Colors: Blue Color

Travelers interested in exploring the rich cultural history of the French-Creole Caribbean nation of Haiti are being wooed by one of its distinguished hotels.

Located in the capital, Port-au-Prince, the 60 year-old Le Plaza Hotel, a boutique 95-room property, wants travelers in North America, Europe and beyond to experience the diverse offerings of the country which, along with the Dominican Republic, is part of the island of Hispaniola.

"We are increasing our marketing activity to show travelers what makes us unique and special in the Caribbean," said Marc Pierre-Louis, General Manager of Le Plaza Hotel.

At Le Plaza Hotel, guests can bask in warm Haitian hospitality, exceptionally high levels of guest service and organic ambience. The family-run hotel offers comfort and convenience with an outdoor pool, fitness room, business center and internet access in all rooms and public areas.

The property, which hosts a live twoubadou band on Sunday nights, is gearing up for a strong winter season with special offers to celebrate the holidays, including entertainment and festivities for everyone.

"Le Plaza is continually revitalizing our hospitality product and experience to showcase our rich history and culture, including the incredible artistic repertoire of the Haitian people," Pierre-Louis reported, noting that today's discerning travelers are looking for more than sun, sand and sea.

The hotel is just a few minutes' drive from the iconic Mupanah (Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien), the National Museum of Art and Marché de Fer (a public market dating back to 1889), which guests are encouraged to visit.

In addition to learning about Haiti's history, visitors can get a taste of authentic Haitian Creole cuisine at Le Plaza. "We offer a holistic travel experience and we look forward to welcoming many more travelers from around the world, including members of our vast Haitian Diaspora," Pierre-Louis stated.

Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS finished the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Wednesday 6th December taking Monohull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 11 days 00 hrs 03 mins 08 secs. CQS committed to a southerly route for the 3,000 nautical mile race and despite sustaining sail damage in a vicious 40 knot squall, the canting keel 98ft Maxi led from start to finish. Ingvall is no stranger to taking line honours in prestigious offshore races, twice taking the honour in both the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This was Ludde Ingvall's 16th transatlantic.
Once dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Ingvall was full of enthusiasm for the RORC Transatlantic Race and his team:
"We have had a fantastic trip, even though the slow start meant we didn't have a fast race, but I love it. It is great to be back in the Atlantic and especially nice to be first. Much more fun than being last! We have a young crew on board and it is especially rewarding to give them this chance and 'pass it on'. Sailing is an amazing sport, but big boat opportunities for young sailors are few and they did really well. Just think, we have eight nationalities on one boat and everybody was focused on the same finish line. We worked as a team, looked after each other and it was tough at times."
CQS Crew: Skipper Ludde Ingvall; Co-Skipper Kenneth Thelen; Logan Andresen; Martyn Baker; Philip Barnard; Hans-Christoph Brumberg; Charles Egerton-Warburton; Robin Elsey; James Espey; Liam Gardner; Paul Heyrman; David Kenefick; Rokas Milevicius; James Oxenham; Malcolm Paine and James Tomlinson.
After the Australian Maxi had safely moored at the impressive Superyacht Dock, CQS received a warm welcome from RORC Race Officer Steve Cole and Glynn Thomas, General Manager at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Patricia Maher, Chief Executive Officer at Grenada Tourism Authority presented Ludde Ingvall and his team with a basket of Grenadian produce.
CQS has now set the bar for the best corrected time under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. The defending champion, Marten 72 Aragon, skippered by Jochen Bovenkamp and Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump are likely to be the next yachts to finish. The Maxis have close company from two high-performance offshore racing yachts, Tilmar Hansen's German Elliott 52 Outsider and the provisional overall leader, Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine. All four yachts are expected to finish the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Friday 8th December.

Citizens of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique now have an opportunity to add to the legacy of the Underwater Sculpture Park. The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) in collaboration with the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park Management Inc. (GUSMI) have launched a sculpture design competition. The initiative invites Grenadian nationals to submit designs for new sculptures that will be added to the park over the next five years as part of a strategic development plan.

