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CRUISE PRICES AND OPTIONS 2016 HURTIGRUTEN NORTHLIGHTS DIRECT ESCAPE THE BIG LAUNCH LOOMS Cityjet’s new fleet

Aer Lingus new website

Shipstruck

R U O

Y

e d a r T ER P PA

IRELAND'S PREMIER SOURCE OF TRAVEL INFORMATION NOVEMBER 2015

Free

VOLUME 19 NUMBER 10

Oceans 16 Winter cruise and other waters


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Page 003 News 14/10/2015 15:15 Page 1

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The winter wars

Ryanair and Aer Lingus go head to head in Europe

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n the back of CSO figures showing the first real growth in outbound travel from Ireland this summer, up 8pc, consumers will enjoy a head to head between the major Irish airlines on many winter routes over the coming months. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels nd Madrid are likely to be the destinations that benefit from unexpected extra capacity over the winter, with Aer Lingus services to Liverpool also driving down prices to north-west England. 'London, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome and Milan are on the Ryanair list, "says CEO Michael O'Leary. Barcelona will also see an 8pc capacity increase from Dublin with Aer Lingus next summer. The move on Amsterdam was a first tentative step into KLM’s hub by Ryanair. Ryanair CCO David O’Brien told Travel Extra: “Amsterdam is unashamedly designed to serve the KLM network. We have no fear of going against KLM on price but we want to be sure that, if we are going in to one of the most expensive airports

in Europe, we don’t go in with our eyes closed.” “ Schiphol is reportedly a reluctant suitor for Ryanair and O’Brien felt the airport might be tempted to “mess them around”. Amsterdam will be Ryanair’s sec-

ond major European hub airport after Madrid and the airline does not expect ANY Ryanair customers to connect into the AF/KLM network

ADDIS Ethiopian’s new route

BARCELONA

LOS ANGELES

AMSTERDAM Ryanair’s

BRUSSELS The entry of

MADRID More flights to Madrid than last winger with both Ryanair and Aer Lingus determined to slug it out on this route.

new route means they go to head to head with Aer Lingus in their first entry into Schiphol

GERMANY

NEWS

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

NYC & Company encouraged visitors to

explore the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue and Belmont. New York City's first new subway station in 26 years entered service at 34th Street-Hudson Yards.

GERMANY A 1,200ft suspension

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

SEAWORLD Regulators banned captive breeding at SeaWorld San Diego. SELFIES Police in England warned tourists not to trespass on railway lines after a couple and a young child were seen taking photos on a viaduct that features in the Harry Potter films.

Gaudi’s glory dominated the skyline at Barcelona

SIX WINTER DESTINATIONS 

wil be underused in its first winter, on n all African routes there is a 15pc discount off published fares. Book before end of October for travel now until May 31 with some peak date exceptions.

NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 3

Lots of competition is good for the consumer, Ryanair has upped its presence in El Prat, a route already served by Aer Lingus and Vueling, with two other airports in the region also served by Ryanair.

Ryanair into Zaventem has brought down prices for both major airlines serving the route.

Ethiopian are offering discounted fares for the first winter, Direct from Dublin to Los Angeles fares from €450 round trip includes all taxes and baggage.

WYSE Travel Confederation and the

World Tourism Organisation updated the estimated size of the global youth travel market to 23pc of international tourist arrivals.

USA Gunnar Garfors, Tay-young Pak and Øystein Djupvik broke a world record by visiting 22 US states in 24 hours. FRANCE's Constitutional Court upheld

a national law that banned one of Uber Technologies' car services that relies on non-professional drivers using their own vehicles, dealing another setback to the company in Europe.

TUNISIA’s inbound tourist numbers are down 20pc to 4m from the start of this year to September 10..

QUEENSLAND said current pollution prevention measures at The Great Barrier Reef are not working fast enough. EXPEDIA will now allow loyalty pro-

gramme members to redeem points directly for online bookings. Expedia completed its acquisition of Orbitz.

Book your Summer 2016 Holiday! ONLINE: falconholidays.ie CALL: 1850 45 35 45

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VISIT: Falcon Travel Shops Local Travel Agent Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. Falcon is fully bonded and licensed by CAR (TO 021). Departures from Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports.


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NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 4

THE KNOWLEDGE Travel Extra Advertising & Subscriptions 59 Rathfarnham Road Terenure Dublin D6WAK70 +3531 2957418 Editorial Office Clownings Straffan Co Kildare W23 C6X9

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 t: +3531 291 3700 Sales Manager Paulette Moran paulette@bizex.ie t: +353 (0)1 291 3702 Accounts and Advertising: Maria Sinnot maria@bizex.ie T: +3531 291 3707 Distribution Manager Shane Hourican shane@bizex.ie t: +3531 291 3706 Pictures: pix@travelextra.ie Sunday Supplement & Online: Conor McMahon conor@travelextra.ie 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 Catherine Murphy cathmurph@yahoo.com

Travel Extra takes no responsibility for errors and omissions. Origination: Typeform

Printer: W&G Baird Limited Greystone Press Caulside Drive Antrim BT41 2RS

CONTENTS

www.travelextra.ie

3 News Where to go, how much to pay 6 Hotels: News 7 Postcards: News from the trade

14 Destination: NewYork City 16 Destination: Cornwall 18 Cruise: Chasin Northern Lights 21 Cruise special: Winetr 2015-6 26 Afloat: A quantum leap

28-32 Flying: Airline and airport news 33 Ireland: Home holiday news 34 Global Village Inside the travel industry 36 Window seat: Our columnists 37 Pictures: Out and about

Selling a cruise break TIPPING most cruise companies now allow you to pre book gratuities or include them in prices. Be sure to tell clients about these so no surprises at end of week if they haven’t pre paid.

for teenagers.

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ruise companies have gone into overdrive to educate travel organisers about the merits of their various cruise brands and what they can offer to suit each individual. So how do you translate that into sales?

BUDGET It is all

about budget. This needs to be established at the very beginning of the conversation along with finding out their expectations of the trip. Spend time on expectations before you offer advice. If in doubt, sell from the top down. Customers will soon tell you if that is not in their budget.

DETERMINE

the client's requirements. if the destination the most important criteria a larger ship may not be able to navigate the likes of the fjords in Norway, missing the best parts of the itinerary and destination. Some ocean going vessels are small enough to navigate rivers like the Fred Olsen Braemar (which has a selection of river cruises in 2015, offering the best of both worlds).

EMPHASISE.

value and price. Show just how much prices of traditional cruises are dropping, the per-day cost all inclusive works out at €50 on some Caribbean cruises. Check the price of a land based all inclusive or full board week holiday and then price a cruise.

CHANGE their perceptions that cruising is for older travellers, that you spend all your time on the ship, that

DUTY FREE

Zip lining in Labadee sea-sickness is an issue, and most of all that cruising is expensive. When people often say that cruising wouldn't interest them as they don't spend long in a port, a good selling tip is that it's a great way to find out where you want to go back to,

LUXURY Sell the

dream. Point out all the luxury options for special occasions such as anniversaries. On all of the newer ships in the past 10-15 years, there is no such thing as steerage. All staterooms are well above water, and have all the mod cons of 4 and 5 star hotels. The proportion of rooms with balconies is rising.

DRINKS packages are all the rage. The top end ships include drinks in their all inclusive prices but most lines do pre-paid packages. Fred Olsen offer drinks package at €14 per day which includes beers, house wines and spirits and 50pc discount on a la carte wines and premium brands, including some brands the Irish would consider top brand are included. . MSC’s Allegrissimo is cheapest of the big ship

Point out the duty free shopping available onboard many ships.

brands at €26pp per day (5pc commissionable to the agent) allowing unlimited beer, wine, cocktails, spirits, ice cream, tea coffees etc.

REPEAT Keep

customers up to date with new facilities, new ships, new routes, and direct pick ups from Ireland. Establish an ongoing relationship. Encourage your customers to discuss their next cruise with the 'future cruise consultant' on board there are lots of extras and you can come back to your travel professional to discuss adding on flights /hotels and tours afterwards. Loyalty cards entitle the client to 5pc off the next cruise booked with Travel Agent. With most lines, commission goes back to the agent if the next cruise is booked on board.

LINK consecutive

cruises: tag one cruise onto another to see more especially in Asia.

FOOD Culinary

standards on board continue to exceed expectations. While cruises are know for their food, some clients can be very fussy eaters with unusual

dietary requirements, cruising can remove all the hassle of finding somewhere to dine every day, while still offering great food. Healthy food options are becoming more and more apart of the cruise lines fare. There are speciality restaurants on the bigger ships and some cruise lines are seeking Michelin stars for the chefs..

ONBOARD accommodation is all mod cons with lots of options up to the suites with hot tubs, pianos etc CHILDREN

Point out how child friendly many cruiselines are with kids clubs, facilities, babysitting, menus, dedicated pool areas, and Dreamworks characters. Some cruise lines offer allow 18 year olds cruise for free.

FEARS about sea

sickness can be assuaged by telling them modern ships are well stabilised but if you are concerned choose a big ship and a cabin on a lower deck in the centre of the ship. You can reassure them that safety onboard is of the highest standard, you are surrounded by like minded people, it is ideal

SHORE Cruises try to allow passengers as much time ashore as possible, sailing at night and waking up in a new port. Many cruise lines are offering more overnights in destinations which is a great way to see many beautiful cities at night with the cruise ship acting as your hotel. Warn that the cruise company’s own shore excursions can be expensive (although many cruise lines are offering these as commissionable extras) and that they can explore on their own. SUGGEST un-

usual destinations. The big cruise lines are going to Asia, Africa and Australia. Try Hurtigruten for Antarctica and Star Cruises for Asia.

SWITCH SELL: Agents don’t get many clients walking through the door with a cruise brochure so they have to try to switch-sell. SINGLES

Cruises are ideal for single travellers with some cruise companies newer ships offering dedicated single cabins and lounge areas so single passengers can mingle.


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DOMINICAN REPUBLIC HAS IT ALL

Email: uk@godominicanrepublic.com Visit: www.godominicanrepublic.com Study: go-dominicanrepublic.eu


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NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 6

HOTELS

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

www.travelextra.ie

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

CLOTHING is the most often forgotten item at hotels, cited by 42pc of guests surveyed by G6 Hospitality. Rounding out the list: , Toiletries (42pc), Electronic devices/chargers (40pc), Jewellery including watches (15pc), Underwear (13pc), Hair styling tools (13pc). Hotelbeds hosted 550 attendees at the seventh edition of the MarketHub Americas. HOTELS.com’s H1 hotel price index found that London is the most searched destination by Irish users. The top ten: 1 London, 2 New York, 3 Paris, 4 Rome, 5 Lanzarote, 6 Albufeira, 7 Berlin, 8 Barcelona, 9 Amsterdam, 10 Edinburgh. Newcomers to the top 20 list were Brussels (13), Madrid (15) and Manchester (20), replacing Liverpool, Lisbon and Mallorca from the 2014 index.

APPOINTMENTS Fitzpatrick’s appointed Niamh Armstrong as Financial Controller and Mairead Cullen as Director of Sales. Inchydoney appointed Sherna Malone as Sales and Marketing Executive. Barberstown Castle appointed Lisa Hennessy as the Assistant Sales Manager, Riverside Park Hotel in Macroom apppinted Erin Gilligan is the new Duty Manager. Garrett Marrinan is new GM of Clarion Hotel Cork, Mary Glynn is new Sales & Marketing Manager of Shamrock Lodge Athlone, Ken Battigan is new GM of Celbridge Manor, Stephanie Higgins has joined O'Callaghan's Hotels as Marketing Executive MARROTT International will open the

IHG Intercontinental Hotels Group will open four Holiday Inn Express properties in Germany. Taipei Marriott Hotel.

DALATA is reportedly in discussions to buy up to seven sites in central Dublin. In a potential game changing move. Google suggested its hotel strategy had shifted away from metasearch to instant booking, similar to the approach taken by TripAdvisor. Google will ramp up the Google Hotel Ads Commission programme and Book on Google, putting more focus on a commission-based model accessible through typical search functions and maps and officially scrapping its metasearch site, Hotel Finder. More information on hotels and their amenities will be added over the coming months.

Conor Faughnan and David Webster at the Powerscourt Hotel

Powerscourt win D

Enniskerry hotel named AA Hotel of the Year

avid Webster of Powerscourt Hotel accepted the AA award for hotel of the year at an event in the Westbury Hutel. David Webster speaking to Travel Extra at the event. The Lodge at Castle Leslie won the Hospitality Award and Red Lion guest house in Donegal the bed and breakfast award. The AA described the award as a triumph for a hotel that’s been on a transformative journey since changing ownership in 2013. “The team at Powerscourt have been praised by the AA’s Inspectorate for consistently applying superb standards throughout the impressive Co. Wicklow facility which enjoys an iconic location close to the village of

Enniskerry.” The AA uses trained inspectors to personally visit every AA accredited hotel for an overnight stay. . During the evening, Minister Michael Ring said the reduced 9pc VAT rate would be retained in the forthcoming budget, he let the VAT out of the bag, so to speak. Elsewhere, former Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar accused his colleague ministers of "flying kites" in the run up to Budget 2016, and said some of the things flagged in media reports have not been discussed at Cabinet.

AA HOTELS OF THE YEAR

2000 Merrion Hotel, Dublin 2001 Aghadoe Heights, Killarney, Kerry 2002 Sheen Falls, Kenmare, Kerry 2003 Hayfield Manor, Cork 2004 Killarney Park, Kerry 2005 Dromoland Castle, Clare 2006 Kelly’s, Rosslare, Wexford 2007 Harvey’s Point, Donegal 2008 BrookLodge, Wicklow 2009 Mount Falcon, Mayo 2010 K Club, Kildare 2011 Gregan’s Castle, Clare 2012 Knockranny House, Mayo 2013 Castleknock Hotel, Dublin 2014 Maryborough Hotel, Cork 2015 Powerscourt Hotel, Wicklow

FOUR

Seasons will open 12 hotels in seven countries later this year and in 2016. The hotels will open in New York, Oahu, Surfside, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bogota, Seoul, Casablanca, Kuwait City, Kyoto and Tianjin. The final phase of the former Burlington Hotel’s renovation was completed with a new frontage added to the Double Tree by Hilton Dublin, Burlington Road.

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


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My goodness

Guinness wins best European attraction at WTAs

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uinness Storehouse as Europe’s was selected as top visitor attraction at the European Gala of the World Travel Awards 2015 in Sardinia. The world’s top visitor attractions now go to head to head at the grand final in Morocco in December. The result is decided by an open vote. Shortlisted alongside some of Europe's most historic and recognisable attractions including: the Acropolis, Buckingham Palace, La Sagrada Familia in Spain; Ribeira do Porto in Portugal; the Roman Colosseum, and the Eiffel Tower. A position in the World Travel Awards, now in its 22nd year, guarantees worldwide publicity for Ireland’s most popular visitor attraction. Guinness is on course to become the first Irish visitor attraction to attract more than 1.5m visitors. This summer visitors to Guinness

NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 7

NEWS

FALCON Thomson Family Resorts will become Family Life from May 2016. The holiday company has kept Family Resorts such as the Atlantica Aegean Blue in Rhodes and the Coral Sea Aqua Club in Egypt and added from other collections, including the top-tier Platinum range. CANADA will require visitors from Ire-

land and other visa waiver countries to have Electronic Travel Authorisation in advance from March 15 2016. ETA costs Ca$7 (€4.75, less than half the ESTA charge for USA which costs US$14) and the government says most permissions will be granted within minutes. It will last for five years, two years more than the USA's ESTA which is valid for three years.

UBER An EU study is to determine

whether Uber is a transport service or just a digital service. The number of private hire vehicles in London rose 26pc as a result of Uber.

WTM World Travel Market will drop its

Paul Carty with the European award Storehouse were up 16pc to a potential 1.46m visitors by the end of the year (they are predicting a more cau-

tious 1.43m), Since opening its doors in 2000, the seven storey Guinness Storehouse has had 13m visitors.

fourth day in 2016, but opening hours will be extended by one hour to 7pm. Ticket prices will remain the same.

TSA America’s TSA ended the Managed

Inclusion Programme which allowed frequent travellers to use the PreCheck security lines at airports.


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POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

ityjet’s Pat Byrne said he was confident and excited about the new Cork to London City route and said early bookings indicated that both the business and travelling public saw real value in flying into an accessible airport with fast turnaround times and great transport links in London.. Pat Byrne said “the airlink into the heart of London’s financial district can help propel investment and growth in

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the local economy and provide ease of access to many thousands of leisure and holiday travellers.” Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney launched the airline’s new route which will include 18 flights weekly between Cork and London City in the heart of the financial and tourist districts. Picture shows Simon Coveney, Dana Foley, Pat Byrne, and Niall McCarthy, Manager of Cork Airport

he Andalusian towns of Jerez and Cadiz were on show for the annual conference of the Irish Travel Agents Association. This is the fourth time that Antonio Martin of Andalusia Tourism, a great friend of the travel trade in Ireland, has hosted the conference and this time brought 65 agents and 35 suppliers to the region.

