Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Dec. 3, 2003

AMERICAN AIRLINES will launch nonstop service to two of Mexico's top beach destinations later next month. Starting Jan. 31, American will fly daily from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Cozumel and twice weekly [Wednesdays and Saturdays] from Dallas/Fort Worth to Ixtapa. The airline will fly to Cozumel with 142-seat 737 aircraft and to Ixtapa with 129-seat MD-80 planes, both featuring American's "More Room Throughout Coach" configuration. American flies to Acapulco, Cancun, Leon, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta and San Jose del Cabo from Dallas. American Eagle, American's regional affiliate, serves Aguascalientes. American also serves some of these Mexican destinations from Chicago, St. Louis and Miami, as well as from New York [Kennedy] and Boston.

SEA KAYAK ADVENTURES is offering an eight-day whale-watching and kayaking trip to Baja California's Magdalena Bay. "Whale sightings are guaranteed, and you won't see anybody else," said Sea kayak Adventures president Terry Prichard, who has exclusive permission to paddle Magdalena Bay's remote northern waters. Gray whales migrate more than 5,000 miles from their Arctic feeding grounds to mate and bear their young in the protected waterways of Magdalena Bay. Guests will paddle kayaks four to five hours a day. Onshore, they'll have an opportunity to trek across shifting sand dunes to whalebone-littered beaches, visit a sea lion colony, and look for spouting grays. Nights are spent camping in sheltered coves. Six departures are scheduled from Jan. 25 to March 7, beginning and ending in Loreto, Mexico. No previous kayaking or camping experience is necessary. Two-person kayaks and kayaking instruction, all paddling gear and camping supplies, meals, and two nights' hotel accommodations are included. Air fare is extra. The cost is $1,195 per person, double. Call Sea Kayak Adventures at (800) 616-1943 or visit www.seakayakadventures.com.

APPLE VACATIONS AND OCCIDENTAL RESORTS teamed for a travel agent incentive program that offers agents bonus pay and Apple Royalties Points, free vacations and the chance to win a Mercedes Benz convertible. The incentives are valid on all bookings made through Dec. 31, for travel Dec. 21 to Jan. 31. Under the promotion, Occidental will give agents a $30 cash bonus per booking. Once five Occidental bookings have been made, Apple will give agents 25,000 bonus Royalties Points and two roundtrip charter airline tickets. The agent with the most bookings from May 5, 2003, to April 30, 2004 [for travel through June 30] will receive a new Mercedes Benz SLK230 convertible, plus 75,000 bonus Royalties Points and a week in a Royal Club room at Grand Xcaret by Occidental, including roundtrip air fare for two from Apple. The grand prize winner must have made at least 10 of their Occidental bookings through Apple Vacations to qualify. For information visit www.applevacations.com and click on "Just for Travel Agents."

RUNAWAY partnered with Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts to offer a winter promotion in February. The promotion is based on the purchase of a four-night package and is valid from Feb. 1 to 27. Prices are per person, double. Rates for all-inclusive resorts include meals, drinks and activities, as well as roundtrip air fare from Los Angeles [add-on fares from other cities are available]. At the Melia Turquesa in Cancun, prices start at $755 per person, double; $808 at the Melia Cozumel; $724 at the Melia Puerto Vallarta; $893 at the Melia Ixtapa; and $754 at the Melia Cabo Real. For information, call (800) 622-0723.

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