Europes Crises Keep Mortgage Rates at a Standstill

first_img Mortgage rates largely stayed the same this week as trouble in the euro zone threatened to upend global financial markets, encouraging investors to stay near the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt.[IMAGE]Mortgage giant “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ and finance Web site “”Bankrate.com””:http://www.bankrate.com/?ec_id=m1077678 released separate weekly surveys that found rates hovering at or above figures seen for several weeks in a row.The GSE noted averages for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reaching 4 percent, only two percentage points above 3.98 percent seen last week ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the fifth consecutive week for lows for the benchmark loan.Bankrate.com differed by few turns, acknowledging a two percentage-point rise for rates that led 4.23 percent for the 30-year loan to crest at 4.25 percent this week.Both mortgage-rate watchers acknowledged a tide of good news for the U.S. economy, which saw consumer spending tilt upward on Black Friday and pending-home sales march forward by 10.4 percent month-over-month in October.””What is keeping mortgage rates steady ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and at near-record low levels ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô is the continually evolving European debt crisis,”” the finance Web site said in a statement. “”Developments in Europe ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô good or bad ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô are the likely [COLUMN_BREAK]catalyst for the next movement in mortgage rates, whenever that should come.””The imminent threat posed by sovereign defaults continues to rile Europe, with Greece and Italy recently booting their prime ministers over the matter, leaving France and Germany to help foot a bailout package worth trillions of euros.Investors cling to Treasury debt as a safe-haven investment, widening yields and keeping mortgage rates historically low, as it remains unclear whether debt-saddled countries will adopt belt-tightening measures. On Wednesday the “”Federal Reserve””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ announced an “”effort””:https://themreport.com/articles/stocks-soar-on-feds-move-to-save-global-financial-system-2011-11-30 it orchestrated with central banks from five other countries, including the European Central Bank, as a way to fix exchange swaps for the dollar ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a move that will keep the currency easy to borrow and continue to attract investors to Treasury debt.Bankrate.com and Freddie noted few other changes in other mortgage rates. The GSE reported the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage staying the same from last week at 3.30 percent, with the finance Web site in observance of a change from 3.47 percent last week to 3.48 percent this week for the loan.Freddie saw the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) falling from 2.91 percent to 2.90 percent this week, with the 1-year ARM climbing down from 2.79 percent to crest at 2.78 percent.The finance Web site likewise saw few changes among ARMs, with rates for both the 5-year and 1-year climbing to 3.21 percent this week, up from 3.20 percent last week.Not all was bad news.””More optimistic consumers, lower house prices, and bargain mortgage rates may have contributed to the 10.4 percent jump in pending home sales in October to the strongest pace since November 2010 and may bode well for future home sales,”” “”Frank Nothaft””:http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist with Freddie, said in a separate statement. Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Europe’s Crises Keep Mortgage Rates at a Standstillcenter_img December 1, 2011 446 Views Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Debt Crisis Euro European Union Fannie Mae Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers Treasury Yields 2011-12-01 Ryan Schuettelast_img read more

Economists Project Slower Pace for Floridas Housing Recovery

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology December 19, 2012 433 Views In the Sunshine State, economists have revealed projections for 2013, and their outlook presents a positive, if somewhat sluggish, forecast for the region’s housing market. According to experts from “”Florida Realtors””:http://www.floridarealtors.org/ and “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html, upward trends are set to continue in Florida, while the state’s pace of recovery is expected to fall behind the national average.[IMAGE]Speaking during the recent 2013 Real Estate and Economic Forecast Conference in Orlando, Dr. John Tuccillo, chief economist for Florida Realtors, noted, “”Florida’s housing market is back, with great possibilities for the future – but those possibilities are only beginning to be realized.”” Doug Duncan, Fannie’s chief economist, stated, “”We believe the housing market is on firm footing. … Most of the improvement we’ve seen has come from the supply side of housing. Distressed properties are coming down from about 5 million to more like 3 million.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Providing additional commentary, Duncan cited the country’s low mortgage rates as an indication that improvements for housing would continue, while acknowledging that tighter lending standards and credit availability would create headwinds for the mortgage industry in Florida and around the U.S. “”The trend has been established for the housing recovery, but robust growth awaits more jobs and a stronger economy. Three years into the recovery, the current economic expansion is the weakest since World War II. Just over half of the jobs lost in the Great Recession have been recovered,”” Duncan emphasized.Reporting year-end findings in Florida, Tuccillo pointed to signs of progress including declining months’ supply of single-family homes, which is now below six months; strong investor interest, with 44 percent of closed sales transacted in cash as of October; and growth for traditional, non-distressed sales, which now account for more than 50 percent of closings in the state. Tuccillo went on to tout Florida’s rising median sales prices for both existing single-family homes and condominiums. However, he also revealed concerns regarding the state’s active distressed property market, noting that foreclosures and short sales continue to inhibit pricing gains. Referencing data from the “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/ and other sources, Tuccillo reiterated his opinion that Florida’s real estate market “”bottomed out in late 2008,”” concluding, “”Since the beginning of 2009, we’ve clearly seen a regrouping and a recovery underway.”” Economists Project Slower Pace for Florida’s Housing Recoverycenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers 2012-12-19 Abby Gregory Sharelast_img read more

