Category Archives: Travel News

Hear it first from Rainbow Travel: Vancouver Airport recently launched Automated Passport Control (APC)

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Hear it first from Rainbow Travel:

Vancouver Airport recently launched Automated Passport Control (APC) giving US passport holders options for streamlining their airport travel experience, while pre clearing US Customs at YVR Airport.

YVR Airport is the first Canadian airport to launch with US Customs and Border Protection Automated Passport Control that gives passengers tangible options to use technology to expedite the US pre-clearance process.

Canadian passport holders are looking forward to this process being made available to them.

For more information please click on the link below:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/passport+control+system+expected+reduce+delays/8351249/story.html

Thanks to The Vancouver Sun for this information

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Beatle City, Liverpool gets new link to Cyprus

#Beatle City, #Liverpool gets new link to Larnaca, Cyprus, welcome to John Lennon Airport- Larnaca. http://ow.ly/mFSha

Rainbow Travel Blog 21June2010

Burma (Myanmar):

Exercise high degree of caution The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to September in the southwest and December to April in the northeast. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides. Typhoons (tropical cyclones) usually occur between April and October. These storms can result in significant loss of life, extensive damage to infrastructure and can hamper the provision of essential services. Travellers should keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

India: exercise high degree of caution

The rainy (or monsoon) season in western and southwestern India extends from June to September. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides. India’s coastline is subject to tropical cyclones. These storms can result in significant loss of life, extensive damage to infrastructure and can hamper the provision of essential services. Travellers should keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

Authorities have asked those travelling to or living in Mumbai to be especially vigilant during high-tide days. Flooding can be more severe at these times. In many other parts of India, severe floods which can cut-off the affected areas, are common during the monsoon season.

China: exercise high degree of caution

The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from April to October. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides and can result in significant loss of life, extensive damage to infrastructure and can hamper the provision of essential services. Flooding is common in central, western, and southern China, particularly the areas bordering the Yangtze River. The Karakoram and Khunjerab pass routes can be hazardous due to landslides. Typhoons are common along the southern and eastern coasts. Travellers should keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the advice of local authorities.

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Rainbow Travel Blog 10thJune10

 Maui resort offers 50% savings

HonuaKaiResortOGG

Maui’s Honua Kai Resort & Spa has introduced a fall special offering travellers 50% savings on rates. Special fall rates start at US$263 per night for the Ohana Resort View category and 50% off published rack rates in Ohana one- and two-bedroom suite categories, based on availability. Rates are valid Aug. 29 through Dec. 18 and will be extended Jan. 4 through Feb. 4, 2011, based upon double occupancy. A special 35% off is available for three-bedroom and specialty suites.

The Fall Special is valid between August 29, 2010 and December 18, 2010 for a discount of 50% off the 2010 published rates in the Ohana, One-Bedroom and Two- Bedroom suite categories. Black-out dates may apply. Not combinable with other offers. Taxes and Daily Resort Service Fee are not included.

China Eastern Announces Daily Vancouver to Shanghai Flights.

ChinaEastern

CHINA Eastern Airlines has announced that they will run a scheduled daily non-stop service between Vancouver and Shanghai.

This will take affect this summer and will become permanent on November 1. The introduction of this increased service will open doors for more Chinese tour groups to travel to Canada as China was recently granted Canada Approved Destination Status.

Chinese Eastern Airlines is also the exclusive air carrier for World Expo which is currently underway in Shanghai until October.

Warning: Exercise high degree of caution

2010 FIFA World Cup.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2010

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will take place in South Africa from June 11-July 11, 2010.

Special security arrangements will be in place at the game venues, airports, border crossings, and other sensitive areas, as well as in major public areas of the region.

Travellers to the games are reminded to take sensible precautions, and are advised to maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times, particularly in commercial establishments, public places, and other areas where large numbers of foreigners may congregate. Ensure personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Host cities are likely to be subject to significant disruption for the duration of the World Cup. Heightened security measures, traffic congestion and temporary and permanent road closures can be expected.

Shortages of accommodation and pressure on public transport and facilities are possible. Visitors should pre-arrange accommodation and travel arrangements and confirm them well in advance.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, you can obtain emergency consular assistance during regular office hours at the following telephone numbers:

Cape Town: (0)79-3042487

Rest of South Africa: (0)72-6723544

For more information visit http://www.voyage.gc.ca/features_manchettes/fifa2010-eng.asp.

