Blog

The Perfect Cruise Experience
12 april 2022  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Introducing OLife Ultimate

Discover your next travel story and reignite your passions. Experiencefaraway places that you have always dreamed of. Encounter new ways of looking at the world and travel to the far corners of the globe. Savor your experience with imaginative insider tours that immerse you in the heart of the destination’s culinary and cultural traditions.

For a limited time, take advantage of an even greater value on select Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ voyages with 2-for-1 Cruise Fares, Free Roundtrip Airfare & Transfers, plus all 3 amenities for FREE:
• FREE - Up to 8 Shore Excursions
• FREE - Beverage Package
• FREE - Up to $800 Shipboard Credit


Offer ends May 20, 2022.
There are as many reasons to travel as there are travelers in this world. It’s your turn to embrace your passion for travel with Oceania Cruises.

Call your favorite travel advisors at Ambassador Tours for more details and to book!

#TeamAmbassador
Inspired by the past and reimagined for the future
2 april 2022  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Seven Seas Grandeur Inaugural Collection

Reserve your ideal escape today, be it a relaxing tour of the Caribbean’s tropical shores, a fascinating dive into the historic cities peppered across the Mediterranean, or a romantic Atlantic crossing providing multiple days and nights to soak up all of the magnificent amenities found aboard Seven Seas Grandeur.

These inaugural voyages offer ideal escapes to tropical shores, historic cities and romantic adventures from the exquisite comfort of what will soon be the newest addition to The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™.

A Magnificent Crossing brings Seven Seas Grandeur west to begin a wondrous exploration of the Caribbean. In the spring of 2024, she’ll return to the Mediterranean to bathe in all the sparkling beauty this historic region has to offer.

Reservations now open.
Immersive Yucatan Exploration.
31 march 2022  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Cozumel to Cancun, MX

Color and culture burst from each magical escapade along Mexico’s storied coastline. Lush rainforests, prehistoric ruins, mythical vestiges of Mesoamerican tradition … walk in the footsteps of indigenous peoples who advanced civilization itself. Bask in the balmy beauty of beachside oases, spot wild pink flamingos in their natural habitat, and sample the signature spice of the region’s carefully crafted cuisines. History and nature meet luxury on this outstanding cruise and land tour.

Mexico’s picturesque beaches, rich history and distinctive culture draw adventurists from around the world to its most treasured spaces. On this journey, American Queen Voyages introduces you to exotic destinations such as Puerto Morelos, Progreso and Campeche as you travel through the Caribbean Sea. Ancient ruins, beachside mansions and authentic cuisine make experiences in Mexico unlike those anywhere else. Come, and indulge.

Embark on a journey of All-Inclusive Exploration.
More space. More luxury. More connected. Celebrity Beyond.
24 march 2022  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Celebrity Cruises New Ship

Welcome to a place where you can experience all the things you’ve been missing for so long. Only now, those things are even better than you’ve imagined. This is a place where the possibilities are as endless as the views. where you can disconnect entirely while you reconnect with each other-and the world. This place is Celebrity Beyond℠.

The third ship in Celebrity Cruises' revolutionary Edge® Series takes Celebrity’s well-known, innovative outward-facing design further than ever, creating an even closer connection between you, the sea, and every exciting place on the horizon. Unwind in expanded open-air spaces. Savor fine dining that rivals anything you’d find on land. And discover even more ways to relax and renew.

Onboard Experience
Revolutionary experiences await you onboard. From the Magic Carpet® that reaches heights of 13 stories above sea level to the 110 ft LED wall in The Theatre, Celebrity Beyond breaks from traditional ship design.

Eat & Drink
Explore distinct restaurants, bars, and lounges that will awaken all your senses, and savor new globally inspired menus crafted by our Michelin-starred chef.

Wellness
Your holistic experience begins the moment you step on board, with the ocean as the backdrop to your wellness journey. There’s no better way to find your ultimate state of well-being than miles away at sea.

From the spring until early fall, Celebrity Beyond’s itineraries include sailings around the glamorous Italian and French Riviera, as well trips that visit the idyllic Greek Islands, Malta, and Italy. From late October through April, Celebrity Beyond will journey across the Caribbean, stopping in spectacular islands in the Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands.
Why now is the time to sail two or more rivers – or reserve an extended journey!
17 march 2022  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Here’s Our Top 10 List

Discover the not-to-be-missed amenities and experiences that will move AmaWaterways' multi-river journeys to the top of your travel wish list. Here's our Top 10 List:

1. Sail through the heart of multiple countries or regions during a single journey. Experience the unique cultural traditions of several countries on sailings combining two or more rivers, such as a 10-night Rhine & Moselle Delights itinerary. Or, customize your ideal extended vacation by reserving multiple sailings together as a combination river cruise.

2. Extraordinary Cruise Managers take care of you throughout your journey. Your friendly and knowledgeable Cruise Manager will be there for you every step of the way, going above and beyond to help you create memories you'll cherish for a lifetime. They accompany you on optional land packages before or after your cruise as well – unique in the industry.

3. Sail aboard the most innovative and highest rated river cruise ships in Europe. With innovations such as view-enhancing twin-balcony staterooms and sustainable features from LED lighting to solar heating, these award-winning ships are floating hotels offering the luxury of space for an average of 150 guests and provide all the modern comforts you need and more.

4. These multi-river itineraries have been thoughtfully curated by experts. The visionary co-founders of AmaWaterways grew up along European rivers. Their intimate knowledge of these regions and their heritage on the rivers means that we provide you with the most authentic and immersive experiences, with choices to personalize every moment of your time on shore.

5. You have endless choices in how to spend your day. A variety of included excursions are available, whether you prefer to learn more about a destination through its history or get active along its bike paths and hiking trails. Visiting a port for the second or third time during your journey? Take a deeper dive into its culture with one of many immersive Special Interest Tours that include culinary demonstrations and tastings of local specialties. On board, relax with scenic cruising, take a dip in the sun-deck pool, or visit the spa for a soothing massage.

6. Enjoy exclusive included experiences just for AmaWaterways guests. Relationships forged throughout the years have granted AmaWaterways access to special exclusive experiences only available to their guests. Attend an authentic Bavarian Oktoberfest celebration in Vilshofen, Germany. Or enjoy a private visit to the medieval Lahneck Castle on the Rhine.

7. Award-winning chefs prepare exceptionally diverse menus with plenty of choices. As members of La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and Tables et Auberges, they pride themselves on serving exquisite, regionally-inspired cuisine prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients often sourced from local ports. With multiple dining venues, including The Chef's Table, and four unique restaurants on board AmaMagna you will be treated to a variety of dishes at every meal, with complimentary fine wines served during lunch and dinner. And you are always welcome to try the local food on shore!

8. AmaWaterways' Wellness Program ensures you can enhance your best self no matter how long you sail. From yoga and core strengthening classes to active wellness walks, the onboard Wellness Hosts will help you recharge. You may also stay on board and treat yourself to a massage or a haircut, or even a manicure or pedicure aboard AmaMagna.

9. Complimentary laundry service. To pamper you with convenience and comfort, you will receive one complimentary laundry service when you reserve one or more combination river cruises reducing the amount of clothes you need to pack.

