London, England: Tourists Had To Duck Out Of DUKW

For those of us who served in World War II, a recent incident with a DUKW brings back memories. A boatload of people had to jump into the Thames River after an engine of one of the vintage vehicles caught fire. Fortunately, there was no danger and, although wet, no one was hurt.

Several tourist transportation companies in England and elsewhere offer recreational DUKW rides in the military amphibian vehicles. The attraction is that the excursion takes customers on highways, city streets and into rivers on the same tour. Despite the recent problem in London, the DUKW safety record is at least as good as any bus or river craft.

DUKW was introduced in 1942 as a GMC utility vehicle with front-wheel drive and two powered rear axles. Some historians have insisted the letters formed an acronym, but are incorrect. However, because of the letters, the land/water troop carrier has been fondly called a duck for the past 71 years.

During WWII and the Korean War, thousands of DUKWs were used in invasions and river crossings by American GIs and Marines, as well as British, Canadian, Australian and Russian troops.

For more information, go to www.londonducktours.co.uk


Santa Barbara CA: Recall Old Days In A Classic Airstream PDF Print E-mail

When visiting this beautiful beach town, spend the night in a luxuriously upgraded old-fashioned trailer at AutoCamp. You’ll rest while surrounded by oak, avocado and plum trees.

Bathe in a clawfoot bathtub, join in on a hike and then enjoy your comfy cot while viewing flat-screen TV. The campgrounds are just a short walk or bike ride to the beach, restaurants, shops and downtown Santa Barbara. autocamp.com

TripAdvisor: Alcatraz Is Very Best Landmark In The USA?? PDF Print E-mail

The website asked travel-savvy readers to vote for its annual Travelers Choice Awards. Angkor Wat, the ancient temple in Cambodia, won for the second straight year.

Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay was tops in the USA, and No. 8 in TripAdvisor world rankings. Of course, everyone is much more eager to see Al Capone’s former residence, rather than such uninteresting American locations as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, Lincoln Memorial and Mount Rushmore.

Q: Where Can I Find The Best Reasonably-Priced Cruises? PDF Print E-mail

I just retired and want to celebrate with a cruise. My travel agent quoted several that seemed way too expensive. A friend told me the best prices are the ones ready to sail, but are not yet sold out. My time now is free and I can go tomorrow for the right deal. How do I do it? PL, Atlanta GA

A: Consider last-minute sailings, when prices drop dramatically. Review on-line sites such as Expedia and Travelocity. They can save you time with continuously updated lists of many last-minute choices. Also scan cruise lines websites. Then make sure you’re packed and ready, in case the cruise you want will be sailing in just a few days or possibly hours.

Amsterdam Gets Tough On Dam Unruly Young Tourists PDF Print E-mail

If you’ve toured the lively Dutch city lately, you can’t help noticing that the streets and bars are jammed with students and other young people. And they're not there to admire the windmills. With it’s attractions of legal weed and love for sale, this spring and summer will feature the expected roving crowds of young adults and, especially for senior travelers, some annoying behavior.

However, if you’re there this season, you may note a bit less noise and fuss. That’s because the Amsterdam city officials have placed fines on bad behavior. And the police will be quick to apply them on the spot. For instance, public drunks pay $90, trashing the street $160 and weeweeing in the river costs $139.

Required Increased Tipping On Cruises Ups Your Total Cost PDF Print E-mail

Many cruise lines keep raising what once was a voluntary tip choice by passengers. By tradition, if and when service in your cabin, at dining tables and bars was adequate, you could choose to tip 10 to 20% of the bill. Or if dissatisfied, leave nothing at all.

An example of required tips, now calling them gratuities, Norwegian Cruise Line is raising the required tip per-day for cabin service from $13.99 to $14.50. Other cruise lines are issuing similar rules. The same applies to Norwegian onboard bar purchases, automatically applying 18% to those bills. When booking your next cruise, find the real amount of out-of-pocket charges that will be added to the advertised price. Ask your travel agent to tell you the actual cost you’ll be required to pay.


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