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Gala ball to celebrate launch of Qatar Airways’ Dublin-Doha route, July 5 2017

Things to know about travel this week

  • Qatar’s CEO intends to go double daily
  • Justin Trudeau boost for diaspora museum Epic Ireland
  • Aer Lingus celebrates 70 years on Dublin-Amsterdam
  • Another daily record for Dublin Airport, up to 108,000 and counting
  • Etihad commits to Dublin – Abu Dhabi ten years on
  • Ryanair load factor at record 96pc for fourth time, can it go higher?
  • Grannies & American carriers, did he just say that?
  • Brian McFadden wins Turkish Airlines golf prize
  • USA exempts four carriers from laptop ban
  • What is it like to be a winner? Watch our video

Travel Extra TV.

Watch here Air New Zealand‘s hilarious attempt at an Irish accent in their latest ad.

Watch hereDusty the Doolin dolphin was videoed at Inis Oírr pier by Elaine Farrell while leading a Burren, Aran & Connemara tour group. There are concerns about Dusty’s relationship with swimmers.

  • No wonder things get broken. Watch here baggage handler was caught on video by Lewis Marasco throwing luggage several feet onto a conveyor belt at Edinburgh Airport.
  • The most beautiful take-off I’ve ever seen’Watch here flight footage from Carrickfin posted by a US passenger. Donegal was selected as the 7th most beautiful airport approach in the world in a recent survey by Privatefely.
  • Watch here a bloodied and somewhat over-served passenger screaming and being restrained on a Red Wings flight.
  • Watch here seven tourists react as a hot air balloon lands in an alligator-infested pond near Disney World Orlando.
  • Watch here a Vegan Strike Group jumping into a Pamplona bullring to comfort a bull as he lay dying from his wounds
  • Watch here as holidaymakers brawl on Mallorca‘s beach in front of shocked sunbathers.
  • Watch here as salt water crocodile Dominator lunges at a tourist boat in the Adelaide River in Australia’s Northern Territory.
  • Watch here new footage of fatal 2013 Asiana Airlines crash at SFO.

Behind the Headlines

Qatar Airways’ new Dublin-Doha route has already exceeded expectations and airline boss Akbar Al Baker is looking to go double daily. “We have five percentage points higher load factors from Dublin than we envisaged – and we have just started one month ago so we see that there is a very big potential. Our two competitors don’t go to a lot of destinations in the network that we go and there is potential for people to come to Ireland from those destinations. I know that they come double daily each of them and we come single, this is why we see that in a short period of time the business plan that was shown to me is far exceeding the business plan, the loads that we have. We will not go double-daily until we have a constant 85pc load factor for a period of time. We see that the current capacity for Dublin at the moment is the B787. We don’t really want to dump capacity into markets and then undermine ourselves. The A350 has nearly 20pc more capacity. We will initially operate a B787 and, when the market grows, introduce a second B787 and then, as the market grows, convert it into an A350.” Watch here press briefing by Akbar Al Baker. See Travel Extra’s full report hereSee more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.


