December 28, 2012 | By Annette McLeod, MSN Travel
Biggest travel stories of 2012

From the Costa Concordia wreck to the flooding in Venice, Italy, this was an eventful year in the world of travel.



Flooding in Venice; Superstorm Sandy wreaks havoc in N.Y.; and the Costa Concordia sinks. (© Manuel Silvestri/Reuters; Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)
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  • Flooding in Venice; Superstorm Sandy wreaks havoc in N.Y.; and the Costa Concordia sinks. (© Manuel Silvestri/Reuters; Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Tourists sit on the Spanish steps in downtown Rome. Italy. (© Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
  • A seagull flies over the partially submerged Costa Concordia ship on Jan. 16, 2012 off the coast of the Isola del Giglio, Italy. (© Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Andrea Baldini of Italy celebrates defeating Yuki Ota of Japan to win the gold medal match 45-39 in the Men's Foil Team Fencing finals on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games. (© Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
  • airline food (© Getty Images)
  • Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (© Evert Elzinga/AP Photo)
  • A flight information terminal displays cancelled flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York, U.S., on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. (© Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
  • Lake Lucerne, Switzerland. (© Image Source/The Canadian Press Images)
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Manuel Silvestri/Reuters; Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty ImagesShow Thumbnails
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Weather was responsible for more than its fair share of travel headlines this year, with Superstorm Sandy pummelling the east coast and tourists swimming in the Piazza San Marco, but perhaps the story that hit the hardest was the January sinking of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Tuscany. Cruise ships are supposed to be pure overindulgent pleasure, so their vulnerability in the hands of one misunderstood/criminally negligent sea captain is a sad reminder to us all to travel mindfully. Here are our top 10 travel stories of 2012 in chronological order; in one of life’s neat little full-circle moments, the first big travel story of the year could also be the last, with that one billionth tourist due this month.  

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