Category Archives: Germany

8 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

travel news (2)

8 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

We have a bunch of New UNESCO Heritage Sites on the list, to add to our ever-growing bucket list!

All of these cultural and natural landmarks are recognized for their outstanding value to humanity. Discover which wonders made the list this year. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a handful of our favorites. Learn more about other sites on the UNESCO official webpage

What are some of YOUR favorite UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

Let us know in the comments!


1. Naumburg Cathedral, Germany

Built in the 11th century, this gorgeous cathedral is remarkable from a distance for its stain glass windows and soaring Gothic arches. Its real claim to fame, however, is the medieval art inside—including 12 life-sized statues of the cathedral’s founders. The Naumburg Masters was a workshop of sculptors and stonemasons in the 13th century who dedicated their work of realistic sculptures to the cathedral and all over France, Middle Rhine area and boundaries of the German Empire. This is a destination for history buffs — the cathedral and the region around it has a high density of authentic monuments and structures dating back to the High Middle Ages.

2. Chiribiquete National Park, Colombia

Ever-surprising Colombia takes next place with this national park, sometimes called the Maloca (“Amazonian long house”) of the Jaguar. As Colombia’s largest protected site, it protects 10,810 square miles and over 3,000 species of animals and plants. High on the sandstone plateaux, over 75,000 rock paintings have been found. Nature lovers will surely love this one.


3. Ivrea, Italy

This small Piedmont town near Turin is famous for its 20th century industrial boom in typewriters and computers. Stunning Ivrea is also a remarkably beautiful village, resting on the Dora Baltea river, and, at the time of writing, still off the usual tourists’ map.

4. Caliphate City of Medina Azahara, Spain

The Islamic civilization of Al-Andalus is highlighted all across southern Spain, especially Alhambra. Added to the list of must-sees this year is the Medina Azahara. These ruins, 1.5 hours from Seville, were built between 940 and 975 c.e. and once held the seat of the Caliphate of Cordoba.

5. Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains, South Africa

The Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains are so ancient, with volcanic and sedimentary rocks dating back over 3 billion years. More adventurous travelers will have quite the holiday hiking and biking around the town of Barberton and the nature reserve.

6. The Border of Hedeby and the Danevirke, Germany

Once a Viking trading post, this cultural landscape now consists of the ruins of a 33-km-long fortification–the Danevirke–as well as the archaeological site of the trading town Hedeby. Hedeby rose in power on the major trade routes between the Frankish Empire and Scandinavia, as well as between the Baltic and North Seas.

7. Göbekli Tepe, Turkey

This mysterious archaeological site in southeastern Turkey is the oldest known example of hunter-gatherer settlers in the world. It houses the world’s oldest known megaliths, with around 200 pillars in about 20 circles, and may have the world’s oldest temple as well. Göbekli Tepe dates back to around 9600 and 8200 b.c.e., and is a fascinating glimpse into ancient Mesopotamian culture.

8. Hidden Christian Sites, Japan

Kyushu Island keeps many historical secrets, but its historic Christian community that draws the eye of UNESCO—with 10 villages, Hara castle and cathedral that were built between 16th-19th centuries, despite a ban of all outsiders during the Tokugawa Shogunate. Along with these Christian remnants, visitors can explore active volcanoes, bubbling hot springs and marvelous waterfalls.

What UNESCO World Heritage Sites are you looking forward to seeing in 2018?

Leave a comment

Filed under Asia, Colombia, Europe, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Turkey

