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Introduction

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elcome to The Thames Travel Collection, featuring a selection of our favourite destinations and travel experiences, which we hope will be the starting point for your next dream holiday. Why not glance through these pages, and see whether we can tempt you to visit a new location worldwide or perhaps to suggest a different style of leisure break whether it be your first safari, cruise or even an escorted tour with like-minded travellers. At Thames Travel we have been creating tailor-made holidays for our clients in the Richmond and Twickenham areas since 1982 and we are proud to be an award-winning travel agency, in the same high street location since day one. Through our unrivalled knowledge and experience we remain experts in assisting and advising our clients on the ever-increasing range of holiday styles and through our ongoing relationships/support of our preferred tour operators and hotel partners, we are on hand to match the perfect holiday experience to the individual needs of our clients.

Claire & Christian Green


Contents 04

Cool California (USA)

Inspiring Travel Co.

06

Nature’s Playground (Canada)

Prestige Holidays

07

Explore the Unknown (Antarctica & Manitoba)

Tauck

08

Awesome Anguilla (Caribbean)

Caribtours

09

Branson’s Retreats (Caribbean & Morocco)

Virgin Limited Edition

10

Ultimate Gateways (Morocco & Mauritius)

Beachcomber

11

The Pearls of the Indian Ocean (The Maldives)

Caribtours

12

Undiscovered Africa (Uganda and Madagascar)

Cedarberg Africa

13

Arabian Nights (United Arab Emirates)

Travel 2

14

The Holy Land (Israel)

Cyplon Holidays

15

The Many Faces of Jordan

Cyplon Holidays

16

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Venice (Italy)

Kirker Holidays

18

Winter (The Alps) & Summer (Portugal & Dominican Republic)

Club Med

20

Active Moments (Greece - Lemnos)

Mark Warner Holidays

21

Classic Moments (Greece - Crete, Halkidiki, Santorini)

Cyplon Holidays

22

Famous Hospitality (Cyprus)

Cyplon Holidays

23

Timeless Charm (The Canary Islands)

Carrier

24

Dalmatian Delights (Croatia)

Prestige Holidays

25

Land Of Contrasts (Sicily)

The Sicilian Experience

26

Under Full Sail (Indonesia)

Star Clippers

27

Discover Vietnam

Western & Oriental

28

Essence of Japan

Tauck

29

Down Under & Beyond (Australasia)

Travel 2

30

Wonderful India

Western & Oriental

31

South America

Cox & Kings

Thames Travel 373 Richmond Road East Twickenham Middlesex, TW1 2EF

Tel: 020 8891 0166 www.thamestravel.net


Cool California Urban glitz, breezin’ along the Big Sur and the lure of the “Big Country” with the Inspiring Travel Co.

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here is an array of ‘must see’ destinations in the western USA state of California, and whether you’d like to spend time ensconced in luxurious LA, or drive through the deserts and the vineyards in a cabriolet, we can ensure you see the Golden State and her neighbours in style.

Let us lead you through some of our own highlights and ‘must-sees’…

San Diego

Santa Barbara

On the state’s southernmost point ‘America’s Finest City’ boasts beautiful beaches, plenty of sunshine and world-class attractions and activities including whale-watching cruises. The US Grant Hotel is perfectly placed for exploring the city.

A year-round mild climate and European heritage has earned Santa Barbara the title of ‘the American Riviera’. Nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the ocean is the luxurious Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

Los Angeles

Big Sur

The home of Disneyland and Sunset Boulevard, there is so much to see and do in and around LA that it’s hard to know where to begin. The Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills makes for an A-list base for your stay.

Since the 1950s Big Sur has been a retreat for artists and writers; a place to switch off and reflect. The famous Post Ranch Inn offers a place to stay with plenty of wow-factor thanks to its stunning hillside setting.


Carmel-by-the-Sea Point Lobos State Reserve with its dramatic scenery and pretty Carmel River State Beach are particular highlights in this region. Families travelling with us will love the Carmel Valley Ranch with its Ranch Hand Kids Camps.

San Francisco Best known for the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and spooky Alcatraz Island, San Francisco has a recognisable and magical skyline. Luxury boutique hotel the Taj Campton Place is an indulgent backdrop to your visit.

Napa Valley & Sonoma County Producing 90% of America’s wine, California’s wine regions are fantastic destinations to enjoy good food and top tipples. A hot air balloon ride over the Napa Valley is a wonderful way to see the vineyards in style.

Yosemite National Park Spectacular mountain peaks, giant sequoias and tumbling waterfalls take over the landscape at Yosemite. Spend a few nights in the heart of the park at a forest lodge to truly experience this UNESCO worthy heritage site.

Death Valley Brush aside its bleak name. Death Valley’s spectacular scenery is home to the lowest point in the USA, and at night, the sky comes to life with incredible star gazing thanks to the lack of light pollution.

Ranch Holidays If you fancy something a little different, how about combining your sightseeing drive through California with a ranch experience in the mid-west? You’ll enjoy desert horse rides, cookouts under the stars, cattle drives, real-life rodeos and more on your ranch holiday. A wonderful way to get a real taste for authentic America.


