Jan 10, 2018 - Club Med is proud to announce its continued international expansion with the opening Club Med’s first resort in the Seychelles, due to open in 2020. This announcement follows recent news of three more new Club Med destinations– Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Canada/Québec, all to open within the next four years.
Jan 10, 2018 - Emirates and flydubai will offer travellers even more connectivity and flight options in 2018, with new codeshare flights planned to Krakow in Poland from 8 April, and Catania in Italy from 13 June. Both Dubai-based airlines currently offer customers a breadth of travel options across their complementary networks, with codeshares to 81 destinations and more to follow.
The partnership initially began with codeshare flights to 29 cities, and this has quickly expanded to meet demand as customers realise the benefits of increased flight frequencies, expanded access to global destinations on a single ticket, the convenience of checking in their baggage through to the final destination, smooth transfers during transit in Dubai, and more.
In the two months since the first codeshare flights took off on 29 October, over 165,000 passengers have benefitted from the partnership.
Click here to see the list of Emirates and flydubai partnership codeshare destinations.
Emirates and flydubai will continue to offer travel experiences reflecting their individual brands. For bookings under the codeshare, Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by flydubai in Business and Economy class.
Connecting via Dubai’s ultra-modern hub offers a smooth transfer experience and under the partnership, passengers will benefit from a reduced minimum connection time of 120 minutes between Emirates’ home in Terminal 3 and flydubai’s in Terminal 2.
More benefits for frequent flyers
Emirates Skywards members earn Skywards miles and Skywards Tier Miles on codeshare flights as per the existing Skywards programme.
In addition to the Emirates free checked baggage allowance, Skywards Premium members can also enjoy their extra checked baggage allowances of 20kg (Platinum members) 16kg (Gold members) and 12kg (Silver members) on codeshare flights operated by flydubai.
Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members travelling on codeshare flights can access flydubai’s Business Check-in counters and receive priority tags.
Further benefits for members of each airline’s frequent flyer and loyalty programmes will be announced in due course.
Jan 9, 2018 - Supersonic passenger flight at reasonable cost has come a step closer with the news that Japan Airlines (JAL) has joined US aerospace developer Boom Supersonic to bring commercial supersonic travel to passengers at fares about the same as today’s business class tickets.
Jan 9, 2018 - Airbnb has been moving beyond homesharing for awhile now. After venturing into experiences and dining, what part of travel will the company tackle next asks Skift's Hannah Sampson.
Nathan Blecharczyk, an Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, shared his thoughts about the homesharing company branching out into restaurant reservations, trying to become a go-to site for a diverse set of travel needs, and the importance of attracting business travelers with the team from travel media company Skift.
Business travelers made up about 10 percent of Airbnb’s business in the early days, a number that has increased to 15 percent, Blecharczyk said.
“If you’re on that business trip for a week or more, you really do value the feeling of home,” he said. “We also see a lot of people combining business and leisure, we see a lot of people adding on the weekend, staying the weekend and exploring a little bit.”
He said the company’s expansion into experiences and, in September, restaurants, are indicative of Airbnb’s ambitions to play a bigger role in travel.
“This vision of becoming a platform for the entire trip is a really huge one,” he said. “And we’ve only just started, with homes, experiences, and now restaurants. But everything else that you need when you travel we think belongs in the Airbnb app. We want to be that one-stop shop.”
Source: Skift by Hannah Sampson || January 8, 2018 |||
Dec 21,2017 - The town of Jukkasjärvi in northern Sweden is home to an annual hotel made from snow and ice. Now in its 28th edition, the Icehotel features 15 rooms boasting impressive frozen sculptures. Highlights include a space-themed room and another dominated by a strange ice queen.
Constructing the Icehotel involved harvesting thousands of ice blocks from a nearby frozen river. A 30,000 cubic meter (1,059,440 cubic ft) mixture of snow and ice was used to create the hotel. It includes warm rooms, sub-zero ice rooms, an ice bar, as well as a ceremony hall suitable for weddings and the like.
