Month: June 2020

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MGTO: The Londoner Macao to be ready in September: Dr Wilfred Wong

MGTO: The Londoner Macao to be ready in September: Dr Wilfred Wong

The first phase of Sands China’s US$2 billion transformation of Sands Cotai Central into The Londoner Macao will be complete by September, according to the company’s President Dr Wilfred Wong.

Speaking to media, including Inside Asian Gaming, on Monday at the launch of a three-day Sands China “Shopping Carnival,” Dr Wong said the hotel and casino renovations were tracking ahead of schedule with construction on the ambitious project having continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our construction progress was not postponed, but has been even faster than expectations since there have been no tourists,” he said. “The Londoner Macao will open in phases in 2020 and 2021 but the majority of construction has been completed. Only the façade is still waiting for the government’s approval.”

As previously revealed by Sands China, the external transformation of The Londoner Macao will see the property’s main façade recreate the architecture of the Houses of Parliament, including a replica of the Big Ben clock.


Internally, the property will feature a new 6,000-seat arena, rebranded Shoppes at The Londoner retail mall, street shows, a VR experience plus a new Dongbei and Sichuan cuisine restaurant, a Thai restaurant, a British styled restaurant named Churchill’s Table and a gastropub by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

The project also broadens the current MICE capabilities and intends to bring West End shows to the theater. A Piccadilly Circus Eros statue, double-decker buses, pubs, telephone booths, pop culture, the Changing of the Guards and many of the icons that make London famous will all be part of The Londoner Macao.

The gaming space itself won’t change but Sands China has hinted it may feature more gaming options, with capacity for up to 450 tables and 2,000 slot machines. There will also be more than 6,000 hotel rooms across four hotels. Around 600 of those will be in the form of luxury suites in the hotel formerly known as Holiday Inn Macau.

While Dr Wong has highlighted September as the month to watch, he noted an exact opening date is yet to be determined and will depend on border restrictions at the time.

“We hope the pace (of The Londoner Macao’s opening) will have consistency with the government’s border reopening policies. Once we have enough visitors, we could open the Londoner Macao at any time,” he said.

Wong revealed that work on luxury suites at The Four Seasons has also been completed but opening has again been delayed until visitors start to return.

Meanwhile, Sands China’s three-day Shopping Carnival, announced Monday, will be held from 7 to 9 August 2020 at Cotai Expo.

Offering 500 booths, both local SMEs and Sands retailers can register to join the carnival as a free business platform targeting local residents and tourists.


Visit Maldives: For Lovers Of Marine Life

Visit Maldives: For Lovers Of Marine Life

For lovers of marine life, Maldives is undoubtedly a slice of heaven. For one thing, the country is made up of hundreds of islands which offer an enormous playground for divers to explore. There are channels connecting the ocean to the lagoons and the water coming from the ocean is full of planktons and nutrients which, in turn, attract an incredible amount of marine life. If you plan your next adventure right, you may find yourself swimming among manta rays, whale sharks, sea turtles and so much more. This is precisely what makes Maldives such a hotspot for diving.

We have compiled a list of some of the best places for this.

South Ari Atoll is one of the best places for spotting whale sharks. The sightings are excellent all year round, with a peak time from August to November. Manta rays can also be found during the northeast monsoon from around October to May.

Dhigurah in South Ari Atoll is one of the best places where you can enjoy a snorkeling or diving trip with whale sharks. Coincidentally, The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme, a research-based conservation charity dedicated to studying whale sharks and fostering community-focused conservation initiatives, is also based here.

Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll is a feeding hotspot for manta rays. The best time to visit Hanifaru Bay is between June and early October. Scuba diving is no longer permitted here but you can always go swimming or snorkeling amidst these gentle giants and get up close and personal with whale sharks.

Addu Atoll is an exceptional scuba diving spot where you can spot almost everything from manta rays to eagle rays to turtles and more.
In North Male’ Atoll, Meeru Island Resort & Spa’s Turtle Reef, is one of the best locations to spot turtles.
Seabourn Announces Carnival Corp. Exec Josh Leibowitz As President

Seabourn Announces Carnival Corp. Exec Josh Leibowitz As President

Josh Leibowitz, President of Seabourn

 Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, announced today that Josh Leibowitz has been named president, effective immediately.

