The main island is Funafuti, and on its western side you can find the Funafuti Conservation Area, which has some of the best reefs and a gorgeous lagoon. Its diverse habitat makes it an ideal place for scuba diving or snorkeling to spot marine life.

Tuvalu has drawn attention recently due to climate change. The UN included the islands in a list of places that could completely disappear due to rising sea levels in the next century. This gives potential visitors an even more compelling reason to book soon.

Fiji Airways flies from Suva, the capital of Fiji, to Funafuti from £499 roundtrip, and accommodation on the islands ranges from guesthouses to self-catering apartments.


Cruise News

Solo Travelers Save on Star Clippers

Solo travelers who sail with Star Clippers in the 2017–18 season can now get serious savings on select destinations. Travelers can receive a 65 percent discount on over a dozen sailings plus no single supplement fee. With these savings, rates fall as low as USD$1,360.

This winter, solo travelers can explore Barbados on a round trip journey aboard the Royal Clipper with a choice of three separate itineraries.

Starting March 31, 2018, the Star Flyer will set sail on a 20-night trip from St. Maarten to Lisbon, Portugal, totaling 19 days at sea. The Royal Clipper’s Mediterranean cruises will sail 28-night itineraries eastbound across the Atlantic, departing from Barbados and ending in Cannes, France.

There are also additional five to 14-night voyages offered across different ports in Europe.

From November 2017 to May 2018, solo travelers can also sail with Star Clipper on seven-night itineraries in Thailand and Singapore.


Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.”—Irving Wallace

Deal of the Week

Destination Marquesas: Wild and Untouched

In the late 19th century, painter Paul Gauguin moved to French Polynesia seeking artistic inspiration—and found his spiritual home in the remote Marquesas. The very isolation of this mystical island group has infused it with a unique language and culture, untouched by European influences, while its unspoiled landscapes touch the spirit of wildness within.

Aboard the deluxe, award-winning m/s Paul Gauguin, you’ll call on ports that are inaccessible to larger ships, as you visit four of these islands, as well as Fakarava, Tuamotus—a diver’s paradise—and the ship’s home in the Society Islands.

And while you enjoy the amenities of one of the highest awarded ships in the South Pacific, you’ll also enjoy savings of 50% off standard all-inclusive cruise fares plus included airfare from Los Angeles!

Marquesas, Tuamotus, and Society Islands, special 14 night cruises from USD$7,395 per person including airfare from Los Angeles. Dates in 2017: Nov. 18. Dates in 2018: Apr. 14, Aug. 11, Oct. 20. Dates in 2019: Jan. 26, Apr. 13, Nov. 23.

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: Los Angeles Times, Luxury Travel Advisor, The Independent, Travel Agent Central, Paul Gauguin Cruises


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