Categories
Breaking Travel News Fashion News Feature Travel Story Travel News Travel Wire News USA Travel News

Would you travel nude or naked?

Face Forward. Please!

Traveling sucks the moisture out of our skin! We may start the journey looking terrific and deplane looking a total wreck because of the anxiety of getting to and through airports and security, the questions on whether the flight will depart/land on-time without incident, the dismay caused by the dry air on flights, the concern that the right clothes have been packed and whether of not the luggage will arrive at the airport…stress this takes a toll on our face.

Then there is the issue of sanitation. The bacteria found at airports, trains, airplanes and rest stops can spread to our face and the rest of our body. Changes in time zones combined with sleep deprivation impacts on skin. Between dehydration and swollen blood vessels around the eyes producing a raccoon look – travel becomes a nightmare.

Cannot wait to get to the hotel for a hot shower: Remember, hotel soaps and shampoos do not belong on a body. Although it depends on the hotel, most likely the free beauty products have ingredients that are heavily perfumed and loaded with chemicals that are a direct link to irritation – especially if you have sensitive skin.

The Cosmetics Challenge

It becomes obvious that we need to use products that will keep us healthy and clean, smell and look good while not polluting the environment or blinding/killing animals. With all the choices available, how can we make a correct decision?

We are seduced at every turn. The global cosmetics industry (including sun/skin/hair care, deodorants, makeup/color cosmetics and fragrances) is likely to reach $429.8 billion by 2022 from sales sourced through retail stores (supermarkets, exclusive brand outlets, specialty shops) and online channels.

What is truly staggering is how rapidly this sizable business is growing and how quickly market share is moving online.  Thirty percent ($12 billion) is spent through online shopping, representing a 24 percent increase in just one year.

Beauty and personal care products are particularly ripe for online development, given consumers’ combined interest in both exploring new products and replenishing the ones they already own and love.

These two shopper modes—discovery and replenishment—are among the strongest drivers of online penetration.

Travel Retail. Another Opportunity for Seduction

Another new and growing distribution channel for cosmetics are Duty Free – airport shops. Travel retail (shopping in airports, in-flight, tax-free shores and cruises) is one of the largest markets for the cosmetic industry. Duty-free started at the Shannon Airport, Ireland, 1947, and now is a common part of many people’s traveling experience. Today travel retail is a global industry worth almost $64 billion. Of that, perfumes and cosmetics account for approximately 1/3 of sales, and the Asia-Pacific region, the largest of all markets, controls 38.6 percent of market share.

Travel retail is one the largest markets for Estee Lauder and L’Oréal, and many new collections are sold exclusively through these channels of distribution.

Trends

Consumers of all ages are delighted with the wide-range of new products and new brands. Young consumers are supporting locally made, artisanal, chemical – free products. Independent brands are finding traction and entrepreneurs are bringing new creative products to the marketplace.

Because consumers want it NOW, products that promise immediate gratification are a growing segment, especially in the skincare slice of the market. Men and women want to see the immediate elimination of lines, bags and other imperfections and skincare products that are natural, clean and focus on wellness are succeeding.

Choices. Nude or Color Coded

There are over 679 unique colors of foundation to choose from and it is left to the consumer to make the color choice. Nude cosmetics are extending beyond beige, and sales of products that offer individually relevant experiences are increasing. Regardless of age, increasingly diverse consumers are actively seeking options when they step up to a beauty counter, spend time with beauty YouTube videos or explore websites with an increasingly wide range of cosmetic products. Consumers have always wanted their beauty products to reflect their individuality. What has shifted over the last few years is that shoppers have immense options wherever and whenever they choose to shop.

Going Naked

With space limitations (thanks to airline restrictions, smaller hotel rooms, and reduced luggage space), travelers are seeking ways to carry the products they want that meet the mobility challenges. Products that are package-free or “naked” have grabbed the attention of the road warrior and 35 percent of the Lush line meets this requirement.  The products are solid and formulated with little or no water and made without synthetic preservatives, reducing the need for plastic for products that include shampoo bars, solid conditioners, soaps, scrubs, massage bars and bath oils. For consumers that prefer packaged versions, the wraps are made from recycled, reusable or compostable materials.

Waterless Beauty

Water is the industry’s most used ingredient and there are concerns about the use and abuse of this resource.  L’Oréal has committed to a 60 percent reduction in water consumption per finished product by 2020 (2005 baseline) and Unilever has committed to a reduction of water usage by 2020 (2010 baseline). Water conservation is motivating a launch of new products that are “dry” (i.e. powdered cleansers and dry sheet masks) along with entirely waterless beauty brands.