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Rainbow Travel Blog 7th June 2010

NCL brings out the rock stars on the Epic.

Epic

IN addition to offering guests world-class entertainment options on board the Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a partnership with Gibson Guitar to let guests discover and explore their inner rock star – in the privacy of their stateroom.

The “Check-In-Rock-Out” program gives guests the opportunity to borrow a Gibson guitar, companion pod, and a private amplifier with headphones to take to their staterooms and rock out without disturbing other guests.

Guitars, pods and accessories will be available to guests at a cost of US$10 per day rental every day except on embarkation/disembarkation.

The Check-In-Rock-Out program will be available in Norwegian Epic’s Fat Cats Jazz and Blues Club. Each pod includes controls and special effects so that guests can select the type of sound they want to create, from classic rock to heavy metal, blues, classic and country – and then choose their own song to play. The pods are supplied by Line 6 and the headphones and cables are supplied by Monster Cable.

RCI and Dreamworks to animate the high seas.

AllureOfTheSeas

ROYAL Caribbean International announced their alliance with Animation SKG, Inc – the world-class animated film studio powerhouse, to bring the next generation of family programming and quality entertainment to the high seas.

Vacationers of all ages will soon delight in interacting with some of Animation’s most beloved characters when a variety of new shows, activities and offerings are introduced on ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. The alliance will first come to life for guests to enjoy onboard Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest ship that will debut in December 2010.

After launching on Allure of the Seas, the Animation-themed activities and amenities will be incorporated into Royal Caribbean’s renowned entertainment programs on Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, with some of the studio’s most popular feature films – “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon” – anchoring the integrations.

Year round, “celebrity” characters including Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots of “Shrek;” Alex, Marty and the Penguins of “Madagascar;” Po of “Kung Fu Panda” and Hiccup of “How to Train Your Dragon” will engage guests of all ages, day and night, with unique experiences. Royal Caribbean’s younger guests who choose to participate in the complimentary award-winning Adventure Ocean children’s program will relish in an exhilarating new lineup of activities, games and adventures rooted in the popular Animation movies.

The phenomenon of 3D movies will be introduced to the open ocean when Royal Caribbean installs the 3D screens in the ships’ theaters.
Taking the strategic alliance even further, Royal Caribbean will celebrate the addition of Allure of the Seas to the cruise line’s 21-ship fleet by inviting the Animation cast of characters to take the stage in the AquaTheater to perform a one-of-a-kind aquatic based show full of acrobatics and high-diving stunts. In addition, Royal Caribbean’s popular ice-skating venue on Allure will feature the characters from the recent hit film, “How to Train Your Dragon” in a spectacular ice show for guests.

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Rainbow Travel Blog 31May10

BA cabin crew begin second five-day strike.

British Airways

BRITISH Airways crew union began their five-day strike Sunday after talks held on Friday failed to resolve the dispute between the airline and the Unite union.

Despite the new strike British Airways said it will increase flights because more crew were returning to work than had been expected.

The airline said it would increase its longhaul service at London’s Heathrow airport to more than 70 percent of flights, from 60 percent this week. It also said it aims to increase shorthaul flights at Heathrow to 55 percent of flights from 50 percent and operate a full schedule from London’s Gatwick and City airports.

Thousands of passengers face more disruption at the start of a week of school holidays in Britain. Cabin staff is due to begin a third wave of strikes on June 5, days before the start of the World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa.

The two sides are locked in disagreement over pay, reduced staffing levels and cuts to benefits.

The following flights in and out of LHR to Canadians cities are showing as cancelled up to June 4 as of 12h45 EST May 31.

All flights to and from London City and London Gatwick will operate as normal.

May 31 – June 4 BA0099 LHR/YYZ
May 31 – June 3 BA0103 LHR/YYC
May 31 – June 3 BA0087 LHR/YVR

May 31 – June 4 BA0098 YYZ/LHR
May 31 – June 4 BA0102 YYC/LHR
May 31 – June 3 BA0086 YVR/LHR

Go to http://www.ba.com for up to date information as these schedules may change.

