Hawaiian’s Seventh New A330 – Heiheionakeiki – Joins the Fleet


HONOLULU – Hawaiian Airlines today welcomed its seventh new Airbus A330-200 to its fleet, continuing a strategic growth plan that will have 22 of the new wide-body aircraft in operation by 2015.

The new A330 was flown nonstop from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France, to Los Angeles this past Friday, where it underwent final preparations over the weekend before making its inaugural commercial flight today to Honolulu as Hawaiian Flight #3 carrying 245 passengers.

Hawaiian plans to use the 294-seat A330 primarily for its daily nonstop service between Sydney and Honolulu, with the transition to the larger aircraft from the 264-seat Boeing 767-300ER adding nearly 11,000 more air seats annually to the route.

Hawaiian has named its latest A330 Heiheionakeiki, the Hawaiian name to describe the “Belt and Sword of Orion” constellation. All nf Hawaiian’s new A330s are named for a constellation or star used by the ancient Polynesians for celestial navigation when making their voyages across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Heiheionakeiki is the second of four new A330s to join Hawaiian’s fleet this year, with the remaining two A330s being delivered in May and June, which will bring the company total to nine. Hawaiian is taking delivery of 13 new A330s between 2013 and 2015.

The new A330s are more fuel-efficient and have a longer operating range than the B767s, giving Hawaiian the option to open new nonstop routes between Hawaii and points throughout North America and eastern Asia.

In addition, all of Hawaiian’s wide-body, twin-aisle A330s offer customer amenities that include a spacious interior highlighted by increased legroom, and state-of-the-art, on-demand entertainment system with high-resolution LCD touch-screen monitor in each seatback.

There are many more photos like this on our new Vancouver Island homepage.   Check it out and tell your friends.  We are gradually transforming all of our key pages to this format to try to simplify navigation through our site.  Enjoy the pics. 

There are many more photos like this on our new Vancouver Island homepage.   Check it out and tell your friends.  We are gradually transforming all of our key pages to this format to try to simplify navigation through our site.  Enjoy the pics. 

Helen Wong's Crazy 25th Birthday Sale

As part of the Helen Wong's Tours ongoing 25th Anniversary celebrations, the leading Asian specialist has unwrapped four hotly-priced deals for travel to China and Vietnam - some discounted to match 2005 prices.

And for those who book early, before May 31, 2012, a further $250 per person will be slashed off the price of two of the money-saving deals.

"We want everyone to share our Silver Anniversary excitement by saving on the next tour," said Helen Wong, who founded Helen Wong's Tours in Australia in 1987.

"It's a significant year for us," she said, "so there's no reason why travellers can't benefit and cash in on a sale as crazy as this one.

"Prices on two of the tours - Beijing Bonanza and Shanghai Surprise - are the same as similar tours seven years ago."

The four packaged itineraries in the aptly billed "Helen's Crazy Birthday Sale" promotion are as follow (prices include return flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth):

Seven-day Beijing Bonanza, priced from $1590pp, twin share (Brisbane and Perth passengers have extra day at no additional cost);
  • Seven-day Shanghai Surprise, priced from $1590pp, twin share;
  • 14-day 25th Anniversary Tour of China, priced from $2950pp, twin share;
  • 13-day 25th Anniversary Tour of Vietnam, priced from $2950pp, twin share (from $3280pp, twin share from Brisbane and Perth)
Book and pay a deposit on either of the 14-day 25th Anniversary Tours to China or the 13-day 25th Anniversary Tour to Vietnam before May 31, 2012, and price will discounted by a further $250 per passenger.

"That's $500 a couple," stressed Ms Wong whose company last year passed the 200,000 milestone mark for numbers of Australians to Shanghai.

Helen Wong's Tours' 25th Anniversary Tour to China begins with a flight to Shanghai and covers the sights and sounds of canal city Suzhou, ancient Wuzhen, Hangzhou, Xian (home of the Terracotta Warriors) and capital Beijing.

The 25th Anniversary Tour to Vietnam begins with a flight to capital Hanoi and covers Hoa Lu, Vietnam's first capital, breathtaking Halong Bay, ancient Hoi An, the religious centre of My Son, Hue, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Cai Be in the Mekong Delta.

All four special tour prices apply to travel in July and August, 2012.

Details: Helen Wong's Tours, phone (02) 9267 7833, www.helenwongstours.com; or your travel agent.

Airbus A380 blows tyres on landing [pics]

click to enlarge
click to enlarge

An Emirates Airlines Airbus A380-800, registration A6-EDQ performing flight EK-384 from Bangkok (Thailand) to Hong Kong (China), landed on Hong Kong's runway 07L at 17:33L (09:33Z) on Apr 7th 2012 and vacated the runway via high speed turn off A7 stopping just past the hold short line with two blown right hand main tyres, the aircraft was disabled. The passengers disembarked onto the taxiway via mobile stairs about one hour after landing.

The northern runway 07L/25R was closed for about 4 hours until the aircraft was towed off the taxiway. The runway had been estimated to return to service by 23:30Z (07:30L Apr 8th Hong Kong Time), about 14 hours after landing.

Passengers reported they saw sparks from an engine at the right hand side and noticed a burning smell, the crew quickly announced they had burst tyres.

An observer on the ground reported maintenance staff were replacing a number of tyres.

Sources at Hong Kong Airport report the aircraft suffered an anti-skid failure on landing resulting in brakes locking and causing two main wheels to be ground down to the axle.

The airline reported the aircraft blew two tyres on landing.

Traveloscopy has learned that nose gear tyres on A380s are being replaced roughly every 25 landings as opposed to 200 on a B747.

