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Delta Significantly Increases Trans-Atlantic Flight Schedule for Summer
Travel Pulse

Summer 2018 will be Delta’s biggest to date when it comes to trans-Atlantic flight offerings.

Starting Memorial Day weekend, some 11 routes – both new and old favorites – are slated to begin connecting the U.S. and nine countries in Europe.

Portugal, one of the hottest destinations for U.S. travelers, will be the biggest beneficiary of the airline’s expanded flight offerings this summer. Delta said in a statement it will increase capacity to the country by more than 200 percent compared to 2017.

Iceland surges in popularity among U.S. travelers
Travel Weekly

While London and Paris are still the most popular destinations in Europe for American travelers this summer, Reykjavik soared from 17th to third, according to Allianz Global Assistance.

To determine the ranking, Allianz analyzed travel that went through its partners’ online booking processes, generating five- to eight-day itineraries for roundtrip flights from May 28 to Sept. 3 originating at U.S. airports.

Since 2015, London has been top destination, followed by Paris. Reykjavik was 28th in 2015, 16th in 2016 and 17th in 2017, and third this year.

Royal Caribbean Will Sail Longer Cuba Cruises in 2019, Including 3 Ports of Call
Cruise Critic

Expanding on its cruise itineraries in Cuba, Royal Caribbean has added seven- and eight-night sailings onboard Empress of the Seas that will call on Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, in addition to Havana.

The longer, more Cuba-immersive cruises will depart from Miami in 2019. The ship already offers short, four- and five-night Cuba itineraries that call or overnight in Havana. Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas also will join Empress of the Seas this fall, sailing short cruises to Havana.

Facelift of Seattle’s Space Needle nears completion
Travel Weekly

Tourism is booming in Seattle. Just take a look at the Space Needle.

The family-owned landmark is set to unveil the biggest renovation in its 56-year history next month, a $100 million investment in a single year of construction that transformed the structure’s top viewing level with floor-to-ceiling glass.

Seattle and King County benefited from $7.4 billion of spending by a record 40 million visitors last year, a number that has grown annually since the 2008 recession, according to Visit Seattle, a nonprofit advocacy group for the tourism industry.

The post Travel News: May 25, 2018 appeared first on LandLopers.

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Although my epic Route 66 adventure has been over for a week, it’s going to take me a lot longer to process what it has meant to me. Already I know it’s different from any other trip I’ve ever taken. I feel sad that it’s over, but thrilled I accomplished this lifelong goal. It wasn’t easy, but it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I can’t thank my main sponsor Marriott International enough for helping me realize this travel bucket list goal. Instead of waxing on poetically today though, I instead want to share some images that not only put a smile on my face, but which also remind me of important moments along the drive. These are just iPhone photos – the DSLR shots are forthcoming – but it’s the emotion behind them that I think matters the most.

Chicago Architecture Cruise

Day 1 in Illinois

Small town America

Historic Chain of Rocks Bridge leading into Missouri

St. Louis at dawn

Rolla, Missouri – Home to the best pie in the country

One of the oldest sections of Route 66 still in existence

Nostalgia at its best

Every day featured surprising discoveries

One of only a few still left

Big cities like Oklahoma City were also important stops

A grass fire in the distance made for dramatic photos

Route 66 is always quirky

Everything is bigger in Texas

Halfway mark

Every hotel was incredible, including this one – the Posada de Santa Fe

Taos, New Mexico

Retro charm

Standing on a corner…

My first visit to the Grand Canyon

Joshua Tree

All good things…

The post Route 66 Moments – My Favorite Photos From The Drive appeared first on LandLopers.

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Airlines for America Predicts Record-Breaking Summer
Travel Pulse

Industry trade organization Airlines for America (A4A) announced Wednesday it expects a record 246.1 million passengers to travel on United States airlines this summer.

Between June 1 and August 31, A4A revealed an average of 2.68 million travelers per day will take to the skies, an increase of 3.7 percent from last year’s record 237.3 million passengers.

United includes VIP terminal at LAX in some fares
Travel Weekly

United is including access to the VIP terminal at Los Angeles International Airport in some business-class fares.

Access to the Private Suite will initially be available through select third parties, United said. Eventually, Private Suite access will be available for purchase on United.com as part of the fare for seats in the premium cabin on flights to and from Newark, Aspen, Hawaii, London Heathrow, Los Cabos, Melbourne, Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo Narita. United said it has negotiated a preferential rate for the service.

China will someday be the largest cruise market in the world, Carnival Corp CEO says
CNBC

From the deck of the Carnival Horizon, docked at New York City’s Pier 88, Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald told CNBC that, eventually, his cruise line’s U.S. business would shy in comparison to China.

“China, someday, will be the largest cruise market in the world,” the CEO told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer on Wednesday. “It’s in their five-year plan, so if cruising is in their five-year plan, … they’re going to make it happen.”

