TRAVEL Extra’s Sunday Supplement: Miami Nice & LA Story, The 2017 Summer Schedules have landed

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View from the Yacht Club lounge on board MSC Fantasia during the ceremonial cruise for MSC All Stars of the Sea, November 14 2016

Sunset over Marseille viewed from the Yacht Club lounge on board MSC Fantasia during the ceremonial cruise for MSC All Stars of the Sea, November 14 2016

Things to know about travel this week

  • Aer Lingus announces Miami 3w, also Porto and Split
  • Ethiopian go 4w on LA, consider bringing A350 to Dublin, LA will be 11w in s2017
  • MSC to bring Meravigilia to Cork & Dublin in 2018
  • MSC has Royal in its sights to become market leader in Ireland
  • Irish agents hosted on MSC All Stars of the Sea
  • Some surprises in Trivago’s Irish hotels top tens

Travel Extra TV

Our video of the week shows a South African traffic jam: a group of tourists were on safari in Kruger National Park were stopped in their tracks by a pride of 15 lions munching on a buffalo in the middle of the road. Watcvideo-of-week-nov-20h here.

  • Ryanair took part in the mannequin challenge craze. Watch here. So did Etihad. Watch here.
  • This biz-aaaah-rre footage shot in Morocco shows a couple of KIDS hanging out of a tree. Watch here.
  • This little deer frolicking across the beach is sure to put a spring in your step. Watch here.
  • This marmot in Canada tries to sound as fierce as a bear… but fails miserably. Watch here.
  • Have you ever seen a pelican yawn? It’s really quite comical. Watch here.
  • Tourism Ireland posted a video to support Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Watch here.
  • Aer Lingus posted a promo video for its Miami route. Watch here.

Behind the Headlines

Aer Lingus Chief Executive Stephen Kavanagh and IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh at the launch of Aer LIngus trans-Atlantic routes for 2016, October 21 2015

It was a long time in coming. The direct flights from September 2018, three weekly from Aer Lingus between Dublin and Miami, were eventually announced on Tuesday and there were some unusual references to the flight times, 3 PM landing 9 PM, tying in with cruise ship boarding. Therein lies a clue why Miami missed its scheduled announcement in July. Aer Lingus needed to tie in with their prospective OneWorld partners American Airlines who operate a major hub from Miami to South America and the Caribbean but American have been dragging their feet. It was the 13th transatlantic route for Aer Lingus. Keflavík has 18 despite the disadvantage of a smaller population and fewer European connections. We are still catching up.

stephen kavanagh iata 001What’s next for Aer Lingus? The speculation has already started for 2018. Dallas, Denver, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, and Tampa have all been mentioned. Philadelphia, which was a prime candidate, seems to have slipped down the list. American might also optimise their cooperation with Aer Lingus on Chicago with flights retimed, morning flights outbound by Aer Lingus and afternoon by American. The news will be good for Dublin airport and the potential for its growth as a hub. In the long term passengers are likely to see fares slide upwards. That’s the way airline executives like them to go.

Erica Oglesby, Antonio Paradiso and Rebecca Kelly of MSC, November 14 2016

What a cruise season we have in store in 2018. The MSC flagship Meraviglia will be in Cork and Dublin in 2018 with the possibility of a mini-season by Splendida following in 2019 also dangling before the Irish cruise audience, having already won the considerable prize for a mini-season from Celebrity in April-May 2018. Picture shows Rebecca Kelly and Erica Oglesby of MSC cruises being photographed, and Rebecca and Erica with Antonio Paradiso. Four ships homeported in Dublin in 2016: Seven Sea Voyager, Bremen, Azamara Quest and Europa 2.

