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Calling all Fans of The Hobbit Movies and Middle-earth
New Zealand is about to become the talk of fantasy enthusiasts around the world, with the call going out globally to find fans keen to take an ultimate Middle-earth journey to New Zealand.Gearing up for the December 17, 2014, release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand, in conjunction with New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, today announced The HobbitFan Fellowship Contest before 6,500 fans at Comic-Con International, an entertainment and comic convention in San Diego.
The contest will decide 75 lucky winners who can each take a friend to New Zealand flying with Air New Zealand, the airline to Middle-earth. They will spend a week journeying to famous filming locations and tourist hotspots throughout New Zealand, culminating in the ultimate experience for every Hobbit fan – a private screening of the final film with Sir Peter Jackson himself.
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contestwas announced by Jackson and U.S. late night television host Stephen Colbert, and fans invited to enter in a personal video from Sir Peter. The first two winners were chosen from the Comic-Con crowd – Kris McMeans, 25, from Austin, TX and Morgan Burgener, 18, from San Diego, CA.
McMeans said she has wanted to go to New Zealand for years. “This is going to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Ever since I was 12 years old I wanted to go to Middle-earth, and now New Zealand has become Middle-earth. Thanks to Peter Jackson bringing the books to life, now we can travel Middle-earth.”
Contest winners will land in Auckland, the “City of Sails”, rated the third most liveable city in the world, before embarking on a specially designed itinerary to recognisable ‘filmscapes’ –the highlight being a special visit to Hobbiton, the famous movie set at the heart of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.
Now New Zealand’s fastest growing tourist attraction, Hobbiton is nestled in a working sheep farm near the small town of Matamata in the Waikato region. Fans will enjoy a private tour through the 12-acre site, with a close-up look at the 44 Hobbit homes.
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship will also visit other key film sites throughout New Zealand's Middle-earth chosen by Sir Peter Jackson for his epic trilogies and experience those locations tourist attractions. Tourism New Zealand says this proves the stunning backdrops featured throughout both trilogies are not just fantasy but real places that holiday-makers can explore and enjoy.
The journey will end in Wellington for the ultimate film fan’s dream - a private screening of the final film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, with Sir Peter Jackson. Fans will meet up with the famous director in his home town “Wellywood”, New Zealand’s capital city, where Sir Peter has based his film empire and which has now become a must-stop for film fans visiting Middle-earth.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says Tourism New Zealand is incredibly excited to be involved in the competition. For the past two years and two films, Tourism New Zealand has been working to maximise the international attention New Zealand draws from its starring role in The Hobbit Trilogy and convert that into travel.
“We’ve had some great successes to date and over the coming months will continue to show how the fantasy of Middle-earth can become reality in the form of a New Zealand holiday. We want to ensure New Zealand’s association as the home of Middle-earth lives on long past the release of the final film.”
For more information on The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Contest visit TheHobbitFanContest.com
About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies features a screenplay by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers. Production took place at Jackson’s own facilities in Miramar, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand. Post production took place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. As with the first two films in the Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the final film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
NEW OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH TOURS
HIGHLIGHT SILVERSEA’S 2015 VOYAGES
Eleven new overland adventures in some of the world's most exotic locales are among more than 60 extended mid-voyage excursions ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises will be offering in 2015. Unlike a partial-day shore tour, single- or multiple-day inland adventures offer a more intimate, in-depth and personal encounter with the local people, history, wildlife, and natural attractions that lie just beyond the ports of call.
"We always strive to offer fresh, innovative programs that provide a variety of authentic onshore options," said Steve Odell, President of Silversea for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. "These new mid-voyage adventures are carefully designed for travelers seeking one-of-a-kind experiences that will take them further into a region, giving them plenty of time to actively engage in its scenery, activities, and cultural heritage.
From the soaring Andes to the glistening lakes of Patagonia, from the beaches of Polynesia to the glaciers of New Zealand, from the grasslands of Kenya to the monuments of India, Silversea's new overland adventures offer rare access to transformational places and experiences. On these exciting overland tours, participants may come face-to-face with a giant tortoise in the Galapagos, track mountain gorillas in Africa, or marvel at unique marine life from the balcony of an overwater bungalow in Polynesia.
