Classic Vacations has announced significant additions to its collection for 2008, with 96 new properties available for 2008 bookings.
"We made these additions based on travel agent feedback, customer interest and our own in-depth visits to the destinations and individual properties," said Jonna Jackson, senior director of product development at Classic Vacations. "Luxury travelers have highly selective requirements, as they seek special amenities, new and exclusive experiences, and exceptional service with each trip. Classic focused squarely on these requirements while making product enhancements."
Jackson noted that villas and private homes are increasing in popularity, particularly in Europe, Hawaii and Mexico. "We are seeing more bookings from multi-generational families and other large groups traveling together. A villa or private home can provide more value than multiple hotel rooms, as well as ample space for family gatherings for meals and special occasions."
The following are key highlights of the product additions:
Europe: Forty-one properties are new for 2008, including golf properties in Scotland, castles in Ireland, and resorts in Evian and Crete. The Hotel Le Royal Luxembourg is the first hotel in Classic's newest destination of Luxembourg.
In the tours and excursions category, river barging in Southern France is the latest addition to a long list of activities, which also include exclusive gastronomic tours in Barcelona, cultural tours in Croatia, and hot air balloon rides in Tuscany. Sea Cloud and River Cloud cruises are now available, as are Orient Express and Royal Scotsman overnight trains. More than 100 Greek yachts are available for private charter.
Mexico: Nineteen properties are new for 2008, including the Rosewood Mayakoba and Mandarin Oriental. Classic and Sol Melia have re-established their partner relationship and offer access to top properties in MexicoÕs most popular leisure destinations. In addition, Classic will continue as the exclusive provider for Punta Mita properties, which include
private homes, haciendas and condominiums.
Tahiti: The Regent Paul Gauguin and Bora Bora Cruises have rejoined the Classic Tahiti product line.
Caribbean: Eight properties are new for 2008, including Reef Atlantis in the Bahamas, The Alexandra in Turks and Caicos, and Agua in the Dominican Republic.
Australia/New Zealand: Twenty-six properties are new for 2008. In Australia, the property collection has expanded primarily in Hunter Valley, Southern Australia and Tasmania. In New Zealand, property additions are centered on Wellington and Bay of Islands. Air Pacific is Classic's newest flight partner.
Hawaii: Two new properties have been added, including the Wyland Waikiki in Oahu and Pineapple Estate Homes in Kapalua, Maui.
Fiji:Classic Fiji will add a handful of properties in 2008 to grow from a stopover to a full destination. More details on these properties will be announced soon.
Details on Classic's complete selection of properties, transportation options, and tours and activities are available in the company;s 2008 product brochures. These brochures are available for each destination. Agents may place a brochure order by visiting http://classicforagents.com/brochure_app.aspx
Classic Vacations has also announced new developments for Hawaii.
Properties: Several properties offered by Classic have recently completed extensive renovations including The Kahala; The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; and Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort. The Wyland Waikiki is new to the Classic Hawaii collection for 2008. This boutique property features the largest collection of Wyland art in the world, including sculptures, photographs and paintings representing the artist's passion for marine life. In addition, Classic is expanding its collection of private homes and villas, including three new homes in the Pineapple Hills Estates in Kapalua, Maui. These private homes are situated amid the golf courses of Kapalua resort and offer up to five bedrooms and 9,000 square feet of living space.
Car Rental: Hertz Classic VIP Service has been enhanced for 2008 with two new benefits: hotel delivery and valet return. Travel agents can now arrange to have the rental car delivered directly to the client's hotel. This is a bonus for many travelers, particularly those who have extremely long flights and do not want to drive from the airport to the hotel. Valet
car return is available to clients renting Hertz Prestige Collection vehicles.
With this service, the client party drives to the Hertz rental return location, where a Hertz staff member will enter the vehicle and drive them in their rental car directly to the terminal for departure. All Classic Hawaii travelers continue to benefit from pre-registration and express check-in, and
bypass lines entirely.
Classic Concierge: Classic will continue to offer its popular Concierge Desk to any travel agent booking Classic Hawaii vacations. Now beginning its third year, the service makes recommendations and reservations for restaurants, spas and golf, private tours, and other activities. The Classic Concierge team also develops and manages a number of customized additions to luxury trips. For example, during a previous holiday season, the team worked closely with a travel agent, hotel staff, a tree farm and florist to deliver a 10-foot Christmas tree from Oregon to a hotel suite in Kaui, complete with lights, ornaments and other holiday decorations.
Agents continue to offer positive feedback on the Classic Concierge service, as it saves them time in the planning process and enables their clients to enjoy some of Hawaii's very best offerings recommended by Classic's experts in Hawaiian luxury travel.
For more information about Classic Hawaii, please call (800) 221-3949 or visit http://www.classicvacations.com/travelagent/