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Celebrate Chocolate Month in St. Lucia With Sweet August Discounts
This promotion runs through August 31. | St. Lucia Tourist Board

This August, chocolate lovers visiting St. Lucia will be treated to a month of deals, spa treatments and food all in the name of chocolate. 

For Chocolate Heritage Month, travelers can sample yummy “choc-tails,” get a chocolate infused massage, explore centuries old cocoa plantations and try our specialty tasting menus. Whatever the choice, visitors to St. Lucia this summer can sink their teeth into St. Lucia’s rich history of cocoa production and join us in our celebration of all things chocolate.

To join in the celebration, hotels and resorts island-wide are also offering decadent deals for couples and families with savings of up to 65 percent off standard rates.

St. Lucia’s chocolate legacy dates back to the thriving cocoa industry of the 1700’s and the island continues to produce some of the world’s most sought after chocolate. 

Hotels and resorts celebrate this rich heritage with inventive chocolate services and amenities, as well as agri-tourism experiences for guests. Many of St. Lucia’s top restaurants incorporate native cocoa into menu items for both sweet and savory dishes while resort spas create chocolate-infused spa treatments that are both indulgent and good for the body.

For a deeper look into the island’s chocolate heritage, plantation tours at Morne Coubaril Estate and La Dauphine Estate showcase the tradition of St. Lucian cocoa production. 

The Fond Doux Holiday Plantation tour leads guests through the cocoa fermentation house where visitors can participate in the traditional “cocoa- rina” dance to polish the cocoa beans while Jade Mountain’s Emerald Estate Organic Chocolate and Chocolate Laboratory offers guests a behind-the-scenes look at a bean-to-bar, single estate boutique chocolate maker. The Tree to Bar Experience at Hotel Chocolat guides visitors through the many stages of chocolate production, from seedling nursery, fermenting room and sun-drying station to grinding, mixing and tasting.
 
Visit www.stlucia.org/events/chocolate-heritage-month

Photo by danni3315/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

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Southwest Airlines Offers "Flare" Aboard Flights Affected by Solar Eclipse
Solar eclipse to occur during specific Southwest Airlines flights on August 21, 2017. | Southwest Airlines

In light of the countdown to the August 21 solar eclipse scheduled to sweep American cities from Portland, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina, Southwest Airlines is offering a special experience for travelers aboard its flights affected by this spectacle.

The airline has identified which flights will be most likely to experience maximum effects of the eclipse, giving customers on those flights “commemorative flare,” which includes special viewing glasses, cosmic cocktails and social media engagement across the atmosphere on the brand’s gate-to-gate Wi-Fi.

In a release, Southwest said that Network & Schedule Planners “modeled the operational day against projections of the umbra and penumbra," which are shadows cast by the moon’s eclipse of the sun. 

The flights with the greatest likelihood of catching a view of the August 21 eclipse will be as follows:

 

  • Southwest flight 1375, departing Seattle-Tacoma at 9:05 a.m. PDT for St. Louis
  • Southwest flight 1368 departing Portland at 9:05 a.m. PDT for St. Louis
  • Southwest flight 1577 departing Denver at 10:20 a.m. MDT for St. Louis
  • Southwest flight 301 departing Denver at 10:20 a.m. MDT for Nashville
  • Southwest flight 1969 departing Denver at 9:50 a.m. MDT for Atlanta

In the release, manager of meteorology for Southwest Warren Qualley said that the airline plans to “showcase the glow of its everyday hospitality in a different light on these celebratory flights in [its] summer flight schedule” and that its team of meteorologists is working hard to “provide clear viewing of this solar spectacle from [its] flights.”

The next solar eclipse that will be visible in the United States is not scheduled to occur again until April 8, 2024. 

Visit www.southwest.com

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Victoria Cruises Announces Discounted Travel Opportunities
Available now until August 31, 2017. | Victoria Cruises

Victoria Cruises is now offering a two-for-one pricing on private balcony Superior Staterooms as well as 40 percent off Executive Suites on its four- and five-day Three Gorges Highlights itineraries.

This offer is good now until August 31, 2017 as these itineraries sail through China’s Yangtze River between Chongqing and Yichang

Reservations on these trips must feature a commissionable pre-booked excursion package to qualify for the promotional offers, ensuring maximum revenue for travel agents.

The Three Gorges Highlights itinerary costs $90 per person and features visits to Shibaozhai’s famous red pavilion, a scenic voyage along one of the Yangtze’s tributaries via traditional Chinese sampan and an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam

Travelers on this itinerary will also be able to experience “China’s engineering might” with the introduction of the world’s largest ship elevator, which is capable of elevating ships up to 3,000 tons along with a volume of water roughly equivalent to four Olympic-sized swimming pools. This is included in the shore excursion cost in Victoria Cruises’ 2017 program based on availability. 

