December 5, 2014 497 Views One in Five Housing Markets Less Affordable than Their Historical Averages Share More than one in five U.S. housing markets had surpassed their local historical home affordability average as of October, according to a report released Thursday by property information firm RealtyTrac.Out of 475 U.S. counties analyzed in the company’s latest real estate report, 98—21 percent—had a higher affordability percentage than their historical average. (Affordability percentage is defined by RealtyTrac as the percent of median income needed to make monthly payments on a median-priced home with a 10 percent down payment.)The group includes a number of markets where supply and demand conditions have sent prices skyrocketing—including California’s Los Angeles, Alameda, and Orange counties—and other areas where local economic conditions have boosted the housing market, such as Texas’ Harris, Dallas, and Travis counties.”While 99 percent of markets have not returned to the irrational affordability levels during the previous housing bubble, one in five markets have now exceeded their historical affordability norms, which is a strong sign that either a new home price bubble is forming in those markets or that home price appreciation will soon plateau until incomes can catch up,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.In addition, 58 counties—12 percent of all markets analyzed—posted a median price higher than their bubble-era peaks as values continue to rise. However, with interest rates still low and incomes slowly coming up, only six counties are currently considered less affordable now for median income earners than they were before the crash, according to RealtyTrac:Suffolk County, Massachusetts (Boston)Travis County, Texas (Austin)Jefferson County, Alabama (Birmingham)Brazos County, Texas (College Station)Allegan County, MichiganMontgomery County, Tennessee (Clarksville)Across all counties, buying a median-priced home in October required 26 percent of median income on average, down from an average 41 percent in each county’s peak month during the bubble. Home Values Housing Affordability Housing Bubble RealtyTrac 2014-12-05 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News
in Headlines, News LenderLive Announces Aligned Business Divisions & Leadership Changes LenderLive mortgage Servicing 2016-06-03 Staff Writer Domestic-based mortgage services provider, LenderLive, recently announced a new organizational structure that aligns its various business divisions under two broad units—mortgage and services—as well as corresponding leadership changes.The two new units are LenderLive Network, LLC (fulfillment, lending, and servicing) and LenderLive Services, LLC (settlement services and LenderLive Document Services, which now includes GuardianDocs and Walz Group). Both report up to the existing holding company, LenderLive Holdings, Inc.The company also announced that:• Rod Walz, President and Founder of WALZ, is now Vice Chairman of LenderLive Holdings. In this new role, he will be a strategic advisor to CEO Rick Seehausen and the executive team, as well as to the newly combined LenderLive Document Services.• Dave Vida, President of Mortgage Services, now serves as President of LenderLive Network.• Pete Pannes, the company’s Chief Revenue Officer, has been named President of the new LenderLive Services, LLC.• Joe Mowery, General Manager of Settlement Services, now reports to Pannes.• Jonathan Kunkle, General Manager of LenderLive Document Services now reports to Pannes.• Maria Moskver, who was General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of WALZ, is now the company’s General Counsel and Enterprise Compliance Officer for LenderLive Holdings.“Basically, our businesses fall into one of two categories: regulated, as is the case with our mortgage services, and unregulated component services, such as our title, origination and servicing documents offerings,” Seehausen said. “Our new structure will make it easier for us to work with our regulators, accelerate the expansion of our title operations, and allow us to take advantage of synergies among our document and settlement services businesses. While a number of our executives have new leadership roles, they have all been instrumental in building LenderLive and are the right team to take us to the next level.” June 3, 2016 505 Views Share
September 10 , 2018 PRESS RELEASEWashington D.C. (Sep. 10, 2018) – The World Avocado Organization, the first and only organization in the world devoted to promoting the consumption and awareness of avocados at a global level, is pleased to welcome Colombia as its newest member country director. The announcement was made during the opening of Asia Fruit Logistica, a most important annual trade show for the international fruit and vegetable in Asia. WAO’s current members include the top avocado producing nations of: Mexico, Peru, the United States of America, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Spain.“We are delighted that Colombia joins WAO and look forward to working together to supply the European avocado market, which has been soaring over the last few years. We are pleased to replicate the programs WAO has implemented in Europe during the fall and winter months together with the Colombian Hass avocado sector,” said Zac Bard, Chairman of WAO.One of the largest avocado producers worldwideColombia is home to some of the top Hass avocado producers and exporters in the world, including Fruity Green, Cartama – Avofruit, S.A. & Westfalia Colombia, each of whom have also officially joined WAO. Colombia has only recently entered the Hass avocado market but is already one of the biggest producers and exporters worldwide. It currently produces over 15,000 hectares of Hass avocados and is growing at an unprecedented rate, as its agricultural outlook continues to flourish.Xavier