Travel News of the Week

Ketchikan Pier Due To Be Repaired By July 5
Repairs are progressing at Ketchikan, Alaska’s Berth 3, damaged on June 3 when Celebrity Infinity attempted to dock in high winds. The work began June 7 and the pier is contractually required to be useable no later than July 5. Anchorage-based Turnagain Marine Construction was awarded the emergency repairs in the amount of $928,580.

Empire State Building Unveils Observatory Experience App
The Empire State Building Observatory announced the launch of its official Empire State Building Observatory Experience App, which guides visitors through the icon’s extraordinary exhibits and views with additional in-depth information on the building’s history. Created by industry leader Antenna International, the free app is available via the Apple Store and Google Play and will replace the device-dependent, self-guided multimedia tour previously given to each guest upon admittance to the World’s Most Famous Building.

Ritz Paris Is Now Open After Being Closed Since 2012
The Hotel Ritz, Paris, has finally reopened its doors, after nearly four years of refurbishment works. The hotel now features 71 rooms and a further 71 suites, as well as an indoor swimming pool, Turkish baths and sauna, two fitness rooms, and five food and beverage choices including Bar Hemingway and the fine dining L’Espadon. The redesign was led by Thierry W Despont, who previously revamped the Dorchester and New York’s Carlyle, with original furniture and masterpieces being restored, and a new tunnel created under the Place Vendome “to discreetly enter the hotel from the parking garage”. Rooms at the new Hotel Ritz Paris start from €1,000 per night.

Alaska Airlines Pioneers Use Of Corn-based Biofuel
Alaska Airlines made aviation history when two flights departed Seattle partially fueled by the first biofuel made from sustainable US corn. The fuel blend used in the flights contained isobutanol, which is fermented from corn and converted into jet fuel at Gevo’s plant in Luverne, Minnesota. The airline is currently using a a mix of 20% isobutanol-based fuel and 80% conventional jet fuel, said Pat Gruber, CEO of Gevo. He addressed media and passengers waiting to board Alaska Airlines flight 388 from Seattle to San Francisco, fueled by the first alcohol-to-jet fuel made from sustainable US corn on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. The airline is making moves to become a leader in reducing its carbon footprint, and at the same time encourage development of more aviation biofuels.

For Travelers Visiting Europe, There’s A New Kind Of Tourist Trap.
Automated radar cameras are multiplying across Europe and other parts of the world. They catch speeding violations even a few kilometers per hour over the limit. They snap a picture of the car and send the driver a fine through the rental-car agency, sometimes months later. U.S. travelers renting cars in Europe are often unprepared, since the U.S. has some cameras at red lights and automated toll booths, but limited use of automated speed traps. In many countries now, speeding violations are automatically recorded and tickets come in the mail or get billed to credit cards.

U.S. Approves Flights To Cuba By Six American Carriers
The United States approved direct scheduled flights to Cuba from six American airlines in five U.S. cities that could start as soon as this fall, the U.S. Transportation Department said in a statement on Friday. American Airlines Group Inc, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways Co, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines Co and Sun Country Airlines will be allowed up to 10 daily round trip flights, the department said. The flights will be allowed from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St. Paul. 

Port Canaveral Spent $48 Million To Expand Terminal 5
After undergoing a $48.38 million transformation to handle larger and newer ships, Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 5 opened to Carnival Valor and Carnival Sunshine who will homeport at the renovated terminal. The pier was extended 120 feet and other improvements include an expanded terminal, a new 1,044-space parking garage and new mobile passenger boarding bridges.

Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas To Get $61 Million Refit  
New outdoor water features, dining and entertainment venues and 100 additional staterooms are part of a $61 million revitalization of Adventure of the Seas. This will be the fifth Royal Caribbean ship to get the work, and the greatest investment of them all. The ship, built in 2001, will emerge with the changes in November. Dual racer waterslides Cyclone and Typhoon, a FlowRider surf simulator and children’s water park Splashaway Bay are joining the open deck features. New culinary and entertainment venues will include Izumi Japanese Cuisine, Royal Caribbean’s signature steak house, Chops Grille, and Boleros Latin Lounge. Along with adding 100 new staterooms, the refurbishment will refresh existing staterooms and install a Suites Lounge.

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