Travel Briefs

Aboard a double-decker bus with a kitchen below, you can enjoy a gourmet meal while on a sightseeing tour of Paris with Bustronome (2 avenue Kléber, 75116, Paris, France; phone +33 954 444 555, A free "Audiopen" provides commentary (includes English).

Tours run daily, a 1¾-hour, 4-course lunch (meet at 12:00 or 12:30) and a 2¾-hour, 6-course dinner (7:30 or 8:30). A lunch tour costs €65 (child, €40) or, paired with wine, €85 (near $100...


On New Zealand's South Island, near Lake Tekapo, visitors can take a stargazing tour at the Mt. John Observatory with Earth & Sky (Lake Tekapo; phone +64 3 680 6960, Mt. John is within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, among places noted for the clarity of their night skies.

On the 2-hour tour, guests view the sky through powerful portable telescopes set up by Earth & Sky or, on cloudy days, tour the Mt. John Observatory, normally...


A data breach involving Air Canada's smartphone app may have resulted in the stealing of the personal information, including passport information, of thousands of customers. Authorities are unsure how the breach occurred or who is responsible for it but noted that Air Canada had a weak password system. All customers with an Air Canada account have been asked to reset their passwords using new, more stringent guidelines.

Only customers who used the app to book flights were affected...


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...