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Tennis in Antarctica with John McEnroe, Anyone?

There are a lot of firsts in a unique Antarctica sailing in the works for tennis enthusiasts this February—including the chance to play doubles with John and Patrick McEnroe, for those willing to go for the $85,000-per-person Player’s Suite. (more…)
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Hurricane Fiona hits Puerto Rico – Electrical Grid Down Over Entire Island

As winds slammed Puerto Rico at over 100 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center warned of ‘catastrophic’ flooding. Hurricane conditions were spreading across portions of the Dominican Republic, with heavy rainfall and flooding continuing across much of Puerto Rico. At 9:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time/GMT) the center of Fiona was located...
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Access to Hawaii’s Waipio Valley being restored

In February of this year, Hawaii County Mayor Mitch Roth closed the Waipio Valley Road to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, for all but residents. Access is now being restored with the partial reopening of the road to more traffic effective September 19th. Officials cited the hazardous conditions present due...
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Southwest Airlines offers $59 Flights for Fall

Southwest Airlines is offering fares as low as $59  available for departures through February 2023. The deep discount applies to select domestic and international flights.   (more…)
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Belize-It! UnCruise Adventures Rolls Out Ultimate Eclipse Cruise for Belize 2023 Season

UnCruise Adventures launches an extended specialty sailing perfectly positioned for the viewing of the annular eclipse in 2023. The one-time 9-Day cruise will offer magnificent landscapes, natural surroundings, and ocean viewing from a private vessel for the atmospheric event. (more…)
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Avalon Waterways’ Hoffee Dishes on the New Avalon Alegria

It’s a new ship on a new itinerary, sailing with Avalon Waterways’ first onboard pool. And Pam Hoffee is excited about all three elements. The new all-suite Avalon Alegria will join the fleet in 2024, sailing the line’s first-ever itineraries on the Douro River in Portugal. (more…)
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RENTAL ESCAPES CELEBRATES 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH LAUNCH OF MONTH-LONG PROMOTION SERIES FOR TRAVEL ADVISORS

Rental Escapes, a full-service luxury villa company specializing in providing unparalleled private villa rentals worldwide, today announced the launch of a new series of bonus commission rewards for travel advisors. In anticipation of the company’s 10-year anniversary taking place in December, Rental Escapes will offer a new travel advisor promotion each...
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Viking cruise ship collides with cargo ship

The Viking Kvasir. a 443-foot long vessel accommodating as many as  190 passengers, collided with a large cargo ship near Wesel, Germany, on the Rhine in heavy fog last weekend.  Though several crew and passengers reported cuts and bruises, there were no serious injuries. In May of this year, The Viking...
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The Summer of Chaos Turns Autumn

Just before the “Summer of Chaos” began in June, I wrote an article suggesting we all anticipate the problems that would occur as travel returned and the need to practice patient generosity. Yesterday, returning to Tallahassee from Dallas, I arrived in Atlanta to learn my 10:30 PM flight, the last of the night, had been canceled due to “unexpected crew complications,” and I needed to see a Delta Agent to rebook my flight. Having also written an article on the new DOT Dashboard, I sought out my Delta Agent armed with a new set of rights. As it turned out, Delta had beaten me to the punch Read the rest of this entry »

To understand the new Norwegian Prima, it helps to keep in mind that for Norwegian Cruise Line—and on a personal level, for Norwegian Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio—Prima is not just the newest ship in the fleet. From the curves in the stateroom dressers to the floor-to-ceiling chandeliers in the Orca dining room; from her intimate and upscale little nooks to her seven-deck, 107-suite Haven complex; from the $10,000 painting on the wall to the $12,000 bottle of wine, Prima was designed to usher in a new luxurious vacation experience that will guide its growth over the next six years.

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Goway 2.0: Re-Engineering for the Post-COVID World

Bruce Hodge, an Australian who met his South African wife in Europe, settled in Canada, and started a global tour operation in 1970, was not about to sit around twiddling his thumbs when the COVID lockdown paralyzed the travel industry. For Bruce, it was a chance to launch Goway 2.0.

“Goway 2.0 was Bruce’s vision of re-engineering the business from top to bottom,” said Craig Canvin, Goway’s senior vice president, in a conversation last week.

