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Travel News: Oregon and Washington delay their REAL ID program by one year

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Oregon and Washington delay their REAL ID program by one year

For Portland:  You’ll be able to use your current driver’s license to get through airport security awhile longer. That’s because the federal government has granted Oregon, Washington, and 15 other states extensions to comply with the Real ID program. This is a law passed after 9/11 that requires people to have real IDs to board airplanes or enter government buildings. Having one is proof of U.S. citizenship.
Oregon and Washington both recently agreed to cooperate with the program.
They now have until next October to phase it in.
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Dublin’s Statues Will Now Call Your Cell Phone

Ten of Dublin’s most famous landmarks have been given the gift of speech, thanks to Fáilte Ireland’s new tourism initiative titled “Dublin’s Talking Statues.” The project allows tourists to answer calls on their smartphones from Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and more, Lonely Planet reports. How does this work exactly? New plaques have been placed at the statues with QR codes. Passers-by simply scan the code with their phone, which will immediately ring. Each call features a famous Irish actor reciting a monologue written by a current Irish author, given from the point of view of the statue in question. The goal is to persuade the public to look at these landmarks with new eyes, almost viewing them as animate characters with feelings and backstories instead of just objects to walk past.

DFW Airport Has New Automated Security Lanes

Last Thursday, passengers got a glimpse of a more efficient and hopefully speedier future with the unveiling of automated screening lanes at DFW Airport’s Terminal D. The two Terminal D lanes join two other automated lanes that opened recently in Terminal A. For now, their presence is limited to just two checkpoints out of dozens at the airport’s five terminals. DFW plans to add six more lanes in the coming months at a total cost of $5.7 million, paid for out of the airport’s budget. “We’re looking for opportunities to create different, new and more positive experiences for the traveling public,” said Ken Buchanan, DFW Airport’s executive vice president of revenue management. DFW Airport is one of ten airports using the new technology. The screening enhances security while decreasing wait times.
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Royal Caribbean Sets Return To St. Thomas

Royal Caribbean International has set the date for its much-awaited return to St. Thomas since the Caribbean destination was impacted by the hurricanes last month. On Nov. 10, the cruise line will make its way to St. Thomas for the first time since early September with Adventure of the Seas. With power and water to the island fully restored and most downtown shops, restaurants and bars and tour operators fully operational, guests will be able to experience a diverse and extensive array of dining, shopping and activities. Guests can enjoy boat and catamaran excursions to explore the turquoise blue waters and abundant sea life of the Caribbean and soak in the sun at some of the region’s best beach destinations: Secret Sands Beach, Secret Harbor Beach Club, Lindquist Beach, Abi Beach and Honeymoon Beach on Water Island.

Disney World Hotels Are Allowing Dogs For The First Time

Walt Disney World will allow hotel guests to bring dogs to four of its on-property resort hotels. Starting yesterday, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney Port Orleans Resort, Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort cabins will welcome four-pawed guests. As part of the new dog-friendly test program, Disney is ensuring all schnauzers, great danes, poodles, and very good dogs travel as comfortably as their owners with an amenity kit given upon check-in filled with puppy pads, dog walking maps, disposable bags, a pet ID tag, a mat and bowls for food and water. Guests will also be given a hotel room door tag to indicate that an animal is inside. The Fido-friendly program will cost $75 per night at Disney’s Yacht Club and $50 per night at Disney’s other three participating resorts, with a limit of two dogs per room.

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Bali’s Volcano Activity Reaches A New High

Earthquake activity from Bali’s Mount Agung volcano has reached its highest level since the volcano came back to life in August. The Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation (VONA) has the volcano at its highest alert level short of an eruption. Over the weekend there was an earthquake that measured at 4.6 on the Richter scale while there are almost 1000 smaller tremors a day being recorded. There are increases in shallow and deep tremors indicating magma is moving upwards. All airlines are monitoring the situation closely and travelers have been urged to make sure their contact details are up to date. Various governments have warned that travel to Bali could be severely affected by an eruption and Bali’s international airport has set up an emergency operations center.

Viking Orders Six New Longships

Neptun Werft has already delivered 51 vessels for Viking River Cruises and have confirmed another order for six vessels for Viking River Cruises. They are due for delivery in 2019. These additional Viking Longships will stretch 135 metres, are 11.45 metres at the beam and have a draft of 1.6 metres. Each can accommodate 190 passengers in 95 outside cabins; additionally, 31 cabins are available for the crew. Equipped with diesel-electric propulsion, the vessels are tailored for operation on numerous European rivers including the Rhine, Main and Danube as well as Dutch inland waters.

