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December 14 2012 | ISSUE NO 1,807 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

VOYAGER HAS ARRIVED!

Voyages of Discovery’s new ship debuts in Portsmouth and earns warm praise from both passengers and the travel trade

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Explorer Club

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Veranda Restaurant

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Bridge Deck

For agency sales information contact the central agency sales team on

01858 588406

Brian Langford

’–ȱȱ Fleming

Julie ›Š—”•’—

www.voyagesofdiscovery.com


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December 14 2012 | ISSUE NO 1,807 | www.travelbulletin.co.uk

We’d like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2013!

this week agent bulletin 9 win X Factor tickets with the Saint Lucia Tourist Board

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W-AITO-Go! from ATOL to cruise commissions: issues facing independent travel agents

iceland

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operators respond to demand with new tour additions for 2013

24

short breaks DFDS research reveals short breaks are good for us


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START

WITH A BANG! Earn up to 20.13% For one week only!

For details of all our holidays visit www.jod.uk.com/travelagents Call 0161 491 7616

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Savings message of up to £400 is per couple. Offers end 28 February 2013. Terms & Conditions apply

More for 2013 Be part of JOD’s exclusive FAM trip to Sri Lanka in 2013. For details visit www.jod.uk.com/fam-trip


S01 TB1412 Start_GET_Layout 1 12/12/2012 12:33 Page 3

newsbulletin Average holidaymaker fritters away £150 spending money to get rid of currency

Cover Pictures: Main - Butlins

Inset - Paul Goldstein, Exodus Travels

AMSTER-FAM...Titan recently ran a Uniworld agent fam trip to Amsterdam to take in the sights. Pictured are, from the left: Jill Godsell, Titan; Sandra Park, Bath Travel; Janet Welsh, Luxury Cruise Company; Mervyn Willard, Baldwins Travel; Edwina Coppock, Titan; Jackie Darbourne, Sun & Snow Travel; Nikki Cumming, Cruise118; Margaret McCorriston, Barrhead Travel; James Crossland, Cruise.co.uk; Sharon Tait and Laura Price, Titan; Veronica Jenkins, Cruise Holiday UK; Donna O’Sullivan, Premier Travel; Shelly Pettit, Andrew Earle Travel; Fay Winning, Chelmsford Star Co-op; Alex Leete, Global River Cruise; Jenny Purle, Titan; Julie Marchant, Travelux of Tenterden; Krystian Tatum, Cruise Holiday UK; and Alex Holubowicz, ACE.

This Week 3

news

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agent bulletin

10

agent review

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puzzle bulletin

this week’s industry news, reports & special offers

win X Factor tickets with the Saint Lucia Tourist Board

find out what one agent thought of his fam to Turkey with Mosaic Holidays

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W-AITO-Go!

15

hotel bulletin

16

personality bulletin

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cruise bulletin

your chance to win a £50 Hotel Chocolat voucher!

from ATOL to cruise commissions: issues facing independent travel agents a round-up of new property announcements which MD admits he’s a bit of a technophobe? Carnival UK sets the sustainable agenda for cruising

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training

19

iceland

24

short breaks

win a trip to Texas with Online Travel Training

operators respond to demand with new tour additions for 2013 DFDS research reveals short breaks are good for us

The next issue of Travel Bulletin will be published on January 11

RESEARCH BY www.sunshine.co.uk has revealed that the average British holidaymaker spends all the money they take with them on holiday, with the majority frittering some away just to use it up. Some 2,168 people who had been abroad on holiday in the past 12 months completed the survey. When asked, 'On your last holiday, did you spend all of the money you took with you for spending?’ 67% said they spent all that they took, while 21% said they spent more than they originally took and budgeted for. Of the respondents who had spent all their money (an average of £150) on unnecessary purchases, 88% said the most common reason (52%) was because they ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to change the money back to GBP on their return home. When looking at the most common purchases amongst those frittering holiday spending money away, ‘gifts for others’ was the most common buy for holidaymakers looking to get rid of excess foreign currency.

ST. ST T. PETE / CLEAR CLEARWATER RWATER T

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December 14 2012

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newsbulletin Solos partners with Wendy Wu

LIVE IT UP IN LONDON...Superbreak recently ran an incentive with all Thomson shops to drive bookings to London. Any bookings made were put into a prize draw to win a short break to the capital. Pictured is the winner, Stephanie North (left) from Thomson in Forfar receiving her prize of a twonight four-star rail inclusive break to London to see The Lion King plus a Harrods Champagne Tea & tour and an Oyster card (worth £750), from the operator's Wendy Cameron.

Increase in requests for seats at back of the plane by holidaymakers FOLLOWING A documentary on Channel 4 recently whereby an experiment saw a Boeing-727 crash over the Mexican desert, Sunshine.co.uk reports that it has received an increase in enquires from customers looking to ensure they sit towards the back of the plane, where it was deemed ‘safest’ in the programme. The company reports that The Plane Crash documentary caused an increase in enquiries made by UK holidaymakers looking to be reassured that they won’t be sat at the front of the plane; which was shown to be the most dangerous section of the aircraft for passengers to be in if the plane went down, according to the experiment. The company received more than 400 enquiries from customers in the month following the documentary that related to their seats on the flight for their holiday. Most customers were simply asking how to ensure they’d be sat towards the back of the

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aircraft when going on their holiday and around 50 of the enquiries received referenced seat ‘7A’, where customers asked about how they’d ensure that they weren’t sat in that seat when they went on their next holiday. In the documentary, seat 7A was shown to be catapulted 500ft from the plane. The programme showed that, once the plane went down, none of the passengers in First Class at the front of the plane would have survived. Reflecting this, the company has received 63% fewer enquiries relating to First Class bookings since the show aired, compared to the same time frame before the programme. The company's co-founder Chris Clarkson said: "The programme has certainly had an effect on those who watched it, as we’ve seen by the recent enquiries from customers panicking about where they’d be sat on the plane. Obviously, that’s ultimately something you

December 14 2012

arrange through the airline itself, or at the check-in desk. Many airlines don’t have designated seats and it just depends on when you get on the plane. People should remember that plane crashes are rare and try not to worry about where they are sat, instead trying to focus on their exciting holiday ahead."

SOLOS HAS announced a new partnership with Wendy Wu Tours to extend its tours to the regions of China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. As an example, a 12night full board Glories of China itinerary departs on October 12 next year and leads in at £2,790. The tour begins in Shanghai with a visit to the Shanghai Museum, home to 120,000 pieces of bronze, coins, jade, paintings, and ceramics. Guests will also experience traditional Shanghai cuisine, visit the Yu gardens and cross the famous Nanpu Bridge to explore the modern area of Pudong. Other highlights include a panoramic cruise of the Huangpu River before flying into the city of Guilin to take in the limestone hills and traditional rice fields, followed by a trip to Xian to visit the Teracotta Warriors and the Islamic food markets. The tour finishes in Beijing with a visit to Tiananmen Square and a walk along the Great Wall. Prices include flights, transfers, accommodation and sightseeing. For more information visit www.solosholidays.co.uk

Intrepid Travel adds ten new tours to Asia programme NEW TRIPS in China, India, Burma and along the Silk Road have been added to Intrepid Travel’s 2013 Asia programme. A two-week Delhi to Goa tour leads in at £663 and journeys through Delhi’s streets to the forts, palaces and cities of Rajasthan, through the heart of Bollywood in Mumbai and the beaches of Goa. Alternatively, an 11-day Silk Road and Beyond tour costs from £1,295 and follows Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, through to the Russian capital of Moscow. Other options include a 28-day China, Burma and Thailand tour, which costs from £3,040 plus a trip kitty and a 36-day Silk Road – Beijing to Moscow itinerary, which leads in at £3,795. For more information see www.intrepidtravel.com/discover

www.travelbulletin.co.uk


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newsbulletin Tweets of the Week Who’s saying what on Twitter... @APTAgentClub Join APT and Thai Airways on the ultimate Asia fami next February. For full details visit http://ow.ly/fQb1r @manairport Huge disappointment that Gov't increased #APD again. UK has highest air passenger tax in world. http://afairtaxonflying.org @anatoliansky1 Start planning your #2013 #holiday today... http://ow.ly/fTPXF @Shearings Christmas shopping? Shearings gift vouchers are now available to buy online http://bit.ly/TEnLZs @TriangleTravel Well done @SunvilTeam for contracting Germania airlines on your Greek program. An excellent move. @British_Airways Strictly's Ola Jordan teaches our cabin crew the Gangnam Style dance to celebrate our new service to Seoul http://twitpic.com/bkpiyk

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

Vueling adds Palma route from LHR VUELING WILL commence new daily flights from Heathrow to Palma Mallorca with the introduction of its summer timetable on March 23, 2013. The new route will offer a total of 75,600 seats, which are now on sale at www.vueling.com with lead in fares from £48.38. The carrier will also launch twice-daily Gatwick-Barcelona flights from March 22, 2013. A total of 158,040 seats will be available on the route with lead in fares starting from £36.29.

SPIDER ACTION...Travel 2 recently hosted a fam to Orlando in conjunction with Universal Orlando Resort. All the participants earned their place on the trip as incentive winners in the company's Universal Orlando campaign earlier this year. As part of the trip the group visited a number of family attractions including Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Wet ‘n Wild and the world’s largest Hard Rock Café. Pictured are, from the left: Sara Dariz, White Consierge; Fiona Coxhead, Pillinger World Travel; Helen Young, Travellers World; Karen Fuller, Saville Travel; Lyn Bradley, Holiday Genie; Ross Swallow, Barrhead Travel; Shelley Whitworth, Ocean Florida/Como Street; Carla Hutchings, Travel 2; Gina Scott, Midcounties Co-Op; and Sophie Cook, Ideal Travel.

