Archive for the ‘tour companies’ Category

Apple Vacations Launches Third Cuba Tour to Accommodate Traveler Demand

December 3, 2015

NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA – With Apple Vacations’ tours to Cuba completely sold out for 2015, and 2016 departures selling quickly, the tour operator has created an exclusive eight-night Seascape Discovery tour. This new tour features one pre-night in Miami, four nights in Havana at the IBEROSTAR Parque Central, three nights in Varadero at the IBEROSTAR Varadero, comprehensive sightseeing tours, interactions with local artists, salsa lessons, a boat ride through an underground river, pottery demonstrations, rum and cigar tastings, and authentic Cuban cuisine.

“Following the extremely successful Cuba tour program we launched in July, we have added a third tour for 2016,” said Tim Mullen, President of Apple Vacations. “Cuba is a hot selling destination and we are meeting the demand of travelers looking to immerse themselves in Cuban culture, and engage with the Cuban people,” he added.

The eight-night Seascape Discovery is priced from $5,550 per person, based on double occupancy, with the following departure dates: Feb. 13, March 26, April 30, May 28, June 25, July 30, Aug. 27, Sept. 24 and Oct. 29, 2016.

Prices include Cuban health insurance, charter flights departing from Miami (connecting flights from other US cities available), Cuban tourist visa processing, and U.S. taxes and fees. A Cuban departure tax of $25 per passenger will be collected upon check-in at Miami International Airport.

The leading vacation wholesaler is working with US-based Cuba Travel Services, a Cuba-licensed operator that charters flights from Miami to Cuba with XTRA Airways and American Airlines. Connections to Miami can be arranged from all major U.S. gateways.

Travel to Cuba must be booked 64 days in advance of departure to allow ample time for the processing of required documentation.

Travelers will receive an orientation in Miami to ensure familiarity with Cuban laws, policies and traditions prior to arrival in Cuba.

For more than 45 years, Apple Vacations has provided affordable, top quality vacation packages from U.S. departure cities nationwide to vacation destinations throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Hawaii and Europe, as well top North and South American ski resorts. Apple Vacations has been consistently voted “Best Tour Operator to Mexico and Latin America” by readers of the leading travel trade magazines.

Cuba Travel Services Inc., with offices in California and Florida, arranges daily, non-stop, direct public charter flights between the United States and Cuba. Cuba Travel Services, Inc. is licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as both an authorized Carrier Service Provider (CSP) and Travel Service Provider (TSP) in travel related services to Cuba. As a full service charter and tour operator, Cuba Travel Services provides professional services to individuals, groups, families, educators, students, professionals and organizations, under Specific or General Licenses issued by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Visit www.applevacations.com/cubatours/ for more information.

 

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Pacific Delight Launches First South America Tours Starting with Peru

March 6, 2015
Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator's expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts. He hinted that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

NEW YORK, NY – Pacific Delight Tours is expanding into South America, beginning with the launch of a seven day itinerary to Peru where travelers will have the opportunity to view some of the most famed sights in the Western Hemisphere, including Machu Picchu.  Tours to Peru start at $2,559 per person, based on double occupancy.

“Peru is a fabulous landscape where exotic culture and ancient ruins combine with well-preserved colonial architecture to create a multi-faceted window into the past, present and future with ultra-modern cities like Lima, ancient Incan cities like Cusco and the incredibly mysterious Machu Picchu, all within one vast landscape,” said Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours, who was first brought on as an executive consultant in 2013 to lead the luxury operator’s expansion efforts.

“We are very excited to have Peru as our first South America destination, as I’ve been involved in promoting tourism to and from South America since 1972 and am extremely familiar with Peru, having lived there,” noted Oborski, hinting that further expansion into South America is in the pipeline with more itineraries to appear throughout 2015.

Pacific Delight’s 7-Day Peru Program takes travelers to Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco along with a full-day tour of different Incan communities and antique salt mines.

Machu Picchu, known as the “Lost City of the Incas” is not only one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, but also the biggest cultural treasure of Peru’s past and the empire of the Incas.  Undiscovered by Spaniards and forgotten for centuries, it was not until 1911 that the American scientist Hiram Bingham came upon this phenomenon accidentally.  The ruins still leave scientists with numerous questions and riddles as to how it was built and for what purpose.  Travelers will reach Machu Picchu by shuttle bus and enjoy lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.

