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October 4 2013 | ISSUE NO 1,844 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

Cruising Research reveals cruising offers best value for family holidays

this week bulletin briefing 12 ANTOR highlights the role of roadshows in the modern day travel industry

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ABTA preview the latest ABTA news in the run-up to its annual convention

indian ocean operators unveil their latest savings & programme additions

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southern africa columnist John Guinn reminisces about a volunteering trip to Namibia


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This Week news 3

Cover Pictures: Main - Hurtigruten - Autumn Gold Inset - Heritage Le Telfair, Mauritius

new survey reveals rise in single female travellers

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at home with eileen

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agent bulletin

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agent review

find out if Eileen enjoyed her fam trip to Jordan GlobalVisas.com reveals the strangest reasons for visa applications find out what one agent thought of Brand USA’s megafam

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puzzle bulletin

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bulletin briefing

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ABTA preview

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personality bulletin

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indian ocean

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cruising

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gambia

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southern africa

win a £50 M&S voucher by playing Su Doku ANTOR highlights the role of roadshows in the modern day travel industry the latest ABTA news in the run-up to its annual convention which group agency sales manager likes to sleep on big decisions? operators unveil latest savings & programme additions new research reveals cruising is one of best value family holidays Olympic reports strong repeat business for destination columnist John Guinn reminisces about a volunteering trip to Namibia

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SEAL OF APPROVAL....The Nassau Paradise Island Promotions Board recently hosted its annual Tour Operator Grand FAM to reward booking achievers. Staying at the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas, the group took a behind the scenes look at Dolphin Cay – a marine habitat and animal rescue-rehabilitation facility. Pictured getting friendly with one of the sea lions are, from the left: Macey Webber, TUI; Jessica Read and Lucy Barton, Carrier; Melisa Oliver, Kenwood; Susan Brooks, ITC; Nicola Kirkup, Kuoni; Paul Chorley, British Airways Holidays; Joanna Anderson, Thomson Mega Store; Carla Wharton, Gold Medal; Lee Barker, Kersner International and Suzy Trott, AMG Ltd.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World sees rise in single female travellers THE NUMBER of females travelling alone is on the rise according to figures from Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), which has seen increasing trends in sole occupancy across its portfolio. Between 2011 and 2012, the company saw growth in single-occupancy travel across the board in terms of both revenue and number of room nights, with the number of sole occupancy room nights jumping from 4,115 to 5,841, and revenue from global solo bookings increasing by almost $400,000 year-on-year. In the company's core markets, the surge of female bookings is particularly notable, with a 53% increase in room nights booked by single occupancy females between 2011 and 2012 (from 973 room nights in 2011 to 1,489 room nights in 2012), compared to an increase of 38% in room nights by solo males across the same period. According to the company, properties in the UK and US are the most popular for solo travellers of both genders, with 1,222 room nights in the US and 844 room nights in the UK last year. Following this, Australia is a favourable destination for solo female travellers, who spent in excess of $50,000 on SLH accommodation in 2012, while Germany is the hot country among male independent travellers, spending more than $65,000 in the same year. According to the results of a survey on female travellers in the UK and US by CAP Strategic Research in 2011, women represent the most important and fastest growing segment of the travel market, in terms of both leisure and business travel. Not only did the survey find that 48% of travel website users are now women, but a significant 66%

New survey suggests WiFi wakeup call for hotels IPASS, A provider of mobile services for enterprises and telecom service providers, has published its Q3 Mobile Workforce Report which found that hotel WiFi was second only to having a comfortable bed. The report highlighted that WiFi has become a "must-have" for business travellers, trumping other standard amenities such as hotel restaurants, in-room mini-bars and gym facilities. However, according to results from the survey, some 82% of those questioned feel that free hotel WiFi services are limited, slow, and unreliable and 81% have had an unsatisfactory experience with hotel WiFi in the past year. Some 74% of those questioned stated that a bad WiFi experience in a hotel would prevent a return visit.

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of women said that travel companies would see an increase in business if they tried harder to serve women travellers. However, as part of SLH's focus on creating unique luxury experiences for their guests, SLH properties are recognising the potential of this growing global trend and are now actively catering for women travellers. Women-only floors, for example, have been introduced at Naumi Hotel in Singapore, Dukes London, and The Chesterfield Palm Beach, while The Capital Hotel has created a list of local restaurants and bars that are particularly recommended for solo female travellers, as well as also offering a female private guide to accompany women guests to shops and museums on their first trip to London.

Meanwhile, The Chester Grosvenor finds that the service offered by its female chauffeur is particularly appreciated by women staying alone as they feel more comfortable with a woman in the closed environment of a car. Packages tailored especially towards its female guests are also a particularly popular offering at SLH hotels, such as The Women’s Shopping Package at Das Tyrol, located on Vienna’s longest shopping street, and a Mediterranean culinary journey exclusively for women at La Maltese Estate in Santorini. Meanwhile, Grand Hotel Toplice holds a weekly ladies day at the Bled Golf Club, Slovenia’s oldest and largest course, while at Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica, solo female travellers are encouraged to embrace the local communities surrounding the property.

New packages & themed products in Superbreak's Xmas & New Year brochure SUPERBREAK HAS launched its 2013 Christmas and New Year brochure featuring festive breaks for agents to promote in the months running up to Christmas. The brochure offers a selection of new hotel packages and new themed products such as The Gathering in Dublin featuring Madness and a special New Year party in Hull on P&O’s Pride of Hull for those looking for something a little different. The brochure covers 272 Christmas breaks and 223 New Year breaks, totalling 495 – 40 more than last year, alongside other festive treats

such as a night out at the panto, themed short breaks and Christmas Markets both in the UK and Europe. As examples, new hotel packages include Christmas in Edinburgh, where a threenight stay at the four-star Crown Plaza Edinburgh the Roxburghe Hotel costs from £385 per person including pantomime tickets. The price is based on a December 24 arrival and includes carol singing, a three-course dinner and post-Midnight Mass hot chocolate and mince pies on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, guests receive a Buck’s Fizz breakfast, traditional

Christmas lunch with a visit from Santa plus a buffet dinner evening. Other treats include Boxing Day tickets to see the Peter Pan Pantomime. The New Year's Eve P&O party leads in at £75 and offers live music on the Pride of Hull. While the ship is docked in Hull, the party will see 2014 in with special entertainment throughout the evening including a live band and comedy act. A special New Year’s Eve meal is also available for an extra £25 per person, and the package also includes an en-suite cabin with breakfast and parking.

For more information or to book call 0871-221 4444 or visit www.superbreak.com/agents

Transun launches Arctic whale-watching package from £1,099 for three nights

CENTARA RAS Fushi Resort & Spa Maldives offers wedding blessings and renewal of vows blessings on the beach. As an example, an Umuru Dhvahuge wedding blessing ceremony costs US$2,050 inclusive of tax and service charge until October 31, 2014 and includes a briefing with a personal wedding coordinator, a tropical beachside setup, a traditional Bodu Beru drums performance, a ceremony to plant a palm tree, a bridal bouquet, Champagne toast, cake, photographer, candlelit dinner, sunset cruise on a traditional dhoni with wine, a Champagne breakfast served in the villa and a massage for two. For details see www.centarahotelsresorts.com

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TRANSUN HAS launched a new Arctic whale-watching package, which gives agents the opportunity to sell a rare wildlife travel experience. The package includes a trip to see large pods of humpback and killer whales in Tromso, Norway in November and December, where they gather to feast on shoals of migrating herring in the Arctic fjords. It also includes a Northern Lights snowmobile safari and a husky sledding experience. The three-night trip costs from £1,099 per person based on two sharing. An option for a four-night version of the holiday is also available. Specially chartered flights depart from six regional airports including Gatwick from November 19 until January 2014. The price includes flights and relevant taxes; transfers; two nights’ half-board accommodation in Tromso; one night’s full-board accommodation in Karesuando, Sweden; a three-hour whale-watching boat trip; a two-hour Northern Lights snowmobile safari; and a husky ride experience. For further information or to book call 01865-265200 or visit www.transun.co.uk/agents

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newsbulletin Cox & Kings' 2014 Africa brochure introduces Ghana & Republic of Congo I READ with interest Eileen’s column (At Home With Eileen) in the issue dated September 16 and the problems she experienced finding a hotel suitable for a family with a severely disabled son. Finding hotels with accessible rooms has long been a challenge facing the travel industry, which is why I decided to launch Enable Holidays back in 2004. My main aim then, as it is now, was to provide Enable Holidays’ customers with reliable and accurate information, which is why I introduced a 150-point auditing process. Of the successes we’ve enjoyed over the past nine years perhaps my proudest achievement is becoming the first UK tour operator to be accredited for auditing the accessibility and grading the suitability of overseas holiday accommodation for people with mobility impairments. Our unique personal auditing process not only includes access and wheelchair manoeuvrability in and around the hotel, but also covers everything from door widths, bed heights and ramp gradients to detail about floor surfaces, the number of steps and the availability of special equipment. To make it easier for holidaymakers to identify the most suitable holidays for their specific requirements, each property is graded by a fully qualified Enable auditor according to its accessibility –E1 (reasonably good level access), E2 (good access and manoeuvrability)) or E3 (very accessible with adapted bathrooms). But sourcing and checking the accessibility of hotel accommodation overseas is only half the story. The Enable service also covers contacting airports and airlines to arrange any assistance that may be required, organising adapted transfers and providing a tailor-made holiday service to meet precise requirements. We are currently expanding our programme for 2014, with Madeira, Poland, France, Italy and India being just some of the new destinations. The accessible travel business is certainly much more sophisticated than when we first entered the market, but we’d like to think we’ve played a major role in its revolution and can now look forward to an even brighter future.

