First Class USA options

First Class Holidays has launched its Worldwide Collection brochure early following a 40% year-on-year growth of summer 2019 bookings.

First Class

The operator is offering guaranteed pricing across its long-haul programme of holidays, including flights for 2019 departures to help trade partners secure forward bookings.

USA options start from £2,627pp for a 14-day ‘Golden Triangle’ independent tour of Western USA, based on a December 2018 departure.

The price includes all flights, transfers, car hire, 12 nights’ accommodation and some excursions.

The16-day Magic of the South (self-drive) tour includes visits to Atlanta, Charleston and Savannah, New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville and is priced from £2,172pp.

Grand cycling adventures

Small group adventure specialist Grand American Adventures has launched two new six-day cycling tours to California.

Grand Cycling

The tours, the first in a new cycling series being added to the operator’s portfolio of USA itineraries, will take cycling enthusiasts through California’s wine regions and along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Averaging between 40-50 miles per day, the tours are suitable for different levels of ability, with more intense ‘Burner Routes’ available for those who desire more challenging routes.

Each day, guests will be able to choose from up to three different ride options of varying intensities.

An experienced guide will be with the group throughout and riders will be fully kitted out with the latest, custom-fitted 2018 specialized Diverse Comp Cycles for their point-to-point journey.

The Cycling California Wine Country option will take in the Napa Valley and Sonoma County regions. Over six days, guests will pedal past country roads lined with redwoods, alongside rocky coastal cliffs, and through verdant wine lands.

There are six departures in 2018, between September and November, priced from £1,989pp (not including flights).

The cycling the California Coast option takes in some of the most premier cycling terrain in the world - from the sandy beaches of the Pacific Coast Highway to rolling vineyards and citrus valleys to canyons and low-level mountain ranges.

There are three departures in 2018 (September to November) with prices from £1,949pp (not including flights).

Kung Fu Panda in California

Universal Studios Hollywood will open its new DreamWorks Theatre, featuring ‘Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest’, on June 15.

Kung Fu Panda

Inspired by the global blockbuster Kung Fu Panda franchise, the attraction will take guests on a journey that fuses storytelling and state-of-the-art visual effects.

Guests will embark on adventure with dragon warrior Po to embark on a wild mission filled with raging rapids, river pirates, magic and Kung Fu.

The multi-sensory attraction introduces the first-ever integration of interior projection mapping immersing guests in 180 degrees of adventure, transforming the interior space.

Universal Studios says ‘precise detailing will ensure guests will find it difficult to realise the projected imagery is an illusion’.

A Universal Studios Hollywood one-day ticket with free early park admission costs from £82 per adult and £76 per child.

An Express Ticket for one-time express access to each ride, attraction and seated show is from £144pp per person; and a VIP Experience with a behind-the-scenes tour guide and front-of-line privileges is from £265pp.

Eden Roc starring in Miami

The iconic Eden Roc Miami Beach hotel has completed a $250-million makeover.

Eden Roc

The renovations include the refurbishment of all 415 guest rooms and suites, a ‘re-imagination’ of Morris Lapidus' famous 16-seat lobby bar by interior designer David Rockwell, the introduction of a signature Nobu restaurant and the flagship Nobu Hotel tower (in effect a hotel-within-a-hotel concept).

The Esencia Wellness facility features a spa and fitness centre with 18 treatment cabins and a spa relaxation room.

Coming soon to the hotel located on Collins Avenue, 11 miles from Miami International Airport, is the new Malibu Farm restaurant

Sun worshippers can soak up the intense Miami heat and enjoy enhanced poolside experiences that include DJ beats and entertainment on ‘floaties’ and poolside coolers, sample the mezcal-focused cocktail menu at the new outdoor beach bar and dine on Mexican cantina-style bites.

Gold Medal’s Florida prize

Gold Medal’s new 72-page Florida brochure has been launched alongside an agents’ incentive.

Gold Medal

The programme, valid throughout 2019, features nine new properties including the newest hotel addition to Universal Orlando Resort, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites, set to open in 2019, and four new attractions: WonderWorks Orlando, Gatorland, Boggy Creek Airboat Adventure and Orlando Mucky Ducks.

To coincide with the launch of the new brochure, Gold Medal’s ‘Coast to Coaster’ campaign highlights the advantages of a Florida holiday.

Travel agents received a mini-brochure to highlight Gold Medal’s exclusive offers and a set of window posters and point-of-sale materials.

Agents also have the chance to win a Florida holiday of their own, including flights, accommodation in Orlando and New Smyrna Beach, car hire and theme park tickets to Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, and Kennedy Space Center.

To win, agents need to book a Florida holiday departing in 2019 with Gold Medal between April 19 and June 30 2018, and send their booking reference to


Norwegian’s big bite of NY

Norwegian is to launch an additional daily flight between London and New York in the autumn.


Starting on October 29, the extra frequency will depart from Gatwick at 09.50 and land at New York JFK at 13.00.

The return flight will leave JFK at 19.40, arriving at Gatwick at 07.10 the following day.

The additional service will give the airline up to three flights a day on the Gatwick to JFK route.

When the new flight begins the airline will be offering 40 flights a week between the two cities.

Norwegian – which has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world with an average age of 3.6 years, including next-generation Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 737-800s - now flies to 11 U.S destinations, Buenos Aires and Singapore.

In 2017, Norwegian also launched transatlantic flights from Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US East Coast, using the brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.