Travel News: Caucasus and Iran tour

Travel News: Caucasus and Iran tour

Mexico News

Mezcal-maker opening boutique hotel in Oaxaca


A new luxury boutique property is coming to Oaxaca in August. From the founders of Mezcal el Silencio comes a new property set on 16 acres near the archaeological ruins of Mitla. 


Casa Silencio was inspired by Oaxaca’s natural landscape and will feature only six suites with a rustic-chic décor. In addition to distillery tours at the nearby El Silencio distillery, the hotel will offer mezcal-making and tastings. 


A restaurant and cocktail bar, plunge pool, and gathering area with fire pits round out the offerings at the upcoming hotel.


American Airlines adding new Mexico Caribbean destination


This winter, the world’s largest airline will launch new nonstop flights to Chetumal, set on the eastern Yucatan peninsula on the bay of Corozal near Belize. 


The new flights will operate from Miami to Chetumal, with service on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 


The service will kick off on December 1. 


International News

Italy bans large cruise ships from Venice


Declaring Venice’s waterways a “national monument,” Italy banned large cruise ships from sailing into the lagoon city effective August 1. Venice risks being declared an imperiled World Heritage Site by the United Nations.


The ban applies to the lagoon basin near St. Mark’s Square and the Giudecca Canal, which is a major marine artery in Venice. It applies to ships exceeding 25,000 gross tons or longer than 530 feet or with other characteristics that would make them too polluting or overwhelming for Venice’s environment.


Italian premier Mario Draghi’s office specified that ships that don’t have any of those characteristics and thus “are considered sustainable” to the Venetian environment can continue to dock in Venice. The premier’s office noted that permitted ships generally have about 200 passengers compared to the thousands that huge cruise vessels carry.


Before the coronavirus pandemic severely curtailed international travel, cruise ships discharging thousands of day-trippers overwhelmed Venice and its delicate marine environment. Environmentalists and cultural heritage groups have battled for decades with business interests, since the cruise industry is a major source of revenue for the city.


No cars are allowed in historic Venice, which consists of narrow alleys and many bridges linking passageways. During high tourist season, which occupies a good deal of the year in Venice, navigating as a pedestrian is a daunting challenge.


Until a more suitable docking area can be established elsewhere in waters outside the heart of Venice, the government has approved creating at least four temporary docking sites near the industrial port of Marghera, located on the northwestern Adriatic Sea.


Cruise News

New expedition cruise ship heads for Iceland


Crystal Cruises’ ship Crystal Endeavor officially departed the MV Werften shipyard in Germany and is en route to Iceland for her inaugural cruise season. The vessel is the line’s first Polar Class 6 expedition yacht, designed to handle cold, icy waters in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.


Endeavor arrived in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavík on July 15 and departed on July 18 after an overnight in the city on the first night of her inaugural voyage.


The vessel is set to operate a series of five 10-night sailings that circumnavigate Iceland this summer.


Deal of the Week

Caucasus and Iran tour


Flo Tours offers small group tours to legendary destinations such as Caucasus and Iran with carefully crafted, inspiring itineraries. Discover the history, culture, and local life by traveling off the beaten path.


Ancient towns that date back to the Silk Road era, elaborate mosques that beam out the evocative call to prayer, and modern cities where fashion-conscious youth rub shoulders with conservative elders—it’s time to demystify the misconceptions about Iran. Exquisite palaces, domed mosques, brilliant bazaars, and gracious people all make Iran a true travel gem. 


This outstanding itinerary captures the best of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. Taking you from the shores of the Caspian Sea and the splendid history of Baku, through the pretty wine fields of Kakheti and up to the spectacular High Caucasus mountains, you will be following in the footsteps of Silk Road traders, Crusader knights, and Ottoman princes. 


This region, lying at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, is packed with the legends of the Golden Fleece, stunning scenery, and warm and hospitable people. 

The 26-day all-inclusive Caucasus and Tour starts at US$7,750 and offers departure dates from September 2021 through December 2024.



  • Internal flights Tehran – Shiraz
  • All airport taxes
  • All arrival and departure transfers
  • 25 nights hotel accommodation at very comfortable centrally located hotels
  • All meals (Total of 74: 25 Breakfasts, 24 Lunches and 25 Dinners) 
  • All entrance fees
  • Complete sightseeing with our experienced English-speaking local tour guides
  • Azerbaijan visa
  • Iran visa “Grant Notice” with authorization number (Required for Iranian visa)
  • Luggage handling, all hotel taxes, and services charges
  • Flo Tours document packet 


2021 dates and rates:

Sep 24-Oct 19, Oct 22-Nov 16, Nov 19-Dec 14

Price per person in double room US$8,250; single supplement US$2,290.


2022 dates and rates: 

Mar 25-Apr 19

Price per person in double room US$7,750; single supplement US$1,990.


Apr 22-May 17, May 27-Jun 21, Jun 24-Jul 19, Jul 22-Aug 16, Aug 26-Sep 20, Sep 23-Oct 18, Oct 28-Nov 22, Nov 25-Dec 20, Dec 9-Jan 3, 2023

Price per person in double room US$8,250; single supplement US$2,290.



Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for 50 years, heads Perfect Journeys, and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit client’s interests, physical 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



Sources: Travel Weekly, Caribbean Journal, Travel Weekly, Cruise Radio, Flo Tours