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Travel News


By Judy Newell

México News

Hotel to be Built from Sargassum Bricks

After a successful trial construction of a home last year, a Mexican businessman plans to use the overwhelming amounts of sargassum washing ashore in Tulum as building material for a new hotel.

According to the Riviera Maya News, Omar Vazquez Sanchez originally shared the idea with lawmakers in regions impacted by the influx of the seaweed to their beaches. The idea is gaining momentum after he successfully built a house made of sargassum bricks last year.

Owner of the Blue Green Nursery in Puerto Morelos, Sanchez said the project will be environmentally friendly and that the material could be used to provide affordable housing for low-income families.

The Quintana Roo government and other companies throughout the region who see the opportunity to use more inexpensive building materials have expressed interest.

Cruise News

Ritz-Carlton Expands Brand to Cruises

In 2020, the Ritz-Carlton hotel brand will expand to cruise ships. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is preparing to offer ultra-luxury cruises on the first of three custom-built yachts.

Each ship will accommodate a total of 544 people, including 298 passengers in 149 suites and 246 crew members.

The yacht company is using The Ritz-Carlton brand under license and is not an affiliate of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company or Marriott International.

The first yacht will cruise a wide variety of destinations, including the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Canada, and New England. Voyages will range from seven to 10 nights.

Air News

Airbus to Stop Making A380, World’s Largest Passenger Plane

The A380, which holds the title of the world’s largest commercial passenger jet, will soon be harder and harder to fly, or to find. Airbus recently announced that it would stop making the 600-passenger planes in 2021 due to a lack of demand.

It’s not a huge surprise. Airbus took a gamble in developing the jet, anticipating that airlines would seek out massive planes capable of flying busy routes in order to move as many passengers on a smaller number of flights. In theory, the idea made sense, but the plane’s four engines make it more expensive to operate, and its size required some airports to retrofit taxiways and terminals simply to be able to accommodate the giant plane.

Competitor Boeing, which went in the other direction and invested in smaller planes that could make longer trips more frequently, has seen its bet pay off.

No US airlines fly the jet, and sales have been limited, even with some of the world’s biggest carriers like Air France, Qantas, British Airways, Korean Air, and Lufthansa. Dubai-based Emirates, the largest operator of the A380, is particularly known for its design of the planes, which have an expansive all first- and business-class upper deck, including a bar and shower suites.

This doesn’t mean all A380s will disappear immediately. More than 200 of the super-jumbo planes are currently flying and will most likely continue doing so into the next decade.

Deal of the Week

Tahiti: One Island is Not Enough

If you haven’t seen one Tahitian island, let alone six, now is your perfect opportunity, aboard a boutique sailing ship. Depart from Los Angeles (LAX), and set foot in Tahiti in only eight hours.

Then step aboard Wind Spirit, an intimate ship that takes you to the most serene destinations in Tahiti. Experience hidden harbors, crystal-clear coves, and pristine white sands. The islands of French Polynesia invite you to discover their own distinct magic.

Hop ashore to the enchanted landscapes of Moorea, or explore Raiatea’s lush forests and black pearl farms. Melt into the warm lagoons surrounding the exquisite peaks of Bora Bora. Relax on board as your ship glides into small bays other cruise ships can’t reach and drops anchor in shallow waters teeming with schools of tropical fish.

Jump into a beautiful palm-fringed lagoon from the Watersports Platform. Or simply unwind on deck, enjoying paradise and endless pampering. This is how Tahiti was meant to be seen.

Cruise fares start at US$3,999 per person and include cruise, airfare, and hotel.

Cruise, airfare + hotel offer includes:

*7, 10 or 11-night boutique cruise

Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete on Air Tahiti Nui

Overnight hotel stay at Intercontinental Papeete Hotel

Arrival transfers from airport to hotel and from hotel to ship

Post-cruise day room at the Intercontinental Papeete Hotel

Departing transfers from ship to hotel and hotel to airport

*Airline taxes and fuel surcharges

Dreams of Tahiti: 7 days, Papeete to Papeete

See the best of Tahiti in seven days. Embark on drift-snorkeling excursions among coral gardens in Tahaa. Explore the majestic palm-fringed Three Coconut Trail in Moorea. Indulge in Bora Bora’s kaleidoscope of colored seas and stunning white-sand beaches. Starting at US$3,999 per person, this trip includes cruise, airfare, and hotel.

Tahiti and the Tuamotu Islands: 10 or 11 Days—Papeete to Papeete

Enjoy sunny Fakarava, one of earth’s most beautiful places, named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Discover rare species of nesting birds and marine life living in harmony, and immerse yourself in Tahiti’s authentic experiences. Fares start at US$4,999 per person and include cruise, airfare, and hotel.

A complimentary private event available on all cruises—Bora Bora: Private Island Celebration: your private island celebration on the beach promises to be an extraordinary event, with a menu carefully selected by Windstar’s executive chef and Polynesian fire dancers displaying their artistry and local traditions.

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, AmaWaterways, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Condé Nast Traveler, Windstar Cruises


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