The annual Austrian Vienna Opera Ball, taking place on 12 February 2015, at the city’s magnificent State Opera House, is deemed the epitome of ball culture and a top-calibre social event, attracting celebrities from around the globe. The cultural city will be sparkling with the world’s glitterati – experience the beautiful historic city of Vienna for yourself with its trotting white horses, Hapsburg Palaces and cosy coffee shops, with Travel Republic:
Here are some exciting ideas for a New Year getaway in Austria’s Vienna:
3 NIGHTS in 4-STAR VIENNA FROM £160 PER PERSON WITH FLIGHTS
Enjoy 3 nights at the 4-star Hotel Exe Vienna, two sharing B&B, from £160 per person. Departing London Gatwick until 01 March 2015. Located close to the city centre, the establishment also provides guests with a heated swimming pool and fitness centre.
3 NIGHTS in 4-STAR VIENNA FROM £170 PER PERSON WITH FLIGHTS
Enjoy 3 nights at the 4-star Deutschmeister Hotel, two sharing B&B, from £170 per person. Departing London Gatwick until 01 March 2015. This traditional hotel is located in the Servitenviertel district, which is known for its many restaurants and shops. The Ringstraße boulevard and the Sigmund Freud Museum are only a short walk away. The U2 underground line is a 5-minute walk away and provides direct connections to the Prater amusement park, the Wien Messe exhibition centre and the city’s stadium.
3 NIGHTS in 3-STAR VIENNA FROM £188 PER PERSON WITH FLIGHTS
Enjoy 3 nights at the 3-star Austria Classic Wien Hotel, two sharing B&B, from £188 per person. Departing London Gatwick until 01 March 2015. Austria Classic Hotel Wien is in the heart of Vienna, walking distance from the Johann-Strauss-Museum and Riesenrad. This family-friendly hotel is also within close proximity of Urania and Wiener Prater.
With more than two million holidaymakers booking annually through their websites in the UK, Ireland, Spain, and Italy, Travel Republic is one of the largest and most well-established online travel agents in Europe. They have been successfully helping people book their hotels, flights and other travel arrangements for over 10 years.
All offers included in this email are subject to limited availability and prices are current at time of going to press on 31 October 2014.
A wide range of offers are available from other airports including London Southend and London Heathrow.
Trafalgar (www.trafalgar.com ) is pleased to unveil their new CostSaver 2015 brochure featuring 37 value-packed itineraries, plus four City Breaks throughout Europe and Britain with the services of an expert Travel Director. Trafalgar’s CostSaver guided holidays save clients up to 30 per cent versus booking by themselves and clients travelling with the award-winning company can expect incredible savings, with no compromise on quality.
Including all of the essentials, plus free time and flexibility, guests can experience the destination their way, making their holiday a truly memorable experience from R1180 per day. This daily cost covers accommodation in quality hotels, your Travel Director, chauffeur driven coach transportation, breakfast daily, selected diners and sightseeing that takes in the must see sights.
“Incredible savings, quality hotels, included meals, included must-see sights plus free time and a name clients can trust is what travellers can expect from Trafalgar’s 2015 CostSaver program,” says Theresa Szejwallo of Trafalgar South Africa. “We know our guests want to save money without losing out on Trafalgar’s usual uncompromising value and agents can promote that our CostSaver trips range from a 4 day, week long getaway to an immersive 28 day itinerary so there is something to suit every client’s budget.“
To celebrate the launch of the new brochure, Trafalgar is offering an Early Payment Discount on Easy terms with savings of up to R11 150 per couple on 2015 CostSaver guided holidays. Simply book and pay a R1000 deposit within seven days of booking with the balance due 30 January 2015
NEW / Wonders of Turkey – priced from R13 050
Explore Turkey’s iconic destinations in this 11-day Wonders of Turkey trip that begins and ends in Istanbul. Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Istanbul with a Local Guide to the Topkapi Palace Museum, Hippodrome and the Blue Mosque. A visit to the world’s largest, oldest and famous Grand Bazaar is also on the agenda where clients can explore over 3,000 shops that cover over 60 streets.
In Ankara, clients will visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and Ataturk’s Mausoleum before making their way to Cappadocia where they will visit the impressive underground city of Sarhatli, the Pasabagi and the red valley. Travelling south and then back north, clients will spend one night each in Konya, Pamukkale, Izmir and Canakkale visiting the unique cotton castles formed by mineral springs, St. Mary’s Stone cottage and the famous wooden horse in Troy along the way.
Regional, Discovery and City Break
CostSaver also offers traveller the opportunity to explore Europe and Britain through various travel styles.
A Regional Experience gives guests a more in-depth exploration of a particular country or region. For example the Spanish Experience takes in Madrid, Toledo, Puerto Lapice, Seville, Granada, Valencia, Peniscola and Barcelona on a 9 day unbeatable value trip. This is priced from R13 500 per person twin share.
The 7 day Glimpse of Europe, priced from R15 000, is a Discovery trip style and guests will visit six countries over the seven days. Starting and ending in London guests take in the White Cliffs of Dover, Amsterdam, the Rhine Valley, Heidelberg, the Black Forest, Schaffhausen, Lucerne and Paris.
