Travel Professional MARCH 07 2024

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On board the VISTA OCEANIA

Insider tips NASSAU, BAHAMAS

BEST in SEASON Europe in full bloom



From crystal clear turquoise waters and endless white sand beaches to world-class resorts fitting any lifestyle, a vacation to Nassau & Paradise Island will truly be an escape to remember.

Be inspired:


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14 14 FEATURE On board the stellar Oceania Vista 30 FEATURE THIS Paradisus La Perla Resort 20 EUROPE Top hotels, flights and cruises to book 5 LEISURE + FAMILY Rest & relaxation abound with these top offerings 10 10 REASONS WHY Iberostar Beachfront Resorts 12 ASK THE EXPERTS Playa Hotels & Resorts’ Amanda Morris 18 TOP 5 Collette’s small-group tours 30
ENVOY Glen Harwood DRMG 240 Wyecroft Road Oakville, ON, L6K 2G7 Travelweek on social media 26 BY THE NUMBERS The CIE Advantage 28 INSIDE TRACK Nassau, with Joy Jibrilu SPRING EDITION 2024 On the cover: Barcelona, Spain
Trump International Beach Resort Miami


Soak up the sun at Trump International Beach Resort Miami

Trump International Beach Resort Miami has everything one needs for a fun, relaxing stay in Sunny Isles Beach. The four-star-rated condo hotel features plenty of space to unpack and unwind, from multiple outdoor dining venues to open spaces like the beachfront and pool area for events and family activities. There are also two pools with lots of beach space, on-site water sports, soccer clinics, Zumba, daybeds, air-conditioned cabanas and

the Aquanox Spa & Fitness Centre where guests can enjoy body treatments, massages and top-of-theline cardio equipment. For dining, Azzurro Italian Restaurant & Bar dishes out homemade pastas and hosts a live DJ on Thursdays, while Saka Mori is where to go for specialty maki, ramen and sushi. There’s also a casual beachside restaurant, the Pool Bar, and the Lobby Lounge for delicious bites and drinks. And not to be missed is the Sunday Afternoon Beach Party, complete with live bands and signature cocktails.

The Seychelles setting the bar for sustainable tourism

The Seychelles is leading the way in responsible tourism with a new program called Sustainable Seychelles. Guided by the tagline “another world,” the program focuses on preserving the destination’s environment, biodiversity and rich culture, leveraging tourism as a catalyst for positive change through the Seychelles Sustainable Certified program. Beyond environmental impact, Sustainable Seychelles aims to provide transformative experiences for visitors that foster a commitment to global impact. The program emphasizes collective efforts, engaging stakeholders in the tourism industry to integrate sustainability practices.

International Beach Resort Miami
Credit Trump

DeNure Tours has more ways to visit Newfoundland & Canada

Ontario-based tour operator DeNure Tours is gearing up for an exciting year in travel, ready to inspire guests with a wide range of vacation getaways. ‘Discovery is Waiting’ on sightseeing tours in North America. Guests can travel to iconic destinations like the Canadian Rockies or Atlantic Canada, with flights included. In addition to popular 10- or 12-day tours to Newfoundland and Labrador, new itineraries include the ‘Atlantic Canada Grand Tour,’ which visits all four east coast provinces, and a ‘Newfoundland Coast-toCoast’ hiking tour. Guests can even get a taste of Newfoundland and Labrador on the no-fly ‘Canada, New England & Iceland Cruise,’ which stops at four ports.

DeNure Tours also celebrates big Canadian events such as the Calgary Stampede with upgraded rodeo perks, and the Royal Nova Scotia Tattoo & Tour featuring excusive backstage access. Motorcoach tours in the U.S. include famous destinations such as Nashville, Branson and New York City. Other unique products include no-fly cruises, long-stay vacations and active hiking tours.

