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Destination News - North America.

Airline & Travel Destination News - North America

Oct 11, 2009

Avalon Waterways Avalon Waterways, which recently joined the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), is participating in the World s Largest Cruise Night with incentives and offerings for agents and their clients. Those booking any 2010 Avalon air-inclusive European cruise between Oct. 1 and Oct. 31 get 50 percent off airfare, in tribute of CLIA s World s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) on Oct. 14 and National Cruise Vacation Month. Agencies who feature Avalon in a WLCN event can provide their clients a one-week offer, Oct. 14 to 20, of up to USD 2,000 off per stateroom on a variety of 2010 cruises. "River and small-ship cruising provides travelers big benefits, said Patrick Clark, managing director for Avalon Waterways. Among them, cruisers are treated to an intimate, all-inclusive style of travel that provides them the opportunity to view beautiful landscapes and explore the villages and cities that make-up the heart of cultures around the world. To celebrate the small-ship cruise craze and our association with CLIA, we re offering travelers even more value in October. Travel agents are also a focus for Avalon in October. CLIA-member agencies are invited to a Welcome Aboard Avalon Waterways webinar at 11 a.m. ET Oct. 20. To register for the webinar, visit www2.gotomeeting.com/register/642962387 . For more information, call 800-221-0090 or visit www.globusfamilypartner.com. Oct 7, 2009

Collette Vacations Collette Vacations is rolling out 12 programs for its Smithsonian Journeys Travel Adventures brand of value-priced learning vacations for the 2010-2011 travel season with the launch of a new brochure. Collette cites expert guest speakers, unique destinations from Angkor Wat to Turkey, and free door to door sedan service as key differentiators for the line. Destinations visited include Washington D.C., Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Patagonia, Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Turkey and Iceland. Splendors of the Nile continues to be the top-selling Smithsonian Journeys Travel Adventures tour as more and more travelers look to discover the ancient wonders of the world while enjoying the security and ease of an escorted tour. Oct 7, 2009

Costa Cruises Costa kicked off its inaugural Canada/New England cruise series with the arrival of the Costa Atlantica in the Port of Quebec on Oct. 2. The first call marked the beginning of a series of 11- to 13-night cruises this fall before the ship moves to Fort Lauderdale for Caribbean cruises in November. After completing a Caribbean season in April, the Costa Atlantica will return to Quebec as part of a limited series of 11- to 17-night routes throughout Canada and New England. The ship will then be positioned in Copenhagen sailing in Northern Europe for the summer before embarking on another series of 11- to 17-night routes throughout Canada and New England. The 86,000-ton, 2,114-passenger Costa Atlantica is dedicated to Italian art and culture, boasting design elements including Murano glass accents and in-laid mosaic tile. For more information, visit www.costacruises.com Oct 6, 2009

Crystal Cruises Crystal Cruises announced its 2010 Experiences of Discovery theme cruises. Classes, events and, in most cases, shoreside options will augment voyages throughout the Middle East, Australia/New Zealand, Europe and beyond. A new Science & Technology focus joins Crystal classic favorites including Crystal s Wine & Food Festival (set for seven cruises, with two back-to-back options); Mind, Body & Spirit ; jazz; golf; Film & Theater Festival ; and Big Band. Additionally, Crystal's annual President s Cruise adds special programming and events in celebration of the line s 20th anniversary. For more information, call 888-799-4625 or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Oct 8, 2009

