As vacation seekers around the world adapt to a new era of travel, many are looking forward to the 2021 year-end holidays to reconnect with family and friends. From tranquil, ancient villages to breathtaking national parks, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, offers the perfect Southeast Asian getaway with stunning destinations, exhilarating onboard entertainment and an abundance of unique recreational options. Perfect for the young and young-at-heart, every immersive journey is a feast for the senses filled with educational experiences and multi-cultural immersions.

The 13-Day Asia from Hong Kong to Singapore: Da Nang & Nha Trang sailing aboard Norwegian Sun is packed with the hidden gems of Southeast Asia. From 22 December 2021 to 4 January 2022, families can welcome and celebrate the new year by kayaking through the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay – UNESCO World Heritage Site – while cruising through spectacular limestone pillars and rainforest-topped islands. With overnight stays in Hong Kong, a marvelous city where temples and street markets intersect with ultra-sleek high-rise buildings, and Laem Chabang in Thailand, families can go slow and take their time to explore the charming Grand Palace in Bangkok or the colourful Pattaya Floating Market. The two-week itinerary will also be visiting Hue/Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam followed by a lovely day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia before disembarking in the beautiful city of Singapore.

Alternatively, family travellers can enjoy 17 life-changing days exploring the most desired destinations across Singapore, Indonesia and Australia aboard the Norwegian Spirit. The 17-Day from Singapore to Sydney: Brisbane, Bali, Komodo & Cairns voyage is a dream getaway for adults and children alike. In Indonesia, the whole family will enjoy the exquisite island of Bali, known for its terraced fields, beautiful beaches and volcanic mountains. For the young and young at heart, water sports such as kayaking and skiing are the main attractions in Airlie Beach, Australia. From a day trip to the gorgeous Whitsunday Island, or an afternoon swimming in the man-made lagoon in the heart of the town, Airlie is a unique destination for all.

Newly refurbished in 2020, Norwegian Spirit has completely reimagined its spaces, with new complimentary dining venues, adult-only daytime lounges, and an expanded Mandara Spa. In addition, Norwegian Spirit will feature Onda by Scarpetta, joining the portfolio of critically acclaimed Scarpetta restaurants in New York, London and many more destinations worldwide. From 6-23 December 2021, Norwegian Spirit will also be visitingSingapore, Semarang, Surabaya, and Komodo in Indonesia before heading to Cooktown, Cairns, Brisbane and disembarking in Sydney, Australia. 

Family-friendly Amenities on NCL

A floating family-friendly resort, families can spend more quality time with their loved ones in the ultra-comfortable Mini-suite. These modern, stylish rooms feature fine linens, luxury bathrooms and a private balcony. For larger families, they have the option to stay in inter-connecting staterooms, or for those looking for an exclusive experience, The Haven by Norwegian®, home to NCL’s most luxurious, well-appointed, and spacious accommodation, is perfect for up to six people. Offering premium amenities such as a personal concierge service and 24-hour butler, guests of The Haven by Norwegian ® are also steps away from a sundeck reserved exclusively for them. As a bonus, the ships’ family deck area is typically situated close to the kids and teen clubs.

While the children and teens are at their respective clubs, parents can head to Spice H2O, the ship’s adult-only beach club or enjoy a well-deserved pamper session at Mandara Spa, which offers over 50 specialty treatments. From facials and massages to acupuncture, treatments range from classic to luxurious.

Experience an unforgettable family holiday with Norwegian Cruise Line in 2021. For more information or to book a cruise, please call +852 2165 6000, contact your preferred travel professional or visit

Embark on a Summertime Adventure with Emirates and Enjoy New Seasonal Fares

Emirates is launching much-awaited seasonal fares, just in time for globetrotters to embark on exciting adventures around the world as well as for overseas students to plan trips ahead of the summer break. With Emirates’ generous booking policies, customers have the option to extend ticket validity for up to two years, enjoying greater flexibility and confidence when planning travel during unprecedented times.

Travellers in Hong Kong can look forward to flight deals on all routes in Emirates’ global network, with return fares starting at only HK$1,601 in Economy Class or HK$3,611 in Business Class. Special seasonal fares are available for bookings made from 12 to 25 April 2021, valid for travel between 15 April and 30 September 2021*.

