Travel Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Lingus picks 5 new Med destinations for next summer & Ryanair take on Google

In transit, game drive, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

In transit: Game drive, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

9 things you need to know about travel this week:

  • Ryanair takes aim at Google
  • Aer Lingus details five summer 2016 Med routes, two T/A services to follow
  • Finally, Flanagan launched the passport card
  • Las Vegas CVA meet the media in Dublin
  • Lugubrious Liam Lonergan lays it on for the travel industry
  • Negotiating our way into Ngorongoro National Park
  • Eoghan Corry named Business Travel News Journalist of the Year
  • Sharm flight stays for winter
  • What next as Malaysia airlines plans to close their Dublin office?

Travel Extra TV

Video of week October 11 2015This amazing footage by YouTuber flugsnug shows a B777 virtually creating its own weather system with wing tip vortices. It is our video of the week. Watch here.

  • On a hiking trip into Lake Waikaremoana in New Zealand, cables snapped causing the collapse of the  the 65-meter Hopu ruahine bridge under the weight of four French tourists while they were crossing, sending them hurtling down into the lake eight metres below. Three were tossed into the lake as the fourth person was able to hold onto the cable that remained. Remarkably, all of them came out of the incident with nothing more than a few scratches and bruises. Watch here
  • See Conor McMahon’s footage of baboons at Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. Watch here.
  • Sightseers off the coast of Costa Rica were surrounded by a superpod of dolphins. See Orlando Marin’s breathtaking footage. Watch here.
  • Tour America’s 20th birthday video: Congratulations to Mary and the team from everyone at Travel Extra. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland released an online video, The Outing 2015, in a bid to entice LGBT couples to celebrate their weddings and honeymoons in Ireland. The video was filmed at last weekend’s Outing LGBT matchmaking festival. Watch here.
  • Inside American Airlines’ Shepherd One, the jet that flew Pope Francis during his US visit. Watch here.
  • See Emirates’ A380 TV ad featuring Jennifer Aniston. Watch here.
  • See Surfing in Ireland, the first video in the Vagabrothers’ vlog series shot in Ireland. Watch here.
  • Highlights from the first A350 XWB delivery to Finnair. Watch here.
  • I see London, I see France…Two Air France managers had their shirts ripped off by an angry mob as they left a meeting about mass job cuts. Watch here.
  • Ryanair announced the winners of their #30names30planes campaign. Watch here.
  • See Discover NI’s promo for The Festival of Light. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

ryanair google search engineRyanair, generally known for not backing off a fight (WHO takes on the EU commission?), called on Google to enforce advertising transparency and prohibit misleading practices, code for its attempt to prevent eDreams finishing higher on the front page of Google than Ryanair’s official site. The call has implications beyond Ryanair and the aviation industry: Google’s model of paid search results has an uneasy relationship with consumer protection. A speaker at the IHF conference in 2013 declared the growth of sponsored results and pay per click as the “end of independent search engine.” Ryanair issued a series of tweets and press releases this week pointing out the obvious: eDreams have a site that is designed to look like Ryanair’s and steal its customers (with an extra admin fee). Ryanair are pursuing 34 screen scrapers across Europe, despite the change of the airline’s relationships with GDS, but this fight has become the one to watch, especially if it turns into a Ryanair v Google side scrap. Watch here the Ryanair video of eDreams.

NO REPRO FEE More Flights and New Locations - Aer Lingus has today announced details of its Summer 2016 short haul schedules from Dublin, Cork and Shannon which includes over 250,000 extra seats on popular sun routes. Following a bumper summer the airline has launched five new European destinations - Pisa, Murcia, Montpelier, Dusseldorf and Liverpool. Pictured at the launch of Aer Lingus' Summer Short Haul Schedule 2016, cabin crew Deborah McGuirk, left, and Shannen McDonnell enjoyed a bit of La Dolce Vita on Sandymount Strand today. Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Aer Lingus released details of their five services to the Med in summer 2016, with two trans-Atlantic routes to follow: from Dublin for summer 2016 to Pisa 3w, Murcia 4w, Montpellier 2w, Cork-Dusseldorf 2w and Belfast-Alicante 5w. Capacity increases from Dublin include Alicante (up 92pc), Athens 14pc, Barcelona 8pc, Bilbao 6pc, Bordeaux 7pc, Bourgas 13pc, Catania 16pc, Corfu 4pc, Dubrovnik 19pc, Faro 18pc, Lanzarote 4pc, Lanzarote 4pc, Lisbon 14pc, Malaga 8pc, Naples 6pc, Palma 13pc, Perpignan 35pc, Pula 61pc, Santiago de Compostela 7pc, Tenerife 4pc, Toulouse 13pc and Venice 20pc. Cork will get 2,300 additional seats each week in summer 2016. CityJet new routes 2w to La Rochelle and 1w to Nantes from June 18. Aer Lingus 2w to Dusseldorf and additional capacity on Cork to Paris, Barcelona, Palma and Faro. Shannon will get increased frequencies to Faro and Malaga & additional seats on London Heathrow. .Cork-Brussels appears to have been dropped (again) to make way for Cork-Dusseldorf and Dublin-Fuerteventura has been dropped for next summer

new passport cardBetter late than never, Minister Charlie Flanagan launched the Irish passport card for use in 30 European countries, It costs €35 and is available to Irish passport holders over 18, apply here. It will also hopefully reduce the number of passports lost by 20-year-olds carrying them as ID on a night out. Minister Flanagan announced the resumption of the passport express service, disrupted by an An Post strike.

