This week in travel news….






CruiseVIPHow to become a cruise line VIP

Laura Brothers,

No matter what cruise line you love best, becoming a frequent cruiser comes with perks. These can include exclusive onboard parties, priority check-in, and complimentary laundry and Internet services. Some lines — including Oceania Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Silversea Cruises — even offer free cruises to members of the highest tier.   Read more.

PostVacayWork5 Tips For Getting Back To Work After A Vacation

The vision of returning to the office after vacation and the reality usually have very little in common. While many of us expect to sit down at our desks after time away filled with boundless energy and restored creativity that will fuel new projects.  Read more.

OptimistsAn optimist’s guide to off-season travel bargains

Pam Grout, CNN

If you want to stretch your travel dollars, do not, under any circumstances, head to Disney World right now. It’s the height of peak season and hotel and airline prices, which fluctuate like the Dow Jones, are about as high as they get.  Read more.

FirstCruise5 Things Not to Do on Your First Cruise

Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Huffington Post

So my first cruise — a weeklong Bermuda cruise sailing on Norwegian Dawn — wasn’t perfect (credit the rain, a couple lackluster shows and several canceled activities), but it was pretty great. It took me a couple days to figure out how to make the most of my time onboard. As the days progressed and I learned the lay of the ship, my experience improved exponentially.  Read more.

AfricaHowToWhat to expect on your first African safari

George Hobica, Special for USA TODAY

I had never been to Africa before in all my years of traveling, and never on a safari. I’m not sure why. Was it the vaccinations, the visas or the long flights to Nairobi?  Read more.


Experience the Best of Alaska

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAJoin Collette in exploring the gorgeous Alaskan Wilderness known for its awe-inspiring beauty and abundant wildlife! Who knows what thrilling sights you may see on your journey?  Glaciers, breathtaking mountains, waterfalls and sheer rock walls, along with Alaska’s largest icebergs, set the perfect scene. Cruise through the spectacular Glacier Bay. Its rich world of marine life and large concentration of tidewater glaciers is Alaska at its best! Visit some of Alaska’s bustling cities including the Juneau and Fairbanks. These unique tours are filled with excitement and adventure. Check them out today!

Collette tours to Alaska include:


Alaska Adventure, 11 days starting at $2798*

  • Ride 520 feet up to the observation deck of the Seattle Space Needle for spectacular views of the city.
  • Stroll through Pike Place Market, an open-air market with fresh, locally-produced food – a Seattle institution since 1907.
  • Relax for seven nights aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice and see Alaska’s epic scenery.
  • Pass through the spectacular Tracy Arm Fjord on your way to Juneau, Alaska’s thriving capital city.
  • Relive Alaska’s Gold Rush days in Skagway, the “Gateway to the Klondike” and home of the famed Chilkoot Trail.
  • Explore Victoria, British Columbia, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Canada’s Pacific Northwest.

Alaska Discovery,13 days starting at $3031*

  • A park expert guides you on a Tundra Wilderness Tour deep into Denali National Park.
  • Enjoy an unforgettable rail journey to Whittier in a luxury domed railcar.
  • Embark on a relaxing 7-night cruise aboard a fabulous floating resort designed to make your stay onboard truly memorable.
  • Enjoy and evening of entertainment at the Music of Denali Dinner Theater where you’ll hear the dramatic story of the first ascent of Mount McKinley.
  • Cruise through Glacier Bay, a spectacular national park and preserve that is a treasure trove of tidewater glaciers and scenic costal islands.
  • Visit Ketchikan, known as the “Salmon Capital of the World” and home to the world’s largest collection of totem poles.

Departures are limited and space is filling quickly. To book your tour, visit or call 855-370-8687.

*Rates are per person, land only, double occupancy.

New Year’s Eve in Vienna

AMA 7.22Champagne toasts, celebrating the night away and waiting for that magical moment when the clock strikes twelve. This is what New Year’s Eve is all about. Imagine how much more spectacular all of those things would be aboard a luxurious river cruise that rings in 2015 in Vienna, Austria. Captivating views of glimmering landscapes and the local festivities that take place are sure to inspire as the ship docks overnight in this historic city on December 31st during its voyage along the Danube.

