Travel Bulletin North America Supplement 2016

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March 2016

t u o b A All

h t r No a c i r e m A

Your one-stop guide to all latest news and developments in North America

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What’s new - 4


here was a real buzz around the US stands at World Travel Market last year. An increase in airlift to a number of destinations in the US including California and Florida has really given tourist boards and tour operators a boost for 2016. It means they have a lot to talk about and all this excitement is reflected in their expanded programmes for 2016 Along with the new flights, there has been a considerable build-up around a big anniversary for the States. The US is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its National Parks Service, and there are a number of events and celebrations planned throughout the year. Operators are making the most of these celebrations with new tours that are encouraging visitors to see these incredible parks in a different light. We focus on some trips have been added to coincide with this anniversary year in our Luxury Holidays focus (pages 7-8). The definition of luxury holidays has changed over recent years, and in this feature, I have caught up with operators to find out what defines luxury these days and how they are meeting their clients ever-changing expectations. Our What’s New section includes updates from operators about changes to their programmes, while the two-page Shopping feature reflects on the vast number of retail destinations across the pond. While there are the traditional big city shopping breaks, destinations such as Florida,Texas and Minnesota deliver a big bang for your buck if you are looking to make considerable savings, with some outlet centres offering discounts of up to 70% on UK prices. And there is so much more to these shopping centres than just retail therapy. One in particular – Mall of America – lays claim to having the world’s largest indoor theme park, so you can encourage your clients to take the whole family. In this year’s supplement, there is a Destination Focus on Florida, and the new hotels and theme park attractions emerging over the next few months. The Sunshine State is benefitting from a significant increase in flights from the UK and the state’s tourism chiefs are optimistic of an increase in UK visitors in 2016. Sue Marshall, commercial director, for Visit Florida UK and Ireland, said that Brits are still flocking to the traditionally popular destinations in the State. “Central Florida, including Orlando and Kissimmee, remain favourite destinations with UK travellers, which is hardly surprising given they are home to the world's best theme parks,” says Marshall. “Repeat visitors are increasingly renting cars and exploring other parts of the state, discovering our fabulous beaches and smaller communities.” With so much happening across the pond this year, make sure you don’t miss out by making the most of your All About North America supplement.

Angela Cronin Supplements editor

Luxury holidays - 7

Shopping - 9

Florida - 12

Holidays for less than... 15

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What’s new From new city breaks to epic adventures that explore the backdrop from some of Hollywood’s biggest movies, operators to the US are ramping up their activity for 2016 Western and Oriental The luxury operator has strengthened its programme to the US with new hotels and flydrive options. The 1 Hotel Central Park and The Baccarat Hotel, both in New York City, have been introduced along with the 1 Hotel South Beach in Florida. Western and Oriental is also in the process of expanding its flydrive options with a particular focus around the Pacific Northwest, including the introduction of the San Juan Islands. Seattle has also been added as a gateway for flydrives, but also for its Ranch America brochure, which has been expanded for 2016.

Explore The activity and adventure specialist has introduced a two-week Deep South and Blues tours for 2016, which travels through six of the US’s southern states; Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and North and South Carolina. The experiences offered along the way

include a cooking class in Charleston, a hike to the waterfalls in the Great Smokey Mountains and a visit to the legendary Graceland, home to Elvis Presley. A visit to the iconic French Quarter in the revitalised city New Orleans is featured along with a swamp tour through Cajun country to spot some alligators and a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Prices lead in at £3,422 per person and trips depart between June and September 2016. This price includes return flights, 13 nights’ accommodation, transport and the services of an Explore leader and driver. Explore has also introduced its first urban tour. Walk New York is a seven-day walking trip in New York, which takes in the major highlights, including 5th Avenue, Little Italy and Times Square as well as some of the lesser known tourist sights. These include a stroll along the Highline, an elevated railway line that has been turned into a park, the chance to experience gospel mass and an evening enjoying the famous jazz clubs of Harlem.

Prices start at £1,599 per person and include return flights, six nights’ accommodation, transport and the services of an Explore leader.