OUTRIGGER Resorts & Hotels has family fun throughout Hawaii

Family fun awaits on all four of the major Hawaiian Islands with OUTRIGGER Resorts & Hotels. On O’ahu on world-famous Waikiki Beach, there’s OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beach Resort, which offers surf and paddleboard lessons and outrigger canoe rides. Guests can cap off the day at the Dive In Movie Night at OUTRIGGER Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel, with poolside cocktails for grownups. And over at the newly renovated OUTRIGGER Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, families can enjoy a wide range of activities, from sunrise yoga on the beach to lei-making and ukulele lessons.

On Hawai’i Island, OUTRIGGER Kona Resort & Spa offers families

the chance to immerse themselves in local history and culture with OUTRIGGER Kona’s Cultural Tours of sites like the birthplace of King Kamehameha III, the Feast & Fire luau and night swims with manta rays. For on-site family fun, the resort is also home to a 200-foot winding waterslide.

On Kaua’i, OUTRIGGER Kaua’i Beach Resort & Spa has complimentary cultural activities, not to mention four pools, a lava rock waterfall and waterslide. And on Maui, OUTRIGGER Ka‘anapali Beach Resort is home to cultural practitioners who offer a range of complimentary, family-friendly daily activities like Hawaiian language lessons, garden tours, weaving, bamboo stamp making, storytelling and more.

Why book with us? 4 We pride ourselves in selling a quality product 4 We’re here to help with resources and support 4 We offer fair compensation 4 Your clients are travelling with experts! For more information call 1-866-967-9909 or visit Tours in Canada is an official brand of DeNure Tours Registration 500009376 500009377 Book select NEWFOUNDLAND tours by March 28, 2024 & SAVE $200! LEISURE + FAMILY 6 TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL
OUTRIGGER Reef Waikiki Beach Resort Credit OUTRIGGER Resorts & Hotels
Become an OUTRIGGER Expert Advisor. Reward yourself and your clients. A variety of bene ts await those who become a certi ed OUTRIGGER Expert Advisor. This engaging rewards program provides ongoing education and online tools to create memorable dream vacations for your clients. As a certi ed OUTRIGGER Expert Advisor, you are eligible for: • Reward points redeemable for complimentary room nights • Complimentary client welcome amenities • Special Rates, Exclusive O ers • Personal Expert Advisor Assistance O‘AHU MAUI KAUA‘I HAWAI‘I ISLAND FIJI THAILAND MAURITIUS MALDIVES Learn More. Earn More. Introducing our newest property OUTRIGGER Kauai Beach Resort & Spa

What’s new at Saint Lucia’s Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa

What’s new at Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa? Plenty! The premium, all-inclusive property in Saint Lucia has launched a new array of Concierge amenities for guests booked into its Harmony Concierge Jr. Suite and Splash Concierge Premium rooms. These include a 20% discount on services at Sanctuary Spa, nightly turndown service, personalized minibar, a local cell phone per room, private check-in and more. For couples looking to say ‘I do,’ the resort has also unveiled a new oceanfront gazebo featuring a distinct steeple and crafted walkway, as well as a brand new Bridal Suite featuring illuminated mirrors. And with only one wedding per day at the resort, couples are guaranteed a customized

experience with wedding packages that cater to every budget. Other new offerings include additional pickleball courts and wingfoiling, which combines elements of windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing, at the Surf Shack facility.

Located just minutes from Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport on the mile-long Anse de

Sables Beach, Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa offers a ‘Two Worlds in One’ experience. Harmony is a romantic oasis for guests 18 and over featuring hammocks for two and two pools, while Splash features the CocoLand Kidz Klub, CocoLand Waterpark and more. |

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa Credit Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Trump International is independently owned and operated. 18001 Collins Ave Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160 1 (844) 680-8219 | availableat
Escape together and discover a new world of adventure amidst South Florida’s favorite luxury beachfront resort.
Soak up the sun in one of two pools or while enjoying thrilling water sports, including jet skiing, kayaking, and paddleboarding—or stay on land and put your soccer, basketball, volleyball, and tennis skills to the test. Even the youngest guests can enjoy their own fun in Planet Kids and Toddlerville with storytelling time, plus arts and crafts. Our on-property concierge will curate an unforgettable itinerary that turns your vacation into a real VIP experience—all you need to do is arrive. More Florida Sun. More Unforgettable Fun.



