Travel News: Car Rental Companies in the UK Urged to Clean Up Their Act

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Car Rental Companies In The UK Urged To Clean Up Their Act

Consumer watchdog, Which? is calling on the car rental industry to stop slapping on ‘steep, unexpected’ charges to customers. It comes after an investigation into more than 40 car hire contracts from 18 providers found some had ‘unclear terms and conditions, surprise fees and penalties’. Which? has submitted its findings to the Competitions and Markets Authority, saying the industry need to improve and act on these industry practices. Rory Boland, Which? travel editor, said only 14% of customers surveyed read through their rental contract in detail. “Few people have the time or inclination to read these lengthy, clunky contracts. Alarmingly, this could lead to consumers being slapped with steep, unexpected charges that can ruin a trip,” he said. Potential charges may include late fees, speeding charges, low fuel costs – or even charge customers who have forgotten to print out their confirmation. Note: WIT Agents only book car rentals with respected and trusted suppliers.

Singapore Airlines To Code Share With Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has added Singapore Airlines as a global partner. On Sept. 27, Alaska’s Mileage Plan and Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer will begin offering reciprocal mileage accrual. Reciprocal redemption will come at a later date. Singapore Airlines already offered loyalty program reciprocity with Virgin America, which Alaska has acquired and will have absorbed by next year. Alaska Airlines and Singapore Airlines also are seeking government approvals for a codeshare partnership, which will enable seamless ticketing and baggage handling through Alaska’s Los Angeles and San Francisco hubs. Other new global partners are Condor Airlines and Icelandair.

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Sydney, Nova Scotia Added To Cruise Itineraries Due To Restrictions In Gulf Of St. Lawrence

The Port of Sydney will have at least five extra cruise ship visits this fall. In what has already been its busiest cruise ship season on record, the Port of Sydney, N.S., can look forward to some unexpected extra business this fall due to new regulations restricting ship speed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The restrictions were brought in recently to protect the endangered Atlantic right whale population. Federal scientists determined whales have suffered injuries, and in some cases, been killed when they were struck by large ocean-going vessels in the Gulf. Reduced speeds for right whales prompted a surcharge for Oceanex Montreal-St. John’s route and the speed restriction has forced some cruise lines to change their itinerary to cancel a stop in the restricted speed zone and go to Sydney instead. Because of the geographical positioning, Sydney is completely outside that protected zone, so ships are looking to go there, away from the speed reduction area. The changes mean five previously unscheduled cruise ship visits will happen this fall including: Norwegian Dawn (Sept. 25 and Oct. 9), Seven Seas Mariner October 12 and Oct. 22), Silver Whisper  (Oct. 18). 2017 will be a record year, with 89 ships having visited.

Tactical Traveler: Joe’s Weekly Briefing for Business Travelers

Tactical Business Traveler Digest from “Business Joe,” including: – The high cost of Harvey for the Houston-hubbed airlines. – Hypocrisy, thy name is Delta’s new Indianapolis-Paris route. – The immediate future of U.S. lodging in one word? Marriott. – Air Berlin chops its U.S. nonstops to Berlin – Amtrak’s “soft” upgrades – and more: http://www.tacticaltraveler.com. 

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How to Book a Train with a Travel Agent

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Truth be told, there’s nothing easier then booking trains with a travel agent — because guess what: they do all the grunt work for you.

We’ve booked more trains than we can count, because there’s nothing like a train to epitomize the essence of old world travel – elegance, luxury, slowness, deliberateness. It takes everything that’s delicious and romantic about travel and wraps it all in a choo-choo package.

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Most of our clients book trains in Europe, whether it’s the Eurostar Paris-London or an overnight from Warsaw to Amsterdam. Switzerland is an ever-popular choice, from the Chocolate Train that transports you to the Maison du Gruyère, to the Glacier Express crossing St. Moritz-Zermatt. From bullet trains like the Shinkansen to steam trains (wait they still make those? Yes!)

Then there are the rarer, specialized trains like the luxury Palace on Wheels in India and the 3-Day Spirit of the Andes in Ecuador, the futuristic Shikishima in Japan and the sleek Rovos Rail from Cape Town to Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania.

