Posts tagged with "USA"

NYC, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

The New Wave of Digital Working Nomads

By Vaughn Lowery

As of late, tons of youthful business people have commenced to take the path less taken – entrepreneurship. With an insurgence of virtual office spaces, this demographic, primarily generations X, Y as well as Z, has found a means to make money while on the go. These digital nomads run businesses which heavily impact society and provide an array of services which are unparalleled by most industry giants like Google, Amazon and Apple. In this piece of prose literature, you will find that a virtual office for digital nomads is the way to go.

Virtual office spaces offer an incubator-like environment where small to medium size businesses as well as independent contractors can freely roam the world, embarking on adventure while creating personal connections which last a lifetime. Subsequently, personal contact and the ability to be able to share an intimate exchange is what successful business owners constantly recite in tons of authoritative magazines like Entrepreneur, Inc. and Fast Company.

Being in a high powered independent contractor position has its share of ups and downs. The number one downfall of not receiving a solid location has always been the inability to having packages securely delivered to a location. The problem has been easily worked with virtual offices as a receptionist can answer the phone, take messages and store packages on behalf of your emerging brand. Some virtual offices can store packages (small or large) for up to 30+ days without having to return to sender. Storage fees may apply. And, if all else fails, you can grant them the ability to have the package forwarded to another address so that you can have access to your mail sooner than expected.

Not to cite, a ton of these virtual facilities have a network throughout the world and with a monthly subscription package you will have access to many of their locations. In addition, if you are in penury of a quiet meeting area, you can book the venue’s conference room for a few hours. Many of them are well-fitted with wifi and video conferencing as well.

Another pro of having a rotating office is that most of them come with office managers as well. Having someone to restock the printer with ink/paper, order supplies and execute events is almost ideal for someone seeking additional ways to connect with and accost new business. Just imagine if you’re a freelance journalist, graphic designer and/or advisor, you could attend a virtual office promotion and potentially meet a new client. In the past, many virtual offices have implemented office gatherings to increase office morale. Some of the best office gatherings have included spirit/wine tastings, game nights and office ice breakers. Moreover, traveling chefs and restaurants can also set up food tastings on the premise in hopes that you visit their establishments while on lunch breaks or dinner meetings.

Instead of orchestrating a webinar on smart business practices, many virtual office spaces have started to arrange roundtables. A roundtable is an opportunity to have a group of notable community leaders and business owners come into the facility to hold panels on ways you can reestablish your brand, redesign your website, effectively conduct public relations and marketing strategies as well as lower customer retention.

These type of group discussions can strike up meaning conversations while helping you increase revenue. Being in the presence of other individuals whom are having difficulty with maintaining their business while on the go, can help those in need of assistance find solutions to fix issues right away.

In short, people who work while on the go can finally be at rest knowing that their phones are being answered and packages are being received/stored and in some cases forwarded to another secure location. All this can materialize for a nominal monthly subscription fee while you enjoy all that your destination has to offer – outdoor adventure, food and nightlife.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, art, design

Famous actors with a flair for poker

We know them as famous faces from the silver screen, although away from their day jobs bringing different characters to life in movies and TV shows, many actors and actresses have a favourite hobby. For some of them, playing poker has even become much more than just something to enjoy in their spare time.

Ben Affleck

Celeb news and gossip site TMZ recently published images of Ben Affleck turning up at a Hollywood casino, shortly after leaving a Halloween party where he’d obviously enjoyed quite a few drinks. Despite being somewhat the worse for wear and barely able to sit straight at the poker table, the 47-year-old actor still managed to stagger away with $1500 in winnings, working the game for just 12 minutes after dropping $20,000 in chips on the table.

Later admitting that he’s a recovering alcoholic who had slipped off the wagon on that occasion, Affleck still managed to show that he’s an accomplished poker player. As a keen student of the game and having learned from some of the best players around, before his recent turn as Batman in the DC movie franchise, Affleck actually won the 2004 California State Poker Championship, walking away from that tournament with $356,400 in winnings.

While his portrayal of Batman didn’t bring many glowing reviews from the movie critics, at least Affleck has shown that he maintains a strong flair for poker. That said, pro poker tour player Tobias Reinkemeier believes there’s another former Batman who would make a formidable opponent at the table.

