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Battle of Crete - 80th Commemoration Pilgrimage May 2021 – be part of a small and exclusive group to celebrate this historic event – check it out here - https://mondotravel.co.nz/article/18139

On May the 20th 1941, ANZAC, Greek and British forces stood side by side with the heroic population of Crete in the defense of their Southern Mediterranean Island against the elite of Hitler’s war machine. The ensuing battle is etched forever in ANZAC history.

Now, 80 years later, veterans and the descendants of these brave soldiers, will join with the local Cretan population to honour their courageous endeavours. Join us in 2021 and attend the commemorative services, explore the battlefields and share the stories.

To help us understand even more we have accompanying our group Dr Mark Wilson. Mark’s knowledge of the battles and the surrounding events are unequalled.

Bio -  Dr Mark M.J. Wilson, CMCILT, MNZIM

Mark has been fascinated by the Battle of Crete for a long time and studies military history as a hobby. After reading Dan Davin’s acclaimed history on Crete he was determined to go see the ground himself and in 2006, 2011 and 2016 Mark was the historian for the 65th, 70th and 75th Anniversary pilgrimages to Crete which included a number of veterans. They shared their personal experiences which was a highlight and a privilege. Mark spent 21 years in the NZ Army as a full-time regular soldier and after retirement and a bit of gold mining, now works as an Associate Professor at Lincoln University. Military history still remains an avid hobby and he is looking forward to sharing his comprehensive knowledge on the coming 80th commemoration pilgrimage.

Priced from $2995* per person (excluding airfares) – contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist for more detail on 0800 100 108.

Photo: Peter McIntyre

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Uniworld has announced that it will set sail in South America for the first time with two new itineraries throughout the Peruvian Amazon aboard the Aria Amazon, set to debut in September 2020. The new itineraries include the 15-day Peruvian Amazon & Machu Picchu Exploration that starts off with a land portion in Lima staying at a 5-star hotel, followed by the seven-night cruise through the Amazon rainforest, and ends in the heartland of the Inca Empire with trips to the Sacred Valley,  Machu Picchu, and Cusco; and the 11-day Peruvian Rivers & Rainforest Discovery that takes guests to explore the colourful capital of Lima, immerse in the pristine Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve and sail through the Amazon River roundtrip from Iquitos.

For more details or to book one of these fantastic Amazon cruises please contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Expanding its commitment to making a cruise vacation more accessible for everyone, Carnival Cruise Line has become the first cruise operator to be certified “sensory inclusive” by KultureCity, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities. 

The rollout of the program started in October and all of Carnival Cruise Line’s South Florida-based ships are certified, with the balance of the fleet scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

As part of a comprehensive fleetwide training program, hundreds of guest-facing team members, including guest services personnel and youth staff, have been trained to understand and help adults, youth and children with sensory related questions or needs relating to conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, PTSD, etc.

In addition, KultureCity sensory bags are available for check out for the duration of the cruise and contain a variety of items to help calm, relax and manage sensory overload.  Items include comfortable noise cancelling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget toys, and a visual feeling thermometer (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker), as well as a KultureCity VIP lanyard to help staff easily identify guests.

These measures have proven to be helpful in the more than 450 landside venues like stadiums, arenas and amusement parks that have partnered with KultureCity.  Since the program has been implemented aboard the first wave of Carnival’s ships, feedback from guests and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.

Once on board, guests should inquire at the Guest Services desk to inquire about borrowing a sensory bag and any other accommodations that are available.

Informational videos featuring actor Christopher Gorham, a member of the KultureCity board of directors, designed to create greater awareness among all guests, are playing on in-stateroom television on the line’s six certified ships and will expand across the fleet as the program rolls out to other ships.

“Carnival Cruise Line and KultureCity share a heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity.  Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board,” said Vicky Rey, Carnival’s vice president of guest care and communications and the company’s ADA Responsibility Officer.

“We’re proud and grateful to partner with Carnival Cruise Line, offering guests with sensory needs an opportunity to more fully enjoy their vacations and create wonderful memories with their friends, families and loved ones.  We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone,” said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder, KultureCity.

In addition to the KultureCity certification, Carnival will be the first cruise operator to complete an additional special needs certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). 

The IBCCES program includes 17 continuing education units (CEUs) of training in a variety of special needs, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, mobility issues, and various other disabilities.  Additionally, Carnival’s youth staff have different resources on hand to help soothe, calm and entertain children participating in our youth programs, such as weighted vests, conversation cards, sensory games and other aids. Myron Pincomb, board chairman of IBCCES: “It has been a pleasure working with the Carnival team. Their unwavering passion to go above and beyond to create the best experience possible allows guests of all abilities to 'Choose Fun'.”

“Carnival Cruise Line is to be commended for training their staff about autism and offering sensory bags that will enable individuals with autism and their families to have an enjoyable cruise,” Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned autism advocate and author and one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to document the insights she gained from her personal experience with autism. 

To obtain more information on the KultureCity program, please visit the Guests with Disabilities page on Carnival.com

For more details or to book a Carnival Cruise please contact Mondo on 0800 110 108 or email info@mondotravel.co.nz 

Source: Francis Travel Marketing 

submitted by -- Tony Terrill