Iberostar Beachfront Resorts comprises over 20 properties in Mexico, Jamaica, Brazil and the Dominican Republic, each offering luxurious accommodations, international cuisine and family fun.


Packages provide a wide range of dining options within the hotels. At Iberostar Paraíso Beach, for example, there are seven options available, giving families the convenience of dining on site.


Iberostar properties offer families the benefit of finding all that they need in one spot, including cuisine, entertainment and personal care options such as fully-equipped gyms and a vast range of spa services.


Free to all guests, Star Camp features more than 140 age-based activities that focus on personal growth through cooperation. These include obstacle courses, treasure hunts and science experiments.


Guests of all ages can enjoy shows geared towards kids and families as well as fun, interactive activities ranging from breakfasts with beloved characters ($) to dancing in the evenings.


The new Kangaroo space was designed to entertain kids under 3 years old when accompanied by an adult. Located at Iberostar Paraíso del Mar & Beach, it’s available from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


There are over 600 family-friendly activities to choose from across Iberostar Beachfront Resorts, from beach parties and musical trivia, to Olympic Games, fire and LED shows and cooking classes.

For more information go to


Two-bedroom family suites are available at select properties for ultimate comfort, including Iberostar Selection Cancún in Mexico, Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bávaro in the Dominican Republic, Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites in Jamaica, Iberostar Bahia in Brazil, and many more.


Spanning 34,000 square feet, Aquapark at the Iberostar Selection

Paraiso Maya Suites and Selection Paraiso

Lindo in the Riviera

Maya features 7 waterslides, a pirate ship pool and designated beach area.


Families can download the Iberostar APP to access full daily itineraries, best entertainment options, games, videos, maps and more.

IHG has no interest in Iberostar Cuba hotels. MEXICO · THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC · JAMAICA the memories come all-included. Here together, LEARN MORE

“If you’re travelling with children, explore the amazing kids/teens clubs that will ensure the entire family stays content.”

“Familiarize yourself with the resort to ensure you are well-informed about all the features and facilities at your disposal.”


“Our resorts are situated in some of the Caribbean and Mexico’s finest areas. Research your destination so you can plan activities or visit sites off the property that you may be interested in seeing.”

“Ensure your bookings are confirmed ahead of time to capitalize on early booking incentives and promotions.”

“Upon arriving at the resort, examine the weekly entertainment and activity calendar to ensure you’re participating in all the exciting events taking place on the property.”

“Indulge in the convenience of in-suite dining menus for a delightful meal experience right in the comfort of your room.”

“With unlimited specialty dining, make sure to savour the offerings of all the fantastic restaurants at your disposal.”

“We take pride in the service we offer. Let our destination teams pamper you and your family during your well-deserved vacation.”

“Embrace our commitment to health and wellness by exploring the culinary offerings and participating in the available fitness classes.”

“How do travellers get more value out of their Playa vacation?” For more information go to
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Oceania Cruises’ Vista ship, launched in spring 2023, is already making waves in the premium deluxe category

S OCEANIA CRUISES moves into its 22nd year of service, the company continues to evolve, polishing what it does well while seeking new ways to improve its onboard offering. To that end, Oceania launched Oceania Vista in spring 2023, its first new-build in more than 10 years. Travelweek was onboard to capture the highlights and the reactions from travel advisors during a two-day West Coast showcase cruise, sailing roundtrip from Los Angeles to Ensenada last November.

