Norwegian Cruise Line makes first steel cut on brand new Norwegian Bliss

first_img Travelweek Group Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Norwegian Cruise Line makes first steel cut on brand new Norwegian Bliss Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line Posted bycenter_img Share PAPENBURG, Germany — The first piece of steel for the new Norwegian Bliss has been cut, marking the beginning stages of Norwegian Cruise Line’s 16th vessel and the first one designed specifically for Alaska.Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MEYER WERFT executives gathered at the MEYER WERFT Laser Center in Papenburg, Germany on Oct. 28 to mark the ceremonial start of construction of the new ship, which is set for delivery in Spring 2018. Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holidays Ltd., pressed the start button of the computer-controlled cutting machine, officially commencing construction.“As we close in on Norwegian Cruise Line’s 50th anniversary, we are thrilled to celebrate the start of construction for Norwegian Bliss, our latest and most innovative ship yet,” said Del Rio. “Norwegian Bliss will offer the ultimate in Alaska adventures, both on and off the ship, and we look forward to welcoming guests onboard in June 2018.”Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio (center) joins NCLH Executive Vice President of Vessel Operations Robin Lindsay (right) and MEYER WERFT Managing Partner Bernard Meyer (left)The third ship in the line’s Breakaway-Plus class, Norwegian Bliss will be the first cruise ship custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience and the first Norwegian Cruise Line ship to make its debut in Seattle. At approximately 167,800 gross tons and accommodating 4,000 guests, Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from Pier 66 in Seattle, featuring calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising.More news:  Help Princess Cruises break the world record for largest vow renewal at seaAdditional details on the ship’s accommodations, dining and onboard offerings will be shared in the coming months. Norwegian Bliss will be available for reservations beginning January 2017. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Riu Palace Punta Cana is back in action and looking better than

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Riu Palace Punta Cana is back in action and looking better than ever Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — RIU Hotels & Resorts has announced the reopening of legacy resort Riu Palace Punta Cana in the D.R., with brand new restaurants, swimming pools and amenities as well as new interior design.Even with all the changes, the popular resort still resembles a European palace, says RIU. The reno preserved the most emblematic elements of the building, originally built in 2006, including its towers and domes.With this investment RIU says it is completing the renewal of its offer in Punta Cana, where in recent years it has built or renovated six hotels, in addition to building two water parks.One of the main changes is in the main building, which now holds a new café and pastry shop called Capuchino, as well as a new spa and gym.The renovated lobby, brighter now thanks to the natural light and predominance of white and golden hues, especially stands out, says RIU, with “new décor with large and spectacular elements that create a grand first impression on arrival, and a good memory to take home after departing.”Riu Palace Punta Cana’s new lobbyAll the rooms, 676 in total, now feature a contemporary style combining classic wood colonial furniture with a light-hued modern look. All the bathrooms were renovated and the bathtubs were replaced with large walk-in showers.Riu Palace Punta Cana’s modern new lookThe redone garden areas were redesigned to include four modern rectangular swimming pools, one of which, next to the new RiuLand kids’ club, now has slides for the youngest members of the family.Riu Palace Punta Cana’s poolsThe hotel now offers five bars: a cocktail lounge, ‘Los Rosarios; a lobby bar, ‘Daiquiri; a 24-hour Sports Bar; a poolside bar with a swim-up bar, ‘Saona; and Capuchino, exclusive to the hotels in the Riu Palace line. It also has a dance floor and outdoor stages.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe Spanish restaurant, ‘La Bodega, is the new addition to the gastronomic offer, joining main buffet, ‘La Isabela, fusion restaurant,‘Krystal, the Japanese Yokohama, the Italian ‘Luigi and steakhouse ‘La Altagracia, all with a new design following the renovation.Dining at Riu Palace Punta CanaThe Riu Palace Punta Cana is part of RIU’s Punta Cana complex, along with the Riu Palace Bavaro, Riu Naiboa, Riu Bambu and the Riu Palace Macao. All the guests at the complex can also use the Splash Water World water park located in the same resort.As the exclusive vacation provider for RIU Hotels & Resorts, Sunwing says clients who book their Riu Palace Punta Cana vacation package with the Signature Collection by Sunwing will also get a number of exclusive RIU-topia perks such as in-room liquor dispensers, unlimited reservation-free specialty dining and more. As a Palace category resort, further inclusions cover daily champagne breakfasts, 24hr room service and pool waiter service.More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesGroups of 10 or more adults booking the resort with Sunwing by Aug. 14 can get Instant Group Savings of up to $400 per couple on all inclusive vacation packages for departures Nov. 1 onwards, along with other value-adds such as reduced deposits, private transfers and more. Tags: Dominican Republic, Punta Cana, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Sunwing Posted bylast_img read more

Limited space left for 18 remaining Sandals workshops

first_imgLimited space left for 18 remaining Sandals workshops Posted by TORONTO — Ready to head into the final month of its cross-Canada tour of educational workshops, Sandals Resorts is sending out a reminder to agents that there is still limited space available for the September sessions. Sandals is encouraging agents to register now for the informative workshops, to get a jump on the fall-winter season and to help agents take their Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts sales to the next level. During the fast-paced sessions, agents will learn how Sandals’ next level innovations translate into repeat clients and increased commissions.Agents in Calgary and surrounding areas are encouraged to attend the Sept. 12 workshop which will feature special guests including Tammy Gonzalez, CEO, Unique Vacations, Inc.; Gary C. Sadler, Senior VP Sales, Unique Vacations, Inc. as well as the soon-to-be-announced new Business Development Manager in Alberta.The majority of workshops take place in the morning (7:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) however there two afternoon sessions (1 p.m. – 5 p.m.) in Laval and Quebec City and two evening sessions (5 p.m. – 9 p.m.) in Toronto and Ottawa. All workshops in Quebec will be conducted in French.More news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe workshops also fulfill the educational requirement towards becoming a Certified Sandals Specialist, as well as the maintenance requirement for agents already holding CSS status. The Sandals workshops are also ACTA-approved and each travel agent or manager who completes a workshop receives 10 credits towards their Certified Travel Counsellor or Certified Travel Manager designation. A non-refundable fee of $40 is required at time of registration. All participants will receive a workbook, a supply of the newest collateral materials, a certificate upon completion of the workshop and an exclusive booking incentive. Agents can register online at uvisandals.ca. Here’s a list of the remaining Sandals 2018 Canadian workshops:September 5 – Surrey, BCSheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, 15269 104th Avenue September 5 – Laval, QC (AFTERNOON)Le St-Martin Hotel, 1400 rue Maurice-GauvinSeptember 6 – Victoria, BCFairmont Empress, 721 Government StreetSeptember 6 – Toronto, ON (EVENING)Holiday Inn Toronto-Yorkdale, 3450 Dufferin StreetSeptember 7 – Vancouver, BCCentury Plaza Hotel & Spa, 1015 Burrard StreetSeptember 11 – Edmonton, ABCourtyard by Marriott Edmonton West, 10011 184th Street NWMore news:  Flights cancelled as British Airways hit by computer problemSeptember 11 – Saint-Hyacinthe, QCHoliday Inn Express, 1500 rue Daniel-Johnson EstSeptember 12 – Quebec City, QC (AFTERNOON)Complexe Capitale Hélicoptère, 1688 route de l’AéroportSeptember 12 – Calgary, ABCoast Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre, 1316 33rd Street NESeptember 13 – St. John’s, NLFairfield Inn & Suites, 199 Kenmount RoadSeptember 18 – Boucherville, QCHotel Mortagne, 1228 rue NobelSeptember 19 – Kitchener/Cambridge, ONCambridge Hotel & Conference Centre, 700 Hespeler RoadSeptember 20 – London, ONBest Western Plus Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road SouthSeptember 20 – Ottawa, ON (EVENING)Ottawa Conference & Event Centre, 200 Coventry RoadSeptember 25 – Dartmouth, NSBest Western Plus, 15 Spectacle Lake DriveSeptember 26 – Saint John, NBLily Lake Pavilion, 55 Lake Drive SouthSeptember 26 – Mississauga, ONHilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport West, 1870 Matheson Blvd.September 27 – Moncton, NBRoyal Oaks Golf Club, 401 Royal Oaks Blvd. Share Tags: Sandalscenter_img Travelweek Group Tuesday, August 21, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Guy calls out airline for handing out sweets to kids and suggests

