A roundup of travel news from across the globe.
Antarctic tourism down
A slump in Antarctic tourism is expected to become more pronounced next season because of a coming ban on the use of heavy fuel oil. According to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, 33,824 people visited Antarctica in 2010-11 through the group's member companies. The total was down 8.3 per cent from the previous season, mainly because of the weak economy. A further 25-per-cent drop is predicted for next season, as the ban forces out a number of ships carrying more than 500 passengers.
No smoking in cruise cabins
Three cruise lines have announced plans to ban smoking in passenger cabins. The new rules come into effect on Dec. 1 on Carnival Cruise Lines and on Jan. 15 on Princess Cruises and Holland America. Smoking on cabin balconies will also be restricted on Princess, but permitted on Holland America and Carnival. All three lines will continue to allow smoking in designated public areas. The lines say a minority of passengers smoke. Those breaking the rules will be charged a $250 cleaning fee.
Crackdown on U.S. buses
The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a crackdown on motorcoach companies that put passengers at risk. Haines Tours of Michigan is out of business after it was found to be transporting passengers in the cargo hold of a bus. Police found mattresses and pillows in the luggage bay, along with unsecured baggage that posed an imminent danger to the illegal passengers' safety. North Carolina-based United Tours was also shut down for a number of reckless practices, including using unqualified drivers.
Sources: IAATO, Cruise Critic, States News Service, The Blade
Special to The Globe and Mail