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Galapagos Cruise Operator Receives Sustainable Tourism Certification
Ecotourism and sustainable tourism are meshing near the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands as Canodros S.A., owner of the M/V Galapagos Explorer II cruise ship, received the International Certification ISO 14001-2004 of Environmental Management. Canodros S.A. received the award for its strict international standards and codes relating to the improvement, control and preservation of the environment.
Sustainable features of the M/V Galapagos Explorer II include: a discharge control electronic device that ensures oil content does not exceed 15 part per million, glass and waste crushers as well as an incinerator for better waste management, two desalination plants and ozone generator equipment.
The certification is one of many steps Canodros S.A. is taking to contribute to the sustainability of tourism in the Galapagos Islands. The company also supports hotel and tourism education at the Technical Ignacio Hernandez School on San Cristobal Island, with training plans, internships and recycling campaigns.
Carnival Recategorizing Stateroom Accommodations
Carnival Cruise Lines is set to recategorize of all its stateroom accommodations, fleetwide, beginning with Carnival Valor on August 18. The rest of the "Fun Ship" fleet will be recategorized by the end of the year.
Under the new reclassification, staterooms will be categorized based on location: mid-ship, aft and forward, along with proximity to public areas and specific deck.
"The change more clearly defines our available stateroom categories based on location and features and will enable guests to easily identify the category that best suits their specific needs and preferences," said Lynn Torrent, Carnival’s senior vice president of sales and guest services. "For travel agents, a greater variety of cabin categories and smaller pricing gap between categories will create additional up-selling opportunities."
Carnival says room assignments and pricing on existing reservations will not be affected. Travel agents are advised to brief themselves on the new categories via a webinar at www.goccl.com.
Seattle Agency Launches New Cruise Division
CruisingCo.com, based in Seattle, has announced the opening of a new division, UncommonCruises.com. The new unit will provide an online travel center devoted exclusively to specialty cruises. The parent company says it's an online host agency and will continue to sell traditional cruises, which it has successfully done since 1987.
The new specialty cruise unit was formed in response to clients' requests for river cruises, polar expeditions, and other unconventional itineraries. “We really feel the timing is just right,” says Jami Sales, president of CruisingCo.com.
“Our independent affiliates report a growing ‘been there, done that’ attitude from many of their repeat cruise clients, and we’re seeing their discretionary funds leaving the traditional cruise market”, added Sales.
The new niche cruise venture provides a solid selling opportunity for agents who want to specialize in niche cruising or who already have specialized knowledge that is not being used to its full potential, Sales says. Weekly marketing will be sent out on behalf of each agent, and the opportunity exists to be showcased on the site to get leads as top experts in their field of expertise.
“This is a hand-in-glove fit for those who have a narrow but invaluable niche of expertise, but who simply aren’t finding enough prospects— or receiving enough leads— with whom to share their insider knowledge”, says Sales. “Needless to say, we are always looking to add savvy agents who want to focus on this lucrative market.”
Creating a niche travel division to meet growing consumer demand isn’t new for Sales. She has previously launched MouseEarVacations.com, already a multi-million dollar Disney destinations division. UncommonCruises.com belongs to Signature Travel Network and is a member of CLIA, IATAN, OSSN and NACTA.
What Cruise Destination Is Your Top Seller?
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Portugal Cruise Deal
Globus is offering $100 off per person on the air-inclusive price of the 2009 11-day "Portugal Cruise" when booked between now and October 7.
For more information on this vacation, go to www.globusjourneys.com.
Disclaimer: Booking must be made under deposit and discount applied between July 9 and October 7, for travel commencing by December 31, 2009. Offers not valid with any other offer and applies to new 2009 bookings only.
All Inclusive Affordable & Luxury River Cruises in China
Pacific Delight Tours’ 13-day “Historic Cities & Yangtze River” and 19-day “Scenic China & Yangtze River” SuperValue tours offer travelers on a budget an extraordinary opportunity to explore Shanghai, Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin, Guangzhou and Hong Kong as well as spend three or four nights on the majestic Yangtze River aboard Victoria Cruises’ Premier Series Five-Star Fleet in outside staterooms with balconies, guaranteeing breathtaking views of the scenery. Year-round departures, many of which are guaranteed, are $1,588 to $2,128 per person, double for the 13-day tour and $2,998 to $3,638 for the 19-day program.
Rates include China domestic air, most meals, accommodations in deluxe and superior first-class hotels and the services of professional tour guides. Air-inclusive packages are $2,588 to $3,308 for the 13-day package and $4,158 to $4,808 for the 19-day vacation -- government-imposed taxes and fees, including the Sept. 11th Security Fee of up to $155, are additional on air-inclusive packages. Prices are subject to change.
Both itineraries include a Yangtze River cruise that explores the most impressive section of the Three Gorges: Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge; as well as the world’s largest hydroelectric project, the Three Gorges Dam. Other highlights include a picturesque sampan ride through the Ma Du River mini-gorges or the Shennong Stream and a shore excursion to Fengdu, known as a “ghost city” with its awe-inspiring temples of underworld demons and gods situated on Mingshan Hill. Reservations, brochures and information can be obtained from travel agents and Pacific Delight Tours, telephone (800) 221-7179 or (212) 818-1781; web site: www.PacificDelightTours.com