Save 30% on Christmas on the Danube

Embarking December 27, 2014 aboard the AmaBella

Explore Australia and New Zealand

Collette 7.22Collette offers multiple exciting tours to Australia and New Zealand. Join in on the adventure of a lifetime with Collette and dive down under! Capture the amazing scenery of New Zealand and take in the fabulous sights of Australia. Visit world famous wine regions and discover the underwater rainbow of coral and fish as you explore the Great Barrier Reef. These unique tours are filled with excitement and adventure!

Highlighted Australia and New Zealand tours with Collette include:


Exploring Australia, 18 days starting at $4199*

  • Visit the world-famous Barossa Valley wine region – Australia’s most prestigious wine region.
  • As the sun sets, enjoy a champagne toast and watch as Uluru (Ayers Rock) magically changes color.
  • Discover the underwater rainbow of coral and fish as you explore the Great Barrier Reef from aboard a glass bottom boat.
  • Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for an unforgettable ride above the rainforest canopy. The amazing diversity of plants, animals and birds simply astounds.

Exploring New Zealand, 21 days starting at $4799*

  • Get to know a local New Zealand family during a memorable authentic experience of dinner and the choice of an overnight farm stay.
  • Enjoy a tasting and lunch at one of New Zealand’s stunning wineries.
  • Cruise through the Bay of Islands’ famous Hole in the Rock and view the Cape Brett Lighthouse which stands nearly 500 feet above sea level at the edge of the Cape Brett Peninsula.
  • Journey through New Zealand’s unspoiled wilderness and arrive at Mt. Cook National Park, where permanent ice fields and glaciers blanket the ragged peaks.

South Pacific Wonders, 15 days starting at $3399*

  • Take in the sights during a delightful dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour.
  • Board a high speed catamaran for an exciting excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Meet some of the local koalas and have a private talk with a wildlife naturalist to learn more about these cuddly creatures.
  • Discover one of the world’s most fascinating architectural sights as you take a guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. 

From The Outback To The Glaciers, 21 days from $4,999*

  • Experience the world’s most spectacular natural attraction and World Heritage Site, the Great Barrier Reef
  • Journey to the ancient Daintree Rainforest

See a truly magnetic sunset as you witness the changing colors of Uluru accompanied by a champagne toast!

Additional tours to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific are also available. To book your tour, visit or call 855-370-8687.


*Rates are per person, land only, double occupancy.


Check out Some Not-So-Common Destinations!

Collette 7.14.14Collette offers tours all across the world on all seven continents. Take a look at these Collette tours, where not-so-common destinations are sure to enliven your sense of adventure. Explore magnificent landscapes and experience once-in-a-lifetime moments you will never forget. Snorkel off of Santiago Island and see marine iguanas, sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays and other marine life. Visit ancient cities in Turkey or see medieval architecture in Croatia. Experience cultures with an amazing mix of ancient and new while meeting local residents.


‘Uncommon’ Collette tours include:

 Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, 10 days starting at $4359*

  • Visit the Equatorial Line Monument at the “Middle of the World” and cross from one hemisphere to another.
  • Take an unforgettable train ride on the Andes Mountain Train past towering volcanoes and through spectacular Andes scenery that includes fertile valleys of fruit and sugar plantations.
  • Embark on a nature walk on Santa Cruz Island to discover a multitude of animal species including eccentric blue footed boobies, tern and marine wildlife.
  • Tour Guayaquil, known as the “Pearl of the Pacific.”

Discover Croatia, 12 days starting at $2149*

  • Travel out to the island church of St. Mary’s and the “wishing bell” aboard a “pletna” boat.
  • Experience the wonder of 16 cascading lakes at Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park.
  • Enjoy a visit and dinner with a local family in the Konavle region outside Dubrovnik.
  • Spend three nights in Dubrovnik, the “Pearl of the Adriatic.”