Antoinella Novak, Rebecca Kelly and Erica Oglesby of MSC cruises being photographed on board MSC Fantasia during the ceremonial cruise for MSC All Stars of the Sea, November 14 2016

mary-mckenna-awardRebecca Kelly and Erica Ogelsby of MSC hosted 12 Irish agents on a celebratory three day cruise to reward the 1,800 agents worldwide shortlisted for All Stars of the sea awards. MSC Fantasia departed Genoa for Barcelona and returned to the MSC homeport via Marseilles. The All Stars cruise has been one of the highlights of the social calendar for several years but the 2016 effort excelled itself with a white themed night that ended in the karaoke bar with Antonio Paradiso of MSC leading the singalong, a gala dinner and some heroic sessions in the jazz bar and casino. Picture shows Antoinella Novak, Rebecca Kelly andd Erica Oglesby of MSC being photographed on the steps of the MSC Fantasia on gala dinner night. The Irish winners: Sales producer: Paul Hackett’s Clickandgo (shortlisted Travelfox, Cruise Escapes). Group producer: Alan Lynch’s Cruisescapes (shortlisted Cassidy Travel, Cruisesforyou). Best online agent: Cassidy travel (shortlisted: Clickandgo and Tour America), Network: Travel Centres. Innovation: Jeff Collins’ Best4travel (shortlisted: Clickandgo). Yacht club producer: M`ry McKenna’s Tour America. Career achievement: Ros Walsh of Travelfox. Picture shows Mary McKenna receiving her award, Antoinella Novak, Rebecca Kelly and Erica Oglesby of MSC cruises being photographed. Watch here video report of the Allstars of the Sea awards. Watch here interview with Antonio Paradiso. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

gianni-onoratoOur takeaways from an interview with Gianni Onorarato the CEO of MSC during the celebratory all-stars of the sea cruise from Genoa is the fact that sunshine class chips will rotate in a classic Mediterranean and Caribbean and South American taxis. MSC is pushing South America as a big selling point. It only it is well behind Costa in market share in Italy with 16pc but interestingly enough has 41pc of the market share in neighbouring Austria and 21pc of share in the DACH regions. It hopes to increase its English market share with the se stationing after Magnifica in Southampton from April to October 2018 and is constantly boosting its market share in Ireland where it emerged from nowhere to come second, a distant second it must be said, behind Royal Caribbean. Magnifica will sail MSC’s first-ever world cruise, a 119 day affair to depart from Genoa on January 5, 2019, and return to its departure port on May 3, 2019, calling to 49 destinations in 32 countries. See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

worldchoice-2016_2096Worldchoice conference, the first since 2013, hosted 214 at last night’s gala dinner. The group had 48 exhibitors, 80 trade partners and 125 members at their biggest ever conference, the highlight of Carol Anne O’Neil’s year running the consortium, second in numbers of agencies but highest in turnover in Irish travel. The extrication of Wordlchoice Ireland from Worldchoice Britain was completed during the year. The consortium has 30 members with 40 offices. There are 30 suppliers contracted to the group. Highlights of Worldchoice’s conference included the presentation on technology by Sinead Reilly of Travelport.

Sinead Reilly speaking at Worldchoice 2016 conference in Seafield, Co Wexford

She updated agents on a fast-moving sector: some of the slides had gone out of date since they were last used three weeks ago. The story of the summer is the decline of Android, 25pc market share down to 15pc as a result of the Samsung Note battery crisis. Apple also seem taken aback and unresponsive to the rise of the Huawei phones from China. She gave a preview of where the Pokemon Go craze will bring us and what a journey through the airport will look like in the near future. Carol Anne O’Neill single-handedly organised a successful “we’re back” conference, one of the best in Worldchoice history. Entertainment and awards were at their peak in Lyrath when Charlie McGettigan not only performed but also joined the late night celebrations. At Seafield, the Friday and Saturday nights were prolonged and as stimulating as the world’s most insane industry can make them. Maura Doran from Wexford was unable to take to the piano with her usual dexterity but the good news is that Worldchoice’s conference will be annual from now on and they are eyeing up a date in early December next year. Martin Skelly is likely to succeed Michael Dooley as Worldchoice Ireland’s chair. The consortium has spent most of the last year extricating its systems from its London Sister. Picture shows Worldchoice Ireland chair Michael Doorley of Shandon Travel and Worldchoice Ireland CEO Carol Anne O’Neill at Worldchoice 2016 conference in Seafield.  See more pictures here or connect with the album on Facebook.

