It’s that time of year again! The tour operators are releasing their 2013 brochures, and there are some interesting surprises in store. Some are offering new destinations (like Eastern and Central Europe); others are offering new experiences; and most are offering some pretty nice deals. And with overall travel to Europe remaining flat for five months in a row, some new excuses to cross the Pond are clearly needed.
We already noted Traflgar’s Europe & Britain First Class brochure, but the tour op has some other announcements as well:
New trips include an 11-day tour of Corsica and Sardinia that takes customers to Italy’s islands. Designed to give regular guests to Italy a new and exciting destination to explore, this At Leisure trip starts and ends in Cagliari and also stops for two nights in Spanish-influenced Alghero, three nights in Ajaccio and two nights in Olbia, with plenty of day excursions in between. In Cagliari, visitors can go sightseeing with a Local Guide, and take a scenic drive to Alghero where they’ll try a Trafalgar Be My Guest dining experience, a traditional Italian meal in the home of a Sardinian family. Other exclusive highlights include a ferry ride to the hilltop town of La Maddalena, an optional excursion with lunch to the Gulf of Porto to see the UNESCO World Heritage Calanche of Piana and a wine tasting at a local Sardinian winery.
Trafalgar is also offering discounts of up to $790 per couple on 17 of Trafalgar’s 2013 At Leisure’s European itineraries paid in full by December 27. Additionally, past guests save up to $1,145 per couple with the 10 percent Early Payment Discount, plus 5 percent Past Guest Travel Club discount.
See what Globus has in store next!
Globus, meanwhile, is increasing its tours to Eastern and Northern Europe, offering vacation options that cost about 20 percent less than traveling to destinations in Western Europe. Eleven new tours cover the Arctic Circle, Iceland, the Ukraine, Russia, Warsaw, Poland and Istanbul and other up-and-coming regions.
Globus is also adding Local Favorites to its tours of Europe, including overnights in a French chateau, playing on the historic St. Andrews Golf Course, cooking and baking lessons and a tour of Oskar Schindler's factory where he saved thousands from the Holocaust.
And if price is an issue, travelers who book early can receive an air credit of up to $600 per couple.
What's new at Insight?
Insight Vacations' 2013 Europe and Britain Brochure has eight new tours and three new Gold itineraries. Some of the more unique (and newest) attractions in the brochure include the battlefields of WWI and Russia’s Golden Ring.
The three new luxury Insight Gold tours bring visitors to Ireland, Scotland & Spain (nine-day Gaelic Treasures; eight-day Celtic Legends; nine-day Spanish Gold) and an all-new tour of Portugal (nine-day Highlights of Portugal). Also new for 2013 are special journeys for photographers and wine connoisseurs that can be found exclusively online.
Good to know: 67 percent of all hotels are now graded Deluxe or Superior First Class in 2013.
In total, the tours cover 42 countries in Europe, including the Eastern Mediterranean and Morocco.