Travel News: New European Wine Cruises

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AmaWaterways introduces new European Wine River Cruise itineraries

River cruise line AmaWaterways celebrates the modern epicurean lifestyle aboard its ships with the release of its 2017-2018 Wine Cruises Through Europe brochure. With a new luxury ship in its fleet, AmaKristina, and 95 sailings hosted by celebrated North American wine experts, AmaWaterways invites guests to uncork the traditions of the local culture and experience the wonders of wine along Europe’s legendary waterways. “It has been extraordinary to witness the increase in interest and enthusiasm for our Wine Cruises over the past several years,” said president and Co-Owner Rudi Schreiner. In addition to the many onboard activities and immersive shore excursions, AmaWaterways’ Wine Cruises add a unique, epicurean dimension to a variety of itineraries that immerse guests in the wine culture of the regions toured, such as Austria’s Wachau Valley, France’s Bordeaux region, Portugal’s Douro Valley, and more. Tastings, winery tours, private cellar tours, visits to iconic vineyards, and first-hand lessons on the nuances of Old World winemaking provide an enriching, educational experience – all at no additional cost.

Norwegian Cruise Line Tests New Internet Plans on Two Ships

Cruise Critic reports passengers sailing on Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Getaway now have the option to purchase internet based on how they use it versus prepaid minutes. Norwegian Cruise Line is testing a new internet pricing model that could be rolled out fleetwide by this summer. Dubbed “Freestyle Choice Plans,” the options include Social Chat ($35 for seven days), Basic ($189 for seven days) and Premium ($245 for seven days). Social Chat provides unlimited access to social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat; it also allows for sending and receiving messages. Basic offers unlimited Internet access as well as messaging and email, and supports file attachments. Premium includes everything in Basic, plus streaming capabilities and VPN access. The line has previously offered more traditional internet plans ranging from $29 per day to 250 minutes for $125, on weeklong cruises. Last summer NCL signed a deal with Global Eagle Entertainment to quadruple bandwidth across its brands for stronger Wi-Fi onboard. Norwegian’s new test follows a trend of cruise lines switching to Internet plans that are more tailored toward how passengers surf the web at sea. Carnival Cruise Line recently adopted a similar model that includes a social media-only plan for $5 per day.

US Airport Pat-Downs Are About to Get More Invasive

Bloomberg reports that air travelers in the US should get ready for more comprehensive pat downs that include intensive intimate contact with the TSA officers. Until now, there have been various degrees of pat downs but TSA has now decided to have only one method used nationwide. The new physical touching, for those selected to have a pat-down, will be be what the federal agency officially describes as a more “comprehensive” physical screening, according to a Transportation Security Administration spokesman. “I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said Friday. The shift from the previous, risk-based assessment on which pat-down procedure an officer should apply was phased in over the past two weeks after tests at smaller airports, he said.

Heathrow Named Best Airport In Europe

The Airports Council International has announced the winners of the 2016 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards, naming Heathrow as the Best Airport in Europe among airports with over 40 million passengers for 2016. The awards are particularly significant for Heathrow as they are voted by passengers themselves, reflecting the views of travellers from right across the globe. Alongside the award of ‘Best Airport in Europe’, Heathrow achieved its best ever annual ASQ passenger satisfaction score while welcoming a record 76 million passengers through the UK’s hub. 82% of passengers rating their journey as either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ represents approximately 62 million Heathrow passengers, an increase of 1 million more ‘happy’ passengers than in 2015. In 2006, only 41% of passengers rated their experience as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’. Since then, Heathrow has invested more than £11 billion to enhance the airport experience which has dramatically transformed the airport’s performance for passengers and airline customers alike.

Royal Caribbean Names Newest Cruise Ship Symphony Of The Seas

The line announced the name at a press conference yesterday, prior to the groundbreaking ceremony for its new Terminal A at PortMiami. Launching in April 2018, 5,494-passenger, 230,000-ton Symphony of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world, offering 28 more cabins than its “little” sister, Harmony of the Seas. Symphony will feature Oasis-class innovations like the seven-neighborhood concept, the Bionic Bar with its robot bartenders, Broadway-style productions, and outdoor amenities like the AquaTheater, a trio of water slides known as the Perfect Storm, and the 10-deck Ultimate Abyss dry slide. The ship will spend its inaugural summer season sailing Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona before relocating to Miami in November 2018. When Symphony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas arrive in Miami, all four of the Oasis-class ships will be based in Florida, with Oasis of the Seas sailing from Port Canaveral and Harmony of the Seas sailing from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

Lufthansa: 12 Female Pilots Flew Passengers From Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Zurich, Vienna And Brussels To Berlin

Wednesday 8 March was International Women’s Day, and in observance, six crews from Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels consisting only of women will make their morning flights from the Lufthansa Group hubs to Berlin. The jets set off from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels and were flown by two female pilots. The first two women began their scheduled service with Lufthansa in 1988. The year 2010 saw a world premiere in the airfreight industry: a Lufthansa Cargo aircraft took off with an all-female crew. These days, women in the cockpit are no longer an exception. Around 6% of pilots at the Lufthansa Group are female and the percentage has been continuously increasing over the past years. Around 80% percent of the cabin staff are female. Lufthansa received a blessing from the Society for the German Language for the new German word “Kapitänin” (female form of “Kapitän” = captain) specifically to refer to the growing number of female pilots. In addition to the supposedly male domains, increasing the percentage of women in management is another goal of the Lufthansa Group. In 2011, Lufthansa and other major German companies set themselves voluntary targets to increase the number of women in management. By 2020 the aim is to have 30% more women compared with 2010.

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