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Previous conferences took place in Malaga, Sevilla and Granada, but this was a new departure bringing the agents to the less well known side of the province. Picture shows Pamela Brownlee, Liam Lonergan, Celina Duffy, Des Abbott, Mary Denton, Ben Greene, Deirdre Sweeny and Eoghan Corry on a walking tour on the evening prior to the conference

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achieved on the travel golf circuit by Jimmy Lennox at Carton House. There were some memorable performances. Martin Dempsey got round the course in two over par while Ann Marie Dalton of Turkish Airlines was two under for the front nine. Picture shows the Amadeus team Volker Lorenz, trish O’Leary, winner Martin Dempsey, Siobhan Boskett McGuigan and Olwen McKinney.

madeus hosted 64 golfers and sat 79 to their evening event to mark their tenth golf, spa and networking day at Lough Erne resort in Fermanagh. Martin Dempsey of Dempsey’s Travel in Navan (listen here) and Karen Kehoe (listen here) were the winners on a day that brought some excellent scores. Karen came within an inch of a hole in one as did Greg Fox, a feat last

as Vegas CVA briefed the Irish media at an event in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel. Dublin born Caroline Coyle led the Las Vegas delegation. Bellagio and MGM Grand redesigned their thousands of rooms and suites with a combined investment of $325m while the Strip-fronts of New York-New York and Monte Carlo also have been updated to become more pedestrian friendly.

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Entertainment options are also increasing with eight Cirque du Soleil’s now on show across the city. This will become the epicentre of future Las Vegas as a new tree-filled park (the first on The Strip) connects the two resorts and a new $375m, 20,000-seat arena to open spring 2016. Picture shows Tryphavana Cross, Caroline Coyle and Cathy Tull of Las Vegas CVA.

he high altitude Austrian resort of Obertauern and Bormio in Italy are the new featured new resorts and Chamonix is back in Topflight’s winter season 2015-6 brochure, The brochure was launched by Tony Collins at Avenue by Nick Munier in Dublin's Temple Bar. Tony Collins said that ski sales have recovered to levels last seen prior to the recession in 2008. “Beginners are back. They used to be

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40pc of the market and you need to have new blood coming in. Bookings are up 55pc up on this time last night. We have the right Hotels and right resorts and we are well positioned to take advantage of what we hope is coming up.” “Summer has been pretty with a 90pc seat factor. The recession has forced us to look at things and do things better. We now have a better team, and better organisation.”

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with registration and transport, but it all worked out eventually. Vice president Mohamed Gharib Bilal (pictured with Conor McMahon) launched the event and conducted the exhibition walkabout. Despite the TTB’s insistence that this is an ever-growing event, it is anticipated that the 2016 expo will be condensed to two days: the afternoon speakers programme was abandoned.

he second annual Swahili International Tourism Exchange in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.attracted 110 exhibitors, up from 42 last year, 43 hosted buyers, up from 18, and 41 sponsors The Tanzania Tourist Board used the event to launch their new online portal and their Soul of Africa campaign. There were plenty of organisational obstacles along the way including issues


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POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

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ne of the most impressive venues for a travel function in the history of ITAA conferences may have been experienced by delegates who attended the Gala Dinner at Claustros de Santo Domingo in Jerez. The cloisters built between 1436 and 1595 and restored between 1999 and 2002 are a closed venue not normally accessible for events such as the ITAA. Rain threatened before the gala dinner

but held off and the guests were treated to a demonstration of Flamenco dance and song. The Jerez region is a bastion of traditional Flamenco singing including the iconic Cameron De Laisla from San Fernando, Manuel Torre Terremoto and Antonio Chacon from Jerez Picture shows Peter O’Hanlon photographing Lorraine Dunne of the ITAA with Mary Denton and Deirdre Sweeny of Sunway at the event.

2016 HOLIDAYS NOW ON SALE!

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MA contender Conor McGregor showed up with cake for Mary McKenna as Tour America celebrated with twentieth birthday at a dinner and their annual trade show in the Red Cow. The McGregor family were in attendance along with Louis and Mary Copeland, amongst others. The celebrations got going with a great show from the 'Singing Waiters', followed by

an outstanding performance from Cole Page, who has entertained for Bill Clinton and Sir Alex Ferguson and Ronan Keating. Tour America report 2015 as their most successful year to date turning over €20m. The show in exhibitors included key tourist boards NYC, Orlando and Philadelphia, cruise companies such as Royal Caribbean and hotels such as Tom Travers Hotel Beacon in NYC

Book a 2016 Haven self-catering holiday by car or by coach today and enjoy the best choice of accommodation & sailings with Stena Line to any one of the 10 fantastic parks across Britain.

Early b ooking discou nts now availab le!

So, not only will your clients have a great holiday to look forward to, but they’ll be able to take advantage of our low booking deposit from only e50* as well! All holidays include: • Return Superferry travel with a car for 2 adults and up to 4 kids • 3, 4 or 7 night holidays with a choice of several accommodation types in 10 great parks in Britain • Free entry to park splashzones • Free kids’ clubs and nightly shows with great family entertainment • Instant online booking and confirmation for the whole 2016 season

Everyone deserves a break.

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ancy looking after two and a half acres of kitchen space?

Royal Caribbean appointed Ballinlough native Derek McKnight as food and beverage manager of Allure and Oasis of the Seas, based on Allure. Derek graduated from Rockwell catering school in Tipperary and and Cork Institute of Technology. he joined the cruise industry in 1999. “It was all

about experience, all abut getting out there and seeing how it is done.” He previously worked as Executive Chef on board the ship since 2008. How do you cook lunch for 5,200 people? “With a lot of precision, a lot of delegating, a lot of motivating your people, a lot of organisation. We start planning each lunch two days in advance.” Picture shows Jennifer Callister of Royal Caribbean with Derek McKnight.

Book online now at agent.stenaline.ie or call us on 01 907 5399 *€50 or 10% of the cost of your holiday whichever is the greater if booking either a Flexi or Premium ferry fare as part of the holiday. If booking an economy fare, the full amount of the ferry crossing is also due at the time of booking in addition to the €50/10%. Holidays sold by Stena Line Travel Group AB (TA0733). Terms and conditions apply.


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POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVEL SCENE

unway’s Alice Swords was picked to activate the gold card status for travel agents when Royal Caribbean celebrated the first birthday of agents incentive scheme Club Royal. So far 6,000 agents have signed up for the scheme, 525 of them in Ireland. Alice pushed Ben’s big button to add £50 to each gold car holder, and further dramatic incentives were announced, including the chance to join Harmony of

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the Seas in Southampton on its three sailings. Ben Bouldin of Royal Caribbean said the trade in Ireland was more important to Royal Caribbean than in other markets, Picture shows Colette Murphy of Falcon Travel Holly Wilkinson of Royal Caribbean, Nicola Fields of Falcon Travel and Alice Swords of Sunway and at the party.

alcon Holidays Ireland management took a peek at the product on offer in Salou with a view to their 20126 programme. Salou and the Costa Daurada have been a bit of a speciality for Falcon Holidays over the past decadeboosted by investment in the Portaventura theme park. In 2016 the familiar Thomson family resorts such as Golden Avenida

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Suites wil become Family Life. The group toured the major properties on offer. TUI group reported increased profits in 2014 and while the Irish profit is not stripped out Falcon increased sales across all its product range in 2014 and have reported a strong 2015. Picture shows Claire Murphy, Chris Logan, Charlotte Brenner and Antoinette Young of Falcon in La Pineda

ryphavana Cross of NYC & Co hosted a media group which included representatives of an impressive array of national titles in New York. The group visited Ellis Island as well as two May openings: One World Observatory on floors 100-102 of the World Trade Centre and the relocated Whitney Museum at the end of the High Line. Picture shows Irish travel writers and

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their hosts outside the Hotel Beacon in New York, Eoghan Corry of Travel Extra, Rich Gilligan of Cara, Lucy Whyte of Cara, Declan Mescall of Travelbiz, Tom Travers of Hotel Beacon, Rachel Collins of the Irish Times, Tryphavana Cross of NYC & Co, Brian Farrell of the Sunday World, Deirdre Conroy of the Irish Independent, Gillian Culhane of Aer Lingus and Martin Breen of the Sunday Life.

eorgia combined with North and South Carolina on a trade mission to Dublin that featured presentations by Duane Parrish of South Carolina, by William “Wit” Tuttell of North Carolina and Tracy Vaughan of Georgia. Picture shows the delegates: Duane Parrish of South Carolina State Parks, State Tourism Commissioner, Suzanne Wallace of Visit Charleston, Heidi Wal-

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ters of Visit South Carolina, Brandon Barnes of Atlanta, Brandy Larrick of Visit Charlotte, William “Wit” Tuttell of Visit North Carolina, (back), Dolly Chewning of Visit South Carolina (front), Rhys Powell of South Carolina (back), Tracy Vaughan of Visit Georgia, Mindy Shea of Visit Savannah, Peter Hannaford of Visit Georgia and Kim Daroja of Myrtle Beach CVB.

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outing a few weeks earlier) the northerners said they are happy to come to Maynooth to joust for the title. Pat Reede, Andy Smith and Massimo Larini, were the hosts for the day on behalf of United Airlines. Picture shows John Cassidy of Cassidy Travel, Pat reede of United and Tony Collins of Topflight on a refreshment stop half way around the course.

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Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival will open with Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive starring Adrian Dunbar at the Lyric Theatre. Other theatre highlights from local artists include the world premiere of The Suitcase written by Jane Coyle at the Belfast Synagogue in the north of the city which tells the poignant story of a Jewish family. It will include 134 events from 23 countries in all.

sporting surprise. Team North beat Team Ireland 5-4 to win the United Golf Cup for the first time at Carton House. It has boosted interest in the annual match between travel agents in the two jurisdictions, now in its sixth year. Carton has proven the venue of choice and while there has been talk of Lough Erne hosting the day (as with Amadeus

elfast’s class leisure and business tourist offering for the autumn was announced in Dublin by Fiona Cunningham of Tourism NI, Richard Wakely, Director of the Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival, and Anne McMullan of Visit Belfast. Things to do include Comedy Week, Belfast Fashion Week, the Cinemagic International Film Festival for Young People, and the CS Lewis Festival,


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DESTINATION TURKEY

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hen you look at your newlybronzed face in a mirror at the end of a week away and tell yourself honestly “I could come back here again – in fact I will”, then you know you’ve been holidayed. Being brutally honest, however, it didn’t start off so good. At the end of over four hours in the air, we landed at Dalaman Airport through some impressive cumulo-nimbus clouds and wondered if, at the end of September, we’d left it too late in the year. Our coach arrived at the Sensatori, Fethiye, being rocked by potholes in the, ahem, rather rustic road outside and, within minutes of foraying onto the beach, himself impaled his foot on a thorn. The first night was spent listening – and watching – the most impressive thunderstorm either of us have ever witnessed, shaking the walls and windows. We wondered if the hotel’s electrical system could survive (it did – although there were a couple of very brief power outages). After that inauspicious start, however, it was upwards all the way.

Pier pressure

you’re a really plain eater, perhaps stick to poultry (the turkey in Turkey is great).

T Anne Cadwallader and Gerry O’Hare sample Sensatori by Falcon in Turkey

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he Sensatori formula has worked elsewhere (Crete, Sharm-el-Sheikh, Tenerife, Ibiza etc) and the latest in the range, 13kms from Fethiye on Turkey’s “Turquoise Coast”, opened in May 2015. It works because you know what to expect when you book your holiday. All-inclusive luxury, sparking cleanliness, excellent service, food nearly 24/7 and a range of swimming pools and a nearby beach. The large, modern site is surrounded on one side by a pine-fringed stony/sandy beach with

WHAT’S HOT

■ Freshly-squeezed orange straight from the fruit – why can’t ALL hotels manage this? ■ The large range in the buffet – you really can eat healthily all week ■ The cleanliness of the pools and entire hotel site – not a mozzie anywhere ■ The availability of adults-only areas

WHAT’S NOT

■ Albanian liver? Yoghurt soup? ■ Dalaman Airport – what a kip. ■ Seething humanity queuing up for a Burger King or KFC. Nowhere quiet and air-conditioned to sit quietly ■ The hotel sits completely on its own – so if you want to take a walk outside, there’s not much to see – although that is likely to change and development looms ■ So funny that the Thomson rep giving our “Welcome Talk” didn’t even mention the six-hour storm that had kept us all awake most of the night.

views of tree-clad mountains and a wide bay dotted with islands. On-site, there are hibiscus, baytree hedges, oleanders, vines growing up the accommodation blocks, grassy areas – all newlyplanted but growing well.

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e chose a swim-up room – so called because when you open the sliding doors in your room, the pool is a mere few steps away, past your own sun-loungers, at the end of your own tiled or decked patio. It’s as near as getting a private pool as makes no difference – but with all the benefits of a modern, low-rise (max 3-storey) hotel complex completely on your doorstep. We had, for example, within 50 yards of our room/deck/pool, an adults-only bar, a kiosk serving cocktails and icecream throughout the day, a lunch-time snack-bar, a lovely little patisserie where we could enjoy a tea, biscuit or cakes from 10am to 7pm and another large swimming pool. The beach was a whole 100 yards away. Wooden boardwalks and a jetty and steps into the sea mean you can swim without even getting your feet sandy – although there

are showers along the beach to wash the sand from between your toes and off your sandals. The jetty was a perfect viewpoint for spectacular sunsets.

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ood is a vital part of any holiday. At the Sensatori, you have a choice of eating from a vast range of t h e m e d evening foods at night as well as the usual massive breakfast and lunch selection buffet with tables al fresco or indoors. There is a range of a la carte restaurants (easily bookable via computer stations) to ring the changes (one Italian, one the “Sunset Grill” and others specialising in Mid-Eastern, Asian and Turkish cuisine). We particularly liked the “Basilico” Italian restaurant which serves pizza and pasta and salads as well as grilled meats and delicious desserts. The head-waiter

here was a scream and added some Italian drama to the evening. The temptation with a buffet restaurant is to eat too much and come home heavier than you left. But it was entirely possible to eat a lot, but healthily, at the S e n satori Fethiye with an e v e r changing selection of salads and delicious fruit. The tomatoes, the freshly-squeezed orange juice and the luscious peaches at the Sensatori Fethiye were quite the nicest I have ever experienced, and that says a lot. As for the baklava … not so healthy. Turkish lamb and beef are, perhaps, not up to Irish standards but that’s more than made-up for with the range of kebabs and various types of kofte available (minced lamb/beef mixed with herbs and spices). If

he rooms are not huge, but they are plenty large enough for two and – while not all rooms have baths – the shower-rooms are spacious and easy to use with modern raindrench units that make washing your hair a pleasure. The rooms are sound-proofed too, which is just as well as the hotel is becoming a favourite with honeymooners. There is plenty of hanging space and an iron/board and kettle with tea/coffee. TV stations include Sky News, BBC World News and BBC Entertainment, CNN, MTV, National Geographic, various film networks, Eurosport, Nickleodeon, Disney etc. The air-conditioning (and we needed air-conditioning as the temperature rose to 40C most days – and stood at 38C even in the early evening) is efficient and virtually silent (no nasty wheezing through the warm nights!). Each room has a free mini-bar which included water, soft-drinks and beer replaced daily. Rooms come equipped with luxurious white bath robes, towelling slippers and a docking system for your MP3 players (not just iPhone but any player). Outside your room, all drinks at the bar are included until midnight and there are inside, outdoor, adults-only and swim-up bars serving cocktails, wine (including prosecco-type) on tap. Wifi is free in your room and throughout the hotel – and it actually works.

■ Gerry O’Hare and Anne Cadwallader travelled to the Sensatori Resort Fethiye in Turkey’s Dalaman as guests of Thomson. They enjoyed all inclusive board arrangements at the newly opened hotel. Thomson operate weekly flights over the Summer to Dalaman from Dublin and Belfast International Airports..


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rlando is as divided as old Berlin ever was. On one end of Orlando’s famous 11-mile long International Drive you have the mouse, on the other end you have the wizard. Never the twain. Geography in Orlando is divided into two spheres of influence, Disney in the south, Universal n the north, with a demilitarised zone somewhere along the middle near Seaworld. No surprise, then, that the shoppers (increasingly shopjocks as well as she-shoppers) who may be rivalling the themeparking mad among the international visitors to Orlando, also have two choices, the Disney sided outlet mall and the Universal sided outlet mall.

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utlet malls, originally an opportunity for manufacturers to offload damaged or out of season product, now have a life of their own. Some 41 years after the first one opened, those who come in search of the savings of 25pc to 65pc claimed by the re-

Mall and mouse Eoghan Corry goes shopping at two ends of International Drive in Orlando tailers can usually find something not worth leaving behind, even if it means a second suitcase home. So where to start? It’s all about the brands, apparently. Orlando Vineland in the southern end of the Drive (Disney sphere of influence) has the higher end brands among its portfolio of 160 stores. Orlando International Premium outlets in the

north (Universal sphere of influence) has more stores, 180 in all. Many are duplicated in both outlets, but the bargain bins, though similar, do not always match. There is another outlet Market Place which is more local in Orlando, and probably better at finding the local product that is becoming so difficult to trace on American shopping expeditions.

IT’S A MALL WORLD AFTER ALL

■ Florida Mall 1.8m square feet of shopping with 250 unique entertainment, retail and dining options. 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail (407) 851-7234 www.simon.com/mall/the-florida-mall ■ Orlando Vineland 8200 Vineland Avenue with higher end brands among its portfolio of 160 stores, (407) 238-

7787 ■ Orlando International Premium outlets has 180 stores. 4951 International Drive (407) 352-9600 ■ Outlet Market Place is more local in Orlando, 5269 International Drive (407) 352-9600

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he outlets are the lure, the real meat is in the Florida shopping mall where the big brands like Apple Mac, non discountable but unavoidable are to be found. This being Orlando, Florida Mall has got a theme park of its own this Autumn, the bright coloured Crayola Land. Disney has imagineers, these guys have crayonologists. One of the restaurants is a theme park in itself, the phenomenon known as America Girl where you dine with a bright

pink doll at the end of the table. At the end of the meal I was teaching her nursery rhymes in Irish. It gets to you like that. hopping is like that, much more than shopping, the therapy that goes way beyond retail therapy. . At Last Resort Dick’s restaurant based in Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets, waiters specialise in being rude to customers. Highlights included “here’s your drinks, sort it out,” “My name is Stephen unfortunately I am stuck with you guys,” and “how was

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your meal, I don’t really care but I am required to ask.” How many waiters always wanted to say that? The sign at the door says: “if the world didn't suck we'd all fall off.” What did I learn? Follow the Brazilians They win the world cup at shopping every time. And read the coupon book as carefully as you would the docket at a race meet. As we left the guy in the queue had a tee shirts saying: “some people read shirts I think you are one of them.” Retail therapy indeed.

