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Analyst Says Cruise Prices Have Not Fallen After Costa Accident

Travel Weekly |  UBS Investment Research analyst Robin Farley noted Jan. 24 that cruise fares have held steady or slightly increased since the start of the year, despite the crash of the Costa Concordia.

UBS had forecasted that prices would take a hit as a result of the accident.

“Although we expected that a strong start to Wave season would likely be derailed by the accident in Italy, said Farley, ticket prices appear to be up as much as 1% since the start of the year, according to the UBS Cruise Data Tracker.

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Ecuador to Limit Number of Visitors to Galapagos Islands

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Travel Weekly |  New rules are to be imposed to limit the number of cruise passengers visiting The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

Tour operators have until February 1 to incorporate the Galapagos National Park Authority’s new regulations, which are designed to protect the local animal and plant life, into travel programmes.

The rules will allow travellers to stay for a maximum of four nights and five days per ship, with a frequency of four landings within any 14-day period.

The archipelago’s 150,000 annual visitors have been mainly concentrated on the three islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal for the past 14 years. (Photo credit: T+L Photo Contest)

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Southwest’s No-Bag-Fee Strategy

201002-b-bryan-correirajpgTravel Weekly |  While airlines continue to rack up even more revenue by charging higher checked-baggage fees, Southwest remains resolved to let bags fly free, saying it has enabled the carrier to capture market share from its competitors.

And a recent report analyzing the baggage-fee bonanza suggests that while Southwest might be forgoing hundreds of millions of dollars in immediate cash, the low-cost carrier’s strategy promises to pay off in the long run as fed-up passengers make the switch to avoid paying the extra baggage charges. (Read more.)

In other Southwest Airlines news, the Chicago Tribute reports the carrier is adding WiFi to its fleet:

Southwest Airlines finally has decided to wire its Boeing 737 fleet for wireless Internet service after dabbling with the concept for two years.

The big question: Will the discounter offer its Wi-Fi service for peanuts?

Texas-based Southwest said Friday that it plans to begin outfitting its aircraft to handle Row 44 Inc.'s satellite-based broadband service by the second quarter.

Southwest initially will install equipment on about 15 aircraft per month and gradually increase that rate to 25 planes per month. It estimates that Wi-Fi will be available on the more than 540 planes in its fleet by early 2012.

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Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

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