Having won some of the most lucrative tournaments in the world, when asked to name potential talented celeb poker players who might enjoy success at the table, Reinkemeier had just one name in mind. He chose British actor Christian Bale, highlighting that his level of “dedication and hard work” would translate well to poker, simply because of method acting approach to getting into the skin of characters he plays.

Tobey Maguire

Speaking of other actors who have donned the superhero spandex for some of their most famous roles, it’s quite possible that Tobey Maguire could well be one of the most successful poker players of all time. At the peak of his stardom and while playing Peter Parker in the Spiderman trilogy, he was also reportedly cashing in millions at high-stakes poker games around Hollywood.

During a period of three to four years, Maguire was apparently amongst a group of high-rollers at illicit “invitation only” poker games, which were reportedly taking place at some of the most luxurious hotels around Los Angeles. While there were a host of other A-list Hollywood celebrities regularly participating at these games, none are said to have enjoyed anywhere near the winning success of Maguire.

Although these underground poker games weren’t strictly legal, when reports came to light amongst a variety of media outlets including Huffington Post, they claimed that Maguire was regularly taking winnings of around $1 million each month. Stack that up over a period of three to four years, it’s estimated that he scooped somewhere between $30 and $40 million from these poker games.

While there were subsequent legal investigations, there was little chance the State of California would actually prosecute the celebrity players involved. Nevertheless, Maguire did face some legal challenges for part of the money he’d won, because amongst those he’d allegedly beaten at the poker table, some were bankers and lawyers, who had used “improperly-diverted” investor funds to fuel their own participation.

Jennifer Tilly

Just have a glance through the IMDB role archive for Jennifer Tilly, it’s easy to see that she’s enjoyed a great movie and TV career, consistently working since the early 1980’s and still in demand for a variety of different roles. Aside from critical acclaim and various awards, she’s also carved out a niche for herself in the horror genre, appearing in the popular Child’s Play franchise of movies, after they were rebooted in 1998 with Bride of Chucky.

Even if she hadn’t become a famous actress, it seems that Jennifer was always destined for fame and celebrity, thanks to her success at the poker tables. Apparently, her interest in the cards began with a World Series of Poker (WSOP) video game she played and enjoyed, bought by her father. From there, the passion for poker grew and became a favourite pastime, whenever she had the chance to play between acting jobs.

Jennifer has also proven that more than just being a hobby, poker can also become a professional vocation, providing you have talent and the dedication to keep improving your game. She was awarded the WSOP bracelet in 2005 after winning the Ladies’ No Limit Hold’em tournament back in 2005, whilst also collecting the $158,335 prize. Although she decided to “retire” from professional poker in 2008, the hobby has again become a vocation since 2010.

Of course, being surrounded by fellow poker afficionados will always help. Tilly was married to The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon between 1984 and 1991, who was also very fond of casino gaming and poker in particular. Since 2004 she has been in a long-term relationship with Phil Laak, an internationally renowned poker star from Dublin, Ireland, who has enjoyed great success on the World Poker Tour over the years.

High-Stakes Hobby

Such is the thrill and excitement of playing poker, it’s hardly surprising that so many famous celebrities have tried their hand at the tables. Some have even ended up earning more from what started out as a hobby, than they’re paid for their acting roles. For sure, it helps to have a nice pot of cash available to play with, although there’s always plenty of lesser-known players ready to take it off them too!

LensCrafters, Luxottica, 360 MAGAZINE, coronavirus, COVID-19, breaking news, pandemic, outbreak

@Lenscrafters @Luxottica Seems to Ignore @NYSOA State × Federal Guidelines

My beloved @LensCrafters @Luxottica how can you have the audacity to allow employees and customers come to your retail space during a pandemic? According to the @NYSOA, you should be vigilant and close your stores over the next 2 weeks so we can avoid what happened in #ITALY #coronavirus #NYC

According to S&P Global Luxottica suspends production × logistics as Italy’s virus toll grows.

AMTRAK VALENTINES DAY SALE

Amtrak Offers Trip for Two with Its Buy One Get One Free Valentine’s Day Sale

At Amtrak, they want to show customers how much they love them by offering a Valentine’s Day Buy One Get One Free Sale. Thursday, February 13, through Monday, February 17, customers can buy one coach ticket and get the second free for nationwide travel between March 9 and August 30, 2020, with no blackout dates. Customers can receive discounted tickets by using the code V214 at checkout or at amtrack.com/valentines-day-sale.

