Author Archives: Cheryl Rosen

There are 207 articles by Cheryl Rosen published on this site.


It’s not a year to be shy about upselling, said virtually every supplier at the Avoya Travel Land Forum earlier this week. Travelers are eager to extend their land and sea vacations, and to try unique and upscale experiences. It’s up to their travel advisors to point them in the right direction—and that direction is up.

“We all want to increase the bottom line,” said Sandals senior regional sales manager Ian Braun. “Every conversation we are having we should be upselling, telling clients the things they should be doing on their next vacation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Apple ID Goes Live in Four States

Detail from Apple shop in Tokyo, Japan. Apple is American multinational corporation founded at 1976 at Cupertino, California.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to just wear your ID on your wrist as you go through the airport? Apple’s been working on it, and it’s live now in four states.

Apple users in Arizona have been carrying their driver’s licenses and state IDs in their Apple Wallets for a year now, passing through TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with just a flick of their wrists. Since then, Maryland, Colorado and Georgia have come aboard—and the tech giant is working to add the other 46 to the list.

Each state has its own verification process, but the goal is to have a digital ID stored on your iPhone. Users just click on the ‘+’ sign in the Apple Wallet’s top right corner and follow the instructions. The system works on an iPhone 8 or newer.

TSA also is testing Delta Air Lines Biometric Facial Identification and GET Mobile Drivers Licenses, its website says (https://www.tsa.gov/digital-id). The technology is available at 25 airports including Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

While users do not have to produce their physical driver’s licenses, the TSA still requires that travelers carry them.

 

A federal judge has ruled that American Airlines and JetBlue must end their Northeast Alliance because it is anti-competitive.

Formed in 2021, the partnership allows the two carriers to coordinate schedules, swap slots and share revenues at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Airports in the New York metropolitan area, and Logan Airport in Boston.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin ruled in favor of the Justice Department, which had brought the suit in partnership with six states. Combining two of the four largest US airlines, the Northeast Alliance has decreased the number of flights at the four airports, and violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.

The Alliance “makes the two airlines partners, each having a substantial interest in the success of their joint and individual efforts, instead of vigorous, arms-length rivals regularly challenging each other in the marketplace of competition. Though the defendants claim their bigger-is-better collaboration will benefit the flying public, they produced minimal objectively credible proof to support that claim. Whatever the benefits to American and JetBlue of becoming more powerful—in the northeast generally, or in their shared rivalry with Delta—such benefits arise from a naked agreement not to compete with one another,” Judge Sorokin wrote in his decision.

The Boston Globe called the ruling “a major victory for the Biden administration, which has used aggressive enforcement of antitrust laws to fight against mergers and other arrangements between large corporations,” noting that an economist predicted it would cost consumers more than $700 million a year extra if American and JetBlue stopped competing in the Northeast.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Courtest of Disney.

 

Just a year after its launch, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Walt Disney World in Orlando will make its final voyage.

The pricey attraction, where the minimum two-night stay costs nearly $5,000 per couple, will close on Sept. 28, Disney said.
Guests with reservations after that date will get priority switching to an earlier time, and new bookings for the remaining voyages will be paused until May 26.

“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is one of our most creative projects ever and has been praised by our guests and recognized for setting a new bar for innovation and immersive entertainment,” Disney said in a statement. “This premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we will take what we’ve learned to create future experiences that can reach more of our guests and fans.”

Opened in March 2022, the attraction offered an immersive Star Wars experience that included lightsaber training and blue shrimp, and thousands of loyal guests met up before and after their trips on Facebook pages.

But the high price tag kept the number of visitors below Disney’s expectations, and apparently put the hotel on the chopping block under new Disney CEO Bob Iger’s plan to reduce the company’s costs by $5.5 billion.

I’ve been there on a Norwegian cruise; I’ve been there on a Globus coach tour. But when Lindblad Expeditions invited me on their 40th Anniversary sailing to Alaska, I knew I was in for a different kind of experience.

We sailed into the sunset on the National Geographic Venture, Lindblad’s partner since 2004, with about 80 intrepid explorers, most of them enthusiastic return guests. One lady was on her 30th cruise (and only tight finances had prevented more, she said), but most had sailed with Lindblad six or eight times before, to far-flung destinations around the globe. They promised we would experience good service, make friends with the crew, and be educated by the National Geographic scientists who trade their knowledge for free passage to remote locations. It’s a cooperative venture that works for everyone.