Equihua, CEO of WAO commented “Avocado production in Colombia has experienced rapid growth over the past few years where volumes have grown by 550 percent a year between 2012 and 2016 – We are pleased to announce the inclusion of Colombia as a country director of WAO and we look forward to working with them on expanding avocado supply and consumption across the European market.” “Hass avocado production is growing at a tremendous rate in Colombia. At the same time, the consumption of avocados in Europe is growing at an immense pace, where more than 510 million kilos of avocados were sold in 2017. Joining WAO will help Colombia to unlock their full potential and key opportunities across the European avocado market,” underlined Daniel Bustamante, Vice-Chairman of WAO.WAO members covering most of the European marketWith the addition of Colombia and Spain this year, WAO now represents over 70% of the avocados commercialized in Europe.WAO will be holding its 2018 Mid-Season Meeting in Madrid, Spain on 22 October 2018 – one day before the start of the Fruit Attraction, the international trade show for the fruit and vegetable industry.About the World Avocado Organization (WAO)The World Avocado Organization’s (WAO) primary purpose is to promote and increase the consumption, awareness and value of avocados in international markets. It was established in February 2016 as an international non-profit organization. Based in Washington, D.C., WAO represents some of the world’s largest avocado producers, exporters and importers, including Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and the United States of America. Europe is one of the fastest-growing markets worldwide and already the second-largest market for imported avocados in the world. It is expected to grow by at least 15 percent per year in the next five years. You might also be interested in
Amalfi CoastearlybirdsItalysmall group tours Albatross Tours has announced the return of the Amalfi Coast to its 18 day The Italian ‘Grande’ tour, with savings of $700 per couple when booked and deposited before 31 October 2017.With leisurely two, three, four and five night stays this escorted small group tour explores the Italian Lakes District, The Dolomites, Tuscany, Umbria and the Amalfi Coast regions.Escorted by an experienced tour manager the tour includes 17 nights’ hotel accommodation, 29 meals, all sightseeing, excursions and entrances as per the itinerary plus more.Priced from only $7,149 per person twin share when booked and deposited by 31 October 2017. The 18 day The Italian ‘Grande’ tour offers departures between April and October 2018.
A group of Travellers Choice members recently took part in an exclusive eight day Egypt Adventure educational, with plenty of opportunities for interactive experiences during the tour, including a boat ride to a Nubian village for dinner with a local family.“It was nice because it didn’t feel too contrived,” says Metcalfe. “It was like we were Nubian friends who had just turned up for lunch. Everybody we met was lovely and trusting, and one shopkeeper even asked us to look after her shop while she popped out to get something.”There was, however, one encounter with a local that was a little disconcerting.Kerry Fiske from Clayfield Travel Professionals was on the outskirts of Cairo, taking a camel ride around the Pyramids of Giza, when she attracted the attention of an amorous local.“One of the other camels took a liking to me and he put his head under my armpit and left it there,” says Fiske. “Then he began to run his head up my leg and slobber all over it for the whole 20-minute journey.”The journey also included visits to Aswan and Luxor, from where the group explored the temple complex of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. But for Fiske the real highlight was the group’s overnight journey up the Nile on a white-sailed felucca.“There is something very special about a night-time felucca. You can watch the sunset reflected in the water, and experience all the sights and sounds of people and animals along the banks. In the evening the crew set up a gangplank, lit a fire on the bank and started singing songs, and we were joined by local kids. You don’t have those sorts of experiences at places like the pyramids.”IMAGE: (L-R) Georgiana Turner, Colin Hood, Kylie Jones, Lucinda Metcalfe, Donna Phillips, Walid (Intrepid host), Greg Close, Jess (Intrepid host), Kiara Silvester and Kerry Fiske
Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away There has been plenty of talk about the Cardinals and apossible interest in Peyton Manning, but according to Marc Sessler ofNFL.com, the team may have interest in a differentpasser in the coming weeks.Green Bay’s Matt Flynn, who has impressed in a limitednumber of starts, figures to latch on somewhere as astarting quarterback, and while the Dolphins, Browns,Redskins and Seahawks all figure to be in on the QB, thisis a road the Cardinals already traveled once before. Still, as Sessler writes:The Jets could pursue a free-agent passer and don’t countout the Cardinals. Arizona, of course, took the bait on last year’s big free-agent arm, Kevin Kolb, paying him $63 million over fiveyears, only to watch him go 2-6 as a starter. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Comments Share Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Would the Cardinals really cut last year’s Kevin Kolb,Kolb, in favor of this year’s version?Doubtful.Though Flynn is just 26 and has shown some serious skillin limited action, the very fact that Kolb struggled lastyear would give anyone pause on handing the unprovensignal caller a big contract — especially the Cardinals. Flynn may have all the tools to become a good startingquarterback for an NFL team, and chances are good someteam will take a chance on him this summer.Just don’t expect that team to be the Arizona Cardinals.
