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Weather: Snow smashes Europe leaving wake of devastation – are your flights cancelled? | Travel News | Travel

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Snow has blasted Europe with extreme weather conditions. Parts of the continent are buried under snow and at least 16 people have been killed in winter storms. BBC Weather forecaster Phil Avery has claimed parts of southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria could expect the worst of the weather as fresh weather systems hit. A shocking WXCharts graphic has mapped the passage of a huge cloud of snow set to barrel through Europe over the next four days. Airlines have cancelled flights and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated their travel advice.

The dangerous weather sparked a red warning and high risk of avalanches across much of southern Germany and central Austria.

Germany

Germany has been heavily affected by the snowfall. Extreme weather conditions cut off the Bavarian municipality of Marktschellenberg, Germany, where as much as 1.5 metres of heavy snow has fallen leaving residents completely stranded.

Rescue workers were dispatched to assist locals after the huge snowstorm.

Airlines have cancelled 90 flights at Munich Airport today due to concerns about snow, according to German news agency DPA. A further 20 have been cancelled due to a strike.

Munich Airport said on its website: “Due to strikes and weather conditions, air traffic from and to Munich may be impaired.”

Airlines have also cancelled around 120 flights at Frankfurt Airport and warn of strikes on 15 January.

German airline Lufthansa shared its latest update on its website: “Due to heavy snowfalls expected on Friday, January 11, there will be considerable disruptions on the entire Lufthansa domestic route network.

“Please inform yourself about the status of your flight before you start your journey.”

The FCO has updated its travel advice for Germany: “According to local reports, there is heavy snowfall and a high risk of avalanches in southern Germany at present.

“Due to heavy snowfall in Bavaria and more expected, the infrastructure has been affected. You should check your journey before travelling.”

Austria

The FCO has also updated its travel advice to Austria. “Continued heavy snowfall is forecast in the Austrian Alps over several days from Tuesday 8 January,” said its website.

“This could cause travel disruption and heightened risk of avalanches in some areas. For the latest travel information, contact your transport provider and/or tour operator.”

Roads and railways have also been affected with trains, lorries and cars getting stuck for hours on both German and Austrian roads.

UK

With regards to the weather forecast for Britain, forecasters have warned the so-called Beast from the East could make a return in the second half of winter.

The Met Office has warned temperatures could plummet sparking rain and snow towards the end of the month.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: “There are signs of a growing risk of strong winds, rain and snow from mid-January into early February. We are expecting to see it turn colder with temperatures below average for the time of year although we will see some short-lived milder interludes.

“Gales will be possible in the north and west, and it will turn colder from the northwest. Some snow is expected in the north, especially in brighter, showery, colder interludes between weather systems.”



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Cruise secrets: How ships protect against pirates revealed | Travel News | Travel

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Those on board experience the high life of voyages at sea, from comfortable cabins to a host of restaurants and leisure activities. The cruise staff work to keep the experience of the guests as pleasurable and stress free as possible. They are on-hand to offer advice and assistance, as well as to arrange excursions when passengers want to venture out onto land. Yet there is a hidden dark side to their time on board, which has now been revealed.

While there are mechanical issues that could go wrong with a ship, there are political problems that could affect the journey too although the risk is very minimal.

The last hijack happened in 2017, when Aris 13, was hijacked by pirates in two skiffs a few miles off Alula, yet this was the first hijacking of a large commercial vessel since 2012.

Those cruises that sail along the coats of Africa have been pinpointed as suffering particular risk.

This is because of what is deemed a “legitimate threat” by pirates.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia, Africa, has been a threat to international shipping since the Somali Civil War, in 2000.

Piracy experts have estimated that in 2008, pirates gained about $80million dollars through ransom payments.

A cruise insider has recently revealed the contingency plan for a pirate attack on a cruise ship.

They let slip: “To prepare for any eventuality, ships are often equipped with high-pressure water hoses and sonic cannons that can fire concentrated beams of sound capable of permanently affecting human hearing from over 900 feet away.”

Graeme Brooks, a former Principal Warfare Officer with the Royal Navy, spoke out about the pirate three and said the best method of defence is to disrupt the targeting process.

He said: “There are millions of square miles of water and you can only see vessels on the horizon up to 10 miles away. It’s like looking for a mouse on a rugby pitch.

“And it’s impossible to know whether a small craft is a threat or just fishermen. You can’t tell the difference between a weapon and a baguette at anything more than 200 yards.”

Water canons can be used to drench the pirate should they attempt to venture onto deck.

They could also serve to sink the pirate ships, which are typically smaller in size and weaker in frame.

The protective measures are described in the innocuously-titled document BMP4: “Best Management Practices for Protection Against Somalia-Based Piracy.”

