What’s new in 2018
Well I hope Santa brought you everything you hoped for, but sadly Christmas is now over.
And that makes it the best time to look at what is new and exciting in the travel industry in 2018.
After a decade long construction process, the £1bn Louvre Abu Dhabi is now open. The museum contains 600 permanent artworks, as well as another 300 on loan from the Paris Louvre. This includes the World’s most expensive painting, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which was purchased earlier this month for a record £335m.
Tourism to Abu Dhabi is also on the rise thanks to the new cruise terminal and the Gulf’s only desert island cruise stopover – Sir Bani Yas. The cruise terminal includes check-in desks for Etihad Airways so that passengers disembarking their cruise ship can check their cases straight in without having to take them to the airport.
Perth & Western Australia
Starting in March 2018 will be the first-ever regular non-stop service from the UK to Australia. Qantas will operate the 16-hour flight direct from Heathrow to Perth on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Perth is a vibrant city in its own right, but will also provide a gateway for Western Australia and beyond.
The small and seductive country of Malta has a lot going on in 2018. The capital Valletta will be the 2018 European Capital of Culture, so there will be a packed events calendar. Jet2Holidays will start offering Malta as a destination from Stansted for Summer 2018, and EasyJet have begun flying twice weekly from Southend.
South Africa is already a strong tourism destination, with wildlife, beaches and cultural attractions, but also in recent years there has also been a favourable exchange rate for British tourists. Now in 2018 there will also be ‘Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018: Be The Legacy’. A programme of special initiatives, projects and events to celebrate 100 years since Mandela’s birth.
British Airways is launching a twice weekly service to Mahé, the first non-stop flight between the UK and the Indian Ocean. Cutting the travel time to 10 hours, the Wednesday and Saturday service will permit the creation of 10-night trips. Whilst on the ground the Six Senses Zil Pasyon is fully open and the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles At Desroches Island Will be unveiled in early 2018.
If there is one sector of the travel industry that is constantly evolving, growing and innovating – it’s cruising. And 2018 will be no different, with plenty of exciting launches, new experiences and fresh itineraries to thrill seasoned cruisers and entice those who have yet to give it a try.
May 2018 sees the launch of Norwegian Bliss, the latest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line, featuring the largest go-kart track at sea, an enclosed water slide that projects riders out over the side of the ship and an outdoor laser-tag course.
Celebrity Cruises launch their exciting Celebrity Edge ship in December 2018, featuring the ‘Magic Carpet’, a uniquely cantilevered restaurant/bar/disembarking point. The ship is the cruise line’s first new ship for six years and promises a range of cutting edge and revolutionary developments. One such innovation is the new Infinite Veranda Staterooms, where balcony and living area are merged into one continuous space, really pushing their ‘modern luxury’ strapline.
The most exciting new port of call continues to be Havana, Cuba, with more cruise lines creating itineraries stopping off at this wonderful city. It proved to be one of the quickest selling destinations for 2018, however you will find there are some cabins still available.
Royal Caribbean continues to innovate, and one of the most recent ways is the new smartphone app being introduced to personalise the on-board experience. Fully rolled out to all 48 ships by the end of 2019, the app will help streamline processes like check-in by utilising facial recognition, and allow you to book excursions and restaurants from your sunbed.
Travel is always exciting and dynamic, and it looks as though 2018 will be another great year.
Happy New Year and Happy Travels to you all.