Travel Trade

Wendy Cameron of Superbreaks and Jeff Collins of Globe/Best4travel at Worldchoice 2016 conference in Seafield, Co Wexford

Best4travel have completed their latest phase of their expansion programme having grown to nine shops, with the opening of Best4Travel Northside, Peter Dolan’s Creation Travel and Jim McGonigle’s Clondalkin Travel as well as hiring ten home workers. Jeff Collins says that nine agencies have signed up for Globe’s CRM tool, Vertical systems v-suite (website) and will be concentrating on expanding this base. Picture shows Wendy Cameron of Superbreaks with Jeff Collins of Best4travel at the Worldchoice conference.

Word from Travelport: My Ryanair registration and client details are NOT required if creating a Ryanair booking via Travelport Smartpoint. Travel Agents can continue to create, book and pay for their Ryanair flights as normal adding in seats/bags/meals/equipment as required, all from their Smartpoint screens with no requirement to provide additional client information or email addresses. Agents should be aware of client data being transferred via the My Ryanair registration portal which may not be required if booking via Travelport.

Winner of the Turkish Airlines competition week 3 is Michelle Redmond from Cassidy travel, who wins two economy tickets to one of the 295 different destinations. The competition has one week to run. To enter, send the number of a ticket issued between November 14th and 20th, name, mail address and the name of the agency by email.

dsc01700-copyPicture shows a group of Irish travel media hosted by Turkish Airlines in Istanbul and Antalya, Eleanor Goggin of the Sunday Independent, Caroline Cummins of the Irish Examiner, Catherine Conroy of the Irish Times, Joe Supple of East Coast FM and Mark Evans of the Evening Herald with Turkish Airlines officials including airline chairman Ilker Ayci and Onur Gul from the Dublin office.

Up to 140 travel professionals are expected to attend the ITAA conference on board Uniworld Antoinette next week, where a range of speakers will discuss past and future trends, business successes and new travel products. Next year’s ITAA conference is likely to revert to an Ocotber 14-15 date, with contending locations including Andalucia, Portugal and Dubai.

Diana Bowman, Gearoid Mannion and Melanie Cahill at Travel Counsellors conference in Manchester, Novemebr 19 2016

Travel Counsellors global conference in Manchester saw 49 Irish members travel to the event including the head office staff of five, 25 travel counsellors and 10 partners (and also Ronan Keating, who was headline act at the gala dinner). Etihad won the travel partners award at a gala dinner in the Manchester conference centre. Drew Palmer won the prize for top performing Travel Counsellor worldwide. Picture shows Irish newcomers to Travel Counsellors Diana Bowman, Gearoid Mannion and Melanie Cahill who were attending their first conference.

Clem Walshe, who hosted a lunch on behalf of his client Betabeds this week, says that clients represented in Ireland now include Love Holidays and Melt Content. He is NOT doing door to door calls for Betabeds but advising them on strategy and facilitate meetings with the trade or media. See localmarketing site here.

Aran Brazil of the Irish Sun won the Germany Travel Writer’s Awards Ireland. Second prize was awarded to Secon was Una Mullally forthe Irish Times and third  was Caroline Delaney for the Irish Examiner.

Sad news: Travel PR lady Judy McCluskey passed away a week after a heart attack. She was last in Dublin in July for the Kimpton Hotels event.

Hotels

Avlon in  Carlow is the best value hotel accommodation in Ireland according to the first set of top tens of Irish hotels released by price comparison website trivago.

Dean Hotel owners Press Up Entertainment, owned by Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matt Ryan, saw revenues increase 36pc to €42.9m.

Hastings group is to modify its plan for the 200-bedroom Grand Central Hotel in the 23-storey Windsor House in Belfast and will now aim for 304 bedrooms, making it the biggest hotel in Northern Ireland. Hotels under construction in Belfast include a 179-room Andras House Hotels property, a 206-bedroom hotel at the former Belfast Metropolitan College and a £25m four-star, 188-room AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast as part of the City Quays development.

Chesway applied for planning permission for a 40-bedroom townhouse-style hotel on Harcourt Terrace in Dublin.

Secret Bay Hotel, Dominica was declared the world’s best boutique hotel at an awards ceremony at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall, London.

