The Natural Bridge, one of Arubas most treasured and photographed attractions, collapsed and fell into the sea after centuries of pounding by the surf.

The rock bridge, which was 100 feet long and 25 feet high, was formed by coral limestone carved from thousands of years of pounding waves and strong winds on Arubas jagged northern coast.

Although arrangements for a tribute to the bridge are not yet final, the Aruba Tourism Authority is discussing several plans, one of which could include Web site submissions by visitors of their favorite Natural Bridge photos and memories.

Spirit adds Turks and Caicos flights

Spirit Airlines will offer daily flights from Fort Lauderdale to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, on Feb. 16.

Twice-weekly service to Grand Turk, also in the Turks and Caicos, from Fort Lauderdale will begin Feb. 19.

Club Seabourne opens wine cellar

Club Seabourne opened a wine cellar for private tastings, dining and corporate meetings on the island of Culebra off the east coast of Puerto Rico.

A two-night weekend program, valid through Dec. 15, includes room, breakfast, one dinner, a wine tasting, two drinks and use of a kayak for an hour, and is priced from $398 per couple.

For details, visit www.clubseabourne.com.

Meridien to enter Barbados market

After pulling out of St. Martin earlier this year, Meridien Hotels & Resorts plans to enter the Barbados market with the 200-room Le Meridien Barbados, opening in 2010 as part of a luxury waterfront development at the Pierhead in Bridgetown.

The property will offer banquet facilities, a marina restaurant, a pool with a beachside terrace and bar, a health and fitness club and a rooftop bar.

Continental adds Punta Cana service

Continental Airlines will launch two weekly flights from Houston to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on Dec. 16. The new route will complement Continentals existing nonstop flights to Punta Cana from Newark.

The flights will depart Houston on Fridays and Saturdays at 1:30 p.m., arriving in Punta Cana at 7:35 p.m. The return flights will leave Punta Cana on Saturdays and Sundays at 9:10 a.m., arriving in Houston at noon.

Mount Nevis launches fall promo

Mount Nevis in Nevis offers a fall promotion with one free night for every two paid nights, which can reduce the price for a couple in a deluxe king to $83 per person, per night, and the price for a family of four in a superior suite to $50 per person, per night (kids under 12 years are free of charge in room with parents).

The offer is valid to Dec. 15 but blacked out from Nov. 23 to 27. For more information, visit www.mountnevishotel.com.

Hiltons offer high-speed Internet

All Hilton hotels in the Caribbean now offer high-speed Internet access in guest rooms and meetings facilities, and seven of the nine properties also offer wireless Internet in public areas, priced at $15 or less for 24 hours use.

Wireless access is available at the Hilton Barbados; Caribe Hilton, San Juan; Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort in Ponce, Puerto Rico; Hilton Tobago Golf & Spa Resort, Tobago; Hilton Trinidad & Conference Center, Trinidad; Hilton Kingston Jamaica; and Hilton Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Adventure Tobago expands services

Adventure Tobago, a Halifax, Nova-Scotia-based company specializing in Tobago, now offers arrangements for land tours, car rentals, diving, mountain biking, fishing, kayak rentals and wedding ceremonies.

The firm works with on-island Holiday Accommodations to secure rooms at most of Tobagos resorts and villas.

For further details, visit www.adventuretobago.com or e-mail Susan Kalliecharan at [email protected].

New Almond Resort offers 40% off

Almond Morgan Bay Beach Resort, the newest member of Almond Resorts, will open on St. Lucia Nov. 15 with special rates of up to 40% off on bookings made through Nov. 30 for travel to Jan. 21.

The discount drops to 30% for travel from Jan. 22 to April 24.  Sale prices start at $150 per person, per night, double, and require a three-night minimum stay.

The property will open with 238 rooms and expand to 336 by fall 2006. To book, visit www.almondresorts.com and include booking code MGABAYOP.

Apple enhances commission options

Apple Vacations is paying 15% commission on its vacation flight packages, scheduled air packages and land-only packages from Newark, LaGuardia, Kennedy and Islip, booked through June 30, for travel anytime.

In addition, agents can keep 15% commissions throughout 2006 if they have 100 passengers on the books by June 30.

For details, visit www.applevacations.com.

Club Med reveals swimwear collection

To coincide with the debut of the $60 million Club Med Buccaneers Creek on Martinique on Dec. 17, Club Med will unveil a collection of swimwear created by Brazilian designer Rosa Cha. The swimwear will be sold at Club Med boutiques worldwide.

The new, 293-room resort was constructed on the site of the original property, which opened in 1969. Amenities include an infinity pool, the Club Med Spa, gym, a beachside entertainment area and three restaurants. Rooms have CDs, flat-screen TVs, pillow-top beds and mini-refrigerators.

Seven-night air-inclusive packages start at $1,775 per person plus a $55 Club Med membership fee. For details, visit www.clubmed.com.

CTO helps launch kids photo contest

In conjunction with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the National Geographic Traveler magazine launched its first annual Caribbean Youth Photography Contest.

The In My View competition is aimed at Caribbean students between 12 and 17 years of age, who are asked to submit up to five photos each that capture the best attributes of their country and culture, including people, food, landscapes or local community events.

Entry forms are available at schools in the 32 CTO member nations. The entry deadline is Nov. 15; winners will be announced in January.

The grand-prize winner will receive a three-night trip for two (child and parent/guardian) to Washington with a visit to the National Geographic Society, a tour of the city and a digital camera.

The winners photos will appear in National Geographic Travelers May/June 2006 issue.

The second-place winner will receive a digital camera and three photography books from National Geographic. The third-place winner gets 10 books.

Finalists photos will be displayed at select travel shows.

For details, visit www.onecaribbean.org or www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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