By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Viking Cruises announced Friday that it's getting into the ocean cruise market -- in a small way.
The luxury river cruise line brings its all-inclusive model to the seas in May 2015 with the newly built Viking Star, a sleek ship that will accommodate 928 passengers. It features two swimming pools, a spa and private verandas with each stateroom.
"It is our view that in the race to build bigger ships, many cruise lines have lost sight of the destinations to which they sail," Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises, said in a statement. The company expects to add a second ocean ship in 2016 and has orders for four more in the works.
Like for Viking's river cruises, the price covers extras such as shore excursions, meals with wine and beer and Wi-Fi. And the Viking Star will stay in port late into the evening or overnight to give passengers a chance to experience a city's night life or attend the opera.
Maiden voyages for 2015 include a Viking Homelands cruise (Stockholm; St....
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole in Teton Village, Wyo., sits at the base of the area's famous ski resort and about a mile from the entrance to Grand Teton National Park. As the season shifts from winter to summer, the hotel offers visitors a midweek break on rooms during a 72-hour sale starting at $199 a night.
The deal: The sale rate is good for stays Mondays through Thursdays in a guest room or an urban studio. You may cancel the reservation but you must do so at least 14 days in advance to avoid penalty fees. Room prices don't include tax and the $17 daily resort fee.
When: The offer is good until Monday for stays through June 29.
Tested: I found the rate available June 23-26 for a room with king- or two queen-size beds, or an urban studio, which comes with a fully equipped kitchen. The best available rate on the same dates for the same rooms cost $299 to $339, excluding tax and resort fee.
American Airlines rolled out a new boarding policy Thursday that allows passengers with one carry-on item that fits under the seats to board planes earlier than others who require overhead bins.
It's all about being able to get to and from destinations on time, the airline says.
"Our tests indicate that this new boarding process will improve our dependability and on-time performance, while being easier and more enjoyable for our customers," Carol Wright, the airline's vice president of customer planning, said in a statement.
The airline said tests earlier this year at airport gates in Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Denver; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; Minneapolis-St. Paul; and Washington, D.C., showed the process proved to be quicker, and customers liked it too.
But traveling light doesn't mean you go straight to the head of the line.
On boarding domestic flights, American gives preference to first-class passengers and members of the military in uniform, then business class,...
The full-day adventure first takes guests to Eldorado Canyon, near the village of Nelson, about 40 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. Visitors take a one-hour tour of the Techatticup Mine, where gold was mined for more than 80 years from 1861 until the start of World War II.
A coach then takes tourists down a winding road to Nelson’s Landing on the Colorado River. There, they board a motorized raft for a relaxing ride upstream. During the trip, rafters most likely will see a variety of wildlife along the canyon walls. Along the way, lunch is served.
The raft docks at the Willow Beach Marina on the Arizona side of the river. From there, guests are taken back to their hotels, with a stop at Hoover Dam for photos.
From door to door, the journey lasts around eight hours.
If you’re waiting…and waiting…for an interview appointment to complete your application for the Global Entry fast-pass-through-customs program, help may be at hand.
In a blog post Monday, I explained that I had been conditionally OK’d, receiving an email saying so on May 9. It instructed me to make an appointment for the required interview near LAX.
But the first available appointment--in fact, the only available one--was at 2 p.m. Aug. 6. I took it, despite my dismay at the wait.
It’s not that I travel in and out of the country that much; it’s mostly that Global Entry approval gives you the same privileges as the PreCheck program, which allows you to get through airport security faster. But PreCheck is predicated on an invitation from an airline, and it’s frequent fliers who usually get the nod.
Like most leisure travelers, I book my tickets based on price, not airline loyalty. Or, said another way, I’m never going to be an elite...
Mama’s Fish House, the much-loved Maui restaurant, is installing a deepwater buoy in the Pacific Ocean this month in an effort to promote sustainable fishing.
Studies have shown that certain types of fish tend to congregate around such buoys, officially known as fish aggregation devices, or FAD.
The restaurant is paying for the assembly and deployment of the buoy. It is about 30 miles off the northeast shore of the island and anchored to the ocean floor at a depth of more than 15,000 feet.
The state of Hawaii maintains a network of 55 FADs that provide recreational opportunities to amateur anglers, but the newest buoy sits in much deeper water. Professional fishermen expect to harvest catches of fish such as mahi mahi, ono and tuna in the area around the new FAD.
Mama’s, which is in Paia, has been buying fish directly from Maui fishermen for more than 40 years. Owners Floyd and “Mama” Doris Christenson print menus twice daily so the fishermen, name of the boat...
The roughly 4-inch Lego likeness of Queen Elizabeth II will wear a silver-and-diamond crown less than an inch big to mark the 60th anniversary of the British monarch's coronation.
The Queen of Miniland, as she's called, will show off the crown with 48 cut diamonds that was created by jewelry designer Dinny Hall. The Lego queen first displayed the crown during last year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The real Queen Elizabeth, by the way, was crowned with the almost 5-pound St. Edward's Crown six decades ago at Westminster Abbey in London. Today, the crown resides at the Tower of London for tourists to view as they make their way around the landmark built in 1066.
Wines made in L.A., Malibu and Ventura will be served side-by-side with wines from Rioja, Spain, and Argentina's Uco Valley at the eighth LAWineFest in June. Those who want to sample wine, beer and even some spirits (such as sake made in Rancho Dominguez) can buy tickets for $54, more than a third off the usual price, for a limited time.
The deal: Wines featured at the festival come from 15 countries, and Belgian beermaker Stella Artois hosts a beer garden at the event at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.
General admission tickets bought through Amazon Local are good for a single day entry during the weekend event. Unlimited tastings, a souvenir glass and free coffee, bread and cheese come with the ticket; other food and seminars are extra. Ticket vouchers are limited to one per person plus one gift voucher.
When: The offer is good until Monday for festival tickets for 2-6 p.m. Saturday or noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Details: Regular single-day tickets cost $85 per person.
Second prize awards $5,000 and third prize $2,500, along with backpacks and other goodies.
America the Beautiful passes, which provide a year of access to 2,000-plus national parks and federal lands, will be awarded to honorable mentions and weekly winners.
"Photography has the power to make the great outdoors accessible so that we all can see some of the most beautiful places in the world through the eyes of people like Ansel Adams," newly appointed Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement.
It's a great excuse to take a photo-seeking road trip, particularly with so many federal lands...
Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger Mary Forgione likes to hit the dirt when she's on vacation. An avid hiker and runner, Mary likes speed-touring cities on foot and sightseeing by running marathons.