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Cruising News - Destinations North America.

Jul 26, 2009

The United States Senate passed an amendment sponsored by Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu (D-La.) to boost tourism revenue for rural small businesses. The "Tourism Promotion for Rural Small Businesses" amendment (S. Amdt. 2259) is part of the Agriculture Appropriations bill, which the Senate expects to pass this week. OThe tourism industry remains largely untapped for small rural firms, but while local customers may stop spending, tourists can bring in extra profits for businesses and sales tax for communities," Sen. Landrieu said. OThis amendment will help the Federal government coordinate their tourism promotion programs to ensure our tax dollars reach rural communities and the small farms and firms that can help pull America out of this recession.O Jul 23, 2009

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced that the Federal Railroad Administration has received 278 pre-applications for grant funding totaling USD 102 billion. The money will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail competitive grant program. OThe response has been tremendous and shows that the country is ready for high-speed rail,O LaHood said. OItOs time to look beyond our highways and invest in public transportation services like rail, which will enhance regional mobility and reduce our carbon footprint.O Jul 17, 2009

The measure is due to the health situation that Influenza A causes and for the alerts that the Brazilian government has been announced to the population of this country. The operation was programmed for September. Jul 15, 2009

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has ranked Honolulu as the fourth-best city in the world for business travel. Honolulu was one of three U.S. cities ranked in the top 10, joining Detroit (seventh) and Atlanta (eighth). According to the report, OEIUOs Business Travel index assessed and compared 140 cities as potential venues for business trips, conferences and training locations. The methodology accounts for cost considerations alongside environmental factors such as stability, infrastructure, culture and health care.O Jul 13, 2009

3 Palms

The O3 PalmsO brand for upscale independent properties -- operated by AmericaOs Best Franchising Incorporated -- continues to grow as it celebrates one year of operations and adds three new properties: 3 Palms Oceanfront Hotel in Myrtle Beach (, is directly on Grand Strand. This eight-story property features two outdoor ocean front pools, private beach access, and 136 recently-renovated rooms, suites, and studio units. Tanglewood Resort Hotel & Conference Center ( in Pottsboro, Texas, near Fort Worth, is located on Lake Texoma, and offers guests an 18-hole championship golf course, a wide variety of water sports, and accommodations in 248 rooms, suites, and villas. Beverly Hills Inn ( in AtlantaOs Buckhead community, was built in 1929, features 18 distinctive historic rooms and was AtlantaOs first bed and breakfast. This brings to nine the number of 3 Palms resorts and hotels with a total of 1,061 rooms that are operating in the United States. Jul 16, 2009

American Travel Writers

Two of Rocky MountaineerOs rail journeys have been selected by the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) as the most exciting and scenic train experiences in the world. SATW, the worldOs largest organization of professional travel journalists and photographers with members in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, recently conducted a poll on the OTop 10O train rides. CanadaOs Rocky Mountaineer took the number one spot, with the Whistler Mountaineer coming in at number eight. OHaving both of our trains selected in the OTop 10O is an amazing acknowledgement and gives us further indication that we are providing our guests with premier travel experiences,O said Randy Powell, president of Rocky Mountaineer. Jul 14, 2009

Aston Hotels has recognized the Aston Waikiki Beach Tower as an InsidersO Select hotel. The InsidersO Select list recognizes the top 1 percent of more than 80,000 hotels and resorts offered on This is the second year in a row that the property was awarded. As an InsidersO Select hotel, the Aston Waikiki Beach Tower will have a special award designation on ExpediaOs search results page and next to the property description on the global websites. In addition, the hotel received a commemorative plaque for display at the front desk. Jul 16, 2009

Aston Hotels

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Aston Waikiki Beach Tower is offering a slew of gifts to guests, including a USD 2,500 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus for one guest. The guest will be surprised at check-in. To qualify, the guest must stay at the condominium resort during October and November 2009. In addition, every 25th registered guest will receive a custom Martin & MacArthur Hawaiian Koa wood platter valued at more than USD 500. The round platter includes a stand so it can be displayed upright. And each traveling party will receive a handcrafted Martin & MacArthur Koa wood wine stopper and corkscrew set upon check-in (one per room). Jul 15, 2009

