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July 2010

  
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29 July 2010 - A hotel for Pampered Pooches

Posted by: Alan

The luxury Jumeirah Essex House Hotel in New York has anounced a new "exclusive Canine turndown program" to ensure that fourlegged guests are pampered just as much as their owners.

A new partnership with 'doggie designer to the stars,' Amy Kizer of the Wagwear New York City boutique, has seen the creation of special in-room amenities including a "Tee Pee Hound Lounge" - a miniature pop-up tent with fleece-lined bed "for the dog’s slumbering needs during the stay".

Canine guests are also offered an exclusive gift bag - complete with a fleece blanket which can even be personally monogrammed on request.

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28 July 2010 - Vatican in crackdown on immodest clothing

Posted by: Alan

Tourists in skimpy summer clothing got a shock when they tried to enter Vatican City in Rome yesterday.

They were pulled aside by guards manning the official entry point and told that their dress was inappropriate, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Till now, a ban on what the Vatican considers immodest clothing has applied only to St Peter’s Basilica.

The latest action, which saw several tourists forced to retreat to local stores to buy shawls, scarves and trousers, suggests that Vatican officials are tired of tourists flouting the rules.

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27 July 2010 - Town needs more Icebergs !

Posted by: Alan

A town in eastern Canada is having a bad tourist season because of a shortage of icebergs.

Thousands of tourists flock to Twillingate in northern Newfoundland each summer to see the stately giants float by.

The town bills itself the iceberg capital of the world, but so far this season locals and visitors have seen only one, the Toronto Globe & Mail newspaper reported at the weekend.

"You go to Egypt and you expect to see pyramids", said a local boat tour operator is quoted as saying.

"You come to the iceberg capital of the world and you expect to see icebergs.

"It’s difficult explaining to people that there aren’t any".

The operator says business is down 70% and he’s "hurting big time".

Weather experts are blaming storms to the north of Newfoundland which have pushed icebergs to land, grounding them.
By the time they are small enough to break free, they are melted by warmer waters.

Source:  Toronto Globe & Mail

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26 July 2010 - Be kind to animals - smuggling doesn’t pay!

Posted by: Alan

I've heard of people wearing a girdle before, but this is ridiculous!

A man was been stopped at an airport in Mexico after he was discovered carrying 18 small monkeys under his shirt.

38-year-old Robert Cabrera arrived in Mexico City on a flight from Lima, Peru, with the tiny baby titi monkeys apparently secreted in special pouches attached to a girdle he was wearing.

The smuggler confessed that he had been carrying the creatures in a suitcase, but decided to put them in the girdle instead “so the X-rays wouldn’t hurt them”.

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23 July 2010 - Airline Trivia on Friday

Posted by: Alan

In 2001, Dubai Duty Free sold:
  •  1,570,214 cartons of cigarettes
  •  2,003,151 bottles of liquor
  •  2,909 kgs of gold
  •  101,824 watches
  •  690,502 bottles of perfume
  •  52,119 mobile phones
  •  and a lot of other stuff as well !

 

Abu Dhabi Airport Services claims to hold a world record for the fastest full turn-around of a widebody aircraft.
The record was achieved when a British Airways flight, using a Boeing 777 arrived from London and needed to depart on time.

They supervised:
  •  passenger disembarkation
  •  baggage offloading
  •  aircraft cleaning
  •  loading cargo
  •  loasing mail
  •  loading of baggage and supplies
  •  loading outbound passengers
- all in just under 40 minutes!

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22 July 2010 - The Tree Hotel

Posted by: Alan

As a child, did you ever have a Tree House?
Would you like to stay in one now?

A new hotel in northern Sweden is offering a truly green experience, with its rooms located high up in the tree tops.

The Treehotel opened last weekend, and offers a number of rooms with names such as ‘The Bird’s Nest’, ‘A Room with a View’, ‘The UFO’ and even ‘The Mirrorcube’.

The UFO room features porthole windows, separate living and sleeping levels with four beds, while the Mirrorcube is a four metre high/wide glass cube built around a tree trunk.

See www.treehotel.se

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21 July 2010 - Exploring South America

Posted by: Nic Rone

Take a look at some of the latest articles we've collected about travelling beautiful South America. One of today's most popular travel destinations. They really give you a snapshot of what to expect, what you'll see and what you can do from the words of the experts. The articles are well worth taking to time to read if you're interested in going. I will be heading off their myself this November for the Travelsecene American Express 2010 Owner Manager Conference and absolutely can't wait. .....................Read more here

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20 July 2010 - Celebrity Cruises to cruise down under in 2011-12

Posted by: Alan

Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises will return to Australasian waters in 2011-12, with the 1814-passenger Celebrity Century to operate a series of trans-Tasman voyages and an Australian circumnavigation over the peak cruising season.

The announcement marks the return of Celebrity to Australia for the first time in a number of years, and will see Century operate itineraries departing from Sydney, Fremantle and Auckland.

The program includes a 36-night circumnavigation of Australia which comprises two 18-night sailings split into a northern and southern itinerary.

Century's Australasian deployment will replace previously announced cruises departing Baltimore in the US for the Caribbean.

Celebrity said bookings for the new season would open on 29 Jul.

Source: Cruise Weekly

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16 July 2010 - Lost Luggage

Posted by: Alan

The 2010 Air Transport Industry Baggage Report has just been released which revealed that over 25 million items of luggage were mishandled in 2009. Remarkably this figure is actually down by nearly 24% from 2008 and down by 40% from 2007!

