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Special Inaugural Offer to Celebrate the Occasion

Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya, Mexico opened its doors on February 1, 2008 along an idyllic coastline on the dramatic Yucatan peninsula.  In celebration of the destination resort’s opening, the 128-room resort will delight its guests with a Special Inaugural Offer of a fourth night free when reserving three consecutive nights.
A luxurious resort set on 36 lush, secluded acres, the mile-long enclave is the ultimate sanctuary, where verdant tropical jungle meets pure white, pristine beach.  A naturalist’s paradise, the resort features protected mangrove reserves and crystal-clear water from tranquil lagoons and streams, highlighted by a spectacular cenote, a deep, freshwater reservoir sacred to the ancient Mayan that serves as the resort’s centerpiece.  Ideally situated, the resort is only 10 minutes north of Playa del Carmen in bustling Riviera Maya, with its dining, entertainment, specialty shops and boutiques, and just a 30-minute drive from Cancún International Airport.
Those discerning travelers who want to be among the first to experience Mandarin Oriental’s newest luxurious hideaway in Riviera Maya can take advantage of the special offer which is valid through April 30, 2008, excluding February 14-17 and March 20-24 and is subject to availability. Room rates range from USD $700.
Perfectly placed along natural waterways that blend seamlessly into the secluded setting, the 128 luxuriously appointed guest rooms are situated in contemporary-styled bungalow villas or two-storey villas, offering the ultimate in peace and tranquility.  All guest rooms enjoy exceptional water views of the mesmerizing cenote, the tranquil lagoon, the meandering waterways or the Caribbean Sea.  A haven for total privacy, each room encompasses its own spacious, private terrace or garden, some with individual plunge pools and all with secluded garden bathrooms.  
A variety of restaurants and bars serve an eclectic selection of contemporary cuisine in settings inspired by outstanding ocean views, al fresco seating and dynamic design.  Ambar, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers creative international cuisine influenced by sophisticated Mexican and Asian fare. Just above Ambar is the very chic M-Bar, a hip and sophisticated outdoor bar and lounge serving exotic libations and cool ocean breezes.  Panoramic ocean views define the beach club restaurant Aguamarina; for the freshest catch of the day, guests can head to the beachfront Ceviche Cha Cha Cha; spa cuisine and healthy fare is found at Café Mayana, and the Lobby Lounge is a stylish retreat for early evening cocktails.
Truly unique to any destination resort in all of Latin America, the 25,000-square-foot Spa at Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya sets new standards of holistic well-being that embodies the riches of Mayan philosophy, blended with Asian-rooted healing rituals.  The extensive offerings provide a combination of spa, beauty and heat experiences, as well as rasul, hamam, vitality and watsu pools, kinesis, traditional Mayan temazcal and Time Rituals – personalized journeys booked in blocks of time.  
Guests can choose from three swimming pools frontingthe ocean or spa, while beachfront water sports on-site including kayaking, snorkeling and deep sea fishing, as well as use of the private pier for yachts and sailboats.  Off premise activities and sports can be arranged, from scuba diving to sailing, windsurfing, horseback riding or championship golf nearby. For those looking to explore the wondrous sites of an ancient land which flourished thousands of years ago, impressive and significant Mayan archeological and cultural sites are within easy reach. 
With a dedicated space for their own exploration and amusement, “Young Fans” will find the Kid’s Club a welcome retreat with a range of activities for children and teens.  A more comprehensive program combining education and fun is available for kids from ages 4 to 12.
For reservations, please contact the hotel directly on +52 (984) 877 3888, toll free in the US at (800) 526 6566; or Mandarin Oriental’s direct on-line reservations service at www.mandarinoriental.com.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts. Mandarin Oriental now operates, or has under development, over 10,000 rooms in 23 countries with 16 hotels in Asia, 14 in The Americas and nine in Europe and North Africa.
Photography of Mandarin Oriental is available to download, in high and low resolution, in the Photo Library of our Media section, at www.mandarinoriental.com.


