Whale-watching season is in full swing in the Pacific through mid-April. In Monterey, Calif., where as many as 7,000 gray whales pass along the coastline between December and March, Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay has a whale-watching package that includes accommodations, breakfast and a boat tour (from $240 a night for two). Monterey Bay Whale Watch runs year-round boat excursions, accompanied by a marine biologist (from $44 a person). In Baja California Sur, Mexico, Pachico’s Eco Tours offers half- and full-day boat tours through April 15 to San Ignacio Lagoon, a breeding ground for gray whales (half-day tours $75 a person; full-day tours $110). Humpback whales are the attraction through March along Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, and the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is offering a package that includes two nights’ accommodations, breakfast and a humpback-encounter boat trip (from $700 for two; through March 31).
New York Times
Chinese river cruise deal
Victoria Cruises has extended its two-for-one pricing on 2017 cruises along China’s Yangtze River. The promo applies to the Three Gorges Highlights cruise, which spends four nights sailing from Yichang to Chongqing or three nights on the reverse itinerary. To receive the discount, you must purchase the shore excursion package, which is also two-for-one. Sale is valid on superior cabins only. The cruise starts at $880 per couple, including port charges, plus $90 for the excursion package. A luxury amenity package that includes enhanced dining privileges, Wi-Fi and other perks is also two-for-one ($200 per couple). A $25 service charge, instead of tips, applies. Book by Feb. 28 (1-800-348- 8084, victoriacruises.com/about/specials).
Cliffs collapse at volcano
A section of sea cliff above a massive “firehose” lava flow on Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano has collapsed and splashed into the ocean as tourists and geologists watched. A large crack in the section of cliff above the gushing molten lava stream gave way Feb. 2 as geologists stood just yards away. Later, a tour boat was cruising by when another section of the cliff collapsed. Video shows guests gasping and screaming as the huge piece of land splashes down in front of them. The “firehose” lava stream had recently increased in intensity. The National Park Service has set up a designated viewing area, but some people cross lines and venture into closed, dangerous areas, officials said.
Create your own postcards
Pixinote is an iOS app that creates cool postcards and sends them via the U.S. Postal Service. The app prints a card with a square image from your iPhone and three lines of text and sends it to your recipient within two to seven business days. Pixinotes are printed on quality paper and look great. The app simplifies sending a postcard because you don’t need to have a stamp (first-class postage is included), keep track of addresses or even write a lengthy note. With the “Create Contact” tool, start typing your recipient’s address and Google will finish it for you. The app keeps track of previous contacts (and Pixinotes) and lets you send the same note with the same message to multiple people. You can use emojis, too. (In the App Store, requires iOS 8.0 or later. Free to download, $2.50 a card.)
Los Angeles Times