Covid 19 coronavirus : Lufthansa flight makes low pass over Auckland as it takes Germans home

The German airline Lufthansa bid a fond farewell to New Zealand today with a low pass over Auckland as its A380 left Aotearoa to take German citizens back home.

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Aucklanders were treated to the rare sight of the massive plane travelling low over the central city and Waitemata Harbour just before 10am today, with many heading outside to capture the rare event on photo and video.

They are on their way home, nice touch with the fly over Auckland..

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Travel Leaders Network cancels 2020 conference

Travel Leaders Network has
canceled its 2020 EDGE conference.

The conference was originally
going to be held June 6-9 at the Universal Orlando Resort.

The network plans to host its
EDGE 2021 conference in May at the same venue.

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Holidays: Virgin offers cheap post-lockdown flights to the US – how much are they?

Holidays and flights have been cancelled, suspended or re-scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. As travel restrictions continue, it is unclear when Britons will be allowed to leave the country for a well-deserved holiday. An expert even recently suggested that holidays to Spain for Britons could be cancelled until September.


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Cases across the world have now hit a massive 1.3million with almost 80,000 deaths.

The UK’s death toll has hit 6,159 with total cases reaching more than 55,000.

But despite the lockdown continuing until further notice for many, airlines are still enticing holidaymakers with some incredibly cheap deals.

If you’ve ever fancied a trip to the US, some people may think about whether to book some flights as prices plummet.

Virgin Atlantic, Delta and KLM are offering some very affordable flight fares between the UK and Boston, Massachusetts.

The flights are for late this year and early 2021.

However, the cheapest flights might mean that many Britons will have to take a bit of a detour up north to Scotland.

But for a £186 return in early 2021, one could fly to the US from Edinburgh (EDI).

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There are also cheap fares from London Heathrow (LHR) to Boston if Scotland is a bit far away.

Most of these deals are through Virgin Atlantic but include travel with KLM or Delta.

If the individual books with KLM, they do have to stop in Amsterdam for a connecting flight.

Often, waiting times aren’t too long though.

If they book with Virgin, there is a flexible policy for flights until December 31 which allows them to rebook the travel until April 30, 2021.

To book the flights, the person can go to Google Flights and type in the preferred city they would like to travel from and Boston as their destination of choice.

Meanwhile, currently, flights from London Heathrow to New York’s John F Kennedy airport, are costing just over £200 with Virgin and KLM.

Last month the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) urged all Britons to avoid non-essential travel worldwide for 30 days, however, officials took a further step this weekend.

In a social media video update, the FCO changed the 30-day period to an indefinite amount of time.

A tweet posted on Saturday night reads: “Travel update Airplane: The Foreign Office indefinitely advises against all non-essential global travel.”

Money expert Martin Lewis has offered advice on travel insurance amid coronavirus.

He said: “Travel insurance will pay out but only until the 16th April.”

Any holidays after this date he explained, “I strongly suspect it will be extended beyond that point but we don’t know exactly when it will be extended to.”

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Quiz: The Great Kiwi Bear Hunt uncovers a creature we barely know

The nationwide ‘Bear Hunt’ in which people are leaving teddy bears in windows is helping banish coronavirus boredom during a school holidays spent in lockdown.

New Zealanders’ trick to add a little escapism to morning walks has been turning heads around the world.

Across the country there are supposedly almost 20,000 windows with bears in.

Just look up on your next walk, you’ll likely see a pair of button eyes staring back. One of the largest organised bear hunts has been set up by Annlee Scott, from Hamilton, and the game has had tens of thousands join, including PM Jacinda Ardern.

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Venezuelan navy gunship rams Caribbean cruise ship Resolute, sinks

A Venezuelan navy gunboat has picked a fight with a cruise ship, and lost.

RCGS Resolute was undergoing maintenance in international waters in the south Caribbean when the incident took place, on Wednesday morning. The ship was carrying only 32 crew and no passengers at the time.

According to a statement by owners Columbia CS, shortly after midnight, the ship was “approached by an armed Venezuelan navy vessel” which challenged the Resolute and ordered it to sail into the Venezuelan port on Isla De Margarita.

The cruise ship refused, maintaining it was in international waters.

