A 132-night cruise around the world sold out in under 3 hours – see what it will be like aboard the ship

Seven Seas Mariner docked in Kotor, Montenegro
The Seven Seas Mariner in Kotor, Montenegro.

  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 132-night 2024 World Cruise sold out in under three hours.
  • Its the third year in a row the world cruise has broken Regent Seven Sea’s “world cruise opening day booking record.”
  • Take a look at what the cruising experience will be like.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Does over 100 nights at sea sound appealing to you after over a year of being stuck at home?

the Seven Seas Mariner in water
The Seven Seas Mariner.

If the answer is yes, you’re not alone.

a cruise ship in tuscany
Tuscany, Italy.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 132-night 2024 World Cruise just sold out in under three hours.

pool chairs on the rail deck
The rail deck.

Bookings for the luxury cruise opened on July 14 at 8:30 AM.

a photo of Barcelona with tourists walking around
Barcelona, Spain.

By around 11:00 AM, the sailing had been completely booked out.

the cruise ship in Mo'orea
Mo’orea, French Polynesia.

This is the third year in a row the world cruise has broken Regent Seven Seas’ “world cruise opening day booking record,” according to a press release.

Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece's water
The Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece.

Source: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Plus, the waitlist is “longer than [Regent Seven Seas] has ever experienced,” Jason Montague, president and CEO of the cruise line, said in the press release.

Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska
The Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska.

The cruise line also saw a boost in bookings from first-time Regent Seven Seas guests looking to sail in more expensive suites.

a photo of Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy.

Tickets start at almost $73,500 per person in a Deluxe Veranda Suite …

a bed with a living room and patio in the concierge suite
The Deluxe Veranda Suite

… but this price goes up to almost $200,000 per person for a stay in the Master Suite.

the living and dining room of the master suite
The Master Suite.

Let’s take a look at what makes the 132-night sailing so appealing to cruise goers despite being three years out.

Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece's water
The Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece.

The 2024 world cruise lives up to its name. It’ll sail from Miami to Central America, the US’ West Coast, Hawaii, the South Pacific Islands …

A photo of a cruise ship at Fiji
Fiji.

… Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, India, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Bermuda, back to Miami.

Seven Seas Mariner docked in Kotor, Montenegro
The Seven Seas Mariner in Kotor, Montenegro.

The entire 34,500 nautical-mile – about 39,700 miles – journey will take about five months …

the Seven Seas Mariner in water
The Seven Seas Mariner.

… and will begin on January 6, 2024 aboard the Seven Seas Mariner cruise ship.

A map of the world cruise's path
The world cruise map.

In total, the ship will hit 66 ports across 31 countries and four continents.

Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece's water
The Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece.

This includes visits to 61 UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Australia’s Gondwana Rainforests and Italy’s Medici Villas and Gardens …

a cruise ship in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia.

… and a journey through the Panama Canal and Suez Canal.

a Barcelona market stand fresh produce
A Barcelona market.

The Seven Seas Mariner ship is the “world’s first all-suite, all-balcony luxury cruise ship,” according to Regent Seven Seas.

a bed with a living room and patio in the concierge suite
The Concierge Suite.

Source: Regent Seven Seas

Overall, the Seven Seas Mariner can accommodate 700 guests and 445 crew members.

Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece's water
The Seven Seas Mariner in Santorini, Greece.

Wealthier guests staying in the Master Suite (the almost $200,000 ticket, that is) will ride out the journey in a 2,002 square-feet suite that has luxurious features like a crystal chandelier and a private butler.

the living and dining room of the master suite
The Master Suite.

The suite will also have two bedrooms and balconies, two and a half bathrooms, and a shared living room.

a living room and patio in the grand suite room
The Grand Suite.

Hungry for a fine dining dinner? Head to one of Seven Seas Mariners’ four restaurants, which include a steakhouse, an Italian eatery, and French establishment.

Prime 7 Steakhouse entrance
The Prime 7 Steakhouse.

