Archive for the ‘escorted tours’ Category

TourCrafters Offers D-Day Anniversary Trip to Paris and Normandy Beaches

February 9, 2014

If ever you thought about visiting Normandy and the D-Day Beaches, this —the 70th anniversary of D-Day—is the year to do it. It’s also an amazing World War II history lesson for the kids’ spring vacation.

To commemorate the anniversary, TourCrafters has designed a 7-Day/6-Night D-Day package that starts at $1,659 per person, based on four persons traveling together.

TourCrafters’ land-only price includes three nights hotel accommodation in Paris, three nights in Bayeux, daily buffet breakfast, round-trip 1st-class train Paris-Bayeux, transfers to and from the rail stations and a tour of the D-Day Landing Beaches. It does not include air fare. Departures are daily through October.

There’s free time to explore the “City of Light,” to see the Eiffel Tower, visit the Louvre and Notre Dame, walk around the beguiling streets of the Left Bank, have a croque monsieur in a café, or even take a photogenic Bateau Mouche cruise on the River Seine.  The Paris hotel, the 4-star Emeraude Louvre Montana boasts a perfect location—steps from the Tuileries and the Louvre—and a friendly, helpful staff.

In Bayeux, the  first  French  city to be  liberated in June of 1944, you  will be picked up for a D-Day Tour of the American Sector, to visit Omaha Beach where the Americans landed, to see the site of the German gun battery at Pointe du Hoc (where Rangers famously scaled the impossible 100-foot cliffs), and to wander through the thousands of white crosses and Stars of David in the very moving American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.  There’s also free time in Bayeux, to stroll its medieval streets, tour its 11th-century cathedral, visit the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy, and see the famed Bayeux Tapestry, a 230-foot embroidery that tells the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England.  The charming 3-star Hotel Churchill has an equally perfect location—in the very center of Bayeux—and its lovely, gracious  owner speaks perfect English.

All prices quoted are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability.  (They are higher from April to August.) For additional information about the land-only  70th Anniversary D-Day package, visit http://sales.tourcrafters.com/tour.lasso?ID=220.  For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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Virgin Vacations’ ‘4-Star London-Downton Abbey’ Tour Features Private Champagne Reception at Highclere Castle

May 14, 2013

Following its sold-out summer departure, Virgin Vacations has added two special fall “Four Star London with Downton Abbey” tours, each featuring a private cocktail reception at Highclere Castle, where the hit television series was filmed.

The 7-day tour includes round trip flights on Virgin Atlantic to London, 5 nights’ First Class hotel accommodations, transfers, breakfast daily, one dinner, sightseeing, a private cocktail reception at Highclere Castle, travel by motorcoach, and the services of a tour manager throughout. Three nights are spent in London, with two nights in Bracknell, close to Highclere Castle in the center of Berkshire County, an area favored by the Royals for its scenic countryside.

Departure dates are September 16 and October 31, with per person prices from New York beginning at $2,289 and $2,329 respectively. Miami departures cost $2415 for September 16, $2513 for October 31; while Los Angeles costs $2544 and $2505 respectively, and San Francisco is $2694 and $2529.

Highclere Castle Private Benefit Reception

Highlighting the tour is a private cocktail reception at Highclere, where Virgin Vacations’ travelers will be among guests at a benefit hosted by the castle’s owners, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. During the reception, the castle’s public rooms—including the Main Hall, Saloon, Library, and Sitting Rooms – will be open, and guides will be on hand to answer questions. The cocktail receptions each benefit a different charity: Langalanga Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to needy children in Kenya, on the September 16 departure; and the Newbury Cancer Trust for the October 31 departure.

Oxford, Stonehenge & Bath, and London Tours Included

In addition to the Highclere Castle cocktail event, the tour includes a post-reception dinner, a full day excursion to Bath and Stonehenge; plus a morning in Oxford, visiting Christchurch, the grounds of Oxford College, and the countryside where parts of “Downton Abbey” are filmed. The tour also features a morning sightseeing tour of London via a vintage bus, with the Tower of London and a Thames River Cruise; plus a free day in London for individual pursuits.

Booking

Virgin Vacations advises travelers to book early in order to assure a place on the tours. Prices are per person, and based on double occupancy. Airline taxes and fuel charges are included.

