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July 2011

  
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29 July 2011 - Tiger Coming Back Soon

Posted by: Alan

Tiger Airways has issued a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange advising that today it was issued with a "set of formal conditions" by CASA.

 
Some of the conditions must be satisfied prior to the reintroduction of Tiger Airways Australia's domestic flights.
 
"As a result of the progress made since 1 July 2011 Tiger Airways Australia is confident that it can comply with these conditions and expects to resume services in the near future," the carrier said.
 
The airline said it would now automatically refund all passengers booked to fly between 1 August 2011 and 4 August 2011 inclusive.
 
"A further announcement, concerning flights scheduled to operate from 5 August 2011 and the recommencement of sales, will be made at the appropriate time," the statement added.

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29 July 2011 - Tourists turned away from Machu Picchu

Posted by: Alan

Hundreds of people were turned away from Peru’s Machu Picchu site on Wednesday after the famed Inca ruins reached visitor capacity.

 
Angry tourists blocked a bridge for two hours in the town of Aguas Calientes at the entrance to the site, stopping buses that ferry people to the hilltop ruins.
 
Juan Julio Garcia, regional tourism director in nearby Cuzco, said some travel agencies failed to inform clients that they should get tickets in advance because of the daily limit of 2500 people.
 
The limit was set in 2005 as a conservation measure.
 
In January, tickets became available online.

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28 July 2011 - Cruise Line Ratings Released

Posted by: Alan

American magazine 'Travel & Leisure' has published a list of the world's top-rating cruise lines, based on results of a reader poll.

The ratings are in the August issue of the magazine, which has just gone on sale in the US.

Vessels are rated in big-ship and small-ship categories, and there's a separate category for river cruise companies.

Best Big Ships:

  1. Crystal Cruises (92)
  2. Regent Seven Seas (90)
  3. Oceania (86)
  4. Disney Cruise Line (85)
  5. Cunard (84)
  6. Azamara (82)
  7. Celebrity (81.92)
  8. Holland America (81.29)
  9. Royal Caribbean (80)
  10. Princess (79)

 

Small-Ship Category:

  1. Seabourn (93)
  2. Silversea (90)
  3. Lindblad Expeditions (89)
  4. SeaDream Yacht Club (88)
  5. Windstar Cruises (85)

 

River Cruise Companies:

  1. Tauck (90)
  2. Uniworld (88)
  3. Viking (86)
  4. AmaWaterways (85)
  5. Avalon (84)

 

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27 July 2011 - Tiger Airways Complaint Airs on US TV

Posted by: Alan

Tiger Airways is getting the sort of publicity in America which no airline needs.

A US country and western singer who wrote a song about how the carrier lost a box of his CDs on a Melbourne-Sydney flight and then allegedly failed to reimburse the $500 excess baggage fee it charged to carry them has appeared on a major TV network, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
 
Texan Dale Watson and his band performed the ballad, titled ‘Tiger Airways - We Don’t Careways’, on Monday on the Fox News morning show.
 
The SMH says the song is becoming a ‘minor hit’ in the US.
 
Tiger has since reimbursed Mr Watson and paid him $1700 in compensation .
 
The video is here: http://youtu.be/WZURPjR9_JE
 
 
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
 

 

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26 July 2011 - Want To See Kate Middeltons Dress

Posted by: Alan

Kate Middleton’s wedding dress went on display at the weekend as Buckingham Palace was opened for another summer season of public visits.

 
The display is included in the Palace State Rooms tour, which costs from £17.50 (about $23).
 
Australians taking the tour had better be prepared to queue.
 
More than 125,000 tickets were sold in advance for the weekend opening and a total 650,000 people are expected to pour through palace gates by the time the season ends on 3 October.
 

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25 July 2011 - Now the Kiwis have Too Much Snow

Posted by: Alan

Snow is causing major disruption to air services and other transport in NZ this morning.

Flights from Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown were cancelled and delays were expected at some other airports.
 
The heaviest snowfalls in 15 years also blocked main highways on both the North and South Islands.
 
The Christchurch region recorded falls of more than 30cm overnight.
 
Christchurch is the worst hit in a polar blast that has hit much of the country.
Freezing temperatures have brought snow and ice, and created road problems in both the North and South Island.  
 
The snow is part of an Antarctic blast that is expected to work its way up the country today.
The super-chilled blast of air is coming straight off the South Pole and is expected to be one of the coldest spells this winter.
 
