8 Day Affordable Switzerland and more Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico News

Maya Train to Begin Operations on December 1

The Maya Train, the passenger and cargo rail route that will travel around the Yucatán peninsula will begin operations on December 1, the military-controlled rail company Tren Maya S.A. de C.V. announced. 

42 trains will operate on the controversial 1,554 km rail loop, which will pass through 34 stations and stops in five states: Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo. 

The state oil company Pemex will supply the train’s fuel, which will be less polluting than the fuel commonly used in Mexico because it will contain only 10 parts per million of sulfur rather than the usual 500 parts per million. 

International News

Amsterdam Wants to Discourage ‘Nuisance’ Tourists

Amsterdam is so fed up with nuisance tourists that it recently launched what might be the world‘s first anti-tourism campaign, telling tourists who come for sex, drugs, and drinking to stay away from the city altogether.  

In a new “discouragement campaign”, largely aimed at British tourists widely considered to be the worst-behaved visitors to Amsterdam, the city hopes to change its reputation as a destination for drugs, alcohol, and prostitution. 

The city council is concerned that tourist activity in the red light district, known for its legalized brothels and window displays of sex workers, creates a vulgar and voyeuristic atmosphere. Local residents are also seemingly fed up with the constant influx of intoxicated tourists and rowdy bachelor parties stumbling through the city’s streets.

The advertising campaign comes as the city has been introducing new measures to curb offensive visitor behavior and rejuvenate its reputation as a world-class tourism destination. 
Some of those plans include relocating the red light district and moving approximately 100 brothel windows from the city center to a multi-story ‘erotic centre’ on the outskirts of town, limiting bachelor parties and pub crawls, and a ban on smoking weed in city center streets.

Cruise News  

Nassau Welcomes Over 28,000 Cruise Visitors in One Day

A new cruise passenger record was set by Nassau, Bahamas, as the popular port welcomed six ships containing 28,554 cruise visitors on February 27. The record does not include the crew count of an additional 10,302 people.

AmaWaterways 2024 Colombia River Cruises  

About a year from now, AmaWaterways, the luxury river cruise company, will open up the first new river destination in recent memory when it begins sailing on the Magdalena River in Colombia.

In a recent webinar AmaWaterways revealed plans for two major itineraries on two nearly identical 60 passenger (30 cabins) vessels, AmaMagdalena and AmaMelodia. These two ships will make their debut on March 30, 2024 and June 19, 2024, respectively. They will sail on two similar seven-day itineraries dubbed “Magic of Colombia” and “Wonders of Colombia” between Barranquilla and Cartagena, both going up the Magdalena River and back down.

Both itineraries start or end in Barranquilla and Cartagena, with stops in Nueva Venecia, Calamar, Santa Barbara de Pinto, Mompox, El Banco, Magangue, and Palenque. Each of these destinations has significant cultural or historic attractions, plus there are sailings during the day through some great sections of the Magdalena River showcasing Colombia’s natural beauty. 

Cruise prices start at US $3,599 per person.

AmaWaterways also has set up a series of optional pre and post-cruise trips, at two to three days each, to Medellin, Cartagena and Panama City. These will feature AmaWaterways cruise hosts and are priced from US $1,350 per person to US $2,250 per person. These trips also can be combined to create even longer journeys.

Deal of the Week 

8 Day Affordable Switzerland

Culturally vibrant Zurich, the compact city Lucerne & Swiss-Mediterranean Lugano 

Special Features

  • During your Geneva tour, view the Jet d’Eau, Flower Clock and Reformation Monument
  • Explore the hilltop village of Gruyere, home of Switzerland’s most famous cheese
  • Visit Berne, the capital of Switzerland, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Admire the 14th century medieval Chapel Bridge, forming the centerpiece of Lucerne’s townscape
  • Discover the medieval Castelgrande Castle, Bellinzona’s mightiest castle
  • Take a walking tour of Lugano with its fabulous mix of Swiss-Mediterranean cultures

The Deal Includes

  • Flights: New York-Geneva, Milan-New York. Other departure cities available. 
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 6 nights First Class accommodations 

2 nights Geneva

2 nights Lucerne

2 nights Lugano

  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates
  • 8 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Book by March 31, 2023 and save US $480 per person off the regular price. Lowest price reflects $480 promotional savings. Tour price, including airfare, was US $2229, now US $1749. Promo valid for departures: Mar 2023, Nov 2023 to Mar 2024.

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for 50+ years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world.  She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit client’s interests, physical abilities and budgets. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics, Mexico and international travel. Cell phone 415-111-8765, Vonage 949-300-3682; email judynewell@perfectjourneys.net. Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores on the highway to Dolores Hidalgo.

Sources: Mexico News Daily, The Navigator, Cruise Radio, Insider Travel, Travel Mole, Gate 1