Explore Tailormade adds new destinations for 2013 EXPLORE TAILORMADE has issued its 2013 brochure with the introduction of five new destinations - Burma, Costa Rica, Morocco, Zambia and Malawi. The company is offering price reductions on a selection of tours, and customers who book by December 31 also receive a £75 discount off any holiday. The brochure offers three accommodation price levels for each break, starting from ‘Authentic’, then ‘Comfort’ and ‘Indulge’. As an example, a 14-day Highlights of Burma itinerary takes in Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandalay. Based on ‘Authentic’ accommodation, the trip costs from £2,075 per person, including flights, accommodation, transport and guides, increasing to £2,365 for ‘Comfort’ and £2,585 for ‘Indulge’ accommodation. Alternatively, a 15-day Costa Rica itinerary costs from £1,795 per person for ‘Authentic’ accommodation, including flights, accommodation, transport and guides. Also included are visits to Poas and Arenal volcanoes, Manuel Antonio and Tortuguero National Parks and Monteverde Cloud Forest. The itinerary costs from £1,945 for ‘Comfort’ and £2,495 for ‘Indulge’ properties. Price reductions in the new brochure include up to £290 off trips to Jordan, while savings of up to £800 are available on holidays to India. For more information or to book call 0844-875 1890 or visit www.explore.co.uk/tailormade

Selection of Greece & Turkey additions from Peter Sommer Travels PETER SOMMER Travels has introduced five new itineraries for next year, including new tours in Turkey and Greece, a new gulet cruise and a new take on the company’s Alexander the Great tours. A seven-night Lycian Way walking tour in Turkey leads in at £2,065 per person, featuring gulet cruising and archaeological visits. Daily five- to six-mile walks

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include a picnic lunch on most days, while a gulet is always present offshore to provide dining facilities and accommodation, as well as offering respite for those who wish to take a day off from walking. Guests will visit remote archaeological sites on foot, such as the ruins of Sidyma – a 2,500-year-old Lycian town – and the ghost town of Kaya. The tour also retraces the

route of a Roman aqueduct and crosses ancient burial grounds leading to an Ottoman castle, departing on October 5, 2013. Other itineraries include a seven-night Greek Isles and Turkish Shores tour from £2,250 per person; an 11-night Crete tour starting from £2,735 per person; and a condensed ten-night Alexander the Great tour in Greece from

£2,670 per person. A tennight Alexander the Great tour is also available in Turkey, leading in at £2,650 per person. Prices are based on two sharing and include transfers, breakfast accommodation, most meals, all entrance fees and guides. Flights are excluded. For details call 01600-888220 or visit www.petersommer.com

December 14 2012

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newsbulletin Wedding offers from Kanika Hotels KANIKA HOTELS has launched a selection of offers at selected hotels across Cyprus, available for agents through any booking system. As examples, at the Olympic Lagoon Resort there is no venue fee for weddings throughout April 2014. The offer is valid for ceremony, cocktail & banqueting venue fees and the wedding couple must have their wedding meal in

the resort to qualify for the offer. The Elias Beach Hotel and Alexander The Great properties are also running a no venue fee for weddings during April 2014 and November 2014, valid for ceremony, cocktail & banqueting venue fees. All the offers are cumulative with all other wedding offers and group offers as signed for 2013. For more information visit www.kanikahotels.com

Newsbites ●

Free transfers from Door to Door DOOR TO Door Coach Holidays has launched in the North West, offering mature holidaymakers a variety of coach tours with free chauffeur transfers directly to and from their front door. The company, part of The UK Holiday Group, runs the service in collaboration with the Manchester-based coach tour operator Belle Vue, and its 2013 brochure offers holidays in the UK and Europe from £69 per person. Deals include five-day half-board breaks in Bournemouth from £159 per person; holidays for solo travellers from £199 per person; Skegness from £169 per person for five days; and six days in Ireland (Killarney and Kerry) for £399 per person. A river cruise to see the Dutch tulip fields is also available from £449 per person, and for Christmas 2013 there are Turkey & Tinsel, Christmas and New Year breaks on offer. For details call 0844-225 1723 or see www.doortodoorcoachholidays.com

EUROSTAR IS launching a new direct service from London and Avignon to three holiday destinations in the South of France - Lyon, Avignon and Aix-enProvence. The new weekly spring service will be offered for a trial period during May and June 2013 and tickets are now on sale from £99 return to Lyon, £109 for Avignon and £199 for Aix-en-Provence. See www.eurostar.com or call 0843-218 6186 for details. TRAVELODGE IS continuing with its own festive tradition of offering a free room to couples called Mary and Joseph during the 12 days of Christmas (Christmas Eve to January 5). To claim the free festive room, couples called Mary and Joseph need to register their details at christmas@travelodge.co.uk by Friday December 21 with proof of their name. HOLIDAYEXTRAS.COM IS offering indoor parking at Manchester airport from £30 a week. See www.holidayextras.com or call 0800-131 3777 for details. ETIHAD AIRWAYS has increased the complimentary baggage allowance for Coral Economy Class guests to 30kg. AGENTS WHO would like to be considered for future visits from Serenity Holidays or to find out more about the operator's products should call Gill or Jason on 0845-330 2066 or email trade@serenity.co.uk. Agents can also join the Facebook group to request a visit and keep updated with agent news and offers. CRUISINGEXCURSIONS.COM HAS announced that after 18 months in business, trade sales have now overtaken direct bookings. The company has also signed a partnership deal with The Global Travel Group.

Stena Line announces 2013 timetable

TRAINING TEAM...Kensington Roof Gardens in London was the backdrop for the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board and Caribtours' special evening for agents recently. The event brought together more than 60 agents, along with various hoteliers from the BVI’s, Caribtours representatives and the team from the BVI Tourist Board London office, to update agents on where to stay and learn about recent developments. Pictured are, from the left: Ginny Hawksley, British Virgin Islands Tourist Board; Pauline Lovegrove, Classic Travel; Nigel Dean, Nigel Dean Travel; Jackie Shiell, Classic Travel; and Andrea Miller, Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort.

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December 14 2012

STENA LINE has announced a new and improved timetable for its Holyhead to Dublin service beginning on January 1, 2013. The company has announced that the changes in its 2013 sailing times, which are now available to book, are a bid to make the most of travel in daylight and to allow arrivals in Dublin before midnight. The new timetable includes a slightly later morning sailing from Holyhead, departing at 08:55 (previously 08:20) and an earlier evening sailing from Holyhead departing an hour earlier than before at 20:30. Customers can now travel back from Dublin to Holyhead at 15:10, replacing the former 16:00 sailing. The HSS will also return on March 22 next year for the Easter season, with a travel time of two hours and 15 minutes from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire. Sailings depart Holyhead at 10:30 daily and 13:30 from Dun Laoghaire daily. One-way prices start from £79 for a car and driver. For more information or to book call 0844-770 7070 or see www.stenaline.co.uk

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ST. PETE / CLEARWATER

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0844 557 0626 orr vvisit isit


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newsbulletin

MOVERS ●

FUNWAY HOLIDAYS has promoted Andy Travis from

WESTERN & Oriental Travel has appointed Nigel Ham as

sales development manager to national sales manager.

● ● ● ●

PRIDE PRIZE...David Holland (left) of African Pride presents Andy Ellis of Directions in Malton with his prize of a place on a fam trip to Namibia which he won at a recent event hosted by African Pride and its Namibian partners.

MW issues Beach Resorts brochure MARK WARNER has launched its summer 2013 ‘Beach Resorts’ brochure, which includes its new four-star resort, Lemnos Beach Resort on the island of Lemnos, Greece which offers accommodation on a full board with wine basis, as well as tennis facilities, mountain biking and childcare facilities. Other new developments for the programme include British Airways flights on all the operator’s routes out of London; a full refurbishment of the village style accommodation at Lakitira Beach Resort in Kos, to bring it to the same standard as the hotel; upgraded rooms at San Lucianu Beach Resort in Corsica; the opening of a third restaurant at the five-star Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes; and free Wi-fi access across all eight of the operator's beach resorts. Brochure prices lead-in at £655 per person for a week at Levante Beach Resort in Rhodes, departing on May 4, 2013. The price includes BA flights from Heathrow, seven nights' half-board accommodation, transfers, kids' clubs, evening childcare, watersports and tuition, use of tennis courts, aerobics and fitness classes and mountain biking. For bookings or more information call 0844-273 6826, email lizzieedwards@markwarner.co.uk or see www.markwarner.co.uk

Free KL stopover from Malaysia Airlines MALAYSIA AIRLINES has teamed up with Tourism Malaysia to offer a free stopover in Kuala Lumpur for passengers travelling on the airline’s services from the UK to destinations in Australia and New Zealand. Valid for a minimum of two people travelling together, passengers who book flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth in Australia and Auckland in New Zealand will receive a free overnight stay at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel. The offer is valid on any date from now until June 30, 2013 for flights booked in Business or Economy Class via the carrier's Website or through its booking office by December 31. For details call 0871-423 9090 or visit www.malaysiaairlines.com

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December 14 2012

● ● ● ● ● ●

trade sales manager north and Paul Mellon as trade sales manager for the south. THE UK Holiday Group has appointed David Lote and Maureen Quinn as group sales development managers. THE BOARD of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) has appointed Dale Keller as chief executive. THE TOURISM Society has appointed Jimmy Ancheta Jr. as marketing and commercial executive. ACCOR UK and Ireland has appointed Jason Wischhoff as franchise and management development director and Wolfgang Gold as franchise development manager, both for the UK and Ireland. ORIENT-EXPRESS has announced that Andrew Cook has been appointed general manager of the British Pullman train. KAREN SINCLAIR has joined Zegrahm Expeditions as marketing director. THE LANDMARK London has appointed Andrew Batchelor as hotel manager. PETER ANSCOMB has joined the Edwardian Group, London as senior corporate director. GROSVENOR HOUSE Apartments by Jumeirah Living has appointed Steve Thorne as director of sales & marketing. SOUTH AFRICAN Tourism has appointed Andrew Sharpe as trade relations manager in the UK. VIRGIN ATLANTIC has appointed Reuben Arnold as customer experience director.

