Tour Packages and News for March 2012

Tour operator news, packages and promotions By: Janet Martin
CIE Tours will take groups to the new Titanic Belfast attraction. // © 2012 Titanic Belfast
CIE Tours will take groups to the new Titanic Belfast attraction. // © 2012 Titanic Belfast

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Two of Tauck’s popular tours can now be extended for a limited time. // © 2012 thinkstock; Chris Heaney

 Two of Tauck’s popular tours can now be extended for a limited time. // © 2012 thinkstock; Chris Heaney

Tour operator targeted specifically toward the gay and lesbian traveler // © 2012 Chris Heaney

Tour operator targeted specifically toward the gay and lesbian traveler // © 2012 Chris Heaney

Central America
Sacred Rides is taking experienced mountain bikers on its Ruta de Maya mountain bike trip in Guatemala, starting on Dec. 17 and ending on Dec. 21 for $1,775 per person.

South America
The Cachiccata Trek is the focus of Life Authentic Travel’s 10-day adventure, which starts at $2,395.

Africa
Frontiers Travel is offering an eight-day safari to Zambia at $5,995 per person, based on double occupancy, through South Luangwa National Park and other Zambian landmarks.

Europe
Travcoa is offering an 11-day trip through Resplendent Russia, touring Moscow and other cities for a starting cost of $8,695. Single travelers receive 50 percent off.

Arctic
G Adventures hosts an eight-day tour through the Realm of the Polar Bears, including the Svalbard Archipelago and Spitsbergen with prices starting at $3,599.

CIE Commemorates the Titanic in Belfast
CIE Tours International is adding a new attraction to many of its Ireland tours. Opening in April 2012, Titanic Belfast takes visitors through nine galleries documenting the Titanic from creation (which occurred in the city of Belfast) to demise. There is also a display dedicated to the discovery of the wreck as well as live links showing recent undersea explorations.

The price for seeing Titanic Belfast depends on the tour. Some tours that include the Titanic Belfast stop are: Irish Interlude, a nine-day Coach tour that starts at $1,423; Northern Supreme, an eight-day tour priced at $2,293; Jewels of Ireland, a 14-day trip priced at $2,068; and British and Irish Voyager, which starts at $2,648. Both of the first tours include stays at deluxe, castle or superior first-class hotels. The other two include stays at superior first-class hotels. www.cietours.com

G Adventures Offers Improved Online Booking
G Adventures announced Sherpa, its new online reservation platform. The program allows travel agents to package international airfares with G Adventures’ tours online for the first time. Sherpa also offers agents the ability to book certain airfares without the need for the customer to pay for the package in full at the time of booking, allowing agents to continue to browse for deals as well as book flights and add pre- or post-trip hotel nights.

John Warner, vice president of global sales, believes that Sherpa signals the end of agents calling to book flights. www.gadventures.com

Tauck Offers ‘Gift of Time’ Package
Two of Tauck’s popular tours can now be extended for a limited time. The Gift of Time package allows travelers to add a free hotel night either at the beginning or end of the trip. The hotel must be at one of the same hotels already featured at the beginning or conclusion of the tour. Complimentary airport transfer is included.

America’s Canyonlands begins in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and stops at the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park before ending at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Prices start from $2,760 per person, based on double occupancy.

The 10-day Yellowstone and Grand Teton tour is also included in this package with prices starting from $3,190 per person, based on double occupancy. To qualify, travelers must book between Jan. 15 and Feb. 29, and a deposit is required at the time of booking. www.tauck.com

Brand g Vacations Serves LGBT Travelers
Charlie Rounds of RSVP Vacations recently launched a tour operator targeted specifically toward the gay and lesbian traveler — Brand g Vacations.

Brand g is offering culture-focused alternatives to large-scale cruises and resort buyouts, such as the Legendary Danube Riverboat Cruise, a 10-day river cruise aboard the AmaCerto that starts in Prague and ends in Budapest. The trip takes place in August and prices range from $2,779 to $3,779 per person, based on double occupancy.

In September, Brand g offers an eight-day land tour of Ireland, starting at $1,799 and, in October, Brand g will take clients to Mexico City.

“We want to promote great destinations that give full equality to our community,” said Rounds. www.brandgvacations.com

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