Travel News: A Vertical Jet, Hurtigruten’s New Ship, Picasso and Virtual Flights

travel news
Lillium Electric Jet Can Take Off Vertically And Travel Almost 190 Miles Per Hour 
Lillium is developing a five-seat electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically. The company envisions using the aircraft like an Uber, hailing it from your phone to take you around the city, avoiding traffic. Lillium says it will start rolling out the technology by 2025. The German startup developing an electric, car-sized aircraft that can take off and land vertically just received a prestigious award, and the technology is seriously impressive. Founded by a group of entrepreneurs in 2015, Lillium is developing the aircraft as a new form of sustainable urban transportation. The idea is to “revolutionize the way people move in and around the world’s cities,” Patrick Nathen, one of Lillium’s co-founder said in a statement. Cleantech Group (CTG), an industry research firm for sustainable innovation companies, gave Lillium the Early Stage Company of the Year award in January, as part of CTG’s Cleantech 100 awards. Richard Youngman, CTG’s chief executive, said Lillium’s technology has the potential to “make the dream of zero emissions mass-transportation a reality.” Lillium, which raised $90 million in September, tested a prototype of its jet last year in Munich. Similar to a quadrocopter drone, Lillium’s jet is capable of taking off and landing vertically. Using fans embedded in the wings, the aircraft can hover, land, and take-off on the spot, using minimal energy. Once airborne, the fans fold back into the wings, into a horizontal position, and that lift is transformed into acceleration. At that point, Lillium’s jet can fly like a regular small airplane, reaching speeds of around 190 miles per hour) all without generating harmful emissions. The jet’s electric engines, which function like traditional turbofans in a regular passenger jet, are designed to be much quieter and vibrate less than regular gas engines. This makes the jet suitable for use in dense urban areas. 
Roald Amundsen Launched In Norway
Hurtigruten’s new MS Roald Amundsen was launched at Kleven shipyard in Ulsteinvik, Norway in a ceremony on Saturday. It will be the first cruise ship equipped with battery power, enabling short, silent sailing periods. The ship touched the water for the first time, ahead of her final outfitting. Delivery is scheduled for August, and it is the first of two new ships the company will get in the next two years. For 2018-2019, the 530-passenger hybrid ship will sail in Antarctica.
New Museum In Southern France Will House More Than A Thousand Works by Pablo Picasso
Smithsonian magazine reports The Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picas, which is expected to open in 2021, will include a trove of works inherited by the artist’s stepdaughter Most artists would be honored to have one museum dedicated to their work. But when you’re Pablo Picasso you have several, including museums in Barcelona, Malaga, Paris, and southern France. Now, reports Gareth Harris at the Art Newspaper, the artist’s stepdaughter is hoping to add a new entry, and has recently purchased a convent in Aix-En-Provence to house a museum with the largest collection of Picasso works yet. Catherine Hutin-Blay, the daughter of Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline Roque, inherited 2,000 works by the artist after her mother died in 1986. The collection includes more than 1,000 paintings and another 1,000 works done in other mediums. According to Harris, she and her company Madame Z, named after Picasso’s nickname for Jacqueline, recently purchased the former convent Collège des Prêcheursin in Aix-en-Provence from the town council for about $14 million. The new museum will be called the Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso and will house about 1,000 artworks from her collection, most created between 1953 and 1975. The space is slated to open in 2021 and will include a 10,000-square-foot permanent collection as well as a 5,000 square-foot space for temporary exhibitions and a 200-seat auditorium. It’s estimated the museum will draw between 450,000 and 500,000 visitors per year. Picasso and Jacqueline are buried nearby at the villa where they lived their final years. While it will take some time to refurbish the convent and get the museum up and running, Rea reports that excited Picassophiles can get a sneak peak of the Hutin-Blay’s collection in March 2019, when the Museum Barberini in Potsdam puts a selection of the works on display, some that have never before been on view in a museum.