Read the rest of this entry »

MSC Euribia, Carousel Lounge. Courtesy of MSC Cruises.

 

Underscoring its reach into the US market, MSC Group this week offered up details about the naming ceremony of MSC Euribia in Copenhagen, as well as the Owners Suite on Explora I, the first ship in its new Explora Journeys luxury division.

Sporting “the most energy-efficient cruise ship design ever,” MSC Euribia, is powered by LNG and features state-of-the-art environmental technologies including advanced onboard wastewater treatment systems, waste management handling, energy efficiency measures, and innovative underwater radiated noise management systems to reduce the potential impact on the marine environment.

As always at MSC namings, Sophia Loren will serve as godmother. Euribia then will sail 7-night itineraries in Northern Europe, from Kiel, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark to the Norwegian Fjords.

New elements on the ship include the new Le Grill “French bistro meets steakhouse” restaurant; a reinvented Carousel Lounge designed to offer more panoramic ocean views; and a brand-new kids area and program of activities dedicated to educating children and teenagers on environmental subjects in the MSC Foundation Lab.

For guests looking for a more luxurious experience, MSC Group’s new Explora Journeys brand unveiled details of the 3,000-square-foot Owner’s Residence on its first ship, Explora I.

Guests there can lounge on a private outdoor terrace that extends over the full width of the ship, sip champagne in their own infinity whirlpool, or dine in private at a table for eight. They will also have unlimited priority reservations for all culinary venues and a complimentary treatment at Ocean Wellness – The Spa.

The suite includes private butler service, a Technogym Bench and Case Kit, a private bar replenished according to their preferences, unlimited priority reservations for all culinary venues, a double vanity bathroom made of Calacatta marble and other “incredible details that create an elegant, yet effortlessly relaxed European sense of luxury,” said Explora Journeys Head of Product Jason Gelineau.

The Residence is available for parties of three adults or two adults and one child under 18 years old.

 

 

United Airlines pilots are holding “informational picketing” at 10 airports across the nation today (Friday), ahead of the busy summer travel season. They join pilots at Southwest and American Airlines in demanding better pay and working conditions.

The union said it expects at least 2,000 of its 14,000 pilots to picket at major airports, including Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Newark.

Southwest and American pilots already have authorized strikes, while the United pilots say they have not had a salary increase in more than four years.

Delta Air Lines, alone among the major carriers, settled its issues with its pilots earlier this year, raising pay by 34% over the next four years. United offered a similar deal to its pilots, but the union has not accepted it.

“We expect our contract to raise the bar from Delta’s contract,” union chief Garth Thompson told Reuters. “We’re not just looking for more money; we’re looking for several areas of improvement that we’ve been waiting a long time to achieve.”

But the airlines are not likely to actually strike, as US law forbids them to take such action until federal mediators have determined that further negotiations are not likely to have a positive result. But they could disrupt travel in other ways, like refusing to work overtime or holding sick-outs.

covid 19 hospital-based vaccine package for patients around the world

 

The United States will finally lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for inbound international air travelers on Friday, May 12th, that has been in place since October 2021.

“Considering the progress that we have made, and based on the latest guidance from our public health experts, I have determined that we no longer need the international air travel restrictions,” President Joe Biden said in a proclamation announcing the change. “As we continue to monitor the evolving state of COVID-19 and the emergence of virus variants, we have the tools to detect and respond to the potential emergence of a variant of high consequence.”

Biden also announced an end to vaccine requirements for federal employees and contractors, and for foreign nationals at land borders. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, said it will no longer require vaccinations for non-U.S. travelers entering at ferry terminals.

Industry groups including the U.S. Travel Association applauded the change. “Today’s action to lift the vaccine requirement eases a significant entry barrier for many global travelers, moving our industry and country forward,” said president and CEO Geoff Freeman.

The CDC does still recommend that U.S. travelers be up to date on their COVID vaccinations before leaving the country, however.

If you’re not part of the solution, they say, you’re part of the problem.

