Monthly Archives: September 2022

Posted In: Press Releases

Pico Island in the Azores archipelago.

US travel agents are a key element of SATA Azores Airlines’ sales strategy in North America.  Discover the World has been engaged to enhance and enlarge SATA’s relationship with the travel trade in the USA.  Understanding the importance of the travel agency community in assisting customers with international travel, Discover will apply its vast experience in this area to provide excellence in service and support to SATA’s valued existing travel agency partners and to reach out to new agencies interested in selling the Azores and other SATA destinations Our new North American trade service center will operate Monday to Friday 9 am to 7 pm Eastern Time and can be contacted by phone at 1-800-762-9995 or (508) 677-0555, and via email at

SATA Azores Airlines currently departs out of New York JFK and Boston, serving destinations in Europe and Africa (Azores, Madeira, Lisbon, Porto, Paris (CDG), and Cape Verde).  The winter schedule for 2022/2023 includes flights from Boston to Ponta Delgada, operating 5x per week. Also, SATA will fly direct from New York (JFK) into Ponta Delgada on Friday and Saturday and directly into Funchal on Thursdays.

About SATA Group
Established in the Azores in 1941, and with more than eighty years of History, SATA Group has at its core the depth of the Azorean soul and is committed to overcoming the archipelago’s isolation.

Composed of two airlines (SATA Air Açores and Azores Airlines) and an aerodrome managing body in the Archipelago of the Azores, the SATA Group has affirmed itself as an international airline that embraces the mission of building Atlantic bridges between the Azores and the world. SATA Airlines currently operates a network of regular national and international routes, playing an essential role in the economic and social development of the Autonomous Region of the Azores.

About Discover the World
Discover the World has earned a reputation as an innovative global sales representation leader in the travel industry through a worldwide network of 85 offices in more than 60 countries. With a portfolio of over 100 clients utilizing its sales, marketing and business process outsourcing services, the work of Discover the World has a direct positive impact on the growth of our clients and trade industry partners every day.

For more information about Discover the World, visit, or call (480) 707-5566

Posted In: Deck Plans

Avalon Waterways announced that it will make its Douro debut with a new itinerary and Suite Ship, the Avalon Alegria, in 2024.


Hillside vineyards and historic villages await guests as they sail through Portugal on Avalon’s all-new, eight-day cruise that begins and ends in Porto and is filled with Avalon’s signature, included Classic, Discovery and Active excursion choices.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: The Rosen Report

So much to say, so much to love in St. Croix. Part 1 of my report talks about properties we visited; stay tuned next week for Part 2.

My travel advisor friends told me St. Croix is a feet-in-the-sand US destination with a Caribbean vibe, a mix of luxury and kitschy properties, a home to water sports you can dive into from the beach. So when the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism ( invited me and eight travel advisors on a fam last month, I was in.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

Florida Airport Closures From Hurricane Ian

As of today, September 29, many airports in Florida remain closed due to the now downgraded tropical storm Ian.

The storm was a category 4 hurricane when it made landfall in the southwestern region of Florida. The center of the storm headed northeast, coming within 40 miles of Orlando.

Airports affected include Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando.

It is uncertain at this time the full damage dealt by the storm, as news is still coming out about the current flooding.

Posted In: Spotlight

Four Seasons Yacht

Four Seasons this week offered up details on what it says will be the roomiest—and costliest—cruise ship on the sea. And while some travel advisors said the price point likely will be too high for their customers, others are ready to hear more details and then go right out and sell it. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Press Releases

Tokyo, Japan at Sensoji Temple's Hozomon Gate in the Asakusa District in the springtime.

With this week’s news that Japan’s borders will reopen to foreign tourists after more than two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, global tour operator Collette today announced that booking is now open for its two Japan itineraries. Departures begin this November.

“We’re so excited travelers can once again explore Japan. Prior to the pandemic, Japan was one of our most popular destinations. Nearly every departure we offered was sold out,” said Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, president of Collette. “Our product development team just returned from a three-week review of our two itineraries. Our partners – everyone from hotels to restaurants to local guides – and of course our tour managers cannot wait to welcome travelers back to Japan on two culturally-rich tours.”

