Travel News Roundup is brought to you by Malcolm Ginsberg, Editor in Chief of Business Travel News (www.btnews.co.uk). He is a member of the International Travel Writers Alliance, a noted analyst on aviation matters and is seen from time to time on TV and heard on the radio. He is always pleased to hear from tour operators and travel agents who have packages that might interest Jewish Weekly readers.
Wizz Air to Israel
Following its successful launch last year of what is now a daily Luton – Tel Aviv service Hungarian airline Wizz Air is to start a new twice weekly flight to Eilat starting 28 October, in effect it takes over from Monarch Airlines which collapsed at the end of 2017.
Listed on the London Stock Exchange, and now also registered as a British airline to get over any Brexit problems, Wizz Air flies to over 30 European destinations from the north London airport. Kosher snacks are available on all Israel flights.
Mr Yariv Levin, Israel’s Minister of Tourism said “We are delighted that Wizz Air has decided to launch a second route from the UK, its primary route has been from London Luton to Tel Aviv. This is a very exciting time for travel to Israel, with the launch of many new carriers and routes from across the globe. With more carriers flying to Israel it is clear that there is an ever-increasing demand to visit Israel”.
Eilat is unique for visitors to Israel, offering all the benefits of a modern, vibrant city alongside all the comforts of a luxury resort. Sharon E. Bershadsky, Director of the Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) for the UK and Ireland said “Eilat benefits from the warm and dry desert climate all year round whilst sitting on the edge of the amazing Red Sea and surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery – it makes Eilat the perfect winter sun destination”.
Wizz Air will be moving to the new Ramon Airport when it opens, expected by the end of the year. Sited on the main Route 90 it is only 15 miles from the city centre. The old Eilat Airport will close.
CAA reports on disabled passengers
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published a new report highlighting the progress made by UK airports to help passengers whose disabilities are hidden, such as autism, dementia and hearing loss and many other conditions that are not immediately obvious. This comes against a background of record numbers of people with all types of disability flying.
If you are disabled, or flying with someone who is disabled the recommendation is that you contact the airport concerned well before your flight. Most have a link on their website and for wheelchair passengers low counters are now being added to make it easier for conversation.
Another form of assistance is giving passengers the option to wear a lanyard or wristband to help make staff aware that they might need extra help at the security search area or elsewhere in the airport. Specialist staff are more and more being trained to provide enhanced disability awareness and make life easier for both passengers and supervisors. Also being introduced are family or assistance security lanes, which passengers with hidden disabilities can use, providing a less stressful and rushed experience. Look out for the special lanes at Gatwick.
Watch for a wide range of accessible information for people with hidden disabilities, including pictorial guides, videos and other online guides on what to expect at the airport, especially at the security search stage. Heathrow is good on this one.
Drisco Hotel, Tel Aviv’s new luxury boutique hotel
One of Tel Aviv’s most historic buildings has reopened in the American Colony as the Drisco Hotel, an upscale 42-room luxury boutique property.
Dating from 1866, and then called the Jerusalem Hotel, over the next century the property became one of the most prestigious destinations in Jaffa/Tel Aviv, attracting famed international guests such as Thomas Cook and Mark Twain. Latterly the building was left abandoned and neglected. A lengthy restoration process began in 2006 to reconstruct the landmark hotel, preserve its original architecture and revive the unique murals that recount its unique story
Charming yet sophisticated, the property embodies the perfect blend of old world luxury and modern-day comforts, a true reflection of the unique neighbourhood it inhabits. The Drisco Tel Aviv features 37 spacious rooms all equipped with state-of-the art technology, and Carrara marble bathrooms.
For the ultimate relaxing and intimate stay, guests can opt for the historic Villa Drisco, comprised of five rooms and the stunning Norton Suite, complete with a private terrace overlooking the hotel’s serene inner Piazza and Garden.
At Zada, the hotel’s upscale restaurant, Chef Shahar Bitton will serve a contemporary take on Ottoman cuisine, a gourmet selection of Kebab dishes, and pastries from the orient, regal dishes served on authentic ceramic plates, and a unique ambiance of opulence will bring to life the royal feasts from this specific historical era.
Jewish History tour of Germany 13-23 August
Hosted by Professor Shnayer Leiman this fully kosher ten-day intensive tour starts at Hamburg and completes at Frankfurt. It takes in Berlin, Munich (for Dachau), Frankfurt, Nuremburg and Mainz, where a visit is planned to the Gutenberg Museum dedicated to the city’s most important invention – printing. Five-star hotels throughout and all supervised.
The trip begins with a short overview of the history of the Jews in Germany, and of Hamburg in particular and includes the Mercado Shopping Mall in Altona, built controversy above an old Jewish Cemetery – literally above. At dinner the group will be joined by Rabbi Shlomo Bistritsky, the Chabad and Community Rabbi of Hamburg at the Grand Elysée Hotel, home for the next two nights. The next day takes in the Vilna Gaon and the Miniatur Wunderland – the largest model railway of its kind in the world.
Weather permitting the day ends with a short cruise on Lake Alster just to get the balance right.
Berlin is a must for German visits and includes Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue, which somehow survived Kristallnacht and the allied bombs, and was renovated in 1995. Shabbat is at the Central Orthodox Shul of Berlin on Joachimstaler Strasse and meals there with the community.
Included is a stop in Nuremberg to visit the Nazi Documentation Centre, located at the massive stadium where Hitler held his infamous party rallies. Today it is a museum dedicated to educating Germans about their Nazi past.
Every day is a busy day and most evenings include the local community and rabbi. It promises to be a full educational trip.