 
Photo Source: Peter Fletcher

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22 July 2011 - Soldiers Patrolling Kruger Park

Posted by: Alan

South Africa’s Kruger National Park may have become the most heavily-armed major tourist attraction in the world.

 
A total 22 groups of soldiers, each numbering 165, are being deployed in the park over the next five years in a bid to end rhino poaching, according to a report yesterday on South African news website The Mail & Guardian, quoting military authorities.
 
The massive deployment, which began in April, has brought a significant decline in the number of poaching incidents, the M&G report says.
 
Last year, 333 rhinos were shot dead in the Kruger, which led to authorities turning to the SA National Defence Force for help.
 
This year there have been 40 killings in March, 30 in April, 15 in May and two last month.
 
There has been none so far this month.
 
 
Source: Mail & Guardian

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21 July 2011 - American Airlines Worlds Biggest Aircraft Order

Posted by: Alan

American Airlines has announced the world’s biggest order for new aircraft.
 
It plans to buy 460 narrow-body planes, splitting the order between plane makers Boeing and Airbus.
 
Till now it has been an all-Boeing carrier.
 
The deal also includes a further 465 options.
 
The firm order will be made up of 200 Boeing 737s and 260 Airbus A320s.
 
Deliveries will take place between 2013 and 2022.

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21 July 2011 - Will and Kate turn down British Airways compensation offer

Posted by: Alan

Britain’s newest Royal Couple may have just created a world precedent, by declining an airline’s offer of compensation.

 
Prince William and wife Kate were on their way home from the US on 10 July when the inflight entertainment system on their British Airways jet failed. 
 
Flight attendants then offered the couple, and all other passengers in first and business cabins, duty-free vouchers worth £200 (about $260) by way of compensating for the glitch.
 
But when Will and Kate were asked to fill out a form in return the vouchers, they "politely declined", London newspaper the Daily Express reports today.
 
The paper says it’s understood the couple did not think it appropriate to accept "duty-free booze".
 
The report notes that they slept for most of the 10-hour flight anyway.
 

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19 July 2011 - Carnival is a Good Samaritan

Posted by: Alan

A Carnival Cruise Lines ship has staged an unusual Good Samaritan act in the Mediterranean.

 
Carnival Magic was en route from Barcelona to Sicily late on Sunday night when it received a distress call from a motor yacht, which had lost power and was being threatened by heavy seas and strong winds.
 
The French skipper, sailing with his son, did not want to abandon the vessel, so Carnival Magic manoeuvred to a position where it protected the small craft from the elements for several hours until a Spanish coastguard rescue vessel arrived.
 
Carnival’s celebrity blogger John Heald said the incident drew a big crowd aboard the 3690-passenger liner, with an estimated 300 passengers watching proceedings at 2.25am Monday morning.
 

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18 July 2011 - Cyclists beat Aircraft

Posted by: Alan

 All the hoo-ha leading up to the closure of a major Los Angeles freeway at the weekend gave rise to a bet by a group of cyclists that they could cycle from Burbank airport in LA’s north to Long Beach airport in the south faster than a load of JetBlue Airways passengers could make the trip.

 
JetBlue had earlier announced that it would help LA residents avoid threatened congestion by operating two return flights between Burbank and Long Beach for just $US4 a trip.
 
The bet was agreed, the terms including giving cyclists a 90-minute head start on their 65km journey as compensation for the amount of time a JetBlue passenger would have to allow for arriving at check-in and passing through security.
 
The winner would be the passenger or cyclist who reached the entrance of the Long Beach terminal first.
 
The cyclists won easily, with a time of 1hr 34mins.
 
JetBlue passengers were in the air for only 12 minutes, but still took over two hours, including time spent leading up to take-off and after touchdown.

 

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15 July 2011 - 70 Dollars for Second Bag

Posted by: Alan

United Continental is going to charge passengers flying between Australia and the US/Canada a fee of $US70 for a second checked bag.

 
It will take effect with tickets bought from today for travel from 15 August.
 
The new impost won’t apply to first and business travellers and what the carrier calls ‘elite mileage members’.
 
It says there’s no change to its baggage policy for domestic travel and carry-on luggage.

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15 July 2011 - New Jacket for Travellers

Posted by: Alan

 A new article of clothing is set to help air travellers avoid hefty baggage fees.