Ronan Keating. Riverdance and Affiniti were lined up as the star attractions at the Qatar Airlines Gala ball in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin. But there was no doubting the star pf the show: Akbar Al Baker, the effusive CEO of the airline who is liable to say anything when he gets near a microphone. His speech digressed, as Baker speeches do, into a comment about how the average age of 26 on Qatar airlines compares with their counterparts on US carriers (watch here): “you are served by grandmothers on US carriers.” Qatar’s current conundrum drew barely a mention as he made a plea to support Qatar in standing up to four bullies. Watch here. The Chief Commercial Officer for Ireland has not joined Qatar yet, but Jonathan Harding VP Europe and Glen Mintrim VP northern Europe were on hand to cheer the new operation into life and Patrick McKinney was representing the Irish staff. Picture shows the Qatar Airways Dublin crew, Richard Bradley, Alexandra Dubarry, Alexander Kane, Curtis Smith, Amanda Stokes, Andrei Balla, Barbara Casanova, Patrick McKinney, Denise Dillion, Jenifer Pease, Michelle Gibbons, Jose Villar and Laura Yeates. Watch here video of Qatar Airways Gala Ball. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who enjoyed a rapturous welcome in Ireland and showed his hurling skills were way better than the heir to the English throne, also discovered his Irish ancestry on a visit to the Epic Ireland diaspora museum in the GHQ building on Dublin’s north quays. Epic visitor numbers were short of expectations for its first seven months at 40,000 to end 2016 but it is back on target to exceed 130,000 this year. The founder of the museum, Neville Isdell revealed to Travel Extra his life has been a failure, despite being CEO of one of the biggest world brands, Coca Cola 2004-8 and a multi millionaire: the Downpatrick born businessman and one-time wing forward never fulfilled his father’s dream that he would play rugby for Ireland. Watch here an extensive interview with Neville Isdell by Travel Extra. Picture shows Veille Isdell and Dervla O’Neill of Epic Ireland. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Tryphavana Cross of Las Vegas CVA and six partners hosted 68 agents at an afternoon training session in the Morrison Hotel in Dublin and 16 owner/managers for an evening session, where they heard what was on offer from Base entertainment, Caesars. Cosmopolitan, Graceland wedding chapel, Maverick helicopters, MGM, Papillon and Wynn. Watch here Daniel McCluskey of Tour America (pictured with Tryphavana Cross) winning the agents prize. Watch here a winners’ eye view of the owner/manager’s prize, won by Pamela Brownlee of Flyaway travel in Ballina. Watch here interview with Michael Wareham pf Papillon Helicopters. Watch here interview with Henika Patel of Caesars. Watch here interview with Walter Behre of MGM Resorts. Watch here interview with Tryphavana Cross of Las Vegas CVA. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

An axiom of aviation was that the ideal seat load factor was “fly with one seat empty.” The pointy heads in academia used to argue that this shows you have hit maximum yield and not spilled traffic. So when, on Tuesday, Ryanair reported another industry leading 96pc load factor for June, the fourth in their history, are they spilling? They hit 96pc LF three times before, in July 2016, August 2016 and April 2017 and  95pc LF on seven occasions, July and August 2015, September, October, November 2016, and February and May 2017. Michael O’Leary will say no, as he holds that markets are stimulated by capacity and price. Passenger numbers were up 12pc to 11.8m in June with rolling traffic up 3pc to 123.9m. Press release here. See Travel Extra report here.

Emirates hosted 50 of their finest each day at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Portstewart, Dublin and Cork trade and logistics on Thursday, Belfast Derry and Donegal trade on Friday, and corporate customers on Saturday and Sunday. Picture shows John Spollen of Cassidy Travel, Anita Thomas, Enda Corneille and Jane Masterson of Emirates and Cormac Meehan of Meehan Travel Bundoran, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association, A tip for those on their way today: the best vantage post on the rolling course is at the end of the tenth, overlooking the 8th tee and the 2nd and 7th greens. Watch here Emirates at the Irish Open. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Turkish Airlines had a celebrity winner when they staged the Irish leg of their world cup amateur series in the K Club in Straffan, the former Westlife singer Brian McFadden. Turkish Ireland manager Hasan Mutlu celebrated a victory of his own at the event, he managed to hit the ball. The winner goes forward to Belek from where the manager of the Titanic Hotel had come to Straffan to share the excitement. Picture shows Hasan Mutlu and Brian McFadden. Watch here video of the event with Brian’s winning speech including a musical interjection at the start. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

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Put a 1 on front of that to make it 14 times weekly, ten years on. “Ten years have gone by in the blink of an eye and we’re looking forward to the next ten,” Beatrice Cosgrove said as she celebrated ten years of Etihad’s service on Dublin-Abu Dhabi with an event for travel and business media at the Shelbourne Hotel. Abu Dhabi’s new terminal would have been due to open Friday but has been delayed until February.  Watch here Beatrice Cosgrove Speech and watch here Beatrice Cosgrove recalling the 10 years of Etihad in Dublin. For a trip down memory lane (runway?), see speech by Etihad CEO James Hogan here, speech by Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey here and speech by Dublin Airport CEO Declan Collier here, all from the inaugural flight on July 2 2007. Etihad showcased Ricky Wilson‘s 48hrs in Abu Dhabi video. Watch here.