All hands on deck as Oceania Cruises Riviera nears completion

Inline images 1

Anticipation grows as Oceania Cruises' newest ship, Riviera, nears completion at Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente shipyard near Genoa, Italy. The line's founder and chairman, Frank Del Rio, and the vessel operations team has been on-site for the last two weeks focused on every detail.
 
Among those on hand for the countdown to the May 11, 2012, christening in Barcelona are celebrated interior designers Dakota Jackson and Susan Bednar Long who are putting the finishing touches on the ship's spacious suites.
 
Jacksonis personally supervising the installation of the Vista and Oceania suites, which feature more than 40 custom pieces of furniture and lighting. In addition, a team from Greenwich, CT-based S.B. Long Interiors is overseeing the installation of the ship's three Owner's Suites, each measuring more than 2,000 square feet with furnishings from the acclaimed Ralph Lauren Home Collection.
 
"Riviera looks simply gorgeous and has been custom built to deliver the Oceania Cruises experience to our guests," said Kunal S. Kamlani, president of Oceania Cruises. "A mid-size ship that can access the world's most unique ports, multiple gourmet dining venues and un-matched, personalized service are the hallmarks of our brand."
 
Oceania Cruises' newest entry in the upper-premium category blends the line's signature country club casual atmosphere with the sophisticated elegance of a luxurious private estate.

Several one-of-a-kind features distinguish Riviera, including a museum-worthy collection of more than 100 works by some of Latin America's most accomplished and admired contemporary artists; the Bon Appétit Culinary Center, a cooking school at sea offering hands-on learning; La Reserve by Wine Spectator, a professional facility for wine tastings and pairing dinners, as well as 10 dining venues including Jacques, the namesake restaurant of the world-renowned master chef, Jacques Pépin.
 
The ship's gala christening ceremony in Barcelona will be presided over by Riviera's godmother, Cat Cora, who is a master chef, restaurateur, humanitarian, author, and co-host of Bravo's new "Around the World in 80 Plates." Following the inaugural festivities, the ship sails a 10-day Maiden Voyage on May 16 from Venice to Athens. Through November 2012 Riviera will offer 12 distinctive itineraries on a total of 20 Mediterranean voyages, calling on ports in France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal and Turkey as well as Israel, Croatia, Cyprus, Montenegro, Morocco and Monaco, with maiden calls in Cephalonia (Argostoli), Motril (Granada) and La Palma in the Canary Islands.
 
The latest " Explore Your World"  offers are out now featuring Riviera, for sales through to 30 June 2012.

Contact your preferred wholesaler now for further information.  
About Oceania Cruises
Oceania Cruises® offers unrivaled cuisine, luxurious accommodations, exceptional personalized service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 330 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the 684-guestRegatta, Insignia and Nautica. The line's 1,250-guest Marina debuted in January 2011 and will be followed by Riviera - a sister ship - in May 2012.

About Prestige Cruise Holdings

Prestige Cruise Holdings (PCH) is the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Formed in 2007 to manage select assets in Apollo Management's cruise investment portfolio, PCH is led by Chairman and CEO Frank Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises. PCH is the market leader in the upper-premium and luxury segments of the cruise industry with nearly 5,200 berths between the Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to approximately 6,500 berths by 2012.


For more information on Oceania Cruises visit
www.OceaniaCruises.com.au 


New look HM April 2012 now online

HM (Hotel Management) Magazine April 2012 V.16.2

Boeing Delivers First Lufthansa 747-8 Intercontinental

First 747-8 Intercontinental delivery to Lufthansa
Boeing (NYSE: BA) has delivered the first 747-8 Intercontinental passenger airliner to Deutsche Lufthansa AG, beginning a new era for the world's most recognized airplane, and beginning a new era of increased efficiency, stronger environmental performance and greater enjoyment for Lufthansa and its passengers.

"Lufthansa and Boeing have a long and proud history of working together to bring new innovations to the airline industry," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "We are grateful for Lufthansa's inspiration and leadership in helping us design a new Queen of the Skies for the 21st Century, and I'm proud of what Boeing employees have accomplished by bringing this great airplane to Lufthansa and the world."

"After working together for many years, we are very pleased to have the newest generation of four-engine aircraft join our fleet," said Christoph Franz, chairman of the Executive Board and chief executive officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Lufthansa employees will conduct airline-specific preparations to get the airplane ready for a May 1 flight to its permanent home base in Frankfurt. Boeing will host a special flyaway celebration with senior executives from both companies that day. Lufthansa will then host a special celebration when the airplane arrives in Frankfurt on May 2. Details of those celebrations will be announced soon.

The 747-8 Intercontinental will bring double-digit improvements in fuel burn and emissions over its predecessor, the 747-400, while generating 30 percent less noise. The 747-8 Intercontinental's Dreamliner-inspired interior includes a new curved, upswept architecture giving passengers a greater feeling of space and comfort, while adding more room for personal belongings. It is powered by GE Aviation's GEnx-2B engines.

British Airways Marks 85 Years of Inflight Service


On May 1, 2012, it will be 85 years since the first inflight meal service on a commercial aircraft and food in the air has come a long way since then.

In 1927 Imperial Airways (predecessor to British Airways) introduced the Silverwing branded air service on the London to Paris route. The flight offered the first luxury onboard meal service. A male steward dressed in a smart white tunic served just ten passengers on the flight, which took around two hours.

On board was a small cabinet carrying four gills (servings) of whisky, a dozen bottles of lager beer, two siphons of sparkling water and twelve assorted bottles of mineral water. They also carried a packet of sandwiches or biscuits and one or two thermos flasks of hot water, within which the steward made coffee or beef tea to nourish the passengers during the flight. The service represented the height of luxury, up until this time passengers had to fend for themselves, packing homemade snacks for the journey.