Travelers will get to visit Cusco, home to many important Inca sites, where explorers will not only find Incan walls and temples, but also colonial mansions and Catholic churches.  In addition to Cusco, other stops include the Salt Mines of Mara, an excursion to the small Andean community Moray, known for its embedded amphitheater, and a trip to Chinchero where travelers will explore the town’s Sunday market, originally dedicated to the people of the valley to barter their products with a variety of handicrafts and textiles made in true pre-Columbian style.  Explorers will also get to visit Awankancha where they will learn about the traditional weaving techniques typical for the area.

Peru also offers travelers the unique opportunity to experience nearly 98% of the world’s climates, from Rainforests in the North, to coastal cities like Lima in the West and sprawling mountain ranges in the East.  This varied climate, along with a merging of cultures, has given Peruvians the ability to create some of the most unique culinary experiences including Chifa, a fusion of Peruvian and Chinese food, and Ceviche, Peru’s take on sushi.

Pacific Delight Tours is offering the 7-Day Peru Program in Silver and Gold packages.  The Silver package starts at $2,559 with a $600 single supplement and provides travelers with first-class accommodations.  The Gold program starts at $2,999 with a $926 single supplement and features Pacific Delight’s signature FiveStarPlus® luxury accommodations.  All rates quoted are per person, based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare or initial arrival and departure transfers, which are only included when airfare is purchased from Pacific Delight Tours.

Meals are included as per the itineraries along with English-speaking guides and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program. International airfare is not included, but can be purchased from Pacific Delight Tours at competitive rates from all major U.S. gateways.

Pacific Delight Tours’ expansion into South America will include itineraries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru in 2015, with more destinations to be announced.

For more information or to book, consult your local travel agent or contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179.  Browse Pacific Delight’s China and Asia offerings at www.PacificDelightTours.com.

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Austin Adventures Amends Cancellation Policy to Alleviate Ebola Fears

October 29, 2014

It’s a highly unlikely event, but should health officials report a confirmed case of Ebola within 500 miles of an Austin Adventures vacation host city, the company is announcing that it will waive its trip cancellation fee.

“While we realize that the odds of Ebola affecting our itineraries are minuscule at best, we hope to assuage any fears that a guest may have by updating our cancellation policy to address this sensitive subject,” said Dan Austin, President and Founder of Austin Adventures (http://www.austinadventures.com/).

The adventure travel company, which offers trips to all seven continents, is applying the revised policy to all of its trips—not just those to Africa where many of its partners are also adjusting their cancellation policies.

As with most tour operators, Austin Adventures’ cancellation fee ranges in amount from 15 percent to 100 percent of the price of the trip depending on when the trip is cancelled. In order to avoid the cancellation fee, guests would have to cancel at least seven days prior to their scheduled departure.

The company’s host cities in Africa include Arusha, Brazzaville, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Livingstone, Maun, Nairobi and Windhoek. Brazzaville, the capital city of the Republic of the Congo, is nearest to the African countries that have reported confirmed Ebola cases, but even then it’s more than 3,000 miles away. This is roughly the distance between Maine and California.

On the improbable occasion that a case of Ebola is confirmed within the parameters, booked guests could either cancel their trip completely, at least seven days prior to their scheduled departure, without having to pay a cancellation fee, or they could postpone their trip and travel at a later date for the same price. In addition, Austin Adventures offers all of its guests travel insurance and encourages travelers to obtain coverage to cover any flight cancellation fees or penalties.

Austin Adventures’ legacy in the adventure travel industry goes back more than 40 years, and the company has been selling safaris in Africa for more than a decade. It currently offers 10 different adult and family vacation packages and a river cruise in African countries including Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and the Republic of Congo. The company’s adventure travel consultants can also arrange custom travel itineraries to the continent.

Austin Adventures’ new 2015 catalogs are now available. To receive a copy, visit http://www.austinadventures.com/request-catalog/ or call 1.800.575.1540.

 

 

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O.A.R.S. Adventure Travel Company Operates Rafting, Hiking, Multi-Sport Trips into October

August 12, 2014
Whitewater rafting in Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. O.A.R.S. adventure travel company is operating rafting trips into October.