Builder Confidence in 55 Market Reaches Record High in Q1

first_img Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Demand Homebuilders Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Processing Service Providers 2013-05-14 Tory Barringer May 14, 2013 403 Views The “”National Association of Home Builders'””:http://www.nahb.org/default.aspx (NAHB) 55+ single-family Housing Market Index (HMI) jumped year-over-year for the sixth consecutive quarter in Q1, the association reported.[IMAGE]As of the end of March, the index rested at 46, 19 points above the same period last year and the highest first-quarter number recorded since the inception of the index in 2008.””Builders and developers for the 55+ housing sector continue to report increased optimism in the market,”” said Robert Karen, chairman of NAHB’s 50+ Housing Council and managing member of the Symphony Development Group. “”We are seeing an increase in consumer demand for homes and communities that are designed to address the specific needs of the mature homebuyer.””There are two separate 55+ HMIs to represent two segments of the market: single-family homes and multifamily condominiums. Each index measures builder [COLUMN_BREAK]sentiment based on a survey gauging current sales, prospective buyer traffic, and anticipated six-month sales. A number below 50 indicates more builders view conditions as “”poor”” than “”good.””According to NAHB, all of the components of the 55+ single-family HMI showed significant growth on a yearly basis. Present sales climbed 19 points to 46, expected sales increased 21 points to 53, and traffic of prospective buyers rose 15 points to 41.The 55+ multifamily condo HMI posted a gain of 23 points to rest at 38, the highest first-quarter reading since the index was created. All 55+ multifamily condo HMI components increased compared to a y ear ago: The present sales component was up 23 points to 37, expected sales climbed 23 points to 43, and prospective buyer traffic rose 23 points to 38.In addition, the 55+ multifamily rental indices showed strong gains in the first quarter. Present production increased 12 points to 43, expected future production rose 13 points to 48, current demand for existing units rose 14 points to 56, and future demand increased 13 points to 58.””The strong year over year increase in confidence reported by builders for the 55+ market is consistent with year over year increases in other segments of the home building industry,”” said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “”While demand for new 55+ housing has improved due to a reduced inventory of homes on the market and low interest rates, builders’ ability to respond to the demand is being limited by a shortage of labor with basic construction skills and rising prices for some building materials.””center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Builder Confidence in 55+ Market Reaches Record High in Q1last_img read more

Analysts ShortTerm Shaky for Originators LongTerm Prospects Solid

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Deloitte For-Sale Homes Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-06-21 Tory Barringer June 21, 2013 446 Views Analysts: Short-Term Shaky for Originators, Long-Term Prospects Solid in Data, Originationcenter_img Though rising mortgage rates and the current supply and demand situation present short-term difficulties for originators, researchers at “”Deloitte””:http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/index.htm say the long-term picture is rosier.[IMAGE]With demand, prices, and credit conditions all on a path to recovery, Deloitte Banking & Securities research leader Val Srinivas examined the problems still facing originators and how they must adapt to overcome.The biggest challenge to the housing market in general right now is low supply. According to data collected from the Census Bureau and the National Association of Realtors, supply of new and existing single-family homes has nearly halved in both categories since 2011. “”All else equal, limited supply means fewer purchases–and fewer originations. And that could mean banks may not see hoped-for, short-term growth in origination [COLUMN_BREAK]volume from such demand,”” Srinivas said. “”The picture is one of strong demand and a market caught flat-footed. However, builders have taken note, and housing starts [in March] surpassed the one million mark for the first time since 2008.””Also changing the landscape is imminent end of the refinance boom, which has been drawing to a close as mortgage rates start to pick up again. In addition, the purchase market is unlikely to provide immediate relief to originators trying to make up for declining refinance volume.””Supply constraints, a large number of cash purchases, and continuing weakness in other sectors of the economy probably mean weak prospects across the board for the near future,”” Srinivas noted.That’s not to say there’s no hope for the future–if past trends hold up, supply will catch up to demand as builders and homeowners adjust to the market, and lenders will make changes to standards and strategy to increase purchase loans. Then there are next year’s regulatory changes, which should provide as many opportunities as they do challenges, Srinivas said.””Originators may also benefit from the increased regulatory clarity given by the recent qualified mortgage and ability-to-repay rule as well as the forthcoming qualified residential mortgage rule, which governs securitization and risk retention. In preparing for renewed challenges in the near term, originators should find home in their long-term prospects.”” Sharelast_img read more

Realtorcom Unveils List of Top Turnaround Towns for Q2

first_imgRealtor.com Unveils List of Top Turnaround Towns for Q2 California markets dominate “”Realtor.com’s””:http://www.realtor.com/ list of “”Turnaround Towns””:http://www.realtor.com/news/turnaround-towns-for-q2-2013/ for the second quarter of this year, claiming the top four spots on the list and six of the top 10. [IMAGE]While California may take the most spots on the top 10 list, Realtor.com says Detroit’s presence on the list is “”most noteworthy.”” “”Though the city recently filed for bankruptcy, the market nonetheless posted strong improvement in the second quarter,”” according to Realtor.com. In fact, Detroit may soon be “”one of the most balanced markets in the nation,”” according to Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, an online real estate network. The top 10 “”Turnaround Towns”” are determined by an algorithm that relies on data including inventory levels, median list prices, median number of days on market, and search and listing activity on Realtor.com. [COLUMN_BREAK]Detroit claimed the No. 7 spot on the list after its inventory age fell to the second-lowest in the nation at 45 days on market. The city’s list price increased 37.8 percent from the second quarter of last year to the second quarter of this year, and its inventory declined 26.5 percent. The No. 1 spot went to Oakland, California, where the median number of days a home spends on the market is just 15–the lowest in the nation. Oakland also claimed the greatest increase in list price across the nation in the second quarter on an annual basis. The median list price in the second quarter of this year was $479,000, up from $339,000 in the same quarter last year. Oakland’s inventory declined more than 34 percent over the same period. Orange County, California, took the No. 2 spot on the list, while also staking claim to the country’s greatest decline in inventory over the year ending in the second quarter of this year–a 36.6 percent decline. Orange County’s home prices were up 29.4 percent, and the median number of days a home spent on the market in the second quarter was 51. The third and fourth spots on the list went to Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, California, and San Jose, California, respectively. Santa Barbara’s median list price rose 34.3 percent to a notable $685,000 over the year. Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, Calfornia; Portland, Oregon; San Diego, California; and Reno Nevada also made it onto the second quarter list of top 10 “”Turnaround Towns.”” Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Move Inc. Processing Service Providers 2013-08-12 Krista Franks Brock August 12, 2013 443 Views center_img Share in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Housing Market Strong Enough to Bear Fed Rate Hike Poll Suggests