Global Issues: Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season

 The hurricane season extends from June 1 to November 30. Tropical depressions and storms that may develop into hurricanes occur in the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific oceans. The east and Gulf coasts of the United States (including Florida, Louisiana and Texas), Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean are the most threatened areas. Extreme weather events of this kind appear to be becoming more frequent and may pose a growing threat in these regions. If you choose to travel during the hurricane season (June 1 to November 30), you may be affected by these storms.

Up-to-date weather forecasts for the region are available from the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Guatemala airport remains closed.

Guatamalapacaya

GUATEMALA’s La Aurora International Airport (GUA) will remain shut for another five days as cleaning the ash fallout from the Pacaya volcano has been complicated by rains from Tropical Storm Agatha, officials said on Saturday.

The airport was closed on Friday by huge ash clouds hovering over Guatemala City and surrounding areas that Pacaya spewed out in a new eruption since it became active on Wednesday.

Civil aviation officials said they needed the time to remove a blanket of ash centimetres thick from the runways, adding that driving rains from Agatha as it churned toward Central America made the job more difficult.

President Alvaro Colom declared a 15-day state of emergency around the volcano.

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Rainbow Travel Blog 17thMay2010

BA strike latest.

British Airways

BRITISH Airways has published its contingency plans for Unite’s strike period of May 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 and will fly more than 60 000 customers each day.
All flights at Gatwick will operate as normal as will flights to and from London City airport during the entire strike period.

At Heathrow, British Airways intends to operate more than 60% of longhaul flights and more than 50% of shorthaul flights in the first strike period and it will add to this schedule where possible. The airline will continue to fly to every shorthaul destination on its network.

The airline will operate most of its revised shorthaul schedule at Heathrow using its own aircraft and cabin crew, but will supplement its schedule by leasing up to eight aircraft with pilots and cabin crews from five different airlines based in the UK and Europe.

British Airways has also made arrangements with more than 50 other carriers so that it can rebook customers during the actual strike period onto their flights, if they had been due to travel on a BA service which has been cancelled.

The airline is still available to hold further talks with Unite but wants customers to have early warning of its flying schedule to allow sufficient time for alternative travel arrangements to be made.

Customers flying to/from Heathrow on a longhaul flight between May 18 and May 23 can now check their bookings on http://www.ba.com to see if their flight is still operating. The revised shorthaul Heathrow schedule between May 18 and May 23 will be available for customers on the airline’s website at 10h00 on May 14.

THAI protesters become more defiant

thailand-flag

Thai anti-government protesters continue to be defiant as they spread themselves throughout Bangkok over the weekend clashing with security forces.

At least 29 people have been killed and 230 injured over the past three days. A state of emergency has been extended to five more provinces, bringing the total to 22. While security forces are trying to keep the protesters contained to one area rallying points continue to spring up elsewhere in the capital.

Two parts of Bangkok have been declared “live firing zones” and there are fears that protests could spread across the country as protesters held a rally in Ubon Ratchatani over the weekend.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also advised travellers against visiting areas of Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Ayuthaya and the area in the south that borders with Malaysia. Meanwhile, the Dusit Thani Hotel was forced to advise cutomers to check out after three RGB rockets were fired at the hotel. No injuries were reported.

WestJet introduces extended in-flight entertainment time.

WestJet introduces extended in-flight entertainment time

WestJet has decided to extend in-flight entertainment time by introducing ‘Here-to-There in-flight entertainment’ allowing passengers to enjoy seatback television on the ground and in the air.

In-flight entertainment is usually only available once the flight is in the air but now passengers travelling on WestJet will be able to watch television from the time they board to the time they get off provided they have ear-bud type earphones and except during the safety demonstration.

WestJet has been working closely with Transport Canada to make this service possible.

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Rainbow Travel Blog 10May10

ASH CLOUD CLEARS IN EU; BLOCKS AIR ROUTES IN MID-ATLANTIC.

ashshift_ap

Latest Ash Cloud

Eurocontrol announces that volcanic ash has now dispersed in Europe; another band in the mid-Atlantic is still blocking air routes between Europe and North America
Associated Press
Flights across Europe were operating normally Monday after a plume of volcanic ash that disrupted air traffic and forced some airports to close over the weekend dispersed, aviation officials said. But, delays on trans-Atlantic flights were expected because another band in mid-ocean was still blocking the air routes between Europe and North America, the European air traffic agency Eurocontrol said. “While most of these flights are operating, many are having to make significant re-routings to avoid the area of ash cloud coverage, resulting in delays,” according to a statement from the agency.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand, releases statement to relieve concerns for those planning to visit Thailand.

 thailand-flag-jpg 

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) released an official statement last week to relieve concerns stemming from news that has recently been coming out of Thailand and to give travellers a better understanding of what’s going on there.

