Cosmos Tours has introduced tours for 2019 departures that will allow guests the freedom to tailor their trip to individual interests, budgets and preferred pace.
The Cosmos Lite program is offered on 10 European itineraries and include City-City Transport, hotels, breakfasts and services of a tour director. The “MyCosmos” selection of excursions will be available for purchase and the new CosmosGo App will suggest options for free time.
The Cosmos Lite vacation gives autonomy back to the traveller. It offers the security of transport and accommodation while allowing them to fill their days as they choose based around their budget, interests and passions. It allows guests to purchase only the activities they find interesting or none at all if they prefer independent sight seeing.
Tours range from 7-9 days and are priced from $939pp, with options in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, England, Ireland & Scotland.
Travel Daily 13/09/18
‘New’ passport process catching out Aussie travellers
If you’re an Australian who was born or had parents born overseas, and are looking to renew your passport, you may need to allow yourself extra time before jetting off abroad.
A number of Aussies recently spoke to ABC Radio telling their stories of woe relating to passport renewals. The common thread was the requirement to prove that they were Australian citizens even though they’d held multiple passports and had previously renewed them without issue.
To prove their citizenship, once more, many applicants have had to apply for a citizenship certificate, which has involved an extra application process, and in some cases, the cancellation of pre-booked holidays.
The ABC could not confirm if the policy was just put into effect, or whether it had been more strongly enforced in recent times, but the Department of Foreign Affairs stated that “long-standing law requires DFAT to be satisfied of a person’s citizenship before issuing a passport, including each time it issues a new passport to a person with a current or expired passport”.
“Where citizenship is hard to establish for any reason, DFAT asks the applicant to obtain evidence from the Department of Home Affairs,” a DFAT spokesperson said.
One such ‘questionable’ Australian is Victorian resident Alice Mayor, who was born in India in 1969 to an Australian-born couple.
Whilst Ms Mayor moved to Australia when she was five months old, and has held three Aussie passports since, when she went to renew her passport this year, she was told she must provide evidence of her citizenship.
Her nearly 90-year-old father, Chris Mayor, told ABC Melbourne the extra process had forced his family to cancel an expensive holiday to Europe.
“She was a citizen by descent from her two Australian parents and they said it would take anything from two to four months to get all that processed,” he said.
“We’d made all the arrangements, airlines, B&Bs, car rental, insurance, everything – and we had to cancel because there was no way Ali could get her passport in time.”
“She feels humiliated by this attitude of the Government questioning her citizenship.
“Her great-great-grandfather was the acting premier of Queensland who was part of federation. She pays tax, she’s got Medicare, everything … there’s never been a question.”
Another listener, Rose from Geelong, said her trip abroad was also in doubt for the same reason.
“When I went to apply they said I had to get my Australian citizenship papers,” said Rose, who moved to Australia when she was 10 months old and was listed on her parents’ naturalization papers.
“I applied four months ago to get my Australian citizenship certificate and I’m still waiting.”
Another woman told the broadcaster it took her from October to March to get the certificates for her overseas-born, adopted son, despite the fact he was serving in the Australian Army.
Published: 1 August 2018 Travel Talk
Club Med announces its first All Inclusive Ski resort in Canada by 2020.
November 2017 – Club Med is proud to announce that it will be bringing its unique all-inclusive mountain holiday offering to Eastern Canada, in the heart of the renowned Charlevoix ski region. The new resort from Club Med and Groupe Le Massif, will be situated at the highest point of the ski region, offering spectacular waterfront views overlooking the Saint Laurence River. The resort is due to open by the end of 2020.
“Club Med is the world leader in all-inclusive mountain hotels and resorts. With more than 20 sites already established in France, Italy, Switzerland, Japan and China, we’re excited to add Quebec, Canada, to the list. Each season will reveal the wonders of this natural site, offering our international clientele a place of beauty to discover. This project also serves as a strategic symbol of rapid growth around the world for Club Med, with fifteen openings taking place in 2019, representing one to two mountain resort openings per year.”
The project represents a $120 million investment with the objective of developing 300 rooms including a combination of Club, Deluxe and Luxury spaces. The future resort promises to be a haven for families, couples and groups, with spaces provided to accommodate seminars and events.