The travel business literally revolves around Planet Earth, and we all share a responsibility to sustain it, says Internova CEO J. D. O’Hara. To that end, the travel company is committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of the year. And when they invited some top suppliers to talk about their own efforts to cut down carbon emissions and sustain the Earth, they also called on travel advisors to do their part to help. Read the rest of this entry »

 

Just ahead of opening sales for the 2024 season, Walt Disney World announced a handful of sure-to-be-popular changes that seem designed to turn things back to the way they used to be.

Leading the list is the return of Disney Dining and Disney Quick Service Dining Plans, which again will be available on Disney World packages that include a Disney Resort hotel stay, beginning January 9, 2024. The plans include more than 100 dining venues across the park.

Also beginning January 9, guests will no longer be required to have theme park reservations in order to buy date-based tickets at Walt Disney World, and annual passholders and cast members will be offered occasional “good-to-go days” when they can visit the parks without a reservation.

Disney also said that early park entry (for all Disney Resort hotel guests) and extended evening hours (for guests staying at Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels and Disney Deluxe Villas) will continue through 2024, and that it is working on ways to help guests plan Disney Genie+ service and Lightning Lane selections in advance of their visits, rather than only on the same day.

Tickets for the 2024 season at Walt Disney World will go on sale May 31, and Disney then will also release complete details on the new dining plans, it said. But the company did say the plans will allow guests to make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance of their trip.

Insiders attribute the renewed focus on the guests experience to the return of Bob Iger, who six months ago canceled his retirement and returned to Disney as CEO. Since then Walt Disney World has stopped charging for overnight self-parking, allowed annual passholders to visit after 2 p.m. without a reservation, offered free digital downloads of photos on rides for guests using Disney’s Genie+, ramped up character meet-and-greets, added new characters, and restored annual passes.

 

Adventures by Disney is expanding its repertoire of destinations for 2024, for the first time adding Colombia, home of its hit movie Encanto, and Canada’s Atlantic Coast.

Bookings will open on May 12 for the two itineraries—an eight-day “Colombia: Bogota, the Coffee Region, Cocora Valley and Cartagena,” and an eight-day “Canada’s Maritimes of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island,” and for a third new tour, an enhanced 12-day New Zealand itinerary.

The Colombia tour will include guided tours in Bogota and Cartagena, a visit to a coffee farm, an arepa-making class, trekking in a dry forest, and snorkeling in the Rosario Islands. Guests traveling in 2024 will get a signed lithograph featuring art from the animated movie Encanto. Rates begin at $4,999 for children and $4,999 for adults.

The new Canada itinerary will include visits to the Sugan Moon maple syrup farm in Nova Scotia, the Wood Island Lighthouse and the Millbrook Cultural Heritage Centre to learn about the indigenous Mi’kmaq Peoples, plus horseback riding and kayaking at the Bay of Fundy. Rates start at $5,109 for children and $5,399 for adults.

Adults-only departures for both itineraries will be available on select dates.

Passports in Portsmouth: A Lost Passport Leads to a Pleasant Road Trip

What do you do when your passport is lost and you are cruising to Alaska in two weeks? You take any appointment that’s available at any US Passport Office, and get in your car and go.

If the closest office is in Portsmouth, NH, though, you’re in luck. Think of it as a road trip to a quaint and peaceful New England town, where the passport office is small and uncrowded, and the staff really does try to be helpful. Who cares if it is 280 miles from home, and your appointment is the day before you sail? Read the rest of this entry »

MSC Adds Winter Season in Japan

 

 

After 15 years of cruising in Japan, MSC Cruises on May 1 opened sales for its first-ever winter season in the Land of the Rising Sun, beginning this year.

The new program will start in November 2023, sailing on MSC Bellissima, and include 6-, 9-, and 11-night sailings from Yokohama. Then from January to March 2024, MSC Bellissima will add 4- and 5- night itineraries within Japan and to Keelung, Taiwan (China), visiting Okinawa, Ishigaki, and Miyako island, sailing out of a homeport in Naha/Okinawa.

MSC Bellissima is the second ship in the MSC Meraviglia class and one of the largest in the MSC fleet, holding 4,500 guests. It features 12 dining venues and more than 20 bars and lounges, including a steak house, the French specialty restaurant L’Atelier Bistrot and Chocolate & Café, home of unique and elegant chocolate desserts.

