2009/2010 Travel News, Tours, and Cruises

Here we are again with fall bringing us changes in season, temperatures, and a look toward ending 2009 and beginning another year. For the travel industry it's the time to take advantage of the 2009 fantastic values and to plan ahead. There is no doubt that 2009 brought some of the very best "deals" in our industry and even with a slow economy, people took advantage of these opportunities and cruise ships went out full week-after-week. 2010 will be a different year with prices probably being a bit higher, the dollar value falling against other currencies, but incentives are being offered still the same.

2010 is looking to be a very exciting year as I've been planning a fascinating Civil War sesquicentennial program that will kick-off in 2010 and continue through 2016, offering multiple tours and cruises each year with notable scholars and fascinating topics. There are also new products on the horizon as well as improved and value oriented favorites. Please review these pages for information, but know that it is not comprehensive as there is just too much! So, if you don't see something here that you are interested in, please contact me and I will find the information for you. Celebrate 2010 with family and friends and enjoy a cruise, a trip overseas, or see America—its historic past or keep up with what is happening in various cities.

I look forward to hearing from you and to helping you make 2010 a memorable year.

Charlene Corris, Owner

"The National Parks- America's Best Idea" Are you watching the fascinating Ken Burns 6-part series on the history of our National Parks -from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska? There are many opportunities to see the parks. Caravan Tours offers 8- day motorcoach tours from $995 with multiple parks in each tour. Tauck Tours, always offering superb experiences, has a variety of tours to see our parks—by jeep, floatplane, horseback, sky gondola, and jet boat while staying at historic hotels plus special tours devoted to families. Or, see the great National Parks of the West by train, open air buses, & stays in the parks. These have always been popular and will certainly increase in popularity in 2010 so reserve early.

Call or email for the information and brochures.

What is the best value destination?
I'm often asked this question and this year the answer is a definite Mexico—the Cancun, Riviera Maya, that is. This year with the news focusing on the drug cartel dangers and in April, the swine flu, Mexico became taboo. Very quickly however, the travel industry stepped up with a campaign to inform travelers that this area was not affected by the drug cartels and though swine flu had made its name here in Mexico, it was no more dangerous to travel here than anywhere else in the world. I've had many people book luxury vacations to Mexico since May and they have all been more than satisfied! There is still time to find great bargains here in the fall and certainly if you are looking for a special getaway for 2010 we'll help you find a luxury hotel at bargain rates, and most are all-inclusive! Other warm destinations may have similar values.

Not Just for Honeymoons!
Sandals, the Caribbean ultra-inclusive resorts are offering a special "Fall in Love Again" promotion with up to 65% off, 3 free nights, and $250 Spa Credit. Fall dates are offering the best rates but savings are available in 2010. If you are planning a honeymoon, please book early. If you just want a special get-away and you are flexible with your dates, call and we'll find you a great Sandals deal.

Our Custom Tours

Civil War Sesquicentennial Journeys for 2010

In April 1861 our nation became engulfed in a Civil War that lasted for four years and is considered a unique watershed in American and world history. Since the last gun was fired before Appomattox it has fascinated and mesmerized us, as vivid in our imaginations as it was in the real lives of those who fought it. Throughout this sesquicentennial period we will offer programs that will revisit the events that shaped the course of the conflict—political, military, and social. Civil War scholars will be our escorts and speakers as we follow the footsteps and indelible imprints of our ancestors. We invite you to join John C. Waugh and other scholars in our first year devoted to the underlying causes that would rock our nation to its core.

The Coming Storm:
April 29-May 3, 2010
Spend four days on the historic Delta Queen in Chattanooga, TN for a symposium focusing on the politics of 1860, on Abraham Lincoln, John Brown's raid, and the other dramatic events that shook the Union before the first shot.

Historians: John C. Waugh, Dennis Frye, James Ogden, with special guests— Jim Getty, as Abraham Lincoln and Civil War balladeer, Bobby Horton.

Two Soldiers and the Gathering Storm
June 18-24, 2010
We introduce two of the pivotal figures who will dominate the earliest days of the war itself—two soldiers, Stonewall Jackson and George McClellan, who were classmates at West Point. As the two men who would figure so prominently in the action of the earliest days of the war to come, they ironically represent the brotherhood that the war contrived to shatter.