Crystal Cruises Crystal Cruises announced that Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Hugh Downs, baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench and Prince of Tides author Pat Conroy are among the speakers et for the 108-day Exploration of Ancient Empires World Cruise in 2010. The journey departs from Miami on Jan. 10, culminating in London on April 29. Other guests will be Bill Toone, conservation expert in recovering endangered species; Dr. Bulent Atalay, an author and Renaissance and da Vinci authority; Brig. Gen. Nick Halley, Vietnam, Grenada and Desert Storm commander; Thomas W. Lippman, the Washington Post s Middle East Bureau chief; Phil Gramm, retired U.S. Republican senator from Texas; Dinesh D Souza, author, scholar and former White House policy analyst; and Rick Senat, Batman and Superman film producer. The 2010 World Cruise visits 41 ports in 37 countries, including maiden calls at Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Bandar Abbas, Iran; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Manama, Bahrain; Khasab, Oman; Al-Fujairah, United Arab Emirates; and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Segments of 12 to 21 days are also available. World Cruise two-for-one segment fares start at USD 6,340 per person, double, plus a USD 500 or USD 1,000 per person shipboard credit. Free North American airfare is available for two or more back-to-back segments. For more information, call 800-446-6620 or visit www.crystalcruises.com. Oct 6, 2009

Cunard Cruises Cunard s Queen Victoria made inaugural visits to the Canadian ports of Halifax on Oct. 2 and Qubec City on Oct. 4. The ship will call on St. John s, Newfoundland, before returning to Southampton on Oct. 12. Queen Victoria s first voyage to Canada holds significance, as it is the homeland of the line s founder, Sir Samuel Cunard, who was born in Halifax in 1787. Cunard established the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company in 1839 to carry the Royal Mail between England and North America. In 1840, he inaugurated the first timetabled steamship service across the Atlantic Ocean, with a route from Liverpool to Halifax and then Boston. Upon arrival in Halifax, Queen Victoria toured the harbor, providing viewing opportunities for the city s residents. The ship was welcomed by the 78th Highlanders Pipe Band, a performance group from the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association. Dignitaries attending the onboard events included Percy Paris, minister of tourism, culture and heritage for Nova Scotia; David Hendsbee, deputy mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality; Robert Brooks, Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture & Heritage; John Langley, Cunard Steamship Society; Margaret Wittingham-Lamont, Mission to Seafarers; Mark MacDonald, chair, Halifax Port Authority; Karen Oldfield, president and CEO, Halifax Port Authority; and David Danskin, Halifax Citadel National Site. To celebrate Queen Victoria s arrival into Qubec City, the Port of Qubec hosted a charity lunch onboard, benefiting the local Fondation des Hpitaux de Enfant-Jsus-Saint-Sacrement. Onboard to welcome the liner into the city were Ross Gaudrealt, president and CEO, Port of Qubec; Martin Lachance, director, leisure and medias, Qubec Tourism Office; and James Murphy, general manager, Ramsey Greig & Co. Ltd. For more information, call 800-7-CUNARD or visit www.cunard.com. Oct 7, 2009

Emerald Coast This holiday season, Florida's Emerald Coast provides an affordable escape from cold temperatures, with accommodations savings of more than 40 percent. The destination, in Florida's upper Gulf Coast, enjoys a "value season" from December to March, offering plenty of time for sun and sand before these "holiday steals" melt away. The "All Gravy" Thanksgiving special at Sterling Resorts boasts vacation condominiums for USD 99 per night and a USD 20 grocery gift card to give guests a hand with their Turkey Day shopping list. Four Points by Sheraton of Destin-Ft. Walton Beach presents the "Winter Wonderland Package," enticing guests to enjoy the powder-white sands of the Emerald Coast with deals not even the Grinch could hate. Current offerings include beachfront or courtyard accommodations, a sweet treat upon arrival, daily buffet breakfast for two and a gift upon departure, starting at USD 92 per night, Nov. 1, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010. Southern Resorts offers "Winter Dolphin Days" Nov. 1, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, providing families a USD 60 savings on four nights in a beachfront room and adult and child passes to the Gulfarium -- the country's oldest marine park. Henderson Park Inn welcomes returning guests with rates as low as USD 179 per night as well as a bonus USD 50 off any stay two nights or more Nov. 1, 2009 to Feb. 28, 2010. For more information, call 800-322-3319 or visit www.destin-fwb.com. Oct 5, 2009