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At WIT, our agents even book overnight sleepers from Chicago, tickets from Montreal to New York with Amtrak and trans-Canada routes on VIA Rail that go from coast to coast and sometimes bring you head to head with a polar bear (thank you Churchill).

There’s even the Trans-Siberian tours by the MIR Corporation, that speeds through the heart of Siberia and branches out to Eastern Europe, Central Asia and China. Did somebody say the Silk Road?

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So what are you waiting for? Whether you want a train journey in the forefront of your vacation, or it’s merely a luxurious point A to point B situation – there’s only one way to Book a Train with a Travel AgentCall us today! 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. All Aboard!

In Portland this December? Join us Dec. 3, 2017 at Castaways, 1900 NW 18th Ave. for our 40th Birthday Bash and meet many of our awesome vendors, including a few who specialize in trains!

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Travel News: Second U.S. Passports Recommended for Outbound Travelers

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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

We know it’s been an intense week, with Hurricane Harvey and other hefty storms. So here are some friendly photos that might help you ease into the holiday weekend.

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Laura & kids from Laura’s Township Tours in Cape Town

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Polar Bears dancing the Waltz near Churchill, Canada

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Elephants at the Ithumba Camp

Head over to our Gallery for more colorful photos of wildlife, in Tanzania. 

(Oh and some news too 🙂 )

Second U.S. Passports Recommended for Outbound Travelers

Second passports are a great option for international travelers. If you’re a frequent international traveler you should have two valid us passports. This way you have one to send, to a consulate so that you can get a visa for a future trip while you use passport #2 to take a more immediate trip. Ask Willamette Intl Travel about your travel visa options. If you book a trip with us, we can help to arrange your visa to China, Russia or elsewhere.

SAS Potential Pilot Strike In September 2017

SAS pilot unions are not happy that the airline has plans to open bases in both London and Marbella to lower costs and plan to strike after negotiation period is over perhaps starting September 11, 2017. SAS has pilot unions in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Last year, SAS pilots did strike in Sweden while Danish and Norwegian ones continued to operate flights. Pilots at Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) haven’t been able to negotiate the airline’s controversial plans to hire and base new pilots, at lower wages and benefits, in England and Spain. They’ve thus resorted to raising old demands, like getting more weekends off, and are warning they’ll walk off the job if their demands aren’t met. The prospect of another major pilots’ strike in Scandinavia means passengers face more severe travel disruption in September. Three unions representing SAS Danish and Norwegian pilots have sent out their first formal warnings of a labour conflict, after talks officially broke down late last week. DN noted that EU regulations, meanwhile, prevent the establishment of the new bases from being part of their negotiations.

Boston Airport Could Start Charging Fliers Arriving, Leaving By Car?

The Associated Press reports the Massachusetts Port Authority has agreed to study imposing a fee on drivers coming and going from Logan International Airport. The operators of Logan International Airport in Boston have agreed to study a plan to charge drivers who pick up or drop off passengers at the terminals in an attempt to cut down on congestion and pollution. The Boston Globe reports that the study is part of an agreement between the Massachusetts Port Authority and the environmental group, the Conservation Law Foundation. In exchange, the foundation will not oppose the agency’s $250 million plan to add 5,000 parking spaces at Logan. Massport officials say more than 20,000 cars per day pull up to Logan’s terminals to either drop someone off or pick someone up. More flights in an out of Boston in the last few years means more pollution. The review is expected to be completed by July 2019.

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Dubrovnik Seeks Solutions To Summer Overcrowding

