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South Africa fiesta of fam trips

Rivercruise flows



JUNE 2018


States of mind What your client should know about USA 2018



Call Center: 01 525 18 49

/TurkishAirlines /TurkishAirlines /TurkishAirlines

JUNE 2018 PAGE 3



Singapore sling

Prices in Spain have risen by a third since last year


ingapore is the most expensive location of the 44 cities and resorts sampled for England’s post office annual Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer. The survey compares the price of eight holiday commodities, including drinks, sunscreen and insect repellent. Costs in Singapore totalled €176, 9pc ahead of Dubai and Muscat in Oman, in joint second place at €161. Bulgaria was cheapest at €43. England’s Post Office says the price of a meal for two with a bottle of house wine in Singapore has doubled in the course of a year, and now stands at €135. An equivalent meal in New York will cost €74, and only €37 in Tokyo. Prices in Spain, the most popular overseas destination for Irish travellers, have risen by 42pc according to the report, “the result of steep increases in the cost of eating out”. Portugal is one-third more expen-

sioned by Irish online GP service videoDoc shows that one in four Irish Adults have needed to access a GP while on holidays.

AQUATICA Orlando’s Ray Rushopened to the public

Singapore: World’s most expensive tourist destination

sive, according to the survey, largely because the price of a meal out has risen by 64pc year on year. The survey says Oman has by far the most expensive filter coffee, costing €7 for a cup.

Neighbouring Dubai has seen some unusual price cuts over the past year: the cost of insect repellent and sunscreen have halved. A Coke is now only €1.69; last year it was the most expensive in the world at €5.85.

KEFLAVIK: Dublin serrvice TEL AVIV: Dublin 1w from

nan, exciting new route which alternates through Edinburgh.

resumed Ryanair route after short interruption.


PARIS: Cork 2w year round service from Air Framce.

from Icelandair to go daily from October, competingwith Wow.

BEIJING Dublin 4w from Hai- MARRAKESH: Dublin 2w


from Cathay Pacific,

Dublin 4w

border authorities cannot search travellers’ mobile phones without having reason to believe a particular traveler has committed a crime, an American federal appeals court ruled.

HEALTH An Amarach survey commis-

BARCELONA: Shannon 1w from Ryanair, gateway to Daurada.

Dublin 1w from Ryanair, new venture into Turkey..


JAMAICA Tourist Board launched a new campaign called #JoinMeInJamaica which sees local Jamaicans give an insight into their life on island.


CARLISLE Dublin 7w from Loganair, Cumbria service.

GREENHOUSE A paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that tourism accounts for 8pc of all greenhouse gas emissions, four times higher than previous estimates.

PAPHOS: Dublin 2w from Ryanair, joining Cobalt on Cyprus SEATTLE Aer Lingus

: Dublin 4w from

WINTER 18/19

ON SALE NOW Crystal Ski is fully bonded and licensed by CAR (TO 021).

Arkia Israel

TORONTO: Shannon 1w from Air Canada, opening Canada to the west. VIENNA

: Dublin 2w from Lauda, in competition with Aer Lingus.


Croatia Airlines

Dublin 2w from

WHO The World Health Organisation said it is preparing for the “worst case scenario” after dozens of people have been infected in an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. LONELY PLANET CEO Daniel Houghton has left the company amid reports that the travel brand and guidebook publisher is up for sale.

SEAWORLD Orlando has just launched its latest ride, Ray Rush, a family water slide.

BALEARICS Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera doubled their daily tax on tourists from May 1. During peak tourist season, up to October 31, the islands will levy a tax of up to €4 per person, per day, on all visitors. The tax is also subject to 10pc VAT. DISEASE CONTROL Visitors to the US face more health hazards from mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, with a 250pc rise in diseases in 13 years. The Centers for Disease Control warns of “a rising threat”. Cases of dengue fever have been reported in Florida, Hawaii and Texas. Florida and Texas have also reported outbreaks of Zika virus.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 4

THE KNOWLEDGE Travel Extra Clownings, Straffan, Co Kildare (+3531) 2913707 Fax (+3531) 2957417 Managing Editor: Gerry O’Hare gerry@travelextra.ie Editor: Eoghan Corry eoghan.corry@ travelextra.ie Publisher: Edmund Hourican edmund@bizex.ie Sales Director: Maureen Ledwith maureen@bizex.ie Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnott maria@bizex.ie Picture Editor: Charlie Collins pix@travelextra.ie Sunday Supplement & Online: Mark Evans markevanspro@gmail.com Chief Features Writer: Anne Cadwallader anne@travelextra.ie Contributors : Eanna Brophy eanna@travelextra.ie Marie Carberry marie@travelextra.ie Carmel Higgins carmel@travelextra.ie Cauvery Madhavan cauvery@travelextra.ie Sean Mannion sean@grafacai.ie Ida Milne ida@travelextra.ie Catherine Murphy cathmurph@yahoo.com

Travel Extra takes no responsibility for errors and omissions.

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Contact +35387-2551675 if you have difficulty getting Travel Extra.



3 News Where to go,h ow much to pay 6 Postcards: News from the trade 8 USA What;s new 2018

10 Colorado: High and dry 12 Providence: Norwegian route 14 Rivercruise: More product 18 Car hire: Changing gear 20 Afloat: Independence returns

22 Flying: Airline and airport news 26 Global Village Inside the travel industry 28 Window seat: Our columnists 29 Pictures: Out and about

Stars and bargains


hile everyone is complaining about new airline fees, the hidden charge has moved into the hotel industry Last year, US hotels took in a record $1.75bn in ancillary charges, up from $550m in 2002. Though not the preserve of the Americans, extra charges seem to develop and expand at a faster rate on the other side of the Atlantic than in Europe. Roger Dow of the US Travel Association told Travel Extra during a press conference at Pow Wow 2012 in Los Angeles that his thinking on excess charges is that the market will prevail and tourists will avoid the resorts that impose excessive surcharges. Customers call them hidden charges, hoteliers call them profit points. No longer are expensive telephone systems a profit point as cell phones and internet services such as Viber and Skype make them redundant. We are not just talking about the gratuity dance that takes pace for every service in a US hotel by underpaid employees. In some cities, employees are not paid at all and required to subsist on gratuities. Even if the employees are paid the legal minimum wage, the US tax system expects them to be earning a substantial stipend in tips, effectively asking the hotel or restaurant guest to pay the wages of the employees. Older fees were more straightforward. Use the phone, the mini-bar, room service, or the in-

That wil be extra, sir room movies, and it’s going to cost. Nowadays the game is much more about wi-fi charges


is an old an enduring gripe. Valet parking has been mandatory in many hotels since the mid noughties (that is if they know you have a rental car, some customers simply avoiding declaring it) and it can be as much as $50 a night, a notorious fee charged in San Francisco. You then have to tip the valet guy $2 for the trouble of brining you back your car.


Has someone sent you a delivery? It can cost you $5 for the hotel to accept a package delivered to your room.

DAILYResort charge rates can reach $25 plus taxes per night per room in some hotels. The charges have been extended to cover

services that would be regarded as the norm among many people’s holiday expectations, things like towels and showers as well as services that many guests would be unlikely to require. A typical list of services covered by the resort charge in one hotel is: local, toll-free, and credit card calls. Internet access, coffee and tea, nightly turndown service, use of the spa, access to self parking facilities.

SAFE: Some hotels

are charging for having a safe in your room even if it’s not used. You can hardy demand that the safe be removed form your room either.


higher energy bills, hotels are charging up to $80 a day for turning the air conditioning on in your room.


don’t have to consume anything from your mini bar to be charged for using it anymore, you get charged from mini-bars with sensors that bill guests if they move something around. Hotels then charge a “restocking fee.”

WIFI An old bugbear. The norm is $10 a day but can be up to $30 an hour in certain five star hotels. An anomaly is that the higher grade the htoel the more likely it is to charge for wifi. Small family run hotels and motels are less likely to charge for wifi. One Hyatt Travel Extra has encountered charges $20/day whilst guests could find free WiFi at the window from adjacent coffee houses.

BACK EMPTY: A new development for 2013 has been the requirement from certain car rental companies that the car is returned

empty, instead of the old out full, back full system. The idea is that the car rental company will do you “a favour” by allowing you to return the car empty, then hit you with a massive surcharge for the fuel costs. The traditional model for car hire is that the vehicle is expected to be returned with same amount of fuel as when it was picked up: usually “out full, back full”, occasionally “out empty, back empty”. With competition between rental companies intensifying, many firms have moved to an “out full, back empty” rule with customers paying inflated rates for petrol or diesel that they may not be able to use. Some contracts commit customers to paying an unavoidable charge with no refunds, with no idea how much the charge may be. recently Travel Extra’s editor was quoted three rates by a car hire company, $4.33 a gallon at the local pumps, $3.89 a gallon for a ‘no refunds’ fill to go, and $7.88 a gallon if the car had to be filled on return.


common complaint from the sun resorts of Florida is the excessive charge for use of chairs and cabanas especially given the rates that are charged for accommodation.


A late check-out charge can take on a different meaning when check-out is moved to early in the morning.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 5

Aileen O’Reilly reports from RENDEZ VOUS FRANCE


100m by 2020

World’s leading tourist destination sets targets

rance’s annual tourism figures are back in growth and were up 7.2pc in 2017, worldwide delegates and media were told at Rendez-vous en France 2018. Hosted over two days in Porte de Versailles, Paris, the convention was fully focused on bolstering France’s regained increase in international tourism which took place in 2017. The French tourism industry’s top international B to B trade show, uninhibited by the spring rains, hosted 950 tour operators from 69 counVanessa Renaud and Stephane Ballot of Atout France tries and media from international trade publications at the event which and South America’s tour operators Tourism, held in January 2017, has boasted 750 French exhibitors and were up 30 while Africa, Asia and set targets of 100m million tourists close to 25,000 scheduled meetings Oceania were up by 32 from last by 2020 and a projected revenue of Eu50bn. year. this year. With the acquisition of an extra The European delegation dropped This year’s event also featured an 12m tourists in their sights, 2019 will increase in interest from both Asian slightly to 490 from 499 last year. While initial figures for 2017 show see the focus firmly set on the Loire and American markets with the Americas increasing their delegation that France received 88m tourists last Valley with the looming 500th anniyear (up 7.3pc from 82m on 2016), versary of the death of Leonardo Da from 53 inTravel 2017 tohalf 69page thisadyear. North Extra June 2018 Final V2.pdf 1 01/05/2018 09:42:08 the Interministerial Committee on Vinci at Amboise.


BOULOGNE On May 19th this year, Europe’s largest aquarium will open in France. Designed to resemble an immense futuristic manta ray, the new Grand Nausicaa complex in Boulogne-sur-Mer features a giant tank holding 10,000 cubic metres of water (the equivalent of 4 Olympic swimming pools), an 18 metre long transparent tunnel and over 60,000 fish and marine mammal species. PARIS Vitry-sur-Seine, a former grey

town on the fringes of Paris in Val-De-Marne has been transformed into a technicolour streetscape and an open air art museum with continually evolving street art regularly covering entire blocks of flats and apartments contributed by international names such as C215, Cope2, Bebar and Finbarr to name but a few.

ST OUEN The flea market at Saint

Ouen is said to be the world’s largest indoor antiques market. Situated to the North East of Paris it is affectionately known to citizens as “Les Puces” or “the fleas”.

LOIRE 2019 also marks the birth of

Catherine de Medici in Florence and the start of the construction of the world famous Chateau of Chombord in the Loire Valley which Leonardo Da Vince is rumoured to have had a hand in designing.

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he 6,000 delegates and 530 media at IPW in Denver included 16 key Irish representatives. First time IPW Irish included Bladhana Richardson of American Holidays, Kathleen Maher of Tour America, Cormac Walsh of Concorde/Joe Walsh Tours and Bill Byrne of Aer Lingus, who had been on the board of IPW in a previous role. They were treated to the legendary


he Royal Amplified event on board Independence of the Seas, brought dozens of Irish trade and media to enjoy a two-night sneak preview voyage around the English Channel. Independence is just the first ship to get an overhaul, which will see all Voyager, Freedom and Oasis-class ships getting upgraded, CEO Michael Bayley told Travel Extra.


ey travel trade in Belfast were hosted by Topflight  at a summer soiree at Cutter’s Wharf. The event was to showcase the launch of their summer Italian programme to Verona from Belfast International Airport, complete with ice cream cart serving Italian gelatos, live music provided by Buskerman and speciality Italian gins and Italian wines.

social programme of the American event including a Broadway lunch sequence of performances and concert at red Rocks. Picture shows Irish group at IPW, Tony Lane of Visit USA, Ivan Beacom of Aer Lingus, Dee Burdock of American Holidays, Aoife Gregg of United, Liz Wright of Tour America, Kathleen Maher of Tour America, Bill Byrne of Aer Lingus, Yvonne Gordon, Fionn Davenport and Eoghan Corry.

He also used the launch to publicise Royal’s overhaul of Coco Cay in the Caribbean which will feature the biggest water slide in North America, and could eventually offer overnight accommodation on the island. Picture shows Fiona Dunne, David O’Grady and Emma Bunbury of E-travel who received the Caribbean Cruise Award for Best Performance in Ireland on board the ship.

