Royal influences on tourism, Europe's tallest slide and the holiday destination crowned top by Australians, Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield runs the rule over another week in Travel
More than 100,000 visitors were in Copenhagen for the coronation of King Frederik X of Denmark — and the elevation of our Tasmanian Mary Donaldson to Queen Mary. They stepped out on to the balcony of the Christiansborg Palace and, in just that moment, a pretty horrible week of world news seemed just a bit brighter.
Queen Mary was born and grew up in Hobart and met Frederik (then Crown Prince of Denmark) while attending the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. They met at the Slip Inn (which I suspect will appeal more to the Australian sense of humour than the Danish.)
In this week’s The Pod Well Travelled, Leyanne Baillie and I discuss Royal Tourism, from King Frederik and Queen Mary to the coronation of King Charles, Queen Victoria’s influence on Swiss tourism, the 15 million people a year who visit Queen Marie Antoinette’s Palace of Versailles (she was the only Queen who ever reigned over Versailles) and Princess Grace . . . Grace Kelly still feels very present in Monaco. Subscribe to The Pod Well Travelled where you get your podcasts.
The new Home of Carlsberg in Copenhagen takes visitors through the history and tastes of one of the world’s great breweries. And it is still on the same spot, within walking distance of the Enghave Plads metro station, where it all began in 1847. The Home of Carlsberg has an interactive exhibition, vintage bottle collection, courtyard, stables with “brewing horses” — oh, beer tastings and the new Carlsberg Bar and restaurant. A beer tasting in the old Carlsberg cellars with an expert and three different beers is $26 and a guided tour of the historical site and cellars is $22. homeofcarlsberg.com
Denmark is one of the biggest coffee-consuming countries in the world, so it is fitting that the World Coffee Championships will be held in Copenhagen from June 27-29. The event at the Bella Centre includes the competitive World Latte Art and World Coffee Roasting championships with leading specialty roasters like La Cabra, Copenhagen Coffee Lab and Stiller’s Coffee will be there. worldofcoffee.org
ON THE SLIDE
Europe’s tallest slide opens again on January 23. Donauturm Slide is on the outside of the Danube Tower in Vienna, Austria. A spokesperson explains: “Bravehearts slide from the dizzying height of 165m through the transparent polycarbonate-clad and illuminated work of art to the viewing level at 150m and experience breathtaking views over Vienna — if they manage to keep their eyes open!” donauturm.at
Compare the Market has crunched through the past year’s travel insurance data to reveal Australians’ top 10 most popular international destinations in 2023. And, based on more than one million travel insurance quotes, the winner is . . . Bali. Yeah, no surprises there. The United Kingdom came second with the US third. After that come Italy, France, Thailand and Greece. It’s perhaps a surprise that Japan is eighth, followed by New Zealand and Spain. Compare the Market’s “resident travel expert”, Catriona Rowntree, says it’s no surprise to see Bali take the crown: “I think it comes to what I like to say as the 3 Cs — cost, close and climate.”
I thought it might be three Bs — Bintang, bartering and beaches. But Catriona quickly counters: “There’s so much more to Bali than Bintang, bartering and beaches. You can head to Ubud in the uplands for stunning scenery, temples and sacred spaces.”
PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Jakarta open this month. On levels 73 to 82 of Luminary Tower at the Thamrin Nine development, the opening coincides with increased air connectivity between Perth and Jakarta, with Batik Air now offering direct flights.
We’d like to think that the high-level corridors passenger planes use are sacred spaces but, given all that is going on in the world, readers have been asking about the safety of flying, particularly with regard to the Middle East. One writes: “I am flying with Qatar Airways in May to Madrid to join a Collette tour in Spain, Morocco and Portugal. As the tension is escalating in the Middle East what do the airlines do about flight routes as Qatar seems to be right in the middle of the current situation?” The air corridors are basically like freeways in the sky and these skirt around trouble spots.
I asked the question of Emirates’ media team, which rather missed the point, simply answering: “Please refer to the Travel Updates page on the Emirates website where customers can stay up to date on changes to Emirates’ flight routes.” That page says: “Emirates has suspended all flights to and from Tel Aviv. We are closely monitoring the situation in Israel and are in close contact with the relevant authorities.” Which wasn’t the point.
Despite prompting, the Qatar Airways media team had not replied at the time we went to press.
DYING TO SHARE
A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes that she and her late partner joined the Qantas Frequent Flyer program in 1992 when it was in its infancy. “He died in October 2022. About two months ago, I had an email from Qantas Frequent Flyer saying if he didn’t use his points by April 2024, he’d lose them.” She rang and told them he’d died. “When I said I wanted to transfer his points to my account, I was told I had to send a copy of his death certificate and his will. Oh yes, and I should have notified them within 12 months of his death. Oh yeah? While coping with probate, Western Power, Telstra, local councils, winding up his business, tax and all the other things you have to do when someone dies, I would have suddenly thought, oh of course, I’d better contact Qantas! It’s in the terms and conditions, she said to me grandly, several times, so they would need to ‘make a decision’ because I’ve been so remiss in not reading the darned terms and conditions! Especially as we signed up more than 30 years ago! It’ll be interesting to see what decisions they make.” Our reader just wants to warn people that Qantas has these rules about transferring points if someone dies.
MY FOUR FREQUENT FLYER TRUTHS
1. A flight is only guaranteed to be leaving on time if you are running late.
2. If you are running late for a flight, it will be leaving from the gate that’s furthest away.
3. If you arrive very early at the airport, the flight will be delayed.
4. The smaller the carry-on luggage space available on an aircraft, the more carry-on luggage other passengers will bring on board.