That said, it's the 15 rooms with the ice carvings that are naturally the main draw. These are kept at a temperature of -5° C (23 degrees Fahrenheit) and guests sleep atop reindeer skins in sleeping bags. The sculptures were created by 36 artists hailing from 17 different countries, and range from abstract scenes to lifelike animals.
The artists are very skilled and the rooms are worth checking out in full, in the gallery.Guests who opt to brave the cold are woken with a hot drink, plus a sauna, hot shower and roaring fire are available too. Activities include a northern lights tour on snowmobile, a half-day tour with dog sled, ice sculpting, and yoga.
The Icehotel opened its doors December 15 and is running until April 15, after which time it will begin to melt away. Pricing starts at 2,250 SEK (around US$267) for a single night in a warm hotel room, but the ice sculpture suites cost considerably more. The solar-powered Icehotel 365 is also installed on the same site and is open year-round.
Dec 19, 2017 - The world’s steepest funicular line - which can climb a 110% gradient - has opened to the public at the Alpine resort of Stoos in central Switzerland. Swiss President Doris Leuthard officially opened CHF52 million ($53 million) project running from Schywz to the mountain village of Stoosexternal link, which lies 1,300 meters above sea level, on Friday evening. The public got their first taste on Sunday. Saturday was reserved for the locals.
The funicular opened two years later than planned due to engineering and money problems. But this was forgotten as Leuthard cut the red ribbon. In her speech, she praised the project’s organisers for their courage. Many funiculars are not profitable. “But the board, canton and the region believe in the future. I am convinced that this will pay off,” she said.
Leuthard, who also head the transport ministry, said that the funicular would also serve locals as well as tourists. “This is what characterises Switzerland, that we offer a service that everyone can use.”
The barrel-shaped carriages adjust their floors so passengers can still stand upright while they climb towards the Alpine plateau at inclines of up to 110%.
The train follows a 1,720-metre track, climbing or descending 743 metres. It reaches speeds of up to ten metres per second. The whole trip lasts around four minutes.
The railway replaces an older one that has been in operation since 1933. “After 14 years of planning and building, everyone is very proud of this train,” said Ivan Steiner, spokesman for the railway.
Dec 19, 2017 - In the world of aerospace engineering the race to build the first new civilian supersonic aircraft is certainly heating up. With several major players currently working on supersonic passenger jets, Aerion and Lockheed Martin are targeting those for whom even first class commercial air travel is substandard. The pair has just announced a partnership to develop the world's first supersonic business jet.
Aerion has been chugging away developing its AS2 supersonic business jet for several years now, first collaborating with Airbus on the aerodynamics and structural design before working with GE Aviation on the development of a supersonic engine. This latest announcement is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lockheed Martin to work together on all the future phases of development on the supersonic business jet from engineering to production.
"Following our initial review of Aerion's aerodynamic technology, our conclusion is that the Aerion AS2 concept warrants the further investment of our time and resources," says Orlando Carvalho, Executive Vice President for Lockheed Martin. "We are committed to remaining on the cutting edge of aerospace technology and are excited to examine the contribution we might make to working with Aerion on making aviation history."
Aerion has been subtly improving its supersonic jet engine design over the years after announcing a new three-engine configuration back in 2014. The latest design pulls the two outboard engines forward, under the wings, while leaving the third engine in the tail.
Aerion currently estimates the AS2 will be ready for its first flight by 2023 but several other companies are racing to be the first supersonic player in the new millennium. Earlier this year, Spike Aerospace took to the skies with a flight test of an unmanned SX-1.2 prototype demonstrator that is a subscale version of its planned S-512 supersonic passenger plane. The successful tests come ahead of a projected flight date for a full-scale S-512 in 2021.The new three-engine configuration
NASA is also working on its own designs for a a supersonic passenger plane, which is also aiming for first flight tests in 2021, with Lockheed Martin again helping with the engineering and design challenges.
Lockheed Martin's skill and experience with supersonic engineering seems to be a strong validation of Aerion's designs. The company is known for its supersonic combat aircraft so if any company has the know-how to move the technology into a civil or commercial application then it is Lockheed Martin.
The next few years promise to be exciting for fans of supersonic aviation.