The following is a sampling of the new mid-voyage land adventures for 2015:
Tsavo East National Park Bush-Walking Safari
(2 Days / 1 Night -- Depart / Rejoin Ship: Mombasa)
The Tsavo East National Park offers a vast and untapped arena of arid bush washed by the azure and emerald meandering of the Galana River. Visitors who explore the diversity of the park on foot may observe lions, cheetahs, serval cats, zebras, elephants, monitor lizards, and more. Two game drives are included. Available on Silver Whisper's March 6 voyage (#4506.
Gorillas in the Forest
(6 Days / 5 Nights -- Depart: Cape Town / Rejoin Ship: Luanda)
A truly inspiring experience awaits visitors to the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. Nestled deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda and home to half the world's mountain gorillas, the sanctuary's tented camp is the ideal base for launching guided safaris to track and interact with these amazing primates in the wild. Available on Silver Whisper's April 5 voyage (#4508.
Taj Mahal & Jaipur – A Magical Journey to India
(4.5 Days / 4 Nights -- Depart: Phuket / Rejoin Ship: Colombo)
There are few places in the world that evoke such profound impact on its visitors as the Taj Mahal in Agra. Once the capital of the great Mughal Empire, Agra itself is well worth a visit for its repository of some of the Mughals most famous monuments. And there are few places in the world that compare with the Pink City of Jaipur, where guests stay on this magical journey into India's wonders. Available on Silver Whisper's March 6 voyage (#4506.
(1.5 Days / 1 Night -- Depart: Moorea / Rejoin Ship: Papeete)
Perched above the water on stilts, the overwater bungalows of Moorea's InterContinental Resort & Spa offer a unique escape. They are iconic, thatch-roofed symbols of a tropical paradise. Guests can watch marine life from their balcony or climb down steps to snorkel directly in a Pacific lagoon. Available on Silver Whisper's January 5 voyage (#4501 and Silver Spirit's sailing of January 22 (#5502.
New Zealand Explorer
(4 Days /3 Nights -- Depart: Akaroa / Rejoin Ship: Milford Sound)
New Zealand's highest peaks, longest glaciers, and many of its most beautiful lakes are revealed with scenic drives through its two famous national parks – Mount Cook and Fiordland – both located in the Te Wahipounamu area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Memorable highlights include a ski plane flight to the Tasman Glacier, a cruise on Lake Tasman, and a jet boat excursion on the Shotover River. Available on Silver Spirit's February 12 voyage (#5504.
The Andes & the Train to the Devil's Nose
(5 Days / 4 Nights -- Depart: Manta / Rejoin Ship: Callao)
Travelers can immerse themselves in the cultural and natural diversity of Ecuador's majestic Andean region, witnessing up-close its grassy highlands, cloud forests, mountain lakes, active volcanoes, colonial towns, and haciendas. Highlighting the program is the Devil's Nose, a thrilling train ride through the Andes featuring a 45-degree descent. Available on Silver Shadow's January 7 voyage (#3501.
(5 Days / 4 Nights -- Depart: Manta / Rejoin Ship: Callao)
There is no place on earth quite like the Galápagos Islands, carved out by roaring volcanoes and titanic geothermic upheavals. Visitors may come face-to-face with a giant tortoise, or admire blue-footed boobies and sunbathing sea lions. The program includes two days exploring the islands by boat, plus accommodations at the Royal Palm Hotel, located in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Available on Silver Shadow's January 7 voyage (#3501.
(3 Days / 2 Nights -- Depart: Punta Arenas / Rejoin Ship: Ushuaia)
The southern cone of South America, known as Patagonia, is home to ice-clad mountain peaks, ancient forests, dazzling lakes, and immense glaciers. Visitors can experience this spectacular scenery in the national parks of Torres del Paine, in Chile, and Los Glaciares, in Argentina, both included in this tour. Available on Silver Shadow's January 25 voyage (#3502.
The optional mid-voyage land programs feature deluxe accommodations (if overnight stays are required), all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals. Prices for the above-listed adventures range from US$1,899 to US$8,999 per person, based on double occupancy.
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For reservation enquiries with Silversea please call toll free numbers: Hong Kong (800 908 793) and Singapore (800 616 7056) or +61 2 9255 0600 or visit www.silversea.com.