Conservation and a minimalist approach to beauty has motivated Korea to develop hybrid products that tone and hydrate in one product, using natural ingredients such as green tea and vitamin E. The results-driven products have genderless and ageless appeal, creating less clutter.

International Makeup Artist Trade Show. IMATS

If you are interested in where the professionals in the cosmetics industry go for inspiration and education…they attend the IMATS events that are held in major cities throughout the USA and Europe. Educators, professional makeup artists, product vendors, and other segments of the industry eagerly share their knowledge, expertise, and suggestions for looking terrific and feeling better. Whether the search is products to improve the “commuter” look or have a desire to win the next Halloween costume party, the IMATS programs are the go-to destination.

While it might be fun to shop for cosmetics at Bloomingdale’s or Sephora, professionals are finding the best brands for their clients and customers at IMATS. One of the most respected brands among professionals and consumers is Kryolan. I recently participated in one of the training programs for wanna-be makeup artists, and walked away with a flash drive full of ideas on how to look better – with a minimum of effort. I also became a fan of the extensive product line.

Kryolan

If you are definitely committed to a totally vegan lifestyle, the focus does not have to stop with your digestive system. Thanks to Lip Bar, lips can now meet the objective as the lipsticks are a blend of natural ingredients enriched with shea butter, avocado and coconut oils and Vitamin E.

Khuraira Musa

Technology is moving makeup artists and consumers away from brushes, sponges and fingers, replacing the process with the technology of the airbrush. Only a few years ago, you needed an advanced degree in art and engineering to nail the use of the airbrush, but time and effort has brought this 21st century tool to the personal tote bag and bathroom shelf.

For over 20 years, Khuraira Musa has been making the world a bit more beautiful, “One Face at a Time.” For airbrush equipment and classes, her New Jersey studio offers the opportunity to learn from a professional.

Temptu

For a natural-looking, skin-perfecting finish, Temptu provides the technology and the products to create a professional look at home with their version of the airbrush. The Airpods can be customized and individualized for day-to-night, casual to elegant, spot correcting, contouring, and strobing thanks to a product line that includes foundation, blush, highlighter and bronzer.

It is a secret to flawless skin with TEMPTU’s patented technology and one-of-a-kind airbrush makeup, proven to deliver less makeup for ASENT, the perfect fusion of beauty and technology with the TEMPTU airbrush.

An airbrush makeup machine has 3 major parts: the airbrush stylus, the air compressor and the air hose connecting the two. For creating a flawless complexion (without the assistance of a professional artist), the airbrush wins. Professional artists have used the technique forever, but now the travel size has made it useable and affordable putting home beauty buffs into the picture.

The airbrush requires special foundation that is applied via the gun, it must have a very thin consistency and goes on the skin like a mist, covering the skin with a thin layer of pigment creating a natural looking complexion.

Kevin James Bennett

If you are not into creating your own professional look (or want something very special for a wedding or anniversary), it is time to reach out to a professional. IMAT brings the pros front and center. Not only do they bring their magic to the stage with master classes, they are kind and generous enough with their time and talent to provide advice and guidance on a personal level.

When packing for the business trip or holiday, short intervals way from home, means that small sizes of cosmetics and other personal care products are more practical than the jumbo sizes from Costco. Paying a premium for travel minis is a waste, so purchasing reusable kits and containers will lighten the luggage.

M-Y-O-Cosmetic Cases

The company is committed to sustainable practices and the products are recyclable and follow Carbon Offset and Take-Back programs. The cases are made in Canada from food and medical grade materials.

Dynamic Innovation Labs

The creepy crawling lines that appear (as if by magic) on our faces, frequently toggle a fit of rage (and/or depression) creating a depression. Dynamic has a topical serum that will minimize the crow’s-feet without the need for plastic surgery.

For additional information, go to imats.net.

© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

Categories
Airline News Airport news Breaking Travel News Feature Travel Story International Visitor News Myanmar travel news Tourism News Transportation News Travel Destination Travel News Travel Safety & Emergencies Travel Wire News

Biman Airlines plane skids off runway at Yangon Airport, breaks into three pieces

A Biman Airlines’ Bombardier Dash-8 aircraft has skidded off the runway at Myanmar’s Yangon International Airport, losing its wings and breaking into three parts. Pilots were attempting to land as the accident occurred.