ETN reports Dubrovnik Port Authority is working with the city’s mayor and public authorities in seeking a solution to overcrowding in the Old City of Dubrovnik, particularly in the summer months. Katarina Varez, marketing and sales manager Dubrovnik Port Authority, told Seatrade Cruise News that following meetings with the mayor and relevant public services, ‘We are looking at several objectives for reducing visitors, with the aim of avoiding port and city congestion, regulating traffic and securing a high quality stay in the destination.’ Varez said these focus on extending the peak cruise season and increasing calls in the shoulder months, better daily distribution of cruise calls and longer cruise ship stays. She said the port has been ‘actively endeavouring to implement a sustainable cruise destination policy in recent years.’ This is in response to a UNESCO mission to the World Heritage-listed city in 2015 which recommended a cap on cruise passengers of no more than 8,000 a day. Almost 750,000 cruise passengers will arrive on 538 ships in 2017, a decrease in numbers for the first time, partly due to this policy, the port confirmed. The mayor of the city told the Telegraph he would lower the passenger cap from 8,000 to 4,000 a day in an attempt to ease the crowds. “Some of the cruise lines will disagree with what I’m saying but my main goal is to ensure quality for tourists and I cannot do it by keeping the situation as it is,’ he told the newspaper. “Any restrictions will not affect those calls already confirmed and the process of reducing cruise visitors is to be implemented gradually.”

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Autumn Leaves: 3 Cruise Lines in Love with Fall Colors

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Last week we mentioned Fall Foliage on the East Coast, and what more special way to see the autumn colors than on a cruise along the coast?

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Fall is Mother Nature’s live performance – when dazzling hues of gold, crimson and burgundy transform the landscape. A handful of select cruise lines offer cruises from Quebec to Massachusetts this fall season, to take full advantage of the high of leaves between late September and mid-October.

Most ships disembark from New York or Boston, calling at ports like Bar Harbor, Quebec City and Prince Edward Island. This is also the time when you can take advantage of seasonal shore excursions, like kayaking around Prince Edward Island, or visiting the famous homestead that inspired the author of Anne of Green Gables

So why not enjoy views of the autumnal kaleidoscope from the comfort of your own ship balcony?

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1. American Cruise Lines

This brand new 8-day itinerary goes from Boston to New York City. Pop into the gingerbread cottages of Martha’s Vineyard, and explore the riverside town of Sleepy Hollow that inspired Washington Irving. You’ll also visit prime foliage viewing locations like Hyde Park and Catskill NY. The American Constellation is the newest small ship with ACL.

September 23, 2017 – 8 Days from Boston to NYC

As a smaller ship, it’s able to call on smaller ports: Boston MA, Martha’s Vineyard MA, Newport RI, Greenport NY, Kingston NY, Catskill NY, Sleepy Hollow NY and New York City NY.

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2. Holland America Line

HAL is a classic cruise line with several autumnal itineraries throughout September and October at an affordable price point. All of them are wonderfully inclusive of the Canadian coastal towns.

Sept 16 & Sept 30. 7-Night Canada and New England Discovery. Montreal to Boston.

Sept Sep 23 & October 7. 7-Night Canada and New England Discovery. Boston to Montreal.

Both of these itineraries include Montreal, Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor and Boston.

Sept 10 & Sept 30. 10-Night Colors of Canada and New England. NYC, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax, Sydney, Prince Edward Island, Saguenay, Quebec City.

October 10. 12-Night The Atlantic Coast. Québec City, Saguenay, Prince Edward Island, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Portland ME, Boston MA, Port Canaveral FL.

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3. Regent Seven Seas

Regent Seven Seas is a luxury cruise line that offers all-inclusive, all-balcony, and all-suite service, and this fall they’re offering sailings along the East Coast, including a SPECIAL sail from Montreal to Miami.

Sept 18 & Oct 18 – 10 Days  – NYC to Montreal on the Seven Seas Navigator.

Sept 27 & October 17 – 10 Days  – NYC to Montreal on the Seven Seas Mariner. Children age 17 or younger sail with a discount!

Sept 28 – 10 Days  – Montreal to NYC on the Seven Seas Navigator.

Oct 7 – 10 Days  – Montreal to NYC on the Seven Seas Mariner. Children age 17 or younger sail with a discount!

Oct 28 – 10 Days  – Montreal to NYC on the Seven Seas Navigator.

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Ports of Call: NYC, Newport RI, Boston MA, Bar Harbor ME, and up to Canada: Halifax, Charlottetown, Gaspe, Saguenay, Québec City, Montréal.