“The Big Melt” Closes Yosemite

 

Yosemite Valley and other swatches of Yosemite Park have closed to visitors through at least Wednesday due to flooding, as an historic snowpack in the Sierras begins to melt.

“An extended period of very warm temperatures will cause rapid snow melt which is expected to cause flooding along waterways in Yosemite National Park,” the National Weather Service said. “This also includes locations in Yosemite Valley, such as the Merced River at Pohono Bridge.”

The closure begins at El Capitan Crossover. Reservations for lodging and campgrounds in eastern Yosemite Valley will be canceled and refunded automatically, the park said on Friday.

Western Yosemite Valley remains open for now, “but could close if traffic congestion or parking issues become unmanageable,” and no food, water or restrooms, other than a limited number of portable toilets, will be available in western Yosemite during the closure.

Hetch Hetchy, Wawona and Crane Flat also remain open, but visitors should expect congestion, strict parking enforcements, and potential closures.

Meanwhile, The National Weather Service is predicting above-average temperatures throughout the weekend, which will cause the snows to melt quickly into the Merced River. By Sunday afternoon, the river is forecast to rise more than a foot above its 10-foot flood stage.

An unusually cold February caused precipitation in the area to fall as snow, rather than rain, burying the park under 40 inches of snow and black ice and causing closures in February and March.

The current closure could be extended beyond May 3, depending on the severity of the floods, the park said.

The record amount of snow in Yosemite was just one component in the extreme precipitation that battered large swaths of California over the winter, causing floods, power outages, and evacuations.

Yosemite Valley closes whenever the Merced River at Pohono Bridge is expected to exceed 10 feet, according to the park’s website. Floods are expected on and off through the summer, which could cause the park to close again.

The coming closure could be extended beyond May 3, depending on the severity of the floods, the park said.

Viking Saturn. Image courtesy of Viking Cruises.

 

Viking celebrated its 25th anniversary this week with the delivery of a new ship that will sail two new itineraries, including New York to Reykjavik.

The Viking Saturn will sail this summer on two different 15-day voyages to Reykjavik, one from Bergen, Norway, and one from New York City. The Bergen itinerary includes 11 days in Norway, a two-day crossing of the Norwegian Sea and two days in Iceland. The New York itineraries include six days in Iceland, plus Greenland and Canada.

Like its identical Viking ocean ships, Viking Saturn has 465 veranda staterooms that can carry 930 guests.

The official naming will be held in New York on June 6, with godmother Ann Ziff, the philanthropist and chairman of the Metropolitan Opera, a longtime Viking cultural partner.

Viking noted that the ship arrives at a high point for the company, which in January celebrated the most successful single month of bookings in its history. Part of the growth comes from the 17 new ships added since 2020—including eight Viking Longships in Europe; new purpose-built vessels on the Mekong, Nile and Mississippi rivers; four new ocean ships; and two Polar Class expedition vessels.

Noting that Viking is “very proud of our long-standing partnerships with travel advisors, who help us share the world of Viking with curious travelers,” Michele Saegesser, vice president of sales and national accounts, said the company just launched a new version of its River Voyage Academy for travel advisors and “hopes our partners will complete the program to become Viking Certified Experts and take advantage of the numerous benefits awarded to graduates.”

As travel advisors headed across the Atlantic to ASTA’s River Cruise Expo this year, 100 members of Gifted Travel Network already were onsite. They had been there for a week, attending their annual symposium—which GTN hosted for the first time aboard a river cruise ship it chartered for its own use.

Indeed, interest in full-ship charters is blooming this year. Travelers are back, river cruise ships are looking for partnerships, and travel advisors are coming to see the viability—and potential profits—of renting a whole ship. Read the rest of this entry »

Carnival Tests New Restaurant Charge

Logo for Carnival Cruise Lines

 

Carnival Cruise Line has begun testing a new charge for some guests eating at its popular ChiBang specialty restaurant on Mardi Gras.

All guests still can eat at the venue for free at lunchtime or once for dinner. Though they now will incur an $8 per person surcharge if they return to eat dinner in the restaurant a second time.