Food & Beverage

3United Airlines chef Gerry McLoughlin was in town to showcase the menu on the carrier’s Polaris business class service, which commences from December 1. Ingredients are supplied by local producers in each region. The highlight on the Dublin menu is the melt-in-your-mouth beef short rib. Gerry, who has been cooking for the cabin for 25 years, told the gathering of media about the peculiarities of being an airline chef. Choice is the most important ingredient for serving dishes to those at the front of the cabin, so each dish has to be road-tested so flight attendants can mix and match with minimal confusion. The typical passenger loses about a third of their taste at 35,000ft so the dishes can’t be too salty, Gerry said, but herbs make up for the diminished taste buds. Gerry’s tip: keep hydrated to enhance your food experience. Otherwise it’s a bit like having cotton mouth. 

Le Pain Quotidien in Kildare Village was named Just Ask Restaurant of the Month for November by Bord Bia

The National & Sixty6 was named NI pub of the year. Morgan Watson of Horatio Todd’s was named Food & Beverage Manager of the Year.

Aviation

Ethiopian’s LA service will go to 4w in summer 2017. They are using a 787 and will bring an A350 on to the route if/when they go 5w, which is the maximum they will do. They are also considering applying for a second US service from Dublin and have three destinations in mind. Between Ethiopian and Aer Lingus LAX will have 11 weekly flights, up from 7.

Dublin Airport reported record passenger numbers in October up 9pc to 2.5m.The year to date remains up 12pc putting the airport on course for a record 24.96m in 2016. Europe is up 11pc to 1.3m, Britain up 4pc to 860,000, Transatlantic up 26pc to 291,000, Middle East/North Africa down 9pc to 60,000 and domestic down 10pc to 7,500.

The slots conference agreed winter schedules at Dublin airport suggests that Air France and Aer Lingus are reducing CDG, BA reducing London City, Ryanair are adding Hamburg and Sofia, increasing Athens, London Gatwick, Newcastle, Porto and Seville, decreasing London Stansted and Beauvais, cancelling Oslo and Bremen. Total movements at Dublin airport this winter are expected to be up 4.6pc, available seats up 4.7pc to 12.1m, and average seats per movement unchanged at 166. Market share is: 1 Ryanair 5.4m seats + 5.5pc, 45.0pc share, 2 Aer Lingus 4.25m seats +3.6pc, 35.2pc share, 3 BA 427,000 seats +5.3pc, 4.1pc share, 4 Emirates 221,000 seats + 3.8pc, 1.8pc share, 5 Lufthansa 182,000 seats +5.3pc, 1.5pc share, 6 Flybe 182,000 seats, +27.4pc, 1.5pc share, 7 Cityjet 156,000 seats +2.8pc, 1.4pc share, 8 Air France 131,000 seats +3.2pc, 1.1pc share, 9 Etihad 111,000 seats -15.2pc, 0.9pc share, 10 SAS 111,000 seats +9.8pc, 0.9pc share, See winter schedule in flipbook format.

Swiss announced a weekly Cork to Zurich Embraer 100-seat service at 13:50 on Fridays, landing 17:05, returning 11:40 landing 13:05 June 2 to September 29th, rising to 2w in July and August with the addition of a Monday flight. Cork’s long-haul connections include Seoul, Hong Kong, Johannnesburg and Cape Town. Swiss Dublin flight to Geneva is going to 5w for summer.

Air Canada’s planned fourth weekly flight to Vancouver has been revised back to three.

Lufthansa’s Dublin-Munich flights are to increase from 7w to 13w for summer.

Aer Lingus are to launch AerClub in the coming weeks to phase out the Gold Circle. United Airlines remains a partner where points can be earned.

Aer Lingus and Air New Zealand engaged in a hilarious Twitter battle, culminating in an agreement to… well, you’ll just have to see it for yourself.

There was speculation Easyjet would apply for Irish licence to ensure EU access.

Knock airport summer passenger numbers climb 10% to 360,000

Cityjet are currently recruiting SSJ flight deck crew for a Brussels base in addition to the proposed Southend base.

Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh also said Brexit is not impacting the airline either side of the Irish Sea.