Although conflicting reports exist, a Biman Airlines spokesman told Bangladeshi news site BDnews that four of the 33 people on board were injured, including the pilot.

Photos shared on social media show the extent of the wreck.


The plane was landing at Yangon Airport when the accident took place, after flying from Bangladesh’s Dhaka-Srahjalal International Airport. Weather conditions were poor, and a Biman airlines spokesman said that this led to the crash.

The plane belonged to Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the flag carrier of Bangladesh. Aside from an attempted hijacking in February, the airline has not suffered any accidents or safety incidents in over a decade.

Yangon Airport has been closed following the crash, and incoming flights have been redirected.

Categories
Breaking Travel News Cruise Industry News Feature Travel Story International Visitor News Tourism News Transportation News Travel Destination Travel News Travel Safety & Emergencies Travel Wire News

Thrill seekers with $105K to spare invited to visit Titanic

An American company, which had previously planned to dive to the Titanic wreck site in May 2018, announced that it will be conducting a so-called Titanic Survey Expedition this year. The trips were initially planned for 2018, but have been put on hold due to weather conditions, and rescheduled for 2019.

Starting 2019, the public will have a rare opportunity to dive down to the shipwreck of the legendary Titanic which slipped beneath the icy waves of the Atlantic Ocean over a century ago.

A trip onboard the Titanic was the ultimate in luxury travel back in 1912. Now, more than a century later, it still is. Tickets for the 11-day expeditions – which will leave from St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada and fly to meet the Dive Support Ship at sea – will cost $105,129 per person. That’s approximately the equivalent of what a first class ticket to travel on board the Titanic would cost today.

Only nine ‘mission specialist’ crew positions are available on each of the six expeditions, which start on June 26, 2019. According to OceanGate company, four of the missions are already full, but limited spots are still available from July 25-August 4 and August 1-12.

Those who want to join should be over the age of 18; be able to board small boats in rough seas; demonstrate basic mobility, flexibility, and balance; and take part in a Helicopter Underwater Egress Training course.

“As a mission specialist you will join one submersible dive to the wreck site and assist the expedition crew in one or more support roles aboard the dive support ship and aboard Titan (formerly known as Cyclops 2, a five-person submersible designed to dive to depths of 4000 meters) during your dive,” said OceanGate.

Interest in the 20th century’s most famous maritime disaster has remained high since Robert Ballard and his team discovered the remains of Titanic almost 34 years ago.

The Titanic took just two hours and 40 minutes to sink after striking an iceberg on April 14, 1912, claiming the lives of 1,503 passengers and crew members. The vessel was on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

Specialists say the ship’s wreck is rapidly decaying and could soon be unrecognizable. A recently discovered “extremophile bacteria” could eat away what’s left of the famous shipwreck within 15 or 20 years, according to a study.

Categories
Breaking Travel News Business Travel News Hospitality Industry News Hotel & Resort News International Visitor News People in Travel & Tourism Resort News Thailand travel news Tourism News Travel Destination Travel News Travel Wire News

X2 Resorts appoints new Cluster General Manager for two Pattaya resorts

Southeast Asian boutique hospitality brand, X2 Resorts, has appointed a new Cluster General Manager for a pair of its waterfront Pattaya properties – X2 Pattaya Oceanphere and X2 Vibe Pattaya Seaphere.

Steve Lockhart, a Belfast-born hospitality expert, brings almost two decades of experience to Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard. His impressive career has taken him to destinations as diverse as Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, China, Laos and Malaysia, where he demonstrated a unique ability to manage multinational teams and drive strong results.

Steve moves to Pattaya from X2 Kui Buri, the design-led resort on Thailand’s golden gulf coast, just a short drive from Hua Hin, where as General Manager he delivered the property’s most profitable year in a decade of operations. X2 Resorts is part of BHMA Hotels & Resorts’ distinctive portfolio.

“We are delighted to introduce Steve Lockhart to X2 Pattaya Oceanphere and X2 Vibe Pattaya Seaphere, our two stunning resorts on Thyailand’s pristine Eastern Seaboard. Since Steve joined BHMA Hotels & Resorts we have been hugely impressed by his ability to lead and motivate his teams, maintain high standards and form strong relationships with guests. He also has a strong background in launching new hotels, which makes him the perfect person to lead X2 Pattaya Oceanphere as it approaches its highly-anticipated opening early next year,” commented Harry Thaliwal Executive Vice President Operations of BHMA Hotels & Resorts.

“Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard is one of Asia’s most exciting up-and-coming destinations for well-healed visitors. There is clearly more to Pattaya than just sun, sea and sand; our guests can enjoy visits to local wineries, play golf on world-class courses, visit a sea turtle rehabilitation center and even tour the countryside on quad bikes. We have also teamed up with a local dive shop to offer marine excursions. The wreck diving here is sensational and there’s a great fishing village to discover in nearby Bang Saray – a former pirate hideout many moons ago.

“X2 Pattaya Oceanphere and X2 Vibe Pattaya Seaphere will showcase the best of this diverse destination and I look forward to welcoming visitors from across the world to our two exceptional resorts,” said Mr Lockhart.

Prior to joining BHMA Hotels & Resorts, Steve’s previous positions in Thailand have included management roles at Novotel Bangkok Siam Square, Vie Hotel Bangkok MGallery by Sofitel, and V Villas Hua Hin MGallery by Sofitel, which are managed by AccorHotels.

Categories
Breaking Travel News Feature Travel Story International Visitor News Tourism News Transportation News Travel Destination Travel News Travel Safety & Emergencies Turkey Travel News

Head-on collision: 9 killed, dozens injured in Turkish high-speed train disaster

At least nine people were killed and 47 others injured when a high-speed train crashed into a pilot engine traveling along the same rails in the capital Ankara, Turkey’s transportation and infrastructure minister said on Thursday.

Nine people were killed, including three mechanics, while 47 others were injured, Cahit Turhan said.

The head-on collision between the high-speed train and the pilot engine, which was returning from checking the rails, occurred around six minutes after the first’ departure from Ankara terminal at 06.30 (0330GMT), Turhan added.

He also said that there is no injured under wreck.

After the crash a pedestrian overpass also collapsed onto some of the train cars, according to the Ankara governor’s office.

The train was en route to Konya in central Turkey.

Meanwhile, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been informed about the accident by Turhan and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Erdogan urged all units to be mobilized into the accident.

He also expressed deep sadness over the loss of lives and wished the speedy recovery for the injured.

Prosecutors have launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Categories
Guam Travel News

Author of “Flight of the Cormoran” finds love of the open sea

A civilian employee of the Navy, Herbert Ward first came to Guam in 1953. This was Ward’s second venture with the US Navy, having lied his way to enlisting at age 16, where he discovered his love of the open sea. Now living in Guam, Ward took every opportunity to dive and explore Guam’s underwater world. One of his favorite dives was to the many shipwrecks that dotted Guam’s reefs and resided in Apra Harbor.


On Friday, April 7, 2017, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the scuttling of the SMS Cormoran II. The ship has a unique story that includes how it came to rest at the bottom of Guam’s harbor on April 7, 1917, being part of one of the world’s most unique dive spots, and its place in US history as the location of the country’s first shot fired in World War I. The story of the Cormoran also includes how she became a memory until a young diver named Herbert T. Ward gave her new life.

In 1965, Ward was contacted by a friend coming to Guam for a vacation, who expressed an interest in diving something new. Ward went to work researching the many possibilities and eliminating them as being over visited, picked over, and left with nothing unique to offer. He finally decided to try and find the elusive SMS Cormoran in Apra Harbor.


When the Cormoran initially sank in 1917, her resting place was marked with buoys by the US military. After many years, the ship was no longer marked and while local divers knew her location, they were secretive about it. Ward poured over old military photos of Apra Harbor and was able to pinpoint a location where he felt sure the Cormoran lie. He knew there were local divers who were aware of the ship’s location, but they would not easily share the information.

Working with a diving friend to photograph living golden cowry shells, he met another diver who knew the site of the Cormoran. His new friend offered to take him to the ship. When they arrived, Ward was happy to find his calculations for her position were correct.

Ward’s first dive to the SMS Cormoran found the vessel in much better shape than he’d anticipated. Fearing she would be mostly disintegrated, the Cormoran was mostly intact with smokestacks, porthole glass, and steel side doors still intact. Diving with a single tank, Ward was unable to spend as much time as he wanted on the wreck, but he returned with his new friend the following day. As his companion began retrieving treasures from the Cormoran, Ward became more and more enamored of the vessel, patiently waiting for the moment he could begin exploring her on his own.