COX & Kings has launched its new Africa brochure for 2014, featuring new escorted tours to West Africa, Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, plus new suggestions for tailor-made itineraries throughout Africa. The company reports that passenger numbers to Africa have continued to increase, with a 20% growth this year compared to 2012 and an 50% increase in tailor-made bookings over the same period. In response to demand, the operator has introduced new tours to Ghana, Gambia and Republic of Congo. As examples, an 11-day Colours of Ghana escorted tour costs from £2,745 per person and includes meeting local farmers, artisans and chiefs. Each group departure coincides with the Akwisadae festival and there is an optional extension to Togo and Benin. A new 11-day Rivers of West Africa cruise gives guests the chance to explore the lesser-known fishing villages, national parks, craft markets and historic river towns of Gambia. Prices lead in at £2,595 per person and there is an optional extension to a beach resort hotel in Senegal after the cruise. The operator is also promoting a 12-day Congo: Rainforest Safari from £6,895 which stays in the exclusive Wilderness Collection camps in the rarely visited Odzala-Kokoua National Park. The highlight of the trip is a visit to the national park for the opportunity to track western lowland gorilla in the Ndzedhi Forest. For more information see www.coxandkings.co.uk/africa or call 020-7873 5000.

Birthplace of Myths & Legends H O L I D AY S The home of Mediterranean holidays

Lynne Kirby, managing director, Enable Holidays

Crusader marks 40th anniversary CRUSADER HOLIDAYS has introduced 40 new tours/itineraries to celebrate its 40th birthday next year. Prices in the new brochure lead in at £149 per person for a Cotswolds & Georgian Bath Weekend. Among the new tours include a 12-day trip to Croatia, Opatija & The Crystal Caves from £989 per person for a twin room on half-board and a three-day Call the Midwife & Kent & East Sussex Railway Weekend Break, which costs from £189. The company offers free departures from more than 120 joining points. For details see www.crusader-holidays.co.uk or call 01255-425453.

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Greece byDesign

ABTA No.V5573

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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter...

Newsbites ●

@WendyWuToursUK Our fantastic agents having a great time in Exeter...pic.twitter.com/ NDOyfvpj9Z @Black_Tomato Cute fact of the day: Tokyo Zoo shuts for two months every year to give the animals a break from the gawking people @ukcruising Royal Caribbean International Begins Construction On Third Oasis-Class Ship http://bit.ly/16FpP9p

@ABTAtravel We're already half full for our popular Complaints Handling Workshop on 13 November - don't miss out. http://abta.com/eventsand-training/event/ complaints-handlingworkshop6 … @STATravel_UK 7 amazing volunteering projects abroad that cost less than £500: http://sta.travel/1h7GWpe

Follow us on Twitter! http://twitter.com/ TravelBulletin

THE GERMAN Tourist Office has launched its major tourism campaigns for 2014, which included a ‘Royal Heritage Route’ campaign and microsite (www.germany.travel/royalheritage), exclusive to the UK and Ireland. German Travel Centre is one of only four UK tour operators featured and will be selling flights to Hannover from Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham to link up with locally organised group tours to explore these heritage routes that encompasses the ‘Sieben Schlösser’ – the seven palaces that lie in the Leine and Weser Mountain area of northern Germany. For details see www.germantravelcentre.co.uk TRAVELPORT HAS announced the multiyear renewal of its content agreement with Jet Airways. The renewal allows continued access to the airline's most up-to-date route information and published fares for Travelport-connected travel agents globally. The company has also announced the implementation of Travelport Rapid Reprice with Greek

Luxury hotel in Marmaris offers real taste of the good life A LUXURY hotel on the coast near Marmaris re-opened earlier this year after a major upgrade which saw the addition of new restaurants and an extended spa to serve guests at its 200 rooms and suites. The D-Hotel Maris, one of only four Leading Hotels of the World members in Turkey, also has a Presidential Suite and a villa with private pool, while most of its deluxe rooms feature a bathtub on the balcony. In all, there are five on-site restaurants, three of which are beachside, and six bars, plus an Executive Club lounge. The hotel also offers a 100ft super yacht for private charter, and transfers by luxury seaplane, private helicopter or chauffeur. The hotel is 130km from Dalaman International airport and 155km from Bodrum International. As an example of prices, Classic Collection Holidays is offering seven nights with breakfast for £1,140 per person based on two sharing, including flights from Gatwick to Dalaman and private transfer. Details on 0800-008 7288 or at www.classic-collection.co.uk

New device offers more power for travellers ONE OF the biggest problems for today's travellers is keeping their smartphones and tablets powered up. Cumbersome plugs, cables and chargers are essential kit to pack in the suitcase. And now when most of us have several devices, the decision has to made as to which gets charged first. The new Innergie PocketCell (TM) Duo helps to overcome this and most of the other problems. The recharge unit consists of a sleek compact power cell with two output ports capable of serving two devices at once and an ingenious multi-plug cable,

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carrier, Olympic Air. Agents booking with the airline can now recalculate a fare in seconds as Rapid Reprice yields the correct rules, taxes, additional collections, refunds or change fees, reducing the average transaction time to less than one minute. For details see www.travelport.com ADDING TO its existing clubs in Crete, Sicily, the Algarve, Cyprus, Val d’Isère and Courchevel 1650, Scott Dunn will open a new ‘Intrepid Explorers Club’ at Soneva Kiri in Thailand this month, its first Explorers Club outside Europe. For details see www.scottdunn.com AGENTS CAN now earn commission from booking new ‘Diamond Tour’ and ‘Bajan Gems Tour’ packages on Barbados, which have been designed to visit pop star Rihanna’s childhood haunts and offer visitors an insight into the star’s early life on the island. A Diamond Tour takes approximately four hours and costs from £30 per person while The Bajan Gems Tour costs from £32 per person. Tours can be booked at www.wiit.net. For details see www.visitbarbados.org

October 4 2013

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that can be adapted to a C ASE number of different models. The PocketCell (TM) Duo proved its worth recently when it accompanied Travel Bulletin along the Silk Road in Uzbekistan. It showed that it could recharge both the iPhone and the iPad twice before needing to be charged itself. The Innergie PocketCell (TM) Duo was recently launched in the UK at a price of £99. Although not the cheapest charger, it certainly proved its worth in the deserts of Central Asia.

TRAVEL ACCESSORIES YOU WON'T WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND...

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newsbulletin

e m o h At en...

e l i E with

ileen orker E w e m o as h th? What h p to this mon u n e be

’VE JUST returned from an excellent familiarisation trip to Jordan, organised by the Jordan Tourism Board. When I first mentioned where I was going, most people responded the same way: “Isn’t Jordan near Syria? Is it safe?” It was not altogether surprising that people raised concerns as Jordan actually borders Syria and Amman is only about 100-miles from Damascus. However, once there, it may as well have been a million miles away as we felt totally safe throughout our trip. Jordan is the most stable country in the region and the people there are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met. Also, unlike some other Arabic countries, you can walk around without being hassled. Petra is the main draw for visitors to Jordan and is undoubtedly the highlight of any trip. However, there are so many other wonderful sights to see; our group was divided into two, with half of us, including myself, concentrating on historical and cultural sights and the other half concentrating on adventure activities such as hiking and canyoning. Jordan is only a five-hour flight from London which is a real bonus and a great selling point. The city of Amman is a blend of old and new and there are many interesting places to visit from here including the ancient Roman city of Jerash which is without doubt a ‘must-see’ on any itinerary to Jordan. After spending a couple of nights in Amman, we headed south to the Dead Sea along the Kings Highway, stopping at Madaba and Mount Nebo en route. The next day we made our way to Petra, then finally to the Red Sea resort of Aqaba. The hotels we stayed at were different in character and all provided excellent facilities and service. The quality and choice of food was very good but alcoholic drinks were extremely expensive. We enjoyed so many wonderful experiences during our week in Jordan including a ‘hands-on’ Arabic cookery class, jeep and camel riding in Wadi Rum and floating in the Dead Sea. Jordan really has something to appeal to everyone and my lasting impression is of a safe, fascinating, culturally rich country and the genuine warmth and friendliness of its people.

Blaggers & Bloggers Who's doing what on social networking sites ●

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by EILEEN SAUNDERS of Travel Counsellors To respond to any of Eileen’s comments email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk

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THE LONDON-BASED Turkish Culture & Tourism Office (TCTO) has announced new social media addresses to accompany a new social media campaign. The first campaign includes the chance to win dinner for two in London by following @GoToTurkeyUK on Twitter. In October and November the TCTO is offering the chance to win a trip to Istanbul, as well as highlighting events and activities in the city in the lead up to the festive season and beyond. For more details see www.facebook.com/gototurkeyuk, www.youtube.com/gototurkeyuk and www.gototurkey.co.uk

Go

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Win an iPad 4, courtesy of the island of St Helena, in our new competition. All you have to do is answer 3 questions. Go to www.travelbulletin.co.uk/competitions

Need to step up your travel training? Hit the Travel Gym. We’re adding new training courses every week, so bookmark www.travelbulletin.co.uk/training/travel-gym and become a regular.

Catch up on some of the latest Travel Bulletin events by visiting our Youtube channel. Go to: www.youtube.com/travelbulletin

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agentbulletin Booking incentives ●

TO CELEBRATE the launch of their new global partnership, Rocky Mountaineer and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) have launched a new booking incentive which allows agents to earn £30 for every 2014 Rocky Mountaineer/Norwegian Cruise Line combination when a booking is made directly with NCL. The incentive runs until October 31. For details see www.rockymountaineer.com

AS PART of its month-long ‘Memorable Maldives’ campaign, Travel 2 is giving agents the chance to win a luxury six-night holiday for two to the Maldives. The operator has teamed up with Emirates and a selection of luxury hotels on the islands to give agents the chance to win a stay in the Dusit Thani Hotel along with flights and transfers. To be entered into the prize draw agents need to make a new Simply Luxury booking by November 16 with the operator that includes accommodation at one of the featured hotels: Anantara Kihavah, Constance Moofushi, Cocoa Island, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Jumeirah Vitavelli or Dusit Thani Maldives, along with Emirates flights for travel at any time. For details see www.travel2.com

iPAD to go…Specialist Holidays Group’s James Golding (right) awards The Global Travel Group member Sherie Stembridge from Travel Designers with a new iPad Mini for being the top selling agent in a Global exclusive incentive competition. Pictured with Sherie and James is Nick Harding-McKay, owner of Travel Designers.