10. Surprises and delights! From our crew's heartfelt efforts to thoughtful touches on board, AmaWaterways ensures that, from the moment you book to the moment you return home, you feel like the most special member of the AmaWaterways family.

Ready to reserve your multi-river journey with AmaWaterways? Contact your favorite travel advisors at Ambassador Tours today and learn how you can save 10% on your next sailing.

#TeamAmbassador
Expedition Cruises
10 march 2022  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Seabourn Expedition voyages offer unforgettable journeys to some of the world's most remote, awe-inspiring locales. Explore places few people will ever see — in a style you've never imagined.

These incredible journeys are curated by Mother Nature and Seabourn's 26-person expedition team of wildlife experts, scientists, historians and naturalists who share a passion for creating unforgettable wildlife and destination experiences for their guests. Experience luxury and adventure as you sail through the northern and southern polar regions and become an active participant in the natural world around you.

• Cruise by Zodiac under teeming bird cliffs and along jungle rivers as you spot whales, polar bears and walruses up close.
• Kayak among stately icebergs and tropical coral islands.
• Hike through Viking ruins, ancient Incan sites and indigenous Amazon villages.
• In our state-of-the-art submarines, adventure beneath the surface past vivid reef walls and towering underwater ice-cliffs and experience sea life in a way few will ever know.

Ready to take your vacation up a notch? Contact your favorite Ambassador Tours travel advisor for more details and to book!
Travel Institute
28 Dec 2021  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Join Ambassador Tours in congratulating our fearless leader, Gary Pollard, in his recent appointment to Chairman of the Board for The Travel Institute!

“A colleague and a friend over many years, Gary’s long history of success in his own business and as an industry leader make him the right person at the right time for this role. I look forward to working with him to ensure The Travel Institute continues to make a positive impact on agents, the industry, and the travelers we serve,” shared Diane Petras, CTIE, president, The Travel Institute. Congratulations, Gary!

You can read the full press release here:

#TeamAmbassador

Small Ship. Big Adventures.
15 July 2021  |  Melissa O’Keefe
BIGGER SAVINGS. ALL BALCONIES & SUITES.

We invite you to embrace adventure and embark on a new style of expedition travel!

Ambassador Tours is excited to introduce you to our friends and experts in luxe-adventure travel, delivering larger than life experiences in bucket list destinations, Atlas Ocean Voyages.

When you choose the Atlas experience, you choose luxe-adventure expeditions that are All Inclusive All the Way. Atlas is creating a community of kindred spirits and low-key connoisseurs in search of authentic cultural experiences and once-in-a-lifetime journeys they’ll want to remember and recount over and over again. And with five brand-new expedition-style ships on the horizon, that should rev your travel-loving engines. These are smaller ships designed for expeditions that lift the limits and extend the reach of adventure travel by sea. Venture to those small villages and remote locations you only see on your social feed. From the desert city of Petra to the frozen tundra of Antarctica, lace up and be ready to explore ancient lands, unique terrains and jaw-dropping locations. Atlas' luxe-adventure journeys take you to the unreachable, and bring you back on board to the simple elegance you are accustomed to.

2022 is coming. Reserve your once-in-a-lifetime journeys to
ARCTIC - BALTIC - BRITISH ISLES - ICELAND & GREENLAND -
NORWEGIAN FJORDS - CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA & MORE!


Experience unique and immersive explorations with late night departures and overnight stays throughout famous regions. And you can enjoy it all with Atlas' All Inclusive All The Way promise, including private balcony or suite accommodations aboard the brand-new World Navigator.

Ready for a real adventure? Call us today!

#TeamAmbassador

Best Value. All Destinations. All Staterooms.
20 July 2021  |  Melissa O’Keefe
There's still time to get your vacation vibes on this year with Princess Cruises' best value fare! Princess Plus includes:

• Premier Beverage Package with service charge: Enjoy everything from cocktails, beer and wine to specialty coffees, smoothies and bottled water.

• Unlimited Wi-Fi: With Princess' best internet package, you can video chat and text with family back home, stream your favorite shows and check email (but only if you want to).

• Full crew incentive paid to the crew on your behalf: Don’t worry – Princess makes sure the crew who takes care of you is taken care of too.

It's never been so easy to find a great value vacation.

Not interested in all the extras? Book with no-frills Princess Savers for the lowest fare available. The choice is yours.

Did we mention Princess is BACK IN ALASKA this summer?!! Princess Plus and Princess Savers fares apply to Alaska sailings too!!

The time to plan your next travel adventure is NOW. Give yourself something to really look forward to when it's safe to start traveling. Enjoy tremendous savings by planning now for when you get to travel later. We know you can't wait to get back out there, and we can't wait to help make your travel dreams a reality.

As with most good things, this offer won't last forever! Book with Ambassador Tours today for all this and more!

#TeamAmbassador

See What Others Don't With Swan Hellenic
1 MAY 2021  |  Melissa O’Keefe
See What Others Don't With Swan Hellenic

Ambassador Tours is thrilled to introduce you to our friends and experts in undiscovered destinations and cultural expedition cruising, Swan Hellenic. If you're looking to experience the remote Polar regions or delve into truly off-the-beaten path destinations and cultures of our spectacular planet, read on!

We want you to find true inspiration when planning your next vacation adventure. And we have just the spark. Explore the magic of sailing through Antarctica’s polar wilderness, penguin-spotting and whale-watching the day away. From mesmerizing icebergs and dramatic glaciers to mountain peaks, discover the extraordinary wilderness of Antarctica on an epic once-in-a-lifetime expedition in sophisticated elegance.

Magnificent albatrosses accompany you through this pristine environment, while the complete silence is broken up by hooting penguins. Get up close to lounging seals, admire unique birdlife, breaching whales, and visit historic sites accompanied by polar experts. This is like no place you’ve visited before.


New 5-star expedition ships feature modern Scandinavian-inspired design, showcasing unobstructed views and oceans of outside space. The destination will always be in view. Spacious staterooms and suites have all the amenities you will need to feel comfortable including dressing gowns, hairdryers, personal safes and minibars. All staterooms have desks, a dressing area and comfy seating. En suite bathrooms all feature glass-enclosed rain showers.

Get ready to experience authentic, intimate, and unforgettable moments in extraordinary locations and remote landmarks.

Book with Ambassador Tours for exclusive savings and to learn more about Swan Hellenic and these epic voyages to the Antarctic!

#TeamAmbassador

Third generation joins an elite group of certified travel agents
25 februaRY 2021  |  THE TRAVEL INSTITUTE
Our friends at The Travel Institute published an article which features Ambassador Tours and the three generations of Pollards who (have run and) are running this family owned-and-operated travel agency - since 1955! We are so proud and honored to be a leader in the travel industry. We love what we do and we value our clients to no end. Let’s get traveling!!