Razor wires and electric barriers are also among the suggestions.

A terrifying video recently documented the moment weapon wielding pirates attempted to attack the Seabourn Spirit cruise ship.



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Best road trips in the world for a 2019 holiday revealed | Travel News | Travel

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Road trips have a romantic allure for some, offering an opportunity to explore a country’s top tourist hotspots as well as the hidden gems favoured by locals. Hiring a car and taking to the unknown roads teases adventure and a voyage into the unknown, prospects which top some traveller’s list of priorities. It also means there are no ties to a particular location so, if there’s nothing much to see in a particular town, they can move on swiftly. Worst case scenario, there’s always somewhere to stay, too, if accommodation plans fall through.

Budding explorers can also set their own agendas, not constrained to strict travel times and timetables.

Vehicle hire firm Rentalcars.com has now highlighted the top “breathtaking” routes for those craving a road trip of their own, with two of the top three found in America.

A survey of 2,000 adults placed Route 66 in the USA as the top road to take a trip down, for its stunning scenery and multiple Instagram snap opportunities.

Second place was granted to Australia’s Great Ocean Road while the Pacific Coast Highway, again in America, came third.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco to Los Angeles route in America came fourth with the first British entry coming for Scotland’s North Coast 500.

Isabel Williams, Head of Customer Insight at Rentalcars.com, said: “Holidaymakers are becoming increasingly tired of tourist traps and crave off the beaten track adventures instead.

“Road trips can be a great way to discover new places and with so many breath-taking roads to drive down, it’s no wonder a four-wheeled adventure is a popular choice for those planning their 2019 holidays.”

She added: ““Road trip holidays require proper planning, but they don’t have to be as expensive, as long, or as dramatic, as some of journeys made famous on the silver screens.

As well as Route66, one of our most popular destinations for road trip holidays in 2018 was Spain.

“And remember there are countries that drive on the same side of the road as us like Cyprus, Malta and Australia.”

Rounding off the survey was America’s Death Valley route in sixth, followed by Iceland’s Ring Road and Canada’s Alaska Highway.

Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast Route was ninth.

Finishing off the top 10 was a road close to home, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

A total of 32 per cent of those quizzed are planning to take a road trip in 2019.

Meanwhile, a quarter confuse they would be heading to somewhere they had never been before.

Top ten roads to take a trip down– as voted for by UK holidaymakers

1. Route 66, USA

2. Great Ocean Road, Australia

3. Pacific Coast Highway, USA

4. San Francisco to Los Angeles, USA

5. North Coast 500, Scotland

6. Death Valley, USA

7. Ring road, Iceland

8. Alaska Highway, Canada

9. Causeway Coast Route, Northern Ireland

10. Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland



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Royal travel: How Prince Philip ‘sneaked off’ during trips with Queen | Travel News | Travel

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The couple have visited everywhere from Commonwealth countries, European states and Africa, clocking up more than 120 destinations in their exciting royal destination visit list. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was a constant presence at the side of Queen Elizabeth II, who is the UK’s longest-serving monarch at the age of 92. He retired from royal duties on 2 August, 2017, before which he met members of the Royal Marines as his final engagement. This means the Queen has undertaken some recent Royal excursions alone.

Yet details have now emerged of the Duke of Edinburgh’s cheeky antics while on Royal tours with his wife.

It has been revealed the 97 year old “sneaked” away from the Queen’s side during some trips, including a particularly prominent visit to Australia.

In royal biographer Robert Hardman’s new book, Queen of the World, he describes a visit Down Under in 1954.

He wrote how Prince Philip “would rather be having a beer with his mates” due to his relaxed nature.

He then detailed an instance where the UK monarch was watching the racing, one of her favourite hobbies, in Randwick.

Yet instead of standing by her side, Prince Charles’ father, he said, “sneaked off to watch a match at Sydney Cricket Ground.”

He added how he “spurned a royal box in favour of the pavilion.”

Talking of the high levels of interest in the monarchy during the trip, Prince Philip later said: “It would have ben very easy to play to the gallery but I took a conscious decision not to.

“Safer not to be too popular.

“You can’t fall too far.”

Meanwhile, Prince Philip recently opened up on his feelings about travelling on specific airlines for royal visits overseas.

Members of the Royal family usually always fly commercial class, particularly when venturing abroad for a personal reason, or on official duties they make take a private jet.

The latter helps the monarch and her relatives build strong relationships between states.

Yet that didn’t stop Prince Philip from making his thoughts on Economy class – usually the cheapest form of ticket on an airline – very clear indeed.

Prince Philip previously announced to the Aircraft Research Association: “If you travel as much as we do, you appreciate the improvements in aircraft design of less noise and more comfort – provided you don’t travel in something called economy class, which sounds ghastly.”



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