85 years on British Airways' cabin crew serve around 100,000 meals a day to customers, often with more than one meal on an individual flight. The airline's 14,000 crew are trained in the art of premium service. They are taught skills which include how to tell a Merlot from a Shiraz, how to cook the perfect scrambled eggs and how to re-create a five star turndown service.

Bill Francis, British Airways' head of inflight service, said: "At British Airways we have an incredible history. We've developed the service to our customers and even as we've grown from small propeller aircraft to 747's, we've managed to maintain the magic that makes flying special."

The British Airways Heritage Collection opened in November 2011 at British Airways' head office and is open to members of the public. Information from the collection can also be found online at www.ba.com/heritage.

Enjoy Koreastay, Your home away from home!


For travellers to Korea wanting to get a first-hand experience of Korean life and culture there is no better way than enjoying a home-stay with a Korean family.  'Koreastay' is a home-stay program certified by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) which offers international visitors to Korea a special opportunity to experience life with a Korean family.

'Koreastay' host families are carefully selected after undergoing strict assessment of such criteria as residential environment, guestroom and house cleanliness, service and convenience.

A home-stay experience allows visitors the chance to experience the authentic Korean way of life including Korean family meals and various traditional customs and cultural activities like family traditions and Korean games etc.

'Koreastay' is a great way to start your trip to Korea while immersing yourself in Korean life and culture.  Most host families are located in major cities, close to tourist areas and provide some home cooked meals and various travel information.

Starting from US$30 per night rates vary depending on host and location.  By visiting the 'Koreastay' webpage on the official KTO website http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/koreastay you can search information on home-stay accommodation by city or region and the suitability of accommodation, reviews and much more.

Make your next visit to Korea a real cultural experience rather than staying in a hotel.  You may be surprised what you can discover by staying at home with a Korean family and how much more fulfilling your journey to Korea can be.

Ultimate luxury is launched with Club InterContinental at Dubai Festival City

InterContinental Dubai Festival City has re-launched its Club InterContinental offering, providing guests with its most superior, luxury stay option.

Club InterContinental guests will benefit from a range of added extras, including airport transfers, food and refreshments served throughout the day, early check-in or late check-out where available and complimentary high speed internet connection, among many others.

Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast in the privacy of their own exclusive lounge as the sun rises over the city, indulge in high tea in the late afternoon, followed by an evening buffet and refreshing drinks overlooking Dubai's breathtaking skyline from the 26th floor. Guests can also enjoy complimentary bubbles from 6pm – 8pm, whilst the complimentary suit pressing service on arrival is perfect following a flight before a busy day ahead.

Check-in and check-out is very swift and convenient in the Club's own dedicated guest relations area, and an in-room check-in and check-out service is available for those with particularly busy schedules. Flexible express check-out is also available when time is of the essence. Business is made simple with daily complimentary use of the Club boardroom facilities, as well as complimentary WiFi, making sure guests are always connected.

Those that stay in one of the hotel's eight luxury signature suites will also benefit from additional deluxe features, including butler service, complimentary daily pick-up and drop-off, in-room floral arrangements and fruit basket, complimentary mini bar, preferential tee-times at Al Badia Golf Club and guaranteed Spa appointments at Spa InterContinental.

Tom Lord, hotel manager at InterContinental Dubai Festival City, said: "Club InterContinental is the most premium product that we offer here at the hotel, so right from the point of touchdown at the airport, we promise to deliver only the highest levels of comfort, convenience and personalised service during the guest's entire stay, providing a seamless, unrivalled experience that guests will long remember.

"We have listened to our guests and tailored our product and services to suit their needs, wants and requirements, so Club guests can enjoy a supreme level of attention, in superior rooms that have been carefully selected to meet their desires."

The new Club InterContinental option is available to book at InterContinental Dubai Festival City now. For room reservations please call +971 (0)4 701 1110.


Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.priorityclub.com for more on Priority Club Rewards. For our latest news, visit www.ihg.com/media, www.twitter.com/ihgplc or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.

 

Bali to host Miss World pageant 2013

source: TravelMole

Miss World Bikini parade. How will this effect local Muslim sensibilities?
Bali beach litter is an on-going
concern (pic: RedSkyNews)
Bali will host the Miss World pageant, one of the oldest major international beauty pageants, next year.

Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika says Denpasar would be the host for the event, following a meeting with a co-chairperson of the Miss World Organisation, Julia Morley.

More than 130 beauty queens across the world are expected to take part in the event.

"Bali will try to improve herself to get ready ahead of the pageant," Pastika said, quoted by kompas.com.

Bali has been the subject of criticism of late for its failure to tackle pollution and traffic congestion.

The governor said he hoped that hosting the event would boost Bali’s reputation and tourism sector.

Jetstar Japan prepares for takeoff with delivery of first aircraft


Jetstar Japan has taken delivery of its first Airbus A320 aircraft in Toulouse, France.

The Japanese carrier will start commercial services in July operating from Narita to Kansai, Fukuoka, Sapporo, and Okinawa with an initial fleet of three aircraft.

This fleet will grow to 24 aircraft within three years.

Jetstar Japan’s A320s are configured in an all-economy layout with 180 seats.

Each aircraft is powered by IAE V2500 engines.

“We are extremely happy to take delivery of our brand new Airbus A320.

“With its wider seats and more spacious cabin than the competition, we are positioned to provide better value that our customers will appreciate as well as fast turnarounds, which is key to our business model,” said Jetstar Japan president, Miyuki Suzuki.

“We aim to become the number one LCC in the Japanese market, and the A320 will help us achieve our goals.”