first_img Posted by Thursday, May 9, 2019 Share Guy calls out airline for handing out sweets to kids and suggests this as an alternative treat instead Travelweek Group center_img WELLINGTON  — Don’t take candy from strangers – or from airlines, says one particularly health-conscious traveller.As reported in the NZ Herald, Freddie Coltart, who recently flew with Air New Zealand, took to Facebook to call the carrier out for distributing candy onboard to kids.He wrote: “Hi Air NZ, When I was flying a few weeks ago I noticed that a little boy was handing out sweets on the flight. I know you’ve been doing this for years but don’t you think this might have become outdated? Kids eating sweets is bad for their dental and physical health.”But if you think Coltart simply left it at that, think again. He went so far as to suggest an alternative ‘sweet treat’, one that would be much healthier for young tots.His solution? Hand out prunes instead.“What about handing out single serving prunes instead?” he added. “As one of NZ’s biggest brands it would be good to be encouraging clean eating and healthy digestion.”More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backHe signed off encouraging Air New Zealand to “consider the prune”.His post went viral, garnering close to 7,000 comments on Facebook. Not surprisingly, many of the comments slammed Coltart for being a bit clueless (again, we’re talking about prunes here), with people quickly pointing out candies’ dual-purpose on planes.“The whole idea of sucking on a sweet is to equalize the pressure in your ears while the plane is descending,” wrote Brent Hodder.Others didn’t think prunes would be a particularly ‘digestically’-sound option.Judy Haldane wrote: “Prunes? How many toilets are on Air NZ planes for how many passengers?!?!!”Many people didn’t have the patience to even deal with Coltart. Gayle Sinclair wrote, “You know where you can put your prunes Freddie” while Kyle McGovan responded with a simple “No just no.”And Delwyn Luke, who perhaps had the best advice out of everyone, wrote: “Why get rid of what works, it’s up to the parents to sort out dental hygiene, not the airline.” Tags: Air New Zealand, Food, Funny << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Photo Essay Always a deal at San José market

first_imgNo related posts. Shoppers can find fruits, vegetables and meats at competitive prices. Friendly vendors, who work from 5 a.m.-7 p.m., say their goods are popular, but many say they barely earn enough to cover expenses.| Launch gallery | Facebook Commentslast_img

Conservation group Sea Shepherd strikes deal with Guatemala to patrol Pacific

first_imgThe Brigitte Bardot, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s 35-meter interceptor vessel, arrived at Guatemala’s Port San José last week for an unexpected mission: to help the Guatemalan Navy patrol the Pacific for marlin poachers.Sea Shepherd directors had come to Guatemala to discuss with officials the group’s work in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, France and Senegal, among other countries. But they didn’t expect to walk out of the secret meetings with a joint-patrol deal starting immediately.“We were hoping we might be able to do something with Guatemala, and we were extremely surprised when a representative of the Fisheries Department was excited (about our work) and wanted to get going right away,” Sea Shepherd’s director of intelligence and investigations, Scott West, told The Tico Times.West, a retired special agent-in-charge for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, was joined in the negotiations by Sea Shepherd’s Global Executive Director Alex Cornelissen and the EPA’s Deputy Regional Counsel Ann Prezyna.The joint-patrol agreement is a first for Sea Shepherd in Central America, after a similar arrangement to patrol Costa Rica’s Cocos Island was scrapped 12 years ago in a now-infamous scuffle between the conservation group and a Costa Rican fishing vessel off the Guatemalan coast. Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson is still fighting Costa Rica’s attempts to extradite him on shipwrecking charges from that incident.For the next several weeks, the Brigitte Bardot will be based out of Port San José, on Guatemala’s southern Pacific coast in the department of Escuíntla, with eight Sea Shepherd crew on board, along with Guatemalan Naval and police officers.Guatemala, in its peak marlin season, prohibits the commercialization of the species, but officials have trouble enforcing the law. Sea Shepherd patrols also will work to free sea turtles and other protected wildlife caught on longlines.“We’re just very, very happy that our desire to protect marine eco-systems through our vessels and crews is being able to come into play here, and that the Fisheries Department in Guatemala appreciates the assistance,” West said.In the past week, Sea Shepherd also created a Central America volunteer page on Facebook, raising the question if talks with other regional countries might be in the works. West said he could not comment on that issue.He did say Sea Shepherd was working with local dive shops like the Guatemala City-based Water Quest, which is active in marine conservation in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.“As a result of this, Sea Shepherd is a growing worldwide movement – it’s no longer just an organization,” West said. Facebook Comments Related posts:Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson turns to human rights commission to block Costa Rica’s legal chase Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson back on Interpol website as Costa Rica fugitive Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson launches Facebook campaign asking Costa Rica’s Solís to drop extradition request Sea Shepherd’s R/V Martin Sheen lands in Costa Rica for 4-month research missionlast_img read more