las vegas group_5421Las Vegas CVA briefed the Irish media at an event in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel. Las Vegas has seen major revamps. Watch here the interview with Dublin born Caroline Coyle at the event. Bellagio and MGM Grand redesigned their thousands of rooms and suites with a combined investment of $325m while the Strip-fronts of New York-New York and Monte Carlo also have been updated to become more pedestrian friendly. This will become the epicentre of future Las Vegas as a new tree-filled park (the first on The Strip) connects the two resorts and a new $375m, 20,000-seat arena to open spring 2016. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

jerez o'hanlonThe ITAA conference in Jerez concluded with a Gala Dinner at Claustros de Santo Domingo. Picture shows Peter O’Hanlon photographing Lorraine Dunne of the ITAA with Mary Denton and Deirdre Sweeny of Sunway at the event.

WP_20151002_13_55_27_ProLiam Lonergan’s lugubrious analysis of the travel industry in an interview with Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry was the talk of the ITAA annual conference in Jerez. Eoghan: What advice would you give a young Liam Lonergan? Liam: get out of travel. (listen here to the complete session).

The “bring the conference home” movement for the next ITAA conference gained some momentum after a poor attendance by agents at last week’s conference in Jerez. Irish agents. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Condil de la Frontera groupTravel agents and suppliers were hosted by the Spanish Tourist Board at Condil de la Frontera after the ITAA conference. The trip were accommodated in the spacious and labyrinthine Gran Conil hotel, visited Vejer de la Frontera, the luxuriant Hurricane hotel and whale watching in Tarifa. Picture shows the group in Tarifa: Cormac Meehan of Meehan’s Travel in Bundoran Dominic Burke of Travel Centres, Declan Mescall of Travelbiz, Bernie Burke of Travel Centres, Mary Lee of Newbridge Travel, Maureen McGroary Meehan of Meehan’s Travel in Bundoran, Hugh Bruton of Brittany Ferries, Kathryn MacDonnell of the Spanish Tourist Board and Maura Moloney of Dublin Airport Authority, And yes, the parting glass was sung. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

TBTJAs Eoghan Corry 15246ravel Extra editor Eoghan Corry won the Business Travel News Journalist of the year award at the BTJA’s in London (how do you pronounce BTJA?). He was also shortlisted for the editor of the year of award: Eoghan writes I did not have any idea I had won when I travelled to London. The opposite, I expected someone to have indicated I had won and to sit and applaud somebody else’s award. Shortly before the announcement was made I received the text saying Ireland had secured a famous Long ball at the Aviva and that had me in a celebratory mood. These to circumstances added to the sense of shock and elation. I am humbled and gratified by my win against such esteemed international opposition. I hope am the first of many Irish travel writers on to that podium. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Red Sea Holidays launched its winter schedule to Sharm El Sheikh utilising seats on the Falcon weekly flight. Sharm has not been a winter option from Dublin in recent years although flights have operated from Belfast.

two out of five aint badTravel Extra’s Conor McMahon travelled to Arusha and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania for the Swahili International Tourism Expo post fam. First stop was a delicious lunch prepared by the locals at Mto Wa Mbu, home to 120 tribes, then it was straight to Lake Manyara for a game drive. Baboons were in abundance (see Travel Extra TV), but blue monkeys, gazelles, zebras and elephants also made an appearance. The group then headed for the gate of Ngorongoro National Park, but arrived 15 minutes after closing time. Crispin the driver negotiated his way past the park rangers, which meant Conor was taken on an unscheduled (and illegal) night time safari. Day three was the big one: Into the Crater to spot hyenas, buffalos, wildebeests, jackals, hippos, and more. Two of the Big Five made an appearance: the lion and the elephant. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

ATWS Irish delegationPicture shows the Irish delegation at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Puerto Varas, Chile: Rob Rankin of Vagabond Adventures, Stephen Power of Extreme Ireland, Maurice Whelan of Ireland Walk Bike Hike, executive director Europe ATTA Chris Doyle, travel writer Yvonne Gordon, Jeremy Perrin of Greenlife Tours Ltd/Camino Ways and president of ATTA Shannon Stowell. Christy Sinclair of Adventure Burren also attended.

