The fall season came a little later than expected here in the Midwest, but, when it came it did not disappoint.  I drove past lovely colors of red and orange maple trees, saw countless squirrels scurrying to gather food for the winter and smelled the scent of wood-burning fireplaces.  It has been a great month as I attended several seminars to learn about new and exciting travel products for you.  Our fall newsletter highlights New Zealand, Britain, exciting travel options for the independent and go-as-you-please traveler, small ship cruising to Alaska, the beautiful, undiscovered country of Malta and the 200th anniversary of the famous Christmas carol "Silent Night".  I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.



New Zealand is almost always a "bucket list" travel destination.  Air New Zealand is making it even easier for travelers from the Midwest to discover the best of New Zealand with the launch of three non-stop flights per week from Chicago to Auckland, New Zealand staring November 30, 2018.  Operated by new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, passengers traveling from Chicago can expect a truly enjoyable flight that includes the award-winning Economy Skycouch, luxury leather Premium Economy seats and lie-flat beds in Business Premier.  Flights going westbound to Auckland are approximately 16 hours in length and about 15 hours in length on the return flight to O'Hare.

A new feature on the 787-9 Dreamliner is the Economy Skycouch which creates a flat, flexible space for passengers to enjoy however they want.  It is a great option for families, couples or those who want a little bit of extra personal space.  Passengers can choose the setup to suit their individual needs.  The Economy Skycouch is a row of Economy seats which can be used as seating, a couch or even a play area for children.  Bedding and pillows are included to be able to lie flat and relax.  Furthermore, when you upgrade to Economy Skycouch, you receive the entire row to yourself.  If you are a family, the Skycouch Infant Harness, Belt & Pod will be available on all Air New Zealand 787-0 Dreamliner longhaul aircraft.  It provides additional comfort and protection for infants and peace of mind for parents or caregivers.


I recently had the privilege to meet the Director of Sales from Down Under Answers, Jeff Adam, as well as, many representatives in the travel and tourism industry from the North Island of New Zealand.  It was so wonderful to meet these professionals who were so excited about what their regions in New Zealand have to offer.  Down Under Answers has designed quality vacations for over 26 years.  Their experienced destination specialist can customize vacations for independent travelers to suit style, taste and budget.  Also, Down Under Answers, offers pre and post cruise itinerary packages, shore excursions, escorted tours, destination weddings and honeymoons and private experiences for groups.

The North Island of New Zealand is beautiful & scenic, full of history & culture, a place for peace & rejuvenation and a playground for thrill seekers and adventurers.  Travel to Rotorua, a volcanic wonderland with a variety of geo-thermal attractions or where visitors can also do a tree walk amongst giant redwoods.  Do a raft, kayak or paddleboard excursion to see the magical glow worms at Waitomo.  At Taupo, cruise past ancient Maori rock carvings or take a jet boat ride to the base of the magnificent Huka Falls. Visit two beautiful National Parks in the alpine region of Ruapehu where you can experience the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with canoe, bike and multi-day treks, white water rafting adventures, raft fishing and mountain biking. Visit the Hawke’s Bay region known for its premier wines, the art deco city of Napier and beautiful Te Urewere National Park and Lake Waikaremoana.  The Bay of Plenty offers 90 miles of white sandy beaches, fishing, boating and excursions to see dolphins, whales, seals, turtles and sun fish.

Whether you want to travel to the North or South Islands of New Zealand or a little of both, Down Under Answers and I will help you plan a memorable vacation to this incredible part of the world. Choose from customized vacations, private charters, wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaways, rail journeys, small ship cruising, special interests or escorted travel.  Please contact me if you would like to receive either the Down Under Answers 2018-2019 printed or electronic brochure to help plan your exciting vacation to New Zealand.


There are many travelers who have already experienced the major sights of London and now want to see more of Britain’s less traveled towns & villages, dramatic coastlines, rolling hills & valleys and the tranquil settings.  Wonderful experiences are awaiting you in less traveled destinations throughout England, Scotland and Wales.  Globus and Cosmos present in 2019 their new and exciting “Undiscovered Britain” tours.  There is a lot to love about Britain and now you can do it with an experienced tour operator who knows where to stay, what to see, and how to get around.  Let Globus and Cosmos take care of the logistics so you can truly enjoy being in the moment on your vacation.  Take a peek at where a new “Undiscovered Britain” tour can take you.

Video-Undiscovered Britain

Please click on the link below to view the new Undiscovered Britain brochure.  Let me know if you would prefer to have a paper copy.

Save 10 percent on select 2019 Britain tours plus save $300 per couple air credit.  Book by November 27, 2018.  Subject to change, based on availability and restrictions apply.