Atlantic City

Construction of Atlantic CityOs non-casino event venue is now underway at the end of The Pier Shops at Caesars. One Atlantic extends 100 yards over the Atlantic Ocean and offers panoramic ocean views for weddings, corporate galas and social events. This venue is slated for completion in December 2009. One Atlantic will offer full-service planning and production services. Reservations are now being accepted for 2010 events. The contemporary design features 10,000 square feet of integrated event space and beach views, boardwalk and ocean through floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace. The spaceOs flexibility will allow for a broad range of set-ups, accommodating everything from cocktail receptions for 1,000 and 500-person banquets to intimate gatherings of as few as 20. The outdoor garden terrace offers over 2,000 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 200 guests. Jul 17, 2009

Brendan Vacations

As part of Brendan Vacations initiatives to drive social awareness through the preservation of national wildlife reserves and other ecotourism destinations, the company partnered with HESC, a nonprofit organization for nature conservation programs. Toward this objective they have adopted Sheila, a severely injured female cheetah. OWe at Brendan are extremely concerned about the growing list of endangered animals. We believe that the protection and preservation of these animals should be paramount on everyoneOs list. Part of our job at Brendan is to spread the word around and to drive awareness to this cause,O said Gary Murphy, president of Brendan Vacations. Jul 15, 2009


The little-known Languedoc region of southern France is the setting of a new one-week self-drive package offered by The Great Canadian Travel Company. The package begins from $615 per person. Languedoc is a region of castles and Cathars, of the DaVinci Code and dinosaurs, the mysteries of the Knights Templar and even a museum devoted to le chapeau (a reminder of when Languedoc was a world-renowned center for manufacturing hats). The tour spends six nights in the tiny market town of Esperaza, which sits astride the River Aude some 25 miles south of Carcassonne and is well located to explore the region. The package features accommodations at the Maison de la Riviere, a chamber dOhote. For those who prefer a little more space, perhaps those traveling with families, a house rental in the area for a one-week stay is an alternative. The cost of this trip is $615 per person (based on double occupancy). Included are a seven-day economy class car rental (including taxes), accommodation at La Maison de le Riviere, breakfast daily and the two-hour wine-tasting tutorial. Departures are available year-round. For more information, call 800-771-4833 or visit Jul 24, 2009


The number of people traveling between the United States and Canada dropped from May to June, a tourism official said Sunday in Niagara Falls, Ont. This is the first time in memory the number of tourists declined in the border region between Western New York and Canada, said Arlene White, executive director of the Binational Tourism Alliance. Jul 21, 2009

Charleston, S.C.

The Charleston, S.C., area is extending value-loaded packages through Sept. 30, 2009. Folly Beach Holiday Inn Oceanfront provides the OWater, Water EverywhereO package, based on availability with rates starting at USD 415 per room, per night; ResortQuest is offering a BlazinO Saddles package; and the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina has the SullivanOs Island Beach Experience packages, which starts at USD 129 per room, per night. Jul 16, 2009

Classic Vacations

Classic Vacations is the newest addition to TripologyOs Travel Industry Supporter Program. As part of the program, Classic Vacations will reimburse Tripologists for each lead they purchase from Tripology that results in a booking with the travel provider. TripologyOs Travel Industry Supplier Program is a win-win for both the companyOs travel specialists, known as Tripologists, and for travel industry providers. For travel specialists, the new program offers the opportunity to garner free lead credits for bookings made with participating industry supporters. Industry supporters gain exposure to new clients via TripologyOs 13,000 registered travel specialists, marketing opportunities towards the agent community and dedicated relationship manager. Jul 14, 2009

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is celebrating film aboard Crystal Serenity, arriving in Venice in time for guests to enjoy the 66th annual Venice Film Festival, beginning Sept. 2. Film critic Rex Reed and Academy Award-winning film and theater legend Rita Moreno will entertain guests during the 12-day Aug. 21 ORed Carpet RivieraO voyage from Barcelona to Venice. ReedOs reviews currently appear weekly in the New York Observer. He has served on the juries of the Venice, Montral and Berlin film festivals, and has appeared in films with the likes of Mae West and Laurence Olivier. HeOll regale guests during his lecture, OLegends I Have Known.O Jul 16, 2009

Cunard Line

Cunard Line announced that film critic and journalist Rex Reed is scheduled to sail aboard the Queen Mary 2Os Nov. 5 trans-Atlantic crossing from New York to Southampton. A two-time Grammy nominee, Reed will be a featured presenter for the Cunard Insights enrichment program. Reed will deliver lectures and hold Q&A discussions. Jul 15, 2009

