Month: October 2016

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Explore the Natural Beauty of the Black Forest

Explore the Natural Beauty of the Black Forest

With its cuckoo clocks and pine trees, gothic castles and evergreens, it’s small wonder Germany’s Black Forest has inspired so many fairy tales. This is the place where Hansel and Gretel came across the wicked witch, where Sleeping Beauty rested in eternal slumber, and Snow White escaped the clutches of the Wicked Queen with the help of seven dwarves.

While the Black Forest has become synonymous with these sinister children’s tales, there’s more to the Schwarzwald than the storied legacy of the Brothers Grimm. Bounded by the Rhine River, this vast forested mountain range is among the most scenic regions of Germany, marrying natural beauty with charming, time-forgotten villages. Add to that, an incredible history dating back to the time of the Celts, and the Black Forest emerges as one of the most exciting stops on an invigorating Rhine river cruise.

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If you’ve long dreamt of walking beneath the Black Forest’s ageless canopy, taking in the Germanic grandeur of this mighty woodland, Emerald Waterways can help get you there.

Our Jewels of the Rhine river cruise gives you the opportunity to take part in a guided nature walk through the Black Forest, stopping off at several points of interest along the way. This special excursion is part of the Emerald ACTIVE excursions programme, and combines an insightful tour with the chance to stretch your legs and get that ticker racing amid the scenic splendour of the Black Forest.

To give you a taste of what awaits during this unforgettable shore excursion, join us as we explore the natural beauty of the Black Forest, taking in some of its most beautiful landscapes and natural landmarks.

TITISEE LAKE

Titisee Lake, and its adjoining spa town, is one of the most popular spots in the Black Forest — and for good reason. Enveloped by a ribbon of forested mountains, this beautiful lake boasts an irresistible backdrop of pine tree woodland, dotted with traditional lodges, creating a quintessentially German backdrop.

The lake itself is one of the largest in the Schwarzwald, covering around one square kilometre. Its waters drain into the Upper Rhine between Tiengen and Waldshut, and thanks to its sheltered position, it’s a popular spot for outdoor swimming and boating.

Happily, Titisee’s banks are lined with hiking trails, making it easy to take in the majestic scenery. One of the best spots to enjoy panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings mountains is from the Hochfirst, a nearby hill complete with a special viewing platform.

TRIBERG FALLS

Triberg Falls is, perhaps, the most beautiful natural landmark of the Black Forest. Tumbling 163m down a rocky ravine, this is the highest and most powerful waterfall in Germany, formed by the Gutach river as it makes its way towards the Elz and, eventually, the Rhine.

Rather than a single drop, Triberg features seven major steps, each with its own white water plunge pool. The bottom steps of the waterfall are the most impressive, and feature manmade viewing platforms where you can experience the ferocity of the fast-flowing river.

The entire descent of Triberg can be explored thanks to a series of stepped trails, which follow the route of the river as it plunges through the pines, providing a spectacular walking experience.

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KAISERSTUHL

Rising from the Upper Rhine Plain and stretching deep into the belly of the Black Forest, the Kaiserstuhl mountain range is a spectacular region for many reasons — not least for its Badberg Nature Reserve, a Designated Conservation Area that’s home to a number of rare plants, including wild orchids which blossom as far as the eye can see during the summer months.

Given its position straddling both the Upper Rhine Plain and the Black Forest, and close to the waters of the Rhine, Kaiserstuhl is renowned for its plentiful vineyards, which are visible on several hillsides in the region. Thanks to its volcanic soils and sheltered aspect, the Kaiserstuhl range has all the right attributes for grapevine cultivation.

Thanks to its gentle, rolling hills, the Kaiserstuhl is a popular spot for hikers, and features several scenic walking trails, including the north-south trail, a 16km route between Ihringen and Endingen, offering fantastic scenic views.

HÖLLENTAL

The Höllental is one of the deepest valleys in the Black Forest, so deep in fact, that travelling in the gorge’s narrow bottom can feel like being underground. This depth lent the valley its ominous German name Höllental, which translates as ‘Hell’s Valley’ in English. You won’t worry yourself over this menacing title upon seeing the valley for the first time, however - its scenic beauty is absolutely spectacular.

While most people experience Höllental by car, choosing to drive along the valley floor, there are some excellent walking trails on both sides of the gorge, making it easy to explore the landscape on foot.

