Travel briefs



Bullet train links Spain, France

A high-speed rail service linking Spain and France has been inaugurated that will cut the journey time between Barcelona and Paris by half.

Up until now the train journey between these two cities lasted some 12 hours, but the new tracks will enable passengers to complete it in just over six. Spain’s train operator RENFE hopes to lure some air-travel passengers.

The service, which began last week, will also provide bullet trains to cities like Madrid, Marseille, Toulouse and Lyon.

Theme parks

Disney closing Anaheim’s Nemo ride

Disneyland’s Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will close for a refurbishment that won’t be complete until late 2014.

Disney said the underwater ride that circles a lagoon will close on Jan. 6. About 5 million gallons of water will be drained, then workers will make improvements to the attraction.

The original Submarine Voyage debuted in 1959 and was inspired by the first nuclear-powered submarine voyage to the North Pole the year before.

The attraction was closed in 1998, and reopened in 2007 with a theme based on Pixar’s Finding Nemo animated movie.

Guide books

Frommer’s releasing

new series

Arthur Frommer and daughter Pauline, who bought back the Frommer’s series from Google in April, have put out the first of 30 new titles, banking on travelers who prefer printed real books over flighty apps.

Among the first are Boston Day by Day and Frommer’s Easy Guide to Paris 2014 (FrommerMedia, $13.95 and $10.95 respectively).

“We reacquired ownership of all 340 of our titles,” says Arthur Frommer, sounding ecstatic. “We are bringing out 30 new titles, completely up-to-date books for 2014, written by our most talented writers.”

The new Easy Guide series aims to be light and succinct, weighing only a few ounces, and “you can wad them up in your pocket or purse,” Arthur Frommer says. “They don’t list 100 hotels. They list our authors’ preferences.”

The point is to help travelers swamped by too much travel information, says Pauline Frommer. She is glad to have the family imprint back in the family. They licensed it to Simon & Schuster in 1977, which then sold it, until it was sold again and languished with Google until the Frommers bought it back.

“We have accounted for one of every four travel guides sold in the United States and Canada,” says Arthur Frommer, who wrote Europe on $5 a Day more than 50 years ago. “We are determined to once again enjoy that type of sales.”


New service

Caribbean regional carrier WINAIR has begun service between its St. Maarten hub and the British Virgin Islands. The twice-daily service is opeated with a 19-seat de Havilland Twin Otter aircraft.

Miami Herald

wire services

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