Royal Argosy CruisesTake a break with the Royal Argosy for incredible views of Seattle, an elegant 3-course lunch or dinner or brunch buffet freshly prepared on board and live entertainment (selected sailings) from Pier 56 on the historic Seattle waterfront. Celebrate a birthday, anniversary, special occasion or a night out on the town on the water. A Royal Argosy Cruise is the perfect way to share a memorable experience with friends and family. From your own private table, enjoy spectacular, ever-changing views of the city skyline, gorgeous scenery and scenic islands as you cruise on Elliott Bay and Puget Sound.
The elegant Royal Argosy features white linen tables, Mahogany trim, marble tops and spectacular chandeliers. Stroll the Royal Argosy outside decks to enjoy the sunset, stargaze and relax with your favorite cocktail! W-O-W.
During dinner, dance to the Royal Argosy Band popular standards and special requests during Dinner Cruises. Brunch Cruises feature a variety of live entertainment. Come out and see why this is the true Seattle experience! There is no better place to be than out on the water!


Tourism Australia has welcomed today’s announcement of the open skies agreement between Australia and the nited States of America, liberalising the regulation of air services on the trans-Pacific route, saying it is great news for Australian tourism.

Tourism Australia’s Executive General Manager International, Richard Beere, said the open skies agreement would help Australia to grow tourism from the important US travel market."Today’s announcement will no doubt provide a further boost in air services from one of Australia's most important tourist markets – the US," Mr Beere said.
"Last year Australia welcomed 460,000 visitors from the US making it the fourth largest source of international visitors to Australia after New Zealand, the UK and Japan. Furthermore, the US travel market provides around $2 billion in export income to Australia annually.“The new regulations allow airlines to more readily increase airline services on the trans-Pacific route.  Once new services begin, increased seat capacity promises easier access to Australia particularly during peak periods,” Mr Beere said.  Mr Beere said Tourism Australia would continue to work closely with its airline partners to increase Australia's share of outbound traffic from the US.
"The US market has remained steady for Australia in recent years but this development will increase our competitiveness in what is a highly sought after market,” he said. “With new initiatives in place such as the Working Holiday Visa, enabling young Americans to work and holiday in Australia, we see a great opportunity to increase visitation.
“Our partnerships with the major airlines who service Australia are vital to ensure that Australia continues to be a destination that is not only much loved by but also well visited by high spending international travellers.
“Partly in anticipation of today’s liberalisation of airline regulations with the US, and additional airline services, the Tourism Forecasting Committee has forecast an extra $400 million in annual tourism export earnings from the US between 2007 and 2009,” Mr Beere said.
Tourism Australia is currently planning its international marketing commitments for 2008/09 and additional airline services on the trans-Pacific route would be a critical factor in maintaining Tourism Australia’s marketing efforts
in the US.
Le Relais Bristol

The restaurant of the Bristol hotel has just made its entrance into the prestigious Gastronomic Gault-Millau guide with a rating of 14/20.
The Relais Bristol is famous for its refined Mediterranean cuisine in an elegant, discreet atmosphere. In addition to a varied daily menu and extended business luncheons and dinners, le Relais Bristol offers seasonal promotions according to market arrivals.

Expanded Eurail Pass Range benefits Visitors to Scandinavia
Utrecht, Netherlands
EurailThe Eurail Group is giving more options to travellers wanting to explore the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.Scandinavia has long been a popular tourist destination for overseas visitors with numbers increasing steadily; in 2006 there were over seven hundred thousand visitors from the United States alone. Now through a new selection of offerings, Eurail passengers can travel throughout the region’s excellent rail systems using just a single pass.
On January 1st, Eurail introduced the Eurail Scandinavia Pass to its vast array of rail packages (replacing the former ScanRail Pass). The pass enables unlimited 2nd class rail travel in all four participating countries and is available throughout a range of validity periods. Discounts are offered to groups of two or more and to young people under the age of 26. Prices start from just 50 euros a day for a four-day Saver Pass.
Eurail’s global network of sales agents makes the pass widely available around the world, and assists travellers in purchasing packages prior to their departure to Europe. Therefore passes can be conveniently bought using local currency, saving the time and stress of buying a series of tickets upon arrival.
Eurail’s new Scandinavian packages also allow flexibility for different itineraries and country
combinations. Those wanting to visit only one or two Scandinavian countries can choose among the Finland-Sweden, Denmark-Sweden and Norway-Sweden options. Additionally, the Norway and Sweden One Country Passes have been adjusted in line with many other Eurail Passes and now offer “Saver” discounts in 2nd class for groups of 2-5 travellers.