Amtrak is offering a great way for customers and their loved ones to travel for a weekend away or on a leisurely vacation. From couples, to moms, to friends, to every loved one, Amtrak encourages individuals to give more than chocolates, flowers and valentines this year. Instead, consider gifting a trip on Amtrak with a two for the price of one, Buy One Get One Free Sale. The discount is valid for travel across the national network including most long distance routes as well as the Acela, Adirondack, Carolinian/Piedmont, Cascades,
Downeaster, Downstate Illinois Services, Empire Service, Ethan Allen Express, Heartland Flyer, Maple Leaf, Michigan Services, Missouri River Runner, Northeast Regional, San Joaquins, Valley Flyer, Vermonter and reserved sections of the Pennsylvanian and Keystone Service. Two customers can travel together in coach for as low as:

New York – Washington, D.C (Acela)
$183

Los Angeles – Seattle
$126

Washington, D.C. – Boston (Acela)
$192

Seattle – Portland, OR
$36

Washington, D.C. – Chicago
$105

San Francisco – Denver
$149

San Francisco – Los Angeles
$66.50

New York – Atlanta
$164

New York – Washington, D.C.
$98

Chicago – St. Louis
$31

Los Angeles – Albuquerque
$86

St. Louis – Kansas City
$36

Portland, ME – Boston
$29

Richmond, VA – Charlotte
$54

Detroit – Chicago
$40

Washington, D.C. – Orlando
$139

Fares will vary by train

Being able to easily travel to/from city centers, Amtrak has one of the most generous baggage policies in the travel industry, applicable for two personal items and two carry-on bags. Amtrak also offers the freedom to use phones and electronic devices at all times (no “airplane mode”), the ability to travel with small pets on many trains, large spacious seats with ample leg room and no middle seat. This sale is valid for one free companion rail fare traveling on the same reservation as one full adult coach fare. This offer is valid for travel on all reserved service except the Auto Train. Adults must travel together and be booked in the same reservation. Valid for coach seats only; no upgrades allowed. This offer is not combinable with any other discount offer. All prices will be automatically discounted from the standard fare when accessing this promotion at amtrak.com/valentines-day-sale or by using the discount code (V214) when booking their trip.

Other terms and conditions apply.

Columbia, 360 MAGAZINE, tours, travel, food

Future of Tourism in Colombia

Thanks to new hotel offerings, direct flights and a global focus on responsible travel,
Colombia is ushering in a new era of tourism.

Colombia has been named the number one trending destination for tourism in 2020 by the United States Tour Operators Association, and the experts at True Colombia Travel and Cannúa say this is only the beginning, as new hotels, flight paths and mindsets are driving change in the country’s tourism industry. 

For the latter half of the last decade, backpackers have dominated the tourism scene in Colombia – typically younger travelers with ample time yet modest budgets. According to Brian Schon, co-founder and director of True Colombia Travel, a locally-owned and led tour operator offering custom cultural, culinary and environmental tours throughout Colombia, the next five years will see incredible changes in the way travelers can experience Colombia, giving way to a different type of visitor. 

“From the type of hotels being built, to the increased accessibility from North America and what’s opening up within the country, it’s really incredible to see Colombia’s tourism growth unfolding in front of our eyes,” Schon says. “The country is only just starting to realize its tourism potential when it comes to being upscale and unique, and it is on track to be a major destination this decade for discerning travelers, looking for more luxury options, quick getaways and responsible practices.” 

Here are several key predictions from Colombia’s travel experts for the next few years: 

Shorter Trips Packed with Punch

As airlines start to offer more direct flights to Colombia from Canada and the United States, more North Americans will take advantage of Colombia as a quick getaway location, opening up whole new realm of unexplored opportunities for northern dwellers looking for an accessible, warm-weather escape.  

“In the past, most visitors came for at least 10 days, with many of them staying 2 weeks, 3 weeks, even a month – in large part because it was so complicated to get here,” says Schon. “Now we are starting to get a ton of requests for week-long trips or even 4-5 days. People are recognizing that they can pop down to Colombia the same way they would to Florida, Puerto Rico or Mexico.” 

While longer trips allow travelers to see more of Colombia and get to know the culture, Schon says there is still a lot of value in a short visit. 