Speaking at the launch of the design competition member of the Grenada Underwater Sculpture Park Management Inc. Phil Saye underscored the importance of the attraction to the country’s tourism product. He said, “ We are happy that Jason DeCaires Taylor chose Grenada for his first sculpture park and since then we have become world famous for this attraction. Over the years, we have added to the park, but this is an opportunity for us to keep the attraction exciting.”

Saye was high in praise of the public/private partnership with the GTA and noted that the park has enhanced the marine eco system by supporting coral reef regeneration.

Providing an overview of the design competition was GTA Product Development Manager Kirl Hoschtialek. She urged citizens to showcase their talent to produce extraordinary designs that, “are unique and representative of Grenadian folklore, history, culture or the environment.”

There is no limit to the number of entries per person or school and the competition is open to all age groups. The submission must include a short description (1-2 paragraphs) and a drawing or rendering of the design. It must also be easily reproduced by the sculptor in concrete and stand between 6 – 9 feet tall. All entries should be jpeg/pdf format and should not exceed 1MB in size.  All submissions must be the original work of the participant.

The competition offers attractive prizes. The first place prize is EC$ 5000, second place EC$ 3000 and 3rd place EC$ 2000. If a student wins, then the prizes will be split between the winner and the school. The deadline for submissions is January 20,2017 and the winner shall be announced by January 30, 2017.

Entries must be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Entry forms and competition rules can be downloaded from the GTA’s Tourism Awareness Campaign microsite at

A Jamaican farmer who had a life-threatening case of leptospirosis is thankful for healing, following a pioneering intervention by doctors at Health City Cayman Islands.

Clester Christie came to Grand Cayman for work but fell seriously ill a few days after his arrival. Fortunately for the 31-year old, Dr. Nelson Iheonunekwu, an Internal Medicine and Nephrology Specialist at the Health Services Authority (HSA), recognized Christie's vitals were falling fast and quickly referred him to the East End, Grand Cayman facility.

At Health City, doctors confirmed the HSA's diagnosis that Christie was suffering from a complication of the zoonotic bacterial infection Leptospirosis, called Leptospirosis Pulmonary Hemorrhagic Syndrome, which is a rare bacterial disease that forms blood clots in the lungs of the afflicted.

Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Chief Cardiac Surgeon and Senior Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeon at Health City, accepted the emergency case from Dr. Iheonunekwu.

"He came here [and at] that time he was in a very critical stage. I would say his oxygen level, his saturation level was in the 50s, so if he stayed like that a few more hours he would have arrested ... within half an hour we took him to the operating room," Dr. Chattuparambil said.

The Health City team hooked Christie up to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine via the venovenous route to support his lungs, marking the first time Health City doctors had used ECMO in this manner. For previous patients, ECMO had been used to support both the heart and lungs.

A ground-breaking coral reef experiment, likened to the world's biggest IVF procedure, could be the answer to a healthy future for the Great Barrier Reef, which, at 70 million football fields in size, is the world's largest living organism and a natural asset valued at $56billion.

Professor Peter Harrison, the marine scientist who co-discovered coral spawning 35 years ago, conducted the oversized “fertility treatment”, at the Heron Island Research Station, with help from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

The experiment was first trialled in November 2016 when millions of microscopic sperm and eggs were harvested from last year's annual coral spawning event, and placed into giant tanks for fertilisation. The subsequent coral larvae were then planted back onto the Reef.

Based on the learnings from the 2016 trial, Professor Harrison this month captured and reared more larvae, taken from the November 8-9, 2017 spawning event, in a larger-scale study that has already shown signs of successful larval settlement.

This time around, mesh tents were used to veil the planted larvae to prevent them from floating to the surface, which Professor Harrison says assists the larvae to attach and settle onto the Reef and form juvenile colonies.

“This is the first large-scale study of its kind and our research shows that we can help corals reproduce successfully by increasing larvae settling on the Great Barrier Reef and allowing them to develop into juvenile corals,” said Professor Harrison.

