Travel News

Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico News

Puerto Vallarta Completes New Port Welcome, Shopping Center

Puerto Vallarta has officially completed construction of its new cruise passenger welcome center, Los Alambiques and themed shopping center, “Hacienda Tequilera.”

The milestone marks the second phase of work completed by the port authority of Puerto Vallarta at the Puerto Mágico terminal. The new construction represents a US$16 million investment, and it will be fully accessible in May. 

The Los Alambiques*- welcome center consists of three buildings built to resemble the historic tequila haciendas and sugar mills of the state of Jalisco, which will house a duty-free shop, offices for local authorities, and Customs and Border Control.

Hacienda Tequilera will have a variety of shops offering regional products. The location will also host cultural productions and other entertainment for cruise passengers, crew members, and the general public. The Hacienda will also be accessible to the local community which officials say is a first for a port in Mexico. 

Puerto Mágico is a commercial, cultural, and entertainment development that will house 76 stores and traditional Mexican cultural offerings from Jalisco such as dance, mariachi, and other performances for cruise passengers and the local population.

Cruise News

Three Continent Wonder

Five Countries. Three Continents. 10 Days. One Unforgettable Experience.

Experience an odyssey like no other on this journey to Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel. 

Take a cruise where you can climb the Pyramids of Giza, stand at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, visit the ruins at Ephesus, walk in the stadium that housed the first modern Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens, and stroll the beachfront town of Limassol. The experiences are extensive and unforgettable.

Two nights in Athens and a seven-day, three continent cruise. 10 days from US$1530.

Ethiopia to Spend US$5 Billion to Build Africa’s Largest Airport

The state-run Ethiopian Airlines said it will begin building a US$5 billion airport this year that will accommodate 100 million passengers per year. It will reportedly be able to handle more than triple the number of passengers who fly through the continent’s busiest hub in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new airport will be located in the town of Bishoftu, 37 miles south of the capital Addis Ababa on 13 square miles of land. The projected date for completion of the airport has not yet been announced. Ethiopian Airlines, which has a fleet of more than 100 planes and serves more than 119 destinations, is on a growing spree. In 2018, Addis Ababa ousted Dubai International Airport as the largest air transport hub between Africa and the rest of the world.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.”–John Andrew Holmes

Deal of the Week

This Summer Be a Part of Mongolia’s Dazzling Naadam Festival

For a concentrated burst of color and culture, it’s hard to beat Mongolia’s Naadam Festival. The experts at MIR give you four ways to immerse yourself in these midsummer festivities which have earned a place on UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Siberia and Mongolia Tour: Beautiful and exotic, Siberia and Mongolia are worlds away from the traditional beaten path. Explore the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, then fly to the red sands of the Gobi Desert. Celebrate a country Naadam Festival, far from the glitz and ruckus of the capital.

In Siberia, take to the waters of great Lake Baikal, the oldest and deepest lake on earth, and ride a section of the fabled Trans-Siberian Railway. 16-day trip, limited to 16 guests, US$8,995 plus US$650 internal air. Dates: June 16-July 1, 2020 and June 15-30, 2021.

  • Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi and Beyond with Naadam Festival. Mongolia: The name conjures up images of vast grasslands, the wind-swept steppe, and endless sky. Here an empire built on horseback galloped across two continents leaving behind the names Genghis and Kublai Khan.
  • Follow their lead using the horsepower of modern vehicles to cover the incredible distances at the heart of Mongolia. End in the capital where the ancient skills of that nomadic army are preserved at the extraordinary Naadam Festival. 14-day trip, limited to 14 guests, US$8,395 plus US$600 internal air. Dates: June 30-July 13, 2020 and June 30-July 13, 2021.

Mongolia to Moscow, a Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure: Travel on regularly scheduled Trans-Siberian trains over a dramatic and variegated route that offers ample opportunities to meet the diverse local people; Mongol, Buryat and Russian. Experience the rolling green hills and nomadic traditions of Mongolia, Siberia’s UNESCO listed Lake Baikal, and endless taiga forest on your way to the Naadam Festival. Date: July 10-26, 2021.

Trans-Siberian Rail Journeys by Private Train: Aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle. Both east- and westbound itineraries include Naadam at Ulaanbaatar.

Eastbound–Moscow to Ulaanbaatar:From the Moscow Kremlin and the Siberian taiga to the Mongolian steppe, this private train journey celebrates three different cultures: that of the modern Muscovite, hailing a taxi in front of an 800-year-old palace; the Baikal Siberian, proud heir of Cossacks, indigenous Buryats and czarist political exiles; and the Mongolian nomad, drawn to the capital, Ulaanbaatar, for the celebrated Naadam Festival.

  • Visit four UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the rail line and join the crowd singing the praises of the country´s best in wrestling, archery, and horse-racing. This is a 13-day tour, and the minimum number of guests varies, from US$16,995 to US$69,295. Dates: July 1-13, 2020 and July 1-13, 2021. 

Westbound–Ulaanbaatar to Moscow: Same itinerary and price as Eastbound, but in reverse. Dates: July 10-22, 2020 and July 10-22, 2021.

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Agent Central, Homeric Tours, Afar, MIR Corporation