Whitewater rafting in Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. O.A.R.S. adventure travel company is operating rafting trips into October.

Veteran river outfitter and nature-based adventure travel company O.A.R.S. (www.oars.com/) is operating rafting, hiking and multi-sport vacations into October that promise cooler temperatures along with great fishing, uncrowded wilderness and brilliant night skies.

“It’s our favorite season for hiking and exploring in the national parks,” adds Steve Markle, O.A.R.S.’ spokesperson. “And then there’s the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, which not only has spectacular alpine scenery, but also world-class trout fishing – especially in September when high water has receded, the river is crystal clear, and angling conditions are prime.”

Markle suggests some of the company’s most popular fall adventures for anyone looking for domestic travel from September through October:

Through mid-September O.A.R.S.’ six-day Yellowstone & Grand Teton Explorer takes guests off the beaten track at a time when seasonal visits to the two parks are slowing down. This multi-sport program in wild Wyoming includes two nights of lodging and three nights of catered camping on Jackson Lake with days spent touring Yellowstone and kayaking and hiking in Grand Teton. Through special access granted by the National Park Service, O.A.R.S. has been given permission to camp on an island in the lake, a privilege unique to this company. This trip transports guests into a world of mountain peaks and meadows, trout streams, waterfalls, bear, moose and bison. The rate is $1,589/person based on double occupancy for six days (five-day camping trips also available from $1399/person).

The company’s four-day, lodge-based Grand Canyon Rim to River Hiker in September and October brings guests into one of the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay at historic Phantom Ranch. The adventure begins in Walnut Canyon, en route to the South Rim, with a close-up view of 25 unique cliff dwellings. Hiking in Wupatki National Monument, features multi-story ruins of red sandstone blocks and mortar.  After gazing into the canyon’s depths from the Desert View Watchtower, a night at the South Rim is the perfect spot to rest before an invigorating hike into the canyon the following day. The South Kaibab Trail, a seven-mile hike into the canyon, reveals panoramic vistas that overwhelm the senses as guests take in the canyon’s grandeur.  The Bright Angel Trail offers a nine-mile hike out of the canyon, followed by a short stroll along the Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest before returning to Flagstaff on the final day of this hiking adventure. The rate is $1,599/person based on double occupancy.

In September, six-day fishing trips on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River combine crystal clear water, abundant wildlife, amazing scenery, hot springs and Blue Ribbon trout fishing. This Idaho adventure brings guests into the largest federally protected wilderness in the continental U.S., a rugged and varied terrain of pine-clad mountains, rolling grasslands and narrow gorges. The catch-and-release policy along with limited access to the river and little angling pressure has resulted in a river loaded with fish. Twelve- to fourteen-inchers are common, with an occasional trophy sixteen- to eighteen-inch lunker. From $2082/person.

The Colorado River through Cataract Canyon serves up ideal conditions for hiking to scenic viewpoints and pre-Puebloan sites, stand up paddleboarding in the flat water and Class III whitewater through the heart of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. By September the scorching heat of the summer has faded, and with the sun a little lower in the sky, the shade created by canyon walls produces mesmerizing oblique lighting and wonderful opportunities for photography. Guests can marvel at million-year-old rock formations as well as ancient pictographs & petroglyphs while hiking side canyon trails. Four- and six-day trips through October start at $1529/person.

On a special September 14 “Stars with Lars” astronomy trip, veteran O.A.R.S.’ guide Lars Haarr will help interpret the night sky that offers some of the best conditions for stargazing due to the remote location and absence of city lights.

The per person, double occupancy rates for autumn 2014 programs include nights of lodge accommodations and/or comfortable catered camping, all river equipment, dry bags for gear, meals from departure day through the end of the trip and professional guide services.

For more information, availability, reservations and a copy of the 2014 O.A.R.S. Adventures catalog call 209-736-4677 or 800-346-6277, email info@oars.com, or visit www.oars.com.

 

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TourCrafters Offers Air-Inclusive Deals for Fall Travel to Spain, Italy, Booked by Aug 28

August 9, 2014
TourCrafters is offering air-inclusive packages to Florence, Italy, in September and October © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

TourCrafters is offering air-inclusive packages to Florence, Italy, in September and October © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

TourCrafters is offering air-inclusive deals to Spain and Italy for September and October, booked and paid for by August 28.

