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Cruising News - Destinations Africa / Middle East.

New York, Geneva (CruiseGuide - Destination News Africa / Middle East) Dec 18, 2012

Argos Argos in Cappadocia, a hotel in the distinctive Cappadocia region of Turkey, is promoting to romance and honeymoon travelers. The hotel features suites tucked into ancient caves some with a private pool, fine dining, and a 2,000-year-old concert hall for weddings or receptions. The hotel was created from 40 ancient dwellings into a 42-room luxury hotel. Many parts of the hotel are connected by underground tunnels. Opening onto balconies, terraces and secluded courtyards, often with views of neighboring Guvercinlik Valley and distant peaks, they are nonetheless caves -- with all the latest modern conveniences. Each guestroom is individually designed, decorated with Turkish carpets, artifacts, candles and decorative objects set in wall niches. Most rooms feature a working fireplace as well as the latest technology, including wireless Internet and excellent sound systems. All Splendid Suites even have their own private in-suite swimming pool. For more information, visit Dec 14, 2011

Best Western, Hilton, Marriott Global hotel chains eye opportunities in northern Iraq. Major hoteliers Best Western, Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International are pushing forward with developments in northern Iraq, seeing plenty of potential in the area's attractiveness to foreign investors. "If you look at the strong demand that will come from business and leisure travelers, and that there's a shortage of supply of hotels -- that makes this appealing to us," said Best Western International President and CEO David Kong. Dec 14, 2011

Iran The U.S. State Department issued a warning of the dangers of travel to Iran. Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. The Travel Warning for Iran issued Oct. 8, 2010, has been reviewed and reissued without change. Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. U.S. citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran. Since 2009, Iranian authorities have prevented the departure, in some cases for several months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens, including journalists and academics, who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons. Iranian authorities also have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security. U.S. citizens of Iranian origin should consider the risk of being targeted by authorities before planning travel to Iran. Iranian authorities deny the U.S. Interests Section in Tehran access to imprisoned dual national Iranian-American citizens because Iranian authorities consider them to be solely Iranian citizens; access to U.S. citizens is often denied as well. The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran. Neither U.S. passports nor visas to the United States are issued in Tehran. The Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship and will not allow the Swiss to provide protective services for U.S. citizens who are also Iranian nationals. Iranian authorities have detained and harassed U.S. citizens of Iranian origin. Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, as well as persons who encourage Muslims to convert, are subject to arrest and prosecution. U.S. citizens who travel or reside in Iran are strongly encouraged to enroll in the State DepartmentOs Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. U.S. citizens may also enroll in person at the U.S. Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy, located at No. 39, Shahid Mousavi (Golestan Fifth), Pasdaran, Tehran. The telephone numbers for the U.S. Interests Section are (98)(21) 2254-2178 and (98)(21) 2256-5273, fax (98)(21) 2258-0432, email, and the website is U.S. citizens should also review the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Iran and stay up to date by bookmarking the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. For more information, call 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444 or visit Dec 16, 2011

Kenya Kenya will host the October 2012 Women in Tourism International Alliance (WITIA)Os yearly Educational and Annual General Meeting. WITIA members from six continents will be drawn together for significant networking and educational opportunities. WITIAOs Educational and Annual General Meeting is an interactive learning opportunity designed to engage tourism professionals in the study of tourism practices in destinations throughout the world. In 2011, WITIA members visited Costa Rica. The Kenyan tour will allow participants to directly interact with members of the Kenyan tourism industry as they experience some of its foremost tourism products. KAWT members have created a comprehensive itinerary that showcases many of the countryOs most indelible experiences.

Founded in 2006, WITIA is an international networking organization that seeks to link tourism professionals, male and female, in locations all over the world. At present, WITIA is represented in 30 countries and communicates with monthly electronic newsletters to a database of over 3,000 tourism professionals worldwide. WITIA is actively soliciting new memberships. For more information, visit Dec 14, 2011

Nigeria, Congo The U.S. Department of State issued travel warnings for both Nigeria and the Congo. The department warns against all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers; the Southeastern states of Abia, Edo, Imo; the city of Jos in Plateau State, Bauchi and Borno States in the northeast; and the Gulf of Guinea because of the risks of kidnapping, robbery, and other armed attacks in these areas. Violent crime committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by persons wearing police and military uniforms, remains a problem throughout the country. On Aug. 26, a suicide bombing at the UN Headquarters in Abuja killed 23 people and wounded more than 80 others. The attack was the fourth bombing in Abuja during the past year but the first against an international organization. It followed a similar bombing against the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters ten weeks earlier that killed five people on June 16. These bombings were in addition to bombings elsewhere in Maiduguri, Suleja, and Jos throughout the last year. Travel by foreigners to areas considered by the Nigerian government to be conflict areas without prior consultation and coordination with local security authorities is not recommended. The Nigerian government may view such travel as inappropriate and potentially illegal, and it may detain violators. Nigerian authorities detained six U.S. citizens, including journalists, on six occasions, in areas where militant groups had operated in 2008. The Nigerian government interrogated these U.S. citizens for lengthy periods of time without bringing any formal charges before ultimately deporting them. Journalists are required to obtain a special accreditation from the Ministry of Information prior to traveling to conflict areas in the Niger Delta region states. This special accreditation is in addition to the general press accreditation and a valid Nigerian visa which are required to conduct such activities elsewhere in Nigeria. The State Department also issued an alert about the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has potential for unrest or disruptions surrounding the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for Nov. 28. U.S. citizens planning to travel to the DRC before, during, or immediately following the elections should monitor local news, assess local conditions and travel routes, and consult the Embassy's website for Emergency Messages to U.S. Citizens when making travel plans. When the official campaign season officially begins on Oct. 28, political rallies and demonstrations may become more commonplace. The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly, and a foreigner could unwittingly become a victim of harassment or encounter more serious danger. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. For more information call 888-407-4747 in the United States or 202-501-4444 or visit Dec 16, 2011