“The beauty of Colombia is you can go from the mountains to the beach within the same day, so there are lots of options to people who are short on time, especially if they stick to a specific geographic region,” says Schon. “In Antioquia, for example, guests can spend five days paragliding, hiking on pre-hispanic trails, exploring local caves, searching for wild hippos, and liberating endangered turtles.” 

“Cutting down on layovers and travel time makes a quick jaunt to Colombia a lot more accessible, and North Americans will continue to discover this.”

More Boutique Luxury Hotels in Rural Areas   

Colombia has seen incredible growth in its hotel sector, moving from a hostel-focused industry to one with luxury offerings in the big city centers of Cartagena, Medellin, Bogota, and Barranquilla. But with the recent opening of the boutique retreat Cannúa – sister company of True Colombia Travel – on Dec. 1, 2019 in Antioquia, hotel development is now starting to extend to rural areas. 

“The magic of Colombia really comes from our rural areas – the Andes mountain towns, the Amazon basins, the unexplored Pacific Coast,” says Santiago Giraldo, General Manager and co-founder of Cannúa. “Typically, non-backpacking travelers base themselves in city centers, as there are lots of luxury offers there, and take day trips to rural regions; now, however, they can start to enjoy that same level of luxury in some of the most beautiful pockets of the country.” 

Giraldo predicts there will be a rush over the next five years to construct these types of rural, high-end retreats, allowing for people to base themselves in remote areas closer to small villages, pre-hispanic treks or rushing waterfalls – especially as there is proof this concept works. 

“We’ve seen this happen before in other countries with strong tourism sectors,” Giraldo says. “People are already latching on to what Cannúa offers, just as people latched onto the eco retreats of Costa Rica and the jungle villas of Thailand and the mountain lodges of Peru – and investors are sure to start taking notice soon, too.”

Responsible Approaches to Unexplored Regions

The past few years saw areas of Colombia open up to travelers and locals alike following the country’s historic peace accord in 2016, including the jungles around Puerto Berrio and the wild Pacific Coast, but some of it went too far: the Caño Cristales, a river known as the “melted rainbow” for its vibrant, multicolored hue, became such a popular, Instagrammable site that access to the area was restricted from visitor traffic in 2017 to give the overloaded ecosystem a break. 

With international travelers concerned with their environmental and cultural impact more than ever before, the next five years of travel in Colombia will see stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry focus on responsible growth. 

“There’s a lot of potential for tourism to make a positive impact in these former ‘no-go zones,’ but it’s important that it’s developed in the right way,” Schon says. “We want to help make sure these communities are directly benefiting from opportunities created by tourism, and the ecosystems of Colombia – the second-most biodiverse country in the world – are protected.” 

In an effort to ensure these newly accessible regions do not become exploited or overcrowded, True Colombia Travels partners with local communities in every region they operate within to build thoughtful experiences focused on small-group, low-impact travel. 

“Our guests want to engage with nature, but they are also highly educated about the impact that travel can have on local communities and on the environment,” says Schon. “Colombian operators, especially those who see the potential for growth in these newly-accessible regions, are going to have to answer to international travelers who are focused on these issues and make responsible travel practices top-of-mind across the industry.”

For more information about True Colombia Travel’s fully-customized cultural, culinary and environmental tours in all corners of the country, visit www.truecolombiatravel.com

About True Colombia Travel 

True Colombia Travel specializes in offering fully customized cultural, culinary and environmental tours throughout the rural and urban regions of Colombia. Owned and operated by locals who are passionate about their community, the TCT team is made up of bilingual artists, nature-lovers and world travelers committed to sharing Colombia’s secrets with visitors as respectfully and responsibly as possible. Welcoming families, groups, solo travelers and adventurers of all ages, True Colombia Travel creates personalized itineraries designed to showcase the people, heritage, culture and natural treasures that makes Colombia one of the most promising destinations in the world. 

szemui ho, 360 MAGAZINE, blockchain

China’s Drive to be a Leader in Tech is Going to Accelerate

China has stated that they desire to be the world leader in AI technology by the year 2030. A decoupling between Chinese and American economies looks to have pushed everything towards self-sufficiency. China’s economy is fighting with a slowdown and they are also in the midst of a trade war with the US. China’s ambition is remarkable, and they are looking at blockchain, 5G and artificial intelligence right now. This could be more urgent now more than ever. This is particularly the case when you look at the fact that it is in a tariff war with the United States.