Nature’s Playground Discover Canada with Prestige Holidays

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anada should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. The country stretches from the U.S in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north with exciting cities, huge mountain ranges, the impressive Niagara Falls and vast swaths of wilderness in between. It’s no wonder people are queuing up to experience some of the best scenery and wildlife anywhere in the world. Take the renowned Rocky Mountaineer train journey and travel through Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper, each with their own immeasurable wow factors and jaw-dropping vistas. Take a trip on the Banff Gondola with awe inspiring views of Sulphur Mountain, stop at Lake Louise to see beauty personified, go on the Ice Explorer to the Athabasca Glacier and get a feel of true wilderness in Jasper.

Vancouver - this metropolitan city is well worth a visit not just for its position as the gateway of western Canada but for the huge range of things to see and do. Hire a bike and cycle around Stanley Park to see the legendary totem poles built by the First Nations. Venture out of town to cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge or even wander around the artistic haven of Granville island located in the heart of the city. Tofino - found on the western shores of Vancouver Island, is an adventure and nature lover’s paradise, where natural scenery includes lakes, inlets and ancient forests and the numerous sandy beaches offer yearround surfing. There are many exclusive wilderness camps and retreats for guests to experience horseback riding, fishing, heli-adventures and the opportunity to whale and bear watch too.

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Explore the Unknown with Tauck

Antarctica - Small ship sailing Manitoba... n expedition to Antarctica is unforgettable. Few experiences can compare to the feeling you'll have as you head off on your Antarctica tour to a magnificent glacial continent that defies description.

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Your adventure begins with two nights in Buenos Aires, where you'll become acclimated to the local time and culture. Then it's all aboard one of Tauck's small ships, for a 10-night expeditionary cruise to a magical wonderland where the locals, from penguins and seals to myriad seabirds, welcome you ashore with friendly curiosity. Learn about their life and icy habitats from the on-board naturalists who educate and inspire. And at night, enjoy informal chats, on board lectures, documentary films and warm camaraderie with fellow explorers, captain and crew.

Normally elusive, these bears are plentiful in this remote location of northern Canada at this time of year, giving travellers seeking a up-close look at arctic life an exciting glimpse into their world. You'll stay in a cosy lodge where family-style meals, warm camaraderie and two-footed locals share stories about Hudson Bay history, past and present, in front of a crackling fire. You'll also learn more about Manitoba and early fur-trading history during a special private evening at the Manitoba Museum as well as many more exclusive experiences including a presentation by an Arctic photographer, an exciting dog sled ride and many more. Get up close to astonishing Arctic life with the chance to see snowy owls, white foxes, a cavorting cub, Inuit sculpture and the amazing sled dogs.

ravel to Manitoba in "Polar Bear Season," when in late October and November these great white carnivores lumber across the sub-arctic plains towards the seal-rich waters of Hudson Bay to prepare for winter.


Awesome Anguilla Caribbean bliss with Caribtours

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magine being surrounded by white-washed villas, pristine sandy beaches and warm turquoise waters, hidden away at the northern tip of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean. Anguilla ticks all those boxes and is the perfect get-away for the more discerning traveller, wanting luxurious accommodations, World class spa’s and impeccable haute cuisine all wrapped up in a divine and mellow island vibe.

Zemi Beach House

Malliouhana

This brand new luxury hotel is perfect for families. The vibe is beach-chic, and Condé Nast Traveler has voted Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa as one of the best beaches in the world and we couldn't agree more! Located on the exclusive island of Anguilla - famed for its powder white sands, fabulous dining and relaxed atmosphere, you might never want to leave this little gem.

Undoubtedly one of Anguilla’s most luxurious resorts, Malliouhana offers just 44 spacious rooms and suites, decorated in an elegant and contemporary style with splashes of bright Caribbean colour. This boutique hotel is flanked by two beautiful beaches where guests can enjoy snorkelling, sailing, hobie cats, kayaking and paddle boarding, not to mention a game of tennis with the resident tennis pro or golf at the nearby championship course.

Resort & Spa

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Branson’s retreats Far from the madding crowds with Virgin Limited Edition

Necker Island

Kasbah Tamadot

A tropical hideaway sitting in turquoise waters surrounded by coral reefs and fringed by white sandy beaches, Necker Island is the private island paradise of Sir Richard Branson. Available exclusively for groups of up to 34 people or even just for a couple, individual or family during certain times of the year (these are called celebration weeks) the aim of the island and its phenomenal team is to make you feel at home. Fine dining is available whenever and wherever you wish as well as numerous activities from water sports to zip lining or even just relaxing on one of the many beaches or indulging in a spa treatment. For something a little different you can even spend time trying to spot some of the abundant wildlife such as flamingos, lemurs or tortoises to name a few. Necker offers the ultimate escape and is the perfect destination for pretty much anyone!

A tranquil haven located high in the Atlas Mountains above the city of Marrakech, Kasbah Tamadot is the Moroccan retreat of Sir Richard Branson. With just 28 rooms & suites, Kasbah offers its guests a blend of traditional Moroccan hospitality with the attention to detail expected of a luxury resort. The property is filled with antiques and furnishings from the local area and the staff hail from nearby Berber villages. Guests can spend time relaxing by the main infinity pool, trekking through the nearby mountains or experiencing a traditional hammam in the spa where your skin is cleansed, purified and softened.