Ciara Mooney Bill Cullen Freedom TravelA new license has been issued to Hoteltrip/Bookandgo, Unit 3A, Riversdale House, Main Street, Leixlip, Co Kildare by the Commission for Aviation Regulation. Other changes saw the trading name for Thomas Cook Retail changed to thomascook.ie from Flexibletrips. Jeff Collins’ Best4 Travel/Wecanbookit added six trading names to its license in keeping with its home working scheme: Puerto del Carmen Holidays, Gloria Palace Holidays, Farionesholidays, Vikholidays, Muthuholidays, and Marbellabeachcorfu. Ciara Mooney’s Freedom Travel moved its listing for Naas branch to the Tesco Extra shopping centre at Monread North. Michael Doorley’s Shandon Travel deleted its Wilton Shopping Centre branch. Hertfordshire based P&P Associates added Weholiday as a trading name, in addition to Independent.ie Travel. Bill Cullen (pictured with Ciara) has used Ciara Mooney’s Freedom Travel for his latest car promotion, purchasing weekend breaks as a customer incentive.

concorde travel fam trip in madeira_2405Concorde Travel hosted Travel Agents in Madeira and the Lisbon Coast, spending four nights in Madeira, staying in the 4 star Four Views Monumental, two nights in Cascais, staying in the 5 star Quinta da Marinha or the 5 star Viva Marinha, visits to hotels in Funchal and Santa Cruz, two full day excursions in Madeira, a walking tour of Lisbon and visits to hotels in Cascais, Estoril and Lisbon on the Lisbon Coast. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Cuba 2015 001Picture shows travel agents on the Cubatravel/Air Canada fam trip to Cuba: Gordon Penney of Cubatravel, Eamon Flanagan of Air Canada Ireland, , Laura O’Callaghan of Bernard Hayes Travel Cork, Sarah Brady of Barters Travel Cork, Ciara Sweeney of Corrib Travel Galway, Darren Hutchinson of Strand Travel Waterford and James Malone of Rathgar Travel Dublin. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

algarve groupHugo Nascimento from Algarve Tourism hosted an International fam trip which included Irish journalist Catherine Murphy, at the Nau Morgado and Nau Salgados Palace hotels and experienced the hidden, more adventurous side of the Algarve, exploring the coast by boat, helicopter, segway and racing car. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

The Turkish Airlines Open takes place in Belek from Thursday 29 October to Sunday 01 November, Rory McIlroy launched the airline’s Turkish Airlines’ ‪#‎CheckInToGolf‬ campaign.

catalonia active_0289Drew Duggan’s Active Holidays and Spanish Tourist Board hosted travel writers in Catalonia. They went hot air ballooning with the guys from Vol de Coloms, walked through Catalunya’s medieval villages, hiked a section of the Cami de Ronda and visited Girona where filming on Game of Thrones had just finished highlighting the attractions of the area for family and group trips. Picture shows Brendan Daly of the Sunday Business Post, Liz Ann Dunphy of The Irish Examiner, Catherine Murphy of Outsider Magazine, Drew Duggan of Adventure Holidays, Jane Last of the Irish Independent, Sara Rivero of the Spanish Tourist Board and Sophie White of the Sunday Independent

mary mckenna conor mcgregorMixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor joined Tour America’s 20th birthday celebraations this weekend with Louis and Mary Copeland, the Singing Waiters and Cole Page, who has entertained for Bill Clinton.

  • Bookings are open for the TIGS Golf outing sponsored by Travel Extra at The Castle Golf Club on October 22. Tee reservations.
  • ETOA reported that membership reached an all-time high with 800 member companies, having grown by over 100 in 2015.
  • Dublin Skal’s lunch will be hosted in the Marker Hotel next Tuesday. Galway Skal Club are having their October function at Ashford Castle next Sunday, October 18. Dinner is €65pp incl. wine. B&B accommodation at the Lodge at Ashford for €155 per room. For more, email Galway president Noreen Darcy: noreen@darcymarketingandpr.ie.
  • Travelport AustriaTravelport acquired its distributor in Austria, TraviAustria.
  • Thomson Family Resorts will relaunch as Family Life in May 2016.
  • Travel Consul became a member of the UNWTO affiliate membership programme.
  • BA launched their On Business online training programme.

Hotels

The latest Hotel Barometerstephen mcnally2 from the Irish Hotels Federation found that 89pc of hotels and guesthouses reported increased business levels so far this year, and 55pc of hoteliers plan to hire addition staff over the next year.

Jurys Inn extended its brand in England to a further eight properties owned by Lone Star’s Maris Hospitality.

mount julietMount Juliet became the 16th member of the exclusive European Tour Properties network, a network of venues that encompasses 14 different countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Clothing is the most often forgotten item at hotels, cited by 42pc of guests surveyed by G6 Hospitality. Rounding out the list: , Toiletries (42pc), Electronic devices/chargers (40pc), Jewellery including watches (15pc), Underwear (13pc), Hair styling tools (13pc).

