Second ship sets sail under cruise pilot programme, Singapore News & Top Stories

Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas yesterday became the second ship to start cruises to nowhere from Singapore, with stepped-up safety protocols to keep Covid-19 at bay.

It follows Genting Cruise Line’s World Dream, which launched Singapore’s first cruises to nowhere on Nov 6 amid the pandemic.

These round-trip cruises without ports of call are taking place under a pilot programme announced in October.

Royal Caribbean will have up to two cruises a week, departing on Mondays and Thursdays, with tickets starting at $374 per person for a three-night cruise.

The first voyage, a four-night cruise carrying more than 1,300 people, left yesterday at 9pm. Its second, a three-night cruise leaving at 9pm on Monday, will carry more than 1,700 passengers.

The Quantum of the Seas can serve up to 2,000 guests at full capacity during the pandemic, half of its usual of over 4,000 passengers.

“We want to

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Holland America Line Retains Title as Top Alaska Cruise Line in the 2020 AFAR Travelers’ Awards | State News

Bookings are open for 2021 and 2022 Alaska Cruises and Land+Sea Journeys

SEATTLE, Dec. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Maintaining its status as the number-one cruise line for explorations to The Last Frontier, Holland America Line was named the top pick for Alaska cruises in the 2020 AFAR Travelers’ Awards. This is the third time the cruise line has won the Alaska category in the award’s five-year existence.

The 2020 AFAR Travelers’ Awards are voted on by AFAR readers who select the cruise lines that capture their imagination and inspire their travel plans. All of the winners are featured online at afar.com/travelersawards and in the January/February 2021 print edition of AFAR magazine.

“The readers of AFAR are some of the most discerning travelers in the world, and to be awarded best in Alaska is a tremendous honor that validates all of the expertise that goes into crafting the perfect

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Welsh Covid travel rule changes unfair on pubs, say critics | UK news

The Welsh government is under fire over changes to its Covid travel rules that critics say will lead to people from Wales crossing the border for nights out in England.

From Friday, a rule that bans people from leaving Wales except for reasons such as work or education will be replaced with one that allows Welsh residents to go to tier 1 and 2 areas in England. At the same time a law comes into force that stops pubs and other licensed premises in Wales selling alcohol and forces them to close at 6pm.

Welsh pub owners said people from Wales were bound to travel into England for a drink and meal. Mark Jones, who runs the Stanton House Inn in Chirk, north Wales, said: “I’m just half a mile from the border. We’re going to close and I know some people from here will go to pubs in England.

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Coronavirus live news: Italy reports record deaths after close to a thousand Covid-linked fatalities in 24 hours | World news





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Two tickets to Paradise? Try 28 issued to speeders in the town during one two-hour stretch this week | Canada | News

PARADISE, N.L. —

In a two-hour span Tuesday morning, police nabbed 28 speeding drivers — including one travelling 150 km/h — on the Trans-Canada Highway in Paradise.

The driver who was caught driving 50 km/h over the speed limit was also issued a driving suspension, and the vehicle was seized. The driver was also charged under the Criminal Code for operating a motor vehicle while prohibited.

It was part of a joint collaboration by the RNC and RCMP traffic services Tuesday to identify aggressive and distracted driving in the community.

On Tuesday afternoon, the officers were in the area of a school zone in the metro region, observing traffic for aggressive and distracted driving.

Traffic services members issued six tickets for use of a cellphone while driving and 17 tickets for speeding, as well as seven tickets for failure to wear a seat belt.

RNC and RCMP traffic services are

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Princess Cruises Fleet to Feature MedallionClass Experience in 2021 – Cruise Industry News

Princess Cruises announced on Thursday that upon approval to return to service in 2021 its global fleet will feature the company’s MedallionClass Experience, offering a number of new features that leverage touchless technologies and significantly enhance and personalize the guest experience, as well as support new health protocols, the company said.