According to totalfilm.com, the best movie bad guy of all time is The Joker, as played by Heath Ledger. Darth Vader is two. Hannibal Lecter third. Agent Smith from The Matrix is ninth. Gordon Gecko (way way underrated) is 11th. Hans Gruber (see Gecko) comes in 15th. The complete list is here. Not so coincidentally, the list reflects some of my personal favorite movies of all time. No secret; a great bad guy can turn a so-so movie into a great story. That’s why Karlos Dansby going to the Browns isn’t much of a story. There’s not really a bad guy in it.Oh, I got some tweets Tuesday from people who tried to paint Dansby out to be the scoundrel. One tweeter hoped that Dansby can root for the Cardinals in the playoffs while he’s bathing in the Browns’ money. Another suggested he had lost respect for him because he took more money elsewhere. Two tweeters do not make a consensus, but you get the drift. Except I’m not buying this lack of loyalty angle. Dansby is 32 years old and has one last chance to hit the big time before walking away from the game for good. Is it wrong to criticize him for doing what many of us probably would have done ourselves? Yes. Yes it is. So, no bad guy there. What about the Cardinals? Certainly there is an immediate assumption by some (including my co-host) that the Cardinals low-balled their linebacker. Except that doesn’t make any sense. The Cardinals valued him. They spoke, often publically, about wanting him back. They were in a difficult position and everybody knew it, leading Bill Polian to state that he felt sorry for Steve Keim. Karlos Dansby is 32, going to be 33 in November. You can’t pay a premium price for players of that age; I don’t care what they did for you the season prior. You make a fiscally responsible offer and if it’s not good enough you move on and hope your plan B (Kevin Minter) is an adequate replacement. Otherwise you’re stuck in dead-money-hell when that player really gets old. Karlos Dansby did nothing wrong. The Arizona Cardinals did nothing wrong. A story without a bad guy isn’t much of a story. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
The soon to be 30-year old ran for a career-low 663 yards with the Jets last season, though he averaged a respectable 4.3 yards per carry on a bad Jets team.He only started six of 16 games, which left some to believe that Johnson’s NFL days were numbered. The Cardinals didn’t think so, and their belief in Johnson put them in a strong position should Ellington get injured, which he has.Last week, Johnson ran for 37 yards on 10 carries in the Cardinals opening day 31-19 win over the New Orleans Saints, but Palmer feels like his numbers could be much higher if he gets the bulk amount of carries.“I think more than anything he just needs the ball in his hands and the opportunity to break tackles,” Palmer said. “We saw in Denver, as the game went on and his carries went up he got better each carry.“I am looking forward to that the most. I think practice is great, but he is one of those guys that the longer you feed him, and the more opportunities he gets, the better the chances are he rips one off for 30 or 60 yards.” Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments Share Next man up.It’s been the mantra of the Arizona Cardinals ever since Bruce Arians took over at the helm in 2013.The Cardinals took that to heart last season, taking hits at key positions such as quarterback, running back and on the defensive front seven, going down to the third and even fourth guy on the depth chart.This season, the team has already seen a couple of key injuries on the offensive side of the football in losing wide receiver Michael Floyd for all of training camp, though he is now healthy and played a small role in last week’s game, and offensive lineman Mike Iupati who has been out with a knee injury. The newest member to the Cardinals injury report is running back Andre Ellington, who is expected to miss no more than three weeks with a mild sprain of the PCL. Ellington has not been ruled out this week, though it remains unlikely he will play against the Chicago Bears.That leaves running back Chris Johnson as the “next man up”, which has quarterback Carson Palmer excited to see what the veteran back has left in the tank.“I think more than anything and this isn’t a knock on Andre (Ellington) at all because I love Andre and he’s a fantastic player,” Palmer said. “But I can’t wait to see Chris (Johnson) run the ball.”Johnson is a three-time Pro Bowler and was named the NFL AP Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 while playing with the Tennessee Titans.That was the year that Johnson ran for 2,006 yards, nearly breaking the NFL single-season rushing record.He has ran for 8,665 yards overall through his seven-year career with the Titans and New York Jets, giving him credibility in the locker room that Johnson can do the job while Ellington remains out.“He’s studied so hard and is so smart and has picked up protections since day one that I think a bigger thing for him is getting the football in his hands,” Palmer said. “Obviously practice is big for everybody, he is one of those veterans that doesn’t have to practice. He’s really smart, he gets it, understands protections and understands what the offensive line is trying to do.