“Bruce’s plans for growth of the company are exceptional,” said Canvin. “It’s hard to keep up with them.”

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Travel trade insurance company Trawick International provided a useful snapshot of each major cruise line’s pre-trip health and safety requirements in a TRO webinar last week.  The webinar provided information current as of last week, though fast-moving protocols may potentially change tomorrow. The webinar will be posted on TRO’s Webinar Page on Monday afternoon, August 8th. Read the rest of this entry »

Reservations are now open for AmaWaterways’ 2024 Seven River Journey – Spring and Summer Editions. AmaWaterways is introducing its longest journey yet with the complete 49-night itinerary spent on board one ship, the AmaMora, and the first-time experience of sailing the complete length of the Rhine and Danube rivers including the seldom visited Danube Delta region leading to the Black Sea.

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Communication… More Than Just a Buzzword

This recent story saddened me. It could easily be equated to a number of similar situations in the travel industry. In this case, it involved a wedding planner and a bubbly, well-intentioned bride to be. A wedding is an important event. A vacation is also an important event. I am confident you can make the connection.

Due to the rush to the alter following a year of postponements, thanks to the Covid pandemic, this particular couple finally found a venue that would serve their purpose to a “t.” Unfortunately, the space available was a full year away… not until July of 2023.

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A Time-Saving Tip For Agents With an iPhone!

I usually do not get terribly excited about software updates. For the most part, they are mundane and usually are just tweaks under the hood.  But this time, it is different. Last week, Apple released their new iOS 16 for the iPhones (iPhone 8 and later), and it has some great features like editing text messages and even un-sending them. But one feature added to photos can be a game changer in terms of saving time. Read the rest of this entry »

I thought it would be interesting to see how some destinations and cruise lines have changed since 2021. The pandemic has been the worst period for the cruise industry since World War II. While the number of cruises is rebounding sharply, some destinations are facing a cloudy future as cruise destinations and many cruise lines are contending with daunting debt in ways that may affect how they treat their guests.

At the same time, there are some winners on which travel advisors can focus, if they want to benefit clients and themselves, as well as some question marks that can go either way.

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American Cruise Lines vessel

American Cruise Lines proudly announces a brand new 15-Day National Parks & Legendary Rivers itinerary for 2023. Following successful product testing this year, the itinerary will be the country’s largest land-cruise package and the first-ever coupling of a river cruise with the mountain states’ national parks. Read the rest of this entry »

I had to admit to myself that I was a bit nervous about interviewing Laurie McAndish King. As the accomplished writer of An Elephant Ate My Arm: More True Stories from a Curious Traveler, published last year, she’s seen a rise in popularity. This book has won first place in the Paris Book Festival, with individual stories in the collection winning multiple other awards. Her writing voice is clearly her own, a daunting task most writers struggle with on a daily basis. So, yeah, I was clearly nervous that my questions wouldn’t grab her attention. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

From the starting conversation about our video backgrounds, there was a curiosity radiating from the image on the computer. Three minutes in, she’d asked more questions than me. When it naturally came around to a starting point, I launched in with the biggest question first: did you start this collection of stories during the primary part of the pandemic?

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picture of Tom Smith in front of brick wall

Tom is responsible for leading sales, marketing and partnership activities in North America, Intrepid’s fastest growing market. Like the company of Intrepid, he is committed to supporting travel agent partners and non-traditional distribution channels, taking Intrepid’s sustainable, experience-rich travel to more people in North America than ever before.

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Northern Lights and Untouched Nature in Alaska

Alaska has become a bucket list destination for many travelers, and the reasons why are pretty clear. The 49th state is home to awe-inspiring natural beauty, flora and fauna, the northern lights, a rich culture and history, and welcoming locals. With 39 mountain ranges, millions of lakes, and a surface area of nearly 600,000 miles, there’s much to see when you head “North to the Future,” per Alaska’s state motto.

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Punta Cana, More Than Resorts

On the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic sits the second-most popular destination in Latin America, Punta Cana. Only 236 miles from Puerto Rico, it brings in more visitors than any city in the Caribbean and receives 64% of all flights arriving in the Dominican Republic. It is a classic white-sand beach and sun vacation for all manner of travelers, from couples to the young, to families—but Punta Cana also has a side for the luxury traveler.

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