Our highlights include a stay at the famed Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, visits to Harper’s Ferry & Antietam, and a trip into the mountains of WV to the site of the Battle of Rich Mountain.

Historians: John C. Waugh and Dennis Frye

Confederacy Gains Its Foothold
October 17-24, 2010
We begin in Montgomery, AL, the first capital of the Confederacy and watch as the seven deep South states in rebellion meet to form a government in early 1861. One century later, this same area would be embroiled in the struggle for Civil Rights. We visit sites juxtaposed between the two centuries and in Selma we will meet veterans of the 1965 March with Dr. Martin Luther King. We continue to Mobile, the site of a great naval battle, Biloxi, the home of Jefferson Davis, and finally to New Orleans, a city of vital importance in the Civil War where we will also enjoy a special visit to the WWII Museum.

Historian: John C. Waugh plus James Tarbox (History Channel Club)

A Separate Country
March 18—22, 2010
When was the last time you traveled with a NY Times best-selling author? Now is your chance as Robert Hicks, (The Widow of the South) leads us on a tour based on his newest book, set in New Orleans. Robert is the consummate story-teller and his historic tale based in the years after the Civil War, on John Bell Hood, one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army—and one of its most tragic figures, is the center of our focus. No stranger to the "Big Easy" Robert will lead us to places he knows well and that have inspired him to return, not just to write his book, but because it is a place that never disappoints. Our hotel is the magnificent Maison Dupuy in the French Quarter and special visits include the Hood home, Lafayette Cemetery #1, the Degas House, the Fine Arts Museum, the Odgen, and the Confederate Museum.

The Battle of the Bulge
October 5—14, 2010
Join Jeff Driscoll on this 8-night trip to Belgium and Luxembourg to visit some of the most intriguing battlefields in our history: Waterloo, the Hürtgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge. Our journey begins and ends in Brussels and offers a significant historical perspective with time for leisure activities and great

Cruises for 2009 & 2010

Cruising has truly become the industry leader in travel opportunities. The variety of destinations, including the ships themselves - often themed as resorts or country clubs, the enormous offerings of value to luxury lines, and the ease of travel to a variety of destinations with having to unpack only once has made cruising the best-selling travel option. On Wednesday, October 14, 2009, the cruise industry is hosting its "Largest Cruise Night Ever" which is expected to produce record sales in a 24 hour period and offer outstanding values from the participating cruise lines. If you are interested in a cruise for either 2009 or 2010 please contact me prior to that date and I'll be sure to find the best "deal" of the day for you. This could be the best time to plan a family vacation, family reunion, or a well-deserved vacation.

Fall Cruises for 2009
are still available to Bermuda, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal. Five-night cruises to Bermuda from NJ or Baltimore range in price from $399 - $849 and Caribbean cruises from 3—14 nights, including the Panama Canal are still available. Past passenger and senior rates are even better!

The Rivers in Europe
With the decline of the dollar the best value and best way to see the major European cities is on an intimate riverboat. All staterooms offer windows, some have balconies, the shore excursions are included, and often wine is included with dinner. Uniworld is offering "no single supplement" on many of their cruises as well as early booking discounts if you book before November 30. Destinations include Europe, China and Egypt on the new Tosca. New in 2010 "Epicurean Cruises" with wine pairings, private wine tastings, and culinary demonstrations by master chefs. Viking Cruises, Avalon, and Amadeus will offer similar values for early reservations and a variety of cruise itineraries. The best part of river cruising—small ships that get into ports and provide a more intimate experience both on and off the ship.

2010 Luxury Lines for Less
There could not be a better time to upgrade to a luxury cruise! Incentives are free economy and business class airfares, included shore excursions (RSSC), 2-for-1 fares on most sailings (Oceania, RSSC, Crystal) and unique itineraries with exceptional shore excursion offerings. Crystal Cruises is also offering an "All-Inclusive Spend-As—You-Wish" spending credits up to $2000 on every sailing.
Consider our group fares on Oceania—April 4 from Barcelona to Rome or June 17—27 from Rome to Barcelona on their "Yacht Havens" cruise. Our special group offer is 2-for-1 fares, free economy airfare, additional $2000 discount per stateroom & pre-paid gratuities! These cruises are selling- please call for rates!

