Travel Briefs

In order to reduce the number of tourists visiting Bruges, Belgium, on June 16 the city reduced the number of cruise ships allowed to dock at its port, Zeebrugge, to two at a time. The port can accommodate five large cruise ships. The city has also limited to weekdays the days on which cruise ships can dock there, eliminating dockings on Saturdays and Sundays.

Russia unexpectedly seized two docked research vessels leased to the Arctic- and Antarctic-cruise company One Ocean Expeditions for passenger service — the Akademic Ioffe and Akademik Sergey Vavilov — in May 2019, saying the ships required maintenance. The ships, which each can carry about 100 passengers, have been in the service of One Ocean since 2012.

A company spokesman said they had no advance notice of the seizure and have been forced to cancel all scheduled 2019-...


Zimbabwe banned the use of foreign currency in transactions on June 24 while reintroducing physical Zimbabwean dollar bills.

Zimbabwe has struggled with maintaining its own currency, dropping the previous Zimbabwean dollar in 2009 due to hyperinflation and making multiple foreign currencies, including the US dollar, South African rand and Chinese yuan, official currencies. At that time, one US dollar was worth 35 quadrillion Zimbabwean dollars.

In October 2016, the country...


The Oberammergau Passion Play, staged in the southern Bavarian town every 10 years since 1633, will be performed in 2020 once a day each Tuesday and from Friday through Sunday, May 16 through Oct. 4.

Tickets, on sale since March 6, were still available at press time, priced from €30 to €180 (near $34-$205), depending on seat category. Visit


The York Pass gives visitors to York in northeastern England 24-hour access to a hop-on/hop-off tour bus as well as free entry to 26 attractions, such as York Minster, the Jorvik Viking Center and the Roman Bath. Each pass comes with a city guide.

A York Pass for one, two, three or six days’ validity, starting with the first use of the pass, costs £45 (near $57), £60, £70 or £130, respectively. It can be purchased in advance online at and...


As of Aug. 1, holders of the Platinum-level American Express credit card who have signed up for Priority Pass will no longer enjoy the benefit of meal credits at restaurants in airports or airport lounges, though they will continue to have access to participating lounges worldwide. Anyone with a Priority Pass from a source other than American Express will still receive meal credits.

On the 2-day tour “Winter Ice Cave Discover with Northern Lights Spotting,” visitors can enter ice caves in the Jökulsárlón Glacier with Hidden Iceland (Reykjavik, Iceland; phone +354 770 5733,

Day one is spent seeing waterfalls, a gorge and the Vatnajökull ice cap. On day 2, tour members hike up the glacier with guides seeking ice caves, which form anew each winter. (Ice caves can be dangerous but are more stable in winter than in warmer months.)...


Visitors to Tokyo can take open-top bus tours of two areas of the city with VIP View ( the Bay Course along Tokyo Bay and the City Course through the central city, each lasting about 70 minutes.

During the drive, and using GPS to pinpoint the bus’ location, recorded commentary in English is piped through the bus’ sound system. Headphones with a 3.5mm jack are required and can be purchased for ¥100 on location.

A tour costs ¥1,800 (near $17...