Take a City Break if you want to explore independently with ample free time to discover Europe your way. Priced from R8900 per person twin share spend a week in London with Trafalgar and your accommodation, certain sightseeing and FREE off-peak travel on central London’s buses and Underground for three days is taken care of.
For more information contact your ASATA travel agent or Trafalgar on (011) 280 8400. Visit www.trafalgar.com and follow us: #TrafalagarInsider to learn more.
Trafalgar is the world’s leading guided holiday company offering exceptional quality and value itineraries to a range of exciting destinations. With nearly 70 years of experience and unrivalled local expertise, Trafalgar provides an authentic insider’s view to create truly unique travel experiences in Europe, Britain and Eastern Mediterranean, Australia and New Zealand, China, Mexico, Central and South America, Asia, the USA and Canada.
About The TreadRight Foundation
Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s family of brands, the TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit working to ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has donated more than USD 2.5 million to sustainable tourism projects worldwide.
The Foundation’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities. Foundation priorities are set by the Steering Committee, which includes sustainability leaders like Céline Cousteau and Costas Christ.
TreadRight’s past project partners include WWF, Conservation International and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include sponsoring the National Geographic Society’s inaugural “World Legacy Awards,” WildAid and inspiring wildlife advocates like Terri Irwin.
To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at www.treadright.org
Following the inaugural success of Snowsport England’s national snowsports participation GO SKI GO BOARD campaign, for 2014-15 there will be two new elements to the programme, GO FREESTYLE and GO RACE. The Sochi effect and an increase in funding for the British Park and Pipe athletes, will continue to attract more people to the artificial and indoor snow facilities in England. As destination partner of the GO SKI GO BOARD campaign, the Austrian Tirol region is the next step in improving your freestyle skills. There are 33 terrain parks across Tirol to choose from, offering suitable obstacles from novices to experts. Read on for some further inspiration:
The Kaunertal Glacier, one of Tirol’s 5 glacier ski resorts, serves up consistently good conditions from October to June, an abundance of natural snowfall, stunning mountain views and one of the best terrain parks in the Alps. The Snowpark Kaunertal, at an altitude of 2990m, offers a great range of kicker and obstacle lines suitable for beginners, who have never been in a terrain park, up to experts and athletes in training. The Kaunertal glacier will officially open for the 2014-15 season on 10th – 12th October, with its legendary opening festival weekend, now in its 29th year. It’s one of the earliest opening dates with snowboard contests, concerts and parties as well as the “Testival” which includes brand new material for the next season. At the end of the season the UK snowboard industry decamps to Kaunertal for the annual Spring Break Snowboard Test, now in its 20th year.
There is no specific resort base at the Kaunertal Glacier but it is easily accessible by ski bus. A 7 night holiday starts from €322 per person, including a 6 day lift pass. easyJet fly daily to Innsbruck from December (offer valid 12.01 – 01.02 2015). For more holiday offers visit http://www.tirolergletscher.com/en/offers.
Ever since Kühtai hosted the Freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at the inaugural Youth Winter Olympic Games in 2012, the KPark Kühtai is the word on everyone lips. Since it came under the management of the Air & Style Company in 2013/14, the KPark is establishing itself as a freestyle hotspot for skiers and snowboarders. The K-park set up offers an easy, medium and proline with a selection of kickers, rails and boxes and Austria’s biggest superpipe at almost 7m high. Located within 30 minutes of Innsbruck airport, Kühtai is small and compact benefiting from the convenience of doorstep skiing and as one of Austria’s highest resorts at 2020m, Kühtai boasts a wonderful snow-sure record from December through to May.
Inghams (www.inghams.co.uk; 01483 79 11 14) offers a week’s catered accommodation at the Chalet Hotel Elisabeth in Kühtai from £459, including flights from Gatwick (as well as all major UK airports) to Innsbruck and resort transfers.
Vans Penken Park
Set in the mountainous heart of the Ziller Valley, Mayrhofen is one of Austria’s leading resorts and long been a British favourite and is home to one of the best and largest terrain parks in the Alps. The Vans Penken Park on Penken is on the must shred list for everyone, whether you are a beginner or a pro. The park has its own chairlift, the 4 –seater SunJet, to ensure that snowboarders and freeskiers can maximise their rides and when in the park can do all the showing off in the world to the audience overhead.
There are six areas across the park; Medium Area, Fun Area, Advanced Area, Challenging Pro Area, Halfpipe and Kids Park with a total of 11 Kickers, 2 Hips and 34 Boxes & Rails.
In the Zillertal there are seven parks to choose from, including the Better Park in Hintertux and the Actionpark Zillertal Arena in Zell am Ziller, which operates a Snowboard and Freeski workshops every Tuesday during the season, with introductions to the park, bag jump sessions, ride with the pros and video coaching.
Ski Solutions (www.skisolutions.com) offers a week at the 4* Hotel Strass in Mayrhofen from £764, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and resort transfers. Regional flights are available at a supplement.
Playstation® Vita Ischgl Snowpark
The talented park designers carve their magic each season at the Playstation® Vita Ischgl Snowpark to create one of the big draws on the freestyle scene.