For more information and to book the special Downton Abbey fall departures, visit http://www.virginvacations.com, phone 1-877-740-4302, or see your travel agent.

Virgin Vacations offers a wide selection of escorted tours, river and sea cruises, and independent packages worldwide, available with or without air fare on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America, as well as other international airline partners. Virgin Vacations travelers can enroll in Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club or Virgin America’s Elevate frequent flyer programs, and earn points.

For information on other worldwide destinations available through Virgin Vacations, visit www.virginvacations.com. As a member of the U.S. Tour Operators Association, Virgin Vacations protects travelers’ payments up to $1 Million through the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program.

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Nomadico Travel Promotes Eco-Friendly Trips to Ecuador, Peru

January 26, 2013

Nomadico Travel, which specializes in cultural eco-friendly trips to Latin America that provide enriching cultural interaction with the local people while including visits to historical sites and physical activities, is promoting itineraries to Ecuador and Peru.
In Ecuador, travelers can choose from six different experiences, which cover all types of experiences from walking tours to more rigorous expeditions including trekking, kayaking, rappelling and more.
Amazon Lodges –
Huaorani Adventure – an unforgettable experience that offers an opportunity to interact firsthand with the Huaorani people – Ecuador’s most isolated and perhaps most intriguing indigenous tribe. The Huaorani eco-lodge is in the midst of a primordial jungle where one can kayak, hike, camp and visit Huaorani villages during the day with the help of a bilingual naturalist guide.
Kapawi Adventure – one of the most remote, ecologically responsible and cultural sensible Amazon Jungle Eco-lodges in the world. A visit to this Amazon Jungle Lodge contributes to sustainable socio – cultural communities and the protection of a unique natural environment. Explore the Pristine Amazon, take a evening trip down the Kapawi River, bird watch in Claylick, hike along the Pitzacocha and Pama trails discovering the many ways the rainforest benefits the Achuar people, test your skills at a blowgun contest, hear a tutorial on Achuar face painting, learn about Arutam, the spirit of the forest, and more. The Kapawi lodge is couples friendly and family friendly. It’s a community owned ecolodge that supports an indigenous population.
Galapagos –
For the walker/hiker, Nomadico offers several walking tours in the Galapagos islands. With the Multi – Island Adventure, travelers leave the crowds behind and spend time actively exploring the islands in a path less traveled, kayak along the Cristobal Island Bay, and snorkel at Leon Dormido, and more.
The Isabela Walking Tour offers the exploration of Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos islands, covered in over 60% of the flora and fauna of the archipelago and is the only one straddled by the equatorial line. Find different species of parrots, macaws on one of the best natural attractions, the Claylick and visit one of the Achuar communities.
In Quito – visit the colonial centre of Quito, see the Plaza de Independencia, XVI and XVII century churches, including the monastery of San Francisco, a building begun only 5 days after the founding of the city. Lunch is served, tat the rim of the extinct Pululahua volcanic crater, then the Ethnographic Museum, situated right on the Equator.
In Otavalo whether by foot, riding a horse or biking along mountain trails participants see the beautiful patchwork quilt of local farms, gorges humming with birds, the humid high mountain cloud forests, as well as waterfalls and the cool clear mountain lakes of the Mojanda region; visit indigenous markets, the Raptor Rescue center, Inca ruins, and kayaking through Volcanoes Lakes, then dine on traditional Ecuadorian dishes prepared with fresh organic products and grains directly from the farm.
Highlights of the Cotopaxi Highland Adventure include adventure biking, ziplines Over Mountain Valleys, riding with the Chagras. This expedition is designed for the more adventurous traveler with horseback riding, mountain biking, trekking, hiking, mountain climbing, rappelling, bird watching, camping, as well as cultural exchange with the local communities available, as well as a visit to an ecological reserve on the slopes of the Mt. Pasochoa volcano, known for its forests, rivers and spectacular waterfalls, high in the Andean forest.
The Cloud Forest itinerary includes hiking above the Clouds, first Class bird watching, Cock-of-the-Rock Lek, and biking in the Forest. The lodge has 3 cabañas and sits on 44 hectares (110 acres) of land.
Nomadico offers Peruvain vacations including
Inca Trail
The Inca Trail is Peru’s best-known hike, combining a stunning mix of Inca ruins, mountain scenery, lush cloud forest and rich subtropical jungle. Dee over 345 species of orchids, numerous birds such as hummingbirds, waterfowl and the majestic Andean Condor, the spectacled bear – a shy, herbivorous animal that is extremely rare and close to extinction. The Inca Trail is a mountainous jungle hike leading to the sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu. The 45km trek is usually covered in 4 days, arriving at Machu Picchu at daybreak on the final day before returning to Cusco by train in the afternoon. Also included are Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay, as well as exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas visiting the tradition market town of Pisac and the fascinating Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo.
Nomadico Travel is committed to preserving the local cultures and environments of the countries they visit. They work hard to support locally owned hotels and lodges that have environmentally friendly practices. They employ local tour guides that give travelers an insider’s perspective, and donate a portion of profits to support indigenous rights campaigns and non-profits that protect the precious environments of Latin America.
For more information and to book travel, visit http://www.nomadicotravel.com, or call 855 996 6623.
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die® Author Patricia Schultz to Guide Tour to Ethiopia