first_imgHousing Market Strong Enough to Bear Fed Rate Hike, Poll Suggests August 26, 2015 548 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, Market Studies, News As the housing market strengthens, many economists believe that it could withstand an interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year, pending stabilization among home prices.According to a Reuters poll, 20 of the 22 economists surveyed said that the market could withstand the Fed’s anticipated rate hike, indicating that employment and housing demand from millennials as the major contributors to the markets stability.However, earlier this month, the minutes from the July 28-29, 2015 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting confirmed that the economy is still unprepared for a hike in the federal funds rate, but the increase is imminent.In the Committee members’ discussion on economic conditions and monetary policy most participants “judged that the conditions for policy firming had not yet been achieved, but they noted that conditions were approaching that point,” according to the FOMC minutes.However, Yellen did allude to the rate increase possibly occurring before the end of the year in a Senate Banking Committee hearing also held in mid-July .”If the economy evolves as we expect, economic conditions likely would make it appropriate at some point this year to raise the federal funds rate target, thereby beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy,” Yellen said. “Indeed, most participants in June projected that an increase in the federal funds target range would likely become appropriate before year-end. But let me emphasize again that these are projections based on the anticipated path of the economy, not statements of intent to raise the rates at any particular time.”Further doubt about the pending rate increase were shown Monday as the performance of the stock market brought about some anxiety among big U.S. businesses and other stakeholders, while the Dow Jones dropped by 1,000 points and spent the rest of the day fighting its way back toward the break-even point.”The real effect—if any—from the stock market volatility of the last few days won’t occur for a while,” said Sean Becketti, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “It will take time for investors to analyze the depth of the economic weakness in China, the effectiveness of the Chinese government’s responses, and the ultimate impact on various sectors of the U.S. economy.  The interesting near-term impact is on the Fed’s September decision to raise rates or not.  Market sentiment was split roughly even before this event. Today it’s tilting toward no action in September.”In terms of housing, the committee found that recent data on housing starts and permits as well as the higher levels of sales and prices are signs of continued recovery in the market, according to the minutes.The Reuters survey predicts that the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of prices in 20 metropolitan areas would rise at an average pace of 5.0 percent this year.”Economists say home price increases of about 5 percent are just strong enough to raise equity for homeowners to encourage some to put their properties on the market and help address a persistent shortage of houses available for sale,” Reuters said. “The increase is also not big enough to price out first-time home buyers.”center_img Share Economists Federal Reserve Housing Market Interest rates Reuters 2015-08-26 Staff Writerlast_img read more

Assurant Calls American Title Acquisition a Strong Fit

first_imgAssurant Calls American Title Acquisition a ‘Strong Fit’ Share Assurant, Inc., acquired American Title, Inc., a company specializing in title and valuation services for home equity lenders. American Title will operate as part of Assurant’s Mortgage Solutions business as announced by Assurant, Inc.“American Title is a strong fit with our focus on risk management in the housing market,” said Michael Campbell, President, Global Home, Assurant. “As a leader in home equity title and valuation, ATI adds another important dimension to the expansion of our capabilities across the home and mortgage value chain, to more holistically serve our clients.”American Title’s team of approximately 400 professionals will remain in their current offices in Omaha, Nebraska, and Palm Bay, Florida. American Title will expand Assurant’s businesses and services in the home equity field. The company was acquired for $45 million and Assurant expects the transaction to gradually increase earnings in 2017.“We have the highest regard for the business the Mackintosh family and their team have built in ATI, and we welcome them to Assurant,” Campbell said.American Title, a privately held company, was founded in 1994 and acquired in 2004 by Bill Mackintosh, who led the company until his death earlier this year. Co-owners Mike Mackintosh and Ashley Horgan will continue to lead the business while Assurant and the American Title team work to create a seamless transition for employees, clients and customers according to the announcement.“Joining with a respected Fortune 500 leader builds on our company’s legacy and brings us greater capabilities and resources,” Mackintosh said. “We’ve always been committed to our clients, our people and the communities where we serve. That won’t change now that we’re part of the broader Assurant team.” American Title Inc. Acquisitions Assurant 2016-07-07 Seth Welborncenter_img July 7, 2016 544 Views in Headlines, Newslast_img read more

Homeowners and Appraisers The Gap is Shrinking

first_imgHomeowners and Appraisers: The Gap is Shrinking in Daily Dose, Headlines, News Appraisals Home Values Homeowners’ Perceptions Quicken Loans 2016-12-13 Seth Welborn For the fifth consecutive month, the gap between appraised values of homes and homeowners’ perceptions of what their homes are worth shrunk, according to the Quicken Loans Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) for November 2016.In an effort to better understand appraisers’ opinions of home values, home value expectations of homeowners refinancing gravitated toward the values given by appraisers through 2016. The National HPPI displayed that the average owner’s estimate of value was 1 percent lower than the appraiser’s perspective.Bob Walters, Chief Economist for Quicken Loans, shared that homeowners and appraisers are slowly coming to an agreement. “The HPPI compares the perceived gap between the homeowner and the appraiser’s opinion of a home’s value and has provided an intriguing look into the psychographics of our housing market,” he said. “The most recent HPPI indicates homeowners and appraisers are closer to agreeing at the end of 2016 than they were at the start of the new year. It’s our hope that with this information the only surprises this holiday season are the ones wrapped under the tree.”Despite some monthly variations, appraisal values measured by the Quicken’s National Home Value Index (HVI) have been rising throughout 2016, with home values rising 5.54 percent since January. The average appraiser valuation increased 0.42 percent and 5.28 percent year-over-year in November.The West Coast is persistently leading the country in home value growth, with an approximately 7.23 percent increase in 2016. The top five metro areas with the most HPPI growth are Denver (+3.10 percent), San Francisco (+2.19 percent), Portland (+2.12 percent), Dallas (+1.94 percent), and San Jose (+1.69 percent).Walters saw that home values were driven by a lack of inventory in 2016. “Home values pushed higher throughout 2016, largely driven by lack of supply in the hottest markets,” said Walters. “It’s yet to be seen if these increases will continue or wane as homebuilding grows, boosting inventory.”center_img December 13, 2016 784 Views Sharelast_img read more