This is the ideal time to travel to Europe: the weather is pleasant, the sidewalk cafés are open, but the summertime crowds have gone home.

TourCrafters’ six-night Madrid and Barcelona deal, for example, costs only $1,919 including round-trip air fare from New York, daily breakfast, three nights’ accommodation in a 3-star Madrid hotel, a half-day Madrid sightseeing tour, high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Barcelona, three nights in a 3-star Barcelona hotel and a half-day Artistic Tour of Barcelona.

You’ll have a chance to see such Madrid highlights as the Royal Palace, the Paseo del Prado and the Gran Via, and then take in some of the capital’s great museums and fine shops on your own. TourCrafters even offers an optional excursion to Toledo. In Barcelona the tour covers Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces—the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, and buildings on the Paseo de Gracia—but you’ll also have time to see the Gothic Quarter and the fascinating life (cafés, market, canaries, flower stalls) along Las Ramblas, as well as to dine in some of its celebrated restaurants.

TourCrafters is also offering the following September/October air and land deals: Rome and Florence, from $1,919; Madrid, Mallorca and Barcelona, from $3,079; Madrid, Ibiza and Barcelona, from $2,559; and Italy by Train, from $2,379.

In addition, for a limited time only, TourCrafters is having an Airfare Sale from New York (JFK) to several European destinations including London, Paris, Munich, Vienna, Prague and Athens.

All prices are per person, double occupancy. Air fare add-ons are available from many other cities than New York. Fuel charges are included but are subject to change by the airlines. Airport taxes ($109 per person) are not included and hotel taxes in Italy must be paid directly to the hotel in euros.

For more information on these last-minute fall deals, visit www.tourcrafters.com, click “Special Offers,” and then “Deal of the Week.” For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

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Pacific Delight Celebrates ‘Wave Award’ with Air-Inclusive Departures to China from LAX, SFO for $2499

July 16, 2014
Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours

Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours

Pacific Delight Tours is celebrating winning the 2014 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editors’ Pick for Best Tour Operator in Asia by offering an air-inclusive option for its eight-night China Impressions Silver Experience program from $2,499 per person, double occupancy, based on departures from Los Angeles or San Francisco. Departures are guaranteed with a minimum of two passengers.

Travelers begin their journey in Beijing, China’s capital and cultural center, where the requisite stops at the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City will be supplemented by additional sightseeing at the elegant Summer Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasting the world’s largest imperial garden.

In Xi’an, guests will be treated to an awe-inspiring view of the Terra Cotta Warriors, an impressive army of more than 8,000 life-sized statues buried for over 2,200 years guarding the city-sized mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang.

The program culminates in Shanghai, where highlights include Yu Garden and Old Town, the city’s colonial European past at The Bund, and a renowned silk carpet factory.

Pacific Delight’s China Impressions itinerary features deluxe accommodations from the Grand New World Hotel in Xi’an to conveniently located Marriott properties in Beijing and Shanghai.

The air-inclusive China Impressions Silver Experience program starts at $2,499 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes transpacific air from Los Angeles or San Francisco via Air China or China Eastern Airlines; intra-China flights; fuel surcharges; taxes and fees; meals; and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.

Contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179 or visit www.pacificdelighttours.com for more information or to book.

Award Winning Tour Company

The TravelAge West WAVE Award Editors’ Pick for Best Tour Operator in Asia honor is given each year to America’s leading luxury tour operators servicing China and Asia.  Pacific Delight Tours, which has been a leading tour operator to China and Asia for 43 years, has won the award for the last seven consecutive years.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized with this prestigious award for the past seven years.  It is our customer service and product development teams who deserve the credit for all of their hard work behind the scenes to ensure a memorable vacation experience that keeps clients returning for more,” said Eric Oborski, president of Pacific Delight Tours.

In addition to winning the TravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008-2014, Pacific Delight Tours has received the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the 2008, 2009 and 2012 travAlliancemedia Leisure Travel Leadersreaders’ choice awards for Best Tour Operator in Asia.  The company is also a proud member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).

Reservations, brochures and information can be obtained from travel agents and Pacific Delight Tours, telephone: (800) 221-7179 or (212) 818-1781; website: www.PacificDelightTours.com.