FARES INCLUDE: 

– FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions*

– FREE Unlimited WiFi for All Suite Categories,

– 1-Night Pre-Cruise Luxury Hotel in Concierge Suites and Higher

– FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities

– FREE Unlimited Beverages Including Fine Wines and Premium Spirits

– FREE Open Bars and Lounges PLUS In-Suite Mini-Bar Replenished Daily

– FREE Specialty Restaurants

– FREE 24-Hour Room Service and NO Charge for Specialty Restaurants and much more.

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REGENT 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL SAIL

Oct 27 – 14 Days – 25th Anniversary Commemorative Voyage Montreal to Miami on the Seven Seas Mariner.

On the Montreal to Miami, the ship will make its calls at Montreal, Quebec City, Sydney, Halifax, Saint John (Bay of Fundy), and into USA through Portland ME, Boston MA, New York City, Norfolk VA, Port Canaveral FL and Miami FL.

What’s included in this Cruise: 

FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions, FREE Unlimited WiFi throughout the ship, FREE Unlimited Beverages, Including Fine Wines and Spirits, Throughout the Ship, FREE Speciality Restaurants, FREE Transfers Between Airport and Ship, FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities
CONCIERGE SUITES AND HIGHER INCLUDE: FREE 1-Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Package* and more
PENTHOUSE SUITES AND HIGHER INCLUDE: FREE Personal Butler and more
*See Terms & Conditions for full details.

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Responsible Tourism: Tips for a Responsible Traveler

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Over-Tourism has been getting a lot of attention in the news lately, with recent developments in Barcelona and Italy designed to curb the impact of tourism on the local economy and geography.

So what is Responsible Tourism?

A responsible tourist is simply someone aware of local customs, laws and behavior. Travelers are essentially guests in another country. By treating the host country with respect, you can have a more authentic, culturally immersive, and ultimately ethical trip.

Read More: Last-Chance Tourism

Responsible tourism doesn’t have to be as drastic as never flying a jumbo jet because of carbon emissions. While admirable, that’s just not realistic for most travelers. It can be as simple as staying mindful of another country’s culture and society before you arrive.

Here are some tips from us on how to be a Responsible Traveler:

Travel Tips

Educate yourself

Before you even book your trip, educate yourself. Read all about the country’s particular customs, so you can avoid a faux pas. Book your trip with an environmentally or socially conscientious tour organization. Willamette Intl Travel runs a monthly blog called the Conscientious Traveler where we highlight ethical tour organizations whom we work with. Responsible tour operators support humanitarian and/or environment work in the countries they arrange trips in, and sometimes even involve the traveler in these endeavors. 

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Keep it Local

As a traveler, where you spend your money can have a huge impact on the local economy. Eat at a local restaurant instead of a national or international chain, stay in a family-run guesthouse instead of a multinational hotel, and purchase a little handmade item from a street vendor, not something mass-produced from those nickel-and-dime souvenir shops. If you hire a socially conscious tour operator, they will, in turn, hire local guides and staff, use local transportation and accommodation, and recommend local eateries.

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Wildlife Activities

Wildlife tourism is big business, and exploitation that leads to a lifetime of distress is depressingly widespread. We often book clients for one-of-a-kind activities in Africa or Asia, where travelers encounter wild, incredible and exotic animals—and we work with responsible and sustainable tour operators who treat the animals fairly and kindly.

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Respect the local culture

You’re right – that’s not how they do it at home. But as a responsible traveler, you’re there to learn and experience—not to pass judgment. Know what’s polite and what’s rude—be mindful of your clothes and your behavior. Take the time to learn a bit of the language, even if it’s just “hello” and “thank you.” Ask before you take a photograph of a person or their belongings—not only is it common courtesy, you might just make a deeper connection. 

Find out more about customs for individual countries in the Culture Crossing Guide.

Have questions about Travel? You’ve come to the right place! Call our travel agency in Portland to learn more: 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. 

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Travel News: Spain promises Extra Security

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Spain Promises Extra Security In Tourist Areas

The Spanish Government has said it will increase security at tourist sites across the country following last week’s terror attacks. Interior minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said areas deemed to be potential terror targets would be given special protection. There will also be increased security at the Spain/France border, while Italy is putting up barriers at popular landmarks. The Times reports barriers appeared over the weekend in central Milan, they will also be erected in Palermo and Rome, while security has been tightened up in other areas, such as Bologna. Italian interior minister Marco Minniti is reported to have said he is ‘amazed a van could have driven undisturbed down La Ramblas’. The driver of the van has now been found and killed. Despite last week’s attacks, Spain’s terror threat level has not been increased and remains at four.