Ward began diving the Cormoran daily, bring up artifacts that he carefully removed from the ship. The interior of the vessel had filled with a thick, mud-like silt that made excavating items difficult, especially at the ship’s lower levels, and always affected visibility. In addition to artifact retrieval, Ward also began spending time researching the SMS Cormoran at local libraries. He found a lot of conflicting information that he was able to correct working with some of the Cormoran’s surviving crew members.

During the course of his many dives over the years, Ward was able to retrieve an amazing collection of artifacts. In his book, Flight of the Cormoran, he describes his home as becoming a museum for the SMS Cormoran. He dove the wreck as often as he could and though tragic, it is somehow fitting that Herbert T. Ward died onboard the ship he loved so well. He passed in 1975 while diving the Cormoran. His daughter believes in spite of easily being the most knowledgeable diver of this shipwreck, Ward became so engrossed in his exploration that he ran out of air and couldn’t make it to the top. His remains were cremated and his ashes released on the SMS Cormoran.

Categories
Breaking Travel News Guam Travel News

Herbert T. Ward finds his passion aboard the Cormoran

On Friday, April 7, 2017, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the scuttling of the SMS Cormoran II. The ship has a unique story that includes how it came to rest at the bottom of Guam’s harbor on April 7, 1917, being part of one of the world’s most unique dive spots, and its place in US history as the location of the country’s first shot fired in World War I. The story of the Cormoran also includes how she became a memory until a young diver named Herbert T. Ward gave her new life.

A civilian employee of the Navy, Herbert Ward first came to Guam in 1953. This was Ward’s second venture with the US Navy, having lied his way to enlisting at age 16, where he discovered his love of the open sea. Now living in Guam, Ward took every opportunity to dive and explore Guam’s underwater world. One of his favorite dives was to the many shipwrecks that dotted Guam’s reefs and resided in Apra Harbor.

Swimming inside the SMS Cormoran at 90 feet. This passageway inside the wreck is one level below the deck of the ship. As the Cormoran came to rest on the bottom, she settled on her starboard side. The slight tilt to this picture gives you a sense of the actual perspective as you swim through the ship.

In 1965, Ward was contacted by a friend coming to Guam for a vacation, who expressed an interest in diving something new. Ward went to work researching the many possibilities and eliminating them as being over visited, picked over, and left with nothing unique to offer. He finally decided to try and find the elusive SMS Cormoran in Apra Harbor.

When the Cormoran initially sank in 1917, her resting place was marked with buoys by the US military. After many years, the ship was no longer marked and while local divers knew her location, they were secretive about it. Ward poured over old military photos of Apra Harbor and was able to pinpoint a location where he felt sure the Cormoran lie. He knew there were local divers who were aware of the ship’s location, but they would not easily share the information.


Working with a diving friend to photograph living golden cowry shells, he met another diver who knew the site of the Cormoran. His new friend offered to take him to the ship. When they arrived, Ward was happy to find his calculations for her position were correct.

Ward’s first dive to the SMS Cormoran found the vessel in much better shape than he’d anticipated. Fearing she would be mostly disintegrated, the Cormoran was mostly intact with smokestacks, porthole glass, and steel side doors still intact. Diving with a single tank, Ward was unable to spend as much time as he wanted on the wreck, but he returned with his new friend the following day. As his companion began retrieving treasures from the Cormoran, Ward became more and more enamored of the vessel, patiently waiting for the moment he could begin exploring her on his own.

Ward began diving the Cormoran daily, bring up artifacts that he carefully removed from the ship. The interior of the vessel had filled with a thick, mud-like silt that made excavating items difficult, especially at the ship’s lower levels, and always affected visibility. In addition to artifact retrieval, Ward also began spending time researching the SMS Cormoran at local libraries. He found a lot of conflicting information that he was able to correct working with some of the Cormoran’s surviving crew members.

During the course of his many dives over the years, Ward was able to retrieve an amazing collection of artifacts. In his book, Flight of the Cormoran, he describes his home as becoming a museum for the SMS Cormoran. He dove the wreck as often as he could and though tragic, it is somehow fitting that Herbert T. Ward died onboard the ship he loved so well. He passed in 1975 while diving the Cormoran. His daughter believes in spite of easily being the most knowledgeable diver of this shipwreck, Ward became so engrossed in his exploration that he ran out of air and couldn’t make it to the top. His remains were cremated and his ashes released on the SMS Cormoran.