Could the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have been stolen

first_imgRelated posts:Flight MH17 and the role of Ukraine’s rebels Search continues for vanished Malaysian Airline plane carrying 239 people In court of public opinion, Putin goes on trial My client, a CIA torture victim Whenever a plane goes down, experienced air craft investigators look at the general circumstances and mentally draw up a list of the most likely causes – not to leap to conclusions, but to prioritize lines of inquiry and organize competing hypotheses. As information comes in, it should be possible to eliminate those hypotheses one by one until at last a full understanding of the circumstances remains. The goal is to make sure that the problem will never again bring down an airliner. This philosophy works: Year by year, fewer commercial airliners are lost to accidents.The downside is that, as likely sources of aircraft accidents are eliminated, what’s left behind are increasingly arcane and bizarre, once-in-a-million combinations of bad luck, incompetence and malice. And the longer we go without any significant clues regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the more likely that its true cause will fall into that category.For instance? Some airline pilots have begun to speculate that one of the flight crew might have intentionally caused the plane to disappear and flown off with it to an undisclosed location. This line of speculation, outlandish as it may sound, was only bolstered when it was reported Wednesday that investigators were actively pursuing the possibility that the plane had been diverted “with the intention of using it later for another purpose.”There’s no telling why someone would want to make off with a plane with 239 souls aboard. But if you did want to try, it’s at least physically possible to succeed. Here’s how you’d go about it.– Kill or incapacitate your fellow pilot. “We have a deadbolt on the inside of the cockpit door,” says Rich Solan, who flies 777-200s for American Airlines.– Wait until you’re over a region with poor radar coverage, then turn off your transponder, ADS-B, and ACARS. There’s a small stretch of MH370’s regular route, midway between Malaysia and Vietnam, that fits the bill. And this happens to be where the flight vanished.– Turn and dive for the deck. Radar coverage gets worse the lower you go, so if you want to stay off primary radar, you’ll fly as low as possible. There’s a drawback to this strategy, however: The lower you fly, the slower you go, and the more fuel you burn. A 777 can go 485 knots burning 13,000 pounds of fuel per hour at 35,000 feet; down at sea level, you’re talking more like 20,000 pounds per hour and only going 310 knots. So if you can go 2,000 miles at altitude you’ll probably only go around 800 miles down low.– Find someplace to land. The 777 is a big plane – once Boeing retires the 747, it will be the biggest in its stable — but in an emergency it can be put down on a relatively short runway. “If I have a fire in flight, I’m prepared to put it down on anything above 5,000 feet,” says Solan. “You could put it on a highway.” A runway wouldn’t even necessarily have to be paved; hard-packed dirt would likely be good enough. Throw some camouflage netting over the plane once you’re on the ground, and you’re good.– Sell it. There’s an active market for used 777s. “They’re worth big money,” says David Rose, who owns the plane-trading website Barnstormers.com. A 1994 model is currently for sale for $37.5 million; another from 2001 has a price tag of $54 million. Or you could play chop shop and break it up for parts. “There’s a big market for second-hand airliner parts,” says Rose. The only problem: All those parts have serial numbers on them, and pretty soon those are going to be the most famous serial numbers in the world. Then again, a cash-strapped operator in a developing country might not care.A major hiccup to a plan like this one: The part of the 777’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System that transmits information about the status of the plane’s engines can’t be turned off by the pilot. Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that just this kind of information had been picked up for four hours after all other contact with MH370 had been lost.Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America and Arizona State University.Jeff Wise is a New York-based magazine writer and author of “Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger.” A contributing editor at Popular Mechanics and Travel + Leisure, he specializes in aviation, adventure and psychology. He tweets as @ManvBrain and blogs at JeffWise.net© 2014, Slate Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Climate change coral reefs deforestation and dengue

first_imgThe 21st century will present gloomy challenges for Costa Rica and the rest of Latin America, such as the collapse of wildlife habitats, animal extinction, water scarcity and the spread of disease in an already vulnerable population.The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) laid out this forecast on March 31, as one of its region-by-region follow-ups to the September global assessment on climate change. The reports collect over 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers looking at climate’s future impact on environments and society, with the intention of preparing regional leaders to adapt.The report said Latin America has the highest biodiversity on the planet, but many of its habitats, especially in Central America, are highly vulnerable to climate change.“Coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, rocky reefs and shelves, and seamounts have few to no areas left in the world that remain unaffected by human influence,” the report’s chapter on Latin America said.Sea rise, ocean warming, acidification, overfishing, habitat pollution and invasive species all threaten these ecosystems. One-third of coral building species already are threatened with extinction. The report estimated that the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef would collapse by approximately 2060, and that all studied species of coral would go extinct by the century’s end. The Ocean Health Index ranked Central America’s countries as the some of the worst in the world in terms of sustainable fishing policies, marine biodiversity, coastal protection and other parameters.Additionally the report said mangrove species could go extinct in the same timeframe, due to deforestation, land conversion, increased agriculture and shrimp ponds. The mangroves along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of Central America are among the least healthy in the world, with 40 percent of their species already threatened with extinction.In a relatively short period of time, tropical forests in the region will be replaced by savannas. Current savannas, grasslands and shrub lands are under threat from forest fires and agricultural grazing.Across North and South America the report predicted 10 percent of all vertebrate species would become extinct by 2100.Since 1970, Latin America already experienced a temperature shift of approximately 0.85 degrees Celsius (1.2 Fahrenheit). The report predicted a shift of 1.6-4.0 C (2.2-5.6 F) by the century’s end. The one exception to temperature change was the coastal region of Chile and Perú, which actually experienced a slight cooling during this period.The changing climate will increase the number of extreme weather events, a trend that already has been observed, according to the report. In the 1980s, 15 hurricanes struck Central America, and in the ’90s only 9. In the first decade of the 21st century, there were 30. The report said 630 extreme weather or climate events struck Latin America during this first decade, causing 16,000 deaths and affecting 46.6 million people. Climate change cannot explain any single extreme event, such as a hurricane or drought, but it increases the tendency for these disasters to occur.Social vulnerabilitiesOne of the Latin America section’s authors, climatologist Eric Alfaro from the University of Costa Rica, said Central America is particularly vulnerable due to a strong dry-wet season cycle.“The diminished capacity to recover is particularly true for the countries in Central America, a region characterized by societies affected with large hydroclimatic variability and contrasts,” Alfaro said in an email.Alfaro pointed to a pair of 2012 studies he co-authored, which said climate change will exacerbate the economic differences between the northern Central American countries and the southern pair of Costa Rica and Panama. Specifically, Alfaro’s work pointed to Guatemala, with its high birth rates, high levels of poverty and forecasted drying climate.“Guatemala shows dire conditions at the end of the century,” one of Alfaro’s studies said. Data from a 2012 study, “Some physical and socio-economic aspects of climate change in Central America” in the Progress in Physical Geography journal, by Hugo Hidalgo and Eric Alfaro at the University of Costa Rica. Corey Kane/The Tico TimesThe IPCC report said tropical diseases will flourish in Latin America over the century. There already has been an observed increase in dengue in the last 25 years in Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and French Guiana. The report estimated the disease costs countries of the region some $2.1 billion annually in health care costs and productivity loss. Costa Rica had a record number of dengue cases last year.Malaria has seen an increase over the past five decades in Colombia alongside temperature increases. Further south, the disease has ascended to previously unseen high-altitude zones in Bolivia, aided by increased temperatures. The report predicted increases in other diseases such as cholera, hantavirus, the parasitic worm disease schistosomiasis and leishmaniasis.Climate change already has caused a later start to the wet season in Central America, according to the report. Effects of this have been observed in Costa Rica, where water rationing and electricity rationing are increasingly implemented due to a reliance on hydropower. The IPCC report said that Costa Rica, Brazil and Colombia receive almost 80 percent of their electricity from hydroelectric dams. In the late dry season, Costa Rica often turns to burning petroleum or resource rationing. The report forecasted this trend would continue, meaning the lost electricity will have to be replaced. A dry lagoon in Paraíso de Cartago, Costa Rica. Approximately three years ago the lagoon used to attract visitors for fishing. Annual decreases in rainfall and increased heat have evaporated it. Alberto Font/The Tico TimesBrazil and deforestationComing under special scrutiny in the section was Latin America’s largest and most populous country, Brazil. The report singled out Brazil’s forest management as a culprit in climate change.“Tropical deforestation is the second largest driver of anthropogenic climate change on the planet, adding up to 17-20 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions during the 1990s,” the report said.Specifically, Brazilian deforestation accounted for 2-5 percent of annual carbon dioxide emissions from 2005-2009. The report said that by 2030, the Amazon rain forest is predicted to shrink by 24-33 percent, due to agricultural expansion and development.“Brazil is by far the country with the highest area of forest loss in the world,” the report said.The IPCC said that 39 percent of all annual deforestation happens in Brazil, with nearly 22,000 square kilometers cleared per year. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican climate change film shown in indigenous, arctic region of Canada Big Oil’s heirs join call for action as climate summit opens President Solís calls for regional bloc to push for climate change policy 51 countries just released their climate plans – and they’re still not strong enoughlast_img read more

