Travel Editor STEPHEN SCOURFIELD has all the latest travel news from Alaska to the Mediterranean, Lancelin and Perth. This week's special topics include fuel saving tips and pampered pooches.
SPINNING THE FUEL OUT
Particularly for anyone travelling around WA, the price of vehicle fuel has surely had an impact this week, as prices have risen with the return of the excise. In West Wheels, in the centre of this Travel liftout, we have 15 tips for significantly improving fuel economy.
BENCHMARK IS BACK
A classic is back — and for me, seeing APT launch its 22-day Canada and Alaska, Rockies Odyssey and Alaska Cruise is a real landmark as we come out of the pandemic. It sort-of feels like the world really is getting back to normality. This always was (and is) a big, landmark trip, and APT’s is from $13,195 per person, twin share. There are departures between April and September, 2023, and the price is valid until October 31, 2022, or until sold out.
In the Canadian Rockies, there are two nights at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and a Rocky Mountaineer journey in GoldLeaf Service. Then comes the Inside Passage, including visits to Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau. The price includes all accommodation, 43 meals, an APT tour director and tipping. aptouring.com.au, 1300 278 278 or travel agents.
Yeah, a classic is back.
Holland America Line is getting ready for its 150th anniversary in 2023 — kicking it off early, on October 15 with a special transatlantic crossing from Rotterdam, in Netherlands, to New York City. The ship Rotterdam’s voyage will retrace Holland America Line’s first cruise, in 1872 aboard Rotterdam I.
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, says: “This anniversary crossing is a tribute to the voyage millions of immigrants took to the New World. We have guests who are sailing in October because their grandparents immigrated to the US on a Holland America Line ship or because they’ve been fans for years, and we’ve filled the voyage with special moments that will create wonderful memories for everyone on board.”
OPEN & CLOSED
Qatar is closing its borders between November 1 and December 23 to anyone not attending the World Cup. Travellers flying with Qatar Airways will still be able to connect and transit through Doha, but all land, sea and air borders will be essentially closed to anyone who doesn’t have a Hayya Card — the government-issued fan ID given to everyone attending the FIFA World Cup events.
Old Doha International Airport will reopen to relieve traffic congestion ahead of the FIFA events.
FIFA has sold 2.45 million of the three million available tickets, with thousands of fans anticipated to arrive in mid-November.
A BIG SUMMER
Mediterranean countries have had a big (northern) summer. Spain this week reported that nearly nine million passengers had arrived through its international airports in August alone. That’s nearly 90 per cent of the arrivals recorded in the same month in 2019. But prices have risen massively, which took tourist spending more than $17 billion — almost double the figure recorded the same time last year. Spanish authorities are expecting tourism revenues to be more $230b this year.
Spanish airport operator Aena announced on Tuesday that the number of seats airlines will offer to the country over the winter season will be more than before the pandemic.
Portugal topped pre-pandemic levels for arrivals in July, its National Statistics Institute reported, with 1.8 million international arrivals that month.
Greece’s finance ministry expects tourism income to be more than $27 billion this year — eclipsing the country’s 2019 record. Net revenues for the first eight months of the year were $60b.
Italy’s tourist industry body, Assoturismo, reckons nearly 50 million tourists spent at least one night in a hotel in June-August summer period.
ON THE RIVER
Bicton Travel has a 14-day river cruise package on the Elbe River in October 2023. It includes return economy class flights from Perth with Qatar Airways, two-night stays in both Berlin and Prague, both in four-star hotels, transfers and breakfast daily. The 10-day cruise includes all meals, drinks at lunch and dinner and one shore excursion per day. The cost is from $8995 per person, twin share. 9339 0277
A reader this week asked me about dog-friendly accommodation in WA. In my experience, Lancelin is about the most welcoming town in the State for dogs.
But, that aside, it led me to consider the level of luxury canines are offered in Beverly Hills in the US:
At the Beverly Hills Hotel, dogs are not only welcomed, but get luxurious dog beds, bowls and bone shaped doggie cookies … each cookie with the dog’s name handwritten on it. Guests can also book a “premiere dog walker” (much as my own dog, Shackleton, does twice a day).
Dog guests at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, which opened in 1975, are greeted by name.
The Beverly Hilton, on the crossroads of Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards “welcomes a limit of two furry friends up to 34kg” for an additional $50 per pet, per stay.
At The Peninsula Beverly Hills, four-legged friends can wine and dine with their owners via doggie room service, which serves gourmet treats from custom food bowls, before getting some beauty rest in a plush dog bed. Specialised canine spa treatments are also on offer, plus fresh air, with dedicated dog walking available via the hotel’s concierge.
(Thankfully, Shackleton can’t read. I don’t think.)
Beverly Hills now has “Beverly Howls — The Pampered Pooch Guide to Luxury Stays in Beverly Hills” at lovebeverlyhills.com
WELCOME IN PERTH
In Perth, QT Hotel allows dogs. And the team there takes a light-hearted view of life: “Times have been ruff, so we want to give you and your best fur-iend a new leash on life. Let us cut to the chase: Pug-et about leaving your dog at home, QT has gone pet-friendly. If your K9 is under 20 kilos, get ready for a special QT breed of doggo indulgence.” qthotels.com/perth