There is also a ChiBang restaurant on the second Excel-class ship, Carnival Celebration, and there will be one on Carnival Jubilee as well. For now, the fee is only being charged on Mardi Gras, however.

Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald, on his Facebook page, called the move a pilot project designed “to give everyone an opportunity to dine in this unique venue” on a ship that holds about 6,000 passengers.

The popular ChiBang offers both a Chinese and a Mexican menu, neither of which are available elsewhere on the ship, as well as specialty desserts.

As the busy cruise seasons in Europe and Alaska begin, TRO met with a number of executives to talk about what’s new and exciting for 2023 and beyond.

AMAWaterways’ Janet Bava said the 2023 river cruise season is “going to be phenomenal,” and much of her focus will be on “the relationship with travel advisors, making sure they have the tools they need.”

Most exciting is the new destination of Colombia, where AMA ships will sail the Magdalena for the first time. Read the rest of this entry »

Symphonic concert at Palais Pallavicini. Image courtesy of Tauck.

 

US-based Tauck this week grew its presence in Europe, kicking off the 2024 river cruise season with six new itineraries, the most it has ever added in a single year. All the cruises include pre and post trips, including some new cities in Germany and Switzerland.

Tauck CEO Dan Mahar noted that dinners ashore will be at beautiful and unique settings such as the Palais Pallavicini in Vienna, a Dutch castle on its own private island, or an Italian Renaissance-style mansion in a small commune in northern France. Guests will overnight at properties like the Fairmont Montreux Palace, the Riessersee Hotel in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the InterContinental Geneve in Geneva.

Also on the agendas are wine tastings in Frankfurt, Strasbourg, and Chalon-Sur-Saône, France; a craft beer tour in Dusseldorf; a brewery tour in Antwerp; and a tasting of local brandies and apple ciders in Normandy. All dinners and excursions are included in the tour price.

The new cruises are:

Danube Kingdoms: Bavaria, Austria & Hungary: Munich to Budapest, 12 days from $6,990 per person plus airfare

  1. Itinerary: Includes a four-night, land-based exploration of Bavaria with hotel stays in Munich and Partenkirchen, plus a seven-night cruise along the Danube visiting Passau, Linz, Salzkammergut, Cesky Krumlov, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest.
  2. Highlight dinner: Guests will attend a Tauck Exclusive evening at a private Viennese palace, Palais Pallavicini, featuring a reception, gala dinner, and classical music performances. The palace has hosted luminaries including Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Schubert, and it has been the home of the Pallavicini family for more than 180 years.

Three Rivers: Danube, Main & Rhine: Amsterdam to Regensburg (or reverse), 10 days from $5,990 per person plus airfare

  1. Itinerary: Ports of call include Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Köln, Bonn, Koblenz, Boppard, Frankfurt, Wertheim, Marktheidenfeld, Würzburg, Bamberg, Bayreuth, Nürnberg, and Regensburg.
  2. Highlight dinner: Guests will enjoy an evening at the opulent Schlosshotel Kronberg. The former home of German Empress Victoria Friedrich, Schlosshotel Kronberg took four years to build (1889 – 1893). Today, Schlosshotel Kronberg is operated by the royal House of Hesse as a luxury hotel, and it is set amid parklands featuring an 18-hole golf course designed by Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Rhine Connoisseur: Montreux to Brussels: Montreux to Brussels (or reverse), 11 days from $6,790 per person plus airfare

  1. Itinerary: Begins with a three-night stay at the Fairmont Montreux Palace and explorations of the Lavaux Vineyards, Montreux and Glacier 3000. A subsequent seven-night cruise visits Strasbourg, Rüdesheim, Koblenz, and Düsseldorf along the Rhine before traveling on to Gorinchem, Antwerp, and Brussels.
  2. Highlight dinner: A Tauck-exclusive reception and dinner are featured at Slot Loevestein. Set in a nature reserve on a private island open only to Tauck guests for the evening, the 14th-century castle has served as a prison, residence and toll station at the strategic confluence of the Maas and Waal rivers.

