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Destination News - North America.

New York (AirGuide - Destination News North America) Jun 26, 2011

Tour 6 presidential homes in Charlottesville, Va., area Visitors can tour the six presidential homes in or near Charlottesville, Va. From Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to Theodore Roosevelt's Pine Knot, Charlottesville and its surroundings offer the largest assemblage of presidential residences, which are a short drive away from one another. Jun 24, 2011

Advocacy group wants more rail service in Baja Nelson Balido, president of advocacy group Border Trade Alliance, met with representatives from BNSF, Union Pacific, Mexicali's port, Toyota Mexico and others to push for increased rail service in northern Baja California. Balido said increasing rail service in the area would lessen traffic congestion and benefit the environment. Jun 24, 2011

U.S. freight, intermodal traffic continues to rise The Association of American Railroads cited a 3.3% increase in freight carload traffic for the week ended June 18, compared with the same period in 2010. Intermodal traffic set a 2011 weekly high for intermodal volume, increasing 4.3% over last year's traffic for the week, AAR said. Jun 24, 2011

Family-friendly activities abound in Skagway, Alaska Skagway, Alaska, offers a feel-good atmosphere with small-town charm suited for family vacations. Parents and their children can enjoy time together at site such as the Trail of '98 Museum, the Gold Rush Cemetery and the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway. Jun 23, 2011

More people choose to fly for Independence Day weekend The number of Americans planning to travel over the Independence Day weekend has declined, but the number of them who will fly will rise to more than 3 million, according to AAA. "The rising cost of gasoline is a contributing factor to the increase in air travel, as the increasing cost of travel by car is making air travel a more viable option for some travelers, despite recent increases in airfares," said an AAA report. Jun 23, 2011

Amtrak Opponents: Amtrak competition plan is "unrealistic," "unconstitutional". The Mica-Shuster proposal to privatize Amtrak is "unrealistic," Amtrak's CEO, Joseph Boardman told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday. He said the proposal has the potential to slow the development of high-speed rail along the Northeast Corridor. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said privatizing Amtrak breaches the Constitution and is a risky plan. Jun 23, 2011

Amtrak Amtrak is celebrating its 40th anniversary by offering the public an opportunity to view an Exhibit Train, a traveling display showcasing the railroadOs history. The free exhibit showcases Amtrak history over the decades, displaying memorabilia like vintage advertising, past menus and dinnerware, and period uniforms. Most locations also will feature train-themed kidsO activities at Chuggington Kids Depot. Information about each stop can be found on the official website at www.Amtrak40th.com, along with other information about Amtrak history. The train will be on display in these places and on these dates: June 25 and 26, Strasburg Rail Road, Lancaster, Pa.; July 9 and 10, Springfield Amtrak Station, Springfield, Mass.; July 16 and 17, New Haven Union Station, New Haven, Conn.; July 23 and 24, New London Union Station, New London, Conn.; July 30 and 31, Providence Amtrak Station, Providence, R.I.; Aug. 6 and 7, Boston South Station; Aug. 13 and 14, Depot Avenue, Freeport, Maine; Aug. 20 and 21, Main Street Landing, Burlington, Vt.; Aug. 27 and 28, Albany Amtrak Station, Rensselaer, N.Y.; Sept. 3 and 4, Steamtown National Historic Site, Scranton, Pa.; Sept. 10 and 11, Gateway Station, St. Louis; Sept. 24 and 25, Galesburg Amtrak Station, Galesburg, Ill.; Oct. 1 and 2, Chicago Union Station; Oct. 8 and 9, Jackson Amtrak Station, Jackson, Mich.; Oct. 22 and 23, King Street Station, Seattle; and Oct. 29 and 30, Portland Amtrak Station, Portland, Ore. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Strasburg Rail Road events which opens at 9 a.m., and Steamtown National Historic Site, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Commemorative 40th anniversary merchandise will be available for purchase onboard the train including OAmtrak: An American Story,O a 144-page commemorative book that chronicles the history of the railroad with archival photographs, a historical timeline and personal narratives for each decade; OAmtrak: The First 40 Years,O a documentary DVD produced for public television that provides an exclusive look at hard-to-find photographs and video footage as well as interviews with past and present leaders; and a commemorative cachet (envelope) that bears a special pictorial postmark authorized by the United States Postal Service. For more information, call 800-USA-RAIL or visit www.Amtrak40th.com or www.Amtrak.com. Jun 21, 2011