“From our previous studies, we know that microscopic larvae, once settled, can grow into dinner plate size corals in just three years and become sexually reproductive.”

“The success of this project on Heron Island could increase the scale of coral restoration on the Great Barrier Reef in future; if we can fast track coral growth and regeneration and apply this to other areas of the Reef, we hope to see larger areas of healthy coral that can be enjoyed by generations to come.”

The success of the larval reseeding project at Heron Island is a marker of hope for restoring areas of the Great Barrier Reef previously affected by coral bleaching.

Like any parent-to-be, Professor Harrison will continue to anxiously monitor the growth of both coral colonies and refine techniques for future application to other areas of the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden said Heron Island, once rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the Top 10 dive sites in the world, was well qualified for pioneering reef studies.

“It's not only tourists who come from all over the world to experience the sheer magic of the Great Barrier Reef at Heron Island, marine scientists also flock to the island to access one of the best reef research laboratories in the world, the University of Queensland Research Station,” said Anna.

“Researchers on the island are looking at innovations like larval reseeding to help coral reefs rebuild and adapt so they can live through everything the world is throwing at them and to survive into the future.”

After a couple of challenging years for the health of the Great Barrier Reef, the staff on Heron Island are also looking forward to sharing a message of hope with their guests.

The resort's Marine and Activities Manager, Alison Cross, said that travellers to Heron Island come for the technicoloured underwater marine world just footsteps from the resort rooms.

“We get divers, snorkelers and first time marine enthusiasts and most are aware of the challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef so they are fascinated to learn that studies are being done right here to protect its future,” said Alison.

“The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's greatest treasure and once guests see its beauty, they fall in love and become passionate advocates for its protection.”

Professor Harrison and the team at the Heron Island Research Centre worked alongside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authorityhe project, which was made possible through a donation by Stephen Fitzgerald, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Australia and New Zealand.

Colourful culture has long been part of the tradition of the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba but for those who think this just refers to its annual carnival extravaganza, think again.

The island has a vibrant arts scene, with studios dotted around the island producing amazing work, from glass and ceramics to driftwood creations. And all welcome visitors, whether it is to browse, buy or take part!

For example, Vela Aruba, based on Palm Beach in front of the Marriott Resort, is a hip water sports company which has branched into offering a driftwood workshop one evening a month.  Artist Maja Lepsanovic hosts the workshop under the stars on the beach, where locals and visitors learn to paint on driftwood, turning the salvaged, weathered pieces into colourful artwork—a truly authentic piece of Aruba to take home!

Husband-and-wife duo Ciro and Marian Abath launched Terrafuse in 2008 as a non-profit organization promoting glass art, ceramic art, and other art forms on Aruba. Terrafuse is located at Ciro and Marian's property along the road to Alto Vista, the village at the western end of the island.

Behind their quaint traditional 'cunucu' house are three studios. Ciro and Marian appreciate the special spot they have created and enjoy sharing it with the local community and visitors, who are encouraged to participate in glassblowing, bead-making, and ceramics workshops on the grounds.

Meanwhile, Cosecha Store & Creative Centre is located in the heart of Aruba's southern 'Sunrise City' of San Nicolas. It is a platform for local artists and craftspeople to exhibit and sell their work. All arts and crafts sold here are certified by the national seal of craftsmanship, Seyo Nacional pa Artesania, established by the government of Aruba through the Department of Culture.

The centre also offers workshops featuring hands-on experiences in a variety of art disciplines presented by local artisans, including the occasional sip-and-paint wine and art concept, as well as workshops for children.

Also in San Nicholas, the up and coming art hub of the Caribbean, Espacio Azul is a space positioned as an intersection of artists and craftspeople from the Caribbean and Latin America. More than 100 Aruban, Caribbean, and Latin American artists are featured here.  Workshops and sip-and-paint events are also held here.

