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Travel News

CroisiEurope Holy Land

By Judy Newell


Mexico Travel News

Xcaret Announces Plans for 12 Hotels

Hotel Xcaret Mexico made its debut late last year, but Experiencias Xcaret is not stopping there.

Plans call for an expansion of the resort area that includes the construction of a large-scale convention center capable of hosting major international trade fairs and a stadium for 12,000 people.

Plans also call for the construction of 12 hotels with 6,000 rooms, a shopping plaza called Pueblo de Rio that is surrounded by a 1.2-mile-long river, and the conservation of the natural coves, rivers, and cenotes in the area.

“We are talking about an investment of US$2 billion, which will be developed in the next eight years in a phased process,” said the general director of Experiencias Xcaret.

International News

Westin Transforming Bedsheets into Kids’ Pajamas

Westin, the hotel company that built its identity around its Heavenly Bed program, is doing something special with its distressed sheets. In cooperation with Clean the World, it has begun turning used linens into kids’ pajamas.

Westin’s program, called Project Rise: ThreadForward, is an industry-first upcycling effort, in which 30,000 pounds of bed linen and terry cloth have been broken down and rewoven into new materials.

As befits any great marketing campaign, the results are adorable: stretchy two-piece pajamas in Westin’s signature colors with a graphic of a child holding a book and jumping over the moon.

The pajamas are for sale on the Westin website for US$25, and a percentage of sales is donated to the nonprofit Delivering Good. Additionally, it’ll soon be gifting 1,500 pair to children in need—those for whom dedicated sleepwear might seem like a luxury item. Additional donations will continue as the program ramps up.


Cruise News

Cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and India

Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to Dubai, India, and Abu Dhabi and experience a cultural vacation like no other. Cruise to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and India all in one epic 14-night cruise that overlaps both Christmas and New Year’s. Celebrate the holidays and ring in 2019 with a vacation you will never forget.

Begin your journey on MSC Lirica in Dubai and explore the popular ports of the United Arab Emirates. Halfway through your cruise, spend four days exploring India in New Mangalore, Goa, and Mumbai/Bombay. Complete your voyage in full circle as you cruise back into Dubai in the New Year.

Departure date: December 2, 2018. Itinerary: Arab Emirates, Oman, India. 15 days/14 nights, starting from US$2,039 per person.

Air News

Welcome to Orly

La Compagnie, the French boutique all-business class airline, begins flying a new route from New York to Paris on April 22, using Paris Orly Airport as its gateway for landing and departure flights instead of Charles de Gaulle Airport. For a limited time, it’s offering an introductory rate of US$1,400 round trip in business class.

Located just seven miles south of the center of Paris, Paris Orly is easy to get to and, because of its smaller scale (two times smaller than Paris CDG), offers a smooth passenger experience.

There are only 74 lie-flat seats in the cabin of the aircraft, and each is fitted with power plugs and built-in massage features. Enjoy fine wines and French “bistronomy” exclusively created by the former personal chef to the Prime Minister of France.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.” —Karen Blixen


Deal of the Week

CroisiEurope’s New Mediterranean Coastal Cruises

Europe’s largest river cruise operator, CroisiEurope, is introducing four brand-new coastal cruises from November 2018 which will take place onboard the 198-guest MS La Belle de l’Adriatique.

The Best of the Mediterranean: Malta and Sicily. This eight-day cruise round trip from Catania visits Pozzallo, Valletta, and Syracuse with excursions to the Cyclopean Coast and Gozo, Catania, Ragusa and Modica, Valletta, Medina, Rabat, Syracuse, Ortigia, Noto as well as Mount Etna.

There are four departures on November 1, 8, 15, and 22, with cruise-only prices from US$2,834 per person to include all meals and drinks onboard, excursions, and port fees.

Mediterranean Colors: This 10-day cruise from Catania to Limassol visits Katakolon, Itea, Piraeus, Santorini, and Rhodes, featuring an unforgettable passage through the Corinth Canal. Included in the cost of the cruise are excursions to Delphi and Paphos, Catania, the Cyclopean Coast, Olympia, Athens, and the Acropolis, Santorini, Rhodes, and Mount Etna.

The cruise departs from Catania November 29 with prices from US$2,959 per person.

Cyprus and The Holy Land: This eight-day itinerary, cruising round-trip from Larnaca, includes full-day excursions to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Nicosia, Kyrenia, and Galilee. Also included are the Sea of Galilee and guided tours of Nazareth, Kourion, and the Kolossi Castle. Guests will visit Paphos Archaeological Park and the Tombs of the Kings, a mysterious underground necropolis.

This cruise departs from Larnaca on December 8, 15, 22 and 29, with prices starting at US$2,375 per person.

The Treasures of the Adriatic: This eight-day cruise, round-trip from Dubrovnik, visits Corfu, Saranda, Vlore, Durres, and Bar and includes excursions to Apollonia/Berat and Tirana as well as Dubrovnik, Corfu, the Butrint ruins in Saranda, Gjirokaster, and Stari Bar.

There are seven departures in 2019 on February 21 and 28; March 7, 14, 21 and 28; and April 4. Cruise-only prices are from US$2,518 per person to include all meals and drinks onboard, excursions and port fees.

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 Pulse, Afar, MSC Cruises, La Conpagnie, CroisiEurope


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