Norwegian adds U.S. routes

Low-cost carrier Norwegian will launch new flights from London Gatwick to Miami and San Francisco next summer

VUSA

Operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, fares for the daily flights to Miami International and four-times-weekly flights to San Francisco International both start from £175 one-way.

The services replace Norwegian's existing flights to Fort Lauderdale and Oakland and will commence on March 31.

“These new Miami and San Francisco routes will fly passengers straight into the heart of two of America’s most iconic city destinations," says Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations, Gatwick Airport.

"In all, Norwegian will fly to 11 US destinations from Gatwick next summer, which gives passengers both tremendous choice and exceptional value as the airline offers some of the most competitive long-haul airfares around.”

Norwegian serves more destinations in the U.S. non-stop from Gatwick than any other airline.

The airline’s newly launched twice-weekly Tampa route will also feature alongside nonstop flights to Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando and Seattle.

Elsewhere on the network, Norwegian’s Los Angeles route will reduce to a daily service and Chicago services will be trimmed to four flights per week.

norwegian.com

Budget option from Universal

Universal Studio Resorts, Orlando, will open its Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites in summer 2019.

Universal

Featuring two-bedroom suites that sleep up to six people, Surfside Inn and Suites will be Universal’s most affordable accommodation to date.

Guests can enjoy early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ and Universal's Volcano Bay™ along with complimentary transportation to and from Universal's CityWalk.

The three-star hotel has a lakefront location with a ‘relaxed and fun surf vibe’ throughout. The hotel aims to provide an affordable base for families visiting the parks, with prices starting from £55 per night.

Dockside Inn and Suites, the sister hotel to the Endless Summer resort, is due to open in 2020.

Dave Cole, Business Development Manager for Universal Parks says: “The new hotel will make any trip to Universal, Orlando more affordable. We want to encourage families who want a low price but don’t want to compromise on quality.”

Universal’s Islands of Adventure is also adding a new Harry Potter themed attraction for 2019.

The “highly-themed coaster experience” will be an addition to the Hogsmeade section of the Harry Potter World and is thought to be themed around the Forbidden Forest, featuring characters and creatures from the book.

universalorlando.com

Star Wars lands at Disney

New Star Wars attractions are set to land in Disney World Orlando for 2019, including a themed hotel.

Phoenix

The hotel will transport guests to a galaxy far, far away with guests stepping aboard their luxury starship complete with ‘launch pods’ and cabin windows that give the illusion of space.

Guests will also encounter characters and creatures at the hotel that help to bring the film to life.

The hotel will be located on the south side of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, east of World Drive, and will coincide with the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at the Hollywood Studios, also set to open in 2019.

Attractions within Galaxy’s Edge will include Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, which allows guests to pilot the Star Wars space ship in one of three flight crew roles.

The second is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, where guests will have to battle between the Resistance and the First Order.

Multi-day guests are encouraged to transform into their favourite character by dressing in Star Wars-inspired attire.

disneyparks.disney.go.com

Become an L.A. Insider

The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is offering entry into annual L.A. shows to travel agents who qualify as an L.A Insider.

L.A Insider

Launched earlier this year, the L.A. Insider training tool keeps agents up-to-date with the latest tourism offerings, with modules designed to help the UK and Irish trades sell the city.

Completion of training gives agents access to discounts and specials from L.A. members, along with the opportunity to participate in fam trips. They also receive a certificate for their efforts.

“Everything is changing so rapidly in L.A. – it’s one of the most dynamic cities," says Ernest Wooden Jr., Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board President.

"To keep the trade up-to-date, we have launched a training programme enabling agents to become an LA Insider.

“It’s a visual, fun way of learning and separates L.A. into manageable neighbourhoods. Once you become an L.A. Insider you can create your own itineraries, receive updates, and unlock incentives and promotional offers. It’s an ongoing relationship between us and the travel trade to help better sell L.A.”

New for 2019, contemporary art fair Frieze will launch at L.A.’s Paramount Pictures Studios. Over 80 galleries will exhibit work from international artists from February 14-17, 2019, reflecting L.A.’s position as a global arts capital.

Described as a 'fusion of art and culinary', it will join Frieze New York, Frieze London and Frieze Masters on the art calendar and makes for a great day out for art enthusiasts.

discoverlosangeles.com

Louisiana on location

Film fans can now follow in the footsteps of the stars and set out on the new Louisiana Film Trail.

Louisiana

The state is showcasing the locations of a wide range of famous movies shot in Louisiana, including the likes of Bonnie & Clyde, Dead Man Walking, Easy Rider and Steel Magnolias.

“Thanks to its dramatic and varied landscapes – both urban and natural – Louisiana has provided film directors with set locations for over a century,” say its founders.

Louisiana has been a frontrunner in the industry since the beginning of film, with the first-ever indoor seated theatre opening in New Orleans in 1896.

Over 2,500 films have been shot in the state with stars such as Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, John Wayne, Dolly Parton, Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson and Julia Roberts all appearing on set in Louisiana.

Maps, further information and inspiration can be found at louisianatravel.com/film

In 2019, the state will welcome a new Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans and mark the 25th anniversary of the Baton Rouge Blues Festival, which takes place in April.

louisianatravel.com

Trek America hops to it

Road trip specialist Trek America is adding beer tours of America’s East and West Coasts and a music-themed Deep South itinerary in 2019.

Trek America

The seven-day Cities, Sights and Craft Beer Delights – West tour visits San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Portland and Seattle and starts from £1,249pp, with departures in June and August.

On the east coast, the eight-day tour visits New York, Boston, Washington DC, Atlanta and Asheville, and includes visits to both world-famous brewers and local, independent operations. It costs from £1,399pp with departures in June and August.

Meanwhile, the 15-day Deep South and Festival Sounds tour culminates with tickets to the Austin Limits Festival. The tour departs on September 23 next year and is priced from £2,799pp.

“We are delighted to be offering these action-packed new tours,” says Richard Hanson, Managing Director of Trek America.

“Beer buffs will get the opportunity to sample some of America’s best beers at a range of micro-breweries as well as visiting some of the most famous U.S brands and soaking up the culture on either the east or the west coast, depending on their preference.”

Hanson adds: “Music lovers will be able to experience the very best of the U.S music scene in the Deep South, culminating in the ultimate festival experience in Austin, Texas.”

trekamerica.co.uk