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Bicycle Adventures offers 14 New Fall Tour Dates; $200 Off Bookings by July 31

July 16, 2014
Bicycle Adventures is extending summer with 14 new fall tour dates.

Bicycle Adventures is extending summer with 14 new fall tour dates.

Bicycle Adventures, a leader in North America bike tours, is extending summer with 14 new fall tour dates to make up for a wet and cool spring when folks couldn’t get on their bikes.

If booked by July 31, 2014, you can receive $200 off listed rates on newly scheduled fall adventures that are scattered around six states from late August into November.

Leavenworth Mountain Biking in Washington offers four days of back country fat tire riding and rafting. The per person rate is $1,365. The trip departs from Issaquah or Leavenworth departing Aug. 24 and Sept. 21.

Departing Sept. 14, 21 and 28 Bicycle Adventures’ San Juan Islands 6 Day Classic begins in Seattle for six days of cycling through lavender fields, exploring Friday Harbor, a shark reef sanctuary and more. The per person rate is $2,995.

Tucked between Oregon’s Blue Mountains and the Snake River is an astonishingly beautiful region, the Wallowa Mountains and the Eagle Cap Wilderness.Wallowas & Hells Canyon tour departs Sept. 15 for four scenic days at $2,195 per person.

Cyclists can explore eastern Oregon and the eye-popping terrain of John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders, on a four-day tour departing Sept. 20.  The John Day and Painted Hills tour runs $1,984 per person.

With temperatures getting crisper in the Pacific Northwest, the focus moves south toSanta Fe & Taos when a Sept. 28 six-day tour departs Santa Fe for $2,995 per person.  Arts and crafts, pueblos, southwestern cuisine and Spanish-style towns await discovery.

On Oct. 5 aMoab & Arches Classic tour departure focuses on six days in Utah’s natural playground graced by two national parks followed by Arizona’s Cactus Classicleaving Oct. 12.  The rate for the Moab trip runs $2,695 per person. The Cactus Classic spends six days in the land of Geronimo, Cochise and 250-year-old saguaro cactus. The rate is $2,895 for the trip that begins in Tucson.

The fall season wraps up in sunny California with four departures Oct. 27, Nov. 1, 6 and 11 inDeath Valley National Park. This four-day trip departs Las Vegas for the discovery of a stunning diversity of terrain: 200 miles of eerie salt flats, deceptively velvety sand dunes, crazy-stripe badlands, valleys, canyons, mountains and more. The per person rate is $1,984.

There are still a number of additional tours ideal for first time cyclists with good space remaining in the 2014 season. For more information, availability and reservations contact Bicycle Adventures by phone: 800.443.6060, email: office@bicycleadventures.com or visit online at: http://bicycleadventures.com/.

Scenic byways, four and five-star accommodations and local dining and visits to National Parks are trademarks of Bicycle Adventures, founded in 1984.  Types of tours include Classic (25-50 miles a day), Classic Plus (50-60 miles a day) and Epic (70+ miles a day with the most demanding terrain). Value-driven Casual category trips offer budget-conscious lodging and meals, with the same full van support.

Pre-set and custom tours embrace the Pacific Northwest into Canada, California and the Southwest, as well as Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, New York, Hawaii and New Zealand. Excelling in its own backyard the Issaquah, WA-based company also conducts tours into Washington State’s wine country.

Follow Bicycle Adventures:
Website: http://bicycleadventures.com/
Facebook: Bicycle Adventures
Twitter: @BikeAdventures

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Bestway Tours Announces New Expedition to Bouvet Island, ‘Most Remote Island in the World’

May 10, 2014

Vancouver-based tour operator Bestway Tours & Safaris has put together an expedition to visit Bouvet Island, departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, on Mar. 24, 2015 on board the M/V Ortelius, an ice-strengthened UL1 class expedition boat with 47 cabins accommodating up to 104 passengers.

Recorded as the most remote island in the world, Bouvet is located in the South Atlantic Ocean, east of the South Shetland Islands, Bouvet is a dependency of Norway, which is 13,000 km away. Bouvet is only 49 square km in size, of which 93 per cent is covered by a glacier. The center of the island is an ice-filled crater of an inactive volcano and is also the site of a Norwegian weather station.