Travel News: New Pilots in Demand

travel news.png
World’s Airlines Need To Train 70 New Pilots A Day Over Next 10 Years
The world’s airlines need to train 70 new pilots a day over the next 10 years to meet growing demand, CAE study says. Pilots are aging and the profession has lost its appeal, leaving airlines to scramble to find the 255,000 new bodies needed. A new report just released by CAE, a Montreal-based aviation training company, says about 255,000 pilots must enter the global commercial aviation profession in the next 10 years in order to meet growing passenger demand and replace retiring pilots. According to the CAE’s Airline Pilot Demand Outlook, rapid airline fleet expansion and substantial passenger growth combined with high pilot retirement rates means that airlines will need to train 70 new pilots per day to meet global demand. Growth will also require 180,000 first officers to be trained to airline captains, more than in any other decade, the report says. 
Venice Cruise Traffic Plateaus For Now
Ongoing vessel tonnage restrictions in Venice have capped cruise traffic for now, with a limit of 96,000 tons. In 2017 the classic Italian port is looking at a forecast of 473 calls and just over 1.4 million passengers, which is down from 2016. Next year looks set to be similar to 2017. Meanwhile, government officials are still working to lock down an alternative route for larger ships to reach the port facilities. Future growth will need to depend on the identification and availability of a new alternative route for ships to reach port facilities, thus allowing large ships to use Venice again. The port spokesperson said that they want to increase their weekday call portfolio. VTP offers 10 terminal choices.
Frankfurt To Impose A Tourism Levy On Leisure Travelers
TR Newsletter reports The German city of Frankfurt is hoping for a new tourism levy to add several million euros to the city. All leisure visitors of Frankfurt will pay the fee per night starting next year. The tourists will have to pay the so-called tourism fee in their hotels or accommodation in addition to the room rate. The Mayor and Chamberlain Uwe Becker said that the tourism levy should be between 1.50 and 2.50 euros per person per night. The exact amount has not yet been fixed. Despite the fact that businesses travelers will not pay the new levy, it will annually take in millions to the town hall. Approximately, 30% percent of the almost nine million overnight stays in the city account to leisure travelers. A revenue of six million euros per year is, thus, likely to be easy to achieve. Since the new levy is a contribution and not a tax, the revenues will not be included in the general budget, but only used for a specific purpose. The revenues should be used to improve the tourism infrastructure and expand marketing of Frankfurt. A large part of the proceeds could benefit the marketing activities of the urban tourism and congress society.
G Adventures Is Expanding Into Coastal Norway
G Adventures is expanding into coastal Norway in 2017, in addition to its programs in Antarctica and the Arctic, according to the 2017 Expedition Cruise Market Report. The adventure travel company also has a presence in the Galapagos and bought the Swan Hellenic brand in January, in addition to other travel brands Just You and Travelsphere. In Antarctica, the season is at its maximum length, according to Heller, starting in mid-October and running through mid-March on the company-owned Expedition, a 134-passenger ship.
Trondheim Targeting Offseason and Homeporting Buildup
A renovated runway at Værnes, the international airport in Trondheim, will be open in time for the 2018 cruise season. This will lead to the re-introduction of Pullmantur using Trondheim as a turnaround port. “We are expecting 79 calls for 2017 with 130,000 passengers, which will be an all-time high,” said Maria Kühnl, cruise coordinator. “Among them will be 10 off-season calls and five overnight stays. “Trondheim is the ideal port to start or end a cruise in Norway. We are located in the heart of Norway from which you can either go south or north. We can accommodate thousands of visitors and have proven that we can handle big turnover operations”
the port is keen on building both winter and over-night stays. The port has plans to add new bollards to its cruise quay to handle larger ships, and plans are in the works to extend the parking area for shore excursion buses.
Heathrow Loses Its Position As Europe’s Largest Airport
Travelmole reports Amsterdam’s Schiphol has overtaken Heathrow as Europe’s largest airport for direct flights. According to the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe, Schiphol has risen from sixth place in 10 years. It put the reason for its growth partly down to the rise of low-cost carriers, which now make up 21% of its direct flights. Heathrow’s growth, on the other hand, has been constrained by a lack of capacity. Frankfurt, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Istanbul Ataturk airport make up the rest of the top five airports for direct flights. ACI Europe’s airport industry connectivity report found that for the second year in a row, direct flights are growing at a faster rate than indirect and connecting flights. It said this reflected the expansion of low-cost carriers on both short and medium haul markets and ‘the relative retrenchment of network carriers’. ACI said that over the past 10 years, 99% of the growth in passenger traffic of the top 20 European airports has been delivered by low-cost carriers. Low-cost carriers have moved into larger airports and hubs, and they are now making inroads into the long haul market. Europe’s airports will see 87 long haul routes being operated by low-cost carriers this summer, up from 14 just four years ago. The next step – which Ryanair has just started experimenting, is to offer feed to network carriers or even develop their own connecting product. Frankfurt still boasts the highest number of connecting flights, followed by Amsterdam, Dallas-Fort Worth, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Atlanta. Abu Dhabi has been the fastest-growing hub since 2007, followed by Delhi and Guangzhou.

Leave a comment

Filed under Airlines, England, Europe, Germany, News, Norway, UK

UniWorld: The #1 Rated Family Cruise Line


uniworld river cruise family.png

Willamette Intl Travel Agents have years of experience sending clients on Uniworld river cruises, so we’re your best bet for feedback and insider tips! We can help you to get a picture of your holiday. We also have access to special discounts. Do call us if you’re thinking a River Cruise with your kids! Call 503-224-0180 or email 


Give your kids an opportunity to experience the thrills and transformative moments of cross-cultural travel. Discover and grow (and have fun!) together, bonding as a family on an unforgettable shared adventure. The memories you create on a Uniworld Generations cruise will last a lifetime, along with a deeper understanding and respect for other peoples, places and perspectives.

Kids cruise for half price!*


Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 20.17.10.png


*For every accompanying adult, one child between the ages of 4 and 18 qualifies for the 50% savings off the cruise-only fare. Call WIT for details!

Leave a comment

Filed under Cruises, Czech, Europe, Family Travel, France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, SALES, Uniworld

Place a Bid into Premium Economy on Lufthansa

Did You Know? Lufthansa Premium Economy Class is offered on all routes flown by a Boeing 747-8 from Frankfurt.

And now you can bid your own way in this exclusive class!

NEW: Lufthansa Passengers have the option for the first time ever to place a bid to upgrade from Economy Class to Premium Economy.