AITO announces two overseas conferences for 2013 AITO TOUR operators and agents will gather at two highly-focused overseas conferences in the summer and winter of 2013. The association’s summer overseas conference will take place in June next year and will focus on three key themes - the retail environment, how best to maximise the unique benefit of relationships between AITO Tour Operators and AITO Specialist Travel Agents and a careful analysis of consumer aspirations for travel in 2013 and beyond. The association's winter overseas conference will take place in November and will focus on three key different issues – how to run an entrepreneurial and profitable travel business, how to choose the right travel suppliers, destinations and experiences to inspire new and repeat customers and how to optimise online technology for more effective operations and marketing. The new two-conference format means that members can focus more on the issues that directly affect them and their teams - from sales and networking, to the development of product and industry issues. Although the summer conference will particularly appeal to AITO Specialist Travel Agents, AITO expects to take bookings from operators, agents and affiliates for either or both conferences based on their specific interests, with preferential rates on offer for those who elect to attend both.

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agentbulletin Win X Factor tickets!

ve i t n e c n i g n Booki person g £50 per Gozo in r e ff o is S d POT TOUR ts for Malta an check ● SUNS n e o g T a r. te to this win or booked -408 0506 departing bookings or to book call 0800 claim your o y availabilit unspottours.com. T ttours.com o p .s s w n w u s w @ it s y vis oliday h il a nd agenc m e e e ferenc a A re T incentiv L g A in M k o bo mail with your d subject the e departures ll n a a r fo s il d vali deta The offer is xcludes infants. . e v ti n e c in e 2013 and until April

THE CARIBBEAN island of Saint Lucia recently appeared on the X Factor as the setting for judge Tulisa’s X Factor House. To cele brate the island's starring role - which saw the con testants, including Ella Henderson, learning how to make chocolate at Boucan's ‘Tree to Bar ' experience from Hotel Chocolat and Tulisa trying cockta ils at Jade Mountain, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board is giving agents the chance to win two tick ets to the X Factor Live show at a convenient venue. For your chance to win, email competition@stluciauk .org with your full name, company name, job title as well as direct email address and phone number . The competition closes on December 31 and the winner will be announced on January 11. To find out how to become a Saint Lucia Specialist see www.saintluciaexpert.com and for more information about Saint Lucia visi t www.saintlucianow.co.uk

Crystal competition THIS CHRISTMAS, Crystal Cruises is recognising travel agents’ loyalty by giving them the chance to win a Kindle by downloading the line's new Storyteller app. For a chance to win agents need to download the free app from the iTunes store; use the app to edit their favourite Crystal Cruise holiday photo or a photo of where they would love to cruise with the company, then email to crystalmarketing@cruiseportfolio.co.uk with the subject header ‘My Favourite Crystal Story’ and include their name, agency and a contact telephone number. Agents should also include details of where and when the picture was taken and why it is their favourite cruise holiday moment. The competition runs until December 31 and the winner will be notified via email. For details call 020-7399 7601 or visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk

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SUN IN SHARM...Nanette Harding of Midlands Co-operative Travel in Blaby, Leicester collects a seven-night all inclusive holiday for two to Sharm el Sheikh from Red Sea Holidays' trade relations manager, David Castle. Nanette won the prize following a summer late sales campaign with East Midlands Airport and the operator. December 14 2012

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newsbulletin Antarctica

agentreview Alan Haynes from Ultimate Destinations in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, went on a four-night fam to Turkey with Mosaic Holidays. Here's what he thought of the Kempinski Ciragan Palace in Istanbul and Kempinski Barbaros Bay, Bodrum...

First impressions ..............................10/10 Very impressed with the service provided by Turkish Airlines and the use of the lounge at Gatwick was an added bonus. The ground agents met us at the airport and we were given an excellent introduction to Istanbul during the transfer to the hotel. The Kempinski Cirgan Palace certainly has the wow factor, a five-star hotel with fantastic views over the Bosphorus.

Comfort ............................................10/10 Ciragan Palace - the facilities were excellent and included a small museum explaining the history of the palace & the hotel. At Barbaros Bay we had a lovely welcome, great facilities, relaxing atmosphere and first class service throughout.

Quality ..............................................10/10 Both properties were worthy of their five-star rating. Quality experience at both hotels with top facilities designed to ensure guests are comfortable and all needs are catered for.

Affordability ........................................9/10 For the quality of the product, service and the prime locations of the hotels, the prices are fitting.

Service ................................................9/10

Hurtigruten launches new excursion for the ultimate explorer experience THIS WINTER, Hurtigruten has launched a new excursion that allows guests on its Antarctica voyages to pitch tents for a night on the frozen landscapes of Antarctica. The excursion is aimed at adventure seekers and travels in a small group of no more than 15. Guests are supplied with outdoor equipment specially tailored to the region, including sleeping bags designed for use in extreme conditions and expedition tents that sleep two. Prices lead in at £330 per person. A Classic Expedition Voyage leads in at £3,295 per person on MS Fram for a February 13 departure, where guests voyage through the Drakes Passage escorted by albatrosses and storm petrels before arriving at Antarctica. The ten-day voyage includes full board on the ship, local charter flights to Ushuaia and lectures. Flight packages from the UK to Buenos Aires are extra and cost from £1,392 including transfers and two nights' breakfast accommodation in Buenos Aires preand post-voyage. For more information call 020-8846 2666 or see www.hurtigruten.co.uk/agents

The service at both hotels was excellent.

Good to know ............................................ I didn’t realise how easy it was to combine a city break with a beach holiday in Turkey. I was under the impression that Turkey was a down-market destination and this trip proved otherwise. If staying at the Barbaros Bay, do visit Bodrum with its castle, lovely white buildings and the marina with rows of gulets.

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

10/ 10

Alan 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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December 14 2012

OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card from Leisure Pass Group LEISURE PASS Group is giving agents the chance to grab a slice of the Italian market by selling the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card. The pre-paid sightseeing pass will be available for sale via agents from January 1, 2013, opening up a new potential source of ancillary income on city breaks to the Italian capital and the Vatican City. The card offers free and fast track entry to the Vatican museums, including the Sistine Chapel and a choice of fast track entry to St. Peter's Basilica or a tour of the Vatican Gardens. Users also receive free entry to a choice of two out of five top Rome attractions including the Coliseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill, Borghese Gallery and National Museum of Castel St. Angelo, and provides a free hop-on-hop-off bus tour ticket, a free travel card for unlimited travel on Rome’s public transport and a free map of the city offering handy hints and tips. Customers will able to collect the OMNIA Vatican and Rome Card from five different locations in the city. It is valid for three consecutive days and costs €90 for adults and €60 for children. For more information email peter@leisurepassgroup.com

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puzzlebulletin Su Doku

Travagrams

Win a £50 Hotel Chocolat voucher in the travelbulletin Su Doku prize puzzle Number: 093

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

A She Nos So

A➠

B➠

This operator’s name is made up of the chuckle of this Christmas favourite combined with the subdivisions of the year, marked by changes in weather

C➠

Inward

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: competition@travelbulletin.co.uk Closing date for entries is Thursday, December 20th. Solution and new puzzle will appear next week. The winner for 30th November is Tony Duke, Smart Save Travel in Hampshire. November 30 Solution: A=4 B=9 C=6 D=5

Crossword

Capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia & British scientist who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution & how we think about the natural world

Where Am I?

Territory of Australia, with a population of 1,402, capital is Flying Fish Cove.

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

Number: 093

Across 1. Title of Michael Buble's festive sounding album (9) 6. Carrier with HQ in Addis Ababa, ___ Airlines (9) 7. Swiss city and lake (6) 8. European capital city (4) 11. Travel industry association, initially (4) 12. DerTour offers holidays to Christmas markets in this city (6) 15. Athens historic site and tourist attraction (9) 17. Bank holiday, popular with shoppers and sports fans (6,3)

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Down 1. BBC weather girl, sounds like a Christmas song (5) 2. Statue of a mythical creature found in Giza (6) 3. Villa specialist, part of TUI (4) 4. Snow runner (3) 5. Festive family show, oh no it isn't - oh yes it is! (5) 6. Number of Maids a milking in The Twelve Days of Christmas (5) 9. European airline (5) 10. The Liffey flows through this Irish city (6) 11. Car rental company (5) 13. Girl's name, sounds like a traditional festive decoration (5) 14. Pay in advance for this discounted fare (4) 16. Welsh actor and comedian, ___ Brydon (3)

For the solution to the Crossword, Where Am I? and Travagrams, please see page 28 December 14 2012

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opinionbulletin

W-AITO-Go! by TRACEY CARTER

by TRACEY CARTER, AITO Agent panel member & director of Carrick Travel

T

HE INDEPENDENT travel agent is here to stay! However, as with any business, the travel industry will never be without its challenges and, in my opinion, how dull a life we would lead without the odd curved ball being thrown at us from time to time. As a new member of the AITO Agents’ panel and joint new owner of Carrick Travel this year, it’s interesting to reflect on the current issues facing the independent travel agent. The first thing that springs to mind is last month’s hot topic - ATOL certificates - and how quickly we have all now embraced what we think is required. Hopefully all agents are providing clients with a certificate now - if not from our tour operator partners, then from our own systems. The challenge now is for us all to ensure we have commercial agreements in place and on file should a tour operator go into administration. This, in itself, is time-consuming and a job we are working towards completing.