Topflight has positioned themselves as the Italian specialists among Irish tour operators and this was the latest in a series of events to establish that connection with travel agents. Picture shows Michelle Anderson and Shauna Kelly of Topflight with Claire Mullligan of Clubworld, Liz McVeigh of Century Travel and Colin Laffan of Laffan Travel at the Topflight event.


opy goes here copy goes here Celebrity celebrated their first ever mini season from Dublin with two days of celebrations with the trade on board Celebrity Eclipse. Celebrity Cruises bring 2,850 guests into the city each time a sailing starts from Dublin Port. In total, over 14,000 people will start their cruise holiday from Dublin on Celebrity Eclipse in 2018.


er Lingus and  Port of Seattle hosted 46 key members of the travel trade at an event to showcase the 4w Seattle service which commenced on May 18 and goes 3w for winter from October 30.  Cruise ship representatives were among the guests as Seattle is a key base for cruise ship companies for their Alaska itineraries. Caroline Colefield Rose of Port of Seattle outlined the at-


erek Sharp of  Travelport  updated Travel Extra on the runaway progress of their  Rich Content and Branding product as the CAPA conference in Powerscourt, Travelport purchased 261 pints of Guinness at the event for every airline that has signed up for the product. In a detailed interview he explained that the development of a model to sell ancillary services for Air Canada was

Jo Rzymowska, said “this is the first time in three years that we’ve added a new European homeport to our itineraries and Dublin has exceeded expectations. We are returning with another ship for another mini season in 2019.” Picture shows awn Conway of Sunway, Michael English, head of business development UK and Ireland, Celebrity Cruises and Ciara Dromgoole from Sunway.

tractions of the city and the hinterland in a slide show while Ivan Beacom and Jenny rafter gave an update on Aer Lingus trans Atlantic plans. The arrival of the A320neo will expand the reach of Aer Lingus trans-Atlantic services in the next three years. The prize draw was won by Shona Fagan of Tour America. Picture shows Ivan Beacom, Santa Zulge, John Keogh, Jenny Rafter and Dermot Lee.

the origin of the product. Easyjet and, famously Ryanair, then took up the product and this enabled Ryanair to join a GDS for the first time. Picture shows the Travelport team Chris Boba, Anna Carruth Davies, Derek Sharp, Ian Heywood and Philip Saunders.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 7



erek Hanekom, South African Tourism Minister says he will have resolved visa issues that devastated family booking to South Africa by the end of June. Speaking to Travel Extra at Indaba in Durban, he said that he anti child trafficking measures introduced in 2015 had created un necessary bureaucratic obstacles for families wishing to holiday in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa

has called on his reappointed minister, who fell out of favour under Zuma, and CEO Sisa Ntshona to double tourism numbers to South Africa, 31,510 Irish visited South Africa in 2017, up 3.2pc from 30,545 in 2016 and 25,769 on 2015. Picture shows Esme Fox of ABTA Magazine, Melissa Donnelly of BrighterPR, Minister Derek Hanekom, Ana Candido, Tolene Van Der Merwe of SA Tourism and Karl Cushing.

Sail and Stay at Alton Towers 2 night short breaks with Stena Line On park accommodation


ravel Partners Group hosted 20 key travel trade at The Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe. Travel Partners Group is made up of eight key suppliers, Amadeus, ASM (representing SAS, ANA, OBEO Travel and Your Car Hire), Blue Insurance, Bookabed Classic Collection Holidays, Cruisescapes, Irish Ferries  and MSC Cruises.

Travel Partners Group Facebook page now has 600 members and agents are encouraged to join to keep up to date with the Groups’ activities by joining the group page. Picture shows Lynne Casey of Fahy Travel and Alan Lynch of Cruisescapes/ Travelescapes with Amy O’Toole and Clodagh Connolly of Corrib Travel.

3* Splash Landings Hotel 3* Alton Towers Hotel Enchanted Village Lodges

from €799 per family* from €799 per family* from €869 per family*

Off park accommodation 3*+ Quality Hotel Stoke-on-Trent 3* Holiday Inn Express Stoke-on-Trent

from €599 per family* from €639 per family*

Prices include: • Return Stena Line ferry travel from Dublin to Holyhead or Rosslare to Fishguard with your car. • Accommodation for 2 nights for 2 adults & up to 2 children sharing same room • One day Alton Towers Resort entry ticket for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 (upgrade to a 2 day ticket from just €10 extra per person!)


he expanding Travel Partners Group hosted 14 agents in Sligo. Agents travelled from counties Mashyo and Donegal for the event, which has enabled the group to engage directly with more than 300 agents over the period of its existence. Emma McHugh Atlantic Travel in Letterkenny was the prize winner on the night. The group has expanded under the new format. Cormac Meehan com-

mented “ meeting this group of suppliers is vital to keep our Travel Agencies up to date. This group represents an excellent range of travel offerings that we, as agents, are confident to endorse.” Picture shows Alan Lynch of Cruiseescapes/Travelescapes, Fiona Feely and Kathleen McDaid of Meehan Travel, Marie McCarthy of Irish Ferries, Caroline McNamara of and Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel.

Wicker Man – new for 2018

Book via Sembok online or call reservations on 01 907 53 99

JUNE 2018 PAGE 8

IPW 2018 

NEW YORK received 62.8m visitors in 20127, 49.7m domestic and 13.1m international. The city expects this to increase 3.7pc in 2018 to 65.1m, 51.4m domestic and 13.7m international. Fred Dixon described it as the triple crown, as New York is best for spend (¢45bn in spend), and number one for economic impact (¢65bn),and supported 385,000 jobs. STEWART INTERNATIONAL Newburgh airport is to

get a €3m terminal revamp as it ramps up international services. The development includes a new customs facility. Bus services to Woodbury Common and Manhattan will be extended.


is the first new airport to be built in twenty years, a new terminal B.

CITYPASS launched San Francisco

C3 Tickets, allowing users to select any three attractions from a curated list of eight options:, California Academy of Sciences, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, Aquarium of the Bay, Exploratorium, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — SFMOMA, Bay City Bike & Parkwide Bike Rentals, de Young Museum + Legion of Honor, The Walt Disney Family Museum.

NEWARK ’s 45 year old Terminal A, where Aer Lingus land, is to be re-placed by terminal 1.

BRAND USA’s remit has been ex-

tended until 2020 but funding remains an issue. Roger Dow pledged “we have work to do with Congress to get Brand USA reauthorized past 2020. Congress has voted to approve Brand USA several times with huge bipartisan majorities.”

COLORADO launched a new leave no trace campaign designed to inspire visitors to travel like locals and care for the environment.

STATUE OF LIBERTY A new Statue of Liberty museum will open in 2019. Only about 20pc of the visitors to Liberty Island enter the statue itself.

BRONX In the Bronx Lehman centre is getting a $15m makeover. MOMA is to add 50,000 square feet of new gallery space.

WASHINGTON DC Museum of the Bible has been the success story of new openings in Washington DC.

TWA A museum dedicated to the jet age is among the attractions to feature at New York’s TWA hotel at JFK. VISITDALAS

rita Mile.


trial itinerary

launched the Marga-

launched a new extraterres-

PHILADELPHIA airport reported

a 9pc increase in passenger numbers and welcomed new routes such as the direct Aer Lingus service from Dublin.

Irish delegates at the IPW closing party in Red Rocks

Number crunch

US says inbound visitor figures are understated


he US Trade Administration says it has identified significant and increasing anomalies affecting DHS I-94 visitor arrivals data. The agency detected a

meaningful and increasing number of non-US citizens traveling on visas to the United States being categorized as US residents. It says that, therefore, those travellers were re-


Year Rk Visits change 1998 21 232,391 +7pc 1999 22 246,394 +6pc 2000 21 285,697 +16pc 2001 21 276,806 -3pc 2002 18 259,687 -6pc 2003 17 254,320 -2pc 2004 12 345,119 +36pc 2005 14 383,640 +11pc 2006 14 414,423 +10pc 2007 14 491,055 +18pc

2008 14 531,198 +8pc 2009 16 411,203 -23pc 2010 20 360,492 -12pc 2011 20 346,879 -4pc 2012 25 331,850 -4pc 2013 26 367,110 +11pc 2014 23 399,967 +8pc 2015 20 450,132 +13pc 2016 26 442,000 -2pc 2017 26 441,890 -1pc (subject to revision)

moved from the visitor count of overseas travellers arriving into the United States, resulting in a probable undercount for 2017. Among the markets that may be affected is Ireland, where official figures showed success declines of 2pc and 1pc in 2016 and 2017 despite a massive increase in airline capacity across the Atlantic from Ireland. The CSO outbound figures for 2016 were 446,000 to North America in cluding Canada. “With international inbound travel being such

a critical component of the U.S. trade balance and jobs base, the stakes are very high to have an accurate data picture of overseas visitors to our country,” said senior vice president for government relations Tori Barnes in a statement. Barnes said that, even if the official data reveals stronger inbound arrival numbers for 2017 than previously reported, “the fact will remain that while international travel is spiking globally, the US is losing share of that growing market to our competitors around the world.”



ew York City’s largest development since Rockefeller Centre in the early 20th century, Hudson Yards is now rising to its west. When complete the project will include 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, 100 shops, a collection of dining experiences, 14 acres of public space, an Equi-

nox branded luxury hotel, Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel, and the multi-arts center The Shed (theshed. org). Other 2019 destination highlights featured during the press event included the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the expected openings of the Statue of Liberty Museum and the Nordstrom Women’s Flagship Store,

Upgrades to infrastructure and new 2018 product that will benefit visitors in 2019 include significant investments at all of New York City’s four regional airports, the City’s first and only outlet destination at Staten Island’s Empire Outlets with more than 100 retail stores, the re-built Pier 17 at the Seaport District NYC and more.

New York City has the most active hotel development pipeline in the country, with 117,300 hotel rooms as of May 2018 and an expected inventory of 136,500 hotel rooms by the end of 2019. Openings in 2019 include Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards, Six Senses New York, TWA Hotel and Westin New York Staten Island.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 9

IPW 2018 CALIFORNIA Highway 1 which was closed due to mudslides in December is sent to reopen in September. In anticipation visit California is promoting the Dream Drive initiative to persuade for visitors to take an epic road trip.

NEW ORLEANS which staged IPW in 2017 is to get us a new brand, New Orleans & Company. There are 6,000 new hotel rooms coming on stream by 2020 including the Hard Rock the Higgins on the Four Seasons. The convention centre is guessing at three million dollar reefer. Canal Street ferry $37 million renovation wish change the way people use the Mississippi River said Kristian Sonnier of New Orleans & Company. WALT DISNEY World is opening a Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland is retheming California Adventure’s Paradise Pier to Pixar.

Chris Thompson chair of Brand USA, award recipients Liz Wright and Kathleen Maher of Tour America and Roger Dow of Travel USA, Chairman’s circle awards event, at IPW 2018 in Denver,

Dow’s mission

US Travel CEO praises Aer Lingus and Norwegian


oger Dow, CEO of US Travel, told delegates to iPW 2018 that US Travel banded together with 14 other major business groups in Washington to address America’s decline in market share. “We were facing headwinds when we met in Washington a year ago. A year later, we are still working to make that theme, one big welcome, a matter of national policy. “More people around the world are traveling than ever be-fore—but too many visiting places other than the US Bottom line: we are falling behind our competitors. France is up. Germany is up. China is up. But from 2015 to 2017, the US share of the global travel market slipped from 13.6pc to 11.9 pc. Dow said that translates to $32bn in lost visitor spending and 100,000 fewer US jobs. He said international visitation to many US destinations is thriving, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orlando and Seattle but “ we’d all be doing better if the US had kept its share of the global market.” Visit US is working to expand and rebrand the Visa Waiver Programme, set goals for expanding travel visas, boost enrolment in global entry, increase the number of visa processing facilities worldwide and develop criteria for 10-year visas with qualified countries. He voiced his opposition to so-

called “extreme vetting” of US visa applicants, a proposal that would demand the social media profile information and travel history from 14m visa applicants. “That’s a vast expansion of private data collection with dubious security value. Making the US visa system unnecessarily intrusive or burdensome will impact global interest in travel to the US . He welcomed good-news changes this past year that he said had flown under the radar, biometric air exit technology using facial recognition to identify departing travellers on select flights at nine major airports Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, Orlando and Washington, DC.. US airports are also using automated passport control kiosks, which allow eligible Visa Waiver Program travellers to skip Customs forms and lines. Customs Preclearance continues has grown to 15 airports in six countries. “This allows travelers to clear US Customs be-fore even setting foot in the US. I had the opportunity to see this when I flew on Aer Lingus and pre-cleared customs in Ireland what a great process it was to clear customs in Ireland and just go on to my next flight in the US.” He welcomed the news that Washington had rejected both a freeze on

new flights and a renegotiation of Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the UAE. We are excited to see our government getting these decisions right. Late last year, our government also granted Norwegian Air final approval to fly from several important European cities—a decision that was reaffirmed by US courts just two weeks ago. “These new flights introduce competition, access, choice and value for flyers to and from the US. They will direct even more international passengers to, through and beyond our gateways, connecting more people to new experiences in every corner of America.” A total of 53 domestic and international airlines now participate in PreCheck. Several of our major airlines were asking the US government to freeze flights from Qatar and the Unit-ed Arab Emirates. They claimed air access from those countries was threatening US jobs. We strongly but politely disagree with that stance. Now, I always stress that an abundance of healthy and profitable airlines—both domestic and international—is vital to our industry and to the American economy. “Reducing air access is obviously bad for the US economy and jobs, and our analysis even found that it would hurt jobs in the US airline industry.”

DISNEY Walt Disney World and Disneyland will open Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, their Star Wars lands in 2019,

UNIVERFSAL Orlando is opening a stand-alone Fast & Furious encounter, first seen on the Hollywood Studio Tour, as well as the Aventura Hotel, the resort’s sixth. In 2019 they will open a new family-friendly “coaster experience” to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. Super Nintendo World is likely to follow in 2021 or 2022. PIXAR FEST commenced in mid April at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, a nighttime extravaganza will feature fireworks, projections, water screens and Buzz Lightyear flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle. The show tells the story of the special bonds of friendship formed between a bunch of fan-favorite Pixar characters. A brand-new parade in its park this year!

DISNEYLAND’s new “After Dark” series of late-night events will continue to go until the early morning and feature different themes. Classic attractions including the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean will be opened while live bands, DJs and other entertainers. This is a ticketed event and costs $95. coaster, and Battle For Eire at Busch Gardens

KNOTT’s HangTime at Knott’s Berry Farm is the US west coast’s first dive coaster.