The expedition takes participants from Ushuaia, Argentina through the Beagle Channel and the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands to visit Antarctic research stations and encounter Gentoo Penguins, Weddell Seals, Leopard Seals and Orcas. The expedition continues through the Weddell Sea for a possible landing in the South Orkney Islands and the rarely visited South Sandwich Islands. The highlight of the expedition is Bouvet Island. Due to the unpredictability of landings, Bestway has allocated two full days for landings on the island. The journey continues to unique Gough Island, the Tristan da Cunha Archipelago and St. Helena, the island where Napoleon died in exile. The expedition concludes on April 22, 2015 in Ascension Island.

The expedition is limited to a maximum of 104 participants, with costs starting at US$ 10,490 and includes 35 nights on a full-board basis on the M/V Ortelius, tea/coffee, landing fees, shore excursions, zodiacs and guest lecturers on board. Guests also have the option to continue from Ascension Island to Cape Verde.

For details view: bestway.com/tours/pvt/bouvet_expedition, call 1-800-663-0844 or email: bestway@bestway.com

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Victoria Cruises, Ritz Tours Join on 12-Day Tour Featuring Yangtze River Cruise, Visits to Major Cities

February 19, 2014

victoria cruises

Victoria Cruises (www.VictoriaCruises.com) and Ritz Tours (www.RitzTours.com) are offering a comprehensive 12-day Yangtze Essence program, giving travelers the opportunity to explore the rich history of China.  For further incentive, travelers that book by Feb. 28, 2014 can save up to $300 per couple.

The 12-day adventure features a luxurious four-day Yangtze River cruise in a private-balcony superior stateroom with stunning views of the mist-shrouded Three Gorges aboard the recently renovated five-star Victoria Anna. Passengers will discover cultural and scenic gems, including an excursion to the “Ghost City” of Fengdu, an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam site, and a small boat experience through one of the Yangtze’s tranquil tributaries (Goddess Stream, Daning River, or Shennong Stream, based on river conditions).

The comprehensive 12-day program also encompasses the major highlights of Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai.

While in Beijing travelers will visit Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall, while the highlight of the Xi’an experience is arguably the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit.  Travelers will also explore the Ming Dynasty City Wall, the most intact city wall in China, and the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an.

The experience culminates in Shanghai where guests will discover the elegant waterfront of the Bund, City God Temple Bazaar and the peaceful halls of Yu Garden before returning home.

The 12-day program starts at $2,199 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes: all accommodations; 24 meals; comprehensive sightseeing tours; all shore excursions; experienced escorting hosts for groups of 10 or more; expert local city guides and river guides to enhance tour experiences; domestic air transportation in China; and air-conditioned tour coach buses with the service of professional drivers.  A single room supplement starts at $700.  China visa fees are not included.  An early booking discount of $150 per person will be shown during booking.

Travelers seeking a more in-depth tour to China have the option of the 15-day Majestic China & Yangtze River Cruise program from $4,499 per person, based on double occupancy.  With this program passengers will enjoy Victoria Cruises’ Executive Amenities Program, featuring private balcony Executive Suite accommodations and a host of VIP additions including “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, enhanced dining privileges, shoe shine service and reserved seating for evening entertainment (must be reserved in advance).

This tour comprises all the highlights of the 12-day program with an added stop in Guilin, allowing visitors to take in the scenery that has inspired countless Chinese artists at honored landmarks such as the illuminated rock formations of Reed Flute Cave and the Elephant Trunk Hill.  The 15-day tour also gives travelers an extra day in Shanghai for exploring. For further incentive, travelers that book by Feb. 28, 2014 can save up to $400 per couple.

All Ritz Tours programs feature five-star hotel accommodations and Ritz Tours now offers TRAVEL GUARD® traveler’s insurance which covers guests at no additional charge.

For more information or to book a Ritz Tours program, visit www.RitzTours.com.

Victoria Cruises

 

New York-based Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994.  Victoria Cruises remains the service leader on the Yangtze River with each ship earning the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration.  Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years including the 2011 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna. Travel Weekly also recently selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category. The cruise line operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze ranging from four to nine days.

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 136-18 39th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing, NY 11354; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889.  E-mail contact@victoriacruises.com or visit http://www.victoriacruises.com.