Consisting of three different areas, beginners can practice on the easy boxes and small jumps in the Public and Beginner Parks and with a permanent airbag jump there’s margin for error too. Advanced riders can use the pro kickers and rails in the King Size Park, with one of the longest prolines in Europe with over 20 elements. Access to the freestyle action is served by three chairlifts and with two mountain restaurants close to the snow park, Idalp and the Alpenhaus, means you can get a real spectators view from the sun terrace too.
Ski Total (www.skitotal.com ; 01483 791933) is offering the Chalet Zita from just £639 per person, based on 2 adults sharing, and including catered accommodation, return flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck (Manchester available at a supplement), transfers, free wifi and free ski hosting.
Snow Park Stubai Zoo
The Moreboards Stubai Zoo is located at the Stubai Glacier, Austria’s largest glacier ski area, with a total of 110kms of piste and all less than 45 minutes away from Innsbruck. The snow park attracts snowboarders and freeskiers, from beginners to pros and serves as a training ground for many British athletes.
Last November the GB freestyle team, Jenny Jones, Aimee Fuller, Jamie Nicholls and Rowan Coultas, were at the Stubai Glacier getting in some practice ahead of Sochi. It was also at Stubai in May that Katie Omerod smashed the record for landing the First Ever Female Backside Double Cork 1080. The snowpark season starts from 17th to 19th October with the Moreboards Stubai Premiere and from this autumn there will be a new park lift in the snow park.
A 3 night holiday starts from €299 per person at the 4* Aktiv-& Vitalhotel Bergcristall on hlaf board, including a 2.5 day lift pass. easyJet fly daily to Innsbruck from December. For more holiday offers visit http://www.tirolergletscher.com/en/offers.
SkiWelt Fun Parks
For newcomers to freestyle the Funslope & Snowpark SkiWelt in Söll is one of the best places to try out your first jumps and tricks, while those with more experience can venture on to the medium line. The SkiWelt is Austria’s largest integrated ski area with over 280km of pistes and a further highlight in the area is the Boarders Playground, located at the Gampenkogellift in Westendorf. It is THE meeting place of the local freestyle scene with three different Lines (Easy, Medium and Hard) and countless kickers, boxes and rails of various shapes and sizes waiting for you to shred.
Crystal Ski Holidays (www.crystalski.co.uk; 020 8939 0726) offers a week bed & breakfast at the three-star Pension Scherntanner in Söll from £408 per person based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and resort transfers. Direct flights also available from Stansted (+£9), Birmingham (+£29), Manchester (+£39), Newcastle (+£39) and Edinburgh (+£49).
Discount Pricing Now Available for Most Popular Cruise Itineraries in 2015
Los Angeles – River cruising is the fastest-growing segment of travel, and there has never been a better time to book a journey on one of the world’s iconic waterways. Viking River Cruises (www.vikingrivercruises.com) today announced a new fall promotion for its most popular itineraries in Europe, Russia, China and Southeast Asia. From now through October 31, Viking is offering an Early Booking Discount (Code EBD) for all Europe departures in March and April 2015 and all 2015 Southeast Asia departures – with up to 2-for-1 cruise fare and up to 2-for-1 international air.
The fall promotion also includes additional savings on a variety of specific departures. Guests who book a stateroom on one of the award-winning Viking Longships in Europe – or one of the two new ships on the Elbe River – will save an extra $300 per couple. And guests who book a 2015 Russia departure will receive up to 2-for-1 cruise fare and up to free airfare.
“There is an intrinsic value to river cruising that is unlike other methods of travel, and more people are discovering the benefit of unpacking once and sailing on a small vessel that is designed to enhance exploration,” said Richard Marnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Viking Cruises. “As our fleet of river vessels around the world continues to grow, we are proud to be able to offer both our new and return guests the best value possible, including seasonal discounts and the most diverse range of itinerary and stateroom choices of any river cruise line.”
Abundant Options for 2015
While nearly all of Viking’s 2014 departures are completely sold out, now is the best time for travelers to consider a wide variety of itinerary and stateroom options in 2015 – from quintessential river cruise experiences on the Rhine, Main and Danube to “bucket list” opportunities like experiencing Holland’s famous springtime tulips; exploring the streets of Paris, the world’s most romantic city; and visiting the famed region of Burgundy. Highlighted itineraries include:
· Grand European Tour (15 days; Amsterdam – Budapest): Viking’s most popular itinerary takes guests on a 15-day journey through Europe’s most spectacular landscapes with stops in medieval towns, imperial cities and impressive capitals. Tour the intricate networks of windmills in Kinderdijk before cruising past the Rhine’s hilltop castles, then explore Würzburg’s Bishops’ Residenz, one of Germany’s largest and most ornate baroque palaces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historical discovery awaits with visits to the ruins of Zeppelin Field and the Palace of Justice; while the arts come to life with an onboard demonstration of live glassblowing, a special concert played on the 17,000-pipe organ in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and a trip to Vienna’s world-famous Opera House. Promotional prices start at $3,562 per person.
· Romantic Danube (8 days; Nuremberg – Budapest): Discover grand cities and quaint villages on this 8-day journey along the “Blue Danube.” Explore both sides of fascinating Budapest; experience Vienna’s imperial architecture and gracious culture; and tour riverside towns in Austria’s Wachau Valley. In Germany, explore a baroque abbey and stroll cobbled streets lined with half-timbered houses. Promotional prices start at $1,856 per person.
· Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam – Basel): Visit all the highlights of the legendary Rhine on this 8-day trip through its commanding riverbanks and lush landscapes. Travelers will enjoy a tour of Cologne and its awe-inspiring Dom; a visit to the beautiful sandstone ruins of Heidelberg Castle; the opportunity to explore the Romanesque cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and a scenic excursion through Breisach, gateway to the Black Forest, and its renowned mountain landscape. Promotional prices start at $1,856 per person.
· Portraits of Southern France (8 days; Chalon-sur-Saône – Avignon): Some of the most beautiful vistas the French countryside has to offer serve as the background for this 8-day journey that unites arts, history and the region’s famed winemaking. Guided tours of Burgandy and Tournon include tastings of the area’s most famous wines; the colors and architecture of Arles provide a glimpse into the inspiration of Vincent van Gogh and other artists; and the 2,000 year old town of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features the Basilica of Notre Dame, St. Jean Cathedral, the Palace of Justice and samplings of the town’s world-famous French cuisine. Promotional prices start at $1,956.
· Paris & the Heart of Normandy (8 days; Paris – Rouen – Paris): This 8-day journey combines the magic and splendor of the “City of Light” with the rich history of the Normandy Beaches. Enjoy the true icons of the region, including the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame; visit the charming stone farmhouse where Claude Monet lived and worked; and explore World War II landmarks as Omaha Beach and the American Military Cemetery. Promotional prices start at $1,356 per person.
Value of River Cruising
With the world’s largest and best fleet of river cruise ships, more awards than any other river cruise line and choice in every aspect, Viking delivers remarkable value to guests. Economies of ship design, ownership of its vessels and high standards all lead to increased savings that are passed on to guests. Viking’s inclusive pricing covers accommodations, all onboard meals, daily guided shore excursions, onboard cultural enrichment activities, port charges, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, free Wi-Fi, and more.
For complete details on Viking’s new fall promotion, visit http://www.vikingrivercruises.com/promotions.html. For information, images or b-roll, contact email@example.com. For booking details, contact a travel agent or call Viking Cruises toll-free at 1-877-66VIKING (1-877-668-4546).
About Viking Cruises
Viking Cruises offers destination-centric river and ocean cruising designed for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history. Featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions, Viking’s journeys are competitively priced for genuine value. Debuting its maiden season of ocean cruising in 2015, the sophisticated state-of-the-art Viking Star will host 930 guests on itineraries in Scandinavia and the Baltic; the Western and Eastern Mediterranean; and the British Isles. Two additional ocean ships, Viking Sea and Viking Sky, will debut in 2016. As the world’s leading river cruise line, since its 1997 inception the company has grown to a fleet of 53 river vessels (in 2014) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of Europe, Russia, Egypt, China, and Southeast Asia. Viking has been honored multiple times in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards and Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” as well as recognized by the editors of Cruise Critic as “Best River Cruise Line,” with the entire Viking Longships® fleet being named “Best New River Ships of 2012” in the website’s Editors’ Picks Awards. The travel trade has ranked Viking as the “Best River Cruise Line” by Travel Weekly, Recommend and Travel Agent magazines, “Best Cruise Line for Luxury River Cruises” at the Luxury Travel Advisor Awards of Excellence and as “Best Overall Cruise Line for River Cruising,” “Best New River Cruise Ship” and for the sixth consecutive year, “Best River Cruise Line for Travel Agent Support” in the 2014 TravelAge West’s WAVE Awards. For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1‑855‑8-VIKING (1‑855‑884‑5464) or visit www.vikingrcruises.com . To join the Viking communities online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruises, www.facebook.com/vikingoceans and www.facebook.com/vikingrivercruises .
Emerald Waterways, Europe’s first new river cruise company to launch in six years, announces a brand new itinerary for 2015: “Enchantment of Eastern Europe.” The 10-day voyage travels from Budapest to Bucharest along the Danube, passing through Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Travelers can experience a different kind of beauty in Eastern Europe than they would expect to find on a more typical river cruise through the continent. Here, shadows of the past tell tales of strength and resolution in war-torn villages, towns and cities alike, and travelers gain a deeper understanding of a time before the peace and beauty that now shines through the region’s most popular destinations. Departures on April 18 and July 23, 2015 travel from Budapest to Bucharest, while departures on April 23 and July 28 travel in the opposite direction. Prices range from $3,085 to $5,480 per person, double. Travelers who book by October 31 can save $250 off the price of their trip.
The voyage includes seven nights aboard one of Emerald’s “Star-Ships” and two nights lodging in Bucharest and encompasses some of Eastern Europe’s most historic and enchanting towns. Panoramic views of the cosmopolitan city of Budapest seen from onboard provide an epic start to the journey. In the historic Hungarian city of Kalocsa, a visit to a horse farm showcases the exceptional riding skills of the local Maygar horsemen. Travelers looking for authentic experiences will enjoy a home-hosted lunch with a local family in Vukovar, Serbia, a city that suffered heavy damage during the Croatian War of Independence. A tour of the Serbian capital of Belgrade uncovers a turbulent history to this culturally rich city. Journeying through the Iron Gate—the narrow gorge between the European Alps and Carpathian Mountains, which also forms the Serbia-Romania border—and touring the historic Bulgarian towns of Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi provide the opportunity to view spectacular scenery. A guided tour of ancient Silistra in Romania takes travelers to a Roman tomb, an Ottoman fort and a medieval fortress, and two days in Bucharest give guests plenty of time to explore the city’s many historic and cultural landmarks.