January 12, 2013

Veteran travel journalist and author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die® Patricia Schultz will be a one-time host of ET African Journeys’ popular “Imperial Ethiopia” tour, from April 25 – May 4, 2013.

Schultz accompanies this “one-of-a-kind” tour of destinations featured in her best-selling travel books. The tour features stops in Ethiopian regions rich in old imperial dynasties and ancient royal and religious architecture. A land filled with historical, natural and cultural treasures, Ethiopia has a long-documented history that stretches back to approximately 1000 BC. “Imperial Ethiopia” introduces travelers to the customs and beliefs of ancient and modern Ethiopian society.

“It is surprising to me that with its mix of rich history, gorgeous scenery and beautiful people Ethiopia isn’t positively overrun by tourists,” said Schultz. “Africa’s best kept secret is hiding in plain sight! Stunning UNESCO sites in the north, and the remote and inaccessible Omo Valley to the south, a whole other world of ancient tribes and fragile cultures visited by very few. I’m excited to get to host this tour with ET African Journeys and introduce more people to this incredible part of the world.”

The tour includes visits to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In Gondar, travelers will visit the seven churches and six castles built by Emperor Fasilides in the mid-1600s, as well as Debre Birhan Selassie Church and the Falasha Village and Synagogue. The tour next takes travelers to Axum for visits to Stealae Park, St. Mary Zion Church and the Sanctuary Chapel, the reputed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. The third UNESCO site on the itinerary is Lalibela, built as a “New Jerusalem” by Emperor Lalibela in response to the Muslim capture of Jerusalem in 1187. Lalibela is the site of twelve majestic rock-hewn churches, which are still used as places of worship today, and the Nakuto Le’ Abe Monastery, a church carved into a cave.

“Imperial Ethiopia with Patricia Schultz” includes round trip airfare from Washington DC to Addis Ababa, 7 nights of accommodations, all inter-country transportation and flights and all meals.

For more information about “Imperial Ethiopia with Patricia Schultz,” visit http://www.etafricanjourneys.com/1000places

Patricia Schultz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die®. The books have sold close to 4 million copies in the English language market, with 25 translations available around the world. A veteran travel journalist with 25 years of experience, Schultz has written for guides such as Frommer’s and Berlitz and periodicals including The Wall Street Journal and Travel Weekly. She also executive-produced a Travel Channel television show based on 1,000 Places to See Before You Die®.

ET African Journeys is a joint venture by Ethiopian Airlines and Group IST to create exciting, original, thematic, educational and cultural travel programs to Ethiopia and beyond. Working with the most experienced providers in the region, ET African Journeys is able to offer a diverse range of quality tour products at competitive prices to both the individual traveler and the group organizer. Ethiopian Airlines is the only non-stop service between the East Coast of the United States and the East Coast of Africa and is one of the largest and most modern air carriers on the African continent.

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Gift of Travel that Gives Back: Travcoa Offers Series of African ‘Hand-to-Hand’ Itineraries that Give Back to Community

December 13, 2012

From education to cultural awareness and preservation, travel enriches the lives of everyone it touches. This holiday season, Travcoa, the world leader in luxury travel, is presenting a series of African itineraries that belong to the ‘Hand-to-Hand’ portfolio – journeys which showcase the abundance of African hospitality while contributing to communities throughout each journey.