Holland America Line Introduces Culinary-Themed Shore Excursions In Partnership With Food & Wine
CruiseIndustry News reports Holland America now offers a range of culinary shore excursions, known as Food & Wine EXC tours, through the line’s partnership with Food & Wine. The 23 new foodie tours are available for booking on select 2018 sailings to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, in ports such as Dubrovnik, Santorini, Venice, Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Barcelona. Among the new excursions are hands-on cooking classes, walking tours, winery visits, street food experiences and more. Notable tours include “Ino & the Uffizi Gallery” in Livorno, combining the fine art with local street food; “Smorrebrod: The Art of Sandwich Making” in Copenhagen; and “La Boqueria Market Cooking Experience” in Barcelona, which includes a culinary workshop led by Chef Txema Aroca. More Food & Wine EXC tours will become available over the next year, in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Asia, Canada/New England, Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and other European ports. Holland America’s EXC Tours, which are part of the line’s new Explorations Central program, come with a Best Price Guarantee that credits cruisers who come across a comparable shore excursion at a lower price.
Renovated Club Med Turkoise To Open May 1
Open Jaw reports Club Med’s Turkoise resort on Grace Bay Beach in the Turks & Caicos will reopen on May 1 following extensive renovations to the entire property. The resort now features 80 all-new, deluxe level rooms with added balconies, a new infinity pool that will offer the added convenience of poolside service starting this summer, a new main bar and an updated main restaurant that will also feature a new wine cellar. Other enhancements include a renovated fitness centre and new wellness area, a refreshed entertainment space and a technology update that will provide guests with digital bracelets for easy access to rooms and one-touch booking capability for spa reservations and excursions.
Japan’s First Airlines Offer Virtual Reality Flights That Go Nowhere
Travel enthusiasts short on time and money can now jet-set around the world in first class in just two hours at essentially the cost of a Ryanair flight, all without ever leaving the ground. First Airlines, the ‘world’s first virtual airline’ hub based in Ikebukuro, one of Tokyo’s commercial and entertainment districts, is taking armchair travel to new heights with the help of virtual reality (VR) technology. Passengers are seated in Airbus A380 or A340 aircraft seats. Passengers on a First Airlines flight are issued with an official boarding pass and can expect the full on-board experience, complete with the “highest grade” four-course in-flight meals served by a team of flight attendants, official in-flight announcements, safety demonstrations and ambient engine and radio sounds simulating the noises within an aircraft, using VR headsets within a makeshift aircraft setting. Passengers can travel to Paris without leaving the ground, seated in A380 or A340 aircraft seats. Fliers can experience take-off and landing as well as a 360-degree virtual city tour upon arrival at the destinations on offer, which include Paris, New York, Rome and Hawaii, through projection mapping and video features on their VR headsets. 
Avalon Waterways to Offer India River Cruise
Avalon Waterways will expand into India in 2019, offering cruise tours that visit the country’s Golden Triangle and sail on the Ganges River, as well as new active European itineraries and shore excursion options. In Europe, Avalon will add the Rhone to its list of Active Discovery cruises, which already include the Rhine and Danube rivers. The Active Discovery itinerary, meant to appeal to travelers who want more immersive experiences, will include hiking or biking through Camargue Regional National Park; a Van Gogh painting workshop in Arles; an e-bike tour of Tavel; canoeing through the Gorges de l’Ardeche in Viviers and a cooking class in Lyon. In 2019, the line’s eight- and nine-day Active Discovery cruises on the three rivers will take place on suite ships (previously, the sailings were held on Avalon’s older vessels). The itineraries will also include more day sailing and time in less typical ports. In addition, Avalon will offer a choice of three types of shore excursions on all of its itineraries in 2019. The new program, called Avalon Choice, divides excursions into Classic, Discovery and Active categories. Classic excursions will focus on “must sees” and history, while Discovery tours will focus on interests like cooking and painting. Active excursions include bike rides, hikes and canoeing. The line is also introducing an AvalonGo app that will allow cruisers to independently explore destinations, with local cafe, restaurant and entertainment listings. Avalon’s 13-day India itineraries will begin in Delhi and also visit Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, as well as Jaipur. Passengers will then fly to Kolkata, where they’ll board their ship and travel north on the Hooghly, a tributary of the Ganges. The river portion of the cruise will visit small cities such as Kalna, Matiari, Murshidabad and Mayapur. The line will charter Ganges Voyager, a 36-passenger vessel formerly used by Vantage Deluxe World Travel for its India trips. Uniworld also sails on this portion of the Ganges, as does G Adventures. The cruises begin in February 2019 and will also run in September, October and November 2019.

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