Hotelbeds hosted 550 attendees at the seventh edition of the MarketHub Americas.

walk the worldElement Hotels launched their Walk the World campaign, a virtual walk powered by Fitbit. The goal to walk 29m steps, the distance from Element Vancouver Metrotown to Element Suzhou Science and Technology Town in China.

Hotels.com’s H1 hotel price index found that London is the most searched destination by Irish users. The top ten: 1 London, 2 New York, 3 Paris, 4 Rome, 5 Lanzarote, 6 Albufeira, 7 Berlin, 8 Barcelona, 9 Amsterdam, 10 Edinburgh. Newcomers to the top 20 list were Brussels (13), Madrid (15) and Manchester (20), replacing Liverpool, Lisbon and Mallorca from the 2014 index.

Fitzpatrick’s appointed Niamh Armstrong as Financial Controller and Mairead Cullen as Director of Sales. Inchydoney appointed Sherna Malone as Sales and Marketing Executive. Barberstown Castle appointed Lisa Hennessy as the Assistant Sales Manager, Riverside Park Hotel in Macroom apppinted Erin Gilligan is the new Duty Manager.

  • Marriott International will open the Taipei Marriott Hotel.
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group will open four Holiday Inn Express properties in Germany.
  • Palace Resort relaunched their Palace Difference MICE website.
  • Dalata is reportedly in discussions to buy up to seven sites in central Dublin.

International

At least 16 people died and hundreds were stranded after two months’ worth of rain fell on Cote d’Azur causing the River Brague to burst its banks between Cannes and Nice.

Germany is the new favourite destination of young travellers according to research by PK International and ITB Berlin. Since 2007 the number of foreign trips by young Europeans has declined by 10pc.

NYC & Company encouraged visitors to explore the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue and Belmont.

TBEX Asia says 600 bloggers will attend their summit in Bangkok this October.

robin williams waxworksTwo waxworks of the late Robin Williams were put on display at Madame Tussauds San Francisco.

germany suspension bridgeA 1,200ft suspension bridge that stretches across Geierlay canyon, Germany was opened to the public. The foot bridge is suspended 91 metres above the valley between Morsdorf and Sosberg.

Phuket was hit by a thick smog. A 20-year-old German woman died at a Thai resort island after being stung by a box jellyfish.

Regulators banned captive breeding at SeaWorld San Diego.

human peace sign2,000 John Lennon fans joined Yoko Ono to create a giant human peace sign in Central Park to mark the late Beatle’s 75th birthday.

More selfie danger: Police in England warned tourists not to trespass on railway lines after a couple and a young child were seen taking photos on a viaduct that features in the Harry Potter films.

Google street view elephant kenyaSamburu National Park, Kenya is now available to view on Google Street View in the hopes of raising awareness of the reserve’s efforts to protect the elephant population. See here.

Cracks appeared in a glass-bottomed bridge suspended 3,540ft over Yuntaishan, China.

Food & Wine

FOODIE TOWNSHow odd. Four of the top ten Foodie Towns  of Ireland in 2015 named by the Restaurants Association in Ireland are not even towns: Boyne Valley, Derry, Dungarvan, Howth, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Loop Head Peninsula, Sligo, The Burren, and West Cork.

Ireland’s 13 Michelin Star restaurants are more dispersed than ever in the recently announced 2016 list, Martijn Kajuiter’s Cliff House in Ardmore, Michael Deane’s Eipic and Stephen Toma’s Ox in Belfast, Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud in the Merrion Hotel (Ireland’s only restaurant with two Michelin stars), Ross Lewis’s Chapter One, Derry and Sally Clarke’s L’Ecrivain and new addition Mickael Viljanen’s The Greenhouse in Dublin, Ultan Cooke’s Aniar and new addition Enda McEvoy’s Loam in Galway (Enda was previously chef with Aniar) and Gareth Byrne’s Campagne and Cormac Rowe’s Lady Helen in Kilkenny. Oliver Dunne’s Bon Appétit in Malahide and Kevin Thornton’s at the Fitzwilliam Hotel lost their Michelin Star status.

  • Paul Prudhomme, a pioneer of today’s popular farm to table movement, died on Thursday in New Orleans.
  • Fahrenheit Grill at Clontarf Castle has been awarded a second AA Rosette.
  • Wineport Lodge in Athlone has appointed Paul Quinn as Executive Head Chef.

