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Travel News

Tulips & Windmills

By Judy Newell


México News

Best Hotel Rooms in the World

The St Regis Punta Mita Resort— located in the Riviera Nayarit is one of México’s main luxury destinations. It’s also home to one of the best rooms in the world, according to the standards set by the Forbes Travel Guide for its 2019 hotel ratings list.

The Resort at Pedregal, which offers opulence in the heart of Cabo San Lucas, is the second luxury hotel in México to be named in the prestigious guide, which includes 41 of the best hotel rooms in the world.

Incognito inspectors traveled the globe to seek out the best accommodations. They didn’t simply look for stunning interiors. The 41 rooms selected in 17 countries earned perfect scores on exacting standards for luxury, comfort, and convenience down to the last detail.


International News

Epic Around the World Train Trip

Train enthusiasts can ride the rails on this Around the World by Rail journey that takes travelers across four continents in 57 days, making stops in 15 countries, more than 20 cities, and five national parks (four in the United States and one in Mongolia) along the way.

Beginning in Chicago, you’ll board Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited to New York for your first of 11 overnight train rides. After a few days exploring the city, you’ll fly to London and take the Eurostar from St Pancras Station to Paris.

From there, you’ll crisscross the continent by train to Geneva, Rome, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Hamburg, and up to Scandinavia for stops in Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Visits in St Petersburg and Moscow are followed by a long train journey across Mongolia (with a stop to explore Terelj National Park) before heading into China to see Beijing, Xi’an, and Hong Kong.

Another flight is required to reach Australia, but after two nights in Perth, you’ll board the Indian Pacific train—the Southern Hemisphere’s longest train ride—for a three-night journey all the way across the country to Sydney.

From there, you’ll fly back to the US for a national park tour of the southwest by train, including stops at the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Capitol Reef national parks. There’ll be rides on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief and the Grand Canyon Railway. To end the trip, you’ll take Amtrak’s California Zephyr back to Chicago.

With departures available every Thursday through 2020, this epic two-month long journey does come with a bit of sticker shock. Starting at US$19,079 per person, the package includes 43 nights of hotel accommodations, 11 overnight train stays, and one night on a ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki.

Sightseeing activities and 52 meals along the way are also included in the price, but flights between continents must be booked independently.

Cruise News

Bruges Is Latest European City to Limit Cruise Ships

Bruges has become the latest European city to limit cruise passenger numbers in a bid to control “overtourism.”

The popular Belgian city plans to limit the number of ships moored at any one time and will be encouraging lines to visit on weekdays, rather than weekends. Bruges joins Amsterdam, Barcelona, Palma, Venice, and Dubrovnik in either imposing taxes specifically on cruise passengers or limiting the number of ships visiting.

Some 19,500 people live in the city center of Bruges, which attracts nearly nine million visitors per year. That equates to around 126 visitors per day per 100 residents, according to research conducted by Visit Flanders. Lines which call in at Bruges include P&O Cruises, Cunard, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, and Marella Cruises.

French Canada and Great Lakes Cruises

Great Lakes Small-Ship Cruises for 2019 will offer up to 68 percent off fares from the US—that’s a discount from US$6,385 to US$2,499 per person on 10–13 day cruises. Let the M/V Victory II set the scene for adventure as you sail through crystal seaways and along broad coastlines.

Montreal to Gloucester, Massachusetts, 13 days: Endless storybook coastlines and primeval landscapes string together iconic American cities and Canada’s alluring Atlantic Provinces. A rich maritime heritage and a hospitable local population provide these regions with unequivocal appeal.

Experience the diversity that lies within places such as Portland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. Behold the sights from bold Halifax—the largest urban area of Atlantic Canada—to charming Gloucester, America’s oldest seaport.

Vessel: M/V Victory II. Cruise departure date: October 19, 2019. Offer expires on July 31 or when no valid cabins remain.


Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“To Travel Is to Live”—Hans Christian Andersen

Deal of the Week

Tulips & Windmills

In the spring of 2020, discover Holland’s enchanting landscape aboard the all-inclusive Crystal Debussy or Crystal Bach. You’ll witness a sea of tulips awash in the splendid colors of spring, see iconic windmills, and explore legendary museums.

As the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens enthrall, Crystal’s renowned butler service delights as you travel in luxury aboard the only all-suite, all-balcony river ship in Europe.

Ports: Amsterdam, Hoorn, Kinderdijk, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Middleburg, and Amsterdam.

Fares include up to US$1,000 Book Now Savings per guest. Seven-night fares from US$3,199 for 2020 departure dates.

Crystal River Signature Hallmarks:

•Europe’s only all-suite river ships featuring king-sized beds and personal butler service in every suite;

•Farm-to-table dining featuring Crystal’s innovative and acclaimed Michelin-inspired cuisine;

•Unlimited fine wines, champagnes, premium spirits, and beers;

•Unmatched Complimentary Crystal Collection of Destination Experiences in each destination and a Crystal Signature Event on every full itinerary;

•Twice as many staff per guest as the industry average and all staff are Crystal employees;

•All gratuities, shipboard and shore side, included.


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, Camino a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: USA Today, Afar, Cruise Critic, Victory Cruise Line, Crystal River Cruises


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