Florida Keys The Florida Keys are preparing for 250 skydiving visitors who will be attending the Keys Boogie skydiving weekend at Marathon. Set for Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 5 to 8, the Keys Boogie brings jumpers from Florida and beyond to the Keys to America's only tropical island chain. The event is hosted by Skydive Sebastian, a recreational and educational skydiving center located in Sebastian, Fla. During the Keys Boogie, non-jumpers interested in the sport can mingle with instructors and experienced skydivers to learn about training and jumping. In addition, Skydive Sebastian is to offer a tandem skydive program where a newcomer to the sport is strapped to a professional jumpmaster who opens the canopy (parachute) and guides the jump. Skydive Sebastian will be bringing aircraft including two Super Twin Otters to the event. Beginning at about 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, the Boogie Dinner and Party will be held at Coconut Cay Resort, mile marker 50.5 gulfside in Marathon. Porky's Barbecue of Marathon will feed the hungry jumpers. Registration for the event is $45 for skydivers and includes access to a jump ticket (but does not include the jump ticket itself), Keys Boogie T-shirt and dinner Saturday. Non-skydivers can join the dinner festivities and receive a "goody bag" for $35. Non-registered guests are welcome to watch the jumps from one of two drop zones, Sombrero Beach or Marathon Airport, and mingle with jumpers and instructors. Guests are welcome to attend the Keys Boogie Party, but dinner is not provided. A reduced registration fee of $20 is available to skydivers who can only jump on one of the event days. The reduced fee does not include the T-shirt and dinner. A USPA C or D license is required for jumping, except for tandem jumps. All skydivers are required to have flotation devices. The tandem jump costs $225 and can be booked online at www.skydiveseb.com/keys-tandem.htm or paid for at the event. A video of the entire jump can be purchased for an additional $95. For more information, call 800-399-JUMP (800-399-5867). For more information about the Keys Boogie, contact Amanda Owens at 772-388-5672 or visit Skydive Sebastian's website at www.skydiveseb.com. To find out about accommodations in the Marathon area, call the Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce at 305-743-5417 or 800-262-7284, e-mail visitus@floridakeysmarathon.com or visit the Florida Keys & Key West at www.fla-keys.com. Oct 6, 2009

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will operate a cruise in April 2012 marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The Balmoral will follow the Titanic s original route in 1912 and hold a memorial service in the early hours of the morning of April 15, 2012, above the original Titanic vessel that lies at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, exactly 100 years after the ship sank that horrific day. Fred Olsen Cruise Lines -- whose parent company, Harland and Wolff, built the Titanic -- will leave Southampton, England, on April 8, 2012, and begin its journey to Cobh, Ireland, where the Titanic made its final call on April 11, 1912. A Titanic heritage shore excursion will be offered in Cobh. The cruise will arrive over the spot where the Titanic sank on April 14. A memorial ceremony will be held between 11:40 p.m. when the ship hit the iceberg and 2:20 a.m. April 15. After the service, the cruise continues to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where passengers can visit Fairview Lawn Cemetery where 121 Titanic victims are buried, along with Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery and Hirsch Jewish Cemetery, which also have graves of Titanic victims. The cruise s final destination -- as was planned for the original voyage -- is New York City. The 12-night journey is priced from USD 3,900 per person for an inside cabin and includes all taxes. The Balmoral was chartered by Miles Morgan, managing director of Miles Morgan Travel. The Titanic still grips the imagination of people throughout the world, Morgan said. And this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of a unique cruise packed with interest for those with a fascination for the Titanic story. The whole voyage will be steeped in Titanic history. The food served will match the sumptuous menus on the original voyage, the entertainment will include music and dancing in the style featured in those glorious times, and there will be a chance to hear first-hand from historians who have studied the Titanic story. It promises to be a truly memorable cruise. Morgan has appointed Minneapolis-based Borton Overseas to coordinate reservations in the U.S. for the Titanic Memorial Cruise. Borton Overseas coordinates Fred. Olsen s U.S. operations. An interesting historical aside: Borton Overseas -- formerly Vanstrum Travel -- made a reservation on March 11, 1912, for a client on the June 1 departure of the Titanic, a sailing that never happened. For more information, call 800-843-0602 or visit www.bortonoverseas.com. Oct 6, 2009

