Travel News: Scotland’s coastal city Dundee is all abuzz

festivals around the world (3)

Scotland’s coastal city Dundee is all abuzz

A billion-dollar-plus plan to revitalize the historical city kicked off in 2001 and in 2014 Dundee won the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design. The cream on the top is the upcoming and much-awaited opening of the Victoria & Albert Museum of Design Dundee, set to open this September. The museum was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuta and will feature a dramatic, curved exterior that mimics the sides of a ship. Exhibitions will include a homage to the city’s past called “Ocean Liners: Speed and Style” and a look at Scottish designs in jewelry and architecture. 

Main’s Castle in Dundee

New Roof terrace at Frankfurt Airport

The transit zone of Frankfurt Airport’s Terminal 1 has added a roof terrace. Besides fresh air, it boasts a spectacular view of the bustling activity at Germany’s largest aviation hub. If you’re drawn to take a closer look, there’s a telescope you can use for free. A stand provides information about what’s going on down on the apron. And a monitor screen shows the weather report for the next few days, straight from the German Weather Service. Comfortable seating surrounded by plants rounds out the attractions.

European airlines must now pay passengers for delays caused by strikes, too

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has ruled that airlines must compensate their passengers for flight delays and cancellations, even though the reason for such was a strike by airline staff. Until now, airlines strikes of all kind have been considered extraordinary circumstances that exempt airlines from their duty to pay compensation. From now on, airlines must compensate their passengers with up to $700 per person if they were affected by flight delays or cancellations due to strikes by airline staff IF the airline carrier is based in the EU or the departure airport is within the EU. The airlines are now going to face a wave of claims, as this ruling also applies to all previous strikes, the three year statute of limitation being the only barrier. Extraordinary circumstances such as storms or medical emergencies mean that the operating airline is exempt from the obligation to compensate air passengers.

Piper of the Vatican


Holland America Line celebrated 145th anniversary last week

HAL was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-American Steamship Company, a shipping and passenger line. Within 25 years the company had a fleet of six ships operating between Holland and the Dutch East Indies.  It was based in Rotterdam and also provided service to The Americas, leading to the name Holland America Line. Transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, but in 1895 the line offered its first vacation cruise. However, it continued to be primarily a carrier of immigrants from Europe to the USA until after 1900, bringing nearly one million people to new lives in America. Several ships also served as troop carriers for the Allies in both world wars. The company sold its cargo division in 1973. Through the early 1970’s, HAL established schools in Indonesia and the Philippines to train future employees. The line has been based in Seattle since 1983 and was purchased by Carnival Corporation in 1989. It currently operates 14 ships sailing to 400 ports spread over all seven continents.

Extraordinary Vatican Museums By Night

Starting Friday, April 20, the 2018 edition of the extraordinary night openings of the Vatican Museums that runs until October 26 will take place and offer visitors a unique experience of a visit in an atmosphere of artistic beauties and music proposals. From April to October, the Pope’s Museums will open their doors at sunset to reveal themselves in a suggestive and unusual nocturnal atmosphere. Every year, to enrich the special visit experience, a rich concert review is also on the night agendas animated with beautiful sounds, songs, and dances. The evenings will provide not only art and history, but also shows and a tasty Happy Hour in the charming Cortile della Pigna for a regenerating moment of escape. Starting at 7:00 pm, for more than 6 months, and for a total of 27 Fridays, the Pope’s Museums “double” their cultural offer by proposing a new evening version that is very much appreciated by the public and tourists, especially during the cool nights of spring and summer. Thee Friday Night openings are now a consolidated reality, happily experienced in recent years with great success. Useful to know about night openings: Period: April, May, June, July, August, September, October. Day: Friday. Timetable: from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm (last admission at 9:30 pm). Concert start time (if scheduled): 8:30 pm. Admission booking and guided tours: mandatory online.

Radisson Blu maintains lead in European upscale hotel segment

According to a ranking from MKG Hospitality-ON, Radisson Blu Hotels has maintained its ranking since 2010 as Europe’s leader in the upscale hospitality segment. The Radisson Blu brand leads the European hotel industry in size and scale, with 186 Radisson Blu properties on the continent, located in major cities, as well as at airport gateways and notable leisure destinations. Worldwide there are 380 Radisson Blu hotels, open or coming soon. The MKG Ranking scope includes 28 countries within the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine, Turkey (European side of Istanbul), Russia (only the European area, west of Ural), Iceland, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Moldovia, Montenegro, Jersey, Guernsey, Serbia, Belarus, Andorra and Monaco. The results of the 2017 ranking also include Radisson Blu Edwardian hotels in the UK.

Good addition in Global Entry Program

Global Entry, the (in my estimation great) U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States, has with little fanfare made a change in the process of approval.  After submitting required paperwork, all applicants must undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment. There have often been long delays before those ready to be interviewed could make an appointment for such. Now, Enrollment on Arrival, as the program is known, allows Global Entry applicants to complete their interviews upon arrival into the United States without making an appointment at an enrollment center; all application documentation must have been done in advance, with notice received from Global Entry that one is eligible for an interview. The new program is available at 28 airports in the United States as well as at preclearance facilities in Canada at six major airports. At airports with multiple terminals such as New York’s John F. Kennedy, the program is available in terminals 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8, and at San Francisco International in terminals A and G.

Vatican Museums

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