Aviation

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christoph mueller h&s iata 001Malaysia Airlines is to close its Dublin office. Christoph Mueller and chief operating officer Peter Bellew are reducing international services as part of their attempt to rescue the former Air Malaysia.The decision has not been confirmed and it is not clear what happens next for Malaysia Airlines’s or their representative in Dublin Ken Masterson. MH’s options include a pan Europe GSA , or an Alan Sparling style GSA in Ireland

Aer Lingus parent IAG posted September group traffic of 9.1m passengers up 8.5pc YOY. Load factor was up 0.3 percentage points to 84.7pc. Aer Lingus September passengers were up 10.9pc to 2.7m.

Dublin airprot sign being dismantled October 8 2015Dublin airport T1‘s famous flight information screen, the largest in Europe is to be removed over the next four weeks and replaced with 15 flight information screens, three to the side of each check-in island. Reaction on the Travel Extra Facebook page was mixed with one poster declaring it a shame, and another comenting: It is quite iconic and disappointing that it’s being replaced.

Traffic in Irish airspace was up 5.4pc YOY in Q3 to an average of 1,767 flights per day. Dublin traffic was up 9.1pc with an average 574 daily commercial movements, Cork down 11.3pc with an average 52 daily movements, Shannon down 21.1pc with an average 59 daily movements.

08/06/2015 . Picture: Alan Place/FusionShooters.Austrian tour operator Prima Reisen will operate a charter service from Shannon to Vienna from July to early September 2016.

There were reports that five Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100) aircraft are on their way to CityJet. CityJet will operate a 2w Cork-Nantes service and a weekly Cork-La Rochelle service from mid-June 2016.

Ethiopian Airlines is planning to order 15 B777X to replace the current B777s. The carrier is also considering the A350-1000.

Captain Michael Johnston, the pilot of an American Airlines A320, died during a flight from Phoenix to Boston. The co pilot landed the jet in Syracuse successfully with 147 passengers on board. It was only the eighth death during a US commercial flight in more than 20 years.

Ryanair traffic was up 12pc to 9.55m passengers in September. Load factor was up 4 percentage points to 94pc. Rolling annual traffic stands at 97.3m passengers, up 16pc.

powers aviationDublin Airport celebrated their 75th anniversary with limited edition Irish whiskey. Picture shows DAA Alcohol Retail Category Manager Rachel Cartwright with Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison.

London City Airport research into plane spotters indicated 43pc are under the age of 25 and only 6pc of retirement age.

Air France is negotiating with Boeing and Aer Cap to cancel the delivery of five 787 jets. The troubled airline said that its long haul capacity will be decline by 10pc over the next two years.

Turkish3 copyTurkish Airlines launched their #CheckInToGolf campaign, encouraging golf tourists to share their experiences on social media for the change to win golf travel prizes including the opportunity to meet Rory McIlroy at the Turkish Airlines Open 2015. Visit turkishairlinesopen.com.

Flybe confirmed a new partnership with regional and city airports.

Ethiopian won the CAPA Airline of the Year Award at the CAPA 2015 World Aviation Summit in Helsinki. Picture shows Tewolde GebreMariam accepting the award from CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison. Alan Joyce told the summit that Qantas now flies 1.6m passengers a year to Europe as against 400,000 before the alliance with Emirates. He said airlines are “some of the most trusted brands in the world.” Ryanair CCO David O’Brien claimed that legacy carriers “persist with a delusion that disruption can be regulated away.” Ian Heywood of Travelport said “airline models in the next 20 years will be significantly different than they are today,”

It was a series of unfortunate events for Aer Lingus over the past fortnight, with two A320s and a contracted 767 al going tech, followed by a ten hour delay on the A330 ferrying passengers to and from Malaga on Tuesday. They include Travel Extra‘s editor and several disgruntled passengers who contacted the Joe Duffy show on RTE. Aer Lingus managed to bring an A330 from maintneance early to come to the rescue. Captain on the substitute aircraft garret Brady did an excellent job in reassuring passengers,  Listen here to Eoghan Corry on RTE’s Morning Ireland responding to Monday mornings problems.

Russia is restricting its airspace to Ukraine starting on October 25 in response to Kiev banning flights by Russian airlines to the country. On September 16, Ukraine imposed sanctions against 25 Russian airlines.

Apollo Aviation Group raised $833m to acquire aircraft, engines and components for lease.

qatar fashionGiogio Armani showcased their autumn/winter collection at Qatar Duty Free, Hamad International Airport.

finnair wifiFinnair opened two Asian destinations, Fukuoka in Japan and Guangzhou in China, for summer 2016. Finnair will provide free WiFi to premium passengers on its A380 XWB.

The US is to back a ban on lithium battery shipments on passenger planes.

A Brooklyn court heard that an armed American air marshal David Maldonado was told to leave a plane prior to take-off after he allegedly burst into the cockpit and complained to the pilot that a flight attendant had spilled a drink on him and then laughed in his face..

airbus mezzanineYet another bizarre aircraft patent: This is Airbus’ mezzanine design that would stack passengers on top of each other.