Jetstar Japan, established in 2011, is a joint venture between the Qantas Group, Japan Airlines (JAL), Mitsubishi Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation. Jetstar Japan’s Airbus fleet is from an order for 110 A320 Family aircraft placed by the Qantas Group in October 2011.

TRAVEL SECURITY EXPERT GIVES TOP FIVE TIPS FOR A SAFE JOURNEY


We all want ‘peace of mind’ when travelling overseas but with the world becoming more and more complicated – pirates attacking cruise ships, terrorism, political uprisings and now swine flu – the need to have as many points covered as possible to optimise your security is now more imperative than ever.

“People have to, now more than ever, be very aware of where they are going and what they are doing as situations can change dramatically,” Mark McCormack, CEO of Loop9, and developer of the new cutting edge technology Travel Messenger SMS ‘Concierge’ Service, said.

McCormack said Travel Messenger, which sends up-to-the-minute SMS security updates to a traveller’s mobile phone (covering over 200 countries and 3000 cities) is vital for 21st century travel security.

“To me, it is as necessary as travel insurance – you should not leave home without it”.

McCormack has five tips “absolutely vital” for those seeking peace of mind while travelling abroad:

(1) Register on www.Smarttraveller.com.au – the Australian Government’s travel advisory and consular assistance service. It provides up to date advice for travellers on a host of countries. If registered, the government can then contact you if an emergency arises at your destination.

(2) Check out World Health Organisation www.who.int for advice on subjects such as the swine flu outbreak. The WHO recommends that if you are travelling in swine flu affected areas to avoid public gatherings, avoid using public transportation, if in public try to remain 6 feet away from others, if you experience cold like symptoms see your doctor immediately

It also offers advice on keeping healthy while overseas and what to do if you fall ill.

(3) Travel Insurance – never leave home without it. Lack of travel insurance can ruin a holiday and end up costing the traveller tens of thousands of dollars in medical costs. Go to the website www.insurancecouncil.com.au for all the latest information. Read policy fine print carefully and make sure you are covered for all your varying needs.

(4) Photocopy all your travel documents and keep them separate from your originals. Also email all your personal details such as passport number, itinerary, flight details to your own email in case documents are lost/stolen.

(5) Sign up to Travel Messenger - www.travelmessenger.com.au - through major travel agencies.

“In less than 12 months of operations Travel Messenger SMS technology has proven crucial to the safety of thousands of Australians caught up in dangerous situations overseas – most recently the political turmoil in Bangkok and the terrorist attack in Mumbai,” McCormack said.

“We kept travellers constantly updated on the unfolding situations 24/7 with up to the minute travel warnings,” he said.

For further information visit www.TravelMessenger.com.au

Martin Boetz announced as final chef for Delicious Weekend








A delicious. weekend away, 8-11 June 2012

delicious. Magazine and The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa are excited to announce that top chef Martin Boetz of Longrain Sydney and Melbourne will bring his acclaimed Thai cooking to the line-up for the first delicious. weekend away for 2012.

Boetz promises to bring energy and colour to the weekend alongside Bangalow based pastry extraordinaire Katrina Kanetani from Town and delicious. food director Valli Little. The three day food and wine extravaganza over the June Long Weekend promises to deliver the best food and hospitality from the Northern Rivers region.

The weekend includes a cooking class with the delicious. maestro herself Valli Little, lunch at award winning Newrybar restaurant Harvest, a visit to local farmers' markets and a producer's farm and a gala four course dinner.

Program of Events:
Friday 8 June
- Welcome party on the restaurant lawn featuring local producer stalls, canapés and wines from Tempus Two
- Two course dinner in The Byron at Byron Restaurant featuring local produce.

Saturday 9 June
- Visit Bangalow Farmers' Market and The Farm Gate Providore
- Lunch at award winning restaurant Harvest, Newrybar
- Long Table Gala Four Course Dinner featuring Martin Boetz (Longrain), Katrina Kanetani (Town) Valli Little (delicious.) and Gavin Hughes (The Byron at Byron) with wines by McGuigan, Nepenthe and Tempus Two

Sunday 10 June
- Yoga on the pool deck
- Morning Cooking Class with Martin Boetz and Valli Little presented by Nestle Plaistowe
- Long lunch featuring the cooking class menu
- Cocktail hour canapé demonstration with sunset drinks

Monday 11 June
- Poolside pop-up brunch by popular café The Top Shop
- Demonstration by local coffee roaster

$1119 per person twin share in a Standard Suite
Upgrade to Deluxe Spa Suite $1179
Read more
For bookings, email reservations@thebyronatbyron.com.au or call 1300 554 362

The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
77-97 Broken Head Road
Byron Bay NSW 2481

1300 554 362 or +61 2 6639 2000

info@thebyronatbyron.com.au
www.thebyronatbyron.com.au




Best destinations for the strong Australian dollar


Strong dollar sees Australians flocking overseas

 But theft and currency rates remain a big concern



Australians are travelling overseas more than ever thanks to the strong dollar, and 68% say they'll spend more overseas while it remains high, according to new Galaxy research commissioned by leading currency specialist OzForex.

Certain global destinations are the cheapest they've been for decades, with Europe at the top of the list.  Three years ago in April 2009, $1 Australian would buy you 0.55 Euros.  Today it buys you 0.79 Euros - an increase of more than 43%.  OzForex CEO Neil Helm says it's worth taking advantage of.

"From Paris to Berlin, that's a massive jump in your spending power.  Travellers can thank a lack of confidence in the Euro as a result of problems in Greece, Spain, Portugal and other European countries for the bump."

In second place comes the US, where you get 42% more for your money: three years ago $1 Australian bought 72 US cents, now it buys well over $1 US.  The third best value is found in the UK, where the Australian dollar is still up an enormous 33% on the pound.