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Ultimate Gateways with Beachcomber Resorts

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eachcomber resorts operate a number of hotels throughout the world and are well known for their topclass service, stunning accommodations and extensive facilities. With a range of hotels to suit couples, families and groups of friends alike, they really can offer guests the ultimate getaway!

Royal Palm Marrakech This luxurious hotel is set within an exclusive estate at the foot of the majestic Atlas Mountains, surrounded by fragrant gardens and palm trees. Accommodation consists of lavish rooms, suites & villas which blend contemporary elegancy with Moroccan opulence. There are several exquisite restaurants on the property serving up a mouth-watering array of international and Moroccan dishes. There is a magnificent 18-hole golf course as well as an enormous swimming pool, superbly equipped sports centre and even a palatial spa operated by Clarins. Royal Palm Marrakech is one of the finest hotels in the region and is perfect for guests who want resort style facilities whilst being close enough to the souks of Marrakech that they can easily get out and about to explore.

Shandrani Resort & Spa A beautiful resort with one of the best all-inclusive experiences in Mauritius. A seamless blend of ease and luxury makes it a firm favourite with families and couples alike. Its stunning setting and incredible facilities offer something for everyone. Located on a breath-taking peninsula setting on the unspoiled south of the island with not one, but three idyllic palm fringed beaches. The soft white sands are lapped by the crystal waters of Blue Bay Marine Park – ideal for snorkelling, water skiing and sailings. Unwind in your beautiful sea facing room, laze on the beach lounger or visit the gorgeous spa for a rejuvenating massage then later, take a sip of chilled champagne as you watch the sun go down.

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The Pearls of the

Indian Ocean with Caribtours

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he Maldives in the Indian Ocean comprises 26 atolls made up of more than 1,000 stunning white sandy islands each resembling precious gemstones surrounded by warm azure waters and are home to some of the world’s most exclusive resorts. Gastronomic delights are served up in chic a la carte restaurants and indulgent spas await your arrival. Warm hospitality and flawless service ensure the ultimate in guest satisfaction.

JA Manafaru JA Manafaru delivers a winning mix of elegant and inviting accommodation, facilities, activities and inclusions second-to-none and a team that goes beyond luxury service to create individual and memorable experiences for each of its guests, whether it be a couple or family. With an impressive range of watersports including windsurfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and waterskiing, and the more unusual mono skiing and kneeboarding, there will be enough to keep the most active guests busy.

One&Only Reethi Rah With a name meaning ‘beautiful island’ Reethi Rah has long been known as one of the world’s most exclusive resorts and it’s easy to see why with its 12 gorgeous beaches, sumptuous accommodations, a fabulous over-water terrace for catching the perfect sunset and 4 indulgent restaurants; a favourite among guests is the feet-in-the-sand Fanditha offering a delicious Middle Eastern affair.


Undiscovered Africa with Cedarberg Africa

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eople often ask “where’s the best place to safari?” – to which we always say that there’s no absolute best, just the best place for a certain time of year or a certain kind of traveller. We find it far easier to volunteer which places we’ve been to in Africa that fill us with most excitement and leave us bubbling with stories. Invariably it is those that are just that bit less well-known or further off the beaten track – or both.

Uganda is perhaps the more familiar of the two “undiscovered destinations” we want to highlight. Indeed, in the 1970s its game parks attracted far more visitors than those of Kenya, drawn to Uganda by its diverse scenery and fabulous birding. Nowadays people come first for the chance to spend time with Mountain Gorillas and to track chimpanzees in the wild. The additional opportunity to raft the churning waters of the Nile or to fish in Lake Victoria, well, these are almost a bonus. And what true adventurer could resist the lure of a park called the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

Madagascar is more extraordinary still, home to that other charismatic primate, the lemur (about 100 species and all endangered) and to an equally charming French-speaking people. It is far larger than most people imagine and the challenges of travel here mean it is best suited to second-time visitors to Africa. But it is truly unlike anywhere else. If you have plenty of time, we recommend travelling by road with a private English-speaking guide. Even simple rainforest and beach lodges serve wonderful food, but it is mostly about wildlife, scenery and local culture. Incidentally, for the nature lover who looks for ultra-luxury, Miavana Private island will soon be offering a microcosm of the best of Madagascar on Nosy Ankao.


Arabian Nights with Travel 2

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he Middle East is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a wide variety of visitors and it is easy to understand why. Glorious sunshine every day of the year, the finest and most luxurious hotels in the world, waterparks, theme parks, exhibitions and restaurants galore means that whether you are looking for an action packed break or a relaxing escape, the possibilities are endless.

Dubai

Ras Al Khaimah

Oman

A desert phenomenon

The new destination

A taste of a bygone Arabia

In Dubai, modern and historic culture is celebrated equally! Boasting a thriving arts scene, notable traditions and activities from falconry and camel racing to world-class events and festivals, the range of entertainment is fantastic. Families can also enjoy events such as sports competitions and theatre performances, as well as attractions and theme parks. Highlights include Wild Wadi Water Park, Kidzania, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and a bird’s eye-view of Dubai from the air.