Afloat

Chief takeaways from the behind-the-scenes tour on MSC Fantasia were the sheer volume of activity keeping a 3,900 passenger ship functioning. In the laundry room we learned that every day three tons of guest laundry is washed, and every night two tons of table linen. On a changeover day that goes up to five tons. Chefs guided us through the giant kitchen which serves six restaurants plus the speciality restaurants and through the freezers of different temperatures: everything in the dairy room will be consumed by the end of a cruise. Different menus are dictated by different markets. Food is going to be important for MSC in the coming years. MSC which aims to be the market leader in Ireland, still has some work to do before the palates of Irish customers will be pleased to the same level as some of its competitors.

Royal Princess is to call 11 times to Dublin with some overnight stops as part of its 2018 Britain and Ireland programme out of Southampton.

Royal Caribbean is to charge $8.99 per person for a 60-minute session on its Escape the Rubicon experience on Harmony of the Seas.

American Cruise Lines plans to build two other river ships in addition to new riverboat American Constellation, launching in May 2017.

Two new residential cruise ships are to join The World by Residensea, which has long been the only floating permanent residence at sea, Utopia, with 206 suites and 100 residences, twice the size of The World, and The Marquette, with 185 residences and designed to navigate 5,500 miles of rivers and 1,100 miles of Intracoastal Waterways in the USA.

Silversea revealed the cabin designs for the renovated Silver Cloud.

Sarah Brightman was named Godmother of Seabourn Encore.

Holland America will add Sel de Mer as a pop-up venue on its Vista-class ships Noordam, Oosterdam, Westerdam and Zuiderdam and Signature-class ships, Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam, ships in summer 2017.

Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager has set sail from Barcelona after a 25-day refurbishment.

International

J1 Visa providers rushed to reassure students there would be no end to the scheme for summer 2017. Michael Doorley of Sayit/Shandon Travel said that repealing the 1956 legislation, which is reciprocal with 60 countries, would have to be taken through Congress and the senate and would not be completed before the summer 2018 season should the American president elect and his supporters move to scrap the scheme.

Portugal Tourist Board reported 10.3pc growth from Ireland up to September 2016.

The European Commission proposed a new European Travel Information and Authorisation System for non EU passport holders visiting the Schenghen region. Once authorisation is provided it will be valid for 5 years,

More ski resorts in the Alps opened early thanks to stellar snowfall.

What was all that about? The World Health Organization declared the end of the Zika emergency. Measles on the other hand, is still with us: an estimated 134,000 children died of it in 2015.

Police said an Oklahoma City airport shooting was a case of workplace revenge.

Uber was declared an illegal taxi service by Danish high court

Turkey issued a US travel advisory following anti-Trump protests.

Shanghai Disneyland reported it was on track to break even next year

Strange World

A baby was put on the edge of a cliff for a holiday photograph in Saudi Arabia, leading to widespread condemnation.

It was speculated that an English tourist in his 60s who died while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef was killed by jellyfish.

Ischgl ski resort is to fine people caught wearing ski boots at night €2,000.

A United Airlines captain played mediator after politically charged ‘scuffle’ on an aircraft.

‘Can you do my tax returns for me?‘ Travelodge released its annual list of bizarre and hilarious requests.

“I’ll do you a Deal” A Seaside town in Kent renamed itself after voucher website.

A British Airways first class passenger was fined £13 after being caught filming up a stewardess’s skirt during a flight.

Look out for Mr Stork. A London-bound plane made an emergency landing after flying into 50 storks.

Ireland

HITTING THE ROAD ‘DOWN UNDER’! TOURISM IRELAND LEADS SALES MA delegation of 12 tourism companies, hoteliers, visitor attractions, activity providers and destination management companies embarked on a sales mission to Australia and New Zealand. Picture shows Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons in Auckland, at the start of the mission.

Kildare Failte launched their digital platform, including a main Tourism website, a series of microsites dedicated to Food Tourism / Golf and a FoodScape App ( Food Tourism). The next phase of development will involve additional microsites dedicated to specific sectors and the creation of various Trail apps.

Clonakilty was named best town in the UK and Ireland.

Northern Ireland’s statistical unit NISRA reported tourism spend of £790m as visitors increased.

Black taxi drivers in Galway raised concerns over racism

A knowledge test for taxi drivers was said to be under review

Picture shows a group of travel media from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Scotland hosted in Dublin by Tourism Ireland.