"The topic that seems to have taken over from ATOL is the reduction in commission payments from cruise lines. We are now booking more mainstream cruises than in recent years and the reason for this is that we now have a reasonably level

booking process easy by sending commercial agreements to agents without the constant chasing. The proof of the success of the certificates - or not, as the case may well be - is when a tour operator goes out of business and we see how many clients do not get a refund because they have not got a certificate or their agency has not got an agency agreement in place. Will the CAA really not refund a client if they have a certificate but their agent does not have a commercial agreement in place? The topic that seems to have taken over from ATOL is the reduction in commission payments from cruise lines. Speaking from a Carrick Travel perspective, we are now booking more mainstream cruises than in recent years. The reason is that we now have a reasonably level playing field with the ‘big boys’ – previously, we were in a no-win situation as often clients would discuss the discount they had received on board while on their cruise. As Carrick Travel does not discount, clients gave no consideration to the service, advice and recommendations that we offered. Another priority on the agenda at Carrick Travel is keeping our staff motivated and committed to growing the business. We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to do this, which in our opinion can only happen with our staff being behind the growth and expansion. We very much value our experienced and knowledgeable staff, but realise that we need to continue to bring new blood into our business too, so we’re intending to take on apprentices within three of our offices. To conclude, always remember the challenges we face today are the opportunities of tomorrow - the independent travel agent REALLY is here to stay!

playing field with the ‘big boys’" I must say I am at a loss to understand how everything has fallen on the shoulders of travel agents with the new regulations. We have to make sure a certificate has been given to a client when we take money from a client – and we may or may not have received the certificate from the tour operator. We then have to ensure we have an agreement in place should the tour operator go into administration. And, if it does, then again it is our responsibility to refund clients. I am sure that, as a result, we will see agents again reducing the number of tour operators they deal with. It will become essential to work with those who make the

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December 14 2012

To respond to any of Tracey’s views email jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk

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Agent Training Event

Indian Ocean Showcase

Invites you to attend an

Indian Ocean Showcase Agent Networking Evening

Tuesday 15th January 2013 Carom Restaurant, 100 Wardour Street, London W1 Travel Bulletin is delighted to invite you to this training event covering all that this stunning region has to offer in terms of accommodation, flights, health and wellbeing,wedding and honeymoon and tailormade packages. Registration :

18.15 hours

Networking & Presentations:

18.30 hours

Buffet, Entertainment & Prizes:

20.00 hours

Carriages:

21.30 hours

For more information on how to exhibit or attend as a guest please email : jeanette@travelbulletin.co.uk or telephone 020 7834 6661

Exhibitors


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newsbulletin New France brochures by Hoseasons THE HOSEASONS Group has launched two new Francefocused brochures for 2013 from cottages4you and French Country Cottages, both offering reduced deposits of £25 on all bookings. Cottages4you’s programme features more than 2,500 properties, 50 of which are new for next year, and the brochure includes introductions to individual regions, offering key highlights in addition to map references. Low, mid and high pricing indicators are also available for easy comparison between properties. Examples include a property in Rocquecor close to Tournon d’Agenais. Ideal for a couple, the detached, converted windmill sleeps two and offers views across surrounding fields. It is set in an elevated position within a large garden and is 2km from the village of Rocquecor and 12km from Tournon d’Agenais. Prices lead in at £189 for seven nights, based on a January 5 arrival. Meanwhile, French Country Cottages’ brochure showcases its full range of properties, including 100 new cottages and villas. It includes regional introductions with dedicated pages for Limousin and Midi-Pyrénées. Dordogne has also been regrouped with Lot and Lot-et-Garonne, encompassing three areas with similar landscapes, amenities and history. New properties include the Milly - Gennes, Maine-et-Loire, Loire Valley. The 16th century property, which is adjoined to the Milly château, has been restored and furnished in French country style with an open fire. Sleeping up to four people, prices start from £708 for a seven-night break.

Real Azores programme from Sunvil SUNVIL DISCOVERY has launched its 2013 Real Azores brochure featuring single, multi-centre and tailor-made itineraries to all nine of the mid-Atlantic islands. Several new properties have been added, including the Azores’ first five-star hotel, as well as new activities and a new guided tour. Set on the seafront in Terceira’s capital, Angra do Heroismo, the recently opened five-star Hotel Angra Marina offers a swimming pool, spa, restaurant and piano bar, with prices leading in at £987 per person. Meanwhile, a selection of new experiences are available, including a guided walk on the island of Pico, with prices leading in at £28 per person for an 8km Vinhas da Criacao Velha walk from Porto do Calhau to Areia Larca. New guided tours include the seven-night Garden Tour of Sao Miguel, which departs on June 8 and takes garden enthusiasts from watermills, forests and botanical gardens to volcanic caldera and hot springs around the island. The tour costs from £1,691 per person, based on two sharing and includes direct flights with SATA International from Gatwick, half-board accommodation at two three-star hotels, five lunches with drinks, transfers, guided excursions, the services of David Sayers and a local guide. A £20 reduction per person applies on all bookings made before February 28 when flying direct with SATA International. Clients departing in March, April or October also have the choice of one free excursion per person.


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hotelbulletin The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts invests $200m to restore heritage hotels THE LUXURY Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, has announced that the company and its owners are investing $200million to renovate and restore some of its most celebrated hotels in Europe. The brand reports that it is already off to a strong start with the reopening of two hotels in Spain this year: Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville and Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, which will be followed by the debut of the restored Gritti Palace in Venice and Prince de Galles in Paris in 2013. The company's global brand leader Paul James said: “We are delighted to reintroduce these historic icons, carefully restored by some of the world’s most renowned architects, interior designers and craftsmen who have preserved the authentic elegance and distinct personality so beloved by its guests, while bringing the landmark hotels into the 21st century." For more information visit www.starwoodhotels.com

HAMPTON HOTELS has opened its latest property, the 188-room Hampton by Hilton London Luton Airport. The hotel is ideally located for the convenience of air travellers, less than a mile from the main airport terminal. Ease of access to Central London is also guaranteed, with the adjacent Luton Airport Parkway train station running regular high speed services to St Pancras. Services include unlimited Wi-fi access, free hot breakfast and round the clock snacks as well as 24-hour business and fitness centres. For details see www.hamptonbyhilton.com

InBrief ● SANDALS RESORTS International (SRI), parent company of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and

Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, has purchased The Veranda Resorts & Residences in Turks & Caicos. ● THISTLE HOTELS has redeveloped its Website at www.thistle.com to offer a newly designed

homepage, upgraded four-step booking journey and visible offers, searchable by hotel, date and offer type. ● GUOMAN HOTELS has revealed its new Website at www.guoman.com, which features superfast HTML5, ensuring time is saved when browsing, booking and upgrading rooms from PCs, tablets or mobile technology platforms. ● RADISSON BLU Edwardian, London has achieved GOLD GTBS (Green Tourism Business Scheme) Awards for all 13 hotels in the luxury London hotel group. ● HYATT HOTELS Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into an agreement with Bonifacio Landmark Realty and Development Corp. (BLC), a joint-venture company between property developer Federal Land Inc. and Japanese financial services group ORIX Corporation, for a Grand Hyatt hotel and Grand Hyatt branded residences in Manila, Philippines, scheduled to open in 2015. ● MELIÁ HOTELS International will open its first two Innside by Meliá hotels in Spain early next year. The first, a four-star Innside Madrid Génova, is located in the central Alonso Martínez square and will offer 65 guestrooms. The second property will be the Innside Madrid Luchana, with 43 rooms. For details see www.melia.com

Rezidor opens the Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi REZIDOR HAS opened its latest flagship in Russia, the 508room Radisson Blu Resort & Congress Centre, Sochi. The property is located in the Adler district, directly bordering Sochi’s 2014 Winter Games facilities and the Black Sea coast, adjacent to the promenade. Facilities at the 508-room hotel include free high speed internet access, Anne Sémonin bath products, a selection of dining and drinking experiences, fitness centre, tennis court, billiards room and children’s recreational facilities. A spa centre also offers beauty treatments, massages, manicures and a hairdressing studio, while Finnish and Russian saunas, a hammam with relaxation area and a

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Jacuzzi are also available. Meanwhile, Sochi town and its surroundings are currently undergoing a major transformation to take the area from a regional tourist hub into a global tourism destination in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Works are underway to improve the infrastructure and create modern attractions, including the construction of an Olympic Park on the Black Sea, theme parks and enhanced ski facilities. The first Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix is also planned to be held at the end of 2014 on a race track winding around the Olympic Park. Sochi’s main stadium will also host the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.

December 14 2012

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personalitybulletin

James Thornton The managing director of Intrepid Travel admits he’s a bit of a technophobe...

Who is your ideal travelling companion? I think I’d better say my wife, Natalie. She works in the travel industry so she is likely to be reading this!

“The best way to get under the skin of a destination is to spend time talking to local people. You'll learn much more than you could find in a guidebook”

What's your earliest childhood memory? Kicking a football around in the garden with my dad when I was very young. Sport – and football in particular - has always been one of my big passions. Where was your last work-related trip? We recently held Intrepid’s annual sales conference in Lorne, a seaside town not far from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road.

Career path ● ●

If you were a celebrity who would you choose to be and why? Daniel Craig. If you’ve ever watched him in a James Bond film then you’ll understand why.

● ● ●

What three words would your friends use to describe you? Ambitious, confident, fun. What have your travels taught you? That the best way to get under the skin of a destination is to spend time talking to local people. You'll learn much more than you could find in a guidebook, and it will make the experience far more memorable. What is the best advice you recall? I spent the first few years of my career working in the city, but I didn’t enjoy it a great deal. My dad advised me to do something that I felt passionate about, and that was why I decided to work in the travel industry. If you could have a room full of any one thing, what would it be? Friends and family.

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2002 – 2005: Portfolio assistant, Thesis Asset Management 2005 – 2007: UK & Europe Industry sales manager, Intrepid Travel 2007 – 2010: Global Industry sales manager, Intrepid Travel 2010 – 2011: General manager global sales, Intrepid Travel 2011 – 2012: General manager global sales & regional director UK & Europe, Intrepid Travel Dec 2012: Managing director, Intrepid Travel

If you could change three things in the industry, what would they be? Like many consumers, I dislike the hidden charges that you get in some parts of the industry and I think that the price that you see should be the price that you pay. I’d like to change the perception that travel needs to be discounted to be good value, and also change the expectation that you should get an upgrade just because you work in the industry. Who has been the biggest inspiration/influence in your career? From a personal viewpoint, my dad for encouraging me to do something I felt passionate about. From a work

December 14 2012

perspective, Intrepid’s co-founders Geoff Manchester and Darrell Wade, for never being afraid to innovate and change with the times. What's your favourite city and why? Rio de Janeiro, for its mix of iconic sights, beautiful beaches, culture and nightlife and incredible people. What is your motto in life? You only get one shot, so do something you care about. What is your favourite mode of travel? I like to travel by bike – it’s a great way to get around and you keep fit at the same time. What item do you always take with you when travelling? Noise-cancelling headphones are an essential for all the long-haul flights that I take. How do you deal with stress? I go for a run which is a great way to get things in perspective. How do you cope with the advances in technology? I’m a bit of a technophobe. I’ve just worked out how to use my iPad. What’s your favourite movie of all time? It would have to be Shawshank Redemption, it’s a real classic. What’s your favourite programme on the TV right now? I’m hooked on Homeland. What do you love about your job? I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to travel to so many different countries and experience so many different cultures.