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Can’t stop watching this @RealPeterson21 pick… #BeRedSeeRed #AZvsBUF pic.twitter.com/TpUwiEKtpP— NFL (@NFL) September 25, 2016They needed that.The Arizona Cardinals fell behind the Buffalo Bills 10-0 through the first quarter in their Week 3 showdown thanks to a sluggish start. At that point, Patrick Peterson made one of the few Cardinals highlights in what became a surprising 33-18 loss.An aggressive Bills team led by just-promoted offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn dialed up a Tyrod Taylor deep ball early in the second quarter, but Peterson was on top of it. He was playing behind the receiver and made a diving, one-handed interception of the ball down the sideline before falling out of bounds inside the Arizona 10-yard line. #Buffalo #Bills receiver Robert Woods pulls in a huge catch against Arizona #Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson. pic.twitter.com/4cyFeXfcp7— James P McCoy (@jmccoyphoto) September 25, 2016The Cardinals didn’t challenge the Woods catch, and a play later the Bills’ LeSean McCoy rushed for a 24-yard touchdown to put his team ahead 10-0.Here’s another look at Peterson’s incredible interception.The Cardinals should probably plug in Patrick Peterson at WR to jumpstart their offense. Pick of the year so far? pic.twitter.com/rhgT8eSmDT— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) September 25, 2016 The play somewhat made up for a Buffalo catch by receiver Robert Woods, who earlier in the game outran Peterson and made what was ruled a diving 24-yard catch that appeared to be incomplete. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) points to the stands after intercepting a pass agains the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) 0 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories • QuarterbackThis one goes without saying. For starters, with Carson Palmer’s retirement, the Cardinals do not have a quarterback currently under contract for next season. Matt Barkley, Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton are all unrestricted free agents. And of course, if any team hopes to be successful in this game, solid quarterback play is a must. No other position is more important.• Offensive LineWhoever the quarterback is in 2018, they’ll have to be protected. An argument can be made for a complete overhaul of the offensive line. That’s probably unrealistic, though. All five starters — left tackle D.J. Humphries, left guard Mike Iupati, center A.Q. Shipley, right guard Evan Boehm and right tackle Jared Veldheer — are under contract for next season. The problem there is two-fold: 1) they played together as a unit for only one game (Week 1) and 2) Iupati and Veldheer are due to make a lot of money, meaning a pay cut or pink slip may be in their futures.• Wide ReceiverIn 2017, this was the most disappointing group of players, with one exception of course. What was once thought of as a position of strength became a position of weakness. And whether or not Larry Fitzgerald returns in 2018, the Cardinals must make wide receiver a high priority. J.J. Nelson and Chad Williams are the only other pass catchers under contract for next season. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Once a head coach is hired, the Arizona Cardinals will focus on their next major task: The roster.Free agency begins in March and the draft is in late April. There’s also the possibility—and perhaps a very likely possibility—of acquiring players via trade.By whichever means the Cardinals go about assembling 90 players, there are a handful of position groups that need more attention than the others.Here are the Top 5: (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) • CornerbackIt wouldn’t be an offseason if the Cardinals weren’t seeking a cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson. Tramon Williams was the answer during the second half of 2017, and he would be the preferred answer next season. Just one problem: Williams is an unrestricted free agent. That leaves an unproven talent (Brandon Williams) and an unknown talent (Ronald Zamort) as current options.• Defensive LineThere is good depth at defensive line. Rodney Gunter, Josh Mauro, Robert Nkemdiche, Corey Peters and Olsen Pierre will all be back. The returns of Frostee Rucker (unrestricted free agent) and Xavier Williams (restricted) are less certain, however. Regardless, the hole Calais Campbell left with his departure to Jacksonville a year ago has yet to be filled, meaning the position remains on the Cardinals’ to-do list. 4 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jeremy Cash (52) leaves the field after being injured during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Pro Football Focus gave Cash the second-best rating among Cardinals who played at least 10 snaps. Cash’s 91.7 was just below guard Mike Iupati, who had a 93.8 rating but was subbed out quickly with the first unit.Related LinksArizona Cardinals linebacker Jeremy Cash injures knee, carted off fieldCardinals’ win offers little insight on key questionsNo clarity yet in Cardinals’ No. 2 receiver raceCash was a candidate to make the 53-man roster, according to Rapoport, and was listed as Deone Bucannon’s backup at weak-side linebacker on the Cardinals’ first unofficial depth chart.Hodges has been in the league since 2013. After playing for Minnesota and earning some starting time beginning in his second season, Hodges was traded to the 49ers in year three. There, he started 16 of the 25 games, intercepting two passes, forcing a fumble and getting three sacks in 2016.Hodges played for the Saints in 2017 but did not start a game. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 5 Comments Share Top Stories Arizona Cardinals linebacker Jeremy Cash was waived Monday after his knee injury was reported to be season-ending, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.In a corresponding move, the team signed linebacker Gerald Hodges.Cash was injured in the Cardinals’ preseason game against the Chargers on Saturday.Prior to getting injured, Cash recovered a fumble and scored a touchdown in the game. He also had two tackles.