 Featured destinations and starting fares include:

Destination Economy Class Fares from (HK$) Business Class Fares from (HK$)
Dubai 2,984 15,514
Bangkok 1,601 3,611


4,660 24,304
Paris 4,503 24,280
Amsterdam 5,537 24,557
Lisbon 4,522 31,922
Islamabad 5,208 25,923
São Paulo 10,366 35,176


The iconic Emirates A380 aircraft resumed operations from 1 April 2021 for flights arriving to and departing from Hong Kong. With the customer-favourite A380 aircraft back in action since the pandemic began, travellers will once again enjoy best-in-class flight experiences with unmatched comfort and spaciousness, in addition to the premium A380 Onboard Lounge service for Business and First Class passengers.

Having participated actively in the UAE’s vaccination programme, Emirates is confident that travel will resume in a safe manner as we gradually restart operations across our global network. To date, over 35,000 Emirates employees have received their COVID-19 vaccine shot from one of the Emirates’ vaccination centres, with over 85% of airline pilots and cabin crew already completing two vaccine doses. Customers can look forward to a safe and stress-free travel experience as Emirates has placed a heavy emphasis on health and safety with new comprehensive measures at every step of the journey. For more information on these measures and the services available on each flight, visit

Double Tier Miles offer

To make the most of your trip, Emirates Skywards has rolled out an exclusive offer to help existing members fast-track to a higher tier status. Members can automatically earn double Tier Miles on all Emirates and flydubai flights booked from 1 April until 30 June, for travel between 1 April and 31 December 2021.* To learn more about the offer, click here.

Flexibility and assurance

Emirates’ booking policies offer customers flexibility and confidence when planning their travel. Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket for travel on or before 30 September 2021 can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options in case of any travel plan changes. Customers have the option to change travel dates or extend ticket validity for up to two years. More information can be found here on Emirates’ website.

Travel with confidence

All Emirates customers can travel with confidence and peace of mind with the airline industry’s first, multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover. This cover is offered by Emirates on all tickets purchased on or from 1 December 2020, at no cost to customers. In addition to the COVID-19 medical cover, the airline also provides provisions for personal accidents during travel, winter sports cover, loss of personal belongings, and trip disruptions due to unexpected air space closure, travel recommendations or advisories, similar to other multi-risk travel insurance products. Some limitations and exclusions apply. Policy details and more information can be found here on Emirates’ website.

Customers are encouraged to check the latest government travel restrictions in their country of origin and ensure they meet the travel requirements of their final destination. For more information on entry requirements for international visitors to Dubai, visit

My Emirates Pass

The exclusive offer that turns an Emirates boarding pass into a membership card is also back with a special extension this year, giving customers even more chances to explore the UAE for less. Emirates’ customers flying to and through Dubai from now to 30 September 2021 can enjoy My Emirates Pass benefits by simply presenting their Emirates boarding pass and a valid form of identification at any of the participating outlets. Offers include discounts in over 300 restaurants across the country and in over 35 spas in world-class hotels. The pass also unlocks offers at many tourist attractions including Atlantis Aquaventure and At the Top Burj Khalifa. The full list of participating outlets can be found here:**

*Blackout dates apply

**Local terms and conditions apply

For more information, including how to book flights and a complete list of terms and conditions, customers are advised to contact their travel agent or visit

“3.11 – Ten Years On”

NHK WORLD-JAPAN Presents “3.11 – Ten Years On,” a Collection of New and Encore Programs to Commemorate 10-Year Anniversary of the Largest Earthquake Ever Recorded in Japan

NHK WORLD-JAPAN, the English-language international service of Japan’s sole public broadcaster, NHK, today announced it will present a collection of premiere and encore programming to mark the 10-year anniversary the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, which spurred a tsunami, a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and mass destruction along Japan’s east coast. The programming event airs throughout March and April. Descriptions of all programs in “3.11 — 10 Years On”, including multilingual videos (Burmese, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese) are available on this special web page