Amtrak Security is beefed up at Amtrak as "very real" threats exist. Amtrak is beefing up its security in the wake of "very real" threats, says the agency's police chief. Besides high security fencing, blast curtains, bollards and other measures, it plans to offer more right-of-way protections and will focus on threats posed by "active shooters" and improvised explosive devices. Jun 20, 2011

Hertz, Euro Disney Hertz and Euro Disney SCA have signed a new five-year partnership covering Euro Disney SCA. They have partnered for 15 years. Guests staying at any of Disneyland Paris resort hotels may use a direct line to the Hertz rental agency in Chessy Marne-la-Valle to rent a vehicle. Disney cast members may also benefit from special rates when renting a vehicle or buying a used vehicle from Hertz. Hertz will maintain its visibility in the park by sponsoring Main Street vehicles and the stroller rental service in the resort's Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney Studios Park. The Hertz brand will also be present in various emblematic spots including in the sets at Disney Studio 1 and on the car license plates of taxis parked in front of Restaurant des Stars and Disney's Hotel New York. The renewed partnership also kickstarts a program of new joint marketing activity with Disneyland Paris across Europe, and will allow Hertz to develop relationships with the wider Disney organization. For example, Hertz will support the launch of the Disney OCars 2O movie -- one of the world's largest global entertainment franchises -- across Europe this summer through direct and online campaigns that include fun competitions. The car rental company has also unveiled a new, Disney-themed children's play area at its London Heathrow Airport location as part of a refurbishment program. For more information, visit www.hertz.com. Jun 20, 2011

P&O Cruises P&O CruisesO newest and largest ship, Azura, will operate its maiden 110-night World Cruise starting in spring 2013. The voyage will visit 32 ports in 19 countries. The cruise is included in the 2013 World Cruise brochure, which also includes itineraries by Arcadia, Aurora and Adonia, which was just added to the fleet. Adonia carries 710 passengers, while Azura can accommodate 3,100 passengers. P&O offers early-booking savings and onboard credit, which increases depending on the grade of cabin booked, for bookings made before Nov. 30. An extra 10 percent discount is available for bookings made by Aug. 31. www.pocruises.co.uk. Jun 22, 2011

Priceline.com Priceline.comOs annual survey covering the top 50 destinations for the Fourth of July weekend finds that Chicago's North Michigan Avenue/River North Area is the No. 1 destination. ItOs the second year in a row that a Chicago neighborhood has captured the top spot on priceline.com's annual list. Ten of the 50 destinations on priceline.com's list are Canadian, including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Banff. Priceline's annual Top 50 Destinations list is based on hotel room booking requests made by customers using priceline.com's Name Your Own Price hotel reservation service. Because the survey is based on thousands of credit card-backed booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, priceline.com believes the annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of July 4th travel trends. Among the top 10 destinations after Chicago are New Orleans French Quarter, downtown Montreal, Ottawa, Midtown West in New York City, St. Catharines in Niagara Falls, Downtown/Pike Place in Seattle, the Las Vegas Strip, downtown Pittsburgh and downtown and Harbor Island in San Diego. For more information, visit www.priceline.com. Jun 26, 2011

Roswell The City of Roswell is more excited than ever to welcome visitors and filmmakers from throughout the universe to experience the city that's been home to some of the most infamous alien landmarks since the 1940s, Roswell, New Mexico, as they kick off an innovative new project, the Roswell International Sci-Fi Film Festival and SCI-FI/FANTASY DIGITAL SHOOT OUT! The Film Festival runs from June 29 to July 2, 2011 and will showcase the latest and greatest Sci-Fi films with movies under the stars, filmmakers forums and luncheon, a Red Carpet Gala, parties, and showings of new independent Sci-Fi films. Jun 23, 2011