CEDAR POINTt’s Steel Vengeance

,the world’s first hyper-hybrid, with a 200-foot, 90-degree drop and a more than a mile of track. For littlies, Legoland California is adding a Lego City Deep Sea Adventure, a submarine ride with live sea animals and whimsical Lego creations. Other regional park opening s include Time Traveler at Missouri’s Silver Dollar City — the world’s fastest, tallest, and steepest spinning

NEW ORLEANS International Airport is two get a $1bn new terminal and enhancements. ANAHEIM will stage IPW in 2019.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 10



hen it gets warm, it can get very warm. And, when it gets cold, the landscape turns chilly as an eagle’s eye. Our instructions for the trip over Independence Pass from Vail to the Sand Dunes national Park warned us to expect anything from 21° Celsius to -6 Celsius. Hot sun or snow. Colorado is a lottery as far as the weather is concerned. The Western landscape is also is as varied as any mountain weather forecast. With each turn comes a scenery change. Mostly, but not solely, it is about mountains. Colorado people will tell the rest of us, which they joking call flatlanders, that they have 53 fourteeners, over 14,000 feet, ranging from Mount Elbert to Sunshine Peak. People collect fourteeners.(Bierstadt is the baby slopes), described to us by Andrea Blankenship of Colorado Tourism as “a relatively painful experience, but fun.” Most of us are happy to look, as the scenery changes around every corner.


rom the state capital, Denver, you can see 200 mountains over 12,000 feet. It is enough to tempt the most cautious out of the city, en route to the

Vail gondola in summer

Breathless Beauty Eoghan Corry finds himself high and dry in Colorado Sunset at Garden of gthe Gods, Colorado famous ski towns where Olympic champions are bred, leaving the Leaving high desert climate to join an Alpine climate, a bit like the Burren on stilts. In Vail the Betty Ford garden showcases the Alpine plants, the pikas that hid in the rocks and the Golden eagle who thrives in the climate, looking down, literally on the Bald Eagle of presidential fame: “where the sky is the size of forever and the plants the size of a millisecond,” as botanist Ann Zwinger once said.

Colorado has more ghost towns that real towns, 1,500, and its famous towns go back to the q9th century. Vail was invented, a wilderness used for military practice in 1942 opened as a ski resort twenty years later and propelled on a snow rush to its current status as the most famous ski resort of all and a valley of 22,000 hotel beds. This is chic and cheerful, rather than cheap and cheerful. The three five star hotels where we were housed have lavish spas

and pools, entertainment, and, in my case, a Tv in the bathroom mirror. You might not want to leave the room, if the scenery and the activities, winter and summer, were not so enticing. Room rates in the ski-in five-stars rise from $300 a night to $600 in winter. The cobblestones are heated, there are artworks through the town (“down to the bear and turn left”) and the ski pass is the most expensive on the planet. They say that in Colorado, the USA’s rooftop state, the bike on the roof of the car is usually more valuable than the vehicle that conveys it, and so, with anticipatory arses, we took to the bicycle saddle. Our course was a pleasant one, along a paved path to East Vail from a circuit of the memorial park and back. A shop opposite the bike place sells oxygen, for every task here is breathless compared with the flatlander variety. An alcoholic drink here is worth two in the flatlands. The hour and a half circuit was enough to

work up our appetite and out thirst. olorado is also the craft beer state, partly because of its status as a clearing house of malting barley, and partly because of the foresight of its legislators. It has 230 established breweries.,dominated by products like New Belgium Brewing Company, Odell Brewing Co., Great Divide Brewing, Avery Brewing Company and Left Hand Brewing which may already have outgrown the concept of artisan brewing. There are now 80 distilleries as well, poured into life by the mash-recycling moonshiners at Stranahan’s who forged Colorado’s first microdistillery: Stranahan’s . The founder Jess Graber used the name of his brewing friend George Stranahan because it sounded more Irish: they started with the left over mash when Graber’s barn burned down. Since then Rocky Mountain Whiskey (note the E) has become am movement. We tried the Diamond Peak


and Sherry Cask: attitude with altitude.


pleasant three day itinerary out of Vail brought us over Independence Pass to the mountain town of Buena Vista. It looks like it was designed by someone who wanted to bring their dog for a walk and then populated by outdoor enthusiasts, a white water rafting centre with its own paddle festival on the Arkansas river. We tracked the Arkansas to Royal Gorge, not as deep but narrower than the Grand Canyon, travelled across by Gondola and back by bridge. You can peek through the wooden planks of the Royal Gorge bridge, until 2001 the highest in the world. Below, an excursion train snakes along the river and the fly sized specks of rafters and canoeists can be seen. It should be silent, but this is a major tourist location. A rock band is playing Eagles while, incongruously, a real Eagle and some vultures watch, bemused. And

n Eoghan Corry travelled to Clorado as a guest of Colorado Tourism Office via Newasrk to Denver with Aer Lingus and United

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there is a the intermittent screaming of those who chose to fly the skyrider, helplessly flung across the edge of the canyon with the most beautiful backdrop any adrenaline aficionado might wish for. The uppermost of the world, or at least the Americas, momentarily turned uppermost side down, jaggy crevices, red rocks and distance snow caps flipped over and back for fun.


ur adrenaline hunt took us further to the Pikes Peak Ziplines. Our young instructors Katie Sheahan and Brian Ruminski guided us across a trail of five ziplines, warning us where the bum might hit the track, causing the pants to rip and an honoured place in the money’s club. Adventure activities in the USA are increasingly a comedy routine, as Brian passes out the helmets he was: “here are the brain buckets, we supply the bucket, you supply the brain, brains are optional.” “If you cause a beer truck to crash on the hghways,” says Katie, “ you can have free zip lining for life.” The thrill of the zip is the first fall, step, or waltz over the cliff and the onrush into the unknown with the bee-buzz


Gondola over Royal Gorge, the highest bridge in the world until 2001

of the wire in your ears, and the anticipation of a tricky landing. ‘Did you see the teddy bear that was dropped in the valley?” Brian asked. Nobody did. At Peaks Pike biplane they allow you hang upside down in mid flight. Not many zip lines do, so we all did it in turn and went home tossed and tumbled and assimilated with the Colorado way.

he real goal of our expedition was Sand Dunes national park. They span 30 square miles in the San Luis Valley, south of Denver, heaped sand dropped like hot pepper by the winds when they meet the mountain range. The sand arrives by river, the tallest down the Medano Creek, dumped to the southwest and then picked up and blown back on the dunes, a re-

cycled adventure spot. They hire out sandbars at to locations, carried our board like beached surfers, waxed the knotty bits at the bottom and careered down the slopes look kids. Children of all ages were to be seen along the ridges of the dunes, the heat seekers venturing furthest to the highest slope. “Half the Park is in the dark,” Kale Mortensen of Alamosa tourism says,

“at night you feel you can put your hand up and pluck the stars out of the sky.” The crashing sand down as dune face makes the sand hum like a didgeridoo. In the 1940s, one of Bing Crosby’s musical hits was “The Singing Sands of Alamosa” a love song based on the sounds of Great Sand Dunes. It is a sound you will never forget.


he sun rushes offstage quickly in Colorado, over a mountain, throwing red on to the sandstone in a hopeless collision of bright colours. The state was named for red, the colour red. Those of us who had only been there in winter would only know white. It is a life changing revelation to discover both.

Clockwise: View from Royal Gorge bridge, Sand Diunes National Park, Eoghan Cory at Independence Pass, Helmut Fricker of the , Sonnenalp hotel in Vail, Jacob Bangtson con ducts a cycle tour in Vail

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hode Island has the longest name for the smallest state. And it has to be believed how small it is. Exactly the size of County Clare, smaller than eight Irish counties. King Ranch in Texas is larger than Rhode island, 48 miles long and 37 miles wide. It has now become supremely relevant in the lives of everyone who aspires to trans-Atlantic travel. Providence became connected to five Irish cities as part of Norwegian’s grand trans-Atlantic plan last year. The theory is that low cost flyers will fly here, the gateway bro Boston as Newburgh is the gateway to New York. That did not happen on the scale and with the numbers that Norwegian or anyone else imagined. South Boston and the Cape is as accessible from Providence as it is from Logan. The airport is easier ton get through, the access much more amenable than Newburgh’s bus routes to Manhattan. And the hinterland has a whole story of its own to offer.


he city of Providence feels more like a real city than Rhode Island feels like a state, with its storied university and its capital building and a hill looking down on the sky scrapers below. It was founded by a group of refugees from the Manhattan puritan colony, led by Roger Williams, fighting and falling out over the minute of scripture until they came to found their own colony like the plot of a late night movie. Providence was, unlike many other breakaway colonies, profitable. In the 1820s it was wealthy and the first indoor mall in the United States opened here. And as traditional revenue streams declined, is turning to tourism. Five

Small state big dreams

Eoghan Corry flies to Providence with Norwegian The capital in Portland: a state the size of County Clare new hotels opened in three years, three more in 2018. “We will never be New York or Boston, but we can be the base for both,” Christina Robbio of Go Providence says. “People come there who want to find small town authenticity. What would be 50 dollar plates in New York are 20pc less expensive here.”  “Providence was one of the wealthiest cities before the Great Depression and we never recovered from that, while other cities were tearing down the buildings and building high rise, we did not do that.”  It is a welcoming city, when you come with ideas they are embraced. We don’t have a gaybourhood. We never felt the need for one.’


oday the population of Providence is that of Cork, 225,000 of which 45,000 are students. Little incongruities abound as the cultures of the big cities get welded and mixed together. There are 47 authentic Italian restaurants on Federal Hill. Nearby an authentic Lebanese cuisine restaurant comes complete with an Irish flag. The neighbourhood of the mafia dons who never got to play with the big boys. Rhode Island, inevitably given its location, ended up as a playground for both Boston and New York. In Newport the mansions of the wealthy line the shore front and some have been opened to the public, to reaffirm the old

joke about what happens when Americans have more dollars than sense. John F and Jackie Kennedy got married here, Father of the bride Black Jack Bovier was shepherded out of town because he was drunk. Of 100 mansions, 11 open to the public, constructed three generations later than the palladian mansions of Ireland and Europe with more creature comforts.

Period movies, where the cars are too shiny and the clothes too clean, are made here. Scott FitzGerald’s world is caught in a time warp. The writers that illuminate Providence are the Gothic masters of the 19th century, Poe and Lovecraft. Our group detoured for a pilgrimage to the grave of Lovecraft, where fans have left little mementos, to make sure he is dead.

“When you come to Providence you visit a city and get a state,, says Christina. There are 100 miles of beaches, 20 public beaches , many with salt ponds sitting dutifully behind them. Visitors can dog their own clams. Galilee is the tuna capital, and soft bodied crabs abound. The locals emerge from street eateries with legs sit cling out of the sides of their buns as they tuck

Norwegian launched flights from Cork, Shannon, Dublin and Belfast to two airports on the US east coast last year which offer good access into the Boston, New York and New England areas but carry significantly lower landing charges, allowing Norwegian to offer some truly affordable fares Flights are available to Providence-Boston from Cork (3w), Shannon (2w), and Dublin (5ww) Flights are also available to Stewart International Airport in New York from Dublin (daily), Shannon (2w) and Belfast International (3w) Fares start from €129 one-way, €230 return (for Belfast £125 one-way, £230 return) Flights are available to book at www.norwegian.com/ie

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in. Seafood heaven only a Puritan outcast could appreciate.


short trip away, across the Massachusetts border in Fall River, the house of Lizzie Borden has been turned into a bed and breakfast. Bowden is the classic American anti-hero, a real life nursery rhyme character that featured in the Simpsons, rhymed into taking an axe and giving her mother forty whacks, When she saw what she had done, She gave her father fortyone. Billy Mills, who guides us around the house says: “some of our ceilings are a little low and obviously we have had two fatal head injuries in this house.” The maid in the house was a Corkwoman, Bridget Sullivan. She never told what she saw and ended ups in Anaconda, Montana married to John Sullivan. The secret of Lizzie Borden died with her.


n Falmouth there are monuments to the whaling industry that made the town wealthy. Bob Rocha, director of the education and science services guided us through the exhibition on the Catalpa rescue and on to the little church where the inspiration for Melville’s Moby Dick came from a tombstone.


Whaling museum, New Bedford

The Gregory Peck movie too, largely shot in Youghal. A ferry ride brings to an even more famous playground, Martha’s Vineyard. Its winter population of 15,000 swells to 120,000 in summer. It is an island with six towns, in fast it has six of everything. One, Cannonball park, was where the hippies behaving slept. Nowadays those hippies own houses here.

a r t h a ’ s Vineyard is beautiful, gingerbread house beautiful, “It has the right mix of weather and wealth,” said tour guide Doris Clark. She brought us to the “what we affectionately call the jaws bridge, it used to have another name but I have forgotten what that name is. A rite of passage is to jump off it, brides and grooms in their wedding clothes ” 

She tells the story of widow’s walk, where the womenfolk would wait to see if their husbands survived and returned on their hopelessly inadequate whaling ships. The streets here are collection of eateries, serving various versions of the bounty of the ocean. “There are people here who would not eat fish that are more than two hours old.”


he ferry continued to Falmouth, the Shoreway Acres Inn and the Kennedy homestead. A substantial flow of visitors call to see this shrine to the Wexford family who took on the establishment and produced two of the outstanding American politicians of the 1960s. A lost America, especially in the current political climate.

Clockwise: Lizzie Borden homestead, ice cream in Marha’s vineyard, whaling museum tour, and seafood ice cream

The exhibits are understated, the lives of Jo and Rose much more accessible now that we have seen the background of unrestricted wealth, gaiety and promise in which they moved. The flight home to the ancestral home is just 45 minutes away, the airport small and friendly and the queues short. JFK would have loved it.

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wimming pools, cinemas and cookery schools – river cruise ships are getting more exciting. With the new ships and ship designs have come new destinations and new shore-side excursions. This year sees the launch of 17 new river cruise ships. There are now 184 passenger cruise ships plying the rivers of the world, and 30pc of them are younger than five years old. Agents said that all-inclusive cruise and river cruises are one of the biggest trends in 2016 so far. From Ireland, the Danube is the major cruise destination, followed by the Rhine, with the Rhone and the Duoro trailing behind. There are effectively six river cruise companies which dominate the market, although up to 12 others are seeking business out of Ireland. It is still a small sector. There are just 840,000 river cruisers (36pc of them German) compared with 21.3m ocean cruise passengers.