Emerald Waterway’s inclusive pricing plan means guests don’t have to worry about daily budget or mounting costs. The Enchantment of Eastern Europe sailing includes two nights at the Novotel Bucharest or similar hotel; seven nights in a stateroom or suite, all with a river view; two shore excursions either by foot or first-class coach; two EmeraldPLUS experiences, including lunch in the home of a local family; 22 meals, including nine breakfasts, five lunches, one special lunch, five dinners and two highlight dinners; complimentary tea and coffee available onboard at all times; complimentary bottled water in suites and staterooms, restocked daily; a variety of onboard evening entertainment; first-class service from an English-speaking crew and knowledgeable local guides; complimentary WiFi onboard; and all port charges and airport transfers within Europe.
Emerald Waterway’s new ships – Emerald Star and Emerald Sky – each carry 182 guests in 72 suites and 20 staterooms, including two built for solo occupancy. Unique items include an onboard heated swimming pool with a retractable roof, which transforms into a movie theater in the evening; two restaurants – Reflections, the main dining room, and The Terrace for breakfast and lunch; and a new type of cabin design that replaces the run-of-the-mill French balcony, common to most ships, with an indoor balcony complete with decked area and an ingenious open-air system. The system allows guests to push a button and the upper half of the floor to ceiling panoramic window drops down to allow an open-air opportunity; top suites separate the balcony from the cabin with sliding doors. Ships also feature an onboard hairdresser, massage therapy room and fitness area.
As part of the Scenic Tours Group, Emerald Waterways is backed by the award-winning expertise of the world’s leading luxury river cruise operator. Additional information can be found by contacting your local travel agent; on Emerald Waterways’ website, www.emeraldwaterways.com ; or by calling the US consumer/travel agent reservations line (855-222-3214). Brochure orders may be placed on the website, or a digital downloadable version is available.
European Waterways, the largest luxury hotel barge cruising company in Europe, announced that its 2015 brochure is now available free on the company’s website or by calling 1-877-879-8808. Printed on quality stock and featuring a wide array of colorful images, the brochure highlights all of the countries the company’s 18 vessels cruise throughout France, Italy, Holland and the British Isles.
Expanded to 62 pages, the brochure includes maps of the cruising routes and daily itineraries, as well as a new feature that explains how hotel barging is so different from other forms of cruising, with its more intimate atmosphere that is perfect for discerning independent travelers and small groups. It also contains an informative new DVD with professionally produced videos highlighting many of the hotel barge cruises that European Waterways has to offer.
The publication includes information on the company’s unique, themed cruises, such as its new for 2015 World War One Commemorative cruises aboard La Belle Epoque, along waterways which pass through the battlefields of Flanders and the Somme. Off-the-beaten-track cruises are also detailed, with itineraries that feature excursions to such attractions as the Aalsmeer flower auction in Holland, Peter Freebody’s traditional boatyard on the River Thames, and the Troglodyte cave dwellings in the Loire Valley.
European Waterways’ Managing Director, Derek Banks, noted that, for travelers seeking a unique new vacation experience, the new brochure effectively conveys the serenity and beauty of the charming canals, villages and regional cultural attractions found along the company’s many routes.
“We’re very proud of the 2015 brochure. It offers a detailed look into the unique and intimate qualities of hotel barging that differentiate it from larger river cruising vessels and ocean liners,” said Banks. “For nearly 40 years, we have offered the kind of unique, experiential travel experience that has now become immensely popular. In this brochure, we have gone into more detail about the whole ‘hotel barging experience’ that offers our passengers – whether they are enthusiasts for wine, history or art – the chance to immerse themselves in the culture and cuisine, and discover the hidden gems of each cruise region. We also emphasize that our cruises are ideal for people of all ages, with multi-generational family groups who like to have a hotel barge to themselves becoming one of our fastest-growing customer bases.”
About European Waterways
The hotel barging experience is different from large vessel river cruising. It offers a slower paced, “gentle voyage of discovery” along the more intimate canals and waterways of Europe, allowing a small number of guests to become more fully immersed in the culture, history and gastronomy of the region.
European Waterways is Europe’s largest all-inclusive luxury hotel barging company, offering vacations in nine countries and carrying well over 2,000 passengers a year. Founded nearly 40 years ago, they own, operate and market a private fleet of luxury hotel barges with cruises in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Pioneers in hotel barging, they were the first company to operate a hotel barge on the Upper Nivernais in Burgundy, and the “Château country” of the Loire. They are also the only cruise company offering barge cruises in Scotland and in the Venetian lagoon and River Po valley.
Please visit www.gobarging.com or call Toll Free 1 877 879 8808 for more information, pricing, cruise schedules, brochures. Follow European Waterways on Facebook and Twitter and view their YouTube channel, http://bit.ly/19kQhbm.
