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IHG and Iberostar Tie the Knot

Talk about a destination wedding. The biggest hotel company in the world and a family-owned resort company with 24,000 rooms, many of them all-inclusive, have tied the knot. Beginning in December, Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) will add Iberostar Hotels & Resorts properties to its distribution system and 100-million-member frequency program,...
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Frontier Airlines to no longer offer phone service support to customers

Frontier Airlines, one of the most well-known budget carriers in the United States, has announced that it will no longer offer phone service to customers who want to speak with a live agent. Most major airlines still offer customer service lines for their passengers. In recent years, low-cost carriers such...
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Diamond princess sets sail on maiden voyage from San Diego

Princess Cruises debuted its fourth home port in California this week as the newly refurbished Diamond Princess set sail from San Diego. With the addition of Diamond Princess, the line now offers four-, five- and seven-day itineraries from the West Coast, with some extending into Hawaii and the South Pacific,...
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Tis the season to be wary: Strikes and activists threaten Europe travel

  Travelers are flocking to Europe again, advisors say—but just as the summer’s luggage issues seem to have settled down, activists and unions are eyeing airports in this strike-prone region. And they are not feeling jolly. Finnair this weekend canceled 100 flights as a result of a 24-hour “pop-up strike”...
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Two Dead in Rare Zodiac Accident in Antarctica

The 2022 Antarctica season has kicked off with the worst possible news for Quark Expeditions, where a rare zodiac accident has left two passengers dead. Seatrade Cruise News reported that the line confirmed that “a Zodiac carrying six passengers and two expedition staff overturned near shore, tragically resulting in two...
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New Flagship Joins the MSC Fleet

MSC Seascape delivery - credit Ivan Sarfatti For the second time this year, MSC has taken delivery of a new ship—this time its new flagship, MSC Seascape. The second in the Seaside class, Seascape “aims to connect guests with the sea,” offering “a wealth of outdoor spaces allowing guests to...
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Mickey Goes Mega: Disney Cruise Line’s New Global Dream Will Hold 8,000

Global Dream rendering courtesy of Disney Cruise Line That rumor you may have heard is true. Disney Cruise Line has confirmed it is buying a partially complete mega cruise ship, Global Dream, that has been sitting in the Meyer Werft shipyard since Genting Hong Kong ceased operations early this year....
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More Than $600 Million in Refunds Returned to Airline Passengers

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced historic enforcement actions against six airlines, which collectively paid more than half a billion dollars to people who were owed a refund due to a canceled or significantly changed flight. These fines are part of DOT’s ongoing work to ensure Americans receive...
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Client Knowledge

Recently, I was speaking to a colleague about a new salesperson he had just employed. The salesperson was complaining the company did not have a  presentation brochure. If only the company would produce a professional presentation, the salesperson assured his boss, the sales would come flying through the door. My friend wanted to know what I thought, and I told him.

Good sales materials are important, but more important are the clients’ needs.  Company-produced literature, particularly in a 1:1 scenario like travel consulting, was secondary to speaking intelligently and compassionately with the client.
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Even as the first Prima-class ship rolled out, with five more in production behind it, NCL Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio asked his staff what they could do to upgrade the existing fleet—and anted up a $1.5-billion budget, NCL CEO Harry Sommer told the crowd at the Dream Vacations/CruiseOne annual conference onboard Encore last week.

The new Prima class, whose first ship just rolled out, shows NCL’s direction moving forward: elevating the product with upgraded menus, new entertainment, and more staff—and 10,000 travel advisors invited aboard so far to spread the message.

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Perillo Tours, the company that has been known as “synonymous with Italy” for three generations of family ownership, is debuting a new tour program for Greece for 2023, and Steve Perillo, the company president, says the tour is flying off the shelf.

“This was not the big year,” he told me. “Next year is the big year. We’re seeing a gigantic wave. We’re about half sold out. Usually, you start selling in January. Prices are up, and nobody cares.”

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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 »

Award-winning luxury river cruise line, AmaWaterways, tells us that travelers can now book unforgettable river cruise vacations on all 2024 itineraries on the iconic rivers of Europe, Africa, Egypt and Asia. With an added reward for early bookings and extended seasons on the Rhine, Danube and Douro rivers, guests have the opportunity to save now when reserving their much-anticipated journeys. Whether celebrating a milestone anniversary, a special birthday or a reunion with friends and family, river cruising with AmaWaterways offers the perfect variety of included tours and culinary experiences to please all ages and types of travelers searching for a more personalized way to reconnect with the world around them.

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Make People Glad They Know You

In order for people to feel glad they know you, you must appear to be interested in them, their lives, their stories, their experiences, and their opinions. As you leave the safe confines of your familiar environment, you are going to meet hundreds of people in the months ahead.

Not every one of these new acquaintances will become a client. You would not want this to be the case. You do need to know, however, that when you meet people for the first time, only three things can result from this introduction.

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8 Reasons to be Thankful in 2022

Where did the year go? No, it is not the COVID funk that has our collective sense of time all warped. It seems like yesterday it was spring, and we were all enthused with the glacial pace of the return to normalcy. I looked at the calendar and realized it was November.  NOVEMBER!!  I need to order my 2023 calendar and more to the point, I realized that Thanksgiving is this week! And let’s be honest, there is a lot to be thankful for! Read the rest of this entry »

We Need Small Ships That Are Safer for Seniors

When the feds removed COVID testing before embarkation regulations a few months ago, most travel advisors and cruise execs cheered. Bookings exploded—in some cases exceeding pre-pandemic levels—and some stock analysts saw relief from the vast debt the Big Three has amassed.

On September 22, Jack Stebbins reported on CNBC that total debt was 35 billion for Carnival, 25 billion for Royal Caribbean, and 14 billion for Norwegian. This is much less than their stock values that day, which were $11.01 billion, 11.18 billion, and 5.61 billion, respectively—less than half of what the companies owed. The article said that the cruise lines’ best hope is the luxury cruise market, which is not as sensitive to economic downturns. This luxury market is centered on “small ships,” with fewer than 1300 guests.

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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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Mt. Fuji, The Mighty Art of Nature

Japan is known for its sprawling metropolises, cities that bask in the light of every color from signs and advertisements. Yet, outside these massive cities is an island country with natural beauty that shines bright on the pale petals of the cherry blossom—on the delightful purple of the wisteria tree. Adored by Japanese poets and painters is a sight that soars above them all, the UNESCO World Heritage Mt. Fuji.

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Understanding Solo Travel

Understanding Solo Travel

Solo travel has become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more people are choosing to explore the world on their own. While it can be an incredibly rewarding and liberating experience, there are also certain considerations that need to be taken into account. The concept of solo travel is sometimes misunderstood  (Read More)

Voyage To Antarctica

Voyage to Antarctica

It is a land with little soil, where 96% of its mass is covered in ice, with no indigenous people, no indigenous government. No economic activity exists, except for that in small isolated encampments of scientists and from the incursion of tourism to the island continent. (Read More)

Oxford – City of Spires

OXFORD

Home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Oxford is an architectural, intellectual, and historical gem of England. This small city has the distinction of hosting every style of English architecture starting from the late Anglo-Saxon period forward… (Read More)