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Travel News

By Judy Newell

México News

One Million People Headed to Cancún

While some people flock to ski resorts and cozy mountain retreats to celebrate the holidays, one million people are going south and hitting the beaches of Cancún and Riviera Maya this holiday season.

Municipal authorities of Riviera Maya say they expect a million travelers to land at the Cancún International Airport. Cancún alone expects half a million visitors, and the city is hard at work to prepare for them.

The director of the Tourism Promotion Council of Quintana Roo says that 422,267 tourists are expected to travel to Cancún-Puerto Morales and 506,333 are expected at Riviera Maya.

Isla Mujeres is expecting 66,745 visitors, while Chetumal is readying itself for 44,508. It is estimated that 42,822 tourists will be in Cozumel, 17,899 in Holbox, 9,365 in Bacalar, 9,056 in Mahahual, 4,314 in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, and 1,356 in José María Morelos.

These high tourist numbers are calculated for December 20, 2018, to January 6, 2019 and are a result of the hard work by the Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council, a new Medellín-Cancún route, and the lack of travel restrictions on Cancún by the US State Department.

All Major México Tourist Destinations Safe

The United States Department of State updated its travel advisory for México, classifying the major international tourism destinations as safe. The locations have received a “Level 2 (“Exercise Increased Caution”) ranking, the same rating given to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and China.

The US State Department gave most of México’s states a Level 2 rating, including Quintana Roo, Baja California Sur, México City, Yucatán, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Guanajuato, Baja California, Querétaro, Campeche, Veracruz, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, Aguascalientes, and Hidalgo.

The México Tourism Board responded, expressing concern that the system accounts for overall crime in a country or state, and does not look at the threat to tourists or business travelers. In a press release it said, “The overwhelming majority of these incidents do not take place in tourist destinations or places that tourists frequent, and an even smaller portion involve tourists.”

Golf in Paradise at Atelier Playa Mujeres

Atelier Playa Mujeres, a brand-new resort in the Playa Mujeres area, features a classy experience for golf lovers. It is the only resort boasting its own golf course with 18 holes, par 72, and top-notch services. The renowned “white shark of golf,” Greg Norman, designed this course.

When booking five nights or more here, guests will have two complimentary golf rounds available during the day and at twilight.


Cruise News

Carnival Previews New 2019 Ships

Cruise travelers should be jumping for joy, as the Carnival Corporation announced it will launch four new cruise ships in 2019.

The new vessels will debut this year for Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, and Princess Cruises and will be dubbed the Carnival Panorama, the Sky Princess, Costa Smeralda, and Costa Venezia.

These ships are part of the Carnival Corporation’s ongoing fleet enhancement strategy, with 20 vessels scheduled for delivery between 2019 and 2025. The cruise company launched four ships in 2018, including the Carnival Horizon, Seabourn Ovation, ms Nieuw Statendam and AIDAnova.

To celebrate the debut of the Carnival Panorama in Long Beach next December, the cruise line will preview a floral replica of the ship to 700,000 spectators on hand to view the Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1.


Travel Trivia

What is the highest altitude capital city in the world?

Kathmandu – La Paz – Thimphu – Tehran


Sitting at the nose-bleeding height of 11,942 feet (3,640 meters) you’ll find the Bolivian capital of La Paz. It’s no surprise then that altitude sickness is often a problem for those who travel through these parts, and bottles of oxygen are readily available at grocery stores.

Locals swear by chewing big handfuls of coca leaves (yes, that kind of coca) or drinking coca tea because they say it helps you acclimatize to the altitude. Funnily enough, it’s also pretty handy for combating fatigue and hunger, and it’s perfectly legal when consumed in this fashion. Don’t try to take it home, though.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere.— Mary Schmich

Deal of the Week

Scenic Switzerland from Basel

9 days from US$2,079 per person. Basel– St Moritz – Zermatt – Lausanne – Lucerne – Jungfraujoch


This all-encompassing rail odyssey through Switzerland takes in the best this wonderful country has to offer. Start with a two-night stay in grand St Moritz, from where you take a ride onboard the stunning Bernina Express train. Take the spectacular Glacier Express train to historical Zermatt for two nights, and enjoy the iconic Matterhorn Mountain via the Gornergrat Cog Railway.

Travel to lakeside Lausanne for a relaxing night before continuing your journey along the Golden Pass line to the traditional Swiss town of Lucerne. Enjoy three nights here with day trips on the world’s steepest cogwheel train line on Mount Pilatus, and also to the highest railway station in Europe on the Jungfrau Railway.

Package also includes:

Travel to St Moritz from Basel (or from any starting point in Switzerland)

Breakfast included at all hotels

8-day standard class Swiss Pass

Standard class seat reservations on the Bernina Express, Glacier Express, and Golden Pass trains;

day trips on the Gornergrat Cog Railway from Zermatt; to the top of Mount Pilatus from Lucerne; and to Jungfraujoch from Lucerne.


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, Atelier Playa Mujeres, Carnival Corporation, Railbookers

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