Reasons for the decrease in mishandled bags include fewer passengers travelling, fewer bags being checked-in to save money, and improved baggage handling systems of course. 

It was discovered that most bags go missing upon transfer.
So for instance if you are flying home with a transfer somewhere, you are more likely to suffer from missing luggage.
Around 16% of luggage isn’t loaded onto the flight in the first place and a further 13% of luggage goes missing because of poor labelling or bag switching by passenger

The good news is that only 0.005% of all checked baggage is permanently lost. Most bags will catch up with you within hours (usually the next flight on your route) and the airline will deliver it to you by courier.

Travel Insurance just makes sense, doesn't it?

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15 July 2010 - Perisher Snowfall

Posted by: Alan

The NSW ski resort of Perisher has recorded 30cm of snow at its mountain top and 25cm in the resort over the past 24 hours.

Skiers are now able to access revitalised runs, and advanced snow riders will have access to the Lower Roller Coaster.

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15 July 2010 - Cow for Rent?

Posted by: Alan

Forget the seaside - people in Switzerland are being invited to enjoy a summertime mountain holiday with an adopted cow.

Farmer Michel Izoz offers 20 cows available for rent at his farm in the Vaud canton, with most already booked.

Clients book their cow online at www.mavachamoi.ch and pay €380 to reserve it for the season, during which they can visit it as often as they like.

This 'contract' gives you the right to purchase "Mountain Pasture Cheese" at preferential rates and to participate in farm life.

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14 July 2010 - Jetstar launches direct flights to Queenstown

Posted by: Alan

Jetstar has just announced the Dec debut of non-stop trans-Tasman services into the NZ South Island playground of Queenstown.

Twice weekly Melbourne-Queenstown A320 services will operate from 16 Dec 2010, while weekly flights from the Gold Coast to Queenstown will start the next day.

It will be the first time that direct flights have operated between the Gold Coast and Queenstown, and launch fares are now on sale from just $129 one way.

Jetstar ceo Bruce Buchanan also said the carrier would expand its Auckland-Queenstown services to 11 per week from 11 Dec, supported by an additional NZ-based A320.

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13 July 2010 - Polar Bear package

Posted by: Alan

Scenic Tours is offering guests the once in a lifetime chance to witness the polar bear migration to Churchill in Manitoba, Canada.

 The annual migration sees hundreds of the endangered bears travel across vast expanses of frosted northern wilderness towards Churchill, the polar bear capital of the world, in search of food.

 Available for the first-time ever through Scenic, the six-day independent extension tour can be booked with any of the cruise company’s Canada/Alaska voyages and includes travel onboard a purpose-built Tundra Buggy.

 The tours operate for only a portion of the year (September and October) and guest numbers are strictly limited by Canadian authorities in order to protect the bears.

 Throughout the tour guests will also have the opportunity to witness the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

 The tour is priced from $5,695pp twin share.
For info see, see VLT!

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12 July 2010 - A White Christmas

Posted by: Alan

Have you ever thought about having a White Christmas?

I was talking with some people at the weekend about my experiences with White Christmas’s in Europe.

My friend thought of going to a ski resort in Canada to experience a White Christmas.

There are many superb options in Europe for a White Christmas – what about having Christmas in Austria? Or Switzerland? Or Germany? How about spending Christmas in a Castle in Bohemia (Now part of the Czech Republic)?

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08 July 2010 - It Pays to Insure

Posted by: Alan

Cover-More Travel Insurance has released the costs involved in helping four injured Australians in a Koh Samui speedboat accident late last month (28 Jun 10).

The women all purchased a $124 insurance policy prior to departure, and luckily they did, as the cost of air ambulances, medical treatment, accom for next of kin and other associated expenses tallied to $145,331.

Cover-More Australia general manager Kerry Fussell said the girl’s travel agent had to convince them to take out the insurance policy because they "expressed that they didn’t think they would need it."

The girls decided to proceed with a policy just three days prior to travelling to Thailand.

Source: Travel Daily

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08 July 2010 - Indonesia - Visa On Arrival Update

Posted by: Alan

Effective immediately, the Indonesian Government has revised the current entry visa requirement to be as follows:
Visa on Arrival (VOA) is applicable for a stay of 30 days and cost of USD25.
The 7 day visa is no longer applicable.

Citizens of Australia must obtain entry visa (VOA) on arrival in Indonesia

  • Passengers must complete the arrival/departure card application form before arrival. (VOA Airports:- Bali/Manado/Surabaya/Jakarta/Padang/Pekanbaru/Medan/Yogyakarta/ Solo/Mataram/Balikpapan/Kupang/Batam/Pontianak/Ujung Pandang-Makassar/Bandung).
  • Upon arrival, pay the visa fee at Mandiri Bank counter obtaining a receipt.
  • Visa fee may be paid in AUD cash/cc (equiv.USD25 for 30 days).
  • A full page Visa-on-arrival sticker visa will be issued (see note).
  • Proceed to Immigration counter to have arrival/departure card, passport processed by Immigration officer.
  • Proceed to baggage claim area for baggage collection and customs clearance.
  • This VOA is extendable once for 30 days but not convertible to other visa types.

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07 July 2010 - Holland America Line new ship

Posted by: Alan

 Holland America Line officially welcomed its newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam, at a gala ceremony in Venice, Italy.

The 2106-guest vessel is the 15th ship in Holland American Line’s fleet.

It will embark on a series of 12-day Mediterranean sailings before a trans-Atlantic crossing to the Caribbean to sail seven-day itineraries from November to March.

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