Four million visitors are expected in Amsterdam in August to take part in "Sail Amsterdam," the world's largest gathering of tall ships.
The event, held every five years, takes place Aug. 9-14 and will feature more than 1,000 sailing vessels from around the world. Not all of them, naturally, are tall ships.
The weeklong program begins with a "Parade of Sail" on Aug. 9 through the North Sea canal. The parade will be led by a replica of an 18th-Century East Indiaman.
A tall ships race, meanwhile, starts in Plymouth, England, and will go via Le Coruna, Spain; Bordeaux, France, and Zeebrugge, the Netherlands, to Amsterdam.
Visitors will be allowed on board the ships during their stay in IJ Harbor, and the celebration also includes a flower parade on water, concerts and fireworks.
Quick Fact: Papiamento is neither a new kind of stuffed olive nor the latest hit song from Italy. It is, in fact, the native language of the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao.
Fast Cats: High-speed catamaran ferry service between England and France begins this month between Portsmouth and Cherbourg. The twin-hulled Christopher Columbus will be operated by Hoverspeed and will cut the crossing time in half.
The ferry will be able to carry 450 passengers and 80 vehicles and will travel at up to 40 knots. Current trips take nearly five hours on the Portsmouth-Cherbourg route, but the new craft is capable of making the crossing in less than three hours.
Forwarding Address: The Haiti National Office of Tourism has moved. It is now at 18 East 41st St., New York 10017.
Rio Very Grande: In an effort to bolster tourism along its border with the United States, Mexico has unveiled plans to build a $50-million resort by Lake Amistad near Ciudad Acuna on the Rio Grande.
The project, which could take up to 20 years to complete, will create a posh resort out of barren cactus land along the river's jagged cliffs and the waters of the lake.
Officials envision a resort the size of Cancun, rivaling it in popularity.
The area now gets just a scattering of American tourists, mostly those who cross the river for a few hours from the Texas city of Del Rio to shop or spend an evening in the bars and restaurants of neighboring Ciudad Acuna.
Government officials figure they have 7.8 million potential tourists to draw from in Texas alone. By 1994 they hope to have completed two hotels, two restaurants, a swimming pool, an 800-acre nature preserve, renovation of a tornado-damaged marina and a cliff-diving attraction similar to the one in Acapulco.
Quick Fact: According to Mexican tourism officials, 20 years ago, 61% of all visitors to the country arrived by land. Now that land figure is 35%.
The Road Goes On and On: One of the world's great motoring events begins July 13 when 60 cars set off from Hyde Park in London to drive to New York.
No, these are not aquamobiles, they're real cars going the long way around--via Europe, the Soviet Union, Alaska, Canada and some of the Lower 48 states. The 64-day journey is supposed to end in New York Sept. 14 after covering 12,700 land miles, plus a little sea between Naukan in the Soviet Union and Seward, Alaska.
The event isn't for everyone. The cost alone is enough to bring one to a fast stop: $27,900 for a car and driver and another $13,950 for a passenger.
Billed as the London to New York Motor Challenge, the drive is being organized by Voyages Jules Verne, a London company specializing in exotic travel.
Quick Fact: The number of tourists visiting Israel in 1989 has increased over 1988, according to that nation's tourism ministry. Figures disclosed 1.425 million people visited Israel last year, up from 1.299 million the year before, and an increase of 9.7%.
No Stone Unturned: It hasn't taken long for free enterprise and the chance of a quick deutsch mark to penetrate East Berlin.
Word is that an advertising entrepreneur has secured the rights to a 13-foot-high, 3,300-foot-long section of the Berlin Wall from a local council and plans to turn it into a permanent billboard.
The man, Andreas Dademasch, told Neues Deutschland, an East Berlin daily: "We'll clean and look after it (the Wall) because we think something of it should remain as a kind of cultural monument. . . ."
Wait for it. . . .
" . . . And we want to market it for advertising."