Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views 18 June 2024

Great views from Rocky Mountaineer.

Europe provides many sights to see and many ways to get there, Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield traverses another week in Travel


I am in northern France in this month where they are marking the 80th anniversary of the World War II D-Day landings. I’m heading along the Seine from Paris to Normandy. The landscape is green and beautiful in spring. The pretty villages are peaceful. And all this is in dramatic contrast to what happened in June 1944, when more than 5000 ships and other craft landed more than 150,000 troops on five beaches in Normandy. It marked the start of the liberation of France from German occupation and the long and costly campaign in north-west Europe that would ultimately lead to the nazi high command conceding defeat. And that’s a lot to think about.


I’ve also been thinking about the city of Coventry in England, which designated itself as a place of peace and reconciliation after the war. The city took a hammering from air raids in World War II. In one 10-hour attack one night, about 500 Luftwaffe bombers targeted the city, destroying its medieval cathedral and more than 40,000 homes. Hundreds of people died. But Coventry’s response was to work towards peace and reconciliation after the war. It runs through the veins of the city and so it’s no surprise that it was the birthplace of Two Tone music — a blend of Jamaican ska and British punk, which reflected the multicultural population of the city, as black and white youths danced together.


Coventry’s Godiva Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary. It is from July 5-7 in War Memorial Park, Coventry and is the biggest family music festival in the UK.

“Lady Godiva” is probably Coventry’s best-known one-time resident. She was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman, wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and famous for a nude ride through the city. But, in fact, there is no real evidence to say that Godiva was this intrepid rider.


When you come across a really good package with a very low price, it’s a big deal, and My Cruises has an amazing 28-day “best of Europe” deal from $9189 per person. That includes flights, accommodation and a 21-day cruise. Flights are from Perth to London, then returning from Barcelona. There are two nights in London, then a Eurostar rail journey to Paris and three nights there. A scenic rail journey takes travellers to Barcelona where, after a two-night stay, they join the new Sun Princess cruise ship, pictured, for its Italian Coast and Greek Islands cruise. This Sphere Class ship is revolutionising the Princess fleet. Bookings have to be made by June 30, 2024, to sail from October 12, 2025. Speak to a My Cruises expert on 1300 924 585 or visit


I flew to Paris with Qatar Airways, connected easily (and interestingly) at Hamad International Airport in Doha, as you can read in future editions. Qatar Airways also reinstates its non-stop flights between Doha and Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport. It will fly six weekly flights to the Portuguese capital, meeting high seasonal demand.


As Australians plan for their Euro summer travels, the team at cybersecurity company McAfee has issued a blunt warning, with new research showing that a third of Aussies have fallen victim to a travel scam while on holiday. Most have taken a financial hit. The data shows that the most common mistakes which exposed them to scams is:

Charging phones using public USB portals.

Not checking the security of wi-fi networks in accommodation before connecting to it.

Researching local attractions or restaurants on social media.

Not logging out of streaming accounts on accommodation devices.

They also warn about posting social media content while still on holiday, alerting others to the fact that you are away from home.


There are new fees for Australian passports from July 1. The cost of a 10-year adult passport (which is already one of the most expensive in the world) rises 15 per cent from $346 to $398. Allow at least six weeks to get a passport.

But there is also a new expedited passport processing service called Fast Track. As announced in the Federal Budget in May, eligible Australian-based applicants can get this five-day processing from July 1, 2024. It guarantees that a passport application is processed within five business days of a complete passport application being received by the Australian Passport Office. It will cost an extra $100 on top of the regular passport application fee.

The new Fast Track service will be offered alongside the Australian Passport Office’s existing Priority (two-day processing) service, which guarantees processing within two business days. There is a $252 priority processing fee.


A reader has paid for a trip with an ANZ Platinum credit card, and asks whether the travel insurance included with it will adequately cover him and his wife for a big trip to Alaska and Canada. He asks: “Is it satisfactory and has the benefits we need? Far too much small print for us to digest.” My reply is that the devil is in the detail — it’s all about that fine print. Different banks, credit companies and cards can have a different version of the insurance they offer, and the terms and conditions that comes with them. You really do need to slowly work your way through that fine print to make sure you are covered the way you want to be. You might even try printing it out bigger, on paper, and taking it step by step. That’s the only way you will know for sure. But do be careful with this. I know the case of a woman who got pneumonia on an Inside Passage cruise and had to be taken off the ship. The full medical bill was $US100,000.


Tour operator Travelmarvel has just launched its popular Canada and Alaska coach and rail tours and cruise journey for 2025. From Alaska’s Glacier Bay and the Rocky Mountains in western Canada, they include the Rocky Mountaineer, pictured at the top of the page, and cruises with Holland America Line. There are savings of up to $3000 per couple for early booking. My pick has to be the 21-day Reflections of the Rockies and Alaska Cruise. It covers western Canada and the Inside Passage and visits Whistler, Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise before joining the Rocky Mountaineer train. That’s a lot of travel from $10,995 per person, twin share. Call Travelmarvel on 1300 300 036, visit or see a travel agent.