News and Deals: January 24, 2013 – Cruise Cuba? Now it’s possible, DC Tourism Bureau Wants to Sex Up Washington, Delta Air Lines Changes Mileage Program, Budget Travelers Lose and Princess Cruises to expand rapidly in Japan

Sensoji Temple, Japan

Cruise Cuba? Now it’s possible
Detroit Free Press

Cuba travel options for Americans keep expanding.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art just posted a trip, “Havana and Beyond Aboard Sea Spirit” on two dates — April 5-15 and April 15-25 — that has a twist not seen before in fledgling U.S.-Cuba tourism ventures.

Not only does it provide the “people to people” itinerary allowed by the U.S. government since 2011, it features a small ship cruise.

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DC Tourism Bureau Wants to Sex Up Washington
U.S. News & World Report

It’s a provocative photo. One man embraces another atop a table in the middle of a white tablecloth restaurant. Heads turn. One woman looks shocked. The caption: “Get a room.”

For years, the D.C. tourism bureau has emphasized the staple attractions of the city, most of them political, and some of them rather dry: the museums, the monuments, the history. For Valentine’s Day in 2010, the bureau urged visitors to take part in a series of cutesy “date nights” similar to the First Couple’s dating tradition.

But 2013, it seems, is the year Destination DC has decided to get a lot more frisky.

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Delta Air Lines Changes Mileage Program, Budget Travelers Lose
Gadling

The announcement came quietly last week, amid bigger, louder clamor over another airline’s new branding. Delta Air Lines will be changing its mileage program for the 2015 status year, and in a very big way. Coming up, passengers will soon be required to spend a minimum amount of money on the airline per year in order to reach elite status. So, for example, for one to reach Platinum status, it will soon be required to earn either 75,000 miles or 100 segments and spend a minimum of $7,500 on the airline per year. The full qualification table pulled from Delta’s announcement is below:

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Princess Cruises to expand rapidly in Japan
USA Today

Looks like Princess Cruises is going after the Japanese market in a big way.

The Los Angeles-based line today announced it would send two ships to Japan in 2014 to cater to Japanese vacationers in what amounts to a major expansion of a pilot program that begins this year.

Princess says the 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess and 2,022-passenger Sun Princess will sail 42 voyages between April and October 2014 from three Japanese ports: Yokohama (near Tokyo), Kobe and Otaru (near Sapporo).

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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