Janet Yellen A Look Back

first_imgJanet Yellen: A Look Back Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced Monday that she will resign from the Federal Reserve Board in February 2018. The resignation comes after President Trump’s nomination in early November 2017 of Jerome Powell to succeed Yellen as Fed Chair. Yellen could have continued to serve out the remainder of her term as a Fed governor, which would have run through 2024. However, Yellen will instead resign after Powell is sworn in.Nominated by President Obama in 2014, Yellen succeeded Ben Bernanke and was the first woman to serve as Fed chair. Trump’s nomination of Powell marked a break with longstanding tradition: since G. William Miller’s stint as Fed Chair under President Carter, typically Fed Chairs have been reappointed for a second term.Yellen’s resignation marks the end of nearly three decades spent serving at the Fed, beginning with her appointment to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 1994. She served in that role until 1997, when she became chair of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. Prior to her nomination under President Obama, she served as vice chair of the Fed Board of Governors under Bernanke.Yellen’s resignation letter to President Trump made the case that the economy is now stronger than it was a decade ago, citing 17 million net jobs produced over the past eight years. The U.S. unemployment rate also dropped from 6.7 percent to 4.1 percent during her stint. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, Yellen earned controversy among Republicans for taking on $3.5 trillion in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. In more recent months, Yellen and the Fed had begun trying to shrink the organization’s balance sheet, allowing some of its assets to mature without being replaced.Yellen defended her policies during a speech in October, saying:While I believe that influencing short-term interest rates should continue to be our primary monetary policy lever in normal times, our unconventional policy tools will likely be needed again should some future economic downturn drive short-term interest rates back to their effective lower bound.Yellen’s resignation adds to several vacancies currently waiting to be filled on the Fed board. President Trump has the opportunity to significantly shape the Fed for decades to come, with a vice chair position and three governor slots now vacant.The U.S. Senate Banking Committee is set to begin confirmation hearings for Powell on November 28. If confirmed, he is widely expected to follow in Yellen’s footsteps and gradually raise interest rates, a process Yellen began in late 2015.In her resignation letter, Yellen said:I am enormously proud to have worked alongside many dedicated and highly able women and men, particularly my predecessor as Chair, Ben S. Bernanke, whose leadership during the financial crisis and its aftermath was critical to restoring the soundness of our financial system and the prosperity of our economy. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, journal, News Sharecenter_img November 20, 2017 760 Views Fed fed chair Janet Yellen Jerome Powell 2017-11-20 David Whartonlast_img read more

Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ July 27, 2012: Lunchtime with WhizFLAGSTAFF — Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt meets the media daily at lunchtime:He was pleased with yesterday’s first practice in pads saying it was “probably a little better than I expected.”He also said he’s considering holding running back Ryan Williams out of this afternoon’s practice as a precaution. “I’ve been so pleased with what he’s done. I’d like to see him tomorrow coming off of a day where he’s had rest and he feels good.” Top Stories Comments   Share   on the Red & White practice Saturday“It’ll be very similiar to what it was last year. We’ll have drives that start at different points on the field: The minus-40, the plus-40 and in the red zone. It’s going to be more of a game-type situation so we’ll make the calls on the field offensively and defensively. It’ll be ten plays and at the end of those ten plays, if you still have it on downs you can continue the drive. If not, then it’ll start over again. And if we’re in field goal range, then we’ll kick a field goal.”on which quarterback will start the Red & White practice“You know what, I haven’t even thought about that really, honestly. We got a rotation going based on different days and who goes. It could purely be just be whose day it is. Today is Kevin’s (Kolb) day so it may be John (Skelton) tomorrow or we may just split it up based on how we’re doing with the (offensive) line. What we try to do usually is get those guys equal number of reps with the first line and first receivers.”on how it will be perceived with which quarterback will get the start“People are probably going to read a lot into it but it really doesn’t mean anything at this point. We’re just trying to get an evaluation. Both of them have done well in camp so far. They’ve looked good. Tomorrow will be the first opportunity to really see them in a situation where they’re having to make the calls without us standing there. We’ll be close but not as close as it is in practice and it won’t be off of a script. It’ll be situational based so more of a game-type.” What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation on the addition of guard Russ Hochstein“We had a player that we released (Blake DeChristopher) so we had an open spot at the line. I think that it never hurts to have a veteran that’s been a very good player, that’s played on two championship teams. We had an opportunity to do that and I think it was a good move for us.” – / 23 Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Its clear the Arizona Cardinals arent far from b