Holland America Holland America Line s Rotterdam will sail three 30-day South America adventures in 2010 and two more in 2011, allowing guests to visit the remote site of Machu Picchu and explore the mysterious and exotic Inca civilization. With Rotterdam's Incan Empires voyages departing Feb. 6, April 10 and Oct. 23, 2010, and again on Feb. 2 and the Secret Civilizations voyage departing April 17, 2011, guests can sail round-trip from U.S. ports on the East and West coasts, making a cruise to Central and South America more convenient. Rotterdam's Incan Empires voyage spends 30 days exploring 15 ports along the west coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru. Extended calls at Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, give guests extra time ashore to enjoy the culture, history and local attractions of that region. A highlight of the itinerary is a two-night call at Callao (Lima), Peru, enabling guests to take an excursion to the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most mysterious archeological locations in the world. Because of the extended three-day call, guests will still visit all the ports and can easily rejoin the ship in Callao after their adventure. An overnight call at Fuerte Amador, Panama, the gateway to Panama City, is another highlight of the itinerary. Cruise fares begin at USD 2,799 per person, double occupancy, for the full 30-day "Incan Empires" cruise. Fifteen-day segments to and from Callao also are available with fares starting at USD 1,599. On April 17, 2011, Rotterdam returns to Central and South America, setting sail on a 30-day "Secret Civilizations" round-trip Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cruise that visits 14 ports in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru. The itinerary features a double transit of the Panama Canal on the way to and from Callao. The daylight transits allow guests to observe the intricate passage through the lakes and locks of the man-made engineering marvel. This voyage also has a two-night call at Callao, making it possible for guests to take an excursion to Machu Picchu, as well as an overnight call at Fuerte Amador and an extended stay at Cozumel, Mexico. Cruise fares begin at USD 3,299 per person, double occupancy, for the full 30-day "Secret Civilizations" cruise. Fifteen-day segments to and from Callao also are available. For a cruise brochure or for more information on Holland America Line's Central and South America Voyages, call 800-522-3399 or visit www.travelagentheadquarters.com or www.hollandamerica.com. Oct 5, 2009

JetBlue Airways JetBlue Airways, New York's hometown airline, today announces its first annual 'Swing for Good' Golf Classic at Bethpage State Park -- home of the 2009 U.S. Open -- benefiting two charitable partners: KaBOOM!, a not-for-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America; and DoSomething, an organization that empowers young people to take action in their community around any cause. Former Major League Baseball players Mike Torrez and Tim Raines will be out on the links and Dwight Gooden will also be in attendance at the event. Sponsors of the game include Verizon Business, Airbus and Sabre Holdings, among others. The double shotgun will be played this Thursday, October 8 on two, 18-hole championship golf courses, including the "Red" course, featuring 6,756 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71. Breakfast, registration and range begin at 8:30 a.m., with a Best Ball Shotgun Start at 10:00 a.m. The JetBlue Challenge Shootout will be played at 3:30 p.m., where four JetBlue Challenge closest to the pin finalists will have the chance to win $1 million and other great prizes for longest drive, straightest drive and much more throughout the day. The event will conclude at 4:00 p.m. with a dinner, awards ceremony, raffle and auction. Oct 7, 2009

Las Vegas Cloud Nine Entertainment will launch of the world s largest helium balloon on the Las Vegas Strip on Oct. 8. Cloud Nine, the world s largest land-tethered helium-filled balloon is the newest attraction on the Strip and will open to the public immediately following the event. The balloon offers 360-degree views of the Las Vegas skyline from nearly 500 feet in the air. It is tethered to the ground and can quietly and safely elevate up to 30 passengers at a time. Ticket prices start at USD 17.50 for children and USD 22.50 for adults. For more information, call 800-585-8688 or visit www.cloud9vegas.com. Oct 5, 2009

