On water, on rails, in historic manor houses or smart city hotels, Scotland knows how to do luxury travel.
While the Royal Scotsman is well-known to high-end travelers as one of the world’s grandest train trips, the Hebridian Princess (www.hebridean.co.uk) may be less familiar to clients seeking a luxury Scottish vacation. A cruise on board this 50-passenger ship is like being the guest at a floating house party at a posh country house.
But this house party’s scenery changes constantly and each day brings a different shore experience - the ghost town on rarely visited St Kilda, an airport with a white-sand beach for a runway, prehistoric sites, castles, the fabled isle of Iona, and one of Britain’s most famous gardens at Inverewe. Service is impeccable - seamless, cordial and good-humored. Staterooms are spacious and public areas intimate and welcoming. No wonder when Queen Elizabeth II plans a family cruise she charters the Hebridean Princess.
Few destinations have breezes as fragrant or seas as clear as the islands and coastline of Croatia. Speed boats and a ferry from Venice access Losinj, an island 25 miles off the northern Adriatic coast of Croatia. The island can also be reached by flying from Zagreb to Pula in Istria, ferrying to Krk and the island of Cres and driving to the main town of Mali Losinj. Plans are underway to lengthen the runway to accommodate larger planes. Adventures Croatia (www.adventurescroatia.com) customizes travel itineraries to fit the interests, budget and style of your clients traveling in Croatia.
I was among eight passengers aboard a private King Air plane, which flew from Marco Polo International Airport in Venice to Losinj, an enchanting, health promoting island.
At Ireland’s School of Falconry on the grounds of The Ashford Castle in County Mayo, Ireland, on the shores of Lough Corrib, the Harris hawk named Inca was placed on the leather glove on my left arm and cocked her head inquisitively at me.
As my guide led me into the woods that surround the castle, he explained that when Lord and Lady Ardilaun of the Guinness family owned the castle they planted the thick forest that gives the place its enchanted feeling. I felt transported back in time.
As I flew my hawk and it gracefully moved through the trees and back to perch on my arm, I experienced the grounds in a way that felt like a portal into the lives of those who had made this their home over the centuries.
In Western Europe, the World War I Centennial continues with the 100th anniversary of the day, April 6, 1917, that the United States officially entered the war. Our troops fought only eight months, but they actually helped turn the war’s tide.
France was the largest site of U.S. involvement, though major battles also were fought in Belgium’s Flanders province. From Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picardy southeast to Alsace-Champagne-Ardenne-Lorraine, France’s Western Front stretched more than 300 miles.
Tourism news in Germany this year revolves around culture and the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.
When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a Wittenburg Church in 1517, he began a religious revolution that changed not only the history of the church, but of his country and the world. In 2017 the cities where Luther’s reformation began, grew and thrived are celebrating its wide-reaching effects on thought and culture. What began in Wittenburg spread through the eastern German states, into Thuringia and Saxony, where Luther was given protection after being condemned as a heretic.
When talking to clients about possible sun and surf destinations, it’s often hard to differentiate one lovely resort island from another - the resorts often seem cookie cutter, with the exact amenities from island to island. The cure for the ordinary island vacation is simple... send your clients to Tenerife. While it might not be quite as convenient as a Caribbean island, it makes up for the slightly longer travel time by offering more...much more!
With a 20% increase in American travelers last year, Portugal has earned its place as one of Europe’s top emerging destinations. Couple that with the jump in the value of the US dollar against the euro and you have lots of reasons to suggest a Portugal vacation to your clients.
For today’s traveler, it’s all about experiences - more what they do than what they see. No longer content with tour-bus overviews of a city, they want to feel its pulse, eat its food, dance to its beat. A museum now and then is fine, but it’s the experiences they’ll post on Instagram.
With multiple award-winning hotels, over 500 miles of Adriatic coastline, world-class gastronomy, quirky and unique museums and so much more, who wouldn’t want to visit Croatia? This historic country in Eastern Europe is now commanding the attention it deserves, and travelers have taken notice. In just the second quarter of this year, revenues from tourism reflected an increase of 5.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Tourism numbers from 2015 were surpassed in September 2016. It’s a hot destination.
So many Christmas markets spring up all over Germany that your clients - and you - may find the possibilities overwhelming. Almost anywhere you suggest will have at least one square filled with colorful cabins fragrant with evergreen boughs, hot mulled wine and spicy ginger cookies.
While you could plan an itinerary that takes in markets in several major cities or regions, your clients can enjoy a richer experience with a lot less stress by visiting one area where there is a wide variety of different markets. Nowhere is this easier than in Baden-Württemberg, Germany’s southwest corner that includes the