(CNN) — Carnival celebrations are taking place around the world ahead of Mardi Gras, and the world’s largest cruise ship is about to set sail. But travel is also impacted by Covid restrictions and the invasion of Ukraine.
Here are CNN Travel’s biggest stories this week.
The biggest, tallest and tallest in the world
You should have covered nearly three and a half American football pitches before going from the bow to the stern of the Royal Caribbean. wonder of the seasthe largest cruise ship in the world.
The 18-bridge giant, with its own zipline and what’s billed as “the tallest slide at sea,” will begin its maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to the Caribbean on March 4.
Also on the “wow, that’s high” front, Heavenly Jin restaurant on the 120th floor of the Shanghai Tower – about 1.5 times the height of the Empire State Building – has just been named the world’s tallest restaurant in a building.
Meanwhile in Australia, Four Seasons Melbourne is set to open in a skyscraper complex with the the tallest vertical garden in the world. Imagine a garden path twice as long as New York’s High Line winding along the facades of two winding towers.
The holiday season is back
For centuries, Mardi Gras – which this year falls on March 1 – has been central to the carnival season in Christian countries around the world. But what about 2022?
Venice Carnival started on February 19, but on a smaller scale than usual. Covid restrictions still apply. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, however, have postponed their celebrations until end of April. (In the meantime, you can listen to Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” podcast from Brazil here.)
Grace Bay Beach in Turks and Caicos Islands
Joao Barcelos/iStockphoto/Getty Images
The best of sun, sand and surf
The World’s Best Beach is a pristine stretch of soft white sand in the Turks and Caicos Islands, according to Tripadvisor users. Click to see the choice of travel platform among the best beaches for 2022.
If you want to see CNN Travel favorites, check out our Best beaches interactive – there is a range for each week of the year. But for a truly otherworldly landscape, check out Brazil’s freshwater lagoons and ghostly white dunes. Lencóis Maranhenses National Park.
Speaking of another world, CNN Travel recently boarded the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. It was quite a trip.
Restrictions and travel impacted
At the time of writing, Ukrainian airspace is closed following the Russian invasion. In what is a rapidly changing situation, here is what we know so far on how travel to Eastern Europe and Russia is affected.
As for Covid restrictions, new additions to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s growing list of high-risk destinations include Iran, Brunei, Bhutan and a multicultural asian favorite.
In the meantime, from 1 March, the EU will advise its Member States to lift bans on non-essential travel by vaccinated passengers coming from “third countries”, i.e. outside the European bloc.
Love at 1000 feet
American visitor Dan Giedeman and Swiss tourist Esther Wieland noticed each other when they walked alone to the Eiffel Tower on a Monday morning in 1998. Some 24 years later, they still haven’t come down. romantic top.
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Get ready, travel
Now that the world is opening up again, you might — gasp! — planning your first getaway in a while. If you’re out of the habit or unsure of what new essentials are in the age of Covid, our partners at CNN Underscored, a guide to reviews and recommendations of CNN-owned products, have put place one packing list cheat sheet for your next vacation.