The line of smart ships is expanding as ship transformation has continued during the pause. Coral Princess, Diamond Princess, Emerald Princess, Grand Princess, Island Princess, Majestic Princess, and Sapphire Princess will return as MedallionClass ships along with the new Enchanted Princess, Princess announced. 

The cruise line’s OceanMedallion wearable device replaces the traditional cruise card and pairs with embedded IoT (“Internet of things”) -driven innovative technology to significantly expand touch-free options and personalization on board Princess MedallionClass ships including:

  • touchless embarkation and disembarkation
  • keyless stateroom entry
  • completely contactless commerce
  • simplified safety training
  • on-demand food, beverages and
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Olympics: 18% of tickets sold in Japan to be refunded, Sport News & Top Stories

TOKYO (AFP) – About 18 per cent of tickets sold in Japan for next year’s coronavirus-postponed Olympics will be refunded, Tokyo 2020 organisers said on Thursday (Dec 3), with over 3.6 million seats still reserved domestically for the Games.

A three-week refund window for domestic tickets closed Nov 30, and organisers said about 810,000 of the 4.45 million tickets sold in Japan would be refunded and resold at a later date.

A refund application window for Paralympics tickets bought in Japan will run from Dec 1-21.

People who purchased tickets elsewhere in the world have been told to seek refunds from local retailers.

The Games were postponed in March in the first peacetime delay of an Olympics, and are now scheduled to start on July 23, 2021.

Organisers this week laid out a raft of safety measures they said would make it possible to hold the Games, even if the

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Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is second ship to embark on cruises to nowhere from Singapore, Singapore News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas on Thursday (Dec 3) became the second ship to start cruises to nowhere from Singapore, complete with stepped-up safety protocols to keep Covid-19 at bay.

It follows Genting Cruise Line’s World Dream, which launched Singapore’s first pandemic cruises to nowhere on Nov 6.

These round-trip cruises without ports of call are taking place under a pilot programme announced by the Singapore Tourism Board in October.

Royal Caribbean will have up to two sailings a week, departing on Mondays and Thursdays, with tickets starting at $374 per person for a three-night cruise.

The operator is offering three- and four-night Ocean Getaway cruises on the ship at a reduced 50 per cent capacity.

The first voyage, a four-night cruise carrying over 1,300 people, leaves on Thursday at 9pm. Its second, a three-night cruise leaving at 9pm on Monday, will carry over 1,700 passengers.

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Coronavirus live news: Iran passes 1m Covid-19 cases; WHO looks at possible ‘e-vaccination certificates’ for travel | World news

The last remaining foreign staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have left North Korea, the latest in a mass exodus of foreigners amid strict coronavirus lockdowns.

North Korea has reported zero confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the government has imposed stifling measures that in some cases go beyond the controls already in place in the politically and economically isolated country.

International ICRC staff left Pyongyang on Wednesday and the organisation’s ongoing work there will be managed by its delegation in Beijing, said Graziella Leite Piccoli, the ICRC’s deputy head of delegation for east Asia.

“They have completed their assignments in the DPRK,” she said, using the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “They will be going to their home countries to reunite with their families.”

The ICRC office remained open with very limited activities given the current anti-coronavirus

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United States Toughens Visa Rules for ‘Malign’ Chinese Communist Party Members: NYT | World News

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has restricted travel to the United States by Chinese Communist Party members and their families, the New York Times newspaper reported on Thursday, a move China condemned as political oppression.

New rules issued on Wednesday limit the validity of travel visas for party members and families to one month and a single entry, the paper reported https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/world/asia/us-visa-china-communist-party.html, citing people familiar with the matter.

Previously, party members, like other Chinese citizens, could obtain U.S. visitor visas of up to 10 years’ duration, it said.

“This clearly is an escalated form of political oppression towards China by some extreme anti-China forces in the U.S. who act out of intense ideological bias and a deep-rooted Cold War mentality,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded at a news briefing on Thursday.

The NYT quoted a spokesman for the U.S. State Department as saying the move was

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