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Travel News

Travel News
By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Riu Donates $400,000 to Build Schools in Mexico

Hotel resort company Riu is helping to ensure that Mexico school children don’t miss a beat of their education after two earthquakes devastated parts of Mexico.

Riu has contributed $400,000 to UNICEF for the construction of temporary classrooms and for the purchase of furniture and supplies needed in the schools. The amount is enough for 100 classrooms, according to estimates. UNICEF will manage the donation on behalf of the hotelier for these purposes.

The goal is to help children continue their education while the regions affected by the earthquakes of September 7 and 19 rebuild the more than 5,000 schools that were destroyed in the states of Mexico, Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, and Oaxaca, as well as Mexico City.

The funds will also help to provide training to teachers so they can help children deal with the psychological effects in the aftermath of the temblors. Riu has also started to organize long-term accommodation for children who have been significantly affected by the disaster.

International News

Biennale: The World’s Fair of Art

This fall the perfect city for art of ideas is Venice. Through November 26 visitors can take in the massive country pavilions and labyrinth of smaller installations at the world’s most prestigious international art exposition, the Venice Biennale. And of course, there’s the city of Venice itself a spectacularly beautiful testament to ambition and political intrigue.

Think of it as the World’s Fair of Art—a one-stop opportunity to see cutting-edge art from around the globe in a single place. Because none of it is for sale, the works often reflect an adventurous attitude free of undue commercial pressure.

Not only is the Biennale one of the world’s most prestigious showcases it is also the oldest, harking back to 1895. As its name suggests, it occurs every two years, making the 2017 fair the 57th. While visual art is the centerpiece, musical performance, dance, film, architecture, and workshops all help to bring in the estimated 500,000 visitors over the fair’s five-plus-month run.

Tickets are18 euros with discounts for students and those over 65.


New Expedition Trips for 2018

Discover the world with Boundless Journeys, an adventure travel company offering unforgettable tours around the world on award-winning small group adventures.


Japan: Hiking the Nakasendo Trail: $6,395, Apr 16–25, Oct 15–24. Join in discovering a side of Japan that few have the opportunity to see. Escape modernity to explore the country’s cultural and historic treasures, ancient traditions, bucolic villages, and scenic trails.


Portugal: Porto, the Douro Valley, and Lisbon Hiking: $4,395, May 12–19, Sep 29–Oct 6, Oct 20–27. This Portugal journey explores the mountains, terraced hillsides, velvety wines, Moorish citadels, and ancient stone villages to experience the fabric of this traditional European gem.


Nepal: Everest Lodge-to-Lodge Trekking: $4,595, Mar 26–Apr 7, Oct 8–20, Nov 5–17. Ideal for those who want the challenge of trekking in the world’s highest mountain range but would like the additional comfort of staying in lodges instead of camping.


South Africa: Ultimate Cape Town and Kruger Safari: $6,495, May 11–19, Jul 13–21, Sep 15–23. Few countries boast South Africa’s natural riches, cultural diversity, and pure scenic splendor, and you will embrace all three equally on this epic safari. From wines to the Big Five, this is the ultimate introduction to South Africa.


Botswana: Okavango and Kalahari Flying Safari: $7,895, Mar 7–15, Mar 29–Apr 6, Apr –20. During Botswana’s green season, the Kalahari’s wide-open spaces are brimming with baby animals and their watchful mothers. In sharp contrast to the austere beauty of the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta is a vibrant wetland ecosystem.

Cruise News

Carnival Charters Ship to FEMA

The Carnival Fascination had 31,000 guests booked during the period that Carnival Cruise Line has agreed to charter the ship to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The ship is being used for hurricane relief efforts in the US Virgin Islands through mid-February.

Chartering the ship leaves Carnival without a regular seven-day ship based in San Juan until that ship returns to service. The charter was done at FEMA’s request for relief and disaster aid workers.

The charter contract was designed to allow Carnival to neither lose nor make money compared with the revenue it would have received by operating cruises on the ship for the period. Carnival’s CEO said he didn’t know the exact value of the contract, but said “four months of a sold-out ship is a significant amount.”

Carnival is in the process of rebooking guests who had cabins on the Fascination. Carnival chartered three of its ships for emergency housing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Revenue to Carnival from that six-month agreement was $236 million.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.”—Rumi


Deal of the Week

Two Countries for the Price of One!

Australia and New Zealand offer a wide variety of things to see and do. From exceptional cuisine, award-winning wineries, stunning landscapes, and wildlife encounters, a vacation that includes both countries will make any South Pacific trip complete.

Sample Sale Fares to New Zealand + Australia:
LAX/SFO from $999* Economy, $2,199* Premium Economy

IAH from $1,199* Economy, $2,399* Premium Economy

Sale Destinations: Auckland, NZ; Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth, Australia.

Travel Period: LAX/SFO/IAH Oct 23–Dec 10, 2017, and Jan 26–May 31, 2018

Sale ends Nov 21, 2017. (*Terms and restrictions apply.)

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, The Miami Herald, Boundless Journeys, Travel Weekly, Air New Zealand



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