The laptop ban is in abeyance at last, leaving the original reason for the ban, and the security measures put in place to combat it, still a mystery. Etihad Airways had curbs lifted last Sunday, aided by the presence of pre-clearance in Abu Dhabi. Dubai-based Emirates and Turkish Airlines of Istanbul were declared free of the measures Wednesday. Saudi Arabia Airlines expects to be free of the restrictions by July 19. Amman-based Royal Jordanian has asked the US Transportation Security Administration to approve its response to the requirement for stricter security scans and checks. Egypt aviation minister Sherif Fathy said his country is taking steps to meet the guidelines, with Cairo airport installing new equipment. England’s ban remains in place, however, and it unclear how long it will remain.

Academic Catherine Kelly is considering legal action after being stopped at Dublin airport by two plain clothes Gardaí and questioned if she had written an article about Minister Regina Doherty and her business dealings. She was told that “a complaint could have been made and she was cautioned not to tweet Minister Doherty and any material relating to her and made sign a statement or she would not be allowed to proceed to the gate.”

Travel Trade

Rebecca Kelly and Erica Oglesby of MSC Cruises hosted 20 agents at the Intercontinental Hotel, which got underway late because Antonio Paradiso London MD and Steve Williams director of sales were delayed by the BA strike. Jenny Rafter and John Keogh were there to launch Aer Lingus’ partnership with MSC with Miami flights for winter 2018. Picture shows Rebecca Kelly and Erica Oglebsy.

Agents who book a Topflight last minute holiday this July will be entered into a weekly draw for one of four free holidays for two persons to Italy to be announced July 14, 21, 28 and August 4. The first weekly winner will stay in Hotel Bolivar in the beach resort of Lido di Jesolo. Topflight’s Shauna Kelly is pictured visiting some of the Cassidy Travel Shops with prosecco and sunflowers to promote the incentive and could be on the way to your agency next. There are also spot prizes. See website or e-mail or call 01 240 1700.

Globe Hotels’ June winners of one of ten places in their 5 star Educational to Crete in October are Jackie Spain of JK Travel and Siobhan McClearn of Kellers Travel. Agents can book accommodation on to enter All bookings are entered into a draw at the end of the month.

Worldchoice Ireland announced a fam trip to Dubai with Turkish Airlines and TravelCube on September 13-17 for 10 winning agents who make a Turkish Airlines or TravelCube booking between July 7 and August 7.

Five Irish Travel Counsellors took part in the charity initiative Pack for a Purpose, as they celebrated their ‘Gold’ status in Jamaica. Cork-based Mary Foyle and Sarah McCarthy, Rosemary Chawke from Tipperary, Jennifer O’Brien from Dublin, and Mandy Walsh from Meath, were among 70 Travel Counsellors (pictured) who celebrated their ‘Gold’ status with an exclusive trip to the five-star Half Moon resort in Jamaica.

Travel Counsellors reported record sales of €620m. Steve Byrne said the company is considering a float as an option for growth. Travel Counsellors Ireland will have 70 counsellors when four new experienced agents start on July 17th. Irish chief Cathy Burke will be returning to Dubai in September for the conference there. A new Travel Counsellors manager has been appointed there.

  • Turkish Airlines hosted a night of Turkish culture in the National concert hall where the Dem Trio performed.
  • Classic Collection Holidays represented in Ireland by Niall McDonnell introduced Live Chat on its Irish site from 9am until 5.30pm Monday to Friday. The call centre is open from 9 am to 10pm seven days a week.
  • The Westminster parliament debated new ATOL legislation designed to protect online as well as agency bookings through a contribution of £2.50 per passenger. The ITAA is lobbying tourism minister Shane Ross to have similar protection introduced in Ireland to replace the 1980s vintage bonding system.
  • Topflight launched their annual Travel Photographer of the Year competition.
  • TUI reported 1,800 holiday sickness cases against it have been dropped after it was revealed claims solicitors had been recruiting holiday makers.
  • English-based tour operator failures increased from 10 to 19 in April 2016-March 2017, affecting 16,500 holidaymakers and requiring £14.7m in refunds.
  • Jet2 cancelled 100 holidays to the Hard Rock Hotel in Tenerife due to a pricing error (and appeared to get away with it).