Neo pop artist Elisa Lejuez wows with colour, mixed media, and silkscreen printing.  Her works have been featured in exhibits throughout the Dutch Caribbean, Miami, New York City, and Amsterdam, and have been bought by private collectors, international resort chains, and various Aruban restaurants and businesses. Elisa hosts workshops and sip-and-paint classes (by appointment) for groups at Atelier Elisa Lejuez in Noord, in the western area of the island, opposite the entrance to the Tierra Del Sol golf course.

The WOW Cyclothon is in its 6th year amidst breath-taking surroundings

From 26 – 30 June 2018, WOW air is once again hosting the perfect summer challenge, the WOW Cyclothon 2018. Iceland's biggest cycling event attracts cyclists from around the world for the endurance race, with participants set the task of completing the route in under 72 hours.

The Ring Road route of 1,358 kilometres scours around the entirety of Iceland and hundreds of competitors will pedal spoke-tacularly to lay claim to the title of the fastest team, while also raising funds for a good cause.

Setting off under the summer midnight sun, the non-stop relay race is one of a kind in Iceland. Last year, 144 teams took part, with 1,300 individuals taking to the Nordic roads.  Teams can consist of four or ten cyclists who must cycle in relay style non-stop over the whole route (with a support vehicle).

The B-category offers the shortest distance per person for 10 riders and means less experienced cyclists can take part too. Many corporate participants join for team building purposes and the route offers captivating landscapes to traverse. The solo category is available for ultra-cyclists looking to take on the challenge of a lifetime in unpredictable circumstances.

The race begins in Reykjavik, gliding past glaciers, waterfalls, coastline, fjords, national parks and volcanos in nothing short of stunning fashion. On the eastern side of the route, for 29km, a gravel section requires a mountain bike, adding another string to the endurance challenge's bow.

Keen cyclist and founder/CEO of low-cost airline WOW air, Skúli Mogensen, began the WOW Cyclothon in 2012. He competes each year along with co-founder Magnús Ragnarsson, even finishing in the second placed team in 2012.

Skúli Mogensen said: “Cycling is one of the most exciting ways to experience a country, especially one with such awe-inspiring scenery and terrain as Iceland. The WOW Cyclothon has continued to be well received and has grown every year. The solo finishers continue to impress me, but most importantly everyone who joins in contributes to a great cause. We look forward to welcoming many more entries for another successful year.”

As the main race sponsor, WOW air awards flight tickets as prizes for each member of the winning male and female teams. Open to cyclists of all abilities with a range of bike types, registration closes on 1 May and costs around £512 (70,000 ISK) for teams of four, £915 (125,000 ISK) for teams of ten, and £220 (30,000 ISK) for a solo effort.

The WOW Cyclothon aims to promote healthy living and promotes outdoor activities in Iceland. At the last WOW Cyclothon, £145,847 was raised for ICE-SAR Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue.

As Pure Grenada looks forward to strong projected growth for the 2017/18 cruise season, tourism officials are particularly enthusiastic about the luxury brands coming to the destination. In the past two weeks, Grenada welcomed two inaugural luxury cruise ship calls. The first was the Viking Sea on November 2 and MS Europa 2 on November 14.

Viking Cruises is a luxury brand that was for the second consecutive year, named the #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards 2017. The Viking Sea has a passenger capacity of 930 and crew capacity of 550. The inaugural call was welcomed by a delegation which included the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), local agent Huggins Grenada Ltd, the Grenada Ports Authority and Immigration officials.

Ship Captain Bent Ivar Gangdal was presented with commemorative plaques from each stakeholder. Then, on November 14, the MS Europa 2 called at the Melville Street Cruise Terminal, with a passenger capacity of 516 and a crew capacity of 370. The German based Hapag Lloyd Cruise Ship has been awarded the highest distinction as the only 5-stars-plus cruise ship worldwide in the new edition of the Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2018 guide.

A delegation consisting of the Ministry of Tourism, GTA, local agents Huggins Grenada Ltd, the Royal Grenada Police Force and Grenada Ports Authority boarded the ship to commemorate the inaugural call. Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Arlene Buckmire Outram welcomed the captain and crew to Pure Grenada by presenting a plaque to mark the occasion.