first_imgIt’s clear the Arizona Cardinals aren’t far from being a capable offensive team. While it’s certainly been ugly at times, the Cardinals have clearly advanced from the offense they trotted out for the three years since Kurt Warner’s retirement, though that’s not an overly difficult improvement to make. But while the Cardinals are close to being a significantly better offensive team, head coach Bruce Arians said the process is taking longer than it’s taken at any of his previous three stops as an NFL offensive coordinator. “It’s not normal,” Arians said. “We’ve looked at it long and hard, as a coaching staff, whether we’re asking too much. Everyone decided that we’re not. We need to do better, both as players and coaches.”Arians said the offensive miscues have been a matter of a yard here or missed assignment there, adding that the Cardinals should have converted at least four third-down conversions in Sunday’s 13-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rather than the one that they did. “Whether it’s dropped balls, poor throws, bad spacing on routes … we should have been 40 percent in that game,” Arians said. “It was putrid. That’s a good defense, but we continually harmed ourselves with mental errors, which sounds very repetitive. It’s getting repetitive.“If it was one guy, it’d be easy to fix. It seems like we have eight or nine guys playing well each play, then two guys decide to do the wrong thing.”Despite his criticism of the team’s continual mental errors, Arians said the offensive performance hasn’t been all negative. The Cardinals rank toward the top of the league in yards gained on first down, and have found themselves in good second- and third-down situations far more often than not. But Arizona has often failed to convert once it’s gotten itself in those situations — the Cardinals’ 29.2 third-down-conversion percentage is third-worst in the NFL — and the offense has often fallen victim to a poorly run route, missed blocking assignment or misread by a running back. “We need to grow faster to get where we want to go,” Arians said. “We’ve just got to keep practicing. Put guys in the position where they can be successful. We’re not that far off.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories last_img read more

Whatever Ive got to do to get to their quarterba

first_img“Whatever I’ve got to do to get to their quarterback, I’m gonna do,” the linebacker said. “And I know eventually, by the end of the game, I’m going to make sure I’m going to get a few shots on (the quarterback), and eventually I’m going to bring him down for a sack.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals selected pass rusher Markus Golden in the second round — 58th overall — of the 2015 NFL Draft.The 6-foot-2, 260-pound outside linebacker out of Missouri was named to the second-team All-SEC in 2014, when he started all 13 games, tallying 78 tackles, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes defensed. He also returned one fumble for a touchdown.Twenty of Golden’s tackles last season were for a loss, good for third-most in the SEC. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   The St. Louis native has been clocked as fast as 4.74 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and he has a vertical jump of 28.5 inches.Golden was once a backup to 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year Michael Sam and he played alongside eventual first-round pick Shane Ray, now of the Denver Broncos.The Cardinals originally had the 55th overall pick, which they shipped to Baltimore for the 58th and 158th spots in the draft.Arizona arguably reached for the former Tiger, as NFL.com projected him to go in the fourth or fifth round of the draft.After getting picked, Golden told reporters he expected to go in the first three rounds.“I’m just happy that … they just took a chance on me,” he said. “It’s a blessing. It’s just the biggest day of my life, and I’m just so excited. I’ve been working my whole life for this. So I don’t really care about where I went; I’m just happy I’m with the Arizona Cardinals. I’m honored to be a part of the their team.”Golden added he knew the Cardinals were interested in him and liked the way he rushes the passer.As far as his pass-rushing style, he said he’s “relentless, relentless.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer passes