Passenger volume from China has been increasing sharply over the last five years, with cruise capacity increasing across all metrics, according to a 2017 report from Cruise Lines International Association and Chart Management Consultants.

Cathay Pacific’s Asia Miles shake-up means 80 per cent of flights will earn more in loyalty programme
South China Morning Post

At least 80 per cent of flights on Hong Kong’s flagship airline will earn more air miles from next month as the loyalty programme for Cathay Pacific looks to counter criticism that rewards for journeys with the carrier pale in comparison to competitors.

The shake-up to Asia Miles is set to offer a major boost to Cathay Pacific and sister airline Cathay Dragon as the loss-making airlines struggle to remain competitive amid stiff competition from budget carriers.

The programme, a profit-generating subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Group, will also let customers redeem fewer miles to book many flights and will place 20 per cent more seats up for grabs.

The post Travel News: May 24, 2018 appeared first on LandLopers.

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Mexico Tourism Marketing Blitz to Address Safety Concerns After Violence
Skift

Headlines about violent crime, drug wars, and a border wall in Mexico have flashed across TV sets and online sites in recent months. While Mexico’s tourism industry claims it’s been business as usual, it’s clear that some marketing resources in popular destinations have been diverted to addressing safety rather than highlighting sexier elements like beaches and cuisine.

Much of the violence hasn’t impacted or targeted tourists, and travel advisories from the U.S. Department of State don’t include tourist areas such as Cancun, Riveria Maya, and Playa del Carmen.

Some 10.6 million international arrivals visited Mexico in the first quarter of 2018, up 12.6 percent compared to the same period last year. Mexico also became the sixth most visited country by international arrivals last year, up from the eighth most visited in 2016.

Singapore Airlines to phase out SilkAir regional subsidiary
Travel Weekly

In a multi-year initiative, Singapore Airlines will phase out its wholly-owned regional brand SilkAir and merge it with the mainline operation.

The move won’t occur until after Singapore invests more than $100 million to upgrade cabins on the SilkAir fleet with new lie-flat seats in business class and seat-back entertainment systems throughout the aircraft.

Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Announces its Next Chapter
Travel Pulse

Puerto Rico’s storied Dorado Beach, Ritz-Carlton Reserve is set to reopen its doors in October, marking a significant recovery milestone for the hurricane-battered island.

The property, a rare estate set apart from the rest of the destination, will be the first ultra-luxury resort to welcome guests back to the island after the devastation caused in 2017 by a string of hurricanes.

Hawaii’s volcano eruption is driving away millions in tourism dollars
CNBC

Cruise ships have canceled stops on Hawaii’s Big Island. Hotel rooms will sit vacant this summer despite price cuts.

And guest house owners and tour guides that depend on the 2 million visitors each year to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are wondering how long their families will go without any income.

Tourism authorities say summer bookings for hotels on Hawaii’s Big Island have fallen almost 50 percent since the Kilauea volcano began spewing lava and toxic gases on May 3.

The post Travel News: May 23, 2018 appeared first on LandLopers.

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A couple of months ago I had the great pleasure of finally visiting India for the first time with luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent. I’ve only just started the process of writing about my experiences, but today I thought I’d pause and add another post to my ongoing “42” series highlighting special destinations around the world.

  1. Ease into Mumbai with the luxury service provided by the Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai.
  2. Embracing the local culture by joining in on a festival.
  3. Wander around Jaipur, enjoying snacks along the way.
  4. Waking up early for a special dawn tour of Mumbai.
  5. Learning more about the Mughal Empire than you ever thought possible.
  6. Starting every day with a fresh lassi.
  7. Check out opportunities to do some local volunteer work.
  8. Visit some incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites all around the country.
  9. Discovering that getting an e-visa is fast and easy.
  10. Relax after a long day of sightseeing at the Oberoi Udaivillas.
  11. Seeing the mighty Taj Mahal both at sunset and sunrise.
  12. Discovering what your horoscope has in store for you at the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur.
  13. Spend the day wandering the massive Amer Fort.
  14. Embrace the colorful chaos of a local market.
  15. Admiring curiously placed Victorian architecture in Mumbai.
  16. Pretending to understand cricket.
  17. Enjoying the incredible service that only Abercrombie & Kent can provide.
  18. Spending time talking with people who live in the regions you’re visiting, learning about their lives.
  19. Doing nothing more than wandering the markets at day break.
  20. Feeling like a Maharaja staying at the Taj Rambagh Palace.
  21. Pinching yourself that you’re actually in incredible India!
  22. Not being scared of the food – try it, but be smart about what you enjoy.
  23. Knowing you can only see a little sliver of India on a first visit.
  24. Wander through Udaipur’s massive City Palace.
  25. Not minding the crowds at the always amazing Taj Mahal.
  26. Tour Mumbai’s impressive museums and historic sights.
  27. Discovering Delhi’s surprising ancient past.
  28. Getting somewhat used to the sound of a million car horns.
  29. Being constantly dazzled by the colors and sounds of the country.
  30. Admiring the Taj Mahal from a balcony at the Oberoi Amarillas.
  31. Embracing spiritual moments as they come.
  32. Basking in luxury at the Leela Palace in Delhi.
  33. Be dazzled by Jaipur’s old city.
  34. Taking a few moments to be pampered.
  35. Enjoy high tea and sunset on a boat cruise in Udaipur.
  36. Having your palm read and future told by an expert.
  37. Being welcomed in royal style wherever you go.
  38. Learning more about local food on a food tour of Old Delhi.
  39. Knowing that you shouldn’t have been so scared to visit in the first place.
  40. Special moments that can never be planned, only enjoyed.
  41. Appreciating small kindnesses extended by strangers almost every day.
  42. Vow to return again and again.

