Travel Briefs

Budget Canadian airline Swoop ( started operating four routes in the US in August, with only one fare class on each flight: from Edmonton (YEG) to Phoenix-Mesa (AZA) [for CAD99 (near $76)] and from John C. Munro Airport (YHM) in Hamilton, Ontario, to four airports: Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) [CAD179], Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL) [CAD179], Orlando (MCO) [CAD169] or Tampa International (TPA) [CAD159].

At press time, tickets were available for purchase for the dates of...


Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide on Sept. 23, 2016. On Aug. 18, 2018, the two companies merged their rewards programs. Members of Starwood's Preferred Guest program now can trade their points in for Marriott Rewards, at a 1-to-3 rate (one Starwood point equals three Marriott points), at

Points can be used to reserve a room at any Marriott, Starwood or Ritz-Carlton hotel.


Participating accommodations in the Cayman Islands, in the Western Caribbean, offer a "hurricane guarantee" that allows guests to cancel bookings or rebook at a later date with no penalties if a hurricane warning occurs within 48 hours of their scheduled stay.

To see if your accommodation participates in the guarantee, visit and click on the link provided.

The Cayman Islands' hurricane guarantee is...


The nation of Chile created two new national parks in 2018.

• In the south-central region on the Corcovado Gulf, Parque Pumalín ( comprises 715,000 acres of Andean and coastal terrains and includes endangered flora and fauna. Numerous hiking trails and campsites are located within the park.

• South of Pumalín, Parque Nacional Melimoyu (formerly a nature reserve) is heavily forested, with very little evidence of human activity. Named after the...


In Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in Spain's Canary Islands, the Poema del Mar aquarium (Sanapú Dock, Las Palmas; phone +34 928 010 350, opened in January 2018.

Its centerpiece is a tank with the world's largest curved window — 118 feet wide, 24 feet tall and more than a foot thick. The tank contains nearly 1,500,000 gallons of seawater and 3,000 specimens of 40 different species, such as rays and rarely exhibited bull sharks and sand tiger...


Exhibiting glass art by contemporary Czech artists, Museum Port heimka (Štefánikova 68/12, Smíchov, Prague 5; phone +420 776 036 111,, housed in a Baroque-era summer palace in Prague, Czechia, opened in June 2018. Six themed galleries hold the permanent collection. Temporary exhibits are also held.

10 a.m-6 p.m., Tues.-Sun. CZK120 (near $5), adult, or CZK60, senior.

In Cambrils, south of Barcelona, both native and Caribbean plants and a menagerie of Caribbean birds can be found at Parc Samá (Carretera de Vinyols s/n, 43850 Cambrils, Tarragona, Spain; phone +34 977 82 65 14,

Comprising a garden, forest, lake and palace, Parc Samá was built in 1881 by Salvador Samá Torrents, a marqués of Cuba, as a holiday home that would reflect his former life in Cuba. Famed Modernist Spanish architects Josep Fontseré and...


At press time, two national airlines in Africa were scheduled to begin operations soon, with monetary assistance from Ethiopian Airlines. No contact info was available yet for either airline.

• Chadian Airlines, the national airline of Chad, was expected to begin operating out of N'Djamena International Airport (NDJ) on Oct. 1. Initially offering domestic routes, the airline anticipates expanding into other African and Middle East countries. Chad has been without a national...