Did You Know?: February Travel News

by Barbara Broadbent

EUROPEAN FLIGHTS, both seasonal and year-round, will be expanded this year to include new destinations and more departures.

Transat Holidays, from Vancouver, will have 6 flights/week to London Gatwick; 4 per week to Paris; 4 per week to Frankfurt; 3 per week to Amsterdam; 2 per week to Amsterdam; and 1 per week to Manchester. London flights start as early as April 2, 2014. From Toronto, many other destinations are available, such as Birmingham, Dublin, Shannon, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Faro, Porto, Venice, Athens Rome, Marseille, Istanbul, with the newest one being Prague. Virgin Atlantic will be adding a 5th weekly seasonal flight from Vancouver to London (Sun., Tue., Wed., Thu., and Sat.). Air Canada is featuring their new Premium Economy Cabins on Vancouver/London flights beginning March 1, 2014, when they start using Boeing 777-300ER service.
This is in addition to Executive First and expanded Economy cabins. They are also adding four new destinations: Milan, Lisbon, Nice and Manchester, as well as adding extra flights to Istanbul.

MAZATLAN welcomes the return of 3 major cruise lines to its port this winter, greeting ships from Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Linesand Azamara Cruises.

Passengers can visit the new “tourism corridor” between the new Port and Old Mazatlan, stroll through the remodeled Plaza Machado, or catch a show at the historic Angela Peralta Theater. Stroll the beautiful Malecon boardwalk which is the longest in North America, or ride in an open-air taxi (“pulmonia”) exclusive to the city.
TRAVELLING SOLO WITH TAUCK doesn’t mean travelling alone, it means camaraderie, travelling with like-minded travelers who share similar interests. For 2014, Tauck is offering solo travelers special savings on all of their European river cruises, and on select departures of many of their land trips. They are also including four dedicated cabins for solo travelers in the design of two new riverboats launching later this year. Call us for details.

HONG KONG CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL. Many will remember the spectacular (and slightly scary) approach to the old Kai Tak airport over the densely populated Kowloon Peninsula and on to the runway that jutted straight out into the sea. The southern end of the old runway has now been transformed into a modern, half-mile long cruise ship terminal. The terminal’s two berths will be able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world (those too large to dock at the existing Ocean Terminal). A large, manicured rooftop garden with 360-degree views of the Hong Kong skyline will open to the public shortly.

AEROPLAN CREDIT CARDS. As I’m sure you have all heard, as of Jan 1, 2014, TD is now the official issuer of Aeroplan credit cards. Although TD becomes Aeroplan’s primary financial services partner, and credit card issuer, CIBC continues to be a co-issuer of Aeroplan cards. Those presently using CIBC will receive a letter from them explaining the new system. Regardless of whether members have transitioned to a new card, miles already accumulated through the end of 2013 will still be in your Aeroplan account. Please contact either of the Banks for full details.