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Archive for Sunday, July 15, 2001

Travel briefs

July 15, 2001

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Discovery Cove plans expansion

A year after it opened as a theme park in which guests can swim with dolphins, Discovery Cove Sea World's sister attraction has announced plans to expand.

The Orlando, Fla., park will create a new, 6-foot-deep Ray Lagoon, where visitors can swim with more than 100 stingless rays. Park officials also plan to double the size of its aviary, and create a new faux coral reef section specifically for children.

The additions will increase the 30-acre park's space by 15 percent. But that doesn't mean more guests will be allowed into the Anheuser-Busch park, which welcomes no more than 1,000 visitors a day.

"What the new expansion will allow us to do is spread people out," says Frank Murru, the park's general manger.

With an admission price $199 per person, plus tax, Discovery Cove is the priciest major attraction in the Orlando area. Those guests who don't want to swim with the dolphins pay $89 per person, plus tax.

For more information, see www.discoverycove.com.

Israel to develop baptism site

Israel has decided to develop the traditional site of Jesus' baptism along the Jordan River for tourism and clear mines from what is now a closed military zone, the Tourism Ministry says.

An abandoned monastery at the Qasr al-Yahud site, near the Palestinian town of Jericho in the West Bank, will be returned to the Greek Orthodox Church, the ministry says.

The plan comes at a time when tourism is sagging, following nine months of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Isles offer a bit of England, France

In the bucolic dots off the coast of France, several British islands with names that make Americans think of cows offer laid-back activities year-round.

The Channel Islands chain includes the two larger islands of Jersey and Guernsey, plus Alderney and tiny Sark.

With warmer weather than England, and a taste of France in their cuisine, the islands have hundreds of restaurants, hotels and guest houses and a leisurely pace dictated by a traffic speed limit of 40 mph. Between them, Guernsey and Jersey have 10 golf courses.

Events planned for this year on Jersey include the International Arts Festival, Sept. 27-Oct. 7, and the annual Battle of the Flowers, Aug. 9-10, which dates to the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII.

Guernsey events include a Harbor Carnival, July 23; International Folk Festival, July 27-29; and the October Tennerfest, an annual food festival.

For more information call (800) 617-3333, or check www.jersey.com or www.guernseytouristboard.com.

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