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Travel News

By Judy Newell

México Travel News

Quintana Roo Sargassum Free by December

The amount of seaweed that washed up along the beaches on México’s Caribbean coastline is starting to decrease, thanks in part to cleanup efforts that removed 155,000 cubic meters of sargassum. Mexican authorities announced the sargassum deposits in Quintana Roo will be completely gone by the end of the year.

The seaweed caused a temporary drop in tourism to major hotspots like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Mahahual, but the region managed to avoid a serious environmental disaster with the help of over 9,500 residents. Containment barriers in the water along the state’s coastline helped in the fight against the seaweed, but more needs to be done.

The government plans to open a funding application process for ideas to stop the spread of the seaweed, and one contractor has already made a statement by mixing the sargassum with adobe and using it as a building supply.

The businessman who developed the idea constructed a home with the material and said it would be given to low-income residents. Other companies have shown interest in the concept.

International News

America’s Most Haunted City

After Mardi Gras, Halloween is arguably the next best time of year to experience New Orleans. What’s more, 2018 promises to be better than ever as the Big Easy is in the midst of its year-long Tricentennial celebration.

Widely recognized as the most haunted city in America, New Orleans offers an array of festive activities, attractions, and experiences come fall, including haunted tours of some of the city’s spookiest stops such as the French Quarter as well as the iconic cemeteries.

There are haunted tours to suit every taste, whether you’re in search of ghosts, goblins, or even vampires. Learn more about the city’s one-of-a-kind history by visiting one of New Orleans’ voodoo shops.

Visitors can also dress the part, thanks to the destination’s many unique costume shops. Once you’ve got something picked out you can show it off at one of New Orleans’s lively street parties, as well as the star-studded Voodoo Music & Arts Experience at City Park. The three-day festival takes place over the final weekend of October.

Voodoo Fest coincides with Halloween New Orleans, a popular LGBT celebration taking place in the French Quarter that includes a series of fundraising events like the Lazarus Ball.

Family-friendly Halloween activities and attractions include haunted houses and seasonal events at Audubon Zoo and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Visitors to the former can take part in the annual Boo at the zoo event, featuring trick-or-treat houses, a Ghost Train, a haunted house, games, and other entertainment.

Plus, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present The Orléans Collection beginning October 26. The highly-anticipated exhibition will showcase mesmerizing works from institutions such as the National Gallery of London, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the National Gallery of Scotland.

If there was ever a time to experience America’s most haunted city, Halloween is it.

Cruise News

Concierge Golf on Danube Cruises

Exclusive to soon-to-be-launched AmaMagna, guests may take advantage of the new Concierge Golf Program, providing the opportunity to experience four top-level golf courses in Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. AmaMagna’s itineraries include Romantic Danube, Melodies of the Danube, and Christmas Markets on the Danube.

A River Safari in Africa

Float down Botswana’s Chobe River on AmaWaterways Zambezi Queen for a river safari. This intimate ship—there are only 28 passengers—is designed specifically for wildlife viewing. Passengers may spot lions, leopards, zebras, hippos, elephants, giraffes, and more. Sit on your balcony while sipping a glass of wine as the giant sherbet-colored African sun sets and the animals come to life at dusk.

There’s a plunge pool aboard the ship, where you can relax while enjoying unobstructed views of the bush. Before embarking on the four-night Chobe River wildlife cruise, you’ll spend two nights in Capetown, South Africa. Afterward, you’ll head to Victoria Falls in Zambia for another two.

Travel Trivia

Mark Twain Once Wrote “Heaven was copied after….” Which Country?

Mauritius—Cuba—New Zealand—Seychelles

A quick trip to this sun-drenched island of Mauritius and you’ll understand exactly what Mark Twain meant. White-sand beaches, lush flora and fauna, and staggering waterfalls are some of this African country’s claims to fame. Adventurers, beach bums, and culinary explorers alike flock to the island.

The island nation was conquered by many countries before gaining its independence in 1968.

Words of the Wise and Well-Traveled

“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrate it for everything that it is.” —Mandy Hale

Deal of the Week

Seabourn Set Sail Event

Book select voyages by November 13, 2018 for special offers which may include:

  • Complimentary three Veranda Suite category upgrade
  • Complimentary 300-minute Internet package per person
  • Up to US $750 per person air credit
  • Up to US $500 per suite shipboard credit
  • 50% reduced deposit
  • Up to 15% savings on combination cruises


Sample itineraries, with fares in US dollars, include:

  • Asia, 10-day sailing, fares from $3,799
  • Mediterranean, 7-day sailing, fares from $2,999
  • Alaska and British Columbia, 12-day sailing, fares from $5,499
  • Antarctica and Patagonia, 21-day sailing, fares from $10,999
  • Arabia, India and Africa, 16-day sailing, fares from $4,999
  • Australia and New Zealand, 16-day sailing, fares from $5,299
  • Canada and New England, 12-day sailing, fares from $5,299
  • Caribbean, 7-day sailing, fares from $2,999
  • Coastal USA, 8-day sailing, fares from $2,699
  • Northern Europe, 7-day sailing, fares from $4,499
  • South America, 21-day sailing, fares from $4,999


Taxes, fees, and port expenses are additional on all fares and range from US$453 to $1,959. Offers are based on select 2018–2020 sailings.

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, Travel Agent Central, Reader’s Digest, Seabourn



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