One of the highlights is the international TV premiere of Ken Watanabe – A Copassionate View: The Decade Since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Japanese Hollywood star Ken Watanabe (“Last Samurai”, “Batman Begins”, “Godzilla”, “Transformers”) raised international attention for the disaster and has listened to the stories of more than 20,000 people in the past decade. The documentary follows the actor as he visits the communities most affected by the disaster and gets to know its victims. The program airs Saturday, March 6. (UTC)

Another international TV premiere, Generation March 11: Their 10 Years Journey, tells the stories and follows the progress of the lives of children born in the disaster areas. Part of the anniversary programming is also a new documentary on one of Japan’s most prolific and award-winning stop-motion animation artists, Tomoyasu Murata, and his work commemorating the victims of the disaster, broadcast as a special edition of the Anime Supernova series.


Among the encore programs marking the 10-year anniversary of the disaster is 3/11-The Tsunami, a two-part documentary that made its international broadcast premiere in January 2021. (Thai subtitles available.) (Indonesian subtitles available.) The series combines footage from NHK camera crews with mobile phone and other video captured by citizens who were on scene during and after the earthquake and tsunami, and the country’s recovery efforts of the following year.

The Future of Yachting: Benetti Yachts

The Future of Yachting: Benetti Yachts Commits to Reduce Carbon Footprint

across Family-Owned Business

From shipyard investment to innovative yachts, Benetti has been an industry leader in sustainably-minded innovation since 2002 with the introduction of the first hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, “65-metre Ambrosia yacht”. One of the world’s leading superyacht builders, Benetti is part of a forward-thinking, family-owned business that understands that yachts are a family activity to enjoy one of nature’s greatest treasures: the open sea. With this mindset, Benetti commits to navigate how to limit or reduce carbon footprint across construction, design and protection so that yacht owners have options.

“At Benetti, we deliver our enduring passion for the sea and for sailing by combining Italian craftsmanship and innovation into every yacht we design and build. Following the pandemic, we’ve accelerated our commitment to reduce carbon footprint. It’s time, money and resources that we feel are worth it,” says  Peter Mahony, General Manager at Benetti Yachts Asia. He continues, “Fortunately, the Benetti company mission is supported by a growing trend across Asia for innovative and forward-thinking options. With a Benetti yacht, we have the sweet spot where green awareness technology meets the utmost quality and comfort, which is possible through constant innovation and research.”

Sustainable Shipyard Improvements

Benetti Yachts has been implementing improvements at the Livorno and Viareggio Italian shipyards to enhance energy efficiency and reduce both pollution and waste at the source. Benetti looks at every possible way to improve the production cycle including reducing water waste, reducing fuel consumption with new high-power stations for moored Giga yachts of over 100 metres, replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED lamps to reduce 70% of energy consumption, installing a photovoltaic plant and a sophisticated solar thermal system to reduce 50% of methane greenhouse gases and insulating the Livorno shipyard sheds with cladding to enhance energy efficiency at thermal and acoustic levels.

Improving Yacht Energy Efficiency

Benetti’s design efforts are primarily focused on the hybrid engines to reduce fuel consumption and  harmful CO2 emissions. Most of the yachts have the option to be equipped with innovative propulsion systems and carefully-chosen materials while advancing propulsion systems and improving onboard energy efficiency.

Both the 107-metre giga yacht Benetti FB272 Luminosity gigayacht and Asia market-favourite, the Benetti B.Yond 37M, are equipped with hybrid propulsion systems to reduce environmental impact and fuel consumption. Luminosity, the biggest hybrid in the world features an intelligent propulsion system developed by top industry experts co-ordinated by Benetti’s Technical Department. While B.Yond 37M is a popular yacht in the Asian market due to its reduced environmental impact with the hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system developed by the Siemens Marine Global Competence Centre in Italy. The many optimized hybrid engines integrations available from Benetti  don’t sacrifice comfort or style.

Another key design is FAST125, a 38-metre yacht with an innovative D2P – Displacement to Planing® hull designed by Pierluigi Ausonio architects in conjunction with the Azimut|Benetti Research and Development Centre. It allow for reduced energy consumption at low speeds and planing mode at higher speeds while always maintaining maximum comfort on board. The Rolls Royce propulsion system significantly reduces disruptive noise and vibration. FAST125 is also built with a lightweight, high performance, steerable thruster made entirely from carbon fiber for a streamlined layout and weight reduction for reduced fuel consumption.