JW MARRIOTT HOTELS & RESORTS SOARS TO NEW HEIGHTS IN CHINA
Newly Opened 416-room JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou Towers as Tallest Hotel in Central China
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts today expanded its luxury portfolio in China with the unveiling of the highly anticipated 416-room JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou in Henan Province. Marriott International manages this landmark hotel under a long-term agreement with the owner partners, Greenland Group.
This new hotel is located on the top floors of the Millennium Royal Plaza, which is in the CBD of Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan Province as well as an important transportation hub in China. The 60-floor Millennium Royal Plaza stands at 280 meters and is the tallest building in Central China. The JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou is the first Marriott property in Henan as well as the seventh JW Marriott hotel in the Greater China region.
“Marriott International has already had several successful hotel projects with our owner partner Greenland in China. The opening of JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou is another gem in this spectacular collection. We are most pleased to have the opportunity to manage such a magnificent hotel,” said Simon Cooper, President & Managing Director of Marriott International Asia.
“This is a significant property as it is our first hotel in Zhengzhou which is an important transportation, business and convention hub in central China. Also it is another proof of the growing popularity of our JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand in this market. We are on the course of opening new JW Marriott hotels in Macao, Chongqing, Kunming and Shenzhen over the next 12 months.”
The design of Millennium Royal Plaza was inspired by the Songyue Pagoda, a renowned cultural relic that was built approximately 1,500 years ago. The aluminum exterior’s sunscreens give the structure its distinctive pagoda-shape. The sunscreens also maximize the amount of daylight entering the building while reducing glare and solar heat gain.
The hotel’s interior design reflects the hotel’s location with subtle brown metal celebrating the historic importance of bronze, and pale greens representing high quality jade artifacts that were produced in the region throughout the dynasties.
“We are honored to introduce this prestigious landmark hotel to the city that is impressively connected with Henan in so many ways,” said Frank Sanders, General Manager of JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou.
“Our hotel exemplifies the design, service and cultural standards that have become synonymous with the JW Marriott brand. Our dramatic and distinctive architectural and interior features, exceptional culinary offerings and passion for service excellence will result in a truly authentic and unique experience.”
Zhengzhou is an important transportation hub within China and Henan has a rich 5,000-year history. The city boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the world famous Shaolin Temple. The new hotel is ideally located in the heart of Zhengdong New District – the new center of Zhengzhou – and is positioned between the Zhengzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center and Henan Art Center.
Due to its impressive location, the JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou is well poised to service both the upscale business and leisure travellers.
The new property features a total 416 of spacious guestrooms and suites located from the 41st to the 55th floor, each offering floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic views of the city. All guestrooms feature luxurious JW Marriott bedding designed in collaboration with Todd-Avery Lenahan and ergonomic work spaces that foster convenience and productivity.
The hotel’s dining experiences on the 38th and 39th floors include The Grill,specializing in both Chinese and Western dishes made from the freshest seafood and finest cuts of beef; Man Ho, headed up by Executive Chef Wongfrom Hong Kongand featuring Cantonese classics as well as Henan and Sichuan delicacies; and Zhengzhou Kitchen, the best buffet in town boasting dedicated Western, Chinese and Japanese live-cooking sections.
The Lounge – borrowing inspiration from the building’s height – features the “tallest tea” in the city, a four-tier stand filled with delectable treats.
The JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou offers more than 2,500 square meters of stunning function and event space, including the 1,000 square meter JW Grand Ballroom with an LED wall panel, six meeting rooms – each with natural daylight – and a spacious pre-function ballroom foyer.
For more information or reservations, please visit jwmarriottzhengzhou.com
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts
JW Marriott is part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio and consists of beautiful properties in gateway cities and distinctive resort locations around the world. These elegant hotels cater to today’s sophisticated, self-assured travelers, offering them the quiet luxury they seek in a warmly authentic, relaxed atmosphere lacking in pretense.