But if you’re in the mood for a more casual night, you can grab dinner at the Pool Grill …

umbrellas and pool chairs on the pool deck
The pool deck.

… or hang around one of the four bars and lounges.

close up of chairs at the coffee shop
A coffee shop aboard the Seven Seas Mariner.

And don’t forget about the classic cruise ship amenities, like a pool, sports deck ….

the sports deck with a gold course
The sports deck.

… library, and coffee shop.

a library with seating
The Library aboard the Seven Seas Mariner

“For our guests, the 2024 World Cruise represents so much more than just a cruise vacation – it’s a return to a normality,” Montague said.

Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska
The Seven Seas Mariner in Alaska.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Las Vegas has a new $4.3 billion crypto-friendly resort – take a tour inside the first new casino on the Strip in a decade

a rendering of the exterior of Resorts World Las Vegas
The exterior of Resorts World Las Vegas.

  • The Las Vegas Strip has a new hotel: the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas.
  • Resorts World has tech-forward amenities like “cashless wagering” and partnerships with Grubhub and Gemini.
  • Take a tour of the new hotel, which officially opened June 24.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The Las Vegas Strip’s newest hotel officially opened on June 24: the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas.

people by a glowing Resorts World sphere
Resorts World Las Vegas.

The hotel was developed by Malaysia-based Genting Group and its official opening could not have come at a more fortuitous time as people begin traveling again.

People at the casino of Resorts World Las Vegas
The casino.

“A brand-new Las Vegas opening like Resorts World can drive increased visitation,” Barry Jonas, managing director of Truist Securities, told Katie Young and Contessa Brewer for CNBC. “As many customers looking to trial the new property also like to visit multiple properties during their stay.”

fireworks going off next to Resorts World Las Vegas
Fireworks on the opening night of Resorts World Las Vegas on June 24.

Source: CNBC

Any Las Vegas aficionado will know that a crowd-pleasing Las Vegas Strip hotel must have plenty of food, gambling, pool, and drinking options.

an empty Resorts World Las Vegas casino
Resorts World Las Vegas’ casino,

Luckily, Resorts World offers all four, often with a tech-forward twist.

Rolls-Royce Phantom on display with people walking by
A Rolls-Royce Phantom on display at Resorts World Las Vegas on June 24.

Let’s take a look inside.

crowds of people walking around Resorts World Las Vegas
Resorts World Las Vegas during the opening night.

Behind the flashy Resorts World sign lies a well-known hospitality company: Hilton.

people walking around Resorts World Las Vegas while a glowing ball displays the name of the hotel
Resorts World Las Vegas during its opening night on June 24.

In February 2020, the hospitality giant partnered with Resorts World Las Vegas to introduce three Hilton brands to the resort.

two beds with a view at Resorts World' Crockfords Las Vegas palace
Resorts World’ Crockfords Las Vegas chairman’s villa.

The three Hilton brands – Hilton Hotel and Resorts, LXR, and Conrad – make an appearance throughout the 3,500-room hotel.

rendering of Resorts World's Conrad Las Vegas lobby with large lights and people walking around
Resorts World’s Conrad Las Vegas lobby.

The hotel has 236 rooms under Hilton’s luxury segment, LXR.

ornate seating and a chandelier at Resorts World' Crockfords Las Vegas palace
Resorts World’ Crockfords Las Vegas palace.

Guests staying in these rooms will have their own entrance and lobby, and upgraded rooms, suites, and villas ranging from 550 square feet to a whopping 7,000 square feet.

workers at the lobby desk at Crockfords
The lobby for Crockfords.

Then there’s the Conrad segment, which includes 1,496 rooms and suites spanning from 550 square feet to 2,800 square feet.

Resorts World's Conrad Las Vegas premium queen bedroom with two beds and a view
Resorts World’s Conrad Las Vegas premium queen

Finally, the majority of the rooms – 1,774, to be exact – are made up of “Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World” rooms ranging from 400 square feet to 3,300 square feet.

a bed with tables, chairs and a view at Resorts World's Las Vegas Hilton deluxe king room
Resorts World’s Las Vegas Hilton deluxe king room.