One of the most popular trails in the Höllental region is the Jägerpfad, or ‘Hunter’s path’, which runs along the bottom of the ravine. With its gently undulating terrain, this is the easiest of Höllental’s hiking routes, and offers spectacular views of the Ravenna gorge viaduct.

MURG VALLEY

The Black Forest’s Murg Valley is steeped in history, evident in the striking castles and fairy tale villages which litter the region. The valley takes its name from the Murg river, the main right tributary of the Rhine, which runs an 80km course through the Northern Black Forest, meeting the Rhine at Steinmauern, a town in the Rastatt region of the Upper Rhine Valley.

The valley itself is effortlessly beautiful, comprising of rolling, forested hills interspersed with traditional Germanic towns and villages. The region features a good range of hiking trails, which connect many of the region’s most popular settlements and offer a varied mix of terrains — from forested trails to riverside pathways.

One of the best-loved towns in the region is Weisenbach, whose historic wooden footbridge is one of the most iconic sights of the Black Forest. Demonstrating the awe-inspiring beauty of the region found waiting around every corner.

Source: Emerald Waterways

Kuwait Airways unveils new livery on first Boeing 777

Kuwait Airways unveils new livery on first Boeing 777

National carrier Kuwait Airways has unveiled its new branding and livery on the first of its 10 Boeing 777-300ERs on order.

The new livery was unveiled at an official launch in Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ US headquarters is in line with Kuwait Airways’ newly-announced five-year business plan and transformation strategy, reported Kuwait Times.

The new Boeing 777 is the first of 10 to be delivered to the airline over the next 12 months, and will help serve the carrier’s long-haul destinations and ultimately open new routes, according to Rasha Al Roumi, Chairperson and CEO of Kuwait Airways.

“The launch of our new livery is an unreservedly clear statement-of-intent,” Al Roumi said.

“While the outward change to our aircraft will be obvious, we also hope to demonstrate that a much deeper and thorough transformation process is underway; one that will reassert our pioneering legacy in the region’s aviation industry and restore a sense of pride in the national carrier of Kuwait. Ultimately, such changes will be in pursuit of asserting our position as the preferred choice for passengers, linking Kuwait to the world,” Roumi added.

The new branding maintains a revised version of the airline’s iconic blue bird, which is now more prominently featured on the body of the aircraft from the tail to the rear end of the plane.
The addition of the new Boeing 777-300ERs will also see Kuwait Airways own one of the youngest commercial fleets in the region by 2017.

Source: Arabian Business Publishing Ltd.

Mcarthurglen Wins Another Top Travel Award In Asia

Mcarthurglen Wins Another Top Travel Award In Asia

McArthurGlen has been named ‘Best Outlet Mall’ at the ‘Travel Weekly Asia’ Readers’ Choice Awards. This is the second time in six months that the company has won a prestigious award for its work in the Asian markets, having won the ‘Best Overseas Shopping Centre’ award from ‘Travel Weekly China’ in May 2016.

The company’s latest award recognises what ‘Travel Weekly Asia’ describes as “the ‘best of the best’ professionals in the travel industry who have provided exceptional service and products in the past year,” and was voted for by readers of the leading Asian travel trade publication.

McArthurGlen, which operates 22 designer outlets in nine countries across Europe and in Canada, is enjoying record spending by Asian shoppers. In the last five years the company’s sales from international visitors have grown more than fourfold.

Presenting the award tonight at a ceremony held in Singapore’s Mandarin Orchard Hotel, Irene Chua, Group Publisher for ‘Travel Weekly Asia’ and ‘M&C Asia’ said: “With this award, we recognise the excellence that the McArthurGlen team consistently strives for in its business, the exemplary qualities represented by its brand and the wholehearted dedication of its staff, all of which have earned the respect of its peers and loyalty of its partners. Companies like McArthurGlen help to make the travel industry a vibrant and dynamic community.”

Anthony Rippingale, McArthurGlen’s Head of Tourism, said: “We would like to thank ‘Travel Weekly Asia’ and its readers for voting for McArthurGlen Designer Outlets. The Southeast Asian nations are an extremely important international market and we remain committed to delivering a great shopping experience for our valued guests, offering the world’s best-loved luxury and premium brands at 30-70% less all year round. We will continue to work hard to be on top of every fashion-lover’s itinerary before they leave home.”