For those seeking to receive two-for-one rates on private balcony Superior Staterooms, the cruise line’s introductory pricing of $880 per person becomes $880 per couple. This discount also applies to the excursion package.

When passengers book Executive Suites by August 31, they can receive 40 percent off published rates which start at $1,340 per person – but with the promotion, passengers will save up to $1,272 per couple. These savings vary based on vessel selection as well. Travelers staying in these suites will automatically be enrolled in Victoria Cruises’ Luxury Amenities program – this provides them with VIP perks such as “white glove” service, upper deck placement, access to exclusive ship areas, complimentary WiFi, exclusive happy hour and enhanced culinary privileges including wine and beer with dinner. 

Travelers booking private balcony Superior Staterooms will have the option to upgrade to the Luxury Amenities program for an additional $200 per person, which becomes $200 per couple after the two-for-one deal is applied.

While on board, passengers can enjoy informative lectures, nightly entertainment and a dining program designed by Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef Walter Staib. Those staying in staterooms will also be able to take in views of the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges along with centuries-old temples and pagodas from the comfort of their private balcony.

Visit www.victoriacruises.com

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Avanti Adds Bonus Commission for Off-Season Bookings
Available on bookings made through February 28, 2018. | Avanti Destinations

To help agents sell more independent travel all year long, Avanti Destinations has launched Go365, an informational and marketing campaign including specially negotiated prices on European winter itineraries and bonus travel agent commissions for off-season bookings to Europe, Asia, Central and South America. Avanti sells exclusively through travel agents.

The vast majority of American travelers visit Europe during the warmer months, said Harry Dalgaard, Avantis president and founder, in a written release. We want to help agents point out to their clients that there are many excellent reasons to see Europe in the cooler months – fewer crowds, shorter lines at museums, lower air and hotel rates, and far more cultural events.

Avantis new Go 365 e-brochure includes 27 customizable city stays and vacation packages, many designed specifically for October-March travel. A webinar on the campaign is scheduled for Thursday, July 20.

Bonus Commissions

Agents can earn an early booking bonus commission of $100 for each booking of at least $2,500 made by August 31, 2017, for travel between October 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. For each booking of $1,500 or more made between September 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018, for travel between October 1, 2017, and March 31, 2018, the Go 365 bonus commission is $50.

Avantis six regional sales directors located around the U.S. will provide agents with a flyer describing the Go 365 campaign and the bonus commissions.

Off-Season Customizable Vacations

Some of the 27 featured off-season vacations (land-only) in the Go 365 e-brochure, which can all be customized to add more nights, activities, transfers or destinations, include:

 

London City Break – 5 days/4 nights at a 4-star hotel with Oyster Card and London Illuminations Tour. Starts at $499 per person, double occupancy.

Rome City Break – 5 days/4 nights at a 4-star Superior hotel, with private arrival and departure transfers, private city tour and one 3-course dinner. From $855.

Switzerland Winter Wonderland – 5 days/4 nights in Lucerne and Interlaken, includes horse-drawn sleigh ride, Jungfraunoch excursion, night sledding and fondue dinner. From $1,425.

Rovaniemi (Finland) Santa Claus Safari & Dog Sledding – 4 days/3 nights from $1,069.

Tromso (Norway) Northern Lights Tour & Snowmobile Safari – 4 days/3 nights from $1,289.

Costa Rica: Rainforest, Volcano & Beach – 9 days/8 nights in San Jose, Tortuguero, Arenal, and Guanacaste. Includes all ground transfers, canopy tour, boat tour in Tortuguero and daily breakfast.  From $1,795.

Ultimate Peru – 9 days/8 nights in Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Puno, private tour Machu Picchu, tours in Lima, Sacred Valley, Cuzco, Uros and Taquile Islands, daily breakfast. From $3,225.

(New) Thailand Escapes – 9 days, 8 nights in Bangkok at 5-star 137 Pillars Suites & Residences and in Phuket at 5-star The Slate. Includes two private tours in Bangkok, Phi Phi Islands tour, Hong by Starlight tour, daily breakfast. From $2,535.

(New) Beauty of Bali – 8 days, 7 nights in Ubud (inland) and Seminyak (beach), including private arrival & departure transfers in each city, 2 private sightseeing tours (Ubud), private Indonesian cooking class, private Uluwatu traditional dance and dinner tour, daily breakfast. From $1,999.

Visit www.avantidestinations.com

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CIE Tours Offering Bonus Commission For Agents
Offer is good through July 21, 2017. | CIE Tours

Through July 21, CIE Tours is offering travel agents a $50 bonus commission when they book any nine- or 10-day Best of Britain tour using the code: BRITIANSBEST.