Days Inn

Days Inns Worldwide announced that with the opening of its first hotel in Maui, Hawaii, the brand has achieved a presence in all 50 United States. Owned and operated by Western Apartment Supply & Maintenance Company, the 87-room hotel makes the Days Inn brand, which has more than 1,850 hotels throughout the world, the first chain from Wyndham Hotel GroupOs family of lodging brands to have a hotel in the state of Hawaii. OThis is a great moment for Wyndham Hotel Group and the Days Inn brand,O said Keith Pierce, Wyndham Hotel Group president, The Americas. OWith the addition of this hotel, price-savvy business and leisure travelers can rest assured that no matter where their travels take them, a Days Inn hotel will be there waiting for them.O Jul 16, 2009

Diani Reef Beach Resort

A woman who has been sued by one of the country's biggest tourist hotel for alleged defamation has denied the allegations. Mrs Luciana Parazzi, the chairperson of the South Coast Diani Residents' Association (SCRA) has been accused by the Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa that she allegedly emailed members a defamatory letter concerning the hotel. Jul 15, 2009

Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications, a nonfiction media company and parent to Discovery Channel, unveiled trip itineraries for Discovery Adventures, their new adventure travel brand, at Thirty-one trips to 16 worldwide destinations are now available to book with departures beginning this December. Developed in partnership with adventure travel provider G.A.P Adventures, Discovery Adventure promises tours that are Oaffordable, comfortable and authentic experiences that go beyond the surface with in-depth, real-life encounters, encouraging participants to become part of the local cultures that they have come to know through top-rated Discovery Channel series.O Each tour is developed to include off-the-beaten-path experiences and deeper exploration into the history and traditions of each destination, delivering a non-traditional tourist vacation. Jul 24, 2009

Funjet Vacations

Funjet Vacations is offering travel agents the opportunity to fly to Hawaii for free. All agents need to do is book three new Hawaii reservations by Aug. 6, 2009, and they will receive a free air seat to Hawaii on United Airlines. Agents must fill out a form and fax it to Funjet Vacations Travel Agency Marketing at 414-351-5256 by Aug. 13, 2009. The form is available in Funjet Vacations Vendor Center on VAX VacationAccess or via Jul 13, 2009

General Tours World Traveler

General Tours World Traveler is introducing two new cruise/tour programs for the 2010 Passion Play in Oberammergau. The trips have three components a luxury river cruise, fully escorted touring through Bavaria, and premier, center-orchestra seats for the Passion Play. The new programs feature the five-star ships of Uniworld. From Basel, the 11-day Rhine journey begins with a one-week cruise aboard the River Ambassador, listed in the 2009 Cond Nast Traveler Readers Poll as one of the worldOs best small ships. The Danube itinerary sails between Budapest and Passau aboard the new River Beatrice, which made its debut in spring 2009. Both cruises include all meals, wine or beer with dinner, port charges and in-depth shore excursions featuring UniworldOs Quietvox portable audio headset system. Jul 16, 2009

GOGO Worldwide Vacations

GOGO Worldwide Vacations is offering special extras like free nights, free room upgrades, kids stay and eat completely free, free resort credits, free waterpark tickets and free dining. The company has handpicked several worldwide offers, starting at $169 per person land only for three nights double occupancy at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Phoenix. Offers must be booked by Aug. 31 for travel through Dec. 31. For a complete list of offers, visit . For personalized sale flyers that can be sent to clients, visit under Great GOGO Features and click on Printable GOGO flyers. Follow GOGO on Twitter at or on Facebook at For more information, call 888-567-0600 or visit

Jul 24, 2009


Every year since Elvis PresleyOs death in 1977, tens of thousands of people from around the world have gathered at his home, Graceland, in Memphis to celebrate his life in a series of events known as Elvis Week. Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. have announced that in addition to the annual events such as the Candlelight Vigil, tickets are also on sale for new Elvis Week events, Aug. 8 to 16 in Memphis. The nine-day celebration includes a wide variety of festivities that will showcase the impact Elvis PresleyOs life and career continues to have on music enthusiasts and popular culture. In addition to the annual Candlelight Vigil on Aug. 15 and the traditional Elvis Week festivities, several new events have been added to this yearOs calendar. The 2009 Elvis Week MySpace Karaoke Contest has introduced Elvis Week to new fans through the popular social networking site. The winner of their contest will join contestants from around the world for the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, to compete for the title of 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist and a USD 20,000 cash prize. Jul 15, 2009

