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Travel News

The wines of portugal 1

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

New Campaign Focuses on Heritage Tourism

Mexico is calling its sons and daughters home. Last month, the Mexico Tourism Board debuted a new tourism initiative, “Let’s All Travel Across Mexico.” The integrated product and marketing initiative is designed to reach the more than 35 million Americans who identify as having Mexican heritage.

The new campaign is geared to celebrate the beauty of Mexico’s cities, nature, culture, cuisine, and more, reminding Mexican Americans that these are part of their heritage as well.

Through new advertising, a digital platform, public relations, influencer marketing, and collaborative marketing programs between Mexican states and tourism industry partners in the US, this new integrated program began rolling out in March.

The digital platform showcases more than 200 Mexican destinations through the “Mexican Routes” guides and offers more than 1,000 tourism packages to Mexico, many of which offer discounts of up to 60 percent, depending on the season.


International News

Panda National Park To Be Three Times the Size of Yellowstone

With a poverty-alleviation funding of over 10 billion yuan (USD$1.58 billion) from the Bank of China Sichuan Branch, China’s Sichuan province government is planning to build a Giant Panda National Park three times the size of the US’s Yellowstone National Park.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, pandas are slow breeders, and their numbers can quickly drop if their way of life is disrupted. The park will hopefully help recover the endangered species while benefiting the low-income local residents financially.

Cruise News

Rivers of Russia

Indulge in the richness of Russia with a 12-day/11-night river cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg aboard the exclusive 108-passenger M/S Sergei Yesenin, featuring all riverview cabins and full balconies on the sun deck. With onboard folk shows, caviar and blini tastings, 32 meals, and 11 exciting shore excursions included, this program promises to deliver a well-rounded royal Russian treat.


Special offer for July 17–28, from USD$2,690 $1,799 per person – save $900 per person. Cities and stops: Moscow, Uglich, Yaroslavl, Goritzy, Kizhi, Mandrogi, St. Petersburg. Features: 32 meals (11 B, 10 L, 11 D); blini and caviar tasting; live music nightly plus two onboard concerts; Russian riverside BBQ; welcome cocktails and farewell Dinner; onboard cultural lectures and activities; English-speaking guides throughout.


Classic Rock Cruise Setting Sail in 2019

Classic rock fans rejoice. The inaugural “On The Blue” cruise will sail to the Caribbean in 2019 and feature several world-famous bands.

The five-night voyage aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas will depart from Miami, February 10–15, 2019, and visit Nassau/Paradise Island, Bahamas, and Labadee, Haiti.

The Classic Rock Cruise will be hosted by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues and feature musical performances and events. Some of the artists playing during the voyage include The Zombies, Dave Mason, Steve Hackett, Alan Parsons, Procol Harum, Al Stewart, Wishbone Ash, POCO, Vanilla Fudge, Colin Blunstone, Danny Seraphine, Rick Derringer, Randy Hansen, The Young Dubliners, and more acts to be announced.

Tickets for the “On The Blue” cruise are on sale now, and prices start at US$1,099 per person based on double occupancy. Government fees, taxes, and gratuities are additional.

The Mariner of the Seas features two huge music venues and is undergoing a makeover worth more than US$100 million. Scheduled to be completed this summer, it is the biggest facelift in the history of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.


Air News

Aeromexico Rolls Out Branded Fares

Aeromexico has launched a new package of branded fare offerings, including a basic economy option. Joint venture partner Delta said it now offers basic economy on more than half of its flights to Mexico, including several new Mexico City and Guadalajara flights.

Aeromexico’s new product offerings apply to domestic routes as well as the Mexican carrier’s flights to the US and Canada.

Fare options graduate upward from basic at the low end to Aeromexico’s lie-flat product, premier, at the high end. In between, Aeromexico is offering four progressively higher-service-oriented fare bundles that give passengers the option to choose items such as advanced seat assignments, extra legroom, travel date flexibility, and priority boarding.

Aeromexico’s new basic product fares are the lowest offered by the airline, but fliers don’t get a seat assignment prior to check-in, and tickets are nonrefundable and cannot be changed. One carry-on bag is allowed.

Delta and Aeromexico entered into an antitrust-immune joint venture last May. Under the arrangement, the carriers are allowed to jointly schedule, market, and operate flights between the US and Mexico. Along with Mexico City and Guadalajara, Delta sells basic economy fares to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Cozumel.


Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“There’s nothing so dangerous as sitting still.” —Willa Cather

Deal of the Week

The Wines of Portugal

Tour Lisbon, Evora, Obidos, Batalha, Coimbra, Porto, and beyond on this deluxe, private-chauffeured experience. Stay in luxury pousadas and hotels. From US$3,487 per person. Trip highlights:


  • Trace the steps the capital of Portugal’s more than 20 centuries of history as you take in its beautiful buildings with tile-clad facades, narrow streets, restored palaces, majestic churches, and the imposing hilltop castle, reflective of the city’s rich origins, plus excellent dining and shopping opportunities.


  • Delve into the Alentejo region and sip on its red wines, ever-increasing in acclaim across the globe. Savor varietals from the fertile wine growing areas of Dão and Bairrada.


  • Visit ancient wine cellars in Porto, learn about the area’s rich red wine, and sample a good glass of port.


  • Get to know Guimarães, the first capital of Portugal, which has preserved a medieval atmosphere.


  • Give your taste buds a new experience, trying Vinho Verde (green wine) in Ponte de Lima.


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 further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, carretera a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website


Sources: Travel Weekly, China National Tourism Office, Value World Cruises, Travel Pulse, Central Holidays


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