LeBron James says he still has a lot to prove in his

first_imgRelated posts:Warriors win, ending a 40-year gap that ranks as the longest in NBA history NBA bans Los Angeles Clippers owner for life over racist remarks Update: NBA star Kobe Bryant vacations in Costa Rica Keylor Navas puts on a show in Real Madrid win INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Before he made a decision that would alter the NBA landscape for the second time in four years, canonize him in his home state and make Cleveland the center of the basketball universe, LeBron James first sought out the approval of his two sons, LeBron Jr. and Bryce Maximus.“I asked them first. I didn’t explain it to them; they explained it to me,” James said Friday as he re-introduced himself to some familiar faces at Cavaliers media day. “I was like, ‘What do you think about Daddy going back home to play?’ They were, ‘Home? You talking about Cleveland?’ “ Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP © 2014, NBAEJames nodded but never got the chance to tell his boys what it would mean to leave behind the tropical paradise where he captured two NBA championships with the Miami Heat. The reasons why he should take his talents back to Lake Erie were spelled out loud and clear. “It was like, ‘OK, you could play with Kyrie Irving?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And they were like, ‘We get to go back home to our house and I get to go back to my old school friends?’ And I was like ‘Yeah.’ Then, ‘OK, you can do it.’ And that’s how it went.”The magnitude of that simple conversation was probably lost on LeBron Jr., 9, and Bryce, 7, but it was evident when James showed up in a bright yellow Cavaliers jersey and crisp white headband to speak to nearly 300 credentialed media members at the team’s practice facility. The throng of reporters was so large that many had to park a half mile up the road and catch a shuttle bus in order to see the roll out of the league’s latest super team featuring James and fellow all-stars Kevin Love and Irving. Cavaliers first-year coach David Blatt joked that it was the first time he struggled to find a place to park.“I’m at the point now, let’s get it on,” said Blatt, the former Euroleague coach tasked with turning the talent-laden bunch into a championship contender. “I’m like Marvin Gaye up here. Let’s get it started.”On his first official day back in uniform with the franchise he once rejected, James met the giddy surroundings with a subdued tone that mirrored the organization he just departed. James has learned from drawing unnecessary attention to something that already is a spectacle, his polarizing presence stirring emotions with nearly every utterance. So as he spoke about the next phase of his career, James repeatedly used the word, “patience,” and avoided bold proclamations about the Cavaliers becoming a dynasty. Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP © 2014, NBAEHis partnership with the 22-year-old Irving and the 26-year-old Love seems like an unfair assemblage of talent, but Irving and Love have yet to play meaningful NBA games in late springtime, having failed to reach the playoffs in the duo’s 10 combined seasons.“Everyone always wants to see the end result and what’s at the end of the tunnel and don’t quite understand what goes on from the start to the finish and what’s in between that. I understand that and I know that,” James said. “Patience is the biggest thing I’ve learned.”James probably won’t be granted the same leeway after leaving the four-time defending Eastern Conference champions to lead a team that, on paper, is built to win right now. The Cavaliers have some other intriguing young pieces in Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson, a holdover in Anderson Varejao, and James successfully recruited former NBA champions Mike Miller, James Jones and Shawn Marion to pass along some knowledge.“There are a lot of great names that have come into the organization, … but I know from my multiple years of experience in the business that names don’t play, teams do, and teams do need some time to develop, to find their identity, to establish themselves, and to establish what they’re made of,” Blatt said. “Our goals are high. We’re not shying away from that. Does that mean championship today? I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s fair.”“Our goals are high,” Blatt said. “We’re not shying away from that. Does that mean championship today? I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s fair.”And while James played with Love on Team USA in the 2012 Olympics and teamed with Irving on the Eastern Conference all-team the past two Februaries, he doesn’t have the same relationship or history with either player that he has with Dwyane Wade, the close friend responsible for luring him to Miami.James, however, does have one advantage with this all-star union because the leadership hierarchy doesn’t need to be established in Cleveland. Love and Irving are respected talents but have never been considered rivals or peers. Everyone within the Cavaliers organization knows whom to follow to reach the expected goal. Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images/AFP © 2014, NBAE“I will be the leader of the team,” James said. “I believe I bring leadership qualities that some of our guys either don’t want or just don’t know how to do it. I can. I can lead by example. I can lead by voice. I can lead by command I can lead by just my presence.”Cleveland hasn’t had much on-court success but plenty of lottery luck — three No. 1 picks — since James skipped town for Miami since 2010. And bringing one title to a city that hasn’t experienced championship glory since 1964 would do wonders to exalt James to a fan base in which most instantly forgave him after his first-person letter to Sports Illustrated was published.Though he returns a conquering hero with two more most valuable player trophies raising his total to four, James didn’t sign a two-year, $42 million contract for a fling with an old flame. There remains some unfinished business for the Akron native who led the Cavaliers to their only NBA Finals appearance in 2007 but suffered a humiliating sweep to San Antonio. A Finals loss to the Spurs has led James back to turn a homecoming that seemed difficult to imagine only a few months ago into a dream.James hasn’t allowed himself to get overly emotional after making a heartfelt and personal move. He has learned disappointment comes from putting fun ahead of the wins and guaranteeing the rewards before the work.“I still have a lot to prove because of the expectations I put on myself. I ask more of myself than anybody could every ask me so my expectations are still high, but I understand, I’m more patient now than I was four year so. I understand what it takes to win a championship and I understand that it’s the hardest thing you can ever do in your basketball career, to try and win a championship and I’ve been two up and two down in four years,” James said. “So I went from crying tears of joy to tears of frustration, two up, two down, so I know. I know it all. I know what it takes. I’m a guy that my expectations are still high because I believe in this team and I believe in what we can ultimately get to, but I also understand that it won’t be easy and we can’t try to play November and get to May or get to June right now. We have to go November to December and the rest of the calendar year just to even have a chance.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0dQI4qRwWE© 2014, The Washington Post Facebook Commentslast_img read more