Great Canadian Travel

Great Canadian Travel is offering a four-day, three-night trip that provides the opportunity to closely observe polar bears. A full day on the tundra observing polar bears is the heart of the itinerary of The Polar Bear Overnighter. The Great Canadian Travel Company has been organizing polar bear observation tours since 1980. The short itinerary provides for one night spent in Churchill, tucked into the western shore of Hudson Bay about 650 miles north of Winnipeg. Each fall, for about seven weeks, the shoreline is alive with polar bears as these extraordinary animals prowl along the coast anxiously waiting for sea ice to form. Once this happens, the bears move out onto the frozen bay and spend the winter hunting seals. Jul 17, 2009

Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood will turn back the hands of time in August to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The property will offer USD 69 room rates on Aug. 18 and 19, plus free Jimi Hendrix-style guitar lessons, memorabilia displays, hippie-themed events, Woodstock music festival in Seminole Paradise and a concert by original Woodstock performers, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Jul 16, 2009


Hawaii was chosen Tuesday as the site for the world's biggest telescope, a device so powerful that it will allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away and get a glimpse into the early years of the universe. The telescope's mirror N stretching almost 100 feet in diameter, or nearly the length of a Boeing 737's wingspan N will be so large that it should be able to gather light that will have spent 13 billion years traveling to earth. This means astronomers looking into the telescope will be able to see images of the first stars and galaxies forming N some 400 million years after the Big Bang. Jul 22, 2009


Three students attending the Macau University of Science and Technology have started a blog in Chinese about Hawaii as part of a six-week internship at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. and PRTech, LLC. Jul 14, 2009


Hawaii's visitor industry downturn hasn't been kind to big hotel companies and their employees. But tourism's economic pain is also being directly felt by people who dabbled in a unique type of real estate that was hot several years ago N the condotel. Jul 14, 2009

Heathrow and Gatwick Express

Heathrow and Gatwick Express have launched the first ever environmentally friendly door-to-door service to and from the airport with Carbon Voyage. Travellers can book a pick up from either their home or office in a Carbon Voyage car and travel to Paddington or Victoria Stations where they will board the express train service to Heathrow or Gatwick Airports. Jul 13, 2009

Holiday Inn

After the inauguration of Holiday Inn Express in the north of Bogot, Managers from InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) informed that this chain has planned to open six hotels more of this brand in the capital, in medium term, meanwhile Medellin, Cartagena and Barranquilla plan to develop new projects which allow them to continue with their positioning. Also, IHG plans to open one Holiday Inn and one InterContinental in the capital of the Republic. Jul 15, 2009

Holland America Line

Holland America LineOs Oosterdam recently received upgrades such as 34 new staterooms, more dining options, refurbished public areas and a specialty wine bar. The new eateries include Canaletto, a complimentary Italian restaurant. Also among new enrichment programming are Digital Workshops powered by Windows. Led by Microsoft-trained Otechsperts,O the complimentary digital workshops teach computer skills, digital photography and social media applications in a dedicated space with laptops. Oosterdam also added the Explorations Caf-powered by The New York Times in the CrowOs Nest, a larger Pinnacle Grill restaurant and a Pinnacle Bar with a focus on specialty Northwest wines. To reduce waste behind the scenes, the ship installed an environmentally friendly, state-of-the-art Owet cleaning machineO for dry cleaning. The 1,916-guest Oosterdam continues to offer several popular features such as the Culinary Arts Center, the Greenhouse Spa and Salon, and a youth facility that includes the teens-only Loft. Jul 15, 2009

Hyatt Regency

The Hyatt Regency Bellevue in Bellevue, Wash., which will complete its new 733-room tower in two weeks, is offering a special room rate. For approximately 733 hours (Aug. 1 to 31), the hotel will is offering 73 rooms each night for USD 73.30 on Fridays and Saturdays and USD 173.30 Sunday through Thursday nights. Available on a first-come, first-serve basis, the 733 Hours rate will be available to the first 73 guests to book overnight stays for travel during the promotional period. Guests must book by Aug. 17, reference the 733 Hours rate and prepay for their stay to qualify. Jul 16, 2009

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is nearing the launch date of their new interactive website designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, inspired by President KennedyOs grand vision that made the achievement possible. Jul 13, 2009