Commenting on the recent inaugural calls from the luxury cruise lines, GTA CEO Patricia Maher said, “ Pure Grenada is delighted to be attracting these high end smaller cruise ships to our shores. It is a testament to the high quality experiences offered on island from personalised chocolate tours to delicious rum tasting, to our adventure tours on land and sea and to our warm and friendly people who welcome the guests wholeheartedly.”

Not everyone knows that Pablo Picasso was of Ligurian origins. Around the year 1807 his great-grandfather Thomas Picasso left his house in Sori and moved to Malaga. It was here that he married and had five children, including Maria Picasso, Pablo's mother.

In 1954 Picasso wanted to discover the origins of his family and decided to explore and research in the Ligurian communes of Sori, Recco, Avegno and Camogli.

The exhibition will be held in Palazzo Ducale in Genoa from November 10th 2017 to May 6th 2018 and will host fifty paintings from the Picasso Museum collection in Paris. The curator of the exhibition is Coline Zellal.

Visitors will be able to discover artworks that the famous Spanish painter always kept guarded in his houses and ateliers, taking them with him on his travels.

The exhibition is divided into thematic sections that retrace the artist's life and work. Also on display are several photographs showing him alongside his works.

Visitors can admire the artist's paintings, ranging from his early nineteenth-century African inspired works as well as his famous pieces from the seventies, following the main landmarks of his artistic path and presenting some of his most well-known themes.

A new online resource that supports climate change law-making was unveiled at COP23 in Bonn this week.

The Law and Climate Change Toolkit is aimed at government policy makers responsible for developing laws that help implement the Paris Agreement. Three organisations have collaborated on the project, namely the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and UN Environment.

Steven Malby, who heads up the Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform at the Commonwealth, said it will provide countries with a comprehensive source of knowledge on climate legislation.

“It is a much-needed resource for countries to review their national laws and undertake reform in support of their climate policy commitments under the Paris Agreement,” Mr Malby said.

The Paris Agreement requires all of its 145 parties to put forward their best efforts in climate action through nationally determined contributions (NDCs) based around emissions. NDCs will be deciding factors as to whether the world achieves the goals agreed in Paris: to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C, to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C, and to achieve net zero emissions in the second half of this century.

Momentum for the toolkit started with the 2015 Commonwealth leaders’ statement on climate action, which underlined the importance of ‘practical and swift action’ to reinforce the outcomes of the Paris climate conference.

Then at their meeting in October last year, senior officials of Commonwealth law ministries supported the production of a toolkit of national laws and good practice. In December 2016, the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted a workshop with a wide range of international organisations and partners to examine how a toolkit could be developed.

This year, the Secretariat has collaborated closely with UNFCCC and UN Environment to develop a pilot version of the toolkit. Four Commonwealth countries, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, and Vanuatu, participated in a consultation process.

The pilot version will consist of an online database of laws in two areas, namely overarching climate change laws and energy laws. The provisions of these laws are classified and tagged at article level, which means that the toolkit enables the user to search very precisely for specific legal approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The toolkit contains a sequence of review questions that support policy makers in identifying possible gaps in their national laws. Where possible gaps are identified, the toolkit suggests legislative options from other countries that could help.

Relevant contextual country information is also contained in the toolkit in order to support tailoring of legislative options to individual country needs.

Looking beyond the COP23 launch, additional modules will be added to the toolkit in other thematic legal areas – including transport, planning, water, health, land use and forestry and disaster risk management.

The toolkit will be showcased at a side event hosted by UNFCCC, UN Environment and the Commonwealth Secretariat on Wednesday, November 8, and at an expert roundtable at ‘Climate Law and Governance Day’ on Friday, November 10. On both occasions, staff from the Commonwealth Secretariat will speak or chair.

Luxury boutique resort, Cap Maison, is once again spearheading the culinary scene in St Lucia with new food and beverage options, internationally recognised awards, exciting pop-up events and UK chef exchanges.