“Our Africa ‘Hand-to-Hand’ journeys contribute to social enterprise-supported projects that fund education, health, self-reliance, and conservation initiatives,” stated Jerre Fuqua. “These trips are ideal for couples and families interested in sharing a meaningful experience as a holiday gift this year.”

Each of the finely-crafted journeys to Africa feature world-class accommodations and support organizations that contribute to community building projects:

Grandeur of Zimbabwe & South Africa Independent Journey – 18 days from $18,995 per person
In Zimbabwe, Singita Pamushana supports the Malilangwe Trust, an organization that feeds 19,000 children per day in adjoining villages. In South Africa, guests visit the inspiring Uthando Project in the townships of Cape Town, and participate in an interactive tour on a range of topics, including the environment and the care and protection of children, women and the elderly.

Travcoa makes a contribution to Uthando’s projects on behalf of each guest. Also, Singita Sabi Sand sponsors the “Growing to Read” program, which enhances early education efforts, and Singita Lebombo supports the School of Cooking, an organization that develops culinary skills in communities bordering Kruger National Park.

Pure Kenya Independent Journey – 11 days from $5,695 per person
This journey visits the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy where guests stay at Saruni Samburu. The lodge uses all guest revenue to cover operating costs of the conservancy and fund community projects. Guests also visit the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which rescues orphan elephants and rhinos and reintroduces them to the wild. Travcoa adopts an elephant in each guests’ name.

Grand Safari: Kenya & Tanzania Escorted Journey – 15 days from $10,990 per person
During this journey, guests stay at Governors Camp in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The camp built the region’s first Bio-Gas Project to help the Maasai people conserve the woodlands, rather than use resources for cooking fuel. Travcoa provides a contribution to this project on behalf of each guest. This journey also visits the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, as well as the Amboseli Elephant Research Project.

For more information on Travcoa’s Africa ‘Hand-to-Hand’ journeys, to request a brochure, or to make a reservation, please contact a travel agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, email info@travcoa.com or visit www.travcoa.com.

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Travcoa’s Arctic Itinerary Shines with Northern Lights, the ICEHOTEL and Old World Charm

December 9, 2012

Travcoa, a leader in luxury travel, invites travelers to celebrate this magic with an enchanting arctic adventure to the snow-covered terrain of Finland and Sweden.

Departing March 7, 2013, guests on Travcoa’s 15-day Lapland’s Magical Northern Lights & Reindeer Safari Escorted Journey will explore the cities of Helsinki and Stockholm; cross the Arctic Circle; cruise on a powerful icebreaker; and travel by dogsled, snowmobile, and reindeer-pulled sleigh through pristine wintry wilderness.

Highlights of the trip include viewing the Northern Lights, a stay in Sweden’s remarkable ICEHOTEL, and participation in the colorful traditions of the annual St. Maria’s Day celebrations.

“This journey showcases the breathtakingly beautiful aspects of northern Sweden and Finland that few travelers ever see,” stated Jerre Fuqua, President of Travcoa. “Guests will not only witness the most spectacular Northern Lights in 11 years as the auroral activity cycle peaks, but will also be able to discover the old-world charm of historic cities, people, and culture of this intriguing northern region.”

The St. Maria’s Day celebrations in Hetta, Finland bring travelers and Scandinavia’s indigenous herders, the Sámi, together for a day of traditional dance, local delicacies and reindeer racing. Throughout the journey, guests will enjoy the finest accommodations, including the world-renowned ICEHOTEL located in a small Swedish village just north of the Arctic Circle.

Lapland’s Magical Northern Lights & Reindeer Safari Escorted Journey is priced from $14,390 per person and is limited to a maximum of 18 guests.

For more information, to request a brochure, or to make a reservation, contact your travel agent or a Travcoa Journey Consultant at 1-800-992-2003, email info@travcoa.com or visit www.travcoa.com.

About Travcoa:
Travcoa has been leading luxury adventures and in-depth explorations of the world’s most interesting destinations since 1954. The company offers three types of travel experiences around the globe: small-group Escorted Journeys with comprehensive itineraries guided by professional Travel Directors; pre-designed and priced Independent Journeys for guests who prefer private travel on a date of their choice; and Tailor-Made Journeys crafted to individual guest specifications.