As the first Club Med mountain resort in North America, and by virtue of the symbiosis between creativity, authenticity, an appreciation for culture, society and tourism, Le Massif, Charlevoix, promises to be awe-inspiring with a picturesque setting, an outstanding line-up of activities, excellent food and unsurpassed reputation for service.
Read more at http://www.etbtravelnews.global
Singapore Airlines has unveiled its highly-anticipated new cabin products which will be fitted to its Airbus A380 fleet starting from next month, following an extensive four-year development programme.
Riding on the theme of “Space made personal, experience the difference”, the new cabin offerings provide more space and privacy in all classes, featuring intimate and bespoke elements designed especially for the Singapore Airlines customer.
The new Singapore Airlines A380 will be configured with 471 seats in four classes, featuring six Singapore Airlines Suites and 78 Business Class seats on the upper deck, as well as 44 Premium Economy Class seats and 343 Economy Class seats on the main deck.
Singapore Airlines Suites
With six Suites tucked spaciously within the front cabin of the upper deck, customers will experience a sense of exclusivity and intimate privacy aboard the A380.
Behind its artistically-designed sliding door lies a personal oasis complete with lavish furnishing and finishes. Each Suite is furnished with a separate full-flat bed with adjustable recline and plush leather chair, enabling customers to lounge comfortably in the chair or rest in bed without the need to convert the bed from a sitting position. For couples travelling together, the beds in the first two Suites of each aisle can be converted to form a double bed. When not in use, the bed can be stowed completely, creating even more personal space within each Suite.
Each seat is upholstered by world-renowned Poltrona Frauin fine leather, and is fully adjustable using an electronic control side panel which can accommodate a variety of sitting and lounging positions. The swivel capability of the chair (between 135 and 270 degrees) with recline up to 45 degrees provides added flexibility for dining and relaxation.
Each Suite also has a 32-inch full HD monitor that can swivel for the different viewing angles in seat and bed modes, a full-sized personal wardrobe, customised handbag stowage compartment, amenity box lined with soft leather, specially designed carpet and a feature wall with mood lighting – all exquisitely crafted to give a touch of luxury and intimacy.
The exclusivity of the Suites cabin is further accentuated by its two stylishly-furnished lavatories, one of which has a sit-down vanity counter.
Designed by JPA Design of the UK and manufactured for Singapore Airlines by JAMCO Corporation of Japan, the interior of the Business Class cabin showcases a modern yet organic colour scheme featuring a selection of soothing and classy leather and fabrics, in addition to lightweight carbon composite materials.
Measuring 25 inches in width, the Business Class seat, which has two side wings for better back support, reclines directly into a comfortable full-flat bed (78 inches). Customers may also stretch out fully in a ‘sun-deck’ position to watch movies on the 18-inch high definition touch-screen monitor. The Business Class seat is upholstered by Poltrona Frau as well.
A larger back shell on every seat creates a cocoon-like feel for more privacy while the centre divider can be fully lowered to form double beds, making the two centre seats an ideal choice for customers such as families travelling together.
A unique feature of the new Business Class seat is that it has a carbon fibre composite shell structure, as compared to conventional aircraft seats which use metal as the primary support structure. This thinner base structure allows for better optimisation of the seat and creates more under-seat stowage space to accommodate a full-sized cabin bag and laptop bag or handbag.
Seats in the Business Class cabin are arranged in a forward-facing, four-abreast (1-2-1) configuration that offers all customers direct access to the aisle.
Other features include a business panel equipped with USB ports and in-seat power, reading lights with adjustable brightness level, mood lighting, enlarged dining table designed for flexibility in dining positions, as well as stowage space for personal amenities with a thoughtful design that puts everything within easy reach.
Premium Economy Class
Premium Economy Class comes with a contemporary and stylish design. Each seat is 19.5 inches wide, with eight-inch recline and seat pitch of 38 inches. Customers will be treated to an enhanced in-flight entertainment experience with the provision of active noise-cancelling headphones and a sleek 13.3-inch full HD monitor.
Other features include a full leather finishing, calf-rest and foot-bar for every seat, individual in-seat power supply, two USB ports, personal in-seat reading light, cocktail table, and more stowage space for personal items.