PHOTO: The SMS Cormoran as she rests in the sand at 120 feet in Apra Harbor, Guam. On April 7, 1917 Captain Zuckschwerdt ordered the crew to scuttle the ship, instead of surrendering the SMS Cormoran to the United States.

Categories
Guam Travel News

Guam’s local dive shops commemorate 100th anniversary of the Cormoran

During WWII, Guam was captured from the US by the Japanese Imperial Army and occupied for two and a half years. On August 20, 1943, the Japanese military transport ship Tokai Maru sunk in Apra Harbor after being torpedoed by a US submarine. Amazingly, the Tokai Maru came to rest leaning against the SMS Cormoran, creating the only place in the world where shipwrecks from two different World Wars touch. The site has become extremely popular with divers, who are attracted by the opportunity to touch two relics from different periods in history at the same time.

The Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the SMS Cormoran II being scuttled in Apra Harbor from April 1-14. The ship was scuttled purposely by her captain on April 7, 1917 rather than be surrendered to the US who had just entered World War I. She came to rest at the bottom of Apra Harbor where she lay undisturbed until the second World War.


Events during the commemoration of the SMS Cormoran’s scuttling will include special dive tours of the twin shipwrecks. The GVB has worked with several of Guam’s leading scuba diving companies to develop dive packages to the site of the twin shipwrecks. Anyone wanting to take advantage of these dive tours must have Advance Open Water dive certification or higher. The dive packages available include a variety of extras that will make it difficult to select between the equally qualified dive companies.

Blue Persuasion Diving has created a package tour that includes three dives to the shipwrecks of WWI and II, including the SMS Cormoran. The package has been created for six divers, with a seventh diver included for free. Booked tours will receive a 3-tank wreck dive discount and interested dive groups can find out more by visiting their website at bulepersuasionguam.com

The 100th Anniversary Cormoran Package developed by Axe Murderer Tour Guam includes several dives to the site at various times on April 7, 2017 beginning with a midnight dive. There are three other dives to choose from on this day. Each dive package includes a 1-tank dive, a SMS Cormoran informational dive site brochure, stickers, a limited edition 100th Anniversary t-shirt, and discounts on exclusive SMS Cormoran and Tokai Maru souvenir items. More information is available on their website, amtguam.com


Micronesia Divers Association (MDA), one of Guam’s oldest dive companies, has created dive tours to the SMS Cormoran on April 7 and 8, 2017. Their package includes a 1-tank dive to the twin shipwrecks, a commemorative coin, a limited-edition t-shirt, and a rare signed copy of “Flight of the Cormoran” written by Herbert T. Ward, who rediscovered the ship in the 1960s. Ward dove the SMS Cormoran many times, rescuing many items from the deep. This amazing book is no longer in print and a signed copy is easily considered a collector’s item among dive enthusiasts. The MDA package is limited to the first 100 divers. For more information or to reserve a space, interested parties can visit their website at mdaguam.com

Categories
Guam Travel News

Guam to Commemorate 100th Anniversary of SMS Cormoran Scuttling

On Friday, April 7, 2017, the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) will commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the scuttling of the SMS Cormoran II. The peace memorial event will include a series of educational, promotional, and diving opportunities to expose the public to the history of the German ship and its connection to Guam prior to World War I.

The Cormoran’s incredible story includes being part of the first shot fired by the United States upon entering World War I on April 7, 1917 and how it became part of one of the world’s most unique diving sites.
The SMS Cormoran II initially came to Guam in December 1914 out of coal and weary from avoiding enemies throughout the Pacific.

While the US was not involved in World War I, Guam’s military governor decided against refueling the vessel, but did allow the German sailors to come ashore.

The Cormoran and her crew stayed in Guam for two and a half years, becoming very friendly with the people until the day the United States officially entered World War I.


On that day, with the US now at war with Germany, the Guam military governor ordered Captain Adalbert Zuckschwerdt to surrender the Cormoran. Unaware of the new conditions, a supply boat returning to the Cormoran with supplies failed to stop when ordered to by US sailors who then fired a warning shot over its bow. This was the first official shot fired by the US in World War I.

Rather than surrender his ship, Captain Zuckschwerdt decided it would be more patriotic to scuttle her instead, which he did. For the next 26 years, the SMS Cormoran II lay undisturbed on the sea floor, until August 27, 1943. On this day, a US submarine torpedoed the Tokai Maru, a Japanese freighter during World War II. The Tokai Maru came to rest lying perpendicular against the Cormoran. The two ships are the only place in the world where divers can touch shipwrecks from two different World Wars at the same time.

