A roundup of the good, the bad and the bizarre from the world’s best travel media
SINGAPORE ON THE DOWN LOW?
From across the Pacific Ocean, a piece of good — and potentially really good — news from the airline industry.
The BBC is reporting that Singapore Airlines is planning to start up a low-budget, long-haul carrier to compete with the likes of Australia’s Qantas and Malaysia’s AirAsia.
Not much yet in the way of details, but if SA plans to operate any of these flights to the United States, that’s great news.
Why? Because Singapore Airlines has a reputation for some of the best in-flight service in the entire airline world, a standard they’ve maintained since the 1970s.
Read the full BBC story here.
If their low-fare version even approaches the standard of the parent airline, and they operate from Pacific Coast airports here in the States, American vacationers may have a really good reason to fly west.
IBIT will be watching this one closely.
BUZZKILL IN THE NETHERLANDS
Amsterdam is about to become a little less popular with a certain category of tourist.
Reuters is reporting that the Netherlands is banning foreigners from visiting its famous “coffee shops,” where you go not for a cup of coffee, but to legally blaze up on marijuana.
You can read the full Reuters story here.
No worries, though. If all else fails, you probably can walk slowly enough past the many coffee shops in Amsterdam to give yourself a perfectly satisfactory “contact high,” if that’s your thing.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other reasons to visit Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands, without risking a close encounter with the munchies.
from the Telegraph (London UK)
Amsterdam — the basics.
LET PARIS TURN YOUR HEAD
I found this panoramic view of Paris on the city’s official Web site. It was shot from the top of the Church of St. Sulpice, in the 6th arrondissement on the Left Bank. But before you click on the link to enjoy this gorgeous view, a couple of instructions:
- This image moves, 360 degrees.
- To make it move faster, move your cursor to the left or right.
- To make it stop, move your cursor to the center.
The site itself has French and English versions, and both are worth exploring if you’re planning or even contemplating a visit to the City of Light.
Ready? Okay, enjoy the view.
If this church seems familiar to you, it might be because you saw it in the film “The DaVinci Code.” Here’s an equally panoramic look inside. The full-screen mode is spectacular.
And now, here’s this week’s Digest:
from Christopher Elliott
The airlines’ version of musical chairs can not only blow up your trip plans, but cost you hundreds of dollars.
from the Associated Press via msnbc
On the other hand, if you booked your summer airfares early, only to see a decrease in the price after you booked, you actually may be in for a refund. As soon as you regain consciousness, check with your airline
from Reuters via msnbc
The TSA, the folks who protect us from infants and 6-year-old girls on airplanes, say that new tests now show that the radiation emitted from those controversial full-body scanners is not dangerous.
Maybe Amtrak should send a thank-you note to the airlines for making flying so miserable and the oil companies for their ridiculously high gas prices. Why? Because thanks is large part top them, Americans are riding the rails in record numbers.
from USA Today
For those New Yorkers who think their city is Number One in everything, you can now add a new category: bedbugs. So say the folks at Terminix, who presumably know a few things about insect pests
from BBC Travel
Cruises for people who don’t like cruises.
from USA Today
The latest gimmick from Royal Caribbean: An all-you-can-DRINK package. Am I the only one who thinks this might not be the best idea for a cruise ship?
from BBC News
While cruise lines withdraw from other European ports, Belfast is set for a boom in cruise tourism.
An introduction to the foods of Ethiopia. Think of it as a wake-up call for your tastebuds. Utensils not required.
from The Citizen (Tanzania)
Is the tourism glass half-empty or half-full for Tanzania? The CEO of one of the world’s largest travel companies says the country has the potential to be one of Africa’s greatest travel destinations, but is being outperformed by its more aggressive competitors, even tiny Mauritius.
from Business Daily (Nigeria)
The president of ECOWAS, the regional body of 15 West African countries, describes air travel among the ECOWAS member countries as “harrowing,” says the group is looking for ways to improve air, marine transport within the region.
from USA Today
With European airfares expected to go sky-high this summer, this might be the perfct year fior a fly/drive vacation to one of America’s beautiful national parks. Like Yosemite, for instance.
Speaking of the national parks, they can get pretty crowded during the summer. Here are five of the most heavily visited one, and tips for how to avoid the mobs.
When I say China, you say…beach? Does the Middle Kingdom have the world’s most overlooked seashore?
The ins and outs of booking a train trip in India, which has one of the largest — and most heavily used — rail networks in the world.
Five things NOT to do in Venice.
Canal travel in Britain. Maybe not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the UK. The waterways are narrow. The travel is slow. The views range from serene to spectacular.
from GO! Overseas
Andrea Moran of San Francisco breaks down the unwritten rules for getting over in Paris. I’ve looked at each one of them, and they’re pretty much dead-on.
from A Luxury Travel Blog
Barcelona is already arguably Spain’s biggest travel destination. Is it now becoming a foodie destination, as well?