Besides Hilton, Resorts World has a long list of partnerships with recognizable names, such as the Kardashian-Jenner family in the form of a pop-up Kardashian Kloset, the family’s online clothing and accessory resale site.

a pool, gazebo, and seating at Resorts World' Crockfords Las Vegas palace
Resorts World’ Crockfords Las Vegas palace.

Not interested in raiding the celebrity powerhouse family’s closet?

a rendering of the Lily Ballroom with people mingling
The Lily Ballroom.

Resorts World also has a two-floor, 70,000-square-foot shopping venue for guests in need of retail therapy.

a rendering of the exterior of the Pepper store.
The Pepper store.

Besides the Kardashian family and Hilton partnerships, the hotel is also working with food ordering and delivery platform Grubhub.

a worker preparing food alone at Fuhu Shack behind a glass barrier
Fuhu Shack.

Guests can use the Grubhub app or scan the Grubhub QR codes located throughout the resort, to order food or retail items.

a dessert with colorful rainbow decorations
A dessert.

From there, the charge can be placed on the guests’ room or credit card.

a rendering of the Suns Out Buns Out store with graphic fried eggs
The Suns Out Buns Out store.

But that’s not the only tech-forward feature of the modern hotel.

a rendering of the gym and its machines
Resorts World Las Vegas’ gym

It’s 2021, so of course, Resorts World has cryptocurrency capabilities.

Resorts World's with shadows of people
Resorts World’s lobby

Resorts World has partnered with Gemini – a cryptocurrency platform founded by Tyler Winklevoss and Cameron Winklevoss – to turn the property into “one of the most crypto-friendly resorts on the Las Vegas Strip,” according to a press release.

a rendering of RedTail with TV screens, pool tables, games, and the bar
RedTail.

Like more modern hotels, Resorts World also uses mobile check-ins, an artificial intelligence concierge, and digital keys.

a rendering of Wally's Wine and Spirits
Wally’s Wine and Spirits.

The resort even has a tunnel that connects it to the Las Vegas Convention Center via Tesla cars.

a rendering of a of the high occupancy vehicles with passengers
One of the high occupancy vehicles.

Now, let’s take a look at Resorts World’s theater, which has space for 5,000 live entertainment fans or convention attendees.

a rendering of the lobby of the theater
The lobby of the theater.

The theater houses one of the biggest stages on the Vegas Strip, according to the resort.

a rendering of the theater
The theater.

In total, the stage spans 64 feet deep and 196 feet wide, totaling 13,550 square feet.

a rendering of the theater
The theater.

So far, headliners at the massive theater are set to include A-listers like Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, and Luke Bryan.

Miley Cyrus holding a microphone up while she performs at Ayu Dayclub
Miley Cyrus performing at Ayu Dayclub at Resorts World Las Vegas on July 4.

The property will also have 250,000 square feet worth of meeting spaces and ballrooms for folks headed to Sin City strictly for work purposes.

a rendering of the Jasmine Ballroom with people mingling
The Jasmine Ballroom.

Moving right along to everyone’s favorite part: the food.

a spread of different food
Food at Famous Foods.

Las Vegas has always been known for its bustling food and buffet scene, among other Vegas attributes.

a rendering of the exterior of Dawg House
The exterior of Dawg House.

Resorts World is no different, and the property will have over 40 food and drink options.

a rendering of the Suns Out Buns Out interior with egg looking chairs
The interior of the Suns Out Buns Out store.

Let’s start off with Famous Foods Street Eats, a 24,000-square-foot food hall with 16 stalls. Several of these stalls include Asian-inspired options and restaurants with Michelin Plate or Bib Gourmand recognition.

an empty Famous Foods Street Eats hall
Famous Foods Street Eats.