MSC Cruises MSC Cruises is courting the family market. Kids age 17 and under sail free on all itineraries when sharing a stateroom with two full-fare-paying adults. On each MSC Cruises sailing, staff members cater to the needs of all ages, including the youngest guests. Each ship has cheerful, colorful, safe play areas. MSC Cruises ships are kid friendly, offering daily entertainment and plenty of space for running, exploring, diving, swimming and playing. Activity leaders organize age-appropriate fun activities, with ages 3 to 6 in the Mini Club, 7 to 12 in the Juniors Club, and 13 to 17 in the Teenagers Club. MSC Cruises also offers a Teen s Card. This personalized card, which can be used like a credit/cruise card, allows children ages 12 to 17 to spend nominal amounts of money on board. Each card comes with a bonus amount. In the Caribbean, a USD 30 card purchase comes with a USD 5 bonus for a total card value of USD 35. A USD 50 card purchase comes with USD 10 bonus, for a total value of USD 60. In the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, a 30 euro card comes with a five euro bonus, and a 50 euro card comes with a 10 euro bonus. Children s menus offer pasta, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and pastries and desserts. Cruise-only rates begin at USD 349 per person, double occupancy, for a seven-night Caribbean cruise and USD 549 per person, double occupancy for a seven-night cruise in Europe. Government fees and taxes are additional. For more information, visit www.MSCCruisesUSA.com. Oct 8, 2009

New York NY Waterway Tours offers a selection of sightseeing cruises in the New York/New Jersey area, the Shades of Autumn River Cruise. The Shades of Autumn River Cruise is a non-stop, four-hour cruise offering views of the exquisite fall foliage along the Hudson River that Henry Hudson discovered 400 years ago and that has inspired writers and artists ever since. While passengers enjoy spectacular views of one of the nation s most scenic foliage routes, an experienced tour guide points out historical sites along the route and shares local folklore about one of the nation s most picturesque regions. Beginning Oct. 10 and running every Saturday and Sunday through Nov. 1, Shades of Autumn cruises will depart from Port Imperial in Weehawken, N.J., at 10 a.m. and from Manhattan s Pier 78 at West 38th Street and the Hudson River (12th Avenue) at 10:30 a.m. Bar and food service is available on board for all cruises. Boxed lunches also are available for pre-order purchase. All cruise cabins are climate controlled, but those who want to enjoy a refreshing breeze are welcome to ride topside. Children age 3 or younger always ride free. For schedules, prices and additional information, call 800-533-3779 or visit www.nywaterway.com. Oct 7, 2009

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line is offering savings on more than 300 cruises around the world as part of World s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN), the centerpiece of October s National Cruise Vacation Month, on Oct. 14, with a preview day on Oct. 13. The offer, available through Oct. 20, provides half off standard cruise deposits and up to USD 250 in onboard credit per stateroom, based on cruise length and category. Guests who book sailings of up to five days in a Garden Villa receive USD 100 per stateroom in spending credit. The credit is USD 75 for suites, USD 50 for mini-suites, USD 40 for balcony staterooms, USD 20 for ocean-view and USD 15 for inside staterooms. For sailings of six days and longer, guests receive USD 250 per stateroom in credit with a Garden Villa, USD 150 for suites, USD 100 for mini-suites and deluxe balcony staterooms, USD 75 for balcony staterooms, USD 50 for ocean-view and USD 25 for inside staterooms. For more information, visit www.bookncl.com. Oct 9, 2009