The resort has long been known for the exquisite dining experiences it offers guests, from its gourmet French West-Indian inspired menu at The Cliff at Cap to its delicious, relaxed counterpoint The Naked Fisherman. It is now set to wow even more with new private foodie themed evenings on board Cap Maison I, a brand new outdoor dining experience called 'La Table', and rum and chocolate pairings for Chocolate Heritage Month.

Known as the innovator of a new culinary movement in Saint Lucia, Cap Maison's fine-dining restaurant, The Cliff at Cap, was the first to bring pop-up events to the island. Following on from their success, the restaurant has introduced a brand new dining experience called 'La Table'.

La Table is the ultimate al fresco dining experience, consisting of an elegant table set within the open air at one of St Lucia's most iconic locations around the Rodney Bay area. Guests will be treated to crystal stemware, elegant china, candelabra and fine linen, complete with a two course five-star dinner. La Table offers a truly intimate dining experience; on each occasion the location remains a secret until 24 hours prior to the event and accommodates a maximum of twelve guests.

Cap Maison will be offering a new series of foodie themed evenings aboard Cap Maison I, the resort's very own luxury 46 ft Sea Ray motor yacht. The first will be a burger and lobster evening scheduled through-out November, offering a refined alternative to the traditional surf and turf.

Couples will be able to book a private evening cruise that will include a five-star dinner and accompanying wine, starting with spiny-tailed lobster and followed by a char grilled wagu burger in a brioche bun.

Cap Maison's Solera Cask Rum recently won a bronze medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2016. Now in its 21st year, the ISC is the premier event in promoting quality spirits across the globe. The competition is founded on a rigorous and independent judging process, receiving more than 1,400 entries from nearly 70 countries worldwide makes the ISC a truly global competition.

Cap Maison's Solera Cask Rum is distilled by St Lucia Distillers using both pot and column stills producing an aromatic fine clear spirit. Following extensive aging in Old Port barrels the premium rum is then aged at Cap Maison using the famous “Solera” aging system in single 10L white oak medium toasted barrels guaranteeing a consistent and superior quality.

The Norwegian Dawn, with a capacity of 2,340 passengers and 1,032 crew members, will dock on the island of St. Croix on three occasions this month, beginning Saturday, November 11.
The ship's arrival will mark the return of leisure cruise travelers to the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands after nearly two months. Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas docked on the island on September 17, just days before Hurricane Maria struck.
"St. Croix looks forward to welcoming the passengers and crew of the Norwegian Dawn this weekend, and sharing with them our warm, resilient Crucian spirit," said Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty. "We thank the countless Virgin Islanders and relief workers who have been working to restore power, clear roadways, prepare beaches and many of our key attractions so that visitors can experience our special Virgin Islands brand of Caribbean hospitality."
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty explained that taxis, tour operators and government agencies are working together to establish recommended routes for tours.
"Cruise ship passengers contribute important economic activity to the U.S. Virgin Islands," noted the Commissioner, adding that "the combination of cruise traffic, the recovery and construction economy, and the current reopening of hotels to leisure guests on St. Croix are key components of our recovery."
Based on confirmations received from the Virgin Islands Port Authority's Marine Division on St. Croix, the Norwegian Dawn's calls to St. Croix will take place on November 11, 18 and 25, while the smaller Viking Sea, with a capacity of 930 passengers and 550 crew, will arrive on November 15 and 28.
In December, both ships will return to St. Croix's Ann E. Abramson Pier, which will welcome additional calls from Norwegian Gem, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Odyssey.
The anticipated schedule for cruise ship calls to St. Croix follows:
November 11 - Norwegian Dawn
November 15 - Viking Sea
November 18 - Norwegian Dawn
November 25 - Norwegian Dawn
November 28  - Viking Sea
December 2 - Norwegian Dawn
December 8 - Viking Sea
December 9 - Norwegian Dawn
December 14 - Seabourn Sojourn
December 16  - Norwegian Dawn
December 25 - Seabourn Sojourn
December 27 - Norwegian Gem
December 30  - Seabourn Odyssey

Featuring the first Miraval Life in Balance Spa in the Caribbean, the resort officially opened on Wednesday 1st November on the island's southeast peninsula and brings a new level of luxury to St. Kitts' expanding tourism product.

