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Tour Newsletter Dated March 24, 2015

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Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

I receive hundreds of questions related to escorted travel every week from my readers. Today, I'd like to share a few recent inquiries and answers.

Q: We'd like to go on a national parks tour this summer (to the Grand Canyon and the like), but we want to keep to a budget -- no more than $1,500 for each of us for the tour part (we can use our airline miles for the flights). Do you have anything within our price range?

A: We do have national park itineraries that will come in under your budget. Cosmos offers Highlights of the Canyonlands, which visits Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion national parks, as well as Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and Lake Powell. Summer departures start at $1,239 per person.

Gate 1 Travel also visits the beloved national treasures of the Southwest on 8 Day Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks, also adding Sedona, Scottsdale and Montezuma Castle (900-year-old Native American cliff dwellings) into the mix. Summer rates start at $1,449.

If you like to camp, consider these more rustic (and cheaper) options from two adventure travel companies: G Adventures offers San Diego, Grand Canyon & Vegas, with summer departures starting at $1,029 per person -- but note that it's a trip reserved for travelers ages 18 to 39. Three of the six nights are spent in campgrounds. Intrepid Travel also utilizes campgrounds for LA to Vegas Adventure, which stops at Joshua Tree and Grand Canyon national parks; summer rates start at $1,015 per person.



Q: We visited Dublin on a cruise once, and now we'd like to go back and see more of Ireland. What do you recommend?

A: You might start by looking at the vacations of CIE Tours, a company that I profiled in my last newsletter. It has been the expert in travel to the Emerald Isle since 1932, offering nearly 30 different vacations in Ireland and about a dozen more that also incorporate Northern Ireland.

Some CIE itineraries concentrate on certain regions, like Southern Supreme or Northern Gems, for example. Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, a new tour for 2015, focuses mostly on towns and sights along the western coast. Overnight in the former ancestral home of Irish barons during Irish Heritage & Dromoland Castle, or explore the country's traditions and meet the locals on Irish Pubs & Folklore.

Click here to see all of CIE's vacations in Ireland and Northern Ireland.



Q: I'd like to take my son, who's about to graduate from college, on some sort of wildlife adventure. I know he'd love a trip like that, but I'm not quite ready to travel as far as Africa for a safari. Is there anything on the North American continent?

A: Yes! There are amazing opportunities to observe animals in their natural habitat in this part of the world. Track brown bears this summer on Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai and wolves in the winter on Yellowstone: Ultimate Wolf & Wildlife Safari, both offered by Natural Habitat Adventures. That company plus Tauck and G Adventures also travel to Churchill in Canada's Manitoba province in October and November for polar bear adventures that offer incredible close-up views of these creatures.

Also check out our offerings in U.S. national parks and in Costa Rica, where many itineraries have some sort of wildlife encounter. And when you're ready for a more far-flung adventure, click here to see all of our wildlife-viewing trips around the globe.



Q: We did a fall foliage tour in New England a couple of years ago and loved it. We don't get to experience the changing of the leaves where we live. I'd like to do a similar trip again this year, but maybe in a different part of the country?

A: New England is indeed the prime spot for witnessing this brilliant spectacle of nature, but there are other parts of this country and Canada that experience the autumn changing of the leaves, and we do offer seasonal trips in these destinations.

They include small-ship cruises of the Hudson River in New York, Chesapeake Bay in the Mid-Atlantic states, the Mississippi River of the heartland, the Columbia and Snake Rivers of the Pacific Northwest and Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands in Washington.

There are escorted fall foliage tours of the national parks, and fall departures of Historic Trains of the Old West by Globus. Fall foliage-themed trips also explore eastern Canada.

Click here to see all of our fall foliage trips, including our New England itineraries.



Q: I'm a thrill-seeker and adrenaline junkie. What are the most adventurous, unusual trips you offer?

A: You can cage dive with sharks in South Africa, or spend a week living with the nomads of Mongolia (where you'll sleep in a traditional yurt called a ger, travel by horseback, learn nomadic skills and compete in archery with the locals). Climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, or explore Everest Base Camp in Nepal.

Hike the fjords and glaciers of Norway, or trek the physically demanding Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea, a single-file footpath that was the site of some of the bloodiest battles between Australian and Japanese troops during World War II.

But I think the most challenging trips we offer are our expeditions to the North Pole and South Pole with PolarExplorers. These are extreme trips to remote -- and often unpredictable -- places. I traveled to the North Pole with this company last spring. At the top of the world, the temperature was -55 degrees F with wind chill, polar bears were known to wander into our base camp, and there was always a chance of the ice breaking apart right underneath us -- it was an extraordinary adventure.

To see all of our adventure trips, for a range of physical fitness levels, click here.



Q: What's the longest tour you offer? I was just curious.

A: That would be the 61-day South Pole Full Ski Expedition with PolarExplorers, the company I mentioned in my answer above. If you're in the 18-to-35 age range and have a lot of time to spare, there's our 55-day Epic Adventure in the U.S. and Canada with Contiki, a company that caters to young adult travelers.



Here are this week's Top 20 Tours. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.

1) Irish Heritage, 7 days with CIE Tours. Begins in Shannon and ends in Dublin with visits to the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry and Blarney Castle. Save $300 per couple. Starting at $1,306. Departures from April 20 through November 9, 2015.