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line is offering savings certificates for three-day weekend getaways and four-day cruises from Miami on Norwegian Sky. For sailings now through Dec. 31, guests booking a cruise on Norwegian Sky will receive savings certificates they can use once onboard. These savings include casino credits, spa incentives and family portrait and shopping discounts. Upon booking a cruise on Norwegian Sky, guests can log on to NCL s Certificate Center at www.nclsavings.com and enter their reservation number to download the savings certificates. Norwegian Sky s three- and four-day Bahamas sailings from Miami are priced from USD 159 per person, per day. Norwegian Sky departs Miami on Mondays sailing four-day cruises with full-day stops in Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL s private island in the Bahamas. On Fridays, the ship sails three-day cruises, departing Miami at 5 p.m. with all-day stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, returning to Miami at 7 a.m. on Monday. For more information, call 866-234-7350 or visit www.ncl.com. Oct 8, 2009

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Cruise Line has added two new Hawaii cruises on Pride of America next spring. Pride of America is the only ship offering seven-day inter-island cruises from Honolulu to four Hawaiian islands. The two sailings go on sale Oct. 5, with fares starting at USD 999 per person, double occupancy. The sailings on April 24 and May 1 will feature a new itinerary that includes a day at sea along with visits to Hilo, Hawaii; Kahului, Maui; Kona, Hawaii; and an overnight in NAEwiliwili, Kauai. In addition, the two sailings will include an evening sail by Kilauea Volcano, a day cruise by the north coast of Molokai and an afternoon sail by the Napali coast. The new sailings were added because the ship s scheduled dry-dock was postponed. For more information, call 866-234-7350 or visit www.ncl.com. Oct 5, 2009

Orion Expedition Cruises Orion Expedition Cruises is offering a 10-night New Zealand Highlights expedition sailing from Bluff, New Zealand, and concluding in Auckland s volcanic White Island. The voyage will visit New Zealand s North and South Islands, including Marlborough Sounds and Akaroa, a landmark French and British settlement in the heart of a volcano. The cruise on the Orion will depart Feb. 3. New Zealand Highlights fares begin at AUDUSD 8,175 per person (approximately USD 7,089) for an ocean-view category B stateroom. Junior Suites are priced from AUDUSD 11,280 per person (about USD 9,795) and Owners Suites with French balcony are approximately USD 14,876. For more information, call 877-ORION-US or visit www.orionexpeditions.com. Oct 7, 2009

Paul Gauguin Cruises Paul Gauguin Cruises has been selected as a preferred supplier by Virtuoso, the luxury leisure travel network. The selection continues a long-established relationship between Virtuoso member agencies and the Tahiti-based Paul Gauguin. Virtuoso member travel agencies have been integral to the success of the Paul Gauguin over the past several years, said David A. Giersdorf, president and CEO of Paul Gauguin Cruises. As such, we are very pleased to become a preferred supplier and look forward to continuing to build strong relationships with travel professionals as we deliver unparalleled cruise experiences for their clients and our guests. The company will continue to offer a comprehensive support program to travel professionals and earlier this year announced the elimination of non-commissionable fares for 2010. Paul Gauguin Cruises also is a member of the Cruise Lines International Association and supports all of CLIA s travel agent initiatives. In 2010, the Paul Gauguin offers 38 itineraries ranging from seven to 15 nights, including visits to Tahiti, the Society Islands, Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji and New Zealand. Reservations for 2010 are now open. For more information, call 800-848-6172 or visit the Travel Agent Center at www.pgcruises.com. Oct 6, 2009

Seattle Megan Evans, a Birmingham student, was named winner of a contest sponsored by OK Magazine in which the prize is the Twilight tour, based on The Twilight book series. The prize package includes roundtrip transportation via British Airways to Seattle. Evans and her parents will embark on a vacation beginning when they arrive at Sea-Tac on Oct. 10. The family will walk in the footsteps of characters Edward and Bella as they visit Seattle, Port Angeles, Quileute, Lake Quinault and Mt. Rainier. During the experience, Evans will blog about her travels. Her blogs can be found on Clipper Vacations Twitter and Facebook pages. Clipper Vacations began offering the Twilight Self-Drive package about one year ago. For more information, call 800-888-2535 or visit www.clippervacations.com. Oct 8, 2009