The post 42 Things To Love About India appeared first on LandLopers.

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Faster-moving Hawaii lava gushes into sea
Travel Weekly

A volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii’s Big Island has gotten more hazardous, sending rivers of molten rock pouring into the ocean Sunday and launching lava skyward that caused the first major injury.

Kilauea volcano began erupting more than two weeks ago and has burned dozens of homes, forced thousands of people to flee and shot up ash clouds from its summit that led officials to distribute face masks.

Florida Keys Are Open For Business & These Resorts Are Ready
Travel Pulse

The Florida Keys is still recovering after last year’s Hurricane Irma.

The storm brought torrential rains, 130 mile per hour winds, and knocked down boat slips and buildings in its path. Weddings were postponed and so were dreams of vacationing in a place where Hawaiian shirts and shorts are considered perfectly acceptable “semi-formal” attire.

Even so, I’m happy to say that the island I grew up on (Tavernier and Islamorada, specifically) is back in business and magical as ever. Summer is off-season and I can bet renovated hotels will be offering plenty of discounted rates and special packages in order to revive tourism in the Keys.

Alaska Airlines says ‘so long’ to non-recyclable plastic stir straws
USA Today

Alaska Airlines passengers will soon notice something different when they order in-flight cocktails or coffees.

No, the airline’s not changing a crucial ingredient. But those plastic stirring sticks? They’re about to go the way of paper tickets and empty middle seats.

Alaska Airlines will phase out plastic stirring sticks in favor of compostable versions made of white birch. Citrus picks will switch from plastic to bamboo.

The rise in tourists visiting Japan is statistically off the charts
Quartz

From 1995 to 2012, the annual number of tourists going to Japan increased from 3.3 million to 8.4 million, a growth rate of about 6% each year.

And then, the deluge.

In its most recent report, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that about 28.7 million tourists visited Japan in 2017. This increase, a change of more than 20 million over just five years, is the largest ever recorded by the organization, which keeps statistics going back to 1995. The UNWTO considers any overnight stay by a foreigner a tourist visit.

The post Travel News: May 22, 2018 appeared first on LandLopers.

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Welcome to my Route 66 Daily Roundups. Throughout the course of my cross-country adventure with Marriott International and vehicle sponsor Nissan USA, I will be sharing the highlights from each leg of the trip. To see all of the Daily Roundups please click here.

To read about the inspiration for this epic drive, please check out this post.

Day 12: Twentynine Palms to Santa Monica, California

I thought that the last day trekking across Route 66 would be shorter than it was. Once again the maps deceived me because what they don’t account for is the traffic as one meanders along the Mother Road into LA through what are today suburban towns.I appreciated the slightly longer day though. It gave me time to think about the nearly two weeks of driving with Brendan Van Son across America and what it’s meant to me.

For years I dreamed of driving Route 66, although I can’t say why exactly. There’s just something special about the drive that appeals to my sense of exploration and discovery. There’s also a certain level of nostalgia built into the experience. I think that many people associate the zig-zagging road across the country with happier and simpler times. While I doubt those times were actually simpler, that’s the appeal, that’s the dream. We want to capture the magic of a mythical America, but along the way we experience the beauty of America in the 21st century.

It was in the late afternoon when we finally pulled onto the Santa Monica pier. I was so excited I could barely contain myself and nearly skipped over to the finish sign. The real end of Route 66 is actually a couple of blocks away from the pier, but this ceremonial finish sign was perfect for us. It signaled the end of an incredible adventure, the culmination of many years of planning and anticipation. Driving the full length of Route 66 is a trip that will take me a long time to process. I need to think about the experiences along the way and what the trip as a whole means to me.

Thank you so much for following along as I tackled this quest. I also have to thank Brendan for being an incredible partner on this and of course Marriott International for helping make my dreams become a reality. Finally I have to recognize Nissan USA for providing such incredible vehicles for us to use along the way. Both the Armada Platinum and the Rogue were fun and comfortable to drive and made our journey much more enjoyable than it would otherwise have been.

Stay tuned for the first wave of stories as I attempt to accurately portray my experiences exploring the heart of America.

The post Route 66 Daily Roundup – The Final Leg appeared first on LandLopers.

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