Source: McArthurGlen Group

News Release: Holland America Line Receives Association for Rescue at Sea AMVER Award for ms Veendam’s 2015 Rescue of Airplane Pilot from Pacific Ocean

News Release: Holland America Line Receives Association for Rescue at Sea AMVER Award for ms Veendam’s 2015 Rescue of Airplane Pilot from Pacific Ocean

Veendam's Captain Eric van der Wal accepting the AMVER Award on behalf of Holland America Line.

Sponsored by the Association for Rescue at Sea, the AFRAS AMVER Award ceremony was held at the U.S. Capitol

Seattle, Wash., Oct. 21, 2016 – The captain and crew of Holland America Line’s ms Veendam were honored by the Association for Rescue at Sea with a prestigious AFRAS AMVER Award for the 2015 rescue of a pilot who ditched his aircraft in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. The Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System was implemented by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1958, and the AMVER Awards were created in 1971 to recognize vessels that participate in the program.

Holland America Line received the award at the annual Coast Guard Award Ceremony Sept. 21, 2016, at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Veendam’s Captain Eric van der Wal accepted the honor on behalf of the cruise line.

“The pilot rescue in the Pacific Ocean is a proud moment in our company history, and we are honored to receive the AFRAS AMVER Award from the Association for Rescue at Sea,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “We are proud to support the AMVER motto, ‘No Call for Help Goes Unanswered,’ and on behalf of Veendam’s captain and crew we thank you for the recognition.”

The AMVER awards honor the heroism of those who take extraordinary measures to effect a successful rescue at sea. On Jan. 25, 2015, Veendam rescued a pilot 225 miles off the coast of Maui, Hawaii, who had to ditch his single-engine aircraft after a malfunction with the fuel system. The plane had a parachute system, and the pilot was able to safely escape into a life raft from which he was retrieved by Veendam.

The ceremony was hosted by California Rep. Duncan Hunter, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation, with additional members of Congress and the Vice Commandant, Adm. Charles D. Michel, of the United States Coast Guard and his senior staff also in attendance.

The AFRAS AMVER Award was inaugurated in 1996 by the nonprofit, charitable-status Association for Rescue at Sea, which is devoted to supporting services concerned with saving lives at sea and promoting the importance of safety in concert with other maritime and aviation organizations. Selection criteria for the award include seamanship, ship handling, degree of effort involved in the rescue and the ship’s initiative in responding.

The Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System, or AMVER, which is sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

This was the third rescue at sea by a Holland America Line ship in 2015. On Jan. 3, ms Zuiderdam rescued eight crew members from a sinking vessel in the Caribbean, and on Jan. 4 ms Zaandam came to the aid of seven stranded crew members at the Arctowski Polish research station at King George Island in Antarctica.

Source: Holland America Line Inc.

Condé Nast Traveler Readers Name Seabourn “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” For 2016

Condé Nast Traveler Readers Name Seabourn “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” For 2016

Today we are excited and honored to share that we have again been voted “Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” for 2016 by the sophisticated, discerning readers of Condé Nast Traveler!

Condé Nast Traveler readers are well-traveled and well-versed in luxury and high-touch service, and it has been honor to receive this award year after year,” said Seabourn President Richard Meadows. “With the upcoming arrival of our newest ship, Seabourn Encore set to launch in December followed by Seabourn Ovation in the spring of 2018, there will be even more for the magazine’s readers to consider in the years ahead. Through all these developments, we continue to strive to provide the best ultra-luxury travel experience and are pleased to receive recognition of our efforts.”

Earning the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award is a true testament to the line’s exceptional itineraries and outstanding service that continue to attract sophisticated travelers year over year. Seabourn’s excellence has been celebrated by many observers over the past decade, including World’s Best Awards for Best Small Ship Cruise Line from readers of Travel + Leisure in six of the past 10 years, as well as the 2016 Cruise Critic U.S. Editors’ Picks Award for Best Luxury Cruise Line. The company also earned a 2015 Good Taste Award from Saveur, whose “expert panel” of industry experts and prominent culinary and travel editors similarly acknowledged Seabourn as Best Culinary Cruise Line in 2013 and 2014.

Seabourn’s intimate ships offer key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home onboard. The ships travel the globe throughout the year, sailing to many of the world’s most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

Here’s a video message from Seabourn President, Richard Meadows expressing his gratitude to all who voted for us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW9HaO97nR0

Source: Seabourn Blog