By Judy Newell
Bahia Principe to Renovate Resorts in Mexico, Caribbean
Grupo Piñero, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resort’s parent company, has announced a US$60 million investment to renovate its Living Resorts division, which includes hotels, residential units, and golf courses that operate under the Bahia Principe brand. The move will see a number of upgrades to Bahia Principe resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.
The brand has allotted US$40 million toward upgrades at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum with renovations that will highlight the new Origin concept, paying homage to the Mayan community by incorporating traditional architecture, textures, and materials inspired by the native culture. The revamp will include remodeled villas, Premium Superior rooms, and suites for up to four or five guests, as well as a swimming pool with Mayan symbolism throughout.
The remaining US$20 million will be allocated toward hotel facilities and residential complexes in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, as well as the brand’s golf course in Riviera Maya, which recently entered into a partnership with the Professional Golfers Association of America (USPGA) to better position the Mexican golf course in the US market.
New Queen Elizabeth Australia Itineraries
Queen Elizabeth’s new extended season in Australia will comprise two 6-night Tasmania voyages, two 11-night New Zealand voyages and her first-ever 27-night full circumnavigation of Australia. Queen Elizabeth will then sail a 25-night Transpacific crossing from Sydney to Vancouver via New Caledonia, Hawaii, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Viking Drops ‘Cruise’ from its Name and Website
Citing a desire to focus on destinations, as well as a reflection of its growth into different types of sailings, Viking has dropped the word “cruise” from its official name.
Viking founder and Chairman Tor Hagen tucked the announcement into an event January 15, in Los Angeles. After the remote christening of the line’s latest ocean ship, Viking Jupiter, and the long anticipated rollout of its expedition line, Hagen said that the company’s website URL had been changed from vikingcruises.com to viking.com.
“We are about the destination,” Hagen said. He cited the differences that Viking has from several other cruise lines, including the smaller ports, enrichment, and the lack of casinos and kids onboard.
The name change is similar to one that Azamara did in June 2019 when it dropped “Club Cruises” from its logo and marketing. That company justified the move because of a significant expansion of its pre- and post-cruise land offerings.
Other new cruise lines coming into the market are also steering away from calling themselves a “cruise:” Virgin Voyages is debuting next month with a whole slew of new names within the industry, such as “sailors” instead of “passengers.” Ritz Carlton, too, is bringing out its new luxury offering as the “Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection.”
Like Azamara, Viking has a full menu of pre- and post-cruise options. But the line’s growth is firmly focused on adding actual ships, now across three categories: river cruising, ocean cruising, and coming in 2022, expedition cruising. The fleet currently has 72 river cruise ships (with six more coming in 2020), six ocean ships (with another six contracted) and the two expedition ships coming in 2022.
Travelers who are looking for a specific type of cruise from Viking will still be able to find it. The website has three tabs: one for river, one for ocean, and one for expedition.
Families with Young Adults
This year Backroads introduced new itineraries designed specifically for families with kids in their twenties and beyond. Whether the kids are in grad school or starting out in their career, a Backroads trip is a great way to get together and reconnect on a stress free, fun-filled adventure.
There has been such a positive response to these new “20s & Beyond” trips that dozens of new dates and itineraries have been added. See some of them below:
Dalmatian Coast to Montenegro—Multi-Adventure
California Wine Country—Biking
Yellowstone & Tetons—Multi-Adventure
Cinque Terre & Tuscany—Multi-Adventure
Choice to Debut Extended-stay Brand
Choice Hotels International has launched a newly built, mid-scale, extended-stay brand called Everhome Suites, offering apartment-style space that guests can customize to their liking. Choice broke ground in Corona, California, for the first hotel expected to wear the brand and announced development agreements for 13 hotels in the Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, markets.
Words of the Wise and Well-traveled
“Accomplishments have no color.” –-Leontyne Price
Deal of the Week
From the majestic palaces, massive forts, vivid markets, and indigenous culture to the sacred town of Pushkar, experience the richness of Indian culture on this Majestic India tour. Begin in Delhi with a visit to Old and New Delhi, explore the magnificent Taj Mahal in Agra and the stunning Pink City of Jaipur, visit famous landmarks including magnificent Amber Fort.
Continue to the sacred city of Hindu’s–Pushkar. Wander at the famous 8th century Brahma Temple dedicated to Lord Brahma and Pushkar Lake. Then travel to Rajasthan’s most romantic city, Udaipur, to witness its rich history which is matched by its picturesque setting among the Aravalli Mountains and three man-made lakes before traveling back to Delhi to catch your flight.
- 8 nights deluxe accommodations
- Daily breakfast
- Transportation in an AC deluxe vehicle
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
- International airfare from various gateways
- Domestic flights
- All local applicable taxes
It is a small group tour with guaranteed departure. The comfort level is easy. The average is 22 guests in the group. The tour starts at US$1699 per person.
Indus Travels would like to reassure you that after booking your tour, should the US and Canada government advise against all travel to your chosen destination, Indus Travels will offer a change of tour to one of our other great destinations or a full refund for the tour. As always, your safety is the priority for Indus Travels!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net.
Sources: Travel Agent Central, Cunard, USA Today, Backroads, Hotel News Now, Indus Travels