Simon Calder picks up number one travel journalist award

Senior travel editor for The Independent Simon Calder was last night presented with the award for number one UK travel journalist of the year at Press Gazette's London offices.

Calder came number one in the Press Gazette list of top 50 travel journalists and was honoured at a reception sponsored by the cruiseline Royal Caribbean International.

He was presented with a mounted set of the top-50 travel journalists pages by UK managing director of Royal Caribbean International Jo Rzymowska.

He said: "It is as unexpected as it is undeserved because I'm frankly pretty useless at travel. I couldn't actually find this place tonight…The first time I ever flew with EasyJet I arrived at the airport with my details and my booking reference and they told me the good news is that your flight is on time, the bad news is that it's going from a different airport."

Calder amused the reception by telling them further tales of travelling woe which included being diverted to the wrong country on both occasions he had attempted to fly to Germany with Ryanair and having his laptop charger melted by the dodgy electricity supply in an Ethiopian hotel. Fortunately, he said, the hotel's desk attendant was using exactly the same model computer and was able to lend him the piece of kit he needed.

'The first rule of travel journalism is that for every bad thing that happens something good happens too. This [the award] is a very good thing to happen to me so something disastrous is probably waiting for me when I leave."

Rzymowska invited all the travel journalists who attended last night's event to join her for an all-expenses-paid trip on the four-day maiden voyage of RCI's newest ship, Allure of the Seas, from Miami on 22 November.

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