Hidden Waterways of Flanders and Holland: Brussels to Amsterdam (or reverse), 8 days from $4,690 per person plus airfare

  1. Itinerary: Ports of call along the scenic Dutch waterways include Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Gorinchem, Leiden, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
  2. Highlight dinner: A Tauck-exclusive reception and dinner are featured at Slot Loevestein. Set in a nature reserve on a private island open only to Tauck guests for the evening, the 14th-century castle has served as a prison, residence and toll station at the strategic confluence of the Maas and Waal rivers.

River Seine: Châteaux, Impressionism & Normandy: Begins and ends near Paris at Le Pecq, 8 days from $4,990 per person plus airfare

  1. Itinerary: Visits Auvers-sur-Oise, Les Andelys, Tilly, Mont-Saint-Michel, Étretat, Honfleur, the D-Day Beaches of Normandy, Rouen, Giverny (where Tauck guests enjoy exclusive early-entry admission to the home and gardens of Impressionist painter Claude Monet) and Le Pecq.
  2. Highlight dinner: Tauck guests will enjoy a private evening with a tour, dinner, and music at Château du Taillis. Set on a parkland estate in Duclair, France and built in 1530, this Italian Renaissance mansion with baroque interiors is a brilliant architectural showcase.

La Belle Vie: The Rhône, Geneva & The Riviera: Cannes to Geneva (or reverse), 14 days from $7,990 plus airfare

  1. Itinerary: This 14-day itinerary includes a nine-night river cruise along the Rhône bookended by two, two-night hotel stays with guided Tauck sightseeing in Cannes and Geneva. Along the way, guests have the opportunity to experience Aix-en-Provence, Arles, La Camargue, Avignon, Uzès, St-Rémy, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Tain l’Hermitage, Mâcon, Cluny, Chalon-sur-Saône, Beaune, Tournus, Cormatin and Lyon.
  2. Highlight dinner: Tauck guests will enjoy an exclusive evening at Duché d’Uzès featuring a private tour, dinner, and cocktails. The family castle of the Duke of Uzès, the home was once the site of a Roman governor’s residence and the haven of an exiled 9th-century duchess.

Viking Aton ship with cruise executives tanding in front of ship.
Photo courtesy of Viking.

 

Viking’s newest ship, the Viking Aton, “floated out” this week, headed for her debut in Egypt in August, with pre- and post-trips to Jerusalem and Jordan.

As the third Viking ship custom-built to sail the Nile, Aton marks the halfway point to the six-ship fleet the company envisions on the longest river in the world, which flows north out of Africa into the Mediterranean Sea.

Like her identical sister ship Viking Osiris, Viking Aton holds 82 guests and 65 crew and will sail a 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary.

“We are proud to be the only western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile, and with the float out of the Viking Aton, we look forward to welcoming more guests to experience this fantastic region,” said Viking chairman Torstein Hagen.

Viking reports “very strong demand in Egypt,” with the 2023 season and many 2024 dates already sold out. In all, the line plans to have six ships sailing the Nile by 2025, including Viking Ra, which launched in 2018, and two more shifts under construction now, Viking Hathor and Viking Sobek.

In addition to the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests can sign up for a five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension beginning in London, which includes private visits to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum; the home of Sir John Soane, whose collection of Egyptian antiquities includes a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus; and Highclere Castle, to view the Earl’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts. There’s also a Pre Extension in Jerusalem and a Post Extension in Jordan that includes Jerash, Kerak, and the lost city of Petra.

Separately, Egypt’s ministry of tourism and antiquities this week announced the discovery of the ancient underground tomb complex of Panehsy, steward of the temple of Amun under Ramses II, around 1250 BC.

“Egypt is one of the most difficult areas in the world to book. There are many local companies who offer Nile cruises, but it’s very difficult to know who the trustworthy ones are,” said travel advisor Lainey Melnick. “Having the big name cruise lines stepping into that market makes it so much more accessible to Americans who are willing to pay that premium price for something they trust and understand. It makes all the difference in that region.”

 

If you think ChatGPT is helpful, you really might want to make friends with Toby.

Built specifically to meet the needs of travel advisors, this new electronic assistant can make you more efficient, save you time and make your customers love you even more than they do now.

At least that seemed to be the sentiment of the travel advisors who have been beta-testing Toby and/or listening in on the podcast about him this week.

Read the rest of this entry »