Dec 18, 2017 - Kiwiana, heritage, steam punk and luxury have merged at one of Featherston’s most loved historic buildings, which is reopening this week writes Hayley Gastmeier in the Wairarapa Times Age.
In all its glory, The Royal Hotel will be back in business from Wednesday, after an extensive two-year makeover.
Owners Rob Allen and Janelle Harrington bought the prominent Revans St building when it came up for sale in 2015.
The couple has put in considerable effort to ensure the hotel reflects both its own roots, and the history of the town.
Inspired by the town’s rail history, the hotel has tapped into the steam punk genre, while also embracing the coming together of Maori and Pakeha, as well as the town’s military history.
The hotel’s 12 upstairs bedrooms each have its own “personality”, themed on a unique character.
Most have elegant ensuites, in which the basins have been cleverly crafted with vintage sewing machine bases.
The largest room “belongs” to King Tawhiao, who was leader of the Waikato tribes and was the second Maori King.
Other rooms are themed after Victorian writers, such as Jules Verne (author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), classic children’s books, and inspiring people of the past, such as Meri Te Tai Mangakahia, a campaigner for women’s suffrage in New Zealand.
Dec 12, 2017 - Tourists to New Zealand have, in the past, not heard of Kiwi icons such as jandals, creamota, Chesdale cheese, eskimo pies, buzzy bees and pineapple lumps. But over time, symbols and icons representing a culture like New Zealand have changed and merged with the global environment, leading Auckland artist Rewa Walia says. She is staging a major symbolic art exhibition - Abducted – at the Depot Artspace, in, Devonport, Auckland from December 28 to January 17. With the rapid onslaught of digital technology and social media symbols which are not restricted to a land or physical territory, Kiwi icons are becoming more well known around the globe, Walia says. “New Zealand is just the same as any other place with internet connection in the world, where YouTube, Facebook, twitter and google are accessible at the click of a button. My symbolic series explores the possibilities of the blurring of cultural identities and a new formed universal one which everyone can relate to. “I've adapted the old New Zealand icons, brand logos and brand ambassadors from communication and advertising messages and fused them with the global icons of the digital world. “The finished work delves into the medium of communication from the past and present in New Zealand, with an emphasis on social media and the need of repetition in communication of messages mass produced. “Christmas in New Zealand is a special time when people get the opportunity to unwind and soak in the beauty of nature and beautiful relationships as they meet and greet family and friends. We are exposed to thousands of messages every day and I've created artwork using social media and popular symbols used in the digital and real world. “We live in a world driven by choices, some forced upon us and others we make to fit in, creating an alter identity far removed from nature. “A virtual world does not engage all the senses and life spent mostly in front of a digital device especially during Christmas time, when we need to engage with family and friends instead of connect with people in cyber space is a life less lived. Imagine getting the full benefit of human connections and nature at its best this summer. Do it differently this holiday season and say no to the digital world and yes to the real. “Social media is another result of consumerism, taking up time we would have otherwise spent on human relationships, creation and small acts of daily life that we used to take for granted. The more time we spend on digital technology and social media, the less time we will have for these intimate moments and physical expressions of creativity. “It is very easy to be consumed by cyber space so much so that you start to question, what is reality? In the moment that I create art, that is my reality and then it changes at the flick of a button.” Walia’s works are featuring in one of the world’s biggest digital online art exhibition on the Wrong Pavilion website, with a page dedicated to her work. The online exhibition will remain open until January 31.
| | A MakeLemonade release for Rewa Walia || December 12, 2017 |||
Travel Dates: Friday 14th of September 2018 until Wednesday 26th of September 2018
Description: Featuring Tim Roxborogh as your host; award winning radio announcer, travel writer & photographer, entertainment writer and cricket commentator.
About Tim RoxboroghTim is an award-winning radio announcer, travel writer and photographer, entertainment writer and cricket commentator from Auckland, New Zealand. He has travelled extensively around the world (with a special passion for the United States) with his articles published more than 100 times in major newspapers and magazines.
Tim described his philosophy on travel to Let’s Travel Magazine in 2016:
“For me, travel is about storytelling. It’s hearing people’s stories and creating your own. It’s the fun you can have when things don’t go entirely to plan. It’s about challenging stereotypes and misconceptions. It’s being unrelentingly curious; of wanting to know what’s down that street, what’s behind that door, what’s around that headland and what the view is like from that mountain”.