Rome Experiments with Controlled Flow of Tourists at Trevi Fountain

Italy Magazine reports Rome is experimenting with a new measure aimed at controlling the crowds at one of its most iconic monuments, the Trevi Fountain. This comes during a summer when problems caused by mass tourism have become more apparent than ever in a number of Italian destinations. From 9 am until midnight, ten volunteers (retired Carabinieri and traffic policemen) will take turns patrolling the area around the Trevi Fountain, directing the flow of visitors and making sure people don’t misbehave. During peak hours, visitors will have to follow a specific path, accessing the fountain from the central entrance and exiting from the one on the left. “This measure is intended to allow everyone to enjoy the monument more effectively,” Diego Porta, commander of Rome’s municipal police, told La Repubblica. “Tourists can throw their coins, take a photo and then leave in order to make room for others.” The volunteers are also tasked with presiding over the monument, and sanction possible inappropriate behavior, such as eating, playing in the water, sitting or leaning on the fountain, which would violate the ordinance signed in June by Rome’s mayor Virginia Raggi to safeguard the city’s artistic fountains. “We’ll make sure that tourists don’t eat in the area adjacent to the monument and don’t sit on the edge of the fountain,” added Porta. The experiment, which began at the end of July and is scheduled to continue for 80 days, will become permanent in October if the results are deemed positive. The Trevi Fountain reopened in November 2015 after a $2.2 million restoration funded by the Italian fashion house Fendi.

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Antwerp Plans New Terminal for 2020

Nadine Brasseur, who heads up cruise operations for the city of Antwerp said the city has plans to build a new cruise terminal, that should be finished in 2020. “Our current cruise terminal is located directly in the city center,” she said. “Passengers like that. They can walk two minutes and enjoy the Christmas markets, for example, eat in one of many restaurants, have a Belgian beer or visit museums.” A 28,000-passenger season this year will be highlighted by a first-time call from Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Columbus, which will become the biggest ship to ever call at the Belgian port. Also scheduled is a first time call from Regent’s Seven Seas Navigator, and another exceptional news item: a first time turnaround call from the Crystal Symphony, said Brasseur.

American Airlines To Offer Premium Economy On Hawaii Flights

American Airlines is selling Premium Economy tickets on flights between Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and three Hawaiian cities, beginning on December 15th. American is launching service with Premium Economy fares from DFW to Kahului Airport beginning in December and from DFW to Kona International Airport and Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport set to begin on June 7th, 2018. Also, AA will launch Premium Economy seats from Los Angeles International Airport to HNL, beginning on December 15th until January 7th. The routes will be operated on retrofitted Boeing 777-200s. This is the first time a domestic route will include the larger seats and elevated service Premium Economy offers with its 2-4-2 layout. American Airlines’ Premium Economy offers seven more inches of legroom than standard seats. Customers receive noise-reducing headphones, an amenity kit, blankets and pillows, meal service, and free alcoholic beverages. It was launched earlier this year on international flights to Barcelona in Spain, and Seoul in South Korea.

IHG Goes To 24-Hour Cancellation Policy

Travel Weekly reports InterContinental Hotels Group is introducing a policy enabling customers at most hotels to cancel without penalty if they give at least 24 hours’ notice. The move comes about a month after Marriott International tightened its cancellation policy, requiring guests at most hotels to give 48 hours’ notice to cancel without penalty. IHG’s new policy will go into effect next month across most of IHG’s chains (Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, InterContinental, Staybridge Suites, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Even and Candlewood Suites) in the Americas and Europe, and by October for the Middle East, Africa and Asia, excluding China (where most hotels already have a same-day cancellation policy). Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants chain will retain its 48-hour cancellation policy.