Over-55s specialist Grand UK Holidays has added 50 new escorted tours to its 2015 brochure, including an expanded range of rail holidays, innovative inclusive options, and quirky themed breaks.
The design of the 164-page summer 2015 brochure has been revamped to make it even easier to see what each holiday offers.
New highlights in the brochure include unique celebration holidays for couples reaching landmark wedding anniversaries; an escorted ‘Sound of Music’ tour to Austria following the footsteps of the von Trapp family; extra holidays in Europe for solo travellers; and scenic train journeys through the UK and across Europe (details below).
Familiar favourites return again, such as the ever-popular annual reunion; hobby holidays for fans of line-dancing, bingo, cards and rambling; and the ‘Long Stay UK’ extended breaks of 19 and 33 days in hotels around the country, from less than £24 per person a day.
Harold Burke, sales director, said: “We usually add 30 or 40 new tours to each brochure but this year we’ve uncovered so many exciting new attractions and scenic touring routes that we’ve included 50 fresh options alongside our perennial favourites.
“About 85% of our customers return to us each year, so we refresh our programme to keep up with the demand for variety.
“The market has changed over the years – today’s mature travellers have more disposable income and are used to booking holidays and flying overseas.
“People are prepared to pay more for quality, which is demonstrated by the fact that our ‘Grand UK Gold’ programme is 97% sold out each year, with only last-minute cancellations preventing that figure from reaching 100%.”
Prices in the new summer brochure start at £139pp for a four-day Magical Mystery Tour in the UK, including coach travel, half-board accommodation and excursions.
Here is a selection of the new packages:
• The wedding anniversary holidays are believed to be unique, as they offer the chance for couples to reminisce alongside other people celebrating landmark jubilees, such as Ruby and Golden anniversaries.
Based in our own County Hotel in Kendal, the holiday includes a wedding blessing and a wedding breakfast, a commemorative photograph and an excursion (£299pp for five days).
Another new themed escorted tour is ‘A Murder Mystery’, based in the Beaufort Park Hotel in Mold, Flintshire. This holiday offers the chance to find out ‘whodunnit’ during an evening of murder and mystery (£199pp, four days).
• Also new is a range of ‘inclusive’ holidays which feature drinks vouchers for the evenings and extras such as packed lunches or afternoon cream teas.
They start at £199pp for a four-day coach tour, with half-board accommodation in one of six hotels in England and Wales, and include four drinks vouchers per night, and cream teas.
The ‘Scottish Borders Inclusive’ offers three drinks vouchers per night, four packed lunches, and four nights of entertainment. Excursions include Edinburgh, the Ayrshire coast, Loch Lomond and the Borders (£439pp, seven days).
• Four new tours have been added to Ireland, including ‘Emerald Rail Rover’ which takes customers by train and ferry to Ireland, then by train to Avoca in County Wicklow, Kilkenny, Limerick and Galway. It includes a trip on the narrow-gauge Waterford and Suir Valley Railway and excursions by coach to see the Ring of Kerry and Connemara (£849pp, 10 days).
This holiday is one of four new holidays by train, joining the ‘Edinburgh & Hebridean Adventure By Coach, Boat and Train’ (£899pp, seven days); ‘Secrets of the Manx Isle’ (£729pp, seven days); and ‘Tracks to the Sun – A Catalan Adventure’, which takes passengers on Eurostar and TGV trains to Spain (£1,099pp, nine days).
Also new is an Alpine coach touring holiday, called ‘Great Railway Journeys through Switzerland’. This includes train trips on the Bernina Express and the Glacier Express (£749pp, eight days).
• Fans of the Alps will also enjoy the new ‘Amazing Austria and 50 Years of the Sound of Music’ tour, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the classic musical.
It offers boat cruises on Lake St Wolfsgang and Lake Konig, a horse carriage ride in Kitzbuhel, and trips to the Swarovski World of Crystal museum and Salzburg – where customers can enjoy a Sound of Music dinner show (£899pp, 12 days).
• Two ‘Grand’ touring holidays have been introduced for 2015, with itineraries across the UK and Europe.
The Grand Tour of Britain and Ireland takes in Yorkshire, the Lake District, Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, Edinburgh, the Giant’s Causeway, Belfast, Mountains of Mourne, Wicklow, Avoca, Snowdonia, Chester, Ludlow and the Cotswolds (£999pp, 13 days).
The Grand Tour of Europe includes Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Verona, Lake Garda, Venice, Switzerland and the Alsace region of France (£1,199pp, 15 days).
Other new European coach holidays offer travellers the chance to visit Croatia and Tuscany, while those who enjoy river cruises can choose from a wide range of European river routes, and five new itineraries.
Solo travellers are catered for with a new ‘Valkenburg Gold Singles Special’ (£329pp, five days) and ‘Germany & Strasbourg’ (from £429pp, five days).
• It may only be October 2014 but the new brochure includes festive breaks for winter 2015, including Turkey & Tinsel (from £219pp, five days); Christmas holidays (from £419pp, five days) and New Year trips (from £299pp, four days, full-board).
Grand UK introduced a ‘Festive Preview’ to the 2014 brochure a year ago, and saw almost 20% of its festive capacity sold within the first few months of release, so the concept is returning for this year to take advantage of the demand for early seasonal bookings.