My America The US specialist has put together a flydrive tour for 2016 that will give you the opportunity to explore the backdrop of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies including the recent blockbuster The Revenant starring Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The 16-night package to the Real America explores South Dakota where Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves was filmed and North Dakota which provided the backdrop for 1996 neo-noir black comedy crime thriller Fargo. The flydrive then takes you on to Montana, the setting for The Revenant, A River Runs Through It and Forrest Gump, and then on to Wyoming to explore Grand Teton National Park, the geysers and waterfalls of Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, the location for the filming of Django Unchained.

The new Ocean Explorer attraction is due to open at SeaWorld California in 2017


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WHAT’S NEW Prices for the 16-night Real America flydrive lead in at £1,875 per person, and includes return Delta flights from Heathrow to Rapid City, South Dakota (returning from Jackson, Wyoming), 16 nights’ accommodation (three nights in Rapid City, two nights in Medora, North Dakota, nine nights in Montana with stops in Billings, Missoula, Whitefish, Butte and West Yellowstone and two nights in Jackson, Wyoming) in hotels on a roomonly basis and car hire for the duration. The tour departs on 22 September.

Jet2 City Breaks The operator has responded to demand for breaks to New York for 2016 with an increase in the number of city escapes as well as options to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Big Apple. There are 24 trips from five northern airports for 2016, including shopping trips, Thanksgiving and Black Friday breaks from East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. The operator has increased the number of

October half-term options with flights from Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle. New for 2016 are 29 December departures from Leeds and Newcastle and 30 December departures from Manchester to celebrate New Year in the Big Apple. All breaks have been extended to four nights.

California British Airways is launching its first direct route into San Jose on 4 May. The new flight, which will operate on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner out of Heathrow, will be the fourth gateway in California from the UK. The new route from BA aims to capitalise on the growing business travel sector in Silicon Valley, as well as offer easy access to other northern California destinations including surfing spot Santa Cruz, coastal respite Monterey and Yosemite National Park. Norwegian Air is also launching a new service in May. The thrice-weekly direct

route from Gatwick to Oakland will start on 12 May. Norwegian is also increasing flights from Gatwick to LAX by adding a fourth weekly flight on May 10. In June, Icelandic low-cost carrier WOW Air is starting flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco from Gatwick on a new Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Each aircraft will be able to carry 342 passengers in a single-class configuration. Tickets start from just £99 one way. Meanwhile, Thomas Cook is starting a direct service from Manchester to Los Angeles on its Airbus A330. The new route will each run twice-weekly from May. On the theme parks front, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood on 7 April and the new NINJAGO land will be opening at Legoland California. SeaWorld California is launching the Ocean Explorer attraction next year, which will see visitors travelling in mini submarines to undersea research bases to collect data and learn about life in the seven seas.

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Lessons in luxury There’s more to luxury these days than penthouse suites and 24-hour butler service

Intrepid Travel is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service with an eight-day hike through Sequoia National Park to Mount Whitney


uxury holidays and experiences are vast and varied, from blow-thebudget trips to Las Vegas to hip and trendy holidays in Miami’s South Beach. However, in the year that the US celebrates the centenary of its National Parks Service, we catch up with US operators to get some ideas of holidays that combine luxury experiences with an educational ingredient.

Park life Adventure specialist Intrepid Travel is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the US National Park Service this year with a new collection of trips that will take travellers deep into the spectacular American wilderness. These four new active, one-off trips range from cycling through southern Utah, kayaking in Yellowstone National Park, sailing off the coast of Florida and hiking beneath California’s ancient sequoia trees. UK managing director Michael Edwards said: “This is a great way for agents to capitalise on all the buzz around the 100th anniversary of the US’s National Park Service. These trips

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are expeditionary in nature and will give your clients the chance to really get under the skin of the US’s great parks. “Rather than skimming the surface, we’re encouraging travellers to celebrate all the parks have to offer – whether that’s on foot, bike, kayak or boat – and have some serious adventure.” The operator has a new trade website,, that agents can download marketing materials from. Intrepid’s eight-day Hike Sequoia and Mount Whitney experience takes travellers on a journey to see California’s spectacular deserts, lakes and the world’s tallest trees on a hike to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states. Experienced guides and pack mules will take travellers along the lesser-used scenic route through the redwood groves of Sequoia National Park and pine forests of the Pacific Crest Trail, made famous by Cheryl Strayed (and then Reese Witherspoon) in the film Wild. This trip offers a real wilderness experience with overnight camping along the way.