JW Marriott properties artfully provide highly crafted, anticipatory experiences that are reflective of their locale so that their guests have the time to focus on what is most important to them. Currently, there are 64 JW Marriott hotels in 25 countries; by 2016 the portfolio is expected to encompass more than 90 properties in over 30 countries. Visit us online, jwmarriott.com, @jwmarriott and facebook.com/JWMarriott.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,000 properties, and more than 690,000 rooms in 78 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. For more than 80 years, the company has been committed to guest satisfaction. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together surpass 45 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
JW Marriott Zhengzhou
Deluxe King Room
President & Managing Director of Marriott International Asia Pacific, Mr. Simon Cooper and General Manager of JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou, Mr. Frank Sanders dots the lion’s eyes
Ribbon cutting ceremony, from left to right:
Mr. Frank Sanders-General Manager of JW Marriott Hotel Zhengzhou;
Mr. Henry Lee-Chief Operations Officer, Marriott International Greater China;
Mr. Simon Cooper-President & Managing Director of Marriott International Asia Pacific;
Mdm. Zhang Yun- Executive Vice President of Greenland Group, General Manager of Greenland International Hotels Group;
Mr. Tian Bo-Vice President of Greenland Group;
Mr. Raymond Lee–Executive Deputy General Manager of Greenland Group
Maserati and Photo Shanghai collaborate to create Neptune Photography Award
Maserati, one of the leading luxury and performance carmakers in the world, proudly teams up with Photo Shanghai to initiate the Neptune Photography Award that aims to discover and support the next generation of photographers.
Since its inception in 1914, Maserati has been embodying craftsmanship, design and passion in every creation of their cars. The Neptune Photography Award gives seven up and coming photographers - shortlisted at Student Focus of the Sony World Photography Awards and selected from over 220 universities studying photography – the challenge to creatively document the ways people "craft the future" with their hands. The Sony World Photography Awards launched in 2007, seeking the very best in international contemporary photography, the awards have established themselves as one of the world's leading photography competitions. Professional competition, open competition, student focus and youth award are four annual competitions included in the Sony World Photography Awards. The Neptune Photography Award's submissions were closed on July 20, 2014.
Human hands are central to everything people do. The Neptune Photography Award invited Christian Gobber, Managing Director of Maserati Greater China, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Liu Heung-shing, Thomas Shao, Chairman ofModern Media Group, Francis Hodgson, FT Photography Critic, and Bill Hunt, Photography Advisor (Francis and Bill are both on the Photo Shanghai Advisory Board) to assemble the judging panel to look for an imaginative series of work that captures uniquely and creatively the movement of hands.
The prize for the assignment that the seven young photographers will receive includes US$5,000, and an all-expenses paid trip to Shanghai to receive the Award at a Gala Dinner on 5 September. They will also be sent on a trip to Italy from September 18 to 20 this year to capture the Maserati centennial celebrations with their lens.
“Celebrating 100 years, Maserati already embodies sustainable design while sharing a beautiful story about our craftsmanship, heritage and history. Every car incorporates today elements of handcrafted luxury as it did when lovingly built by the Maserati brothers in a garage in Italy,” said Mr Christian Gobber, Managing Director of Maserati Greater China, “We are very pleased to join Photo Shanghai to embark on our search for ordinary people who share the same dream as the Maserati brothers, and capture their special moments of being passionate of what they can create and make a difference with their hands.”
Photo Shanghai, an inaugural international art fair dedicated to photography, will run from September 5 through 7 at the landmark Shanghai Exhibition Centre. It aims to establish the most professional and international platform for fine art photography in the Asia-Pacific region. Works by the seven finalists selected by the Neptune Photography Award will also be displayed at Photo Shanghai.
“We are delighted to partner with Maserati to create this exciting new Competition. The Neptune Photography Contest is about discovering and consequently nurturing and supporting the next generation of photographers,” said Scott Gray from Photo Shanghai. “We are thrilled to be working alongside such an iconic brand to provide this opportunity to the young photographers. We greatly look forward to viewing work from our ten talented finalists.”
To learn more about the Neptune Photography Award, please visit http://worldphoto.org/competitions/neptune-photography-award
Maserati was founded in Bologna, Italy, on December 1, 1914 and officially started operation on December 14, 1914. The nucleus of the company was then represented by Alfieri Maserati and two of his brothers, Ettore and Ernesto. They all had an interest in mechanics and a love for speed. Though engaged in all matters technical and commercial of their new enterprise, they all at one point sat behind the steering wheel of their racing cars in the golden days of motor racing. A fourth brother, Bindo, joined the company when Alfieri died in 1932. A fifth brother, Mario, is credited with designing the famed Maserati logo, drawing inspiration from the Neptune fountain in downtown Bologna.