AGENTOFFERS NO TRAIN NO GAIN

Train to gain with Travel Bulletin's new Travel Gym TRAVEL BULLETIN is proud to announce the launch of its new online travel training portal, Travel Gym. Designed specifically for travel agents, the new learning portal means that agents can check-in for a spot of online training, flex their travel muscles and stay ahead of the pack. New courses will be launched over the coming weeks and there's some great rewards to keep you motivated as you train. For more information and to give your brain cells a workout visit www.travelbulletin.co.uk/travelgym

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ALL UK agents can experience Aruba first-hand through the island’s latest TRAM (Travel Agent Months) programme, available until December 15. Operated by the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA), the scheme offers agents accommodation in an assortment of hotels, costing US$260 for four nights or US$390 for six nights. Agents applying for the scheme through ATA’s UK office need to quote their IATA or ABTA number. Meanwhile, new accommodation-only company, The Caribbean Hotel Company, has added five Aruba hotels to its range and is now selling the destination through the trade.

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newsbulletin GNTO unveils new website campaigns

agentreview Kevin Russell from TUI UK & Ireland Specialist Holidays Division went on Brand USA's 2013 Inaugural Megafam for a week. Here's what he thought of the experience...

Accommodation highlight ........................9/10 The state of Washington & Oregon area offers a variety of accommodation and the hospitality at these properties is what impressed me the most. Although we had limited time at each property, from what I did experience I would rate as five-star.

Highlight of the trip................................10/10 For my particular trip I was able to experience areas of America that had fewer visitors than other destinations. Having the guides who live in the state provide knowledge and examples of their own experience was a bonus, and everyone who was involved (from the local tourism boards, suppliers and guides) made this trip even more special.

Service ..................................................10/10 Every day we got to experience a wide range of cuisine - from the award-winning fish in Oregon to the local selection of meats in Washington. And at each eatery we were treated to impeccable service, not only from the owners of the establishment, but the chefs and waiting staff. Being on a fam trip you expect this at all time, however, during all the free time we had, we received exactly the same treatment - and this is certainly something which left a lasting impression.

Good to know ..................................................

THE GERMAN National Tourist Office (GNTO) has launched two new websites – ‘Discover Germany Barrier Free’ and ‘Royal Heritage Route’. The aim of the new accessible tourism website is to provide travel advice, information and inspiration for people of all ages who may have limited mobility, sight or hearing impairments or who are seeking specialist travel assistance. It will also provide links to holiday providers with expertise and experience in accessible tourism. Klaus Lohmann, director of the GNTO UK and Ireland, said: “Barrier Free travel has always been included on our main website but this new exclusive site for the UK and Ireland will be a permanent addition to that and we will be continually striving to offer the highest standards of service, from one source, when it comes to planning a ‘Barrier Free’ trip to Germany.” The new ‘British Royal Heritage Route’ website marks the 300th anniversary of Hanoverian accession to the thrones of the UK and Ireland. The new holiday route and travel website (www.germany.travel/royalheritage) enables visitors and enthusiasts of all things Royal to trace the footsteps of British monarchs in Germany, a heritage dating from the first Georgians in 1714 to the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. Initially the route will focus on Lower Saxony and Hanover, eventually expanding more widely throughout other German states, from the beginning of the Georgian era through to Victoria and Albert, as part of an ongoing and developing campaign. Major tour operators are offering special ‘Royal Tours’ of German cities including Hanover, Brunswick, Celle and Hamelin, along with the UNESCO designated town of Goslar and the island of Norderney. For more information see www.germany.travel

The Pacific Playground trip was more about diversity and it really opened my eyes to what was available - I was so privileged that I went to Oregon and Washington and I would always recommend anyone to push the US.

Overall scoring: ..............................................

10/ 10

Kevin receives a £10 Love2Shop voucher for his review. If you'd like to take part and receive a free Love2Shop voucher please email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk or call 020-7834 6661 with your name and contact details.

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ARUNDEL CASTLE in West Sussex recently held a 'Pirates & Smugglers' event (pictured) where demonstrations on weapons, combat, costume, crafts and activities from the 18th century were held. The next event at the castle will be 'Normans and Crusaders in the Keep' on October 30 and 31, with tickets starting from £8. Reduced ticket prices are available for group bookings alongside free admission for group organisers, tour guides, teachers and supervisors. Coach drivers bringing groups to the castle are also given free coach parking, free admission, and a restaurant voucher. Arundel Castle is keen to work with the travel trade, to discuss commission and special rates please call the information & bookings Administrator on 01903-882173, extension 230. For further information visit www.arundelcastle.org

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puzzlebulletin Travagrams

Su Doku Win a £50 M&S voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle

Can you solve the following anagrams to decipher the destination & tour operator?

Number: 130

Atlas Okay Inn

A➠

B➠

The first name of this operator is similar to a region surrounded by the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

C➠

Greenb

D➠ Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of the 3 x 3 squares contains the digits 1-9. Once you have completed the puzzle, simply identify the numbers that relate to the letters, A, B, C and D then e-mail the solution, with your name, company name, and full postal address plus phone and ABTA number if applicable to:

A Norwegian city that, despite its name, is not famous for its burgers

Where Am I?

competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, October 10th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 20th September is Vaughan Kirby, Radnor Travel Service Ltd. in Llandrindod Wells. September 20 Solution: A=7 B=1 C=8 D=3

Crossword

Pattern found in Scotland?

Fill in the crossword to reveal the mystery location highlighted by the green squares.

Number: 130

Across 1. Major European airline (9) 6. Zakynthos is one of the islands in this group (6) 7. Charter flight-only operator, part of Monarch (4) 9. Mr Robinson, illustrator of convoluted contraptions (5) 10. Sea off the coast of Queensland (5) 12. One of the Florida Keys (5) 13. Puccini opera, set in Rome (5) 15. Sign of the zodiac found on a beach (4) 17. First name of former Girls Aloud mum-to-be (6) 18. National park in Wales (9)

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Down 1. The movie, Sunshine on ___, features the music of The Proclaimers (5) 2. Carrier with a Helsinki hub (7) 3. Major UK airport (8) 4. IATA code for Seattle - Tacoma international (3) 5. Capital of South Korea (5) 8. Country setting for 1 Down (8) 11. Nationality of Strictly dancer, Artem Chigvintsev (7) 12. Castries is the capital of St ___ (5) 14. Huge entertainment / sports venue found in major cities (5) 16. First name of English Olympic sailor who helped the USA to victory in the America's Cup (3)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 30 October 4 2013

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Industry Insight by... ANTOR's chair, Tracey Poggio, looks at the role of roadshows in the modern day travel industry...

EMBERS OF ANTOR observe best business practice and maintain and enhance the reputation of ANTOR, and in doing so they follow a code of conduct in which they agree to â&#x20AC;&#x153;Provide a form of training programme or a training facility for the travel trade and specify this on the ANTOR website pageâ&#x20AC;?. Currently, half of our members offer an online training programme - 77% through Travel Uni and 23% through OTTC. These can be accessed either directly or through the ANTOR website. The remainder either offer their own bespoke training programme or prefer to train in-house or through fam trips and roadshows. We are currently polling our members to see what percentage still organise their own roadshows as opposed to joining third party road shows such as PATA or Unite, and results to date show that most members organise their own roadshow of one kind or another, while 83% attend third party roadshows and 92% would like to join forces for an "ANTOR Meets the Travel Trade Event" or series of events. The results also found that members would prefer it to take place in June rather than March, however, we would also like to hear back from the travel trade as to what their preferences are and the best timings for them. Often tourist boards are asked by their head offices to organise roadshows around events such as WTM or ITB when the private sector partners are over and are keen to maximise their travel costs. This is not necessarily the right time for the travel trade and it also means that a large number of tourist boards are competing to invite the same or similar people. April and September seem to be the busiest periods for roadshows and workshops not just organised by tourist boards but also private sector companies such as hotel groups or the travel trade media. The organisation of an event in an interesting venue with entertainment, good food and drinks can be very costly and time consuming. And when there is a noshow factor of 20-30% it is not surprising that tourist boards are re-evaluating this method of training the industry on their ever evolving products and decreasing budgets.

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"April and September seem to be the busiest periods for roadshows and workshops not just organised by tourist boards but also private sector companies such as hotel groups or the travel trade media" Rather than personal contact are travel agents either showing preference for, or only have the time for online training? As some travel companies have to impose restrictions on their staff as to which events they can attend, maybe due to the larger number available and their relevance to their staff, this is difficult to measure. The MICE market has started online or virtual fam trips, while there has also been a few luxury webinars popping up in the leisure industry. ANTOR members consider roadshows to be the second best means of training after fam trips as the most effective training tool. We would love to hear from travel agents themselves about their thoughts on this - please visit www.facebook.com/ANTORMembership

Pictured at the recent ANTOR Meets the Media event are, from the left: Lucy Daltroff, freelancer; Liz Fay and Jean Marc Flambert, St Lucia Tourist Board; and freelancer Linda Jackson.

