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February 2011

  
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25 February 2011 - River Cruise Ship With Golf Course

Posted by: Alan

It's going to be the most biggest, most luxurious cruise vessel to hit the waterways of America.

A marine developer has come up with plans for a 'floating community' featuring 180 apartments and even its own 18-hole golf course - along with restaurants, swimming pools and a chapel.

It's the brainchild of Minnesota developer David Nelson, who's planning the project in partnership with fellow developer David Tout.

They're going to fund the $109m project because no banker will back them, Mr Nelson told the Houston Chronicle.

The Marquette, as the vessel will be called, will be nearly 200 metres long and is so wide that on some rivers it will separate into two parts to navigate narrow stretches.

The vessel will cruise waterways throughout the eastern US, from the Gulf of Mexico to St Paul/Minneapolis on the Mississippi, with itineraries designed to take advantage of the best weather.

"We never want to see snow and we never want to see hurricanes", Mr Nelson said.

A report does not say when The Marquette will enter service, nor whether cruises will be available for sale to the public at large.

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23 February 2011 - 30 Million Ton Ice Block

Posted by: Alan

Tourists in the glacier region of NZ’s South Island were treated to a spectacular sight during yesterday’s Christchurch earthquake when a 30 million-tonne chunk of ice calved from the Tasman Glacier.

The area is some 200km from Christchurch.

Tourists in a boat on the Tasman lake experienced large waves as the ice, measuring 1.2km long and 300m high, plummeted into the water.

But Mt Cook National Park officials said they weren't in danger and in fact "had the trip of a lifetime".

They said the calving had been predicted for some time, given recent heavy rain in the area.

But it was not expected that an earthquake would trigger it.

 

Source: The Timaru Herald

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22 February 2011 - Queen Elizabeth in Wellington

Posted by: Alan

When Queen Elizabeth arrived in Wellington last week, she became the longest ever vessel to visit the port.

Other fun facts about QE include the fact that over the course of 12 months it is estimated cruisers will use up:

  • 954,681bags of tea
  • 351,900 bottles of wine and champagne
  • 12,940 pounds of smoked salmon
  • 141,600 toothpicks
  • 55 tonnes of scrambled eggs.

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22 February 2011 - Cunard Sisters arrive in Sydney

Posted by: Alan

More than 5000 cruise passengers were are expected to pour ashore in Sydney this morning from Cunard liners Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 after the two entered the harbour in tandem before dawn.

It's predicted the visit will inject more than $3m in the local economy.

But road traffic authorities were predicting a miserable start to the day for tens of thousands of motorists expected to be caught up in congestion caused by sightseers.

Tens of thousands of people lined the harbourfront from first light to see the arrival.

Both ships are in the city till tomorrow, Queen Elizabeth then heading for Melbourne and Fremantle, and Queen Mary 2 for NZ.

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21 February 2011 - Virtual Venice Tour

Posted by: Alan

Internet users can now travel along the canals of Venice via a website which the city's local government launched on Friday.

The site, at maps.veniceconnected.it, is made up of 360-degree high-definition photographs snapped by a camera mounted on a boat.

"It's another part of a project that is well-suited to the specificity and uniqueness of Venice, which has to be visited in an intelligent way," Roberto Panciera, a tourism official at Venice city hall, said in a statement.

The virtual tour also offers advice on tourist sites and local shopping and allows visitors to walk city streets, including some of its famous narrow alleyways that can't be reached by car.

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18 February 2011 - Easter in London

Posted by: Alan

The iconic Athenaeum Hotel in London is getting into the Easter spirit, with a special chocolate egg hunt planned in nearby Green Park for guests staying over the Easter weekend.

The festivities will be led by the hotel's team of resident nannies as well as its in-house Kids Concierge.

And as well as confectionery, participants can also find hidden in the park a range of other more adult treats including afternoon tea vouchers and pampering beauty treatments.

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17 February 2011 - New LA Tour

Posted by: Alan

The seedy side of celebrity life in Hollywood is going to be rolled out in a new bus tour of movieland.

Starting in May, tourists will be able to see places like the department store where Winona Ryder is alleged to have engaged in shoplifting, and the comedy club where 'Seinfeld' star Michael Richard was videotaped in a racist rant.

Along the way, the visitors will also be able to view "shocking and never-before-seen" video clips.

The tour, called the TMZ Hollywood Tour - Secrets and Celebrity Hotspots. is being operated by LA's Starline Tours.

Much of the content is being provided by the celebrity gossip news provider TMZ

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16 February 2011 - See The Royal Wedding Onboard

Posted by: Alan

Princess Cruises will televise the 29 April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton live on its ships via a BBC broadcast.

The line is also planning additional wedding-related activity, including royal-themed parties, British food and William and Kate look-alike contests.

Australian-based liners Dawn Princess and Sun Princess will show the wedding on their outdoor 'Movie Under the Stars' screens.

Dawn Princess will be cruising from Hawaii to Tahiti and Sun Princess will be in Bali.

"As this is the first British royal wedding in years we know there will be wide interest among our passengers," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president.

"We at Princess also feel a connection with Prince William because his mother, Princess Diana, christened our original Royal Princess back in 1984."