Change is often considered the only real constant in the travel industry and 2020 is yet another example of the many crises the industry has survived over time. Yet two family travel businesses, Ambassador Tours in San Francisco and Brentwood Travel in St. Louis, have stood the test of time through countless industry changes over the past 60+ years and believe this too shall pass. How have they survived—and thrived—despite so much change and challenge? Guided by shared values—relationship building, customer service, and old-fashioned hard work to name a few—these industry-leading, family-owned businesses are also passionate about the value of education. And, with their third generation joining the elite group of industry professionals certified by The Travel Institute® in the last couple of years, both continue to invest in education as an investment in success, passing on more than simple DNA from one generation to the next. Read More...
ESCAPE INTO A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES WITH CUNARD’S 2022 VOYAGES
30 january 2021  |  Melissa O’Keefe
This week featured our favorite holiday - National Plan for Vacation Day. I don’t know about you, but we desperately miss traveling and planning a future vacation sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Our friends at Cunard are making some really exciting plans coming up later this year - into early 2023 - and we are starting our travel bucket list right here.

Cunard’s new 2022 voyages include sailings between April 2022 and January 2023, with highlights of the iconic Transatlantic Crossing, Alaska, Mediterranean Cruises, and a transit of the Panama Canal. The Cunard Queens will embark on 162 voyages between them, across 37 unique countries.



For those of you who love a good deal, Cunard has a promotion going on right now - when you book by February 25, 2021: Discovery Awaits. With over 250 Cunard voyages included in this offer, discovery awaits on the voyage you have been dreaming of. Experience the romance of sailing between New York and London on Queen Mary 2. Admire medieval castles guarding secluded coves and sail ethereal fjords where the scenery is spellbinding. Fall for the charm of canal-linked streets and marvel at imperial and gothic architecture as you venture through Northern Europe. And so much more.


HAWAII
Aloooooohaaa! Princess Hawaiian cruises offer an intoxicating mix of island adventure and carefree cruising. You'll venture to four dazzling islands — including a full day and late evening in Honolulu to see the sights and experience its famed nightlife. And there’s so much to do while you’re at sea, like enjoying live entertainment, world-class cuisine, island-inspired activities and endless ocean views — plus it's all included in your cruise fare! Discover why the Travel Channel named Princess "Best Cruises to see Hawaii."



What’s included you ask? Well, I’ll tell you:

Fares from $1049
Up to $2,000 Onboard Credit per stateroom
50% Reduced Deposit
Past Guests receive up to $1,200 Discount per stateroom
Grill Suite guests receive Free Drinks and Free Gratuities




A vacation with Cunard is an escape into another world. Where the ordinary is extraordinary and untold possibilities abound. We could all use a little extraordinary right now. Ambassador Tours is here when you’re ready to start planning that next great adventure.
2022 Japan & Alaska Cruises Now On Sale
28 December 2020  |  Melissa O’Keefe
2022 JAPAN & ALASKA CRUISES NOW ON SALE
A tale of two incredible destinations… Ambassador Tours and Princess Cruises invite you to dream big for 2022 by taking a peek at the Great Land of Alaska, and a country steeped in tradition and the harmony of ancient sites and natural wonders - Japan. We hope to be traversing the globe later in 2021, but we can’t help but get excited about the possibilities for 2022 - and reservations are already open! For your consideration…

Alaska New Cruise Itineraries
Princess is #1 in Alaska - more people choose Princess than any other cruise line to Alaska. They offer a wide range of Alaska cruises and cruise tours for 2022, and reservations are open now! Discovery Princess, the newest ship sailing in Alaska, will be cruising out of Seattle on the popular 7-day Inside Passage itinerary and sister ship Majestic Princess debuts on the top-rated Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary. Princess also has 25 cruisetour options, ranging from 10 to 17 nights, each combining a 7-day Voyage of the Glaciers cruise with scenic rail travel and stays at Princess-owned Wilderness Lodges. Additionally, there are Inside Passage cruises, ranging from 7 to 12 days, sailing roundtrip from San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C. that include a glacier-viewing experience. Every ship sailing to Alaska will feature Princess MedallionClass™.

Japan New Cruise Itineraries
Japan is a study in contrasts: tranquil retreats of profound beauty lay just outside cities where skyscrapers soar over stunning temples and shrines. Neon-bright architecture and tranquil gardens vie for attention amid the colorful Harajuku district and traditional kimonos. In Summer 2022, Diamond Princess sails out of Tokyo (Yokohama) and Kobe, and we invite you to let Princess be your guide to the colors, cultures and flavors that define this exciting destination. Princess Cruises is offering a variety of ways to visit local festivals with 9 opportunities to see these timeless celebrations, including the Kyoto Gion Festival and the the popular Nebula Festival in Northern Japan. They’ll also make a maiden call to the port of Hitachinaka, for access to the shrines and temples of Nikko.

Happy New Year, dear friends! What’s first on YOUR travel wish list??!

PRINCESS’ BEST. SALE. EVER. JUST GOT BETTER.
23 December 2020  |  Melissa O’Keefe
We know. We didn't think it was possible either. Drinks (with tips)! Wi-Fi! Gratuities! Yes, they’re still included, PLUS, there’s now a stateroom location upgrade and specialty dining, too! That’s FIVE Princess perks in one super offer. Happy Holidays indeed!

Princess’ Best. Sale. Ever. runs from December 16, 2020 through March 2, 2021. It’s a value of at least $700 on a 7-day cruise and it applies to all destinations, all cruises, all staterooms, and all guests!

It's never been so easy to find a great value vacation.

We hope your holidays are going well! And we look forward to serving you when you're ready to start traveling.



Cruise Close to Home
30 November 2020  |  Melissa O’Keefe
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As we move full speed ahead into the holiday season, many of us are wondering about our next travel adventure. We invite you to consider a vacation destination a little closer to home. For those of us on the West Coast, our friends at Princess Cruises have some incredible options to think about well into 2021 and 2022. Start making your list…and be sure to check it twice…


CALIFORNIA COAST CRUISES
From the rolling hills of California to the mist-shrouded mountains of the Pacific Northwest, lies 1,478 miles of coastline dotted with modern metropolises and charming towns full of personality. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed week sampling local culinary delights through California’s renowned wine country, an adventurous trek along the rugged Pacific coastline, or the inside scoop on Hollywood’s entertainment industry, Princess Cruises offers the best cruises from California.


HAWAII
Aloooooohaaa! Princess Hawaiian cruises offer an intoxicating mix of island adventure and carefree cruising. You'll venture to four dazzling islands — including a full day and late evening in Honolulu to see the sights and experience its famed nightlife. And there’s so much to do while you’re at sea, like enjoying live entertainment, world-class cuisine, island-inspired activities and endless ocean views — plus it's all included in your cruise fare! Discover why the Travel Channel named Princess "Best Cruises to see Hawaii."


ALASKA
A Princess cruise to Alaska is your ticket to adventure amidst the Great Land’s glaciers, wildlife, and national parks. Voyage through the untamed beauty of the Last Frontier from the comfort of our world-class ships, exclusive rail service and Princess Wilderness Lodges near national parks. Choose from a variety of Alaska cruise and cruise tour itineraries and connect with loved ones, locals, and Alaska’s wilderness with Princess.


MEXICO
From mariachis to margaritas, Mexico is where it all began for Princess with their first cruise vacation in 1965. More than fifty years later, they continue to visit the best of the region on a wide variety of sailings to Mexico with stops in popular ports including Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Mazatlan. Cruise to Mexico with Princess year-round with convenient roundtrip departures from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

When you’re ready to start traveling, we’re ready to show you the world.