Collette’s newest tour to Japan is Japan: Past and Present , which begins at $5,749.00 per person. This small group adventure with just 14-24 guests includes a variety of activities designed to connect guests to Japan’s rich culture, traditions, culinary delights, and natural beauty. Highlights include overnighting amongst Buddhist monks at a monastery on Mount Koya; meeting an individual who experienced the devastating affects of the Atomic bomb firsthand; joining the Ama pearl divers to hear tales about their unique and sacred rights of this women-only profession; and using the public transportation in Tokyo to efficiently explore the city to experience life like a local.

Collette’s popular Cultural Treasures of Japan tour begins at $4,999.00 per person and offers cultural and culinary experiences like a sake tasting, a sushi-making class, a geisha show in Kyoto and the chance for travelers to experience the centuries-old art of the Japanese tea ceremony.

Collette’s guests can book their tours with confidence knowing that when they add Collette’s Travel Protection Plan, they will receive a full money-back refund if they need to cancel – up to 24 hours before departure.

Please visit for more information.

Posted In: Top Headlines

Halloween Around the World

Jack O Lantern Pumpkin

Americans mark autumn with two major holidays: Thanksgiving in late November, and Halloween on Oct. 31. The latter is a personal favorite: Ever since I watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! as a  child, Halloween has been one of my anchor points for the fall season. Halloween as we know it, with trick-or-treating and funny costumes, is for all intents and purposes a strictly Western practice. Though it has in recent years spread to South America, the Far East, and Eastern Europe, some of these places have their own traditions which resemble our own Halloween.

Take for example our southern neighbor, Mexico, where Halloween is just the precursor to the two-day celebration of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Halloween itself is celebrated very similarly to how we celebrate here in the U.S.: Kids may dress up and go around to houses, asking “¡Noche de Brujas, Halloween!” (“Witch’s Night, Halloween!”). Older generations may throw a Halloween-themed party which could include dressing in costume or “traditional” Halloween games. The two days after Halloween, though, Nov. 1 and 2, play host to much more foreign, exciting, and (in some ways) somber or serious forms of “celebration.” Día de los Muertos is meant to be an opportunity for people to honor their deceased loved ones or relations.

Mexico’s celebration of the Day of the Dead

Millions of Mexicans will spend time during the year gathering the deceased’s favorite foods, drinks, or possibly toys and games. Over the Día de los Muertos, they will lay these on their loved ones’ graves and pray for them. Tradition states that the items are there to encourage their loved ones’ spirits to return and hear the prayers for them. This holiday traces itself back to Mayan traditions of praying for ancestors, though it nicely intersects in subject matter with Halloween and the Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

In Europe, Halloween takes several different forms. Ireland and Great Britain are both similar to the United States — kids may dress up and go trick-or-treating, and parties are held with bobbing for apples and the like. You might come across a carved turnip instead of a carved pumpkin, though! Elsewhere in Europe, you may find heavy Dracula themes in Romania (Transylvania) or Catholic traditions of All Saints Day in Greece. Overall, Europe is subject to a peculiar “re-adoption” of Halloween traditions from America, so everything might be a bit too recognizable.

China, though, is where we can again find something similar yet different to our own celebrations. While it does not take place on Oct. 31, the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival is similar to Halloween in some interesting ways. They both feature a preoccupation with the dead, and both involve numerous festivities and entertainment. The Hungry Ghost Festival is more similar to Día de los Muertos, though, in that the focus is on appeasing or communicating with the dead specifically. Chinese will set out food, burn money (today usually fake money) and pray earnestly to appease and gain protection from evil spirits. Some of the more well-known festivities include fantastical parades and the famous floating candle ceremonies, where candles are set to float on rivers in honor of the dead.

Keelung, Taiwan Zhongyuan Ghost Festival

Many cultures in the world have almost exclusively integrated American Halloween customs into their own traditions; other cultures, like Australia, discourage Halloween celebrations for being so commercialized/American. No matter the case, the traditions exemplified by Mexico and some Gaelic countries, the integration of American traditions with the country’s own traditions and concepts, are fun and interesting to natives as well as travelers looking for a dash of their home celebrations and a healthy dose of foreign culture.

