Posts Tagged With: travel agency

There are 52 articles tagged with “travel agency” published on this site.


AmaWaterways To Launch Second Nile Ship

On the heels of AmaWaterways’ beautiful AmaDahlia celebrating the close of her first season on Egypt’s legendary Nile River last week, the company announced it will launch a second ship in Egypt. The second ship, named AmaLilia, after the sacred blue water lily flower of ancient Egypt, will set sail in 2024 to meet the growing demand for this exotic offering.

Like AmaDahliaAmaLilia will sail the immersive Secrets of Egypt & Nile itinerary, offering an unparalleled 11-night cruise and land experience including a seven-night roundtrip river cruise from Luxor, paired with three nights pre- and one-night post-cruise stays in historic Cairo. Similar to her sister ship, AmaLilia will be thoughtfully designed with regionally inspired décor, spacious staterooms and suites, and a specialty restaurant included in the river cruise fare.

Check out the AmaDahlia photo gallery below. Photos courtesy of AmaWaterways. Read the rest of this entry »

Part 2 of a two-part series on staffing issues at travel agencies. Read part 1.

It’s a tight job market all around—and travel agencies are no exception. So what’s an agency owner to do when they need to bump up staff ASAP?

“Many travel advisors are going independent, so that hurts the industry for those trying to hire, and many went and found other things to do and haven’t come back,” says Scott Caddow, owner and luxury travel advisor at Legendary World and vice chair of the board of Signature Travel Network.

In addition to about 10 ICs, Caddow employs 10 full-time W-2 employees. Before Covid, he tended to hire new-to-the-industry “smart sales-oriented people who wanted to build a career” and train them himself. But in the current rush, there’s just no time for that. Instead, he considered the many experienced independent contractors (ICs) out there—and ended up hiring a woman with 30 years of experience.

“I put it out to my friends in the industry who were ICs, or knew ICs—and when I mentioned it to one person because I hoped she’d put it out to her network of friends, she said, ‘I’ll do it myself!’” Read the rest of this entry »

Commitment Is Not a Four-Letter Word

I am currently experiencing a little mental discomfort. I thought I would share it with you to see if there was a message buried in my uneasiness that could benefit your immediate future.

The question is, at age 73, am I physically capable of swimming, biking, and running a total of 70.3 miles in less than 8.5 hours? (An Ironman Triathlon) Perhaps more to the point, do I really want to find out? It is not as if I have never accomplished this feat before. I have. In fact, I covered the full Ironman Triathlon distance of 140.6 miles back in 1997… and lived to talk about it.

The question remains. Do I want to prove to myself that the “old man” is not ready for the rocking chair just yet? As I am typing this the smell of Aleve X ointment on my sore shoulder Read the rest of this entry »

Postcards From The Rhone

Britton and her grandmother are cruising the Rhone on Emerald Liberte. They are guests of Emerald Cruisers for the purposes of this review. Britton has been sending updates of her trip as they cruise along. She’ll have a more detailed report when she returns home.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

WELCOME ABOARD

Day one of the journey. How exciting! I have to admit, the airport was not easy. This is a busy time of year, and it is normal to expect delays and cancelations. In fact, some of our fellow passengers didn’t make it to the boat until late in the evening, and some even arrived the following day. Read the rest of this entry »

Part 1 of a 2-part series on staffing. If you have a tale to share for Part 2 about where and how you have found new staffers, email Cheryl at crosentravel@gmail.com.

From Cheesecake Factory to Starbucks, across cruise lines and hotel chains, every US business suddenly seems to be overbooked and looking everywhere for potential new hires. And travel agencies are no exception.

The phones are ringing and the long wait times on hold with suppliers eat up precious hours of travel advisors’ days. On top of that, many are calling in sick as Covid takes one more swipe at the travel industry, and many more are out of the office on their own long-postponed vacations, at training sessions they have put off for months or years, or on one of the abundant number of fam trips offered up when things were slow.

“Staffing is the number-one issue everywhere,” says Alex Sharpe, and the biggest concern of the attendees at Signature Travel Network’s quarterly Owners Meeting in New Jersey last month. “And hiring is the #1 opportunity Read the rest of this entry »

Cuba Policy Changes: It’s All About Perception

Some good news for travel to Cuba came last Wednesday, June 8. About three weeks after the Biden announced that it was pulling back some of the Trump-era restrictions on travel to Cuba, the government has clarified what those policy changes will consist of. The good news is that People to People travel is back.

The details of the regulatory structure were released by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the part of the United States Treasury Department that regulates what money can be spent by Americans in Cuba under the terms of the United States embargo.

The May 16 press release from the Biden administration established that the United States would again allow some fights to airports other than Havana, and would reinstate educational travel, but did not yet reinstate the “People to People” program. Tour operators would have to watch for OFAC to release the memo to Read the rest of this entry »

If the pandemic had done nothing else in the past few years, it has convinced travel advisors and guests to buy travel insurance. The thought of being stranded in a foreign hospital, or quarantine facility, and possibly being prohibited from flying home on a scheduled airline has made nearly everyone a believer. It has convinced nearly everyone they need a travel insurance policy that treats COVID-19 as “any other illness or accident.”

