Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views: July 9 Edition

Travel Editor hears news of a new ship from Ponant, a new wildflower season and much more in another week in travel

DIGITAL DEMISE

There won’t be many returning West Australians who are sorry to see the back of the Digital Passenger Declaration. The Federal Government requirement for them ended at midnight on Wednesday, July 6. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil says that as more and more of us travel internationally, we get more confident in managing our risk of COVID.

Under the new inbound arrangements:

PAPER TRAIL

The DPD worked fine for me coming back from Rome, but on a previous international trip, it “didn’t arrive” as the officers at the airport put it, and it ended up with me answering questions which were lodged on a piece of paper on a clipboard. I wonder where that is now?

FOOT & MOUTH

Sixty cases of foot and mouth disease have been confirmed in Bali, a Federal Government spokesman says. FMD is a highly contagious viral infection of cloven-hoofed mammals, including cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. It’s most important that returning travellers declare when they have been in farming areas or potential exposure sites. The risk of FMD reaching Australia within the next six months is now “extremely high” , according to Indonesian-based veterinarian Ross Ainsworth. An outbreak in Australia would trigger trade bans that would halt live animal and meat exports overnight in a bid to stem the spread of the disease.

BIG BIRTHDAY

Qatar Airways has celebrated its 10th anniversary of flying between Perth and Doha. The airline has carried more than 1.6 million passengers in and out of Perth in the last decade, exported close to 68,000 tonnes of cargo to Perth and exported more than 55,300 tonnes. Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown says Qatar Airways and Perth Airport have maintained a great partnership, particularly during the global pandemic. “Qatar Airways continued to operate services to Perth in order to bring Australians home, and carry important export and import freight crucial to WA and its economy. These actions show the airline’s strong commitment to Western Australia,” he said.

SEEING THE SOCCER

… Kevin adds: “Now that our great Socceroos will be thrilling fans at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, what better time to book your ticket and get on in the action.” The World Cup is from November 21 to December 18.

REINVENTING SHIPS

Cruise line Ponant’s research and development team is working on a ship that will have no impact on the environment when sailing. For this 14th ship in its fleet, the aim is to combine several non-fossil fuel energy sources, including wind propulsion by integrating technological bricks. Mathieu Petiteau, new building and R&D director, reveals: “For several months now we’ve been working on a new whole life cycle concept ship to reduce her ecological footprint. We’re assessing all the potential impacts: discharges into the atmosphere and water, microplastics, noise levels, and social and human impacts.” They aim to have the ship up and running by 2025.

(I know, I know . . . some day someone will invent a ship built of renewable timber, with natural-fibre canvas sails and hemp ropes.)

NEIGHBOURLY FAREWELL

Aussies farewelling soapie Neighbours at the end of its 37-year run can stay at 28 Ramsay Street, the fictional residence of Karl and Susan Kennedy. The red brick home has a private master suite, contemporary kitchen, two living spaces and outdoor entertaining area. It can only be booked on Booking.com on a first in, first booked basis from Tuesday, July 12, at 9am Perth time (11am AEST). It will also have a package called the VIP Neighbours experience, which includes a backyard barbie and beers with Dr Karl (actor Alan Fletch), before settling in to watch the Neighbours finale on July 28.

REMINDERS OF HOME

Friend and colleague Niall McIlroy says Will Yeoman’s story in the most recent edition of Saturday Travel has made him homesick for all-things Irish. He adds that a family friend was getting married recently and had a buck’s weekend in Derry for a crew of about 20, aged between 20 and 60. After a two-night celebration, they all went to explore Heaney HomePlace, dedicated to the life and work of poet and playwright Seamus Heaney, on the way back to Belfast. That leads me to point you towards not only Will’s story on page 4, but also our story about author Ernest Hemingway’s Parisian haunts, which starts on page 5. You can read the digital edition at thewest.com.au.

FRENCH CONNECTION

Another friend and colleague, Brad Roberts, sent a cheery “bonjour” from Avignon in France on Wednesday. He added: “It’s as beautiful as you said. Loving it.” He and his companion seem to have had the whole place to themselves for breakfast, but Brad adds: “I think it’s the calm before the storm, as the Avignon festival starts next week. Anyways, we’re not complaining about the lack of tourists, though yesterday we did hear heaps of Aussie accents.”

(I’ll be in Avignon with our Travel Club Tour next month.)

BLOOMING EARLY

The folk at Australia’s Golden Outback are hearing about early wildflower sightings in the Gascoyne Murchison and Northern Wheatbelt. At AGO, Kelly Leonard says: “Consistent autumn rains have again contributed to early sightings.”

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