Reporting to Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK, Leibowitz’s responsibilities will include oversight of all aspects of the ultra-luxury brand’s operations, including revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, hotel operations, and sales and marketing. 

"We are excited to welcome Josh into this new role on our senior leadership team, where he will bring extensive experience and knowledge that will further strengthen Seabourn’s position in the market,” said Kruse. "I am confident that Josh will help carry Seabourn through the challenges currently facing the travel industry to build on its longstanding reputation as an ultra-luxury travel brand unlike any other, supported by a team of people whose everyday focus is on delivering the best.”

“I’m excited to join the community of loyal Seabourn guests, our passionate crew, and the travel advisors that come together to deliver extraordinary Seabourn experiences,” Leibowitz said. “Our main priority will be working together as we develop plans to resume operations and welcome our past and future guests onboard to create lasting travel memories.”

Leibowitz joined Carnival Corporation & plc in 2013 as chief strategy officer and was also named senior vice president, Cunard North America in December 2016.

Prior to joining Carnival Corporation & plc, he served as managing partner of the Miami office of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., and as a leader in the firm’s work in advanced analytics and sales and marketing.

Seabourn represents the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed oceanfront suites; world-class dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel at home on board. The ships travel the globe to many of the world’s most desirable destinations including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and lesser-known ports and hideaways. The line is also the official cruise partner of UNESCO World Heritage.


Cunard makes a series of food donations to charity

Cunard makes a series of food donations to charity

Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, both currently moored in UK waters with no guests on board, have donated 25 pallets/ approximately 23 tons of their supplies to UK food rescue charity, UKHarvest. UKHarvest is a not-for-profit perishable food rescue operation that collects quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivers it, direct and free of charge, to charities. This then provides much needed assistance to vulnerable men, women and children across the UK.

The food donations from both ships have been made up of frozen and chilled fruit and vegetables in addition to other nutritious dry food including staple pantry food, cereal and even chocolate. 

Cunard, Executive Chef, Nicholas Oldroyd said, “The Cunard team, both ship and shore, are so pleased to have been able to make a small difference with these donations, especially at this time when so many people globally are going through such a difficult time. We would like to thank our partners, including the Port of Southampton, in making this happen.”

UKHarvest, Founder and CEO, Yvonne Thomson, said, “This contribution of nutritious food has been incredible, especially during the Covid-19 lockdown period.  We have been able to donate to Covid-19 Emergency Centres, deliver food parcels to vulnerable people and ensure that school children have been fed. This is the beginning of a relationship with Cunard and we can’t thank Cunard enough for their generosity.”


Stimulate your senses on a French river cruise

Stimulate your senses on a French river cruise

Experience the delights of Southern France 

Few countries inspire travelers quite like France. Immerse yourself in the culture and fine cuisine amidst a dramatic backdrop of rolling countryside, rustic villages and riverside vineyards. It’s no surprise that France has inspired some of the world’s most famous artists, sculptors, fashion designers and more.

In the South of France, a journey on the picturesque Saône and Rhône rivers takes you through sites of the French Revolution, Roman ruins, historic Avignon and the gastronomic city of Lyon.

One of the most relaxing ways to explore the region is by river. Be inspired with our guide to some of the highlights. Bienvenue - You’re welcome!

Sail on the elegant Emerald Liberté
Specially designed to sail through Southern France, our Emerald Liberté Star-Ship mirrors the effortless sophistication of the region. Travel in ultimate comfort, soaking up the views from the Sun Deck, pool or your own private balcony.

Savor an exclusive Provençal dinner

An undoubted highlight of our French river cruises is an extra-special Provençal dinner on board Emerald Liberté, hosted by renowned Top Chef finalist, Fabien Morreale who created a wonderful menu.

Savor the cheeses of France
France is a paradise for foodies, especially cheese lovers. Slice, dip, dunk and taste your way through the iconic cheeses of France – from Camembert de Normandie to Bleu d’Auvergne. 
The best things to see and do in Lyoné 
Explore Lyon, France's second largest city, known as the gastronomic capital. With more than 2,000 years of history, Lyon boasts an array of fascinating places to visit. 
Savor the cheeses of France
France is a paradise for foodies, especially cheese lovers. Slice, dip, dunk and taste your way through the iconic cheeses of France – from Camembert de Normandie to Bleu d’Auvergne.