• Coronavirus: More than 16,000 Australians ignored official advice and travelled abroad
    World
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: More than 16,000 Australians ignored official advice and travelled abroad

    Around 16,000 Australians flouted government advice and travelled overseas during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.On 18 March, the Australian Federal Government changed its advice for all international travel, raising the risk to level 4.

  • Coronavirus-hit cruise ships finally permitted to disembark healthy passengers in Florida
    US
    The Telegraph

    Coronavirus-hit cruise ships finally permitted to disembark healthy passengers in Florida

    Holland America Line’s Zaandam and Rotterdam have finally reached port after 12 days at sea. The two ships, which are carrying Zaandam’s original passengers split between them, have been sailing together since Rotterdam came to her sister ship’s aid on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Zaandam had been sailing a South America cruise that began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7, and was originally scheduled to end in San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. Attempts were made and denied to disembark guests in Chile on March 15 and at other ports on the way to Florida. Guests had not left the ship since March 14 and were subject to self-isolation in their staterooms since March 22. After lengthy negotiations and the intervention of President Trump, the two ships were cleared for arrival into Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There had been resistance to allow them to dock, because since March 22, 107 guests (90 on Zaandam/17 on Rotterdam) and 143 crew on Zaandam (0 on Rotterdam) had influenza-like symptoms. Orlando Ashford, the president of the cruise line, made a passionate plea for help, describing the situation as a ‘humanitarian crisis’. Rotterdam arrived in port with 808 guests and 583 crew; Zaandam with 442 guests and 603 crew. Across the two ships there were 229 British passengers.

  • Zaandam cruise ship finally docks in Fort Lauderdale after three weeks stranded at sea
    World
    The Independent

    Zaandam cruise ship finally docks in Fort Lauderdale after three weeks stranded at sea

    The cruise ship on which four passengers died from Covid-19 and others became critically ill has finally been allowed to dock in Florida.President Trump overruled the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, who initially rejected permission for Zaandam to end her long voyage at her home port of Fort Lauderdale.

  • Cancelled flights: How to get a refund with easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways
    Business
    The Independent

    Cancelled flights: How to get a refund with easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways

    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to bring travel to a standstill worldwide, many passengers are finding that their flights have been cancelled.Under normal circumstances, getting a refund would be a fairly straightforward task.

  • Plush beds, cocktail cabinets and spa-throoms: The ultimate guide to holidaying at home
    Lifestyle
    The Telegraph

    Plush beds, cocktail cabinets and spa-throoms: The ultimate guide to holidaying at home

    Turn confinement into the ultimate luxury staycation, says Emma Love, by giving your house a hotel makeover, complete with a party-starting cocktail bar and in-room spa One of the best things about checking into a hotel is that moment when you unlock the door and arrive in the sanctuary of your room. Now that most of us are confined in our homes, it’s the perfect opportunity to work on making them places we really want to be, and recreating that feeling of calm in our own spaces. “To be cosy and provoke an emotion, interior decoration should tell a story,” says Arnaud Zannier, whose hotels include Phum Baitang in Siem Reap (where the Jolie-Pitt clan stayed for months) and Ghent’s 1898 The Post. “Choose one or two remarkable pieces – whether that’s objets, candles or flowers, anything that brings personality to a room – and put the emphasis on those.” “I like to compose a few areas of focus – perhaps a painting, a table, a stack of books – but for me, bed linen is the key to making a bedroom look plush,” says Karen Roos, co-owner of The Newt in Somerset among other hotels, and former editor of Elle Decoration in South Africa.

  • Travel is built on trust and that matters now more than ever
    Business
    The Independent

    Travel is built on trust and that matters now more than ever

    Britain’s holiday industry began 2020 in great shape.The damage that Brexit will wreak on travellers and businesses had been postponed until the end of the year. Instead, everyone was talking of growth: more people venturing to more places, enjoying better value and safer journeys than ever before.

  • First koalas released back into the wild after Australian bushfires
    World
    The Independent

    First koalas released back into the wild after Australian bushfires

    Although Australia is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic like the rest of the world, there is a sliver of good news for the land Down Under – the first rescued koalas are starting to be released into the wild.The marsupials were rescued from their bushfire-ravaged habitats last year, and have been in the care of zoos and animal hospitals ever since.