"That still might not make a notorious London latte good value, but it's certainly a great boost for Australians visiting the UK for the Olympics this year," says Neil Helm.

Closer to home, Thailand is also excellent value.  In 2009, you'd get about 25 baht for your dollar. Today, you'll net about 32 - a rise of almost 24%.

But while Australians jet off overseas, the vast majority are still stressing about exchange rates and fees, as well as the security of their money.

According to Galaxy, 87% were worried about theft and loss, even though 17% prefer to take cash than cards on holiday.  Younger and more frequent travellers also preferred cash.

And although 83% worry about transaction costs, the majority still use credit cards when they travel despite the higher fees that these incur.  Just 14% use pre-paid multicurrency travel money cards, which are specifically designed as a convenient and safer option for those travelling overseas.

"OzForex's new multicurrency Travel Card aims to take the headache out of travel by letting you choose when you want to lock-in exchange rates, you're not at the mercy of the markets," Neil Helm explains.

"And because we're a currency specialist, not a bank, we can offer very competitive rates, and we've been able to slash fees.  So there's no extra charge for putting money on your card, and it's much more secure than carrying cash."

 

Outbound tourism statistics

Outbound tourism numbers and expenditure are soaring.  Government figures show over 7 million resident outbound departures in 2011 and this is forecast to reach over 10 million by 2020.

In the September 2011 quarter, net expenditure overseas saw the first positive result in 10 years according to ABS statistics:  $254 million more was spent by Australians overseas, than by foreigners in Australia.  This is partly due to a fall in tourism, but also to an increase in Australians travelling and spending overseas.


Galaxy research findings
  • 48% find bank transaction fees hard to understand
  • 83% worry about exchange rates and fees overseas
  • 14% currently use pre-paid cards
  • 91% would find a pre-paid card with locked-in rates useful
  • 68% say the strong dollar will make them spend more

HAWAIIAN AIRLINES UPGRADES TOMORROW TO NEW AIRBUS A330S ON SYD-HNL ROUTE


Hawaiian Airlines tomorrow will upgrade its service between Hawaii and Australia, with the much-anticipated introduction of Hawaiian's newest and largest aircraft, the 294-seat Airbus A330-200, on daily flights between Honolulu and Sydney.

The wide-body Airbus A330s have 30 more seats that the current Boeing 767-300ERs, which have served the Sydney-Honolulu route since May 2004, when Hawaiian entered this market with four weekly nonstop flights. The new aircraft will add nearly 11,000 seats annually. 

Hawaiian's first A330 to Australia is due to leave Honolulu as flight HA 451 at 11:45am local time on Tuesday, or 09:45am Sydney time on Wednesday. It is scheduled to arrive in Sydney at 7:20pm Wednesday, before returning to Hawaii as flight HA 452.

"Travel from Australia to Hawaii is booming," said Sherilyn Robinson, General Manager Sales and Marketing for Hawaiian Airlines in Australia.

"Introducing our new A330 aircraft will help meet growing demand and will further improve the travel experience for our customers," Ms Robinson said. "Our new A330s can seat 30 more passengers than the Boeing 767s, which means a capacity increase of 11% per flight, or the equivalent of 41 additional 767 flights in a full year. The Airbuses also have more spacious cabins, and all passengers have in-seat video and games entertainment."

The A330 features high-resolution LCD touch-screen monitors installed in each seatback, enabling customers to choose from a wide range of movies, TV programs, music, and video games, while also offering a USB port for the use of their own personal media players.

From Honolulu, Hawaiian operates frequent flights to the islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island, as well as to 10 US mainland cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego and Phoenix.

The growth continues, with daily nonstop flights between Honolulu and New York City commencing on 04 June. Passengers arriving from Sydney can connect in Honolulu with the new NYC services.

Through a partnership with Virgin Australia, passengers from 18 destinations around Australia can connect with Hawaiian's nightly flights from Sydney.

Passengers can also enjoy Hawaiian's signature "Hawaii Flies With Us" onboard experience which engages customers with a showcase of the culture, people, natural beauty, and Aloha Spirit of the Hawaiian Islands.

For more information about Hawaiian Airlines or to make a booking contact travel agents, call Hawaiian reservations on 1300 669 106 or visit www.hawaiianairlines.com.au.

Tourism Boost for Norfolk Island National Park


Park manager Dr Coral Rowston said the visitor centre would become a 'first stop shop' for park visitors and locals, packed with the latest information about the park and Norfolk's natural environment.

"This is a milestone for Norfolk - our first purpose-built visitor interpretive centre for the island," Dr Rowston said.

"The next stage is to fit out the interior of the centre with contemporary and interactive displays. We're planning to have this finished by the end of the year.

"I'm again amazed at the skills and talent of the people who have assisted in getting the construction to this stage. On behalf of Parks Australia, a huge thank you to all involved in delivering this challenging project. When the interior is finished, the centre is going to be a first-class facility supporting tourism on the island."

Crosscut Constructions' Brandt McRitchie and Norfolk Island Tourism manager Glenn Buffett, officially cut the ribbon to celebrate completion of the centre's construction last Wednesday.

At the same time, the park and BAUNTI ESCAPES launched another innovative product for Nofolk's tourist market - iPod self-guided tours for visitors that prefer to visit the park on their own rather than choose to go on a tour.

The iPod tour gives visitors the flexibility to wander the parks trails at their leisure while listening to recorded, informative commentary about the walk, and the plants and birds of Norfolk. This modern twist to guided tours has not been seen on Norfolk Island before and is set to be a huge hit with visitors and locals alike. Anyone wishing to hire out the iPods should see the friendly staff at BAUNTI ESCAPES.