Prices start at £2,070 per person for 10 September departure and include meals, one night’s hotel accommodation and overnight camping en route. To book:

Wonders of the American West Insight Vacations is equally keen to encourage its clients to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service by visiting some of the US’s 58 national parks. For 2016, the escorted tours specialist has put together a luxury 10-day tour that will explore the Wonders of the American West. Paul Melinis, director of sales at Insight Vacations, said: “This tour is not just about the stunning landscape, it’s about interacting with locals and experiencing the traditional culture.” The 10-day American West experience kicks off among the bright lights of Las Vegas and visits incredible natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Other stops on the trip across America’s West include Lake Powell,


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luxury Monument Valley, Messa Verde National Park, Arches National Park, Moab, Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Signature Experiences for the adventurous traveller include a guided tour through Monument Valley on board all-terrain vehicles to visit some of the legendary sites where many Western films were made. A traditional Navajo cookout with chanting and drumming amid the giant buttes and mesas of this unique landscape is a highlight of this journey. Wonders of the American West tour starts at £3,625 per person and includes return flights, private UK airport transfers, nine nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, selected dining experiences, sightseeing, Signature Experiences, luxury transportation and a dedicated tour director. To book:

In the city Chicago Luxury tour operator Tauck has teamed up with famed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, known as the US’s answer to Sir David Attenborough, to put together a fiveday event in Chicago in September that will explore three all-American phenomena – the prohibition era, jazz, and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. During the trip, Tauck guests will hear Burns share his thoughts and insights and have the chance to chat with him during a private reception at the iconic Chicago Theatre. The one-off, 200-capacity event includes a presentation on prohibition and Al Capone by New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Eig. Guests will also learn how to make classic prohibition-era drinks, as well as being able to raise a glass or two at a prohibition repeal celebration, with dinner and music from the era, at the InterContinental Chicago Grand Ballroom. A themed half-day sightseeing excursion, Beer Wars: The Roaring Twenties, will visit locations across Chicago to tell the story of prohibition, and the world of organised crime and gangsters it helped spawn. Other highlights include a trip to Oak Park village to experience the architectural legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright during visits to his home and studio. Local experts will also help guests discover the diverse influences that have shaped Chicago’s historical and cultural life,


Hands-up Holidays 12-day San Francisco break gives travellers the chance to help out in the city’s food bank and work on coastal plant restoration

including visits to Jazz-age sites and a private cruise along the Chicago River. Prices lead in at £2,990 for the Tauck Chicago Event: 19-23 September, including accommodation at the 1929 landmark hotel InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile and some meals. Flights are not inlcuded. To book:

On the coast San Francisco For many people who have all the material things in life they need, luxury can mean helping others who are less fortunate than themselves. Hands-up Holidays, which provides voluntourism experiences that include luxury accommodation along the way, has a 12-day itinerary focused on the San Francisco area that provides the opportunity to enjoy a holiday and some spectacular sightseeing with taking part in day-to-day life in centres that help make a difference to people’s lives. These include working at a food bank in the city and helping to restore coastal plants in areas that need great attention. On the days that the volunteer visitors are not taking in these activities, there’s the opportunity to explore San Francisco, Alcatraz and the Napa Valley for a spot of wine tasting. Prices lead in at £6,950 per person and include five-star luxury hotels, airport transfers, expert local guides, domestic

flights, lunches while volunteering and all breakfasts. To book: Hawaii For clients who are looking for the ultimate, island paradise experience, then suggest they book the once-in-a-lifetime holiday to the 50th US state of Hawaii. Insight Vacations has a Luxury Gold 13-day Hawaiian Escape which begins the journey in Honolulu with some time on the world-famous Waikiki beach before heading out to the islands of Oahu, Maui, Hilo and Kauai. This year marks 75 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour during the Second World War. With Insight Vacation’s advanced reserved tickets, guests will have the opportunity to skip the line and spend some time at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbour during this anniversary year. Prices lead in at £5,095 per person and include return flights, private UK airport transfers, 12 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation, selected dining experiences, luxury transportation, a dedicated tour director and sightseeing, Exclusive Experiences, including a highlight dinner at Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s acclaimed Hawaiian fusion restaurant, Roy’s Waikiki, a private guided tour of the Maui Ocean Centre and a tour of a coffee farm with a local expert where you can taste the Kona blend. To book:

All About North America

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revel in retail A trip to north america isn’t complete without a vist to a shopping mall or two


any holidays to the US are fuelled by a desire to go shopping and bag some bargains. And if you are a savvy agent, you will know a thing or two about shopping in the States, and where to suggest your clients head to if they are first-timers or shopaholics who regularly visit the US to get their shopping fix. New York City is obviously the first destination that comes to mind, particularly if your trip is fashion focused and you are drawn to the big-brand designer names and department stores that line Fifth Avenue. Funway Holidays senior marketing executive Rebecca Evans says while people plan shopping trips all year round, “the sale seasons of November and December and April and May are a major draw for holidaymakers who really want to shop. “It may only be spring but people are already thinking about Christmas,” says Evans. “We have already seen an increase in savvy shoppers booking early Christmas shopping trips to coincide with the sale season in November.” So make sure you flick through the next All About North America

couple of pages so you can start actively selling shopping breaks to the States, or if you already are, find out the latest news from the shopping malls across the pond.

New York City Jet2CityBreaks has increased the number of New York breaks that it is offering for 2016, with a focus on shopping breaks for Christmas and Black Friday, Back Friday has become firmly established as a pre-Christmas discount shopping date that started in the US but is now popular in the UK. This year, it takes place on 25 November, and Jet2CityBreaks has put together a new package that will allow shoppers to make the most of this bargain, shopping-season opportunity. It’s a four-night, room-only stay at the four-star-plus W New York with flights departing from Newcastle on 24 November. Prices start at £739 per person based on two sharing, including 10kg hand baggage allowance. Meanwhile, Funway Holidays offers a Shop ’til you Drop in New York package that includes three nights staying at the three-star Holiday Inn Midtown

57th Street with prices from £669 per person based on 12 November departures. The price includes return flights with British Airways. Cosmos Tours and Cruises has launched a choice of twin and triple-centre short breaks to experience the best of the US’s East Coast cities and their shopping opportunities. The operator’s eight-day Boston and New York twin-centre holiday with three nights in each city includes an Old Town Trolley tour in Boston as well as an All Loops Tour in New York so visitors can enjoy all the sights at their own pace during their stay. Meanwhile, Cosmos’s 11-day Boston, New York and Washington DC tour includes bus and trolley tours in all three cities and Amtrak train travel, nine nights’ accommodation, return flights and airport transfers. For 2017, the Washington stay will be bookable as a holiday extension. Prices start at £1,437 per person for the eight-day Boston and New York break including return flights with Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow, six nights’ accommodation, Amtrak train travel between the cities and transfers.


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Shopping While shopping in Manhattan is popular, many visitors head off the island to explore the shopping malls that are within easy reach of the city. The 230 stores and restaurants at Mills at Jersey Gardens are just 20 minutes from Newark Airport by shuttle bus that is put on by the mall’s owner Simon Shopping destinations, which has 112 shopping attractions in the US. There is no sales tax charged on clothes and shoes – unlike the regular 8% added to prices in downtown Manhattan – so the mall is the perfect last stop for bagging those US bargains. Just 45 minutes upstate New York is Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, which claims to be the state’s number one tourist attraction. This summer, it is showcasing a major refreshed new look and expansion with more than 220 top designer outlets, including the only Tom Ford worldwide, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Hugo Boss, Coach, Burberry, Saks 5th Avenue OFF 5th and Neiman Marcus Last Call, restaurants and international guest amenities. Buses leave every 20 minutes from New York City Port Authority.