Kapalua Resort

The Kapalua Resort on Maui is offering a slew of specials at its golf courses, Kapalua Villas and new Kapalua Spa. The Unlimited Golf Program features five days of unlimited play at Kapalua ResortOs Bay Course and Plantation Course with prices from USD 499 for off-property guests and USD 399 for guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and The Kapalua Villas through Nov. 30. Through Sept. 30, and while supplies last, all guests who book a minimum three-night stay at The Kapalua Villas will receive a USD 100 Kapalua Spa gift certificate. In addition, the Kapalua Villas is offering the Free Spa package, which includes a USD 1,000 spa credit for a minimum three-night stay. Nightly room rates start at USD 369 through Sept. 30. The five-night Head to Toe package features all of Kapalua SpaOs signature treatments from USD 1,699 per villa through Dec. 19. Through Aug. 16, nightly rates at the Kapalua Gold Villas start at USD 199 for a one-bedroom villa. The Kapalua Villas Fall promotion features a view category upgrade and a USD 100 resort credit from USD 169 per night with three-night minimum for travel Aug. 17 through Dec. 19. Jul 16, 2009


Kauai is already known as the Garden Island and Hawaii's Island of Discovery. Add to that list "Hawaii's Best Island," with Travel + Leisure magazine having presented Kauai with that newest distinction as selected by its readers in the 2009 World's Best Awards. Jul 14, 2009

Key Tours

Key Tours is offering USD 150 off per couple on two of its most popular vacations to France and Europe. The offer applies to bookings made by Aug. 11 for all remaining 2009 departures. The nine-day/eight-night Paris-Provence-Nice starts at USD 1,765 per person, including accommodation at centrally located first class or superior first class hotels in Paris-Avignon and Nice, breakfast daily, rail tickets, highlight gastronomic dinner in Avignon, sightseeing and transfers. The eight-day and night Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam stars at USD 2,095 per person, including accommodations in centrally located first class or superior first class hotels in each city, breakfast daily, rail tickets, transfers, sightseeing and a highlight dinner in Paris. Jul 15, 2009

Los Angeles Airports

Starting on August 1 it will be easier than ever to use the popular Van Nuys FlyAway because only credit and debit cards are being accepted for bus ticket purchases. There will be no cash transactions for bus ticket purchases at the Van Nuys FlyAway. Passengers can swipe-and-ride to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), taking advantage of a new streamlined fare structuring system where everyone pays the same one-way price. The availability of credit and prepaid debit cards has allowed FlyAway management at LAX to switch to a cashless process that is much more cost-efficient than the old way of doing business. With the downturn in the economy affecting FlyAway operations, this measure is aimed at producing a savings to keep the service going. Under the new payment system, passengers can use Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Debit cards. Discover cards will not be accepted. Jul 21, 2009

Luxury Link

Luxury Link (, the worldOs premier online luxury travel resource, is pleased to present the OUncompromising Vacation GetawayO - a unique giveaway designed for the sophisticated and uncompromising traveler desiring the ultimate in luxury travel. This exclusive travel package giveaway showcased on offers the winner a 4-night luxury trip for two at one of four Destination Hotels & Resorts properties including Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, L'Auberge Del Mar in Del Mar, Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, and Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. Each property has a reputation for distinctive design and adherence to the highest standards of customer service. Jul 16, 2009

Marriott Hotels

Bombs have exploded at two five-star hotels in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, reportedly the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton. The first explosion happened at the Ritz Carlton at 7:50 am, a second explosion at the Marriott was reported 15 minutes later at 8:05 am. The facade of the Ritz-Carlton hotel was blown off in one blast on Friday morning and another explosion hit the Marriott hotel, police in Jakarta said. An eyewitness told eTN the damage to both hotels seemed to be small, as the bombs used in the blasts appeared to be smaller bomb. Jul 16, 2009

Marriott Hotels

This month, Courtyard by Marriott will open an establishment in the north of Guayaquil; this establishment will increase the hotels number of four or five star of the city to 11. The hotel offers 144 rooms basically to executive tourism. Courtyard is placed in the economic heart of the city, it means near to centers such as public offices, to the building of the Chamber of Production, commercial centers and other luxury hotels such as Hilton Colon. Jul 15, 2009


The Missouri Department of Natural Resources says it withheld a report for four weeks that showed the Lake of the Ozarks had E. Coli above safe levels. The DNR said it withheld the report around memorial day because it did not want to panic the public or hurt tourism around the lake. Jul 16, 2009