Inspiring Iceland, 9 days starting at $2549*

  • Journey to the spectacular Gullfoss Waterfall – one of the world’s most incredible cascades.
  • Meet a family with a rich history in “shark farming” and try an Icelandic delicacy, cured “hakare.”
  • Relax in the warm, mineral-rich water of the Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal pool set in a large, dramatic lava field.
  • Travel to the “Golden Circle” which encompasses many of Iceland’s most renowned natural wonders.

Classical Turkey, 13 days starting at $2299*

  • Visit legendary Troy, the city destroyed by the beauty of “the face which launched a thousand ships” during the Trojan War.
  • Explore Istanbul’s famous sites, including the Blue Mosque, Church of Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.
  • Spend two nights in Antalya on the Turkish Riviera.
  • Visit the ruins of Ephesus, once one of the grandest cities in the Roman world.


Departures are limited and space is filling quickly. To book your tour, visit or call 855-370-8687.

*Rates are per person, land only, double occupancy.


Check out Collette’s Spectacular Holiday tours!

Collette 7.8Collette offers several holiday tours including both U.S. and European destinations. Experience once-in-a-lifetime holiday traditions from all around the world.  Embark on a glorious holiday adventure through the traditional Christmas markets of Central Europe. Soak up the scenery of the beautifully decorated southern towns. These unique tours combine the excitement of the season with fun filled holiday activities.

Collette holiday tours include:


Christmas on the Danube, 9 days starting at $1749*

  • Visit and shop in the famous Christmas markets of Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau and Vienna, featuring festive lights and decorations.
  • Explore Würzburg, Germany, known as “the jewel of the Main River.”
  • Cruise through the Wachau Valley, the most picturesque region of the Danube River, dotted with magnificent castles and small riverside towns.
  • See the first stone bridge build over the Danube, a 1,400-foot-long span built in the 12th century.


  • Southern Charm Holiday, 6 days starting at $1599*
  • Explore Beaufort’s charms in a horse-drawn buggy to see the town beautifully decorated for the holidays.
  • Visit James Island County Park where over 500,000 lights provide you with an enchanting 3-mile drive.
  • Take some time to explore the charming Charleston City Market, a must for holiday shoppers and the curious alike.
  • Experience a guided tour of the Jekyll Island Club, beautifully decorated for the season.


  • Spotlight on New York City Holiday, 5 days starting at $2199*
  • Shop for holiday treasures along esteemed Fifth Avenue.
  • Experience the incredible Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall featuring the Rockettes.
  • Experience the thrill of an included Broadway show.
  • Board a ferry and cruise to the Statue of Liberty.


  • Classic Christmas Markets, 9 days starting at $1599
  • Enjoy ample time for shopping in five European Christmas markets.
  • Local residents guide you through the streets and cultures of these impressive cities: Innsbruck, Munich, Nuremberg, Würzburg and Strasbourg.
  • Experience holiday spirit in Germany, Austria and France, where the tradition of “Christkindlesmarkts” began over 600 years ago.
  • Enjoy one of Europe’s finest old town squares and cathedrals while visiting Strasbourg, France.


  • Spotlight on San Antonio Holiday, 5 days starting at $1199
  • Cruise the Paseo del Rio and experience 122,000 lights that illuminate the River Walk during the holiday season.
  • Visit the Alamo where, in 1836, a battle was fought and men made the ultimate sacrifice to defend their freedom and the Republic of Texas.
  • Enjoy a traditional Texas cowboy barbecue and entertainment at an authentic dude ranch in Bandera, the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” beautifully decorated for the holiday season.
  • Visit the LBJ Ranch, birthplace of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson.


  • California New Year’s Getaway, 5 days starting at $1449
  • Be one of the nearly one million spectators to line the Tournament of Roses Parade route while sitting in your reserved section seats.
  • Celebrate the New Year at a Gala Dinner Dance with live entertainment and a champagne toast to the New Year.
  • Attend Bandfest, featuring selected bands from all over the country that will perform in the parade, giving you a chance to see these talented musicians, dancers and auxiliary performers in action.


    Departures are limited and space is filling quickly. To book your tour, visit or call 855-370-8687.


    *Rates are per person, land only, double occupancy.