The Sunshine State welcomes visitors in their millions every year to enjoy its theme parks and miles of beautiful beaches, but savvy visitors will know that the state is home to five Premium Outlets centres by Simon Shopping Destinations with a new one opening this year. Located just north of downtown Tampa, the new Tampa Premium Outlets houses 110 retailers, including well-known brands such as Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Banana Republic Factory Store and Nike Factory Store. Savings of between 25% and 65% are available throughout the mall. The largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the US can also be found in Florida. Sawgrass Mills and The Colonnade Outlets in Fort Lauderdale boasts more than 350 stores, including outlet locations from Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Gap, plus value retailers OFF 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Marshalls and electronics superstore, BrandsMart USA. The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills caters for fashionistas with 40 exclusive outlets not found anywhere else in South Florida including Burberry, Diane von Furstenberg, GUCCI, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo Company Store, Tory Burch and Versace.

Travelbag has put together a five-night shopper’s break at the four-star Sonesta Fort Lauderdale, staying on a room-only basis with prices from £1,019 per person including flights with American Airlines.

Minnesota This Midwest state boasts what can only be described as a shopper’s paradise. Mall of America is home to more than 520 stores, which cater for all budgets, and due to its location in Minnesota, there’s no sales tax on clothing or shoes, which cumulatively adds up to significant savings even compared to online purchases. It’s also possible to buy a Mall of America Coupon Book for $9.95, which offers discounts at 250 stores, restaurants and attractions worth over $2,000 in combined savings. And while there’s plenty to whet the appetite of bargain hunters, the mall boasts a number of luxury retailers too including Hugo Boss, Burberry, Stuart Weitzman, Lacoste, Swarovski, Apple, and Bose. This section of the mall is being expanded this summer too with new luxury shops opening that will be a welcome addition to the recently-opened, five-star JW Marriott hotel. And while the Mall of America caters well for shoppers, it also has a lot to offer the entire family. It lays claim to having the world’s largest indoor theme park, the Nickelodeon Universe. The park features the tallest Sky Trail ropes course in the world, North America’s longest indoor zip line, Moose

Mountain Adventure Golf, SeaLife Minnesota and its 1.2 million gallon, glass tunnel aquarium, Amazing Mirror Maze, A.C.E.S. Flight Simulation, The LEGO Store and 14 movie screens. New for 2016 is the $20 million FlyOver America attraction, which is due to open in spring. FlyOver America is a flight simulation ride that will take guests on an aerial tour of some of the greatest landmarks and regions throughout the US in virtual flight technology. The attraction will be a fully immersive experience including wind, mist and even scents while soaring across some of the US’s most spectacular sights.

Texas States such as Texas offer tax-free shopping for international visitors, a fact that is well worth knowing. Hayes and Jarvis recommends that shoppers check into the The Westin Oaks Houston At The Galleria, which has 375 stores, making it the largest shopping mall in Texas. Currently anchored by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy’s, the Galleria, the luxury wing of the retail centre is undergoing a $30 million renovation, which is due to be completed next year. Hayes and Jarvis has a four-night shopping break to theThe Westin Oaks Houston At The Galleria just in time for Black Friday on 25 November. Prices start at £749 per person on a room-only basis with return flights from Heathrow based on departures on 24 November. All About North America

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The heat is on With an increase in new airlift from the UK and a plethora of new hotels opening, Florida is really having a moment this year


he Sunshine State has always been a big hit with us Brits, flocking to its shores every year to lap up its theme park offerings and indulge in its intoxicating beach life. Colin Brodie, director of Visit Florida UK and Ireland, said the destination has a lot to shout about this year. “There has been an abundance of new airlift from British Airways,Virgin Atlantic, Thomas Cook and Thomson into our key gateway cities of Miami, Orlando and Tampa with Norwegian recently launching services into Fort Lauderdale. “Also, January saw our biggest-ever consumer, shared-brand campaign in the UK. Florida worked with 13 trade partners, including BA, Thomas Cook and Hertz on a month-long, London-wide 'Love, Florida' campaign, during which

'moments of sunshine' were brought to the Capital to help Londoners dispel the January blues.” And all of this all seems to be paying off with the tourist office predicting that UK visitor figures are likely to hit 1.7 million by the end of this year; international visitors figures for 2015 hit 105 million. So, here is a lowdown on what’s happening across the Sunshine State this year.