American Airlines Will Now Alert You If Your Bags Get Lost 

American Airlines has launched a program that alerts travelers when their bags don’t arrive at the same airport. Airline passengers often must wait at the baggage carousel until every suitcase has been picked up before realizing that their bags didn’t land with them. Now, Fort Worth-based American Airlines is giving travelers a digital alert if their bags don’t arrive at the same destination at the same time. The alert comes through the contact information provided by the fliers during the booking or check-in process. Loyalty reward members at American Airlines can also get notices through the airline app. The alert tells travelers if their luggage has arrived early or will arrive later. If the luggage is arriving late, the alert informs the traveler to head to the Baggage Service Office to arrange a pickup later or notifies the passenger to fill out a mobile baggage order to have the airline deliver the bag to the traveler’s home, office or lodging. American Airlines’ system relies on bar codes that are printed on each bag label. To keep track of the bags, the bar codes are scanned at several points in the loading and transportation process.

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Glasgow Could Have Water Taxi Service To Airport

A Venetian-style entry to Glasgow has been proposed with plans for a water taxi service from the airport. Arriving passengers would be whisked up the Clyde into the city centre in 25 minutes. Boats would operate from a pontoon on the White Cart Water about 500 m east of the airport. The plans include passengers transferring from the terminal in golf buggy-style vehicles. These would eventually be replaced by a travellator, a moving walkway which would have to go either over or under Abbotsinch Road. The scheme has been devised by John Hillis, who runs power boat trips on the Clyde in Glasgow. He said the route would provide visitors with a stunning introduction to the city. Hillis also said more transport options to the airport were required as it continued to grow, It handled more than 1 million passengers for the first time in June and the annual total has grown by 7 per cent, to 9.7m. 

Conservation-Themed Murals At Honolulu Airport Are Under Threat Of Destruction 

Two of Hawaii’s landmark conservation-themed murals are under threat of destruction by Hawaiian Airlines. The 35,000-square-foot murals “Hawaiian Humpbacks” and “New Millennium” painted in 1999 by renowned marine life artist and muralist Wyland, were created as a gifts to the city of Honolulu to recognize the past, present, and future of Hawaii’s fragile marine life ecosystems. The murals at the Pacifica Airport Center Building, 3049 Ualena Street, Honolulu, were among 100 murals painted in 17 countries by the artist over a 30-year period as part of one of the world’s largest arts-in-public places projects. In every instance, the artist donated his time and services, receiving no compensation, while project partners provided support. The murals are intended to raise global environmental awareness. Hawaiian Airlines, which recently purchased the Airport Center Building, has threatened to remove the mural, “painting it over with a neutral color.” The Airline has threatened to begin destruction of the mural as early as last Friday. Hawaiian Airlines has maintained they will only allow Wyland to restore the mural pending a signed agreement that would remove any protections the public has for the artwork – and allow the company to move forward with the destruction of the mural, regardless of the artist’s efforts to save it. The airline is using building repairs or spalling to set an artificial deadline to pressure the artist into signing an agreement. Wyland has agreed to donate his time and services to repaint the mural and provide all insurance. The murals stand as important beacons to the people of Hawaii and the millions of visitors who come to the Islands every year.

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Let’s Go! September Travel Ideas: China and New York City

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So wanderlust has come knocking on your door again, and you’re looking for a way to hit the road. It might be last minute, but September is the perfect cusp month in which to travel — fewer crowds, more balanced temperatures, and more than a few festivals than you know what to do with.

This September, Willamette Intl Travel recommends two destinations — one east, one west — to catch those Autumn Leaves.

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CHINA

The Yangtze is the lifeblood of China, shaping majestic dynasties for centuries. From the magnificent Three Gorges to the inland Silk Road empires of Xi’an and Tibet, China is a treasure-trove of historical and cultural discoveries.

Autumn is peak season in China, when the weather is mild and you’re still in between the major holidays in which most Chinese travel domestically. Catch the Shanghai Tourism Festival (Sept 7-12) for breathtaking festivities that include parade floats, food and fireworks — PLUS every major gallery and museum offers half price entry!

How to Go?