River cruise continues to grow disproportionately for the Irish travel trade

it is important for river n Fine dining with wine cruise customers to included understand that they n Internet, Hollywood need to book well in ad- movies, satellite televance so they can book vision and music library the most popular cabins included at no charge (those with balconies) as n City tours with proships are smaller than the fessional guides included ocean going variety. n Visit destinations that Consumers have be- ocean cruises cannot come more familiar with reach the product, air access to n No checking in to utside balconies the main riverport cit- hotel after hotel have become the ies increases, the boats n Unpack once and norm on river become more luxurious settle in for a relaxing cruises and schedules are and the major players in vacation. tweaked to offer the finthe river cruise industry n No riding in buses for est scenery during daybecome more innovative. hours on end; no traffic light. River cruising is grow- n Most long distance In fact 2016 will be ing in popularity because: travel is done in the another best year ever n Clients want someevening so daytime can for river cruise out of thing different to an be spent visiting cities, Ireland, well ahead of the ocean cruise towns, museums and Celtic Tiger days. This n Word of mouth is historic sites follows five years durgreatly spreading for this n Time in cities and ing which this segment product towns is maximised on of the industry has seen n The ship is your floata river cruise versus already high growth rates ing luxury hotel travelling to/from destinincrease year on year out n Fewer passengers ations by coach. of the Irish market, (average of 150) than The age group buyocean vessels urope’s watering cruises tends to be n More personal space ways can be over 65 retired people on board experienced in with disposable income. n More intimate ena variety of ways inAlthough the recession vironment for sharing cluding self-skippered created a demand for disexperiences and develboats, short tour-cruises counted holidays, river oping new friendships and canal barge. But it cruise passenger numn No lines for embarkais the river cruise sector bers have kept growing tion/disembarkation that has seen the biggest each year. n No tendering change. With all this growth, n No seasickness The appetite for river cruise has astonished the travel trade in ireland



These may range from older ones whose price points have been driven down by the rush to more luxurious craft by the big lines, to the newest ships, inspired by classic ocean yachts, which have spas, gyms and, wi-fi access. A few of the newest have pools, though these are sill a rarity for river cruise vessels. River cruise combines the advantages of an ocean cruise with those of a bus tour, river cruises show you the best of Europe, Russia and China, and bring passengers small quaint villages as well as the large cosmopolitan cities. One of the main comforts is that you only have to unpack your bags once, and that all you need is provided on board. Most offer all-inclusive meals and many have additional services such as spas featuring relaxing massages and facials. Some also include wine with dinner. The cruise lines offer local evening entertainment, lectures and demonstrations. Shore excursions

hosted by an English speaking local guide are part of the experience. These may be charged separately and it is worth checking before you book for a client as it can have a significant impact on the price. More companies are including excursions as part of the package price, in contrast to what is happening in the ocean cruising sector.


ndy Harmar of CLIA, which works with 18 river cruise companies, says there are three reasons why the river cruise experience is changing. “Ship design has transformed the experience for cruise guests. Alternative dining, spa treatments, double decker gums, on board pools, cinemas, ice skating rinks, means that customers now are starting to get a real picture of what the onboard experience is like.” The experience offered by each of the river ships to your clients are completely different, because of the way that these ships are being designed, the features that these ships offer, the dining

experience, the entertainment. That means that we are growing up as an industry. Shore side experiences are also important, with new access to walking tour, vineyards, wander through markets or historical places. The investment that the cruise line put in to these excursions and the way we support them will influence the future trends in shore excursions. The reason that river cruise is changing so fast is that the customer ins changing too. The river cruise customer of today is different from the river cruise customer of five years ago or the river cruise customer of five years’ time because they want to site do, not site see. It is no good nowadays to pull up on the bus and have a look at the view and get back on the bus. It is about experiencing and authenticity, it is about touching and doing, learning to cook, learning how to make wine, it is about making cheese, as an authentic experience. Soft adventure is a major trend on ocean

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cruising. The same can be said about river cruise, especially in faraway places like Asia.


niworld are regarded as European specialists with ten ships plying the waters of the major European rivers. Their launch of the all-suite River Beatrice ten years ago changed standards through the industry. Uniworld launched their latest river cruise ship, the SS Joie de Vivre in march. It will sail along the Seine River, from Paris to Normandy. The line now operates 19 ships, including three purpose-built Super Ships that carry 150 to 159 passengers. Uniworld sails the Rhine, Main, Danube, Moselle, Seine, Rhone, Garonne, Dordogne, Po and Douro rivers, Uniworld also sails in Egypt, Russia and Asia (China, Vietnam and Cambodia); in 2016, the company debuted in India with a 56-passenger ship sailing on the Ganges. Older and refurbished Uniworld ships on the main European rivers have 54 to 63 cabins and the majority of vessels have four stateroom categories, none with walkout verandas. Cabins typically measure 151 square feet with fixed, panoramic or French balconies. Suites, with French balconies, are 214 square feet. These ships do not have single or disabled cabins. On Uniworld ships, you’ll find cabins that are individually decorated in a diverse range of styles and with colour schemes that vary from deck to deck. On one vessel, the cabins might be in chic monotone, striped black and white walls, while on another, there will be opulent chandelier-lit interiors in rich tones, fourposter beds and lavish brocade drapes. Unique to Uniworld’s ships are the butlers, who are trained at the Ivor

Well fed passengers are happy passengers Spencer Butler School to the standards required by English royalty. Since 2016, butler service has been extended to every suite-category stateroom across the European fleet, except Russia and Portugal. Nowadays Uniworld say they are the world’s only authentic boutique cruise line and one of the few river cruise companies to handle all of their own hospitality and hotel management efforts, as well as food delivery. “At the forefront of everything we do is attention to detail,” says Sharon Jordan, who represents Uniworld here. “No corners are ever cut at the expense of our guests. With the popularity of river cruising growing and more ships being built, Uniworld’s goal is to not be the biggest but to deliver a consistently outstanding experience to our guests.” Uniworld has staked out a space at the top of the river cruise chart, offering a genuinely all-inclusive experience – with prices to match. Cruise prices will fluctuate depending on the time of booking and time of year, with deals and discounts available on


Irish market. On Uniworld ships, you’re generally going to find a 65+, well-traveled, well-heeled North American crowd. The line is also marketing to English-speaking travellers in Britain, Ireland and Australia, so you’ll find a smattering of those nationalities too. Although traditionally the line has tended to appeal to more senior passengers, its sophisticated onboard vibe also attracts cruisers in their 40s and 50s. Uniworld runs a handful of multigenerational themed family cruises each year, so during those periods (summer months), expect a much younger group, with a lot of kids onboard. It will take a nonrefundable deposit at the time of booking.


niworld offers cleaning service twice a day and the beds come with wool blankets and fluffy duvets. Dining aboard consists of breakfast and lunch buffets. Dinner is open seating and menus often feature country-specific themes. Many ships have spas or fitness facilities and a few have pools.

Medical facilities, beauty salons, lounges, and large sun decks are options on which Uniworld boat you chose. Entertainment is of the quiet variety, and is often by local musicians, guitar players and/ or singers. Excursions with local guides can be arranged with the Cruise Manager. “Average capacity is 130 guests, the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry,” Sharon says. “We offer enticing shore excursions, world-class gourmet cuisine, impeccable hospitality, and numerous other all-inclusive benefits. “Each ship in Uniworld’s European fleet is rich in character and truly one-of-a-kind. Each ship has a distinctive theme, colour palette, original art, sumptuous furnishings and antiques. “The design visionaries at the Red Carnation Hotel Collection bring a stylish flair inspired by the rivers upon which they cruise. “Ships feature stylish restaurants, an expansive Sun Deck, plush lounges with full-service bars, after-dinner entertainment, or dancing the night

away. We also offer a wellequipped fitness centre and Serenity River Spa on every ship in Europe. “Uniworld guests experience culinary diversity and richness as varied and flavourful as the cruise itself, onboard or onshore. The chefs onboard use the freshest ingredients associated with each destination to emphasise locally sustainable, market-driven cuisine. Guests enjoy signature recipes from the cookbook A Life in Food, authored by Beatrice Tollman, founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection. “Uniworld’s onshore programmes provide guests with personalised experiences tailored to match their interests and lifestyle. Guests can choose from a generous menu of excursions and activities designed to immerse you in the local culture. “Uniworld elevates all-inclusive river cruising in Europe to an entirely new level. As we see it, our guests deserve the absolute best of everything and the difference is truly in the details. On each cruise, guests will enjoy: n A wide choice of

personalised excursions led by English-speaking local experts n Intimate and beautifully designed ships carrying an average of just 130 guests n A number excursions curated exclusively for Uniworld guests n All gratuities onboard and onshore, all scheduled airport transfers n Well-equipped onboard fitness centre and onboard exercise and wellness classes n Elegant riverview staterooms and suites, with the finest linens and Savoir® beds, n Bicycles and Nordic walking poles for onshore use, n Onboard dining and unlimited beverages, n Onboard entertainment and signature lectures. n There are indoor and heated swimming pools on the newer ships


ew for Croisierope 2017, the MS Miguel Torga is an innovative, premium class, threedeck ship with a pool, contemporary interior design and 66 cabins that will accommodate 132 passengers. Built at the Sambre and Meuse Ship-

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yard in Namur, it join four other ships on the Douro River. Beginning in April 2017, it will host 8-day cruises on the “Golden River,” leaving from Porto and stopping in Regua, Vega de Terron, Ferradosa and Pinhão. The MS Symphonie and the MS Douce France will be entirely renovated and their interior spaces will be redesigned to provide more comfort. They will become two of our top-rated Premium ships, in line with the latest generation ships. They will be rechristened the MS Symphonie II (Danube) and the MS Douce France II (Rhine). Highlights of the Mekong Cruise will include Saigon, the French-Colonial city of Phnom Penh and the local floating villages through the region. The key CorisiEurope selling points are: n CroisiEurope gets to the heart of the towns that other companies bus their clients in. n They offer sailings on nearly every river in Europe, with itineraries in Asia, Russia and unique coastal cruise in Croatia. n They are Europe’s largest River Cruise operator, with over 500 departures and over 100 itineraries. n Because of Croisieurope’s size they nearly always have availability. n They construct, own and operate all their vessels. n They offer French Canals by barge, extending to other canals in Europe in 2017/18 roisiEurope feature vessels on every single river in Europe with 500 departures on more than 30 rivers and canals spanning 100 itineraries, including hotel barges along the French Canals. CroisiEurope’s excursions are provided at additional cost, purchased in advance or onboard for the same price. CroisiEurope caters


Uniworld’s famous decor to passengers who don’t want a packed schedule of included excursions; whether they are on a budget, prefer to explore independently or want to spend time onboard. The newest product is the safari cruise on the African Dream, a 16-passenger boat that will cruise the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers in Africa. There are jeep and boat safaris in search of wildlife during the cruise, and opportunities to spot the Big Five while staying at CroisiEurope’s Kaza Lodge and a hotel at Victoria Falls. Alan Lynch MD of Cruisescapes, CroisiEurope’s representative in Ireland, says CroisiEurope, a family run business, is responsible for the construction, ownership and day-to-day operations of an entire fleet of river cruise vessels that are capable of carrying between 100 and 200 passengers. Their new fleet includes several “hybrid” river cruise vessels capable of transiting the Mediterranean on unique

river and ocean itineraries. With nearly four decades of experience in offering, river cruises. This allows the operator to concentrate on providing it’s passengers with exceptional food, excellent service and creative itineraries that are designed to appeal to both experienced and novice river cruisers. By reducing the amount of the ship that exists below the waterline, CroisiEurope can sail into the heart of cities like Strasbourg, where CroisiEurope is headquartered, while other river cruise operators are forced to dock on the other side of the Rhine, in the German town of Kehl, and bus guests in.


iviera Travel’s vessels on the Rhine, Danube and Douro in Portugal cater for budget-conscious Irish river cruisers by excluding soft and alcoholic drinks. They provide tea and coffee-making facilities in all cabins (suites only on the Elegance).

The fifh of Riviera’s new all suite ships was launched in April, the sister ship to Emily Brontë, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde and Robert Burns n Emily Brontë Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube n Thomas Hardy Danube n Oscar Wilde Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube n Robert Burns Rhine, Main, Danube n Jane Austen Rhine, Moselle, Main n Lord Byron Rhône n William Shakespeare Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube n Charles Dickens Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube n Swiss Corona Rhône n Swiss Ruby Seine n Douro Elegance Douro To make budgeting easier still, prices on Emily Brontë, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde and Douro Elegance include flights, transfers and selected tours.

As well as their selection of cruises for 2018, Riviera have recently launched a collection of inspiring new cruises, brand new ships and new departures for 2019. Price is a USP for Riviera Travel, with recent investment in their fleet of ships with luxuriously large cabins and suites and private balconies. and soak it up with the breeze on your face. Riviera daily excursions led by expert guides and tour managers are included in the price, and they say even the very smallest of details will be carefully catered for. The price includes n Return flights from Dublin airport Including checked in bag ,Taxes and transfers n Spacious cabins and suites all with beautifully appointed en-suite bathrooms and spectacular river views n Dining from early riser s’ breakfast to midnight snacks n Daily tours and excursi ons with expert guides and tour managers n Complimentary tea,

coffee and Wi-Fi on board n English-speaking crew are on call 24/7 to make your stay more comfortable Drinks packages for a 4 night cruise are €69pp, 7 night cruise €119pp nd 14 night cruise €229pp.


ma Waterways, founded in 2002 by river cruise pioneer Rudi Schreiner, are represented in Ireland by Sunway. Destinations have increased. AMA began cruising the Rhine and Danube. Now they cover Russia, Portugal, France, Vietnam and Cambodia, Kenya and Myanmar was introduced last year. Ama uses 14 ships in Europe with six ships based elsewhere and operates exclusively for the English-speaking market. Ships in Europe each accommodate 164 passengers. Ama offers French balconies and marble appointed bathrooms and most offer fitness centres, beauty salons, gift shops, and splash pools. An al-

fresco dining area beside the main restaurant can seat 32 passengers for a separate three-course dinner. Seating in this dining area must be reserved. They say limited hours drinks packages are cheaper than other all-inclusive cruises. AmaWaterways has partnered with Disney’s guided tour division, Adventures by Disney, to offer kid-friendly river cruises on ships specifically designed for larger, multi-generational groups. The company debuted cruises along the Danube River last summer on the AmaViola, and cruises along the Rhine River aboard the AmaKristina are scheduled to launch in June. Both Avalon and AmaWaterways include at least one shore excursion in every port you visit. Both lines also offer premium excursions, which

Riviera’s Jane Austen on the Danube

come at extra cost. These generally are limited to small groups and take you into smaller venues.


ravelfox.ie are the sole agents for Avalon Waterways in Ireland. Avalon claim the youngest, most contemporary fleet of ships in Europe. There are two new suite ships on the rivers

of Europe in 2017 the Avalon Impression and Avalon Poetry II. Avalon is revamping its Danube River cruise to include more activities for families with children. According to Ann Harrington of Travelfox, Avalon vision was “to visit the choicest destinations, cruise through the most magnificent scenery, exploring history,

heritage and culture, all delivered with luxury five star hotel standard accommodation on board the most modern ships.” “Our itineraries along some of the world’s most beautiful waterways are just some of the reasons why our guests have awarded us a 98pc satisfaction rating.” Choose Avalon if you want to book a Globus

JUNE 2017 PAGE 17



tour before or after your cruise. While Avalon isn’t the only line that’s affiliated with a larger tour operator, the other ones that are – Scenic, Tauck and Uniworld – have a more upscale focus, with more inclusions and higher price tags. Avalon has the ability to set up pre- and post-cruise tours connected with your voyage.

n 2017, Tauck River Cruises will unveil its fourth family river cruise itinerary. The “Family Fun Along the Seine: Paris to Normandy” begins with two nights in Paris followed by a five-night cruise on the Seine on reimagined MS Sapphire, which will have big family cabins. Tauck makes all excursions available for free. Tauck also has special events on shore, such as dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant. With more than 60 vessels, including 46 Longships, Viking is the world’s largest river cruise line. Most river cruisers will be familiar with the Lorelei Rock, on the Rhine Gorge. Now, instead of sailing past it, Viking is offering passengers the chance to climb it, during new cruises on the LongshipViking Hild.