first_imgArizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer passes during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter – / 20 That said, it would be nice to have something to feel good about from the offense as the Cards come home for another week of practice at University of Phoenix Stadium, even if Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t in the lineup due to a minor MCL injury. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   center_img Bruce Arians wasn’t the only one feeling sickly in San Diego. For the second straight week, the Cardinals offense looked ill.In its first five possessions on Friday at Qualcomm Stadium, Arizona managed just three first downs and both quarterback Carson Palmer and backup Drew Stanton threw interceptions against the Chargers in a 19-3 loss.It should be repeated that this is the preseason. Drawing significant conclusions from these games is foolish, given the fact that teams don’t gameplan, don’t show off what they will do during the regular season and the starters don’t play enough to establish any sort of rhythm. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Bruce Arians says Larry Fitzgerald has a slight mcl injury; Alex Okafor a torn biceps tendon.— Adam Green (@theAdamGreen) August 20, 2016Instead, Palmer was 4 of 8 for 37 yards with the interception thrown on a wide receiver screen. Stanton continued to sail balls over the heads of his receivers, hitting Chargers safety Jahleel Addae in the numbers on his pick, and missing a wide-open Jaxon Shipley late in the first half with the Cardinals trying to get something going in their two-minute offense.“Very disappointing performance, especially offensively,” coach Bruce Arians told reporters in San Diego. “After we practice against the team all week we should play much better. Our quarterback play was not up to par, any of the three.“We have to get it together. I mean, this is two games that we have not played very well.”There really wasn’t anything to brag about on offense. Running backs David Johnson and Chris Johnson combined for 12 yards on seven carries, the top three backs managed a whopping 18 yards on 10 carries, the tight ends did not factor in the passing game and receiver Michael Floyd had one catch for two yards before departing. At least the Cards got a another big effort from receiver Jaron Brown, who had a pair of terrific catches for 40 yards. All of the other superlative belonged to the defense, where Deone Bucannon delivered a vicious yet clean hit on receiver Dontrelle Inman over the middle that knocked Inman’s helmet off.Cornerback Brandon Williams also bounced back from some early struggles to break up a couple passes to Chargers starting receiver Travis Benjamin, and the Cards defense held the Chargers out of the end zone (San Diego’s one TD came on a pick-6).“He played his tail off,” Arians said.Arians won’t spend too much time fretting over the offense’s struggles in these first two games. He’s still got a ridiculous wealth of weapons as the Cardinals approach the regular season opener against New England, but you can bet he’ll want to have something positive emerge in the team’s third game in Houston before the starters take a seat in the final game against Denver.Preseason games are meaningless, but there’s a basic level of pride at stake here and the Cards haven’t shown their coach much so far.“We will go back to work; that’s why we play preseason,” Arians said. “These don’t count other than you find out a lot about yourself.”last_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Three voters — Judy Battista, Elliot Harrison and Ike Taylor — picked Tyrann Mathieu to win this coveted award.Battista: “It’s tempting to pencil in J.J. Watt again, but let’s wait to see how his recovery from surgery goes first. Mathieu’s star is ascending and if he is completely recovered from the torn ACL that prematurely ended his 2015 season, he’ll make a strong push for this award because of his versatility.”Harrison: “Had Honey Badger winning it last year until he got hurt.”Taylor: “If he can stay on the field, his versatility will carry him to this award. He can play anywhere in the secondary and can do so many things for the Cards’ defense.”But Mathieu wasn’t the only Cardinal to garner recognition for DPOY. Bucky Brooks selected cornerback Patrick Peterson.Brooks: “P2 takes his game to another level as the Cardinals’ shutdown corner. He blanks every marquee WR1 on the schedule and delivers enough splash plays to carry the Cards’ D to a top-five ranking.”Arizona was the only team to have two defensive players mentioned by the panel.Defensive Rookie of the Year Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Battista: “Arians’ teams have been this close in the last few years, but with a better pass rush and a healthy Tyrann Mathieu, this is the best chance for the coach beloved by players and fans alike to lead a Super Bowl run.”Chadiha: “Arians has won this award twice, but don’t be surprised if he adds a third honor this coming season.”Wolfe: “The man is smart and talented. And those hats. No one has rocked a jeff cap that well since Dom DeLuise.” Comments   Share   Once again, the Cardinals had two players selected, with cornerback Brandon Williams and defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche earning praise.Longtime NFL personnel man Gil Brandt picked Williams, a third-round draft selection out of Texas A&M who could start opposite Peterson on opening night Sept. 11.Brandt: “Like 2015 winner Marcus Peters in Kansas City, Williams will have lots of chances to pick off the ball as opponents avoid the veteran across from him (All-Pro Patrick Peterson, in Williams’ case) — and I expect Williams to make good on the opportunity.”Alex Gelhar went with Nkemdiche.Gelhar: “Working in a loaded front seven that includes Chandler Jones and Calais Campbell should help Nkemdiche terrorize opposing offenses.”The Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars, who had linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback Jalen Ramsey mentioned, were the only two teams to have multiple players selected for the award.Coach of the YearAnytime the words “Coach of the Year” appear in NFL circles, Bruce Arians’ name can’t be too far away.Arians is a two-time winner of this award, as he delivered acceptance speeches in both 2012 and 2014. The 63-year-old is a popular choice among the NFL.com panel to win it a third time, as he showed up on the ballots of Battista, Jeffri Chadiha and Colleen Wolfe.center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Can you believe it?The 2016 NFL season is practically upon us.In preparation for what lies ahead over the next 17 weeks plus postseason, a large panel of experts (23 people, in fact) at NFL.com made predictions on whom will win the league’s awards this year.Several Arizona Cardinals were mentioned in various categories. Here’s a quick rundown of what the folks at the website had to say.Defensive Player of the Year Top Stories last_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Arizona Cardinals claimed linebacker Tanner Vallejo on Tuesday after he was waived by the Cleveland Browns.The 6-foot-1, 230-pound linebacker appeared in 13 outings with Cleveland in 2018 and recorded 20 tackles. He forced two fumbles and on special teams added seven more tackles.As a rookie in 2017 with the Buffalo Bills, Vallejo played in 14 games, racking up four tackles.Vallejo, a Boise State product, was selected by the Bills in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft as the 195th overall pick. Related LinksKingsbury and Cards can capitalize on Rams Super Bowl hangoverKliff doesn’t boost Cards in ESPN’s way-too-early NFL power rankingsThe ongoing saga of the Cardinals’ second cornerback spotCardinals LB Deone Bucannon stays in the moment as free agency loomsArizona will be active in upgrading at linebacker. Outside of veteran Josh Bynes, it was one of their most problematic positions in terms of consistent production last season. The Cardinals early on benched first-round picks Haason Reddick and Deone Bucannon while struggling through a 3-13 campaign under since-fired first-year head coach Steve Wilks.Bucannon and veteran Gerald Hodges are among the position group’s notable free agents this offseason.The Cardinals, due to their 2018 record, are first on the waiver wire. 9 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories last_img read more