The commemoration of the 100th year since the scuttling of the SMS Cormoran will include special dive packages to Guam. Divers and visitors will participate in dive tours to the historic wreck site, history lectures at Guam Museum and T. Stell Newman Information Center, exhibits, and inclusion in special ceremonies. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at sea and at the monument in the U.S.

Naval Cemetery in Hagatña where six sailors who perished during the scuttling of the Cormoran are buried.



Guam has a well-established reputation as a site for outstanding scuba diving. The Guam Visitors Bureau regularly promotes the island’s underwater clarity, beautiful seascapes and marine life to diving enthusiasts at the largest dive shows like the Dive Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA), the Marine Dive Fair in Tokyo, the Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) in Singapore, and the Scuba Show in Long Beach. Diving enthusiasts are excited to learn about sites like the Blue Hole and The
Crevice, but historic sites from World Wars like the twin shipwrecks of the SMS Cormoran and the Tokai Maru always captivate.

Categories
Travel News

Costa Concordia to be raised in one piece, towed from disaster site

ROME, Italy – Salvage experts outlined their plan Friday to raise the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner from the sea floor off Italy in one piece and tow it from the disaster site.

The complicated operation is expected to start in the next few days and take up to a year, the ship’s owner, Costa Cruises, said in Rome.

It will be a joint effort by Titan Salvage, an American-owned specialist marine salvage and wreck removal company, and Italian marine contractor Micoperi.

Capt. Richard Habib, president of Titan Salvage, said it was an “unprecedented” operation.

“It is not impossible. It is entirely possible. It will be successful, and we believe that our plan will work,” he said when asked whether there was a backup plan.

At least 30 people died when the cruise liner struck rocks and turned on its side off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13.

The search for two people who remain missing will continue alongside the removal operation, said Franco Gabrielli, head of the Italian Civil Protection agency. The 30 bodies recovered have all been identified.

The ship cannot stay in its current position, as it represents a danger for the environment, he added.

“The plan to re-float the hull in one piece gives top priority to minimising environmental impact, to protecting Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and to maximum safety of the work,” Costa Cruises said in a statement.

“Once removal is complete, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.”

The operation will be divided into four basic stages, Costa said in its statement.

First, once the ship has been stabilized, an underwater platform will be built and watertight boxes, or caissons, fixed to the side of the ship that is above water.

Two cranes fixed to the platform will pull the ship upright, helped by the weight of the caissons, which will be filled with water.

When the ship is upright, caissons will be fixed to the other side of the hull to stabilize it.

Finally, the caissons on both sides will be emptied, after the water inside has been purified to protect the marine environment, and filled with air, Costa said.

Once the giant ship has been refloated, it will be towed to an Italian port, probably in Tuscany, to be dismantled and disposed of according to local regulations.

No exact cost was given by the officials who presented details of the recovery operation.

But a Costa Cruises representative said that the figure would probably be about $300 million.

Costa said efforts to prevent damage to Giglio’s tourism industry would include housing workers involved in the recovery operation on the mainland. Equipment will also be stored there.

The Concordia’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is being investigated for possible criminal charges and remains under house arrest.

He faces allegations of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship, failing to report an accident to the coast guard and destroying a natural habitat, a prosecutor said this year. Giglio is a protected park.

Schettino’s first officer, Ciro Ambrosio, and six other officers both on the ship and from the firm Costa in Genoa are under investigation over allegations including manslaughter, shipwreck and failure to report the accident, the prosecutor in the case has said.

No one has been charged over the shipwreck.

Categories
Travel News

Wreck of Titanic sister ship finds new destiny as tourist attraction

Nearly 92 years have elapsed since Captain Charles Bartlett, standing in his pyjamas on the bridge of the biggest vessel in the world, the HMHS Britannic, gave the call to abandon ship.

It was 8.35am on November 21 1916. The four-funnel ocean liner, built to be even larger and safer than the “unsinkable” Titanic, her ill-fated sister, was listing fast. Bartlett knew the ship was doomed, but on this eerily calm morning as it sailed to collect troops wounded in the first world war’s Balkans campaign, neither he nor any of his crew could have imagined the speed with which the vessel would go down.