Strange World

Did you hear the one about the guy who could not remember the name of the woman he was about to marry? Watch here our interview with Brandon Reed of Graceland Wedding Chapel at the Las Vegas trade event in Dublin on Friday.

A Delta flight attendant broke a wine bottle over Florida man Joseph Hudek’s head when he allegedly assaulted two flight attendants and attempted to open a door on a flight from Seattle. Hudek was in first class travelling on a dependent’s pass and declared “do you know who I am?” after being hit over the head. Picture released by the US authorities shows the scene after the altercation .

  • New Jersey governor Chris Christie sunbathed on a beach he closed to public.
  • United Airlines issued an apology after selling a toddler’s seat that had been paid for to a standby passenger
  • A United Airlines flight landed with an engine on fire at Denver airport.
  • Airbnb listed the Bogancloch Treehouse in Scotland for £17-a-night, a three-person 1960s touring caravan and former film prop mounted 12ft 6in up a tree with no mains electricity, no internet and no bathroom facilities.
  • An 18-year-old Watford-based Topgolf employee Amelia-Grace Beard arrived in Greece with with nothing but the clothes she travelled in and two bikinis she had kept in her hand luggage claiming her  suitcase was shredded by the luggage system in Stansted.


There are fears an Irish holidaymaker may be paralysed after falling from balcony of the Hotel Piscis in San Antonio, Ibiza.

  • A crackdown on passports led to 2,000 people being turned away at Irish ports in the first six months of 2017.
  • A 39-year-old Irishman was injured at the Pamplona bull running festival while 10 more were injured, five American, three Spanish and two French.
  • A Bavaria tour bus crash left 17 people unaccounted for.
  • A campaign was launched against Donald Trump’s threat to revoke US national monument status from 27 sites.
  • Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and Grand Canyon are the most instagrammed locations.
  • UNESCO opted against giving the Great Barrier Reef “in danger” status. Israel expresses outrage at Unesco’s declaration that the Old City of Hebron is an endangered site.
  • Amsterdam on steroids, customers queued for three hours as Nevada began legal cannabis sales.
  • Global NGO World Animal Protection reported there has been a 30pc rise in the numbers of captive tourist elephants in Thailand in just five years.
  • A study by villa holidays specialist Oliver’s Travels claimed 42pc of children feel ignored by parents on holiday.
  • Steam engine Loco 5 has this week returned to service with Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Food & Beverage

Subway plans to increase the number of restaurants in Ireland from 270 to 321 by 2020.

JP McMahon and colleagues of Chef Network (pcitured) celebrated the 2,500 member of its online community at an event in Kitchen Culture in Dublin.

  • Supermac’s are to open a restaurant in Drumlonagher in Donegal Town.
  • Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud profits are up €210,458 to €774,989.
  • Teeling Whiskey signed a distribution deal in the US with Bacardi, which has also taken a minority stake in the company.
  • The Johnstown Inn in Co Kildare is for sale. Noel devine’s Castletown Inn in Celbridge was sold for €1.6m to the owners of Gregory’s Tavern in Kilcock..
  • Dave and Stephen Flynn Wicklow-based Happy Pear café/grocery chain intend to open another outlet in Dublin before the end of 2017.
  • ShuckNsuck on Fownes Street in Temple Bar is the latest Dublin pop-up.
  • Bobby Kerr is to sell his stake in Bang to focus on Insomnia expansion in England.
  • C&C group said trading across core markets is satisfactory.
  • Cofco warned of coffee shortages on Colombia and Brazil crops.
  • Carlsberg acquired London Fields brewery.
  • The Irish seafood sector reported growth of 7pc.
  • Musgrave reported a €73m profit in 2016.
  • Starbucks acquired the landmark Ballsbridge kiosk in Dublin.
  • John Muldoon is the new ambassador for the ‘Fresh’ range of Supermac’s Irish beef and chicken products.
  • The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland said that advertising provisions in the Public Health Bill will cost the media industry €20m per year.
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Dalata sold Kasterlee, the company which holds the leasehold interest in London’s Croydon Park Hotel.

