For Wise Travellers on the move, here’s the latest travel news around the world this month:

Emirates and MSC Cruises have renewed a fly-cruise partnership for two more seasons, building on a decade-long relationship.

The announcement, made at the Arabian Travel Market, will enable guests to book a Fly & Cruise holiday package with MSC Cruises. The package includes Emirates return flights from 21 airports across Europe and South America. Benefits include being met at arrivals with a dedicated bus transfer to the ship.

On return, guests can drop their bags at the cruise terminal and collect them directly once they arrive at their destination. MSC Fly & Cruise packages with flights are available from Italy (Milan, Rome), Germany (Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf), the United Kingdom (London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle), and more.

Dedicated Emirates check-in counters at Port Rashid allow passengers disembarking from their cruise to check in their luggage and get their flight boarding passes up to four hours before flight departure. American cruise guests will soon be able to book their Emirates flight through MSC Cruises from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, and Washington, D.C.

A British man may face jail after posting a fake one-star review of a restaurant in Thailand.

The man was staying in Phuket in 2022, using the restaurant as a cut-through to his apartment. However, the Italian restaurant owner banned him from doing so as he wasn’t a paying customer, sparking a counter-manoeuvre.

The man allegedly got his friends to write one-star reviews for the restaurant, reducing its high rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars to 3.1. The owner filed a police complaint, and the suspect was tracked down to Bangkok and arrested for defamation. The charge could carry a term of two years in jail.

Emirates is to relaunch return flights to Edinburgh from 4 November 2024. Flights from Dubai will be served on Emirates A350-900 aircraft, complementing the airline’s A380 daily flight to Glasgow. Customers can book flights on, via travel agents or Emirates sales offices.

Rail tourists have been given a significant boost with news from Anantara as it is introducing a second railway carriage on The Vietage by Anantara. The Vietnam luxury rail service will operate a daily return journey between Nha Trang and Quy Nhon, Vietnam, commencing its first journeys this month (May).

Following the success of the existing carriage, which runs daily between Da Nang and Quy Nhon, the new addition will connect the beach city of Nha Trang. The five-hour journey travels through the picturesque Vietnamese countryside.

There are 12 reservation-only seats in private booths, and there are two with big-picture windows in which to admire the views. The Vietnam luxury rail service has an elegant cocktail bar and a dedicated spa area.

The journey includes an afternoon tea experience serving poached Bai Dai Lobster and Da Lat Caviar and a tea tower with finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes and traditional scones. A dedicated vegan menu is also available.

Thailand has extended its visa exemption program for tourists from India and Taiwan. Tourists can enter visa-free for up to 30 days until November 11, 2024. It aims to further boost tourist arrivals from both markets. Travellers from India and Taiwan were only allowed a 15-day stay in Thailand.

Marriott International is set to enter the midscale hospitality segment in Japan. As part of the brand’s debut in Asia Pacific, a portfolio of 14 hotels will be converted to Four Points Express by Sheraton.

The hotels will be located across various destinations, such as Morioka, Yokohama, Kanazawa, Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. The properties are expected to open in the second half of 2024. Four Points Express by Sheraton targets value-conscious consumers with simplicity and value in both the design and guest experience.

Etihad Airways has launched two-way partnerships with five new airline partners, helping to expand travel options for passengers. The interline agreements are with Kam Air in Afghanistan, SKY Express in Greece, Rex Airlines in Australia, Jeju Air in Korea and Myanmar Airways International.

The agreements give customers of these airlines more seamless connectivity to destinations across the respective networks. They enable guests to book their complete journey on a single ticket, with baggage checked through to the end destination.

Authorities in Sardinia, Italy have imposed a fine of up to €3,000 in fines for those seeking to steal sand from the island’s iconic beaches. Several European tourists have already been caught taking sand and stones.

They have ramped up action after a series of ‘thefts. One family was caught with a kilogramme of stones from the seabed, and a French visitor was detained when police discovered 41 kilos of pebbles in the boot of his car.

Andy Probert - The Wise TravellerAndy Probert is an experienced freelance business travel journalist and PR specialist.