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abtapreview With just over two weeks to go before the ABTA Conference takes place in Dubrovnik, here’s a round up of what’s in store for delegates in terms of the city and the host convention centre. A city for conventions... DUBROVNIK IS Croatia’s main convention centre with the first International conference held in the city in 1887. The Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel (pictured) will host the ABTA convention this year and opened as a four-star hotel in 2009. Its Elafiti conference hall is the largest in Croatia with a capacity of up to 1,299 people. There are 401 rooms with sea or park views, with or without balcony. Free WiFi is available along with a public bus service to the Old Town, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sports cardio fitness, sauna, spa and terraces with Adriatic backdrop suitable for banquets and receptions. The Lacroma restaurant offers Croatian and international cuisine, while the Langusto restaurant offers fine dining - lobster, crayfish and seafood specialities. The Nocturno wine & cocktail bar has a selection of more than 100 wines and cocktails.

Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel

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Dubrovnik: the lowdown… DUBROVNIK CONTINUES to be a popular destination for UK visitors with 77,040 arrivals until August 31 this year a 17% increase compared to the same period in 2012. The city has 1,000 years of history and has been protected by UNESCO World Heritage status since 1979. Located in the south of the eastern Adriatic coast, it is surrounded by 1,940m of medieval rampart, the city’s flagship attraction. The old walled part of the city is home to 1,500 habitants, while 42,461 people live in the administrative, cultural and economical centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. The city’s climate is mostly warm and dry with an annual average temperature of 18°C. Although it joined the EU this July, Croatia will keep the Croatian Kuna for at least two years (9HRK/£1) Dubrovnik airport is located 22km from the city and served by several international airlines. The UK is connected directly to the city with flights from London, Manchester and regional airports, with a flight time of two hours. BA offers year-round flights, while summer flights are available with easyJet, Monarch and Norwegian. Gatwick flights with BA cost from £98. See www.britishairways.com Accommodation options include some 27,840 beds. There are 46 hotels made up of 13 five-star, nine four-star, 22 three-star and two two-star. The Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel will host the convention and accommodate delegates as well as the nearby Hotel Dubrovnik Palace. Top Dubrovnik attractions: ● City Walls – walk the city walls (90HRK/£10) stretching more than 1,940m for spectacular views over the Old Town, the island of Lokrum and the Adriatic Sea. ● The Old Town – enter via the Pile gate to wander the main street, Placa-Stradun, which offers craft shops and local specialities, along with the Maritime Museum, Franciscan Monastery Museum, the Bell Tower and Orlando’s Column. ● Cable Car – take a ride up to Mount Srd (94HRK return, 50HRK one-way then walk down) for panoramic views of the Old Town, coastal sights and the Elafiti Islands. ● Island of Lokrum – take a 30-minute ferry ride (60HRK/£6.50 return) from Dubrovnik Old Port. Walk round the island and take a swim in the lake.

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personalitybulletin

Simon McIntyre The group agency sales manager for Hotelplan – Inghams, Ski Total and Esprit, likes to sleep on big decisions and dislikes operators who don't support agents...

Who is your ideal travelling companion? My wife and daughter. I met my wife working overseas and we share a love for food and travelling.

”I can eat rice with chop sticks – I had to learn this after skiing in Japan many years ago”

What's your earliest childhood memory? Being packed in the back of the car when driving to the South of France. The whole family used to go, including grandparents, this meant that I had to be put in the car boot then the luggage packed around me! Where was your last work-related trip? Slovenia – easily one of the best destinations I have been to for a while, stunning landscapes, great value and friendly people. What three words would your friends use to describe you? Passionate, level-headed & driven. What have your travels taught you? There are always two sides to every story. What is the best advice you recall? Sleep on big decisions. If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? Snow. Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? I’ve been lucky enough to have worked and continue to work with some amazing people, both staff and managers, and I take something from everyone I work with and this continues to influence and inspire me. What's your favourite city and why? Munich – it offers a perfect mix of culture and exciting activities. The food and wine are also fabulous.

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Career path ● ●

● ● ●

Nine seasons overseas as a rep/head rep for My Travel Sales Manager – Specialist Ski Travel Agency Skitracer.com (Part of Skiworld) Sales Team Manager – Inghams Travel (Part of the Hotelplan UK group) Reservations Manager – Inghams (Part of the Hotelplan UK group) Group Agency Sales Manager – Hotelplan UK (Inghams, Esprit, Ski Total)

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing? I’d be a ski instructor or a climbing instructor. What is your motto in life? The harder you try the luckier you become. What is your favourite mode of travel? As a child I was subjected to long car journeys across Europe so I now prefer to fly. If you had a super power what would it be and why? I would be able to remove chewing gum from items of clothing.

What was your nickname at school and why? Nothing special - Mac, my second name is McIntyre, pronounced ‘Mac-In-tyre’. What item do you always take with you when travelling? A good book. How do you deal with stress? Cooking. What song would you have played at your funeral? Ceremony – New Order. Is there anything that you dislike about the travel industry? Tour operators who don’t support agents. What special skill do you have? I can eat rice with chop sticks – I had to learn this after skiing in Japan many years ago. How do you cope with the advances in technology? Embrace it, you have to move with advances in technology. It’s also important to make sure you have people around you that understand advances and evolution. What’s your favourite movie of all time? Platoon. If your life was turned into a movie, which actor would play you? Tom Hanks. What do you love about your job? Getting out and meeting our agent partners, whether it’s a small agent in the south or a call centre in the north. I really enjoy meeting the people who support us and love to sell the Inghams, Ski Total and Esprit products because they believe we are the best ski tour operator.

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indianocean

ATMOSPHERE KANIFUSHI Maldives is the latest resort on Kanifushi Island, located in the remote Lhaviyani Atoll. Officially opening its doors to visitors on November 15, (with a soft opening from October 15), the five-star resort offers 2km of white sandy beaches, an expansive turquoise lagoon, lush green vegetation and a natural coral reef. The property offers 150 ‘Sunset View’ detached villas offering direct access to the coastline. Onsite facilities include a spa, dive centre and a range of dining options including a premium all-inclusive plan, ‘Platinum Plus’. For details see www.atmosphere-kanifushi.com

Sri Lanka tour debut from Great Rail Journeys GREAT RAIL Journeys is promoting its new Sri Lanka,Temple and Tea’s tour for 2013 and 2014. The 14-day tour leads in at £2,198 per person and includes scheduled flights from London to Colombo, including taxes and charges; 12 nights' breakfast accommodation; 11 dinners; a sightseeing tour of Colombo including a visit to the Colombo Museum; a guided tour of Kandy; an excursion to the

Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela; a visit to Dambulla Cave Temple and the Lion's Rock Fortress; a trip to Nanu Oya tea plantation; morning and afternoon game drives in Yala National Park; a city tour of Galle, all transfers and the services of a tour manager throughout. The operator's national sales manager Tony Byrne said: "I think the fact that we offer a completely different type of holiday in

the Indian Ocean will stick with the agents. As we expand our worldwide offering and having had such success with our Indian rail programme, Sri Lanka, we are sure, will be a big success as we go forward. With the exotic mix of city, mountains, beach and dramatic scenery agents will find our itineraries perhaps slightly unusual, but have an appeal to the more discerning, adventurous traveller.”

Four Seasons Mauritius marks birthday celebrations TO CELEBRATE its fifth anniversary, Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita has teamed up with the island’s agricultural rum producer, Rhumerie de Chamarel, which also celebrates five years in 2013, for a week of exclusive events from November 9-16. The anniversary week will be hosted at the resort and will offer a line-up of events including a golf tournament, complimentary rum tastings and a gala dinner. For more information email concierge.mas@fourseasons .com

'Sensational' sales for Enchanting Holidays ENCHANTING HOLIDAYS, which has recently launched its 2014 dedicated Enchanting Mauritius brochure, reports that sales to Mauritius this year have been 'sensational'. The operator's head of product, contracting & marketing, Shafique Cockar, said: “I am delighted that our Mauritius sales are so far 45% up on 2012. I think one of the reasons why Mauritius is doing so well is because of the recent influx of new upmarket properties. This means that the product is comprehensive and the stiff competition means that great offers are to be readily found. “The hotels are all fighting for business and are regularly coming up with fantastic deals.” The company's 2014 brochure features its largest selection of hotels to Mauritius with a choice of 51 hotels that range from exclusive resorts to popular five-star luxury and first class hotels.

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Cockar said: “We encourage agents to talk to us and use our expertise on Mauritius as our sales staff have first-hand knowledge of the hotels. We are dedicated to working with our trade partners and provide travel agents with a high basic commission of 13% with opportunities to earn even higher levels. “Our programme to Mauritius is essentially a luxury product with an average booking value of around £5,000 per couple. Therefore, with our base rate being 13%, agents can earn some extremely rewarding commission levels. “In 2014 we shall again be hosting some luxury fam trips to Mauritius. Agents should watch out for these and also for our regular and special agency staff booking incentives.”

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Value Redefined ...