In addition to shipyard investment and product innovation, Benetti Yachts also supports efforts to bring awareness, drive support and protect the ocean and marine ecology as much as possible. Benetti will continue as gold sponsor of the 2021 New Zealand Millennium Cup regatta, which is a certified clean regatta empowering sailors with tips and resources to implement sustainability initiatives. Benetti will also sponsor the 2021 Superyacht Gathering in New Zealand to bring awareness and action for ocean protection.

A long-time supporter of the Water Revolution Foundation and the Blue Marine Foundation, both of which aim to protect marine ecology, Benetti hopes to be part of the yacht industry that considers future impact.

In 2021 Benetti plans to continue seeking options that allow for consumers to discover yachts with a future mindset by bringing cutting-edge technology options to yacht owners around the world.



Portugal brings its charm..

Following the Race start from Lorient, France, at the end of May, the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe will stop in Cascais, bringing the top international offshore racing teams in the world to Portugal.

Located 30km west of Lisbon, Cascais is a historic and cosmopolitan seaside resort on the edge of the Tagus estuary, between the Sintra mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.

The Ocean Race Europe will feature the record-breaking, one-design, VO65 fleet which produced the closest edition of The Ocean Race in history in 2017-18. The teams are seeing the event as the first step on their journey towards the next edition of the around the world race in 2022-23.

And for the first time, the foiling IMOCA fleet will participate in a competition under The Ocean Race banner. The IMOCA teams bring a high-tech component to the event, showcasing the latest foiling technology.

“The Ocean Race Europe will surely provide us with great competition on the water. But it is also an opportunity for our wonderful sport to inspire towards a greater purpose,” said Richard Brisius, the Race Chairman of The Ocean Race. “We are united in driving action towards the promotion of ocean health and we look forward to working on this with all of our friends and partners in Cascais when we are in Portugal this June.”

The home team in Cascais, the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, was the first VO65 team to confirm its entry in the European race back in January and The Mirpuri Foundation will host the event from its training base at the Clube Naval de Cascais.

Paulo Mirpuri is the Founder of the Mirpuri Foundation, which has been a driving force in bringing The Ocean Race Europe to Cascais. He said: “We are proud to welcome The Ocean Race Europe to Cascais and to host the stopover in our home port with our friends at Clube Naval de Cascais. This is the first time that an Ocean Race event has come to Cascais, having come to Lisbon in the past.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of an enormous amount of work from many different parties. We have worked hard with the organisers of the race to bring The Ocean Race Europe to Cascais, our home, and we will have many more developments to share very soon. This will be a spectacular race after a difficult year for so many people and we cannot wait to welcome the fleet to Portugal.”

Cascais is known as ‘The Charm of the Atlantic’ and provides direct access to a prime racing playground just off the main beach and the Cascais Marina area.

“Cascais is very proud to be one of the cities chosen to become a stopover for The Ocean Race Europe,” said Deputy Mayor Miguel Pinto Luz. “Sailing is a part of our identity and hosting the best regattas in the world is now a tradition here. We consider Cascais the best place to live – for one day or for a lifetime. And if you are a sailor, this is paradise… one of the best regatta locations in the world, in front of our beautiful Bay.”

Yoann Richomme, Skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team agrees, saying: “It will be an honour to lead ‘Racing For The Planet’ and our crew out from my home in Lorient and into our home port of Cascais this spring, a place we have seen many times from our boat, but never surrounded by such an incredible fleet. It will be a wonderful occasion for everyone involved. There is no doubt, The Mirpuri Foundation’s passion for sailing will be felt by everyone.”

The Ocean Race Europe will start from Lorient, France, over the final weekend of May, bringing the teams south across the Bay of Biscay, into the Atlantic and the stop in Cascais. From there the two fleets will race into the Mediterranean. The Ocean Race Europe will finish in Genova, Italy in the third week of June, with a further stop along the route in the Med to be confirmed shortly.


Discover new tastes, ways to explore Noosa and places to stay in Noosa in our regular wrap up of everything new in Noosa. Head to the new look  for all the inspiration you need to pack your bags and book your next Noosa holiday!