The 1,200-guest vessel is a showstopper in every way. Sporting contemporary decor, Oceania Vista, simply put, is an upscale hotel. Crystal chandeliers, leather armchairs, openbacked bookshelves with colourful vases and sculptures, and inlaid floors all speak of understated elegance while firmly planting Oceania in the premium deluxe category.


Being a destination-intensive brand, Oceania’s ships are relaxing retreats, providing respite from the immersive onshore experience. Onboard the Vista, the intimate library, the serene Barista coffee bar and the elegant Grand Lounge are prime examples of cozy and comfortable spaces to read, reflect and have quiet conversations. The Grand Dining Room is another standout; it’s a bright and airy space with sparkling chandeliers and coffered ceilings, while arched partitions of white panelling and frosted glass divide the room into intimate areas.

Vista’s accommodations are true sanctuaries, with Prestige Tranquility beds, six pillow choices and a cleverly designed bathroom with copious amounts of storage space and two opposing vanity mirrors that won praise from advisors. Twice-daily stateroom service, Bulgari bath products and a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, still and sparkling water and reusable water bottles are standard amenities. Complimentary room service even includes a hot breakfast offering on disembarkation morning as a welcome treat. Penthouses and suites range from 440 to 2,400 square feet, with the one-bedroom Owner’s Suite furnished by Ralph Lauren Home.


It’s no surprise that Oceania took more than a decade to build a new ship. Cathy Denroche, Oceania’s director of sales, Western Canada and Pacific Northwest, summed up the reason nicely: “At Oceania, we practise Kaisen, which is Japanese for slow but a constant quest for improvement. We don’t follow trends. Rather, we seek meaningful and purposeful growth. We took our time and created Vista from the best parts of our other ships.”

Part of Oceania’s DNA is the port-intensive itineraries, which Denroche said is the number one reason guests come onboard, as well as longer voyages and culinary excellence. “We’re not all-inclusive, but the things we include are what’s important to our guests – the quiet spaces, the choice and extraordinary food. But it’s not just about richness and indulgence. It’s about freshness, variety and healthy choices, with everything cooked à la minute and without extra charge,” said Denroche.

To enhance its value proposition, Oceania has introduced the ‘simply MORE’ offer on all fares, which now includes airport transfers, unlimited internet, shore excursion credits and a ‘Champagne, Wine, and more’ beverage package at lunch and dinner (with more than 30 choices of wine and champagnes and 12 types of beer), supplementing the already-existing complimentary specialty restaurants, specialty coffees, bottled water, sodas and airfare.

Although Oceania’s core demographic is 50 to 70s, the company is opening

Credit Oceania Cruises


Oceania attracts well-travelled, mature cruisers who have moved up from (or dislike) the mass-market, big-ship lines and are looking for an intimate ship experience where the focus is on cuisine, port-intensive itineraries and personal enrichment. Clients should not go onboard looking for splashy floor shows and all-nighter discos. While entertainment and activities are available daily, they supplement the Oceania experience rather than being the main reason to sail.

The typical Oceania client is a baby boomer and empty nester, but a younger demographic interested in food and wine appreciation and those seeking an upscale cruise experience are also coming aboard. And Oceania is perfect for clients with the time and budget for long cruises, offering a wide variety of grand voyages sailing to all corners of the globe.

Oceania Cruises is available in Canadian dollars, and the Canadian gateways included in the free airfare program are Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.

itself to a younger clientele, as evident in the Vista’s minigolf course, pickle ball court, the Founders Bar with Instagram-worthy cocktails, and Ember, a new specialty restaurant serving elevated casual American cuisine with a gastropub vibe. Healthy options also abound, with the new Aquamar Kitchen serving healthy proteins, poke bowls, smoothies and salads. To improve connectivity, Starlink Internet is available on board the Vista and will be rolled out to every ship by 2024.