■ Eoghan Corry travelled to Orlando with Aer Lingus who fly Dublin to Orlando daily EI121 at 14.00 with additional frequencies next winter over Christmas, mid-term and Easter, The aircraft is an A330-200 in 24-228 configuration. Fares start from u510 each way including taxes and charges. See aerlingus.com.

Clockwise: Stephen the purposefully rude waiter at Dick’s Last Resort, the doll themed American Girl restaurant in the Simon Shop Florida Mall, Crayola-land, shoppers and Jackie Vasquez outlining the plans for Crayola land


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ometimes you cannot avoid thinking that people who call Luxemburg the Gibraltar of the north had never been in the Gibraltar of the south. It was a big important fortress (French engineer Carnot came up with the comparison in1795 when it withstood a seven month siege) that proved more trouble than it was worth. For seventy more years it stood there like a provocation, and almost started the Franco-German early in 1866. The reverberations of that crisis led to two world wars in the last century. Americans go to see where George Patton is buried, victim not of war, but of an automobile accident when the war was over. In all 5,075 Americans are buried in the well kept war cemetery. It was a big burden for a small place, so they pulled down the fortress and left us a playground of caverns beneath, the Casemates du Bock where tourists trundle through. There are 23km of casemates, three of the 17 are open visitors. At one time 1.200 soldiers manned 25 cannons in two rows, firing three cannon shots an hour to avoid suffocation. This has an odd impact on the story. Tunnels are for storage communication places to hide, a fitting place for gunpowder

Pass the Duchy Eoghan Corry visits Luxembourg, the size of Limerick only with better wine history. Tall towers are bout flag waving and how one country’s history is better than another’s. Down here in the dark such certainties are subject to shadows and subtleties. It is a good place to place stock of the history of Europe in its successive waves, everyone ganging up on Spain followed by everyone ganging up on France followed by everyone ganging up on Germany. There, that saved us a lot of listening to tour guides.

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here the history comes p e e p i n g through in the streetscape, abbey and churches, it is little history. And in its festivals. The country’s most fa-

mous saint Willibrord has strong Irish connections. A Dancing Procession continues be held in Echternach every year on Whit Tuesday in his honour. Outside Steiler bar and restaurant it proclaims in four languages that this is the oldest pub in Luxembourg, 1691 when the Irish were about to come with the brigades. How timely. Everything is within touching distance in such a small place, even Luxembourg’s royalty. There used to be 16 grand duchies. Tuscany was the first. Now there is one left. Soldiers of his tiny army change the guard outside the Palace. No grand displays here. If there is grandeur to be found it is Luxembourg’s proud modern city, founder of the EU and one of its capitals (the

Riverbank beside the Eglise, urban vineyard, the futuristic Mudam art museum (mudam.lu) and the Casements.

small town of Schengen is celebrating two decades of being associated with a forward-looking visa policy). You get the impression this place is living small and thinking big, outside what would be called the box in a powerpoint presentation. When you live in a country that is the size of Limerick, you need to think outside the box.

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uxembourg has a surprising number of stylish places to stay among its 6,000 tourist beds and more Michelin stars per head than any other European country, “When you come from a small place,” tour guide Elke Begas told us, “you are condemned to focus on quality rather than quantity.” It has the highest proportion of foreign residents (70pc) and places of all grades and mannerisms to eat and party. There are three languages including the Moselle Frankonian dialect of Luxembourgish. French is the language of law, German the language

of media. People say Portuguese is the fourth language, and everyone speaks English. So that makes five. In addition 170,000 commute into Luxembourg each day, half of them from France, a quarter from Belgium and a quarter from Germany. Even in the heart of the city you are ten minutes to France,20 minutes to Belgium and 25 minutes to Germany The highway in the north has just opening shortening distances to everywhere.

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he fortress legacy makes this an odd place to build a city. That is the real charm of the place, a sheer cliffed plateau over a rocky valley with a small river running through, a borrowed landscape for shepherds and sheep rather than Bourgers eating burgers, criss crossed by the ancient bridge and the “new” 1966 bridge that enabled a modern city to be built atop the next hillside, shining back at the chocolate box original.

Each crevice has a little surprise. They have urban vineyards here, real ones sitting on the cliff wall, not the back garden pretend ones in other places. When they examined the cemetery of the Neumunster they found the monks had suffered from gout they found cemetery down at Neumunster abbey. Good living indeed. When the office workers go home, the city tends its night scene as proudly as a vineyard. The city recently tried a policy of free entry to its nightclubs and bars and a novel way of getting home at the end of the night: a minibus that serves as a cross between a bus and taxi, Nightrider (+352 9007 1010, nightrider.lu) operates from 6pm till 5am on Friday and Saturday nights and will pick you up and drop you to your door for a fraction of the price of a taxi. We ended up in Wilma, a karaoke bar where Wonderwall was filleted by a tuneless travel writer. We cheered to the echo, in memory of Willibrord.

■ Eoghan Corry travelled to Luxembourg as a guest of Luxair and Luxembourg National Tourist Office. www.visitluxembourg.com ■ The Luxembourg card touristic passport costs €11 ■ Luxair flies daily from Dublin to Luxembourg.with prices from €100 return. APG Ireland| 27 Lower Ormond Quay | Dublin 1 | Ireland +353 (0)1 804 5100 m:+353 (0) 86 831 6522


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he best bit, and I am not sure if this is a good thing, is the elevator ride to the top. The One Worls Observatory atop the rebuild World Trade Centre in Manhattan is a marvel of technology. A busy team researched the history of every building on the lower side of Manhattan so the animators of the inelevator video screens could imagine a time lapse history, unevenly and warped at different rates for different eras. The effect is galvanising, scrubland to city, meadow to metropolis, all in the space of the 47 second race to the top, skyscrapers sprouting on three of the four sides of the lift as you rise. After that the visit becomes a bit transactional, a short introduction, and a viewing gallery where the information points and information personnel are long on many things but short of information, before you exit, this being theme park territory, through the gift shop. Thanks for the $32, wanna buy the tee-shirt? Now move on. It is not at all like the viewing gallery on the old World Trade Centre twin towers, where they built two open decks before realising that suicide tourism was a thing and making jumping to ones death more difficult spoiled the view. The views across the

Out of the Darkness Eoghan Corry visits the 9-11 memorial and new One World Observatory in New York

One World Observatory: symbol of the new Manhattan city are great, but it is the virtual bits that you remember. Not just the elevator, but the virtual glass floor. And the descent when the lift capsule appears to leave the confines of the tower entirely and sail around it in a great arc before re-entering through windows that obligingly slide apart. Want to go up? Maybe somewhere you can see this place, both the Empire State and the new World Trade Centre, is the place to go, like the Top of the Rock.

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o commemorate Manhattan’s hour of darkness, descend into the cellars nearby. This time an escalator takes you down past parts of the fabric of the old, destroyed, World Trade Centre, into the bedrock. The New York skyline we see today rises form this rock foundation. A shattered fire truck is the most striking artefact on show. But here again, the action is from recorded video and audio, the hijackers coming through security, the voice of one of the hi-

Clockwise: Ranger Douglas Treem and Elis Island, fire engine in 9-11 museum and Sean Tallon’s name on 9-11 memorial

jackers who inadvertently broadcast his instructions to passengers to Air Traffic Control. Pick up the headphones and you hear the ghostly voice of a flight attendant Betty Ong. “I’m No. 3 on Flight 11, our No 3 got stabbed, our purser got stabbed. Nobody knows who stabbed who, and we can’t even get up to business class right now because nobody can breathe. “ And the cockpit is not answering their phone, and there’s somebody stabbed in business class,

and we can’t breathe in business class — somebody’s got Mace or something. The ground crew did what clueless people did, asked silly questions and got all the information skew-ways. They got the flight number wrong. She had to ask twice were they still there. “Who are you hun?” asked a sleepy supervisor when she had told them everything already. It was not like the movies. Except maybe that scene in get Smart where Leonard Stern tries

STAY AND EAT

■ Hotel Beacon 2130 Broadway at 75th Street New York, NY 10023 Tel: (212) 787-1100 www.beaconhotel.com This cosy boutique hotel is a 4-minute walk to the subway and 7 minutes to the American Museum of Natural History. The contemporary rooms have kitchenettes, marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Suites add separate living areas with sofa beds and/or extra bedrooms. ■ Hudson Eats, Brookfield Place www.brookfieldplaceny.com Brookfield Place, originally and still also known as the World Financial Center,

to contact Homeland Security. It was VERY real. Very chilling.

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he storyboards and videos are heaving with information, a little more analytical question and with more depth than we might expect from the often trite analysis current in popular culture of how 9-11 came about. I watched Osama Bin Laden’s life story with some eighth-graders. A visual suggested that

is a complex of office buildings located across West Street from the World Trade Center site in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City ■ Delicatessen www.delicatessennyc.com 54 Prince St, New York, NY 10012, United States Phone:+1 212226-0211 ■ Shake Shack https://www.shakeshack.com 215 Murray St (btwn West St & North End Ave), New York, NY 10282 Hip, counter-serve chain for gourmet takes on fast-food classics like burgers & frozen custard


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DESTINATION USA Bin laden hated America because they were sending troops to the Middle east. At the end of it all they got two messages: “we helped this guy” and “I would send millions of more troops.” Crystal clear, out of the mouth of an eighth grader. That was the solution to conflict.. I searched amid the names, carved in stone outside and photographs in endless oblongs beyond the height of the tallest visitor. My cousin Sean Fegan (in that extended Irish cousinly way, my uncle was married to his aunt), looking playful and unconcerned from his wall like he did at the last wedding we attended, and Sean Tallon from Donadea in Kildare, whose aunt was in my class at school, his ridiculously oversized fireman’s hat atop his head. Sean Fegan’s body was never recovered. Seen Tallon’s never stops turning up.

The Manhattan skyline with the new World Trade Cwentre and (right) gleaming sign of the new Manhattan

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eff Levine conducted our little group around the Whitney Museum, where the location has become an exhibit in itself. It is the full stop on the High Line, Manhattan’s old dock railway turned tree-lined linear park, a project that started as an artistic exhibit itself when the photographs of Joel Sternfeld were first put on display nearly two decades ago, American art was underappreciated, Jeff explains, until the museum

PLACES TO SEE

■ One World Observatory http://oneworldobservatory.com/ One World Observatory opened its doors in May 2015 ■ Nine-eleven Memorial www.911memorial.org The 9/11 Museum opened in May 2014 ■The Whitney Museum www.whitney.org The Whitney Museum of American Art — known as "The Whitney" — is a New York City art museum with a focus on 20th- and 21st-century American art ■ Ellis Island for a tour Tour of the museum and recently completed Peo-

was established in the 1920s, and as if to illustrate the point, describes the collection’s nomadic existence since. In mid town museums are elbowing for space. Down here in the meat packing district, where the alsations used to go out in pairs, it is like an icon. Jeff explains that you can pass form level to level to level without passing indoors, with a living breathing city all around, like the best of American artwork. Here you will find

pling Of America Center www.LibertyEllisFoundation.org Ellis Island is a symbol of American immigration. Tour the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and research your family history. View genealogy records of your ancestry ■ Brooklyn Unplugged Tours Learn more about what Brooklyn has to offer ■ CityPASS The CityPASS provides free (and often priority) entry to six of the city’s most iconic attractions and museums. www.citypass.com/newyork

Clockwise: Tom Travers and cocktail maker Mike Manjo serve the best Mahattan in Manhattan to Deirdre Conroy and Eoghan Corry, jogger on the waterfornt, The Whitney museum galleries and a sign welcoming walkers to the High Line.

Hoppers. Lots of Hoppers. His Early Sunday Morning, his Soir Bleu, as well as the great boxing painting by George Bellows, Dempsey and Firpo and Central Park 1900 by Cork’s finest, Maurice Prendergast.

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ack in the bar of the Hotel Beacon they have the best Manhattans in Manhattan, conjured up by barman Mike Manjo. A bit of rye, a sweet vermouth, and then bitters. You can use different bitters, it changes each Manhattan and makes it that little bit different. “We use Jim Beam bourbon. You could use a high end premium bourbon but you want notice it in a drink are putting that much vermouth in. The vermouth is the key. “ “A true Manhattan is a work of art. You have to stir it, you don’t shake it. So it is clear. You have to use the right cherry too, we use a high end brandy cherry, the Marasca cherry.” Cocktails are a legacy of Prohibition. “They made it in their basements in their bath tubs. They needed to disguise the flavour.” The bar is spacious and airy, and highlights of Mike’s menu include the Louisiane, Parisian

Chuck, Oaxaca Smokeout, Pisco Sour, Mint Julep and Dark & Stormy Tom Travers, a familiar sight at Dublin’s Holiday World, manages the Hotel Beacon. “This was always an apartment hotel for people who people who wanted hotel services with apartment size apartments so our rooms are much bigger than most mid town hotels”. “It is a great place to base yourself as a tourist. You don’t feel like a tourist on then upper west side, you feel like a New Yorker. “You can come out and enjoy the local restaurants and shops. During the day you can go mid town to see the major attractions you can come back here at night and leave the madding crowds behind you. The best times to visit is January and February. It does have some drawbacks. But that’s when the lowest rates occur. “ “Also July and August because the corporate travel world stops travelling and the city is less busy.” Tom is Irish American, and more than 10pc of his visitors are Irish. “The Irish are great visitors to have. They are very knowledgable and they really take advantage of everything New York has to offer.”

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or Manhattan as she should be seen, take to the water. The Staten island ferry takes you past the icons for free. It you want to stop in the icons, take the $18 day cruise from Battery Park.. In the 54 years that Ellis Island was open they processed 12m immigrants with an efficiency that would put your average airport security queue to shame. Our guide Douglas Treem recreated the mixture of excitement and tension. What is your name? Where are you coming from? Where are you going to? What do you do for a living? “ “The inspector believes you, so does Uncle Sam.” ‘Ten per cent were taken aside.” “Other cases tricky, complicated. Nothing human was alien to them. Their job was to understand. The medical inspection was a climb up the stairs. If you had a dodgy knee you were taken aside. If you were short of breath. If you bounded up the stair with enthusiasm, they might take you aside for possible mental derangement.” It figures. Those guys obviously got to invent the Manhattan.

■ For more ideas, including shopping, dining, tours, museums, sightseeing, green spaces and more, see www.nycgo.com ■ Aer Lingus fly twice daily from Dublin to New York and daily from Shannon to New York. Economy fares start from €239 each way and business class fares start from €969 each way, for travel November 1 to March 10.4.


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The crack in Kernow

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e arrived in Newquay in mid afternoon on Aer Lingus’ Regional’s 50-seater, pocket sized jet to a pocket-sized airport to a pocket sized car rental desk. Aer Lingus regional started the new Dublin to Newquay service on May 1st, opening up Newquay and its Cornish hinterland to the weekend visitor. For summer it goes from three weekly to five weekly. It seems too good to be true. So we sent to see what Cornwall had to offer. The road signs make you feel at home. St Columb is one of the first that you see when you land at Newquay airport, You pass familiar Celtic spellings: Roscrow, Truro (the town of the three kings, trí rí, Carmon Downs, a combination of English and Cornish. It feels very Wexford, sunlight lighting up the lime trees overhanging the road, a gravelly river meandering alongside the road. Although there is no water in sight the satnav tells us the sea is not far away and the river probably knows it. It flows a little faster in anticipation. The frenetic pace of the mid noughties seems to have eased off. The property boom was unkind to people here. Some people can identify with that. Dublin previously had flights to the region, notably to Exeter, but Newquay is the heart of the action, symbolic of visitors Cornwall, unsure of its place in tourism between a daytime of bucolic beauty spots, cliff paths with scrubby rocky gravel and warning signs about precipitous cliffs, turning inland to over-

Eoghan Corry finds Newquay renewed

The tide cuts of St Michael’s Mount from the mainland twice a day, like a baby Mont St Michel grown grass and bright yellow wildflowers, and a nighttime of pubs filled with London stag parties or high end restaurants reflecting in the glory of their big-name celebrity chef owners. Cornwall is all of these things.