DOMIC NOOSA: Infused with architectural delights and breathtaking views Noosa’s premier holiday home, Domic, is now open for bookings. Built with 113 solar panels, a green roof and its unique design, this award-winning home sets a whole new benchmark for luxury and sustainability.

MAYAN FARM: Newly opened Mayan Farm offers luxurious, environmentally friendly accommodation with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and frequent visits from the local farm animals. Located on 100 acres in Kin Kin, just 30 minutes from Noosa Heads.

CULGOA POINT  BEACH RESORT RENOVATIONS: This absolute waterfront resort has recently undertaken more than $4 million dollars worth of renovations. Enjoy sweeping views of the Noosa River and Cooroy mountain upon arrival with the realignment of the resort entrance and construction of a brand-new reception building.

MORE GLAMPING OPTIONS AT HABITAT: This award-winning eco-camp has recently introduced more glamping options, including new two-level glamping accommodation plus new styles. You can also enjoy the new toilet and shower facilities as well as a renovated camp kitchen.

VINTAGE GLAMPERVANS: Enjoy a unique camping experience minus the stress! Hire a vintage glampervan and experience the Noosa Hinterland from a new perspective.


2020 DISTILLERY: Focused on delivering high end spirits, 2020 distillery believes in not over complicating things. Hand bottled and hand labelled gin and whisky made from top quality products. Located in Cooroy, open every Friday – Sunday.

NOOSA DISTILLERY TOURS: Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for $55, the Land and Sea brewery and ‘Fortune’ Distillery joins forces to share great beer and pristine spirits. Enjoy a 90-minute tour to learn how their craft beer and spirits are produced.

HUMBLE ON DUKE: Head to Sunshine Beach and enjoy a shared modern Australian menu with middle eastern influences. The menu is $60 per person with your choice to add any extras.

LITTLE SISTER MOVING TO HASTINGS STREET: New location, same good vibes. Little Sister can now be found above the food court at 18 Hastings street.

THEOS SOCIAL CLUB: Your neighbourhood wine bar! Theos is focused on finding delightful and interesting wines, accompanied with delicious snacks. Located on Arcadia walk in the Noosa Junction.


Autumn Fare: The Noosa Autumn fare is dishing up an exciting 4-day event of foodie experiences. The Autumn fare is a collection of bespoke events that showcase our incredible restaurants, chefs, breweries, distilleries and producers. Running from Friday 12– Sunday 14 March.

Noosa Eat & Drink Festival: Spread across 4 days, the annual Noosa Eat & Drink Festival presents delicious food, appetizing drinks and plenty of live music and entertainment. Running from Thursday 10– Sunday 13 June.

CREATIVE TOURS NEW NOOSA BEVERAGE TOUR: Head to the Noosa Hinterland and enjoy local wine, gin and beer with cheese platters and lunch included. Start at Dingo Creek Vineyard, then head to Pomona Distillery and finish up at Copperhead Brewery. Available for group or private tours.

SINDO’S JUNCTION: Located at 8 Sunshine Beach Rd, Noosa Heads, indulge in a taste of Spain at Sindo’s Junction. Enjoy fresh and hearty dishes prepared by the Spanish chef Daniel Marti. To book call (07) 5447 4945.

POMONA VILLAGE KITCHEN: Enjoy a set menu with a different global influence every week! Unique and sustainably sourced, Pomona Village Kitchen is passionate about supporting local and feeding their ‘village’. Open Tuesday – Sunday.

MOONSTRUCK (Gin Hastings Street): Enjoy boutique coffee and gin sourced locally and throughout Australia. Located at 5 Hastings street.


NIGHT WALKS IN NOOSA NATIONAL PARK: Watch the sun set over Noosa Main Beach before entering the darkening Noosa National Park. Every night is unique with different nocturnal animals making themselves known. Night walks run every Monday and Tuesday evening.

ACQUA NOOSA FRAGRANCE: Noosa’s luxe essence of the ocean can now be found in a bottle! Acqua Noosa fragrance has captured the freshness of the ocean using the highest quality natural botanicals and native plants.

NOOSA REGIONAL GALLERY UPCOMING EVENTS: There is currently 3 exhibitions running until the 21st of March.

