Boston Three Party – more flights,
more choice

Did you know? Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines are doing the Boston triple, boosting their two popular London Heathrow-Boston services with a third fabulous flight.

Busch Gardens

Or you can fly non-stop three times a week from Manchester, or from Edinburgh on the new Delta service, launching May.

And to celebrate the airline partners are giving you the chance to win an amazing four-night FAM trip to buzzing Boston.

They’ve got three places up for grabs, so whether your customers are flying for work or a few days’ sightseeing, you’ll have first-hand experience of all things Boston.

This East Coast hub punches well above its size in terms of US history, amazing food experiences and sporting prowess. Making it an awesome (or ahhhsome in Boston speak) place to spend a few days. You can find out more here.

Tigris at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is on track to open its latest ride, Tigris, this spring.

Pearl Street

Testing for the new attraction, the park’s ninth, will begin this month.

Described as Florida’s tallest launch coaster, Tigris will catapult riders through an array of looping twists with forward and backward motion and drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted 'heartline roll' - all at more than 60 miles per hour.

Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the agility of a tiger.

Tigris will be joined in 2020 by a new hybrid coaster which, when it opens, will become North America’s tallest hybrid and the fastest, steepest hybrid coaster in the world.

Manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, the newest addition at Busch Gardens will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall.

The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi, a wooden rollercoaster which operated in the park from 1999 to 2015.

“We’re moving quickly to open our ninth roller coaster, Tigris, with a tenth coaster already underway for next year,” said Stewart Clark, President of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

“This cadence of back-to-back new attractions is unprecedented for our park, and continues our legacy as Florida’s thrill ride leader.”

The best value ticket for visiting SeaWorld Parks in Florida is the Discovery Cove Ultimate Package, which includes a one-day reservation at Discovery Cove (with 30-minute dolphin swim experience, all meals, snacks and beverages included) plus 14-days unlimited entry to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica Orlando, with free parking included at all parks.

Prices start from £192pp.

seaworldparks.co.uk

Steaming on the Mississippi

American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is making repairs and improvements to its four AQSC riverboats and two Victory Cruise Lines ships.

Aer Lingus Reveal

Featuring itineraries down the Mississippi River, the American Queen and American Duchess are both dry-docked for maintenance and inspection in Houma, Louisiana, while the American Empress is in Portland, Oregon.

The latest addition to the paddlewheel fleet, the American Countess, is undergoing significant reconstruction and getting ready to sail America’s heartland in 2020.

Finally, the M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II are in the middle of extensive renovations, getting ready to explore the Great Lakes, New England and Canada this May.

Themed cruises include sailings based around Mark Twain, Bourbon, Christmas Markets, American music and the Antebellum South.

Vacations to America has a 12-day trip, sailing on American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built.

Priced from £4.995pp, the trip travels from Memphis to New Orleans, stopping off in several Southern towns along the way including Greenville, Natchez, Vicksburg and Baton Rouge.

americanqueensteamboatcompany.com;

vacationstoamerica.com

New York bursting with Pride

NYC & Company, New York City’s destination marketing organisation, has declared 2019 as the 'Year of Pride'.

RCA Studios

Several events are planned, including a host of Pride activities and events surrounding WorldPride (June 25-30) and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in June, a key moment in LGBTQ history.

“We have declared 2019 the Year of Pride, to not only celebrate WorldPride and Stonewall 50 but to acknowledge the perpetual spirit of New York City’s vibrant LGBTQ community,” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company.

Up to four million visitors are expected for Pride, the first time the global event will be held in the U.S.

On June 28 1969, riots broke out in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, which is now the country’s first national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights.

Visitors to the New York Public Library in Bryant Park, Manhattan, up to July 14, can explore the emergence of the LGBTQ civil rights movement during the 1960s and ’70s through photographs from pioneering journalists.

And until July 7 the Brooklyn Historical Society will be displaying exhibits on the LGBTQ communities that thrived along Brooklyn’s waterfront in the 1800s and through WWII.

Parades in New York’s boroughs include Staten Island PrideFest, from May 10-15, which will celebrate 15 years with a full week of events in May, including a 5K fun run, a Sober Coffee House and a Youth Prom. The week ends with an afternoon festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden featuring live music, drag performers, food trucks and craft vendors.

On June 2, Queens Pride in Queens,will feature a street parade in Jackson Heights, music, a drag performance and local cuisine.

nycgo.com/worldpride

BA back to the future

An aircraft decked out in the third of a series of four heritage liveries is catching the attention of British Airways customers.

A Boeing 747 painted in the Landor design, which flew on British Airways aircraft between 1984-1997, is now flying to long-haul destinations served by the Boeing 747.

The design will remain on the aircraft until it retires in 2023. Celebrating 100 years of flying in 2019, the airline is dipping into its past while looking to the future.

The other ‘heritage’ designs reintroduced this year are the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) liveried 747, and the British European Airways (BEA) liveried A319.

A fourth and final heritage design will be revealed later this month.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “The Landor livery is one of our most famous designs, and many will remember seeing it in the skies at some point in their lives. Introducing these liveried aircraft has been a huge honour, and we’re excited to reveal details of the final design soon.”

The centenary activity is taking place alongside the airline’s current five-year £6.5bn investment programme.

This includes the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.

The airline will also be introducing new Club World seat with direct aisle access later this year.

On August 25, 1919, British Airways’ forerunner company, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T), launched the world's first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris.

batraveltrade.com

Deep South Guide aids agents

The new Deep South USA guide is now available to read online or to order.

Virgin Air

This guide to the five southern states of Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee provides agents, travel planners and consumers with practical advice and plenty of inspirational ideas for planning a trip to the region.

New to the guide this year are themed self-drive itinerary ideas around themes such as history and heritage, civil rights, culture, cuisine, festivals, music and outdoors.

There are also some mini-maps to help plan road trips, and recommendations for overnight accommodations covering ‘signature and authentic options’.

Guides can be requested online at:

deep-south-usa.com/request-information

or by emailing:

info@deep-south-usa.com

New Orleans set to roll

The stars are lining up to play at this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, with the Rolling Stones the headline act.

Universal

The 50th staging of the hugely popular festival, to be held from April 25 to May 5, will also feature Katy Perry, Tom Jones, Van Morrison and Santana, who will be playing alongside stars of the New Orleans and Louisiana music scene.

The Rolling Stones will perform on the festival's second Thursday, 2nd May.

The two-weekend festival is one of the premier events of the year in New Orleans and one of over 400 festivals across Louisiana in 2019.

Along with the music, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival also features arts and crafts, food and history.

louisianatravel.com