For bookings, call 01603 619933 or see www.grandukholidays.com.
Abta-bonded Grand UK Holidays caters exclusively for the over-55s. It has more than 1,200 appointed travel agents and has supported the travel trade for the past 30 years.
Based in Norwich, the operator offers escorted holidays and coach tours, cruises, self-drive tours and holidays by air throughout Britain, Europe and beyond.
It offers free coach transfers to departure points from 340 locations in the UK, and has baggage handlers at all interchange areas.
Other key selling points are its “no single supplements” policy and tour manager escorts.
Sister brands include Glenton Holidays, catering for mature holidaymakers in Scotland and North East England; Door to Door Coach Holidays, in the North West; and the award-winning just for groups!, which organises holidays for more than 500 groups a year.
Family holidays take a bucket load of planning, family skiing holidays take that level of organisation to another dimension. Pick the wrong resort and you could end up spending more time doing the ski school run than the skiing runs.
Bearing in mind different types of families need different types of holidays and without too much stereotyping, Ski Safari has picked out five resorts depending on how you use your time together as a family skiing. Are you a ski-to-lunch Mum and Dad who like to join the kids for afternoon activities or do you prefer to ski hard and pick the little ones up from ski school at the end of the day or perhaps you travel with family and friends all at varying abilities with different needs?
Hardcore skiers – WHISTLER
If you are serious about snow and want to maximise your slope time you need a resort that will push you to your limits, whilst offering a realistic childcare option for the children. Whistler undeniably ticks the boxes for parents looking for diverse and challenging terrain and the resort also operates a mix of camps for children. Starting on Mondays, the 5 day Blackcomb Kids Adventure Camp for 5-12 year olds, will give children expert instruction plus lunch, allowing parents a full day from 8.30am to 3.30pm to explore the wonders of Whistler for themselves. For younger children there are similar camp programmes or full daycare at Whistler Kids in Whistler Village, which also offers a complimentary TELUS pager service so you can ski easy knowing the little ones are well cared for.
Where to stay?
The 4* Delta Whistler Village Suites is great for families, with prices starting from £1239 per person based on 4 sharing a 2 Bedroom Condo at February half-term, including flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 060 or visit www.skisafari.com
Ski to lunch parents – ÅRE
Some resorts lend themselves to offering a combination of downhill action with a mix of off the slope activities. Åre in Sweden triumphs as one of those destinations and is the perfect fit for parents who prefer to ski to lunch, with the ski schools generally running on mornings only (9.30-12.30). Families are then free to spend the afternoon skiing together or try some of the other activities on offer, from the usual tobogganing and husky sledding to ice-driving, zip-lining or even moose kissing! Parents will appreciate the convenience of Åre Björnen, having ski-in ski-out accommodation and all the ski school, ski rental and other facilities all in one place.
Where to stay?
The award-winning 5* Copperhill Mountain Lodge is a superb choice for families, with prices starting from £959 per person on half board based on 2 adults and 2 children at half term, departing on 15th February 2015. Price includes flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
Beginner skiers – TRYSIL
The Norwegian resort of Trysil offers one of the best welcomes to the world of skiing with its confidence inspiring terrain, excellent English speaking instructors, uncrowded slopes and ski-in ski-out accommodation. Located two hours north of Oslo, Trysil is all you could want and more from the family skiing experience. With a long season from November through to late April, Trysil benefits from assured snow conditions and even promises a unique snow promise guarantee. If the snow isn’t good enough to keep a certain amount of the resort open then they will offer a refund. And the refund is not just restricted to the lift pass alone. It actually covers accommodation, ski rentals and even the ski tuition too! This is the perfect package to get you started on snow.
Where to stay?
The 4*+ Radisson Blue Resort starts from £899 per person on half board, based on 2 adults and 2 children sharing at February half term, departing 15 February. Price includes flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
Single parent –OBERGURGL-HOCHGURGL
The thought of taking children skiing with only one pair of hands is pretty daunting for any parent but choosing the resort wisely can make it a much easier ride. Top priority is convenience, with ski-in ski-out accommodation on the top of the wish-list, followed by full day ski school facilities, snow-sure slopes and a generous network of runs. As many Austrian ski resorts have grown from small farming villages rather than purpose built resorts, ski-in ski-out convenience is less common with Obergurgl-Hochgurgl one of the noticeable exceptions. The ski schools in Obergurgl-Hochgurgl are well-renowned as having some of the best instructors and are located in a prime position to make it easy for everyone.
Where to stay?
Stay 7 nights at the 4* Hotel Austria in Obergurgl, with prices starting from £1225 per person on half board at Christmas, based on 1 adult and 2 children sharing a room, including flights and transfer. Departs 20 December. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 068 or visit www.skisafari.com
Complicated Group – LAAX
With a mixed group of friends and family choosing somewhere that will keep everyone happy can be a tough task. That said, Laax in Switzerland scores high on many levels. There’s generous terrain ideal for a mixed group of skiers and boarders, with the convenience of ski-in ski-out accommodation and the added benefit of a short transfer of 1.5 hrs from Zurich. The ski schools are focussed on improving skills and children will be encouraged to work on their technique and will be awarded a feedback report at the end of the week. Laax has made its name as an international boarding resort with 3 half pipes, 2 mini boardercross courses and 2 freestyle parks that will keep the young boarders in the group happy. Any newbies or more sedate skiers will welcome the half-day ski pass prices as well as discounted beginner passes. What’s more there’s even enough to keep any non-skiers in the group entertained too!