COOLOOLA AND FRASER BY AIR: Check out the picturesque scenery of Cooloola coast and Fraser Island from a totally new perspective. There is a range of flights suited to all budgets.

NOOSA GIFT CO.: Enjoy a collection of exclusive products from the beautiful Noosa and Sunshine Coast shires. Noosa Gift Co. leaves people with a lasting impression and special memory of Noosa.

Aurora Expeditions dedicates its new expedition ship Sylvia Earle to leading female conservationists

Australia’s award-winning expedition operator, Aurora Expeditions, is celebrating International Women’s Day 2021 by dedicating its new expedition ship to five of the world’s leading female conservationists.

The new purpose-built ship Sylvia Earle, launching in November 2021, is named after the renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle.

In a world first, each of the vessel’s public decks will bear the names of other pioneering female conservationists – Dr. Carden Wallace AM, Joanna Ruxton, Sharon Kwok and Bernadette Demientieff – along with a deck dedicated to Dr. Earle herself.


“Female scientists are leading the way in global conservation initiatives and we want to honour these five extraordinary women who work tirelessly to make the world a better place,” says Aurora Expeditions CEO Monique Ponfoort.

“The scientists we have chosen are inspiring leaders in their fields, and as part of the deck theming, we will educate our expeditioners on the impressive and important conservation work they continue to do. We are so proud to be able to honour these incredibly talented women.” she adds.

The new ship’s public decks will be named after:

Dr. Sylvia EarleHero of the Planet

Dr. Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998; and was named by Time magazine as its first ‘Hero of the Planet’. Her own conservation initiative Mission Blue is creating a global network of marine protected areas known as Hope Spots, and her new Deep Hope project aims to deliver two ‘deep-dive’ submersibles to collect crucial scientific data of as-yet unseen ocean depths.

Image: ©Todd Brown

Bernadette Demientieff: Arctic Wildlife Guardian

Bernadette is a passionate mother/advocate for the rights of Alaska and the Gwich’in people northeast Alaska and northwest Canada. As Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, she speaks for the protection of the calving grounds of the porcupine caribou herd known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge against any destruction from oil and gas companies.

Image: ©Chad Brown

Dr. Carden Wallace AM: Coral Conservation Champion 

Principal Scientist Emeritus at the Queensland Museum since 2014, Dr. Wallace is a preeminent Australian scientist and the first curator/director of the Museum of Tropical Queensland from 1987 to 2003. She is an expert on corals and was part of a team that discovered the mass spawning of coral in 1984. In recognition of her contribution to marine science, Dr. Wallace was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021.

Image: ©Queensland Museum,Gary Granitch

Joanna Ruxton: Plastic Free Pioneer

Joanna has the rare distinction of being hailed as ‘the person responsible for the plastic-free movement’ by Sir David Attenborough himself. She spent many years at the BBC Natural History Unit working on the first ‘Blue Planet’ documentary series. Her award-winning film ‘A Plastic Ocean,’ released in 2016, shows the devastating impact of plastic waste on ocean ecosystems and has helped to turn the tide against single-use plastics. In 2009, Joanna co-founded Plastic Oceans UK (now known as Ocean Generation), with the goal of inspiring an inclusive global movement to restore a sustainable relationship between humanity and oceans.

Image: ©Alistair Scarlett

Sharon Kwok: Future Generation Educator 

In 2013, Sharon founded the AquaMeridian Conservation and Education Foundation to promote marine education and inspire the next generation to protect and preserve ocean biodiversity. Sharon continues her advocacy as a Mission Blue and WildAid board member and as Executive Director of the AquaMeridian Conservation & Education Foundation.

Blacklane to bring chauffeur hailing to 21 cities

Blacklane will start its novel chauffeur hailing in 21 cities across 10 countries this month. New York launched first on Monday.

The global chauffeur service already offers scheduled rides in 50 countries. Blacklane’s new on-demand rides maintain the same premium quality, health and safety standards, fixed competitive fares, and sustainability as its pre-booked trips.

“People need trusted local transportation now more than ever as cities reopen,” said Dr. Jens Wohltorf, Blacklane’s CEO and co-founder. “Many companies have built ride-hailing platforms with little quality control and confusing costs. But Blacklane has built a global chauffeur-hailing service with clear, consistent rates and the highest quality standards.”