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Alexander & Roberts

A&R offers a comprehensive tour of China that hits all the major sites. Explore bustling markets and historical sites in Beijing, Xi’an, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Shanghai. On this 10-day itinerary, you’ll visit that loveliest of China’s cities, Hangzhou, with landscapes that have inspired artists and poets for centuries. “Above there’s Heaven, below there is Hangzhou,” goes the proverb. Glide along the canals of Suzhou, the “Venice of the East,” say hello to the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, and explore legendary neighborhoods of Pudong and Bund in Shanghai.

Viking Cruises

Viking Cruises offers 3 different river itineraries of 14, 17 and 19 days. Prices start from $3224 per person – that’s just $230 per day! Viking itineraries are all-inclusive — they hate nickel-and-diming — preferring instead to include each booking with: a complimentary shore excursion, wifi, most beverages, room service, port charges and taxes. 

  • Imperial Jewels of China: (14 days)

Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing, Shibaozhai, Wu Gorge, Wuhan, Shanghai. Visit 12-story pavilions, cruise along the magnificent “Witches” Gorge, and see the Terra Cotta army necropolis for yourself. From $3224 per person. 

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  • Roof of the World: (17 days)

Travel to the Himalayas, and visit Potala Palace, home of Tibet’s Dalai Lamas. Share tea with a Tibetan family and follow Lhasa’s Barkhor Circuit pilgrimage route. You’ll also visit Xi’an, Chongqing, Wuhan, Jingzhou, Beijing and Shanghai. From $4,724 per person.

  • Undiscovered China: (19 days)

Here the cruisetour combines a 7-day Yangtze cruise with land exploration of BEijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and smaller towns off the beaten path. Cruise on a sampan on the Yangtze’s Goddess Stream and behold the 50,000 statues of the 7th century Dazu Rocking Carvings. From $4,424 per person.

Give us a call! WIT Agent Pam has traveled with Viking River Cruises on the Yangtze River. Call her up for a chat and to find out if this cruise is the right one for you. Need to know more? Read up on her journeys through Beijing, the Three Gorges, Xi’an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou

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NEW YORK CITY

Nothing compares to the “City that Never Sleeps,” legendary New York, home of the Empire State Building and the awe-inspiring State of Liberty. As the capital of culture and opportunity, NYC doesn’t exactly need an introduction.

In September, temperatures turn on the cooler side and the whole city gears up for NY Fashion Week, September 7-14 this year. International fashionistas show off their wares, divas flash the heel, and everyone dappers up and gets a-twinkling.

Festivals hit the stage full frontal, as New York erupts into revelry with Oktoberfest (Sept 15-17, Sept 22-24, Sept 29-Oct 2) and the Vendy Awards (Sept 16), everyone’s favorite world street food showdown. Head down to Brooklyn on Sunday, Sept 24 for Atlantic Antic, a street festival between 4th Ave and Hicks St. The festival features food and crafts and live music, and spills out over 10 blocks.

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Plus New York’s a prime base from which to hit the road for a Fall Foliage tour. Autumn trees are bursting with color in the countrysides around New England — Vermont, Boston, and beyond. 

How to Go?

NYC: Delta Vacations

Willamette Intl Travel partners up with Delta Vacations to create self-guided packages to major cities. We’ll often combine flights with a top-notch hotel and/or a car to get you a discount deal seen nowhere else. Explore New York from the comfort of a pre-packaged plan, spending a few nights in downtown Manhattan browsing through Soho’s art galleries and sampling from world-class restaurants and unusual boutiques. Then pick up your car for a drive through the countryside, either upstate to Hudson Valley wineries or out of state to marvel at the changing colors of autumn. Prices vary.

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Autumn Leaves: Tauck

Top-of-the-line Tauck’s Fall Foliage tour paints New England in broad brushstrokes, on this 12-day itinerary exploring sunset scenes, fragrant fields and lush forests where the soul of old New World charm just exudes from the landscape. Explore Boston, revolutionary Williamston, artful Berkshires and iconic Vermont. From the Green Mountains to the White Mountains, the tour will take you deep into history and far up through Maine and Acadia National Park. See your homeland as you’ve never seen it before. From $5,190 per person.

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Call Willamette Intl Travel at 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com to plan your last-minute autumn trip!

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