5 questions for a Costa Rican rapper – and an exclusive recording

first_imgThe passion to empower others is what has driven the Costa Rican rapper Nakury to share her work with the world.Nakury, who was born in Turrialba as Natasha Campos, grew up with a strong conviction that culture could be sued as a medium of communication and education for her audience. Her passion for the arts began when she got immersed in graffiti at the age of 15; she then began to combine that with break dancing and rap.Her passion for communication grew when she studied journalism at the San Judas University. She eventually chose an artistic name of Nakury – a word from the language of one of Costa Rica’s indigenous populations, the Maleku – and launched herself into exploring the struggle for gender equality throughout Central America. In 2016, along with the rappers Nativa (Costa Rica), Audry Funk (Mexico), and Rebeca Lane (Guatemala), Nakury filmed a documentary on the role of women in each country.“The reason for the trip was to film interviews for the documentary that we’re doing in the Somos Guerreras (We’re Warriors) Collective, which would not only reflect women’s work in hip-hop, but also the ways in which they relate to each other,” Nakury told The Tico Times. “We also found that many women speak a lot about the social issues in the documentary. There are a lot of women strongly committed to social change through art, and specifically through hip-hop.”This drive led Nakury, 27, to release her new album, Vía (Pathway), on April 20. The album includes collaborations with artists including Barzo, Kumary Sawyers, YOGI beatbox, Nacho Páez, Rebeca Lane and Guadalupe Urbina.The Tico Times visited Nakury’s home on a warm morning in San Pedro, just east of San José. Surrounded by a bountiful garden, her dog Eva and some delicious fruit and coffee, we spoke with Nakury about her life and work. Excerpts follow.Why did you choose the name Nakury?Some time ago, a Maleku friend told me that Nakury is a name in which Na means “my” and Kury means “woman.” Another [Maleku] friend had told me that Nakury meant love, because it was what his father called his mother, but he’s a Maleku who learned few things about his native language and grew up in Chepe [San José]… I told myself that Nakury meant love, and that I’m my own woman.In the Maleku cosmovision, the preservation of our earth is very important. [It’s about] achieving the perfect equilibrium. [The name choice] was also a gesture towards women.I though of the power that words have. Each time that someone says it, and each time a man says it, they’re recognizing the woman they have inside because in the end we’re a duality… The idea is also for them to be able to get into women’s shoes so that they can know how many things have been denied to them because of gender. What’s the overall story and ambiance of Vía?The story is the pathway: constant learning, and how to live the present and not the past or the future, because the past causes depression and living in the future causes anxiety. It’s about being in the present and knowing that we always learn more. Creating is part of learning.As for the ambiance, in the song “El Viaje” (“The Journey,”) there are references on how we’re cosmic beings from the universe and how the perspective has a lot to do with the plane  we are in. At this moment, we’re a big star that goes around the universe and the universe is enormous. We really don’t know what’s out there and there are many things that are unknown… If this world ends, the world won’t end. We’ll end as a species, and a lot of other species have become extinct [because of us]. The impact that human beings is having on the world can be irreversible. I think this album has that: we won’t resign ourselves to the end of the world.Learn more about Nakury’s new album here. What’s the relationship between journalism and your music? I think [of myself as a journalist] because of the way I use rhyme.  “Despierto” (“Awake”) is a song that speaks about depression or how to come out from an awakening and that’s a story we all live. It’s nothing new. The new thing is how we’re telling the story, but it’s something that can be lost because of the immediacy. We’re living in a world were everything is fast. Everything gets published and in three or four months people aren’t visiting the site because it’s not new. I also think that it’s good for journalism works to be always appreciated, such as documentaries and interviews, because in the end it’s what’s creating our culture, what we say, and what we think as a collective.Listen to Nakury sing an extract of her new song “Esencia,” exclusively for The Tico Times : How is your work a social critique that raises awareness at the same time?Since I work on things that often make me feel confused, uncomfortable and things that I want to resolve, I think that this critique is born. If the critique hurts you, it’s an indicator that there’s something there. I also feel that it’s good to criticize myself inside the letters or to speak about things that I’ve experienced and felt.[The critique] can go from that to criticizing our passivity as Costa Ricans, in our actions as a community…. Listening to those confrontations through music allows us to unite. Nakury singing on December at the Holi One Festival in Guanacaste. (Courtesy of Nakury)How did you create your new album, Vía?The album is a sound journey. The first songs, “Aunque Quieras” (“Even if You Want It”) and “Despierto” (“Awake”) are about conflict or a breaking point. They’re songs that are important for me to sing because I believe music mustn’t always be about happiness… we underestimate those feelings we have of sadness and pain that we need in order to heal. A song such as “Fuego Sagrado” (“Sacred Fire”) is a healing song.There’s also “Evolución” (“Evolution”), which is a song with Kumary Sawyers and speaks about this Vía (Pathway) we’re traveling.There’s another song called “Al Otro Lado” (“On the Other Side”), which is a disruptive song that seeks to create that electric shock in people’s vibration… It speaks a lot about fear because it’s one of the things that can easily control our body.center_img Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Comments Related posts:5 questions for a Costa Rican musician: blind artist Gerardo Mora 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician and photographer 5 questions for a Costa Rican singer 5 questions for a Costa Rican musicianlast_img read more

