Wine-Themed River Cruises, Plus More Travel News

In this week’s travel news roundup, we’ve got the latest on new attractions we can’t wait to book, plus hotel openings you have to see to believe.

What to Do

AmaWaterways, a river cruise line operated around the world, has unveiled its 2013 roster of “In Celebration of Wine” cruises. The 21 wine-themed cruises will sail through famous wine regions of Europe and will be hosted by wine experts from Europe and the U.S. The schedule begins March 29 with Wine & Regions of the Rhone and continues through Nov. 22, focusing on regions around the Danube, the Rhine, the Seine and more.

An AmaWaterways cruise sails through Regensberg, Germany. (Courtesy AmaWaterways)

Also coming this spring is the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, staged annually on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. This year’s festival features more than 50 artists, including R. Kelly, The Jacksons, Akon and more. Events will unfold all around the island, including at the Pigeon Island National Landmark and Fond D’Or Heritage Park in Dennery. The popular “Jazz on the Square” will return this year in the capital city, Castries, and the open-air Balenbouche Estate farther south.

Diana Ross performs at the 2012 Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. (©Carleen Jules)

This spring marks a new beginning for the SPY Exhibition in New York City, which wraps on April 7 in Discovery Times Square to head for the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The exhibit includes an extensive collection of espionage artifacts, including items from the CIA operation dramatized in the film “Argo,” such as logo items from Studio Six Productions and producer’s notes. The exhibition also features rare items like one of two CIA Robotic Catfish, the British WWII Two-Man Submersible called Sleeping Beauty, and one of nine remaining A-12 Oxcart Spy plane cockpits. After "SPY Exhibition" leaves New York, it will be followed by "Body Worlds: Pulse," which premieres this spring at Discovery Times Square. "Body Worlds" allows guests to observe the human—and animal—body like never before, thanks to plastination, a process developed by Dr. Gunther von Hagens to preserve bodies. Discovery Times Square, 226 West 44th St., Sun-Thu, 10 am-8 pm, and Fri-Sat, 10 am-9 pm.

Stasi Kit— Seen only at "SPY: The Secret Worlds of Espionage" at Discovery Times Square. (©PRNewsFoto/Spy: The Secret Worlds of Espionage)

Where to Stay

Dubai is known for hotels and towers that are as much works of art as they are functional spaces. Now, the JW Marriott brand is tossing its hat in the ring with the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, which, at 72 stories and 1,164 feet high, snatches the Guinness World Record for the world’s tallest hotel. The Marquis Dubai is the first JW Marriott property outside of North America and its 59th addition to the brand’s portfolio. The hotel is aimed at luxury business travelers and offers meeting and conference space. Travelers will find no fewer than nine restaurants and five bars, including a sky-high steakhouse known as Prime 68. The top two floors feature a sushi restaurant and a cocktail bar, while other floors are home to a sprawling spa and health club and a swimming pool with a poolside bar and grill.

The JW Marriott Marquis Dubai hotel (Courtesy JW Marriott)

Universal Orlando's 1,800-room Cabana Bay Beach Resort is not scheduled to open until early 2014, but reservations are already being accepted. The 1950s- and ’60s-inspired hotel will offer two room options for guests—a value-priced standard room or a moderately priced family suite that sleeps six people—and package options will be available. The completed resort will also feature two pools, a lazy river and a 10-lane bowling alley.

The guest rooms at Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort will feature bold design, period colors and a neon and retro feel. (©PRNewsFoto/Universal Orlando Resort)