The proposed Lough Derg Canoe Trail, which is scheduled for completion by January 2017, will see facilities installed in Killaloe, Ballycuggeran, and Scarriff, Mountshannon and Dromaan harbours.

Clare County Council submitted an application for funding under the Rural Economic Development Zones initiative to develop the tourism potential of Scattery Island.

Deal watch

thomson-deal-watchThomson offers: 7 nights Mediterranean Medley cruise on board Thomson Majesty from €1,149pp incl. all inclusive drinks upgrade, depart May 30 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Nerja Club, Costa Del Sol from €489pps, depart December 1. 7 nights half board Hotel Nerja Club, Costa Del Sol from €499pps, depart December 1. Tenerife flight only from €139pp, depart January 20 2017. Gran Canaria flight only from €189pp. depart December 31. Lanzarote flight only from €179pp, depart January 22 2017. 6 nights half board Hotel Natura Palace, Playa Blanca, Lanzarote from €1,019pps, dearest December 26. 7 nights all inclusive Hotel Suite Princess, Playa Taurito, Gran Canaria from €1,169pps, depart December 31. 7 nights self catering Cay Beach Bungalows, Maspalomas, Gran Canaria from €389pps, depart January 14 2017. 7 nights Villa Mandi, Playa De Las Americas, Tenerife from €399pps, depart January 27 2017. 7 nights self catering Protur Bahia Azul Apartments, Cala Bona, Majorca from €479pps, depart Cork May 16 2017. 7 nights half board Hotel Cala Bona, Majorca from €559pps, depart Shannon May 27 2017. 14 nights Riu Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,789pps, depart June 15 2017. 14 nights Riu Tequila, Playacar, Mexico from €1,579pps, depart June 7 2017. Visit thomsonholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

falcon-deal-watchFalcon offers: 14 nights half board 3* Barcelo Margaritas, Playa De Ingles, Gran Canaria from €1,299pps, depart December 31. 7 nights all inclusive 3* Catalonia Punta Del Rey, Las Caletillas, Tenerife from €399pps, depart January 20 2017. 7 nights all inclusive 3* IFA Interclub Atlantica, San Agustin, Gran Canaria from €469pps, depart January 28 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Cinco Plazas, Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote from €379pps, depart February 5 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Stefania Apartments, Stalis, Crete from €459pps, depart May 21 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Poseidon Apartments, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria from €489pps, depart May 29 2017. 14 nights all inclusive 4* Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach, Montego Bay, Jamaica from €1,769pps, depart June 15 2017. Visit falconholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.

Sunway offers: 21 nights self catering 2* Tilila Studios, Morocco from €499pp, depart April 17 2017. 21 nights B&B 3* Argana Hotel, Morocco from €779pp, depart April 17 2017. 21 nights B&B 4* Kenzi Europa Hotel, Morocco from €849pp, depart April 17 2017. 7 nights self catering 2* Tilila Studios, Agadir from €249pp, travel January. 4 nights B&B Agadir and 3 nights Marrakech from €599pp incl. 3* hotel accommodation, travel January. 10 days 4& USA Trafalgar tour from €3,079pp, depart May 10 2017. 3 nights half board Artic Highlights cruise on board MS Nordkapp and 2 nights post hotel stay in Tromso from €1,136pp, depart February 25 2017. Christmas markets offers: 2 nights 3* Ibis Budapest Centrum from €289pp, depart December 12. 3 nights 4* Austria Trend Europa Hotel, Vienna from €445pp, depart December 14. 2 nights 4* Adira Hotel, Prague from €279pp, depart December 17. Visit sunway.ie or call 01 231 1800.

brittany-ferries-deal-watchBrittany Ferries concluded its sailing season this year and is offering a 15pc early discount on bookings for 2017. Visit brittanyferries.ie or call 021 427 7801.

Travel Department is selling gift vouchers for Christmas. Buy online here, call 01 637 1650 or visit Travel Department’s shop at Arnotts, Henry Street.


