Huge New Atlantis Resort Opens in China

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/26/2018, 10:30 PM

The world now has three Atlantis resorts to overwhelm visitors with an ocean's worth of watery amenities and maximalist architecture.  Joining sister properties in the Bahamas and Dubai (another is in the works in Hawaii), the just-opened Atlantis Sanya occupies more than 130 coastal acres on China's Hainan island, a tropical spot southwest of Hong Kong in the South China Sea that's becoming incre...

New Looks for Two of London's Most Important Art Museums

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/22/2018, 11:15 PM

Fans of art and architecture already have a lot to keep them busy during stays in London—and with free admission at most of the top cultural institutions, the city's treasures are easy to access, too. But museum- and gallery-goers will have even longer to-do lists in the coming months, thanks to the reopening of two high-profile spaces—one a 250-year-old mainstay, the other an oft-reviled Brutali...

Paris' Grand Palais Getting a Grand Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/20/2018, 9:30 PM

The Grand Palais in Paris is getting its largest refurbishment since opening for the Exposition Universelle in 1900, when the mammoth hall on the Champs-Élysées was used to show off sculptures and horse races under the biggest glass roof in Europe.   Today, the Grand Palais is used for blockbuster art exhibits, sporting events, and fashion shows. As a matter of fact, one of France's most famed fas...

After 50 Years, Jesus' Baptism Site May Fully Reopen to Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/16/2018, 11:00 PM

The section of the Jordan River traditionally designated as Jesus Christ's baptism site, where the Man from Galilee kicked off his mission to bring peace to the world, is currently surrounded by nearly 4,000 land mines. In other words, the peace-on-earth project still has a ways to go. But at least some moves are being made in the right direction. Following many delays and ongoing negotiations, ...

Famous Thai Beach Closing to Tourists This Summer

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/14/2018, 10:15 PM

Thailand's Maya Bay is so pretty it played the paradise sought by Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the 2000 movie The Beach.  But tourists will have to stream that film—fair warning: it's terrible—to lay eyes on Maya Bay this summer. Authorities are closing the beach to visitors from June to September in an effort to combat environmental damage caused by over-tourism.  The fame that has resulted...

High-Speed Trains Soon to Zip Between London and Amsterdam

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/13/2018, 8:45 PM

Starting April 4, travelers will have a new, fast, and affordable way to get from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands.  High-speed Eurostar trains will begin whisking passengers from London to Amsterdam in three hours using the underwater Channel Tunnel that already speeds passengers to Paris in a little over two hours.  The twice-daily service will depart London's St. Pancras station at 8:31a...

The South of France Is Getting a New Picasso Museum

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/10/2018, 12:00 AM

A former convent in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence is being transformed into a museum to house a trove of works by Pablo Picasso.  The driving force behind the project is the artist's stepdaughter, Catherine Hutin-Blay, whose mother, Jacqueline Roque, was the artist's second wife. (As it happens, both Roque and Picasso are buried just outside Aix-en-Provence, at the Château of Vauven...

How Bermuda's Same-Sex Marriage Repeal Affects Cruise Weddings Worldwide

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/08/2018, 12:00 AM

This week, the governor of Bermuda, John Rankin, signed a legislature-approved bill that reinstates the British island territory's ban on same-sex marriage, reversing a decision to legalize those unions made less than a year ago by the Atlantic Ocean archipelago's supreme court.  But the ramifications of the revived marriage ban go way beyond Bermuda.  This is the world's first such instance of ...

Italian Airline Now Offers Free Stopovers in Rome

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 02/06/2018, 10:45 PM

Rome remains a destination that rarely lacks for tourists. In 2017, more than 14.5 million of them visited the Eternal City—a nickname that might as well refer to the wait times in line for the Vatican during summer. But even more travelers could soon begin queuing up for trips to the Italian capital thanks to a new initiative from state-owned national carrier Alitalia.  From now until the end o...

Get Yours Now! Passport Fees are Going Up

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 02/06/2018, 10:00 AM

The U.S. State Department has announced that prices for passports will inch up come April. For adults, the cost for a passport book will be $145. The fee for children 16 and younger will be $115. It's an increase of only $10, but that's on top of a fee that already was pretty steep—those who live in the United Kingdom pay roughly 30% less for their passports. Passport cards, which are used for ...

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