The release, in question and answer format, reads as follows:

Q: Is the TAT advising tourists to avoid visiting Thailand?

A: Absolutely not. Travel and tourism are operating as normal throughout Thailand and all airlines flying to and from Thailand are operating their normal schedules. Visitors in Bangkok should seek advice from tour guides and hotel concierges to determine if there are any areas to avoid.

Q: What is the reality on the ground in Thailand right now?

A: As of May 6, 2010, political protests in Thailand were abating. A five-point plan presented by the Thai Prime Minister was unanimously accepted by the protestors and the situation is near final resolution.  Meanwhile, life in Thailand continues as normal; tourist sites are open and tens of thousands of travellers are in the country.

Q: Is the TAT being irresponsible by not warning tourists to stay away from Thailand at this time?

A: Naturally, travellers need to make their own decision regarding whether they feel comfortable coming to Thailand, but the situation is normal in almost all of the areas where tourists go, and the political situation is improving. Most importantly, if we felt it unwise for tourists to be visiting Thailand right now, we would ask you not to come.

Q: Does the TAT believe the airport will be closed again?

A: The TAT is in close communications with the parties responsible for the operation and security of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The airport is currently operating as normal and there seems to be no reason to believe that airport service will be disrupted.

Q: Several governments have issued advisories suggesting their citizens not to travel at the moment to Thailand. How do you react to this?

A: Yes, the U.S. State Department last week issued a travel alert suggesting U.S. citizens should temporarily avoid nonessential travel to Thailand; we expect the alert to be rescinded shortly.  Moreover, the State Department has not urged U.S. citizens currently in Thailand to leave, and U.S. diplomats and their families are remaining in Thailand as normal.

BA cabin crew “overwhelmingly” reject offer

BritishAirways

BA cabin crew “overwhelmingly” reject offer

BRITISH Airways cabin crew have “overwhelmingly” rejected the company’s offer relating to the current industrial dispute, the Unite Union announced on May 7.

In a statement the Union said that around 81% of the crew voted against the offer, in line with the union’s recommendation. There was a turnout of 71%.

Representatives of the crew will meet with Unite’s Joint General Secretaries, Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley, today (May 10) to discuss the next moves in the dispute.

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Today’s Travel Snipits.

Today’s Travel Snipits.

Myanmar

It's now even easier to visit Myanmar

Visa on arrival in Myanmar  

Great news and especially for our travel agency manager, Thant who is Burmese and has family still in the country. Now visitors to Myanmar will be able to purchase their visas upon arrival at international airports in Mandalay and Yangon. Visas will cost 30USD and will be valid for 28 days. Let’s hope that this initiative will have a positive impact on the number of tourist arrivals to the country.  

Greece transport hit by general strike.   

 

Greek Strike

Test for Greek Govt

TRANSPORT in Greece has come to a standstill following a nationwide general strike in protest against planned spending cuts and tax rises.

Planes, trains and ferries are at a standstill as transport workers joined public workers in their 48-hour strike that started yesterday.

According to media reports flights in and out of Greece stopped at midnight, while trains and ferries were not running in the morning.

 

The Greece government over the weekend agreed that it would cut spending and hike taxes in return for US$143 billion loan from euro zone countries and the International Monetary fund.

  

The government now plans to cut 13 and 14th month bonus pay for civil servants and retirees and raise the retirement age for women to 65, the same age as required by men for pension payouts. 

Mass protests are planned in Athens before passing through the city. 

Schools and hospitals are also expected to remain shut. 

Disney debuts “World of Color” 

DowntownDisney

Downtown Disney

Disney’s California Adventure Park will debut the newest nighttime spectacular “World of Color” on June 11. The show is choreographed with revolutionary technology that creates a playful, nighttime spectacular and a new way to experience Disney stories. 

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