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Tour Newsletter Dated March 24, 2015
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Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
I receive hundreds of questions related to escorted travel every week
from my readers. Today, I'd like to share a few recent inquiries and
We'd like to go on a national parks tour this summer (to the
Grand Canyon and the like), but we want to keep to a budget -- no more
than $1,500 for each of us for the tour part (we can use our airline
miles for the flights). Do you have anything within our price range?
We do have national park itineraries that will come in under
your budget. Cosmos
Highlights of the Canyonlands
which visits Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion national parks, as well as
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and Lake Powell. Summer departures
start at $1,239 per person.
Gate 1 Travel
also visits the beloved national treasures of the
8 Day Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks
also adding Sedona, Scottsdale and Montezuma Castle (900-year-old Native
American cliff dwellings) into the mix. Summer rates start at $1,449.
If you like to camp, consider these more rustic (and cheaper) options
from two adventure travel companies: G Adventures
San Diego, Grand Canyon & Vegas
with summer departures starting at $1,029 per person -- but note that it's
a trip reserved for travelers ages 18 to 39. Three of the six nights are
spent in campgrounds. Intrepid Travel
also utilizes campgrounds
LA to Vegas Adventure
which stops at Joshua Tree and Grand Canyon national parks; summer
rates start at $1,015 per person.
We visited Dublin on a cruise once, and now we'd like to go
back and see more of Ireland. What do you recommend?
You might start by looking at the vacations of
, a company that I profiled in my last newsletter. It
has been the expert in travel to the Emerald Isle since 1932, offering
nearly 30 different vacations in Ireland and about a dozen more that
also incorporate Northern Ireland.
Some CIE itineraries concentrate on certain regions, like
Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way
a new tour for 2015, focuses mostly on towns and sights along the
western coast. Overnight in the former ancestral home of Irish barons
Irish Heritage & Dromoland Castle
or explore the country's traditions and meet the locals on
Irish Pubs & Folklore
to see all of CIE's vacations in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
I'd like to take my son, who's about to graduate from college, on
some sort of wildlife adventure. I know he'd love a trip like that, but
I'm not quite ready to travel as far as Africa for a safari. Is there
anything on the North American continent?
Yes! There are amazing opportunities to observe animals in their
natural habitat in this part of the world. Track brown bears this summer
Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai
and wolves in the winter on
Yellowstone: Ultimate Wolf & Wildlife Safari
both offered by Natural Habitat Adventures
. That company plus
and G Adventures
also travel to Churchill in
Canada's Manitoba province in October and November for
polar bear adventures
that offer incredible close-up views of these creatures.
Also check out our offerings in
U.S. national parks
where many itineraries have some sort of wildlife encounter. And when
you're ready for a more far-flung adventure,
to see all of our wildlife-viewing trips around the globe.
We did a fall foliage tour in New England a couple of years
ago and loved it. We don't get to experience the changing of the leaves
where we live. I'd like to do a similar trip again this year, but maybe
in a different part of the country?
New England is indeed the prime spot for witnessing this
brilliant spectacle of nature, but there are other parts of this country
and Canada that experience the autumn changing of the leaves, and we do
offer seasonal trips in these destinations.
They include small-ship cruises of the
in New York,
in the Mid-Atlantic states, the
of the heartland, the
Columbia and Snake Rivers
of the Pacific Northwest and
Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands
There are escorted fall foliage tours of the
and fall departures of
Historic Trains of the Old West
. Fall foliage-themed trips also explore
to see all of our fall foliage trips, including our New England itineraries.
I'm a thrill-seeker and adrenaline junkie. What are the most
adventurous, unusual trips you offer?
cage dive with sharks in South Africa
spend a week living with the nomads of Mongolia
(where you'll sleep in a traditional yurt called a ger, travel by
horseback, learn nomadic skills and compete in archery with the locals).
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
in Tanzania, or explore
Everest Base Camp
Hike the fjords and glaciers of Norway
trek the physically demanding Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea
a single-file footpath that was the site of some of the bloodiest
battles between Australian and Japanese troops during World War II.
But I think the most challenging trips we offer are our
expeditions to the North Pole and South Pole
. These are extreme trips to remote -- and
often unpredictable -- places. I traveled to the North Pole with this
company last spring. At the top of the world, the temperature was -55
degrees F with wind chill, polar bears were known to wander into our
base camp, and there was always a chance of the ice breaking apart right
underneath us -- it was an extraordinary adventure.
To see all of our adventure trips, for a range of physical fitness
What's the longest tour you offer? I was just curious.
That would be the 61-day
South Pole Full Ski Expedition
, the company I mentioned in my answer above.
If you're in the 18-to-35 age range and have a lot of time to spare,
there's our 55-day
in the U.S. and Canada with Contiki
, a company that caters to
young adult travelers.
Here are this week's Top 20 Tours
. All prices are per person,
based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.
1) Irish Heritage
7 days with CIE Tours
Begins in Shannon and ends in Dublin with visits to the Cliffs of
Moher, the Ring of Kerry and Blarney Castle. Save $300 per
Starting at $1,306. Departures from April 20 through
November 9, 2015.