The Firs t Premium All-Inclusive Resor t in Maldivesâ&#x20AC;Ś

Lily B each Resor t & S pa a t Hu vahendhoo Sou th Ar i Atoll, The Maldives Tel: +960 668 0 0 13 | Fax: +960 668 06 46 | sales@lily beachmaldives.com | w w w.lily beachmaldives.com


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indianocean Anahita waives green fees for golfers ANAHITA THE Resort in Mauritius is offering free golf to guests, offering a saving of up to £175 per person per day. Two golf courses are available; the 18-hole Ernie Els Championship Golf Course on site and the 18-hole Ils aux Cerfs Golf Course, which is set within its own private island. For guests looking for some guidance during their stay, the Golf Academy, run by Four Seasons, covers all aspects of the game, including the full-swing, the short game, course management, practice techniques, mental training, golf-fitness and properly fitted equipment. Elegant Golf Resorts offers a number of packages, with prices leading in at £1,799 per person for seven nights, including the use of a buggy and boat shuttle to Ile aux Cerfs, Economy flights from Heathrow with Air Mauritius, private transfers, halfboard accommodation and free daily golf. For details see www.elegantgolfresorts. com

THE NEWLY opened Centara Passikudah Resort & Spa Sri Lanka has launched a new package that, along with half-board accommodation with breakfast and lunch or dinner, includes flights from Colombo’s Rathmalana Airport to Trincomalee or Batticaloa airports, and roundtrip airport transfers between the resort and the domestic airport. The Meet Sri Lanka package is valid until October 31 and also includes 20% discounts on other dining options in the restaurants, and on selected spa treatments. The minimum requirement is for a two-night stay, with three, four and seven nights also available under the package. Prices for a superior room start from approximately £235 per person for two nights, including tax and service charges, while an upgrade to a deluxe ocean facing room (pictured) is available for an additional £5 per night. For details see www.centarahotelsresorts.com/Meet-Sri-Lanka

Insight offers six-day Classical Sri Lanka option from £975 INSIGHT VACATIONS is promoting a six-day Classical Sri Lanka tour which leads in at £975 per person. Ideal for clients looking to extend their trip to India and experience another colourful country, the itinerary begins in Colombo for a stay at the five-star Galadari Hotel. Day two then offers a sightseeing tour of the capital, followed by a visit to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage to view baby elephants feeding and bathing in the river. Travelling

north to Dambulla, guests will visit the famous Dambulla Rock Cave Temples, before checking in to Green Paradise Agro Hotel for two nights, a new eco hotel in the heart of a lush forest in Dambulla. On day three, guests will visit Sigiriya Fort, the ‘fortress in the sky’, see the Lion Gate and the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ frescoes, before taking a stroll around Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. Other highlights include a

visit to the fragrant gardens of Matale’s Spice Gardens, watching a Kandyan dance show, a city tour of Kandy and a visit to the Peradeniya Botanical Garden. The price includes flights to Colombo from Deli, Jaipur or Udaipur, all transfers, five night’s breakfast accommodation with a further four meals, sightseeing and the services of a local guide. For more information visit www.insightvacations.com

Maldives & Sri Lanka savings of up to £240 per couple from Travel 2 TRAVEL 2 is promoting a range of savings to destinations including the Maldives and Sri Lanka. As examples, a seven-night all-inclusive stay in an ocean front beach villa at the four-star Centara Ras Fushi in the Maldives leads in at £1,899 per person for travel between May 1 and June 30, 2014. It includes flights from London and speedboat transfers and offers a saving of up to £240 per couple when booked by November 30. Alternatively, the same holiday in a deluxe water villa leads in at £1,999 and includes a free upgrade from an ocean front beach villa to a deluxe water villa. Meanwhile, a seven-day ‘Discover Sri Lanka Tour’ costs from £1,389 including flights and seven nights’ breakfast accommodation in a superior room at Cinnamon Bey Beruwula. The offer includes one free night and an early bird discount of £120 per couple, and is available for travel

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between May 1 and June 30 when booked by November 30. Clients can also add a one-night wildlife safari to their tour from £189 per person. The operator’s product manager for the Indian Ocean, Carolina Svensson, said: “For agents looking for a destination in the Indian Ocean that offers holidaymakers a good level of privacy, the Maldives offers a ‘one island one resort’ concept. Holidaymakers travelling to the destination will never find more than one resort on an island. In addition, the availability of the water villa concept – villas on stilts above the water – offers couples added privacy and services for those guests who want to avoid leaving their villa. For one of the best snorkelling and dive sites in the Maldives, we suggest a stay at the recently opened Centara Ras Fushi Resort.” For more information visit www.travel2.com

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indianocean Strong multi-centre bookings for Virgin Holidays VIRGIN HOLIDAYS reports that it is seeing an increasing trend for agents requesting twin-centre breaks for their clients. The operator says that Mauritius is proving popular with double digit growth from last year, and that part of this increase is being driven by guests wanting to combine a short stay in Dubai at the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort, Spa & Villas or even on safari in Kenya or South Africa followed by a more relaxing week in Mauritius. The company also says that the Maldives has remained strong this year and continues to grow for next year, particularly for properties such as the Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo and Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa hotels. Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, the operator has increased its touring options following demand for tours on continental India. As an example of prices, a seven-night all-inclusive stay at Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Hura in the Maldives costs from £1,800 per person, including scheduled flights with Emirates from Gatwick via Dubai and transfers. The price is based on two sharing a water bungalow for a November 18 departure and includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. For more information or to book see www.vhols4agents.co.uk or call 0844-557 3973.

HERITAGE LE Telfair, a five-star resort in southwest Mauritius, has launched a ladies-only package through its trade partners for women who want to escape the 2014 World Cup. It includes two free massages, 50% off any additional spa treatments, a cooking class with one of Heritage’s chefs, a wine tasting session, complimentary yoga and Tai Chi session and no single supplement. The offer is valid on any seven-night (minimum) stay from June 1-July 31 and must be booked by February 28. For details see www.heritageresorts.mu

Mauritian Christmas savings of up to 25% from Beachcomber Hotels BEACHCOMBER HOTELS in Mauritius is offering savings of up to 25% on Christmas getaways this year. The offer applies for arrivals between December 1-28 and gives 25% off half-board accommodation costs. As examples of prices, a seven-night half-board stay at Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa leads in at £3,820 per person, based on two sharing a Junior Suite or from £13,810 per family in a family suite. A seven-night half-board stay at Paradis Hotel Golf & Spa costs from £3,795.50 per person based on two sharing a deluxe room or from £17,380 per family in a family suite. Both packages include Economy Air Mauritius flights from Heathrow on December 20 and transfers. For more information visit www.beachcombertours.co.uk or call 01483-445621.

Maldives Dhoni Cruise from Explore EXPLORE IS highlighting its eight-day holiday, where clients can cruise among the atolls of the Maldives on a traditional dhoni, visiting islands including South Male, Felidhoo and Meemu. Highlights include visiting small fishing villages and snorkelling in the coral reefs. Departing from November through to April 2014, prices lead in at £1,453 per person including flights; seven nights’ cabin accommodation; all meals; and the service of a representative, captain, crew and cook. For further information or to book visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.

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indianocean Family watersports package from Vilu Reef Beach Resort

RAFFLES PRASLIN Seychelles has introduced a Body & Soul experience for guests which includes a specialist spa consultation, daily treatments and recommended fitness and wellness classes. Guests can also choose from a variety of health dishes, with calorie and nutrition information included on the menu. ITC Classics offers four nights at the property from £3,339 per person, based on two sharing a Bay View pool villa. It includes breakfast, the Body & Soul package, Economy Class flights and private transfers. For details call 01244-355527 or see www.itcclassics.co.uk

VILU REEF Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives is offering a family watersports package which features a range of activities including an hour of canoeing, a twohour catamaran excursion, three rounds on the fun tube, an hour’s snorkelling and an hour’s stand-up paddle boarding. Available for up to six people to share, prices lead in at US$500, offering a saving of $206. The package is subject to a 10% service charge and includes all equipment, fins and snorkels. Rates for October at the resort start from $285 per room per night on a bedand-breakfast basis.

Mauritian Massage goes al fresco with Shanti Maurice’s Spa Away Journey MAURITIUS RESORT Shanti Maurice has launched a Spa Away Journey where guests are offered massages in al fresco spots throughout the hotel. The package includes three treatments; a skin rejuvenating Full Body Exfoliation, followed by a Synchronized FourHanded Traditional Balinese Massage and a Bespoke Africology Facial. Prices lead in at approximately £313 and nightly rates start

from approximately £477 per room on a half-board basis. Turquoise Holidays offers seven nights' half-board in a junior suite ocean view room from £1,649 per person, including private transfers and flights with Emirates. The package is valid from October through to December 22 and includes a saving of up to £1,680. For details see www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk, call 01494678400 or email enquiries@turquoiseholidays.co.uk

Maldives property Velassaru highlights extra benefits for guests

A NEW eight-hectare private island, Maalifushi by COMO, is set to open this December, which will offer children a range of activities and facilities. These include a kids' club complete with a marine biologist with activities including snorkelling, dolphin dhoni cruises, fishing and beach picnics on neighbouring deserted islands. Agents can save clients £600 per family with the property's opening offer for a February 18 departure. Carrier offers a seven-night stay from £2,595 per person, based on two adults and one child sharing a Garden room. It includes Emirates flights, seaplane transfers and breakfast. For details call 0161-492 1358 or see www.carrier.co.uk.

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October 4 2013

VELASSARU IN the Maldives is promoting a 'Beach Villa with Pool' package and is offering a range of extra benefits when guests book top category rooms. These include snorkelling equipment in the room, high quality ‘Ploh’ bedlinen and a pillow menu. The extra benefits are available for arrivals from November 1 and any guests booking a water villa or water villa with pool will also receive an in-villa check-in and complimentary late checkout subject to availability (until 20:00).

Honeymooners can also receive a free 30-minute massage based on a minimum stay of four nights. Kuoni offers seven nights' breakfast stay at the five-star property from £2,469 based on two sharing beach villa with pool. It includes flights with Turkish Airlines from Heathrow and group transfers. For details or to book call 01306-747008 or see www.kuoni.co.uk quoting IO0001. For more information on the property see www.velassaru.com

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cruising Lofoten Vesterålen, Norway

Hurtigruten offers Autumn Gold themed tours and Northern Lights itineraries HURTIGRUTEN IS inviting clients to experience autumn in Norway by embarking on one of the line’s new ‘Autumn Gold’ themed tours, running from now until October 31. A highlight of the theme is the addition of the ship’s journey into a new fjord - Hjørundfjord - which cuts its way for 35 kilometres into the alpine mountains and offers the chance to get away from the tourist bustle, taking guests along steep rock walls, past green meadows, mountain farms and secluded small villages. In addition, ‘A Taste of Norway’ excursion offers passengers the chance to explore the Hjørundfjord region further, visiting the village of Urke, Lake Lyngnstøyl and the Hotel Union in Øye. Food will also play an important role, with the on board menu being tailored to the seasonal delicacies of the regions the ships visit. As well as the on board experience, the company has expanded its on shore excursion programme for autumn, with three new trips now available, including ‘Munkholmen’, ‘Sami Autumn’ and ‘Arctic Bushcraft’. A 12-day Classic Round Voyage, including flights and a free excursion to North Cape on selected dates this month leads in at £1,398 per person. The price also includes full board on the ship and transfers.

