Travel News & Deals
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LAX: Qantas' sleek first-class lounge is newest at Bradley terminal

At the new Qantas first-class lounge at Los Angeles International Airport, you can relax, eat, work, freshen up with a shower -- all in remarkable style.

Qantas opened its First Lounge last month at the airport's Tom Bradley International Terminal. It's for first-class passengers and top-tier Qantas and Oneworld club members.

It's the third premium lounge to open at the redesigned terminal.

Air New Zealand and Korean Air operate premium lounges at the Bradley terminal. Two more, an Emirates lounge and an international lounge airlines can choose to join, are under construction. There's also room for a sixth lounge that's in negotiation, according to airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles.

So what's the new Qantas lounge like?

The frosted-glass and marble entryway is identical to lounges in Melbourne and Sydney. Marc Newsom designed the space, which has a honeycomb pattern -- at the entrance, behind the bar, in the carpet -- that repeats throughout the 17,500-square-foot lounge.

The accent...

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Camera catches photos of rare Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite

Next time you go to Yosemite National Park, look for a new and rarely seen visitor: the Sierra Nevada red fox.

Park officials announced Wednesday that cameras set up in the far northern part of the park twice confirmed a sighting of the fox that hasn't been seen in Yosemite for 100 years.

Park wildlife biologist Sarah Stock said in the statement that Yosemite's "vast alpine wilderness provides an opportunity to join research partners in helping to protect this imperiled animal."

Likely fewer than 50 of the Vulpes vulpes necator, as the species is known, are left in the wild, according to the announcement. It also is on the state's list of threatened animals.

The Sierra Nevada red fox, one of two native fox species in the park, has dark red fur on its back and head, and a white tip on the tail. It's notoriously shy too. (If you see a fox, it may be an introduced species of fox, which also thrive in Yosemite.)

The cameras snapped photos twice -- Dec. 13 and Jan. 4 -- within Yosemite's...

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Queen Elizabeth makes first Long Beach visit during Queen Mary's 80th year

The Queen Mary will spend at least part of her 80th birthday with a royal relative. For the first time, the modern-day Queen Elizabeth will dock aside the historic Cunard ship-turned-hotel in Long Beach next Thursday.

"The Elizabeth will berth adjacent to the Queen Mary and her arrival will begin a day-long series of events and activities to celebrate the unprecedented meeting of ships," Queen Mary's general manager John Jenkins said in an announcement Wednesday.

The luxury Cunard Line ship is expected to arrive at 7 a.m. and leave around sunset the same day, according to the statement. This year also marks the 175th year since Cunard Line's first transatlantic crossing.

The Queen Mary will be free to visitors from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 5) and will offer special tours and a bagpipe salute. (The back of the Queen Mary offers the best viewing area for visitors to watch a whistle salute between the two ships and fireworks.)

The original Queen Elizabeth was the sister ship to...

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Liftopia.com offers ski deals good for Super Bowl Sunday

More than 115 million people nationwide are expected to stay home Sunday and watch the Seattle Seahawks play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

That means short lift lines and open ski slopes, said Evan Reece, co-founder and chief executive of Liftopia.com, the nation’s largest mobile and online marketplace for advance-purchase lift tickets.

“Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days of the year to get out on the mountain. There’s always time to start the day on the snow with some friends before you spend some time on the couch with some friends. Burning a few calories makes the wings all the more enjoyable,” Reece said.

To lure schussers to the slopes, Liftopia is offering significant discounts before the 3:30 p.m. Sunday West Coast kickoff time. Here are some examples, with more available at Liftopia.com:

Mt. Baldy: Save up to 62% off the walk-up rate with lift tickets starting at $25.

Snow Valley: Save up to 45% off the walk-up window rate with lift tickets starting at $34....

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In Hawaii, it's peak time for humpback whale-watching

If you're lucky enough to be traveling in Hawaii right now, you've likely seen humpback whales breaching and slapping the water. At this time of year, they're pretty hard to miss.

Humpbacks make the more than 4,000-mile journey from Alaska to Hawaii typically between December and April. Sightings are best in January and February when babies are born, and moms with their young can be seen off the coast of several islands.

(In Southern California, gray whales can be seen along the coast making their migration from the Bering Sea to Mexico's Baja Peninsula and back.)

If you want to go whalewatching, many companies operate seasonal tours right now. If you book ahead of time online, you're likely to find a discount. Also bear in mind that boats aren't allowed within 100 yards of a whale — neither are humans swimming or paddling.

Kauai: You'll find morning and afternoon tours leaving from Port Allen on the west side of the island. The Na Pali Coast is the perfect place to go whale watching,...

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Seven Seas Explorer's inaugural 2016 cruise nearly sold out

Talk about a rock star! The luxury Seven Seas Explorer won't sail until next year, but the cruise ship already is breaking sales records for Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The cruise line announced this week that demand for the top-tier ship helped push sales for a single day at three times the company's previous record.

"The maiden voyage is nearly sold out and demand for the inaugural season is extremely strong," James Montague, president and chief operating officer of Regent, said in a statement.

Regent had released details about the ship, still under construction, earlier this month. The response was enthusiastic when reservations opened Jan. 19 to past Regent cruise passengers only.

Steven E. Shulem of Strictly Vacations in Santa Barbara told TravelPulse that he sold just under half-a-million dollars on the Seven Seas Explorer after reservations opened.

Regent repeatedly says it's setting "a new standard for luxury vacations" with the launch of the Seven Seas Explorer, which will...

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