Great food for local causes Festival de Vida begins in Atenas

first_imgFor three days, the Central Park of Atenas, Alajuela, will host the Festival de Vida (Festival of Life) including more than 30 different food stands. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of local and international foods while supporting local organizations that make a difference in the community.Six nonprofit organizations will benefit from proceeds of food sales the festival, including Hogar de Vida para la Niñez (attention for more than 30 at-risk children), Árbol del Ángel (support for children from low-income families in Atenas), the Atenas Red Cross, Clínica del Dolor (care for patients with terminal illnesses), Nadando por la Vida (swimming lessons for children), and Animales Atenas (a refuge for abandoned animals). Courtesy of Mariana MarínThe visitors to the festival will find traditional and exotic foods, handcrafts and entertainment around the park. The most hotly anticipated activity will take place on Sunday, March 11, when visitors can buy a ticket for an International Food Festival including a tasting of dishes from around the world. Courtesy of Mariana MarínThe Festival de Vida will be held from March 9-11 at the Parque Central in Atenas. The inauguration is March 9 at 12:00 pm; throughout the day there will be concerts as well as disco dance at night. On Saturday, March 10, free zumba classes, a culinary show and activities for children will be offered. On Sunday, March 11, the International Food Festival will take place (₡3,000, or about $6), along with more concerts. For more information call Tina Newton at 82762940. Facebook Comments Related posts:Ballet performance raises funds for low-income patients and families Raffle raises funds for Costa Rican cancer screening, treatment Osa Peninsula organization promotes human development, conservation Kids Saving the Rainforest: the Costa Rican initiative that’s gone globallast_img read more

Activists mock Syria elections in online videos

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   In recent weeks, the capital Damascus has been festooned with election posters advertising candidates. Activists responded with photos of their own, putting up posters nominating the “martyrs” killed by security forces to the parliament.Another video from the northern village of Has imagines how the elections’ victors will be decided. A large man in sunglasses sits behind a large desk, threateningly wielding a length of green hose. He summons a number of men and rewards each one with a seat in parliament for his efforts in building support for the regime.“You made the truth false and the false true!” he tells one of them.“Long life Assad, sir!” the man replies.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressBEIRUT (AP) – Anti-regime activists were quick to spoof Syria’s parliamentary elections Monday with a flurry of amateur, online videos lampooning a vote they say aims to put a shiny gloss on the authoritarian rule of President Bashar Assad and cover up its fierce crackdown on protesters.In one video, “voters” line up in at a staged polling station and first in line is a man in a white funeral shroud, killed by regime forces. “God have mercy on your soul,” says an actor playing a reporter before asking him what he thinks of the voting. How do cataracts affect your vision? “The elections are free and fair!” the dead man declares in the video, filmed in the northern village of Kafr Sijneh. Next in line behind him is a wounded man, covered in white bandages with huge blood spots on his arms and head.Since the anti-Assad uprising started in March, 2011, amateur videographers have played a key role in telling their story to the world outside of one of the Middle East’s most brutal police states, uploading daily hundreds of videos of protests, destroyed homes, regime forces and the often bloody bodies of those killed by them. Alongside the serious videos, there has been a steady stream of spoofs showing an often dark humor about the crisis.Assad’s regime has touted Monday’s voting as part of a set of major reforms to open the political system. For the first time, parties other than the ruling Baath Party are allowed to run in the election for the 250-member parliament.Syrian state TV and other pro-government channels covering the elections broadcast footage of lines of voters dropping white ballots in plastic boxes across the country. Those interviewed talked about how much they loved Syria and how the elections were a true exercise in democracy. But opponents of the regime have largely boycotted the vote, saying it is a sham and that the government is not serious about change.Nationwide violence was relatively low Monday, and activist videographers used the day to skewer the vote.In one video from the village of Biftamoun in north Syria, a line of boys approaches a wooden crate marked “parliamentary elections” to cast their votes. One brings two handfuls of spent bullet casings, presumably rounds fired at protesters, and dumps them in the box.“Turnout was 99 percent,” a voice off camera says as a boy drags forward a large brown goat that bleats at the camera. “Even the animals voted.” Another boy carries a large gray rabbit by the ears.Another video shows boys coming one by one to drop old flip-flops in a large metal tin.“You’re voting for the president?” asks a man standing nearby. The boy nods and the man hands him some cash.It was unclear how extensive voting was throughout the country Monday, especially in opposition area and places that have been hard hit by regime forces or witnessed clashes between troops and rebels. Activists said many towns observed general strikes and posted videos of blocks along main streets with all shops closed.center_img Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Pakistanis riot over power cuts

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates ISLAMABAD (AP) – Thousands of Pakistanis battled with police and torched a lawmaker’s house Tuesday on the third consecutive day of violent protests against widespread power cuts that have plagued the country during the hottest part of the year, police said.After years of underinvestment and bad management in the energy sector, many Pakistanis receive only a few hours of electricity a day during the sweltering summer months. Many in the country’s Punjab province, which is controlled by the opposition and has seen the most violent protests, feel their region shoulders an unfairly large portion of the rolling blackouts. Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 0 Comments   Share   The government has been frantically trying to address the dire energy situation.The Pakistani president met Tuesday in the capital with officials to discuss ways to solve the energy crisis. But the riots came as Pakistan’s top court ruled that the prime minister was no longer eligible to hold office due to an earlier contempt conviction, ushering in fresh political turmoil. The verdict by the Supreme Court against Yousuf Reza Gilani is likely to consume most of the government’s attention for some time.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How do cataracts affect your vision? New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Police and witnesses said rioting broke out in at least two areas of Punjab where residents often get as little as four hours of electricity a day.Thousands of rioters stormed the house of Riaz Fatiyana, a local lawmaker allied with the national government from the town of Kamaliya, burning his vehicles and possessions, police officer Mohammed Shafique said.Fatiyana’s Pakistan Muslim League-Q party is part of the coalition government of President Asif Ali Zardari. The rival Pakistan Muslim League-N is in charge of Punjab province.Speaking to local media, Fatiyana accused the police of standing by and giving a free hand to rioters to attack his home.But a senior police official, Mohammed Raouf, denied the allegation. He said the mob ruthlessly attacked government and private buildings and said police officers were trying to restore order. Raouf accused Fatiyana’s guards of opening fire on the rioters, wounding some of them. The rioters then retaliated by burning the lawmaker’s home, Raouf said.He said so far about 30 rioters had been injured in clashes with police.In the nearby Khanewal district, police fired tear gas to disperse rock-throwing protesters attempting to torch the offices of the local power company. Sponsored Stories last_img read more