Trade Tensions

There are several industries who not only rely on tech, but also flourish on it. Look at NetBet casinos, the finance industry or even the gaming sector. Of course, it’s important to recognize that this creates a lot of competition. This is one of the many reasons why China wants to get ahead, so that they can solidify their presence and hence that they can also surpass everyone else before they even get a chance. The Chinese are trying to drive to be a self-sufficient country and a great deal of this comes down to decoupling. The topic was very prevalent throughout the conference and China are very ambitious about everything.

5G

When you look at the tech rivalry that is occurring between China and the US, you will soon see that a lot of it comes down to the development of 5G. Huawei is under a bunch of focus right now, but things could change. Huawei is a key developer when it adds up to 5G tech and they have been blacklisted by the government. Washington have also cited various security concerns regarding their equipment. They have expressed that they could actually open up a backdoor which would enable them to spy on the US. China have continually tried to deny these claims.

Blockchain

Blockchain is a technology that essentially underpins cryptocurrency. Take Bitcoin for example, a few years ago, it absolutely blew up and everyone began investing. The blockchain that powers this is now being used by everyone, from finance to food. If someone was able to take control of this then this would place them in an incredibly strong position. Blockchain really does hold the potential to change the way that companies conduct business. A number of areas are ready to improve because of the blockchain infrastructure. China have thrown their weight behind this. President Xi Jinping has stated that China is being urged to capture the opportunity and they are also being called upon to advance the development in the field too. This would be incredible for the country if they were able to pull it off. A great deal of this comes down to the trade war, but right now it looks like China could be in a very strong position. Could things be looking up for blockchain?

Elizabeth Warren, presidential candidate, essence magazine, essence.com, 360 MAGAZINE

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: ESSENCE.COM OP-ED

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) pens an exclusive op-ed for ESSENCE.com entitled, Closing the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Good. In this piece, she talks about the threat that young students of color face every day, rethinking the approach to public education and public safety and more. She states:

“In the 1990’s, hundreds of police officers were deployed to public schools across the country as a component of the war on drugs and later in response to school shootings. Today, at least fourteen million students attend schools staffed with a police officer — but without a single counselor, social worker, psychologist, or nurse.

The result is that in many cases, an infraction as simple as back talking or skipping class that should end in detention or administrative intervention can end in arrest. Over the years, the implementation of policies from Zero-Tolerance to surveillance to criminalizing lateness and absenteeism have created a system of loopholes that trap our most vulnerable students in a pipeline kept alive by the for-profit prison system. It’s a system that disproportionately hurts black and brown students and undermines their learning…As President, I will work to close the school to prison pipeline, by rethinking our approach to public education and public safety…”

In addition, she reflects on her recently revealed plan to invest $800 billion in public schools and how she would invest “an additional $100 billion in ‘Excellence Grants’—that’s equivalent to $1 million for every public school in the country—to invest in things like after school arts programs and school-based student mentoring programs…” This would be in an overall effort toreduce the impact of systemic racial and economic disadvantage on students.

For more, visit ESSENCE.com.

Lexus ES, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Seabrite Beach, NJ

Lexus ES 350 F Sport

By Flore Chaumont × Vaughn Lowery

Lexus just released their new ES 350 and it’s now available in over 90 countries. The entire skeleton and skin of the previous Lexus ES has been redefined to attract a broader audience – scoot over empty nesters. Coupled with its F Sport package, the new Lexus ES is destined to attract a much more youthful and active generation. So, we decided to take it on an impromptu road trip from Manhattan to Maryland and all the hot spots in between during this summer’s blistering heat wave.

Koichi Suga, General Manager of Lexus Design Division, describes it as the most aggressive change for the emblematic ES. And indeed it is, the car now comes across as being more boisterous and bold. From the outside, the car has distinctive features which are unique to the F Sport trim. The 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, the dual integrated exhaust outlet, the F Sport badging as well as the low hoodline and long shoulders really make this car appear track ready. The inside reveals the same vibe, with aluminum pedals, Hadori sword wave-patterned aluminum appointments, red double stitching and red race-inspired interior seats. The 3.5L V6 24 Valve DOHC engine produces 302 hp and 287 lb-ft torque. Although it’s front-wheel drive, engineers managed to capture the emotional response of driving a rear-wheel drive vehicle. And, with 25 mpg (combined city/hwy), you can spend more time driving and less time at the pump.