Tim has been obsessed with music since before he could walk and has interviewed numerous stars like the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Richie, Sheryl Crow, Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, John Mayer, Hall & Oates and many more. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of music history and sees this as a dream trip:
“This will be the tour from Heaven for anyone with a passion for American music and history. From Graceland, to Sun Studios, to seeing Isaac Hayes’24 karat gold-plated Cadillac in Memphis, to the live music scenes of Austin, Houston, Nashville and New Orleans to the cultural landmarks of Atlanta like the King Centre and CNN headquarters, this tour is just incredible.”
Hello Austin!! (2 nights)We begin this unforgettable adventure of some of the American South’s greatest Rock & Roll destinations in Austin, Texas. Long recognised as one of the live music capitals of the world, Austin is a fast-growing, forward thinking metropolis that’s attracting ever-increasing numbers of thinkers, artists and musicians.
To get to Austin we fly into George Bush International Airport in Houston. Once there we’ll be met by our friendly assistant who’ll show us to our private coach. From the airport we drive the 3-4 hours to Austin with a playlist of classic American road-trip songs as personally selected by Tim.
While in Austin, we will enjoy a half-day tour with a highlight being a visit to the stunning HOPE Outdoor Gallery – one of the largest outdoor galleries in the USA. HOPE was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive and educational messages.
Also included is breakfast at our hotel (the Best Western Plus Austin city or similar) and a 2-course lunch at Launderette – a very funky converted gas station and laundromat (or similar).
There will be enough free time to join Tim in his unquenchable thirst for live music at some of Austin’s bars.
Time to Discover Atlanta (2 nights)Today, we board our flight to Atlanta, one of the most popular destinations of the Southwest and among the most important cities in all of the States. Atlanta is home to fine dining and spectacular shopping as well as rich cultural history (the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.) and must-see attractions (CNN headquarters, the Coca-Cola Museum etc.). All of this in a city that combines Southern charm with world-class sophistication.
While in Atlanta Tim will take you on a half-day of sightseeing, including entrance into The King Centre (Martin Luther King Jr. Centre for Nonviolent Social Change). Established in 1958 by Coretta Scott King, The King Centre is the official living memorial dedicated to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the central figure of the Black Civil Rights movement in the 20th century. Tim has been fascinated, enraged and inspired by this part of American history since childhood and the struggle for equality has been the backdrop behind so much of America’s best music.
For any news junkies, Tim will also get you a behind-the-scenes look at the CNN headquarters, based in Atlanta. This guided walk lets us peek into the newsroom, control room and much more.
Included in our time in Atlanta is breakfast at our hotel (the Hyatt Atlanta Downtown or similar) and a 3-course dinner at Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint (or similar).
Music City, Nashville (2 nights)From Atlanta we board our coach (again armed with a road-trip playlist from Tim) and head northward to the state of Tennessee. For Country Music fans and wannabe songwriters the world over, a trip to Nashville is the ultimate pilgrimage since the 1920’s.
On the way to Nashville, we’ll stop off in Lynchburg at the Flight of Jack Daniels Distillery for a tour and tasting of Tennessee’s finest bourbon. Then with a bit of a buzz on, it will be back into the coach and back to Tim’s road-trip favourites as we make our way to Music City.
No American music trip would be complete without a full day filled with the sights and sounds of Nashville. Included in our day is a tour of the iconic Grand Ole Opry. We’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at this grand old lady, walking in the footsteps of some of Nashville’s finest. Listen to live music on Music Row, enter the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and even see the famed RCA Studio B. There will also be time to visit the Johnny Cash Museum and take in the Ryman Auditorium. A full-on day of boot scootin’ boggie!
Included is breakfast at our beautiful historic hotel (the Hotel Indigo or similar). Also, a guaranteed brilliant night out with a 3-course dinner and show at Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar (or similar).
Walking in Memphis (2 nights)Put on your blue suede shoes as we board our coach (with another specially selected road-trip playlist by Tim), and head to the land of the Delta Blues, Memphis.