Victoria Inner Harbour Floating Boat Show



Here are two good reasons for you to take in this year's boat show. You can still make it today until 5 pm and all day tomorrow from 10 am until 5 pm. Pick up a boat for 2.5 million or perhaps something less luxurious, your choice! Or just float through the choices with dreams of sugar plums dancing through your head. Enjoy the photos, but check it out for real, it is a lot better. There are lots of great exhibits demonstrating the latest and greatest in boating. For more pictures, please visit or
Facebook Page for 42 more good reasons to attend the show.

Victoria Inner Harbour Floating Boat Show



Here are two good reasons for you to take in this year's boat show. You can still make it today until 5 pm and all day tomorrow from 10 am until 5 pm. Pick up a boat for 2.5 million or perhaps something less luxurious, your choice! Or just float through the choices with dreams of sugar plums dancing through your head. Enjoy the photos, but check it out for real, it is a lot better. There are lots of great exhibits demonstrating the latest and greatest in boating. For more pictures, please visit or
Facebook Page for 42 more good reasons to attend the show.

Malbec World Day at the Victoria Union Club an Industry Tasting



One Day, One Celebration and one Global Superstar...a day to celebrate Argentine wines and the Malbec grape that produces some of the finest wines in the world.  The stately Union Club is a fitting place to hold such an event.  A great venue, with great staff, table of excellent tapas, and some amazing wines.  If you missed it, that is unfortunate. For more photos please go to the VGSN Facebook page. 

Malbec World Day at the Victoria Union Club an Industry Tasting



One Day, One Celebration and one Global Superstar...a day to celebrate Argentine wines and the Malbec grape that produces some of the finest wines in the world.  The stately Union Club is a fitting place to hold such an event.  A great venue, with great staff, table of excellent tapas, and some amazing wines.  If you missed it, that is unfortunate. For more photos please go to the VGSN Facebook page. 

Quadra Village Day Saturday May 12

    • Saturday, May 12, 2012- 9:30am

  • Kings Road between Quadra and Dowler, Victoria BC

  • JOIN US SATURDAY, MAY 12, 9:30am - 1:00pm
    FOR QUADRA VILLAGE DAY 2012!

    Drop by Kings Road between Quadra and Dowler, and enjoy fun, free, all-ages activities.

Quadra Village Day Saturday May 12

    • Saturday, May 12, 2012- 9:30am

  • Kings Road between Quadra and Dowler, Victoria BC

  • JOIN US SATURDAY, MAY 12, 9:30am - 1:00pm
    FOR QUADRA VILLAGE DAY 2012!

    Drop by Kings Road between Quadra and Dowler, and enjoy fun, free, all-ages activities.

Victoria Guest Services Network Tourism Showcase


















 








Don't miss this great event.  The Victoria Guest Services Network also uses this event as a Camosun College bursary fund raiser for the tourism industry. Come out and show your support.

Victoria Guest Services Network Tourism Showcase


















 








Don't miss this great event.  The Victoria Guest Services Network also uses this event as a Camosun College bursary fund raiser for the tourism industry. Come out and show your support.

GORDON HEAD STUDIO TOUR



GORDON HEAD STUDIO TOUR May 5- 6,11 AM - 4 PM
Area artists welcome the public into their homes and studios.Members will showcase a variety of work including original paintings and prints,stone and wood sculpture, fibre art and pottery.

Maps available at local Recreation Centers, businesses, or by clicking on this link. or you can call 250-658-4523 for more information.
This is a great show.  The picture above is by Sandy Terry, one of the fine artists you can visit on this tour.

GORDON HEAD STUDIO TOUR



GORDON HEAD STUDIO TOUR May 5- 6,11 AM - 4 PM
Area artists welcome the public into their homes and studios.Members will showcase a variety of work including original paintings and prints,stone and wood sculpture, fibre art and pottery.

Maps available at local Recreation Centers, businesses, or by clicking on this link. or you can call 250-658-4523 for more information.
This is a great show.  The picture above is by Sandy Terry, one of the fine artists you can visit on this tour.
Check this out.....
Check this out.....

Dagwoods Cafe on Goldstream Avenue in Langford


On our way home today we went passed Dad's Soup and Sangy's in Colwood.  It was closed, so we drove down Goldstream towards home when I remembered a new restaurant had recently opened.  So Linda and I stopped by Dagwood's Cafe.  We were glad we did.  The family staff who were running and working the restaurant were real friendly.  Our sandwiches were very tasty and more than ample.  We could have easily shared one and been satisfied with that amount.  Linda had the Tuscan Veggie with Roasted Red Pepper, Aioli, olives, tomato, red onions and zucchini.  Ron had the Chipotle Chicken with bacon, lettuce, tomato, smoked cheddar, and Chipotle Aioli.  Both were simply delicious using tasty Ciabatta bread.  This great little cafe has ample inside seating and a good sized sunny patio for those nice days.  Expect good friendly service and reasonable prices.  It is only three blocks from where we live, so we can easily walk there.  Glad to have Dagwood's in the neighbourhood.  We think Dagwood's is better than our former stand-by Dad's.

For more pictures of Dagwood's Cafe please go to our Facebook Page.