Travelweek spoke to Ben Chan, owner of Cruise Holidays West Vancouver, who feels that Oceania Vista’s contemporary design will appeal to a younger clientele. “This ship feels like a boutique hotel, and new-to-brand customers will appreciate the contemporary décor and the choice of dining options,” said Chan.

Matthew Vaughan, Travel Consultant at, echoed the same sentiments: “Vista’s decor and style more befits an upscale hotel or residence than a typical cruise ship. The look of the interior public areas was well thought out and of a style that is not only extremely deluxe but timeless.”



Donella Chong, Senior Travel Consultant at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel, said her clients will be happy onboard Oceania Vista. “The food was fantastic and the service was second to none,” she told Travelweek. “My clients are more loyal to Oceania than any other brand, and they will love the Vista. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t like this ship.” Chong, and other advisors we spoke to, also applauded the new ‘simply MORE’ pricing program, saying the additional inclusions will make Oceania an easier sell.


Oceania ships sail globally to more than 600 destinations, often staying late, overnight and up to three days at select world capitals. Designed to allow its guests time to properly explore a destination, it isn’t uncommon for a two-week itinerary to have only one day at sea. Oceania also caters to avid cruisers and adventurers, offering an array of extended voyages ranging from 30 to 100+ days, including an


annual 180-day world cruise.

The ship’s intimate size allows Oceania to sail into small harbours and, in many cases, dock right in town. In cases where the port is located outside of town, Oceania provides a complimentary shuttle service to the city centre.


Boasting “The Finest Cuisine at Sea”, Oceania prides itself on culinary excellence, with a food and beverage program overseen by French Master Chef Jacques Pépin. Each ship features at least two specialty restaurants (with Vista featuring five), all at no extra charge. Every cruise features special dining events such as La Reserve by Wine Spectator dinners and the Dom Pérignon Experience, a must for foodies and wine connoisseurs. In addition, guests looking for healthy choices will appreciate an impressive plant-based menu that includes more than 250 vegan items.

Marina, Riviera and Vista also have a dedicated kitchen facility called The Culinary Center, featuring cooking demonstrations and hands-on classes that reflect the cuisine of the destination in which the ship is sailing. Oceania’s culinary program extends ashore, with Culinary Discovery

Tours such as chef-led excursions to markets, cooking with local chefs and tastings at restaurants and wineries.


Oceania’s fares have always included roundtrip airfare, specialty restaurants, specialty coffees and teas, self-serve laundrettes and free shuttles in ports that aren’t in the city centre. With the new ‘simply MORE’ pricing structure, guests now also receive transfers to and from the ship, unlimited internet, shore excursions credit (amount depending on sailing length), and champagne, wine and beer at lunch and dinner. This value proposition places Oceania in the premium deluxe category, where it can deliver a high-quality, nearly all-inclusive cruise experience without the luxury category price point.

All photos credit Oceania Cruises


These new small group Explorations tours to Europe average 16 travellers and include more immersive experiences


From the soaring Alps to the picturesque Swiss Riviera, guests can embark on an active journey across Switzerland by train. They’ll walk through centuries-old vineyards and soak in views of the Matterhorn from the mountain town of Zermatt.


Guests can explore these two island paradises nestled in the Mediterranean. They’ll sample specialties in Palermo’s colourful food market, taste award-winning olive oil and learn about the Slow Food movement at a local farm.


Turkey is where east meets west, home to ancient ruins, legendary architecture and underground cities. Guests will spend three nights in Istanbul to explore such acclaimed sites as Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.


Guests will explore a land where world history and fairy tale charm come to life. They’ll enjoy multi-night stays and immersive deep dives into local culture and cuisine in Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Krakow.

For more information go to


While travelling along the Mediterranean coast, guests will sample paella in Barcelona, flavourful Provençal cuisine in Marseille and traditional focaccia in Genoa.