Trains in Scandinavia are modern, comfortable and reliable. High speed trains such as Sweden’s X2000 and Finland’s Pendolino whisk travellers from city to city, while slower scenic routes, like the Bergen Railway in Noray, wind through mountain tunnels and across bridges providing continuous panoramas of unspoiled scenic beauty. Although each country’s railway is operated by its own company, cross border connections are easy and efficient. Travelling from Oslo to Stockholm takes just over six hours, while Stockholm to Copenhagen is about a five hour journey. Connections between Helsinki and Stockholm are made possible by ship, operated by Tallink Silja Oy, which gives all Eurail Pass holders a 50% reduction on the full fare of the crossing.
In addition to its Scandinavian packages, the Eurail Group offers a wide range of passes from single country options to the classic Eurail Global Pass, valid in 20 countries. For more information about the Eurail Group, go to www.EurailGroup.com. Eurail Passes are currently available from the direct sales website, www.Eurail.com, and all sales agents worldwide; ACP Rail International (www.eurailacprail.com); Flight Centre (www.flightcentre.com); www.OctopusTravel.com; Rail Europe 4A (www.raileurope.fr/wheretobuy) and STA Travel (www.statravel.com).
For More Information:
Eurail Group corporate website and press room: www.eurailgroup.com
Eurail Group Marketing Manager: Ana Dias e Seixas, tel. + 31 (0)30 8500 125,
Scandinavian Railway Companies:
Danish Railways (DSB): www.dsb.dk
Finnish Railways (VR): www.vr.fi
Norwegian Railways (NSB): www.nsb.no
Swedish Railways (SJ): www.sj.se

Low-fare, high-value
JetBlue A320 CabinJetBlue Airways Corporation (Nasdaq:JBLU) today announces it has taken delivery of its first A320 aircraft to boast a newly redesigned cabin, offering customers improved seat comfort and more personal space. All of the low-cost carrier's scheduled A320 future deliveries, a total of 88 aircraft, will feature these new cabin enhancements.
Onboard experience improvements include: lightweight, all-leather RECARO seats, offering more comfy cushions and increased personal space created by thinner seat profiles; new sculptured sidewall paneling, adding inches to the cabin's width and allowing more shoulder room for customers seated at the window; 10 percent more overhead bin space; and LED cabin lighting, creating a cool white tone that produces an open and more spacious ambiance. "JetBlue took a purposeful approach to the redesign of our aircraft's interior to create a crisp, clean and more comfortable travel experience for our customers," said Michael Blancero, A320 Fleet Manager of JetBlue Airways. "These subtle changes to our seats and cabin paneling, as well as the addition of cool white lighting, create a roomier environment. Whether our customers choose to watch TV or a movie, listen to XM Satellite radio, enjoy a good book, or take a nap in our roomy leather seats with the most legroom of any airline, our new interior will deliver the JetBlue Experience our customers have come to expect of us -- only better."
In addition to improving the customer experience, the aesthetic redesign is also a lightweight solution for JetBlue, trimming 1,050 pounds per aircraft, making the aircraft lighter, which consumes less fuel per journey. The airline estimates an annual savings of $52,000 per new delivery.
About JetBlue Airways
 New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offercustomers the most legroom throughout coach (based on average
fleet-wide seat pitch for U.S. airlines). JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft "BetaBlue," a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 53 cities with 550 daily flights. New service to Los Angeles International Airport begins in May. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) or visit www.jetblue.com.
DIRECTV(r) service is not available on flights outside the continental United States; however, where applicable FOX InFlight(tm) is offered complimentary on these routes.

Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand and unique ports of call highlight cruises
Holland American LineHolland America Line is set to travel Down Under in 2009 with nine select voyages throughout Australia and New Zealand aboard the 1,432-passenger ms Volendam, a ship new to this region. Iconic landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Auckland’s Sky Tower will greet guests as the ship explores the varied landscapes and exotic cultures of the Australia and the North and South islands of New Zealand through several unique ports of call.
Departing from Auckland, New Zealand; Sydney, Australia, or Singapore, the exclusive 14-, 16-, and 19-day sailings bring passengers to striking locales and allow for spectacular scenic cruising and pre- and post-cruise tours to some of world’s most renowned destinations.
“For many of our guests, a cruise to Australia and New Zealand is a dream come true,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “The itineraries we offer are unlike any others, and that ensures we’re giving our guests the most extraordinary experiences possible.”
15- and 19-day itineraries sail the Great Barrier Reef and Asia
Volendam’s two new Great Barrier Reef itineraries are firsts of their kind among major cruise lines in the region. On these select sailings, guests enjoy four days of cruising the Great Barrier Reef, including two days of daylight cruising through the world’s largest coral reef system. Scenic highlights in the reef include viewing the sunrise or sunset — depending on itinerary — while anchored off Lizard and Bobby Islands, an overnight anchorage in the reef near Sherrard Island and cruising Torres Strait. Several interesting ports also will be visited in Indonesia, including Komodo Island, part of the Komodo National Park; Padang Bai, Bali, with its abundance of shopping opportunities, and Semarang, a bustling city teeming with ancient temples. The 19-day itinerary from Auckland to Singapore departs March 16, 2009, and the 15-day Singapore-to-Sydney cruise departs Nov. 21, 2009.
Discover the many wonders of New Zealand
Guests are treated to a picturesque backdrop and extraordinary ports of call on 14-day voyages throughout Australia and New Zealand. Volendam brings cruisers from Sydney’s famous harbor to Auckland’s bustling city with calls along the way at Burnie, Australia; and Christchurch, Tauranga, Dunedin and Picton, New Zealand. The verdant landscape of New Zealand welcomes guests as they encounter breathtaking sights while cruising through Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The lush forests and enchanting waterways will continue to charm guests, even as they sample the region’s many culinary delights including Picton’s wine country, Tauranga’s kiwi farms and Burnie’s Lactos Cheese Factory. Additional adventures can be experienced on Picton’s waterways, which are perfect for kayaking, and Tauranga’s bubbling hot springs. Itineraries between Sydney and Auckland depart January through March, and December 2009, and a special holiday sailing departs Dec. 20, 2009.

Starting fares (per person, double) for the 14-day cruises start at $1,999; $2,249 for the 15-day Great Barrier Reef journey, and $2,599 for the full 19-day Great Barrier Reef experience. Guests can make the most of their time down under by adding a pre- or post-cruise tour to further explore sites such as the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock or the Waitomo Caves.
Lectures in Holland America’s Explorations Speaker Series further enhance the experience by providing guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the region. When in port, guests can choose from a multitude of diverse shore excursions including the exclusive Medallion Collection featuring Overland Adventures; Signature Collection private-car touring; visits to natural, architectural and technical masterpieces from the Wonders of the World Collection; and rare and unusual experiences with the Encore Collection excursions.

Holland America Line also will feature a selection of unique voyages to the Asia Pacific region in 2009, including a new round-trip Hong Kong itinerary. For the first time next fall through spring of 2009, ms Volendam will sail to destinations throughout the Pacific, calling at exotic locales in China, Southeast Asia, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and Russia.

For a 2009 Australia/New Zealand and Asia/Pacific cruise brochure or for more information, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-724-5425 or visit

June 15 – 25, 2008

Nature HournalingGet inspired! Heirloom animals and the unique flora of the Secret Garden at Spannocchia will be our muse as we capture the unique and fascinating appeal of the treasures of the landscape and region of Tuscany. Join Gretchen Kai Halpert in a Nature Journaling workshop that will leave you with a deeper connection to the plants and animals on the Spannocchia property and beyond. The week includes excursions to medieval hilltop towns, visits to 12th-18th century art galleries, and plenty of time for personal creativity. Rest, relax and rejuvenate your creative spirit.
For more information on Nature Journaling, contact Program Coordinator Gretchen Kai Halpert, ghalpert@verizon.net
Nature JournalingTuscan Visions: Photojournalism Workshop
October 21 – 27, 2008
Create your own photo essay during this in-depth look at photojournalism. Join professional Jim Daniels as he leads you through the steps based on his extensive experience as an internationally acclaimed photojournalist. Learn the value of story research, reportage techniques and production design. Serious amateurs and professionals will have the opportunity to develop a vision in the inspiring surroundings of Tuscany.
For more information on Tuscan Visions: Photojournalism Workshop
contact Program Coordinator Jim Daniels,