The explosion occurred at 8.12am, sending a giant shudder through the gargantuan vessel, badly damaging its bow as it steamed past the Greek island of Kea. Fifty-five minutes later, the 269-metre (883ft) “wonder ship” lay starboard side down on the seabed.

There the Britannic, which was launched in February 1914 at Belfast, and, the following year, put to use as a wartime hospital ship for the first time, would stay at a depth of 122 metres (400ft), untouched and forgotten, until being discovered by the explorer Jacques Cousteau, in 1975.

Now, the mystery, and controversy that has shrouded this vessel – which sank so quickly compared with the 160 or so minutes taken by the Titanic – could soon be lifted.

There are plans to turn the shipwreck into a spectacular underwater museum. Its location, which until now has been glimpsed only by a handful of divers, will be opened up to tourists. The aim is for the first tours in submersibles to begin next summer.

Wonderfully intact

Simon Mills, a British marine historian who bought the shipwreck from the UK government in 1996 and who organised the underwater project with Greek officials, told the Guardian: “Our plan is to start off with three- or four-seater submersibles. The Titanic lies in the cold waters of the north Atlantic and is rapidly disintegrating because of iron-eating bacteria, in a couple of hundred years there will be very little that is recognisable. But the Britannic is completely different. She lies in warm waters, is very well preserved and wonderfully intact. For so long she has been eclipsed by her older sister but she also has her own story to tell.”

Few have firsthand knowledge of the final moments of that story other than the people of Kea, who sped out in fishing boats to rescue the 1,036 doctors, nurses and crew hit by the disaster.

The island’s vice-mayor, Giorgos Euyenikos, said: “Everyone here knows about the events of that morning because every family in some way was involved. When the ship went down there was a very loud sound and locals rushed to the highest point of the island to see what was happening.

“My father was a boy when it happened and he remembers his father recalling the howls of people crying out in sheer agony as they met their deaths.” But, unlike the huge loss of life on the Titanic, only 30 people on the Britannic perished, partly because the vessel was on an outward journey and not carrying any patients.

But it was the manner of those deaths that has set the Britannic apart. As Bartlett tried to beach the liner after the explosion holed the ship, two lifeboats that had been lowered without his knowledge became sucked into the ship’s still churning propellers and were torn apart. All aboard the lifeboats died.

The incident, described in detail by Violet Jessop, an Anglo-Irish nurse who incredibly had also survived the sinking of the Titanic, traumatised those who witnessed it.

Churning propellers

“Not a word, nor a shot was heard, just hundreds of men fleeing into the sea as if from an enemy in pursuit,” Jessop wrote in her memoirs, which were published in 1997. “I turned round to see the reason for this exodus, and, to my horror, saw Britannic’s huge propellers churning and mincing up everything near them – men, boats and everything were just one ghastly whirl.”

Only five of these Britannic victims were ever found.

Mills said that bearing in mind those who had died on board, special care would be taken to preserve the integrity of the wreck.

“This project is not just about tourism but also about education, conservation and marine archaeology,” he said.

Mills also hopes to debunk some of the “myths” that have long swirled around the Britannic, including the assertion of conspiracy theorists that in addition to transporting casualties the ship was also carrying military supplies to Allied armies in the Middle East.

Historians have added to the controversy by maintaining that the vessel was torpedoed, despite sonar scan studies conducted as recently as 2003 that reinforced the belief that the liner was brought down by a mine laid by a German U-boat.

“A lot of wartime propaganda endures to this day, not least the German allegation that the Britannic was being misused as a troop transporter when she went down,” said Mills. “There is absolutely no evidence to prove this was the case, and we hope that soon these myths will also be laid to rest.”

Backstory

The Britannic was launched in 1914, the third of the Olympic-class ocean liners built by the White Star Line at Harland and Wolff’s Belfast shipyard. Its size and luxury were such it was originally going to be named the Gigantic. The line redesigned the vessel to correct the defects that had played such a crucial role in the sinking of the Titanic, in 1912. It was announced that the Britannic would sail the Southampton-New York route carrying thousands of immigrants destined for the new world. But the first world war intervened and, requisitioned by the British navy, the Britannic instead began ferrying the wounded from the Gallipoli campaign and other fronts in the Middle East. She was on her sixth outward voyage when disaster struck on November 21 1916 and the vessel sank off Kea, an island near Athens. Controversy has always raged over whether the ship was hit by a mine or torpedo. Some historians believe it was attacked because it was carrying weapons and only dressed up as a hospital ship.