The Economy Class seat, designed and built by RECARO, offers more space and greater comfort through an improved design. Leveraging on advanced technology and ergonomics, seats offer more legroom and back support, with a six-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings. The Economy Class seat also features a more contemporary fabric seat cover design.
An 11.1-inch touch-screen monitor eliminates the need for handsets and offers more convenience to customers who wish to catch the latest movies on KrisWorld, Singapore Airlines’ award-winning in-flight entertainment system.
Other features include a patented non-intrusive reading light installed underneath the seatback screen, personal storage space for small personal items, a coat hook, in-seat power supply and ergonomically designed footrest with adjustable positions.
“The significant investment that we are making with the introduction of new cabin products demonstrates our commitment to continued investment in products and services, our long-term approach to ensure we retain our leadership position, and our confidence in the future of premium full-service air travel,” said SIA CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong.
“The new cabin products are the culmination of four years of work, involving extensive customer research and close partnerships with our designers and suppliers. We are confident that the results will genuinely ‘wow’ our customers, and ensure that we continue to provide them an unparalleled travel experience.”
TravelTalk 2 Nov 2017
Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort has launched an exciting new programme of activities for families with older children. Created especially for kids aged 10 to 16, the Young Explorers programme features a series of educational and entertaining sessions that will keep young adults active throughout their stay.
The Young Chef course is held daily and teaches kids how to cook simple Thai dishes overseen by the resort’s chef, potentially sparking a love of the culinary arts. For more active kids, the weekly “Beach Gamer” sessions include a wide range of fun beach sports such as volleyball, mini-petanque and beach soccer.
Youngsters can unleash their inner explorer with a choice of exciting nature-based activities. The Mangrove Explorer activity for example is held every week and allows children to paddle through the mangroves on kayaks and learn more about this enchanting coastal ecosystem.
A Seaside Boot Camp Beach features a series of fun and fitness activities such as yoga and aerobics all held on the resort’s pristine beach, and finally, the monthly Coral Reef Nursery Activity allows Young Explorers to help preserve the resort’s coral reef with a diving or snorkelling trip.
These activities range from one to four-and-a-half hours in duration and are priced between THB500 and THB990 per child. For more information about this action-packed programme, please visit https://www.phiphiislandvillage.com/family-playgroud.phpp
The Young Explorers programme is designed to complement Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort’s Little Islanders programme, which is aimed at 3-10 year-olds and includes activities such as craft workshops, swimming lessons and recycling. Combined, these two children’s programs provide a full week’s worth of adventures for kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. This allows parents to spend more time simply relaxing and enjoying the peace and tranquility of this serene island paradise, safe in the knowledge that their children are being kept active and entertained in the care of professional supervisors.
Read more at http://www.etbtravelnews.global
ETB Friday 3 Nov 2017
Qantas has launched a new collection of pilot and cabin crew outfits for children aged 3-8yrs. The unisex pilot uniform includes a navy jackets with four gold embroidered stripes with hat featuring the Qantas roo and golden wattle embroidery. A Cabin crew uniform for girls and boys is also available, The outfits are to “inspire a new generation of pilots, cabin crew and aviation enthusiasts” stated the carrier.
Qantas also plans further initiatives for the Joey Club Kids program to include more children inflight entertainment, new merchandise and a new Joey Club novelty passport to record flight details.
The new uniforms can be pre-ordered from the Qantas Shop for pre Christmas delivery.
Travel Daily 25/10/17
I have received a great article recently on medical insurance requirements and travel visas. I though you may all gain some useful information from this article for future travel. Copy and paste into your browser.
Published by David Patterson and written by the staff writers of Pacific Medical Training.
US Customs are introducing a Passport control app to Australian citizens to use for entry into the USA. It willl be available for use at Terminals 2, 4, 7 and Tom Bradley Intl Airport. Currently available to USA and Canadian citizens, now available to Australians to cut waiting times after a long haul flight.
-Download the Mobile Passport Control App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store before arriving.
-Create a profile with your passport information.
-Complete the “New Trip” section upon arrival in the United States.
-Submit your customs declaration form through the app to receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code.
