travel news


Hangover Heaven

As a city famed for it’s excesses Las Vegas does seem like the perfect spot to launch a revolutionary hangover cure.

And the concept is simple – to tour the Las Vegas Strip, and other high-rolling areas of this 24-hour city, and administer vitamins, medications and amino acids to those who looks as if they could use a spot of revitalisation after a heavy night-before. Burke claims that his treatments can cure 90 per cent of hangovers in 45 minutes.

Not so plain sailing

The MS Balmoral, the ship currently retracing the Titanic’s maiden voyage to commemerate the 100th anniversary of it’s sinking  has been hit by gale force winds and 30ft waves.

The memorial cruise, carrying relatives of Titanic victims among its 1,309 passengers, the same number as on the doomed ship – set sail from Southampton on Sunday and aims to reach the Titanic’s wreck site for a memorial ceremony to mark the moment the liner struck an iceberg on April 14 100 years ago.

Wish you were here?

Passengers are apparently tired of sedate ports of call like Barcelona and Gibraltar if Thompson Cruises new destinations are anything to go by.

The firm has decided to venture to ports that have not been regular cruise-ship calls since the 1970s. From next summer, passengers will be able to explore, among others, Algiers, where the Foreign Office currently urges British tourists to “exercise extreme caution at all times”. Other destinations include the naval base of Sevastopol, close to the site of the Charge of the Light Brigade which took place in 1854.

80 year old woman lands plane

An 80-year-old US woman with very little flying experience staged an emergency landing in Wisconsin after her pilot husband collapsed and died after he suffered a heart attack at the controls.

Helen Collins brought the small Cessna plane in to land at Cherryland Airport, even though she said she knew her husband was dead. She had taken basic lessons in taking off and landing 30 years ago.

European cruise prices drop

Fares for upcoming cruises in Europe are on the decline, according to one of Wall Street’s top industry watchers. UBS’ Robin Farley says the firm’s Cruise Data Tracker is showing a 4.9% drop over the past two weeks in average fares for Western Mediterranean sailings. Fares for Eastern Mediterranean sailings also are down, though by a more modest 1.8%, and prices for Northern Europe trips have dropped by 2.3%.

Free wifi is most wanted

A recent survey of prospective hotel guests by Expedia’s Hotels.com division has shown that free wifi is the thing that is most important to travellers when booking a hotel room.

Of those polled, 38% said free Wi-Fi was “a must when choosing hotel accommodations.” By comparison, 25% of those surveyed said free breakfast was essential, while 18% chose free parking as the most desired amenity. Room service came in at just 2%.


Plane panic after “bomb” alert.

An unnamed Southwest Airlines pilot was asked by an air traffic controller to wish his mother a happy birthday as he flew from Baltimore, Maryland, to New York’s MacArthur airport in Islip, Long Island, on Friday.

Taking to the plane’s intercom, the pilot told passengers that they had a “mom on board,” however, many thought he said a “bomb on board”.

Panicking passengers asked other members of the crew to clarify what the pilot had said, and were assured that there was no bomb. The pilot also went back on the intercom to explain his remarks but several passengers have now complained to the authorities about the announcement.

Italian Holiday

Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola is going back to his roots for his latest venture. He has previously explored his Italian heritage through a range of commercial ventures outside of films including a respected wine business and a pasta and sauce company. Now his four South American (Coppola Resorts) hotels have an Italian cousin with the opening of Palazzo Margherita located in the small town of Bernalda in Southern Italy’s Basilicata region.

The resort occupies the actual 19th century palazzo that was the birthplace of his grandfather, Agostino Coppola. The building has been completely renovated by acclaimed French designer Jacques Grange. The result is an authentic yet luxurious Italian home base where guests can enjoy palatial comfort while an entire charming town sits at their doorstep.

Ski season – The best is yet to come?

Easter is still a month away, but even if it doesn’t snow again between now and Good Friday (April 6) holidaymakers in the Alps can be assured of perfect pistes. Some of the best skiing of the season could still be to come, and the higher resorts won’t close until at least the end of April.

Snow conditions across almost the whole of Europe remain superb and March bargains are readily available.

Tourists flock to Burma

Demand for holidays to Burma has risen sharply since the National League for Democracy (NLD), the political party of Aung San Suu Kyi, softened its stance last year against tourism to the country. Tour operators in the UK have described the level of interest as “phenomenal”.

Burma welcomed just over 300,000 overseas visitors last year. By comparison Thailand received 19 million foreign visitors.

Trip Advisor to remove new ratings system

Trip Advisor is set to scrap its controversial new “ratings” system, which allows reviewers to mark hotels, restaurants and attractions without leaving a written review. The system permits the website’s users, and Facebook members, to award businesses with a mark out of five, but does not require them to justify their decision and has generated complaints from “hundreds” of businesses listed on the site.


Virgin Atlantic has appointed a ‘whispering coach’ to ensure cabin crew do not disturb the highest-paying passengers on flights.

Crew will learn how to whisper to Upper Class passengers at a volume of between twenty and thirty decibels on a special, day-long training course.Sir Richard Branson’s airline says that the measure will have a “calming effect” on passengers in its new, most luxurious ever Upper Class suite.

The airline says its new whispering strategy has been “formulated with input from speech experts” and trialled on test-flights and with several focus groups.