Wine Lovers Rejoice: New Wine Museum Opens

Bordeaux, France

As if you needed another reason to visit France, a new museum dedicated to wine has just opened on June 2nd in Bordeaux. Titled “Le Cité du Vin” (City of Wine), this 10-story museum explores wine culture and its 7,500-year history.

The building design was created by architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières. In a statement given on the museum’s website they said: “This building does not resemble any recognizable shape because it is an evocation of the soul of wine between the river and the city.” And indeed, the building’s shape is one-of-a-kind. It can seem out of place until you realize the inspiration behind it: The swirl is meant to mimic the curves of a wine glass, a grapevine, and the waves of the nearby Garonne river.

Bordeaux is considered by many to be not only the best wine region in France, but also the best in the world. It’s unique wine history dates back 2,000 years to Roman times. The marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine opened up the region to the English who began importing the new wine which they commonly refer to as “claret.”

This museum features 20 themed spaces with all manner of interactive, digital tools to educate visitors. Guests are even treated to a virtual boat tour simulating a merchant’s ship traveling the world. Visitors may access audio guides in 8 different languages for individualized experiences. The audio guides will play content based on whatever room guests are exploring. In addition to tours, visitors may also participate in tastings, classes, and workshops. A 250-seat auditorium will play host to some of these classes and film screenings. A museum of wine would hardly be complete without an area to sample wine and the designers have not let us down. There is a 2-story wine bar as well as a store which boasts 14,000 bottles of wine from 80 different countries.

Le Cité du Vin is expected to host 450,000 visitors a year. 2017 will see the arrival of a high-speed train connecting Paris to Bordeaux. Those wishing to make the trip from Paris to Bordeaux will be able to do so in as little as two hours.

Bordeaux has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007 and it’s not hard to see why. Bordeaux wine has remained a staple of the wine scene for centuries and this new museum will bolster that reputation. Though Le Cité du Vin has only been in operation for a week, it has already achieved a 4-star rating on Google and mostly positive reviews.

For more information, visit: http://www.laciteduvin.com/en

American Tourists Still Traveling to Europe, Just Different Cities

You may be surprised to find out that, regardless of the recent terror attacks and threats, American tourists are still flocking to Europe.

Continue reading “American Tourists Still Traveling to Europe, Just Different Cities”

British Airways to Launch Longest Flight

London – Santiago

British Airways has unveiled its longest flight ever. The new route will launch in January 2017 and run between London and Santiago, the capital of Chile. At 14 hours and 40 minutes, this new route will become the longest direct flight British Airways offers. The London – Santiago route will be one hour longer than the current longest flight, which runs from London to Buenos Aires and is 13 hours and 50 minutes.

The flight will run four times a week and use British Airway’s newest aircraft, the 787-9 Dreamliner. The 787-9 is 20 ft. longer than the previous model allowing for a new First cabin making those long haul flights more enjoyable. The First cabin hosts a private eight-suite space with additional storage areas, a locker for small belongings, and a special storage area for devices that includes charging capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’ manages the seat recline, headrest, and lumbar inflate. A ‘global’ lighting control can be used to set both ambient and reading lighting. The new 787-9 Dreamliner is the most technologically advanced aircraft in the British Airways fleet.

The addition of this new route is part of an ongoing expansion to Latin America by British Airways. They recently added Lima, Peru and San Jose, Costa Rica to their list of destinations. Additionally, they offer service to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil. Of the increase in Latin American routes, Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways stated: “In recent years we have been increasing our services to South and Central America reflecting the area’s continued growth in both business and tourism. This year we’ve already launched flights to Costa Rica and Peru, and the addition of Santiago will secure another important link between the UK and the region. Equally, Chile is of enormous appeal to leisure travelers, especially those looking for adventure, exploration and experiences, thanks to its outstanding and diverse natural beauty and attractions and its great food and wine.”

Santiago, Chile offers many interesting attractions including the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Chilean Museum of Fine Arts. Santiago also serves as a gateway to many natural wonders in the surrounding countryside.

Airfare Prices Decreasing

Airfare Reaches Seven-Year Low

Summer Traveling Dreams Come True

Pining for paradise? That tropical getaway may be closer than you think. International flights to Cancun are averaging about $327. According to research by Hopper, a mobile application that uses big data to predict and analyze airfare, flight prices will be the cheapest they’ve been in seven years. This price decrease is especially good for domestic travelers. An average domestic round-trip flight will cost about $207. Prices will peak in June with an average domestic round-trip flight costing $240.

Airfare Decrease Continues

This price decrease seems to be an ongoing trend: airfare prices are down 12%; more than 20% from two years ago.  Earlier this year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a decrease in air passenger fares for both international departures and arrivals.

Oil prices seem to be one main factor in airline ticket price drops.

If you’re not thinking of staying stateside for the summer, there could be hope for a cheap flight internationally.

Hopper produced several tables on which cities have seen increases and decreases in search demand, both domestically and internationally. Changes in search demand could create flash sales that will benefit travelers.

If you’re interested in how your state’s average airfare compares across the national average, be sure to check out Hopper’s interactive map.

Spring Break at the 2016 Destination of the Year!

Australia – 2016 Destination of the Year!

Australia for Spring Break?  It’s far!

Yes, Australia is a little further than the beaches of Mexico but choosing it for a Spring Break destination is a great and unique way to spend 10 days off of school. Almost everyone who likes traveling wants to go to Australia so giving them the option to check out this bucket list destination will help them create some amazing memories before heading into the real world. Continue reading “Spring Break at the 2016 Destination of the Year!”

Japan – A Great Spring Break Option for Skiers!

Japan – Spring Break

Mount Yotei, Japan
Mount Yotei, Japan

Japan for Spring Break?  It may seem like a hard location to recommend but if someone is looking to experience something truly unique for Spring Break, Japan is an interesting and cool choice.

Continue reading “Japan – A Great Spring Break Option for Skiers!”

Why Peru for Spring Break?

A Spring Break Adventure in Peru

Spring Break can be more than heading to any old warm weather destination. In a location like Peru, travelers can experience ancient Incan ruins in Machu Picchu, witness the beauty of the Galapagos Islands and even carve out a few days to sit along the beach and soak in the warm sun.

Peru is an exciting country filled with history, gorgeous scenery and long sandy beaches. For those looking for an alternative to the usual destinations, Peru is the perfect place to recommend.

Continue reading “Why Peru for Spring Break?”

Sky Bird Helps Plan the “Trip of a Lifetime”

Sky Bird Helps Set Up Cruise, Italy, India Package  

When it comes to booking complicated trips with multi-destinations it can be quite challenging. But Sky Bird was up to that challenge when Jean Wells of Jean Wells Travel in North Carolina was tasked with planning a cruise followed by a tour of Italy and then a trip to India for a customer of hers. This was an opportunity to help one woman take a solo trip to destinations she’s always dreamed of visiting. We were happy to be the ones Ms. Wells called on to book this complex itinerary and even more thrilled to hear her customer enjoyed this custom-made adventure – it’s not easy to travel the world by yourself.

We’re proud that we get to be a global partner with Jean Wells Travel.

Make sure to bookmark www.skybirdtravel.com to easily access the best net fares and contact us when you need to book a group trip or land/river package – we are here for you.

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Jean Wells Travel