 

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Pacific Delight Introduces Air-Inclusive Yangtze China Program Highlighting Lesser Traveled Eastern Bend

February 19, 2014
Highlights of the onboard Victoria Cruises experience include cultural entertainment.

Highlights of the onboard Victoria Cruises experience include cultural entertainment.

Pacific Delight Tours (www.PacificDelightTours.com) is offering a new air-inclusive 14-day Grand Yangtze River Silver Experience which includes a relaxing nine-day Yangtze River cruise through China’s scenic heartland on the five-star Victoria Sophia from Victoria Cruises, along with roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco (other gateways available including JFK for an additional $200).

The program begins in Shanghai, China’s fastest growing metropolis, where passengers will have an opportunity to relax after the transpacific flight.  Sightseeing in Shanghai includes a leisurely stroll around Old Town, picturesque Yu Garden and the Bund, Shanghai’s colonial riverside promenade, where visitors will receive an insightful glimpse into the city’s profound history.

Along the way to meet their cruise ship, guests will stop at the picturesque water town of Zhujiajiao known for its tranquil canals, cobblestone streets and ancient charm.  Travelers will then depart on a blissful voyage along the mist-shrouded Yangtze River.

The first stop on the cruise itinerary is Nanjing, capital of the Jiangsu Province, where travelers will experience the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and a Qing Dynasty-style Bazaar surrounding a Confucian Temple.  This is followed by spectacular Jiuhashan Mountain

(also known as Mountain of the Nine Lotuses), a UNESCO World Heritage site revered for its exceptional beauty.  Travelers will experience the feeling of walking into a living Chinese ink painting, as the sheer peaks and their breathtaking vistas unfold before them (Huangshan, also known as Yellow Mountain, may be substituted based on weather and road conditions).

Continuing upstream, travelers will observe the stunning natural scenery of the areas surrounding Guichi on their way to Wuhan, where they will spend time visiting the Hubei Provincial Museum.  The museum houses artifacts from the first century BC, as well as mementos of the province’s revolutionary history.

Next, passengers will receive a fascinating tour of the Three Gorges Dam, an extraordinary feat of engineering and the largest hydro-electric dam project in the world.  Upon returning to the ship, they will pass the ship locks and sail through the first of the famed Three Gorges – Xiling Gorge.

One of the most talked about excursions is an incredible sailing experience on a traditional sampan, through Goddess Stream – one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries.  Here, guests will board smaller craft to experience the quiet beauty of its narrow gorges.

After sailing through Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge, the cruise arrives at Fengdu, where passengers will have an opportunity to observe local culture and everyday life in one of the new resettlement towns on the Yangtze’s south bank – a sharp contrast to the hustle and bustle of life in Shanghai.

The cruise disembarks in Chongqing, where travelers will catch their flight to Beijing for the last leg of the trip highlighted by the Great Wall of China.  Guests will also visit Tiananmen Square, the largest public area in the world, followed by a tour of the impressive 15th century  Imperial Palace at Beijing’s Forbidden City.  An excursion to the elegant Summer Palace will showcase the largest imperial garden in the world, including over 3,000 structures with a variety of pavilions, towers and arched bridges surrounding Lake Kunming, where participants will enjoy a boat ride (weather permitting).

The air-inclusive World of Difference® Silver Experience program starts at $2,999 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes transpacific air from Los Angeles or San Francisco via Air China or China Eastern Airlines (departures from JFK are an additional $200); intra-China flights; fuel surcharges, port charges, taxes and fees; on-board lectures, cultural entertainment, Tai Chi and Chinese language lessons, Captain’s Cocktail Party and farewell banquet on the Yangtze River cruise; meals; and the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.

Travelers can maximize their enjoyment by upgrading to the World of Difference® Gold Experience, featuring Victoria Cruises’ Executive Amenities Program, which includes enhanced ship placement and a host of VIP additions including “white glove” service, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, enhanced dining privileges, shoe shine service and reserved seating for evening entertainment (must be reserved in advance). The Gold Experience starts at $4,199 and travels in the opposite direction of the Silver Experience, starting in Beijing and ending in Shanghai.

For more information or to book, contact Pacific Delight Tours at 800-221-7179 or visit www.PacificDelightTours.com.

For more travel features, visit:

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