Road & Rail

Road & rail wrap: Europcar fined over credit card fees, Railway Adventures’ Sri Lanka initiative + MORE!

Toot toot, chugga chugga! It’s the road and rail wrap! Get amongst all the latest overland news and deals while we desperately try to avoid being sued by The Wiggles for using their trademark toots and chuggas.

Europcar fined for excessive credit card fees 

Europcar has been fined $350,000 after the Federal Court of Australia found it charged its customers excessive fees for using credit and debit cards to rent a car.

The rental car company admitted it shared Visa and Mastercard customers fees that were higher than the cost of processing payments in 2017 after the ACCC took the company to court in July last year, the The Australian Financial Report reported.

Railway Adventures encourages Aussies to come back to Sri Lanka

Viceroy Special on bridge_HERO

Railway Adventures is encouraging Australians to contribute to rebuilding the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, after recent incidents caused a major downturn in numbers, by joining the company’s owner as host on the 15-day ‘Sri Lanka on the Viceroy Special’ tour.

Departing on November 5, this roundtrip from Colombo includes travelling on the highly acclaimed steam train, the Viceroy Special, and includes a selection of art workshops and creative experiences by Sri Lankan-born Australian artist and art tutor, Chan Dissanayake who will accompany the group on this adventure.

This tour is priced from $10, 475 per person twin share and includes accommodation, mostly five star, with daily breakfast and many local meals,  luxury charter coach with luggage transport on rail travel days, entry fees on a vast variety of guided sightseeing excursions and even includes all tips and gratuities plus visa fees (if applicable) Airport transfers may be included on select flights from Australia.

Rail Europe releases two-for-one France-Spain connections 

Carcassonne

For a limited time only, Rail Europe is offering two-for-one deals on selected France-Spain High Speed connections between the two countries.

The connections are between Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Valence, Aix en Provence, Avignon, Nimes, Montpellier and Madrid, and Barcelona.

Bookings must be made by 10 September 2019 and travel completed between 5 September and 14 December 2019. There are no black-out dates, but terms and conditions apply.

15 per cent discount off overland journeys that actively avoid overtourism hotspots

Whilst overtourism is a relatively new term, Dragoman has been fighting against the very essence of it for the past 38 years.

Avoiding the typical tourist trail is part of its DNA, and they have been taking curious travellers off the beaten track since starting way back in 1981.

With the spotlight firmly on sustainable and responsible travel and a strong push to discourage travellers from places heavily affected by overtourism, overland travel has once again come to the forefront.

Dragoman is taking this opportunity to further encourage travellers to step away from the norm and support the fight against overtourism by offering a 15 per cent discount on 15 of their more remote Overland journeys.

New Budapest-to-Prague private train Tour unveiled

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On this new private train journey being offered by MIR Corporation, guests will enjoy the pleasures of Old World rail travel aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle Danube Express from Budapest to Prague.

On the way, they’ll stop in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, to admire the imposing Bratislava Castle, explore Vienna’s historic centre, visit Krakow, tour four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and end the tour at a five-star hotel in Prague. This Budapest to Prague private train tour is scheduled for 5 to 12 July 2020. Prices range from $6,895 to $21,995 per person.

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Cruise

Uniworld sues MSC over $18.5m in damages from Venice ship collision

by Christian Fleetwood

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has levelled a lawsuit against MSC Cruises over massive damages sustained in a Venice ship collision last year.

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Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Registrations open for RWC 2023, Counselling for agents impacted by bushfires + MORE!

This week’s Agent Wrap is full of everything you need on a Friday: news of agents on voyages around the world, plenty of pictures and, most importantly, a short word count.

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Wholesalers

Wholesaler launches flexible European coach-touring brand

The new brand combines the convenience of escorted tours and the independence of FIT, with guaranteed departures on all tours, regardless of their size.

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Aviation

Aussie influencer slammed after tricking airline into free business-class upgrade

by Huntley Mitchell

An Australian influencer has copped a swathe of criticism after wearing a moon boot to successfully con airline staff into a free business-class upgrade.

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Destinations

South Australian Tourism Commission warned ‘Old mate’ ads weren’t “child-friendly” months before launch

Just released documents have shown that the SATC was warned its now infamous ‘Old mate’ ads were inappropriate months before the campaign even launched.

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Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Ex-Liberals leader named Boeing’s new regional boss, CMV’s team expansion + MORE!

If this edition of Flavour of the Week was a marine animal, it would be a blue whale. In other words, this wrap is an absolute whopper.

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Aviation

PHOTOS: Coco the very good rabbit scores a seat in business class

Nobody freak out, but we’ve got some very important news: this very cute bunny rabbit wearing a bowtie just scored its own seat in business class, and the photos are SO CUTE!

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Tourism

Coronavirus poses bigger threat to Aussie airports than SARS: analyst

Meanwhile, China has placed more than 18 million people in lockdown overnight as the number of those infected climbs to 650, with 18 confirmed deaths.

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Wholesalers

Wendy Wu Tours’ Aussie boss exits after less than three months

Troy Ackerman’s sudden departure follows that of Wendy Wu Tours global CEO Joe Karbo in July last year.

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Aviation

Qantas, Virgin Australia update pet travel policies following dog deaths

by Christian Fleetwood

Australia’s leading carriers will introduce further precautions on their pet policies, in association with the RSPCA.

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Aviation

Canberra Airport closed as fire services use airfield to fight “out of control” bushfire

Canberra Airport has cancelled departures and arrivals as its airfield is used by aviation fire services to facilitate aerial firefighting efforts.

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Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new rideshare partner, Melia Hotels International opens first Thai hotel + MORE!

Welcome to the Hotel Wrap. This week’s addition features some gobsmackingly wonderful properties which we warn could cause a severe case of FOMO.

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