There’s even a speakeasy inside the food hall.

A rendering of the speakeasy
The speakeasy.

But don’t fret if a food hall isn’t your scene.

a rendering of the Neon Bar.
The Neon Bar.

Resorts World has a whole list of other food and drink options.

a rendering of shelves and products at Fred Segal's store
Fred Segal’s store.

This includes Genting Palace, an “old-world glamour” Cantonese eatery …

a rendering of the interior of Genting Palace
The interior of Genting Palace.

… sushi and teppanyaki hotspot Kusa Nori …

a rendering of the interior of Kusa Nori
Kusa Nori.

… vegan ice cream from Craig’s, an iconic Los Angeles eatery …

a rendering of the counter at Craig's
The interior of Craig’s.

… and RedTail, a game bar with food options.

a spread of food at Redtail
Food from Redtail.

Speaking of which, what would a Las Vegas resort be without bars?

a person standing on front of a bar adorned with neon lights
One of the bars in Resorts World Las Vegas

Resorts World also has several drinking spots, including Starlight on 66 with views of the city, Nashville-transplanted Dawg House Saloon and Sportsbook, and the “most technologically advanced nightclub in Las Vegas,” Zouk Nightclub.

a rendering of the entrance of Zouk Nightclub
The entrance of Zouk Nightclub.

There’ll even be a champagne-forward Gatsby’s Cocktail Lounge with live music and DJs.

lights hanging above the Gatsby's Cocktail Lounge
Gatsby’s Cocktail Lounge.

Like Resorts World’s theater, Zouk Nightclub and the hotel’s other club, Ayu Dayclub, will have recognizable headliners or residents like Zedd, Tiësto, Jack Harlow, and Madison Beer.

DJ Ruckus holding a microphone while performing at Ayu Dayclub
DJ Ruckus performing at Ayu Dayclub on July 4.

Now moving on to the casino. The 117,000-square-foot space is filled with all the classic gambling options, such as 1,400 slot machines, 30 poker tables, and 117 table games.

a rendering of the poker room and its tables and chairs
The poker room at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Resorts World’s casino even has cashless options, including “cashless wagering.”

a dealer at a table at the Resorts World Casino in front of slot machines
A dealer at the casino.

Think “tap-(or scan)-and-go,” but on a slot machine or at a table game.

a bar packed with people at Resorts World Las Vegas
Resorts World Las Vegas.

If you’ve been gambling indoors for a bit too long, go unwind at the 5.5-acres worth of pools, including everyone’s favorite, an infinity pool.

a view of the pool by the hotel
The cabana pool.

The seven pools also have what Resorts World calls the “largest pool deck in Las Vegas,” as evidenced by the rendering below.

A rendering of the pool complex
The pool complex.

And when it’s time for some rest and relaxation from all the Vegas chaos, head to the 27,000-square-foot spa.

a rendering of the beauty salon
The beauty salon.

If these amenities all sound pretty enticing to you, you’re not alone.

Devin Lucien, DJ Five, and Brody Jenner gathered around the DJ area
Devin Lucien, DJ Five, and Brody Jenner at Gatsby’s Cocktail Lounge on July 2

“We were waiting, optimistic that things would get better when we opened,” Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World Las Vegas, told CNBC. “But here we are at 100% [capacity] and everything’s going well in Las Vegas, and we’re excited to be part of that.”

a view of the exterior of Resorts World Las Vegas
Resorts World Las Vegas.

Source: CNBC

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Hawaii mayor is asking airlines to ‘pause’ flights as travelers invade the islands

Visitors at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii, enter the state after the new pre-travel testing program launched.
Visitors at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu.

  • Maui County mayor Michael Victorino asked airlines for a “pause.”
  • Hawaii has seen a massive boom of tourists as people begin to travel again.
  • Locals and businesses aren’t fully prepared for this influx of visitors, Victorino’s office told Hawaii News Now.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“Revenge vacation” season is now moving full speed ahead, and while many travelers are racing to book a trip after a year of being stuck at home, the mayor of one tropical island is asking airlines to slow down: Maui, Hawaii.