If you’ve been to Dubai and you are looking for something a little different, why not discover one of the U.A.E’s hidden gems and rapidly emerging holiday destinations, Ras Al Khaimah. Terracotta desert landscapes, ancient ruins, stunning coastlines and the UAE’s highest mountain provide a backdrop to this enchanting country.

For an entirely authentic experience, and a destination which retains a heritage and culture unlike any other in the Middle East, Oman offers a real taste of a bygone Arabia. The capital Muscat has several luxury resorts on its outskirts and further afield, the mountainous region of Jabal Akhdar offers a glimpse into a more traditional way of life with traditional hotels offering a wide range of activities.

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The Holy Land with Cyplon Holidays

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ne of the most historical and religiously important countries in the world, Israel is a gem that many people plan to visit at least once in their lives. Whilst in Israel you can also include a visit to fabulous beaches, cosmopolitan cities and enjoy the vibrant night life. Due to its diversity, Israel is best discovered by visiting more than one part of the country, utilising guided or private touring as well as the numerous excursions available. Jerusalem is one of the oldest and most holy cities in the world where the past meets the present to expertly blend the city’s extremely rich history with its dynamic present. Step back in time by visiting the old city with its colourful bazaars, narrow cobbled streets and traditional cafes whilst the new city is filled with designer boutiques, cosmopolitan restaurants and wide range of entertainment.

The Dead Sea – One of the world’s first health resorts dating back to biblical times where the waters of the dead sea are said to have great healing benefits due to its hyper saline content as well as the highly oxygenated air. Aside from floating in these magical waters, there are several historical sites in the area including the Qumran Caves where the dead sea scrolls were discovered. Tel Aviv is known as a lively and charismatic city, unique with its combination of beautiful beaches, vibrant culture and cosmopolitan atmosphere, drawing visitors from all over the world. A perfect city break for you to spend time exploring Old Jaffa, an ancient district which serves as a reminder of the county’s fascinating past or to relax on one of the sandy beaches listening to the music from the many bars and cafes that line the shore.

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The Many Faces of Jordan with Cyplon Holidays

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he magical country of Jordan is a timeless destination that has been drawing crowds of visitors for centuries. From the mystical desert landscapes filled with majestic ruins of empires from long ago, and the metropolitan capital of Amman with its east-meets-west design, to the awe-inspiring ruins of Petra – one of the new seven wonders of the world. Aqaba, a sparkling resort on the Red Sea as well as several resorts dotted along the Dead Sea offer welcome respite to weary travellers after their extensive explorations of this multifaceted country. Amman – this modern and cosmopolitan capital city is filled with tree lined streets of elegant cafes, houses and shops. On every corner, you’ll find remnants of the various civilisations that have once called this beautiful region home. Amman is a great starting point for your exploration of Jordan and is the perfect base to explore the nearby desert ruins of Jerash as well as the ancient hill castles found throughout the sprawling desert. Petra – The ancient metropolis of Petra was voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2007 and from the moment you arrive, it is easy to see why. Carved into the sides of a canyon of pink rock and dating back to Roman times, the incredible architecture exudes a captivating atmosphere of mystery. The Alkhazeneh is one of the most prominent buildings in Petra which served as the ancient treasury long ago and has become one of the most photographed sites in the Middle East!


All Aboard... The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express with Kirker

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journey on the elegant Venice Simplon-OrientExpress train should be on every discerning traveller’s wish list - there is simply no better way to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary in style. From the moment you board, you take a step back in time to the bygone, golden-age of rail travel when a journey was about relishing the experience rather than getting from A to B as quickly as possible. Guests can still rely on the highest levels of personal service, with outstanding cuisine served in a stylish dining car, combined with a private sleeper cabin and civilised bar carriage where you can meet other like-minded travellers. Throughout the journey you will be attended to by your cabin steward and enjoy delicious food prepared by expert chefs – all meals on board are included at no extra cost. You can choose from a number of routes to experience the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express including London to Berlin, London to Venice and Venice to Vienna.

...to Venice a beautifully preserved Renaissance city that is a jewel to discover and never forget!

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enice is an unfathomable experience. This glorious city, built on an archipelago of more than 100 islands, traversed by 200 canals, spanned by 400 bridges, continues to rise above the waters of the lagoon and the flowing tide of visitors. With numerous hotels to choose from including converted palaces, to more contemporary properties with stunning rooftop bars offering un paralleled views over this magnificent city potential visitors are truly spoilt for choice.

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Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel This famous and beautifully restored palace dates back to the 14th century and is located right on the waterfront; just a few steps from St. Mark’s Square it overlooks the lagoon and the island of San Giorgio.

Belmond Hotel Cipriani The Cipriani, the most famous hotel in Venice - part of the exclusive Belmond Hotel group. It has beautiful gardens, terraces, a tennis court and an enormous heated open-air sea water swimming pool with poolside bar and restaurant.


Winter S

ince 1950 Club Med has been the pioneer of the all-inclusive holiday, providing the most comprehensive packages in some of the most idyllic locations around the world. To this day, Club Med offers a premium holiday experience where guests can enjoy some of the best sports academies in the world, the very best international and local cuisine, a warming après-ski return after a day on the slopes, happy kids learning new skills like the flying trapeze and looked after by experienced staff, and an open bar offering a selection of spirits, wines and beers, plus evening entertainment including live bands and shows, so If you’re looking for that something extra, try Club Med.