New from Collette: Join Collette For Relaxing River Cruise?

colletteVisit several countries and experience the cultures and traditions of each. Soak up the spectacular scenery. Explore the many premier destinations like never before with Collette, aboard your relaxing 4-star cruise ship. These guided tours feature stand-out experiences to ensure every day is special.

Collette river cruises include:

Legendary Waterways of Europe, 16 days starting at $4749*

• Visit Melk’s magnificent 900-year-old Benedictine Abbey, one of Europe’s largest Baroque monasteries.

• Enjoy an exclusive wine tasting featuring vintages from the vineyards of Wachau and Burgenland.

• Join a local expert exploring Vienna’s Imperial architecture including the Hofburg Palace, the Vienna Opera house, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

• All aboard the “Winzerexpress” mini-train to Siegfried’s Mechanical Musical Instrument Museum for a guided tour.

Rhine River Cruise, 9 days starting at $2599*

• Cruise the famous canals of Amsterdam.

• Visit Zaanse Schans and feel like you have stepped into “old Holland” with its windmills, cheese demonstration, clog making class and historical houses, and warehouses from the 17th and 18th centuries.

• Witness the ruins of the majestic Renaissance palace, Heidelberg Castle.

• Overnight stay in the old town and city of Strasbourg, a provincial capital of France.

 Christmas on the Danube, 9 days starting at $1749*

• Visit and shop in the famous Christmas markets of Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau and Vienna, featuring festive lights and decorations.

• Explore Würzburg, Germany, known as “the jewel of the Main River.”

• Cruise through the Wachau Valley, the most picturesque region of the Danube River, dotted with magnificent castles and small riverside towns.

• See the first stone bridge build over the Danube, a 1,400-foot-long span built in the 12th century.

Heart of Russia, 13 days starting at $3244*

• Visit the magnificent Baroque-style Catherine Palace, former home of Catherine the Great.

• Enjoy a visit to a local school and chat with a resident family in their home.

• Immerse yourself in cultural events such as a Piroshki tea party, vodka tasting and Shashlik barbecue.

• Experience Moscow’s world-famous Red Square with its spectacular view of the rainbow-colored St. Basil’s Cathedral.

2014 departures are limited and space is filling quickly. 2015 dates are still available. To book your tour, visit or call 855-370-8687.

*Rates are per person, land only, double occupancy.

New from Princess®: 2015-2016 Americas voyages

PrincessCruises_TC_6.24.14_150x84_ThumbnailTravelers interested in domestic departures have plenty to choose from with the 2015-2016 Americas cruises: more than 230 departures on 48 itineraries to 86 destinations.


In addition to convenience, these popular sailings offer an enviable breadth of itineraries, plus guests on 2015 voyages can enjoy the onboard celebration of Princess’ 50th Anniversary.


Here are a few of the highlights:


Canada & New England: Explore the autumn beauty this area is known for aboard the cruise line’s newest vessel, Regal Princess®. 


Caribbean: It’s the ultimate beach destination, and Princess® has it well covered with its latest ships and a variety of options, including a 14-day holiday cruise to less-visited ports like Virgin Gorda and Tobago.


California Coastals: Its cities and beaches are among the most famous in the world, and this season the West Coast will boast the largest sister ships to sail from there – Crown Princess® and Ruby Princess®.


Hawaii: As famous for vacations as it is for volcanoes, Hawaii has delighted generations with its culture, cuisine and carefree ambience. Guests can see more of the region on a 28-day Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific sailing.


Mexico: This is where it all began on December 3, 1965. To commemorate this milestone, Princess will offer a nostalgic 50th Anniversary cruise that departs the same day and includes some ports of call from that maiden voyage.


Panama Canal: 100 years hasn’t diminished the appeal of this engineering marvel, accessible on a 10-day roundtrip sailing from Ft. Lauderdale or a 15-day full transit voyage between Ft. Lauderdale and Los Angeles.


Princess® Getaways: These 3- to 5-day cruises give busy schedules the break they need. A new 5-day West Coast Getaway includes an overnight in Cabo San Lucas. 


To book your Americas cruise, contact your local travel agent, call 1-800-774-6237, or visit