  • The Skellig Star hotel is to reopen after a €3m refurb.
  • The 60-bedroom Millrace hotel in Bunclody is for sale at €2m .
  • Harcourt developments showcased the £28m Titanic Hotel Belfast in the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices ahead of its public opening in September.
  • Causeway Coast Developments plans a 120-room hotel overlooking Royal Portrush Golf Club.
  • Gleeson’s pub in South Dublin is to add a 16-room boutique hotel.
  • Dublin’s Newmarket Square could see a 239-room hotel and indoor market as part of liberties regeneration scheme
  • German ambassador Matthias Hopfner objected to the Howl at the Moon hotel development.
  • Paddy McKillen plans a second hotel at 36 Harcourt Street.
  • Louvre Hotels group, which operates the Kyriad, Campanile, Première Classe and Golden Tulip hotel chains is following Hilton and Louvre with bluetooth systems to let guests unlock room doors by pressing a button on their mobile phone. It was reported card keys will be obsolete within five years.
  • Johnny Ronan‘s plans for Dublin’s tallest building and hotel were rejected.
  • The InterContinental Dublin launched its ‘Continentally Classic’ Best Dressed Lady Competition, which will take place at the hotel on the evening of August 10 following Ladies’ Day at the 2017 Dublin Horse Show.
  • CBRE predicted €250m in hotel sales after a slow first six months.
  • Targeted Investment Opportunities sought planning for a 165-room aparthotel on Dublin’s Ormond Quay at the former Zanzibar pub site.
  • Airbnb is considering a mansion rental arm, Airbnb Select.
  • Celbridge Manor Hotel celebrated its €1.5m refurbishment by opening its doors for a summer reception, attended by Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan’s dad, Bernard Sr.
  • Monart Destination Spa, Co Wexford, won Overall Spa of the Year award at the Irish Tatler awards.
  • Howard Hastings said one politician was such a regular in his hotel that a suite was named after him.
  • Dublin City Council is investigating 25 suspected cases of homes being illegally used as Airbnb or other holiday rental accommodation.
  • Howard Hastings said one politician was such a regular in his hotel that a suite was named after him.


Aer Lingus celebrated 70 years flying to  Amsterdam, passengers on EI604 and EI605 from Dublin to Amsterdam return received a tulip to mark the occasion.

Aer Southeast said it is still committed to its Waterford routes to Britain but will refund passengers as it works on a licence to operate. Full story here.

As Air Canada mainline takes over the Irish operation from Air Canada Rouge for the winter Aer Lingus has rephrased its claim to be the only 4-star airline connecting Ireland and North America to the only 4-Star airline connecting Ireland and the United States.

Aer Lingus cancelled all its September flights from Belfast to Majorca and Alicante, due to poor seat sales.

The European Court of Justice ruled that prohibiting holders of a pilot’s licence who have attained the age of 65 from acting as pilots of aircraft engaged in commercial air transport does not go beyond what is necessary for achieving safety. The ruling does not prohibit the holder of a pilot’s licence who has attained the age of 65 from acting as a pilot on ferry flights or from working as an instructor.