#TeamAmbassador

Choose Your Fare!
27 October 2020  |  Melissa O’Keefe
We all like having choices. Whether it’s picking what movie to watch tonight, or what to make for dinner with our families. Choosing the credit card that’s right for us with cash back perks or airline miles. What book to (finally) crack open when the kids go to bed this weekend. Choices are good. Our friends at Princess Cruises have just introduced two great fare types to choose from when booking your next cruise. And both choices have their tempting benefits. Introducing Princess Plus and Princess Savers!

PRINCESS PLUS
Best Value. All Destinations. All Staterooms.
This cruise deal is the best value, and includes:

Premier Beverage Package with tips: Enjoy everything from cocktails, beer and wine to specialty coffees, smoothies and bottled water. Unlimited Wi-Fi: With our best internet package, you can video chat and text with family back home, stream your favorite shows and check email (but only if you want to). Full gratuities paid to our crew on your behalf: Don’t worry – we make sure the crew who takes care of you is taken care of too.

This is a $95 value included each day!

PRINCESS SAVERS
Princess Cruises’ lowest price “no frills” fare.

Standard fare without any added packages - just the best rates to the best destinations. It’s that simple.
Hmmmm, what to choose…what to choose… Oh, that’s right, it’s all up to YOU. Either way, you can’t go wrong (but your friendly travel experts at Ambassador Tours are here to help if you need some assistance in choosing!).

Nothing says “I Love You” like an AMAZING SALE
14 February  2020  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Luxury + Incredible Savings = Best. Valentines. Day. EVER.

For a limited time, enjoy reduced deposits of just $100, 2-for-1 fares, Book Now Savings, PLUS extended final payments on select Crystal Cruises sailings when you book with your love experts at Ambassador Tours!

Athens? Barcelona? Rome? Monte Carlo? Your luxury vacation starts HERE.

Our love for you is eternal, but this offer ends March 4th! Call us!

With love from Japan!
5 February  2020  |  Melissa O’Keefe
The Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is one of Kyoto’s top sights and for good reason: standing amid these soaring stalks of bamboo is like being in another world. It's not only striking to look at, the soundscapes are incredible. When Ambassador Tours’ Marketing Director at large visited Kyoto last week, it briefly rained/snowed while in the forest and the soundtrack it created was truly magical. View More...

With love from Japan!

Best. Sale. Ever.
20 January 2020  |  Melissa O’Keefe
The BEST. SALE. EVER. is going on NOW! This isn't just any vacation. It's YOUR vacation. And you deserve the best. Ever. Offer includes drinks, WiFi, and gratuities. There’s never been a better time to book than RIGHT NOW with your Princess experts at Ambassador Tours!

What makes this sale the best?
• No hidden fees
• Premier Beverage Package with tips
• Unlimited Wi-Fi
• Full gratuities paid on your behalf
• All destinations
• All cruises 3 days and longer
• All stateroom categories
Don't wait too long! Offer expires February 29, 2020.
#destinationmarketing #californiatourism#travelagency #tourism
The Impact of the California Wildfires on Tourism
10 DECEMBER 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Our fearless leader, Gary Pollard, is once again quoted in a recent article from Skift about the impact of the California wildfires on tourism.

- Gary Pollard, owner of Ambassador Tours, a 60-year-old leisure travel agency based in San Francisco, is among travel professionals who feel California’s lack of affordable housing is a more serious issue facing the state’s tourism industry than visitor numbers or perception over the wildfires.

"The problem is not in getting people to come here — it’s how we serve them once they get here,” he said. “Restaurants and hotels are struggling to find help. Many service workers in the Bay Area have to commute two hours from the Central Valley. Is that sustainable? Something has to give.”

Check out the full article: Read More...
#destinationmarketing #californiatourism#travelagency #tourism
Celebrate with Crystal
18 November 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Celebrate with us!

Ambassador Tours is celebrating Crystal Cruises' 30th year of award-winning personal luxury in 2020 with new 2-for-1 fares, limited-time Book Now Savings and exclusive anniversary savings on a collection of 30 worldwide voyages. Travel by Ocean, River, Yacht and Expedition to enjoy special shipboard events, commemorative gifts, and more!

• 2-FOR-1 FARES PLUS BOOK NOW SAVINGS of up to $5,000 per suite
• DOUBLE CRYSTAL SOCIETY SAVINGS OF 5%
• NEW-TO-CRYSTAL ANNIVERSARY SAVINGS OF 2%
• OPEN BARS & LOUNGES with complimentary fine wines, champagnes, spirits & specialty coffees
• MICHELIN-INSPIRED CUISINE in multiple venues plus 24-hour in-suite dining
• ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
• NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT
• COMPLIMENTARY, UNLIMITED WI-FI
• PRE-PAID GRATUITIES

30 years of game-changing luxury travel deserves to be celebrated in style. Contact your Crystal experts at Ambassador Tours for details and to join in the festivities and the savings!
Responsible Tourism
13 November 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Our fearless leader, Gary Pollard, is quoted in this great article from Skiftabout responsible tourism.

“There are potential clients out there who are staying home because they view travel as not sustainable and are turned off by overtourism,” said Gary Pollard, owner of Ambassador Tours, a San Francisco-based travel agency. “We can’t be afraid to market sustainable tourism — it’s not a negative anymore. Suppliers are doing some really positive things, but not enough people know about them. Travel advisors can be instrumental in getting the message out that travel can also benefit destinations.”

Check out the full article: Read More...

A New Way to Cruise
25 OCTOBER 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Princess Medallion Class - like a fastness for Disneyland...only BETTER.

From faster boarding and refreshments that find you, to turn-by-turn way finding and the best Wi-Fi at sea, MedallionClass makes your vacation even more enjoyable.

With your complimentary OceanMedallion™ and app, enjoy:

• Wi-Fi wherever you are (yes, really!)
• Faster embarkation
• Order drinks, food & more delivered wherever you are
• Find your friends, family and way around the ship
• View and bookmark ship activities
• AND SO MUCH MORE!

Contact your Princess Cruises experts at Ambassador Tours for details on how you can make your next cruise even more amazing!!
Oh the Places You’ll Go!
4 OCTOBER 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Travel like a Celebrity. Save like a minimalist. Oh, the places you’ll go!!

Book your Celebrity Cruises voyage to Europe, Alaska, or the Caribbean with your travel experts at Ambassador Tours by October 31st for:

• 1/2 OFF Third & Fourth Guests
• Up to $400 Spending Credit
• Kids Sail FREE

No matter which destination you choose, sail like a Celebrity. Winning Travel Weekly’s Best Premium Cruise Line award for the 12th consecutive year in 2019, with Celebrity Cruises you’ll visit unforgettable destinations, receive outstanding service and taste culinary excellence, all while on board ships with stunning designs and luxurious accommodations.