8 days from only €1,169pp 15 days from only €2,709pp Departures up to December 2018 and April to November 2019

PRICE INCLUDES: • Return flights from Dublin • Beautifully appointed four-star superior and five-star cabins with hotel standard beds, private bathrooms and river views • Exceptional full board cuisine • A choice of fourteen cruises, see the website to view our videos • Very extensive and fully inclusive touring programmes • Escorted by an experienced cruise manager

To request a brochure or to make a booking: Call: 01

905 6300

NEW SHIPS FOR 2019 5 MS George Eliot 5 MS William Wordsworth

Visit: www.rivieratravel.ie

Holiday organised by and subject to the booking conditions of Riviera Travel, Chase House, City Junction Business Park, Malahide Road, Northern Cross, Dublin, D17 AK63. Fully licensed and bonded by CAR (T.O. 257). Per person prices based on two sharing a twin cabin. Single cabins available at a supplement. Additional entrance costs may apply. Images used in conjunction with Riviera travel. Cruise duration dependent on selected itinerary.

Travel Extra Half-Page RC_May2018-2.indd 1

10/05/2018 16:28


JUNE 2018 PAGE 18

CAR HIRE 2018-9


ominated for many years by the big three rental firms, the business of car hire has become more interesting in recent times. Today’s agent has about 20 firms to choose from, and each has a unique attraction of interest to your client. First thing to point out is that the cheapest car hire deal may not necessarily be the best one for your client. Many will arrive in the agency concentrating solely on price. They can almost always save money and safeguard against expensive unexpected charges by going through a travel agent. Point out that, with the help of an agent, charges are shown up-front at the time of the booking so consumers can make the right choice and compare prices easily. Going it alone offers no such safeguards. Tease out what they will need from their hire car – for example, how many passengers and bags do they need to fit into the vehicle? If they are travelling with children, they may want a family hire car with five doors while if they are travelling to a destination with high temperatures, air conditioning will be a priority. Don’t assume that they will pay the same price for identical extras with the same car hire company in different destinations. A car seat in Faro costs €20 more than in Nice. A satnav costs €40 more in Nice than in Faro.


riving a rentalvehicle abroad can be stressful and expensive if they don’t prepare. Get a check-list for your client: Check the driving licence is valid and make sure they have all parts of it together and ready to pack before they go away.


Car hire has changed beyond recognition

Road race

car hire at El Prat airport And, well in advance, find out whether they’ll need an International Driving Permit (available form the AA) to drive where they are going. A credit card is necessary to leave a deposit at the rental desk. Research what is legally required to have in the car when they are driving in their destination and remind them to check these items are in the hire vehicle before they set off. Not having certain equipment, such as reflective jackets, can result in fines. Remind them to get the emergency number from the rental company in case of a breakdown. Not knowing the driving regulations – such as speed and drink driving limits – in the country they are visiting could result in inadvertently breaking the law. As you would at home, shop around for petrol when away and look out for competitive prices in local supermarkets and petrol stations rather than relying on motorway stations. Find out whether the

vehicle runs on petrol or diesel as well as what the fuel is called where they are. Research common road signs in the country visited. Remembering to stick to the correct side of the road for the country they are in and being aware of road signs in a different language will help navigate around a new place without stress and worry. Warn about unexpected extra costs. Fuel is an increasingly prominent one.


any car hire companies now have fuel empty policies where consumers are charged for a full tank of petrol when they pick up the car and told to return it empty with no refund for unused fuel. Consumer research has shown that unavoidable fuel charges can triple the price of a rental, turning what seemed like a good deal to potentially a very expensive one. When clients pick up their hire car with a full tank of petrol they are

charged for it at a price set by the car rental company, not the local pump price which is almost always lower. They are then expected to return the car with an empty tank at the end of their rental period. So they are aware what the company’s policy is, check with it before booking, Some of the extras the client simply won’t want. Others are more obvious.


survey carried out by for Ciaran Mulligan’s CarHireExcess.com by Behaviour & Attitudes suggests 40pc of Irish holidaymakers are hit for car hire excess insurance cover at car rental desks abroad. Car Hire Excess claimed their €41.86 charge compares with €230.44 for Budget, €224.26 for Hertz and €203.00 for Enterprise. Car hire excess insurance (also known as excess waiver insurance) is useful to buy as it prevents having to pay any excess charges should their hire car be damaged or stolen.

Many drivers who have had their fingers burnt will be wary of dropping this. This can add on as much as €45 a day. Excess insurance to bring their waiver costs to zero costs a typical €120 for a week but one company is charging €200 in Barcelona. If they don’t take it they could be liable to pay a typical €2,000 if the car gets damaged or stolen or even more: one company’s starting excess in Faro is €3,000. Taking out excess waiver insurance here in Ireland rather than with their car supplier is generally cheaper. A standalone policy is significantly cheaper and gives they greater levels of cover and protection in case of accident or damage to their vehicle. If clients wait until they get to the rental desk to purchase this, they’re likely to be met by a pushy salesperson trying to an expensive policy. Standalone car policies are available at a better rate for the client and commissionable for the agent.

lients travelling with children or needing to rely on a sat nav while they are can prevent steep daily rental charges by pre-booking. Hiring a child’s car seat costs a typical €60. The most expensive was in Milan at €100. Borrowing a satnav typically costs around €75. It is most expensive at €120 from one company at Heathrow. If they already have a portable satnav, they can usually buy a card compatible with the country they are visiting to put in it. Alternatively, they can buy a new satnav that covers both the UK and Europe for around €50-€60. Adding an extra driver, particularly one under the age of 25, can raise the price of their car hire significantly in some cases more than the price of the actual hire. An extra driver over 25 costs around €60. This can vary: with one company in Barcelona they pay €90.


ertz will be celebrating their 100th Year Anniversary next year in 2018 and they are aiming to reach this milestone on a high note. After winning the Irish Travel Industry award for Best Car Hire Company in 2017, their priority is to maintain and further improve the high standards they are renowned for. The relationship between the travel trade and Hertz has grown throughout 2016 and has continued with promising growth into 2017. Hertz want to ensure that agents have a point of contact here in Ireland that they can trust, and are confident to book car hire directly with. Jason Kearns says “Our relationship with the Travel Trade is extremely important to us as has always been the case, we aim to help and sup-

port agents to ensure that their clients get exactly what they are looking for, it is vital that agents know and understand the value in booking through a primary supplier such as Hertz, knowledge on local extras and existing rate inclusions, correct car sizes for small or larger groups, and our great net tour rates and inclusive programmes. All designed to make selling car hire easier, not to mention a very profitable ancillary revenue stream which should not be overlooked.” With Hertz employing over 1,200 people in Ireland throughout their 17 rental locations, the Head Office in Wexford and the European Service Centre in Swords, the feeling is that this International Franchisee is evidently more local than most think.

Hertz in action

“When you book direct with Hertz, we ensure that Hertz will be available to assist with any query you may have. We pride ourselves on the service we offer before, during and after the rental has commenced. Travel agents can trust

215x149mm Travel Ex Hertz Ad 201805.indd 1

that we will do our utmost to find them the best rate for the reservation in question. Customers can trust that they will receive great service and a clean modern car to enjoy their travels in. Should there be any queries after the rental has returned,

our customer services team, who are based in Wexford, will review it promptly and deal with it efficiently.” A word of advice offered by Jason is “We would like to make car hire as easy and stress free as possible and that

JUNE 2018 PAGE 19

CAR HIRE 2018-9

requires informing people of what is involved when renting a car. We always encourage customers to book in advance for better rates and always ensure that they understand what is included in their reservation. The confirmation email sent when

a reservation has been confirmed is very helpful but if the customer is still unsure we would be delighted to clear things up with a quick phone call or email.” “We are constantly striving to improve our products and services through initiatives such as Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, Carfirmation, Hertz Collections and many other offerings which are all designed to make the car rental process faster, easier and more pleasant. With Hertz your customers can choose from premium on-airport locations to multiple downtown locations throughout the world, transparent rates with no catches, competitive one way fees and much more, giving you more options when making your car hire reservation.”

10/05/2018 16:19:43

JUNE 2018 PAGE 20


Indy deeply

SWIFT Irish Ferries new fast ferry, Dublin Swift, a former US Navy ship, entered service on the Dublin-Holyhead route (watch here) offering more cars (220) and more passengers (820) than its predecessor the Jonathan  a completely redesigned interior and a significantly upgraded level of passenger accommodation, a  dedicated TV Snug, cafeteria, self-service restaurant and games area. It will operate at a cruising speed of 35 knots to the same frequency of twice daily return sailings as the vessel it is replacing. The passenger accommodation area is contained throughout a single deck design rather than the double deck layout familiar to passengers. Irish Ferries says it is offering redesigned menus, using Irish sourced ingredients, and different contemporary dining options.

CARNIVAL Cruise Line’s 3,000-passenger Carnival Sunshine will be the largest cruise ship calling in Havana. The line is expanding its offerings to Cuba, from Charleston, South Carolina, from November 2019. MSC Award-winning Spanish chef Ramon

Freixa will launch his first restaurant at sea onboard MSC Seaview,which was christened by Sophia Loren in Genoa on June 9.


revealed that its new Alexa-like personal digital assistant will be called Zoe after a member of the company. The service will be launched on MSC Bellissima in Southampton next year.

P&O Cruises said its new ship will be named Iona after a public naming competition. The 5,200-passenger ship will be launched in 2020.

ROYAL Caribbean’s to add longer cruises – seven or eight nights – to Cuba. Starting next year, the sailings onboard Empress of the Seas out of Miami will call on Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, in addition to Havana. Singer Queen Latifah, godmother of Carnival Horizon, celebrated the new vessel, pouring Champagne over a bell to officially christen the ship. VIKING Ocean Cruises’ sixth ship, Vi-

king Jupiter, took to the water for the first time at the Fincantieri shipyard in Ancona, Italy. The original The Love BoatTV cast, along with Princess Cruises, were honoured by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with a Walk of Fame star plaque. The show premiered in 1977 and ran until 1987.

MSC delayed the christening of MSC Seaview, resulting in the cancellation of the ship’s preview sailing. It will take delivery of MSC Seaview on June 4, and the christening ceremony will now take place June 9 in Genoa, instead of Rome as planned.

ROYAL Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas cancelled its scheduled call on Hilo in Hawaii due to the ongoing eruption by the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island.

VIKING is launching an ‘Ultimate World Cruise’, a 245-day journey visiting more than 59 countries and 113 ports. The sailing on the Viking Sun starts at $92,990 per person.

First time cruiser Aileen O’Reilly on Independence of the Seas


Independence of the Seas sails into Southampton he whole idea of cruising con- along, but so smoothly I still felt jured up images of Kate and nothing. Leo on the prow of the TiJokes from my friends about icetanic, impossibly large chandeliers, bergs were coming in thick and fast long stretches of carved wooden ban- on my phone (we had surprisingly isters and silver service dining, Ne- good Wifi, but had to relog-in every groni cocktails and ebony cigarette hour) – but at this stage I was able holders wafting their fragrant smoke to loftily reply “iceberg? Is that a under the stars… cocktail? I’m sure I’ll be having one Therefore, finally being given the later”) opportunity to set sail on a cruiser An invite to the Olive or Twist with a $10 million refurbishment cocktail lounge (affording panoramic price tag (a massive overhaul for her views of the sea and the stars) lay on 10th birthday) sent me scurrying for my ridiculously large bed and this, I my best black tie gown and costume must admit, did make me come over jewellery - despite the fact that I can all Mia Farrow as I fretted that I may get travel sick from leaning on the have forgotten to pack my one long bonnet of a car....I quickly put all string of pearls (as the possibility of fears of imminent heaving nausea solving a murder now seemed excitfirmly to the “aft” of my mind as I ingly likely). grabbed my passport. Despite all the talk of endless bufI need not have worried on that fets on a cruise (“bring your stretchy score - after we mustered at 4 pm pants, they’re 24/7 on every deck” I on Deck 4 and completed our safety was cautioned, “you’ll pile on 7lbs at drills (mandatory, NO excuses) I had least!”) There isn’t the sense of being to be informed that we were now surrounded by food and drink ALL moving. By this stage I must admit, the time. The simple fact is there are sitting on the Royal Promenade hav- far too many other things to do on ing a rather wonderful cocktail, star- board which would make one think ing longingly in the window of the twice about over indulging beforeMicheal Kors boutique to my left, hand. Swimming, surfing (on the I had completely forgotten I was at Flow-rider surf simulator), virtual sea and not just inside a 5 star luxury bungee jumping on Skypad, Laserhotel. tag, basketball, golf, the theatre, a Truth be told I was more con- fully equipped vitality spa, 4 swimcerned with the possibility of taking ming pools and no less than 7 jacuzzi the vintage blue Morgan for a spin s….none of which are conducive to which was parked outside the Ale & a full belly. Anchor bar just across the street from There’s even an ice-skating me… rink……(I must admit I did start My well-appointed stateroom pinching myself on a rather regular didn’t even allude to the fact that we basis at this point). were on a ship - until I ventured onto In actual fact, the captain of one the balcony and looked out at calm of the cruisers sailing nearby radioed deep blue seas as far as the eye could over to ask what on earth the contrapsee and a cloudless sky where the tion on the top deck was – once insun blazed a glittering pathway as it formed he asked if he could boat over melted on the horizon. a sizeable number of his passengers Yes, we were definitely clipping to try out the SkyPad for themselves.


