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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts from March, 2009

Copenhagen restaurants achieve record Michelin rating

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Food lovers on Copenhagen tours can now choose from 13 Michelin-starred restaurants for their evening meals in the city following the publication of the Michelin Guide for 2009.

A record 14 Michelin stars were awarded to establishments in the Danish capital this year, placing it ahead of other European cities including Rome, Berlin, Vienna and Madrid.

Restaurant Kokkeriet in the Nyboder district was among the new additions to the list of Michelin-starred eateries in Copenhagen this year, along with Restaurant Herman at the Hotel NIMB in Tivoli Gardens.

In a unique achievement for a theme park, Tivoli Gardens now boast two restaurants that have been recognised in the Michelin Guide.

Noma, which specialises in creating new interpretations of traditional Nordic cuisine, was the only restaurant in Copenhagen to receive two stars in this year’s guide.

Following a meal at a gourmet restaurant, a night out in Copenhagen offers the opportunity to visit cultural venues including the Opera House and the new Konserthuset music hall.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19077664-ADNFCR

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Best Places to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day- Boston, Dublin and London

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Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Like millions of people all over the world, you too can be Irish for the day on March 17 – St Patrick’s Day. Sport a huge green hat, paint a shamrock on your face, dress up as a leprechaun, and down a few pints of Guinness. It’s all part of the fun wherever folks claim Irish ancestry.

So where are the best places for St Patrick’s Day celebrations? There are plenty to choose from, but three of the best are Boston, Dublin and London. continue reading

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British travellers ‘showing more interest in long-haul trips’

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The constraints created by the credit crunch have led to British travellers looking further afield as they plan their adventure tours and other getaways, according to research by the International Currency Exchange (Ice).

Ice’s February report indicates that, for the first time ever, the Thai baht was one of the three most popular currencies among UK travellers in February, behind only the euro and the US dollar.

The Australian dollar was pushed into fourth place by Thailand’s currency, with the Czech koruna rounding off the top five.

Andrew Hamilton, head of marketing for Ice, said: "It was a big surprise to see orders for Thai baht rise 102 per cent on average, pushing it ahead of Australian dollar orders and into the top three currencies in February 2009.

"Even further abroad, Brazil looks set to be this season’s Mexico as Brits recognise the great exchange rate on the Brazilian real."

Other destinations that appear to have been popular with British travellers over the winter include New Zealand, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa, all of which saw their currencies in the top 15 in the Ice rankings.

Speaking at the recent Destinations travel show in Birmingham, Steve Barnes of Abta – The Travel Association said that the credit crunch has created a new sense of adventurousness among British travellers.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19076309-ADNFCR

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New York to celebrate 400 years of history in 2009

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Travellers on New York tours will be able to join in with some major celebrations this year as the city pays tribute to 400 years of history.

On June 6th, New York City will host River Day, an event to mark the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain’s first explorations of the area.

This occasion, which will mark the beginning of a year-long series of events, will include a relay of vessels from the boat and yacht clubs of New York, which will sail from Manhattan towards Albany, tracing the path followed by Hudson.

River Day is one of many celebrations that will take place in 2009 in what the New York state tourist board describes as "a year of milestones and events".

Music fans should plan their transatlantic trips for the end of May, with the Lake George Elvis Festival paying tribute to the ‘king of rock ‘n’ roll’ between May 28th and 31st.

The Niagara Wine Trail event will be held in Medina on June 20th and 21st, with a tour starting at the Leonard Oakes Estate Winery, while the Saratoga Jazz Festival will come to Saratoga Springs on June 27th and 28th.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park, New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-19076117-ADNFCR

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New attraction to open at Hong Kong Ocean Park

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The Hong Kong Tourism Board has announced details of a new attraction that will be opening at Ocean Park this year.

Amazing Asian Animals will begin welcoming people on Hong Kong tours in April as part of a major expansion project taking place at Ocean Park.

The new area will take visitors on a tour through a scenic environment populated by a variety of Asian wildlife species, including a 1.2-metre Chinese giant salamander that was bred and reared at the park.

Pandas and red pandas will also be among the main attractions in the new Ocean Park zone, along with tortoises, birds and many other animals.

Details of the Amazing Asian Animals exhibit were provided in a recent newsletter released by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, which also revealed that the city’s Disneyland resort is planning to increase its size by one third.

The enlargement will enable the park to offer brand new attractions including a Pirates of the Caribbean ride and a Haunted House.

Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19075157-ADNFCR

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Excitment and Adventure in Las Vegas

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Las Vegas has more to offer now than ever before. Daily excursions into the Mohave Desert and tours of some of the American South West’s most legendary sights such as London Bridge, the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam offer easy access to the trip of a lifetime! Phototours present you with the best views of scenic attractions while providing you with plenty of time to make memories. A bit of history is brought into each tour as guide share their knowledge of the land.

Phototour Indian Ruins & Valley of Fire – Take remarkable photographs as you tour the Lost City of the ancestors of the Hopi Tribe. The Valley of Fire and Rainbow Vista will offer you startling panoramics with harsh colour schemes and surprising textures. Visit Altatl Rock for a view of ancient petraglyphs, while your guide teaches you about the Native American tribes that have called this land home. continue reading

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Shopping in the USA

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Souvenirs and splurges abound as shopping tours help you save cash and go home with some amazing steals. Shop designer brands at outlets in New York and Hawaii or buy up the hoodies and track suits Americans are so known for at an American mall experience. If your travel partner doesn’t share your passion for products visit one of America’s inclusive malls, such as the Mall of America. Here you can shop, eat, see a film and even visit a theme park! Perfect for families.

Packages generally include coupon books, gift products and vouchers and helpful tips to enhance your shopping experience! continue reading

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Head to Hong Kong for dragon boat racing

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Travellers taking Hong Kong tours in May should be sure not to miss the Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships, one of the city’s most popular annual sporting events.

The festival of competitive rowing is held in Stanley, which in the early 1970s was just a small fishing village to the south of Hong Kong Island.

As most of the local people travelled along rivers and waterways for their livelihood, boat racing became popular and turned into a traditional way of celebrating the Tuen Ng Festival.

The championship, which will take place on May 28th this year, has been an annual event since 1976.

Boats measuring more than ten metres in length participate in the races, carrying a crew of up to 22 people including a steersman and a drummer who provides an energetic beat to help the competitors as they row against opposing teams.

As well as enjoying the local traditions and culture, visitors to Hong Kong can head to Victoria Peak to take in a stunning view of the city or take a tram journey to see the whole of Hong Kong Island.

Hong Kong – Part mystical Chinese city, part 21st Century metropolis, Hong Kong combines temples and skyscrapers.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19073941-ADNFCR

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See Shrek the Musical on New York tours

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Travellers planning to pay a visit to the famous Broadway theatre district during their New York tours this year will have opportunities to see shows including Shrek the Musical.

The theatrical version of the Oscar-winning animated movie is currently showing at the Broadway Theatre and will be taking bookings until August 30th.

Taking on the lead role of the famous green ogre in the show in Brian d’Arcy James, who, according to the NY Post, gives a performance that is "multi-layered" and "amazing".

Experienced Broadway performer Sutton Foster plays Fiona in Shrek the Musical, while Daniel Breaker brings to life the popular character of Donkey.

The villainous Lord Farquaad from the film also appears in the stage version, along with a host of supporting characters including Pinocchio, Gingy the gingerbread man and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

People planning a theatre trip during their breaks in New York this year may be interested in seeing one of Broadway’s current best-selling shows, such as Wicked, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys or The Lion King.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park, New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-19073374-ADNFCR

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Boost for Singapore in world tourism rankings

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Singapore was one of a number of countries to see a year-on-year improvement in its ranking in the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report for 2009.

The country was rated first in Asia and tenth overall in this year’s study, which uses various business and regulatory factors to measure the growth potential in tourism industries around the world.

Europe dominated the top of the list, with Switzerland, Austria and Germany reportedly offering the most attractive environments for development in the sector.

Singapore, along with France, Canada and Sweden, was one of four nations in the top ten to improve on its 2008 ranking this year.

John Gregory Conceicao, the Singapore Tourism Board’s director of strategic planning, said: "We are pleased to have improved our ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2009 to be among the top ten countries globally and the only Asian country in the top ten out of 133 countries.

"This is an indication of Singapore’s strengths in its tourism management and infrastructure. It will in turn strengthen our efforts to ride out the current downturn and position ourselves for future growth."

Singapore tours could become an increasingly appealing option for travellers over the coming years as new attractions such as the River Safari wildlife and activity park are opened.

Singapore – Enjoy the wonderful shops or explore Singapore’s colonial history, whatever you do end the day with a Singapore sling at Raffles.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19072789-ADNFCR

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