Memphis is a city like no other. Whether it’s blues, jazz, country, gospel or straight out rock & roll, Memphis has it all. Just Beale Street alone is a bucket list destination for any music lover.
While in Memphis, Tim will take you from those Beale Street Bars to Sun Studios for a guided tour of the place where everyone from Elvis and Johnny Cash to U2 and Maroon 5 have recorded. Then it will be onto Stax Museum of American Soul Music where you can gaze in awe at Isaac Hayes’ 24-karat gold-plated Cadillac.
Though of course there’s another reason to visit Memphis and that’s to see Graceland – the former home of the undisputed King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley. Tim can still remember the chills the first time his mum gave him an Elvis tape in the 80’s (he was five-years old) and he’s more than happy to answer any of your trainspottery Elvis-related questions.
But not only will have an audio guided tour of Graceland, our accommodation in Memphis will be the brand-new Guesthouse At Graceland. This enormous Elvis-themed hotel even lets you choose which decade of the King’s career you’d prefer to listen to while in your hotel room.
Included for our Memphis stay is breakfast (fit for a King) at our hotel and an unmissable 3-course dinner at B.B. King’s Blues Club including musical entertainment (or similar)
Welcome to “The Big Easy”, New Orleans (3 nights)Farewelling Memphis, Tim will once again be ready with another road-trip-worthy selection of songs as we board our coach bound for New Orleans. A city that barely needs an introduction, this cultural, culinary and musical melting pot is so rich in things to do that we will spend 3 nights here.
As part of the Memphis – New Orleans road-trip there’s a stop on the way in Clarksdale to visit the museum devoted to the blues, the Delta Blues Museum. Founded by Sid Graves in January 1979, this will whet your appetite for some of the music to come in the Big Easy.
Once in New Orleans, we’ll be treated to a half-day of sightseeing. This will include many of the city’s main sights, including entrance into the famous Lafayette cemetery.
No visit to New Orleans would be complete without the brilliant Cajun Man Swamp Boat tour with live music. This is planned for our final morning prior to our departing the city. By then you will have been left in little doubt as to why New Orleans receives more than 10-million visitors annually.
With New Orleans being such an endlessly fascinating place filled with enough character to suit any and all tastes, you’ll be able to enjoy the first morning to yourself and the third day at leisure. Or feel free to accompany Tim as he revisits some past haunts like the gorgeous Garden District with its opulent homes, lush trees and crumbling footpaths.
Included is breakfast at our primely located hotel (the Omni Royal Crescent or similar – located on the edge of the French Quarter). Our time in New Orleans will continue the trend with an amazing 3-course dinner on the Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise (or similar).
Houston, We Are Go! (1 night)Today, we say good bye to New Orleans and head back to Texas and megapolis of Houston. Today’s long drive (approx. 6-hours) will give some time to relax, catch up on some sleep or just talk about the fun times, friendships made and happy memories that will be created during the trip. And yes, Tim will have prepared another singalong road-trip playlist. He might even deliver an impromptu DJ or karaoke session too.
Then for our final night in the States we do what we’ve been doing this entire, amazing, pinch-yourself trip; we head out for some excellent, authentic live music. Tim will take the group to a 3-course honky tonk dinner and live music show at Goode Company Armadillo Palace Texas Bar-B-Q.
As for our hotel, we hunker down in style at what is widely regarded as the premier boutique in Houston, the Hotel Derek Houston Galleria (or similar). Breakfast will be included.
And that will conclude the tour ahead of our flight back to Auckland! What an experience, one which Tim and everyone at Mondo Travel are thrilled you are a part off. Y’all come back now, ya hear!
Twin Share: from $8645* per person.
Single Share: from $11,215* per person.
Pricing is land only as per itinerary. A Non-Refundable deposit of $3000 NZD per person within 3 days of booking. Final balance due no later than 12 July 2018.
Conditions: * It is our policy to present the cost of our flights & holidays inclusive of all airport and government charges. Please accept however that these charges are not within our control, therefore we reserve the right to pass on any increase. Travel agent professional service fees where charged, will be additional to the advertised prices.