Some guests are signing up for CFAR (Cancel for Any Reason) travel insurance that entitles guests to a refund for almost any reason. CFAR policies are often 30-40 percent more expensive than other policies offering the same benefits, and some only pay off in credits for a future trip. Also, some apply a percentage deduction against the refunds the guests claim. Read the rest of this entry »

It has been a dream of mine to take my grandmother, GG, on a river cruise for quite some time. My dreams were put on hold as an array of scheduling issues and a little thing called COVID plagued the travel industry. After months of planning, I was able to deliver the most exciting news to my grandmother in March: “GG! We’re going to Germany.”

The plan was simple. GG and I would fly to Frankfurt to experience one of Emerald Cruises’ Moselle river cruises. I was excited to cruise the Moselle, as it has been dubbed Europe’s most beautiful river by my father. Unfortunately, the trip wasn’t as easy to execute as I had initially thought…

Not minutes after I hung up the phone inviting GG to join me in Germany, she started packing her bags. My grandmother is a very prepared woman. Some joke that I was born with a clipboard in my hand. If that’s the case, then GG was born with a daily planner, calendar, checklists (yes, more than one), a rolodex, an Excel Spreadsheet, and a filing cabinet in hers Read the rest of this entry »

High on the Planet with Lindblad Expeditions

I had the good fortune of traveling to the Arctic Circle with Lindblad Expeditions in April aboard the operator’s newest ship, the National Geographic Resolution. The trip was entitled “Spring in Svalbard,” and it was mind-blowing on many levels. Sven Lindblad, founder and chairman of the company, was on board as a special guest.

The National Geographic Resolution is Lindblad’s 10th ship. Because the company had the opportunity to build it from scratch, the company could bring its decades of experience operating expedition cruises to the design. The process actually took place with Lindblad’s ninth ship, the National Geographic Endurance. The Resolution is its identical sister.

The Resolution was christened last October and sailed the Antarctic during the austral summer of ’20-21. At the end of the Antarctic season, it was moved to the Arctic. Read the rest of this entry »

A Monday Morning Memo to Me

I recently arrived at (and passed) another milestone in my life. To put it in a way I still have trouble comprehending, I have taken another full lap around the sun. I won’t go into specifics, but I will say I do remember when a five-dollar bill was enough to take a date to the movies and share a coke afterwards. I also remember when a gallon of gas cost around 31 cents.

Recently I find myself reflecting over my accumulated years like two clenched fists… where my entangled fingers represent both successes and failures intermingled and synced exactly like they are supposed to be. But that is not the point of today’s reminder.

I woke today like I usually do. But today was noticeably different. Like always, before swinging my legs off the bed searching for the floor, I ask myself how my back felt Read the rest of this entry »

Riviera Offers Savings For 2022 Itineraries

Riviera River Cruises is offering a $1,000 per person discount on the majority of its departures in Europe through October 2022.

“We launched our marketing in North America just five years ago and gained a lot of momentum with our travel advisor partners before COVID-19 arrived, with their clients returning from cruises very satisfied,” said Marilyn Conroy, RivieraRiver Cruises’ Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing North America. “Now that cruising has resumed and we look to build on that momentum, we’ve decided to offer a discount that’s more generous than any we’ve offered before – about 30 percent off, on average – so as many travelers as possible can try us this year. We firmly believe they’ll return again and again, and spread the word among family and friends Read the rest of this entry »

Floating on Air

Good things are often hiding in plain sight. Sometimes it only takes a slight shift in the way we are looking at things to see benefits that were previously invisible to us. And sometimes ideas that were previously left by the wayside are shown to be worthy of reconsideration in a new context.

Decades ago I read a book called Design for the Real World by an industrial designer named Victor Papanek, the dean of the California Institute of the Arts. Papanek saw through standard conventions and came up with radically new ways to do things. He was also one of the early advocates of what we now call sustainability. He was always looking for ways to do things that were less wasteful, less polluting, and more benign for people and the environment. One of the ideas that struck me in his book was the idea of reviving the use of airships for transportation.

Airships, blimps, dirigibles, and zeppelins are like giant balloons. A huge aluminum chamber is filled with a gas that is lighter than air, so it pulls the craft up into the sky with no propulsion required. It flies the way a carnival balloon flies Read the rest of this entry »

The St. Regis Amman brings the sophistication of the St. Regis brand to the capital city of Jordan through bespoke service, eloquent units, and established rituals designed with sensory details in mind. The 258 hotel rooms, suites, and residences offer comfortable accommodations with refined decor. All units come with the infamous St. Regis butler service.

One of the top-selling suites for leisure and business travelers is the Governors suite. It is sized at 1469 sq feet and offers two marble bathrooms, a living room, dining room (or converted meeting room – board room style) a fully equipped kitchen, contemporary fixtures, and high-end amenities. The unit sleeps 1 to 2 people and is the perfect base when visiting Amman. The hotel is located by the 5th circle, in the heart of the city.

