In the Globe and Mail on Saturday, Wallace Immen reports on the supersizing of cruise ships. He profiles the Carnival Splendor ship, which sleeps 3,600 and serves a whopping 60,480 slices of bacon in an average week. (That's 16.8 strips of bacon per person per week at full capacity. Everybody loves bacon, but that's a lot of bacon, right?)
The Splendor's capacity, it appears, is nothing compared to that of Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas ship, set to launch in 2009, which will be able to carry 6,400 passengers at a time. Having never taken a cruise—something that I should do at least once if I want to be able to credibly claim this profession of mine—the thought of being adrift with 6,399 other passengers strikes me as simultaneously overwhelming and somewhat exotic. More seriously, given the fact that cruising is vastly worse for the environment than flying, one does wonder how great a development these massive cruise ships are.
Jan Morris writes in the weekend FT an enthusiastic, impressionistic blur of a Slovenia feature. Since Slovenia checks so many of the obvious European travel boxes—Adriatic beach towns, stunning Alpine scenery, a hip and happening capital—I find it very odd that features like this are not more commonplace. Slovenia is also delightfully affordable, with the exception of the overpriced Ljubljana hotel market. A Slovenia farmstay brochure last summer included information on farms with nightly rates as low as €10 per person per night. (I wish I could link, but I'm away from home and don't have access to my paper files right now.)
Looking through the travel sections of a number of U.S. newspapers this weekend, the most notable shared feature is an embrace of local destinations and short trips. Clearly, this turn is meant to address the ongoing interest people have in traveling and exploring despite tough economic times. The New York Times' New York City special is one example. Another is the Buffalo News' "One-Tank Trip," which yesterday gave Hamilton, Ontario the day trip treatment courtesy of Dorothy Delmonte. The "One-Tank Trip" feature isn't new for the Buffalo News, but it's especially valuable for this particular moment.