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Trafalgar Offers $600 Savings on European Air-Inclusive Winter, Spring Trips for Bookings by Dec 27

December 4, 2012
Venice at night © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Venice at night © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Trafalgar (www.trafalgar.com) has extended its current offer to save $600 per couple on air-inclusive winter and spring trips booked with Delta and Sky Team partners. Originally ending November 30, 2012 the offer has been extended for all new bookings made until December 27, 2012 through March 30, 2013.

Trafalgar has 25 fully-guided winter and spring European itineraries to Italy, Britain, Ireland, France, Spain and more, each offering the must-see sights with smaller crowds and savings of up to 38% off the cost of summer travel.

“Combining your savings with the already low pricing, this makes winter and spring travel especially great to maximize cost benefits and enjoy Europe during a quieter traveling season,” said Trafalgar USA President Paul Wiseman.

The 11-day Great Italian Cities, from $2375 USD per person, is the ideal trip for travelers looking for a relaxed-pace journey to three of Italy’s favorite cities. Guests enjoy stays of 2-3 nights on average in each destination, starts no earlier than 9 a.m. on most travel days, small group sightseeing in select locations and more. Spending 3 nights each in Rome, Florence and Venice, this At Leisure itinerary gives guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in their destination without the rush of several more travel days. Guests are also treated to a Be My Guest dinner at Villa Calcinaia in Greve in Chianti. In beautiful Venice, guests cruise the canals with a local guide before a Small-Group Sightseeing trip through the city’s narrow streets.

The 8-day Irish Highlights trip, from $1199 USD per person, is a wonderful trip to explore the scenic countryside of Ireland while also visiting numerous cities, cliffs, castles and more. Spending two nights in Dublin and Killarney, with a one-night stay in Limerick and Waterford, guests will get a taste for traditional Ireland. Guests will also be treated to an authentic dining experience with a Be My Guest Dinner in Killarney at an Irish farmhouse.

The savings of $600 per couple ($300 per person) is on new 2013 air-inclusive Europe trips booked and deposited (land and air) between 11/12/12 and 12/27/12 for travel between 01/01/13 and 03/31/13. Air must be booked on Delta (and Sky Team partners, except Alitalia) through Trafalgar in conjunction with a Europe vacation. The offer is not valid on City Breaks, Train Vacations or itineraries in the Eastern Mediterranean. The offer is combinable with brochure discounts, except Early Payment Discount, but is not combinable with other promotional offers, except Show Coupons. Use the Promotion Code: 12AWSDL. CST#2077132-20

For more information, contact your local Travel Agent, call 866-544-4434 or visit www.trafalgar.com. Follow Trafalgar on Twitter at @TrafalgarTalk or @TrafalgarUSA and check us out on Facebook.

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Limited Space Left on Explore Bhutan Trip with G Adventures & David Suzuki; Proceeds to benefit Planeterra & David Suzuki Foundation

November 27, 2012

Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan

G Adventures, a leading small-group adventure tour operator based in Toronto, Ontario, is hosting an exclusive tour to the Kingdom of Bhutan with award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster David Suzuki. Departing March 23, 2013, travelers on the 12-day journey will have the unique opportunity to celebrate the spiritual festival of Tsechu, putting them face-to-face with the colorful mask dances and religious art forms of the country.

Led by a local CEO (Chief Experience Officer), guests on the Bhutan Festival with David Suzuki adventure will explore Paro, Thimpu and Punakha, learn about Buddhism, visit ancient monasteries and shrines, and stroll through valleys, forests and mountains trails in the pristine and peaceful landscapes of the Himalayan kingdom. Nature lovers, photographers and cultural junkies will uncover a purity of culture, traditions and kindness.

“Bhutan remains at the top of many bucket lists with its majestic natural beauty and fascinating culture. We’re excited to be partnering with David Suzuki to host the once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures founder. “Proceeds from the trip that’s sure to be memorable and life-changing will benefit Planeterra and the David Suzuki Foundation.”

“Bhutan is playing a huge role in changing the traditional notion of how to measure a country’s wealth and prosperity. The Bhutanese reject the idea that governments should simply measure national wealth through metrics like GDP, income and consumption. Instead they insist that the role of leaders should be to ensure the well-being and happiness of people,” says Suzuki. “I think this trip will offer a fascinating view of the global leadership role the tiny nation is playing.”