  • Dublin Airport continues to break daily attendance records with 108,000 through the airport last Sunday
  • Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh told Conor Mcmahon the airline is working hard  to fix problems that some customers have experienced with its controversial AerClub frequent flyer programme.
  • Passengers claimed they were left for “five hours with no information” after one of the first Norwegian flights from Shannon Airport to Providence was grounded due to a technical issue.
  • Applications are invited for the role of Aer Lingus High Value Guest Agent, reporting to the AerClub Customer Lead.
  • Unions served Aer Lingus with a pay and profit-share claim of €80m.
  • Aer Lingus RPK  in June was up 14.5pc with load factor up 0.9 to 86.9pc. Cargo was up 30.0pc. Passenger traffic was up 3.9pc for IAG as a whole, with European routes up 1.1pc, North American routes up 4.6pc.  Load factor was up 0.3 to 84.3pc.
  • Stobart CEO Warwick Brady told John Mulligan he was lined up as CEO for Aer Lingus post-Christoph Mueller until the IAG bid and said foot-dragging and indecisiveness caused CityJet’s Stobart bid to fail and suggested Stobart would be interested in buying Flybe, Brady expects two more franchise agreements by end of summer 2017 with two more on the way.
  • Mike Rutter of Aer Lingus criticised the pace of infrastructural development at Dublin Airport after baggage belt failures in T2 due to the DAA’s uploading of new software to the airport IT infrastructure.
  • The USA is to allow laptops aboard Emirates, Etihad, Turkish and Qatar flights after it said the airlines had tightened security.
  • Ryanair abandoned plans to grow at Eindhoven Airport because it cannot get slots.
  • Ryanair announced four new routes from Weeze to Oradea 3w, Rabat 2w, Tangier 2w and Eilat 2w.
  • Brussels Airlines CEO Bernard Gustin said the wet lease of three Sukhoi Superjet 100s from CityJet is performing within the carrier’s expectations.
  • SAS confirmed London Heathrow and Malaga will be the first bases outside Scandinavia to be used by its Ireland-based subsidiary.
  • TNT parcel delivery group was hit by Tuesday’s global cyber-attacks. A total of 100,000 packages could not be delivered.
  • Sion-based Irish-registered Powdair appointed Sean Pettit as new CFO.
  • DHL Supply Chain opened a 3,700-square-metre, pharmaceutical-grade facility near Dublin Airport. The temperature-controlled, end-to-end supply chain services include storage, pick-and-pack services, and inventory control.
  • Atlantic Aviation in Shannon are recruiting apprentices.
  • Aero Inspection acquired Shannon-based aircraft design organisation Part 21 Design Ireland, which works with leasing companies, and airlines to design, certify, and approve repairs and modifications on large aircraft.
  • Wings Capital Partners CEO Stephen Hannahs is planning a Dublin office.
  • Etihad let passengers bid on ‘neighbour-free’ seats.
  • Airbus commercial sales team will now report directly to group CEO Tom Enders.
  • British Airways is cutting its weekday Belfast City to Heathrow schedule from six to four daily for winter and said frequency would be reviewed ahead of the start of next year’s summer period.  Belfast-London traffic was up 10% in May, Gatwick  up 19pc, Heathrow down 1pc. 42% of traffic used Gatwick, 13% Luton and 14% Stansted (all from Belfast International). 26% used Heathrow and 5% London City.
  • The Westminster government gave last minute approval for the lease by British Airways of some nine Qatar Airways A320 and A321 aircraft to help cover a 16-day strike by mixed cabin crew who are members of Unite on the basis of CAA advice. The Unite union announced a further two week strike from July 19.
  • BA’s Robert Boyle told the Future Travel Experience conference in Dublin that IAG was slow to move to cloud-based operations in the lead-up to the IT shutdown at British Airways.
  • Thomas Cook’s Condor subsidiary is to close long distance flights from Munich to the US, Cuba and Dominican Republic in summer 2018 to concentrate on Frankfurt.
  • Norwegian is to start Paris CDG to Boston from May 2 and to Oakland from April 10,  and Gatwick to Austin, Texas, 3w, and Chicago 4w from March. Frode Foss resigned as CFO in Norwegian.
  • Icelandair is to lay off 115 pilots in autumn 2017.
  • IATA announced that the YY category of multilateral interlinable fares will be rescinded from October 31 2018.
  • Qatar Airways rejected deliveries of four A350-900s after deliveries were delayed by supplier issues.  It still has 28 A350-900s and 37 A350-1000s on order.
  • Oisin McGrath‘s DroneSAR in Donegal is preparing to launch an app which it says will ‘revolutionise the global search and rescue industry’.
  • Aeronet Global Communications Services claims it achieved 1,000 Mbps download and upload speeds while flight-testing datalink technology over Co Kildare. It says it is using telecoms technology to support its high-speed transmissions to and from a specially equipped helicopter.
  • British Airways are to pay strikers’ bonuses to cabin crew who did not join the strike.
  • Airports Commission boss Howard Davies said charging motorists £15 to drive to Heathrow would be popular.
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Channel 4 Dispatches, Secrets of your cruise estimated a cruise ship can produce 79,000 litres of sewage a day and dump raw sewage in the sea.