"The debut of Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour is a historical occasion for the island," said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. "This elegant and sophisticated property brings the unparalleled Park Hyatt experience to St. Kitts as the brand's first hotel in the Caribbean, which is a welcome addition to our existing accommodations product and to our overall island community."

Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added: "We are very pleased that the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Christophe Harbour has opened as it increases the island's appeal among those discerning destination travellers seeking experiential getaways who represent a key segment of our visitor market."

Spanning the secluded beach of Banana Bay at the foot of the island's lush rolling hills, the 126-room resort will enable guests to discover St. Kitts through sophisticated design, art, culinary experiences and immersive excursions.

Home to three signature restaurants, two pools, a destination resort spa and wellness sanctuary, and indoor and outdoor event spaces, the resort introduces the Park Hyatt experience to the Caribbean.

All 78 rooms and 48 suites overlook the golden sandy beach and exceptional vistas greet guests at every turn. Each room showcases views of the Caribbean Sea and islands beyond, with luxurious touches such as private balconies and terraces, local artwork, rain-showers and deep soaking tubs. Premium suites feature private rooftop swimming pools and sundecks. For the ultimate indulgence for discerning guests, the three-bedroom Presidential Villa is equipped with a private infinity pool, wellness area, personal butler and private chef.

From the living walls of the distinctive entryway and throughout, all features of the resort have been thoughtfully and sustainably designed by Range Developments with local materials and unique water features to create an oasis in harmony with the surrounding environment.

The Ports of the Virgin Islands have confirmed that between November 3 and 30, 2017, thousands of cruise passengers are expected to arrive in the Territory.
Ships planning to dock in the Charlotte Amalie Harbor include Seabourn Odyssey, Norwegian Gem, Princess Cruises' Royal Princess, Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas, and Celebrity Cruises' Silhouette.
"Welcoming cruise visitors back to the U.S. Virgin Islands is a key element of our plan to boost economic activity, generate employment and stimulate recovery efforts," stated Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Commissioner of Tourism, underscoring that as the recovery and construction economy kicks into higher gear, including important work to enhance the islands' hotel product over the next year, it was important to get the cruise component of the economy moving forward.
Together with the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies and organizations, the Territory has been working since the passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September to ready itself for the phased return of tourism to the destination.
The arrival of the Seabourn Odyssey in St. Thomas on Friday, November 3 marks the first non-relief vessel to berth in the Territory since September 17, when Royal Caribbean's Adventure of the Seas arrived at the Ann E. Abramson Pier in Frederiksted, St. Croix. The ship brought passengers to the island just days before Hurricane Maria struck.
Commissioner Nicholson-Doty once again thanked Royal Caribbean International for committing resources to assist with the restoration of Magens Bay, one of St. Thomas'  favorite attractions.
She also reported that the Territory is putting plans in place for traffic flow management on days of heavy cruise ship arrivals.

On Wednesday 1st November 2017, the world first Japanese Tea Ceremony was held at the summit of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, 134 metres above the sparkling Harbour, in a salute to Japan's Culture Day on 3rd November.

The special event was a celebration for the annual Japanese holiday that honours arts, culture, and academic pursuits, and was put on by BridgeClimb; a bucket-list tourism experience taking groups on guided tours safely to the top of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.

BridgeClimb invited Wendy Lin, who has studied tea for 10 years to lead the traditional ceremony, assisted by Julian McVittie who has studied tea for more than 35. The two tea aficionados served traditional Macha; powdered green tea, and Okashi; traditional Japanese sweets, to three guests.

Wendy said, “Today at the top of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, we are honouring the traditions of Japanese Chado, The Way of Tea and the four principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity, whilst promoting the culture and art of Japanese Tea to an international audience.

“As the bridge is an important symbol from Australia's history, Japanese tea is an important symbol for Japan's history, and I can't think of a more beautiful view or a more interesting place to tell this story for Japan's Culture Day, than from the summit”.