The Nation’s Largest Series of Travel & Adventure Shows Adds Seattle,

September 13th & 14th 2008 to Schedule.
Unicomm LLC., organizers of the highly successful Adventures in Travel Expo series, has announced plans to build upon its winning formula by extending its brand to the Seattle market on September 13th & 14th at the Washington State Convention Center.
Supported by the power of the Seattle Times organizers will capitalize upon the Seattle-Tacoma DMA as one of the largest media markets in the country with a highly effective buying income, keen interest in outdoor and leisure activities and which also serves as main gateway to the Asia/Pacific region and Canada. The Seattle-Tacoma area also is an emerging market for the Caribbean and Latin America.
Unicomm will utilize its hybrid trade/consumer model as the format for the Seattle show. The first morning will be dedicated to travel industry professionals and trade, while the core of the event will be open to the general public giving consumers an opportunity to experience, to book and to explore what is hot, what is interesting and what is unique in active, adventure and experiential travel.
“This year, the Adventures in Travel Expo will lead the industry with five events, strategically located in the top gateways and travel buying capitals of the U.S. Seattle is a natural extension of our brand as it represents a market that research shows will be very receptive to our shows,” said John Golicz, CEO Unicomm LLC.
“Seattle also represents our philosophy to create events that essentially become an experiential marketplace for showcasing the vast array of options available to travel professionals and to consumers. We create an exciting arena filled with a wealth of interactive exhibits from around the globe and add a top notch educational component that affords travel agents, wholesalers and travel brokers the opportunity to experience the best of what travel in the new millennium has to offer,” Golicz says. “We’re looking forward to experiencing the same success as we have in other markets,” he continued.
Part of the success of the Unicomm’s formula can be attributed to the quality of media partners that the company has assembled. These include top newspaper partners such as The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, The Chicago Tribune, and National Geographic ADVENTURE Magazine.
For more information about the Adventures in Travel Expo please call (203) 878-2577 or visit the web site at www.adventureexpo.com.
About Unicomm, LLC
Unicomm, LLC is an independent business-to-business communications company specializing in originating and managing world-class trade shows and conferences in underserved and nascent markets.  Located in Milford, Connecticut, Unicomm is led by a seasoned management team possessing more than 50 years of events industry experience and an impressive track record of dozens of successful show launches and hundreds of event productions.  Each year Unicomm holds varied events attracting tens of thousands of people in key markets including Human Resources, Engineering, Defense, Travel and others.


The Reefs Resort in BermudaGuests staying at The Reefs April 1 to May 22 will have the opportunity to win an identical stay the next year in a vacation drawing.  To celebrate their reopening after being closed for enhancements, The Reefs will give away two free vacations to lucky guests.  There will be two drawings – one in April and one in May.
Each guest checking in at The Reefs between April 1 and May 22 will be entered in a drawing for an identical stay in 2009.  Whether the visit is five nights or 10, the winner receives a matching vacation during the same period in 2009.  Guests receive one entry for each night of their stay.  So the longer the stay, the better the chances are of winning. 
Several attractive package options are available including:
6th Night FREE – Stay between April 1 and May 22 and guests can extend their stay at The Reefs to six nights while paying for only five – a 20% increase in their time in Bermuda.
Spring Fling – A perennial April favourite, Spring Fling includes four nights, and the classic amenities of daily breakfast, afternoon tea, gourmet dinner, round-trip airport transfer, service charges and taxes, beginning at $2138 for two.  Dates are April 1-30.
As an opening day special, guests arriving April 1 will enjoy complimentary cocktails at 4:00 PM in the newly expanded and renovated bar and lounge at The Reefs.
So, when The Reefs reopens in April after four months of renovations, guests can be the first to enjoy The Reefs’ new look and have a chance to win a FREE 2009 vacation.  The Reefs' staff is ready to offer their warm Bermudian hospitality to all The Reefs guests who become part of The Reefs extended family.
For information and reservations, call 800-742-2008, your favourite travel professional or visit www.TheReefs.com.

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