The Montserrat Cultural Centre will be the venue of the islandOs first ever Literary Festival to be held Nov. 13 to 15. Known as the Alliouagana Festival of the Word, the festival will feature more than a dozen prize-winning and internationally recognized authors throughout the three-day event. Starting Friday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m., literary enthusiasts and Montserratians returning home will be treated to a weekend of presentations, readings and signings by important authors including Austin Clarke, Merle Hodge, Rachel Manley, Pauline Melville and MontserratOs own novelist and playwright Edgar Nkosi White. Open-mic sessions coordinated by Professor Carolyn Cooper; workshops by experienced facilitators including Professor Funso Aiyejina and Cherise Davis Fisher, editor-in-chief at Plume online arts and culture magazine; storytelling; and dramatic presentations are all part of the activities planned for the weekend. A calypso review to be led by Professor Gordon Rohlehr and a calypso extravaganza featuring songs from MontserratOs past including the work of Arrow, internationally recognized King of Soca, will be part of the celebration of the word in its many manifestations. Jul 16, 2009

MSC Cruises

MSC PoesiaOs April 10 seven-night OFesta ItalianaO cruise will feature opera singers and contemporary Italian vocal artists as well as calls in the Western Caribbean. Bands will play Italian and Italian-American favorites throughout the cruise. Also scheduled are Venetian mask-making, a pizza-throwing contest, and tarantella dancing -- a southern Italian folk dance for couples. Guests also attend cooking demonstrations by Italian chefs. Other opportunities include lectures on Italian art and architecture, Italian automobiles, and Italian fashion and design. Jul 16, 2009

MSC Cruises

MSC CruisesO MSC Poesia is offering an Oldies Music cruise during the seven-night Caribbean cruise departing March 20. The cruise will feature The Lettermen and The Fabulous Stingrays. Tony Butala, Donovan Tea and Mark Preston comprise The Lettermen. Scheduled for one performance during the cruise, their 45-year career spans big band and the early rhythm and blues music. The Fabulous Stingrays will perform songs from the 1950s, O60s and O70s all week long. Also scheduled are an Elvis look-alike contest, dance competitions, trivia games and lectures about the rock-and-roll era. Jul 16, 2009


Neighbors intend to fight any move to turn Michael Jackson's former home, Neverland, into a tourist destination. Residents of California's rural Santa Ynez Valley have formed a new group called Never! It is backed by community organizations that want to head off any attempts to convert the ranch in remote Los Olivos into a commercial venue, spokesman Bob Field said. Jul 22, 2009

New York City

NYC & Company, New York CityOs tourism, marketing and partnership organization, announced the Urban Oasis travel contest in partnership with the social media outlet Trazzler, leveraging the Twitter network. Urban Oasis, which began July 22 and runs through Sept. 18, allows entrants to compete for a grand prize of $10,000, and roundtrip airfare and hotel accommodations for a two-week stay in New York City. Entrants can enter to win by submitting their travel experiences on and sharing them on Twitter. In partnership with sponsors JetBlue Airways and AKA, the grand prize winner will be awarded a $10,000 contract to write and reside in New York City for two weeks. As part of the agreement, the winner will contribute 30 Trazzler trips featuring all five boroughs. The grand prize package includes hotel accommodations for 14 nights provided by luxury extended-stay brand AKA, and roundtrip airfare with New York-based JetBlue Airways. In addition to the grand prize, there will be four EditorsO Choice contracts worth $500, and nine runners-up contracts worth $250 in exchange for Trazzler trips. Urban Oasis will also be featured on trip pages and To enter or for more information, visit Jul 23, 2009

New York City

NYC & Company, New York CityOs marketing, tourism and partnership organization, is kicking off the second summer season of its OGo LocalO campaign. In response to the current recessionary times, the eight-week initiative encourages New Yorkers throughout the five boroughs to rediscover their hometown and take advantage of all of the low-cost seasonal activities and events taking place throughout the city this summer. Designed to encourage New York City residents to explore their own backyard, the program is also geared towards supporting local businesses and providing a vital boost to the cityOs economy. According to NYC & Company estimates, for every 1,000 New Yorkers -- including children -- who Ogo localO, the city could see an additional USD 1.4 million in spending. Throughout the rest of the summer months, NYC & Company will provide weekly highlights, tips and suggestions via Twitter feeds and on the cityOs official tourism website, Jul 15, 2009