Olarro luxury lodge The Olarro luxury lodge has last-minute availability for the winter season. From now until January 2012, the lodge is offering a OStay for three nights, pay for twoO deal, including a full-day excursion into the Masai Mara. Children stay free. Olarro is an artistically styled retreat with undulating walls and curves that mimic the rolling hillside setting. The property has seven unique cottages within the main Olarro property plus Little Olarro, an exclusive, private house suite set apart in the hillside. Olarro was recently voted one of the OWorldOs Most Romantic HotelsO and a OTop 50 New HotelO by Travel + Leisure. It was designed by Anthony Russell with low-impact, high-concept aesthetics. Guests can take scenic helicopter flights into the Masai Mara, or to float over the wildebeest and zebra migration in a hot air balloon, ending with a champagne breakfast in a remote locale. There are also night drives with night-vision binoculars, minimizing the disturbance to the natural behavior of wildlife and allowing guests a clear view of nocturnal animals as well as leopards and lions. ThereOs also mountain biking, trekking, sundowners, bush breakfasts and bush dinners and a swimming pool. Olarro is located in South Western Kenya, 124 miles from Nairobi in the heart of the Loita Hills. The lodge has a birdOs-eye view of the surrounding 10,000-acre private game conservancy, along the corridor of the annual wildebeest migration. The main cottage interiors are cool white, accented by earth tone accessories and modern decor. All cottages have luxurious en-suite bathrooms with rainfall showers and Thera Vine amenities. Each has its own patio and six of the cottages share common areas, ideal for groups, friends and families. The Olarro Winter Safari rate is $1,460 per adult (fully inclusive.) For more information, call 254 20 2048610, 254 20 2048621, 254 721 921966 or 254 771 574483; email or; or visit Dec 15, 2011

Turkey Up to 1,000 people are feared dead after the most devastating earthquake in more than a decade struck eastern Turkey on Sunday, Health Minister Recep Akdag said that so far at least 65 deaths have been confirmed. "We have a death toll between 65 and 70 and we hope this doesn't go up," he told reporters. As night fell, citizens were using flashlights and shovels as they clambered over the rubble of collapsed buildings looking for survivors. The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported the quake had a magnitude of 7.3, then revised it down to 7.2. Dec 12, 2011

Twelve Apostles Hotel The new Spa at The Twelve Apostles Hotel won the SPA Traveler AwardsO Best International Hotel Spa award. The award follows several other awards recently received by hotels in the Red Carnation Hotel Collection. The Spa at Bushmans Kloof won the Unique Spa category at the 2011 Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards; the following year The Spa at The Oyster Box received the Resort/Hotel Spa Category of the same awards ceremony. The SPA Traveler Awards are designed to reveal some of the worldOs hidden gems, along with romantic getaways, family-friendly destinations and wellbeing retreats. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is the only South African property to be included on the international list. The recently refurbished Spa was designed by Toni Tollman, of the Tollman family, which owns the Red Carnation Hotel Collection of boutique properties. It features seven treatment rooms for dual and single treatments with a hydrotherapy bath and rain showers, as well as a Rasul Chamber for traditional cleansing rituals using steam and mud, a Perfect Finish Salon for manicures and pedicures, a Tranquillity Lounge and Wild Lanyana Aromatherm Room for hydrotherapy treatments, and a Vichy Shower. The spaOs white interiors use natural stone, marble, granite and glass to create a textured feeling throughout. The spa features B|Africa products, inspired by the natural surroundings of all three Red Carnation properties in South Africa -- The Twelve Apostles Hotel, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve Wellness Retreat and The Oyster Box. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa overlooks the Atlantic Ocean at the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range at CampOs Bay a few miles outside Cape Town. The five-star hotel was voted the number one Hotel in Cape Town in Travel + Leisure magazineOs WorldOs Best hotels 2010. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa is a part of the international Red Carnation Hotel Collection and a member of Leading Small Hotels of the World. For more information, call 27 (0) 21 437 9000, email or visit Dec 12, 2011 1935-6501

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Publication:Cruise Guide
Geographic Code:7IRAN
Date:Dec 19, 2011
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