The world is yours - call us today!
Explore the Galapagos like a Celebrity
8 AUGUST 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
FEver been on a ship designed and built for a specific destination? Allow me to introduce you to the NEW Celebrity Flora. Readers, meet Flora, Flora meet all of our readers. Now that you’re better acquainted… Celebrity Flora was designed specifically for the Galapagos Islands. Every stateroom is a SUITE aboard this luxury mega yacht, featuring Celebrity’s innovative outward-facing concept, so the destination is the center of attention at every turn. Culinary menus have been designed by a Michelin-starred chef. And did I mention you have a Personal Suite Attendant who can help you unpack? Sit back and enjoy extraordinary creature comforts on this All-Inclusive vacation.

But wait, there’s more! Your round-trip airfare is included on select sailings aboard Celebrity Flora when you book with Ambassador Tours by October 31st. Plus, enjoy half off your second guest’s cruise fare when you book a 10, 11, or 16-night Galapagos vacation.

Explore the islands like a celebrity - enjoying wild destinations and exceptional onboard comfort. Your adventure awaits!
The Caribbean, Roundtrip Air, and YOU
5 AUGUST 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Feeling tropical? Caribbean voyages with Oceania Cruises offer a chance to discover lesser-known destinations and some off-the-beaten-path gorgeousness. These tropical getaways are just the thing to combat the back-to-school blues. Is your goal to see with your own eyes every single shade of blue water? No problem. Looking for some serious adrenaline-pumping adventures in the rainforest? Check. Are you a foodie looking for your next great bite of culinary drool-worthiness? We have some open air markets that’ll satisfy those taste buds. Want to just decompress and find your bliss on the most stunning beaches known to man? Yep, we’ve got that covered too.

I haven’t even gotten to the FREE airfare part yet… So let’s do that.

Book your Oceania cruise with Ambassador Tours, and you can enjoy:
- Roundtrip Airfare Included
- FREE Internet

plus

Your choice of FREE shore excursions, FREE beverage package, or up to $800 FREE shipboard credit. And MORE!

I know, you’re wondering if it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. We don’t think so.

The Monkey On My Back
26 juLY 2019  |  Gary Pollard
Usually the goal is to get the money OFF your back, as the saying goes. A few weeks back, my wife, Chris, and I had the opportunity to sail aboard Crystal Serenity from Barcelona to London. In my 38 years of being in the travel business, I have had the good fortunate to visit over 90 countries. Aside from the well-known cities of Barcelona, Lisbon, Porto etc…, we stopped at Gibraltar – yes, as in The Rock of Gibraltar! Are you aware that there are monkeys who inhabit said rock? After a tour of the town, we took a cable car ride to the top of the Rock. Once we arrived at the top, what did we see? Looking south was the continent of Africa – to the east was Costa del Sol and at our feet? MONKEYS! So cute and yet, scary, as they come from seemingly nowhere. As we headed back to our ship, a monkey chose to jump on my back and for a split second I was scared (only a split second!) and then it jumped off and on to someone else. I guess I DID get the money off my back…

Adventures in Group Travel
25 juLY 2019  |  Gary Pollard
Great. Another blog from Gary about another cruise to somewhere I may not have been. But wait! There is more to the story than you might believe. Once upon a time… It was a clear day outside. The sun was shining and not a cloud in sight. We got to the airport early, easy walk thru TSA and at our gate with plenty of time to sit and wait. We were on board, seated, and the plane was backing out – then bump! What, did we hit a parked car? A bird? A plane?!? Nope. The “tug” pushing the plane back hit hard and caused some damage to the front landing gear. Almost 7 hours later… we were in the air and on our way to Vancouver to board the ship. (Footnote: The ship left when we landed. Oops.) Have no fear. Gary is here!! Our group was set-up with a hotel in Vancouver and flights the next day to Ketchikan with a lodge booked and ready for us. We had two days to explore on our own until the ship caught up with US in Ketchikan. Oh yeah – cruise to Alaska was great and no matter how many times I have been up north it’s always a treat to see such vast land and beautiful scenery. And we all lived happily ever after.

The Big Easy to the Caribbean
24 juLY 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
One of my all-time favorite destinations in the U.S. is The Big Easy: New Orleans. I’m a big foodie and a HUGE jazz fan, so this not-so-far away destination is my happy place. And when Norwegian Cruise Line combines NOLA with the gorgeous clear blue waters of the Caribbean…I’m all aflutter! Right now, when you book with Ambassador Tours, you can sail roundtrip from New Orleans to the Western Caribbean from just $349 per person! Yes, that math is right. AND you can get up to 5 FREE OFFERS, which include amenities like Free Unlimited open Bar, Free Shore Excursion credits, Free Specialty Dining, Free Wifi, and more! Book your 5 or 7-day Norwegian Cruise Line voyage with Ambassador Tours for one of the best values in cruising! Laissez les boys temps rouler!

OLife Choice
23 juLY 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
If you haven’t yet heard of Oceania’s “OLife Choice” program, I’m about to make your day. OLife is all about offering you the flexibility to personalize your vacation in the best possible way. Want Roundtrip Airfare included? Done. Free Internet? All yours. Free shore excursions, beverage package, or shipboard credit up to $800? The choice is YOURS.

Whether you want to cruise to Alaska, the tropics, the French Riviera, Northern Europe…or about a hundred other parts of the globe, when you book your Oceania cruise with Ambassador Tours, you can enjoy:

- 2-FOR-1 Cruise Fares
- Roundtrip Airfare Included
- FREE Internet
plus

Your choice of FREE shore excursions, FREE beverage package, or up to $800 FREE shipboard credit. And MORE!

Yes, you want to call us TODAY!

Picture Yourself HERE
22 juLY 2019  |  Melissa O’Keefe
Book Your Galapagos Getaway with Ambassador Tours by July 31st and Enjoy Exclusive Bonus Offers! Your Dream Vacation Delivered. Discover your inner explorer with these unique itineraries to the extraordinary Galapagos Islands. 15 islands - each of them with something different and exciting to offer. White sand beaches, clear blue waters, Red-billed Tropic birds, black lava rocks - this colorful destination has something for everyone and is not to be missed!

PLUS, with select 7, 10, 11, and 16-night Galapagos packages aboard Celebrity Flora, receive:

· FREE ROUNDTRIP AIRFARE
· 1/2 OFF Second Guest
· Up to $1,000 Shipboard Credit
· FREE WiFi
· and MORE!!!

This is an incredible offer to a destination that should absolutely be on your bucket list. And did we mention your roundtrip airfare is included?!?! Don’t over think it. This offer ends soon, and we want to give you something truly extraordinary to look forward to, at an exceptional deal.

Call your favorite Travel Advisor at Ambassador Tours TODAY and get this amazing vacation deal for yourself. You deserve it!

Going for GOLD
17 juLY 2019  |  GARY Pollard
Proud moment: I first earned the professional designation of Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) from The Travel Institute in 1989. (Which is crazy, of course, because I’m clearly not old enough to go that far back.) This month I am celebrating my 38th year as a travel counselor and have been awarded a shiny new GOLD certificate to commemorate this milestone. I am so honored and proud.

I feel incredibly lucky to have a job that I truly love. I love all things travel. I love helping people find the perfect vacation spot to fit their unique needs and wants. I love getting to travel all across the globe – meeting new people, experiencing new cultures, curating the kind of experience I can’t wait to share and pass along to my clients and friends. I’m in the business of creating lasting memories, and I can’t think of a better job.