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ood is something of the new currency here. Jamie Oliver opened Fifteen at Watergate Bay in 2002, a little outcrop of buildings a few miles from Newquay. His restaurant looks out on the beach and the bay, white rimmed with tumbling Atlantic waves, and we dined at sunset. The view is the first thing on the menu. A newly wed couple were on the beach having photographs taken. The loud speakers played. The place suitably flooded with natural sunlight as if the tide had

THINGS TO DO

■ Eden Project offers what it described as “the world's largest rainforest in captivity, stunning gardens and world-class sculptures.” www.edenproject.com/ ■ St Mawes Passenger Ferry can be

swept in, made more intense by the reflected sand and globe fittings on the ceiling like a cheeky urban intrusion on an ancient setting. “Wish I was a baller” played on the loud speakers. Someone drew something phallic on the sand beneath the window where an elderly couple were dining. The waiters seemed unsure of themselves, reciting a mantra of descriptions like they were casting as extras in the new Poldark. We went for the tasting menu, bursting like the hedgerows with greenery and exotic imagination. Our waiter congratulated us and did the required voiceover. He said the words but, somehow, he didn't have the conviction. For those who live to taste, here is Jamie’s repertoire: ■ Amedei chocolate torte with pistachio

reached in Falmouth from the Prince of Wales pier www.falriver.co.uk/ ■ Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. tasting menu costs £65pp for 5 courses and £85pp for 7 courses www.fifteencornwall.co.uk

crème fraiche and cheese board of tunworth, bath blue and keens ■ Wood fired beef fillet, bianco perla polenta and porcini ■ Cornish John Dory, peperonata and salmonoriglio ■ Tortellini of St Ives Bay crab and pongrattato ■ Carnaroli risotto or zucchini, mint, hazelnuts and pecorino ■ Lee Carter’s lobster, fregola di sarda and aioli ■ Burrata with smashed peas and almonds ■ St Enodoc asparagus and parmesan. None of the courses failed to match the anticipation or the imagination, and by the time the sky had reddened so had our palates. The kitchen chimneys are as ubiquitous as mining chimneys once more on the vantage points of the coastline. Celebrity chef Rick Stein came to Falmouth to open a fish

and chippery, but there are more authentic and cheaper options. Takeaway fish and chips shops are omnipresent, more likely to indicate an approaching village than a speed limit sign (or increasingly, the bright yellow speed camera). The fish is fresh as it is cheap.

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he most authentic and most abiding image of Cornwall can be found in St. Michaels Mount, a baby version of Mont St Michel on the other side of La Manche, a rocky outcrop with its roadway covered at high tide. The village opposite, Marazion (apparently a Jewish market, Margadh Zion) sits like a viewing gallery for this part natural, part spiritual wonder. We stopped in for fish and chips, what else, and some local brew to Trevor Austin’s Fire Engine Inn where we talked

beer and fishing. A few miles along the coast is Mousehole, where the last native Cornish speaker died on St Stephen’s Day in 1777. The language was, thankfully recorded, oddly closer to Breton than to Welsh and, like its sisters, just a p-q step removed from being comprehensible to Irish people. There is a revival movement with a crèche and its own Gaelscoil, but it has a long way to go before it gets to radio, television, road signs and the basic requirements of a minority language in today’s homogenised culture. There is another St Michael’s in Dorset and another in Hampshire. Through in Mont St Michel and Skellig Micheál and it all forms a cross for a passing alien starship. Dan Brown might even have another novel out of that one.

■ Eoghan Corry travelled with Aer Lingus Regional who For summer Aer Lingus fly four days per week between Dublin and Orlando. Fares start from €259 each-way including taxes and charges. ■ He stayed in St Michael’s Hotel & Spa, who have won Best Spa in Cornwall, Large Hotel of the Year, 2 AA rosettes, and a Gold Green Tourism Award. www.stmichaelshotel.co.uk/


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almouth, is most famous for its deep natural harbour and proud maritime history. The sea is as in your face as you could imagine. The streets of the town all roll down to the pier, (turn left at the oddspelling Finn McCoul’s Irish pub), a finger into the water that becomes a waterborne bus station of services to the various stopping points around the bay with timetables and pleasant posters explaining why you should alight each craft: “fishing tours, pay on board.” The tide is precipitous and fast, or at least the climb down the steps to the St Mawes ferry is precipitous. “Someone pulled the plug out,” says our ferryman. We climb on board and then splash past the collection of yachts moored in the bay. When we pull into St Mawes the bay is full of surfers and body boarders. There is an even smaller ferry departing the pier, the Place Ferry. There is a time and a place for everything, said one of the ferry passengers. “The wrong place at the right time,” said another. The ferryman gave a tortured smile. “Place the jokes in the right ferry,” said a third. St Mawes has a Tudor castle and a series of narrow paths and roads that bring you through the flower-margined roads to a tiny church. It is a long drive back around the coast to Fal-

St Mawes in midsummer: yachts and flowers mouth. Travel by water is quicker. The sea was a highway, not a barrier, to previous generations. They would pop over to Rosslare for a game of cards and a glim.

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atural beauty and industrial heritage is an unusual combination. The crumbling minehead buildings and slim dormant chimneys clinging to the rocky coast. with the blue sea behind suggest another Cornwall: the one of Sunday night television. To find Poldark go to the mineheads at Wheal Owles where the series was film or at St Agnes

are the defining Cornish images for a generation. Cornwall has a TV image as well, the creation of Winston Graham .It was on a school trip to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford in the 1970s that my female class mates queued to meet Robin Ellis, nearly swooning in their hormonal excitement, Poldark of the series. For those whose youth featured a wild Cornwall where ships were lured on to the rocks, peasants worked the damp, cold tunnels of the mine and wrongdoers were thrown over a cliff, there was a sense of anticipation that the new Poldark will be

even better. They turned to Tallaght to cast Aidan Turner as the new even more smouldering Poldark. My female classmates, sadly no longer teenagers, would approve. Last time round Wheal Roots was renamed Poldark mine to cash in on the publicity. They even found a part for Robin Ellis in the new series. The new Poldark has the benefit of more digital trickery to make the locations more beautiful if that was necessary. or a real portal into another world go to the quarries. Or rather, the revitalized quarry that is the Eden

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project started out life as a scar on the landscape and have been turned into an ecosystem in a bubble. From inside, the margins of the pretend rain forest look like a mist, as if the rainforest has generated a little fog that hangs just over the biosphere, that's if you ignore the metal pipes and the superstructure, which it is not hard to do. A new rainforest canopy walkway makes an accessible circular route. If this was Australia, they would have you bungee jumping off it, but this is Cornwall. Part of the unexpected success in recreating the rainforest in the smell. It

is lush and oily, humid and spicy and seedy, the smell you get in the real thing. They have not decided if this is the real thing in Malaysia, St Helena, Seychelles or indeed Hawaii. Rainforest in a zoo, except the captives don’t look unhappy. There are storyboards giving guidance on all of these subjects: Cola is probably the best-known Latin name in the world, they tell us, an African tree with caffeine rich seeds are part of the age old culture of west Africa. Everywhere the West Country accents are a bit of a giveaway alongside the visitors, including some Irish here to pick up university offspring, but, hey, this was the millennium when things did not get thought out completely. The big message” some burnt out tree stumps and a declaration that an area of primary rain forest the size of the biome is lost every ten seconds. Your wallet is your weapon they tell us too, shop for products that look after the forest. Then something really cool: a cool room. You sit inside in the pleasant air conditioning to clear the brow.It doesn’t feel like Cornwall, but do Jamie and Poldark?

Clockwise: dining option in St Mawes, Eoghan Corry at Michael’s Mount, the Eden Project, Jamie’s restaurant and lobster tasting course


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DESTINATION NORWAY

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etting there by degrees. On no other voyage do you have the same sense of place, the same sense of your progress being measured on some great global chart, like you do on the Hurtigruten Arctic cruise. Every time you wake up on a cruise ship on the Hurtigruten line it is important to check what is happening, what has changed. It is not just the stunning scenery. Can scenery continue to stun when there is such a plentiful supply of it?. The scenery becomes almost routine on a trip that has styled itself for a hundred years as the most beautiful voyage on the ocean. It is also important to check how far north, how far east, how many degrees further form the norm. Nowhere does this sense of excitement and enthralment become more important than you have passed the north Cape. This piece of rocky headland is on the top left hand corner of Norway. Next stop will be the North Pole or, more likely, Svalbard, which, for all intents and purposes, may be the same thing. The journey then does something unexpected, it ratchets up the excitement and introduces a sense of enhanced anticipation and expectation about going east, and starts put-

Chasing the lights

On the Hurtigruten Arctic trail ting our noses into the ear of the Russian bear, as it were.

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ur journey in March 2015 was an eventful one. Most of the customers that had come were charter passengers sent by Irish travel agents in anticipation of the northern lights and a solar eclipse. Both performed to some degree. We saw the eclipse on the shimmering waves through a gap in the clouds. The Northern lights were fashionably late arriving, like a beautiful woman, and did not reveal enough to remove

Eoghan Corry cruises the Arctic circle with Hurtigruten

our sense of anticipation and desire to return to see more. That may have been a good thing, because the lights are seductive and really should take many dates before they have been wooed and won.

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he Northern Lights, the far famed aurora borealis were peripheral to the experience. The voyage did something even more spectacular. It tossed us and turned us and threw us in the air. The captain announced one night that he was going through a force twelve.

The ship rocked outrageously. The most expensive berries in the world, cloud berries, had been served for desert, and many of them ended up in unexpected places, decorating the drains along the deck and in the lavatories. Our small group of battle hardened journalists from Ireland drank the Hurtigruten red wine, watched the carnage, and enjoyed the rock and roll, jive and swing, like teenagers at their first dance. The ocean and the climate here are harsh, they are supposed to be. We saw the ocean for three successive days at its harshest and it proved a

greater highlight of the voyage than the Northern lights could ever have delivered. As for the climate, we got a blast of that too. When we rushed to deck at night in response to every reputed sighting of the northern lights, sounded out over the tannoy like an air raid warning, we got sand blasted with tiny particles of ice on our faces. The enthusiasm never abated. If he had said the ship was sinking there would not have been such a scramble to the deck. And we pretended we enjoyed the experience. Some of us even did. The wind was cold as a

brass monkeyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mammalian protuberance. The passengers wrapped and double wrapped in the layers they were told to bring and raised eyebrows at each other in the absence of any other means of communication. I had my long standing weather-beaten Antarctic Hurtigruten jacket and it stood, as might be expected, the worst of the excesses of the weather.

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hen, a surprise. The longer you stayed to face the Arctic the more rewarding it became, the greater the sense that you were in one of the last pieces of a

Clockwise: Nordlys departs Tromso, midnight concert in Tromso Cathedral, the northernmost in the world, happy Arctic dip participants Michael Hirschel , Eoghan Corry and Rachel Guy, the Arctic dip certificate, and Nordlys in Kirkenes.


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DESTINATION NORWAY planet that had not been tamed by what the marketing departments of tour odorators like to describe in their brochures as “experiential tourism.” It didn’t get any more experiential than a minus 25 wind chill on a dark night in the Barents Sea. What to do to enhance the experience further? Having a personal and national reputation to protect, I had to swim. They led us ashore, Michael Hirschel from Dusseldorf, Rachel Guy from Dun Laoghaire, and Eoghan from Straffan, like the international revolutionary “viva cold water” ringleaders been brought to the firing squad. We togged out in a gymnasium, and were led along the dock to a basket, akin to those they use for shark dives in South Africa and Australia. Except this time WE were the spectacle, and any chad that had decided to stop by to spend a Sunday afternoon inshore with their wife and chadlings was going to have a great laugh as our expense. I went first, as is my wont, plunged and reemerged from the water, probably too quickly. More than anyone else, I should know that water that is still liquid is going to be warmer than the air outside. It was warm, a balmy plus two and a half. And the wind when it came to whip my bared shoulders

bit further up the coast.

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Astrid Lund in the Narnia-like Snow hotel in Kirkenes and legs after I had reemerged from the water was not as harsh as I had anticipated. It was like the Barents Sea had warmed me up so much that the cold wind outside would have no occasion to worry me, at least for a few minutes. Michael stayed longest, stretching his legs, and wiggling his toes, and I wished I had done the same. They gave me a certificate to show that I was in the Barents Sea for a swim. All I could think of was the “here be dragons” warning in the medieval seafarer maps, or perhaps those old Ordnance Survey maps

which always featured a wing of the workhouse called the idiots wing.

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on't tell anyone about to book a Hurtigruten holiday, but the Northern Cape is a fraud. The real Northern Cape was too inaccessible and provided too great a difficulty to build a visitor centre there, so they picked another spot instead. Not that it matters, it is like being shown the site of the true crucifixion or the tomb in Jerusalem, or the Battle of Clontarf at Heddigan’s pub. Exactitudes do not concern international tourism.

Instead the Norwegians have done a terrific job. They have built a visitor centre which is where most of the cruise shoreexxers to the Northern Cape will spend their time. Because, when the fog comes down which does 27 times an hour, judging by what happened when we were there, there is not much to see. True, in between the cloud will lift and this amazing Arctic scene will come dancing before the

eyes of the visitors. But hanging around waiting for pretty stuff is not really an option in a wind of minus 25. So what next, but to drop in to a visitor centre that starts and ends, like all visitor centres do, with the gift shop, and along the way offers some interesting displays, a church, a Thai temple and a video depicting this coastline in all its glory. It doesn't really matter if the real Northern Cape is a lump of stone a little

efinitely the coolest call of the week was to the snow hotel in Kirkenes, where three time zones meet, (like the words of a Brendan Shine song), Russia is two hours behind, Finland just one hour behind. IN theory you can run around the marker and confuse your smartphone. Astrid Lund showed us through the snow hotel, the pride of the area’s bed stock, all ice sculptures and filter lights.. Why the fire extinguishers? “We are still a hotel and subject to hotel regulations,” Astrid says, “the politicians in their wisdom require us to have them.” A worrying development, coolers have had to be used to keep the snow hotel at the required temperature in recent years due to global warming. Others went husky driving along the ice, the dogs with their tongues sideways form their mouths, occasionally barking with excitement. Some of the cruise ship excursionists look like they are about to do the same.“We call it boiling point,” said Astrid, “70 degrees north and 30 degrees east.”

■ Hurtigruten's Northern Lights Promise, has been re-introduced for next Winter. There will be a direct departure form Dublin on March 22 following the success of the director charter flights from Dublin to Tromso in 2014.

Clockwise: husky drive at Kirkenes, reindeer in Kirkenes, the northern Cape, Tromso’s bridge by night, and the first ad for a Hurtigruten cruise in a Dublin newspaper sets the tone in 1908


page 020-021 14/10/2015 11:28 Page 1

Featuring:

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YOUR TRADE DAY at Home and Abroad

Friday 22nd January, 2016 VISIT

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Domaine De Champe - Vosges (Sunelia) Domaine de la Dragonniere - Herault (Sunelia) Domaines Les Ranchisses - Ardeche (Sunelia) Donegal International Airport Doolin Cave Dublin’s City Hall - The Story of the Capital Dublinia Dubrovnik and Neretva Tourist Board e-travel.ie Egyptian State Tourist Office Ethiopian Airlines Elit Dental Clinic Embassy of Brazil Embassy of Lithuania Equinox Education Services Europe Airpost Exodus Travel Fitzpatrick Group of Hotels Flavour of Tyrone Tourism Flightrights.ie Florida's Beaches Follow the Camino Fram Nature - Landes (Sunelia) Fuerteventura Tourist Board Garryvoe Hotel Georgia Department of Economic Development Gites De France Morbihan and Marne Glasnevin Cemetery Museum Gran Canaria Greater Fort Lauderdale

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page 020-021 14/10/2015 11:28 Page 2

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New Hampshire Tourism New Orleans/Louisiana Office of Tourism North Carolina North Cyprus Tourism Centre Northern Ireland Tourist Board Nourishing Aloe NYC & Company Olcote in Ceylon Ontario Tourism Marketing Oranmore Lodge Hotel Conf & Leisure Centre Oriel House Hotel Cork Orlando Flexticket PAB Travel Passport Service Pedras da Rainha Perla Di Mare - Corse (Sunelia) Pine Cliffs Resort PortAventura Quality Hotel Youghal Quebec Tourism Rapido Motorhomes Real Hotels Residence Lisa Maria - Corse (Sunelia) Ria Park Hotel & Spa Rimor Motorhomes Riu Hotels & Resorts River Shee Heritage Development Riviera Travel Rocky Mountaineer Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

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Tourist Board Siof Sibenik Knin County Trabolgan Holiday Village Trailfinders Tralee Chamber Alliance Travel the Unknown Travelmood Trinity College Dublin Tunisian National Tourist Office Turismo de Santiago de Compostela Turkish Airlines Turkish Culture and Tourism Office Unique Japan Tours Uniworld Boutique River Curises USIT Vermont Department Tourism VIA Rail Canada Villaggio Dei Fiori - Italie (Sunelia) Visit Florida Visit St Petersburg/Clearwater Visit USA Ireland Visit Wexford Visit Flanders Waterford Tourism Wendy Wu Tours WestJet Westport Plaza Hotel Wicklow County Tourism Zadar County Tourist Board


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NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 22

WINTER CRUISE 2015-6

What your clients should know

Ship off the old block

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his year is shaping up to be another big one for the cruise industry, with five huge new ocean ships and 29 river ships scheduled to launch. The first big cruise ship launch of 2014 is already under way. Norwegian Getaway cruised out of Rotterdam on January 11th and will be formally named in Miami on February 7. Sister ship to Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway launched last year, it ill include a Grammy museum, an ‘Illuminato-

rium’ featuring magic, illusions and supernatural effects, and Hollywood musical Legally Blonde. Norwegian (with the launch of Epic) and Royal Caribbean, who launch Quantum of the Seas in October, are attempting to rework a model that has remained unchanged for decades. All cruise ships come from the same template, more or less decided by the previous generation of Americans for Americans, but now some afterthought is being shown to

2015

■ Norwegian Escape 4,200 pax, October ■ AidaPrima 3,200 pax, December

2016

■ Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas 4,100 pax May ■ Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas 5,400 pax May ■ Carnival Vista, 4,000 pax, March 12 ■ Regent Explorer, 738 pax ■ Holland America Koningsdam 2,660 pax March ■ AidaPrima 3,250 pax March ■ Viking Sky 944 pax Summer ■ Seabourn Encore 604 pax autumn ■ Unnamed Star Cruises, 3,360 pax ■ TUI Mein Schiff 5 2500 pax

2017

the rest of the world. The essentials are: ■ a big crimson-upholstered theatre at the front over two floors, ■ a big crimson-upholstered dining room at the back over two floors, ■ a long casino in between on one level (Disney is the only cruise ship not to have a casino) ■ a shopping precinct between them on another level, usually the deck above the casino. The deck, where ship

meets fresh air after 11 storeys in midsized ships and 16 decks in some of the bigger beasts, will have: ■ a spa and an indoor pool at the front, ■ an open air pool and poolside bars in midship deck with an upper deck area for beach beds, ■ a big informal buffet restaurant at the back. Once you have been on one, you will know your way around them all. On top of that is an activity area (perhaps a rock climbing wall, a pitch

and putt, and a soccer court) on the roof/deck. The decks in between shopping/casino and the pools have corridors of cabins that go on for ever. Big ships offer fewer inside cabins and more balconies. The premium brands now offer balconies with 90pc of their cabins. Cabins, no matter what the view, tend to be small and confined. There is no escaping this fact although most lines now call them staterooms for image reasons.