2) Greek Island Escapade, 10 days with Keytours. Begins in Athens and ends in Santorini with visits to the Acropolis, Mykonos and Delos. Save $520 per couple. Starting at $1,595. Departures from April 17 through October 16, 2015.

3) Best of Scotland, 8 days with Brendan. Begins in Edinburgh and ends in Glasgow with visits to the Isle of Skye, Glencoe and Stirling Castle. Save up to 5%. Starting at $1,885. Departures from April 25 through October 10, 2015.

4) Hong Kong & Macau, 6 days with SITA Tours. Begins and ends in Hong Kong with visits to Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay and Leal Senado Square. Starting at $1,940. Daily departures from April 14 through December 22, 2015.

5) Colorful Trails of Ecuador, 9 days with Trafalgar. Begins in Quito and ends in Guayaquil with visits to Otavalo, Cotopaxi National Park and Cuenca. Save $200 per couple off the air-inclusive price. Starting at $1,990. Departures from July 19, 2015 through March 13, 2016.

6) Vietnam, Cambodia & the Riches of the Mekong, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins in Siem Reap and ends in Ho Chi Minh City with visits to Tonle Sap Lake, Koh Chen and Phnom Penh. Save $1,000 to $2,500 per couple. Starting at $2,299. Departures from April 20, 2015 through January 4, 2016.

7) The Classic Autumn Norwegian Discovery, 11 days with Hurtigruten. Begins in Bergen and ends in Trondheim with visits to the Lofoten Islands, Tromsø and Honningsvåg. Save up to 30%. Starting at $2,959. Departures from September 1 through October 31, 2015.

8) 10 Day Marco Polo, 10 days with Perillo Tours. Begins in Venice and ends in Rome with stops in Padua, Florence and Siena. Young travelers ages 11 and under save $400 to $2,100 per person. Starting at $2,990. Departures from April 12 through November 8, 2015.

9) Paris & Normandy, 8 days with AmaWaterways. Begins and ends in Paris with visits to Giverny, Honfleur and Château Gaillard. Save $300 to $2,000 per couple. Starting at $3,199. Departures from April 9 through October 22, 2015.

10) Glories of China, 14 days with Wendy Wu Tours. Begins in Shanghai and ends in Beijing with visits to Yangshuo, the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian and the Great Wall of China. Receive two free pre- or post-tour hotel nights. Starting at $3,240. Departures from April 11 through June 27, 2015.

11) Normandy, Brittany & Châteaux Country with London, 11 days with Globus. Begins in Paris and ends in London with visits to Rouen, Omaha Beach and Mont St. Michel. Receive $400 per couple in air credit. Starting at $3,293. Departures from April 25 through October 10, 2015.

12) Taste of the Rockies Circle, 7 days with Rocky Mountaineer. Begins and ends in Vancouver with visits to Banff National Park, Lake Louise and Jasper National Park. Receive $200 to $450 per couple in free travel credits. Starting at $3,426. Departures from May 3 through September 20, 2015.

13) Country Roads of Bavaria, Switzerland & Austria, 13 days with Insight. Begins in Munich and ends in Zurich with stops in Salzburg, Vienna and St. Moritz. Save up to 10%. Starting at $3,461. Departures from May 1 through October 9, 2015.

14) Leisurely Britain, 15 days with CIE Tours. Begins and ends in London with visits to Stonehenge, Land's End and Edinburgh. Save $700 per couple. Starting at $3,600. Departures from June 14 through October 18, 2015.

15) Columbia & Snake Rivers, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Travels between Clarkston and Portland with visits to Nez Perce National Historical Park, Sacajawea State Park and Astoria. Companion cruises for free, plus receive free shore excursions. Starting at $3,795. Departures from April 12 through November 8, 2015.

16) Gardens of the River, 8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company. Begins in New Orleans and ends in Memphis with stops in Natchez, Vicksburg and Helena. Companion cruises for free, plus receive free shore excursions and more. Starting at $3,999. Departs May 23, 2015.

17) Portugal's River of Gold, 10 days with Viking River Cruises. Begins in Lisbon and ends in Porto with stops in Coimbra, Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo and Salamanca. Companion cruises and flies for free. Starting at $4,149. Departures from November 3 through December 25, 2015.

18) Castles & Kings: London to Paris, 8 days with Tauck. Begins in London and ends in Paris with visits to the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Versailles. Receive economy airfare for $1,090 per person or business airfare for $3,490 per person. Starting at $5,190. Departures from April 12 through August 23, 2015.

19) Splendors of Northern Italy, Venice, Florence & Rome, 13 days with Uniworld. Begins in Venice and ends in Rome with stops in Padua, Bologna and Verona. Save $2,500 per couple off the air-inclusive price. Starting at $6,699. Departs May 10, 24 & 31 and June 7 & 14, 2015.

20) Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent, 11 days with Quark Expeditions. Begins and ends in Buenos Aires with visits to Ushuaia, the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Save $2,000 to $3,000 per couple. Starting at $8,995. Departures from November 7, 2015 through February 21, 2016.

Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-680-2858. For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click here.

For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click here.
For river cruises up to 50% off, click here.
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click here.
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality, click here.

Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@tourvacationstogo.com and I will respond the same day.

If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward this email to family and friends.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go



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