 
The ‘Rufus Roo’ jacket probably won’t win any awards for style . . . but its six pockets can carry up to 15 kilos of luggage.
 
Even laptops, wine bottles and shoes aren’t too much of a challenge.
 
The jacket, costing about $45, is the invention of British businessman Andrew Gaule, who became frustrated at seeing passengers charged large sums for excess luggage, or being forced to repack their hand luggage at the check-in counter.
 
Australian customers of United Continental might want to consider buying one, given the airline’s announcement of a $US70 fee for a second checked bag.

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14 July 2011 - Donald Trump opens tallest hotel in Central America

Posted by: Alan

A lavishly-designed hotel built by real estate billionaire and resort developer Donald Trump opened in Panama City on Wednesday as the tallest hotel in Central America.

 
The 70-storey structure soars 284 metres in the shape of a sail deployed in the wind.
 
The seafront Trump Ocean Club, designed by a Colombian architect, has 369 hotel rooms and 47 suites, plus private residences selling from $US250,000.
 
At Wednesday’s opening, Mr Trump placed heavy emphasis on the benefits the property is bringing to locals.
 
"We walked into the hotel today and we were greeted by probably 250 people in the lobby that work at the hotel", he said.
 
"They’re going to work here for many many years to come.
 
"They’ll educate their families, they’ll take care of their health, they’ll take care of so much because of the hotel and because of the great success of what this hotel will be, so that’s fantastic."

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14 July 2011 - UK Cruise Crush

Posted by: Alan

I'll bet that you're glad that you won't be in Southampton this Saturday . . .

The UK port of Southampton will have its busiest day of the year on Saturday, when six cruise liners disembark and board a  total 33,500 passengers.

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13 July 2011 - Will it happen in Australia

Posted by: Alan

Will it happen in Australia?
British holidaymakers are heading overseas with just one suitcase for a family of four in a bid to beat rising airline fees.

 
Some 25% of individual holidaymakers are travelling with only hand luggage.
 
The findings come from a survey by a UK company called Co-operative Travel, according to London’s Telegraph newspaper.
 
The survey showed that up to 16,000 families of four will take just suitcase when they head abroad this UK summer.
 
That can mean an average saving of £233 (about $325) on baggage charges alone, Co-operative Travel says.
 
Source: London Telegraph

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12 July 2011 - Royal Caribbean to spend 300m on upgrades

Posted by: Alan

Royal Caribbean is going to spend $US300m on enhancements to almost its entire fleet over the next three years, website cruisecritic.com reports today.

 
They’ll include new dining options, the addition of family cabins and nurseries, and a range of new technology, including ship-wide Wi-Fi, flat-panel TVs, computerised info kiosks and poolside video walls for entertainment.
 
Rhapsody of the Seas, a regular visitor to Australia, will get the upgrade next March.
 
Radiance of the Seas, a newcomer to Australia late this year, was upgraded in May - the first ship in the fleet to get the enhancements.
 

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11 July 2011 - Too Much Snow for NZ Skifields

Posted by: Alan

After waiting weeks for the snowfalls needed to start the season, skifield operators on NZ’s South Island found they had too much at the weekend.

 
A wintry blast forced several to close only days after they’d opened.
 
Treble Cone, which had planned to open Saturday, had to remain shut.
 
Resort management said there was a risk of avalanches, and the opening would be delayed until the situation was brought under control.
 
Cardrona was closed on Sunday, as was The Remarkables.
 
Coronet Peak was open after receiving 20cm of snow Saturday night.
 
 
Source: Southland Times

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08 July 2011 - Tourism Alters Village Life in Fiji

Posted by: Alan

Tourism has made a lot of difference to the lives of Yanuya villagers in the Mamanuca Group.

 
According to village headman Jope Samila, many of the developments that took place at the village were funded by earnings from tourism related activities.
 
He said more than 50 tourists visited the village each day. They paid a fee of $3 each contributing more than $1000 per week to the village fund.
 
Mr Samila said the fund was used to improve housing standards in the village and used to purchase 92 water tanks for each household.
 
"All the 92 houses in the village have their own water tank which was funded by the village fund gained from tourism," he said.
 
"Water is the major problem in the village but the purchase of water tanks was a huge relief to the villagers."
 
"We have used more than $80,000 for water tanks from year 2000 until today.
 
"Tourism has contributed to the infrastructure developments and we are planning to focus on more development proposals in the coming years."
 