They are standard design as well, but Norwegian Epic had a neat departure when they built their cabins/ staterooms with a curve, in the form of a wave. Each ship has a well kept secret cabin or two, one on a turn that can be bought for the same price as the one next door but it offers a little extra space. Knowing these secrets is the key to success as a travel agent. .

CRUISE LINE UPCOMING BUILDS ■ Viking Sky 944 pax Feb ■ Norwegian Bliss 4,200 pax Spring ■ Unnamed Princess Cruises, 3,560 pax summer ■ MSC Meraviglia 4,500 pax May 2017 ■ Unnamed MSC Seaside 5,300 pax November ■ TUI Mein Schiff 6 2500 pax ■ Silverseas Silver Muse 596 pax April

2018

■ Seabourn Ovation 604 pax spring ■ Blue Star Titanic II, 2,345 pax ■ Unnamed Royal Caribbean Oasis class 5,400 pax summer ■ Unnamed Carnival, 3,954 pax summer ■ Unnamed Norwegian 4,260 pax summer , ■ Unnamed Crystal Exclusive class ship 1,000 ■ Celebrity Project Edge class ship 2,900 ■ TUI Mein Schiff 7 2500 pax ■ Unnamed Holland America 2,660 pax March

2019

■ Unnamed MSC Seaside 5,300 pax May ■ Unnamed Royal Caribbean Oasis class 5,400 pax spring ■ Unnamed MSC Meraviglia sister ship 4,500 pax ■ Unnamed Norwegian, 4,260 pax summer ■ Unnamed Costa 6,600 pax ■ Unnamed Crystal Exclusive class ship 1,000 ■ TUI Mein Schiff 8 2500 pax ■ Unnamed Saga 540 pax ■ Carnival Corp nine cruise ships 2019-22

2020

■ Unnamed Celebrity Cruises Project Edge class ship 2,900 pax ■ Unnamed Costa, 6,600 pax ■ Unnamed China Xiamen, 2,000 pax ■ Unnamed Virgin Xiamen, 2,800 pax


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What your clients should know

NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 23

WINTER CRUISE 2015-6

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igger, better, more bells and whistles. Cruise companies have been investing in upgrades faster than their best-funded land based colleagues. It means that the ships people will sail in this winter are newer, have better dining options and more gadgets than their predecessors. Irish people are more aware of cruising as a holiday option with friends, friends of friends, aunties, uncles, neighbours telling us which ship they were in previous years. The new itineraries include new destinations (with our traveller mindset) that would be difficult to explore on land, like Norwegian Fjords, Baltics, South America, Asia and Black Sea cities. And while the ships get bigger (Oasis, Allure) and the technology gets better (Quantum, Anthem), the last generation of ships are still on offer under a rebranded cruise line like Pulmantours and at better prices. The European season has begun to extend again after shortening sharply during the recession. Cruise ships which once wintered long in the Mediterranean waters, into October and November, started departing earlier. But despite all the investment and noise, there are still plenty of Irish travellers who have either

Winters of content Purely functional until now, the new genration of cruise ships feature heavy artworks on their deck space never considered a holiday at sea, or dismissed the idea outright. How do agents tackle this? They should suggest a cruise when a customer asks about a destination. Choosing the right cruise is down to identifying needs. Tell them cruising is as relaxing as you like or as active as you want. The scenery changes and you only unpack once. The practicals are important: for example. towels are supplied by the cruise lines. There are fantastic gyms and classes available onboard, many cultural and lifestyle lectures and seminars along with fun elements, dance classes — and a dose of karaoke to

boot. Cruise holidays are ideal for single travellers. Some of the newer ships offer dedicated single cabins and lounge areas so single passengers can mingle. Cruising never stops moving forward from a navigational, fuel efficiency and environmental perspective. Choices of accommodation continue to evolve faster than demands of new customers. New builds are offering a lot more varied sized staterooms to cater for the different family and group mixes travelling together. There is no such thing as steerage anymore. All staterooms are well appointed, well above

water, and have all the mod cons of 4 and 5 star hotels. ruise lines are investing to bring the latest gadgets and gizmos onboard. Accommodation onboard is all mod cons with lots of options up to the suites with hot tubs, pianos etc. There are increasing numbers of speciality restaurants on the bigger ships and some cruise lines are seeking Michelin stars for the chefs. A key feedback, according to cruise companies, is the staff onboard — how friendly, professional. You just don't get the same level of consistency from a land based holiday.

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Cruise agents are seeing an increase in three generational families travelling for the big birthdays and an easy way for families to travel with something for everyone both onboard and ashore. Celebrity Cruises have moved away from the Steiner/Elemis product onboard in their Spa and moved to Canyon Ranch which is more about well being and lifestyle. Unlike other spas on land and water, they don't push products. The Irish market continued to grow through the recession as the customers took all of this in and to the all inclusive offerings onboard and capitalised on the increased

appetite for the cruise lines to compete with land based standards in cuisine. Some of the best value cruise options are repositioning cruises as the bigger ships move from the Caribbean to Europe in spring, including, for the first time since her launch, Oasis of the Seas in October 2015 and the next-generation Quantum of the Seas. This means lots of trans-Atlantic crossings which are also being polished up for agency sales teams. Eleven Royal Caribbean International ships will call at 35 destinations on these repositioning cruises in 2015.

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SAY HELLO TO THOMSON DISCOVERY The latest addition to our fleet with gourmet dining, luxury spa and spacious balcony cabins. And with direct flights from Dublin and Cork, you’ll have even more reasons to smile.

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WINTER CRUISE 2015-6

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ll of them hae recently been revitalised under the cruise line’s $300m programme with enhancements such as the aerial-acrobatic entertainment production on Radiance and Vision class ships. They have received new or signature restaurants, up to 10 per ship, including Chef’s Table, Chops Grille Steakhouse, Izumi Asian Cruise, Giovanni’s Table, and Rita’s Cantina for an additional charge, and complimentary restaurants, such as the Park Café gourmet deli and Boardwalk Dog House. Shore options westbound include the caldera lakes, on Sete Cidades Crater Lakes at Ponta Delgada, The Azores; or explore Teide in Tenerife, the Canary Islands, volcanic ecosystems, Cabo Girao in Madeira. Drinks packages have been a big success story for both trade and consumer. Standard coffee, tea and water are included in the price of your cruise, The cheapest packages cover beer and the house wine, and then can be topped up. The top end ships include drinks in their all inclusive prices. MSC’s Allegrissimo package costs €26pp per day (5pc commissionable to the agent), allowing unlimited beer, wine, cocktails, spirits, Ice cream, tea coffees etc. Royal Caribbean Classic drinks package is Eu36/USD$40pp per day

with limited wine and beer optiosn, premium drinks package (includes spirits) Eu41/$55pp per day, ultimate drinks package for $65 per day and the wine and dine package is $99 per day. Non alcoholic drinks packages are also on sale. Royal have an evian water package for $28.45, juice package for $20.15. A gratuity of 15pc is included in all package prices. A typical all round package with Celebrity Cruises is from $39 per day (all soft drinks, smoothies, speciality coffees, wines, beers and of course cocktails - an apple martini is calling). For most winter cruisers the Caribbean is where the action is. It can be cheaper to cruise in the Caribbean than in Europe. Welcome to the strange pricing structures and economies of scale employed by the cruise companies.

What your clients should know

Accommodation on Allure of the Seas English online whole- — compared to prices for cember. The five itiner- less than it was five years aries on Thomson Dream ago. Comparison engine saler Bonvoyage says cruises leaving this year take in central American MarketWatch says that prices there are down or in 2015 show a 19pc decrease in cost. as well as Caribbean the cheapest cruise prices 22pc compared to 2008. The company says The average responports, and one itinerary available today are down includes an overnight 43pc from the cheapest cruise lines are compen- dent paid $1,900 per persating for the drop in the son five years ago, while stop in Havana – US price in 2009. MarketWatch says the headline price by generat- the average respondent ships are not able to visit ruising is the easy cheapest cruises on Car- ing more from onboard planning to cruise this Cuba. way to see the In recent winters nival start at just $35 a spend, such as spa treat- year or in 2015 will pay Caribbean in one but Royal ments, speciality dining 22pc lower, at $1,500 per Dubai, Abu Dhabi and night, holiday, visiting 10 isperson. Sharm El Sheikh have all Caribbean is not far be- and higher drinks costs. lands in two weeks for inIt also said customers In a survey, 38pc of rebeen winter cruise op- hind, at $39 per person. stance. In 2015, 239 ships Bargain hunters can are becoming more wary spondents said that, detions with direct flights with 378,256 beds are from Ireland. Splendour sail for as low as $349 for of added onboard costs - spite the lower costs and scheduled to sail in the of the Seas will be operat- seven nights during low and the report suggests potential onboard cuts, Caribbean, up from 235 operators cannot get away they had noticed iming in the Gulf from De- demand periods. ships and 367,000 beds in The slow season for with pushing up onboard provements in services cember 2014 through to 2014. cruises, the surge in in- costs any further. onboard cruises in the April 2016. That is good news for past five years. But great prices have ventory and a run of just cruisers as it gives them Of these, 46pc said driven some of these win- plain bad news, including he price difference better prices on the ships ter cruisers back to the assaults, breakdowns and in cruises from they are now a lot more sailing out of Fort Laudnorovirus outbreaks, have Caribbean. 2011 — when the wary of added costs onerdale, Miami and Port all contributed. Bonvoyage site launched board a cruise, as well as Canaveral. he average price Thomson is starting paid for a cruise is sailings from Jamaica’s SHIP HOMEPORTS W1NTER 2015-6 now over a fifth Montego Bay in late DeMiami - Sky: CELEBRITY Constellation – Caribbean Miami - Getaway Eclipse – Caribbean Miami - Escape SHIP HOMEPORTS SUMMER 2016 New Orleans - Dawn Equinox - Caribbean Hamburg - Splendida (with stops in ROYAL CARIBBEAN Galapagos – Xpedition and in port New York - Breakaway Barcelona - Brilliance, Ireland) New York - Gem for the Rio festival on 29 Jan 2016. Barcelona - Harmony, Rome - Preziosa Millennium - Japan Port Canaveral (Orlando) - Spirit: Venice - Magnifica Barcelona - Ovation, Reflection - Caribbean Tampa, Florida - Star Barcelona - Rhapsody, Venice - Sinfonia Silhouette - Caribbean MSC CELEBRITY Vision,Copenhagen/ Stockholm Solstice - South Pacific itins Buenos Aires - Poesia – Serenade, Amsterdam - Silhouette Dubai Musica – Dec 12 –Feb 276) Summit– Caribbean ex San Juan Rome - Jewel,Southampton - IndeAthens - Equinox NORWEGIAN Durban - Armonia pendence, Barcelona - Constellation Barcelona - Epic Fort de France - Orchestra Southampton - Navigator, Barcelona - Equinox Buenos Aires,/Valparaiso, - Sun Las Palmas Opera Dec 12-Mar 5 Istanbul - Equinox Southampton to Rio de Janeiro - Lirica Honolulu Pride of America Rome – Equinox, Reflection, ConVenice - Rhapsody, Vision, Houston - Jade Santos - Magnifica MSC stellation Santos - Sinfonia Los Angeles - Jewel Barcelona - Fantastia Southampton - Eclipse Miami - Pearl: Venice Musica (until Dec 12) Venice - Constellation

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What your clients should know

NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 25

WINTER CRUISE 2015-6 the perceived value of amenities, than they were five years ago. Aspects of cruises including food and entertainment quality (31pc), level of service (22pc) and quality of staff (19pc) topped the list of the places these individuals could see that improvements had been made in the previous five years. Of those questioned in the study, 24pc stated that the reduced costs advertised in the past five years were one of the main reasons they decided to choose a cruise holiday.

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he biggest ships of all, the 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, operate on alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries. Oasis and Allure of the Seas, operating from Fort Lauderdale, and Freedom of the Seas operating from Port Canaveral (an option which is about €300 cheaper, with the added benefit of good Orlando connections and options of staying to do the theme parks en route), are complex, floating resorts, equipped with superb facilities which make them a good choice for active types and families with school-age children. Typically they offer a choice of restaurants serving different types of cuisine, several swimming pools, golf practice areas, state-of-the-art fitness centres and spas, video games and outdoor activities. Evening entertainment is usually unstinting and varied and often includes a Broadway-style show. The disadvantage is the complicated deck plans it can take a week to find your way around. The service is inevitably less personal than smaller ships, where the crew quickly get to know each passenger. Because of their size, the largest ships are unable to sail into river

Hurtigruten Northern Lights cruise from Tromso has direct flgihts from Dublin mouths and dock along- rons feature historic sites sion this next year's hair side in some ports - which (Fort San Felipe), cut ($100 is not abnormeans they have to an- beaches and waterfalls. mal,) and spa treatment chor a short way from the Having already estab- ($200 is not abnormal). shore. lished an important base Passengers can then in Labadee in Haiti, hore excursions can face long queues to get Royal Caribbean be classically overashore by tender, the launched its own readypriced. At Civismall boats still required made cruise village in taveccia you can get the by some ports. Falmouth, Jamaica and an underground into Rome Alternatives to the unaffiliated port has and pay admission the Caribbean include Ex- opened at Banana Coast Vatican for a round total plorer of the seas operat- in Trujillo, Honduras, of €20. The shore excuring out of New York. with duty-free jewellery sion sold by the cruise There has been a revo- stores, themed bars, an arlution on the other side of tisans market and 10 the gangway as well. acres of beachfront. Private islands are now A few years ago it is the norm. Each cruise line quite common for Irish has at least a couple of people to pick Palma or Caribbean beach stops in Malaga as their port of which they have invested embarkation. They are heavily and not without easier and less expensive controversy, critics con- to get flights to. The probsider it an undesirable lem is cruise companies trend to keep cruise pas- don't think like that. They sengers away from the lo- like all the passengers to cals. get on at one point, and Now the race is on for get off at the same point, private Caribbean ports. seven or ten or 14 days Custom-built ports have later. become a regular feature Being inflexible means of Caribbean cruising. In they can offer cheaper July, Carnival announced rates. Cheaper rates a $70 million cruise port means more pressure on project on Haiti’s north- passengers to pay for exern Turtle Island. tras. Carnival opened the The extra could be the $60m pier-and-play- mandatory gratuity or the ground in Grand Turk in $25 to eat a restaurant, or 2006, the $62m Ma- the soft drinks and glasses hogany Bay in Roatan, of wine by the pool bar Honduras in 2009 and the which are priced like $65m Maimon Bay, just Temple Bar pints of west of Puerto Plata on Guinness a at midnight. the Dominican Republic's it is a truth universally north coast last winter. held among the sea peoThese big custom-built ple that cruise customers ports come with an adja- are grumpy as they discent retail, dining and embark. recreation complex, as To make up for a cheap well as a shore tour and lead-in fares, companies taxi staging area. Nearby need to charge you more. Puerto Plata and its envi- This year's shore excur-

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company will cost you four times more and sometimes more. Other cruise companies are leaving out things that used to be part of your package. Some of them ask you if you want your bed made up. Some people don't, but what happens in less than the price comes down than those who do want a bed made up are now being asked to pay more

for them. Putting 4,000 people on the same ship brings immediate cost savings to the cruise company. Convincing 4,000 people that they are missing out on something unless they pay for extras is more convincing and easlly accomplished when here are 4,000 on one ship. To see the result of all of this all you need to stand by the exit on disembarkation day. The passengers are almost invariably grumpy. The close quarters in a small cabin has caused familial strife in many cases but the real stress is financial. A cruise is supposed to save you money because food is included.


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IRISH FERRIES is offering early booking discounts of up to €323 on 7 night breaks for 2016 Haven Holidays. The offer closes on November 2nd. A €50 booking deposit is all that is required to secure best prices, choice of park, dates and accommodation. Along with evening entertainment aimed at ensuring happy kids mean happy parents, each park boasts activities to suit all the family including outdoor and heated indoor pools, children’s paddling pools, go karting, bike hire, kid’s clubs, ten-pin bowling, pitch & putt and tennis courts. AIDA Cruises published their March 2016April 2017 and October 2017 cruise programmes, featuring 90 cruises to 180 ports.