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W Edinburgh


W Hotels opens W Edinburgh

W Hotels has marked its expansion in the United Kingdom with the opening of W Edinburgh. Situated at the heart of St. James Quarter, a revitalized neighbourhood in the city center, the hotel includes a striking rooftop deck with 360-degree views and the brand’s signature Sound Suite recording studio, a first for the UK and only the second in Europe. Comprising three distinct buildings positioned around St. James Square, the hotel comprises 199 rooms and 45 suites, many with outdoor terraces. The Extreme Wow Suite –W Hotels’ spin on the Presidential Suite – offers a spacious dining room, a rock bar inspired by the city’s volcanic beginnings, a round super-king-sized bed, a walk-in wardrobe, and a bathroom with a free-standing bath, private sauna and walk-in shower. The top floors and panoramic terraces of the hotel are home to the country’s first SUSHISAMBA restaurant alongside an iteration of the W Lounge, and a Brazilian-inspired speakeasy named João’s Place.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts to open new resorts in Italy and France

Preferred Hotels & Resorts will welcome several new luxury openings in 2024 to its growing global portfolio. These include Ara Maris Sorrento in Sorrento, Italy, a stylish resort opening in March 2024 just steps from Piazza Tasso. It offers 49 guestrooms, each with a private balcony, and the Meraviglia Suite situated on the rooftop and boasting an expansive terrace with a Jacuzzi.

Other highlights include a poolside bistro, lemon garden, rooftop bar, indoor heated pool, outdoor pool, gym and a spa.

Also new is Maison Albar – Le Victoria, opening in Nice, France in May 2024. The 132-room resort pays homage to the Côte d’Azur coastline with chic nautical interiors, a spa, marble indoor pool, a mosaic-tiled Jacuzzi, hammam, sauna and a wide range of wellness treatments. There’s also a rooftop pool, a rooftop restaurant and boutique shops.

Credit W Hotels

Condor to launch early service to North America in summer 2024

This summer season, Condor Airlines will be flying to all of its North American destinations earlier than planned. Miami will be reached as early as March, while New York, Seattle and Toronto will be served daily from April. From the start of May, the airline will be bringing guests to Vancouver, San Francisco and Las Vegas. And the first flights to Boston, Edmonton and Calgary are scheduled to begin in mid-May.

There are more options to fly to Europe from Western Canada with Condor’s two weekly flights from Calgary to Frankfurt. The airline will send its brand new flagship A330-900neo to the home hub of its longstanding partner, WestJet, and then cover all three major cities in Western Canada, serving Vancouver, Edmonton and now Calgary. Flights to Frankfurt will seamlessly connect to WestJet’s flights in Calgary, and to partner airlines in Frankfurt with onward services to more than 100 destinations across Europe. In summer 2024, Condor will operate from five Canadian cities to Frankfurt: Vancouver (YVR), Calgary (YYC), Edmonton (YEG), Toronto (YYZ) and Halifax (YHZ). Flights are optimally timed for inbound connections on WestJet and onward connections in Frankfurt.

By spring 2024, Condor’s entire long-haul fleet will consist of nextgeneration A330neo aircraft, one of the most sustainable aircraft in the skies. It accommodates 310 passengers and features four Prime Seats, 26 Business Class seats, 64 Premium Economy seats, and 216 Economy seats. It also features the quietest cabin in the sky, plus more personal space, larger overhead bins and the latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

PLAY to launch service from Hamilton to Split, Croatia

Low-cost airline PLAY, which operates flights to Europe from its hub at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, has announced new flights from Hamilton, Ontario to Split, Croatia. Starting May 28, 2024, the new service will operate once a week, every Tuesday, over the summer, from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport (YHM) to Split Airport (SPU). This marks the first time that scheduled flights will be operated between Iceland and Split, as well as PLAY’s first destination in Croatia. From Hamilton, Canadians can fly to Split one way starting at $359.