The experience I’ve gained over the years is one of my proudest virtues I bring to this job. But I’m also always a student – constantly learning something new, always striving to stay one step ahead, so that I can better serve my clients and my amazing travel community, which is what I have done since 1981. 38 years and counting… Let’s get traveling!

Ambassador Tours
6 june 2019  |  GARY Pollard
We have seen all kinds of changes in the travel industry over the years – from where people want to go and how they want to vacation, to advances in technology, the role of the travel agent (more modernly dubbed “travel advisor”), and so much more. It’s been an exciting ride, and we’ve been there every step of the way, looking toward the future of travel without losing sight of the service, insight, and knowledge that comes from being in business this long. Our role is an important one, and we embrace the technological changes that have developed.

That being said, we also know that there will always be a need for the knowledgeable travel advisor in your life. Yes, friends, we’re here to stay! Technology and the Internet are fantastic tools (and they make OUR lives easier too!), but they can’t do everything.

In order to remain competitive in today’s age of do-it-yourself-via-the-Internet mindset and technology, travel advisors are more and more becoming not only a resource to simply help you find a flight or book a cruise, but something much more. We can leverage our relationships with hotels and cruise lines to arrange for amenities that you wouldn’t be able to get if you book on your own. We can save you valuable time by taking the planning of your next trip off your already-overflowing plate. We can save you money (seriously!). We are here to support you, give you expert advice, troubleshoot any travel snafu’s that may arise, and ensure that you have the best vacation experience possible. Some call us superheroes (blush); we just like to think of ourselves as a trusted friend and expert in the field of travel, ready to help you make lots of little travel moments – which result in a great adventure.

With this added level of service, your travel advisor opens up a world of adventure for every taste and comfort level. Destination savvy with unrivaled access and special connections, often your travel advisor can make the difference between a pleasant trip and a smoothly orchestrated, extraordinary journey. Leaving all the details to your travel advisor means less hassle and more time for you to just sit back, relax and ENJOY! We provide unique opportunities for a more intimate view, so that you can vacation as a traveler, not a tourist.

We at Ambassador Tours value the personal relationships we have with our clients and work hard to ensure you get the best prices, best service, and the best possible vacation for every travel interest. Our travel advisors are known for offering unique and affordable vacation packages and itineraries, as well as their exemplary customer service. Whether it’s remembering that you prefer a window seat, king-size bed, or that you have a birthday coming up, we make it our mission to take care of all your travel needs and ensure that your vacation experience is personalized and special to you, our valued travel enthusiast.

Disabled Travelers Discounts
10 august 2015  |  GARY Pollard
Princess Cruises, Holland America and Carnival Cruise Line agree to increase features for disabled travelers in 3% of their accommodations.

The US called it a 'landmark' agreement.

This is the first time the Justice Department has required a cruise company to provide a minimum number of accessible cabins, to conduct a survey of its ships and to develop a remediation plan to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Besides adding accessibility features in more accommodations, cruise lines are to ensure individuals with disabilities are able to reserve accessible cabins and suites with specific available options and amenities, and to guarantee reservations for accessible cabins.

Celebrity Steps Up Yet Again!
7 july 2015  |  GARY Pollard
Ever since I took my two YOUNG sons on their first cruise, it was aboard a Celebrity ship called Zenith. That was almost 20 years ago and boy o’ boy have the times changed! Back then I was convinced that this new cruise line, known on the east coast as Chandris, could make their new name, CELEBRITY, a household name nationwide. Service, food and style of ship was fast becoming a premium option travelers desired. Celebrity excelled from the get-go! Shortly after they then started constructing a new brand of ships that kept raising the bar even higher until 2009 - when they introduced Solstice class ships. Solstice class has everything, and MORE while fitting the needs of every client – young or old.

Now, Celebrity is stepping up once again! Starting July 6, Celebrity Cruises is set to roll out a permanent change to its pricing structure. The pricing structure, to be called Go!Big, Go!Better, Go!Best. Guests can choose among four perquisites: a Classic beverage package, free gratuities, unlimited internet or a $150-per-person spending credit. All oceanview, balcony and suite accommodations will be priced at minimum with the choice of one perquisite built in. In effect, cruise-only pricing at Celebrity will be eliminated, except for inside cabins. The structure will be applied to nearly all inventory from Oct. 1, 2015, through April 2017, the most distant announced deployments.

CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, said “the team was aligned” on a pricing strategy. “We wanted to raise the bar.” Well, without surprise, Celebrity has yet again raised the bar. Kudos to a job well done!

Virgin Cruises
29 JUNE 2015  |  Marcus Pollard
Big news has been revealed out of the cruising community earlier this month. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson announced the innovative company will launch Virgin Cruise line in the near future.

Virgin Cruise line plans to launch three ships, each capable of carrying more than 4,000 passengers and staff by 2020. The new cruise line plans to tap into a market in which they feel is under-utilized.

“We know how to create something which will, hopefully, bring millions of people who don’t currently go on cruise ships, who would never dream of going on cruise ships, to give it a try,” Branson said in an interview after the announcement.

By offering 7-day cruises to the Caribbean, Virgin Cruises wants the millennial generation at the forefront of their new product. Virgin’s powerful brand identity is well known amongst the millennial generation and they plan to keep the congruity with the cruise line.

This is an exciting time for cruise fans, so get ready to enjoy cruising an entirely new way!



Selecting a Shore Excursion
15 JUNE 2015  |  Marcus Pollard
Cruising provides great relaxation along with superb service while sailing the open waters. However, one of the most important aspects of your cruise vacation is visiting the remarkable sights along your journey. It is important to wonder off the ship and explore the wonderful attractions each destination provides. You may be asking yourself an important question. How do I choose which shore excursion (if any) to partake in? This may seem like a simple answer, but depending on certain variables, each traveler has different needs. To begin, every cruise line offers shore excursions at every port of call. Here are the pros and cons of selecting a shore excursion via the cruise line:

Pros:
• Lower rates
• Tons of options to choose from
• Guaranteed on-time return to ship
• Feel safe from buying directly from cruise line

Cons:
• Large tour groups
• Don’t get to see everything you want
• Sell out quickly

The other option you have is to let your travel agent guide you through the process of selecting private tours or excursions. These private tours may cost a tad bit more money, but in the grand scheme of things – you’ll have a great experience. With a private tour you also have a lot more freedom to roam around and explore the magnificent city you are visiting. If large crowds aren’t your cup-of-tea, then especially consider making it worth your while and select a private tour.

“My family and I booked a private tour with the help of Ambassador Tours on our cruise to the Mediterranean. Not only was the cruise phenomenal, but the private tour gave us an experience we will never forget. It was personalized just the way we wanted, and I couldn’t imagine touring around any other way!” – Carl Lewis, Ambassador Tours client since 1992. In the end, the most important aspect is satisfying whatever needs and wants you have. And remember, Ambassador Tours is always here to help make that decision easier for you!



Sound of Music!
31 March 2015  |  Gary M Pollard
Princess Cruises & Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will bring to screen the biggest movie musical of all time, 'The Sound of Music.' Princess will also feature sing-a-longs, trivia games and other movie-themed experiences throughout the year.