SILVERSEA launched an 'early book-

COSTA Cruises published its cruise program for up to October 2017. ing bonus' for autumn 2016 voyages

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

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

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

AMBER COVE, Carnival's $85m

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

AMERICAN PRIDE The 150passenger Queen of the Mississippi will be renamed American Pride when it moves from the Mississippi to the Columbia and Snake rivers in 2016. HURTIGRUTEN is offering cruise

passengers one free night in Kirkenes Snowhotel for April 2016 and available when booking a seven-day Classic Voyage South.

COSTA Cruises has introduced a dedicated vegan menu.

DISNEY Cruise Line launched their 2017 cruise schedule with three- to seven-night cruises out of Port Canaveral on Disney Fantasy, Dream and Wonder. MAJESTIC Princess is the name of Princess new cruise ship , scheduled to launch summer 2017 offering cruises to Japan and Korea from Shanghai. The 2,000-passenger Dawn Princess will move to the P&O fleet in May 2017.

Club Royal cards are upgraded on the push of a button by Alice Swords

Year of Club Royal Sunway agent presses button to upgrade gold cards

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oyal Caribbean can continue to grow Ireland at a faster rate than England in the coming years, London based two country director of sales Ben Bouldin believes. He was speaking as Club Royal, Royal Caribbean’s agent incentive scheme, celebrated its first birthday. He promised more Club Royal incentive events would take place in Ireland next year. “All the money cannot buy type events that we have done have been based in England. This has been slightly more problematic because it is a slightly more challenging trip for our agents to get to.” “As of next year we will do some

dedicated Ireland events for those who don’t feel they can make it across. As of next years there will become dedicated Irish events. Irish agents will still be included for the English events.” “We found a lot more competition in Ireland last year. This year we are better resourced head office in Holly. We have more consistent dialogue with more agents on a week to week basis.” “We have made a big bet on Ireland. My total team is shy of 30 people. In terms of people on the road we have seven in the England and a dedicated one in Ireland. From an ac-

count manager point of view we have five two of whom are in Ireland. And we have Holly who is in a team of six who is dedicated to Ireland. we are really over investing.” “We are passionate about Ireland. We have a team that is probably the envy of any travel partner in Ireland. There are not too many brands that have the ability to resource their Irish business like we have.” “We are serious about Ireland. Everyone wants to do business with us. And we will make best endeavours to do so.” “And if we are not in touch with them, get in touch with us.”

DISNEY WINS CRUISE CRITIC GONG

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isney was voted best cruise line by users of cruise reviews site Cruise Critic. The largely American based voters voted Disney Dream best large ship and

Disney Wonder best mid size ship. Pacific Princess beat Crystal Serenity and Azamara Quest in the best small ship category, Uniworld won best river

cruise. The English version of cruise critic picked P&O Cruises’ Britannia as their best new ship and Crystal Cruises as best for luxury. Fred Olsen won the best

itineraries Ocean and CroisiEurope best itineraries in the rivercruise category, both companies are represented in Ireland by Alan Lynch's Cruisescapes.


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CARNIVAL launched Fly2Fun, which lets passengers make and customise reservations with a variety of options.

OCEANIA Cruises launched their

2016/2017 Season with 89 sailings (ranging from seven to 180 days), 60 new itineraries and 19 new ports of call

CELEBRITY A rooftop Terrace will

open on Celebrity Infinity on December 5. Tuscan Grille will replace The Normandie on Celebrity Summit.

HOLLAND America Line is to raise the daily gratuity automatically added to passengers' accounts from December 1 to US$12.50 (up from US$11.50) per person per day. Passengers in suites will be charged US$13.50, up from US$12 per person per day. The move follows similar increases introduced this year by other cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and twice in five months by Norwegian Cruise Line. SAGA Cruises placed an order for a bou-

Norwegian Escape’s artwork designed by wildlife artist Guy Harvey

Escape route

NCL plan Hamburg and Southampton inaugurals

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orwegian Cruise Line's largest ship the 4,200 passenger Norwegian Escape, floated out of the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany in advance of its inaugurals in Hamburg on October 22 and Miami on November 14. Features on Norwegian Escape, to launch in November, include two restaurants from celebrity chef Jose Garces, International gourmet dishes will be available in Food Republic, located in former cabin space, now an extended Waterfront on Deck 8. Norwegian’s first swine bar will be the Cellars, a Michael Mondavi Family Wine Bar. The ship will feature a series of branded dining and entertainment ex-

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periences: two new speciality restaurants from chef Jose Garces; the Food Republic emporium from The Pubbelly Restaurant Group; the District Brew House; The Cellars Michael Mondavi Family wine bar; new Supper Club; a craft beer hall from Miami-based craft brewery Wynwood, two Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals; and the musical Million Dollar Quartet, and two boutiques, Lacoste and Carolina Herrera The ship features a Snow Room in its Thermal Suite, which Norwegian Cruise Line is billing as the largest at sea, Wildlife artist Guy Harvey designed the hull artwork. Norwegian Escape is the latest in the "Breakaway Plus" class of cruise

ships which will include the Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss. After its pre-launch cruise out of Southampton, the Norwegian Escape will cross the Atlantic to its homeport in Miami.Armando Christian Perez, aka Pitbull, will be the honorary Godfather and headline performer at Norwegian Escape’s christening ceremony at PortMiami. It is scheduled to replace the Norwegian Epic, sailing seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruising to Tortola, British Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. The Norwegian Getaway will move to the Western Caribbean run.

CRUISE LINES RUSH TO CHINA

he equivalent of the Klondyke gold rush has led more cruise lines in quest of the lucrative Chinese cruise market. Carnival Cruise Line and AIDA -- both owned by Carnival Corporation -- announced that they will base ships in China by 2017. Royal Caribbean already dedicated Quantum of the Seas to the Chinese market.

Norwegian Cruise Line is to base the line's second 4,200-passenger Breakaway Plus-class vessel in China when it completes construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard. It is scheduled for delivery in spring 2017 and will feature accommodation, cuisine and onboard experiences specifically geared to the holiday preferences

of Chinese passengers. Chief Executive Frank Del Rio told the CruiseWorld China summit in Shanghai, “our new purpose-built ship for China will have characteristics that are authentic to Norwegian Cruise Line and yet distinctively Chinese in all of its sensibility." To support the company's expansion in the market,

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has opened offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, serving its three brands - Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Sea Cruises. The move by Carnival means that four of the company's 10 brands will be home ported in China.

tique cruise ship with 540 suites and cabins to be delivered in Summer 2019 with an option to order a second for delivery in 2021. The allbalcony ship will be built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany and replace one of the existing two ships in the Saga fleet, Saga Pearl II and Saga Sapphire. Around 15pc-- or 81 cabins will be for solo passengers.

CUNARD Queen Mary 2's Queens and

Princess Grill suites and restaurants are to undergo major refurbishments over May and June of next year.

CARNIVAL Ships owned by Carnival

Corporation's 10 brands, including AIDA, Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Cunard and P&O are to get sophisticated wi-fi and more internet package choices. The WiFi@Sea system, which boosts wi-fi capability and bandwidth, has already been installed on 30 ships across the company's fleets.

HOLLAND AMERICA has

teamed up with Washington State's Chateau Ste. Michelle winery to offer a new wineblending venue and experience on its newest ship, Koningsdam.

SILVERSEA will operate voyages to

Antartica this year and next to mark the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition. Rebecca Stephens and Michael Palin will take part in the expeditions.

IRISH FERRIES celebrated 20 years of their Rosslare-Roscoff service on board the Oscar Wilde.

CRYSTAL Cruises has announced allinclusive three-night pre- or post-cruise stays in Berlin. CELEBRITY Cruises is to charge $5

for late night room service between 11 pm and 6am on all cruises after October 1.

AZAMARA Club Cruises will add spa suites to Journey and Quest when they undergo a major renovation next year.


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THE FLYING COLUMN

ROUTES Shannon and Cork were shortlisted for a marketing award in their category (4m passengers) at World Routes in Durban. Shannon was listed for the third year in succession, having won the award last year. Cork were shortlisted for the second year in succession. Category winner was Halifax, where Aer Rianta International have an operation and whose weekly Dublin service has been confirmed for an extended season in 2016. Other airport category winners were Dubai, Copenhagen and Prague with Tourism Ireland winning the destination and overall awards.

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

AFRICA Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO

of Ethiopian, told World Routes in Durban that African countries should be allowed to designate foreign carrier to be de-facto flag carrier. Delegates heard that the average cost of a midhaul flight in Africa is 45pc more expensive than in Europe.

CONGO‘s plane grounded in a debt row was released by the High Court. It ruled that the that the debt did not concern Congo Airways. AVOLON delivered an A320-200 to ViDELTA will use a B764 in place of B763

etJet.

next summer on Dublin to Atlanta. Heathrow and Scotland took place over the weekend..

RYANAIR is to distribute €398m Aer

BA are to move a Boeing 777-300ER to its San Diego service from March 27, launching of First Class for this market. Lingus proceeds to shareholders.

WOW Air are registering their fleet with a

sense of humour, after their 2 A321s being registered as TF-MOM and TF-DAD, their 2 new A320s are TF-SIS and TF-BRO.

QATAR and Australia signed an agreement to increase flights between the two countries. Virgin Atlantic and Qatar Airways ended their partnership. SAFETY A €28m investment package for safety and security enhancements at the regional airports to ensure connectivity for balanced regional development is included in the Irish government Capital Plan. AMERICAN is offering AAdvantage

members up to 125,000 bonus miles when flying transatlantic with AA, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia or OpenSkies (although not yet Aer Lingus).

AER LINGUS IAG partner Vueling is to launch eight routes from Charles De Gaulle in May.

OMAN Air is to add a fifth weekly flight to Paris from October 25.

INTRO Aviation is expected to reduce its

stake in CityJet, the regional airline, as part of a capital restructuring.

RHODES airport closed due to re-emergence of a sinkhole in the runway.

Dublin airport T1's famous flight information screen, the largest in Europe is to be removed over the coming weeks and replaced with 15 flight information screens, three to the side of each check-in island.

Superjet and CRJ Cityjet double whammy in its new fleet strategy

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branch of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation is negotiating the delivery of 5 Sukhoi Superjet 100 (SSJ-100) aircraft to the Irish CityJet airline. The deal, which includes options for additional Superjets, was con-

firmed at the European Regions Airline Association general assembly being held in Berlin In the meantime, CityJet will acquire the Bombardier CRJ aircraft from a customer that signed a firm purchase agreement for eight CRJ900

aircraft and took options on an additional six. The customer has requested to remain unidentified at this time. It is speculated the customer is Falko Regional Aircraft which has established relationships with CityJet and Bombardier.

MAIRE: ‘CURTAIL REGULATION’

mmanuelle Maire of the European Commission told the CAPA World Aviation Summit 2015 that EU wants to ensure that regulatory barriers to market entry are kept at the lowest possible level. She said this would allow the introduction of

new players, as well as airlines growing and normalising at the international level. She said the EU has historically been in favour of consolidation and with the single aviation market wants to create the conditions for pan-European airlines, strong enough to face

international competition. CarTrawler Chief Technology Officer Bobby Healy said it is now probably too late for airlines to fend off the advances into the distribution space of technology giants like Google. According to Mr Healy, these companies will have

access to more insightful data and will be more technologically enabled to engage with the future passenger. If these companies get access to inventory and availability it will be “like a drug”, such as how Google analytics is to many companies now.

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clearance Dylan DeFrancisci informed participants at a briefing that initial agreements had been reached with Sweden and Dominican Republic.

As result Stockholm Arlanda and Punta Cana would be the first new airports coming on line. Final agreements should be in place with both na-

tions by end of this year, with much of 2016 being taken up with facility construction with goal of opening both facilities by Q1 or Q2 2017.

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STOCKHOLM GET PRE-CLEARANCE

S pre-clearance is expected to commence at Stockholm and Punta Cana in 2017. US CBP Director of Pre-


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THE FLYING COLUMN

5 new Med routes Pisa heads up Aer Lingus summer 2016 schedule

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er Lingus released details of their five services to the Med in summer 2016. Two trans-Atlantic routes to follow from Dublin for summer 2016. The key routes are Dublin to Pisa 3w, Murcia 4w, Montpellier 2w, Cork-Dusseldorf 2w and Belfast-Alicante 5w. Capacity increases from Dublin include Alicante (up 92pc), Athens 14pc, Barcelona 8pc, Bilbao 6pc, Bordeaux 7pc, Bourgas 13pc, Catania 16pc, Corfu 4pc, Dubrovnik 19pc, Faro 18pc, Lanzarote 4pc, Lanzarote 4pc, Lisbon 14pc, Malaga 8pc, Naples 6pc, Palma 13pc, Perpignan 35pc, Pula 61pc, Santiago de Compostela 7pc, Tenerife 4pc, Toulouse 13pc and Venice 20pc.

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AER LINGUS passenger traffic (in

September was up 9.1pc and passenger load factor up 2.9 points to 88.3pc. August had been up 2.5 points to 90.3pc. Aer Lingus traffic information has been curtailed following the airline becoming part of IAG.

BELFAST FRANKFURT

Mike Rutter said Aer Lingus has been involved in discussions with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment on introducing flights between Northern Ireland and Munich or Frankfurt. He stressed that tourism links between Northern Ireland and Germany must be strengthened before a route can be offered.

Deborah McGuirk, left, and Shannen McDonnell help launch Aer Lingus summer 2016 schedule

RYANAIR 26 AIRCRAFT IN DUBLIN

yanair will base 26 aircraft in Dublin for summer 2016. COO David O’Brien said that one in three of all European short haul passengers will be flying Ryanair in the near future. Ryanair will increase seat capacity for summer 2016 by 15pc and increase winter capacity further. David O’Brien says Ryanair winter seats used to run at 66pc of their summer levels at Dublin, in winter 2015-6 that will be up to 80pc. A cascade of new announcements form Ryanair this autumn include a hold the fare option to come in October with the new website, defibrillators in November (the new uniforms and interiors are due in December),

AUSTRIA tour operator Prima Reisen will operate a charter service from Shannon to Vienna from July to early September 2016.

on top of already-announced car hire partnership with Cartrawler, native app, new open-source passenger blogs, reduced sports fees, US website and their third GDS partner, Kenny Jacobs stressed that fares were at the core of the Ryanair mission. We set up as the good guys and we are still the good guys. “This is still the baby in the bathwater, what makes us special, low costs.” David O’Brien anticipated more competition, not just in Ireland but across Europe to keep fares down. Ryanair has warned any second runway at Dublin Airport must be built at a low cost (less than €200m) and that the company will look to other European airports to grow traf-

fic if the capital is not able to facilitate increasing passenger numbers.

RYANAIR SUMMER 2016

Alicante 2 daily, Amsterdam 4 daily, Barcelona 3 daily, Berlin 2 daily, Birmingham 6 daily, Brussels 3 daily, Budapest 9 weekly, East Midlands 2 daily, Liverpool 4 daily, London Gatwick 6 daily Madrid 3 daily, Malaga 3 daily, Manchester 6 daily Venice 5w Warsaw 1 daily

RYANAIR is looking to move to Helsinki airport as it cuts flights from Tampere and Lappeenranta. Operations at Lappeenranta, on the Russian border, are set to shut down completely. Tampere will see services cut from seven destinations to just two from next summer. CITYJET Announced two new routes

from Cork for next summer, La Rochelle 2 pw and Nantes, 1 pw. The airline is also examining the possibility of expanding into other French cities like Toulon and Brive (near Bordeaux) but executive chairman Pat Byrne ruled out an Italian expansion until 2017 at the earliest.

DUBLIN Airport was named as the national winner at this year’s National Q Mark Awards. Hailed as “The Custodians of Business Excellence”.

BOHAI BUY Chinese lessor Bohai Leasing has emerged as a possible buyer for Dublin-based AWAS. Bohai recently acquired Avolon, also Dublin-based, in a $7.6 bn deal. It appears likely that Avolon will be merged with Bohai's existing leasing entity, Hong Kong Aviation Capital. BELFAST CITY A multi-million pound refinancing deal has been completed at George Best Belfast City Airport, scotching rumours that the facility may be put up for sale.

For more information please contact us at +353-1-679-3958 or at aircanada@premair.ie


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AERCAP has completed the sale of a ten-aircraft portfolio to an entity advised by Magnetar Capital with $14.6 bn assets under management. The aircraft types are 4 A330200s, 2 B777-200ERs, 2 B777-300ERs and 2 A320-200s with an average age of approximately 10.5 years. As part of the sale, AerCap has entered into an agreement with the purchaser under which it will continue to service the portfolio.

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

DUBLIN

Airport September figures up 14pc to a record 2.3m, 15pc year to date. The airport is looking at 24.96m passengers in 2015 if 15pc growth is sustained.

WIZZAIR is to fly Warsaw to Bristol and

BA launched a 50pc extra points promotion on flights across the BA, American Airlines and Iberia networks flown before December 15.

Aberdeen from May.

KLM postponed the debut of its B787-9

Dreamliner until mid-November for its Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi-Bahrain route.

EMIRATES is to fly double-daily to Phuket, it previously planned to increase the current daily B777-300ER service, operating as EK378/379, to 11-times weekly from December 1.

UNITED Airlines added a new seat to its

domestic first class cabin on an A319. It will gradually be retrofitted to other A319s, A320s, B737s and B757s until the end of 2016.

ETIHAD announced a marketing partner-

ship with private jet company Chapman Freeborn to promote the carrier’s Residence and First Apartment cabins on their A380 fleet. Picture shows Shane O’Hare, Etihad Airways’ Senior Vice President Marketing, and Russi Batliwala, CEO of Chapman Freeborn.