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How to tour a New Zealand vineyard from the comfort of your couch

Long summer afternoons are made for platters and tasting flights in our award-winning local vineyards. And lockdown doesn’t mean losing out. Around the country, vineyards and wine regions offer virtual tours, fast deliveries and online tasting to go with your purchases. Just pick a region (or two!), and enjoy an afternoon supping world-class wine on the couch.

Fancy a little history with your tasting? Only half an hour west of Auckland, historic and unique Kumeu offers a cluster of family-owned vineyards renowned for their chardonnay and pinot noir.

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Settled by Dalmatian families in the early 1900s, the area was the centre of New Zealand’s wine industry a few generations ago. Now the vineyards are working together under the Wineries Out West banner to show Aucklanders that Waiheke isn’t the only gourmet destination on their doorsteps.

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How well do you know the foods of the world? Take our national dish quiz to find out

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Covid 19 coronavirus: How to rebook your Olympic travel for Tokyo 2021

The International Olympic Committee announced Monday that it has postponed the start of the Tokyo Olympics to July 23, 2021, and of the Paralympic Games to August 24, 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The worsening outbreak, along with measures to prevent its spread – such as social distancing, stay-at-home orders and increasingly severe travel restrictions – affected Olympic athletes’ training and made the 339-event spectacle no longer tenable this year in Tokyo, whose metropolitan area is the world’s largest by population.

Since Wednesday 25 March the New Zealand Government moved the Covid-19 alert to Level 4, and MFAT has advised against all overseas travel.

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Travel memories: Kiwi celebrity chef Jo Seagar’s life in travel

Where are your strongest memories from the first overseas trip you ever took?

On the first night of my OE we booked into Hotel California because we loved the Eagles song. I thought we were in a TV show listening to all the cop sirens in downtown San Fran.

What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?

Dad was a farmer, so we typically had winter holidays skiing as a family. We were always freezing but loved it.

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Travel series: How much does it really cost travel stars to fly around the world?

Ever wanted to be a travel star with your own show? Well, the likes of David Attenborough, Joanna Lumley and Bear Grylls have done it all with their own travel shows being a roaring success. But have you ever wondered how far they travel or how much it costs in flights?


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From city trips to safaris, Shearings has followed the footsteps of multiple infamous television travel stars by looking at how many countries they’ve been to, how many miles they have travelled and the total cost of their trips.

The company has also managed to analyse data from every series to work out what was the most expensive series they have featured in.

David Attenborough

David, 93, has become a national hero after presenting a multitude of programmes over the years.

His career began in the 1950s and has taken him to all seven continents, making him one of the most well-travelled TV travel hosts ever.

His voice has made him an icon with series on both the BBC and Netflix.

David has 45 TV titles, has taken 331 trips in total which could have cost £176,772 in flights over a lifetime and has travelled an impressive 1,918,950 miles.

Bear Grylls

Bear is a retired SAS soldier who has brought both high energy and military skills to the screen.

His career began in the early 2000s where he began showing people on TV how to survive in some of the world’s harshest environments.

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He has 12 TV titles which includes his most expensive series, Man vs Wild.

He has taken 154 trips and travelled 673,884 miles which cost an estimated £58,238 in flights.

Michael Palin

Although less renowned for his travel shows, Michael has had a successful career in travel television which includes his series, Around the World in 80 Days.

More recently, Michael journeyed to the communist country of North Korea where he attempted to uncover the nation’s secrets.

Michael has eight TV titles, has made 99 trips in total and travelled 153,764 miles.

His most expensive series was called Full Circle.

Simon Reeve

Simon’s career began in the early 2000s which saw people fall in love with his boyish charm and enthusiasm.

He spent the majority of his career in the Middle East where he travelled the Silk Road and explored Saudi Arabia.

He has 18 TV titles, made 112 trips abroad, travelled 307,519 miles and spent an estimated £45,207 of airline tickets.

His most expensive series was Tropic of Cancer which can be streamed on BBC iPlayer.

Joanna Lumley

Joanna has been a well-known star since the 1970s but made her first appearance as a documentarian in the early 1990s with a trip to Madagascar.

Like Simon Reeve, she has travelled the length of the Silk Road and covered the plight of Orangutans in Borneo.

She has 14 TV series, has travelled 144,339 miles and made 40 trips abroad which all cost an estimated £13,926 in flights.

Her most expensive series was Joanna Lumley’s Postcards which is available on Dailymotion.

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