Help celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both Princess and the musical, which are part of a year-long campaign to honor the classic film.

A phenomenon upon its debut in 1965, 'The Sound of Music' won five Academy Awards, including 'Best Picture' and continues to draw audiences around the world with songs like 'Do-Re-Mi,' 'My Favorite Things,' 'Climb Every Mountain' and 'The Sound of Music.' The movie stars Oscar winners Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

'The Sound of Music' will be shown once on every sailing throughout 2015 on Princess ships' giant Movies Under the Stars top deck screens, with the sing-a-long version featured in the Princess Theater.



Cooking on the Seven Seas!
7 March 2015  |  Gary M Pollard
Regent Seven Seas’ NEW ship - Seven Seas Explorer will debut the first culinary instruction center, the Culinary Arts Kitchen, and a new social venue, the Meridian Lounge.

The Culinary Arts Kitchen will have a setting for you to expand your culinary skills in an environment reminiscent of prestigious cooking schools in France. A select number of guests will have use of eighteen individual cooking stations sit atop three long curved rows with white quartzite countertops and stainless steel accents.

For those attending class, they will receive highly-individualized instruction, and will cook at their own personal workstation. The workstations are equipped with top-of-the-line induction cooktops, stainless steel sinks other cooking essentials.

Instruction topics include healthy cooking, fish and shellfish preparation, food and wine pairings, mini-desserts, high-heat grilling and classes inspired by the destinations visited by the Seven Seas Explorer.



LEARN – TRAVEL & SHARE!
21 january 2015  |  Gary M Pollard
Today Regent Seven Seas Cruises® and the Smithsonian Institution announce an extraordinary onboard experience to complement your time ashore.

The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys is an engaging enrichment program led by a wide range of specialists, from noted art historians to leading authors to former diplomats, who are eager to share their first-hand knowledge and expertise. More than a lecture series, this program is completely interactive, encouraging you to participate in insightful discussions with informative Q & A sessions, exchange ideas on a personal level in a social setting, and fully immerse yourself in the destination through select excursions.

learn... Delve deeper into magnificent cities, quaint coastal towns and island paradises, as you learn from one of the many specialists from The Smithsonian Collection by Smithsonian Journeys.

travel... Travel is the best way to expand your intellectual capacity, whether you are sampling a traditional dish for the first time in Hanoi or revisiting Rome’s Colosseum under the guidance of a regional expert.

share... Aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, you have the opportunity to share these moments with like-minded travelers as you delight in an ambiance of camaraderie unlike anywhere else.



Announcing 2017 Crystal Cruises itineraries are now open!
10 january 2015  |  Gary M Pollard
New fares announced on cruises through 2017. There is never a better time to start planning a vacation on the World's Best cruise line – CRYSTAL CRUISES! Fares from just $2,255 per person! Ask about an Air Allowance and enjoy additional savings up to $800 per person on select sailings. You can experience the decadent and inviting rhythms of the Caribbean to the Discoveries and mysteries of the Far East Now is the perfect time to discover the world in all-inclusive luxury aboard Crystal Cruises!

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts are worldwide…

FREE WI FI? IS IT TRUE?
24 december 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Yes! Hyatt Hotels will begin offering free WiFi at its hotels to clients, starting next February. The best part for me and hopefully you - no limit on how many devices can connect to the Internet from your hotel room or public spaces.

“Giving free Wi-Fi without a catch will enable us to continue innovating the guest experience to help people be more productive and stay better connected to colleagues, friends and family,” said Kristine Rose, Hyatt’s vice president of brands.

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts are worldwide…

How many UNESCO Sites have you seen?
23 september 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Seabourn has developed partnership with UNESCO. Luxury cruise line – Seabourn, is hosting prominent world heritage experts for its 'Seabourn Conversations' enrichment and special guest entertainment program. Topics will include the importance of sustainable tourism in preserving World Heritage Sites.

UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

UNESCO speakers are scheduled to take part in Seabourn Conversations on voyages through fall and the year ahead.

Visit www.whc.unesco.org/en/lst and start counting today! Just for kicks – my travels have taken me to over 50 UNESCO sites…

Simple is better! “I think?”
23 september 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Starting December 21, Crystal Cruises’ will debut a simpler evening dress code. The newly announced (suggested) attire simplifies the current options to just two preferences: 'Crystal casual' and 'black-tie optional.'

'Crystal casual' is defined as a dressed-up version of casual attire and includes dresses, skirts, dressy slacks and blouses or sweaters for women, and dress shirts and sport coats (no tie required), open-collar or collared polo shirt and dress pants/smart trousers for men. On more formal evenings, 'black-tie optional' calls for dark suits with ties or tuxedos for men and formal cocktail or evening dresses, or formal evening separates for women.

With the new evening dress code, cruisers can expect one black-tie optional during seven- to 10-day cruises, and two on 11- to 13-day cruises.

The new guidelines do not apply to daytime hours.

I guess the “Age of Aquarius.... I mean Cruising is here!”
22 april 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Royal Caribbean’s newest ship – “Quantum of the Seas” will have unprecedented bandwidth to enable photo sharing and ship-to-shore video streaming, nifty systems to speed check-in and radio-frequency identification (RFID) to replace room keys and enable travelers to track their luggage.

Starting with check-in, Royal Caribbean will enable passengers to upload their own identification photo and receive digital boarding credentials, so by the time they arrive at the pier, they can go from sidewalk to ship in 10 minutes with no check-in counter, no forms to fill out and no lines.

How many times have you handed your luggage over to someone at the pier and wondered when will it make it to my stateroom – now you can in real time track you r luggage on your smartphones. RCCL is using RFID technology when you drop-off your bags – you can then monitor progress en route to the stateroom. At departure, the process is reversed!

With new RFID 'WOWband' wristbands, you only need to simply tap to quickly navigate the ship, make on-board purchases, serve as the room key—by the way – it will never demagnetizes.

Another FIRST by RCC - The new Bionic Bar you can place a drink order using a tablet then watch robot bartenders mixing your cocktails.

I will personally see the ship and sail for two nights this coming November so I can test this all out. What will Royal Caribbean think of next!

Top Sunsets From Around the Globe
21 may 2014  |  Gary M Pollard

 
Credit: adventureinhawaii.com

Sunset from a cruise ship.

While cruising the open waters, there might not be a more beautiful sight than that of the sun setting in the west. If you have never experienced this phenomenon before, I suggest you do so ASAP. The way the sun sparkles against the clear blue sky and how it reflects off the emerald water is absolutely breathtaking. You can experience the beauty of our sun with loved ones from just about anywhere onboard; the balcony of your suite, the promenade level, and even on the pool deck with all the other sun gazers. Taking in the sunset from onboard is the ultimate way to unwind from an exciting day at sea and a perfect welcome into nightlife!

 



Credit: njcharters.com

Temple of Poseidon  -- Sounion, Greece.

Sitting atop of a hill just outside of Athens and overlooking the Aegean Sea, the Temple of Poseidon is by far one of the most fascinating sunset destinations you will ever see! This past year, my wife and I witnessed this sunset first hand. I was in awe of what actually was in front of my eyes. Never had I seen a sunset that pulled me in and brought me back to the days of ancient Greece. I could only imagine how much more gorgeous this place once was. The Temple of Poseidon sunset is perfect for a romantic get-away, a family trip, or just to get out and see what else this beautiful world has to offer.  