He said villagers had been urged to look after the welfare of the tourists that visited the village each day.
 
Mr Samila said education projects would be top on the list in the next set of projects.
 

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07 July 2011 - TSS Earnslaw Back in Action

Posted by: Alan

TSS Earnslaw, the 99-year-old steamer carrying tourists between the NZ resort of Queenstown and a high-country sheep station, will be back in action on Monday after a six-week renovation.

Centenary celebrations are planned for next year.

Launched in 1912, the TSS Earnslaw is the grandest vessel ever to ply Lake Wakatipu.
Today, the TSS Earnslaw is believed to be the only coal-fired passenger-carrying vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere.
 
The TSS Earnslaw makes several trips daily across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm on the western shores. A cruise on this heritage vessel is a fantastic way to experience Queenstown’s magnificent alpine scenery.
 
 

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06 July 2011 - Nelson Mandela on Every SAA Aircraft

Posted by: Alan

South African Airways customers will soon be seeing Nelson Mandela everywhere they look.

 
The carrier plans to place silhouetted pictures of the revered statesman on all of its planes, yesterday unveiling the first orange and black version.
 
The pictures, carrying the wording ‘Take action. Inspire change’, will appear not only on aircraft fuselages, but also on headrests and in boarding areas.
 
All 58 planes in the SAA fleet will have them by 18 July, which is South Africa’s national Mandela Day.
 
The Nelson Mandela Foundation and SAA hope that the logos will expand awareness of the 67 years that Mandela spent making the world a better place, and inspire passengers to dedicate 67 minutes of their lives to doing good for others.
 

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06 July 2011 - Bird Closes Manchester Airport Runway

Posted by: Alan

A runway at Britain’s Manchester airport was shut for several hours on Monday local time as workers tried to capture an elusive flamingo.

 
The bird was first sighted on Sunday night, but after airport staff using night vision cameras lost track of it, they assumed it had flown away.
 
However, it was back again around 8am Monday, sparking a full-scale effort to catch it or scare it off using nets, flares and 4WD vehicles playing loud music.
 
The efforts were in vain, with the flamingo finally flying away around lunchtime.
 
By that time a runway had been closed for five hours.

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05 July 2011 - Brighton Pier For Sale

Posted by: Alan

One of Britain’s most famous seaside tourist attractions is up for sale.

 
Brighton Pier on England’s south coast has been put on the market for the first time in 25 years.
 
Its owner, Noble Group, hasn’t said how much it wants, but has spent about $47m on the 112-year-old structure since it bought it in 1984.
 
The pier is one of Britain’s most-visited places, featuring 18 themed attractions and rides, and two amusement arcades.
 

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04 July 2011 - Tight Squeeze for new Cruise Ship

Posted by: Alan

 A huge new cruise ship has floated through the fields of Holland on its way to pre-launch trials in the North Sea.

 
The latest addition to the Celebrity Cruises fleet, the 2884-passenger Celebrity Silhouette, completed a 40km journey down the River Ems late last week from the Meyer Werft inland shipyard in Pappenberg, Germany to the Dutch port of Eemshaven, where it will undergo sea trials while finishing touches are added.
 
It was almost certainly the most unusual voyage the liner will make.
For starters, it sailed backwards, because there was no room to turn after it was pushed out of the yard.
 
In some parts of the river there was less than two metres of clearance between the ship and the banks.
 
And in one township, a section of railway bridge across the river was removed to allow the ship to pass.
 
Celebrity Silhouette will be named in Hamburg on 21 July and begin a maiden cruise to Rome two days later.
 

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01 July 2011 - Mark Weber to get Pilots Licence

Posted by: Alan

Qantas is going to help Aussie motor racing ace Mark Webber obtain a pilot’s licence.

 
The airline announced the move yesterday, a day after the Formula 1 driver, who became a Qantas Ambassador in February, visited the cockpit of a Qantas A380 at London’s Heathrow airport.
 
"Flying is something that has always fascinated me", he’s quoted as saying in yesterday’s announcement.
 
"It was so exciting to have the opportunity to fly over the Albert Park (Melbourne) Formula 1 circuit in a Qantas B737 simulator earlier this year and it really consolidated my passion to fly an aircraft one day".
 
Qantas says it will provide "mentoring support" for Webber from one of its training pilots, and give him time in flight simulators.
 

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