Theme park update Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is gearing up to launch a new attraction this summer. Cobra’s Curse is a spin coaster that is said to be the only one of its kind in the world. The ride begins with the coaster cars being taken up like a vertical lift until riders are "face to fang" with an 80-foot

serpent before launching into the ride. The first third of the ride will face forward, then it will spin riders around to face backward. And in the finale, the car will spin freely. The coaster carries riders over into the rest of the Egypt section, with the track slithering over and under nearby elements such as Montu, the park's railroad and the sidewalk. While visitors are in the queue to go on the Cobra’s Curse, they will be able to meet some of the world’s most notorious snake species, which park bosses say will naturally fuel guests’ adrenaline. “The snake exhibit at Cobra’s Curse will allow us to combine the best of what Busch Gardens has to offer – animals and thrill rides,” says Jeff Andrews, vice-president, zoological operations at

Visit Florida is expecting UK visitor figures to hit 1.7 million this year

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A Discovery Cove Ultimate Package is like 2 holidays in 1. Scream for pulse-racing coasters, exhilarating water rides and new thrills like Mako at SeaWorld and Cobra’s Curse at Busch Gardens. There’s also the chance to make new friends with amazing animal encounters, and then relax on white sand beaches, lazy rivers and more. It’s Orlando like you’ve never experienced before. Experience all four parks with the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package. Includes an all-inclusive day at Discovery Cove (dolphin swim or non-dolphin swim), 14 days unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Aquatica. Free unlimited parking too!



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florida Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. “This exhibit will give our guests an unforgettable experience while opening up discussions around conservation and education by highlighting the species and their important role in the wild, which is our top priority.”

The new Faena Hotel Miami Beach was designed by hotelier Alan Faena with a little bit of vision from film director Baz Luhrmann and movie costume designer Catherine Martin

Legoland Legoland Florida Resort has reopened its water park with new additions, just in time for British families heading to sunny Florida for the Easter school holidays. The water park has been expanded with new shady areas to help keep little ones out of the sun. There is also a brand new Build-A-Boat attraction, where kids can use their creativity and test their Legobuilding skills to design and build their own boats to race against each other along an 11-metre obstacle course. The water park also has a gentle wave pool, three 60ft super slides, Build-A-Raft lazy river and 1,000-litre bucket super soaker. It is located next to the main theme park, which has 50 rides, shows and attractions, all aimed at children of ages two to 12 to enjoy.

Seaworld SeaWorld Orlando has launched a new ride, which it says is the fastest and longest roller coaster in Orlando. The custom-built Mako, which will have 21 cars, will top 200ft high and reach speeds of 73 mph on a track that’s nearly a mile long. The new ride will be a hypercoaster, which means it’s all about speed, tight turns and that weightless feeling riders get at the top of each hill.

New hotels Florida is experiencing a bit of a bed boom at the moment with hotel refurbishments and new developments across the state. St Petersburg/Clearwater is on pace to see the addition of 2,000 rooms by 2017

with the creation of a one-mile gulf-front stretch with space for 11 new developments. Opal Sands Resort opened last month on Clearwater Beach, boasting 230 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and large balconies, offering great views of the gulf and spectacular views of the daily sunsets. The 77-room Treasure Island Beach Resort also opened earlier this month and is the first new hotel built on the beach in Treasure Island in years. Meanwhile The Wyndham Grand Resort will become Clearwater Beach’s largest property in 2017, boasting 450 rooms. Miami Beach has seen the creation of a new cultural and art district called Faena District Miami Beach, which stretches from 32nd Street to 36th Street. The man behind this new district is Argentinean entrepreneur, developer and hotelier Alan Faena. The beachfront district incorporates a residential complex, shops, restaurants, public plazas and the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. The oceanfront property comprises 169 guest rooms and suites and 13 penthouses designed by Alan Faena alongside cinematic visionaires Baz Luhrmann and Academy Award-winning Catherine Martin. Prices lead in at $745 per night. Meanwhile, Daytona Beach is in the middle of a $2 billion investment project, which will lead to the introduction of Daytona’s first oceanfront rollercoaster, a new planetarium and the world’s first oceanfront Hyatt Place.