The four-star vacation package starts at $2,198 through 2017. Guests who book now for 2018 receive a 5 percent discount, and rates start at $2,090 per person. 

Guests travel to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with a guide. Daily guided sightseeing, accommodations, daily full breakfast, most dinners, including specialty dinners with entertainment, WiFi on coaches, and all on –tour transportation are included. 

Highlights of the tour include Windsor Castle, Liverpool, the city popularized by The Beatles, Edinburgh Castle, Stonehenge, Tower of London, and more. For those who travel in August, guests may see the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with reserved seats.  

CIE Tours Vice President of Sales Carol Doherty said that the Best of Britain tour is a great introduction for first-time travelers to the UK as it showcases many popular locations in a short period of time.

The company is celebrating 85 years of business and offers fully inclusive guided tours of Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales as well a tour of Eastern Europe and Italy. Tours are given by Irish and British based tour directors and are protected by the $550+ Advantage, which guarantees that travelers are never charged for extras that are normally considered optional by other tour companies. It offers both group travel and personalized private itineraries for smaller groups. 

For more information visit their website at cietours.com or call 1-800-243-8687. 

Photo by Drunorris/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

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United Vacations Announced as Karisma’s Preferred Partner for July
The booking deadline for this deal is July 31. | Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Karisma Hotels & Resorts, a hotel collection that owns and manages properties in the CaribbeanMexico and beyond, recently announced that United Vacations has been selected as Karisma’s Preferred Partner for the month of July.  

The Karisma Preferred Partner program goal is to highlight a different tour operator from the U.S. or Canada each month, offering a variety of special activities to drive excitement and motivation while providing training on Karisma Hotels & Resorts and the "Gourmet Inclusive Experience."

Partners that are chosen to participate in the Karisma Preferred Partner program enjoy a range of benefits, including training support, sales incentives and assistance, weekly contests, and web, social media, and press exposure. 

The training, which takes place prior to the start of the month, focuses on reservations, groups, and sales with the intention of providing a better understanding of Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ fundamental differentiators, including the signature Gourmet Inclusive Experience. Incentives can include complimentary stays and the chance to enter to win a grand prize giveaway.
 
With July’s promotion, United Vacations’ clients will receive up to $600 off per room booked and up to a $1,000 resort credit. Resort credits can be applied towards wine credit, spa massage, and a romantic candlelit dinner. For vacations booked at Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, kids stay free when staying with two paying adults. 

Bookings made at Generations Riviera Maya will receive an exclusive dolphin experience and complimentary private transfers. Private transfers are also applicable to bookings at El Dorado Seaside Suites and Palafitos – Overwater Bungalows at El Dorado Maroma. These offers are available for clients when booking by July 31. Travel agents earn $30 on Agent Bonus Cash on every booking made. Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants can earn up to 21 percent commission. 

The promotion is only available for new bookings with a minimum stay of three nights – valid at all El Dorado Spa Resorts, Azul Beach Resorts, Generations Resorts, and Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts.

Visit www.unitedvacationsagent.com and www.karismahotels.com

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CroisiEurope Lets Children Under 16 Cruise for Free This Summer
July 1 to August 27, 2017. | CroisiEurope $1,421 to $2,523

Children under the age of 16 can take a river cruise free of charge this summer thanks to CroisiEurope

This deal comes in conjunction with the cruise company’s latest Family Club deal and grants families a second cabin so that they can stay onboard together throughout their stay. The Family Club deal also offers families the standard offering of all meals, unlimited beverages and excursions on all programs. 

Children also have the opportunity to participate in supervised water games, activities and perform in the cruise’s closing entertainment show. 

During the summer 2017 travel season, children under age 16 can travel free on cruises sailing to some of CroisiEurope’s most popular destinations including the Douro Valley in Portugal and Salamanca, Spain; Andalusia; and Venice and its lagoon. CroisiEurope cruises sailing to Croatia and Montenegro allow families to save 30 percent on children 16 years of age and younger. 

CroisiEurope’s trip to Croatia and Montenegro lasts eight days, includes departures on July 6, 13, 20, 27 and August 10, 2017 and has prices starting from $2,523 per person. The six-day cruise to the Douro Valley and Salamanca departs on July 27, August 1, 6 and 11, 2017 and starts from $1,421 per person. Cruise ships venturing to Andalusia for CroisiEurope’s Traditions, Gastronomy and Flamenco cruise lasts eight days and includes departures on July 9 and 16 as well as August 1, 9 and 17, 2017 and starts from $1,805. The Venice cruise starts from $1,429, departs on July 1, 6, 25 and 30 as well as August 8, 13 and 27, 2017 and brings travelers to the Doge’s Palace as well as Venice’s lagoon islands of Burano, Murano, Padua, Ferrara and Verona. 