  • Airline bailouts must be ‘conditional’ on carriers lowering emissions, says EU climate commissioner
    World
    The Independent

    Airline bailouts must be ‘conditional’ on carriers lowering emissions, says EU climate commissioner

    Airlines should have rigorous stipulations around lowering carbon emissions attached to any government bailout or financial support, says the former EU climate commissioner.As carriers struggle amid the worldwide grounding of flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, they are appealing to governments to give them cash injections and packages of measures to enable their continued survival.

  • National Express to suspend all coach services amid coronavirus lockdown
    Business
    The Independent

    National Express to suspend all coach services amid coronavirus lockdown

    National Express has announced that it’s suspending all coach services from 11.59pm Sunday 5 April until further notice.The firm will stop selling tickets for journeys after this date with immediate effect. This will apply to its own website as well as third part resellers.

  • Britons stranded in Pakistan ‘outraged’ after being forced to spend thousands on cancelled flights
    World
    The Independent

    Britons stranded in Pakistan ‘outraged’ after being forced to spend thousands on cancelled flights

    British nationals stranded in Pakistan have criticised the UK government’s “appalling” behaviour after it failed to organise rescue flights to bring them home.A campaign has been launched demanding the Foreign Office (FCO) take urgent action, such as chartering subsidised flights.

  • Coronavirus: Emirates and Etihad to restart flights from next week
    World
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Emirates and Etihad to restart flights from next week

    The UAE flight ban, which left tens of thousands of travellers stranded when it was introduced at short notice, is to be eased – but at first only for passengers outbound from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.The biggest international hub on the planet, Dubai Airport, was closed to flights on Emirates and other airlines – as was Abu Dhabi, home to Etihad.

  • Coronavirus: Trump intervenes to allow Holland America cruise ship to dock in Florida
    US
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Trump intervenes to allow Holland America cruise ship to dock in Florida

    Three weeks since they last stepped on dry land, hundreds of passengers aboard the Zaandam may soon be allowed to leave the stricken cruise ship.President Trump has intervened to overturn the decision by Florida’s governor that the vessel could not dock at its home port, Fort Lauderdale.

  • Coronavirus: 36,000 British Airways staff to be furloughed in worst-ever crisis for modern aviation
    World
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: 36,000 British Airways staff to be furloughed in worst-ever crisis for modern aviation

    Three months ago, British Airways and its staff were beginning what was expected to be their most successful-ever year.Today BA, in common with the rest of the airline industry, is on life-support as scheduled flying reaches a near-standstill.

  • Viking to start cruising on the Mississippi from summer 2022
    Lifestyle
    The Telegraph

    Viking to start cruising on the Mississippi from summer 2022

    Viking Cruises is to introduce Mississippi cruises from August 2022, with the longest itineraries connecting New Orleans with St Paul. Sailing on a custom-built vessel, the Viking Mississippi, the voyages will cross through seven US states. Ports of call will include Louisiana (Baton Rouge, Darrow, New Orleans and St Francisville); Mississippi (Natchez and Vicksburg); Tennessee (Memphis); Missouri (Hannibal, St Louis); Iowa (Burlington, Dubuque and Davenport); Wisconsin (La Crosse); and Minnesota (Red Wing, St Paul). Voyages for the inaugural 2022-2023 season are already on sale for Viking’s past guests and bookings will open to the general public on April 15. Viking chairman Torstein Hagen said: “At a time where many of us are at home, looking for inspiration to travel in the future, I am pleased to introduce a new, modern way to explore this great river. Our guests are curious travellers, and they continue to tell us that the Mississippi is the river they most want to sail with us. No other waterway has played such an important role in America’s history, commerce and culture.” This new river cruise destination for Viking follows on from the company’s announcement earlier this year that it was launching its first expedition ships, Viking Octantis in January 2022 and Viking Polaris in August 2022. In the last eight years, Viking has introduced more than 60 new river cruise ships and six ocean ships. Viking Mississippi will accommodate 386 guests in 193 staterooms, all outside facing. Currently under construction in Louisiana, the line claims the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region. Regular guests will recognise the clean Scandinavian design, reimagined for Mississippi river voyages.