The Westin
is offering a New Year’s Eve night out from €99pp, with champagne on arrival, canapés, evening meal and live entertainment in the Mint Bar. Email christmas@thewestindublin.com or call 01 6451208.

the-westin-deal-watchTour America/ Cruise Holidays offers: 7 nights Mediterranean cruise on board the MSC Meraviglia from €1899pp incl. return flights, return airport transfers, taxes and charges, depart November 10 2017. 7 nights Rosen Inn International, Orlando from €499pp, depart February 2 2017. 4 nights the Wellington Hotel, New York from €759pp, depart May 11 2017. 5 nights the Excalibur Hotel, Las Vegas from €669pp, depart February 17 2017. Visit cruiseholidays.ie or touramerica.ie.

Wendy Wu Tours is offering a 2 nights extension B&B Angkor Paradise Hotel, Cambodia incl. sightseeing in Angkor, lunch and return transfers on select tours of Vietnam, and a 2-night pre- or post-tour stopover in Hong Kong incl. breakfast, half day city tour and return transfers on any China and Burma group tour. Book by November 30. Visit wendywutours.ie.

Travel Department is offering 7 nights all inclusive Montenegro Riviera tour from €889pp incl. hotel accommodation, excursions, local guides, return flights and transfers, depart May 7 2017. Visit traveldepartment.ie or call 01 637 1633.

Travel Solutions is offering 7 nights half board 4* Borovets, Bulgaria from €699pp incl. ski equipment hire and 6 days ski lessons. Call 048 9045 5030.

Click and Go offers: 7 nights half board 4* Beatriz Playa & Spa Hotel, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote for over 50s from €439pp incl. airport transfers, return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel December. 7 nights self catering 4* Villanova Villas and Apartments, the Algarve from €329pp incl. return flights, airport transfers, taxes and charges, travel June 2017. 3 nights 4* Home Hotel, Krakow from €189pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charge, travel January 2017. 3 nights B&B 4* Ametyst Hotel, Prague for the Christmas markets from €199pp incl. return flights, airport taxes and charges, travel December. Click and Go is offering a bonus on Christmas gift vouchers purchased before December 23: €100 voucher €25 bonus. €150-€299, €50 bonus. €300-€999, €75 bonus, €1,000 voucher, €100 bonus. Visit clickandgo.com or call 01 539 7777.

ITAA Christmas gift offers: 2 nights B&B St Giles Hotel, London from €280pp incl. return flights from Cork, Shannon and Dublin, taxes and 2 tickets for Wicked. 3 nights B&B 3* hotel Reykjavik from €499pps incl. 5kg carry on luggage pp and Northern Lights boat tour, depart January 29 2017. 13 nights Great Ocean Road drive, Australia from €4679pps incl. 4 nights Mayfair Hotel, 5 nights accommodation along the Great Ocean Road, 4 nights at The Lyall, Melbourne, Phillip Island Experience, Adelaide Kangaroo Island Experience, return flights and airport taxes, travel between April and June 2017. All ITAA members can buy a travel agent gift card from a member agent.

irish-ferries-deal-watchIrish Ferries is offering 25% off ferry sailings to Britain up to March 31. Book by November 21. Visit irishferries.com or call 0818 300 400.

Insight Vacations offering 8 days  New England from €2,833pps incl. flights, transfers and accommodation, depart September 15 2017, book by November 25. Visit insightvacations.com or call 01 775 3803.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering an 8 day Northern Italy cruise on board the River Countess from €2,703pps incl. flights, airport transfers, meals and averages and all sore excursions. Depart April 2 2017, book by December 31. Visit uniworld.com or call 01 775 3803.

Topflight offers: 7 nights self catering 4* Bella Italia, Peschiera, Lake Garda from €499pps, depart May 6 2017. 7 nights self catering 3* Village Verde, Sorrento from €529pps, depart May 7 2016. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Majestic Palace, Malcesine, Lake Garda from €799pps, depart May 20 2017. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Diamond, Giardini Naxos, Sicily from €799pps, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights B&B 4* Hotel Milton, Rimini, Adriatic Riviera from €799pps, depart June 10 2017. 7 nights half board 4* Hotel Bristol, Sorrento from €1,099pps, depart April 30 2017. 7 nights B&B 5* Hotel Melia Madeira Mare Funchal, Madeira from €799pps, depart May 18 2017. Visit topflight.ie or call 01 240 1700.

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