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cruisebulletin Sail to the Black Sea next spring with Swan Hellenic

SILVERSEA HAS launched its 2013/14 Galápagos programme. The year-round schedule of seven-day expedition voyages on the 100-guest, all-suite Silver Galapagos will begin operating in late September 2013. The two voyages will be a western Itinerary round-trip from Baltra Island, travelling across the western, southern and eastern islands, including Santiago, Bartolomé, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristóbal, and Santa Cruz. A north central itinerary round-trip from Baltra Island will encompass the northeast, central and southeast islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Seymour Norte, San Cristóbal, Española and Plazas Sur. Fares start at £3,550 per person based on two sharing. For details see www.silversea.com/expeditions

Carnival's sustainability report reveals more cruise passengers bring greater economic benefits with less environmental impact INCREASED NUMBERS of cruise passengers and brand growth went hand in hand with new environmental initiatives last year, according to the third annual Carnival UK Sustainability Report. A 5% increase in passenger numbers (to 1.7m) across the UK market helped boost cruise line, passenger and crew spending in the UK economy by 10% to €2.8bn with the 64,000 jobs generated adding another €2.3bn in salaries paid. Carnival UK was a major contributor with P&O Cruises and Cunard Line adding capacity during the year and P&O Cruises further demonstrating its commitment to the UK with the ordering of its largest ship for delivery in 2015. At the same time, the drive to ensure that the sector's growth was sustainable continued throughout the company's operations. Carnival UK CEO David Dingle said: “Cruising is a fast growing part of the shipping industry that has always looked and planned well ahead and this has never been more important than right now when it faces so many challenges. These include the escalating cost of fuel and the global, national, regional and local pressures on us to

respond to environmental concerns and secure for the industry a wholly sustainable future. “We recognise the need to set the agenda for building an industry that is sustainable economically, socially and environmentally.” During the year, the line signed up to Vision 2040, a strategy developed by the newlyformed Sustainable Shipping Initiative which includes a commitment to pioneer or implement "aggressive" energy efficiencies in ship design, retrofitting and operations and to seek out renewable and other energy sources to achieve “significant” reductions in greenhouse gases. The company also used funds generated by the removal of silver from on-board photographic waste to support marine life safaris on kayaks along Dorset's Jurassic Coast, and also supports the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s beach school programme, which teaches primary school children about the importance of the marine environment. Carnival UK ships also self-generated 87% of the water used on board compared with 84% in 2010 and 65% in 2008 while - pro rata – their CO2 emissions were down 11% on 2010 and 32% on 2008.

SWAN HELLENIC is encouraging agents to highlight Greece and the Crimea – Black Sea itinerary on MV Minerva to clients interested in discovering the history of ancient Greece and the Crimea. Passengers will get the chance to explore the birthplace of Western civilisation in Athens, take a scenic train journey climbing the slopes of Mount Pelion and experience a special evening performance in the famous Odessa Opera House in Ukraine. Professor Ian Beckett – an expert in the Crimean War and Dr Steve Kershaw – a specialist in Greek and Roman history, will also join the panel of guest speakers on board to bring the destinations to life. Prices lead in at £2,850 per person, based on two people sharing an inside cabin for an April 10, 2013 departure. It includes flights, transfers, a tailor-made programme of shore excursions in every port – worth up to £500 per person, guest speaker talks, meals and entertainment on-board, all gratuities and all relevant taxes/fees. For details see www.swanhellenic.com or call 0844-822 0679.

Oceania Cruises expands Culinary Discovery Tours to the South Pacific OCEANIA CRUISES is expanding its Culinary Discovery Tours to the South Pacific on its mid-sized luxury cruise ship Marina. Uniquely designed for each port, the tours provide guests with the opportunity to explore local food markets, vineyards and farms in small groups with an expert chef. Participants then join the chef in the cookery school for a hands-on cooking lesson of the regional cuisine in one of 24 workstations. The new South Pacific Culinary Discovery Tours are offered in the Bay of Islands and Tauranga, New Zealand on the 18-day

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South Pacific Paradise cruise. Departing Papeete, Tahiti on February 7, 2013, the cruise calls at 11 ports throughout French Polynesia, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia before arriving in New Zealand. Marina also sails three additional South Pacific voyages with highlights that include overnight calls at Easter Island and Bora Bora, cruising the Tuamotu Archipelago and crossing the international dateline. For more information visit www.oceaniacruises.com or call on 0845-505 1920.

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Win a trip to Texas with Online Travel Training ONLINE TRAVEL Training (OTT) is offering agents the chance to win a Lone Star Texas badge when they take all six of its Texas courses. On completion of the modules, agents will be invited to attend a Texpert Agent event hosted in their honour and will also have the chance to win a trip to Texas for two (including flights and accommodation) to learn about the cities and services the state has to offer. Some of the courses also have their own prize giveaways such as an original handmade pair of leather Texas boots. For details see www.texperttraining.com The company is also running 'Out Now' Business Class elearning training to equip agents with delivering the best standard of service to their lesbian and gay travel market. Training is also being offered on the Elite Island Resorts, a group of Caribbean beach resorts located in Antigua; the British Virgin Islands; the Grenadines; and St Lucia. Operated in the UK by Resort Marketing International, the resorts offer breaks for singles, couples and families. There is also the potential for selling wedding and honeymoon packages. For more information visit www.ott.travel

Galley Bay Beach, Antigua

Become an Asia Pacific expert and win up to £70 Love2Shop vouchers THE FIRST 50 agents to complete one of the new PATA Academy courses, ‘Pacific Expert’ or ‘Asia Expert’, by December 21 will receive a £10 Love2Shop voucher per certificate. Every month until January 2013, a tourist office member will also give away a £50 Love2Shop voucher in a prize draw for all agents who have completed a certificate in that

month. All agents who complete a certificate will also be guaranteed a place at the PATA Party events to join the association’s members for a Christmas drink at the Island Bar in Birmingham on December 10 or the Sports Café London on December 19. For more information visit www.pataacademy.com or www.pata.org.uk/events

VisitEngland training scheme sees 100 sign-ups in first week LAUNCHED AT this year's ABTA Convention in Turkey's Belek, VisitEngland’s new training programme, in association with TravelUni, saw 100 people sign up to the course in the first week. The tourist board has also announced that the first 50 agents to complete the first module of the England Expert programme will be entered into a prize draw to win a package at Thermae Bath Spa or a

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trip on the London Eye plus dinner for two courtesy of DoSomethingDifferent.com Other prizes include shopping vouchers courtesy of Great Rail Journeys and prizes sponsored by Shearings, Preston Holidays, Superbreak and My Chocolate. The programme consists of two modules, including ‘What Makes England Great’, which contains information on how to sell England

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and where to book, and ‘England The Facts’, which provides destination information divided into geographical areas with an interactive map game. In addition to the training programme, the company will launch a new £2million TV advertisement in the spring of next year, created to encourage Brits to book a holiday in England through their local agent. For more information see www.englandexpert.com

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iceland TABER HOLIDAYS has added a new four-night ‘Hiking Like A Viking’ itinerary that explores the landscapes of southwest Iceland, discovering green valleys, lunar-like landscapes, lava fields, hot springs and bird cliffs. Activities include bathing in Reykjavik’s Blue Lagoon or a natural geothermal river and hiking to the top of the volcano crater on the island of Heimæy. Prices lead in at £1,334 per person including flights from Heathrow, transfers, breakfast accommodation, entrance to the Blue Lagoon and the services of a bus and guide. Departures are on July 3, 17 and 31 and August 14, 2013. For details call 01274-875199 or see www.taberhols.co.uk

Cosmos Tours & Cruises adds New Year departure plus new hotels COSMOS TOURS & Cruises has added a special New Year’s Eve departure on its ‘Images of Iceland’ short break, as well as a choice of new hotels on all departures for next year. The December 30, 2013 departure will feature a fireworks display, a four-course gala dinner and a Bonfire & Christmas Light Tour, and leads in at £959 per person. Also new is an expanded choice of hotels including the four-diamond rated Ice Hotel, as well as the traditional Reykjavik Centrum in the heart of the old city, offering modern facilities. Prices lead in at £765 per person to include five nights' breakfast accommodation at the three-star Fosshotel Lind, Reyjkavik, flights, transfers and a range of sightseeing, including the Golden Circle, Gullfoss, Geysir, Thingvellir National Park and Blue Lagoon. Flights are available from Heathrow, Manchester and Glasgow.

The Blue Lagoon

As well as the short break to Rejkjavik, an ‘Icelandic Adventure’ is available for 2013 with departures from April to November to experience the landscape of geysers, glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls across the country. Prices lead in at £1,335 per person to include a range of sightseeing, seven nights' breakfast accommodation, some meals and the services of a tour director. For more information or to book call 0844-573 0668 or visit www.cosmostoursandcruises.co.uk

WOW Air appoints UK general sales agent WOW AIR of Iceland has appointed Flight Directors as its exclusive general sales agent for the UK. The announcement follows the completion of last month's takeover of competing airline, Iceland Express, and underlines the carrier’s commitment to broaden its UK distribution through the travel trade. The airline operates six weekly flights to Keflavik from Gatwick (daily except Saturday), which will increase to 12 flights per week next summer, when four new Airbus A320 aircraft join the fleet.