AMERICAN Airlines rolled out a live tracking service for checked baggage. AWAS delivered a B747-400F to Kalitta Air. Etihad carried 230,000 passengers during Eid Al Adha, up 20pc YOY.

BOEING and China announced an initiative to turn agricultural waste into biofuel.

GOOGLE Scott Friesen of Google told the World Low Cost Airlines Congress in London that travellers make 32.5 visits to 10.3 websites in 4.2 categories before they click "Book" for travel. DUBLIN The food hall at Dublin airport

Terminal 1 opened, completing an €8m upgrade of shopping and eating facilities.

EUROPE’s Court of Justice ruled air-

lines must pay compensation and can no longer claim exemption on delay compensation problems caused during, or due to a lack of, aircraft maintenance or extraordinary circumstances

BA is to close its Gatwick lounge in January in advance of its move across to the South Terminal in November 2016, leaving ten months during which there will be no BA lounge in the North Terminal.

Aer Lingus website has introduced a ‘hold the fare’ option

Websites revamp Aer Lingus rebuilds, Ryanair wants to be Amazon

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er Lingus unveiled a website upgrade that it says will "transform" the online booking process for passengers. The site: new.aerlingus.com, the beta preview site, presents an entirely new website that the airline says has been redesigned from the ground up. The booking process has been simplified into six steps, meaning managing your trip is now easier. In addition a new section full of tips, advice and inspiration for future trips should benefit guests with their travel plans. ■ Farefinder lets customers see a full 30 days of prices in one go, so it’s easy to plan the smartest dates to travel. ■ Pricelock can freeze any quoted short haul fare for 24 hours for €5 per flight and reserve a transatlantic fare with a deposit. ■ An Explore tool allows passengers tailor-make a trip according to your budget, how far they wish to fly and the nature of their trip with recommendations for places to visit

and things to do in over 180 destinations. ■ Flight history, personal details and payment details are stored, to save customers time and effort the next time they book. ■ Bookings can be completed in six steps. Recent searches are saved and customers can see all the benefits of each fare in one place. A trip summary basket provides a breakdown of all the steps of the booking in one place. ■ Customers can change details and add extra purchases like car parking, travel insurance and pre-booked meals more easily. ■ Check-in can be completed for all flights up to 30 days in advance of travel. The website is part of its new brand repositioning which launched this Spring, ‘Smarts Flies Aer Lingus’, Ryanair launched its new website on October 15, promising a new departure for airline websites. Michael O'Leary said “we now have an opportunity with the new

website to build Ryanair.com not just as the airline's website but as a kind of Amazon for travel in Europe. All the services will be available on Ryanair.com - hotels, Tripadvisor we want to disintermediate all the disintermediators...We have the scale to do it." He said the website is central to Ryanair’s plans to double the company's profits to €2bn a year over the next six to eight years. Earlier this year EasyJet and Air France rejected Ryanair’s offer to have their prices shown on Ryanair’s web-site and Ryanair is instead considering 'scraping' prices using internet tools to show them on the site without their rivals' permission, Michael O'Leary said. Ryanair.com currently sells hotel rooms in a partnership with Priceline Group's Booking.com, but O'Leary said that Ryanair wants to become a direct distributor of unsold hotel rooms by charging lower levies than rival sites such as Booking.com and Expedia’s Hotels.com.

RYANAIR: NO ROOM FOR AGENTS

R

yanair Chief Commercial Officer David O'Brien told the CAPA World Aviation Summit in Helsinki. "Travel agents and travel management companies

role into the future will be zero. What we aim towards is for our website to be the first port of call”. He described the number of bookings Ryanair currently takes through GDS inter-

mediaries as "very few". Instead, O'Brien suggested airlines would soon be listing one another's fares on their websites, supplanting the role of online travel agents.

"The idea of showing other airlines' fares on your own website has been scoffed at, but there are some meaningful discussions now”.


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THE FLYING COLUMN Aviation with Gerry O’Hare DAA ANTICIPATE 20+ NEW ROUTES RUNWAY

NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 31

D

AA are optimistic about their negotiations with a number of carrier to short haul destinations for 2016. While the perennial Delhi and Bei-

jing options are still in play the airport team is not optimistic that either of these will commence in 2016. Dublin had 28 new routes and six new airlines in 2015, they expect sim-

ilar number of new routes and three or four new airlines in 2016. Aer Lingus have announced three new summer routes from Dublin in 2016.

Bjørn Kjos: the man who brought trans-Atlantic services to Cork

Cork’s T/A break Boston services ends 55 year wait for long haul

C

ork waited 55 years for its first trans-Atlantic route, and then got two of them. Norwegian are to operate CorkBoston 4w from next May using a 186-seat B738. They promised CorkNew York in 2017 and a CorkBarcelona 4w service from May 2016, all operated under Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International. They serve a valuable purpose for Bjørn Kjos’s airline. Kjos told Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe: "This is only the beginning of our plans for new routes in Ireland but our expansion relies on the US Department of Transportation approving Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign carrier permit. The Cork routes will help fend off American accusations that Norwegian is using Ireland as a flag of convenience. US Department of Transportation department officials say the Norwegian Air International application for US approval is still under review, but airline industry observers say the company may be experiencing the equivalent of a pocket veto by Transportation Secretary An-

thony Foxx. Be prepared for a tight squeeze. Norwegian’s seat pitch is 29 inches, three inches less than Ryanair. Norwegian is to add Boston in May 2016 with 4w per week from Gatwick, 2 from Oslo and 1 from Copenhagen, all B787. Existing narrowbody trans-Atlantic services include Europe Airpost’s Dublin to Halifax in Nova Scotia, Westjet Dublin and Glasgow to St John’s in Newfoundland, SAS plan a service from Copenhagen to New York using a reconfigured B737 with 66 economy and 20 business class seats, while, famously, the former Budget Travel ran a 737 charter service to Dominican Republic via St John's in winter 2008-9. It follows a period of decline for Cork which had 3.25m passengers in the peak year of 2008 but fell to 2m during the recession and continues to fall during 2015. MD of Cork Airport Niall MacCarthy described 2015 as having a very encouraging start saying that the summer has been one of the busiest since the new terminal opened in 2006.

Over 1m passengers flew in and out of Cork Airport in the first half of the year, versus 1.05m in 2014, with over 2m expected to fly through by year end. He said he was expecting passenger numbers to return to growth in 2016. Cork airport has looked at the Cork-Dublin route and discussed it with a number of airlines, but mcCarthy said it was not viable as a point-to-point route although it may be viable as a feeder for transatlantic routes. Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “Norwegian is leading the way in offering affordable transatlantic travel and with the new generation aircraft we have on order, we now have exciting plans to offer low-cost flights from Cork to Boston in 2016 and Cork to New York in 2017. Bjorn Kjos, who has 100 738s on order, previously told Travel Extra that he was able to purchase his aircraft from Boeing at rates that would make leasing companies jealous. Niall McCarthy says that 80pc of our Irish originating passengers through the airport in the first half of this year were from County Cork.

RYANAIR: NO ROOM FOR AGENTS

D

ublin Airport MD Vincent Harrison, told the CAPA World Aviation Summit 2015 that low cost longhaul carriers will focus on

new, thinner routes. He pointed to the recently announced CorkBoston route by Norwegian Air International. New routes will be

added by low cost longhaul carriers, in addition to competing on well-established trunk routes, which they can “attack” through lower fares.

He pointed to the recently announced CorkBoston route by Norwegian Air International.

Incursions Action Group is to be reconstituted as a Runway Safety Group with extended remit to review ramp and taxiway events under the new State Safety Plan 2015-2018. The plan updates mitigating actions being taken at the State level to address key risks in the civil aviation system. Actions include increased collaboration between the regulator and organisations (i.e. via Safety Management System) to improve the collection and analysis of lower tier safety indicators and actions aimed at the General Aviation community to address airspace infringement and midair collision.

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

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

IAA Traffic in Irish airspace was up 5.4pc

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

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

RYANAIR traffic was up 12pc to 9.55m

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

DUBLIN Airport celebrated their 75th anniversary with limited edition Irish whiskey. Picture shows DAA Alcohol Retail Category Manager Rachel Cartwright with Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison. LONDON City Airport research into

plane spotters indicated 43pc are under the age of 25 and only 6pc of retirement age.

AIR FRANCE is negotiating with

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

TURKISH Airlines launched their

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

ETIHAD launched a mobile exhibition to showcase new cabin and inflight service products.


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THE FLYING COLUMN

METRO The largest single project in the

Aviation with Gerry O’Hare

Irish government Capital Plan will be a new metro to the airport: the National Transport Authority has recommended that the LUAS with some underground segments address the transport needs of the Swords/ Airport/ City-Centre Corridor. It is planned that Metro North will be in operation by 2026/2027. Travel demand is forecast to grow by up to 40pc by 2033.

AIRPORT A Portmarnock councillor

succeeded in removing specific mention of the second runway at Dublin Airport from the Strategic Policy section of the emerging new draft Fingal County Development Plan

TRANSAERO is on the brink as a

deal to allow Russian flag carrier Aeroflot buy a 75 per cent controlling stake in Transaero for one rouble fell through.

CAPA Alan Joyce told the CAPA 2015

World Aviation Summit in Helsinki that Qantas now flies 1.6m passengers a year to Europe as against 400,000 before the alliance with Emirates. He said airlines are “some of the most trusted brands in the world.” Ryanair CCO David O'Brien claimed that legacy carriers "persist with a delusion that disruption can be regulated away.” Ian Heywood of Travelport said "airline models in the next 20 years will be significantly different than they are today,"

RUSSIA is restricting its airspace to

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

APOLLO Aviation Group raised $833m

to acquire aircraft, engines and components for lease.

FINNAIR opened two Asian destinations, Fukuoka in Japan and Guangzhou in China, for summer 2016. Finnair will provide free WiFi to premium passengers on its A380 XWB. Helsinki is offering the lowest transfer passenger charges of major European airports to boost connectivity

LITHIUM The US is to back a ban on

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

lithium battery shipments on passenger planes.

FLYBE confirmed a new partnership with

EMIRATES is to add a third daily Munich service on February 1. regional and city airports.

BA The first signs emerged that BA has outgrown Heathrow T5 as it moved eight longhaul flights to Terminal 3, Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Nairobi, Phoenix and Vancouver. SWISS is to bring Bombardier CS100 to LCY replacing its fleet of Avro RJ100s with CS100s over the next two years, with the first aircraft coming to London City in 2016.

VIRGIN's Little Red experiment ended when the final flights between London

Easy on the eye: Ryanair’s new interiors

The yellow rebels Ryanair ditches fast food yellow for elegant grey

R

yanair’s new interiors will launch in December with what its key executives call a “less yellow” look. “We are redesigning our aircraft,” Michael O’Leary says, “We have an airy new interior.” “We are getting rid of the garish yellow which I was very proud of, we copied from McDonalds some 25 ago, as a way of keeping you awake so we would keep you spending on board.” O’Leary also said that if he had known the colour was Chelsea blue he would have gotten rid of it long ago and replaced it with Man City blue. “You are going to see a very different customer experience,” Kenny Jacobs said. The airline is “going from a lot of yellow to a little less yellow and a little more blue.” Jacobs says Ryanair will also be retro fitting the existing non-max aircraft “with the less yellow look with different bulkheads at the front and the back of the aircraft and the amount for yellow on the hatpins will also be reduced.”

“We have big ambitious. We are a very ambitious and relentless business. We want to become the number one platform in Europe. Forward bookings, load factors, traffic, we are happy where the business is at the moment.” The interiors will come with new lightweight seats which will cut fuel bills. But the airline will not compromise on legroom. “The seats were upright so that you would stay awake and shop,” O’Leary says. “Now the seats will be angled backwards. We will have airy new interiors, elegant greys, light blues.” “Because it is lightweight you will have more distance sitting as a customer sitting in those seats,” Jacobs says. “Those seats coupled with the new Boeing Sky interiors allow us to create a different flying environment for our customers with more legroom and we are excited about that.” Ryanair currently has a 30 to 32 inch seat pitch, and has avoided the temptation to reduce seat pitch to get more seats on its aircraft. “We are also launching new menus

with a more European style choice of food. There will also be healthier choices available.” The traffic forecast for 2015 has been upgraded to 103m and 380 aircraft are on order, on 1600 routes. We want to grow everywhere. One place we will call out is Germany. We have a 5pc market share and we have it in our plans to grow to 15pc to 20pc market share of Europe’s biggest market. It has he biggest population, but more interesting from our point of view it has the lowest penetration of low cost aviation. That is something we want to change. We are adding a lot of capacity. We have big growth plans in Germany. “Last April we launched a very different website for Ryanair that made it possible for your to book a flight in five clicks and we have launched our first mobile app.” “The website we launched at the start of October will be the best airline across Europe. And every single month the Ryanair app gets updated with new features.”

DMAN SYSTEM COMES TO DUBLIN

S

aab defence and security has been selected by the Irish Aviation Authority to deploy Saab’s Aerobahn Departure Manager (DMAN) to improve operational efficiency at Dublin International Airport.

“Saab’s DMAN will be an essential part of the Airport Collaborative Decision Making program being implemented at Dublin airport, resulting in increased ATFM-Slotadherence, decreased taxitimes, lower environmental

impact, better runway throughput and increased collaboration” The DMAN system will provide an optimized pre departure sequence and deliver associated Target Startup Approval Times and Target Take Off Times

directly to Saab’s Electronic Flight Strip system. The system will also provide variable taxi time calculations and collaborative pre-departure sequencing in accordance with EU Commission regulation no 716/2014.


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GLOBAL VILLAGE

Liam Lonergan is interviewed by Travel Extra editor Eoghan Corry at the conference

Lugubrious Liam Club Travel founder lays it on the line for agents

I

reland’s most successful Travel Agent Liam Lonergan, whose Club Travel has an annual turnover of over €100m now it has acquired Club Travel, told travel agents at the ITAA conference that many people in the travel trade have been deluding themselves. “We delude ourselves on turnover and we don’t keep much of that money. We are a visa card processor, billing out and getting in money.” “The rate of conversions in agencies varies wildly. Years ago it used to be one booking from every five enquiries, now it can vary from one in ten in an office to one in 400 online.”

How do you achieve a margin? You either get increased commission or you reduce your costs. Travel has always been admin heavy and this is even more so today. He said that, typically, a Bedbank booking involves at least 12 manual administration and accounts interventions, all moving parts that exclude client interactions.” “Each of these involves the potential for loss or miscalculation and lots of staff time.” “The solution is to reduce the 12 moving parts to one or two parts and automate the rest.” “ The same applies to BSP and a host of other daily admin jobs

LIAM LONERGAN “Do many 20 year olds know travel agents exist or what they do?”

FIONNUALA CARTER: “In 2015 1,600 training days have been completed compared with 700 in 2014 and 500 in 2013. The ITAA have engaged with 180 companies compared with 81 in 2014 and 72 in 2013. “It is a real sign that things are on the up and it is lovely to see people investing in new staff and having a bit of pride about what they a re putting out,” PAT DAWSON We want to feel and touch

the product the product here for our consumers rather than people reading from Google or form brochures and we can tell the consumer exactly what areas like Jerez have to offer.

JOHN KEOGH Aer Lingus are introduc-

ing a dedicated business class check in at Dublin and we will be looking at the economy class product to America.

which swamp agency staff. “Typically staff costs are 70pc plus of agency costs so a saving here is critical.” “Every €1,000 saved on cost equals a €100,000 increase in turnover.” The solution he said is to become an efficient low cost travel agent. “It goes without saying that automating this process is vital to reduce time spent with tyre kickers, dreamers and price comparison enquirers.” “The solution here is for a single agent to provide an Umbrella Bond for 10/50 agents, do their banking, make third party payments and remit their commission weekly.”

Top: Martin Skelly President and Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA listening to presentations, Middle: Mamen Sanchez, town mayor of Jeres, Maria Doleres Varo Malia Vice President of Tourism for Cadiz region and Gonzalo Ceballos, Director of the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin at the ITAA annual conference at the conference. Bottom: Fionnuala Carter of the ITAA takes a selfie on a visit to CroisiEurope

QUOTES OF THE CONFERENCE MARTIN SKELLY “I was disappointed LIAM LONERGAN Ambition can be with the number of agents who travelled to the event. One third of the members came, if we got it up to 60pc we would be doing well. It may be time to hold a conference in Ireland.

PAT DAWSON 80pc of the capacity is controlled by two carriers, Ryanair and Aer Lingus. The number of charters had fallen from 1m to 200,000 because low cost carriers have replaced tour operators in Ireland PAT DAWSON Every time you go into a

new minister with hope but it is a very slow burner to get any legislation through.

ALAN O’NEILL You have invested too much to pull down the shutter. Challenge your own mindset.

PAT DAWSON There is no point not tak-

ing people on.

painful. The most important thing in business is momentum. When I lost that I lost ten year, I lost my best people. I became more conservative. I was determined afterwards to stick to the knitting.

PAT DAWSON When I talk to my colleagues across Europe half the travel agents across Europe don’t need bonds. They get their license from a local tourist board. JEFF COLLINS I have multiple

branches. Our fees are based on a percentage of turnover combined from all the branches. Why do we have to pay a branch fee as well?

MARTIN SKELLY If we calculate fees by turnover the big businesses would pay hundreds of thousands. The movement on membership fees has been downwards in recent years. A single call to Ann Dolan or Pat Dawson in times of crisis saves multiples of the fees.