The US Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $1.9m fine against aerial photography company SkyPan International for flying drones in congested airspace in New York and Chicago.

Pre-tax profits at AWAS increased by 158pc to €221.9m in 2014.

Avolon delivered an A320-200 to VietJet.

Afloat

danubeWhatever floats your boat. The water level on the Danube between Passau and Regensburg has become so low that it is currently impassable. Some companies have moved embarkation from Erlangen to Passau.

Disney was voted best cruise line by users of cruise reviews site Cruise Critic. The largely American based voters voted Disney Dream best large ship and Disney Wonder best mid size ship. Pacific Princess beat Crystal Serenity and Azamara Quest in the best small ship category, Uniworld won best river cruise. Fred Olsen won the best itineraries Ocean and CroisiEurope best itineraries in the reviercruise category, both companies are represented in ireland by Alan Lynch’s Cruisescapes.  Watch here Irish travel agents who were hosted by Alan Lynch and Celine Kenny on a CroisiEurope ship during the ITAA conference in Cadiz.  For those who were there, think about this leadership video. Any similarities?

140233_RZ_AIDA_Katalog_2016_17_276_001_D.pdfAIDA Cruises published their March 2016-April 2017 and October 2017 cruise programmes, featuring 90 cruises to 180 ports.

SIlversea launched an ‘early booking bonus’ for autumn 2016 voyages

AIDA Cruises published its cruise program for up to October 2017.

The Star Princess was struck with an outbreak of norovirus, affecting 61 passengers.

ncl pitbullNorwegian Cruise Line appointed rapper Pitbull as godfather of Norwegian Escape. He will perform at the christening ceremony at PortMiami on November 9.

Princess Cruises will increase shipboard service charges to $12.95pp per day and $13.50 for suite passengers, effective for cruises departing from January 1 2016.

Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas is to get 79 new cabins, including 26 Panoramic Ocean View cabins in its next refit, two racer slides called Cyclone and Typhoon, a boomerang-style water slide that propels riders to almost vertical and and Giovanni’s Table and R Bar.

Carnival Corporation Amber Cove 2Amber Cove, Carnival’s $85m purpose-built cruise port near Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic, opened when Carnival Victory called on Tuesday. Cozumel marked the official opening of a third berth constructed by Carnival when Carnival Triumph and Carnival Freedom docked simultaneously.

  • The 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi will be renamed American Pride when it moves from the Mississippi to the Columbia and Snake rivers in 2016.
  • Kirkenes SnowhotelHurtigruten is offering cruise passengers one free night in Kirkenes Snowhotel for April 2016 and available when booking a seven-day Classic Voyage South.
  • Costa Cruises has introduced a dedicated vegan menu.
  • Crystal Cruises has announced all-inclusive three-night pre- or post-cruise stays in Berlin.
  • Disney Cruise Line launched their 2017 cruise schedule with three- to seven-night cruises out of Port Canaveral on Disney Fantasy, Dream and Wonder.
  • Majestic Princess is the name of Princess new cruise ship , scheduled to launch summer 2017 offering cruises to Japan and Korea from Shanghai. The 2,000-passenger Dawn Princess will move to the P&O fleet in May 2017.
  • Carnival launched Fly2Fun, which lets passengers make and customise reservations with a variety of options.
  • Oceania Cruises launched their 2016/2017 Season with 89 sailings (ranging from seven to 180 days), 60 new itineraries and 19 new ports of call
  • A rooftop Terrace will open on Celebrity Infinity on December 5. Tuscan Grille will replace The Normandie on Celebrity Summit.

Deal Watch

Falcon deal watchFalcon offers: 7 nights all inclusive 3* Xperience St George, Sharm El Sheikh from €879pps, depart June 2 2016. 7 nights self catering 2* Rosamar, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €319pps, depart December 6. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Dunas Mirador, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €729pps, depart December 19. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Xperience St George, Sharm El Sheikh from €539pps, depart January 15 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Portobello Beach Resort, Helona Beach, Kos from €2,019 for two adults and one child or from €2,899 for two adults and two children, depart May 21 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Atlantica Akti Zeus, Amoudara, Crete from €2,099 for two adults and one child or from €2,819 for two adults and two children, depart May 22 2016. See falconholidays.ie or call 1850 858 229.

Ethiopian_B787_ETASG_DUB_depart_200315_7589Ethiopian Airlines October flash sale: Dublin-LA from €450 round trip incl. taxes and baggage. 15pc off all African routes. Book before the end of October for travel between now and May 31 2016. Visit ethiopianairlines.com.