Val Thorens Sensations

Tignes Val Claret

France

France

A skiing holiday at Val Thorens is a must for winter sports enthusiasts, named as ‘the best winter sports domain in the world’. Club Med Val Thorens stands at an altitude of 2,300m and is a contemporary ski-in, ski-out resort with breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Ideal for groups and couples with access to over 600km of pistes, so guests can live every day to the full, with relaxed evenings by the log fire or active evenings in the state of the art gym and indoor climbing wall! With a great choice of fine food, from local Savoyard cuisine to a tasting menu created by a double Michelinstarred chef.

Located at the foot of the Grande Motte funicular this family resort has the very best ski-in, ski-out location in Tignes Val Claret. At an altitude of 2,100m, it is perfectly positioned in the Espace Killy ski domain for the whole family to enjoy. With kids’ clubs for ages 4 to 17 years even the youngest guests are sure to master even the basics, all the while allowing parents to enjoy their own ski experience on the 300 km of challenging runs. Guests can dine at the Champagny restaurant before relaxing in the large lounge area in front of a roaring fireplace. What makes Tignes extra special is the indoor swimming pool, Turkish bath and luxury spa treatment by Payot!

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Summer Da Balaia

Punta Cana

Portugal

Dominican Republic

The Algarve is an ideal destination for holidays in Portugal. Da Balaia has the enviable location of being perched on a clifftop in the south of the country, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean between red cliffs, white sand, blue skies and green fairways. A great destination for a wellness experience for both families and couples who can choose from an infinite selection of activities including golf, tennis, archery, a state-of-the-art gym and two swimming pools. Younger guests have the added bonus of being able to learn circus skills and the flying trapeze! Great dining, daily entertainment and comfortable rooms ensure an active yet relaxing holiday.

Alongside a fabulous turquoise lagoon in the Dominican Republic, Club Med Punta Cana welcomes couples and families for a stay in paradise. Between a 600-metre stretch of beach and a magnificent coconut grove, you'll enjoy premium services in an idyllic setting and the unique Club Med Cirque du Soleil experience - a creative playground with activities inspired by the best of the famous Cirque du Soleil shows! Guests can indulge in the Tiara, the 5-Trident Luxury Space in the 4Trident Punta Cana Resort, and the new Zen Oasis for adults, the perfect hideaway if you're looking for peace, harmony and well-being.

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Active Moments for all the family with Mark Warner Holidays

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pecialising in activity based holidays, Mark Warner guests are able to experience sailing and windsurfing with free expert tuition as well as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, tennis, fitness classes and mountain biking or road cycling. All in fantastic Mediterranean beach side resort locations. Everybody, from tennis novices to experienced sailors, will be given the right care and attention from their experienced instructors to make the most of an activity inclusive summer holiday. Expertly catering for the whole family with award winning childcare from 4 months to 17 years, run by experienced, qualified British nannies, a Mark Warner holiday is equally suited to couples or groups of friends. The sociable resorts are perfect for meeting like-minded people who share an enthusiasm for sport and the sunshine!

Lemnos Sailing and many other watersports, a sandy beach with warm shallow waters, an idyllic shady beach bar, beautiful sunsets and lashings of authentic Greek hospitality keep holiday-makers coming back to Lemnos year on year. The sociable restaurant, pool and poolside bar lie at the heart of this charming resort, with the crèches and children's clubs tucked away in a peaceful corner. Lemnos Beach Resort with its spacious rooms and terracotta roofs nestled amidst groves of shady trees and tranquil gardens has a village vibe that fits in perfectly with this delightful, relatively undiscovered island of Lemnos with its rural charm and gentle pace of life. This lovely resort is extremely family friendly, but with its spacious layout and excellent facilities, it's got plenty to offer those holidaying with friends or as a couple.

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Classic Moments across Greece with Cyplon Holidays

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reece is a classic destination in every sense of the word. Classic in that its history, civilisation and mythology date back thousands of years with Greece being able to offer some of the world’s most historically important sites. Classic in that Greece’s views and imagery are renowned the world over, the Cycladic white and blue architecture of the islands and the famous blazing orange sunsets. Classic in that the warmth and kindness you will receive from the locals is second to none and is akin to the hospitality of a bygone era. Below are some of our favourite hotels but it is just impossible to capture the range of places to see and things to see of such a multi-faceted country.

Crete

Halkidiki

Santorini

Elounda Peninsula

Ikos Olivia

La Maltese

This exclusive hotel boasts an outstanding location overlooking two beautiful bays and a vast expanse of Aegean Sea. Founded on a tradition of excellence, courtesy, professionalism and efficiency, the truly dedicated team of staff ensure guest satisfaction is of paramount importance.With access to the facilities of the two sister hotels next door, there is plenty to enjoy.

A deluxe all-inclusive resort set on a stunning sandy beach amid a lush green landscape, it is one of the premier resorts for guests of all ages. Designed for maximum comfort and relaxation, the contemporary design creates an exclusive and tranquil feel. Boasting 5 restaurants and excellent leisure facilities, it is the perfect escape for all the family.