Niagara Falls

After months of construction and anticipation, Canada's tallest hotel tower has opened its doors and forever changed the skyline in Niagara Falls, Canada. With the best views, the new Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls - Fallsview rises 500 meters (more than 5 football fields) over the thundering Falls. The Hilton Hotel & Suites began its transformation to become the tallest hotel tower in Canada in January 2007. Now the largest resort in Niagara Falls, it boasts over 1,000 hotel rooms and suites, including two spectacular Presidential Suites on the 52nd Floor. Each elegantly appointed 2-bedroom suite features a sitting room with a fireplace, magnificent city or falls views and wireless technology. The resort, which is attached to the Fallsview Casino, will also introduce two new dining options: Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse and Wine Bar and Ontario's first Romano's Macaroni Grill. Brasa's signature chef, Ricardo Zanona, has crafted a menu featuring 15 different cuts of the finest fire-roasted beef, pork, lamb and chicken, carved tableside and a world-class wine list to match. Guests can enjoy al fresco dining while taking in views of the bustling Fallsview Boulevard and the dancing fountains of Fallsview Casino. Jul 22, 2009

Sky Dives, a WGN-America original program, stars Abrams, his Cirrus SR22, a lucky three-person crew, a Midwestern city, and a unique restaurant or two (usually a local treasure). The 60-second show, which airs in-between regular programming, inspires viewers to look for hidden dining gems they can discover in a weekend, providing a perfect sponsorship opportunity for and its half-price hotel deals. Sky Dives simply showcases a locale and its food. For more information, visit or Jul 14, 2009


Sarasota & Her Islands is offering accommodation and entertainment discounts July through October that are ideal for the budget-conscience traveler. In a promotion called OSale-a-sota,O select hotels including The Hyatt Regency Sarasota, La Palme Royale Bed & Breakfast and the Tropical Breeze Resort are offering OBuy 3, Get 1 Free!O When visitors book three nights in any of the participating hotels, they will receive an additional night for free. The OSale-a-sotaO promotion is paired with the attractions' collaborative, Days of Discovery, where visitors enjoy USD 2 off with a coupon to Sarasota's major attractions such as The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (, Mote Aquarium (, Selby Botanical Gardens (, G.WIZ Science Museum (, South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium (, Historic Spanish Point ( and Sarasota Jungle Gardens ( The Days of Discovery coupon is available at A coupon must be used to receive the discount at each of the venues. The complete list of hotels participating in the Sale-a-sota Buy 3, Get 1 Free promotion is available at Jul 17, 2009

Sceptre Tours

Sceptre Tours launched an OIncredible August SpecialsO sale featuring four escorted tours to the Emerald Isle. The August Specials are priced from USD 1,809 per person, including roundtrip airfare, meals and sightseeing. According to Ciaran Barry, director of marketing for Sceptre Tours, this sale offers an approximate 25 percent savings as compared to the same tours in 2008. Agents booking one of these packages will earn a 10 percent commission on the land component and a 5 percent commission on the air component of the package. Jul 16, 2009

Silver Dollar City

Two American theme parks, Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo., and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., are hosting special summer events. Silver Dollar City will be hosting the second annual Midnight Madness Event from July 27 to Aug 9, during which the park will lengthen its hours of operation, staying open from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. During Midnight Madness, certain Silver Dollar City restaurants, including Buckshot AnnieOs and Wagon Works Grill, will be offering special late-night treats and dinner specials. Also, the GAC Nights in Echo Hollow, a special live country music production, will be taking place, beginning at 7 p.m. nightly, Tuesday through Sunday. To make the most of Silver Dollar CityOs special events and lengthened hours during Midnight Madness, a Silver Dollar City Vacation package features two nights of lodging in Branson and tickets to Silver Dollar City. For a briefer stay, a Day in Silver Dollar City Package includes tickets to Silver Dollar City and one night of lodging in Branson. Jul 16, 2009


This holiday season, the ships of Silversea will operate voyages that span the globe, from the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and South Pacific to the Antarctic. The holiday cruises range from eight to 17 days. By the holidays, Silversea will be operating six ships -- Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper, the expedition ship Prince Albert II, and the new Silver Spirit set to launch in December. Holiday cruises will feature decorations, parties, menus, entertainment and guest lecturers. With the exception of expedition cruises, clergy are also onboard to conduct religious services, including a rabbi for Hanukkah. The Silver Wind departs Dec. 20 on a 14-day voyage from Mahe to Mauritius with calls in Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette Island, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Reunion Island. Guest lecturer is Malcolm Ainscough, a private guide and Africa expert who grew up in Zimbabwe. Silver Sailing fares start at USD 7,416 per person, double occupancy. Jul 13, 2009

