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Travel News


By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Puerto Vallarta’s Historic Center Named Cultural Heritage Site

Jalisco’s Department of Culture has made Puerto Vallarta’s Historic Center a protected area, giving it a place of cultural and historical significance. This decision was made on July 21 to preserve what’s called the “most Mexican” beach destination.

Areas protected include the Malecón, the main drag of town; Old Vallarta, also known as the “Zona Romántica;” and Conchas Chinas, a beachfront neighborhood.

Puerto Vallarta is close to celebrating its centennial. The city’s areas of interest include the Church of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the city’s central plaza, Los Muertos Pier, and colonial homes that have been around for hundreds of years.

International News

Lady Gaga to Launch Las Vegas Residency

Superstar entertainer Lady Gaga will launch her exclusive residency at Park Theater at the new Park MGM resort on December 28, 2018.

Her Las Vegas residency will feature two unique shows in the new intimate venue: “Lady Gaga Enigma” is a brand-new odyssey of her pop hits, while “Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano” will feature versions of her hits as well as music from the Great American Songbook.

Tickets, starting at US$77.90 (not including service charges or fees), went on sale August 13. The “Lady Gaga Enigma” shows are in December 2018 and January, February, May, June, October, and November 2019. The 219 “Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano” shows are in January, February, and June.

Cruise Travel

Viking’s River-Ocean Combination Cruises

Viking Cruises is packaging a European river cruise aboard a 190-passenger Viking longship with a Scandinavian cruise aboard one of its 930-passenger ocean vessels.

Debuting in May 2019, the “Grand European & Viking Fjords” itinerary will combine Viking’s popular 15-day “Grand European Tour” cruise on the Rhine and Danube rivers between Budapest and Amsterdam with the eight-day “Viking Shores & Fjords” ocean voyage between Amsterdam and Bergen.

“Grand European & Viking Fjords,” Budapest–Bergen, will sail on May 26 and June 2, 2019. It is a 22-day itinerary visiting 19 ports in six countries. Inclusive pricing starts at US$8,748 per person.

Viking also will offer additional departures in 2019 of the 15-day “Rhine & Viking Shores & Fjords” combination itinerary, which debuts this June. Cruising Basel–Bergen on June 30, 2018, and June 2, 2019, it is a 15-day itinerary exploring 15 ports in six countries. Pricing starts at US$6,348.

Both itineraries are also available in the reverse direction.

Travel Trivia

What is the oldest language in the world still spoken today?


Records show that Tamil has been spoken for over 2,000 years and is thought to have been around since before 5000 BC. Tamil is widely used in India and is the official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore, putting the total number of speakers to about 70 million people. Tamil is also the only language to be personified as a god, in the form of the Tamil language as a mother.

Words of the Wise and Well-Traveled

“Don’t call it a dream…call it a plan”Anonymous

Deal of the Week

North America Rail Vacations

Save big on select rail journeys with early booking discounts and special discounts for senior guests and military personnel. Hotel accommodations, sightseeing, activities, and more are included in all Amtrak Vacation packages.

Amtrak travel packages are quoted for coach accommodations unless otherwise noted. Upgrades to Roomette or Bedroom accommodations on board Amtrak are also available.

Amtrak trains traveling on long-distance routes typically use either two-level Superliner or one-level Viewliner trains. Both types of trains include bedrooms arranged in various configurations as well as private and public bathrooms and showers.

All meals onboard the train are included with the purchase of sleeping accommodations. Special menu selections can be provided on most trains with 72-hour advance notice. You do not need advance notice for vegetarian meals.

Some of Amtrak’s great itineraries include:

Rails to the Grand Canyon, A Family Adventure—Round-trip from Los Angeles—5 days from USD$699—Board the Southwest Chief, and enjoy the picturesque scenery of the great American Southwest, venturing over to Williams, Arizona, and the magnificent Grand Canyon. Check out the rim tour of the Grand Canyon. Includes sightseeing, 2 nights hotel accommodations, and round-trip coach service.

Grand Rail Experience ‒ Round-trip from Los Angeles—14 days from US$1,899—This train lover’s journey connects five of Amtrak’s top train routes around the country: The Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to New Orleans; the Crescent Line from New Orleans to Washington, DC; the Capitol Limited from Washington, DC to Chicago; and the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle. Includes sightseeing, 6 nights hotel accommodations, and 7 nights onboard Amtrak.

Glacier National Park Getaway—Round-trip from Dallas—10 days from US$1,309—Explore one of America’s greatest natural treasures, Glacier National Park. Make an overnight journey to Chicago and spend a day exploring the city. Then take the train to Glacier National Park. Sightseeing includes a boat cruise in Two Medicine Valley and a tour along Going-to-the-Sun Road. Includes sightseeing, 5 nights hotel accommodations, and 4 nights onboard The Texas Eagle and the Empire Builder.

Ultimate Canada and Rockies Westbound—14 days from US$2,999—Learn what truly makes the Canadian Rockies so majestic on this amazing journey. Tour all the splendid sites of Toronto during two days of sightseeing and get up close to Niagara Falls with a ride on the lake. Explore the spectacular Jasper National Park with a ride aboard the Jasper Skytram. Visit one of the largest expanses of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle, the Columbia Icefield in Banff. Includes sightseeing, 8 nights hotel accommodations, and 4 nights aboard VIARail.

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

Sources: Travel Agent Central, Travel News, Seatrade Cruise News, Amtrak Vacations


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