Steel was cut for Carnival‘s third 3,936 passenger vista-class cruise ship designated for Costa’s China fleet and scheduled for delivery in autumn 2019.

Ireland’s cruise tourism numbers declined 8pc in 2016 with Dublin up slightly to 110,000 visitors on board 109 vessels, from 101,400 passengers on 93 ships in 2015 and Cork passenger numbers down 12.4pc to 89,700 on 57 ships (unchanged).

Eight Royal Caribbean ships will be sailing to the Caribbean during the total solar eclipse on 21st August, on itineraries ranging from 3 to 9 nights, Allure of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Empress of the Seas, Enchantment of the Seas, Grandeur of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

  • MSC cruises launched onboard port information service and new shore excursions.
  • Dún Laoghaire said its large scale cruise ships plan was back on the agenda.
  • Royal Caribbean is to test a new beverage policy on Harmony of the Seas.
  • Thomson Spirit is to remain with Thomson cruises until November 2018.


Killarney House officially reopened after a €7m makeover.

Failte Ireland hosted thirty craft businesses at a workshop from Kilkenny, Carlow, Cork, Kildare, Louth, Monaghan, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow to consider how craft experience can meet the needs of the visitor. Picture shows Jenny de Saulles of Failte Ireland and Brian McGee,

A dispute over a disputed right of way near the Lakes of Killarney heated up as Bord Pleanála ruled that that a gate erected to block public access to the lakeshore near Fossa is not exempt from planning permission requirements.

  • Tourism Ireland boss Niall Gibbons said the organisation will promote the island around the upcoming Women’s Rugby World Cup in Dublin and Belfast. Full story here.
  • Fáilte Ireland hosted Chinese lifestyle magazine Mogujie, Lonely Planet, San Lian Life Weekly and other online media, and will visit the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin.
  • Tourism Ireland released a video of great houses, castles & gardens. Watch here.
  • Ericsson has succeeded Etihad as title sponsor of Croke Park’s Skyline Tour, in a deal that also sees them being appointed as the GAA’s Official Technology Partner.
  • Sisters Karena and Kasey Te Awa Bird, Masterchef New Zealand 2014 winners are in Ireland to film their new TV series Karena and Kasey’s Foreign Flavours (pictured).
  • Tourism Ireland in France joined forces with SelecTour to promote Ireland on digital screens and in-store displays in 850 travel agencies across France.

Deal Watch

Kos in Greece

Kos in Greece

Falcon offers: Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering, 2* San Marcial, Matagorda, from €549pp, depart August 28. Dublin to Rhodes, 7 nights self-catering, 3* Amfitriti Hotel & Studios, Pefkos, from €439pp, depart August 30. Dublin to Kos, 7 nights self-catering, 2* Emmanouel Studios, Lambi, from €629pp, depart August 26.  Dublin to Crete, 7 nights self-catering, 3* Golden Bay Apartments, Gournes, from €559pp, depart August 27. Dublin to Ibiza, 14 nights self-catering, 3* Casa Luis, Santa Eulalia, from €729p depart August 31. Cork to Lanzarote, 7 nights self-catering, 2* San Marcial, Matagorda,  from  €549pp, depart September 21. Shannon to Majorca, 7 nights all inclusive, 3* Hotel Haiti, Ca’n Picafort, from €569pp, depart September 2. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering, 3* Labranda Oasis Mango, Los Cristianos, from €469pp, depart September 8. Dublin to Ibiza, 14 nights self-catering, 2* Playa Sol Apartments, Es Cana, from €519pp, depart September 21. Visit or call1850 45 35 45.

Insight Vacations is offering 10pc early booking discount on 2018 trips to the US and Canada. Visit or call 01 775 3803.

ITAA offers: 9 nights all inclusive in the 5* Riu Lupita with Classic Resort, departure dates August-October.