Royal Caribbean deal watchRoyal Caribbean offers: 11 night Greek Isles cruise on board Rhapsody of the Seas from €1,315pp incl. flights ex Dublin, travel between November 8-19. 7 night Souther Caribbean cruise on board Adventure of the Seas incl. return flights ex Dublin and $100 on board spend per room, book by November 2 for travel between November 14-21. 7 night Arabian Gulf cruise on board Splendour of the Seas from €1,409pp incl. flights ex Dublin, travel between December 14-21. 7 nights Eastern Caribbean cruise on board Freedom of the Seas from €1,189pp incl. return flights ex Dublin and $100 on board spend per room, travel between November 15-22. Visit royalcaribbean.ie or call 1800 555 604.

Sunway offers: October mid term break late availability: 7 nights all inclusive 4* Da Balaia, Portugal from €1,399pp, depart October 25. 7 nights all inclusive 3* La Palmrye Atlantique, France from €959pp, depart October 24. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Opio en Provence, France from €1,019pp, depart October 25. Turkey offers, depart October 24: Seat only from €499pp. 7 nights B&B 4* Sea Pearl Hotel from €599pp. 7 nights half board 4* Palm Hotel from €659pp. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Palmin Hotel from €799pp. Winter cruise offers: 10 night Eastern Caribbean cruise on board Celebrity Constellation from €1,299pp incl. 1 night pre stay in Fort Lauderdale, depart November 27. Winter Med cruise on board Norwegian Epic from €1,099pp, depart November 8. 7 night Dubai Cruise on board Royal Caribbean Spendour of the Seas from €980pp, depart January 24 2016. 7 night Cuba and Caribbean cruise on board MSC Opera from €1,099pp incl. Cuban visa, depart January 26 2016. See sunway.ie.

Click and Go offers: 7 nights 5* Senator Banus Spa Hotel, Estepona, Costa del Sol from €599pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in October. 7 nights 3* Topazio Hotel, Albufeira, the Algarve from €159pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and airport transfers, travel in December. 3 nights B&B 4* Splendid Hotel, Nice from €279pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, travel in November. 3 nights B&B 4* Union Praha Hotel, Prague from €199pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and Christmas markets, travel in December. 7 nights self catering 3* Salou Suites Apartments, Salou Town from €378pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and airport transfers, depart October 22. 7 nights 4* Playacapricho Hotel, Costa de Algeria from €430pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes, charges and airport transfers, depart October 27. 3 nights 4* Mediterran Hotel, Budapest from €316pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, depart October 29. 3 nights B&B 3* City Partner Hotel Atos, Prague from €303pp incl. return flights ex Dublin, taxes and charges, depart October 22. Visit clickandgo.com.

Thomson deal watchThomson offers: 7 nights all inclusive Alcudia Pins Playa De Muro, Majorca from €2,229 for two adults and one child or from €2,869 for two adults and two children, depart June 1 2016. 7 nights half board Golden Avenida Suites, Salou, Costa Dorada from €1,539 for two adults and one child or from €2,119 for two adults and two children, depart May 20 2016. 7 nights half board Coronas Playa Hotel, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote from €499pp, depart December 6. 7 nights self catering Cay Beach, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €549pp, depart December 19. 7 nights all inclusive Iberotel Palace, Sharm El Sheikh from €749pp, depart January 8 2016. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Clubhotel Riu Ochos Rios, Jamaica from €1,859pps, depart June 19 2016. 7 nights all inclusive 4* Jaz Mirabel Beach, Sharm El Sheikh from €2,139 for two adults and one child or from €2,969 for two adults and two children, depart June 30 2016. See thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Topflight May 2016 offers: 3* The Enclave Hotel Orlando from €662pps. 3* Universal Cabana Bay Beach from €989pps. 3* Disney All Star Movies Resort from €1,093pps. 3* Sonesta ES Suites from €1,170pps. Prices include return flights, baggage allowance and 7 nights accommodation. See topflight.ie or call 01 2401 788.

Lowcostbeds offers, 3 night stay based on 2 sharing, depart November 12: 4* Hotel Torino, Rome from €61pppn. 4* Arena Hotel, Amsterdam from €68pppn. 4* Ariston Hotel, Prague from €20pppn. 4* Royal Park Hotel, Budapest from €21pppn. See lowcostbeds.com.

ITAA Leaving Cert 2016 holiday offers: 7 days Club B Mallorca Magaluf from €670pp incl flights ex Cork or Dublin, taxes, 20kg baggage pp and return transfers, travel July 2016. 7 nights Zakynthos, Greece from €529pp incl. flights, baggage allowance, return airport transfers and accommodation. 7 nights self catering Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €449pp incl. flights and transfers, depart July 7 2016.