  • US airlines refuse to collect data that could help trace coronavirus victims
    Health
    The Independent

    US airlines refuse to collect data that could help trace coronavirus victims

    US airlines are continuing to refuse to collect passenger data that would aid in tracing and contacting those who may have contracted coronavirus.The US government has been attempting to make carriers provide travellers’ information for 15 years, ever since health officials assessed the weak spots in their response to the Sars outbreak.

  • York’s only five-star hotel gets one star for food hygiene
    World
    The Independent

    York’s only five-star hotel gets one star for food hygiene

    York’s only five-star hotel, The Grand, scored just one for food hygiene after a recent inspection.Inspectors cited a number of issues after visiting the property on 21 February.

  • ‘We are desperate’: stranded passengers beg government for help getting back to UK
    World
    The Independent

    ‘We are desperate’: stranded passengers beg government for help getting back to UK

    As another Air France flight heads for Delhi to rescue French nationals from India, anger is growing about the slow pace of the British repatriation effort.While Air France has flown more than 200 rescue missions since the coronavirus crisis began, the UK has yet to reach double figures in government-sponsored repatriation flights.

  • Marriott hack: Hotel chain suffers new data breach affecting 5.2 million customers
    Business
    The Independent

    Marriott hack: Hotel chain suffers new data breach affecting 5.2 million customers

    Marriott International, the hotel group that owns global chains including Marriott, St Regis and The Ritz-Carlton, has suffered a major security breach – its second in three years.The company announced on 31 March that details of up to 5.2 million customers could have been accessed between mid-January and the end of February this year.

  • Coronavirus: Nearly half of UK’s major insurers stop selling travel insurance
    Business
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Nearly half of UK’s major insurers stop selling travel insurance

    Nearly half of all major UK insurers have now stopped selling travel insurance as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect trips worldwide.Some 31 of the nation’s 75 leading insurers have pulled their travel insurance offerings, according to Which?.

  • Austrian ski resort could be sued by 2,500 tourists who caught coronavirus
    World
    The Independent

    Austrian ski resort could be sued by 2,500 tourists who caught coronavirus

    Around 2,500 people have signed up to potentially join a class action lawsuit against an Austrian ski resort after contracting coronavirus following a holiday there.Ischgl in the Tyrol region is already under investigation after hundreds of cases were traced back to the resort.

  • Coronavirus: Uncertainty continues for Holland America cruise ship carrying passengers with Covid-19
    US
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Uncertainty continues for Holland America cruise ship carrying passengers with Covid-19

    The cruise ship Zaandam is continuing to sail towards Fort Lauderdale in Florida – though with no certainty that she will be able to dock there.Four passengers, including one British traveller, have died on the Holland America Line vessel, with two of the victims confirmed to have had coronavirus.

  • Sniping at airlines for a soundbite doesn’t fly
    World
    The Independent

    Sniping at airlines for a soundbite doesn’t fly

    The shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry MP, has done valuable work on behalf of us all. So she deserves to be cut some slack in what are likely to be her final few days in the post.Yet her intervention in the debate about bringing Brits home from abroad looks perplexing, to put it politely.

  • London-Sydney nonstop flight moves one step closer as pilots approve deal
    World
    The Independent

    London-Sydney nonstop flight moves one step closer as pilots approve deal

    Pilots working for Qantas have approved the airline’s proposals for operating nonstop flights between London and Sydney.The Australian carrier plans to use Airbus A350 jets to launch the world’s longest air link in the first half of 2023.

  • Coronavirus: Canadian airlines sued after refusing to refund cancelled flights
    Business
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Canadian airlines sued after refusing to refund cancelled flights

    Five Canadian airlines are being sued for breach of contract after refusing to issue full refunds to travellers for cancelled flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.The class-action lawsuit has been taken out against Air Canada, WestJet, Swoop, Air Transat and Sunwing.

  • The 10 best live-streaming experiences to help make-believe you’re on holiday
    Entertainment
    The Independent

    The 10 best live-streaming experiences to help make-believe you’re on holiday

    Is quarantine giving you cabin fever? There may be a temporary solution: become an armchair traveller.Destinations and attractions around the world are wising up to the fact that people would still like to “visit”, even if they can’t physically be there, and are making use of technology accordingly.