The company is also promoting a range of Northern Lights packages for those travelling to the Arctic Circle. A Classic Voyage South leads in at £756 per person and cruises along the coast of Norway. The voyage begins in Kirkenes and sails south via 34 ports of call, taking in the northern landscape and the Norwegian fjords before arriving in Bergen. An Arctic Highlights and the Northern Lights itinerary costs from £999 per person and explores areas of the Arctic Circle seldom seen by tourists. Alternatively, clients wishing to obtain a more comprehensive knowledge of the region can opt for a 12-day Classic Round Voyage, which leads in at £1,372 per person including flights and travels from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. Alternatively, clients interested in the science behind the Northern Lights can embark on a 12-day Astronomy Voyage which leads in at £1,608 per person. The cruise teaches passengers about the Arctic night sky and the aurora borealis with a series of lectures plus a guided tour to observe the night sky from the deck of the ship. Meanwhile, the line’s expedition ship, MS Fram, is setting off on an extended voyage next summer to explore the north-west of Greenland, including new harbours and points of disembarkation. The Arctic Wilderness Adventure

itinerary is available as an 11- or 13day voyage from June. Ice landscapes, nature, wilderness, trips to small settlements and encounters with the Inuit and their culture are the focal points of the two new expeditions which begin in Kangerlussuaq and set a northern course across Disko Bay along the west coast of Greenland. New stops include Upernavik, located on Melville Bay and Qasigiannguit, 'the pearl of Disko Bay'. Along with the new harbours, the ship will visit the town of Uummannaq, the glaciers of Eqip Sermia and the ice fjord of Ilulissat, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 11-day tour, which runs from June 26-July 6, costs from £4,900 per person, while the 13-day tour, which runs from June 14-26, costs from £5,341. Both prices include early booking discounts, flights from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq (the departure point), transfers and cabin on full board basis, based on two sharing. Flights to Copenhagen are available for an additional £360 per person. Clients who book before October 31 will receive an additional on board credit of £120 per person. For more information call 0844-448 7601 or visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk

‘Mind, body & spirit’ cruise from Crystal Cruises CRYSTAL CRUISES has launched a new ‘mind, body and spirit’ themed cruise on Symphony’s first voyage of the year, a 12-night ‘Southern Seas Soliloquy’ itinerary, which departs on January 8, 2014 in Valparaíso, Chile. The itinerary sails across the southern Pacific to the Society/Tahitian, Easter and Pitcairn Islands and the schedule includes a yoga instructor, extreme athlete, health

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and wellness expert and a Zumba teacher, as well as a selection of active excursions and complimentary fitness classes. Fares lead in at £160 per person per day on an allinclusive basis if booked by October 31. For details call 020-7399 7601 or visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk

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Now all inclusive on every 2014 European itinerary* Exclusive door-to-door holiday transfers

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T’s & C’s apply. *Excludes Russia. †See website for full details


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cruising Selling cruise is CLIA

by ANDY HARMER, director, CLIA UK & Ireland Director EPTEMBER PROVED to be a very busy month in the cruise calendar with one key milestone being our Columbus Day Conference in Liverpool. I was joined by more than 360 delegates to hear presentations on a number of topics from a selection of great speakers including Michael Bayley, President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Neil Palomba, MSC Cruises’ corporate operating officer, Nathan Philpott, sales and marketing director for Fred. Olsen Cruises, and our own chief executive, Christine Duffy. It was great to be in Liverpool which has such a strong maritime history stretching back more than 800 years. The conference was held next to the magnificent Albert Dock, part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage site and which, after a number of years, is again welcoming cruise ships. Arriving passengers must have one of the most stunning views of any port - the Royal Liver and Cunard Buildings which dominate one of the world’s most famous waterfront skylines. Columbus Day concluded with the CLIA UK & Ireland Cruise Excellence Awards which recognised the extensive contributions made by members of the travel agent community within the cruise sector. Another milestone in the calendar was National Cruise Week, a time when we all come together to promote the many, great reasons why a cruise is such an ideal holiday and to dispel some of those myths that still surround cruising. Travel agents up and down the country invited potential customers to join them for afternoon tea (and cup cakes!) to chat about cruise and why it’s such an ideal holiday choice. We are now gearing up for our third River Cruise Expo which this year is taking place in Cologne in November. In a first, agents will take to the water for the conference which is taking place on MS RheinEnergie, a floating business centre. On the second day, delegates will be able to visit six river vessels provided by eWaterways, Lueftner Cruises, Riviera Travel, Shearings, The River Cruise Line and Uniworld. With interest in river cruising still growing, it’s a unique opportunity for travel agents to see firsthand so many different styles of river ship.

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Carnival research reveals cruising is one of best value family holidays RESEARCH BY Carnival Cruise Lines into the cost of cruising has revealed that exploring by sea is one of the best ways of experiencing a number of locations at great value. The research, which looked at a direct comparison of the cost of a five-day Western Caribbean cruise with a like for like land-based holiday, revealed a significant difference in price. It found that a family of four taking a five-day cruise can expect to pay £2,902. To replicate the same trip on dry land visiting the same destinations, experiencing similar levels of service, accommodation and dining options, the costs could total £6,906. With accommodation and transfers included in the price, the line’s Caribbean five-day cruise allows families to take in the scenery of Florida, the Cayman Islands and Mexico for less than £3,000. Once on board, entertainment on the ship is free of charge and includes West End style shows, comedy and live music. To experience similar activities on a multi-destination holiday, families can expect to spend an extra £230 over a five-day period. The research highlighted that feeding the family is another consideration when it comes to balancing holiday budgets. When travelling from destination to destination, the cost of lunch, dinner and snacks will add another £415 to the total cost of the holiday. Meanwhile, guests opting for the cruise can take breakfast, lunch and dinner at no extra charge, as well as unlimited snacks 24-hours a day. The line’s UK managing director, Adolfo Perez, said: “It’s no surprise to see a Carnival Cruise come in far less expensive compared to the land locked equivalent. Cruising offers fantastic value as well as the chance to experience lots of stunning destinations within a relatively short space of time.”

Titan Travel launches new Saga Cruises trade-only brochure for 2014 TITAN TRAVEL has issued its 2014 Saga Cruises trade-only brochure, which focuses on the refurbished Saga Sapphire and the Saga Pearl II. A range of packages are offered and include UK door-todoor chauffeur service, all gratuities, all meals, 24-hour room service, 24-hour free tea and coffee and entertainment. Itineraries include Saga Pearl II’s inaugural 24-night Adriatic Homecoming cruise which sails in November. It features soprano Hayley Westenra, The Operababes and the Gondolier Trio plus the Three Tenors tribute band to entertain guests on board. Prices start from £498 for a five-day Taste of the Continent cruise in May. Cruises are discounted by up to 35% and the line’s price promise ensures passengers who book early do not find themselves paying more than last-minute bookers. If the price of the cruise is reduced, clients are refunded the difference either by an on board credit, an upgraded cabin or cash. As an added incentive, agents will receive a £15 Love2Shop voucher for each passenger booked. For further details visit www.titanagents.co.uk

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cruising

InBrief ● THE CLIA UK & Ireland Selling Cruise Conference is returning to

Southampton in May 2014 with two ships, MSC Cruises’ Opera and Celebrity Cruises’ Eclipse, making their conference debut. The event will take place from May 22-23, with an additional day on May 24 for optional extra ship visits. For details and to register visit www.cruiseexperts.org ● P&O CRUISES has changed the turnaround port from Savona to

Genoa for all calls of the Ventura 2014 Fly-Med programme. The change to Genoa will apply to all sailings from N407A departing March 26, 2014 through to N421B departing October 15, 2014. Cruise-only prices start from £499 per person for seven nights, based on two sharing the lowest grade of inside cabin. An optional holiday package add-on, which includes flights from Birmingham, London or Manchester and transfers, costs from £250 per person. Call 0843-373 0111 or visit www.pocruises.co.uk ● ROYAL CARIBBEAN International has announced that cruises on

Splendour of the Seas across Brazil and South America for winter 2014/15 are now available to book. Sailing from Sao Paulo in Brazil, the ship will sail three- to eight-night Brazil cruises, calling at

Silversea unveils latest 2014 brochures SILVERSEA HAS released two new brochures detailing its range of voyages next year, when its seven-ship fleet will visit more than 500 destinations on seven continents. The new Voyage brochure, devoted to the journeys of Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit, is complemented by a separate Adventure guide highlighting the expedition cruises of Silver Explorer and Silver Galapagos, ships known for exploring some of the world’s most remote regions. The brochure features a ‘What’s New’ section, followed by worldwide cruise itineraries by region, including shore excursion recommendations, descriptions of land programmes, deck plans and general information. A foldout voyage calendar is provided in the back of the brochure. Highlights include a Mediterranean cruise in May on Silver Spirit’s Voyage, which will take guests to Cannes during the 67th Film Festival followed by a visit to the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, three Asia cruises will feature multiplenight stopovers in Myanmar: Silver Wind’s 14-day roundtrip voyage from Singapore departing on December 21; Silver Shadow’s 14-day round-trip voyage from Singapore departing on February 13; and Silver Whisper’s 17-day sailing from Singapore to Muscat, departing on March 19. The line has also launched its eighth ship, the 128guest Silver Discoverer, which will sail to Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Russian Far East, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand from March. Highlights include an 11-day The Kimberley – Australia’s Hidden Treasure itinerary; a 19-day Wild Siberia: The Sea of Okhotsk option; a 17-day The Many Faces of Indonesia cruise; and an 18-day Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia tour. Brochures can be viewed online at www.silversea.com, or to request a print brochure email salesuk@silversea.com