Rivers in America
Many of you have sailed with me on the Delta Queen and her sister ships over the past two decades and know the ambiance of river travel. Sadly these boats are no longer sailing, but the Delta Queen, as you see, is now a hotel in Chattanooga, TN and I will continue to offer themed programs here with focus on the Civil War, Music, and reunions of "steamboaters" and more. Survivors on the rivers are American Cruise Lines, sailing the east coast shoreline on ships of 100 passengers or less. In 2010 they are offering a new Philadelphia and Potomac itinerary with dates in June & July and their ever popular Hudson River in the fall, along with the Maine Coast and Harbors— all unique and impressive. Early booking discounts are still available so contact me for brochures and rates.

Another small ship option is the American Canadian Caribbean Cruise Line with passenger capacities of only 66—98. New in 2010 is the U. S. Historic Rivers— from New Orleans to Chicago and divided into 3 sections that can be sailed collectively or individually- from April 16—May 10. Other itineraries include the Great Lakes, Hudson River & Lake Champlain, and the Erie Canal/Saguenay. Their current offer is "Bring a Friend" and save up to $500.

New Ships in 2009
Carnival- Dream, RCCL- Oasis, Silver Seas—Silver Spirit and 15 more in 2010! Opportunities are endless and as new ships book quickly call for rates now! This is the best time to plan your vacation, honeymoon, reunion, and more. We'll check the discounts and let you know the best rate and time to make your deposit. Upgrades are often available to those who reserve early.

...And More

Train travel in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia is a unique way to experience majestic sites in a relaxed atmosphere. Last fall I experienced the Canadian Rockies on the famed Rocky Mountaineer train and I highly recommend this as a special vacation! Choose from rail & motorcoach, rail and self-drive, rail and cruise, or a trans- Canada rail adventure.

Early Booking Bonus: If you reserve your vacation Oct. 1—31, 2009, you will receive up to $1400 add-on credits for Gold Leaf and up to $700 for Red Leaf.

For train lovers — Panama Canal and the Queen — January 15, 2010 offers train travel from your home city to New York and home from San Francisco after the cruise with the option of the stunning daylight passage through the Colorado Rockies aboard the famed California Zephyr for a 15-night cruise aboard Cunard's new Queen Victoria for her maiden arrival to the Golden Gate Bridge. This company also offers several National Parks tours, as well as a variety of Canadian options.

New! Voyages to Antiquity
Sail aboard the 350 passenger, Agean Odyssey, combining the very best in style and comfort with meticulously planned, original itineraries of two-week voyages offering a unique cruising experience. Prestigious guest speakers and inspiring destinations will bring to life the art, history and culture of the classical civilizations of the Mediterranean.
Introductory offer: Free to $199 airfare, included shore tours and gratuities and wine with dinner.

Travel to Europe during the low season and save! All are 6- night vacations
Tuscany & Venice: from $699
Ireland – 3 City: from $599
Tuscan Castle: from $699
Scotland Tartan: from $649
All packages include airfare, accommodations, and rental car and are based on 4 people sharing the car. Rates for two are somewhat higher and airline taxes are additional.
Villas & House Rentals
Check with us for villa or apartment rentals in Italy, France, and the Caribbean. We also have a wonderful opportunity for a house rental on Martha’s Vineyard this fall & 2010 if you book early!

In the Works

Jordan, The Peaceable Kingdom
A developing tour with the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism, where we will visit the historic sites and meet with Jordanians to get a closer look at the country, its people, and its critical role in the world today. Our tour will be hosted by the Peace Ambassador who lives in Jordan for 6-months of the year. We are planning for a May departure. If you have interest in this tour please contact us as we are still in the planning process and will try to incorporate areas of interest for participants.

Thank you for taking the time to review this information. The world offers so many options for experiences that it is quite impossible to address them all, but I hope your interest in travel prompts you to contact our office for any one of the travel opportunities presented here or for anything that you did not find here. I look forward to hearing from you and hope to meet many of you, in person, in 2010.

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Not to be missed

Delta Queen Reunion
November 10-14, 2010

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