For guests seeking Read the rest of this entry »

Does Loyalty Still Matter?

I love to visit early morning coffee shops when I am away from home. I listen to the locals meet and greet their friends during their daily ritual on their way to work.

It truly is better entertainment for me than today’s TV selections.

A recent visit was to The White Castle on Central Avenue in Clark, N.J. This could very well have been the birthplace of the famous New Jersey “Death Ball”—a greasy hamburger about the size of a quarter. (The coffee is a notch above okay.)

I was nestled in the corner hiding behind my open laptop when a policeman walked in and greeted the grill master. He then started chatting with another regular stool patron as they both propped themselves up against the counter.

I tuned in Read the rest of this entry »

Avalon Models Sustainable River Cruising

Avalon Waterways is dedicated to preserving the precious environments surrounding the world’s riverbanks with the Lighthouse Project, an initiative created to help travelers come together to reduce their footprint and give generously for the globe’s greater good.

With a mission of nurturing a culture of care and sustainability that extends to guests, the Lighthouse Project is focused on three, give-back categories:

Planet: Conserve and preserve each destination visited. To protect waterways and wildlife and shine a light on organizations that do the same. Read the rest of this entry »

The Pied Piper of Africa

It may seem strange to say I go to Africa to meet Americans, but it is one of the good things that happen when I attend Africa’s Travel Indaba, as I did in Durban, South Africa, May 3-5.

One of the many benefits of attending Indaba is being able to meet travel agents from the US who have been hosted by South African Tourism. Throughout the year, the tourism board works the trade show circuit in the US and singles out travel agents who are ripe for opening up business in Africa. Then, every year when Indaba rolls around in May, SAT brings a select few of them to South Africa. On one trip, SAT exposes them to the broad spectrum of the African travel industry at the one-stop trade show of Indaba, and then takes them around to give them a taste of South Africa.

I have met many American travel agents at Indaba, and it has given me a window into a blossoming market of African Americans traveling to Africa Read the rest of this entry »

Booking Australian Cruises for 2023

I recently needed to choose the best Australian cruises for next spring. Australia is opening now, but I will probably take the better part of the year before cruising gets back to normal. Also, there have been some things happening with cruise lines you have to watch out for—even if you’ve been booking Australian cruises for many years.

Itineraries

I was selecting cruises for two couples who were both well-traveled seniors. One couple had never cruised in Australia before, and the other had been on five or six Australian cruises in the past 20 years. Before the pandemic, both couples were booked on the Silversea Silver Muse on a cruise going from Bali to Sidney by way of Komodo Island—home of the endangered dragons whose bites are poisonous and can weigh 200 pounds. Read the rest of this entry »

A Message from the Kentucky Derby

It was 7 pm. As luck would have it, the race was just about to begin when I switched on my TV. I thought I’d missed it since I believed the race was at 5 pm.

There in front of me was a long cage filled with horses with numbers 1-21. I noticed stall #20 was empty and thought to myself that #21 was so far off the rail it was simply a futile attempt. At least the owner, trainer, and jockey could one day say that they were in The Kentucky Derby.

The horse was named Rich Strike and was listed at odds of 80-1. There was no way a horse in that position had a snowball’s chance in hell to win anything. Good luck, Rich Strike. Read the rest of this entry »

AmaWaterways extended its Portugal river cruise sailings through the Winter Holiday Season this week, for the first time, adding 14 new round-trip sailings in Portugal on the AmaDouro.

It’s a sign of how strong the interest in Europe river cruises is running this year, says chief marketing officer Janet Bava.

“We saw a huge influx in demand for Europe with the loosening of travel guidelines, and very quickly got a lot of demand for the western side of Europe. We were completely sold out for Portugal,” she told TRO at Seatrade Cruise Global last week. “But our travel partners were still calling us—so we said why not extend the season, especially since Portugal tends to have warmer weather, and go ahead and help travel advisors generate some extra commission for 2022.”

While Ama is the first river cruise line to extend Douro sailings through December Read the rest of this entry »

The start of my conversation with Doug Colon summed up the theme of the interview in its entirety. When asked about how things are going for him, he answered, “Trying to get this backyard done. My contractor didn’t show up, so I started on my own.” This being our first long-form conversation, I was going off what I’d researched online. He was there when break dancing took off in the early 70s, grooving with prolific DJs known for legendary innovation in hip hop—check. He’s currently the owner of Dancin Doug Travel—check. But now, right at the start, I knew that I was talking to a man who knew how to get up and get it done.

Mentioning the multiple positions Doug has held in different fields, “I kind of stumble and fall places. I’m a stumbler.” This was clearly evident in his path through life so far. Travel started as a break from his profession at the time, Special Agent in Charge Read the rest of this entry »

Riviera River Cruises is offering savings on two French itineraries in 2022. Choose between savings of US$1,000 per person or free economy airfare from most major U.S. gateways through the end of June.  If you’re interested in either of these deals, please complete the form below for more information. Read the rest of this entry »