Viking cruising to St. Paul
Viking Cruises is already advertising St. Paul and other cities on the Mississippi River for its slate of new tours scheduled to launch in August 2022. The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday approved a contract allowing ships to dock at Lambert's Landing, a riverfront park near downtown that was once among the busiest steamboat ports in the country. Viking's longest option — a 15-day cruise between St. Paul and New Orleans — has already sold out for 2022. Tickets for 2023 and 2024 cruises are still available at a price of $11,300 or more. Travelers can also book an eight-day cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul for fares starting at $4,400. "There's no question these will sell out," said Terry Mattson, president and CEO of Visit St. Paul. "Nobody does it better than Viking."
Autumn in New York
Broadway shows are tripping over themselves to announce that tickets are available again. But don't get dressed up just yet: The curtains won't rise for most until September or October. "Hamilton," "The Lion King" and "Wicked" return Sept. 14, as does "Chicago." "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations" restarts Oct. 16, "The Phantom of the Opera" on Oct. 22, "Jagged Little Pill" on Oct. 21 and "Come From Away" on Sept. 21. "Six" will restart Sept. 17, as will David Byrne's "American Utopia." "Mrs. Doubtfire" will return Oct. 21. Broadway shows thrive on tourists, and producers are banking that visitor numbers will be up by fall.
Ireland reopening gingerly
Ireland last week announced it is beginning to lift some of its lockdown restrictions that have been in place more than a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said he hoped to see aviation and tourism get back to business but not until the end of June, according to Sky News. Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, "We may need to consider free travel between the U.K. and Ireland [first] before we open up to wider international travel."
Most expensive hotel rooms
Key West, Fla., leads the country when it comes to the most expensive hotel prices this spring, with an average nightly rate of $299 for the cheapest double room, according to a new report by Cheaphotels.org. Islamorada and Marathon in the Florida Keys were listed right behind Key West in the second and third spots, at $295 and $285 a night, respectively. Sanibel, Fla., came in fifth place with an average hotel stay of $243 a night. Four locations in Hawaii ranked in the top 10: Poipu, Wailea, Lahaina and Waikoloa. Also making the top 10 were Sedona, Ariz., and Tybee Island, Ga. "Hotel rates in most city destinations seem to have dropped substantially," according to the report, which looked to May rates across the country.