Travel News for a New Year
(Norwegian Breakaway courtesy of NCL)
Happy New Year, Everyone! It is so good to be able to say that, isn’t it? I get excited when I think about a new year and all its wonderful possibilities. I don’t make resolutions so much as I make lists of what I want to accomplish and where I want to go. And, oh my goodness, there are so many exciting places to see and that I am thankful we have a new year to pursue. With that in mind, found below are a few news nuggets that may be useful as you prepare for your very own travel adventures in 2018 and beyond.
- For the many fans of Norwegian Cruise Lines and New Orleans, the cruise line recently announced that it will begin sailing the Norwegian Breakaway from the Big Easy next November. Adding to the many ships already utilizing New Orleans as its home port, the Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest ship at port. The 3,963-passenger ship will sail week-long as well as 10- and 11-day cruises to the Caribbean. Another great option for those who want to “sail like a Norwegian.”
- Remember the People To People category for travel to Cuba from the US? Well, as of November 2017, it is no more. New government rules replaced People To People with a new travel category entitled Support For The Cuban People (https://goo.gl/h1AoPr). Other rules apply, such as prohibiting Americans from spending money at businesses, including hotels, owned by the Cuban military (https://goo.gl/r3fKs4). Most Americans who would normally travel under the old category won’t notice much of a change, though. Many of the businesses on the list didn’t receive much patronage from American tourists. And, the new travel category has most of the same requirements as its predecessor. So, Americans wishing to experience Cuba can still travel there legally from the US. My advice? Just remember the new travel category and consult with a knowledgeable Cuban travel advisor, especially if not traveling as part of an organized tour group. Oh, and, be prepared to have a great time exploring the Pearl of the Antilles!
- Everyone headed to South Africa this year should plan to visit the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA). Located on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, Zeitz MOCAA is the world's largest museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora. Drawing thousands of visitors a day since its opening in September 2017, Zeitz MOCAA is already being considered as the preeminent arts institution on the African continent. It has even been hailed as “the African answer to (London’s famed) Tate Modern” museum (https://www.theguardian.com/). Of course, the new museum has been criticized by some for being elitist and disengaged from local African communities. I tend to think that the reality is somewhere in between, but I urge you to experience this new arts venue and judge for yourselves. I plan to do just that during my travels to Southern Africa next year.
- The U.S. Department of State has launched a new four-tier travel advisory system and website to replace the current travel warnings and advisories system. The new format has been designed to provide Americans with greater clarity and more action-oriented information than the old emergency and security messages systems, which were often found to be quite confusing. American embassies and consulates will now issue alerts that will inform US citizens of specific local safety and security concerns, such as demonstrations, crime trends, and weather events throughout the world. Anything that will help travelers better assess risk when making travel decisions should be a good thing, right? Follow the link to the State department’s website for details https://goo.gl/Amv7Wz.
- For the final news nugget of the month: Budget air carrier Southwest Airlines recently announced that it plans to begin air service to Honolulu in 2018. Flights will be via 175-passenger Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts (Southwest only flies 737s).
Southwest often has great pricing in comparison to other airlines, and your first bags always fly free! So, although it is a stretch (pun intended), flying Southwest from Detroit to Honolulu may be something you might want to consider if the price is right.
Photo courtesy of architualdigest.com
Contact me if you have questions or comments about anything you’ve seen here. Until next time…
~Angel, the Travel Diva loves helping others experience world travel that engages, empowers, enlightens, and entertains. Contact her at (313)808-8018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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