This 5* hotel offers guests an exclusive sanctuary of peace and relaxation, perched 250 meters above sea level with breath-taking views and sunsets that are unique to this special island of Santorini. Guests can spend their days relaxing by the infinity pool or indulging at the hotel’s spa and in the evening, there is a delicious wine tasting of the famous local wines.

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Famous hospitality of Cyprus with Cyplon Holidays

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yprus has that special something for everyone -from gorgeous beaches and cosmopolitan towns to its spectacular pine-clad mountains and time-forgotten villages where the famous Cypriot hospitality can be at its best. Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive escape or a touch of indulgence, Cyprus has a wide range of properties to suit all tastes and budgets.

Anassa

Olympic Lagoon Londa Boutique

The Queen of Resorts

All-inclusive luxury

Cool & contemporary

The Anassa is located in a quiet, unspoilt and picturesque area on a magnificent bay between Latchi Harbour and the Baths of Aphrodite. The classic interior reflects the islands legendary history with frescoes, mosaics and motifs galore. With a luxury Thalassa spa on site, the wide range of tailored treatments and programmes ensure its visitors leave refreshed and rejuvenated from this luxury escape.

This luxury all-inclusive hotel offers first class cuisine and a wide range of facilities, activities and entertainment for adults and children alike which makes it one of the premier family resorts on the island. Children are well catered for in the incredible kids clubs offering a full program of events.

Cool and contemporary, the Londa Boutique hotel is a deluxe property within walking distance of central Limassol. Service is key to this hotel’s success and the hotel staff work tirelessly to ensure every whim of the guest is met. The spa offers a full range of treatments and during summer months, why not indulge in a massage on the beach!

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Timeless charm of the Canary Islands with Carrier

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mmerse yourself in the captivating ambience of the Canary Islands - beyond the beachside hotels you will discover quaint coastal villages, rich culture and the unspoilt sub-tropical wilderness of volcanic rock formations. With year-round sunshine, you can explore these islands during any season. Alongside the rugged coastline, golden beaches and crystal blue waters glimmer – the ideal setting for a romantic sojourn or adventurous family break.

Gran Canaria

Tenerife

Lanzarote

Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia

The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort

Experience privacy and peace at Seaside Grand Hotel Residencia in Gran Canaria. Furnished impeccably in the style of a typical Canarian house, the rooms are set within colonial-style villas surrounding the heated pool, each having a large wooden balcony or terrace from which to enjoy the vistas. The wellness spa is the epitome of serenity with a salt water pool heated to 30 degrees, whilst the restaurant terrace offers enthralling views over the sand dunes of Mas Palomas.

In Tenerife, The Ritz-Carlton, Abama features ten restaurants and three bars, seven outdoor heated swimming pools, seven tennis courts and 72 holes of golf. New Basque-inspired TXOKO restaurant – with its culinary nostalgia – is set to raise the bar higher still. There’s also the attentive service, luxuriously appointed accommodation with Asprey of London amenities, the excellent Ritz Kids club and superbly equipped spa.

Lanzarote’s Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort is set in a mesmerising location, offering its guests spectacular views over the white sands of Playa Dorada. Couples can enjoy exclusive benefits such as adults-only gourmet breakfasts, complimentary spa access and aromatherapy turndown service, whilst the spacious Royal Kiko Suites are ideal for families, complete with PlayStation and kids’ mini bar.

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Dalmatian Delights Summer heaven in Croatia with Prestige Holidays roatia is quickly becoming one of the top destinations to visit on the Mediterranean. Boasting a beautiful coastline dotted with hundreds of islands (mostly uninhabited), over 150 blue flag beaches, medieval walled cities and a booming dining scene, this gem of a country is well worth a visit.

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Hvar - Stylish and trendy, the exclusive island of Hvar has become the haven for tourist and celebrities alike who want to spend their days exploring the picturesque town and by night, enjoy a buzzing social scene with restaurants bars and clubs just a stone’s throw from the great range of hotels that are dotted around the island.

Dubrovnik - The medieval walled city of Dubrovnik, in the south of the country, is sometimes called the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and when you walk into the walled old town (a UNESCO listed site) you can see why! The churches, palaces and ramparts of the city are truly remarkable and at night the old town comes alive with a great choice of restaurants and bars.

Makarska Riviera - The Riviera is made up of 5 beautiful resorts, boasting a great range of accommodation, restaurants, bars and a number of local attractions which makes this an ideal destination for guests who are looking at more than just a beach break. Be sure to take a trip to Krka National Park to witness the majestic splendour of the Skradinski Waterfalls.