Cosmos Lite, from the Globus Family of Brands, offers the world's finest first a la carte tour style.  Essential features of city to city transportation, hotel accommodations, daily breakfast and a local tour director are combined with a personalized approach to daily itineraries.  Cosmos Lite offers hassle-free travel with the freedom to tailor your itinerary to your own interests, budget and pace.  Whether your're an early bird or a night owl, Cosmos Lite offers later morning excursions and tours to suite your schedule.  Also, you will have local information at your fingertiops with the CosmosGO mobile app and the MyCosmos optional excursions ready for purchase.  Choose from vacations to Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland or along the Danube River.  CosmosLite is free of commitments, but, full of possibilities.


Monograms vacations were created so you can tailor your vacation to your specific likes, interests and travel style.  YourWay takes the Monograms concept one step further by allowing you to choose the number of nights you wish to stay in select European cities.  With Monograms YourWay, you can customize your stay from two to five nights in these popular cities: London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice, Barcelona and Madrid.  Beyond the included sightseeing, Monograms YourWay allows for a lot of free time (assisted by your friendly Local Host) to explore your interests and passions as you would like.  If you wait until your're on vacation to purchase activities & excursions, don't worry, just see your Local Host to find out which activities can fit better in your vacations.


Next summer pack a little extra wonder and excitement when you and your family cruise with Oceania Cruises to Alaska.  For a limited time, your third and fourth guests sail free on select voyages.  Share the awe-inspiring adventures in Alaska with family.  Plan your voyage today for unforgettable memories. Please note this offer is capacity controlled.  Guests must be 17 years old or younger and occupy the same stateroom. Oceania Cruises offer the “Alaska Explorer Youth Program” for guests travelling with children.  The program offers the opportunity to experience the excitement of exploring the Northwest Coast and Alaska in an enriching way.  Designed for ages 5 to 12, the program is supervised by enthusiastic youth counselors and includes games, activities and Alaska-inspired special events.  You can experience a variety of Alaska sailings which depart from both Seattle and Vancouver on the beautiful Regatta.  The Regatta features four unique, open-seating restaurants, a world-class fitness center and spa, eight lounges and bars, a casino and 342 lavish suites and luxurious staterooms of which 70 pct. feature private verandahs.  The Regatta offers a high staff to guest ratio; 684 guests with 400 professionally trained European staff.  Please contact Pam as soon as possible to check availability and cost for summer 2019.



Perillo's Learning Journeys, a division of the historic Perillo Tours offers an 8 day, 6 night, "Live Like a Local in Malta".  Do you dream of immersing in another culture and living as the locals do?  Join Learning Journeys and learn how to live like a local in relaxed environments, accompanied by a wide variety of optional adventures focusing on cultural arts, culinary and language.

The Maltese know how to throw a party, and seem to have happed into the secret of enjoying life to the fullest.  In fact, Valetta was chosen to be the European Capital of Culture in 2018.  It is no wonder the Knights of St. John so fiercely protected this Mediterranean jewel.  Some of the oldest Megalith temples are here, dating back more than 7,000 years.  A sense of well-being permeates the Maltese islands.  Live like a local and choose your optional activities: food and wine immersion with hands on cooking classes, ancient historical temple visits, boating in a grotto, spa and wellness options, a jeep safari on the island of Gozo or enjoy a Game of Thrones experience.  You will be treated like royalty during your stay at the 5 Star Palace Hotel.  Please contact Pam for complete details on this itinerary.  Below please find a wonderful video from the United States Tour Operators Association on art and culture in beautiful Malta.

Malta, a pristine nation located only 58 miles off the coast of Sicily, blends sea, history historic and modern culture, rich Mediterranean cuisine and warm people who welcome guests with open hearts and over 300 days of sun each year!

Most visits to Malta begin in the capital city of Valletta (a 2018 European Capital of Culture), built by the Knights of St. John.  Special points of interests are: the 16th century Co-Cathedral of St. John where you will find the only signed painting by Caravaggio; “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist”.  There are pre-historic temples and the Hypogium, a Neolithic subterranean structure which dates back some 6,000 years.  Mdina, “The Silent City”, is full of history and the island of Gozo offers beautiful villas and excellent gastronomy.  The Maltese restaurants are renowned for their fresh seafood.

Art and Culture in Malta-video



I am very excited to be in Salzburg this December to partake in the special celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the famous Christmas Carol “Silent Night”.  Joseph Mohr, a parish priest at St. Nikola Church, had written a poem about the nativity and approached a music teacher, Franz Xaver Gruber to create a melody to accompany his words.   The two performed the song for the first time the night of December 24, 1818.  I will visit many special exhibitions and museum openings in and around Salzburg pertaining to this celebration.  I look forward to sharing many special travel moments with you on Facebook.







































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