Bergen Caps Daily Cruise Visitors To 9,000

Cruise Industry News reports Bergen, Norway’s busiest cruise port, has informed cruise lines it is limiting the number of cruise calls per day to four ships and/or 9,000 passengers. The cap will come into effect immediately for new bookings, whilst honoring existing bookings, says Sandra Diana Bratland, the new cruise development manager at Port of Bergen. ‘Tourism is both important and welcome in Bergen, but on a few days every summer the city and its attractions can be crowded. The city’s popularity, its attractive location and steady growth of visitors has in recent years led to discussions as to how many visitors the city can comfortably accommodate per day,’ noted Bratland. The municipality, in collaboration with Port of Bergen and Visit Bergen, decided to limit the number of passengers per day, ‘to maintain Bergen as a sustainable and popular city to live in, to visit and to do business in,’ remarked Bratland. 490,546 cruise passengers visited Bergen in 2016.

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Reading List: Pacific Northwest & the Columbia River

Time for another reading list from your agents! Today we’re taking a look at some of our favorite nature and historic books on the Pacific Northwest and the Columbia River…

Robin Cody. Voyage of a Summer Sun: Canoeing the Columbia River. A canoe trip from the headwaters of Columbia to Astoria

William L. Lang and Robert C, Carriker. Great River of the West: Essays on the Columbia River. Essays from historians and anthropologists on the history, culture, and mythos of the river.

Robin Cody. Another Way the River Has. Old and new essays about life on and around the Columbia River, from Estacada to Ilwaco.

John Logan Allen, Marjorie Burns, and Sam Sargent. Cataclysms on the Columbia. All about geology of the area, Bretz floods, etc

R. Gregory Nokes. Massacred for Gold. The 1887 massacre of 30 Chinese on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon.

William Dietrich. Northwest Passage: The Great Columbia River. Another engaging history of the Columbia river.

Bill Mercer. People of the River: Native Arts of the Oregon Territory. An insightful and compelling study on the rich artistic heritage of Native Americans and their unique designs, materials, motifs.

Marge and Ted Mueller. Fire, Faults, and Floods: A Road & Trail Guide Exploring the Origins of the Columbia River Basin. Fifty-three trails on and over cliffs, walls, potholes, caves, and rivers through the Pacific Northwest. Includes maps, photographs, and illustrations. 

Planning a trip to the PNW? Call us for more details! Wittravel is based in Portland, Oregon, giving us a terrific base from which to design a “naturesque” vacation just for you.

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Filed under North America, Reading Lists, The Pacific Northwest, USA

Video: A Glimpse into the King Tut Exhibition

Now in Seattle until January 2013.

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Filed under Egypt, Features, Middle East, The Pacific Northwest, Videos, Washington

WIT News: Newsletter and Upcoming Seattle & Cruises Report

NEWSLETTER RELEASE: This week Willamette Intl Travel is releasing our midsummer newsletter! It holds information on tours, opportunities at home and abroad,  travel tips and gadgets, client and agent trip reports, travel news, cruises, and our invitation to an Australia & South Pacific Evening on November 14 here at the Portland office, sponsored by Qantas Vacation. If you would like to read or receive this fantastic source of all your travel info, call us at 503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

SEATTLE CRUISES: This past weekend, our main blogger Wailana headed up to Seattle to check out two cruise ships docked in the harbor: Celebrity’s Infinity and Disney’s Wonder. Willamette Intl Travel has booked clients on these lines before, so it was great to see the gorgeous specimens at port! The Infinity has newly been renovated into Celebrity’s “Solstice” class, a dramatic upgrade with state-of-the-art specialty restaurants and spa-inspired staterooms.

Nancy Fowler also talks about her Spring 2012 experience on the Celebrity Eclipse in our midsummer newsletter!

KING TUT EXHIBIT: Wailana also had the opportunity to check out Seattle’s incredible King Tut exhibition at the Pacific Science Center. Over the next week or so, she will be posting impressions of her trip, so be sure to tune in. With luck there will also be some photos of Seatown, some stellar restaurants, and ancient artifacts!

Interested in signing up for our newsletter? Want to hear more about Seattle, Celebrity Cruises, or Disney Cruises? Email us at info@wittravel.com or call us at 800.821.0401 for a chat!

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Filed under North America, The Pacific Northwest, USA, Washington