Sunway offers: Dublin to Lanzarote, 7 nights B&B 3*-plus Hyde Park Lane Hotel, Puerto del Carmen, from €689pp, depart July 15. Dublin to the Algarve, 7 nights self-catering 2*-plus Bayside Salgados Apartments, Albufeira, from €399pp, depart July 14. Dublin to Las Vegas, 4 nights in the Circus Circus Hotel, from €479pp, departing December 2017. Dublin to New York & Bahamas, 1 night in Fitzpatrick’s and 7-night cruise from €1699pp, depart November 2017. Dublin to Orlando, 5 nights all inclusive at Club Med and 2 nights Cabana Bay, from €1199pp, depart November 2017. Dublin to San Francisco, 4 nights at the Good Hotel, from €729pp, November 2017. Dublin to Miami, 4 nights, Dorchester Hotel, from €899pp, depart September 2017. Dublin to Memphi, 5 nights, Memphis Crowne Plaza, from €959pp. Visit

Thomson offers: Dublin to Majorca, 7 nights self-catering 3* Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, from €489pp, depart August 30. Dublin to Majorca, 14 nights self-catering 3* Mariners Club, Alcudia, from €619pp, depart August 30. Dublin to Lanzarote, 14 nights self-catering 3* Morromar Apartments, Matagorda, from €709pp, depart August 31. Dublin to Gran Canaria, 14 nights self-catering 2* Puerto Plata, Puerto Rico, from €709pp, depart August 24. Shannon to Costa Dorada, 14 nights half board 3* Golden Donaire Beach, La Pineda, from €749pp, depart August 25. Dublin to Bulgaria, 7 nights self-catering 3* Silver Springs, Sunny Beach, from €449pp, depart September 18. Dublin to Tenerife, 7 nights self-catering 4* Colon II, Playa De Las Americas, from €459pp, depart September 29.

Topflight offers: Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights self-catering 4* Belvedere Village, Castelnuovo del Garda, was €749 now €519pp (6 share), depart July 15. Dublin to Italy, 7 nights half board 3* Hotel Bristol, Cattolica, Adriatic Riviera, was €948 now €729pp, depart July 15. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights B&B Hotel Villa Maria, Desenzano, was €1049 now €799pp, depart July 15. Dublin to Sicily, 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, was €1133 now €899pp, depart July 15. Dublin to Sorrento, 7 nights half board 4*-plus Hotel Bristol, was €1429 now €1199pp. Dublin to Madeira, 7 nights self-catering 4* Aparthotel Duas Torres, Funchal, was €649 now €449pp (4 share), depart July 20. Dublin to Tuscany, 7 nights B&B 4* Grand Hotel Croce di Malta, Montecatini, was €1049 now €799pp, July 21. Dublin to Lake Garda, 7 nights half board 4* Majestic Palace, Malcesine, was €849 now €749pp (Based on a family of 2 adults & 2 children), depart August 12. Lake Garda departures also available from Cork.

Visit or call 01 240 1700.

Tour America offers: Dublin to New York on Norwegian, 2 nights hotel and Woodbury Common weekend shopping break from €469pp, depart October 2017. Dublin to Orlando, 7 nights, from €479pp, depart September 14. Dublin to New York, 3 nights hotel, from €629pp, depart August 31. Dublin to Las Vegas. 4 nights, depart October 3. Dublin to Cancun, 7 nights all inclusive at the Now Jade Resort, from €1259pp, depart October 5. Dublin to Miami, 1 night in the city and 11 nights onboard Celebrity Eclipse, sharing an inside stateroom, from €1529, depart December 9. Dublin to Barcelona for 7-night Med cruise onboard MSC Meraviglia, including  €100 onboard spend, from €939pp, depart March 2, 2018. Visit

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering 50pc off selected European and Asia itineraries, if booked and paid in full by July 31. Cruises include Enchanting Danube, 8 nights all inclusive, was €4229, now €2099, depart September 24. Visit or call 01 775 3803

What we learned

Why ancient Rome’s marine concrete structures are still standing more than 1,500 years after the last centurion snuffed it, thank you Marie Jackson, a geologist at the University of Utah.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport has “more than Scotch than Scotland” – thank you Akbar Al Baker, its CEO.





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