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Land of Contrasts At the crossroads of the Mediterranean with The Sicilian Experience

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icily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, bursting with a rich mixture of architecture, archaeological sites including Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento, rolling vineyards with wineries and miles of sandy beaches. It is the perfect destination to enjoy a single or multi centre holiday, a fly-drive or guided tour as well as an island-hopping experience to the Aeolian Islands where a good starting point is the famous island of Stromboli. Another of Sicily’s draws is its wonderful cuisine, with an abundance of fresh seafood and locally grown produce including capers, peppers, tomatoes and fragrant herbs whilst not forgetting the most delicious gelato – truly a destination not to be missed! Along the east coast, Taormina is the most well-known resort in Sicily. It nestles into the mountainside with breath-taking views over the sea and Mount Etna. Oozing distinct charm and elegance, Taormina offers a wide choice of luxury and boutique hotel accommodation – favourites include the glamorous 5 star Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo and the most sought-after 4 star boutique Hotel Villa Belvedere.

Cefalu

Noto

Moving South takes you to Siracusa, Ragusa, Noto and Modica (UNESCO world heritage sites) which are all famous for their distinctly baroque architecture. For fans of the ever-popular TV series Inspector Montalbano, a visit to the Ragusa area where it is largely filmed is a must! Sicily’s fascinating capital city Palermo, is a cultural delight with a rich and diverse history. The famous 5* Grand Hotel Villa Igiea which has beautiful terraced gardens reaching down to Palermo’s harbour is a fine example of elegant Art Nouveau style. Staying in Palermo you must visit its famous vibrant street market La Vucciria where you can buy local handicrafts and sample all kinds of local fresh produce and dishes.

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Stromboli


Under full sail with Star Clippers

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ith itineraries currently being operated in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, 2017 marks the start of a new beginning for Star Clippers. Passengers will soon be able to experience the elegance of tall ship sailing around the islands of Indonesia. Sailing out of Bali, guests will sail to a number of gorgeous islands and untouched beach paradises that are inaccessible to larger vessels. We take a closer look at just some of the fascinating highlights that guests will be able to experience while sailing on board the beautiful Star Clipper. Explore the unparalleled natural beauty of Java - Indonesia’s fifth-largest island. It is home to a large number of fascinating geological and geographical features including 121 volcanoes, national parks, rainforests, tea and rice plantations and the island’s most iconic landmark, Mount Bromo. Komodo National Park will undoubtedly be the standout highlight of any Indonesia itinerary. Today, Komodo dragons, which bare resemblance to the dinosaurs, dominate the island. Passengers on board this cruise will have the option to embark on a trail in the company of a professionally trained park ranger before moving onto the sensational Gili Islands. The Gili’s offer powdery white sand beaches, which are lined with coconut palms, brushed by turquoise blue waters, and surrounded by coral reefs. These corals make for fabulous snorkelling and will certainly leave you with many happy memories. The Gilliteng beach is one of the finest in Indonesia and the untouched nature of the island makes it all the more special. Enhancing a trip of a lifetime with some truly spectacular excursions in some of Asia’s most sensational destinations is what you can expect aboard Star Clippers in 2017. Because this is Star Clippers and your adventure has only just begun…


Discover Vietnam with Western & Oriental

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ever experienced the beauty of Vietnam? Here’s why we think you should add it to your travel bucket list…

Wonderful weather The months between October and March offer the best weather for travelling throughout Vietnam. Even outside these months, when monsoon patterns fluctuate between the north and south, rains are short and the temperature still warm.

A rich cultural heritage From the French colonial rule through to the war of the sixties, Vietnam is a country that has undergone extensive change. See the underground tunnels of the Viet Cong and explore the cultural sites that make up this beautiful country, from the citadel of Hue to the historic streets of Hoi An.

Magical Mekong On the waterways of the Mekong Delta, restaurants, homes and boats float against the backdrop of this fertile landscape offering real insight into local Vietnamese life. Learn more about life on the Mekong with a cruise on the Cai Be River where you can observe local merchants trading and stop for lunch in a charming riverside village.

Visiting Vietnam Colourful cities There’s a frenetic energy that pulses through Vietnam’s two major cities. Whether it’s Ho Chi Minh’s vibrant metropolitan allure or the colonial charm of Hanoi, you’ll feel compelled to hit the streets and discover these great urban landscapes for yourself.

Vietnam is a long, narrow country and for a first time visit the best plan is to start near the top in Hanoi and work your way down. A typical itinerary would include stops in: Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta.

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Essence of Japan A journey in the Land of the Rising Sun with Tauck

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nspirational, evocative, innovative and intriguing, Japan is one of the world’s most fascinating blends of bustling modern cities, centuries-old towns, and small villages steeped with deep cultural traditions. From the city streets of Tokyo to a tea ceremony in a private home in Kyoto, from strolls through cobblestone streets and tranquil gardens to a traditional sake tasting at a Takayama brewery. The variety of experiences Japan has to offer is endless and each one more captivating than the last. Throughout your journey of Japan, your tour guide will provide a warm, caring and thoughtful service, taking care of every detail so that you can connect with people and places, centuries-old traditions, and daily

Japanese life. Visit temples, shrines, castles and local homes – stay at a traditional Japanese onsen hot springs resort and spa, ensuring that you’ll find yourself taking a little piece of Japan home with you. Unique access to expert and friendly local guides who open their hearts and homes to travellers, will warmly invite you to learn more about their time-honoured lifestyles, traditions and rich history. While Japan astounds us all with an amazing tapestry of storied landscapes and ancient treasures not found anywhere else, these personal connections make all the difference in a truly exceptional travel experience. Tauck can make your dream adventure become a reality.