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Buzios, Ilha Grande, and Ilhabela, and seven-night Argentina and Uruguay cruises, calling at Punta Del Este, Montevideo and Buenos Aires. ● A SPECIAL eight-night sailing, departing on December 27, 2014, will

take guests to Porto Belo, Buzios, Ilha Grande and Ilhabela, and will see in the New Year at Rio de Janeiro to catch the fireworks show at Copacabana Beach. Details on 0844-493 2061 or visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk ● SWAN HELLENIC’S latest brochure introduces seven new itineraries

that encompass a range of destinations including the Far East, India, Israel and the Black Sea, as well as an inaugural cruise to Japan. To celebrate the launch of the new itineraries, the line is offering an early booking offer of a 5% discount plus up to £200 on board bar credit per cabin when clients book by October 21. Meanwhile, passengers looking to book a cruise on existing itineraries can take advantage of a newly launched autumn sale across all categories of cabin on cruises departing from JanuaryDecember, 2014. For details call 0844-488 1051 or visit www.swanhellenic.com

Stay and cruise collection from Kuoni A NEW collection of stay and cruise holiday options is being launched by Kuoni, which will be available for customers to book as part of worldwide tailor-made itineraries. The operator will be working with a number of cruise lines including Celebrity, Azamara, Seabourn, Cunard, Crystal, Regent and Compagnie du Ponant, and options will be available to book from November in preparation for the peak January sales campaign. Derek Jones, the operator’s UK managing director, said: “Our own retail network has grown over the last five years and we now have 22 High Street travel stores, four John Lewis concessions, with another four due to open later this year, and six partnership stores. They’re doing really well – however, we understand that our customers want to book different types of holidays with us – and that includes cruise. “We have thousands of loyal Kuoni customers, many who book with us time and time again, so we want to introduce new customers who may not have previously considered a cruise option to the market.” An example of itineraries is an 11-night US and Caribbean holiday, which leads in at £2,704 per person. It embarks on a seven-night Caribbean voyage on Celebrity Silhouette and is combined with a four-night stay at the Gotham Hotel in New York, plus an Artisan tour and New York helicopter tour.

Festive voyages from Paul Gauguin THIS CHRISTMAS, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering two sevennight Tahiti & the Society Islands voyages on The Gauguin and a seven-night Caribbean voyage on the Tere Moana. On December 21, The Gauguin will set off for a White Christmas on French Polynesia’s white-sand beaches, while on December 28, New Year will be celebrated on the ship in the South Seas, with both trips leading in at £4,477 per person. On December 21, the Tere Moana will set sail for the islands of the Caribbean, with prices leading in at £2,810 per person. For details call 020-7399 7691 or visit www.pgcruises.com

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(1) Ponant bonus fare based on two people sharing a cabin, excluding pre/post transport, port and security taxes. Ponant bonus fare is susceptible to change depending on the availability at the moment of the reservation. More informations on www.ponant.com

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Luxury Cruising by Compagnie du Ponant

ARCTIC AND ANTARCTICA: A 5-STAR EXPEDITION Cruising with Compagnie du Ponant in the Arctic and Antarctica offers you the unique fusion of 5-star comfort and a polar expedition in the midst of majestic icebergs and spectacular scenery. The 132-cabin, 5-star yachts LE BORÉAL and L’AUSTRAL reach some of the World’s most unique destinations- many inaccessible to larger ships- while treating guests to unrivalled passenger service, the finest cuisine and a bilingual crew ready to tend to your every need. Discover the treasures of the World by sea.

Winter 2013 - 2014 & Summer 2014 23 departures from € 2600 (1)

Start your journey on ponant.com

Contact your travel agency or call our UK call centre

0800 980 4027


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rivercruising Xmas river cruises with AmaWaterways BETWEEN THE end of November through to New Year, AmaWaterways’ luxury river cruise ships offer guests time to visit the Christmas markets of Europe. An example of cruises is a seven-night Christmas Time voyage, which travels between Nuremberg and Budapest on 13 departure dates throughout the festive season. The itinerary takes guests to the Christmas market in Nuremberg, the festively decorated stalls of the Old Kornmarkt's in the medieval city of Regensberg and the ‘royal’ Christmas markets at the Thurn and Taxis Palace. In Passau, guests can choose an optional tour to Salzburg and on to Melk to visit the Benedictine Abbey. In Vienna, guests have the opportunity to see some of the numerous Christmas markets in Austria's capital, including the 60 traditional Christmas market stalls at the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. The cruise concludes in Budapest with an illuminations cruise following a farewell dinner. Based on a December 2 departure, prices lead in at £1,639 per person and include a saving of £355 per person; flights; meals; wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; complimentary daily tours and excursions; free WiFi; and free use of on board bicycles. The same cruise on December 16 costs from £1,649 per person, saving £504 per person, including flights. For more information call 0808-223 5009 or visit www.amawaterways.co.uk

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RIVIERA TRAVEL has launched the latest addition to its fleet – the five-star MS William Shakespeare – due to be launched in April. The ship will carry 140 passengers and 35 crew and features a four-deck design with a lobby on the Hamlet (upper) deck. At the front of the ship, guests will find the library and the Globe lounge and bar, while to the rear is a 24-seater Midsummer bar, offering panoramic windows and outdoor seating. Other features of the vessel include a restaurant, fitness suite, sauna and hairdressing salon. Eight-day itineraries next year include the Rhine & Moselle from £1,249 per person; Rhine, Strasbourg and Heidelberg from £1,299; and a Rhine Cruise to Switzerland from £1,349. Prices are based on two sharing a lower deck cabin, including Eurostar travel and excursions. Flights are available at a supplement. For details see www.rivieratravel.co.uk

The River Cruise Line introduces new itineraries for 2014 THE RIVER Cruise Line has issued its latest brochure for 2014 featuring six new itineraries and increased options for four-star comfort. In addition to the three-star MS Amsterdam and MS Lady Anne, clients can now choose from a choice of cruises on two four-star ships: MS Switzerland II and MS Serenity. The line’s head of sales Paul Sharp said: “We are delighted to see so many more agents starting to recognise the potential of this lucrative addition to their business. The decision to add a greater choice of four-star ship options and new itineraries has been made in response to demand and we hope to see this continue into 2014 and beyond.”

As an example, new tours on MS Amsterdam include a Bruges, Ghent, Ypres and the Battlefields itinerary, which covers the Dutch waterways. It begins in Bruges and travels from Ghent to Antwerp, with a full day excursion to the battlefields. Prices for the tour start from £329 per person and are based on two sharing an en-suite cabin on a full board basis. Also included are ferry crossings from Dover (unless otherwise specified), transport to join the cruise, evening entertainment, a cruise manager and coach transfers from regional departure points. For more information call 0844-544 7580 or visit www.sellingrivercruises.com

Take a journey through Chinese art with Viking River Cruises VIKING RIVER Cruises is to be the official travel partner for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700-1900, running from October 26-January 19. The exhibition gathers together more than 70 pieces across a 1,200-year period, including some of the earliest surviving Chinese paintings, many of which have made their maiden voyage to Europe and will be displayed for the first time in London. Wendy Atkin-Smith, UK managing director of the cruise line, said: “This is our second collaboration with the V&A and provides a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse into the wonders of Chinese culture and life. Our Yangtze cruise travels through many of the destinations depicted in this collection and we look forward to introducing the paintings to our guests past and present.” Martin Roth, director of the museum, said: “It is an honour to present this once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the greatest examples of Chinese painting together and understanding how they were created. We are indebted to our numerous lenders around the world for allowing us a rare opportunity to present these magnificent masterpieces, a number of which are national treasures and have never before left Asia.” As a main sponsor, the line will also host a competition on the museum’s website, with the winner getting the chance to embark on a 15-day Imperial Jewels of China itinerary on Viking Emerald. For further information on the exhibition or to book tickets, which cost £12, visit www.vam.ac.uk For more information about the line visit www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk

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gambia

Sheraton Gambia Hotel Resort & Spa

Olympic Holidays sees continued increase in repeat business THE GAMBIA, a popular inclusion in Olympic Holidays' Winter Sun programme, owes its continued tourism success to its holiday offer being low-key rather than high-rise, according to the operator's commercial director Photis Lambrianides. He said: "The Gambia is a really small country, but it has a truly exotic feel and offers a laid-back holiday experience at affordable prices. It has done well for us over many years. "With rare exceptions, its holiday accommodation is locally owned and managed. The opening of the Sheraton

Gambia Hotel Resort & Spa a few years ago was international recognition of The Gambia's tourism potential. "While The Gambia has never been highly proactive in its marketing and we have to push the destination ourselves, our strong repeat business shows it readily meets people's holiday requirements. "The Gambia boasts wonderful beaches, quality accommodation at all levels and fantastic weather – and there are no high-rise hotels to disfigure the coast. I'm certain its present level of popularity will continue."