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MICHAEL CASLIN

is retiring is after 45 years in business at 747 travel. He will be closing the famous 747 Travel premises on Camden Street which is a valuable shopfront in its own right. Maybe Michael O’Leary will be interested in it, he says. The license will remain in place and he will be moving upstairs to concentrate on the sports bookings he enjoys without, as he puts it, waiting for every booking to Benidorm and the Algarve. He says the winding down of the existing business will be an orderly affair and he is looking forward to organising more golf trips to Thailand and South Africa in the future: I wish to advise that arrangements are in place to manage all existing bookings for future travel dates with clients receiving documentation in good time prior to date of travel.

OASIS Sandra Corkin of Oasis Travel

won the won Independent Travel Agent of the Year at the Ulster Tatler Awards 2015.

BIOGRAPHY Former Star Travel Editor Paddy Dignam has completed his biography and the work will be entering the prepress stage in the coming weeks.

MSC Only Belgium has sold as many of its

Lyrath bound

Travel Centres 11th conference goes to Kilkenny

T

ravel Centres elevneth annual conference will take place in Lyrath, Co Kilkenny on Dec 4-5, a late date than has traditionally been the case. The consortium moved from Naas, their conference home for the past three years to the luxurious Lyrath Hotel Estate just outside Kilkenny. This year’s programme had not been finalised at the time of going to press, but some of the conference content will include sessions on effective marketing,

BEN TO GO BACK ON THE ROAD

SABRE Airline executive Sean Menke

was appointed executive VP of Sabre Corp and president of Sabre Travel Network.

TRAVELPORT

acquired its distributor in Austria, TraviAustria.

THOMSON

Family Resorts will relaunch as Family Life in May 2016.

TRAVEL CONSUL

became a member of the UNWTO affiliate membership programme..

AMADEUS announced a multi-year distribution agreement with Air Canada.

Dominic Burke

B

en Bouldin of Royal Caribbean said that the cruise SICILY Concezio Natale says Best Holi- line aims to repeat its Irish roadshow visiting Irish days in Italy have added the cultural part of travel agents in March .He Sicily to their programme. Central Sicily said the roadshow was the hosted travel trade from England, Germany, most successful thing he Ireland and Russia. Gusts participated in a workshop at the Frederico Ii hotel in Enna and had done in the Irish market were given tours of Enna, Caltagirone, and the since his appointment as stunning mosaics of Villa Romano Del Casale two country director of sales 18 months ago. in Piazza Armerina. The reaction of agents ROYAL CARIBBEAN has ap- was just heart warming and pointed Tamara Strauss as its new marketing brilliant, the appetite to director as part of a shakeup of the company's work for us, understand marketing communications in Ireland and more, earn moe, have more Britain. Strauss was previously with InterCon- collateral, have more access tinental Hotels Group, where she held a numto brochures, have more acber of senior marketing roles and managed a cess to our team was fanmulti-million pound relaunch of Holiday Inn in tastic. the UK. We are repeating it next BA launched their On Business online train- year, probably in march. We are going to go back ing programme. and pick up all the agents LOWCOST holidays’ blog was short- that we missed. That listed for the Irish Blog Awards 2015. demonstrates how passionate we area. signed Air Iceland TRAVELPORT I loved it. It was fantastic up to its Rich Content and Branding. Dubai cruises for MSC Orchestra next year as the Irish travel trade, per head of population.

VAT and travel agent responsibilities under current data protection legislation. Some 45 suppliers from home and abroad will join staff from the consortium’s 70 affiliated agencies throughout Ireland. The theme of this year’s event will be ‘Back to the Future!’ Travel Centres have 70 members, Worldchoice 54 (including 12 in Northern Ireland) and Travelsavers have 47.

Ben Bouldin and Michael Banks commence their Royal Caribbean roadshow in August part of the country I have not been round. Everybody was hugely hospitable. It is not always the case, I could take you on a blitz

around London and we would be pulling our hair out. A couple of them got upset. We are trying to get

to everybody, but we are going to do this again, we wil get to you the next time. The reaction was immense.

Grainne Caffrey dealing with the trade, and I am holding the pieces together. Picture shows Clem Walshe, Grainne Caffrey, and Alex Gisbert of Lowcostbeds. Clem says that the group “will be expanding as a result of the cost savings resulting from the Krakow move. We are bringing all

technology backs in house. This is an expensive thing to change.” “ It will be a win for the consumer and for travel agents alike when all this happens. On the bed side we have had issues and we work closely with trade on those issues. We have to bring that feedback to our peers to make sure we are

supplying state of the art service to the trade.” “This is a fast moving business with so many moving parts that if you don’t keep up with it, you are going to run into trouble. If you are treading water you are going backwards.”

LOWCOST IRISH OPS RETAINED

C

lem Walshe says that Lowcostbeds’ decision to move operations to Krakow will lead to some redundancies in Gatwick and some in Palma but will not affect the Irish operations. It is a very cost effective operation, we have Siobhain Mulholland dealing with the direct business,


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Galway casualty

1stop travel first call on travel agent bond in four years

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olm McDonagh's 1 Stop Travel in Galway ceased trading, triggering the first call on the travel agents bond for four years. All enquiries are being directed to the Commission of Aviation Regulation: aviationreg.ie. A new license has been issued to Hoteltrip/Bookandgo, Unit 3A, Riversdale House, Main Street, Leixlip, Co Kildare by the Commission for Aviation Regulation. George Hook Junior (yes, a son), familiar in the travel and hospitality industry from his work with hotels and as both an inbound and outbound operator says that the new licence issued to Irish Rugby Tours, 1 Main Street, Carrigaline, Co Cork, by the Commission of Aviation Regulation involves a change of name for his rugby tours which operated under a different license. He intends expanding rugby tours in the coming months. Ciara Mooney’s Freedom Travel moved its listing for Naas branch to the Tesco Extra shopping centre at

1stop Travel team in happier times: Caryl McDonagh, Colm McDonagh, Eliza Geraghty, Lisa McNamara and Annette Hynes Monread North. Michael Doorley’s Shandon Travel deleted its Wilton Shopping Centre branch. Other changes saw the trading name for Thomas Cook Retail changed to thomascook.ie from Flexibletrips. Jeff Collins’ Best4 Travel/Wecanbookit added six trading names to its license in keeping with its home working scheme: Puerto del Carmen Holidays, Gloria Palace Holidays, Farionesholidays, Vikholidays,

Muthuholidays, and Marbellabeachcorfu. Adehy Ltd retains just three trading names – Falcon Travel, Falcon Travel Shop, and First Choice Travel Shop and deleted five trading names: Aran Travel, Eugene Magee Travel, Terry Flynn Travel, Marina Holidays and Travel, and JWT USA. Hertfordshire based P&P Associates added Weholiday as a trading name, in addition to Independent.ie Travel.

Falcon new system

Goodbye to viewdata as Falcon bring in new screen

G

oodbye viewdata. Falcon Holidays and Thomson group switched on their new web based selling platform. Leila McCabe of Falcon says the new system is much easier to use and will eventually replace Viewdata for all products and seasons. It is a web based platform. It is a huge step for the travel agent today because viewdata wil no longer be aorund. They wil be able to get into the web browser and manoeuvre a lot faster than they have in the past. The browser is rich in content and has more images. We found viewdata was very slow to use and cumbersome to get aorund. The new browser wil be faster and cleaner. It really does bring the holiday to life and makes it easier to convey the holiday to the consumer. The images that it conveys are really amazing. Connectivity times wil be faster and easier to use. There are fantastic images on the website. It is a lot easier to use and a lot faster than view

TIGS Bookings are open for the TIGS Golf outing sponsored by Travel Extra at The Castle Golf Club on October 22. Tee reservations. ETOA reported that membership reached an all-time high with 800 member companies, having grown by over 100 in 2015.

TRAVEL COUNSELLORS

Ireland General Manager Cathy Burke has been appointed Director of Global Business Development by Travel Counsellors driving global business development support to the company’s 1,400 home-based Travel Counsellors, and in turn bringing this knowledge and experience to the team and Travel Counsellors in Ireland.

IRISH INDEPENDENT online travel editor Pól Ó Conghaile said he expected Irish Independent travel coverage to grow in the coming months. The newspaper published the first of its monthly 24-page travel supplements last month and is uploading Travel TV on its website each Saturday. Yesterday Tomas Breathnach trialled Tom Kennedy and Debbie Flynn’s homestay.com in Toronto with both magazine and video coverage: pic is of Tom and Debbie with the Homestay team.

FALCON Holidays Ireland management took a peek at the product on offer in Salou with a view to their 20126 programme. AMPLIFY Fergal O’Brien’s Amplify Travel launched, offering cycling trips to Girona, food tours of Bologna, trekking in Ethiopia and explorations of North Korea.

HAWAII Sola Thomson of Hawaii Tourism London office hosted the Irish Travel Trade at the Trinity capital Hotel, alongside a delegation led by Renee Archer-Nakashima from Hyatt, Maile Brown from Kaua’i, Teresa Cosgrove from Hawaii Big island, Sherry Doung from Maui, Karin Jones from Starwood Hotels Resorts and Spas, Wanda Rietow from Hilton and Noelani Schilling-Wheeler from O’Ahu.

TURKISH Airlines Open takes place in Belek from Thursday 29 October to Sunday 01 November, Rory McIlroy launched the airline’s Turkish Airlines’ # CheckInToGolf campaign. HERTZ September winners for the €50 Prepaid MasterCard Voucher from Hertz were, Rose from Kane’s Travel, Paul from Travelagent.ie, Niamh from FCm, Shirley from CTM, Philomena from Clondalkin Travel, Joanna from Travel Focus, Kate from FCm, Des from Manning’s Travel, Glenn from Society Travel, Alan from Neenan Travel.

Antoinette Young and Leila McCabe of Falcon data in the past. It is very rich in content View data was very slow, and was not very clear. The slower wil eliminate. It really it is amazing and go on to it and try it out for yourself It is very clean and very smooth. We are really excited in Falcon. It is a huge step forward.

The old system looked a lot ike Eirtel. It was old fashioned. Thankfully the new system is the modern way forward. There has been a huge investment put into this new platform and we encourage all agents to start using the platform. They are re really ging to love it.

AUDREY HEADON Representation is up and running with developments on three projects anticipated in the coming weeks. SARAH SLATTERY

of thetravelexpert.ie has been chosen by the ITAA to market the official Association in her popular blog. She appeared on TV3's new weekend morning talk show to comment on travel affairs.

€ €


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WINDOW SEAT

Last month in numbers

€2bn Ryanair projected profits in 2023 accord€1bn Amount generated by Aer Lingus web-

ing to Michael O’Leary

24.9m Projected passengers through Dublin airport, if 15pc increase is sustained for H2 of 2015 site annually aerlingus.com

30m Number of passengers Ryanair carried in Jule, July and August, it busiest summer i€106m Capital funding available for tourism projects in the budget

60,000

Number of passengers who used Aer Lingus to connect with Virgin flights last year

15 Superjet SSJ 100 acquired by Cityjet 5 New Aer Lingus short haul routes in 2016.

NOTES FROM AN OLD CODGER

B

ill Bryson updated and made his own the misanthropic traveller style, visit interesting places, insult the locals and conjure up a few jokes at their expense. He made a lot of money in the process and it is interesting that his motivation for updating his British book of 20 years ago is purely commercial. His notes from a Small Island were followed by books on America (Notes From a Big Country and A Walk in the Woods) and on Australia (Down Under). He then moved from travel but his fans are happy to see his return after 15 years. Having workeds out that the

BOOKS: The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson (Doubleday)

longest distance you can travel in Britain in a straight line is between Bognor Regis and Cape Wrath, he goes form one to the other, zigzagging across the country to seek out the hidden spots where he has not visited before to sneer. The gags are as quickfire as ever, up to half a dozen a page, and a few surprises. Maybe Bryson, now in his 60s, has become grouchier with age (it is hard to tell), nor is it clear whether he has gotten more adept at

slagging off the locals: “In countless small ways the world around us grows gradually shittier. I don’t like it at all.” The book could have been cut by about a third, the gags don’t stifle the boring bits which may have been discarded had they been in his 1990s trilogy, Bryson is now more esteemed than steamed, but his readers will probably enjoy this just as much as its predecessor.

Busman’s holiday: Niall McDonnell

Rosslare Strand: fond memories for Niall McDonnell

Every month we ask a leading travel professional to write about their personal holiday experience. This month: Niall McDonnell, Ireland country director of Red Sea Holidays

I

’ve been going to Rosslare Strand since I was a kid. First with my parents, then, as time went on, with my own children. Now, out of my four kids, only one of them, Ali, still accompanies me down. The other three still go with friends, just not with their parents. That makes three generations of my family who agree that

there’s something special about that part of Wexford. It’s a great place to unwind. The Rosslare Golf Club is just a three minute walk from my house down in the Strand, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more picturesque location for a game followed by a beer or two outside in front of the clubhouse. When I’m not playing, I love a walk along the beach that runs along the side of the course. You can even find a golf ball or two in the sand, not mine obvi-

ously. I’ve been known to socialise in Kelly’s Hotel but during the summer months you can’t beat Tides. Formerly Brady’s, it was re-opened by Irish international footballer Stephen Hunt as a gastropub last year. There’s a great buzz in the place, particularly when there’s a hurling or football game on the TV, and you will always meet a few friendly faces in the bar. Rosslare Strand still has the village feel to it with everything in walking distance. I’ve been working hard to get Red Sea Holidays up and running ahead of this summer season. We have some incredible hotels available for Irish holi-

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

V

irgin, which claims to be the only carrier to offer WiFi on all of its planes, recently signed a deal with Viasat, a satellite-maker that will allow it to offer faster onboard internet. According to the carrier it will offer internet speeds that allow travellers "to experience internet speeds similar to what they have at home”. The race is on. Aer Lingus has offered wifi on trans-Atlantic services for over a year.

Virgin America has teamed up with Netflix, giving subscribers complimentary access to movies and television shows as they fly. Lufthansa is fitting broadband internet on short-haul and domestic routes, with the first planes being fitted with the technology in summer 2016. Is this good news? Not always. We now the prospect of people making internet calls, resulting in a cabin filled with incessant noise,

and no peace for those who want to sleep or read. Then there is work. You can be extremely productive on flights, precisely because there is no internet connection. Without the option of compulsively checking e-mails, chasing social media or checking the GAA results at home, it is amazing how much you can get done. The golden age may have been a silent one.

daymakers, many on an all-inclusive basis. I was down in Sharm El Sheikh for the first time in 7 years a few months back. I was amazing to see how much it has changed. A huge amount has been spent on new infrastructure, new road network and particularly the gleaming commercial and entertainment centres such as Soho Square, which is a must see. I’m planning on another trip down to Sharm El Sheikh with the family towards the end of the summer, but with Wexford less than 2 hours away from Dublin down the N11, I’ll be down in the sunny south east for a few weekend visits first.

IN YOUR NEXT TRAVEL EXTRA: Available to Travel Agents or online November 23 2015

WEDDINGS ISSUE Italy Malta Spain Caribbean WINTERSUN TRENDS


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Out and about with the Travel Trade

NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 37

MEETING PLACE

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NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 38

MEETING PLACE

Out and about with the Travel Trade

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lee bed and Pamela Brown Miriam Skelly of Navan Travel,karen Keogh, Lee Osborne of Booka event lf go s eu ad Am the g Tanya Airey of Sunway and Yvonne Lennox of rin du vel Tra ay aw of Fly WTC during the Amadeus golf event at Lough Erne resort

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Isabel Harrison and Declan Power of Shannon Aiport with Angela Walsh at the annual conference of the ITAA in Jerez,

Gerry Headon and John Galligan during the Amadeus golf event at Lough Erne resort,

Declan Power and Co rmac Ryan of Shanno n Air- Pat Dawson CEO of the ITAA and Michael Doorport en route home fro m World Routes in Du rban ley of Shandon Travel during the Amadeus golf where Shannon was sho rtlisted event at Lough Erne resort,

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Out and about with the Travel Trade

NOVEMBER 2015 PAGE 39

MEETING PLACE

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Maura Moloney of the Dublin Airport VIP hospitality team and Glen Melia of Atlas Travel in the executive lounge in Dublin Airport

on, Martin Skelly and Clem Walshe, Pat Daws ited Golf Cup, Carton Martin Dempsey at Un House,


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Lifestyle & Living for the over 50’s

e g a l l i V

TITANIC EXHIBITION CENTRE TITANIC QUARTER - BELFAST BT3 9EP

15th/17th January 2016

The Belfast Telegraph 50+Village will be staged

alongside the highly successful Holiday World Show, entering its 24th year and firmly established as one of the BIGGEST and BEST attended public exhibitions in Northern Ireland

• • • • • •

Featuring:

Fashion & Beauty Food & Drink Genealogy Government Information Services Health & Wellbeing Holidays & Travel

• • • •

Home & Garden Hotels & Spas Personal Finance & Law Retirement Villages & Resorts • Technology

WHY YOU SHOULD EXHIBIT AT THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH 50+VILLAGE • Estimated 80% of the country’s wealth is held by people aged 50+ (The Henley Centre)

• 31.7% (or 574,000) of the Northern Ireland population are 50+ (Northern Ireland population census) • 62% of Belfast Telegraph readers are 50+

• As a group they are more likely to have substantial assets, cash and the time to enjoy life. Whilst they are less likely to have any mortgages, school fees and 9 to 5 jobs. To exhibit please contact

Maureen Ledwith Sales Director +353 (0)1 291 3700 e: maureen@bizex.ie

Paulette Moran Sales Manager +353 (0)1 291 3702 e: paulette@bizex.ie

Travel extra nov 2015 5megs  
Travel extra nov 2015 5megs  
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