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Down Under...

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ustralia is home to some of the world’s most wonderful wildlife, gorgeous coastlines and fantastic food and wine experiences. Visitors are welcomed by friendly locals, who love to share insider tips about the best beaches, coastal cafés, hip restaurants, favourite walking trails and secret surf spots. Plan your holiday to make the most of Australia’s natural wonders timing your trip to tie in with the spring wildflowers, or whale shark season in Western Australia, the turtle hatching on the Great Barrier Reef, the East Coast whale migration or the cascading waterfalls at the end of the ‘Wet’ in the Tropical North. Keep your camera at the ready as some of these phenomena need to be seen to be believed.

...and beyond Australasia with Travel2

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n stark contrast, the climate in New Zealand is much more temperate however the change in season brings with it a whole host of different experiences, in fact many of the most memorable activities can be done in the quieter seasons of spring and autumn. New Zealand is teaming with wildlife and spring is no exception with bouncing new born lambs and baby Kiwis hatching, there is plenty on display. Include a visit to Rotoru’s Argodome, where you can see a live sheep-shearing demonstration plus take a few snaps with the lambs, calves and ducklings. In New Zealand the heavens appear closer to Earth and autumn is the best time of year for stargazing as it brings with it bright clear days and nights. Nestled in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, this area forms the largest of its kind and is amongst one of only three designated ‘Gold’ Dark Sky Reserves on the planet. The colours are incredible during autumn, especially in the South Island, with its unique geography providing some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. With many lakes being surrounded by high hill sides filled with trees in full autumn display.


W&Onderful India with Western & Oriental

Do I really want to go to India? Not everyone will love everything about India. In this melting pot of colours, sights, sounds and aromas, some may feel it an unwelcome invasion on the senses, but with the right mindset India has something to captivate even the most skeptical soul. Let us design the perfect itinerary for you and we’re sure you’ll leave enriched by the myriad cultures, flavours and sites that you encounter.

When should I go? Generally mid-September to April is the best time to visit, when the weather is normally dry. After April temperatures are very high until monsoon season, which usually breaks in mid-June in South India and travels slowly north throughout the summer, though high rainfall means there are travel savings to be had. In North India, temperatures can dip to freezing cold from mid-December to mid-January, something to bear in mind if visiting over Christmas and New Year.

How should I travel? Rail travel is particularly ideal for seeing vast swathes of the Indian countryside. India has some fine luxury trains that journey to interesting and popular destinations. Normal commuting trains can be very crowded and basic, so if you’re travelling overnight be sure to ask for an air-conditioned, first class cabin.

Where should I go? North India and Rajasthan A colourful land of heritage and contrasts, Rajasthan and the north stretches through the vast Thar Desert, ancient Aravalli mountain range and central plains to the mighty Ganges River. Discover bustling cities rich in history and culture with vibrant architecture: the wondrous Taj Mahal; the Pink City of Jaipur; the city of lakes, Udaipur; the Blue City of Jodhpur.

Backwaters and Southern India Slower, relaxed, more exotic, in Southern India beautiful Hindu Temples echo the rich dynasties of days gone by. The beguiling Keralan backwaters, the magical lost kingdoms of the Deccan and glistening white sand beaches beckon travellers to return many times. Historic and bewitching, you can see why the south is called India’s gentle half.


South America experience it all with Cox & Kings

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e are delighted to present a comprehensive small group tour by Cox & Kings, revealing South America's cultural and scenic diversity. Crossing the Andes through Peru to Lake Titicaca, including time spent at the awe-inspiring ancient site of Machu Picchu, the journey continues through Bolivia's capital of La Paz and on to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. Then, discover the magnificent Iguazú Falls and conclude your trip in the exotic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. As you travel from East to West across South America you will experience some unforgettable moments. Such as watching the sun rise over Lake Titicaca, taking the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu, standing at the edge of the thundering falls at Iguazu, or strolling along Copacabana beach at sunset in Rio de Janeiro. All of this, and more, is included in this tour. This “once-in-a-lifetime” trip not only offers you some incredible sights and experiences, it also features some wonderful and characterful accommodation. Such as Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel. This quaint but stylish property is situated in Aguas Calientes in Peru, just a short transfer from the gates of Machu Picchu. The tour also features an overnight stay on board the luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer train from Cusco to Lake Titicaca, where you can soak up the amazing scenery whilst dining in the train’s fantastic restaurant. This itinerary is a sample of the tours we can create through our expert operator partners, whether you are looking for a large, multi-country expedition or a smaller discovery of a specific region or country, we can tailor everything to your exact specifications.

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THAMES TRAVEL Reasons to book your holiday with us at Thames Travel: •

We understand our clients and will find you the right holiday

We go beyond google

We use our knowledge, experience and expertise to recommend what is best for your needs

We are creative and suggest alternatives

We are independent and honest

We provide reassurance, so your money is safer with us

We provide personal service in a self-service world

We are happy to be of service, expect a friendly welcome

We care passionately about your satisfaction – before, during and after your holiday

Thames Travel 373 Richmond Road East Twickenham Middlesex, TW1 2EF

Tel: 020 8891 0166 Web: www.thamestravel.net

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