Twenty spaces for the limited departure are available for auction with a starting bid of $6,000 CAD per person. Proceeds will benefit Planeterra and the David Suzuki Foundation. Interested travellers may place their bid by emailing their full name, contact info, number of desired seats and their bid to silentauction@gadventures.com. Auction closes midnight EST on November 16, 2012.

For more information,  visit http://www.gadventures.com/bhutanwithdavidsuzuki.

G Adventures is an adventure travel pioneer offering the widest selection of affordable small group tours, safaris and expeditions to more than 100 countries on all continents. It is the only adventure travel company to offer 100% guaranteed departures in 2013. Powered by an international team of passionate travelers, the award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport to put travelers on a first-name basis with the planet’s people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife. The intimate, authentic and sustainable approach to small-group travel introduces travelers to the highlights of a destination while offering the freedom to explore it on their own. Whatever age, interest, ability or budget, G Adventures has a genuine life-changing experience. For more information please visit http://www.gadventures.com.

Established in 2003 by adventure travel tour operator G Adventures, Planeterra Foundation is a non‐profit organization that supports social and environmental solutions in destinations around the world via its global network of travllers. The foundation focuses on local education and health, small-business development, emergency relief and conservation work. For more information please visit http://www.planeterra.org.

The David Suzuki Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding solutions for living within the limits of nature and mobilizing Canadians to make their communities healthy and green. http://www.davidsuzuki.org
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Trafalgar Introduces New 2012/13 Itineraries to France, Italy and Morocco

May 19, 2012

The Roman Colosseum is visited on Trafalgar’s new 9-day Paris & Rome itinerary for 2012/13 © 2012 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Trafalgar (www.trafalgar.com), a leader in guided vacations, is introducing three new itineraries to France, Italy and Morocco that offer unique local experiences and exceptional value in its 2012/2013 Autumn, Winter & Spring Europe brochure. The programs are noted for offering local experiences and value.

Trafalgar’s collection of 33 incredible itineraries that visit 18 countries feature Trafalgar’s Insider Experiences, including Hidden Treasures and Local Specialties with Europe’s finest Travel Directors. These itineraries are perfect for travelers looking to experience the wonders of Europe with fewer crowds and lower airfares, plus up to 38% savings compared to travel during the summer months.

On the new 9-day Paris & Rome, travelers get the opportunity to see two of Europe’s most fascinating cities during some of their most beautiful seasons. Spending the first three nights in Paris, guests will see the City of Lights bursting with color in the fall, twinkle amongst lightly falling snow in the winter, or bloom to life in the mild spring. After a morning of sightseeing with a Local Guide, guests enjoy a few days of leisure time to explore beautiful Paris on their own, warming up with deliciously rich hot chocolate in a cafe or quietly soaking up the beauty of the city’s many art galleries. Next, it’s a short flight over to the Eternal City of Rome where guests can drink wine and fill up on fresh pasta to their heart’s content. Three days at leisure gives them time to visit the Colosseum, gaze up in awe at the Sistine Chapel and sip on warm cappuccino.

The new 10-day Best of Morocco is sure to delight the senses, as guests weave their way through the vibrant cities of Marrakech, Fez, Casablanca and Ouarzazate, to name a few. Between resting their heads at beautiful First Class hotels like the Le Meridien and Le Berbere Palace, guests will enjoy highlights like a visit to the Royal Palace in Fez and a trip to the country’s biggest ‘souk’ in Marrakech, plus will have plenty of time to sample the many flavors of Moroccan cuisine and shop for intricate textiles in the exotic bazaars.

The 10-day Wonderful France takes guests to the country’s most vibrant cities and small towns, traveling from Paris to the south and back up again. Highlights include an exclusive Be My Guest dinner amongst the vineyards in Aix-en-Provence, winetasting in Beaune and a daytrip to the jet set playground of Monaco.

“Visiting Europe during the Autumn, Winter and Spring gives travelers an opportunity to immerse themselves in their destination with fewer crowds than in the summer,” says Paul Wiseman, President of Trafalgar USA. “Plus, this time of year represents great savings. Not only are airfares lower, our vacations from November to April are up to 38% less than peak summer months. Travelers can enjoy Europe starting at just $99 per day.”

Limited-time savings: Book and deposit 2012/13 Autumn, Winter and Spring Europe vacations by July 12, 2012 and travelers can save $250 per couple.