Thailand About 400 overseas participants, including operators and owners of Thai restaurants overseas, are expected to join the five-day project called "Amazing Tastes of Thailand" being organized between September 22-27, 2009 at Central World Bangkok and major provinces in Thailand. The project is designed to capitalize on and further enhance the global popularity of Thai cuisine, boost exports of Thai agricultural products, and help visitors enjoy a higher quality of culinary experience across the vast range of dining options in the kingdom. It is being jointly organized by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Department of Export Promotion, Thai Hotels Association, Association of Domestic Travel, and Thai Restaurant Association. The participants will also include restaurant managers, chefs specializing in Thai and other cuisines, as well as food critics and writers. Geographically, they hail from east Asian countries (158); ASEAN and south Asia and south Pacific (89); Europe, Africa, and Middle East (134); and America (42). In addition, a number of celebrity chefs have also been invited to join, such as Mr. Michael Lam, owner and chef of Formosa vegetarian restaurant in Hong Kong; Ms. Luyong Kunaksorn, owner of A-Roy Thai restaurant in Singapore; Madame Dzoan Cam Van, who has her own cooking show on Vietnamese TV; Mr. Roland Durand, owner of Passiflore restaurant in France who spent several years in Thailand; Mr. Warach Lacharojana, chef of Sea & Spice restaurant in New York; and Mr. Jet Tila, a connoisseur of Thai dining in Los Angeles. Oct 5, 2009

Thomson Cruises British company Thomson Cruises has now announced that it will be offering a number of 14-night Caribbean cruises, starting later this year. The cruise line has also announced that it will be making its first ever call to Cuban ports, with a cruise itinerary scheduled to begin December this year. Thomson Dream, a new cruise vessel with a capacity for over 1,500 passengers will be conducting the cruise. The news of a Thomson Cruise to Havana, Cuba is especially exciting because not many cruise liners find their way here, due to US travel restrictions. Thomson Dream will offer regular itineraries for Cuba, with three separate cruises for passengers to choose from. Cruise-goers can opt for a Cuban Adventure, a Caribbean Experience or a Classic Caribbean cruise, all with visits to Havana. The Caribbean Experience will sail from Barbados to Havana, with an overnight stop in Cuba. The Cuban Adventure will sail from Montego Bay to Barbados, with a three-day-two-night call in Cuba. Sailing from Havana to Montego Bay, the Classic Caribbean cruise will concentrate on Caribbean islands Among other cruise lines that offer sails to Havana are Britain-based Fred Olsen and German company Hapag-Lloyd. However, between the two companies, only a handful of Cuban cruises are offered. Fred Olsen has only four Cuban cruises scheduled for 2010, and Hapag-Llloyd even fewer. Oct 8, 2009

Trustcash Trustcash Holdings Inc. today confirms that its web based virtual checkout terminal has been installed and is currently being used by Bona Vista Travel Vacations, www.bonavistatravel.com, as one method for completing the sale of travel vacations. The Canadian based travel club services over 1000 members and provides them access to a full-service travel agency and other travel benefits. Trustcash management are excited about this new opportunity as transaction amounts will range from USD 200 to USD 5000 and continues to legitimize our strategy of developing customized billing technology solutions for membership based businesses. Oct 5, 2009

Uniworld Cruises Uniworld Boutique River Cruises just completed its 2010 Travel Agents Partnership Appreciation program. This sales initiative was launched in conjunction with Uniworld's 2010 Europe Brochure, so travel agencies would be rewarded for their efforts in selling Uniworld s 2010 Europe river cruises. Uniworld offered travel agents a USD 50 per cabin bonus commission for booking 2010 Europe river cruises made from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30. Each time an agent redeemed a bonus commission, it would contribute to their chance of winning a prize, such as the grand prize for two including business-class air on a European river cruise. Other prizes included four Europe river cruises with economy air, and five USD 500 gift cards. Oct 8, 2009

ZZ AirGuide 091012

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Date:Oct 12, 2009
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