Posted In: Top Headlines

The Witches of Navarra, Spain

Cave in Navarra Spain

Hidden in the Baztan Valley near the southwestern French border and a few miles away from the pristine shores of the Bay of Biscay, sits a little village with a big secret. Removed from the bustle of the Basque Country’s San Sebastian and the glitz of Biarritz, Zugarramurdi is a tranquil town where not too much has happened in the last four hundred years. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

flags of Department of Transportation and USA

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed new rules requiring airlines to disclose any fees in addition to fares for baggage, ticket changes or seating family members together anytime an airfare is displayed.

President Joe Biden, announcing the new rules at a meeting of the White House Competition Council, said,  “You should know the full cost of your ticket right when you’re comparison shopping, to begin with where you’re – what airline you’re going to fly with so you can pick the ticket that actually is the best deal for you.”

Airlines for America, a trade group representing major US air carriers has stated its objections to the new rules, indicating the airline industry is one of the most highly competitive.

Posted In: Outposts

Few countries in the world are more well known for their wines than France. Often paired with excellent culinary treats and opulent architectural settings, there are many spectacular sights and tastes in France. But, for wine lovers and francophiles, there is no better example of this than the Loire Valley. This valley has castles dotted across green rolling hills for the traveler to explore, and a food scene to rival the best in the world.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced that travelers will no longer have to test, or show proof of vaccination, for COVID-19.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

One single hand holding a blue American passport in front of a b

On Friday, September 16th, the US State Department began the test run of their online passport renewal program. Almost 24 hours later, the program met its monthly quota of 25,000 participants and shut down temporarily. Stated in a post on their website, “We are temporarily closing down the online renewal service to new customers and plan to reopen it again in October.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Press Releases

American Symphony Cruise Ship

American Cruise Lines proudly announces that American Symphony, the newest riverboat on the Mississippi, has begun cruising the Upper River for the first time this week. Christened in Natchez, Mississippi, on August 30th, 2022, the brand new riverboat is currently sailing the company’s longest river cruise itinerary, a 22-Day Complete Mississippi River Cruise from New Orleans, Louisiana, to St. Paul, Minnesota.  American Symphony is scheduled to arrive in: Hannibal, MO, 9/24; Fort Madison, IA, 9/25; Davenport, IA, 9/26; Dubuque, IA, 9/27; Winona, MN, 9/28 and Red Wing/St. Paul, MN, 9/30.

American Cruise Lines has been cruising the Mississippi River for over a decade and has specialized in all-domestic cruising for over 30 years. The company has grown to become the country’s largest U.S. cruise line and will have 17 small ships and riverboats exploring 34 states in 2023. American Symphony is the 5th new modern riverboat American Cruise Lines has launched on the Mighty Mississippi in just the past 4 years, indicating the company’s strong leadership and ongoing commitment to the growth and development of ports and communities along the length of the River from St. Paul to New Orleans.

American Cruise Lines regularly offers over 10 different Mississippi itineraries, which include cruises along the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers, plus holiday and theme cruises. The company’s river cruises regularly visit Upper Mississippi ports and towns an average of 28 times each per season. Visits in the region continue to increase as American’s fleet consistently expands every year, adding capacity and itineraries along the Upper River. American’s U.S. fleet has more than doubled in the past 5 years alone.

“American Cruise Lines led the last decade of Mississippi River cruising, and with new riverboats like American Symphony, we look forward to leading the next one. We remain committed to introducing new small riverboats each year which enables us to deliver personalized all-American river cruises along the country’s most iconic river,” said Charles B. Robertson, President & CEO of American Cruise Lines.

In just the past few years, the company has transformed the U.S. river cruise market to compete on a global scale by launching new state-of-the-art riverboats every year since 2018. All ships offer 100% outward-facing staterooms, and the Line’s acclaimed Modern Series riverboats offer 100% private balcony accommodations. American offers 100% domestic itineraries across the country and has aggressively grown its U.S. fleet, but has continued to keep each ship very small—all are under 190 passengers, which is especially important to the experience they deliver on the Mississippi River.