Maserati produced its first car in 1926 – a race car named Tipo 26. It debuted with a victory in the 1926 Targa Florio, the first of an endless string of wins which include two editions of the Indianapolis 500, 9 wins in Formula One and the 1957 F1 World Championship. In 1947 Maserati stunned the world with its first passenger car, the A6 grand tourer. And in 1963, with the first generation Quattroporte, Maserati gave the automotive market a car that simply wasn’t there – the world’s first sports luxury sedan.
The Centennial could not have come at a better time, with models such as the brand-new Quattroporte and Ghibli drawing inspiration from a long tradition of successful automobiles which have each redefined Italian sports cars in terms of style and performance, comfort and elegance – and are now taking the world by storm. For more information, please go to: www.maserati100.com
About Photo Shanghai
The World Photography Organisation and Montgomery recently announced the inaugural edition of Photo Shanghai, the first international art fair dedicated to photography in China. The Fair will run from 5-7 September at the landmark Shanghai Exhibition Centre, and aims to establish the most professional and international platform for fine art photography in the Asia-Pacific region. For more information go to: www.photoshanghai.org
The World Photography Organisation (WPO) supports professional, amateur and student photography, lending a global platform for the photographic industry to communicate, converge and showcase current trends in Photojournalism, Fine Art and Commercial photography. Delivering various initiatives and programmes across this global community, these programmes involve the photographer in commercial, cultural and educational activities within the many industry sectors, whilst also creating cultural activities for the public to participate in. Currently included within the WPO portfolio are: the Sony World Photography Awards; the World Photography Student Focus Competition and Youth on Assignment. In addition the WPO have recently launched Photo Shanghai, Asia-Pacific’s premiere international Art Fair focused on photography. For further information visit www.worldphoto.org
About The Sony World Photography Awards
The Sony World Photography Awards is widely recognised as the leading global photographic awards programme in existence today. Launched in 2007, in which time over 555,000 images from 230 countries have been submitted. The awards are dedicated to supporting and cultivating photographic culture. The competitions are judged each year by new juries selected from the World Photographic Academy and wider global industry.
The Competitions include:
Professional Competition - for serious photographers;
Open Competition - for amateurs and enthusiasts;
Student Focus - for those studying photography.
Youth Award for anyone aged 19 and under.
Highlights from the shortlisted contestants
The highlighted photographs from the 7 shortlisted contestants of Neptune Photography Award.
The Things We Carry
Photographer: Jordan VarSise
What I find interesting about our hands is what they are doing when they aren’t occupied by material objects. When there is nothing to fill the void between our palms, we are faced with the reality of what we are truly holding onto.
High resolution image: http://pan.baidu.com/s/1kTE8F8V
With you through Thick and Thin
Photographer: Li Dan Dan
In my life there is such a hands suffered years of vicissitudes, tasted human suffering, stick totheir love. I told her 23 years of living together, she nurtured me grow up. I did not witness her youth, but I have witnessed her love, and I also witnessed them through thick and thin years Love, in my memory always some lingering years she has become accustomed to fragment. I put these fragments together, and tells the story of her love.
High-resolution image: http://pan.baidu.com/s/1pJoId1x
The Power of the Hands
Photographer: Nadia Navarro
Some of the abilities people have passed through their hands, that's why to make my series “the power of the hands” I looked for real people at their workplaces. Behind the hands of each person there always be a story to tell.
High-resolution image: http://pan.baidu.com/s/1qW39gug
Starting to Learn
Photographer: Russell Bruns
This is where I started to make. This is where I learnt how to create. This is where I started to fight. This is where I learnt how to write. This is my primary school. This is privilege.
High-resolution image: http://pan.baidu.com/s/1dDow4aX
Photographer: Scarlet Evans
This series documents life working in a small garage in east London.
High-resolution image: http://pan.baidu.com/s/1hqtGbHi
Photographer: Sebastian Vacariuc
Everything we do, we do with our hands. Working with hands is not easy; some activities require more skills, accuracy and sometimes sacrifices. In this series I focused my attention on the jobs in which the hands are more involved and precision is the common feature.
Photographer: Tor Birk Trads
While the hand for majority of people is a mere tool for daily life and chores the hands are something much more important for a small minority. For people with hearing disabilities the hands are their tongue and their ears: their basic means of communication.
High-resolution image: http://pan.baidu.com/s/1i31L4dZ