Blackout hits Havanas colonial tourist zone

first_imgHAVANA (AP) – A blackout left thousands without power Thursday in much of Havana’s colonial quarter, a densely populated neighborhood popular with tourists.The outage coincided with a Wednesday night explosion and fire related to the area’s underground electrical system at an apartment building on a central plaza.“We heard the explosion, and when I went out on the balcony I saw fire and smoke,” said Mayra Gonzalez, who lives nearby. “We stayed outside until midnight because we were afraid.” Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Check your body, save your life 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 The following day a charred smell still hung in the air, and the building’s portals and yellow facade were blackened from the flames and smoke. There were no reports of injuries or deaths.Dozens of shops and restaurants were closed. Most hotels switched to backup generators and were functioning normally, though at least one was without power or water.“There is nothing,” said Jens Peter, a 31-year-old bodyguard visiting from Berlin. “They put candles in the rooms.”Electricity went out in other parts of Old Havana following another explosion Thursday morning several blocks away on a well-trafficked pedestrian street. Many businesses including an optician’s shop next door were forced to close.It was not clear what caused the blasts. Government officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Service was being restored to at least some buildings by the afternoon.Old Havana, home to about 91,000 people, was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1982.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

EU urged to improve migrant centers as 1000 more rescued

first_imgDoctors Without Borders migration expert Aurelie Ponthieu said the agency’s teams in the two countries were overwhelmed. More shelter, food, access to asylum information and help in identifying victims of abuse and torture are urgently needed, she said.“The situation is already out of control in Greece and the Italian reception system is up to its limits,” she said. “EU member states have the resources, and they have the responsibilities.”The call came as ships from Norway and Denmark signaled that they have picked up hundreds of migrants from small boats off the coast of Libya in the past 24 hours.Svein Kvalavaag, the captain of the Norwegian Siem Pilot vessel, said Monday he picked up 671 migrants from two wooden boats north of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Later that night his ship took on 99 more migrants rescued by a Russian tanker.Kvalavaag told the Norwegian industry site www.maritime.no that the 770 people included 140 women, of whom three were pregnant, and 45 children. They were all brought to the southern Italian island of Sicily.Jesper Jensen, a spokesman for the Denmark-based Torm company, said its Singapore-flagged oil tanker Torm Arawa responded to a call Monday from the Italian coast guard that two boats carrying migrants were reported in distress off the coast off Libya. Jensen said Tuesday it picked up the 222 people, gave them food, water and blankets and brought them to a port in Italy’s southern region of Calabria. Patients with chronic pain give advice New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Sponsored Stories BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union must urgently improve overcrowded migrant reception centers in Italy and Greece, a leading humanitarian group said Tuesday as ships from Denmark and Norway plucked nearly 1,000 people from the Mediterranean Sea.Conflict and poverty have driven more than 100,000 migrants to Europe so far this year, and almost 2,000 have died or gone missing on the perilous sea journey.EU leaders will discuss an emergency plan to share thousands of new arrivals in Italy and Greece among the bloc’s 28 nations during a summit starting Thursday. No agreement on the contentious plan is likely before July. Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Doctors Without Borders said its three-ship rescue operation has picked up around 4,500 people in the Mediterranean since the beginning of May.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

Sydney unveils Delhi partnership

first_imgDays after Melbourne and Chengdu airports announced a new sister-ship, Sydney and Delhi airports said they had signed a new strategic partnership to strengthen Australian and Indian tourism ties. As the single largest market not served by direct services, Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather said the partnership would help both regions achieve a common objective to grow the market.According to airport statistics, Sydney is the gateway for Indian travellers with up to 40 percent passing through the airport, a figure that is support by the 44 percent of Australian resident with Indian ancestry, the airport’s head explained. Ms Mathers added that the new agreement would also tie into the airport’s partnership with Beijing Airport signed last year.“Together with our partnership with Beijing Airport, our ties with Delhi Airport mean that we now have strong strategic alliances with two of Australia’s key emerging growth markets for inbound travel,” the airport’s head said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Korean Air selected as the worlds most innovative airlines by airline

first_img“Product and service innovations are a way for an airline to be noticed in a cluttered marketplace,” says Raymond Kollau, founder of airlinetrends.com. “It’s about differentiation, as fierce competition is forcing airlines to think of ways to stand out. At airlinetrends.com we are continuously on the lookout for innovative products and services launched by airlines around the world as a response to industry and consumer trends. The ‘2012 World’s Most Innovative Airlines’ ranking is based on our expert opinion of how well airlines around the world are responding to industry trends and changing consumer behavior. The airlines that have made it to our list do not necessarily feature on the various ‘best airlines in the world’ surveys that are published regularly. Instead, we aimed to select 10 airlines that have come up with interesting innovations in the past year, be it as part of a company culture of continuous innovation, a strategy to challenge the industry status quo, or as part of efforts to catch up after years of underinvestment.”Continues Kollau, “We believe each of the 10 airlines featured in our 2012 list stood out out from the crowd in the past year. For example, the ranking of airlines such as British Airways and Delta Air Lines is based on multi-billion dollar upgrade programs launched after years of underinvestment, while Korean Air and TAM from Brazil have introduced new cabins and many innovative service amenities in order to make their mark on the world stage. Qatar Airways and All Nippon Airways, meanwhile, are combining their rapid expansion with delivering a high-quality passenger experience, while KLM and AirAsia are pioneering innovative uses of social media. Tech-savvy Virgin America is at the forefront of developments in in-flight entertainment and connectivity, and Latvian-based airBaltic consistently comes up with innovative ancillary products.”The 2012 edition of “The World’s Most Innovative Airlines” report is available at www.airlinetrends.com. Korean Air tops airlinetrends.com’s 2012 ranking  of the world’s most innovative airlines. The airline has established itself as a major hub carrier for passengers flying between Asia and North America via Seoul Incheon Airport, which itself is regarded as the best airport in the world. Recent product and service innovations launched by Korean Air include a duty free store, branded bar areas and women-only bathrooms on board its flagship A380s, while the airline offers thoughtful amenities such as a coat storage service and a women-only lounge at Incheon Airport. Korean Air also operates its own organic farm at South Korea’s Jeju island, using the produce for its in-flight meals.In second place comes British Airways, which after several difficult years has regained its footing with a host of innovative programs now in motion as part of a GBP 5 billion investment program. Overall, it will see BA’s customers benefitting from new aircraft, updated cabins, and an array of service improvements such as iPad-equipped cabin crew and ‘height cuisine’ catering. In third place is Delta Air Lines, which has undertaken a large number of initiatives to address quality and customer satisfaction as part of a USD 2 billion upgrade program. Recent product and service innovations from Delta include 24/7 assistance via social media, wireless in-flight entertainment, real-time lugagge tracking via mobile phones and an iPad-based ‘media bar’.The top ten list of innovative airlines is completed by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (4th), TAM Linhas Aeréas (5th), Qatar Airways (6th), Virgin America (7th), airBaltic (8th), AirAsia (9th) and All Nippon Airways (10th). Source = airlinetrends.comlast_img read more