Lexus has been traditionally known for the quietness of their ride. With active noise deadening technology and sound insulating wheels (which absorbs impact and vibration on the tires), the car is extremely silent, even while in sports mode. However, for the diehard car enthusiasts, there’s a setting to amplify exhaust notes. Overall, the drive is orgasmic; and one can easily cruise in it for long periods of time, feeling comfortable and pampered with ventilated heat/cool front seats. We practically lived inside the cabin when temperatures reached over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, this year’s extra two inches of wheelbase allows backseat passengers to have additional legroom.

At $44,635, one would expect a manufacturer to sacrifice quality during the fabrication process. Contrary to one’s expectations, most materials used feel supple and soft, from the steering wheel to the dashboard. There are also three different types of woods incorporated in the overall interior design, including a matt bamboo finish, a nod to Japanese culture and heritage. An apparent step forward from its predecessor which was full of peeling plastics.

In addition, the car is well-equipped with innovative technology. The ES features a an animated gage cluster, a trackpad with tactile sensors as well as a sleeker instrument board. Tech savy drivers will be pleased to pair it with Apple CarPlay, Siri Eyes Free or Google Voice CTRL. Our favorite is Lexus Enform which is an intuitive system that allows you to speak to a live agent to obtain an address and have it sent directly to your vehicle’s infotainment system. The representatives are accessible 24/7 and help you stay alert if you succumb to driver’s fatigue while on a lengthy trip. This came in handy while we were in traffic or already in route to a location. Not to mention, all the safety technology is standard: blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane departure assist.

In short, the all-new 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport has a bodacious body that contantly turns heads and a 10-speaker Lexus premium sound system to make them nod.

Experience amazing.

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades

Princess Cruises Receives Three First-Place Accolades in Cruise Critic’s Annual Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards

Cruise Line Ranks #1 in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada

Recognized as a destination leader, taking guests to more than 380 worldwide ports of call, Princess Cruises has been awarded three first-place accolades in Cruise Critic’s fourth annual “Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.” Based entirely on consumer ratings, the awards name the world’s most popular cruise destinations – as well as the best cruise lines to visit each region. In the Large Cruise Ship Category Princess Cruises was named Top Cruise Line in Australia & New Zealand, the Baltic & Scandinavia and the U.S. & Canada.

In addition, the cruise line ranked in the top three as best in the British Isles & Western Europe (#2); the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda (#3); Hawaii (#2); Mexican Riviera (#2); the Panama Canal & Central America (#3); South America & Antarctica (#2); the South Pacific (#2) and the Western Caribbean & Riviera Maya (#2) – all in the Large Ship Cruise Line Category.

“It’s an honor to be recognized as the top cruise line to so many bucket-list destinations in this Cruise Critic destination awards,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “Our dedicated team of destination experts, with decades of experience planning itineraries and shore excursions, offer our guests what we believe are the best in the cruise industry.”

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises was founded in 1965 with a single ship sailing to the Mexican Riviera. Today, the cruise line is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year on more than 150 award-winning itineraries to destinations around the globe.

Cruisers interested in U.S. & Canada cruises can choose from several voyages during the upcoming Canada & New England season onboard Princess MedallionClass™ ships Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. Royal Princess, also a MedallionClass ship, is currently sailing the west coast with voyages to Alaska, the Mexican Riviera and the California Coast. More details regarding itineraries to all recognized destinations, including current promotions, can be found at www.princess.com.

Cruise lines awarded in this year’s awards stood out among all of the lines that sail in each region, receiving the highest ratings from cruisers who sailed with the line over the past year and shared their experiences on Cruise Critic.

“For most travelers, the decision of where to cruise is made before they think about all the other pieces of the cruise planning process,” explains Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “And for those looking for incredible cruise destinations and experiences, there’s no better way to narrow your options than by seeing which destinations and cruise lines are rated most highly by cruisers who have already been there, done that.”

Cruise Critic boasts the world’s largest online cruise community, with more than 50 million opinions, reviews & photos, covering approximately 700 cruise ships and over 500 worldwide ports.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

About Princess Cruises

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts have curated 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises is continuously recognized as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”

In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to do the things they love most. MedallionClass Vacations will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.

Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and more.

Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship under construction, Sky Princess, scheduled for delivery in October 2019, followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess previously announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests are planned for delivery in 2023 and 2025.  Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 and 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).

