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Travel News


By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Will Rail Travel Propel Mexico Tourism?

A boost to Mexico’s thriving tourism industry could be coming from an unlikely source.  According to newspaper El Financiero, Mexico’s tourist train systems are catching on with travelers. Travelers can already traverse the Copper Canyon by train and ride the Tequila Express en route to sampling the popular adult beverage.

A tourist train between San Luis Potosi and Real de Catorce could be developed, as well as trains in Hidalgo and the Yucatan Peninsula. The latter would connect Merida to Cancun.

International News

German Caves Receive World Heritage Status

Six caves in Germany containing artifacts from the last Ice Age have been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.

Among the items discovered in the caves were carved figurines of animals such as cave lions, mammoths, horses, bovids, musical instruments, and items of personal adornment. The items are believed to be between 33,000 and 43,000 years old, making them some of the oldest figurative art worldwide, according to the UN cultural agency.

Modern humans first arrived in Europe 43,000 years ago. One of the areas where they took up residence was southern Germany’s Swabian Jura, where the caves are located. Altogether about 50 artifacts—mainly composed of bone and ivory—have been found in the caves, which have been excavated since the 1860s.

All the items were carved using stone implements, some of which were also found at the site. A few of the tools are more than 60,000 years old.

Additional artifacts from the era can be viewed at various museums in Germany, including in the permanent Stone Age exhibition of the Landesmuseum Württemberg in Stuttgart. The Prehistoric Museum Blaubeuren showcases items from the Paleolithic period as well. Tourists can also explore some of the caves where the artifacts were found via guided tours.

Kenya Bans Plastic Bags

The use, manufacture, and importation of all plastic bags is now illegal in Kenya. Kenya joins over 40 countries that have made plastic bags illegal in a positive effort to reduce the impact on our environment.

If you are traveling to Nairobi, plastic bags, including duty free bags, will be confiscated at the airport. There is a bigger risk in that anyone caught using plastic bags can be fined Ksh. 4,000,000—approximately US $38,000—or receive a prison sentences of up to four years.

Cruise News

Windstar Cruises to Shetland, Faroe Islands

Windstar Cruises is out with an unusual new itinerary that focuses on some of the most remote North Atlantic islands.

Dubbed “Secrets of the Faroe, Shetland, and Orkney Islands,” the seven-night trip begins and ends in Edinburgh, Scotland, and features visits to the Denmark-controlled Faroe Islands, as well as Scotland’s Shetland Islands and Orkney Islands.

Windstar is planning just a single departure of the itinerary for now, on August 17, 2018. It will take place on the line’s 212-passenger Star Breeze.

The voyage includes two stops in the Faroe Islands in the port towns of Torshavn and Tvoroyri. The ship also cruises through some of the Faroe Islands’ rugged fjords and past Cape Enniberg.

The ship will make day visits to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands and Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, as well as the mainland Scottish town of Aberdeen. The Shetland Islands are known for a windswept landscape that includes rugged cliffs and beaches, Iron Age ruins, and Shetland ponies.

The Orkney Islands harbor some of the oldest and best-preserved Neolithic sites in Europe as well as historic sites related to a significant naval role in World War I and II.

Fares for the sailing start at US $3,499 per person, based on double occupancy.

Air News

WOW Air Adds New US cities

Can St. Louis support a nonstop route to Iceland? How about Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Detroit?

Icelandic budget-carrier WOW Air thinks so, and—with fares that begin at less than $100 one-way—it’s betting those Midwest markets will be profitable additions to its fast-growing US network. WOW Air announced service from the four cities, an expansion that will give it a total of 12 US destinations.


WOW Air’s new routes will launch this spring. One-way fares to Iceland will start at US $99.99 from all four cities. Connecting flights to WOW’s other European destinations begin at US $149.99.


WOW Air’s Detroit service will begin April 26. The three other routes will launch in May. On all four routes, WOW Air will fly four flights a week on single-aisle Airbus A321 aircraft to its hub at the Keflavik airport near Reykjavik. Connecting itineraries will be available to more than two dozen destinations in Europe.


WOW Air first began flying to the US in 2015. With the new Midwest additions, WOW Air’s full line-up of US gateways includes Baltimore-Washington, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Francisco. In Canada, WOW Air flies from Montreal and Toronto.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Travel opens your mind as few other things do. It is its own form of hypnotism, and I am forever under its spell. —Libba Bray


Deal of the Week

New Orleans to Memphis Holiday River Cruises

The holidays will be here before you know it. Take advantage of new holiday-savings offers and celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the New Year aboard an American Queen Steamboat Company cruise between New Orleans and Memphis.

With a savings of up to US $1,400 per stateroom, these holiday cruises let you celebrate in style, surrounded by elegant appointments and new friends. Among the highlights is an exclusive lineup of Christmas markets, Nottoway Plantation, a traditional Southern plantation dinner and ball, and an exclusive holiday gala and a bonfire lighting ceremony on the levee to see you off to the next port. From US $1,899 per person, based on double occupancy, for a seven-night cruise.


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, &Beyond, USA Today, WOW Air, American Queen Steamboat Company


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