What are the benefits to Lufthansa Premium Economy?

You can check in two bags each weighing up to 23 kilograms free of charge.

  • You will be greeted on board with a welcome drink.
  • You will enjoy spacious and comfortable seating of up to 50% more space.
  • You can experience the in-flight program on an 11-/12-inch monitor.
  • You will receive a bag with useful travel accessories.
  • You can enjoy the benefits of the Lufthansa Bussiness Lounges and the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge in Frankfurt.

How it Works: Willamette Intl Travel will issue your coach ticket for you and you can then go to the website to bid in the auction. Login at the website to see if the ticket qualifies for my Offer. You can then place an upgrade bid online. Bids can be edited and retracted up to 72 hours before the flight’s scheduled departure.

The selection process takes place between 72 to 36 hours prior to departure, and 48 to 24 hours prior you will be informed whether or not your bid has been accepted. If it is accepted, your credit card will be charged automatically. If it is not accepted, passengers will fly in Economy Class with no additional costs.

 Additional information about myOffer and Premium Economy Class, as well as routes that are already available, can be found at the following link:


Leave a comment

Filed under Airlines, Europe, Germany, Lufthansa

Reading List: Germany

Thinking of a Christmas Trip to Germany? Call Willamette Intl Travel to discuss your options for an independent trip, escorted tour, or river cruise through Germany to check out their lovely Christmas markets.

And Plus! Read before you go!


Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad (1880). A literary classic with witty observations about Germany 111during the 1880s. Probably most famous for its postscript “The Awful German Language.”

Christopher Isherwood, Mr. Norris Changes Trains (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939). Books that chronicle the Weimar years (1919-1933), and whose stories inspired the movie Cabaret.

Michael Gorra, The Bells in their Silence: Travels Through Germany (2004). A modern travelogue by an American literature professor who traveled around Germany during the 1990s.


Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts (1977). Beautifully composed, a fascinating account of the author’s journey on foot from Holland to Turkey in the years before WWII.

113Erich Maria Remarque. All Quiet on the Western Front (1929). A harsh novel about the extreme conditions of World War I.

Bernhard Schlink. The Reader (1997). The story of a young man, the woman he thinks he knows, and their separate love and secrets in postwar Germany.



Our agents have traveled throughout Germany for years and would love to share our knowledge and expertise with you! Give us a call at 503-224-0180 or email

Leave a comment

Filed under Europe, Germany, Reading Lists, Where in the World is the WIT Client?

Three Romantic Roads in Germany

Willamette Intl Travel offices are located in Portland, Oregon and in 2011 we were delighted to hear that Grimm, a fantasy detective television drama, started filming here in our own backyard! The TV show has generated some great interest with the real Grimm fairy tales and the Brothers Grimm of Germany. In the 19th century, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm wandered around Bavaria, collecting local fairytales for posterity. Did you know you can travel along this actual route, following the Grimms’ footsteps to historical sites, towns, or regions? Wittravel has teamed up with one of our preferred vendors, Avanti Destinations, to organize some great itineraries to take you to the romantic and historical heart of Germany. The following itineraries are recommended and are fully customizable. Check them out:


4 Nights. Includes car rental, hotels, map, suggested driving itinerary, daily breakfast. The fairy tale roads follows in the historical path of the Grimm Brothers through cobblestone streets, across half-timbered cottages, and gnarled forests. You can trace this 595km (370mi) route from Hanau where the brothers were born to Bremen, where the Bremen Town Musicians lived. The route goes through some of the prettiest medieval villages in the country, including Kassel and Gelnhausen.


4 Nights. Includes car rental, hotels, map, suggested driving itinerary, daily breakfast. Travel along the 620 miles of the Castle Road and admire spectacular castles, palaces, and towns of medieval and Roman architecture. Explore the town of Rothenberg and its well-preserved Old Town (seen in the 2010 film Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows), and the ruins of Neckarsteinach, Schloß Schadeck and many others. Wander around the rich centers of Nuremberg and Heidelberg, and their castles and toy museums. Next, drive to Aisbach Valley and stay in one of twenty-two guestrooms in the four-star Rabenstein Castle in Bavaria.


5 Nights. Includes car rental, hotels, map, suggested driving itinerary, daily breakfast. Step back in time to the picturesque countryside; discover fairytale castles and magical medieval towns. Visit the Residenz in Wurzburg, one of Germany’s most splendid Baroque palaces, or wander the fantastically preserved town square of Tauberbischofsheim. Stop in the charming town of Nördlingen and admire its magnificent town walls and eleven watchtowers. Visit the magnificent university town Augsburg, with its Italian Renaissance town hall, and the celebrated storybook castles of King Ludwig II—Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein.

These itineraries are by no means the limit! Our agents have been to Germany several times and would love to share our knowledge and expertise with you! Give us a call at 503-224-0180 or email

1 Comment

Filed under Europe, Germany, Travel by Car, Vendors