“I have been talking with different airlines and … we’re asking for just a pause, if you want to use that term,” Maui County mayor Michael Victorino said during a press conference on June 29. “We don’t have the authority to say stop, but we’re asking the powers to be to help us.”

In recent weeks, the number of tourists flocking to Hawaii has sometimes surpassed 2019’s travel levels. And from July 1 to July 5, over 170,000 people traveled to the state, according to Hawaii’s travel data. As a result, the Kahului Airport in Maui has hit “overcapacity” with bottlenecks throughout the airport, according to Victorino.

In late June, Victorino also met with “airline executives” to potentially cut back on airlift to the airport, Rick Daysog reported for Hawaii News Now.

“The people of Maui County have lacked sufficient time to prepare for the sudden, large influx of tourism, even as health restrictions remain in place,” Brian Perry, a spokesman for Victorino, told Hawaii News Now. “Many of our hospitality-related businesses are still struggling to fully staff their operations to provide a high quality of customer service.”

Over-tourism is not a new issue for the warm-weathered state. But despite the economic benefits of tourism, this massive influx of visitors has angered some locals who are concerned about COVID-19 spread and some of the visitors’ lack of adherence to health protocols.

“People are choosing to come to Hawaii not only because of its wonderful resources and people, but because there really isn’t a lot of choices,” Victorino said, citing that other international travel destinations currently have closed borders.

Some of these tourists also aren’t using “good common sense and [are] going into areas where they’re not supposed to,” therefore needing the island’s emergency services for rescuing, Victorino said.

This wave of visitors is also facing headwinds from the state’s rental car shortage, which has pushed tourists to rent U-Haul moving vans and trucks instead of rental vehicles. This may be a clever alternative, but it has left some U-Haul locations with less equipment to serve the locals.

“I want to remind the visitors that Maui is a community first and a vacation destination second,” Victorino said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Carnival launches its first cruise from the US since its pandemic shutdown, as the industry races to catch up with soaring demand

Carnival cruise ship.
Carnival cruise ship.

  • Carnival Cruise Line’s first cruise ship left the US since the pandemic halted its operations.
  • The Carnival Vista set sail from Port Galveston, Texas, on Saturday.
  • Passengers were required to confirm they were fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to boarding.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Carnival Corp, the world’s biggest cruise company, on Saturday launched its first ship from a US port since the pandemic shut down its operations.

Vista set sail from Port Galveston, Texas. The week-long cruise is set to visit spots including Roatán, Mahogany Bay, and Cozumel.

Passengers were required to confirm their status as fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination in advance of boarding, which follows strict guest protocols.

But cruise operators are well aware that being fully vaccinated doesn’t completely remove the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. “If the virus is in the community on land … then of course you can get it on board despite all the things we do,” Carnival’s CEO Arnold Donald recently told Fox Business.

The cruise industry is one of the last sectors to try and regain its pre-pandemic activity following the huge disruption caused by the pandemic. According to Donald, its efforts are largely being welcomed by customers eager to get back on the water.

In a second-quarter business update, the company said booking volumes for future cruises were 45% higher compared with the first quarter. It added that 2022 bookings were already higher than in 2019, as previously reported by Insider’s Grace Dean.

People are itching to spend a lot of money on board, too. The CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, said travellers are eager to shell out extra cash on casinos, massages, and luxury meals. “They just want to enjoy themselves,” she told Time.

Celebrating Vista’s departure, Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a video posted to Twitter: “Our crew is so very excited and so ready and prepared for this first cruise.”

She added: “The silver lining that’s kept us going is the support and loyalty of our guests.”