After New York, Blacklane’s chauffeur-hailing service started on Tuesday in London and Dubai. Berlin launched on Wednesday, followed by Paris today. The other seven U.S. cities will go live on March 9th and all 21 cities will have launched by March 26th. The full city list is:

  • France: Paris
  • Germany: Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich
  • Ireland: Dublin
  • Italy: Bologna and Milan
  • Portugal: Lisbon
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland: Zurich
  • UAE: Dubai
  • U.K.: London, with electric vehicles using the company’s recent Havn investment. The fleet operates the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and Teslas.
  • USA: Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

As with its scheduled rides, Blacklane partners with only the best local chauffeur companies. It continues its proven all-inclusive fares based only on distance. Guests do not pay extra for higher demand, traffic or tolls, providing the same cost certainty for all types of trips.

The company’s carbon-neutral program extends to hailed chauffeur service. Blacklane was the first ground transportation company to offset carbon emissions from all rides and business operations worldwide, starting in 2017.

Private and business guests book on Blacklane’s iOS app. Chauffeurs clean and sanitize vehicles before and after each journey. They greet guests with a slight bow instead of a handshake, maintain maximum distance, and provide hand sanitizer and masks. Guests can call or chat with Blacklane’s 24/7 customer service team in the app.

Blacklane’s scheduled service continues as usual, with rides booked 30 minutes to months in advance on its website and apps. Guests can reserve private and sanitized door-to-door airport transfers, hourly rides and intercity trips.

TUMI Introduces Spring 2021

For Spring 2021, TUMI explores the idea of migration, both throughout the world and within ourselves. Just as people move from one place to another over long distances, we embrace the journey that has gotten us here, while also looking towards the future. This migration gives way to growth and regrowth; to life and recreation; to change and evolution.

TUMI’s innovative nature reveals itself in the launch of the latest Premium Collection, TUMI MAX. A brilliant combination of performance and luxury, TUMI MAX introduces an entirely new medium for the brand with cutting-edge designs created with consolidated layers of stitch-able aluminum sheet, supportive material and protective layers. The interior is accented with elements that tie it back to the exterior for a sleek, cohesive look. TUMI MAXwill be exclusively available as an International Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On and Continental Expandable 4 Wheeled Carry-On in a lustrous Silver colorway.
Discover the TUMI Spring 2021 collection at TUMI retail locations and online at


When and Where to See Queensland Thrive

With the new year comes a calendar full of new wild adventures as Queensland’s flora and fauna residents gear up to put on one magnificent show in 2021. So, get out your date planners and diaries because here’s when and where you can watch nature thrive in the Sunshine State throughout the year:


Turtle season continues with baby turtle hatchings

The turtle season in Queensland officially kicks off in November when thousands of female turtles make their annual pilgrimage to Queensland beaches to lay their eggs, but January to March is the ‘grand finale’. The first three months of the year mark turtle hatching season when the baby turtles dig their way to the surface before scurrying across the sand to the deep blue. Turtle hatchings can be seen all along the coast, but keep an eye on the sand when you visit the likes of Heron Island, Lady Musgrave Island, Lady Elliot Island, Fitzroy Island, Green Island and of course Mon Repos, near Bundaberg, to catch a glimpse of this turtley-awesome showcase of new life.


Cuteness overload: koala joey season

As the state animal emblem, the koala is synonymous with Queensland, meaning there’s no better place to see koala joeys make their entrance into the world. Koala breeding takes place between September and March, and after developing in their mother’s pouch for several months, joeys start to emerge from around March onwards. Welcome these cuddly creatures into the world at one of Queensland’s wildlife sanctuaries or get up close and personal with an adult koala with a koala cuddle encounter.



May, the month of the manta ray

Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is the place to be if you want to get up close and personal with the ‘birds of the sea’, also known as the magnificent manta ray. The best time of year to see manta rays is May to August when the rays come out to play in larger numbers thanks to cooler water temperatures. See them in actionalong the Queensland coastline from the Whitsundays to North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) and out to Lady Elliot Island – often referred to as the home of manta rays due to the abundant population that call the lagoon home.


