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Last year, we called the Museu Tam outside Sao Paulo, Brazil the "greatest aviation museum you've never heard of," but what what institution can lay claim to the sister title of the "greatest aviation museum you have heard of?" For that, we go not to the Smithsonian, but to the desert outside Tucson, Arizona, home to Pima Air & Space Museum.
Before you protest to say that you actually haven't heard of it, wait a sec.
Pima has become the final resting place of many a historic airliner, including a NASA "Super Guppy" and the DC-6 which served as Air Force One to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Pima's massive museum and even more ginormous outdoor exhibition area (over 80 acres!) is a jolly neighbor to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), which you'll most likely recognize as the haunting landscape of 2,600 acres full up with retired military aircraft.
The AMARG makes occasional cameos in movies, TV shows, and on curiosity websites, but spends most of its time as a mecca for #AvGeeks from around the world.
Cruise Travel / Travel Tips / Antarctica Travel / Polar Travel / Adventure Travel / Ships / Azamara Club Cruises / Azamara Journey / Ushuaia Travel / South America Travel / Nature Travel / Emoji / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
How do you remember a voyage of 4,500 nautical miles? For Jaunted Editor Cynthia D, who sailed on the Azamara Journey for 17 days last month, the answer is with emoji. Allow her to explain.
I'd never been on such a lengthy cruise before, and certainly never to Antarctica. From Buenos Aires, we'd stop at Montevideo, Uruguay and continue to the Antarctic Peninsula, then Ushuaia, Argentina and the Falkland Islands before returning to BsAs. I traveled with a colleague, and the internet onboard was so great that we'd use Twitter DMs like walkie talkies. Emoji quickly crept into these exchanges, and nearly took over as my captions and comments on social media when words proved inadequate to describe the scenery, the experiences, and the feels that developed as the ship sailed on.
Plus, one time I asked Jaunted contributor Andy how his trip to Hong Kong was going, and he replied with a descriptive stream of emoji so brilliant no further explanations were needed. It was awesome.
So, without further ado, a 17-day cruise as seen through emoji:
In-Flight Meals / Photo Gallery / Cathay Pacific / Hotels / Mandarin Oriental / First Class Travel / Hong Kong Travel / New York City / → All Tags
You’re in First Class on Cathay Pacific. The flight is a 16-hour nonstop from New York to Hong Kong, and you’re looking forward to a little sleeping, a little working, and a little eating while watching that movie you’ve been meaning to catch. Then the flight attendant hands you a pair of soft pajamas and the in-flight meal menu, and it becomes quite clear that you’re going to enjoy this flight.
The cherry on top of the experience? 2015 is the year Cathay Pacific has dedicated to featuring unique First Class menus created by chefs from Mandarin Oriental hotel properties around the world. And, oh yes, there will be caviar.
What began as a special feature for just the London route in 2014 expands throughout 2015 to 5 more destinations. The lucky routes: Between Hong Kong and New York-JFK, Boston, San Francisco, Paris, London, and Tokyo-Haneda.
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It's been the subject of many awesome time-lapse videos and even a Star Wars fan fiction-style mini production, but Frankfurt International Airport is pretty great at offering live access via their Airport Tour by Bus.
Called the Flughafen Rundfahrt in German, the tours depart from the pre-security area of Frankfurt's Terminal 1 (level 0, Airport City Mall) and go through security (no airline ticket needed) to join up with a bus for an airside drive all along aircraft at gates, at hard stands, on the Cargo apron, in maintenance hangars, and of course on the runway.
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In the world of premium air travel, there are a handful of what frequent flyers call “destination lounges.” These spaces, luxuriously appointed and exclusively for the use of the highest-paying passengers, are often an embarrassment of riches and, thus, completely worth spacing your travel with time enough to visit.
Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge at Doha’s Hamad International Airport is the newest addition to the list of must-visit lounges, and with good reason. Not only is it massive (30,000+ sq ft!) and filled with features like designer furniture and its own lake, but the Al Mourjan lounge has entire semi-private rooms just for families and a full restaurant with such variety of food and drink as to make other lounges cry into their chex mix with shame.
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Fly from the US to Europe with a layover in the Middle East? How about a long-haul from Europe to Australia with a lunch of Arabic mezze in Qatar? This is the (near) future envisioned by the brand new, superlative city that is Hamad International Airport-DOH in Doha, Qatar.
The numbers behind the $16 billion(!!) project are appropriately gigantic; DOH can handle 8,700 passengers per hour, and has the space and infrastructure to see 50 million passengers annually through 65 gates once all phases are finished. 60% of the land the airport is built on was reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf, and in all that space passengers will find 22,000 sq m of retail, 15,000 sq m of dining, and a gobsmacking 80,000 sq m dedicated to the 16 lounges within the airport.
