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Travel News


By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

US Sending Boats to Help Combat Sargassum

To help combat the deposits of seaweed washing up on Mexican beaches, the United States has sent two sargassum boats to assist in cleanup efforts.

According to the Riviera Maya News, officials in Florida have authorized two ships designed to handle sargassum to assist in the Quintana Roo region with the intent of lifting and removing the seaweed from the water around popular tourist destinations.

Local government officials are already asking for money to purchase similar ships that would fight against sargassum starting next year. The seaweed is impacting beaches in key destinations such as Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Tulum, and more. A total of 41 beaches have been cleared of sargassum thus far.

The Mexican government began placing sargassum containment barriers along México’s Caribbean coast, and officials reported the sea fences are already stopping the seaweed from reaching beaches.

The plan is for all of the beaches along Quintana Roo to be free of sargassum within 45 days.


Cruise Travel

Active River Cruises with AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways will introduce new options with biking and active travel specialist Backroads in 2019 and 2020 in order to meet the growing demand within the active vacation segment.

The lineup includes more than 120 Danube, Douro, Rhine, and Seine departures, with nine full-ship charters and select sailings onboard AmaWaterways’s new ship, AmaMagna. This is the fourth year of partnership between AmaWaterways and Backroads.

In 2019, Backroads will offer a total of 68 departures, with bike tours along Europe’s Danube, Douro, Rhine, and Seine Rivers, and walking tours along the Douro River. Some will be tailored specifically for couples, while others will be geared to families or solo travelers.

The “Full Ship Celebration River Cruise,” a full-ship charter of 100–150 biking enthusiasts, will offer two departures on the Danube and one on the Douro in 2019 (including journeys for families with older teens and 20-somethings) as well as three trips on the Danube and three on the Douro in 2020.


New Cruise Ship for the California Coast

A new adventure cruise ship will make its maiden voyage down the California coast this winter.

Lindblad Expeditions, partnered with National Geographic, is launching an experimental one-time cruise expedition from San Francisco to Long Beach aboard a small-capacity boat designed to offer a close-up view of the state’s scenic shores.

The Venture has a shallow draft depth, meaning it can navigate closer to shore, making it easier to explore the ins and outs of the California coast.

The 50-cabin ship is equipped to accommodate up to 100 guests and is specially designed to give them more natural observation time, with open decks, large windows, and special “exploration tools” like scuba and snorkeling gear, hydrophones, undersea video equipment, glass-bottom boats and various watercraft, according to its website.

The five-day voyage will make stops in Aliva Beach, Monterey, and Catalina Island. Rates for a stay on the ship range from US$3,800 to US$6,500 per person.

Air News

Delta and AeroMéxico Joint Venture

Delta Air Lines and AeroMéxico are launching its new Queretaro–Detroit service, starting on September 17, 2018. There will be three nonstop flights Monday, Thursday, and Friday, flying QRO–DTW, and three nonstop flights Monday, Thursday, and Friday flying DTW–QRO.


Travel Trivia

What is the only country that falls in all four hemispheres?

United States—Russia—Kiribati—Mali

The island nation of Kiribati includes 33 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island. Spreading out over 3.5 million square kilometers, it is the only country that touches all four hemispheres. The nation also straddles both the equator and the 180th meridian. Not bad for a nation of only 110,000 people!


Words of the Wise and Well-Traveled

“A great way to learn about your country is to leave it.” —Henry Rollins


Deal of the Week

Unlimited Drinks Included In Your Cruise

Book your next Caribbean cruise with MSC Cruises and receive “Drinks on Us” throughout your cruise!

Set sail in the Caribbean on MSC Seaside, MSC Divina, or MSC Meraviglia and receive unlimited drinks from the selection of bottled and draft beers, house wines by the glass, house brands of vodka, rum, gin, whiskey, and nonalcoholic beverages for the duration of your cruise. It’s the ultimate in convenience and value!

Book any stateroom category with the Bella, Fantastica, or Wellness Experiences and you will receive the “Drinks on Us” package (over US$250 value) included with your cruise. (The Aurea Experience and MSC Yacht Club already have all-inclusive beverage packages.)

You will also take advantage of the US$99 per person reduced deposit. Offer expires November 30, 2018. Additional departure dates are available to March 29, 2020. Sample cruises, per-person fares, all roundtrip Port Miami, Florida:


October 28, 2018, MSC Divina, 12 days from US$889. Jamaica, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, México, Bahamas


November 8, 2018, MSC Divina, 11 days from US$599. Virgin Islands (British), Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Martinique, St Maarten


November 24, 2018, MSC Seaside, 8 days from US$549. Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands (US), St Maarten, Bahamas


December 15, 2018, MSC Seaside, 8 days, from US$569. Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas


December 20, 2018, MSC Divina, 11 days from US$849. Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Guadeloupe, Virgin Islands (British), St Maarten


January 10, 2019, MSC Divina, 11 days from US$579. Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Virgin Islands (British), Guadeloupe, St Maarten

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 Pulse, Travelmarket Report, the Tribune,

CTS, MSC Cruises


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