Southwest Airlines Vacations

For a limited time, Southwest Airlines Vacations is including stay and play free with packages for Walt Disney World that include flight, accommodations at a Disney Resort Hotel, and Magic Your Way Theme Park Tickets. Every person on the reservation must purchase the same Magic Your Way Ticket. Offer is not valid on the Magic Your Way Ticket with No Expiration Option. Magic Your Way Ticket with Park Hopper Option will automatically be put in your cart prior to checkout. Offer only valid when staying at Walt Disney World Resort Hotel room categories that say OBuy One Get One Free.O During the booking process, select OUpgrade RoomO to view OBuy One Get One FreeO room categories. Packages must be booked between July 10 and Aug. 6 by 6 p.m. CST for travel July 16 through Dec. 15. Black-out dates are Nov. 24 to Dec. 1. Five-day advance purchase is required. Offer only valid for travel Monday through Thursday. If any part of the trip occurs on a day other than Monday through Thursday, that part of the trip is not eligible for the Friends Fly Free discount. Jul 14, 2009

Spirit of Big Five Foundation

Spirit of Big Five Foundation joined The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC Partnership), a coalition of 32 organizations that works to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism practices and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles. GSTC was initiated by Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Foundation and the United Nations World Tourism Organization. It launched the Sustainable Tourism Criteria at the World Conservation Congress in October 2008. These criteria will be the minimum standard that any tourism business should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the worldOs natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for poverty alleviation. Jul 17, 2009

Starwood Hotels

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that The St. Regis Monarch Beach resort, in Dana Point, Calif., will continue to operate business as usual following a consensual transfer by its owner to Citi, the lender, which now owns the 400-room hotel. In a statement issued on Monday, July 20, 2009, Citi affirmed that the St. Regis brand will continue to manage the hotel and said, OThe acquisition will have no impact on the hotel, golf club or beach club, which will continue to operate at the highest standards of service seamlessly and without interruption for guests and employees.O The St. Regis Monarch Beach opened in 2001, and is CaliforniaOs only five-star, five-diamond resort. Citi and St. Regis are communicating to the community, associates, guests and meeting planners that the change in ownership will not impact hotel operations. Jul 16, 2009


A Canadian citizen is facing charges in New Jersey that he helped arrange trips to Thailand for adults who paid to have sex with children. John Wrenshall has been extradited from London, where he was arrested in December. The 62-year-old Wrenshall faces three charges related to sex tourism and more than a dozen child pornography counts. The sex tourism charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years each. The child pornography counts range from 10 to 15 years. Jul 21, 2009

The Buckingham Hotel

The Buckingham Hotel is offering a special discounted rate for Sundays in August starting at USD 139 per night. This Summer Sundays Special also includes two tickets to the Central Park Zoo. This special is valid on Sundays from Aug. 2 to 30, 2009. Jul 16, 2009

Travel Bound

F.I.T. wholesaler Travel Bound introduced new low rates under USD 59 per person per night at 60 centrally located three- and four-star hotels in Europe, North and South America and Australia. There is no time or travel date restriction on these recently renegotiated rates. Travel Bound is also offering a 5 percent last-minute discount on hotels booked within seven days of departure in 10 cities: Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Miami Beach, Oahu, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Washington, D.C., Vancouver and Amsterdam. Starting commission on all Travel Bound hotel bookings is 10 percent, and Travel Bound sells exclusively to travel agents. Rates include all local taxes and service fees; in Europe and some other locations, breakfast is also included. Jul 14, 2009


Japan's Emperor Akihito waves to the crowd outside the Vancouver Japanese school Sunday after visiting the school during the Vancouver leg of his visit. After more than a decade of declining tourism from Japan, the visit of its Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko last week could well provide a much-needed boost to B.C.'s tourism industry. Jul 15, 2009

Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruises is offering a complimentary group tour conductor credit to travel agents who book a new group of five full-fare berths on select winter 2009 and 2010 sailings by Aug. 31. The applicable sailings are: Wind Spirit departures from Dec. 12 through March 20; Wind Star cruises from Dec. 5 through March 20; and Wind Surf voyages Nov. 22 through March 14. The offer applies to all agencies for new group bookings. The offer is combinable with preapproved rates and one shipboard credit offer/upgrade offer. A maximum of four tour conductor credits are available on Wind Surf and a maximum of two tour conductor credits on Wind Spirit and Wind Star. Jul 14, 2009

ZZ CruiseGuide 090727

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Publication:Cruise Guide
Date:Jul 27, 2009
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