Carnival’s next cruise departing from a US port is the Carnival Breeze, scheduled to leave Galveston on July 15.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I was an American diplomat for 12 years, traveling and immersing myself in cultures around the world. Here’s what you can learn from diplomats when you’re traveling

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

  • Diplomats are dispatched all over the world, engaging with different cultures and ideologies.
  • Here’s what you can learn from them if you’re traveling.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Diplomats spend their whole careers living and traveling overseas. They have to immediately immerse themselves in a wide range of places around the planet. These ambassadors and attaches deftly manage to cross borders and cultures. I had to learn a lot of these nuanced navigational skills during my 12 years as an American diplomat. So let me share a few of their tricks and tradecraft to try out on your next trip.

Be ready for the worst

The first thing a diplomat does when planning a mission is to prepare for what could go wrong. I’ve found that too few regular travelers take the time to consider this crucial step. So before you head out on a trip, explore recent risks and consider what you would do in the event of a crisis.

The State Department has a decent overall guide to the latest threats. But, honestly, you are better off reading some of the news from the country. Don’t let it overwhelm you, but even if you don’t speak the language, use an online translator to get a sense of what’s happening with security, politics, and major upcoming events. Also, make sure you set up an alert to notify you of major news stories in the countries where you will be traveling.

Always have a back up

My second piece of advice is to pack extras. It can be hard to know exactly how easy it will be to locate your essentials when you’re traveling or how difficult, expensive it is to acquire. Figure out which are the must-have items – from cables to razors – and make sure you travel with a backup. This also goes for clothes. Packing an extra day or two comes in handy when you’re delayed or need to extend the trip. An extra pair of socks made my return from Nepal substantially less stinky, after the King commandeered our plane in Kathmandu.

Ditch the guidebook and talk to locals

Even in the past, I never liked the published guidebooks and with so much information online these days, you really don’t need one. They end up sending you to a lot of places that are crowded with other tourists. To get a sense of what you’re missing out on, try reading a guide to your town. Once you’ve seen the highlights in the book, use that as a jumping off point to research, read reviews, and actually talk to people who live in the place.

Let me expand on the last point. Traveling is a great excuse to reach out to someone. It could be someone who works in your field, a local organization related to something you’re interested in, or even their embassy.

Send this connection an email, “Hey, I’m going to be traveling to your country. Appreciate any insights or recommendations you can share.” It’s amazing how many people welcome the chance to share a few suggestions about their home with visitors from other countries. You’ll also often be surprised by the opportunities that arise from those personal connections.

Look, and talk, like a local

If you don’t want to stick out as a tourist or at the very least aim to be less of a target for hawkers or unsavory opportunists, then try to blend in. One of the best ways you can project savviness is by carrying a local newspaper or magazine. It will give pickpockets and peddlers pause.

Speaking of local, it’s a good idea to learn a few phrases of the language before you go. Using a greeting when you enter a store or a taxi helps to also project a level of familiarity with your surroundings and respect for their culture.

It’s also worthwhile to spend a little time learning about some of the major linguistic differences, which tend to explain a lot about how the world can be viewed through various lenses. In Spanish, for instance, there is no word for “compromise.” While in the Niarafolo language of Northern Ivory Coast, there is no word for yesterday or tomorrow. That can be useful information to know before you go.

Keep an open mind

Too many times on our trips we are myopically focused on getting from point A to point B. One of the best parts of being in a foreign country is the chance to experience a whole different way of life. Take in the unique smells, sounds, and rhythms.

Henry David Thoreau was fond of sauntering. It’s a kind of experiential walking, where you are taking in the small, subtle elements. This is one of my favorite things to do, wandering streets and often making exceptional, unexpected discoveries.

Diplomats are undoubtedly some of the world’s best travelers. While you may not be able to spend as long or go as far on the road, there is a lot to be gained by deploying some of the same tactics. It may help keep you out of trouble and also to see less-discovered side of the country.

Perhaps the last diplomatic lesson is to remember that travel is a two-way road. You are experiencing a new place and people. But, they too are exposed to a bit of your country through your presence. So, be a good ambassador.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A startup offering to take tourists to space in a ship lifted by an enormous balloon is selling tickets for $125,000 a ride

Spaceship Neptune.
Spaceship Neptune.

