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Travel News

Sip & Save 2

By Judy Newell

México Travel News

México to Begin Bullet Train Construction Next Year

A new rail line connecting some of the most popular tourist destinations in México’s Yucatan Peninsula could begin construction as early as next year.

According to a senator-elect from Quintana Roo, the new line, which is expected to cost 100 billion pesos ($5.2 billion USD) will begin construction in 2019 and should take about six years to fully complete.

The train line, which is being designed to bring visitors to the northern part of the peninsula farther south, while also giving them easy access to the most significant Mayan archaeological zones in México, will connect three states: Quintana Roo, Campeche, and Chiapas.

The new tourism train, which has been on and off the books in México for at least six years, recently became a campaign promise for México’s newly elected president Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

After a recent meeting with his new cabinet, who begin their terms on December 1, 2018, the president-elect prioritized his commitment to 35 campaign promises, including the tourism train. A member of his party said that the project is already under development and will be run by Fonatur, the National Trust Fund for Tourism Development. The proposed line will commence in Cancun and run through Tulum, Carillo Puerto, and Bacalar, Quintana Roo. It will then continue on to Calakmul in Campeche before terminating in Palenque, Chiapas.

The first phase, the stretch connecting Cancun with Tulum, is expected to be complete in two years. Although detailed routing is still being established, stops could include Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos.

Although the new project has frequently been called a bullet train, the proposed line will run at a half speed of 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph), which is slightly slower than comparable high-speed rail systems around the world. It is also a wholly separate project from a new cargo rail line, which has also been proposed by the federal government.


Cancun’s New Terminal

Airport officials in México announced plans for a new terminal at Cancun International Airport. Construction on the new Terminal 5 is set to begin at the end of 2018 or the start of 2019. The move follows the recent opening of Terminal 4, which expanded the airport’s capacity by 9 million passengers to a total of 25 million.

Cruise News

AmaWaterways Awarded Top Spots in Berlitz

AmaWaterways announced that its ships have earned six of the top ten positions in the much-anticipated third edition of the Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe and the USA travel guide.

AmaKristina secured this year’s coveted number one spot out of 320 river cruise ships, due in part to its outstanding cuisine and service.

For the 2018–2019 edition of Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe and the USA, author Douglas Ward, widely regarded as the world’s foremost independent authority on cruising and cruise ships, evaluated 320 river ships. AmaWaterways’ ships outranked the competition in total points, underscoring the company’s commitment to delivering the highest quality product and guest service to the market.

In the guide, which was released in the US in July, Ward applauded AmaWaterways for its top-rated cuisine and friendly guest service, stating “AmaWaterways spends considerably more on high-quality food ingredients and wine and on hotel crew service training than any other river cruise company. The company is also known to offer the highest levels of customer care and friendliness in the river cruise industry.”

Receiving the top four-star plus rating were eleven ships—AmaBella, AmaCerto, AmaKristina, AmaPrima, AmaReina, AmaSerena, AmaSonata, AmaStella, AmaVenita, AmaVerde, and AmaViola.

The company’s innovative and highly-anticipated new ship AmaMagna–set to debut in 2019–is highlighted in this year’s guide as a “stunning, double-width river ship” having “oodles of space, comfort, and pizzazz.”


Travel Trivia

What is the most spoken language in the world?


It’s perhaps not too surprising that Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. After all, China is home to around 18% of the world’s population. Though numbers vary, Ethnologue reports nearly 1.3 billion people speak a variation of Chinese as their first language, the greater majority speaking Mandarin. Spanish takes second place and English takes third, though English is more widely spoken around the world.


Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Adventure may hurt you, but monotony will kill you.—Anonymous


Deal of the Week

Princess Offers Free Beverage Package

Princess Cruise  has announced it is bringing back its Sip and Sail promotion for trips from the summer of 2019 to the spring of 2020. The deal provides guests who book a balcony, mini-suite, or suite stateroom, with a free Premier Beverage Package for two.

The package covers beer, glasses of wine, and cocktails that cost $12 or less. Also included are all nonalcoholic beverages, such as bottled water, fountain soda, fresh juice, specialty coffee, and tea, Gong Cha, frappes, milkshakes, and energy drinks.

The deal, based on double occupancy, will be available through September 5. It is available for anyone 21 years or older who is a resident of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, México, or Bermuda.

The Sip and Sail promotion applies to all destinations the company will sail from summer 2019 to spring 2020. Per person prices in USD include:


  • 7-Day Alaska Cruise: from $1,749 for a balcony stateroom
  • 11-Night Alaska Cruise: from $2,599 for a balcony stateroom
  • 7-Day Caribbean Cruise: from $1,399 for a balcony stateroom
  • 12-day British Isles Cruise: from $2,949 for a balcony stateroom
  • 11-day Scandinavia and Russia Cruise: from $2,649 for a balcony stateroom
  • 6-Day Japan and Taiwan Cruise: from $1,449 for a balcony stateroom



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 custom 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, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Pulse, Travel Agent Central, AmaWaterways, Travel Trivia, Princess Cruises


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