About Cruise Critic

Cruise Critic® is an online cruise guide, offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travelers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruise enthusiasts. The site features more than 350,000 cruise reviews and hosts the world’s largest online cruise community where travelers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers. Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet, launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., a subsidiary of TripAdvisor, Inc.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), the world’s largest travel platform, helps 490 million travelers each month** make every trip their best trip. Travelers across the globe use the TripAdvisor site and app to browse more than 760 million reviews and opinions of 8.3 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines and cruises. Whether planning or on a trip, travelers turn to TripAdvisor to compare low prices on hotels, flights and cruises, book popular tours and attractions, as well as reserve tables at great restaurants. TripAdvisor, the ultimate travel companion, is available in 49 markets and 28 languages.

The subsidiaries and affiliates of TripAdvisor, Inc. own and operate a portfolio of websites and businesses, including the following travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.comwww.bokun.iowww.bookingbuddy.comwww.cruisecritic.comwww.familyvacationcritic.comwww.flipkey.comwww.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.comwww.eltenedor.com, and www.restorando.com), www.holidaylettings.co.ukwww.holidaywatchdog.comwww.housetrip.comwww.jetsetter.comwww.niumba.comwww.onetime.comwww.oyster.comwww.seatguru.comwww.smartertravel.comwww.tingo.comwww.vacationhomerentals.com and www.viator.com.

BEST HIGH-SPEED TRAINS × USA RANKS

The Best Countries for High-Speed Train

Infrastructure: the USA Ranks 16th in

Analysis by Omio

A comprehensive analysis by Omio reveals the countries with the world’s most advanced high-speed train infrastructure

  • The USA’s high-speed line, the Acela Express, runs 281 miles between Washington D.C. and Boston.
  • Spain ranks top for Europe, with 562 miles of tracks currently under construction.
  • China ranks first, with over 19,000 miles of high-speed tracks in operation.

Omio, Europe’s leading booking platform for travel by train, bus and flight, has released a ranking of the countries with the world’s best high-speed train infrastructure. The findings show the prevalence of high-speed trains around the world; highlighting the economies which have started to invest in a future fuelled by high-speed technology.

From a long list of countries with advanced high-speed infrastructure, the top 20 were ranked according to the operational and record speed of the trains, the length of track in operation, and the length of track under construction.

High-speed trains are environmentally-friendly and efficient. They reduce CO2 emissions by offering an alternative to road and air travel. In the USA, the California bullet train is under ongoing construction and scheduled to open by 2022. The line will connect Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2 hours 40 minutes. The 119-mileproject, owned and managed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, is projected to cost around $77 billion.

USA High-Speed Train Ranking

Worldwide High-Speed Train Ranking

The research for this study was completed on the 20th of June 2019.

Complete results for 2019 High-Speed Train ranking are available on: https://www.omio.com/trains/

Further findings worldwide

China has more miles of high-speed tracks than the rest of the world combined.

Japan ranks second, with almost 1,900 miles of high-speed tracks currently in operation.

Saudi Arabia ranks tenth. Opened in October 2018, 281 miles of Haramain High-Speed Railway connect the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The line is expected to transport over 50 million passengers a year.

Further findings for Europe

Spain has the most miles of high-speed tracks currently under construction in Europe, followed by Austria and the United Kingdom. The AVE networkalready connects Malaga in the south, Barcelona in the north, and Valencia in the east.

In France, the TGV intercity line has a record speed of 357 mph (575km/h): the fastest worldwide.

Germany outperforms the United Kingdom, with 14 times the length of high-speed tracks currently in operation.

About Omio, formerly GoEuro

Omio is a travel app and platform that allows customers to find and book trains, buses and flights across Europe. Partnering with over 800 European transport operators, Omio is revolutionising the travel planning experience, providing customers with more choice, transparent pricing and easier booking.

Omio lets travellers search for any location, including cities, towns and villages, showing the best possible transport combinations while eliminating the need to visit multiple websites to plan an entire trip. With Omio, travel planning is simple, flexible and personal.

The travel startup, founded in 2013, changed its name from GoEuro to Omio in early 2019. Omio is headquartered in Berlin with over 300 employees from 45 different countries. The latest funding round totalling $150 million, led by Kinnevik AB, Temasek and Hillhouse, was announced in October 2018.

Photo Credit: TripTripNow.com