urprisingly, one very simple way to actually keep fit doesn’t involve endless deck jogging but rather eschewing the lift for the stairs just a few times a day - with several thousand people on our ship it was far speedier than endlessly waiting on an elevator which was going in the right direction….even if there were 14 of them to choose from. As a novice, one seemingly innocuous feature which amazed me was the sheer volume of thick carpeting on board which absorbed all noise on the stairs, in the corridors and hallways, in the restaurants and bars, even the elevators…..easy to forget one was on a ship at all. Our arrival in the impressive shipwidth dining room for dinner crystalised ALL my cruising fantasies – impossibly large glinting cut glass chandelier, check, sweeping split staircases, check, (no Leo waiting for me at the top of it unfortunately), classical music, cream brocade chairs around large circular linen draped tables and helpful staff standing nearby throughout. The following evening we were invited to the newly added Izumi teppanyaki restaurant which boasts the largest hibachi of Royal Caribbean’s entire fleet and is just one of the 7 speciality dining experiences on board (several elevator rides would have to be foregone at this rate...) Cruise ships on the scale of Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas (I was flabbergasted to learn that we were “only a mid-size ship”) are essentially mobile resorts which afford passengers every amenity before depositing them at a new port regularly where they can go exploring new sights and experience new cultures before stepping back on board and moving on to the next location.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 21



rom Southampton, “Indy”, as she is affectionately known to crew and cruisers alike, stops at Vigo, Lisbon, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, Madeira and La Caruna. And while the gossip magazines were fretting over why Michelle Keegan had to turn up at a black tie event in the States without Mark Wright.......we had him in the Royal Theatre at the Royal Caribbean Awards ceremony and very appreciative we were of that fact too... After finally experiencing my first cruise (admittedly a high end one with no end of activities to keep me fit and entertained) I would say that tailor-making your cruise package to your specific needs is of prime importance – as is choosing the kind of stateroom you will be most at home in. For some passengers the room is purely for showering and sleeping, for others a haven to relax in and while away some time on the balcony with a drink and one’s thoughts.


warned Irish holidaymakers keen to secure a French holiday that its route from Rosslare to Cherbourg is filling up fast, particularly in July. It said there’s better availability on Landbridge services via England to the continent.

HURTIGRUTEN is to ban on all unnecessary single-use plastic by July 2. It wants to become the world’s first plastic-free cruise company and plastic straws, drink mixers, plastic glasses, coffee lids and plastic bags will be removed from all ships. SCATTERY A new wheel-chair

friendly ferry runs from Kilrush Marina, Co Clare to Scattery Island. Timings are tidal.

Aileen O’Reilly on Independence of the Seas

Booking a midsized ship for your first cruise is advisable as anything larger can be totally overwhelming and take from the experience as opposed to adding to it. Also it’s far easier to make full use of all the amenities the ship affords if it is smaller as there’s simply less

Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas has just been relaunched after undergoing a $10m refurbishment which has seen it both added to (107 additional staterooms) and made even more family friendly.



Book a 2019 sailing today

Including Deluxe drinks package*


Onboard Wi-fi*


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T H I S I S H O W T O H O L I D AY Offer ends 2nd July 2018

For more informations visit: myclubroyal *Applies to eligible staterooms on selected 2019 sailings. **Applies to selected sailings from Southampton only. Terms & Conditions apply.

queuing for everything. On a parting note, regarding that age old cruising adage, Port Out Starboard Home – dear Coco would be very pleased to hear that you get the most wonderful tan whether you’re aft or forward. Even by the time we hit the middle of the English Channel it was already an impressive 28 degrees. Stowing away, I must admit, was a serious consideration

ROYAL Caribbean said Dubai will be the new home of Jewel of the Seas from December 2019 to March 2020, after a two year break, Mark Wright will be hosting Royal Caribbean’s Annual Trade Awards onboard Independence of the Seas. ​ SILVERSEA

Cruises is introducing a new collection of pre or post-cruise land trips. The all-inclusive Signature Land Programs range from three to six nights, and start at $6,000.

NORWEGIAN Cruise Line has broke ground on its cruise terminal at PortMiami.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 22


Aviation with Gerry O’Hare


Ryanair has a 24.9pc stake, is to start services from Dublin Airport to Vienna from October 28. The daily service will see it compete against Aer Lingus on the route.

RYANAIR is offering 7.37m seats offered at Dublin in 2018, up 4pc.  Ryanair’s top 13 routes at Dublin are almost unchanged (seats May v May).  Seats to Germany are up 73pc due to new routes to Munich and Stuttgart. Stansted is up 6pc and is the busiest route followed by Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Amsterdam, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Faro, Luton, Glasgow, Bristol, Barcelona and Madrid. DAA

CEO Dalton Philips’ background in retail might be already bearing fruit - with high end Irish retailer Avoca opening its first airline store.

KNOCK Joseph Gilmore of Ireland West

Airportat Knock told Galway City Council that 400,000 visitors come to Galway through Knock each year, Galway City Council and Galway County Council contribute €912,500 each to the airport. Knock is  seeking a further one-off investment of €14,500 from both Galway Councils to complete the construction of a visitor discovery centre in the arrivals.

NORWEGIAN Ernest Shackleton from Co Kildare has been accorded a tail fin by Norwegian. FINNAIR’s CEO Pekka Vauramogave

notice of his resignation from the company to join Metso Corporation

BA British Airways confirmed t is leasing out some of the summer 2018 Gatwick slots that it acquired from Monarch Airlines as it is unable to use them all.

AIR BELGIUM obtained permission to fly to Hong Kong and China via Russian airspace, thus allowing the airline to begin operations AEROSPACE Pre-tax profits at Dublin Aerospace rose by 17pc to €4.3m last year. The company was established in 2009 and commenced operations at the former SR Technics site at Dublin Airport.

BELFAST International Airport has apologised to passengers for delays at security, describing the situation as “an unacceptable standard of service”. Some passengers told BBC News NI they waited about one hour to get through security. EASYJET,which launches three new routes from Belfast International to Venice, Valencia, Naples next month, said the airport was a major contributor to half-yearly growth. GATWICK Airport is trialling end-to-

end biometrics with EasyJet where personal data collected at the airport’s self-service bag drops will be recognised by new automated self-boarding gates. The technology will identify each passenger and verify that their passport, face and boarding card all match in less than 20 seconds.

Pat Dawson, David O’Grady, John Spollen and Enda Corneille at the English FA Cup final.

A stellar year

Emirates holds on capacity boost after China routes


mirates’ Country Manager Enda Corneille has said that Ireland has been a “stellar” performer for the airline. He said that, despite fierce competition in the eastbound market – and with Cathay Pacific and Hainan launching services in June – the outlook is good for the Dubai-based carrier in the Irish market. Enda Corneille, Country Manager for Ireland, Emirates, at the airline’s trading update in teh Merrion Hotel, Dublin, May 23, 2018 “We may look at increasing frequency into next year but at the moment it’s about nudging that seat factor higher. It’s at 80 but I think we can get to 85,” he told Travel Extra. “We’ve had good results for the year – stellar results from Ireland in a very competitive market which we’ve been able to get our head above water on. If I look out to the future over the next five or six months our advance bookings are 8 to 10 points ahead of last year,” he said. “The other main USP we have

over our competitors is a local team. We’ve moved our office to Dublin Airport so we’ve sales people and support in the office so certainly for the travel trade and customers to have a personal touch really counts.” And he said trade partnerships in general are healthy, with big demand in the honeymoon and VFR markets in particular. “In terms of where we see trends obviously Australia is huge,” he said. “Cities like Bangkok are very big markets for us and the honeymoon market is getting bigger all the time as the Irish economy strengthens,” he added. “We’re finding now, and by talking to the operators, that the honeymoon used to be something that was bought by the couple when everything else was bought. You either went to the Maldives or wKelly’s in Rosslare. “Now the honeymoon is one of the first things that’s selected and we see huge demand into the Seychelles, into Mauritius, which has come back after all the tragedy a number of years ago, the Maldives, Indian

Ocean, and that double-stop option that used to be something four or five years has come back – South Africa and Mauritius.” He said that the traffic has been boosted by people who “want to travel in business class so we’ve brought out very competitive business class tour operator rates to encourage that kind of traffic.” He said another niche market is the Vietnam and Thailand area for adventure-seekers, revealing “there are huge loads into Hanoi and Saigon and he new route announced this year into Phnom Penh in Cambodia. People are doing that double trip – going into Phnom Penh and coming out of Saigon and going through the Angkor Wat area – places that just weren’t as accessible. “Dubai is still our number 1 and a couple of weeks ago our sister company Emirates Holidays launched in Ireland so they’ll be focusing on Dubai and using their expertise and enormous ground product to drive that market for us.”



yanair say they added 50 aircraft in the year to March bringing the fleet to 430 units. Capex was €1.471bn. Ignoring the timing of payment, that indicates an average price of the order of €30m per aircraft, which compares to a $100m price used in

Ryanair PR statements. The airline created 1,300 new jobs and 600 promotions. Ryanair says it is willing to consider basing aircraft where crews want to work, but not in Sweden, Norway with high air transport taxes. It is likely to re-open a Copenhagen base with union

cooperation. Ryanair Labs stimulated record ancillary spend up 4p per passenger, mainly on seat selection and/or boarding priorit). It has three development offices in Dublin, Wroclaw, and Madrid, and now employs almost 600 highly skilled digital professionals.

Ancillaries now deliver 28pc of revenue and Ryanair says it is on track to achieving a five year goal of 30pc. Ryanair Rooms penetration is rising steadily, albeit from a low base, helped by commission on sales being translating into user credit travel credits on Ryanair.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 23


Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

Free th nking ble independent

Kenny Jacobs, Michael O’Leary and Robin Kiely

The gate keepers

Ryanair warns of return to heavy handed heavier bag policy


ichael O’Leary says Ryanair will review its luggage policy again if passengers continue to hand large numbers of bags at the gate. Ryanair passengers pay €5 for priority boarding to avoid having  to hand over cabin bag for checking in to the hold at the departure gate.

While this has helped boarding and punctuality, O’Leary says “it is creating a handling issue, especially at peak periods. There are many flights where we’re now having to put 100 or 120 gate bags free of charge into the hold If that continues to build, it’s something we may have to look at again.” Ryanair’s net profit rose 10pc to €1.45bn in the year to the end of March, despite a self imposed rostering fiasco and 10,000 flight cancellations that forced the airline to recognise unions and raise pay. Fares were down 3pc to an average of €39, passenger numbers up 9pc to 130m, and  load factor a record 95pc. O’Leary warned profits would fall this year to €1.25bn to €1.35bn in the current year, a decline of up to 14pc, due to rising oil prices and

nearly €200m of extra staff costs. He said outlook was “on the pessimistic side of cautious and there could be strikes in some countries over Ryanair’s discussions to recognise trade unions, but the airline would face any action down. Being unionised means we will have occasional strikes O’Leary said it will take about 12 months for changes in fuel prices to feed through to fares. He said airlines that had not hedged oil prices, such as Norwegian, would struggle next winter and that this would “accelerate the shakeout” in the industry and lead to airline failures. Ryanar repeated its warnings about the risk of a hard Brexit, and said it would scrap voting rights for non-EU shareholders if there was no transition agreement.

Isabel Harrison Shannon Airport

We jump through hoops for our customers You’ll love doing business with us!

Declan Power declan.power@shannonairport.ie

Isabel Harrison isabel.harrison@shannonairport.ie


JUNE 2018 PAGE 24


Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

EASYJET pilot Charlotte Knowls on is

the darling of Twitter after hitting back at some male passengers who complained about ‘female drivers’ when they saw her at work.“Fact is, I can fly an £80m jet, you can’t,”she tweeted.

AIRBUS is to fall into line with a World

Trade Organization ruling on subsidies for its A350 and A380 jets. The move comes after the US won the right to seek sanctions against European Union goods following a partial victory in its 14-year legal battle against European government support for Airbus. The EU says it expects to strike a similar legal blow in a parallel case on US support for Boeing this year.

TURKISH Bilal Eksi CEO of Turkish Airlines in which he talks about extending capacity on the Dublin-Istanbul route, either with a third daily flight or (more likely) use of a wide body aircraft on the route. Istanbul’s new airport opens in October. PNR A new Irish Passenger Information

Unit will begin processing Passenger Name Recognition data from air carriers and exchanging data about passengers coming to Ireland from non-EU countries and processing results with EU member states and Europol.

RYANAIR says online check-in (for

those Ryanair customers who don’t choose reserved seats) will be available from 48 hours to 2 hours pre-departure for all flights from Wed June 13, double the 24 hour check-in period operated by Aer Lingus, British Airways, Lufthansa, Norwegian and Iberia. Until two years ago, all Ryanair passengers could check in online up to a week before departure.

RYANAIR Kenny Jacobs told Apex Aero: “We didn’t have a marketing strategy before I came. Our marketing strategy is that piece of paper beside my desk that says, ‘Low fares made simple is being like Amazon on digital and data, being like ALDI on price and quality and executing faster than anyone else.” DUBLIN Airport April passenger num-

bers are up 5pc to 2.6m, Britain up 1pc to 856,000. Europe up 6pc to 1.4m, transatlantic up 13pc to 296,000, other up 14pc to 79,000 passengers, connecting 157,000 passengers (78,500 connections). This summer season Dublin Airport will have flights to 195 destinations in 42 countries, operated by 56 airlines.

IAA Transport Minister Shane Ross invited applications for the role of Chair of the IAA. IAA is seeking a Head of Corporate Affairs


Leasing said the acquisition of 55 Airbus narrow body aircraft and 7 CFM engines on operating lease, and 20 A320neo options were approved by the shareholders of AirAsia Group.

RYANAIR is already selling 150 of its sun holiday destinations as part of the Summer 2019 schedule.

BEIJING’s new international airport will officially begin operations on October 1 next year. It will have four runways and can handle 620,000 flights a year.