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15 February 2011 - New Royal Caribbean Ship Announced

Posted by: Alan

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has signed a deal with German shipyard Meyer Werft to develop a new generation ship for the cruise line.

The first ship will be delivered in 2014 with an option for a second ship in 2015.

RCI chairman and chief executive Richard Fain declined to shed light on the ship's new features.

The new build will carry just over 4,100 guests at double occupancy.

Royal Caribbean currently has 40 ships in service and two more under construction.

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14 February 2011 - Valentines Day Roses

Posted by: Alan

German flag carrier Lufthansa had a busy weekend planned, with plans to transport about 34 million roses in time for Valentine's Day.

The airline said that Lufthansa Cargo planes are currently conducting the 1200 tonne airlift of blooms from producers in Africa and South America to its Frankfurt hub.

From there they will transit to destinations across Europe and beyond, with LH touting its expertise in transportation "to ensure the roses look dewy fresh on Valentine's Day and for some days afterwards".

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11 February 2011 - Giraffes on a Boat

Posted by: Alan

These giraffes had no trouble keeping their heads above water as they floated across Kenya's Lake Baringo.

Wildlife officials said it’s the first time an attempt has been made to transport giraffes by boat in that country.

The animals were being moved to a new 10,000-hectare habitat.

The picture was taken by Samatian Island Lodge, an exclusive property set on a private island in the lake.

 

Source: Travel Monitor

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08 February 2011 - The Most Expensive Trek in the World

Posted by: Alan

It costs more than AUD$32,000, takes five months to complete and goes on for 1,700 kilometres.

But the Great Himalayan Trail, the trekking Holy Grail is launching on Tuesday this week.

For the first time ever, the Nepal traverse of the Great Himalaya Trail – the longest and highest alpine walking track in the world once complete – is now available through specialist tour operator World Expeditions.

Featuring trails up to 6,190 metres above sea, all of Nepal’s 8,000m peaks can be viewed along the route.

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04 February 2011 - New Cruise Terminal for Sydney

Posted by: Alan

The NSW government has approved plans for a controversial new cruise terminal in Sydney and says construction will begin within weeks, the Sydney Morning Herald reports today.

The facility is at White Bay, an area west of the Harbour Bridge formerly used for container shipping.

Cruise lines, local councils and the National Trust are unhappy at the choice of site. They say cruise terminal facilities should remain at Darling Harbour.

The new terminal will reportedly cost $50m.

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04 February 2011 - Busy in Sydney for Cruise Ship Visits

Posted by: Alan

Sydney is experiencing its busiest-ever month for cruise liner visits.

A total 21 ships will make 27 calls over the 28 days of February.

They’ll include maiden visits by the new Seabourn Sojourn and Queen Elizabeth, and calls by Peter Deilmann’s luxury flagship Deutschland, and the world’s top-rated liner, Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa.

P&O newcomer Pacific Pearl led the charge with an arrival from NZ yesterday to begin its inaugural Australian season.

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03 February 2011 - Mark Webber new Ambassador

Posted by: Alan

Qantas yesterday announced it had signed F1 driver Mark Webber as an Ambassador, in support of the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver will race in front of his home crowd at Albert Park, Melbourne from 24-27 March 2011.

Meanwhile, to celebrate the occasion, Qantas also yesterday revealed new livery on one of its Boeing 747s (pictured at Sydney Airport), promoting the event, complete with chequered flag and the F1 logo.

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02 February 2011 - New Dining Option for P&O

Posted by: Alan

P&O has unveiled a new dining concept - a 'Chef’s Table' dinner for up to 14 passengers in a special setting.

The three-hour meal, featuring a seven-course degustation menu paired with Australian wines, will take place on up to three sailings aboard Pacific Pearl.

Venue will be the ship's Wine Room.
Priced at AU$75 per head including wine, the three-hour Chef’s Table experience starts with pre-dinner cocktails, canapés and an introduction by the ship’s Executive Chef.
Diners will then enjoy a tour of ship’s main kitchen before enjoying their dinner, with the chef introducing and explaining all seven courses.

Pacific Pearl arrives in Sydney Thursday 2 Feb 2011 to begin its Australian maiden season.

Sture Myrmell, hotel operations VP at Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, says the 'Chef’s Table' aims to showcase the high quality of the line's food and wine, and create a special experience for passengers.

"Pacific Pearl’s Wine Room is a stunning space that sits beautifully within the contemporary Waterfront Restaurant, so it’s the ideal setting", he says.

Myrmell added that the Chefs’ Table concept would be extended to Pacific Jewel, which also features a Wine Room, later this year.

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01 February 2011 - Man Annoyed by his wife

Posted by: Alan

One immigration officer came up with a novel way of stopping his wife from holidaying with him, after he put her on a watchlist because she was "annoying".

The man, seized his opportunity when his wife returned to Pakistan from the UK to visit family, adding her to Britain’s list of suspected terror suspects unable to enter the country.

The man then "had the time of his life" holidaying and living it up for three years, whilst his wife (who had never been involved in any terror or criminal activity) was stuck in Pakistan.

The officer was only caught out when he went for a promotion, and a routine check on his file led to the discovery that his wife was a terror suspect.

Forced to confess, the man was promptly fired.

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