Budget measures The Budget Terminal at Singapore's Changi Airport, which opened in 2006 for the benefit of a rash of new low-cost airlines, will close this Tuesday to make space for Terminal 4. Consequently, Berjaya Air, Cebu Pacific, Firefly, Mandala Airlines, Southeast Asian Airlines and Tiger Airways will all be moving to Terminal 2, which is also under renovation. Most flights to and from Hong Kong use Terminal 1, but if you're connecting to a flight from Terminal 2, an early arrival is recommended as delays seem inevitable. Travellers using the recently refurbished Terminal 1 (above right), incidentally, are now being entertained by an art installation called Kinetic Rain, which comprises two sets of 608 copper-plated aluminium raindrops. These change formation into several themed shapes, which are supposed, according to the German makers, to provide "a moment for passengers to contemplate and reflect". It might be best to avoid too much contemplation of the shapes named Flock of Birds and Turbulence, however, as these are two things that rarely make for a relaxing flight.
Endurance test Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance Expedition of 1914-17 is best known not for its spectacular failure to reach the South Pole, but for the safe return of its entire crew, thanks to its leader's incredible navigational skill and dogged determination. The most celebrated leg of the long return journey was the sailing, by a crew of six, of James Caird (bottom right), one of the lifeboats from the ship Endurance (which was crushed and sunk by pack ice), across 800 nautical miles, from Elephant Island to South Georgia in the South Atlantic, and Shackleton's subsequent trek across the island to a whaling station. Hardy travellers are now being invited to join the support ship on a recreation of this three-week journey by a crew of adventurous gentlemen led by Australian Tim Jarvis. The lifeboat used on the trip will be a near-replica of the original, and the support ship, TS Pelican (top), is similar in shape and size to the Endurance. The price for a berth is US$29,000 and, if the 10 available places haven't already been taken by unfulfilled dotcom millionaires, you can book your place through Intrepid Travel www.intrepidtravel.com The expedition is due to set sail from Punta Arenas in Chile on January 3.
Bigger and better The massive Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central (left) has opened, with nearly 4,000 rooms and suites, overtaking the 3,000-room Venetian as Macau's biggest hotel, and becoming the 14th largest in the world by room count. Until the end of the year, the hotel will be selling a Sheraton 75th Celebration Package (this is Sheraton Hotels and Resorts' 75th anniversary), with one night in a deluxe room, a choice of breakfast or lunch buffet, round-trip ferry tickets for two to Macau, and "an exclusive 75th anniversary gift" for HK$1,398 plus 15 per cent service and tax. Guests staying two or more nights receive an upgrade (subject to availability) to a Sheraton Club Room with breakfast, tea and coffee and evening cocktails in the private club lounge with in-room free Wi-fi. For further details, go to sheraton.com/macao and click on Offers.
Deal of the week If you haven't yet flown on an Airbus A380 Superjumbo and would like to, Farrington American Express Travel will get you aboard Thai Airways' new leviathan (bottom left) for a one-way flight to Bangkok, with a return flight on a regular aircraft, and three nights hotel accommodation from HK$3,800. For an extra HK$2,650 you can upgrade to business class for the A380 leg . Hotels offered include The Peninsula, Shangri-La and Four Seasons. The package is available for departure until mid-December, but bookings must be made by this Friday and some hotels impose significant surcharges from November 1. For reservations, visit www.amextravel.com.hk or call 3121 3121. For a list of all the other Airbus A380 routes currently in operation, go to www.flya380.net/en/routes