“We have many new luxurious riverboats and a record number of guests who are excited to explore the Mississippi River with us. The demand we are seeing is due in large part to the beautiful new riverboats but also to the long-established relationships American Cruise Lines has with the ports and towns along the entire river. These relationships help us to consistently deliver authentic American experiences, which are curated and led by local experts, guides, and community members whom we have worked with for many years,” said Frank Klipsch, American Cruise Lines Director of City Partnerships & Special Projects.

American Symphony follows the acclaimed 2021 debut of sister ship American Melody, and it will be followed in early 2023 by a 6th Modern Series riverboat, sister ship American Serenade. American Symphony is the 9th riverboat in American Cruise Lines’ fleet for 2022, which includes 4 classic paddlewheelers and 5 modern riverboats, plus 5 small cruise ships.

Accommodating 175 guests, American Symphony features 5 decks and offers 100% private balcony staterooms, including gracious suites and single staterooms. The new riverboat has an elegant design which employs a stunning use of glass, allowing for unparalleled views throughout the ship. American Symphony also showcases American’s Modern Series hallmark—patented opening bow and retractable gangway, as well as the gorgeous 5th deck skywalk with an ellipse skylight, which cantilevers dramatically over the 4th deck café below. American Symphony also offers spacious lounges inside and out, a grand dining room, fitness center, and a wellness-yoga studio.

American Symphony‘s sold-out inaugural cruise followed an 8-Day Lower Mississippi River itinerary which departed from New Orleans and concluded in Memphis, Tennessee on September 3rd. The new riverboat will continue to explore throughout 2022, cruising the Upper Mississippi River through October and returning to the Lower River for seasonal Holiday cruises through December. American Symphony will sail a full Mississippi season again throughout 2023, with an extensive Upper Mississippi season operating from June through October 2023.

A Good Business Decision

What is the definition of a good business decision? What is the definition of a bad business decision? I recently found myself thinking about these two questions and decided to put my thoughts down on paper.

A business decision often surfaces as a result of actions taken that stem from input—input from an outside source. In other words, something beyond your immediate control enters the picture, and you are faced with several viable options. Selecting the appropriate response often defines a stressful decision. What to do? Should you do anything at all? What if you make a judgment error? Time is running out. Pull the trigger. Make a decision.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Editorial Musings

Are you conveying the right message to your clients? Are you sure? Communication is so key in so many areas of our lives. I was picking my girlfriend up at the airport yesterday and said I’d meet her at baggage claim (at least, I’m pretty sure that’s what I said). After the luggage belt was emptied, I got a text that she was waiting for me upstairs curbside. A classic case of miscommunication, and we laughed it off. But when it happens to your business and your clients, it can have very real consequences.  Take this email message I recently received from a new Business Development Manager from a well-known travel supplier. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Publishers Corner

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 »

Posted In: Deck Plans

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Point-to-Point

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: 60-Second Geography

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Spotlight

Earth from space on black background showing Antarctica.

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted In: Top Headlines

Photo of Hurricane Fiona taken from satellite

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 near 18.5, -68.6 with movement NW at 8 mph. The minimum central pressure was 977 mb with maximum sustained winds of about 90 mph.

The storm center has now passed over Puerto Rico. Double-digit rainfall, as much as 20 inches in some places, has been reported. The center of Fiona is now between western Puerto Rico and the eastern side of the Dominican Republic at 9:00  UTC Monday. It is likely the storm will be close to Punta Cana during the early Monday morning hours with heavy rainfall projected. 

The National Hurricane Center projects Fiona to turn sharply northward up the eastern coast of the United States over the next few days.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...
* Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra
* North coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Frances Viejo
westward to Puerto Plata
* Southeastern Bahamas, including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long
Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...
* South coast of the Dominican Republic west of Cabo Caucedo to

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case, within the next 12 to 24 hours. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.