In brief: US Citizens resume travel to Cuba
US Citizens resume travel to Cuba today, China reveals a luxury hotel on an aircraft carrier, Qantas Airlines shows an in-flight documentary about the female orgasm, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
US Citizens resume travel to Cuba
As of today, US citizens can once again travel to Cuba. Of course, there are some serious restrictions. The Obama Administration has authorised the reintroduction of people-to-people trips, which were discontinued by the Bush administration in 2003, with the guidelines that "all participants will have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities", meaning no beach time or other "tourist" stops. While several groups are slated to embark on trips to Cuba today, other companies who accepted deposits from tourists have had to delay their trips while they make sure they are fully compliant with the US government travel guidelines, USA Today reports.
China gets first Soviet-era aircraft carrier hotel
The vessel, called the Kiev, is opening its quarters for tourists, the Guardian reports. Anyone who wants to spend a night in one of the five presidential suites better have a lot of spare change; prices have not been announced, but judging by pictures, a stay will be rather expensive. The rooms — complete with circular bed, silver drapes and furniture, and a cow-skin rug — seem more likely to be found on Austin Powers' love boat than on an aircraft carrier. Perhaps that has something to do with the 100m yuan in renovations the owners invested.
US has five of top 10 busiest airports
Airports Council International released a list of the world's busiest airports, and the United States dominated the top 10. The 89.33 million passengers flying in and out of Atlanta last year made it by far the busiest airport on earth. The closest competitor was Beijing with 73.94 million. Five US airports made the top 10, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Denver. However, no US airports made the top 10 list for having the most international air traffic. London Heathrow topped that list, and Incheon, South Korea, shot past Tokyo and Bangkok to move into the top 10 for the first time, CNN reports.
"When cruising along at 35,000 feet, you have a number of difficult decisions to make: Ginger ale or soda? Bagged pretzels or $7 boxed meal? ‘Toy Story 3’ for the eighth time or monitoring radio transmissions from the pilot? Now, international passengers on Qantas Airlines have an interesting new option. As part of its in-flight entertainment, the carrier is offering ‘The Female Orgasm Explained’."
- MSNBC reports that the documentary about the female orgasm— which includes clips from old adult entertainment films, graphics and racy sound effects — is the most popular program on Qantas' television channel, according to Qantas spokesman Luke Enright.