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Around the web we’ve seen a surge of travel news already this month, and to keep you up to date we’ve rounded up yesterday’s most exciting announcements, from Google Maps’ Street Roo to map Australia’s Outback, to Virgin Volcanic’s introduction of volcano expeditions. There’s also a host of new airline options and even some job postings worth looking into (especially if you, like most people, did not win this weekend’s Mega Millions lottery).
You’ve undoubtedly already heard of Virgin Galactic’s space tourism, but Virgin announced yesterday its next project, Virgin Volcanic, which will allow travel to the cores of active volcanoes (www.virginvolcanic.com). Trips in the 3-person WS1 volcano vehicle are scheduled to begin in 2015, with initial trips manned by Virgin billionaire CEO Sir Richard Branson, Tom Hanks, Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Seth Green, and Barbara Kopple, a two-time Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker who will direct a documentary on the expeditions. As Sir Richard says, “Alongside our adventures with Virgin Galactic and Virgin Oceanic, volcanoes are the next great unexplored terrain. What can I say, I lava challenge!”
Travel round-trip to Sydney for only $1599 with its world-famous Opera House and Harbor Bridge, Ayers Rock (Uluru) in the heart of Australian Outback , and Cairns (gateway to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef) with the option to also stop in Brisbane and perhaps visit Australian Zoo. The Aussie Icons Airpass offers a fantastic mixture of city, outback and coastal experiences in some of the most stunning parts of Australia. With this deal you are flying to four different Australian cities for the price of one!
THE VALUE: Save up to 40% on this flight compared to other flights during this travel period.
THE CATCH: This deal must be booked by October 31 and travel must be from May 1-June 8, 2012.
THE DETAILS: Visit Travelscene to learn more about the Airpass or call Travelscene 866-538-7280.
WE’VE GOT MORE: See our Australia Travel Guide to figure out what to do when you get there.
Yesterday (January 18), Oprah Winfrey began airing her four-part taped telecast from Australia, where in December she took 300 lucky audience members (some of whom had never even flown before) on the trip of a lifetime. Their visit included celebrity-studded tapings at the Sydney Opera House (shown above at left; courtesy of Tourism New South Wales) and visits to Australia’s top tourist destinations. While the Land Down Under may be best known for its rugged Outback and Great Barrier Reef adventures, not to mention its only-in-Oz wildlife like kangaroos and koalas, I have visited the country twice and can vouch that it is also dreamily romantic.
Yes, Australia is far away (a 14-hour flight from Los Angeles), but it’s summer there now and all the Oprah hoopla means there are some good deals to be had. Here’s the scoop:
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