A new beachside Residence Inn by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront recently opened and the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort Oceanfront Resort has completed a $20 million renovation. A new Hard Rock Hotel and Café and an upscale Westin both with oceanfront locations are currently in the planning. The historic Streamline Hotel, an art deco-style property that sits on the spot where NASCAR was founded is scheduled to open as an upscale boutique property this year. The Greater Fort Lauderdale area has seen more than $725 million invested in new hotel development and $222 million in reinvestment and renovations. The Tryp Maritime by Wyndham is expected to open this month with the Gale Boutique Hotel later this year. Work on the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale is also expected to begin with an expected 2018 open. A new hotel has opened at Universal Orlando Resort. Built around a tropical lagoon and towering waterfall, the Loews Sapphire Falls resort is a 1,000room Caribbean-themed, hideaway. It is the fifth hotel at Universal Orlando and will bring the number of on-site hotel rooms to 5,200. The island escape will feature Universal Orlando’s largest on-site, zero-entry pool at 16,000 sq-ft, with a white sand beach, a water slide, cabanas and a fire pit. St Petersburg/Clearwater is on pace to see the addition of 2,000 new rooms

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Holidays for less

Holidays for less than...

From dusty days on working ranches in Montana to cycling along the British Columbia coastline, here is a round-up of suggestions of must-do tours for 2016

Jump on your mountain bike and head out on a KE Adventure along the British Columbia coastline

... £ 1,500 PRESTIGE HOLIDAYS has added city breaks to Chicago for 2016, featuring the landmark hotel, the Palmer House Hilton in Downtown Chicago. How much? Prestige Holidays offers a four-night stay departing on 17 June from £1,391 per person, including return flights with American Airlines from Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare, accommodation on room-only basis and shared transfers. To book: RANCH RIDER has introduced the Bar W Guest Ranch in its Montana collection. Situated beside Spencer Lake, guests can go on trail rides, watch the horse trainers in action, help with ranch chores, fish for big pike or try their hand at archery and clay pigeon shooting. How much? Six nights from £1,437 per person (two sharing) including accommodation, meals, most ranch activities, taxes and gratuities. Excludes transfers of £60 (group of four) from Glacier Park International Airport and return flight. Departing 15 April to 31 October. To book:

... £ 3,000 HAYES AND JARVIS is offering a nine-night twin-centre holiday to Hawaii, including three nights at the five-star Andaz Maui at Wailea on a room-only basis, three nights at the five-star The Fairmont Orchid All About North America

on a room-only basis, followed by three nights at the five-star The Modern Honolulu on a room-only basis. How much? Prices lead in at £2,299 per person and includes room-only accommodation, internal flights and return international flights from Heathrow with American Airlines and British Airways. Based on departures 24 October 2016. To book:ring Hayes and Jarvis on 01293 762415 to book this break. G ADVENTURES has introduced a new 15-day National Parks of the Northwest US tour that gives travellers the opportunity to visit the Wild West mining town of Wallace in Idaho, spend nights camping in Big Sky Country, Montana, and Yellowstone National Park, a day at the cowboy town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, rounding up in the hip and happening Portland, Oregon. How much? Prices start at £2,299 per person included all excursions, accommodation, camping, some meals, transport and a tour guide. To book: KE ADVENTURE is offering a 12-day Canada – Best of the West, British Colombia bespoke mountain biking holiday that rides the trails of Squamish and BC`s Sunshine Coast and takes cyclists on the classic Comfortably Numb at Whistler, accompanied by an experienced mountain biking guide

How much? Prices lead in at £2,495 with return flights London to Vancouver and include 11 breakfasts, nine lunches, six dinners, two nights’ hotel accommodation, nine nights in a lodge, baggage transfer throughout, all transport and ferry tickets and national park fees. To book:

Less than £ 5,000 EXPLORE has introduced a new two-week adventure Deep South and Blues which travels through six of America’s southern states; Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and North and South Carolina. During the tour, visitors get the chance to experience a taste of the south during a cooking class in Charleston, hike to the waterfalls in the Great Smokey Mountains and visit the legendary Graceland, home to Elvis Presley. There’s also the opportunity to discover the French Quarter in New Orleans and look out for alligators during a swamp tour through Cajun country. There will also be time to visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. How much? Prices start at £3,422 per person for tour departures between June and September. Prices include return flights, 13 nights’ hotel accommodation, transport and the services of an Explore leader and driver. To book:


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