-Bring your passport and smartphone or tablet with your digital bar-coded receipt to a CBP officer.
From Eglobal 21/09/17 P Needham
Africa, Family Travel, Flights, Helpful Tips, Latest Travel News, Travel tips, Traveling with children
As we approach the next peak travel period a gentle reminder on the South Africa Department of Home Affairs implemented new travel requirements for minors (children under 18) travelling to/ from South Africa as of 01 June 2015. Parent/s travelling with children will be asked to produce the required documentations at check-in for each flight or their journey would be interrupted.
Regrettably from time to time we still get families travelling without being aware of the requirements or with no sufficient documentations. Please note of the following to minimise the impacts when you book families with children:
- Children travelling with both parents, passport and full/ unabridged birth certificate with the details of both parents will be required
- Children travelling with only one parent or unaccompanied will require to produce a legal document signed by any non-travelling parents, giving approval for the child’s travel. Otherwise, where applicable, they must produce a death certificate of a parent registered on the birth certificate of the child, or a court order granting sole custody. This legal document can be a Statutory Declaration or an Affidavit and must contain full names and passport details of both parents registered on the birth certificate and child(ren), with contact details for any non-travelling parent. The document should also specify the travel destinations of the parent and child(ren). These legal documents or certified copies of these documents cannot be more than 3 months old. If there is only one parent registered on the birth certificate, that person has sole responsibility.
The requirements apply for travel to/from South Africa only and doesn’t apply for the transit passengers travelling beyond South Africa.
Virgin is now offering Economy X on Australian domestic flights for $29pp
Economy X travellers will receive:
Priority Screen and boarding where available.
Greater legroom at the front of Economy Cabin or over wing exits
Preferred overhead locker space.
This service is also available for International short haul flights
International long haul benefits are the same as short haul & domestic with added Guaranteed first meal choice and Premium noise-cancelling headset.
Enjoy your extra time in Paris Luggage Free. This new service, that can be added to your train booking, offers delivery of your luggage to/from Train stations, hotels or rentals.
You are greeted upon arrival in Paris by a concierge who collect the bags and delivers them to your hotel or rental at the time requested.
On the day you leave the concierge collects the bags at check-out and will wait for you at the train station so you can enjoy Paris a little longer.
They offer Same day, +1, +2, +3 Day delivery, for 2-5 pieces of luggage.
Same day delivery 2 pc luggage $64, or $72, $80, $88 if you would like them to hold your bags for up to 1,2,3 days respectively.
Same day delivery 5 pc luggage $111, or $135 to hold luggage up to 3 days. Prices available for 2,3,4,5 pieces of luggage.
Visiting Machu Picchu in Peru now has some new regulations for visitors.
Split Entrance Times: For a period of 2 years entrance tickets to Machu Picchu with be split into an AM 6am-12pm & PM 12pm-5:30pm entrance time. Visitor must leave the sie within the time frame stated and can not re enter once you have left the site.
Entry with Official Guide Only: All visitors must be accompanied by an official Machu Picchu guide or licensed tourist guide. Guides only permitted to take Maximum Group size of 16.
Defined Routes: routes or circuits will be set up to separate the crowd and prevent everyone stopping at one highlight.
Re-entrance: This prohibits re-entrance to Machu Picchu. Once you enter, if you leave you are not allowed to return. Special Circumstance is allowed for toilet use at the moment.
Turkish Airlines are offering free stop over vouchers for countries that have over 20hrs of connection time in Istanbul.
Economy Passengers: 1 Free Night in 4* Hotel in Istanbul
Business Class: 2 Free Nights in 5* Hotel in Istanbul
Turkish Airlines, the carrier that flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, has now extended its ‘Stopover’ service for its transfer passengers, departing from Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Australia, Russia and Belarus to arrive to the U.S., Europe, South American countries, U.K., Ireland, Far East, Middle East, North Africa and Asia.*
Stopover service is offered to:
Passengers travelling from Australia to: Europe, Balkans Region and Turkey
Also for Selected Departures From: Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Pakistan.
