What’s Hot: January 2012
CD-Traveller tells you what’s hot and what’s not in the travel world. This month, we’re loving the sound of the Strictly themed cruises and booking breaks in the Big Apple and Burma, while crossing our fingers that the situation improves quickly in Cairo
Lerwick Hostel in the Shetland Islands, Scotland, has been voted the best hotel by Hostelling International Customers. Others hostels worth heading to in 2012 include Utano Youth Hostel in Kyoto (most comfortable), Baan Dinso in Bangkok (most efficient) and Martha’s Vineyard in the US (most friendly).
Strictly come… cruising
Not content with its makeup, fitness DVDs, and clothing spin-off ventures, Strictly Come Dancing – the BBC reality TV show – is taking to the ocean. The BBC has announced a deal with a tour operator to launch an array of dance-themed cruise holidays. Members of the public will be able to attend ‘master classes’ run by Strictly’s professional dancers and meet the judges while cruising to their destination du jour. The cruises are scheduled to start later this year.
Taking a trip to the Titanic
2012 marks a century since Titanic, the unsinkable ship, erm sunk, and travelers with well-stocked wallets can now book a trip to see the wreckage. For £41,784, Kensington tours will take you on a submarine trip from Newfoundland to the Titanic’s remains.
Burma is back on the radar. The National League for Democracy has lifted its recommended tourism boycott of the country, prompting operators to re-enter for the first time in 16 years.
Over 50 million people headed to the Big Apple in 2011, representing a rise of 1.5 million in 2010. The figures cement New York’s status as the most popular holiday destination in America. For the low-down on what to see and do in New York, check out our travel feature.
Going to the Galapagos
From Feb 1 there will be new rules and regulations in regard to cruise routes and frequencies to and around the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The new Galapagos National Park regulations will allow guests of onsite tour operators to stay a maximum of four nights and five days per ship. The new regulations are part of Ecuador’s conscious tourism initiative.
The curb on credit card charges
Good news for travelers: Airlines et al have been ticked off for the silly surcharges that they impose on those of us paying by credit card. And rightly so: we are not charged extra for using a credit card in a restaurant so why should we be charged more when paying for plane fare on our credit cards? Of course, the worry is that now that the credit card surcharge ruse has been rumbled, companies will simply try and find another way to make the same money. Nonetheless, coming as it does at a time when our purse strings are suffering, the revelation that credit card fees will be revoked in 2012 is a cause for celebration…
The recent unrest in Egypt has prompted the Foreign Office to advise UK travelers to avoid areas in Cairo such as the Egyptian Museum and Downtown. For the latest, see www.fco.gov. UK
The Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines site in Southern Peru has been placed on the World Monuments Fund’s (WMF) 2012 Global Watchlist of endangered heritage sites. Other sites listed under threat include Mumbai’s Royal Opera House and the fishing villages of Halong Bay in Vietnam
Travelling by train
Rail fares are set to soar this year. The Association of Train Operating Companies has said that overall fares would go up by an average of 5.9 percent altho9ugh in West Yorkshire, the increase will average eight percent. Ouch! Commuters facing season tickets costing more than £4,000 for the first time include Hastings, Eastbourne, and Bedford.