Last week in travel: world’s longest cruise starts in London

Buenos Aires aims towards sustainability tourism, while Finland is named best country for wildlife travel, and Missouri couple offers Airbnb stays at haunted house 

245 days on the sea. That is the plan of the world’s longest continuous cruise that has begun in London on Sunday. 

On the Viking Sun’s Ultimate World Cruise itinerary that will attempt to set a Guinness World Record passengers will visit six continents, 51 countries and 111 ports. 

Over the next eight months, the Viking Sun cruise will take passengers to around the world — Viking Cruises Last week in travel: world’s longest cruise starts in London
Over the next eight months, the Viking Sun cruise will take passengers around the world — Viking Cruises

After circumnavigating around the globe, the ship should return to London on 30 April 2020. However, guests will have the option to remain on board until May Day.

 

Tickets for the unprecedented cruise started at £66,990 (€80,962) and Viking claims to have managed to secure the 100 per cent occupancy. In total, there will be 930 passengers.

A total of 54 people — including four from the UK — have reportedly signed up for the full 245 days. 

“For more than 20 years we have been committed to connecting travellers to culturally immersive experiences that allow them to explore the world in comfort,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking.

“Our Ultimate World Cruise is the most extensive itinerary available in the industry, nearly double the length of our previous world cruise itineraries.”

Buenos Aires joins network ensuring sustainability tourism 

The capital of Argentina has become the latest city to take part in the World Tourism Organisation’s initiative to support sustainable tourism. 

Buenos Aires now belongs among 27 cities that emphasise the need of sustainable travel — Shutterstock Last week in travel: world’s longest cruise starts in London
Buenos Aires now belongs among 27 cities that emphasise the need for sustainable travel — Shutterstock
 

The initiative called the International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO) currently consists of 27 cities around the world and aims to help to manage the sector in a more efficient way. 

The main objective is to monitor better the environmental and social impacts of tourism at a local level.

“By becoming the latest member of our dynamic INSTO network, the city of Buenos Aires once again demonstrates its commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism,” said UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili.

Buenos Aires will join the global INSTO meeting in October at UNWTO headquarters in Madrid

“By joining the INSTO Network, we reinforce our commitment to maximising the benefits of the tourism activity in the city of Buenos Aires, not only from an economic perspective, but with a focus on the cultural, social and environmental dimensions of tourism,” said Gonzalo Robredo, president of the Buenos Aires Tourism Board.

“We believe that sustainability is a key to guaranteeing that tourism has a positive impact on local communities while also providing visitors with an authentic tourist experience.”

Finland named best country for wildlife travel

Finland ranked the top thanks to its high levels of environmental sustainability, its unique and varied diversity of species and beautiful nature — Shutterstock Last week in travel: world’s longest cruise starts in London
Finland ranked the top thanks to its high levels of environmental sustainability, its unique and varied diversity of species and beautiful nature overall — Shutterstock
 

If you prefer nature and wilderness to crowded touristy hotspots, heading to Finland might be the right choice. The Scandinavian country has ranked the top in the latest Global Wildlife Index for 2019. 

The researchers have picked Finland “thanks to its high levels of environmental sustainability, its unique and varied diversity of species, beautiful natural landscapes, and conservation efforts”. 

The team behind the index evaluated each country by eight factors. They took into account the state of megafauna conservation, the number of wildlife species, the prevalence of national parks, or the forest area. In addition, they examined factors linked to the environment. 

“As the world becomes increasingly eco-conscious, we have placed a particular focus on examining factors around environmental sustainability, environmental prosperity and conservation in this year’s report,” the report says. 

In this year’s ranking, Finland is closely followed by Sweden, Brazil, Canada or the United States

Ryanair pledges strikes won’t disrupt flights

If you are flying to or from the United Kingdom with Ryanair this week, you don’t have to worry about the upcoming pilot strikes. The famous Irish low-cost carrier has pledged it would maintain its normal schedule despite the walkout.

Ryanair pilots that are united under the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) have already walked out for two days in August, and have begun a 72-hour stoppage. They are in a dispute over a range of issues from pensions to maternity benefits.

 

The union also says it wants to “harmonise pay across the UK in a fair, transparent, and consistent structure”.

An airline spokesperson said: “On behalf of our customers and their families we wish to sincerely thank all our UK pilots who have not supported this Balpa strike, and have confirmed they will work as rostered to protect the flights and travel plans of our UK customers and their families over the first week of September.”

Missouri couple offers haunted house stays on Airbnb

Ghosts and paranormal activities enthusiasts can now book a spooky adventure on Airbnb

A couple from Missouri, United States, claims their house is haunted. And while they are too scared to live there themselves, they have decided to open the doors for others to experience its weird occurrences.

The couple bought the supposedly haunted Hobo Hill House in August 2017 and left two months later. 

 

“We started really noticing (the odd events) around Christmas time,” Aaron Clark told Fox News. 

“My dog acted weird the moment we moved in but thought he was being stubborn. The sounds got worse as we stayed and it graduates to TV’s turning on at full volume, to space heaters turning on by themselves, and of course, my daughter sleepwalking and talking in tongues, the shifty movement almost as though she was possessed.”

The paranormal activities are reportedly too much even for the prepared thrill-seekers that rent the house on Airbnb. According to the couple, the first group that stayed at the house didn’t even make it overnight and left. 

“One of the young ladies staying stated they saw a dark figure on the staircase and another said she saw a similar dark figure on the porch that is on the second-level master bedroom,” Aaron said.

“The young man that booked the home said he smelled a strong odour of sulphur, which I’ve been told is a ‘demon smell’. I never looked into that to be sure. But it was enough for them to leave. They checked in at 6 pm and left a little after midnight.”