This Week in Travel News

Viking Sun & Viking Spirit Maiden Voyages

Viking Cruises announced the maiden voyages of their two new ships, Viking Sun and Viking Spirit, who will be sailing in 2017 and 2018. These state-of-the-art intimate boats offer all-veranda staterooms and breathtaking decks. Here are just a few of the itineraries planned in the next two years: British Isles, Italian Peninsula, Southern Mediterranean, Adriatic Sea, Central American Shores & Cuba, Trade Routes of the Middle Ages (Bergen to Barcelona), and the grande 22-Day Caribbean to the Amazon San Juan roundtrip. Call Willamette Intl Travel to find out more.

US DOT Bans E-Cigarettes From Checked Baggage

US Department of Transportation prohibits battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, and electronic nicotine delivery systems) in checked baggage and prohibits charging the devices and/or batteries on board an aircraft. Passengers may continue to carry e-cigarettes for personal use in carry-on baggage or on their person, but may not use them on flights.

Enrollment in Trusted Traveler Programs 

Travel Leaders surveyed 3,581 people about their participation in the Global Entry and TSA Precheck programs. Only 18.6% of survey participants confirmed they have enrolled into Global Entry, while nearly a third 32.4% said they have registered and been approved for TSA Precheck. Of those who have TSA Precheck, 20.3% use it all time, and 24% believe it reduces wait times for regular screening. Willamette Intl Travel encourages travelers to enroll in both programs, particularly Global Entry, since this also permits the use of TSA Precheck. 

Global Entry truly expedites the time spent in U.S. customs when returning from international travel. Upon arrival back into the U.S., one uses an automated kiosk to self-process the return. It is fast, easy and quite convenient. This expedited program is offered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and gives pre-approved clearance to low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, which means you are able to skip the long lines.

To enroll directly, use:

Airlines for America (A4A) Forecasts Record U.S. Carrier Passenger Numbers This Summer 

The leading trade group says about 231.1 million passengers are expected to fly on US airlines between June 1 and Aug. 31, a 4% increase from the previous summer. Because of the long lines at airports and people missing their flights, the trade group called on the Transportation Security Administration to quickly hire and train new staffers to alleviate the screening delays that started appearing earlier this year. It is essential to be at the airport well before departure–a minimum of 2 hours for domestic flights and preferably 3 for international. The more baggage you have, the more time you should allot. We encourage all travelers who take more than 2 trips per year to apply for the pre-TSA check. 

Traveling Americans to Europe not deterred

Travel Leaders Group Consumer Travel Trends Survey shows that many Americans are not letting threats stop them from embracing European travel. France was selected as the top European country travelers will visit. For those with upcoming plans to travel to Europe (17.1% of survey participants), top destinations include France, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. For travelers who have already visited Europe this year January to May, the top European countries visited were United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. To the question “Are there any countries in Europe you would specifically avoid this year?” 64.1% said No. Exact responses were: 37.5% No, 26.6% No – I/we cannot allow fear to dictate our travels, 21% Turkey, 14.4% Belgium and 14.3% Russia.  

North America’s First Indoor Ski And Snowboard Park 

Developers Triple Five and resort operating group SNOW Operating are proud to announce North America’s first 365 day a year indoor ski and snowboard park, “Big SNOW America,” at American Dream New Jersey. Standing 12-stories tall and spanning more than 180,000 square-feet, Big SNOW America will offer year-round skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, alongside indoor snow play and event space. Offering customers the latest in equipment, accessories and fashion outerwear, the unique assortment of shops will provide a shopping experience unlike anything else. Guests at Big SNOW America will experience what life at a big mountain resort is like, complete with equipment rentals, lessons, ski chalet, shopping village and après ski lounge. 

RCI’s Harmony Of The Seas Arrives In Southampton 

The port of Southampton was busy Tuesday morning as onlookers gathered to be among the first to see the world’s largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, upon her first arrival into port. She will sail from Southampton on a series of short getaways to Northern Europe before embarking on her maiden cruise on May 29, arriving in Barcelona, Spain on June 5. The ship then will officially launch her inaugural summer season with the first of 34 seven-night western Mediterranean sailings on June 7. In November 2016, Harmony will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from where she will offer seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings. The newest member of the fleet will join sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, homeported in Port Canaveral and Port Everglades respectively. 

Car-Free Sundays on Paris’ Champs-Elysee

Heading to Paris this year? As of May 8, the Champs-Elysee  will be car free the first Sunday of each month. Stroll the 8-lane, 1.2 mile boulevard leading to the Arc de Triomphe and support Paris’ move to cut carbon emissions? Which street in your town would you like to have the same? Tell us in the comments!


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2 responses to “This Week in Travel News

  1. Karen Ireland

    Global entry is fine if you live in a large city where they do the interviews. If you don’t, you have to make a special trip just for the interview, in addition to the $100.00 charge. Hard to get enthusiastic about that.

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