Travel News: Rising Seas Pose Imminent Threat to Dozens of Historical Sites Across the Med

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Rising Seas Pose Imminent Threat to Dozens of Historical Sites Across the Med

 Smithsonian Magazine reports Venetian canals, Phoenician port city of Tyre and Croatia’s Old City of Dubrovnik are among the sites at risk of Flooding. Venice, one of the cities most at risk, has already installed submerged floodgates aimed at combating flooding, but it’s one of the few to take such preventative action. The Mediterranean coast is dotted with a host of significant cultural sites. To name just a few, there’s Tyre, an ancient Phoenician port city once besieged by Alexander the Great, at the far eastern reaches of the sea. The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the waterlogged canals of Venice lie roughly opposite each other on the western and eastern Italian coasts. Across the Adriatic Sea, the picturesque streets of Croatia’s Old City of Dubrovnik earned them a starring role on “Game of Thrones,” and to the south, the Greek city of Ephesus boasts the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. But these landmarks are in trouble, among the 47 Unesco World Heritage sites identified along the Mediterranean’s coasts that face imminent flooding or erosion risks triggered by rising global sea levels. As Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis report for the Washington Post, a new study predicts that within the next 100 years, 37 of these world heritage sites could be significantly damaged by a 100-year storm surge event, while 42 are already threatened by coastal erosion. More information here. 

United Airlines: Still No Plan To Allow Free Carry-On Bag For Basic Economy Tickets

USA TODAY reports United Airlines will continue its ban on carry-on bags for travelers buying its cheaper basic economy tickets, despite a recent policy change by rival American Airlines. Basic economy, which United, American and Delta unveiled in the past few years to better compete with discounters including Spirit and Frontier, is working as designed and that there are no plans to change the bag policy. Delta Air Lines has allowed a standard carry-on bag with basic economy tickets from the start. American and United introduced their basic economy tickets with a carry-on bag ban. Travelers were allowed to bring only a personal item, such as a purse, backpack or laptop bag, that fit under the seat. All other bags had to be checked for a fee. Those who waited until they got to the gate were hit with standard bag fees plus a surcharge of $25.


Courtesy of Viking Cruises


Condé Nast Traveler Readers Name Viking The #1 River Cruise Line

Viking has again been voted the Best River Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. Viking has scored in the top of the list every year since the river cruise category was introduced. With the #1 winning score, Condé Nast Traveler readers voted Viking higher than any other cruise line for the second year in a row. Also, after only three years of operating ocean cruises, Viking was again named one of the Best Ocean Cruise Lines. More than 429,000 readers submitted millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments as part of the 31st annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey. “We have always tried to do things differently. That means above all else, we focus on the destination, rather than gimmicks. It also means that we do not cater to everyone, we offer adults opportunities for learning and exploration around the world, with no children, no casinos, no umbrella drinks and no nickel-and-diming,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “In a time where the biggest cruise ships tend to capture the most attention, we are proud that the Viking way of exploration is resonating so well with so many travelers.”


Milan Airport To Shut For Three Months Affecting Millions Traveling
UK Express reports Italy’s popular airport in Milan will be closed for three months in 2019 during the busiest season of the year, due to renovation works, affecting millions of passengers. Italy’s Milan Linate Airport is one of the busiest in the country, welcoming more than nine million passengers annually. In 2019, renovation projects have been planned for the airport to tarmac the single runway, according to airline news report OPSGROUP. This will mean the closure of the airport for three months between 27 July and 27 October. Those booking their holidays to Italy next year may need to find alternative routes.

WOW Air Service To Three Midwest Cities Axed 

USA TODAY reports WOW Air’s aggressive expansion into the US Heartland has run into turbulence. The Icelandic budget airline, known for offering one-way fares as low as $99 from the USA to Iceland and Europe, says it will ax service to three Midwestern cities. WOW’s flights from St. Louis will end Jan. 7 while seasonal service from Cincinnati and Cleveland will not resume next summer. The last flights from the Ohio cities will come later this month. 


Regent Seven Seas Adds Second Cuba Cruise 

Luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises has added a second immersive Cuban voyage out of Miami after its newly introduced itinerary to the Caribbean island quickly sold out. The operator’s first voyage, which went on sale last month for a March 2019 sailing, offered four Cuban ports of call, three of which are overnight stays in Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos, plus a maiden call to Isla de la Juventud. After a surge in interest, a second voyage has been added, this time from October 22-November 1 2019 on board Seven Seas Mariner. It includes a full day and evening in Havana, plus overnight stays in Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ president and chief executive officer Jason Montague said: “Luxury travellers are demanding to experience Cuba in a deeper, more meaningful and culturally-relevant way. “Regent was the first North American luxury cruise line to sail to Cuba, and now we are offering luxury travelers truly immersive Cuban experiences in unique ports around the island in March and October 2019.”

Marriott And Sheraton Hotels In Hawaii On Strike 

Traveling to Hawaii and planning to stay at a Sheraton or Marriott Hotel in Hawaii on the Islands of Oahu or Maui? You may want to think again. More than 2700 Marriott hotel and resort staff workers, and members of Hawaii’s Hospitality and Healthcare Union Local 5 are on strike. Instead of telling guests the truth, Marriott doesn’t mention the situation on their websites, press statements, and communication experts simply are not reachable. Instead, the company just stopped accepting reservations for Hawaii at all their hotels. This is causing mass cancellations and means moving to other hotels paying skyrocket rates or diverting to the Caribbean altogether. Visitors have taken to social media to say their dream Hawaii vacation has turned into a nightmare, with no open restaurants, theme pools closed in their hotels and no housekeeping or laundry service. Meanwhile, hotels are putting out “help wanted” posts, offering bonuses to anyone willing to cross the picket lines.

Living in Hawaii not always means living in paradise for those residing in the 50th state. Many people in Hawaii work two jobs, they have to tolerate the highest rates on anything from food to transportation, they drive on some of the worst roads outside of Waikiki, Kaanapali or other resort areas.

At the same time, business is exploding in the travel and tourism industry. Hotels are full, airline rates for inter-island fares are the highest ever while all ferry service was pushed out by airlines running a monopoly on inter-island transportation. Hotels are sending their record profits to their mainland or overseas headquarters and more and more independent Hawaii businesses are giving room to new shiny stores and developments. Hawaii is losing its soul in many places. The hotels are giving charity contribution sending their unconsumed food to the homeless population to avoid the camping of homeless on their doorsteps. In percentage rates, Hawaii has the highest homeless population in the United States.


3 Philippine Islands Named Most Beautiful In Asia
Conde Nast reports the country has recently laid claim to the first three of this year’s top five most beautiful havens in Asia, with their awe-inspiring landscapes and Instagram-worthy sunsets. The 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards of lifestyle magazine Conde Nast Traveler, ranked surfing destination Siargao as the best island in Asia, followed by Boracay and Palawan in the second and third spot, respectively—for their white, sandy beaches, gorgeous sunsets, thriving nightlife scene and its own UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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