Bruce Arians and James Bettcher worked together on

first_img Bruce Arians and James Bettcher worked together on the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff from 2013-17 and over the past two offseasons brought several players from the desert to join them on their new teams.After one year of retirement, Arians is returning to the sidelines to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There are five players on the roster who played for him on the Cardinals.Meanwhile, Bettcher is entering his second season as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. He now has six former Cardinals on his team. Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians (AP photo), left, and former Cardinals DC and current Giants DC James Bettcher (Getty Images), right. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Linebacker Kareem MartinMartin only started 12 games but played in 45 of 48 under Bettcher with Arizona from 2015-17. He joined the Giants with Bettcher last season and started seven games, posting 48 tackles and 1.5 sacks.Running back Elijhaa PennyAfter joining the Cardinals in a reserve role in 2017, he stuck with Bettcher and joined him in New York last season.Defensive tackle Olsen Pierre(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)Pierre started seven of the final eight games under Bettcher in 2017 and recorded 20 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and forced a fumble during that span. He only started one game in 2018 and was placed on injured reserve.Cornerback Ronald ZamortLook at Zamort’s Pro Football Reference page and you’ll see a lot of bouncing back and forth between waivers and the practice squad. He first joined the Cardinals in May 2016 but stuck with the organization through 2017. He was signed to the Giants’ practice squad in October 2018. Linebacker Kevin Minter(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)Like Bucannon, Minter was an important piece of Arizona’s dominant defensive units under Arians and Todd Bowles, and, later, Bettcher. He played every game from 2014-16 and was integral in the latter two years, recording a combined 166 tackles and 4.0 sacks.Offensive guard Earl WatfordEven during the Arians years, the Cardinals offensive lines were often plagued by injury. Watford was no exception. The backup played more than 10 games just once in the four years he saw any game time (15 games in 2016), but Arians liked him enough to bring him on board to Tampa.GiantsFree safety Antoine BetheaBethea produced well in his first season under Bettcher in 2017, leading the team with five interceptions and adding 57 tackles and a sack. He started all 16 games last season (under defensive coordinator Al Holcomb) and had 121 tackles.Defensive end Markus Golden(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)Assumed to be the future of the Cardinals’ line after recording 12.5 sacks in his second season as a pro, an ACL injury cost Golden all but four games in his third year, Bettcher’s final in the desert.  Golden played in 11 games last year, recording 30 tackles and 2.5 sacks as he attempted to round into shape following ACL surgery. He and Bettcher reunite as Golden continues to return to form. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Here’s a look at each player the coaches brought on with connections to their Arizona pasts.BuccaneersLinebacker Deone BucannonRelated LinksCardinals have the most defensive production to replace in NFLArizona Sports NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Who’s next for the Cards at No. 1?ASU receiver N’Keal Harry to meet with Arizona CardinalsBucannon established himself as an important part of Arians’ defense early in his career, playing all 32 games over his first two seasons and recording 109 tackles, 3.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, an interception and a touchdown in his second year alone.But he fell off the depth chart under head coach Steve Wilks last year, playing limited time in the 13 games he appeared in. After recording only 36 tackles, by far a career-low, he returns to play under Arians, former Cardinals DC and current Bucs DC Todd Bowles and outside linebackers coach Larry Foote, who both served under Arians during their times in Arizona.Running back Andre Ellington(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)Ellington was the primary running back for Arizona in 2014, a season in which he was a solid runner and proved himself as an effective pass catcher. Injuries e emergence of David Johnson changed his role, though, and he was waived in 2017 and did not play in the league last year.Quarterback Blaine GabbertHe and Arians’ time together in Arizona was limited, but he was the third-string quarterback for the majority of 2017. Injuries to quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton allowed him to play five games as the Cardinals evaluated him as a potential future quarterback. While they did not elect to re-sign him, Arians saw enough to feel comfortable with Gabbert on his Buccaneers team. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 4 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Marriott Rewards the

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterMarriott Rewards, the award-winning loyalty programme of Marriott International has announced three new benefits that make it easy for members to explore the things they love and experience travel to the fullest.The new Marriott Rewards experiences marketplace gives all members, including The Ritz-Carlton Rewards members, even more access to a collection of unique, curated experiences.For an initial group of Elite members of Marriott Rewards, a new Elite concierge service will provide them with a dedicated concierge so that their travel experience is both seamless and tailored to their individual needs.Guaranteed late checkout will give Gold and Platinum Elite members of Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards increased flexibility and peace of mind when they travel.“We’re evolving how we engage with, recognise, and reward our loyal guests,” said Thom Kozik, Vice President of Loyalty at Marriott International. “Loyalty is not just about our members choosing to stay with us. We want to make their travel more seamless and personalised, and we also want to deliver memorable experiences that go beyond the stay. Giving our members even more flexibility, freedom, and opportunity to enjoy what they love most about travel—and life—is one of the best ways we can show our loyalty to them.”Experiences marketplaceWith the experiences marketplace, all Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Members can pursue their passions by choosing from a wide array of curated special events and opportunities for discovery. Whether it’s tickets to one of the hottest shows on Broadway; a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hang out with your favourite sports team; or a private cooking lesson or wine tasting with a world-famous chef or sommelier, members can redeem Marriott Rewards or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards points to access a marketplace of unique experiences that allow them to explore their personal interests in the most meaningful and memorable ways. The experiences marketplace will be available globally to all members in late May.Elite concierge serviceAn initial group of Elite members of Marriott Rewards will be invited to participate in a new Elite concierge service. By developing a relationship with the member, the concierge will be able to anticipate their unique needs, ensuring the member’s preferences are recognised and their desires are met before, during, and even after their stay. The concierge will be able to reserve on-property amenities like restaurants, spa treatments and golf, as well as make arrangements for special occasions. The service will launch in late May first for US members of Marriott Rewards travelling worldwide and will continue to expand. Marriott Rewards will actively engage with this group of charter members and seek their feedback to refine the service.Guaranteed late checkoutThe guaranteed late checkout benefit will be available to Gold and Platinum Elite members of both Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards who will enjoy a more seamless travel experience when planning their trip. These members will receive a guaranteed late checkout, which could be as late as 4pm. Members can request the late checkout when making a reservation by phone, when checking in using the Marriott Mobile app, or upon arrival at the hotel. This benefit is available at all fully participating Marriott Rewards hotels with the exclusion of resorts, convention hotels and Marriott Vacation Club. Marriott Rewards and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards will continue to offer Silver Elite members the benefit of requesting late checkout on their day of departure. Guaranteed late checkout launches globally on May 16.These new benefits are the latest example of Marriott Rewards showing members that loyalty flows both ways. They follow the announcement of exclusive Member Rates which guarantee the lowest price for all members who book direct, and other recently introduced benefits including Points Sharing, Cash & Points, Points Advance, and Redemption Stay Credits.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter InterContinental Hotel