2) Greek Island Escapade
10 days with Keytours
. Begins in Athens and ends in Santorini
with visits to the Acropolis, Mykonos and Delos. Save $520 per
Starting at $1,595. Departures from April 17 through
October 16, 2015.
3) Best of Scotland
8 days with Brendan
Begins in Edinburgh and ends in Glasgow with visits to the Isle of
Skye, Glencoe and Stirling Castle. Save up to 5%.
$1,885. Departures from April 25 through October 10, 2015.
4) Hong Kong & Macau
6 days with SITA Tours
Begins and ends in Hong Kong with visits to Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay
and Leal Senado Square. Starting at $1,940. Daily departures from April
14 through December 22, 2015.
5) Colorful Trails of Ecuador
9 days with Trafalgar
Begins in Quito and ends in Guayaquil with visits to Otavalo, Cotopaxi
National Park and Cuenca. Save $200 per couple off the air-inclusive
Starting at $1,990. Departures from July 19, 2015 through
March 13, 2016.
6) Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong
8 days with AmaWaterways
Begins in Siem Reap and ends in Ho Chi Minh City with visits to Tonle
Sap Lake, Koh Chen and Phnom Penh. Save $1,000 to $2,500 per
Starting at $2,299. Departures from April 20, 2015 through
January 4, 2016.
7) The Classic Autumn Norwegian Discovery
11 days with Hurtigruten
Begins in Bergen and ends in Trondheim with visits to the Lofoten
Islands, Tromsø and Honningsvåg. Save up to 30%.
$2,959. Departures from September 1 through October 31, 2015.
8) 10 Day Marco Polo
10 days with Perillo Tours
Begins in Venice and ends in Rome with stops in Padua, Florence and
Siena. Young travelers ages 11 and under save $400 to $2,100 per
Starting at $2,990. Departures from April 12 through
November 8, 2015.
9) Paris & Normandy
8 days with AmaWaterways
Begins and ends in Paris with visits to Giverny, Honfleur and Château
Gaillard. Save $300 to $2,000 per couple.
Starting at $3,199.
Departures from April 9 through October 22, 2015.
10) Glories of China
14 days with Wendy Wu Tours
Begins in Shanghai and ends in Beijing with visits to Yangshuo, the
Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian and the Great Wall of China. Receive two
free pre- or post-tour hotel nights.
Starting at $3,240.
Departures from April 11 through June 27, 2015.
11) Normandy, Brittany & Châteaux Country with London
11 days with Globus
Begins in Paris and ends in London with visits to Rouen, Omaha Beach
and Mont St. Michel. Receive $400 per couple in air credit.
Starting at $3,293. Departures from
April 25 through October 10, 2015.
12) Taste of the Rockies Circle
7 days with Rocky Mountaineer
Begins and ends in Vancouver with visits to Banff National Park, Lake
Louise and Jasper National Park. Receive $200 to $450 per couple in
free travel credits.
Starting at $3,426. Departures from May 3
through September 20, 2015.
13) Country Roads of Bavaria, Switzerland & Austria
13 days with Insight
Begins in Munich and ends in Zurich with stops in Salzburg, Vienna and
St. Moritz. Save up to 10%.
Starting at $3,461. Departures from
May 1 through October 9, 2015.
14) Leisurely Britain
15 days with CIE Tours
Begins and ends in London with visits to Stonehenge, Land's End and
Edinburgh. Save $700 per couple.
Starting at $3,600. Departures
from June 14 through October 18, 2015.
15) Columbia & Snake Rivers
8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company
Travels between Clarkston and Portland with visits to Nez Perce
National Historical Park, Sacajawea State Park and Astoria. Companion
cruises for free, plus receive free shore excursions.
$3,795. Departures from April 12 through November 8, 2015.
16) Gardens of the River
8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company
Begins in New Orleans and ends in Memphis with stops in Natchez,
Vicksburg and Helena. Companion cruises for free, plus receive free
shore excursions and more.
Starting at $3,999. Departs May 23, 2015.
17) Portugal's River of Gold
10 days with Viking River Cruises
Begins in Lisbon and ends in Porto with stops in Coimbra, Figueira de
Castelo Rodrigo and Salamanca. Companion cruises and flies for
Starting at $4,149. Departures from November 3 through
December 25, 2015.
18) Castles & Kings: London to Paris
8 days with Tauck
Begins in London and ends in Paris with visits to the Tower of London,
Windsor Castle and the Palace of Versailles. Receive economy airfare
for $1,090 per person or business airfare for $3,490 per person.
Starting at $5,190. Departures from April 12 through August 23, 2015.
19) Splendors of Northern Italy,
Venice, Florence & Rome
, 13 days with Uniworld
Begins in Venice and ends in Rome with stops in Padua, Bologna and
Verona. Save $2,500 per couple off the air-inclusive price.
$6,699. Departs May 10, 24 & 31 and June 7 & 14, 2015.
20) Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent
11 days with Quark Expeditions
Begins and ends in Buenos Aires with visits to Ushuaia, the South
Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Save $2,000 to $3,000
Starting at $8,995. Departures from November 7, 2015
through February 21, 2016.
Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-680-2858.
For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click
For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click
For river cruises up to 50% off, click
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality,
Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at
and I will respond the same day.
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Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go