Dagwoods Cafe on Goldstream Avenue in Langford


On our way home today we went passed Dad's Soup and Sangy's in Colwood.  It was closed, so we drove down Goldstream towards home when I remembered a new restaurant had recently opened.  So Linda and I stopped by Dagwood's Cafe.  We were glad we did.  The family staff who were running and working the restaurant were real friendly.  Our sandwiches were very tasty and more than ample.  We could have easily shared one and been satisfied with that amount.  Linda had the Tuscan Veggie with Roasted Red Pepper, Aioli, olives, tomato, red onions and zucchini.  Ron had the Chipotle Chicken with bacon, lettuce, tomato, smoked cheddar, and Chipotle Aioli.  Both were simply delicious using tasty Ciabatta bread.  This great little cafe has ample inside seating and a good sized sunny patio for those nice days.  Expect good friendly service and reasonable prices.  It is only three blocks from where we live, so we can easily walk there.  Glad to have Dagwood's in the neighbourhood.  We think Dagwood's is better than our former stand-by Dad's.

For more pictures of Dagwood's Cafe please go to our Facebook Page.

Relish that Thought

We recentlly visited Relish on Pandora.  Food was good, atmosphere was OK, you get to order at the counter from a wall menu, the dacor is simple, service was adequate.  It is worth a visit.  See our Facebook page for more photos.

Rock Cod Cafe in Beautiful Cowichan Bay


Just south of Duncan take the turnoff to Cowichan Bay, our final stop before returning home. Cowichan Bay has lots of summer vacation homes, a few bed and breakfasts and lots of places to eat. Do you get the impression that we like to eat? There is a maritime museum here and you can rent kayaks to take out on the bay. The Pirate Store is worth a visit and a great stop to entertain Madison. So much to see, touch and play with. The real reason we go to Cow Bay is the Rock Cod Café. We have been going for years, introducing friends and relatives to the joys of yet more halibut. When Ron's sister visits from Alberta, her ritual is fish and chips at the Rock Cod Café followed by a lemon ice cream cone from the Udder Guys Old Fashion Ice Cream Parlor just up the street. She's like clockwork.



The Rock Cod Café makes superb fish and chips. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is one of Ron’s favourite meals. The fish always has a light crispy batter. The portions are always generous and the chips are great. We like ours double fried to heavenly crispiness. The halibut is fresh, white and flakey. Ron actually ordered a half RC salad and chips and surprised himself by loving the salad with fresh lettuce with lots of crunchy good things. Linda ordered the Fish Tacos (below left) and thought they were the best she'd ever had. Ron tried them and had to agree. Almost good enough to convert Ron, almost! The Rock Cod Cafe serves their tacos on hard-shelled tortillas with battered halibut and savoury cold slaw topped with mango habanero salsa, served with a side of Cajun potato thins and chipotle mayo. Divine. Madison contented herself with a vanilla milkshake, being still full from a snack earlier. We are very bad grandparents, but hey, it was a holiday!

The Rock Cod Café is always busy. Christine, our waitress was so friendly and helpful. We were seated next to the windows overlooking the docks in the sunshine. What a gorgeous setting. For dessert, we chose a deep caramel pecan flan with three spoons. It is hard to eat any dessert after a Rock Cod Meal, but we made it through sharing. We have probably been back to the Rock Cod Cafe more than any other restaurant on Vancouver Island. What a great way to end a busy get-away. In Madison's words, "This trip was the most awesome (Ron likes this word too) experience. I have the most awesome Grandma and Grandpa!" For more pictures go to our Facebook page.

The Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre near Duncan BC


The Pacific Northwest Raptors Centre located at 1877 Herd Road, in the beautiful Cowichan Valley just north of Duncan. PNWR is dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey, and through education, strives to raise awareness for birds of prey and wildlife, protect their habitats and inspire awe in visitors.



When we pulled into the parking lot, two horses were standing at the fence, looking lovingly at the grass just beyond their reach. Madison was gone like a shot, being a lover of all four legged creatures. The horses enjoyed her handfuls of grass and became fast friends when she shared her own snack of apples from the cooler. While we were waiting for our hawk walk, we enjoyed talking to Sarah, one of the staff enjoying the sunshine with an injured male Harris Hawk on her gloved arm. The hawk had been shot in the wing and was there for rehabilitation. Sarah had lots of interesting things to tell us about hawks and we got a great chance to get up close and personal with him. Ready for an even closer encounter, the hawk walk with Robyn, we each wore a protective leather glove. When Robyn placed a piece of fresh meat on the glove, the hawk flew down for its treat, landing on the glove. When we were ready, we raised our arm in the air and the hawk flew off into the trees. Knowing where the next treat was coming from, the hawk watched carefully and reacted instantly. It was hard not to flinch but we all found that a wild bird landing on our arm was incredibly exciting. Madison had this to say, "It was so awesome! I got to hold a hawk! There is nowhere else where I can see birds so close. The hawk flew right to me from so far away. I loved Robyn and her name. She is perfect for that job!" Add a few more exclamations marks to get a sense of how excited Madison was.


Captive birds bred on site like eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, and vultures are allowed to fly free every day. They return to the Raptor Centre as it is their home, and these flights make for thrilling, exciting and entertaining flying demonstrations. As Robyn our host told the audience, “if you were getting free room and board, free medical care (this is Canada after all) and lots of love and attention, would you want to leave?” During the flying show, the birds perform within inches of the audience. They seem to love brushing the viewer’s hair with their wings as they fly over the audience. The flight show that day featured a mature bald eagle, an owl, a hawk and a falcon. The eagle was majestic and to our surprise weighed only 7.5 pounds. Their feathers make them appear much larger. Females are usually 30% heavier than the males. Linda and Madison thought that was justice. Owls have very sensitive hearing and can hear the heart beat of a mouse from a kilometer away. They can hear voles rustling underneath snow. Did you know they turn their heads to see because their eyes don't move in their sockets? The hawk was funny to watch running along the ground after its prey. When Robyn let the falcon loose, every bird in the neighbourhood started up a cacophony of distress calls. The falcon flew amazingly fast and high. Being one of the smaller birds of prey, falcons knock their prey out of the air by hitting them at high speed and killing them. Robyn does a great job narrating the show. Lots of information and lots of humour make it a great show for all ages. The centre is just 5 minutes off the Trans Canada Highway. We have been several times and keep going back just for the entertainment value.