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the global roll out of Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club, an exclusive rate offered to IHG Rewards Club members when they book direct. It is part of the ongoing evolution of IHG Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme, with over 92 million members worldwide. IHG Rewards Club already offers industry leading benefits that include no blackout dates on Reward Nights, mobile check-in and extended checkout times.From this month, Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club will launch at IHG hotels in the Americas and Europe, and will be promoted as part of major brand campaigns in both regions. It will be rolled out across the remainder of IHG’s estate in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and China later in the year. The new member benefit will be tailored to reflect the local dynamic in individual regions and markets.IHG’s decision to launch Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club follows a successful pilot of exclusive member rates in Europe and the Americas in 2015. It is supported by extensive consumer research into what IHG Rewards Club members are looking for from a loyalty programme, namely that they belong to a special club with preferred pricing for members.Keith Barr, Chief Commercial Officer, IHG, said: “IHG is a consumer driven company and we are committed to ensuring that we provide a superior and personalised experience for our millions of guests around the world. Offering exclusive rates to our most loyal guests who know and trust IHG’s family of brands is a key part of this. The launch of Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club is another important milestone for our loyalty programme, which last year launched a new top-tier membership level, Spire Elite, alongside a series of other benefits.”Exclusive hotel rates will be available when members book direct via IHG branded websites, the IHG App or phone reservations through IHG’s global call centres. Over the coming weeks, these rates may also be booked by select travel partners on behalf of any IHG Rewards Club Member through eligible channels.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

Luxury travel company Abercrombie Kent has relea

first_imgLuxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent has released an exclusive cruise tour to the legendary southern reaches of Chilean Patagonia.Tailored around the impressive adventure cruise ship M/V Stella Australis, guests sail from Punta Arenas to Ushuaia in the wake of pioneering navigators and indigenous natives. The region is home to some of the world’s wildest and most pristine landscapes with dazzling glaciers, penguin and seal colonies, towering snow-capped mountains, Magellanic forest and legendary Cape Horn. Complementing the cruise are land programmes at The Singular Patagonia, one of Chile’s most unique hotels, and a stay in Buenos Aires experiencing the city’s distinctive cultural and culinary attractions.The group size is limited to 24 guests with an accompanying A&K tour director throughout. International flights are included from Australia. A&K’s 15-day ‘Patagonia by Land & Sea’ journey departs 6 November 2017 and 29 January 2018.Prices from $15,495 per person twin share. Single supplement $3835.last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Regent Seven Seas Cruis

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterRegent Seven Seas Cruises has unveiled two shore excursion innovations designed to offer luxury travellers the most bespoke experiences in destinations around the world.Dubbed Go Local Tours and Regent Choice small group tours, these elevated shore excursions are designed to show off “distinct, authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences” to guests who may have already visited a port previously.“These local experiences will be exceptional,” Regent Seven Seas Cruises President and CEO Jason Montague said.Go Local ToursRegent Seven Seas Cruises guests will enjoy a more direct way to experience the culture of a destination through Go Local Tours. Now, guests can spend a day at a family-owned goat farm in the countryside of Andalusia to learn the generations-old way of making cheese, or discover the joy of fishing with the residents of Portofino, or observe skilled artists in their studios in Palma de Mallorca. Guests will experience the world through the eyes of those who live in the community and discover the best of a favourite destination.The cruise line worked for seven months to curate 122 small local experiences for guests, nearly 50 of which are included in its free Unlimited Shore Excursions. Go Local Tours are available on 2019 Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages, along with 2019 voyages calling on Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. Examples of Go Local Tours include:Spain: Visit the mountain village of Alfarnate, located in the province of Málaga in Andalusia. Here, a local guide escorts guests through the village shops to introduce them to the local artisans. The next stop is the nearby town of Alfarnatejo, to an ancient, restored house, where guests enjoy a glass of local wine before a host escorts guests to their own home for a traditional Spanish lunch and an introduction to Spain’s gastronomical culture.Finland: Guests will experience the unique and beautiful sights of central Helsinki. The day starts with a visit to the most popular food market, Kauppahalli, to observe and taste the variety of local fish, meat and cheeses. Next, guests take a local tram toward Kamppi Center to visit the two famous Finnish supermarkets before touring the underground Central Bus Station, which connects Helsinki with the surrounding towns. One more level under the ground, guests will take a Metro to the Hakaniemi Market Hall for a tour. Following a typical Finnish snack, the tour ends with a relaxing walk through Kaivopuisto Park, the oldest and best-known park in Helsinki.Greece: Visit the Monastery of Agia Irini, south of Heraklion and close to the traditional village of Kroussonas. The Monastery serves as a nunnery and is among the oldest in Crete. At the completion of the guided visit, the nuns will offer guests traditional hand-made sweets. In the village of Kroussonas guests will visit the traditional Cretan boot maker, Stivania, and tour the oldest bakery in the village. A host will introduce guests to traditional Cretan music accompanied by a lesson in folk dances such as the Ballos. The demonstration will also show how families prepare cheese and make Cretan cheese pies. Afterwards, guests are treated to olive oil and wine tastings, and a demonstration in Cretan weaving. A traditional Cretan lunch will be served at the end of the tour.Go Local Artwork TourRegent Choice small group toursRegent Choice small group tours are smaller versions of the cruise line’s existing popular free Unlimited Shore Excursions and Regent Choice tours. Hosting no more than 16 guests, for a subsidised, supplementary fee Regent Choice small group tours allow for more personal destination engagement with a knowledgeable guide. These excursions are curated to provide additional ways to engage luxury travellers’ interests and passions, from food and wine to art and architecture, and include access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.About 250 excursions on 2019 Mediterranean and Northern Europe voyages will be offered as Regent Choice small group tours.In Australia, options include the Kangaroos & Koalas Sundown Adventure. Available from Melbourne, this Regent Choice sees guests join an expert nature guide and head You Yangs National Park to see Koalas in the wild and free-ranging Eastern grey kangaroos in a natural bush setting nearby. Guests also see and learn about many other Australian animals and birds on the vast Western Plains near Melbourne, before enjoying a Sundowners’ casual meal out in the wild, including wine and bubbly, sandwiches, crackers, cheese and fruit.See www.RSSC.comLead image: Regent Seven Seas Cruises Go Local Food Market Tour in BarcelonaGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more