Tourism NI Deal WatchTourism NI offers of the week: 2 nights B&B Maldron Hotel, Derry from £99pps incl. two-course meal on the evening of your choice, two cocktails pp and a £20 gift card for Foyleside Shopping Centre, available until December 13, call 028 7137 1000, quote promo code Autumn Leaves. 1 night B&B Galgorm Resort and Spa, Ballymena, Co Antrim from £85pps inc;. use of thermal spa and transfers to and from Galgorm Castle golf club, available until December 13, call 028 2588 1001 to book, quote promo code Autumn Leaves. 2 nights B&B Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh from £160pps incl. four-course meal in Barretta Bar and Grill on the evening of your choice with Demi Carafe of House Wine pp, choice of facial or full body massage pp, use of hot tub area, and champagne and chocolates, available until December 1, call 028 8556 7898.

Ireland

Conference in DublinFáilte Ireland announced that Dublin will host the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication in 2019, bringing 5,000 delegates to the capital and €7m to the Irish economy.

Shannon Heritage attraction visitors were up significantly in 2015: 14pc at Bunratty Folk Park, 8pc at King John’s Castle and 15pc at Malahide Castle.

Seventeen British inbound tour operators visited Ireland to attend a B2B workshop in Dublin as guests of Tourism Ireland in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland and INFLUENTIAL UK INBOUND TOUR OPERATORS VISIT IRELANDTourism NI. Picture shows the group with Enda Kenny at Strokestown Park, Roscommon and Ronan Francis of Tourism Ireland.

Enda Kenny irish heritage trustEnda Kenny announced that the Irish Heritage Trust will be operating Strokestown Park and the Irish National Famine Museum. Picture shows Jason Osborne of Irish Heritage Trust, Jim Callery of the Westward Group, the Taoiseach and Patrick Kenny of Westward Group.

On Wednesday (October 14), a group of US travel buyers will meet 100 members of the Irish travel trade at the US Destination Expo workshop in the Heritage Golf & Spa Resort, Laois.

TitanicAn executive summary report by Deloitte evaluating Titanic Belfast found that the attraction generated £105m in additional tourism spend for NI since it opened three years ago, and sustained 893 jobs each year in the wider economy. Picture shows Conal Harvey of Titanic Belfast, Nick Dunn of Titanic Foundation and Jackie Henry of Deloitte.   

GERMAN INSTAGRAMMERS SHARE THEIR IRELAND EXPERIENCETourism Ireland and Samsung Germany brought ten German Instagrammers to Ireland to visit the Wild Atlantic Way, Belfast and Dublin. Their itinerary, designed by Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland, included visits to Cathedral Quarter, Titanic Belfast, Trinity College,Tempel bar, Cork and Kerry. Picture shows Mx Munch, Ezgi Polat, Jan Israel of Samsung Germany, Anje Queissner, André Becher and Maximillian Fischer at The Moorings Portmagee.

TOP TRAVEL VLOGGERS TO CREATE NINE ONLINE FILMS SHOWCASINGVloggers the Vagabrothers released the first of their nine videos shot in Ireland. They were invited by Tourism Ireland to explore the island’s attractions and experiences.

SALES BLITZ TO BOOST AMERICAN TOURISTS

The third leg of Tourism Ireland’s 2015 Jump into Ireland sales blitz took place in Minneapolis, Denver and Dallas. Picture shows the delegation of tourism companies from Ireland and the US taking park in the event in Dallas.

TOURISM IRELAND SPONSORS ‘POET IN THE CITY’ EVENT AT THE BARBICAN IN LONDONTourism Ireland sponsored Poet in the City: Samuel Beckett at the Barbican, London. Picture shows speakers James Knowlson and John Piling, performers Rebecca Lee, Lisa Dwan and Ed Sayer with Coman Kenny of Tourism Ireland at the event.

A group of French flood bloggers visited Ireland to sample food experiences along Ireland’s Ancient East. They were greeted by Fáilte Ireland food champion and hotelier Olivia Duff of Headword Arms Hotel in Boyne Valley before going on a Girley Bog Forage with Kate Flood of Meath Eco Tours. They ate at Vanilla Pod restaurant, and met Kevin Sheridan of Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and Carina Mount Charles at Rock Farm, Slane. They travelled to Maperath Farm by electric bike to sample Boyne Valley Blue Cheese with Michael Finnegan and tasted Slane Food Circle products and tasted Corkage Cide with Mark Jenkinson and whiskey at Slane Castle Distillery.

Convention Centre Dublin dropped to a loss of €5.6m in 2014 compared to a €16.1m profit in 2013.

Cnoc-SuainLonely Planet listed the Wild Atlantic Way as one of the five best coastal road trips in the world.

Cnoc Suain retreat in Connemara won the Phoenix Award for Sustainable Tourism from SATW in Las Vegas.

Failte Ireland awardFáilte Ireland were awarded silver for Best Use of Video Marketing for their Event Island video at the Meetings Industry Marketing Awards.

Susanne Reid has been appointed Tourism Development Manager at Christ Church Cathedral. 

Email editor@travelextra.ie to have your say or it is @TravelExtraIre on Twitter if that’s your bag.

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