  • Space Perspective is building a balloon that will shuttle tourists to the “edge of space.”
  • Tickets for the luxury six-hour round trip journey start at $125,000.
  • The Spaceship Neptune will bring tourists above 99% of Earth’s atmosphere.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Forget airplanes, cruises, and hotels. Space Perspective wants to take you on a $125,000 luxury trip to the “edge of space,” according to the company.

Spaceship Neptune.
Spaceship Neptune.

Space Perspective isn’t the only group working to shuttle humans above Earth: several companies are already looking to enter the emerging “space tourism” marketplace, including Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Source: Space Perspective

But don’t picture your typical NASA rocket ship.

Spaceship Neptune.
Spaceship Neptune.

Space Perspective sets itself apart from other companies with its balloon design, named Spaceship Neptune. And technically, the Spaceship Neptune will still stay inside the confines of our atmosphere (but more on that in a bit).

This balloon – which is as big as a football stadium – will then shuttle Spaceship Neptune passengers up 100,000 feet.

Spaceship Neptune.
Spaceship Neptune.

The balloon will accompany a pressurized and spacious cabin with reclining seats, creating a comfortable traveling experience for its passengers, according to the company.

Spaceship Neptune’s cabin will be built to accommodate up to eight passengers, not including the pilot, on a six-hour-long trip.

Spaceship Neptune.
Spaceship Neptune.

The journey starts at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center before sunrise so passengers can view the rising sun from above Earth, Nikki Ekstein reported for Bloomberg.

The journey will begin with a two-hour climb above 99% of the atmosphere.

Spaceship Neptune.
Spaceship Neptune.

Along this six-hour journey, passengers will have access to breakfast, drinks, a bathroom, livestream-capable WiFi, and anti-glare windows for photography, according to Bloomberg and Space Perspective.

From there, passengers will get two hours to take in the view – which includes a glimpse of Earth’s curvature – before beginning the two-hour descent back down to Earth’s water, where a ship will await to bring passengers back to shore, according to a diagram on Space Perspective’s website.

A Space Perspective balloon.
A Space Perspective balloon.

There will also be research equipment aboard the Spaceship Neptune.

Source: Space Perspective

Wannabe space tourists who want a break from Earth’s land can now reserve their chance to visit the edge of our planet in late 2024.

A view of Earth at sunrise from the Neptune One test flight
Images from Neptune One’s test flight on June 18, 2021.

Space Perspective previously offered private presale tickets, but they all sold out, according to the Bloomberg report.

Plus, you’ll be working with experienced hands.

Spaceship Neptune.
Spaceship Neptune.

The co-founders and CEOs of Space Perspective, Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum, have worked on many space-related projects. This includes serving as “human spaceflight” technical advisors to Elon Musk, according to a press release.

Looking for proof of concept? The company’s Neptune One, an unmanned test vehicle, successfully launched from the Space Coast Spaceport, next to NASA’s Space Center, on June 18.

A view of Earth at sunrise from the Neptune One test flight
Images from Neptune One’s test flight on June 18, 2021.

The Neptune One also shuttled an art installation onboard, because why not.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The EU plans to lift restrictions for all US travelers, reports say

Tourists June 2021 Paris
European tourists outside the Louvre in Paris, France.

The European Union plans to drop all bans against American travelers, multiple reports say.

EU members states agreed Wednesday to lift COVID-19 travel restrictions and allow nonessential travel from the US from June 27, the German network Deutsche Welle reported.

France’s Agence France-Presse and the Reuters news wire carried similar reports.

Travelers from Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Macau, and Hong Kong are also said to be included on the list of countries to have restrictions dropped.

Insider has contacted the European Commission for comment.

Individual EU countries can still choose to demand a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine upon arrival, Reuters reported.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider

California drought could have devastating consequences for the state’s agriculture, wildlife preservation, and tourism industries

California reservoir
A reservoir.

