Algeria, Saudi Arabia: Reconsider your need to travel
Gabon, Uganda: High degree of caution
Following the news regarding UK and USA governments banning electronic devices and electrical items from hand luggage, Southern Cross Travel Insurance has announced it will make an exception to the terms and conditions of the TravelCare policy.
From 30 March 2017, the TravelCare policy will offer provision of cover for electronic devices that are lost, stolen or damaged during the journey while in checked luggage for those directly affected by the Electronic Device Ban. Proof of ownership and value for the item, confirmation from the airline of the loss/damage and what compensation, if any, has been provided, will be required with any claim.
Craig Morrison, CEO of Southern Cross Travel Insurance said, “We understand that the travel industry is always evolving and changing. We will always look to review, reassess and reconsider our travel policies to ensure they fit the needs of our customers.”
Tips when travelling with electronics
Patagonian cruise line Australis will launch its brand new expedition ship – Ventus Australis – in January 2018, with a spectacular, but remote, glacier at the southernmost tip of South America added into the new ‘bottom of the world’ itinerary.
The huge and rarely visited Condor Glacier in Agostini Sound will be a highlight of a new, four-night Patagonian Explorer itinerary that the 210-passenger Ventus Australis will offer from Ushuaia in Argentina to Punta Arenas in Chile when the ship debuts on 2 January 2018.
Passengers will be able to see the glacier up close on zodiacs, and also watch out for the Andean condors that gave the glacier its name. The Andean condor is the largest,flying bird in the world, weighing up to 15kg and with a maximum wingspan of 3.3m.
Ventus Australis will be the only ship in the world to visit the Condor Glacier regularly, with the exclusive new four-night sailing from Ushuaia available every eight days from January to March 2018, and again from September 2018 to April 2019.
To mark the debut of Ventus Australis, Australis has indefinitely frozen fares for the next two summer seasons at the same level as those for the current 2016/17 summer season.
Australis is also offering a 10 per cent discount to passengers who combine two four-night cruises to create an eight-night exploration of the spectacular mountain and glacier-lined fjords of Tierra del Fuego, the Magellan Strait and Beagle Channel. The route from Punta Arenas back to Ushuaia will vary slightly, taking in different glaciers, islands and bays, allowing those who do back-to-back cruises to enjoy an in-depth, eight-night expedition of the breathtaking fjords of Tierra del Fuego.
Fares for four-night sailings aboard Ventus Australis in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons are available from USD$1440 person, twin-share. A combo eight-night cruise is available from USD$2592 per person, twin-share, including a 10 per cent discount. Prices include guided excursions ashore and beverages through an open bar.
The Patagonian Explorer itinerary through the mountain-lined fjords of Tierra del Fuego also includes Cape Horn, where guests can walk ashore, weather permitting, Wulaia Bay, a Magellanic penguin colony at Magdalena Island and three other glaciers – Pia, Giribaldi and Aguila – where guests will be taken ashore by zodiacs for close-up views and walks.
Ventus Australis will be a twin sister to the line’s other vessel, the popular 210-guest Stella Australis, with both offering panoramic floor to ceiling cabin windows, free open bar, complimentary, guided excursions, nature lectures and gourmet cuisine including local dishes and Chilean and Argentine wines.
IMAGE: Condor Glacier
Daydream Island Resort and Spa has made a preliminary assessment of the damage to the resort and its surrounds following yesterday’s extreme wind gusts and heavy rainfall from Cyclone Debbie. Conditions outside have not yet allowed a full appraisal of the extent of that damage.
The resort advises that every guest has been accounted for and is safe, as are all resort staff. The resort’s priority is the ongoing safety of on-island guests and staff who will need to be taken off island as soon as practical.
Daydream Island is endeavouring to contact all guests arriving on Daydream in the near future. All guests due to arrive on Daydream Island until Friday 31 March are urged to contact the Daydream Island reservations team on 1800 075 040 or by email [email protected] to get the latest update on their booking.
Initially, it appears that the resort has sustained the following damage:
Further updates on Daydream Island will be made as soon as possible.