A simple layover may not be enough to fully enjoy all of Hamad International Airport, so we’ve done the legwork to name the highlights:
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This is the week! From January 15, the brand-spanking-new Airbus A350 begins regular commercial flights and welcomes passengers to the enjoy everything Airbus has been working on since 2004.
As far its place within the range of the newest aircraft out there, the A350-900 is larger than a 787-800, smaller than an A380, and due to replace the A330 for some of the airlines adding it to their fleets. It costs $295 million each, and there's some 700 orders on the books for the plane. With those numbers, more and more travelers will soon find themselves walking down the jetway to board a plane they've never before experienced.
And what an experience. Thanks to technology, modern materials, and a refreshing re-focus on passenger comfort, the Airbus A350 is about to silence many of the most common complaints in air travel. Here are just a few:
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It's not every day that an airline welcomes an airplane so new that no one else has it yet. That was, however, the case this week as Qatar Airways celebrated the arrival of the first Airbus A350. Come next week, anyone can fly on the plane and, with over 700 orders for the aircraft (80 just from Qatar Airways), this will hardly be the last you'll hear of it.
Why is Qatar Airways’ A350 so special? Put quite simply, the airline has it first. The A350 rolled off the runway at Airbus’ Toulouse factory to land at Doha and begin its service, as Qatar Airways is the “Global Launch Customer” for the type; they’re debuting the plane, setting the bar, and offering an experience unavailable anywhere else.
In addition to its body of advanced materials and engines that are the cleanest yet, the Airbus A350 also brings onboard humidification systems (no more dry eyes and skin!), an air management system that filters the entire cabin of air every 2-3 minutes, improved cabin temperature levels (no more “too hot” or “too cold”), and seats designed specifically for Qatar Airways and their heightened standards for both luxury and comfort.
Speaking of the seats...
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What's longer than five 747s and yet can turn on a dime in NYC's Hudson River?
The Quantum of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's newest cruise ship and the first to be branded a "smartship," is officially out on the ocean. Godmother Kristin Chenoweth christened her at Cape Liberty, New Jersey on November 14 and, with that crash of a massive bottle of Perrier-Jouët champagne, she begins a year of sailings out of New York Harbor to the Bahamas and Caribbean.
We spent the weekend onboard the Quantum, pushing buttons and opening doors to discover her secrets and put the much boasted about technology to the test. But first, let's take a long look at the shipall 168,000 tonnes of funwith completely original photos:
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T5i's immigration and customs area sports the latest technology, like these automated passport processing kiosks
Next time you saunter through the market area at JetBlue's Terminal 5 at New York's JFK Airport and stand beneath the information halo wondering which way to go, you may notice there's a few more gates than usual. Go right or go straight ahead and it's all the same. Veer left, however, and you're heading for the spanking new international gate zone, dubbed T5i.
Yesterday marked the public opening of this, JetBlue's latest big project, and the first flights to arrive to the shiny new digs were JetBlue's non-stops up from Santo Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic. Of course now it's open to all arriving JetBlue flights* from any of their nearly 25 international destinations from JFK.
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Above: the Delta DC-3
2014 has been a huge, huuuuuge year for airline anniversaries, and at the top of the list is Delta's 85th Anniversary of passenger service, which they celebrated with a reopening of their aviation museum at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Why a re-opening? Well, as it goes with museums, sometimes exhibits need polishing and the Delta Flight Museum had originally opened back in 1995. It's so much more than spit-shining some cases, however; an entire new aircraft was waiting to be added to the permanent collection.
Now visitors can finally get up close with the Boeing 767 "Spirit of Delta," which was actually purchased by donations totaling $30 million from Delta employees. This plane almost single-handedly allowed Delta to weather the tough economic times of the early 1980s and begin modernizing their fleet. She flew for 23 years and is now half time capsule, half museum-within-in-a-museum, and completely open for visitors to tour.
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Our campsite on Kalalau Beach at the end of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai
Just about a year ago, we hiked the first two miles of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai's Na Pali Coast, calling it one of the prettiest coastal hikes we had ever walked while showing off the photos. After such an impressive experience, we decided to return to tackle the entire trail and spend two nights at Kalalau Beach before hiking back out.
Although the 11-mile hike begins and ends at sea level, the Kalalau Trail gains and then drops a total of 5,000 feet in elevation via a series of rolling valleys along the Na Pali coast. In addition to the rigorous ups and downs of the terrain, the trail is very narrow at times with unstable footing, especially when it rains, right along the cliffside. It doesn't require any technical experience, but it does require that you are able to maintain good balance with a full pack.