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Travel News

Belize to Tikal

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

 

New Live Aqua Hotel in San Miguel

The new Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende will be the fifth Live Aqua hotel in Mexico. A soft opening is slated for October 2018, with a grand opening scheduled for November.

The hotel will have 153 luxury rooms, making it the largest hotel in San Miguel de Allende. It is positioned for both the business and leisure guest.

It has a ballroom that holds up to 1,000 people and can be divided into five separate sections, as well as a terrace for events.

Some amenities in the resort’s outdoor spaces include a pool, Jacuzzi, and chaise lounges with umbrellas. The hotel also has a full gym, a beauty salon, and a boutique. The hotel’s spa has 10 treatment rooms, a pool, a sauna, and a steam room.

Some of the indoor offerings include a bakery and a cigar bar sponsored by a popular local tequila brand.

Cruise Travel

Viking River Cruises Changing to Adults-Only Line

Viking River Cruises updated the terms and conditions on its website to exclude minors from its cruises and tours booked after August 1, 2018.

According to the updated terms, Viking’s new policy was made “due to the nature of our cruise and travel itineraries” and because Viking “does not maintain facilities or services on our ships for individuals under the age of 18 years.”

Those travelers who are less than 18 years of age and have booked before August 1 for a sailing through 2019 will still be allowed to sail.

The move means that Viking will be the only river cruise line to have an adults-only policy aside from U by Uniworld, which requires travelers to be at least 18 years old at the time the cruise begins.

The move also means that Viking’s river and ocean product will only market to adults.Viking Ocean Cruise Line has been an adults-only line since it launched in 2015. Virgin Voyages, which starts sailing in 2020, will also enter the industry as an adults-only line.

Air News

United Will Charge More for Economy Seats near Front of Plane

United Airlines will now charge more for travelers to sit in economy seats near the front of the plane, matching policies already in place from Delta and American Airlines.

The option will be offered to travelers who want to sit in the first few rows behind Economy Plus, which is United’s economy section offering extra legroom and other perks, and where passengers are among the first off the plane.

United’s corporate clients and certain Elite-level frequent fliers will sit there for free.

Miniature Horses Allowed on Board

Ever since the great emotional support peacock debacle of January 2018, airlines have been updating their service animal policies to specify exactly what kind of animals are and aren’t allowed on board as emotional support and service animals. But here’s one that might surprise you.

Starting on September 17, Southwest Airlines will only allow three types of species into their cabins: dogs, cats, and miniature horses. Miniature horses, you say?

As long as they are a fully-trained psychiatric service animal, the tiny equines will be allowed on board after the new policy kicks in next month. The new policy also says that passengers can also fly with an emotional support dog or cat as long as they have a doctor’s note. Each passenger is only allowed to travel with one animal on each flight.

However, unusual or exotic animals are no longer welcome on Southwest planes.

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, miniature horses are recognized as service animals. They generally stand between 24 and 34 inches in height and typically weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.

Southwest isn’t the only airline that allows miniature horses on their planes. Jetblue and American Airlines also allow the animals on board, too.

But let’s get to the question you’re all asking. What does a miniature horse look like on a plane? Absolutely delightful, of course.

Words of the Wise and Well-Traveled

“Curiosity will conquer fear even more than bravery will.” —James Stephens [n1]

Deal of the Week

Mayan Ruins & Natural Wonders in Central America

Central America is awash with nature opportunities ranging from rainforests filled with monkeys and exotic birds to crystal clear seas teeming with brightly colored fish. It also has a wealth of sites that document the ancient cultures that once ruled these lands.

Natural Habitat Adventures has a new land and sea tour—Belize to Tikal: Reefs, Rivers & Maya Ruins—that explores both aspects. The nine-day/eight-night trip begins aboard the new National Geographic Quest, a 100-passenger expedition vessel built to get into out-of-the-way spots without sacrificing luxury.

While exploring highlights such as the Belize barrier reef, there’s the opportunity to snorkel, kayak or try stand-up paddleboarding. There’s a visit to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s first jaguar reserve, and Lighthouse Reef Atoll, 55 miles offshore from the reef, whose Half Moon Caye is a nesting area for roughly 4,000 red-footed boobies.

The land portion of the trip involves a flight to Guatemala to visit the ruins of Tikal amid the rainforest. The sprawling Mayan city contains stone temples, palaces, and other structures that were once home to perhaps as many as 90,000 people. There’s also a visit to Yaxha, near Tikal, which gets few tourists despite being the third largest Mayan ruin.

Pricing for the trip in 2019 is from US$5,760 per person, double occupancy. Internal flights are extra. Bookings made by October 31 get free round-trip economy airfare from Miami to Guatemala City or a US$350 air credit.

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 judynewell@perfectjourneys.net. Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, carr a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net.

Sources: Travel Pulse, Travelmarket Report, Afar, Chicago Tribune

 

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