Royal Lancaster London will launch in September 2017 following an £80 million renovation led by Studio PROOF. Upon completion, the mid-century icon will reinstate its original name of ‘Royal Lancaster London’ in time for the hotel’s 50th Anniversary.Works include a new entrance façade and reception lobby, and the redesign of all 411 guestrooms and suites in the 18-storey tower – on the boundary of Hyde Park.The lobby will be divided into a series of individual spaces, including a new bar. A restrained colour palette will be complemented with a focus on craftsmanship, joinery and metal work, with white marble and timeless metals such as gold, polished brass and bronze. A large curved marble staircase will allow guests on the first floor to view the ground floor within the space.Taking inspiration from luxury brands, Studio PROOF will apply the core materials of the interior design, especially the gold, polished brass and bronze metals, to the outer skin of the building to create five-star quality. The exterior design will be based on a series of vertical strata blended with a large 8-metre high glazed façade.The new guestroom design emphasises the premium views over Hyde Park and offers details including tactile fabrics, beautiful bronze and glass elements, with bespoke light fittings. In a nod to the hotel’s roots in the 1960s, the design of the new suites blends mid-century nuances and the quirkiness of the English character from that era with a contemporary edge – an approach that chimes with the hotel’s vision of ‘creating the future with the treasures of our past’.
Windstar Cruises has announced five new cruise dates running September to November 2018 in addition to already diverse offerings in Asia for 2017 and 2018 on 18 different itineraries with 25 different departure dates spanning seven to 34 days.Visiting both well-known ports and hidden harbours across Southeast and East Asia, options include a President’s Cruise to the Philippines and Borneo, fresh land tours, recently added itineraries, and fascinating shore excursions showcasing the region in the line’s ‘180 degrees from ordinary’ style of cruising.“Windstar’s Asia Collection now offers larger-than-life adventures and exceptional experiences only possible on a small ship,” said Windstar president, John Delaney.“Reaching dozens of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and bringing guests in contact with some of Asia’s less frequented landmarks, Windstar will also proudly sail straight into the heart of must-see Asian cities where larger ships typically dock on the outskirts. I’m really looking forward to hosting our guests and visiting some extraordinary locations on the President’s Cruise, along with Star Legend Godmother and US travel professional, Gloria Bohan.”After two intriguing itineraries in Arabia, Windstar’s Asia cruise season begins in December sailing through to the end of May 2018, when the ship navigates to Alaska for the summer season. The itinerary offerings are exceedingly diverse with port calls to small exotic harbours where cruise ships rarely call to epic visits at the icons of Asia including Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo (Yokohama), Singapore and Bangkok.Windstar guests will embark upon a journey that allows them to enjoy a wider range of locales on land with four new pre- and post-cruise tours, including five longer itineraries via Windstar’s new Star Collector Voyages. Aboard Star Legend, accommodating 212 guests, the casually elegant ship will provide access to cultural, historical and culinary experiences, tantalising all the senses and making for an unforgettable holiday. The new itineraries and land tours cover architectural favourites and geological splendours including the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat and Mount Fuji, as well as the chance to sail across the Pacific from Anchorage to Yokohama. New for 2018, passengers will delve into the magnificent and rustic Alaskan wilderness before soaking up all that Japan has to offer.Windstar’s President’s Cruise sets sail on The Best of the Philippines and Borneo itinerary departing 6 January with Windstar president, John Delaney and Star Legend godmother, Gloria Bohan. Many of Windstar’s crew on this cruise are from the Philippines, so it will be a homecoming of sorts. It will be a wonderful way to explore the culture and country alongside those who love and know it best with Filipino crew to join passengers on shore excursions to visit their native landmarks and share tips on their favourite activities and beloved locations in their homeland. The 14-day cruise will visit beautiful islands and beaches including Palawan and Boracay. The voyage features an overnight in Manila and a stop at the often-overlooked (and rarely visited by cruises) Hundred Islands National Park. A visit to Brunei takes guests inside one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, affording a look at some of the largest and most beautiful mosques in Asia.Asia shore excursions are now live on Windstar’s website and able to be booked by guests. With so many new and noteworthy offerings from culinary adventures to must-see UNESCO World Heritage Sites, advance reservations are recommended particularly with the more popular and unique experiences like Ko Kut Treepod Dining. Offered by Windstar aboard the Icons of Southeast Asia cruise, this one-of-a-kind dining affair, inspired by the free-spirited nature of childhood, involves climbing up high to a leafy canopy where guests are comfortably seated in a bamboo pod. They are then gently hoisted high up onto tropical foliage of Ko Kut’s ancient rainforest, taking in the shoreline views as a gourmet feast is delivered to them via the zipline acrobatics of a personal waiter.Uniting land and sea is the Angkor Wat Land Tour to/from Bangkok with four pre- and