As a transatlantic carrier between Europe and North America, PLAY operates from Keflavik Airport, which is ideally situated between the two continents. The carrier offers passengers the option to prolong their layover into a multi-day stopover for no additional cost. Its no-frills service allows passengers to pay less and ‘play more’ by allocating their budget to more meaningful experiences while in destination and not on costly features like in-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi.


Discover more of Istanbul with Turkish Airlines’ stopover service

In order to elevate the passenger experience to a new level, Turkish Airlines, the airline that flies to more countries than any other, offers the opportunity to discover Istanbul and its unique wonders with the Stopover in Istanbul program featuring lengthy transfer times and free accommodation in partner hotels. With the program, passengers travelling via Istanbul with long connection times who wish to spend quality time in Istanbul can enjoy a one-night stay in a four-star hotel with Economy Class, or a two-night stay in a five-star hotel with Business Class. Passengers can also increase the length of their initial free-of-charge accommodations with Turkish Airlines

prices at contracted hotels to discover even more of Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines offers six weekly direct services from Toronto, three weekly direct services from

MSC Cruises updates summer 2024 itineraries

MSC cruises has updated its summer 2024 itineraries to include an entirely new program for MSC Musica in the West Mediterranean as well as an enhanced Greek Island itinerary for MSC Opera. From May 13 to Oct. 28, 2024, MSC Musica will offer seven-night sailings out of Civitavecchia (Rome) to popular destinations in the Western Med, including Genoa, Cannes, Barcelona, Ibiza and Cagliari. This new program has replaced the cancelled sailings that included Haifa, Israel. MSC Opera’s existing seven-night sailings between May 12 and Oct. 5, 2024 have been enhanced with additional Greek Island destinations, including Bari, Piraeus, Santorini, Katakolon, Corfu and Kefalonia.

Vancouver, and three weekly direct services from Montreal to its hub in Istanbul, connecting Canadians to 128 countries worldwide.

Hard Rock breaks ground on new Athens resort

Hard Rock International has broken ground on the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Athens, the first integrated resort of its kind in continental Europe. Expected to open in 2027, the €1.5 billion resort will combine an upscale hotel, a world-class gaming floor, a premier meeting and convention space, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue, acclaimed food and beverage outlets, a luxurious Rock Spa and Pool Complex, and a high-end retail promenade. The casino will comprise 180 tables and 1,500 gaming machines, plus a tower that consists of 1,100 guestrooms and 15 dining options. Additionally, the project will include a 3,000seat Hard Rock Live theatre with standing room for 4,000 guests and the Rock Spa and Body Rock Fitness.

Ibiza Turkish Airlines Credit Turkish Airlines


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EVEN IF YOU’VE NEVER been to The Bahamas, you most likely have already seen it. As the showstopping backdrop of countless movies, including four James Bond flicks and two ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ iterations, The Bahamas is known for its stunning waters and beaches, not to mention a glittering array of hotels and resorts. But if you ask Joy Jibrilu, CEO of the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion

Board and a proud Bahamian, it’s the island’s thriving art scene, particularly in Nassau, that holds a special place in her heart. “There are beautiful art galleries everywhere and the array of art is second to none in the Caribbean,” she says. “Having spent many years living away from The Bahamas, I have a better appreciation of everything that it has to offer.”


HOW DO YOU GET THERE? “Nassau is a short 3.5-hour flight from Toronto and visitors can fly nonstop on Air Canada and WestJet from Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Plus, Alaska Airlines just launched nonstop flights from Seattle, making it easy for those in Vancouver to fly or drive to Seattle before flying from there.”

WHERE TO SAY ‘I DO’? “The Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas sets the stage for romance with stone pathways that lead through the Versailles Gardens, a Beach Deck with unobstructed views of the beach, and curated packages that include everything from hors d’oeuvres to the cake.”

YOU GOTTA CHECK INTO: “Goldwynn Resort & Residences, Nassau’s first beachfront boutique hotel, was welcomed onto our shores in February 2023.”