The company offers a choice of Gambian hotels from five-star to the more budget two-star. Its winter programme to The Gambia is based on bed-and-breakfast, with a half-board supplement at most hotels also available. Prices for winter 2013/14 lead in at £404 per person for seven nights' breakfast stay at the two-star Badala Park Hotel in Kotu (14 nights from £459). A half-board supplement is £52.50 per person per week. For more information or to book call 0844-499 4449 or visit www.olympicholidays.com

Winter sun bookings up for The Gambia Experience THE GAMBIA Experience reports strong sales for winter sun holidays to The Gambia, following its 2013/14 brochure release in June, and its trade bookings to be up by 21% year-on-year. With prices either held or reduced for next winter at many of its featured properties, the operator is featuring a range of value holidays throughout its collections of Luxury & Unique and Mid-Range & Value hotels. New additions for the forthcoming season include Leo’s Beach Hotel (www.gambia.co.uk/leos), a newly built contemporary, boutique-style property which is situated on a cliff top with views across the ocean. Providing just six suites and an adult-only policy, Leo’s is presented as an ideal choice for couples and honeymooners. Increased accommodation choice is offered at the exclusive Mandina Lodges at Makasutu Cultural Forest with the addition of a new “Mangrove Lodge” to its collection of stilted, floating and jungle lodges located off the River

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Gambia. Meanwhile, cruise holidays are also being offered, travelling 250 nautical miles along the river on mega yacht Harmony V. The ‘Rivers of West Africa’ cruise blends conventional cruising and private yachting, with the option of embarking at either Banjul (The Gambia) or Dakar (Senegal). Seven-night holidays lead in at £549 per person on a bedand-breakfast basis and £699 on all-inclusive. Ten- and 11night holidays are also available with a “one night free” offer on 11-night holiday bookings at any of the operator’s two- to four-grade hotels. Meanwhile, agents are being offered £50 in High Street vouchers as part of the company’s ‘Booking of the Month’ competition, along with the chance to win an iPad Mini when ordering the company’s new training USB sticks designed to further assist agents with bookings. To enter, agents should email their name and ABTA number to trade@serenity.co.uk For more information visit www.gambia.co.uk

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The Gambia

gambia

(

Discover the smiling coast

EXPLORE IS highlighting an 11-day ‘Senegal & Gambia River Cruise’ which takes in Gambia and Senegal. Highlights include walks through French colonial towns, spotting birdlife and visiting the megalithic stone circles at Wassu. Clients will also explore some of the region’s wildlife parks, cruise down the Gambia River and venture into the Saloum Delta by traditional pirogue canoe. The itinerary departs from February to May 2014 and leads in at £1,997 per person including flights, breakfast accommodation, many other meals, transport and the services of a tour leader, driver, local guides and boat crew. For details visit www.explore.co.uk or call 0844-499 0901.

Fast facts

Exotic African culture, unique and boutique hotels, friendly people and a warm welcome awaits you in The Gambia.

0845 330 4567 Gambia.co.uk/Trade 5113

GAMBIA HAS become an increasingly popular tourist destination over the last few years, particularly appealing to Europeans seeking sun, sea and sand during the winter months. The country is also renowned for its variety of cultural experiences, including cuisine, craft markets and music. With a population of approximately 1.7m, the country is situated around the Gambia River, its namesake. One of the smallest countries in Africa, Gambia gained independence from Britain in 1965 and is a member of the Commonwealth. Location: West Africa - surrounded by Senegal except for a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Time: -1hour GMT during British summer time Language: English. Area: 11,295 km² Population: 1.7m Capital: Banjul Currency: Dalasi Telephone code: +220 Flight time: Six hours (Gatwick to Banjul) Passport/visa requirements: UK citizens do not require visas Health requirements: Anti-malaria medicine is recommended and visitors are advised to take insect repellent, anti-fungal creams and disinfectant. For more information visit: www.visitthegambia.gm

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southernafrica nn, holiday

by John Gui

researcher

Guinn’s game in Namibia

INTREPID TRAVEL is introducing a number of new ‘public transport’ trips for 2014, including two-week ‘Southern Africa Unplugged’ itineraries in South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The tour travels from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls by local transport, including buses, bikes, taxis and dhows (lateenrigged sailing ships) as it takes in the region’s highlights including Kruger, Milwane and Matobos National Parks, Mozambique’s beaches, and Victoria Falls. Departure dates and prices will be announced later this month on the operator’s website and in its new Africa 2014 brochure.

John Guinn runs Holiday Hut and has a travel show on internet radio station Secklow Sounds every Monday at 12:00. Here he talks about volunteering holidays in Southern Africa and why he’ll always remember one particular morning while he was volunteering in Namibia... T’S 5AM and I’m lying awake in a tent, and I’m laughing. This is not what I first imagined when my wife, Kirsteen, said that she wanted to be out of the country on her ‘0th’ birthday. When she told me this I immediately imagined a Caribbean beach hotel; I did not think that I would be paying somebody for the privilege of clearing out animal enclosures. When celebrating a special event with a trip, too many people just go with a more expensive version of their usual holiday. It made perfect sense to do something completely different and Southern Africa has plenty of different volunteering holidays available. We chose an animal sanctuary in Namibia, but there are also plenty of humanitarian options too, from helping in a clinic to teaching in a school. The only real limiting factor in making a choice is the minimum amount of time that you have to commit to. It’s not all gap year students either, in our group there were a few pensioners too, all mucking in together to have the trip of a lifetime. It’s been three years since our Daktari (ask your grandparents) adventure and the memories are still fresh - unlike all the various beach holidays which seem to merge into one. A holiday where you get to carry a leopard, walk with baboons, cuddle cheetahs and fight a bushfire really is a wonderful way to mark an occasion. So why am I laughing at this ridiculous time? Our tent was outside the compound, and we were surrounded by a herd of mooing cattle. As well as this noise there was the two cockerels calling out alternatively, geese, a herd of goats, a peacock and every now and then the roar of a lion. It was a brilliant noise and it was impossible to do anything else but laugh. I will be talking to The Great Projects about African volunteering holidays on my 7th October show. For more information on their holidays please contact michael@thegreatprojects.com or call 020-8885 4987.

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Eight-night South Africa wine tour from Arblaster & Clarke from £2,399 ARBLASTER & Clarke is promoting its eight-night South Africa Wine Tour, which departs on February 15, for £2,399 per person. The tour offers an insight into the wine-makers world, with personal welcomes from leading wineries, plus tastings with exclusive lunch and dinner invitations. It also combines cities and towns, dramatic coastal scenery and wildlife, with selected visits to outstanding estates in Constantia and Stellenbosch, then over the Du Toitskloof Pass to leading wineries in Roberston; the Pinot Noir specialist Hamilton Russell and rising star Paul Cluver in Elgin. The itinerary includes breakfast stays at four-star hotels and guesthouses, 11 meals with wines, coffee or tea after meals (where possible), all wine visits and tastings, plus coach transport. For more information see www.winetours.co.uk LAKE MALAWI National Park provides opportunities for watersports, scuba diving and sailing, while guests can also swim with some of the 1,000 species of fish that live there. A range of accommodation is available along the shore, including Mumbo & Domwe Island Camps, Danforth Yachting and Lodge, Cape Mac Lodge and Pumulani and Robin Pope Safaris. For details visit www.malawitourism.com or for holidays call Audley Travel on 01993-838540 or see www.audleytravel.com

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southernafrica Acacia Africa launches accommodated overland safaris

We asked our staff the following question this week: When was the last time you lied? (and why?) Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk I told my son Man Utd would win the Champions League this year!

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk I tell little white lies to my kids all the time - mostly to scare them into behaving well at school

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk I don't lie. Why would I? Umm...

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk Never

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk On a regular basis that I will stop smoking to keep the wife quiet!

ACACIA AFRICA Is now offering accommodated overland safaris for families. Locations include the Okavango Delta, Hwange National Park, Great Zimbabwe, Damaraland and Lake Mutirikwi and the itineraries offer the chance to travel as part of a larger group of up to 18 people. Country lodges, tented camps, chalets and locally owned accommodation offer more comfort than camping and the two new expeditions are suitable for children from eight years. Arno Delport, the company’s UK marketing manager, said: “We find many adults who have been to Africa pre-parenting are keen to share the continent with the kids, and others who have backpacked across the globe before having children are also undaunted by less mainstream destinations. “Zimbabwe is one of the front runners with families, but whether it’s getting to grips with an intimate cultural experience, connecting the dots between history and location or learning about conservation, it’s the richly rewarding experience that ties these two groups together.” Examples include a 13-day Zimbabwe Parks & Kruger expedition which allows guests to experience Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Matobos National Park, Great Zimbabwe and Lake Mutirikwi. The tour concludes with Big Five game drives in Kruger National Park and costs from £1,215 per person with an additional local payment from £333 per person. Year-round departures are available twice-monthly from June 19, 2014, and three times monthly in July. Meanwhile, a 20-day Cape Dunes & Falls tour leads in at £1,995 per person with a local payment from £492 per person, starting in Johannesburg and ending in Nairobi. Year-round departures are offered twice-monthly from May 31, 2014 and no single supplement is applicable for the expeditions. For more information or to book call 020-7706 4700, email info@acacia-africa.com or see www.acacia-africa.com

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk

New upgrades at Kwazulu Natal's Thonga Beach Lodge

I honestly can't remember ;-)

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LOCATED ON the Elephant Coast in Kwazulu Natal, the newly renovated Thonga Beach Lodge in the iSimangaliso World Heritage Park offers two new deluxe ocean view rooms. Room eight offers two ensuite bedrooms and a private deck, while room five features an ensuite bedroom, private deck and plunge pool. Two of the existing forest view rooms have also had ensuite twin bedrooms added, while other improvements include a second larger 2.7m-deep pool, ideal for PADI scuba diving training; a spa with two treatment rooms; a new lounge area with Wi-Fi; a private dining room; and a new speedboat which allows guests to experience activities such as reef-snorkelling, scuba-diving, fishing, turtle- and whale-watching and dolphin safaris. Isibindi Africa Lodges provides a range of offers when combining a stay at the lodge with one or more of its other lodges. As examples, a five-night combination leads in at R13,316 (£843) and an eight-night combination costs from R21,417 (£1,356). A honeymoon deal is also available at the lodge for an extra £34 per person and includes sparkling wine with a private dinner on the couple’s veranda or the beach deck, a private picnic lunch in the dunes and an aromatherapy bath. For more information call 01993-838550 or visit www.hiddenbeaches.co.uk

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October 4 2013

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Travel Bulletin 4th October 2013