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel SG1 Breakfast

first_imgSingapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel SG$1 BreakfastBe it a leisure vacation or a business trip, this is the perfect time to book a Deluxe Room or Premier Deluxe Room at the  Best Available Rate and savour a mouthwatering buffet breakfast at SG$1!From the moment you walk into the lobby of our iconic luxury hotel, you will be captivated. Every guest room has been redesigned and smartly decorated with thoughtful state-of-the-art furnishings, including a 46-inch Full-HD Smart TV and two signature 1956 Eames Desk Chairs. Luxury bathrooms feature a large walk-in rain shower area with resting bench and an extended vanity area.Indulge in a restful sleep and recharge your senses with a lavish buffet breakfast at Marriott Cafe. You will be spoilt for choice with the extensive selection — where our culinary maestros take centre stage  in the open kitchen to serve up a highly-curated menu of quality dishes from the East and West.Signature breakfast items include bread and pastries freshly baked every day, and the Singapore Chilli Crab Omelette — breakfast with a local twist! Craving for more? Tantalise your palate with scrumptious cuisine at five restaurants and bars.Strategically located in the heart of Orchard Road, this iconic luxury hotel is situated above Orchard Mass Rapid Transit station, and in close proximity to the Central Business District, Singapore Changi Airport and major tourist attractions. That’s not all, the hotel is linked to at least  five shopping malls —  including  Tangs — via an underpass.Promotion is valid from now till August 1, 2015 . Terms & Conditions apply.Make your reservations on Marriott.com/sindt with the promo code: S4B.Source = Marriott Tang Plaza Hotellast_img read more

Juneyao Airlines becomes first airline to expand Star Alliance network

first_imgJuneyao Airlines becomes first airline to expand Star Alliance networkJuneyao Airlines today became the first airline to expand the Star Alliance network as a Connecting Partner. Under the Alliance’s innovative partnership concept, the Shanghai based airline now offers Star Alliance passengers new transfer opportunities at either of Shanghai’s two airports – Pudong International and Hongqiao International. For all connecting passengers, through check-in will be offered in both directions and all qualifying Star Alliance Gold Status passengers will be provided the following privileges on their Juneyao Airlines connecting flights:Lounge AccessFast Track SecurityAdditional BaggagePriority Check-inPriority BoardingPriority StandbyPriority Baggage Delivery“With Juneyao Airlines as a Connecting Partner we have achieved two important goals. First, as an alliance we can offer regional airlines an attractive way to connect to our global alliance network, without requiring full membership. Going forward, this will enable us to strategically enhance our network. Second, with Juneyao Airlines we strengthen our market position in Shanghai, a city which is already served by 17 of our member airlines and which will now offer even better connectivity to our customers”, said Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance.Star Alliance member airlines Air Canada, Air China*, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA*, Asiana*, Austrian, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air*, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, THAI, Turkish Airlines and United operate more than 1,600 weekly services (874 weekly domestic flights and 811 weekly international flights) in and out of the Chinese metropolis, serving 64 destinations (25 domestic and 39 international) in 19 countries. Juneyao Airlines now offers Star Alliance customers the option of connecting to more than 1,700 weekly flights to 69 destinations in eight countries and regions through Shanghai.“In our 11 year history we have grown into a medium-sized airline operating 62 Airbus A320-family aircraft. Being selected as a Connecting Partner by Star Alliance for providing additional connectivity through Shanghai is recognition of our dedication to service. We hope that Star Alliance customers will enjoy our hospitality”, said Wang Junjin, Chairman Juneyao Airlines.The Connecting Partner Model allows regional, low-cost or hybrid airlines to link to the Star Alliance network without having to become a full member. For customers this gives access to additional travel options beyond the current 1,300 airports served by the Alliance’s 28 member airlines. Connecting Partners are carefully selected and need to adhere to the high operating standards required by the Alliance.Connecting Partners also enter into bilateral commercial agreements with selected Star Alliance member airlines, which may include Frequent Flyer Programme based privileges. In case of Juneyao Airlines, Frequent Flyer Members of Air Canada, Air China, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines and United will be able to earn and burn miles when travelling on the Chinese airline.Source = Star Alliancelast_img read more

World Expeditions newest Australian Adventures

first_imgWorld Expeditions’ newest Australian AdventuresWorld Expeditions’ newest Australian AdventuresWorld Expeditions has launched its new Australia brochure and the emphasis is on exploration, with new adventures in previously unexplored parts of the country and on new ways to experience some old favourites with each itinerary underpinned by strong responsible travel practice.An epic 39 day Tasmanian traverse, two new cycle adventures – one on the stunning WA coast and one on Tasmania’s beautiful east coast, two new kayaking expeditions and a new walking tour in the Kimberley are the stand-out additions to the 2018 domestic program.The Great Tasmanian Traverse is a unique annual adventure which combines World Expeditions’ five most highly rated and popular trips over a five-week period.  On this epic adventure, travellers trek, raft, fly and sail from the quiet, rural communities of the North to the wild and isolated South.  The trip departs 17 Feb and costs $12,890 and it is possible to do all at once or in independent sections, completing the entire traverse over a number of years.The two new cycling itineraries will appeal to travellers who like to explore the country from handlebar level.  The Munda Biddi Cycling Adventure opens a part of Western Australia known for its remote trekking opportunities and stunning scenery to cycling, while the East Coast Explorer is an opportunity to experience Tasmania’s beautiful Bay of Fires region and its surrounds.Kayakking allows an expedition style exploration that other forms of travel do not and the two new kayaking adventures open new wilderness areas to adventurous travellers.  The Snowy River Wilderness Expedition is a 10 day rafting and kayaking expedition down the beautiful Snowy River in NSW’s high country and the Cassowary Coast Sea Kayaking in North Queensland is a 4 day paddle in a remote section of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.The other standout new trip is the Kimberley Walking Tour, a 13 day exploration of highlights of the spectacular Kimberley region.  Like the longer established  Kakadu Walking Adventure, the Kimberley tour is a camping-based trip based around a series of day walks.World Expeditions continues to expand its offering on the iconic Larapinta Trail, west of Alice Springs and, next season, will operate ten different itineraries on the trail.According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, the broad range of itineraries is designed to make the experience accessible to walkers of all abilities and fitness levels.“There are three, six, 9 and 12 day itineraries on offer and clients can choose a fully guided walk, with access to our exclusive architect designed camps, hot showers and porter services,” Ms Badyari said. “Independent walkers can choose self-guided options, with wilderness camping, an emergency safety device, food drops, transfers and maps provided.”“There’s a “challenger” itinerary, designed to take in the most difficult and remote sections of the trail,” she said, “and the annual art-based trip remains.”World Expeditions runs regular free information nights in most capital cities.  Join us to be inspired about what’s on offer on our doorstep. Visit www.worldexpeditions.com or call 1300 720 000.Source = World Expeditionslast_img read more