post-cruise options on Windstar. Over the course of three days on land, guests will have the chance to marvel at the impressive architecture of religious temples, predominantly Angkor Wat. Here guests, who wish, will be driven in the early hours of the morning to witness a breathtaking sunrise over this world wonder. A visit to Wat Atvea Pagoda, located in the Angkor Archaeological Park, is also included where there will be an opportunity to meet monks and receive a traditional Khmer Water Blessing from them.Similarly, Windstar is offering the Angkor Wat Land Tour to/from Singapore with pre and post cruise options on 11 sail dates/itineraries. The Beijing and Xian Land Tour can be experienced as a pre or post cruise option on three Windstar’s Asia cruises, with a 3-day land journey that begins in Beijing at the Temple of Heaven, providing an authentic look into local city life. From there, the ’Forbidden City’ will present visitors with some of the best-preserved pieces of classical Chinese architecture before they head to Tiananmen Square, home to Chairman Mao’s remains. No holiday in China is complete without sampling the flavoursome local cuisine, with guests to be taken to a famous Peking duck restaurant in Beijing. Guests will also experience the Great Wall before flying to Xian to encounter the Terracotta Warriors and visit the old city. The Kyoto/Osaka Land Tour is a 3-day option pre- or post-cruise on Windstar’s Grand Japan. Highlights include Osaka Castle, the UNESCO Site of Nijo Castle and Kinkakuji Temple, also known as the Golden Pavilion and aptly named because the walls and eaves are covered in shimmering gold leaf.There are five new sailings in the Asia Collection open for bookings 2018 and five new Star Collector Voyages in Asia, which combine some of Windstar’s itineraries in the region for a more in-depth exploration. Free daily laundry is also included. These sailings range from 14-34 days with highlights including the following:Singapore & Siam Holiday presents an exotic and stress-free alternative to celebrating the holidays over 7 days. Let the festivities begin with an overnight stay in Singapore before sailing to Malaysia to Penang’s UNESCO World Heritage Site in Colonial George Town and then ascend on the Langkawi Gondola to get a bird’s-eye-view of the rainforest. Upon arrival in Ko Yao Noi, sea-lovers can swim with the colourful butterfly fish in the waters of this Thai island or venture inland to scope out rural villages. An overnight stay in Phuket tops off this holiday escape. What better way to ring in the New Year than with a Taste of Siam & Singapore New Year’s Eve cruise? Guests will spend 7 days sailing from Phuket (Patong Bay), Thailand to Singapore, stopping in Malaysia along the way. This voyage commences in Phuket. It continues onto Ko Phi Phi, made popular by the 2000 film The Beach, where party-goers can pop open their bubbly to celebrate the arrival of 2018. After a day at sea, create memories in Ipoh, the fourth-largest city in Malaysia, where evidence of a British colonial past remains, and then take in the 360-degree views from the top of one of the world’s highest towers in Kuala Lumpur. The trip concludes with a visit to the UNESCO city of Malacca and an overnight stay in Singapore.Aleutians & North Pacific Crossing will create an extraordinary passage between Seward, Alaska and Tokyo, Japan over the course of 16 days in 2018. A cruise that emphasises the less-frequented ports of call will retrace the route of Russian-America fur trade, island-hopping along the Aleutian Archipelago. Visitors can live out their wildest adventures as they sportfish in Kodiak – possibly spotting one of their famous bears – or kayak in the waters of Sand Point catching glimpses of bison. This excursion continues in Japan with Kushiro, home to Japan’s largest marshland and endangered Japanese cranes, and Miyako, a city slowly recovering from the 2011 tsunami and whose Jodogahama Beach has been nationally dubbed a ‘Place of Scenic Beauty’.While Windstar’s 10-day Grand Japan itinerary was originally announced solely for early 2018, Windstar has now added two new autumn sailings on this already popular itinerary. Autumn colours promise to be spectacular, along with fewer crowds during this less-visited but no less gorgeous time to explore Japan and South Korea.For another take on Japan with a taste of Korean and Chinese culture, Pop Culture Kings of Asia offers 11 days of uncovering over 17 UNESCO sites, as well as the birthplace of J-Pop and Harajuku culture. Beginning in Tokyo and ending in Beijing, cruisers can choose to immerse themselves in retail heaven in the largest underground mall in Seoul or meditate in Kyoto, Japan’s Bamboo Forest. Other highlights of the trip include Shimizu, home to Mount Fuji, the nearby 20-metre Shiraito Waterfall, and the unforgettable Tamano (Uno), a location though which few vessels are able to pass. Stopping in Hiroshima to sample Okonomiyaki savoury pancakes cannot be overlooked before sailing over to South Korea where the dormant Hallasan Volcano and the world’s longest lava tunnels are also a must-see.Comprehensive China Exploration is an 11-day experience highlighting the best of China and Taiwan and featuring overnights in Shanghai, Taipei, and Hong Kong in 2018. This is a foodie’s dream come true with opportunities to taste the umami of oyster pancakes found in the night markets of Taiwan, sample dim sum in Hong Kong, and sip local brewed beer in Qingdao. Senses will be tantalised in Shanghai, the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, from the maze of shops and vendors in Old Shanghai to the colourful tall buildings dotting the skyline. In Zhoushan, the ‘Venice of China’ sightseers can explore the 36 bridges connecting the city or the nearby island of Putuoshan, home to 80 Buddhist monasteries and gardens.