Debut Iceland itineraries from G Adventures with seven-day prices from £1,089 G ADVENTURES has launched Iceland trips for the first time. A Summer Trekking in Iceland itinerary explores the changing geographical landscape of the destination, trekking along the sides of volcanoes and across a frozen glacier. Accommodation is in a camp behind the mountains in a secluded campsite along the Laugavagur Trail. Prices lead in at £1,699 per person for ten days. An Iceland Local Living trip explores Iceland's geothermal features and guests have the opportunity to relax at an old farmhouse with hot tubs and a sauna,

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tour Reykjavik by bicycle and get to know the Icelandic people. Prices start from £1,089 for a seven-day trip. Meanwhile, an Iceland Adventure offers a soak in hot springs and rivers, the option to learn about glaciers from an expert guide whilst trekking across one, spot puffins and other regional birds, visit fishing villages and farms for a taste of local life and watch geology in action at the lava fields and volcanoes of Iceland. A 12-day trip costs from £2,749 per person. For more information or to book visit www.gadventures.com

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iceland Ski Safari offers free stopover option in Reykjavik on flights to Denver SKI SAFARI has announced that it is offering Reykjavik as a free stopover option when flying to Denver. The company says that for this season, and for flights from Heathrow, Manchester or Glasgow, it is also a cheaper flight option than flying direct. Prices in Iceland have reduced by

two thirds since the banking crisis, making it a much more affordable city break destination. Activities on offer in Reykjavik include a visit to the Blue Lagoon from £50 per person including transfers and bathing fee; exploring the city with a three-hour Reykjavik Grand Excursion (by coach and foot) from £27; visiting the glaciers from

£110 (eight to ten hours); and winter whale-watching from £43. A two-night Reykjavik add-on including a three-hour Northern Lights tour, accommodation and transfers costs from £115. For more information or to book visit www.skisafari.com or call 01273-224060.

Regent Holidays adds ten-day remote western tour with four departures A NEW tour from Regent Holidays now gives UK visitors the chance to explore the remote Westfords region during the ‘white nights’ of 2013, with four departure dates in June, July and August. With just 7,400 inhabitants in the region, each person has nearly a square mile of personal space, and while visitors will find the local culture of interest, it is nature in the West fjords that attracts visitors; cliffs and valleys are packed with birds, the uninhabited fjords offer silence and tranquility and the Arctic fox roams the mountains and inlets. The company's ten-day tour will operate with a minimum of two people and maximum of 16. Highlights include swimming in a geothermal pool; kayaking, fishing and horseriding; sailing to Vigur island; adventure trucking around the Slettanes peninsula; visiting the seven tiered waterfall Dynjandi; and flying over scenery between the West fjords and Reykjavik. Prices lead in at £1,310 per person, based on two sharing and include flights from Heathrow, breakfast

West fjords waterfalls

accommodation, eight dinners, excursions as outlined and the services of a guide throughout. For details visit www.regentholidays.co.uk or call 020-7666 1290.

COLLETTE WORLDWIDE has announced the addition of a new nine-day ‘Inspiring Iceland’ group tour as part of its expanded programme for next year. The tour is one of a programme of ‘explorations’, where groups are kept small (no more than 28) and experiences are personal, tailored and cultural. The nine-day Iceland exploration leads in at £2,099 per person and highlights include a bicycle tour of Reykjavik, a trip to the Gullfoss Waterfall, a visit to a family shark farming business and a chance to try Icelandic delicacies like cured ‘hakare’. Visits to the Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle are also included, as are flights, many meals, door to door pick up within 100 miles of the UK departure airport and a tour leader. For details see www.colletteworldwide.com or call 0800-804 8700.

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iceland Blue Lagoon

The Adventure Company adds seven-day family break for summer from £1,469 THE ADVENTURE Company has added a new summer itinerary to its range of almost 100 family adventure holidays. On the week-long trip families can explore lava fields,

craters, volcanoes and waterfalls and swim in the glacial Blue Lagoon. Lead in prices start from £1,099 for children and £1,469 for adults including flights from London.

Great Value 2013 Iceland Holidays - Guided Sightseeing Included Images of Iceland from £765 8 day An Icelandic Adventure from £1,335 5 day

With over 50 years experience in arranging touring holidays, Cosmos Tours & Cruises feature two fantastic value itineraries to explore Iceland’s spectacular landscape, natural wonders and famous capital city of Reykjavik. Price includes: š:[fWhjkh[i\hec>[Wj^hemCWdY^[ij[h (supplements may apply)

šH[jkhdJhWdi\[hi šHWd][e\]k_Z[Zi_]^ji[[_d] šI[hl_Y[e\Wfhe\[ii_edWbJekh:_h[Yjeh š8[ZWdZXh[Wa\WijWYYecceZWj_ed

hern See the Nort eir th t a Lights peak in 2013

(4 dinners included on Icelandic Adventure)

Reservations & Admin

0844 573 0660 The Uk’s No 1 Independent Tour Operator

tours & cruises


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iceland

HOTEL RANGA in Hella (pictured) is running an 'Age of the Aurora' promotion, which is valid until April 15, 2013 and offers 30% savings on a four-night stay. Prices lead in at €686 based on two sharing a standard room and €898 for two sharing a deluxe room. Located close to all of southern Iceland 's main attractions, activities and historical sites, the property's surroundings offer views of Mt. Hekla, a range of mountains, glaciers and a live volcano. Onsite activities include fishing, horse-riding, snowmobiling, glacier tours, guided keep tours and helicopter trips to the nearby volcano on Eyjafjalljökull.

Icelandair to offer in-flight Wi-fi service across fleet & expands network for 2013 ICELANDAIR HAS signed a contract with Row 44, a leader in commercial in-flight broadband service, to equip its fleet with high-speed Wi-fi. Passengers will be able to use their own Wi-fi-enabled devices to connect to the internet with the new service from the end this month, and the fleet installation is expected to be completed by the autumn of 2013. The carrier’s general manager UK Hjorvar Saeberg Hognason said: “While we currently offer leather seats and personal in-flight entertainment systems for all passengers, this new service will take us to new heights. It will be exciting to take a photo out the window as you’re flying over Iceland and send it to your friends 35,000 feet below.”

This year the airline celebrates 75 years of aviation and offers services to Iceland from Heathrow, Manchester, Glasgow and Gatwick. Meanwhile, the carrier is expanding its route network next year with a new service to Anchorage, Alaska. The company will also increase frequency from two of its UK gateways, Glasgow and Gatwick, with two flights per week to Anchorage from May 15 to September 15. The airline’s frequency from both Glasgow and Gatwick will also increase in 2013. From March 15 the Glasgow service will increase to four times weekly with the addition of a Friday flight, while the service from Gatwick will increase to three times weekly from May 21, with the addition of a Thursday flight.

Exodus adds selection of new explorations in Iceland for next year EXODUS HAS added new trips to Iceland for next year. As examples, an Iceland Northern Lights itinerary departs between January and March and offers visits to the Glacial Lagoon, the Vatnajokull National Park and a number of waterfalls. A week-long Discover Iceland tour offers an introduction to the southern half of the country, with guests travelling

from Snaefellsness Peninsula in the west across the lunar-like landscape of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve to the eastern side of Vatnajokull National Park. Craters, hot springs, lava flows and waterfalls dot the route, before heading along the south coast to Reykjavik. Departures are from May to July. Meanwhile, a Southern Iceland

Snowshoe Adventure departs on February 3 and March 10 and starts with a visit to The Blue Lagoon, before spending time at the Glacial Lagoon, hot springs and in the Blue Mountains. Ice cave exploration and the Seljalandsfoss and Gulfoss waterfalls also feature in the itinerary, as well as time in Reykjavik. For more information visit www.exodus.co.uk

Explorers Astronomy Tours adds five-day Northern Lights break from £899 EXPLORERS ASTRONOMY Tours has added a new Northern Lights short break with departures this month and next. The five-day tour costs from £899 per person without flights or £1,099 with flights, and begins in Reykjavik before travelling to the shores of Lake Myvatn in northern Iceland, to explore rugged landscapes, snow-covered volcanoes, icy waterfalls, natural springs and the aurora borealis. The company’s operations manager David Phillips said:

“The Northern Lights are high up on many people’s wishlist of natural wonders to witness at least once in their lifetime, and this year the display should be even more spectacular than usual.” The operator also offers several other trips to see the Northern Lights, including an eight-day Icelandic Northern Lights tour (from £1,499 with flights) and a five-day Glaciers, Geysers & Northern Lights break, with leads in at £1,159 including flights.

The Northern Lights

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iceland Northern Lights adventure from Imaginative Traveller IMAGINATIVE TRAVELLER is offering a four-night Northern Lights tour from October 1, 2013 to March, 2014, with prices leading in at £950 per person, excluding flights. Highlights include hunting for the Aurora Borealis, lava caving, geo-thermal pool dipping, lobster-feasting, glacier hiking, Golden Circle touring and snorkelling in the Silfrá fissure (to see one of only two tectonic rift valley collisions in the world) in Thingvellir National Park. Accommodation is at the newly-built ION Hotel and tours depart weekly, with flights leading in at £170. For more information or to book call 01728-885561 or visit www.imaginativetraveller.com

Attraction World highlights best-sellers ATTRACTION WORLD is promoting a selection of best-selling Iceland tours. A Northern Lights Mystery Tour costs from £32 per adult and £16 per child (aged three11) and includes complimentary hotel pick up from Reykjavik hotels. A Blue Lagoon Direct and Golden Circle Express costs from £81 per adult and £40 per child and is recommended for those on a flying visit who want to see the sights. Attractions include the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle in Reykjavik and the Gullfoss glacial waterfall. Round-trip transport is included. Another popular tour is the Snaefellsnes National Park which costs £118 per adult and £59 per child. Located in the west of Iceland, the peninsula offers a range of recreational activities and the tour takes in a variety of shores and scenery, beaches and bird life. Highlights include a visit to the ancient sites of volcanic eruptions and a visit to Stykkisholmur village, en route to Reykjavik. Round trip transport is included and all tours are fully commissionable to agents.