For more photos, go to our Facebook Page.

The Chemainus Theatre in Chemainus BC on Vancouver Island


Another experience that we had in the Cowichan Valley was being “All Shook Up” at the Chemainus Theatre. A 40 minute drive from Lake Cowichan took us to Chemainus and we introduced Madison to the Chemainus Murals. Days later, Madison told her mom "I'm an artist, so I appreciate beautiful artwork". There are more and more murals every year, so we never tire of seeing them. Prior to 1981 Chemainus was a single resource mill town. When a recession hit British Columbia the mill was in trouble and Chemainus was in danger of becoming a ghost town. With a community initiative grant from the BC Government, a forward-thinking mayor presented the Mural concept to the community. Chemainus quickly became world-famous as an example of how even a small town can create a dramatic change for survival.


After admiring the many murals, we walked to the Chemainus Theatre for “All Shook Up” and a delicious buffet dinner in the Playbill Dining Room. The food was efficiently displayed in a two-sided buffet, so the line moved smoothly. A pianist played beautifully throughout our meal. Our server Kym was very friendly and attentive. Ron could barely set his water glass down before it was refilled. There were an impressive number of choices between salads, vegetables, and meat including chicken, pork, beef and ham. To our delight the dessert table was almost as long as the food buffet! After dinner, Linda and Madison admired the well stocked Gift Shop while Ron relaxed on a comfy couch. For more pictures of our Chemainus Theatre visit, go to our Facebook Page.

Everything about the Chemainus Theatre is first class. There is lots of nearby parking and the interior is finely decorated. They have even contributed a number of murals on the street side of the theatre. The theatre seats are comfortable, the staff is friendly and helpful, and there are no bad seats. There is a drinks bar in the main lobby for those who arrive early. Beverages can be ordered ahead of time for quick service during intermission.


"All Shook Up" turned out to be a rock and roll musical comedy. It follows a small-town girl's dream of hitting the open road. Everything gets turned upside down when a guitar-playing "roustabout" rambles into town, introducing her to romance, rebellion and rock 'n roll. Early in the show it seems easy to predict the ending, but guess again. What unfolds is not clear until the end of the show. The score is filled with familiar Elvis tunes, the characters each look and fit their part, and all do a great job of an excellent show for young and old alike. Madison got so stoked that she and a newly met friend danced across the front of the stage imitating the routine during intermission. "This is the best show I have ever seen in a theater and I loved all the singing. It was funny too. I even made a friend from Nanaimo and we danced all night" enthused Madison. The show ended April 7th so you'll miss this one but we have never heard a bad review about Chemainus Theatre. Take in one of their upcoming shows or buy season's tickets. You could be surprised by the quality of entertainment found in a small town just an hour's drive north of Victoria.


For more pictures go to our Facebook Page.

Kidd's Bed and Breakfast Lake Cowichan

We travelled to Cowichan Lake to stay at Kidd’s Bed and Breakfast, 518 Point Ideal Drive, for a two night visit. The B&B is only steps from the lake with mountain and water views. Beth and David Kidd are very congenial hosts who instantly "adopted" our granddaughter. When Madison called for her Grandma, two voices responded!


Beth and David helped us with our bags to their Ghana Room. The name comes from the display of art from Ghana and nearby African countries, collected during the Kidd's tenure in Ghana. The spacious room features a queen bed, twin bed, and single hide-a-bed, TV/DVD, small fridge, coffee maker, kettle and table and chairs. The bathroom has a large, double headed walk-in shower and Linda was very impressed that the control was easily accessible at the dry end of the shower, rather than under the shower head. She hates getting doused with cold water! The room is semi-circular in shape, with large windows and a view of the lake and mountains. This room easily accommodated the three of us and well all slept well on the comfortable beds.

In the morning David and Beth served up a delicious breakfast of upside-down apple pancake, sausages and bacon, and fruit salad. Linda broke her one-cup rule with their fine coffee made from fresh ground beans. Madison was thrilled to help Beth in the kitchen. Beth “is the best" in Madison's book.

Somehow hungry for lunch after our gargantuan breakfast, we hosted Beth and David at J&V Burgers and Pizza, renown for the best burgers in the Cowichan Valley. The burgers lived up to their reputation, with fresh ingredients and patties made on-site. Even Linda, not a burger fan, liked her Mushroom and Swiss burger. Madison gobbled up "the best hotdog she has ever eaten". J&V Burgers is located at 152 South Shore Road in Lake Cowichan. There is an outdoor patio for warmer days and a stack of board games to keep diners entertained. After lunch David and Beth gave us a community tour to visit some of the local sights we had not yet seen. The Education Centre can host up to 100 for conferences and workshops, including accommodation and meals. The Lakeview Campground and Beach on the edge of town looks like a great place to camp during the warmer months. There are campsites within meters of the lake and a sandy beach on the shore. We also made stops at the new Arena and Curling Rink, and the Forestry Centre where you can walk a short distance to some very large trees. Lake Cowichan is also a gateway to the Carmanah/Walbran Valleys, Nitinat Lake and Port Renfrew. The old logging road has been upgraded and paved, making the trip to Port Renfrew an easy one.
Returning to Kidds, David took Madison for a walk to the floating dock, and Madison was impressed by all the things David shared about the flora and fauna, including a lesson on the anatomy of minnows. This little outing combined with being allowed to help in the kitchen prompted "They are the nicest people who ever had a bed and breakfast"! For more photos of Kidd’s see our Facebook page.


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