Go back to the e-newsletterEtihad Airways launched a competition earlier this week to engage four young Emirati fashion designers to create new onboard loungewear.With local designers on the rise, Etihad Airways has chosen to cultivate home grown talent and engage the artists in a way that no other airline has done before. The competition, run in conjunction with UAE fashion publication Zahrat Al Khaleej, aims to engage four designers who specialise in loungewear.Rowdah Al Shaafar (A Friend of Mine by Xpoze), Manaal Al Hammadi (Manaal Al Hammadi), Asma Al Matrooshi (Epiphany) and Aiisha Al Marri (1981 Boutique) will compete over the next week to win the prize of having their design offered in Etihad Airways’ First Class cabins and in The Residence onboard the Airbus A380, by the first quarter of 2018, as well as another prize of two Business Class tickets to one of the 17 Etihad Airways sponsored Fashion Weeks.The public is encouraged to vote on Zahrat Al Khaleej’s social media channels, starting 18 October. Two finalists will then be chosen to develop a prototype design. The winner will be chosen based on comfort, style and wearability post-flight.Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways vice president guest experience and delivery, said: “As the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and with our sponsorship of 17 international Fashion Weeks, engaging local designers and audiences is the logical step for us, and this is the perfect platform to do so. I cannot wait to see what these incredible designers have in store for us.”The design themes must involve strong Emirati and UAE influences, working with traditional patterns, accents, local colours and must be contemporary and trendy.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterThe Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), together with 10 suppliers from Las Vegas, hosted 175 agents at a special event on Sydney Harbour on Wednesday evening, to thank the industry for their continued support of the destination.The event, themed #VegasStrong, gave agents the opportunity to talk to suppliers from Las Vegas and to test their knowledge through an interactive Q&A session. It also highlighted why Las Vegas now needs the support of the Australian travel industry more than ever to ensure it remains a favourite destination for Aussies.Three lucky agents walked away with a trip to Las Vegas including the major prize-winner who also received flights from airline sponsor, United Airlines.The prize winners are pictured above at the Sydney event.Go back to the e-newsletter
AN APT FAVOURITE: Rockies Odyssey & Alaska CruiseReturn from Vancouver, the Rockies Odyssey & Alaska Cruise holiday covers all those quintessential Canadian icons: a rail journey between the massive peaks of the Canadian Rockies, two nights at the ‘Jewel of the Rockies’ and a cruise through the Inside Passage featuring Glacier Bay. GoldLeaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer and a guaranteed Lakeview Room at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are just a few other ways that APT proves it understands what it means to indulge.Travel east on the Rocky Mountaineer in GoldLeaf Service, taking in panoramic views of the Coast Mountains, Hell’s Gate and the Spiral Tunnels from your bi-level glass-dome carriage. Enjoy the freedom to choose how you spend your holiday in Banff, Jasper and Whistler with Freedom of Choice sightseeing and dining inclusions.On the Rockies Odyssey & Alaska Cruise journey, visit The Butchart Gardens before hours and dine in the original Butchart residence; head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park for breakfast before the crowds arrive; and discover the natural history of Lake Louise with an expert Mountain Heritage Guide, among other APT Signature Experiences.Go back to the enewsletter Go back to the enewsletterClick the cover to view the e-brochureAPT has launched its 2020 Canada & Alaska featuring USA Pre-Release brochure.To celebrate the launch, APT have put together some savings. Book by 23 May 2019 and take advantage of Superdeals like Companion Fly Free including taxes. This deal is available on selected itineraries across many of APT’s 2020 departures. There’s also a Bonus Early Bird Payment Discount of $600 per couple.Other Superdeals include Fly Premium Economy from $2,595 and Fly Business Class from $5,995.All taken care of and all-inspiring, APT’s most popular itineraries are back for 2020. These holidays include explorations of both the east and west sides of Canada, a cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage and those must-see cities of the USA.