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s k a e r b t r sho

Short breaks to Croatia and Madeira with Anatolian Sky

SPAIN'S LA Manga Club is offering a three-night stay for couples looking to see in the New Year, with prices leading in at €428 (approximately £356) per person. The short break offers a cocktail reception and six-course gala dinner on New Year's Eve, including reserve wines, Champagne and an open bar with premium brands. A 16-piece band La Mundial will provide live entertainment and music from the last four decades, and for parents with children, the resort will look after kids with a special New Year buffet with supervised fun, clowns and games. Accommodation is at the property's five-star hotel, with prices based on two sharing a room. Breakfast and access to the fitness centre, indoor pool, saunas and steam rooms are also included. For details email reserve@lamangaclub.com or visit www.lamangaclub.com

ANATOLIAN SKY Holidays, which has recently launched new programmes to both Croatia and Madeira, is highlighting a selection of short breaks in both destinations. As examples, three-night breaks to Dubrovnik, staying at the Hotel Uvala on the Lapad Peninsula, lead in at £395 per person. Alternatively, a threenight break in Madeira costs from £399 per person staying at the Quinta Bela Sao Tiago in Funchal’s Old Town. Prices are based on two adults sharing and include flights, transfers and breakfast accommodation. For more information call 0844-273 3585 or visit www.anatoliansky.co.uk

Hoseasons sees demand for last minute breaks & reports 42% increase in bookings HOSEASONS REPORTS that it took 42.5% more bookings for 2012 lodge and parks breaks in the two weeks immediately following the October/November half-term than in the same period last year. According to the company's managing director, Pali Badwal, the figures show that offering the right product at the right price can bring business opportunities at the tail-end of the year. Badwal said: “A few years ago, we would have been concentrating exclusively on the following season by this stage in the year, but we have increasingly realised there is a great opportunity to latch on to demand for late-booked short breaks, even at this stage. “We have seen more very late bookings coming in

throughout this year, and we are geared up in terms of marketing, offers and staffing to maximise our share. Although the numbers are obviously smaller this time of year, the trend is clearly continuing. “Many of these autumn and winter breaks will be in addition to the main summer holiday, so they represent an excellent opportunity for us and our travel trade partners to gain extra business by taking advantage of the continuing popularity of the domestic product. Holidaymakers taking short breaks at this time of the year want quality, cosy accommodation at the right price and plenty to do without travelling too far, so the right mix of product, choice of locations and value for money is vital to success – as is knowledge of the facilities available and local events, such as Christmas fairs.”

New research from DFDS Seaways reveals short breaks are good for us SHORT BREAKS are good for us according to research by DFDS Seaways, which found that 76% of Brits felt relaxed, 72% felt happy and 68% felt refreshed after a short break of five days or less. According to the research, just under half of Brits take an average of three to four short breaks a year, with more than half citing a key benefit as being the ability to take short breaks more often than longer holidays. Some 42% of adults surveyed also stated that the ease and convenience of a short break was a major benefit, while just under a third

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agreed that less packing was a winning factor. Even though one in five revealed that nothing stops them from taking a short break, one of the top barriers for others surveyed was the cost of the break (48%) followed by the time required for a short break (41%). In response to the results of the survey, the line is offering 40% off selected mini sailings from Newcastle and Harwich. The cruises feature live music, entertainment, bars, restaurants, shops and an onboard cinema or on demand films in cabins. The offer

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applies to a range of cruises, including a two-night Amsterdam break, which leads in at £45 per person and includes an en-suite cabin and coach transfers to and from Amsterdam. With daily departures from Newcastle, the offer is valid until February 31, 2013 for bookings made by January 2. Alternatively, a two-night Esbjerg cruise costs from £54 per person for an en-suite cabin. The offer is valid on selected departures until March 31 and the cruise departs from Harwich. For more information or to book call 0871-522 9976 or visit www.dfds.co.uk

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shortbreaks Weekend ski breaks from Ski Safari

FUNWAY HOLIDAYS has added the four-star Westin New York Grand Central property to its New York programme. The hotel, which opened its doors in October following a $75million renovation, was previously known as the New York Helmsley. Located in the centre of Manhattan, the hotel is within easy reach of all the city’s popular attractions. A free night offer is currently available, meaning that a four-night stay for two adults costs from £759 per person. The price is based on a February 7, 2013 departure and includes Virgin Atlantic flights.

For details see www.funway4agents.co.uk

SKI SAFARI has introduced a selection of weekend ski break packages to Switzerland, departing on Friday morning and returning on Monday. The three-star Hotel Garni Belmont in Engelberg is offering three nights’ breakfast accommodation, easyJet flights from Gatwick and rail transfers from £405 per person. Meanwhile, three nights’ breakfast accommodation at the three-star Alpenhotel in Laax costs from £385, with easyJet flights from Gatwick and rail transfers. For more information or to book visit www.skisafari.com or call 01273-224060.

Warner Leisure Hotels launches new ‘Pop Choir’ WARNER LEISURE Hotels’ guests can indulge in singing some all-time favourites with the hotel group’s new daytime signature event – 'Warner Pop Choir', a fun singing workshop hosted by the hotels’ entertainment team. As an example of prices, a four-night midweek break at Gunton Hall in Suffolk costs £190 per person, based on two adults sharing a Standard Chalet on a half-board basis for a February 4 arrival, including the ‘Warner Pop Choir’ daytime event. For details call 0808-141 1111 or see www.bourneleisuresales.co. uk

TV star Brendan Cole quicksteps back to Celtic Manor for ballroom package BBC ‘STRICTLY Come Dancing’ star Brendan Cole will be quickstepping his way back to the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales for Brendan Cole: Live at the Manor on March 9, 2013. The resort will be offering Ballroom and Bedroom packages where guests can attend an exclusive after-show party and dance with Brendan and his team of professional dancers. As an example, a Brendan Cole: Up Close and Personal package gives guests an opportunity to meet the professional dancer at a cocktail reception before the event and dance the night away at a private after-party. It includes front row table seats and a three-course dinner with wine during the show and an overnight breakfast stay at the property.

Cole said: “It will be an absolute pleasure to return to the Celtic Manor Resort and enjoy some more of that famous Welsh hospitality. The wonderful ballroom at Celtic Manor is the perfect venue for a more intimate stage show and I really enjoyed meeting the audience last year. This really is unique among the shows I perform and it’s a great way for dance lovers to get right up close to what we do.” All packages, which start from £150 per person or £204 when including an overnight stay, include a Champagne reception on arrival, three-course dinner with wine and the show. For details visit www.celtic-manor.com or call 01633-410318.

Grand UK Holidays helps guests head down memory lane with themed breaks GRAND UK Holidays has added two rock and pop-themed holidays to its range of short breaks for 2013. The four-night Torquay Rock and Blackpool Cabaret & the Singing City breaks have been added to the portfolio of themed coach tours, which offer activities such as line dancing, bingo and bowling. Also new for next year is a short break to see horse racing at Great Yarmouth. The operator's sales director Harold Burke said: “Our clients are keen to indulge in their hobbies or take up new interests while on holiday, so each season we add fresh options to our themed short breaks. “Such short breaks are great for agents who want to attract repeat

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customers, as clients like to return year after year to meet their fellow enthusiasts. “Themed breaks are also popular among agents who have built up a rapport locally with special interest groups, such as dance groups, historical groups, and retirement groups. And don’t forget – the teenagers of the 1960s are now the babyboomers of today, so they relish the chance to relive their rock-and-roll heyday!” The Blackpool Cabaret & the Singing City leads in at £229 per person and has a 60s music theme, drawing inspiration from the sounds of Liverpool. It follows in the footsteps of the Beatles, offering a ferry ride over the Mersey and an excursion to the Lake District. Based in the New President Hotel, which offers

cabaret entertainment each evening, the trip costs from £229 per person for halfboard accommodation and travel. Meanwhile, Torquay Rock is based at the Hotel Richmond in Torquay and includes sightseeing trips to places associated with teddy boys, mods and rockers, featuring themed quizzes and fancy dress competitions. The trip leads in at £329 per person for half-board accommodation and travel. Alternatively, Let’s Go Racing is a coach holiday based at the Nelson Hotel in Great Yarmouth. It features sightseeing excursions as well as a trip to an evening race meeting, and leads in at £329 per person for half-board accommodation and travel. For more information call 01603-619933 or see www.grandukholidays.com

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shortbreaks Tropical festive breaks with Amari from £248

SLOVAKIA WILL celebrate 20 years as an independent country next year and Regent Holidays is planning to join the festivities. The operator is offering three nights’ breakfast accommodation in the country’s capital, Bratislava, from £270 per person, based on two sharing and including flights to Vienna, with a transfer by rail or bus to Bratislava. For details call 020-7666 1244 or visit www.regent-holidays.co.uk

AMARI IS offering festive breaks in Thailand from £248 for a two-night stay at Orchid Pattaya Hotel. The Christmas package includes a free upgrade from an Ocean Deluxe room to Ocean Premier; buffet breakfast; free soft drinks and snacks from the minibar; welcome drink and fruit; in-room internet access; 20% off spa treatments; a free stay for children under 12; and a four-course dinner, with 25% discount if reserved with a stay. Guests can also opt to book Christmas Eve dinner from £61 per adult and £31 per child. Alternatively, a three-night Watergate Bangkok Christmas Package costs from £250 per room based on two sharing. The price includes a free upgrade from a Deluxe room to a Grand Deluxe room with breakfast; a welcome drink; fruit and flowers in the room; 20% discount on food; 20% off spa treatments; and a Christmas Eve buffet dinner. Offers are valid on stays between December 22 and December 26. See www.amari.com for more information. EVA Air flies daily from Heathrow to Bangkok, with return Economy flights from £610 per person. For details call 020-7380 8300 or visit www.evaair.com

P&O Cruises adds nine new short cruises from Southampton for 2013 P&O CRUISES has added nine short cruises ranging from two to five nights in 2013, visiting the Channel Islands, Belgium and the Netherlands. Available on a choice of family-friendly large and midsized ships from April to July, all short break cruises depart from and return to Southampton. Prices lead in at £199 per person for a two-night cruise on Azura departing on April 16, which calls at St Peter Port. Alternatively, classical singers Jonathan Antoine and

Charlotte Jaconelli, who contended in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent, will provide entertainment on the Azura ship as part of its four-night cruise departing on April 18. Prices lead in at £319 per person and the itinerary calls at Zeebrugge and St Peter Port. Other breaks include a five-night cruise on Ventura, calling at Amsterdam and St Peter Port. It departs on June 3 with prices leading in at £449 per person. For details call 0843-373 0111 or see www.pocruises.co.uk

BBC series ‘Great British Railway Journeys’ inspires bookings for Treyn breaks FOLLOWING THE airing of the BBC series, ‘Great British Railway Journeys’, Treyn and Great Rail Journeys report an increase in bookings for short breaks to Yorkshire. Alex Roberts, sales and marketing director for both companies, said: “Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys series on the BBC, which aired last year, inspired an increase in travellers on UK holidays by rail. “Tours such as Treyn’s Yorkshire by Steam tour, which includes excursions on heritage railways such as the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Keighley & Worth Valley Railway have really seized the imagination of travellers. They are seeing these UK experiences as not

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York Minster

downgrading, but rediscovering the joys of rail travel on home soil.” Tours include a five-day Yorkshire by Steam 2013 tour from £295 per person, based on two sharing. It includes four nights’ breakfast accommodation in

December 14 2012

hotels, four dinners, a guided tour of York, a journey on the Keighley & Worth Valley Steam Railway and visits to the Brontë Parsonage, The North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway and the seaside town of Whitby. The price is

based on April 4 and 5 and October 31 departures and includes a tour manager. For more information call Great Rail Journeys on 01904-521980 or see www.greatrail.com or call Treyn on 01904-734940 or see www.railholidays.com

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shortbreaks Alton Towers packages from Superbreak

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS...Great Little Breaks marked its first birthday by taking cupcakes to Cooperative Travel in Franche, Worcestershire. Pictured are, from the left: the agency's Gina Scott, Judith Clarke and Charlotte Higgs with Bev Philpott from Great Little Breaks.