Where to stay?
The 4* Rocks Resort in Laax, starts from £509 per person at Easter, departing 29 March 2015, in a self-catered 2-bedroom apartment, based on 4 sharing. Price includes flights and transfers. Call Ski Safari on 01273 224 062 or visit www.skisafari.com
Established in 1996 Ski Safari has a passion for making every skiing holiday extraordinary, Ski Safari combines first-hand knowledge with a first-class service. Not only are Ski Safari holidays fully bespoke and fully protected, you can be sure our advice is bang up to date and based on personal experience – our dedicated team of skiers and snowboarders only sell resorts we have skied and stayed at ourselves. Free your imagination and discover the infinite world of Ski Safari with advice that ensures that you get the holiday you want. www.skisafari.com
A recent survey by Czech Tourism found that when international travelers hear the word Europe, they immediately think of Western Europe. Thus the iron curtain is still casting a shadow over important players in Europe. As the late Robin Williams once said of Canada, it’s difficult to be appreciated when there’s such a large and loud party going on downstairs.
France, England, Italy and Germany have been throwing a very loud party indeed over these last dozen decades or so, but there’s an awful lot to experience east of Berlin. As we prepare to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, we should keep in mind that other countries also have come in from the Soviet cold as well.
RELATED: 25 Years On: Germany Readies to Celebrate the Fall
Over its last 10 years in the European Union, Poland has seen its GDP grow at an average clip of 4 percent and Hilton Hotels has noticed. Hilton operates some 18 hotels in Poland. In May, Warsaw’s DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre opened as a 360-room hotel in one of Eastern Europe’s largest conference centers.
In 2015, the Polish city of Wroclaw will get its first Hilton when the 100-room Hampton by Hilton opens in the city center. Later this year, Hampton by Hilton will open its largest European hotel in Poland – Hampton by Hilton Warsaw City Centre.
“The country’s attractiveness as a business destination has grown considerably in recent years and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre Warsaw caters to strong demand in the capital of Warsaw,” said Simon Vincent, president, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide.
Montenegro may not be high on the recognition list of most travelers, but that’s likely to change before long. The Regent Porto Montenegro opened on Aug. 1 as the luxury hotel component in the Porto Montenegro super-yacht marina. The 51-room and 35-suite deluxe property is Regent Hotels & Resorts’ second property in Europe.
In celebration of the opening, Regent is offering an introductory rate of €333 ($448) a night through Dec. 21. Italianate palaces with nautical flourishes were applied by ReardonSmith Architects to connect the resort aesthetically to the wider Mediterranean culture.
RELATED: The New Luxury: Regent Readies High End Montenegro Resort
Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG (VI), Austria’s biggest hotel operator, will manage the Marriott Hotel Minsk when it opens in early 2015. Minsk, the capital of Belarus, exemplifies a destination that has been off of the travel radar. Mostly levelled in World War II, the city was unfortunately rebuilt by Stalinist architects. The 220-room Marriott Hotel will be mostly a business property with its 590-seat ballroom and its plethora of meeting rooms.
Vienna has been going great guns in recent years In total, Vienna recorded around 12.7 million visitor overnights in 2013, not including the 120,000 Danube river cruisers calling at Vienna. As the city prepares to celebrate 150 years of the Ringstrasse, it’s seen enormous growth in hotel capacity highlighted by the new 253-room Meliá Vienna that opened in a 58-story skyscraper on the northern bank of the Danube. The 143-room Park Hyatt Vienna also opened in the Goldenes Quartier, Vienna’s new luxury shopping zone as the first Hyatt hotel in Austria.
Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com
Yes, 2015 promises to be the year of choices on A-ROSA Cruises in many areas designed to allow guests the freedom to make their vacation one that fits their lifestyle and preferences that day.
A sample of these increased options for 2015 include: Guests choose what to drink with A-ROSA’s open bar policy, not just wine and beer, and choose when they enjoy a drink starting in the morning until the wee hours of the night, not just during lunch and/or dinner.
Guests also choose their own excursions to fit their activity level and interests, no excursions are “assigned” to them. In addition, guests can choose to enjoy their dinner two ways; from a four-course, plated service or a more casual, yet sumptuous buffet with cooking stations Also included for 2015 is pre-paid gratuities, port taxes and fees, and complimentary wi-fi. All offers subject to change without notice.
Fares have been reduced on many of the 2015 sailings and with their early booking incentives, save $1,000 per couple when you make a 2015 reservation by Dec. 31, 2014. In addition, singles save more as every sailing has waived Single Supplements in at least one category and up to three children sail free with just one adult (ages 2-15).
Auto Europe services over 10,000 car rental locations in over 135 countries worldwide. In addition, through their tour division, Destination Europe, they offer scheduled airfare to Europe with over thirty carriers and service three-, four and five-star worldwide hotels.
Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com
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