Willie Walsh at CAPA Conference in Dublin 2018

Brexit not a threat Walsh says ownership controls will not be tightened


illie Walsh told the CAPA Summit was adamant that route rights and ownership realities would not change postBrexit. He said revisiting ownership and control regulations under more stringent Brexit laws “risks triggering a global crisis’. Mr Walsh said if someone were to challenge the ownership structure of IAG, “I’m going to start challenging others”. Mr Walsh does not “seriously believe” that a country

would inhibit a carrier from operating between the UK and EU based on ownership and control. He cited Cathay Pacific as an example, noting the Hong Kong based airline has a range of investors including in the UK, Qatar and Hong Kong. “We have turned a blind eye to these issues for years”, he said. He said IAG’s low-cost airline Level may look to start a low-cost transatlantic service from Ireland, Level is to increase its fleet of five

Airbus SE A330s to seven. Level is small but has been growing. The airline currently has three planes based in Barcelona and two based in Paris’ Orly Airport. Willie Walsh said bringing in two additional planes will also mean the airline looking to expand the network to “at least one other European city”. IAG is looking in particular at three alternatives, Walsh said. Dublin is not one of them,


PRE-BOARDING: The transfer from Aer Lingus within Terminal 2 is easy. SAA’s Business check-in desk was quiet. Passengers have a choice of Star Alliance lounges. I headed to the United/Star Alliance lounge. THE FLIGHT: Flight SA235 departs from London Heathrow at 19.00 and arrived in Johannesburg at 07.30 the following morning (+2 hours). SAA has cut its Heathrow- Johannesburg service from two daily flights to one, but the number of business class seats remains almost the same. THE SEAT: I was in 5K, a window seat. SAA’s business class seats are forward-facing with aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration. The double seat belt is unusual, one across the waist, one diagonally across the chest. There is a 15-inch high definition touchscreen was impressive, with plenty of space to the right side and storage space behind. The seat can be turned into a lie-flat bed with

padded seat covers that extends to two metres. There is a power portal and USB port. The RAVE inflight entertainment system powered by Zodiac, features 100 films including a dedicated African section, although the new release section is limited. In the modern fashion, users can stream additional content to their personal devices, before their flight. via an app, There is no on board wifi. THE SERVICE: Before take-off I was offered sparkling wine, orange juice or water and a hot towel. Dinner was salad, soup and a seafood trio of shrimp, scallops and cod. THE VERDICT: The A330-300 is an extremely quiet aircraft. It looked and smelt spanking new and the business seat and space was extremely spacious. THE DETAILS: Business class flights start from £3,469.91 return, inclusive of taxes. flysaa.com.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 25



Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

Wettest carrier Pat Byrne plans wset lease w-patterns

ityJet CEO Patrick Byrne toldf the CAPA Aviation conference in Dublin that the next best customer is the one I already have”. Byrne stated he wants to reward loyalty and encourage customers to “stay loyal”. As a figurative example, he added: “I want everyone in the cabin to know [a person] has flown 17 times this year”. He believes the travel industry is “ignoring… a massive amount of data that is waiting to be mined,” and believes the tools and technologies “are there” but they “aren’t sexy”. Speaking to Travel Extra on the sidelines of the CAPA Aviation conference in Dublin, CityJet CEO Patrick Byrne said that his airline’s ambition to be the best wet-lease carrier in the skies (the wettest carrier in the skies),. using w-patterns with white label aircraft, were progressing, albeit more slowly than anticipated and he was talking to two major customers. He said negotiations were underwasy with more major clients on

BLUE Joanne Geraghty is to become the most powerful woman in US aviation after JetBlue Airways promoted her to president. She will focus on day-to-day operations while CEO Robin Hayes focuses on long-term planning. The third generation Irish-American also serves on the board of the Concern Worldwide charity. LANGUAGE Just as the European

Commission and the US government were about to sign an agreement in The Hague not to impose time limitations on the operation of wet leases on each other’s airlines, France snubbed reviewing the text because of a lack of a French version. The move appears part of a wider campaign by France to advance French to the forefront of official EU languages rather than English now that English voters have chosen to exit the bloc.

RYANAIR announced 9 additional new routes from Morocco, 5 from Marrakesh to Bordeaux, Bratislava, Oslo, Stockholm & Stuttgart, and 4 from Fez to Brest, Bordeaux, Turin & Venice Treviso.

Cityjet CE Pat Buyrne speaking agt CAPA conference in Dublin mainland Europe. An aircraft costs €90,000 to paint and he sees a future for white label wet lease aircraft which could then operate w-patterns when on lease to multiple clients in adjoining countries. CityJet recently announced that it

RYANAIR promoted Chiara Ravaraas its new Head of Sales & Marketing, from her previous role as Senior Sales & Marketing Manager.  Chiara has worked in Ryanair since 2014, joining from Aviareps in Italy, and will spearhead Ryanair’s Sales & Marketing team and activities across 37 countries in Europe and North Africa.  She reports to Ryanair’s Marketing Operations Director Matthias Wenk.

is to recruit an additional 12 trainee pilots for entry into its “Climb High” mentored pilot training programme managed by CAE at Oxford and Phoenix AZ. The basic cost of the scheme for a successful applicant is FRANCE’s transport minister Elisabeth Borne says she fears for the future of strike€107,000. prone Air France following the departure of its CEO Jean-March Janaillac, saying it is “less competitive than its partner KLM and other REVIEW SAA J CLASS LHR JOH European airlines”. THE FLIGHT: Flight EI101 from Dublin T2 to Terfilm Shoebox Memories and the Randomer. The seat minal A Newark. Departing Dublin after a 25 minute turned into a lie-flat bed. The space had its own power EMIRATES made a $762m profit, 124pc up on the previous year, after it added wait at 13.25, we flew for 5 hours 38 minutes arriving in portal and USB port. The route was excep0tionally nine new aircraft to its fleet. Revenue was up Newark at 15.30 (-5 hours). Lingus used an A330-200 scenic as the flight was guided along the 59th parallel by 9pc to $25.2bn. aircraft on the route, which is popular for connections over Iceland, the tip of Greenland, Labrador and Goose with United including our connection to IPW in Denver. Bay. STOBART Group aims to grow its PRE-BOARDING: Check-in was seamless, right behind THE SERVICE: Before take-off I was offered sparkling operations at Southend Airport to help solve john Byerly who had helped negotiate the Open Skies wine, orange juice or water and a towel. Starter was the London airport capacity crisis. It wants to agreement on the US side. Pre-clearance was another Theresa O’Brien’s Burren Smokehouse smoked salincrease passenger numbers and attract more issue, with a 40 minute queue and a little bit of barging mon, cucumber dill or Toons Bridge moazzarella salad airlines to the Essex airport, which is already in the screening zone, particularly by aggrieved US tomato and pesto. Roast beef on brown bread, beetroot the  fastest growing in England. Passenger passengers, adeptly handled without confrontation by and feta salad, smoked salmon, oven roasted herb numbers grew 29pc in 2017 to 1m. DAA officials. Three US CBP channels were not open chicken and apple and cinnamon crunch. The reds were , which con tribute to the delays. The check-in official Chateau Haut-Cantelop Medoc AOC from St Christoly DUBLIN Airport marked the launch of said that we were not entitled to use 51st and Green but on the Gironde near Bordeaux or Langhe Ensema Do Croatia Airlines’ new route to Zagreb, one of when we enquired at the business class lounge it turned Rosso from San Silvestro in Piedmont. The whites were 14 new routes this summer, with a group of out we were. 51st and Green is conveniently located a Garganega Soave Classico DOC Monte Alto from agents and media from the country visiting close to the runway with a selection of free food and a Ca’rugate in Veneto, and an AOC St Chinian White Dublin on a fam trip. paid menu. Wines on offer included Campo del Moro from Caves de Roquebrun, Haut Languedoc near BexiOAG said Dublin-Heathrow was the 14th Tempranillo Syrah caubernet, Chinensis Caubernet ers, 670pc Roussane and 30pc Grenache Blanc, a brave busiest international route in the year to FebSauvignon 2016 from Chile, Andanti Sangriove and the choice form a non appellation region. ruary, with 1.89m passengers at an estimated whites, Grecanico Pinot Grigio and Campo del Moro THE LANDING: Newark terminal A has seen better load factor of 81PC. Aer Lingus had a 60pc Sauvignon Blanc. The boarding was a length walk from days and is up for demolition within three years, it is a capacity share. 5st&G, but eminently preferable to the walk from the trek and an extra security clearance (shoes off) to the C business lounge before having the pre-clearance. gates to connect with Un ited which gives Aer Lingus a CAR noted that Dublin Airport incurred THE SEAT: I was in 5K, a window seat. Business class disadvantage against its codeshare partner. operating costs of €257m in 2017, €59m seats are forward-facing with aisle access in a 2-2-1 THE VERDICT: Exceptional service from an experimore than the CAR target because passenger configuration. The 15-inch high definition touchscreen enced crew. Aer LIngus business class experience when numbers were 6m ahead of target and operatwas impressive, with 56 films, 20 new releases on offer it as the top of its game is the best in the sky. ing costs for additional passenger numbers has and a dedicated Irish channel of 11 mainly short films, THE DETAILS: Business class flights start from been much higher than we estimated. the exceptions being the Jason Brannigan/Colm Gavin €2,500 each way, inclusive of taxes. aerlingus.com.

JUNE 2018 PAGE 26


Inside the Travel Business


has written to the Commission of Aviation Regulation re illegal trading. At the moment the association has four cases they are seeking answers for.

CLICK&GO , employing 58, is celebrating its eighth birthday tomorrow. Cofounder Paul Hackett said it’s celebrating with eight days of flash sales and added that the company, which has been the official holiday partner of Aer Lingus since 2011, is now set to take over FlyShannon.ie. CRUISE ship visits in recent weeks

included MSC Meraviglia, Queen Victoria, Silver Muse, Royal Princess, Independence of the Seas, Viking Sun and Holland America’s MS Zuiderdam

JOSE RAMOS Tributes poured in for Jose Ramos who passed away He was Director of the Portuguese Tourist Board in Dublin from 2005 to 2013 and a great friend of the Irish travel trade. Travel partners remembered his kindness, and all the moments of crack over the years. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis.

ITAA CEO Pat Dawson, ITAA President John Cassidy and Jean Maxwell of the ITAA

Philly filling up

SELECTIVE Travel Management won an Aer Lingus excellence award in London. TUI has appointed former head of Ireland Helen Caronas its new hotel purchasing director. She takes up the role, which includes a position on the Group Tourism Board with immediate effect, reporting into TUI CEO Northern Region David Burling.

BLUE Elaine Harding of the Garda Holiday Club is the April finalist of the Blue Insurances monthly competition to win a car. AIB  In-travel insurance was activated in 170 countries from Aruba to Zimbabwe.

TURKISH Airlines and Cricket Ireland quiz for two business class tickets to anywhere on the Turkish Airlines network won by Patricia MacDonough from Malahide TOPFLIGHT’s final winner in their travel agent incentive was Kerry McCarthy from Lee Travel who won a holiday to the four star Majestic Palace in Malcesine, Lake Garda. Previous three winners were Sonia Fitzpatrick from Timoney Travel, Anna May Gannon from East West Travel and Lorraine Fuller from J Barter Travel.

CONOR Deane, ex Sunaer, Inbound and Aer Lingus holidays has died. HAINAN have appointed Ryan Zhang

as Country Manager Ireland, Hainan Airlines launched a 4w service Beijing-Dublin from June 12 with A330-300. 

FLYAWAY Pamela Brownlee, MD

of Ballina’s Fly Away Travel and Cruises for You said she is changing her business model, getting out of bricks-and-mortar retail. She said the company is “changing to a more bespoke business model that will allow them to provide a more tailor-made service for their clients”.


sey of Newbridge Travel won a holiday for two


Places fill for ITAA Conference in November

he ITAA conference in the x Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in November has nearly reached its maximum of 120 places. Julie Coker Graham of Philadelphia CVB publicly welcomed the decision to the ITAA to hold their conference in the USA for the first time at a press conference at IPW in Denver as did Joseph Messina of

Philadelphia airport. Christopher Thompson, CEO of Brand USA, who was born in Philadelphia, told Travel Extra of her personal pride in bringing the Irish travel agents to Philly. American Airlines and Aer Lingus are to offer capacity with attractive add ons from American Airlines. Many of the delegates have al-

ready decided to extend their stay. Some are going cruising from Miami, others are skiing in the Rockies while others are engaged in family visits . Some ground arrangements are still to be finalised. The conference in Philadelphia was secured by Greg Evans, a great supporter of the Irish trade.



ebecca Kelly has been promoted to Head of Ireland at MSC Cruises. The move marks an upgrade of the status of MSC in Ireland to ful lcountry status. The MSC team has been boosted following record sales last year with the addition

of Alana Byrne from Newbridge Travel. Kelly has worked for MSC in Ireland for 10 years and has been instrumental in building the brand into one of the top two I market leading cruise lines, competing with Royal Caribbean. She will re-port to Steve Williams Director of

Sales in London. Antonio Paradiso, said “she has always been a great ambassador for our brand and has gone from strength to strength in her journey with MSC Cruise. Her passion and commitment to MSC is exceptional.”

Rebecca Kelly



ravel Centres 2018 conference is open for registration. The event takes place in Fota Island resort just outside Cork on November 9th & 10th. Agency staff wishing to attend the Gala Dinner

and Awards on Saturday night pay €29 but must have participated in the workshop sessions during the day. Dominic Burke says: This year, iwe have decided to introduce several changes which we hope

will enhance the conference experi-ence for all concerned. The programme timetable on both days has been shortened with later start times in order to facilitate delegates getting to the venue on the actual day and thus negat-

ing, in many instances, the cost of an additional overnight. Lunch menus on both days have also been reduced to one, rather than two courses as many of you felt that the larger meals were too heavy and

Presented by

RDS Hall 3, Ballsbridge THURSDAY 21st MARCH 2019


An initiative of the ITAA supported by Travel Centres, Worldchoice and Travelsavers


• Airlines

• International Hotels/Resorts

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• Insurance

• Attraction Tickets

• Media

• Bed Banks

• National/Regional Tourist Organisations

• Car Rental

• Technology and Communications Companies

• Cruise Companies • Ferries • Financial Services including Credit Cards

• Theme & Leisure Parks • Ticketing Agents

• Golf Resorts and Related Services

• Trade Associations

• Ground Handling

• Tour Operators

Travel Agent Proprietors, Managers and Frontline Travel Professionals.

PROMOTION OF THE SHOW A comprehensive promotional programme will ensure a high turnout of travel agent proprietors, managers and frontline travel professionals.