Shearings adds range of new UK breaks for 2013 SHEARINGS HAS launched a range of short breaks across the UK for next year. Examples include a five-day Cream Teas & Devon Delights tour, which leads in at £309 and offers two cream teas, one at Killerton House and the other at Bicton Park Gardens, as well as visits to Exeter and Regency Sidmouth. Alternatively, a five-day New Forest, Gardens & Railway trip costs from £329, with highlights including a trip on the steam train through Exbury Gardens, a trip to the Kingston Lacy mansion and a visit to Wimbourne Minster. A five-day Jane Austen’s Bath itinerary also features in 2013 and leads in at £329, visiting Lacock Village, one of the main filming locations for the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. The trip also features a scenic journey through the Cotswolds, including Bourton-on-the-Water. For more information call 0844-824 6351 or visit www.shearings.com

Butlins promotes new entertainment for half-term & early booking offers BUTLINS IS hosting new live entertainment at its three seaside resorts over February half term. They include Cirque du Hilarious - Daredevils and Clowns 2013 Tour, featuring daredevil acts from across the world and comedy routines at Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead during every half-term break (excluding February 8 at Minehead); a Sesame Street Live Show, featuring characters including Elmo, Big Bird, Grover and Oscar the Grouch; CBBC favorites Dick and Dom; the Blues Brothers inspired musical, Blues on the Move; and a traditional Butlins Panto and Jackson’s, a show celebrating the talent of the Jackson family from the Jackson 5 era to the more recent hits from Janet Jackson and the late King of Pop himself. Family favourites including Mike the Knight,

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Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, Messy Time, Storybook Pantomime, Thomas The Tank Engine, Tots Disco and Circus Skills will also be featured. A three-night weekend break in Bognor Regis costs from ÂŁ45 per person, based on a March 1, 2013 arrival with two adults and two children sharing a Silver self-catering apartment. Meanwhile, the company has launched a range of early booking offers to help agents secure bookings, including ‘first child goes free’ places on school holiday and termtime weekend breaks, up to ÂŁ200 off term-time midweek breaks and deposits from ÂŁ30 per person, for bookings made by January 31. For more information or to book visit www.bourneleisuresales.co.uk or call 0845-070 4742.

SUPERBREAK’S ALTON Towers packages are now on sale, with breaks running from March 2013 to coincide with the opening of the theme park’s latest ride. The £18million rollercoaster will be the park’s biggest ride to date, with a maximum speed of approximately 85km/hr, a track length of 1,170m and a ride time of 165 seconds. A package from March 16 until the end of April costs from £269 per family of four, including one night’s breakfast accommodation at the three-star North Safford Hotel and a day's family entrance to the park. For more information call 0871-221 4444 or visit www.superbreak.com/ agents

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S06 TB1412 Short Breaks_v02_Layout 1 12/12/2012 15:05 Page 28

shortbreaks Haven launches Sports and Splash

We asked our staff the following question this week: Where will you be spending Xmas? Publisher: Jeanette Ratcliffe jeanette.ratcliffe@travelbulletin.co.uk Having fun with my family at my parents' house. The Boxing Day quiz I always set usually sparks off the first yuletide argument!

Editor: Lauretta Wright lauretta.wright@travelbulletin.co.uk At my parents' house with my family. I'll be trying to convince everyone to play Balderdash!

Assistant Editor: Jill Sayles jill.sayles@travelbulletin.co.uk At home with family and friends

Contributing Editor: Paul Scudamore post@travelbulletin.co.uk In Bodinnick-by-Fowey, Cornwall, eating and drinking very little - oh, and telling porkies.

Sales Director: Simon Eddolls simon.eddolls@travelbulletin.co.uk In Salisbury for part and at home for part. Main emphasis will be the kids, followed closely by food and drink!

Advertisement Manager: Tim Podger tim.podger@travelbulletin.co.uk On the beach in Koh Samui, Thailand

Online Sales Manager: Nick Boocock nick.boocock@travelbulletin.co.uk At home in Twickenham. Preparing for a life-changing 2013

Account Manager: Bill Coad bill.coad@travelbulletin.co.uk Spending Christmas with family in Nottingham. I will be stuffing the bird and going to football!

Sales Executive: Chris Gascoine chris.gascoine@travelbulletin.co.uk I'm cooking Christmas dinner for 5 people

Sales Executive: Matt Gill matt.gill@travelbulletin.co.uk Design: Genaro Santos genaro.santos@alaincharles.com Assistant Layout Design: Nicky Valsamakis nicky.valsamakis@alaincharles.com

NEXT YEAR, Haven is encouraging guests to get active with a new family focused Sports and Splash programme available across all 35 of its coastal holiday parks. Guests can take their first steps into an underwater world with qualified instructors who will demonstrate the basics of snorkelling in the safety of the parks’ pools, where they will learn how to clear their snorkel of water, how to prevent their face mask from misting and more. The activity is suitable for children aged seven and over. Meanwhile, a new Everyone Outdoors concept brings some some noncompetitive family fun, offering families the chance to play together and meet new people whilst taking part in a number of outdoor team games such as rounders, frisbee or ‘kick about’. At Hafan y Mor, Kiln Park, Perran Sands, Devon Cliffs and Burnham-on-Sea, wannabee Bear Grylls can learn the essentials of wilderness survival on a new Bush Craft programme. Ideal for adventurers, guests can learn skills such as purifying water, building shelters and lighting fires. The activity is suitable for children aged seven and over. The company is also launching new family friendly activity walks for next year, which can be enjoyed either as sedate strolling options or more advanced jogging and cycling routes. Seton Sands’ new track and trail offers two scenic routes and includes bits of purpose built activity equipment for guests who want to mix up their journey with some different exercises. The new track at Lakeland holiday park offers a 1.8-mile route that features local history and winds past an old RAF training base, built and operated during the Second World War. A three-night stay in a Superior two-bedroom self-catering caravan that sleeps up to six at Blue Dolphin holiday park in Yorkshire costs from £109 per unit. The operator has also launched a number of early booking offers (for bookings made by January 31), including 50% savings on stays of seven nights or more in spring, May, June, early July and autumn or up to 30% on all other dates, as well as low deposits from £50 per holiday home. For details see www.bourneleisuresales.co.uk or call 0871-230 1919.

See the Northern Lights with Taber from £670 TABER HOLIDAYS is highlighting its Luleå and the Northern Lights tour in Sweden. Leading in at £670 per person, it includes three nights’ breakfast accommodation in Luleå, with the option of adding an extra night at the Treehotel in nearby Harads. A number of optional activities are available including a hovercraft pack ice tour, day and night snowmobile tours, a Northern Lights hunt by snow shoe and dog sledding. Prices include flights, transfers and accommodation, based on two sharing. The tour departs daily (except Saturday) from Heathrow from January 6 to March 31, 2013. For more information or to book call 01274-875199 or see www.taberhols.co.uk Image: Iceland Tourism

Production: Jeremy Walters production@travelbulletin.co.uk With a native American bird south of the river

Circulation Manager: Jim Merchant post@travelbulletin.co.uk Travel Bulletin is published by Alain Charles Publishing (Travel) Ltd University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, Tel: 020-7834 6661 Printed by: Wyndeham Grange Limited Subscriptions are £105 p.a. £155 overseas ISSN: 0956-2419

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December 14 2012

puzzlesolutions Crossword: Across: 1. CHRISTMAS, 6. ETHIOPIAN, 7. LUGANO, 8. OSLO, 11. AITO, 12. MUNICH, 15. ACROPOLIS, 17. BOXING DAY. Down: 1. CAROL, 2. SPHINX, 3. MEON, 4. SKI, 5. PANTO, 6. EIGHT, 9. SWISS, 10. DUBLIN, 11. ALAMO, 13. HOLLY, 14. APEX, 16. ROB.

Highlighted Word: CANADA Travagrams: (top) Hoseasons

(bottom) Darwin

Where Am I?: Christmas Island

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S06 TB1412 Short Breaks_v02_Layout 1 12/12/2012 15:05 Page 29

SKYPRIORITY. BECAUSE YOU ARE OUR PRIORITY. SkyTeam introduces SkyPriority, an alliance-wide priority service label which is easy to spot at every SkyTeam-served airport around the world. Wherever you fly with SkyTeam member airlines, you* will automatically benefit from priority check-in, baggage handling, boarding and transfer desks. To learn more, visit skyteam.com *First Class, Business Class, and SkyTeam Elite Plus passengers.


S06 TB1412 Short Breaks_v02_Layout 1 12/12/2012 15:05 Page 30

All you have to do is relax Guaranteed sunshine, beautiful beaches and stunning scenery, above and below the water.

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Travel Bulletin December 14th 2012