Annual humpback whale migration to the world first Whale Heritage Site

There’s no better vantage point to observe the annual humpback whale migration than Queensland’s Hervey Bay. The humpback whale migration season runs from June to November with around 25,000 humpback whales descending on Queensland’s warm waters to mate before heading back to Antarctica with their newborn calves. On their return journey, these magnificent marine mammals pull in for a pit stop at Hervey Bay, earning this calm body of water between the mainland and Fraser Island the title as the world’s first Whale Heritage Site. Visitors can take an exhilarating whale watching tour from Hervey Bay plus other locations along the Queensland coast including Mooloolaba, Redcliffe, Moreton Island and the Gold Coast, or for a closer look you can even swim with the whales.

June and July… it’s time to come eye to eye with the minke whales

Whales just can’t get enough of Queensland with the Ribbon Reefs off the coast of Cooktown playing host to the elusive minke whale for just two months of the year (June and July). No one knows from where or why they come, but what we do know is that the Great Barrier Reef is the only predictable known gathering in the world, and Queensland is the only place in Australia where you can swim with these curious creatures. After the first recordings of the minke whales by locals in the 1980s, a Code of Practice was developed for tourism vessels to ensure it is always the whales who are in charge of the interaction. Minke whales are very inquisitive animals and they’ll often swim right up next to you as you float on the surface for a literal ‘eye to eye’ experience. Encounters range from day tours to multi-day trips and should be booked in advance as spots are limited.


Queensland blooms in wildflower season

The Western Downs region outside of Brisbane, transforms into a drive-by gallery of colourful wildflowers that bloom after the September rain. Admire the purple Boronia and pink and yellow Grevillea amongst an array of other vibrant natives, when you embark on a self-drive tour from the country town of Miles and travel through a spectacular piece of living art.

Jacarandas paint the skyline lavender

Look to the October skies and be treated to a spectacular palette of purple as the towering jacaranda trees celebrate spring. You don’t need to travel far from the major cities and towns to walk among the blooms with Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and southern Queensland countryside all turning on a spectacular jacaranda display. If staying close to Brisbane city, head to New Farm Park for a picnic beneath the pastel purple canopies or wander through a carpet of lavender at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus. Alternatively, see the jacarandas in bloom all year round in one of the Sunshine State’s most iconic paintings, Under the Jacaranda, when you visit the Queensland Art Gallery.

Sitting under the jacaranda trees


Coral spawning phenomenon takes over the Great Barrier Reef

Each year around the November full moon, the world’s biggest reproductive show takes place on the Great Barrier Reef, when a synchronized boom of billions of sperm and eggs explode in a phenomenon known as coral spawning. The event lasts just a few nights and although scientists can predict when it may occur, they can never guarantee the exact time and place, making this the “Everest of natural events” to see. Dive operators along the Great Barrier Reef offer tailored trips ranging from overnight dive tours to multi-day liveaboard experiences. Find out more about the 2020 coral spawning event, one of the biggest in recent years, and discover how you can witness this incredible event in 2021.

The start of turtle season begins with nesting mums

Queensland’s famous turtle season officially starts in November when thousands of mother turtles make their way to the sandy shores of the Queensland coast to lay their eggs at the very same spot where they hatched all those years ago. Nesting season runs from November through to January after which the highly anticipated hatching season begins. Quietly watch nesting at turtle-havens such Heron Island, Lady Musgrave Island, Lady Elliot Island, Fitzroy Island, Green Island and as part of a Turtle Encounter Tour at Mon Repos.


Go batty at Bat Cleft

Follow the Bat-Signal to Queensland’s Capricorn region and uncover one of only five recorded little bent-wing bat maternity sites in Australia when you visit Bat Cleft. Located within the Mount Etna Caves National Park just north of Rockhampton, Bat Cleft is home to 80 per cent of Australia’s known population of breeding females, making the area a hub for spotting bats in the wild. Between December and January, visitors have the rare opportunity to see up to 180,000 bats swarm out of the caves at sunset to catch their dinner, a la insect. The three hour torchlight tour is held three nights a week on Monday, Friday and Saturday and must be booked ahead of your visit.