Batik Airlines are now flying Perth and Brisbane to Denpasar from 21 June 2017. They offer another discount airfare option from Australia to Bali and other Asian destinations. With connections to Kuala Lumpur, Lombok, Denpasar, Singapore and many more, Asia just became more affordable.
Malindo Airlines offers Australian’s great deals to Malaysia and Indonesia. With the offer of Inflight entertainment, Baggage allowance, extra leg room, Business Class and light refreshments, they are another airline to consider when planning your holiday.
All Qatar (QR) flights operation to/from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have been suspended with effect from June 6 2017 00:00 UTC to June 6 2017 23:59 UTC.
All bookings on 157-tickets to/from above origins and distinction will be open for cancellations, refunds, changes including rerouting to other airlines.
Only on change free of charge is allowed. All other flights are operational, visit qatar airways.com for further updates.
From March 2018 Australians will be able to fly direct Perth-London in 17 hrs on the Qantas 787 Dreamliner. This is great news for those on the West Coast, still an extra 5 hrs of flying for those of us on the East Coast unfortunately.
It is a great step forward in aviation and connecting Australians to Europe. Direct Perth-Paris is also arriving soon.
In 2020 with the Boeing 777 Qantas will be able to fly Melbourne-London and Sydney-London non-stop.
Air Canada will now flying non stop from Melbourne-Vancouver for the Northern winter ski season 4 times per week. Services will begin from 3 Dec 2017 – 4 Feb 2018. This service is in addition to their existing non stop daily flights to Vancouver from Brisbane and Sydney. This is great news for Victorian Skiers, who can now fly direct to some of the worlds best ski resorts in Canada.
New Canadian Border eDeclaration App allows travellers to create a declaration for up to 5 travellers with same residence to reduce processing time by up to 50% on arrival.
Create traveller profiles on the app, select ‘My Declaration’ answer the question to create your QR code. Scan the QR code and travel documents at the Inspection Kiosk, it takes your photo and confirm your declaration on screen.
Inspection Kiosks are located in Vancouver and Ottawa international airports with Toronto soon to follow.
Don’t forget to apply for your Canadian eTA before flying to Canada.
Dual Canadian citizens cannot apply for an eTA and will need a valid Canadian passport to board their flight. Even if the Australian government needs them to enter and exit Australia using their Australian passport, they will still need a valid Canadian passport to board a flight to Canada.
U by Uniworld is the first Boutique River Cruise company to launch Itineraries for 21-45 yr olds.
This is a great travel option for the younger active traveller. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises are already the most family friendly company with the average age of 45yrs, options of interconnecting rooms for families and great Christmas Cruises to entertain the children.
U By Uniworld shops will have black exteriors and feature a sleek, cool interior design with open communal spaces and rooftop lounges, where guests can enjoy scenic river views while sipping on craft cocktails and mingling with like-minded travellers. The A and The B will serve as a fully-equipped waterfront contemporary hotel, taxi, bar, restaurant, café, nightclub and yoga studio, all in one.
European Itineraries begin in April 2018 from $2499 twin share for 7 nights.
Image and cruise information from etbtravelnews April 7 2017
From 25 March, passengers on all US & UK bound flights from, or transiting through selected airports are not be permitted to carry electronic devices bigger than a smart phone or mobile into the aircraft cabin.
Items such as laptop computers; tablets including iPads; gaming devices; cameras; and e-readers must be placed in checked-in luggage. Medical devices are exempt and can be carried onboard.
Emirates and Etihad are already taking steps to ease any inconvenience for passengers. Emirates are offering a handling service for larger devices; this enables passengers to used laptops and tablets until just before boarding. They then declare and hand over all banned electronic devices to security staff at the gate to be carefully packed into boxes and loaded into the aircraft hold, then returned at their US destination.
Etihad supplies USB ports, power and Wifi through out the terminal and on the plane to allow connectivity via smart phones. They offer a great inflight entertainment service and offer a Kids pack with games and toys and a Flying Nanny on board to help parents.
The policy will come into effect on Friday 24 March 2017 and will impact flights travelling to the United States and the United Kingdom from the following list of countries.
The US policy has banned large electronic devices on flights from the following countries:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
The UK’s policy, is slight less restrictive and applies to flights from the following countries:
- Saudi Arabia