One of the world’s most colourful traditional events, the Naadam Festival, is among a host of unique highlights on Byroads Travel’s small group 14-day Mongolian Discoverer tour, from 4 July to 17 July 2018. Although the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar hosts the largest and most commercial Naadam Festival, Byroads Travel has selected one of the provincial events for a more local and authentic experience.
“The festival is so unique, it is included on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list,” said Byroads Travel’s Steve Mortimer, who will host guests on the tour.
“The three-day event officially celebrates the Mongolian revolution and independence, although the festival is said to pre-date the great warrior Genghis Khan,” he said.
“Each Naadam Festival starts with an opening ceremony – a swirl of horse riders, wrestlers, singers, musicians, monks and dancers. And the hallmark of the festival is the ‘three games of men’ – the sports of archery, horse racing and wrestling.”
The 14-day Mongolian Discoverer begins in Ulaanbaatar and explores several cultural centres as well as the remote, unimaginable wilderness, populated by traditional nomads who continue to roam the great steppe lands, grazing their animals and living in felt gers (yurts), the traditional houses of the Mongolian people.
The tour is priced from USD$3550 (approx AUD$4884) per person, twin share, excluding return airfares from Australia.
For more information contact Byroads Travel on (02) 9357 6800.
Etihad Airways has advised that the US-bound flights electronic device in-cabin ban is in place now for the airline’s passengers who are transiting through Abu Dhabi International Airport. US-bound passengers travelling via Abu Dhabi must check in their electronic devices at the point of origin.
The airline is sending email alerts to all US-bound travellers advising them of the new directive. Signage is placed at check-in desks at airports around the world where staff are advising guests to pack any prohibited electronic devices in their checked luggage.
Items including laptops, tablets, gaming devices, cameras, and e-readers must be placed in checked-in luggage. Medical devices are exempt and can be carried onboard. Guests are also encouraged to avoid carrying spare battery packs larger than the permitted size as these will not be allowed in either the luggage hold or the cabin.
To avoid inconvenience, guests are encouraged to pack the prohibited items in their checked baggage prior to reaching the Preclearance facility. Any prohibited electronic devices will have to be declared and placed in padded envelopes before being securely taken to the aircraft luggage hold by staff. Those items will be returned to guests on arrival in the US.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “We remain committed to ensuring we provide guests the highest levels of service and quality experience that we are renowned for, at Abu Dhabi International Airport and throughout their journey to minimise the impact of the new measures.”
All Etihad Airways’ flights to the USA have mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity, together with power and USB points at every seat enabling guests to remain connected through their mobiles and smart phones.
Last week Visit USA hosted its popular USA Travel Expos in Adelaide and Perth, with over 130 agents attending to hear the latest news from 15 exhibitors and presentations covering destinations, accommodation and attractions across the USA.
Visit USA targeted its audience, ensuring quality USA selling agents were able to learn from the experts, hear the upcoming trends and news.
In Adelaide the major prizewinner was a very excited Ken Ortzen-Bario from Holidays of the World, who was absolutely thrilled with his prize:
There were multiple winners in Perth, including:
Image: Ken Ortzen Bario with Caroline Davidson from Visit USA
Emirates has announced that it’s introducing a new service to enable customers to use their laptops and tablet devices until just before they board their flights to the US.
Emirates passengers travelling the to the US via Dubai will be able to use their laptops and tablet devices on the first part of their journeys, and also during transit in Dubai. They will then need to declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate just before boarding their US-bound flight.
The devices will be carefully packed into boxes, loaded into the aircraft hold, and returned to the customer at their US destination. There won’t be any charge for this service.
Bunnik’s small group tour, Highlights of South America, is offering savings of up to $1,500 per person, when booked before 21 April 2017, for travel between July 2017 and March 2018.
The 21-day tour is now priced from just $11,895pp including return international airfares, 5 flights within South America, air taxes, tipping and transfers.
Clients can also add an optional 5-day Galapagos cruise to the end of their tour aboard the deluxe yacht, Isabela II, for an amazing adventure of discovery in this unique archipelago.
Venture’s 2017-18 Thailand Brochure – Experience the REAL Thailand – includes a new section on experiential tourism, giving visitors the opportunity to see, understand, experience and explore more.