YOU HAVE TO SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT: The Queen’s Staircase is a 66-step landmark carved out of solid limestone rock by slaves between 1793 and 1794. It is said that it provided a direct route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO PARTY: Don’t miss Atlantis Paradise Island’s ‘Party Like a Royal New Year’s Eve event, the biggest party of the year!

JUST FOR TRAVEL AGENTS! “The best way for agents to learn more about Nassau is to attend our annual International Travel Partners Conference (ITPC) from June 24-28, 2024 for destination updates, networking and oneon-one business appointments.”

DO NOT MISS: “The Junkanoo Parade on New Year’s Day, Nassau and Paradise Island’s biggest celebration of dance and music that’s been cherished for centuries. There are two main events but many hotels now have a sample parade every week to give you a taste of Junkanoo.”

FOR THE BEST SHOPPING: Head straight to Straw Market on Bay Street, home to handmade crafts, gifts and souvenirs, all available at reasonable prices, especially if you’re good at negotiating!

TAKE MY ADVICE: “Really engage with the locals as they often know the best-kept secrets and affordable gems in the destination. Also, stay flexible with your plans – sometimes the best experiences happen spontaneously.”

FAMILIES WILL ABSOLUTELY LOVE: “The Junkanoo Museum truly immerses visitors in what it’s like to be at Junkanoo, with an entire room surrounded by screens playing scenes from our Junkanoo Parades. Plus, visitors can get up close to the beautiful costumes and see how intricate each one is.”

BEST TIME TO VISIT? “The winter months are an ideal time to visit Nassau & Paradise Island. Yet with an average of 300 sunny days a year and water temperatures around 80 degrees, the destination is perfect for a visit any time of the year.”

ONE MUST-TRY DISH: “Visitors to The Fish Fry must try the national Bahamian food loved by locals – conch. Whether enjoyed in a refreshing conch salad or fried as conch fritters, this is one thing you can’t leave the island without trying.”

For more information go to INSIDE TRACK
Credit Rupert Peace All
photos credit Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board)


Located in the heart of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the transformed Paradisus La Perla Resort is an adultsonly oasis that focuses on providing an unparalleled luxury experience for guests. Its recent enhancements promise to redefine the concept of indulgence in the Riviera Maya.


The Reserve stands as the pinnacle of the adults-only experience at Paradisus La Perla. Exclusive to The Reserve guests, this adults-only haven provides privileged access to designated areas within the resort, dedicated Destination Concierge service and a water ritual at YHI Spa. Also included as part of the resort’s Destination Inclusive program is a private experience in a cenote in the Riviera Maya ecological reserve, complete with a Mayan ritual performed by a shaman and a yoga class. As a bonus, a delectable dinner at Sal Steak

Cave is also included, ensuring that every moment is extraordinary.


The resort’s renewed areas and bars have been meticulously redesigned to elevate moments of relaxation and socialization. From the chic South Avenue Bar to the laidback vibes of Kanna by The Beach and the tropical charm of Cocos Bar, every space invites guests to unwind in style.


Guests can embark on a culinary journey with the resort’s new gastronomic offerings. At Flora, the spotlight is on KM0 Cuisine, which showcases the freshest local ingredients. Authentic flavours of Mexico can be had at Blueagave Taqueria, where traditional recipes come to life. And for those with a sweet

tooth, Coffee Corner by Nespresso and Twe12lvet ice cream are the resort’s latest additions that promise delectable treats.


The resort’s Italian signature restaurant, Capella, is not to be missed. In collaboration with celebrity chef Antonia Lofaso, Capella’s threecourse, limited edition menu promises a dining experience like no other. Lofaso is regarded as one of the United States’ top chefs, serving as Executive Chef and Owner of three acclaimed Los Angeles restaurants.

From the exclusive Reserve Suites to culinary excellence at Capella, Paradisus La Perla Resort sets the stage for an unrivalled adultsonly experience in the Riviera Maya.

For more information go to


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