Hello! This story is from today’s edition of Morning Brew, an awesome daily email read by 2.9 million next-generation leaders like you. Sign up here to get it!

The latest shortage hitting the American West? Water. And while Chick-fil-A sauce and semiconductors are important for a functioning economy, this year’s historic drought in the West could affect-and we do mean this-literally everything.

The state of play: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has put 41 counties under a state of emergency in an attempt to drastically limit water use. Some scientists say the region is facing the worst drought in centuries.

Who’s getting hit the hardest?

Anyone who eats food. The water levels of 1,500+ reservoirs in California are 50% lower than normal at this time of year, per Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis. This means huge cuts to the water that farmers in the state use to produce over 25% of the country’s food supply.

  • Your morning breakfast of Blue Diamond almond milk and habanero BBQ almonds could be impacted. California accounts for 80% of the US’ almond supply, but because of shrinking water allocations, some farmers are simply bulldozing those notoriously thirsty almond trees.

Anyone who uses electricity. Officials are predicting the water level of Lake Oroville, the Beyoncé of California lakes, to hit a record low in August. If that happens, they would need to shut down a major hydroelectric power plant, putting extra strain on the electrical grid during the hottest part of the summer.

Anyone who is a fish. In April, California officials announced they’d be driving 146 truckloads of 15+ million young salmon to the Pacific Ocean because the fish wouldn’t be able to swim in the dangerously shallow, warm waterways connecting the state’s Central Valley to the ocean.

Anyone who dislikes wildfires. Five of the six largest wildfires in modern California history happened during the 2020 wildfire season, killing 30+ people. Experts say the current conditions are much worse.

Bottom line: This drought could have devastating consequences for the state’s agriculture, wildlife preservation, and tourism industries. #BoatSummer in California is not looking good.

This story is from today’s edition of Morning Brew, a daily email. Sign up here to get it!

Read the original article on Business Insider

Americans, ready to book vacations again, could be prime targets for scammers, and 2 senators want more protections for travelers

travel tourist bag airport vacation plane luggage
  • Rising vaccination rates means that tourism is on its way back – and so are travel scammers.
  • Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Steve Daines have called on the FTC to do more to protect travelers.
  • “It is critical to ensure that Americans understand how to recognize travel scams and their recourse options,” they wrote.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

With the travel industry poised to boom thanks to rising coronavirus vaccination rates, scammers could very well target would-be travelers in the coming months, spoiling many long-awaited vacations.

Two senators are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to do more to protect tourists from scammers, as travel is slated to spike along with coronavirus vaccination rates. United States Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Steve Daines of Montana sent a letter to the FTC on Thursday asking the commission to bolster protections for travelers and expressing “concern” over reports detailing a proliferation of travel scams.

“While the FTC posts advisories pertaining to travel scams, we believe that more must be done to protect consumers,” the senators wrote. “Travel reservations made on fraudulent websites can be costly and stressful for travelers, and it is critical to ensure that Americans understand how to recognize travel scams and their recourse options should they fall victim to these scams.”

Payments company Flywire found that 7 out of 10 frequent travelers say they’ll likely spend more on travel in 2022. But more tourists also means more scammers looking to prey on travelers. Travel scams could take the form of fraudsters disguised as booking agents or counterfeit tickets being sold online. The FTC’s website warns consumers of rental-listing rip-offs, timeshare tricks, and sweepstakes swindles.

In their letter, the senators also included four specific questions addressed to acting FTC chief Rebecca Kelly Slaughter about the commission’s coordination with the Department of Justice, any additional measures needed to “better protect consumers,” data around travel scams, and “additional resources” that the organization may need to better address travel scams.

The FTC did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for further comment.

This isn’t the first time that Klobuchar has crossed party lines on the issue of tourism. She introduced the Protecting Tourism in the United States Act in February, along with Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Read the entire letter from Klobuchar and Daines here:

Read the original article on Business Insider