In the News

Holland America cruise line is saying goodbye to its only small ship, the 835-passenger Prinsendam. Holland America sold the ship and it will be put into service with a German cruise company. The Prinsendam is scheduled to sail away from the Holland America fleet, July 1st, 2019.

The Prinsendam is thirty percent smaller than any other vessel in the Holland America fleet at thirty-seven some tons. And it has been the only ship in their fleet that could carry less than a thousand voyagers. In fact, many of their ships carry two thousand plus people.

Among Holland America travelers, the Prinsendam has something of a cult following as its small size allows it to take some unusual itineraries. The Prinsendam previously sailed under other cruise companies and didn’t join the Holland America fleet until 2002.

The Prinsendam leaves the fleet as Holland America prepares to christen one of its largest ships yet, the 2,666-voyager Nieuw Statendam. Still under construction in an Italian shipyard, the Statendam will be ready in December.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Hall and Elon’ Musk’s the Boring Co. have negotiated a plan to build tunnels between O’Hare International Airport and the Loop in which autonomous passenger trains—built by The Boring Co.—would take travelers back and forth between the two destinations at speeds exceeding 100mph.

Musk’s company was chosen by Emanuel’s administration for the project from among four competing companies to provide this quick transportation between Chicago’s downtown and the airport. While the two parties are still negotiating, Chicago is hoping to solve this transportation issue as the gridlocked roads and dated L trains are not an elegant or efficient solution for getting to and from the airport.

The Emanuel administration is counting on Musk’s Boring Company’s tunneling technology, which is yet unproven, over more conventional high-speed rail options. Those more traditional rail options had been the primary solution to the airport transportation issue until recently.

The Emanuel administration and Boring Co. officials haven’t set a project completion timeline as of yet—or its estimated cost. However, they stated that Boring intends to pay for the entire project. Which would include the construction of a new station at O’hare International Airport. Boring Co. would also finish construction on the Block 37 super-station begun under previous Mayor Richard M. Daley.

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In the past, before a 2011 full-fare advertising rule, airlines were only required to display the base price of ticket excluding mandatory taxes and fees. Congress has now introduced the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 which could repeal this rule. It’s a large bill that includes everything from consumer laws such as this to funding the FAA and revisiting aviation rules.

Those in favor of repealing the 2011 full-fare advertising rule claims it will “enhance” passenger experiences. Others such frequent fliers, consumer advocates and other experts all agree this is clearly an unfair practice. Formally known as the Transparent Airfares Act, this will be the third go in the last five years the airline industry and their lobby have tried to get rid of the act.

The newly introduced law “is to ensure that consumers know how much they are paying is for the fare itself, and how much they are paying in taxes to the government,” says spokesperson for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Justin Harclerode,
It is important to note, however, the current law doesn’t disallow airlines from breaking down the taxes and fees so customers know how much of their money is going to whom.

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After ten years stuck in Dubai the historic Queen Elizabeth 2 becomes a hotel. The QE2 is probably best known from when it set sail in 1969, a floating monument to Great Britain. Over its 40 years of traveling—with something like 1,400 voyages to its name—the ship saw the entire globe 25 times, played host to well over 2 million passengers. It sailed an incredible 6 million (nautical) miles.

10 years ago, the QE2 made port for the last time in Dubai, where recession-stalled plans to turn it into a floating hotel sunk. The city has spent $100 million trying to make the ship into a grand floating hotel. Finally, the dream is reality, the QE2 hotel will open with 224 rooms and suites. 13 restaurants (if you can believe it). Other amenities will include a movie theatre, bars and a museum of the ships history.

Forever docked at Mina Rashid, non-guest visitors will be welcome to dine at some of the restaurants and explore public parts of the ships, including the museum.

The QE2’s sister ship, the Queen Mary, is also a floating hotel and tourist attraction. It has been docked in Long Beach, California, since 1972.

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King Tut’s tomb is arguably one of the most spectacular places one can visit in Egypt, however the tourism hotspot needed an upgrade.

On Tuesday, the Getty Conservation Institute of Los Angeles reported that nearly 10 year restoration of King Tuts tomb will be completed. The goal, to preserve an important piece of history.The project added a filtration system to prevent damage from humidity, CO2 and even dust. Also, barriers have been put up to prevent tourists from touching any of the paintings on the walls. There are also new walk ways and platforms as well as new lights that will be installed this autumn. These will illuminate the mummy of King Tut, Egypt’s Boy King, who is about 3,000 years old.

The project was launched in 2009 by the Los Angeles institute, known worldwide for its conservation work, in collaboration with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities.

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While vacationing on another planet might sound like science fiction; life on Mars could go from science fiction to reality within your lifetime.

Musk, the SpaceX billionaire made the claim, at the SXSW festival, that test flights for a Mars rocket could begin as early as next year.

Musk has made headlines by launching one of his cars into space with Falcon Heavy type SpaceX shuttle. The roadster is drifting through space playing “Space Oddity” by beloved glam-rocker David Bowie.

According to CNBC, Musk plans on sending a full-fledged cargo mission to Mars by 2022.

The BFR rocket is expected to not only be capable of interplanetary travel, but also be reusable for multiple trips. Musk estimated a flight would cost between $5 and $6 billion.

Source: ABC News

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