Experiential travel highlights include:
· Thai Cooking Schools – 8 options ex Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui & Chiang Mai
· Cycling Tours – 7 options ex Bangkok & Chiang Mai
· Homestays – 3 options ex Bangkok & Chiang Mai
· Trekking & Soft Adventure – 7 options ex Bangkok, Phuket & Chiang Mai
· Extended Touring / Ministays – 6 options ex Bangkok & Chiang Mai
The new brochure also simplifies hotel descriptions to better visually present each property. Contracted room categories available are clearly displayed, as are bonuses, family & honeymooners’ offers.
London – and the whole of the UK – is reeling following ‘a major terrorist attack‘ on Westminster Bridge that has so far left four people dead and at least 40 others, including visiting French schoolchildren, critically injured.
At around 2.40pm on Wednesday [local time] a Hyundai allegedly driven by a man in his 40s, ploughed into pedestrians on the bridge before the driver crashed the car into railings near the Houses of Parliament. The driver then ran into the Palaces of Westminster wielding a knife with which he stabbed a police officer, before he was shot by police and killed.
The police officer has since been confirmed as dead. The deceased attacker is believed to have acted alone. Police are asking members of the public to hand over any video or images of the incident to assist with the investigation.
Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her condolences to the families of those people killed and injured and said:
“We will all move forward together, never giving in to terror and never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.”
World leaders, including US President Donald Trump, have expressed their condolences and offered their support to the UK.
IMAGE: By The New York Times. Source: Terrain and aerial imagery by Google
Visit California has appointed a new board of industry representatives – the California Advisory Board – to assist with local marketing efforts and retain its position as one of the leading tourism marketing organisations represented in Australia and New Zealand.
The new board members from tourism, marketing and communications sectors, were selected for the instrumental role they occupy in the Australian travel and media industries and for their unique and expert perspective within the tourism marketing space.
The 2017 California Advisory Board members are:
• Wadad Moore, Partner Marketing Manager – Qantas
• Amanda Bolger, Senior Manager, PR and Publicity – Qantas
• Gregory Lording, Group General Manager of Wholesale – Helloworld
• Jenny Hosie, Director of Integration – Seven West Media
• Craig Gibbons, Regional Director Australia & New Zealand – LATCB & LAX Airport
• Sue Bennett, Editorial Director; Life Media & Events – Fairfax Media
• Megan Smith, Head of Consumer PR – Expedia.com.au
California Advisory Board members will meet three times annually to formulate strategies focused on strengthening the California brand and increasing visitation.
The first California Advisory Board meeting was held in Sydney on 21 March, attended by Visit California head office representatives including Lynn Carpenter, Vice President of Marketing, Leona Reed, Associate Vice President of Global Marketing and Jennifer Montero, Director of Americas and Australia.
(Back row L-R): Leona Reed (Associate Vice President of Global Marketing Visit California), Craig Gibbons (Regional Director Australia & New Zealand – Los Angeles Travel and Convention Board & LAX Airport), Jenny Hosie (Director of Integration – Seven West Media), Lynn Carpenter (Vice President of Marketing Visit California), Jo Palmer (Managing Director, Gate 7), Jennifer Montero (Director of Americas and Australia Visit California), Kristy Meudell (Account Director Visit California)
(Front row seated L-R): Megan Smith (Head of Consumer PR – Expedia.com.au), Sue Bennett (Editorial Director; Life Media & Events – Fairfax Media), Amanda Bolger (Senior Manager, PR and Publicity – Qantas) , Gregory Lording (Group General Manager of Wholesale – Helloworld)
Egypt, Ethiopia, Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia: Reconsider your need to travel
Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey: High degree of caution
Until 12 April 2017, travellers can take advantage of LATAM Airlines’ ‘Last Call’ sale and snag a discounted airfare departing Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio or Lima.
Valid for travel from 14 May 2017 to 6 November 2017, sale fares start from AUD$1,289 economy and AUD$4,399 business class to Buenos Aires; from AUD$1,289 economy class to Sao Paulo; from AUD$1,499 economy class to Lima; and from AUD$1,469 economy class to Rio.
From 5 October 2017, LATAM will operate three non-stop flights per week from Melbourne to Santiago, onboard its next-generation fleet of 787-9 aircraft, with onward connections to over 115 destinations within the region including Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador and Bolivia.