Hurricane action

A group of British holidaymakers left stranded by Hurricane Wilma in Mexico is launching a group action against tour operators. Specialist solicitors Alexander Harris are representing about 300 clients who travelled with MyTravel, Thomas Cook, Thomson, First Choice and Cosmos. Among the alleged grievances are claims that operators were wrong to fly customers to Cancun in the days before Wilma's arrival and that once the hurricane struck there was insufficient help available. A spokesman for the Federation of Tour Operators defended his members' actions in what he described as "particularly difficult circumstances".

Back in dry dock

The liner Queen Mary II has run into troubled waters again with the news that two cruises scheduled for later this year are to be cancelled. The ship's owner, Cunard, says the vessel will go into dry dock for repairs in May and November. According to BBC reports this led to the cancellation of cruises to the Med (12 days) and Caribbean (eight days) in those months. They will be replaced by a six-day cruise of the Norwegian fjords and a seven-night voyage to Fort Lauderdale on different vessels.

Free travel on offer

A year's worth of free travel is up for grabs when London's largest free travel expo opens its doors on 18 March. The TNT Travel Show is being held at the New Connaught Rooms, where 60 exhibitors will showcase the latest in independent adventure. For one lucky visitor that will mean 12 months travelling the world for nothing. The bumper prize package includes visits to a number of major city festivals through the year: Dublin for St Patrick's Day, Munich for the Oktoberfest, and Edinburgh for Hogmanay. Throughout the day student specialists STA Travel will also be giving away a flight every hour to a range of destinations. Details: tntmagazine.com/travelshow

Caution advised

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office last week revised its warning to travellers not to visit Nepal. Having previously advised against all but essential travel due to the ongoing unrest, the FCO has downgraded its warning, but says visitors should still exercise "extreme" caution. Most problems encountered by British tourists either involve drugs or occur when trekking, but those planning independent trips to remote parts of the country should contact the British embassy upon arrival. Details: fco.gov.uk

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