Trafalgar is a leading guided vacation company offering exceptional quality and value itineraries to a range of exciting destinations. With 65 years of experience and unrivaled local expertise, Trafalgar provides an authentic insider’s view to create truly unique travel experiences in Europe, Britain and Eastern Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, China, Mexico, Central and South America, USA and Canada.

For more information, contact your Travel Agent, call 866-544-4434 or visit http://www.trafalgar.com. Follow on Twitter at @TrafalgarUSA and @TrafalgarTalk and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TrafalgarTravel

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BikeToursDirect Adds Mexico to Tour Roster, First North American Destination

November 2, 2011

 

BikeToursDirect

BikeToursDirect, entering its ninth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, including the popular Danube Bike Trail, and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. The company has just added four tours in Mexico for 2012, its first North American destination. © 2011 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

BikeToursDirect is expanding its tour offerings to its fifth continent, adding Mexico to its tour roster, its first North American destination. Following meetings last week at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Chiapas, Mexico, BikeToursDirect reached an agreement to represent EcoColors Tours, a Cancun-based tour operator.

“I’m very impressed with EcoColors’ professionalism and commitment to the environment and to local communities,” said BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “Their focus is as much on ecosystems, history and culture as it is on recreation, and their guides are also biologists or naturalists.”

“We recognize our responsibility to the people and places we visit,” says EcoColors president Kenneth Johnson. “Our philosophy is ensuring that our clients’ holidays have a positive impact on the places they visit.”

Tours will be priced starting at about $1,500, including one week of lodging, dinners, professional guides, van support, transfers, sightseeing tours, admissions and other services. Partial proceeds from each tour go to local Mayan communities.

BikeToursDirect will offer four tours, which spotlight the archaeological history, biodiversity and natural wonders of Mexico:

  •  Riviera Maya Bike Adventure, which takes cyclists across the Yucatan peninsula from the jungle to the Caribbean and explores Mayan archaeological sites and natural wonders hidden in Mexico’s second largest national park, the Sian ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Tour dates: January 7, March 18 and November 4.
  •  Yucatan Bike Adventure, which winds along the Yucatan Peninsula and spotlights contemporary Mayan villages, ancient pyramids, archaeological sites and Mexico’s second largest national park, the Sian ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Tour dates: February 19, April 8 and October 7.
  • Oaxaca Bike Adventure, which winds through villages with colonial-era structures and explores archaeological and historic sites, including Monte Alban, Santo Domingo Church, El Tule tree and petrified waterfalls in the mountains. Tour date: September 2.
  • Chiapas Bike Adventure, a journey through the tropical rainforest of Chiapas, the most biodiverse state of Mexico, which features unique waterfalls, lagoons, canyons and mountains, as well as the amazing archaeological sites of the Olmec (first prehistoric culture) and the Maya: Palenque and Comalcalco. Tour dates: April 22 and September 23.

Each tour also features authentic Mexican cuisine and offers a variety of side excursions, including guided naturalist hikes, kayaking, boat tours and snorkeling on the world’s second longest coral reef—all geared at providing an opportunity to explore the unique and diverse ecosystems of Mexico.

“The primary mission of EcoColors is preservation: to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems in Mexico and combine this with ecotourism. Our goal is to amaze our travelers while giving them the opportunity to explore the ecosystems in an informed and safe manner,” says Kenneth Johnson.

The two Johnsons (no relation) met and spent time together during the annual Adventure Travel World Summit last week in Chiapas, Mexico. “Kenneth took me on a boat tour through the Sumidero Canyon, part of the Chiapas Bicycle Adventure,” says Jim Johnson, who shot a short video of the adventure. “I was impressed by his knowledge and passion for the region.”

Entering its ninth season, BikeToursDirect represents over 50 tour companies worldwide and offers more than 200 bicycle tours in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. Unlike many companies, BikeToursDirect doesn’t operate tours but instead represents overseas companies that can keep their tour prices down due to the lower cost of doing business close to home and to spreading their expenses over a large client base. Clients book tours and make all payments through BikeToursDirect, usually at the same prices charged by the tour companies.

BikeToursDirect will add the Mexico tours to its new website in early December. Interested travelers can contact BikeToursDirect to be alerted when the new tours are online.

BikeToursDirect, entering its ninth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries, and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at www.biketoursdirect.com. Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email: info@biketoursdirect.com.

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