Birmingham International Airport will welcome cheap flights to Cyprus next March.Discount carrier Monarch, which already offers cheap flights from the West Midlands to Menorca, the Canary Islands and several cities in mainland Spain, will start flights to Larnaca on March 29th.The new flights will run twice a week and are part of wider schedule changes at Birmingham by Monarch.As well as the flights to Larnaca, Monarch plans to increase the number of departures it operates from Birmingham to Lanzarote and Tenerife. Liz Savage, managing director of the airline told the Birmingham Post: “We are delighted to be expanding our network to the Eastern Mediterranean with the launch of services to Cyprus from Birmingham.”I am sure that the people of the Midlands will warmly welcome the introduction of this service.”This news follows the announcement from Turkish Airlines last week that it will add flights to Istanbul from Birmingham in December. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedMonarch launch first flight to Larnaca from BirminghamMonarch has been placed into administration and all Monarch search results have been removed from Skyscanner. You can find more information and advice here.Birmingham becomes Ryanair’s latest baseBirmingham International Airport will become Ryanair’s latest European baseNew winter flights from bmibabyLow-cost carrier bmibaby has announced the second stage of its winter flights schedule
Dublin from £26The Six Nations kicks off this month, and there’s no better place to enjoy the atmosphere of a big rugby match than in Ireland’s buzzing capital. Those who prefer shopping will not be disappointed either, with world class outlets in abundance and quirky boutique shops dotted around the city’s quaint cobbled lanes. Find flights to DublinFaro from £45Keen golfers may want to work on their swing before the golfing season in the UK kicks back off, and Europe’s golfing epicentre is undoubtedly in the area surrounding Faro on Portugal’s Algarve coast. Coupled with spectacular beaches, luxurious shopping malls and gourmet food, Faro is the ideal destination for an indulgent February break. Find flights to FaroParis from £52Valentine’s day is approaching, so it seemed appropriate to highlight Europe’s most romantic city, Paris. Home to some of the world’s finest art and gourmet food, the City of Light shines in the late winter sun and is often quieter than during the peak of the summer season – ideal for strolling around attractions such as Musée du Louvre and Notre Dame. Find flights to ParisReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedSkyscanner reveals most popular Easter 2009 holiday destinationsSkyscanner reveals most popular Easter 2009 holiday destinationsBargains of the Week: Nice | Innsbruck | FaroSam Baldwin, uses Skyscanner’s popular “cheap flights from the UK to Everywhere” search featureBargains of the week: Berlin | Faro | BarcelonaBargains of the week: Berlin | Faro | Barcelona Three very different destinations in our bargains this week – whether you’re looking for sun, a city break or a spot of golf, you’ll find what you’re looking for.
RelatedPegasus, SAS and KLM win Skyscanner European Airline Food AwardsBritish Airways, easyJet, Monarch and Flybe all reach the top five.Airlines call for aviation emissions actionBritish Airways, Air France-KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific make up the coalition alongside airport operator BAA.KLM hand luggage explained and how to maximise your cabin baggage allowanceWhat size does your hand luggage have to be be go on board a KLM flight? What liquids can you take in your cabin baggage, and what other items are restricted? Here’s everything you need to know about KLM hand luggage allowances and restrictions, plus a few tips on avoiding… Revive the golden days and travel in the same style and luxury as passengers in the pioneering age of aviation.KLM led the way in modern European aviation, offering customers comfort on board and reliable flights in Europe, the Far East and beyond.For a chance to win visit KLM now! Hurry – draw closes on the 12th May 2011. To celebrate 65 years of KLM flying to Scotland, KLM is offering the chance to re-live history, and enjoy a flight on an original Dakota DC-3 aircraft. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
Gaydon – Aston Martin in conjunction with its watch partner Jaeger LeCoultre, has introduced the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder, the first watch developed with the ability to control access into a luxury sports car.The watch is a fusion of traditional watchmaking expertise and high-tech engineering. Crafted exclusively for owners of the Aston Martin DBS. By integrating the transponder circuit into the body of the watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a timepiece that not only functions as a fine chronograph but as a key.Only Aston Martin dealerships will be able to authorise the timepiece to ‘read’ and communicate with the owner’s specific DBS, ensuring that security and privacy are maintained at all times.A powerful design inspired by cutting-edge engineeringThe case and dial of the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder featurines a suspended metallic grey DBS symbol, a discrete Aston Martin emblem on the movement operating indicator and ruthenium grey bridges, satin finish and a black dial that all evoke the DBS’s instrument panel. The outer dial ring also has an opening that reveals the internal mechanisms of the chronograph and transponder functions, an allusion to the exposed brake callipers visible behind the sporting wheel rims of the DBS car.Dr Ulrich Bez, Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin said: “This is the definitive expression of the partnership between Aston Martin and Jaeger-LeCoultre, I’m delighted that we have been able to premiere this technology in such an elegant solution. It is the first time horology and automotive engineering have been combined in this way.” HYPERLINK “http://www.astonmartin.com” www.astonmartin.com www.astonmartinmedia.com www.jaeger-lecoultre.com