• Travel Agents

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RDS Hall 3 Anglesea Road Ballsbridge Dublin DO4 AK83 Ireland t. +353 (0)1 668 0866 w. www.rds.ie

Thursday 21st March 2019 2.00pm – 6.00pm

The Irish Travel Trade Show is organised on behalf of The Irish Travel Agents Association by Business Exhibitions Limited 59 Rathfarnham Road Terenure Dublin D6W AK70

Maureen Ledwith - Sales Director t: +353 (0)1 291 3700 • e: maureen@bizex.ie Paulette Moran - Sales Manager t: +353 (0)1 291 3702 • e: paulette@bizex.ie Angela O’Rourke - Business Development Manager t: +353 (0)1 291 3705 • e: angela@bizex.ie

www.irishtraveltradeshow.com 118447 TRADE SHOW JUNE 2018_V1.indd 1

5/24/18 3:19 PM

JUNE 2018 PAGE 28


WINDOW SEAT Last month in numbers

138m Number of passengers Ryanair says it

will cary in 2018

131m Number of passengers carried by Ryanair in roling twelve months to Aptil 12.3m Number of passengers carried by Ryanair in April

100m World record tourism total target for France by 2020

10.5m Number of visitors to Ireland in 2018 if Q1 growth of 7pc persists

2.6m Number of passengers who used Dublin airport in April, up 5pc and a new record

u2.5m Cost of ferry WB Yeats delay to Irish Ferries

216 Number of airports served by Ryanair



he paradox of piracy is touched on by Des Ekin in a book that he frames as a pilgrimage to the origins of Ireland’s irate past. Noto one of the 18 characters he outlines in his trail around the coast believed they were entirely operating outside the ill-defined laws of their era, and even more ill-defined when it got to the fringes of the ocean. Some of the anti-heroes in Ekin’s book were commissions to raid and take over enemy ships, licensed larceny which sustained the profession of piracy at times of war and even of uneasy peace.

Ireland’s Pirate Trail: A quest to uncover our swashbuckling past by Des Ekin is published by O’Brien Press

Press gangs, illegal today, were what sustained England’s navy at the time. Some started careers as press gangers (one ended up in jail because he pressed a condemned criminal, which one would have thought was a win-win situation). The magnificent George Cusack from Meath, produced a license from France in court in an attempt to save his neck (he failed: when the judge wanted to know why it was a different person he said it was be-

cause he did not read French) , and also, reasonably, asked for a jury of sea people who would understand his plight rather than the land lubbers which sent him to the gallows. The classic Errol Flynn ship takeover with booming cannons was much more troublesome than boarding a ship as a passenger and then taking it over at the dead of night, which was much more common but doesn’t make for as much fun in the hands of a Disney movie .

Busman’s holiday: Dominic Burke

Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: Dominic Burke of Travel Centres


hen people find out that I work in the travel industry, the question that they invariably ask is ‘where is the nicest place you’ve ever been?’ Up to quite recently, my stock response had always been ‘the last place I visited!’ It was an answer partly designed to contain the conversational thread that might kick off if I mentioned any specific place, but it was also true! I would describe myself as a kind of person who sees merit in practically everyplace I’ve ever been and every moment I’ve ever experienced on foreign shores, no matter how familiar or challenging those shores have been. Although my wife and kids would claim otherwise, I feel that I’m easily pleased, even to the extent that I enjoy most airline food; an admission that one perhaps shouldn’t reveal in polite company for fear of ridicule. In over 40 years of regular travel to the four corners and six of the seven continents of the world (Antarctica


has eluded me so far but it’s on the list!) There has only ever been one place that I’ve ever said to myself ‘I don’t think I’ll ever bother coming back here again’ but being the gentleman that I am, I will never reveal its location and I’m not about to start playing the banjo anytime soon either! I can, however, reveal the location of a place I visited briefly last year, and which has caused me to question my natural travelers’ agnosticism and that place is Moorea — an island that would give even Paradise an inferiority complex. Located just 35 minutes sailing time from its larger neighbour of Tahiti in French Polynesia, Moorea is about as remote as it gets on the face of this beautiful planet of ours. I was belatedly acknowledging a significant birthday that had not been celebrated the previous year and decided to treat myself and my significant other to a cruise from Sydney to Hawaii which took in some of the islands of both Fiji and French Polynesia including the idyllic and almost mythical Bora Bora. Bora Bora could be described as the poster child for exotic coral islands and is a beautiful place, beloved by many of Hollywood’s royalty because of its relative remoteness, exclusivity and eye-watering prices. Having visited both islands, I can say with little fear of contradiction that Bora Bora is Moorea’s poorer second cousin.


amously, a year ago, when David Dao was dragged off a United flight, there was outrage. United feared for their customer base and their share price. It turns out, neither was adversely affected. United made some cosmetic changes to their PR disaster. They changed its bumping policy. It ended involuntary removals except in the cases of safety. It increased the maximum payments it would make in exchange for vol-

untarily leaving a flight. It allowed passengers on overbooked flights to change five days ahead of departure. Other airlines followed suit. Fewer passengers in America were bumped, in Europe, the practice of bumping at the gate was never indulged. Passengers were told at check in if there was a problem, and resolved the issue there. But that was it. United’s passenger numbers and share price rose.

Passengers forgot. And they continue to forget. The pick whichever airline offers the best price and itinerary. Michael O’Leary knew this all along. The moral of the story is that passengers will put up with anything. The advent of five across by major airlines is the big story of 2018. If we will put up with being dragged from an aircraft, we will put up with anything.

Moorea It should be a must for anyone wishing to experience what Jurassic Park looks and feels like but without the slight inconvenience of having to deal with velociraptors! It has scuba diving to die for and soil that is so fecund that if you planted a broom handle into the ground, it would have sprouted branches by the following day. Giant, impossibly sweet grapefruits grow with gay abandon by the side of the road whilst elevated views from any part of the island simply take your breath away!  Don’t get me wrong; I love the places that everyone else does and for the very same reasons, but Moorea is a place apart and I now dread whenever I still get asked that stock question. I really don’t want to have to tell them the truth as they’ll never be able to shut me up. IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online June 18 2018

CANARIES ISSUE Lanzarote Gran Can Tenerife Fuerteventura WINTERSUN TRENDS

JUNE 2018 PAGE 29

Out and about with the Travel Trade


Martina Greene of East West Travel and Aisling Su zanne Walsh, y Travel; Ciara Mooney Elaine Massey of Killine Warren of Killiney Travel; Reilly of Cassidy Travel on the Topflight group Dawn Conway justsplit.com, Portlaoise with from Sunw a Lis ; visit to Sorrento and Sciliy, April 2018 of Freedom Travel Dubli on board Celebrity ay, Dun Laoghaire, Co g Travel, Kin of, n nto Fe Eclipse in Dublin ine rist and Ch

Tom Britton of Marble Cit Clickandgo on board Ce y Travel, Paul Hackett of lebrity Eclipse in Dublin

t at sociate Vice Presiden Darrin des Vignes, As , with Mahmoud Freihat on Finn Partners in Lond rkish Jordan event and Onur Gull at the Tu

John Galligan, John Ga lligan Travel, with Darrin des Vignes, Finn Partn ers & Jordanian Tourism Bo , at the Turkish Airlines ard trade event

mLas Vegas & NYC & Co Tryphavana Cross of BA of n pany and Brenda Morga

Claire Doherty of Visit USA Ireland, Jo Piani of Visit Savannah and Mairead Keegan of Clickandgo at the Visit USA roadshow

Andrew Daines and Lisa Thomas at the Irish Travel Industry Show

Durighello at Sue Ancell and Linda ow Sh ry Travel Indust

the Irish

John Spollen of Cassidy Travel president of the Caitriona Toner of American Airlines, Ciara Fo ITAA and Sharon Jordan of The Travel Corpora- of Platinum Travel,James Sweetman and Cla ley Dunne of The Travel Bro re tion at the Irish Travel Industry Show ker atAWTE

Des Abbott, Des Abbott Travel; Hasan Mutlu, Turkish Airlines; and Pat Dawson, Irish Travel Agents Association, at the Turkish Jordan event

Onur Gull, Turkish Airlines, and Ciara Mooney, Freedom Travel, at the Turkish Jordan event

Gerard Hughes and Sharon Morgan of Travel Counsellors at the Irish Travel Industry Show

a bate Travel, Samanth Shane Coburn of Dona vel and John Grehan of Tra et dg Bu McDermott of h Travel Industry Show G Adventures at the Iris

Claire Doherty of Travel USA Ireland and Tony Department chair of Visit La who organised the Vis ne Executive Officer it USA roadshow

of ed and Rebecca Kelly John McKibbin of Getab Travel Industry Show h MSC Cruises at the Iris

JUNE 2018 PAGE 30


Out and about with the Travel Trade

Ce- Dee Burdock of American Holidays, Jo Piani of ay, Michael English of Dawn Conway of Sunw Dromgoole from Sun- Visit Savannah and Bladhanna Richardson of ra Cia lebrity Cruises and American Holidays at the Visit USA roadshow Eclipse in Dublin way, on board Celebrity

jo Rzymowska. of Celeb Nolan of Celebrity Cru rity Cruises and Gerald ises on board Celebrity Eclipse in Dublin

i Pyrenees Tourism, Sandra Dargent of Mid elie Perrin at the Irish Am Nicolas Berthet and Travel Industry Show

Matt Bates of Kansas/O kla Beck of Travel Corporat homa and Merissa ion at the Visit USA roa show d-

k ie Macken, Anna Szcze ow Federica Pilato, Soph Sh ry ust Ind Irish Travel and Maria Bolle at the

Lee Osborne of Booka be Cassidy Travel and Ric d, Sharon Harney of ha Travel at the Visit USA rd Cullen of Killiney roadshow

Declan Hughes of Fly Cruise Stay; Julienne Curran of Turkish Airlines, and Hasan Mutlu of Turkish Airlines at the Turkish Jordan event

Mandy Burrie of Celebrity, Caroline O’Toole of Fahy Travel, Carol Anne O’Neill of Worldchoice and Shane Coburn of Donabate Travel

Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA, Sharon Jordan of The Travel Corporation, John Spollen of Cassidy Travel president of the ITAA and Eilish Wall of The Travel Corporation at Travel Industry Show

Emma Stapleton of Ca ssidy, Bhav Taylor fro m Celebrity Cruises and Paige Luby from John Cassidy Travel on board Ce lebrity Eclipse in Dublin

ITAA and Susana CarPat Dawson CEO of the ease Tourism office in gu doso Director of Portu Industry Show vel Dublin at the Irish Tra

Brenda Morgan of BA an Royal Caribbean atAWT d Jennifer Callister of E and

phanie Frame of Tour Mary McKenna and Ste rity Eclipse in Dublin America boarding Celeb

Stephen Sands of Riviera Travel and Catherine Ba Grennell Whyte of ATTS at the Irish Travel Indus- radrry Hammond of Sunway, Emily Taylor of Co loo Tourist Office, Clare try Show and Jeff Collins of Best4 Dunne of Travel Broker Travel at Visit USA

Elaine Truesdale and Julie Anne Kennedy of Barrhead Travel on board Celebrity Eclipse in Dublin

vel, Mandy Burrie of Ce Kyle Christie of Orr’s Tra Gillespie of Oasis Travel an lebrity Cruises and Bri e in Dublin lips Ec rity leb Ce ing ard bo

JUNE 2018 PAGE 31


rke of Travel Centres Dominic and Jocelyn Bu Dublin e in board Celebrity Eclips

Out and about with the Travel Trade

on Joe Walsh Tours’ Adele Walsh and Jean Claffey with Amanda O’Brien and Claire Somers of Hayes & Jarvis at the Turkish Jordan event

Mary Denton of Sunway, John Grehan of G Adventures and Jeanette Taylor of Sunway at the Irish Travel Industry Show

Clare Dunne of The Tra vel Broker and Teresa Murphy of Delta atAWT E

an p and Vanessa Holoh Ben Redmond of Goho ow dsh roa A it US Club Travel at the Vis

Clare Dunne of The Tra vel Broker and Jeff Co lins of Best4Travel at the Visit USA roadshow l-


erCaitriona Toner of Am James Sweetman with gee and Brenda MorMa ra Ta d ican Airlines an gan of BA atAWTE

Jas Des Abbott of Des Abbott Travel and Jim Tobin of To on Kearns of Hertz and Ben Greene of Arrow urs at the Visit USA roa FCM at the Irish Travel Industry Show dshow

Karla Enright , Amanda O’Connor and Joanne Harding of Aldridge Lodge at the AA Hotel of the year awards at the Conrad, Dubin, April 25 2018

Jor- Maria Santiveri, Kathryn MacDonnell of The a Marketing Manager, Mahmoud Freihat, Are Julienne Curran, Turkish Spanish Tourist Board and Eira Mogas at the d Irish Travel Industry Show dan Tourism Board, an dan event Jor h rkis Tu the Airlines, at

Platinum Travel’s Paula at the Turkish Jordan Cross and Justine Cross event

Jo Rzymowska. and Va ler Cruises on board Celeb ie Murphy of Celebrity rity Eclipse in Dublin

Carol Hurley of the Travel Corporation, Charlie McNally of The Travel Corporation and Marissa Beck of The Travel Corporation at the Irish Travel Industry Show

d eater Park Springs an Rebecca Crannis of Gr ca at the Visit USA roaderi Am Liz Wright of Tour show

Club Travel’s Tatjana Va Cassandra Bianca Da levko, Armando Soares, roban, Bruno Campos and Irene Onarati, at the Tu rkish Jordan event

ja Bakic of Croatia Zora Vujanovic and Ma nt eve n at the Turkish Jorda



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DUBLIN RDS SIMMONSCOURT JANUARY 25/27 For more info log on to:



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EXHIBIT! 117086 TE APRIL_ HWS 2018 FP_V3.indd 1

Maureen Ledwith Sales Director

Paulette Moran Sales Manager

Angela O’Rourke Business Development Manager

t: +353 (0)1 291 3700

t: +353 (0)1 291 3702

t: +353 (0)1 291 3705

e: paulette@bizex.ie

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e: maureen@bizex.ie

4/25/18 5:11 PM

Profile for Travel Extra

Travel Extra June 2018  

USA, Rivercruise and car hire edition of Travel Extra, Ireland's leading source of travel information

Travel Extra June 2018  

USA, Rivercruise and car hire edition of Travel Extra, Ireland's leading source of travel information