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From Twinkling City to Tranquil Town: A Bucket-List Trip through the Best of France

From Twinkling City to Tranquil Town: A Bucket-List Trip through the Best of France

Our clients Jeffrey and Kathleen Gingera recently packed their bags and jetted off to France — their dream destination — to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. We caught up with Jeffrey and Kathleen to learn more about their France trip, including an exciting cruise trip and city activities that are absolute must-dos, and what they would choose to pass on if they could do it all again:

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For Extraordinary Travelers: Luxury Crystal Cruises

For Extraordinary Travelers: Luxury Crystal Cruises

Forget what you think you know about cruising. Crystal Cruises takes your vacation to a whole new luxurious level.

How?

This luxury cruise line boasts some of the best, most award-winning ships in the world. Spacious decks, posh detailing, and classic modern decor with a touch of Old Hollywood glamour await you on board. You can expect personalized service, too, from staff who are invested in your enjoyment. Think of Crystal Cruises as the perfect balance between elegance and adventure.

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4 Magical Ways to Turn A Family Trip into Your Luxury Disney Vacation

4 Magical Ways to Turn A Family Trip into Your Luxury Disney Vacation

Long lines, crowded photo opps, and “kid-friendly” (aka boooring) food options …. That’s what many people imagine when they think about a theme park vacation. Luckily, Disney makes it easy to upgrade the theme park resort experience with luxury add ons. Plus, Disney has expanded outside of the theme park resort vacation with travel options that make Disney fans and general luxury travelers alike say “wow!” Explore our favorite luxury Disney vacation options below: (more…)

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas: Closer Than Ever Before

Cruising on one of the majestic ships ever built just got a whole lot easier. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas — the second largest cruise ship in the world — is docking in Port Canaveral. The mighty ocean cruise ship moved from Port Everglades to Port Canaveral. We know a lot of our clients who live in the Augusta area are big Royal Caribbean fans — but the drive down to Ft. Lauderdale to hop on a cruise can be exhausting. You lose a whole day of your vacation when you travel that far!

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Group Travel: The Top Travel Types for Fantastic Group Vacations

Group Travel: The Top Travel Types for Fantastic Group Vacations

Nothing builds bonds and brings people closer together quite like travel. That’s why groups love to travel together! Whether you’re planning a big family trip, a tropical getaway for your destination wedding, or a rewarding vacation for your best employees, group travel is guaranteed to leave its mark in the best kind of way. You and your fellow travelers will make lasting memories together in absolutely spellbinding destinations — memories you can reminisce about together for years to come. But how do you choose the perfect vacation type for your group? Some types of vacations are better suited to group travel than others. We’ve picked our four favorite vacation types that make planning a breeze for group travel:

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Looking for the Best Vacation in Asia? Our Top Three Recommendations

asian temple surrounded by a lake and bushes, symbolizing the best vacation in asia you can have.

From the temples of Angkor Wat to the skyscrapers of Hong Kong (which really look like the touch the sky!), Asia is a land full of wonderment. And it’s ripe for your exploration. If you’ve never been to Asia before, however, taking the trip to this storied continent may make one wary. But there’s no need to be. For the best vacation in Asia, stick to classic itineraries that serve up comfort, while still allowing you to encounter some of the most beautiful sights in Asia. Here are our three expert recommendations:

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Our Top Picks for Travel Destinations for 2017

Sandals over-the-water bunglaows, one of our 2017 top travel destinations picks. Photo courtesy of Sandals.

Sandals’ over-the-water bungalows, one of our 2017 top picks. Photo courtesy of Sandals.

Do you have a vacation or your top travel destinations all planned out for 2017? If you’re like many travelers, you might not start thinking about your annual family vacation or romantic getaway until the calendar changes to the new year. Well, it’s time to start your vacation planning! We’ve highlighted four of our favorite, trending vacation ideas for 2017 to inspire you.

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What’s Next for Celebrity Cruises: The Cruise Line That Takes You Closer

Celebrity Cruises never stops innovating. We had a chat with our Celebrity cruises contact, market sales manager Carl Crews, about the exciting things Celebrity cruise lines had in store for the near future. Cruise fans, we think you’ll love what he has to say:

What’s new with Celebrity Cruises?

Carl: There’s exciting stuff happening in the Galapagos! We’ve been in the Galapagos for over 10 years, but we’ve only had one ship there, with 45 rooms for 100 passengers. (more…)

Sailing Through a Different Side of the Old Continent: River Cruising Through Eastern Europe

Our clients Gordon and Carole Meek recently returned from their very first river cruise. They embarked on a Viking Cruise through Eastern Europe; their trip started in Bucharest, Romania, and the ship traveled north to Budapest, Hungary, and along the way they sailed through Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia.

We caught up with Gordon to get his first impressions on river cruising and his insights into vacationing in a less-traveled part of Europe. Read on for Gordon’s fascinating thoughts on the difference between ocean and river cruising, Eastern Europe, and the Viking experience:

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Need a Dose of Luxury in Your Life? Upgrade to One of These Jaw-Dropping Caribbean Destinations

Our client Charles Dickson recently returned from a 10-night cruise on luxury line Celebrity that sailed throughout the eastern Caribbean. Chuck has been on more than 25 cruises, but this time he and his wife did something a little different — instead of booking their normal “veranda” room, they got a luxurious suite. What was the upgrade like?  “It was just unbelievable,” said Chuck.

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An Interview With Avalon Waterways Patrick Ludvigsen

Avalon2

 

We sat down with Patrick Ludvigsen of Avalon Waterways to get the inside scoop on river cruising. Avalon is a luxury river cruise line that offers itineraries in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa—read on for some must-know insights from Patrick:

How long have you been working with Avalon?

Five years now.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Working with travel agents on my accounts, and continuing to educate them on our products and promotions. Cruising is great too, but I can’t do it all the time!

Do you have a favorite Avalon itinerary?

I really enjoy the Danube cruise, it’s my favorite right now. It’s very diverse; you see a lot of castles, cathedrals, abbeys, and vineyards, and you sail through multiple countries. The Mekong itinerary through Southeast Asia would be number two.

Why do you think someone should choose a river cruise experience over an ocean cruise?

Ocean cruising is great, but river cruising gives you a more inclusive environment—you’re not nickled and dimed on board! Plus, an ocean cruiser can’t get you to the heart of a destination like a smaller river cruise ship can. Our river cruises have somewhere between 128 to 160 passengers, compared to 4,000. Being on an ocean cruise can feel like going to the mall on Christmas Eve!

How does Avalon distinguish itself from other river cruise lines?

In a couple different ways: we have the youngest fleet, the largest cabins, and really great itineraries. Plus, Avalon is part of the Globus family of brands, which encompasses land tours. That means you’re easily able to tack on additional packages to the river cruise itself before or after the trip.

Airfare to your river cruising destination can be pricey, even though we can get the best deal for you. So the longer you can stay on vacation, the more it drives down the per-day cost of your air. So I’d definitely recommend coming early or staying late!

Do you have any advice for vacationers thinking of trying a river cruise for the first time?

Yes, absolutely—see a travel professional. They’re familiar with all of the brands, and they can figure out which product is best for you. Depending on your personality and preferences, they’ll give you a number of different opportunities and help make the decision that’s best for you.

Also, for deals, it’s important to stay flexible. So many people come into a travel agency and say, “This is the week I want to go.” But you might get the best deal if you went the week prior! If you come in with a parameter of dates, your agent can explore better discounts and deals for you.

Thank you for sharing your insights, Patrick! If you’re interested in learning more about a river cruising experience on Avalon, get in touch with us today!

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