For more information on CroisiEurope, visit croisieuroperivercruises.com or call 800-768-7232.
 

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"Sip and Sail" Offer From Princess Cruises
Available for cruises sailing summer 2018 and 2019. | Princess Cruises

Guests can drink for free thanks to The Sip and Sail package from Princess Cruises. All cruises and cruise tours sailing summer 2018 and 2019 are included in the deal. 

The promotion offers all-inclusive beverages for two people when guests book a balcony, mini-suite, or suite stateroom. Additionally, guests will receive reduced fares and free Unlimited Soda & More Packages for third and fourth guests.

The All-Inclusive Beverage Package includes any individual beverage item such as soda, juice, and bottled water as well as alcoholic cocktails, spirits, wines and beers up to $10 retail value. Guests also receive discounts on bottles of wine purchased in the bars, dining room or in stateroom.

For those who book a mini-suite or suite before July 5, 2017, a bonus offer of free specialty dining is included. 

Guests can also book and receive these offers with a special reduced deposit of $100 per person for first through fourth guests in a stateroom.

Included in the deal are some of Princess Cruises’ new 2018-2019 Exotics Program itinerary listings. 

Princess Cruises offers more than 150 different itineraries on six continents. Cruises range from three to 111 days. Princess Cruises is part of Carnival Corporation and is one of the largest cruise lines in the world. 

The company has been awarded Best in Travel by "Money Magazine," Best Ocean Cruise Line, three-years running by "USA Today," and Best Cruise Line for Food Lovers by "Food and Wine Magazine."

For more information check out Princess Cruises’ website at www.princess.com.

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Bahia Principe Offers Family Friendly Vacation Deals
Available for stays through October 31, 2017. | Bahia Principe

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, an all-inclusive hotel company with properties in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica, has a “Kids Stay Free” program available for stays through October 31, 2017.

The offer includes the new five-star Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection and Grand Bahia Principe Turquesa, where the first child stays free; and Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana, where up to two kids stay free. 

Family suites in select hotels offer welcome packages including children’s bath kits and bathrobes. Kid friendly amenities include minibar milkshakes and soft drinks, children’s mini-clubs, and spa treatments for kids.

The Bahia Scouts program offers kids the chance to explore the Riviera Maya’s environment and learn about its local plants and animals. Scouts are supervised and broken up by their age group. Other activities the Scouts program offers includes piñata making, karaoke, fruit carving, tree planting, eco-tours and more. For the sporty kid, water polo, soccer, and mini-Olympics games are offered.

Bahia Principe also recently opened a new waterpark at the Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica. The newly opened Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection in Punta Cana has a pool with a fairy tale castle, complete with its own moat and drawbridge.

Other family-friendly features at Fantasia include a Kids Club with costume workshops, arts and crafts, cooking classes, expeditions, and a waterpark. The Fantasia Teens Club for guests 12 to 17 is equipped with a gym, movie theater, DJ dance floor, video consoles, pool table, and spa.

When parents are looking for some time alone, babysitting services are available. 

For more information, visit www.bahiaprincipe.com

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Azamara Club Cruises Launches "Nights on Us" Promotion
Booking window: 6/1/17 – 8/31/17 | Azamara Club Cruises

Launched on June 1, 2017, Azamara Club Cruises' newest offer - the Nights On Us promotion - provides travelers complimentary nights for voyages in 2018; the longer an itinerary, the more complimentary nights travelers receive.

Nights On Us Promotion Details:

  • Booking window: June 1, 2017 – August 31, 2017
  • Nine nights or less = two complimentary nights on Azamara
  • 10 nights to 14 nights = three complimentary nights on Azamara
  • 15 nights or longer = four complimentary nights on Azamara

As an added bonus, travelers who book 12+ months out will receive even more savings by combining with Azamara’s Early Booking Bonus. The Early booking Bonus grants guests up to $1,000 per suite and $500 per stateroom in on board credit. Guests can also take advantage of the Club Spa Suite Special, which offers guests a $200 spa credit when they book the Club Spa Suite

Offer applies to new, individual bookings and non-contracted group bookings named and fully deposited during the offer period. Offer is combinable with reduced single supplement rates, back to back savings, onboard booking savings, Le Club Voyage quarterly savings. Offer is not combinable with Interline, Travel Agent, Net Rates, Employee or other Deep Discount rates.. 

Azamara Club Cruises offer inclusive amenities including: complimentary AzAmazing Evenings, select standard spirits, international beers and wines; gratuities; bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas; self-service laundry; shuttle service to and from port communities and concierge services for personal guidance and reservations. 

Azamara's two ships, Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey, each have a capacity of 690 guests and sail to smaller ports often untouched by larger cruise ships. 

Visit www.azamaraclubcruises.com