The five were guided to the top of the Bridge by their Climb Leader, who told them about the rich history of the Bridge and the city its construction helped revive during Australia's great recession in the 1930s.

At the summit, they took place at an attached seat around an attached table set with the traditional utensils for the ceremony, all also carefully attached to meet BridgeClimb's stringent safety requirements.

The arrangement consisted of a tea container; 'Natsume', a wooden long tea spoon; 'Chashaku', a tea whisk; 'Chasen' a white linen Wiping Cloth; 'Chakin', three tea bowls; 'Chawan', a waste water container; 'Kensui', a tea pot; 'Tetsubin' and a red cloth for wiping the spoon; 'Fukusa'.

Once the high tea ceremony concluded, the guests resumed the journey of 1,332 steps along the impressive steel structure. Back on the BridgeClimb, they enjoyed unobstructed vistas spanning as far east as Bondi and as far west as The Blue Mountains.

BridgeClimb prides itself on creating fun experiences for locals and international visitors to Sydney. It offers a truly memorable experience, perfect for special occasions, family adventures, team building and corporate events.

BridgeClimbs hosts an array of one of special events and limited edition climbs to celebrate international cultures. These have included a Mandarin speaking climb experience with Karaoke at the summit for Chinese New Year. And a dance for Diwali, India's festival of light.

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland is urging the international community to keep devastated islands in the Caribbean high on its agenda as she heads to Antigua and Barbuda today.

“It has been two months since Hurricane Irma, one of the most catastrophic hurricanes on record left Barbuda and nearby islands in ruins. And on its heels Hurricane Maria fell with unbridled rage on Dominica, a nation still reeling from the impact of devastating Storm Erika that washed away 95 per cent of its GDP in 2015. Today the headlines have moved on, but the people of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda are still waking every day to the stark, dark reality of the devastation that these natural disasters have inflicted,” the Secretary-General said.

She continued, “Loved ones are still missing, families are still mourning, people are still homeless and living without running water and electricity, and children are still traumatised. This tragedy is still unfolding. This is why I have decided to visit the region to discuss with leaders how the Commonwealth can continue its support.”

In the last two months the Secretary-General has been advocating for support for vulnerable Commonwealth countries affected by natural disasters. In addition to key interventions on the occasion of high-level international forums such as the United Nations General Assembly and the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Secretary-General has been looking within the Commonwealth for solutions to climate change and vulnerability challenges.

She said, “It is serendipitous that summits for our finance and law ministers occurred soon after Maria and Irma. What was evident at both meetings was the strong commitment to address the existential threat that climate change poses and to support the countries who are most vulnerable to its effects.

“Finance ministers examined how to free up access to funding for climate action – a challenge which the Commonwealth has responded with the opening of our Climate Finance Access Hub last year. We already have an expert in Antigua and Barbuda helping the government to create strong mitigation and adaption projects that will attract funding. We are working closely with Dominica to get an expert there as quickly as possible.”

Law ministers, she added, welcomed a package of Commonwealth initiatives to strengthen climate change and disaster response laws that will speed up recovery after disasters.

“This includes our new Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform, which has a treasure trove of online resources such as model laws, best practice, step by step reform guides and legislative drafting tools.”

During her visit the Secretary-General will explore how the Commonwealth can maximise and target its support to meet the specific needs of climate-vulnerable countries.

She will begin her mission with an independence day parade in Antigua and Barbuda as the country celebrates 36 years of self-governance. During the mission, she will visit areas and people affected by the recent disasters and meet leaders, including Prime Minister Gaston Browne, as well as other officials and representatives from aid agencies.

“This is very much a home coming for me. My father is Antiguan, and Dominica is the land of my birth. But it is not easy coming home to devastation and destruction. I am bracing myself for what I will see. But I know that the Commonwealth and Caribbean spirit of resilience is very much alive.

“I thank the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the other organisations that have been working tirelessly to bring these countries to full recovery. I am confident that, with this and Commonwealth support, we can rebuild better and stronger.”