Roswell Roswell, N.M.', UFO museum has alien tales to tell. Travelers who are curious about the alien spaceship crash that some say happened about 40 miles outside Roswell, N.M., can visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center. But visitors should not expect to see government photos or material recovered from the suspected crash -- the Roswell museum holds only newspaper and radio reports from July 1947 along with replicas of the debris. Jun 21, 2011

Silversea Cruises Silversea Cruises is set to include NCFs (non-commissionable fares) in its rates for cruises in 2012. The new policy was unveiled by Stephen Tucker, vice president of sales-Americas for Silversea, during a cruise executive panel at Vacation.comOs 13thannual conference in Las Vegas. Tucker said Silversea will now include all port charges, taxes and government fees. NCFs have long been a controversial issue between travel agents and cruise lines, especially as rates have been driven down during the poor economy over the past two years. While Silversea will not pay commission on shore excursions, like many other lines, Tucker pointed out that its Passport to Luxury shipboard credit program, which is $500 to $1,500 on every voyage in 2012, can be used to pay for shore excursions. Since Passport to Luxury is included in the price, agents effectively do get compensated if the shipboard credit program is used for shore excursions, according to Tucker. Answering a panel question about direct sales, Tucker said roughly 5 to 7 percent of SilverseaOs business is direct, but its reservations agents are instructed to ask for a customerOs travel agency partner four times during the initial call. OAbout 50 percent of direct sales are turned over to a travel agency partner,O Tucker said. OSo weOre assisting our travel partners to close sales.O For more information on Silversea, visit www.silversea.com. Jun 22, 2011

Travelocity TravelocityOs booking data shows that that Orlando is the top Fourth of July destination this year. Travelocity reports that the rest of the top 10 destinations for the holiday weekend are New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, South Florida, Denver, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seattle and San Francisco. For more information, visit www.travelocity.com. Jun 21, 2011

VIA Rail Canada VIA Rail CanadaOs bike trains are back for summer. In Canada there are thousands of miles of cycling paths from Toronto, Ottawa, Montral, Quebec City, London, Windsor to Jonquire or Senneterre, and VIA's Bike trains make it a simple and worry-free travel experience. First launched in the summer of 2007, bike racks are now available year-round on select VIA Rail departures. With increased baggage cars operating over VIA's network including on the popular Ottawa-Toronto route, customers and cyclists can now connect to even more cycling destinations. Additionally, cyclists traveling to Toronto can continue on to Niagara Falls with their bikes using GO Transit services. From Quebec's extensive Route Verte (2,671 miles), the Greater Niagara Circle Route (86 miles), Ottawa's Capital Parkway Network (136 miles) to any of Ontario's Waterfront Trails (559 miles), VIA's Bike Trains provide a multitude of cycling destinations to choose from this summer. To use the bike trains, customers simply check their bikes in at the counter for a small fee. VIA staff handle the loading of the bikes and hand them back to the customers on the platform at their destination. www.viarail.ca/bike. Jun 21, 2011

Windstar Cruises Windstar Cruises has added a bike program to its fleet, equipping its ships with 7000-series, aluminum-frame Dragon Marine folding bikes. Wind Surf has eight bikes and Wind Spirit and Wind Star each have four bikes. Rates are $39 for a half-day rental (four hours), or $59 for a full-day rental (eight hours). Bike helmets, locks and chains are provided. Bikes are available for rental in most ports and guests can reserve them through the shipOs destination manager. Windstar, which recently released its 2012 Collection of Luxury Sailings, is offering $200 shipboard credit per cabin to guests who book by June 30. Those who book their sailing 180 days or more receive an additional 15 percent discount. WindstarOs Foremast Members receive an additional 5 percent discount on all itineraries. For more information, call 800-258-7245 or visit www.WindstarCruises.com. Jun 21, 2011

Yosemite National Park Yosemite campsites present hikers with hotel-like accommodations. Yosemite National Park's back country offers plenty of high-country trails by foot or horseback. But hikers and riders don't need to pack heavily because they have the option to stay at new campsites that offer amenities, such as meals, tent cabins, toilets and hot showers. Jun 20, 2011

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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jun 27, 2011
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