 

 


Credit: visitfinland.com

Midnight Sun -- Arctic Circle

That’s correct, it’s not a typo. The Midnight Sun is just north of the Arctic Circle where the sun remains visible for almost 24 hours a day during a few summer months! What can be better than that? Nothing! Seeing the light beam down on you during the late hours of the night is remarkable. Not many people can say they have seen the sun at midnight! You can observe this amazing feat in numerous countries including, Norway, Canada, United States (Alaska), Russia, Iceland, and Greenland. Luckily for you, our business can help you chose the perfect place that can accommodate to any need you may have!

 

 


Credit: Jharisonphoto.com

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco

The Bay Area holds a special place in my heart. Not only has it been my home my entire life, the Bay Area is home to many iconic landmarks, most famously the Golden Gate Bridge. The name itself derived from the way the sun would shine on the bridge and generate a “Golden” look. You can stare off into the pacific, gaze into the distant rolling hills, or take a stroll down the path taking in everything this wonderful view has to offer.

 

 

 


Credit: calixbe.com

Maasai Mara – Africa

Lions, tigers, bears, OH MY! Okay, maybe not bears, but lions and tigers are only a couple of animals you will see while visiting Maasai Mara, Africa. Oh yeah, the sunset is incredible as well. While on an exciting safari, not only will you see animals galore, you will also catch an astonishing sunset that is unlike any other. The sun sets against the vast desert land contrasting with a burnt orange sky. During my personal journey to Maasai Mara, I had never felt more peace and serenity than while watching this epic sunset.

 



Queen Mary 2's 10th Anniversary
22 april 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Queen Mary 2 is celebrating her 10th anniversary this year. Canyon Ranch Spa– the onboard provider is introducing some new spa and beauty treatments during the 2014 Trasnsatlantic crossings.

The Canyon Ranch SpaClub – which includes the spa, beauty salon, wellness and fitness amenities – has been in operation since QM2 maiden sailing in 2004 and was the first outpost of the Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea division.

Ten unique spa services from the last decade have also been bundled together to create the 10th Anniversary Spa Package, which includes any four listed treatments for a special price and includes a complimentary fifth service.

At 20,000sq ft, the Canyon Ranch SpaClub aboard QM2 is located on two decks, and features 24 massage, body and skincare treatment rooms, including two rooms for couples treatments, a weight-training and cardio centre, a relaxation lounge and a full-service salon with wraparound ocean views. SpaClub also includes an Aqua Therapy Center with a full range of aquathermal facilities.

HOW CAN MY INVESTMENT PAY OFF?
3 march 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Simple rule to get the most bang for your buck, not just spending smarter on board ship, but taking advantage of extra ship board credit by investing in the cruise companies..

Carnival Corporation, owners of Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America, Seabourn and Carnival, or Royal Caribbean International owners of Azamara, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offers ship board credit up to $250 if you have at least 100 or more shares of their stock.

IT’S YOURS, YOU EARNED IT, NOW TAKE IT…
27 february 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
You can help the economy by taking more time away from work.

Over 40% of American workers, who receive paid time-off, finish the year without using up all their earned vacation time. Per the U.S. Travel Association study.

Workers who are given paid time off had an average of 3.2 days of unused vacation time in 2013, according to the study by the research firm Oxford Economics.

The study concluded that if Americans spent all of their allotted vacation time, the economy would gain an additional $160 billion in vacation spending and $21 billion in tax revenues, supporting 1.2 million jobs.

So what are you waiting for?

HELP IS ON THE WAY…
25 february 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Belts off, coats off, shoes off and placed in the bin. Every traveler is familiar with the process at TSA security check-points, and just maybe help is on the way!

The Department of Homeland Security wants to make airport security move quicker for travelers. TSA recently posted what amounts to a "help wanted" ad on the website Fedbizopps.gov. They are seeking advice and information from technology companies who would develop a newer, more efficient wave of airport security scanners.

DHS would want scanners that could add speed to the security process, allowing 250 passengers through per hour without having to remove their shoes and outer garments. Wouldn’t that be a NCIE PLAN!

"TSA is always looking for new technology and procedures that will enhance security and increase efficiency," the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement.

Travelers shouldn't expect fast moving TSA security lines just yet. The government's call to tech companies is just the first step in what could be a multiyear process.

RENTING A CAR IN EUROPE? THAN READ THIS FIRST!
24 february 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
DO – Pick-up and Drop-off the car at the airport if you can – why? Almost always open and easy to drive from!

DO – Take a picture of the car at Pick-up and Drop-off so you have a record of any damage that might have been there at the start or at the conclusion of your rental!

DO – Pay with a credit card that carries primary collision-damage coverage with no deductible.

DON’T – Pick-up or Drop-off the car in town or city center location because they are hard to locate and usually are closed at lunch and on weekends!

DON’T – Drop-off the car after hours. If there is no one available to inspect the car and hand you a written receipt, you could be responsible for damage to the car that you did not cause!

STRESS-LESS TRAVEL TIPS
20 february 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Flight Bites: Don’t load up on sugary carbohydrates that make you hungry and grumpy. Pack your own snacks and you’re good to go! Unsalted nuts and dark chocolate (my favorite) make for healthy eats on air travel.

Rehydrate: Air travel can dry you out, so purchase a bottle before boarding your flight - it will energize you more than a second cup of coffee!

USA TODAY PHOTO TOUR
NEW CRUISE SHIPS FOR 2014
10 february 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Carnival and Royal Caribbean may be the world's largest cruise lines, but this year it'll be rivals Norwegian and Princess that steal the spotlight in the industry. Both of the companies are rolling out major

USA Today New ships for 2014 - Photo-Tour

CELEBRITY CRUISES' INTRODUCES
CANYON RANCH SPA CLUB ABOARD SHIPS
6 february 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch unveiled their new partnership to feature Canyon Ranch SpaClub at Sea facilities on board 10 ships, which will create the largest and most comprehensive SpaClub at Sea offering. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub on Celebrity ships will include spa, beauty salon, wellness and fitness amenities presenting signature Canyon Ranch offerings. The new spa menu features popular Canyon Ranch treatments, such as facials and facial enhancements, massage, thermal, Asian touch and Reiki healing energy therapies. A selection of salon offerings, including hair care, nail, and makeup services, will also be available.

Fitness offerings will range from private consultations to group classes, including yoga, Pilates, cycling, Mind/Body Connection and relaxation, all led by Canyon Ranch-trained fitness experts. Wellness programs such as personal exercise prescription, private nutritional consults, acupuncture, Chiropractic therapy and Canyon Ranch Healthy Feet centers will be offered on select ships.

CRYSTAL CRUISES ADDS FREE WI-FI
30 january 2014  |  Gary M Pollard
Crystal Cruises announces the newest perk to its All Inclusive luxury cruise experience: Free Wi-Fi for Crystal Society members, the line’s “club” of repeat guests, beginning Fall 2014.

Effective with Crystal Serenity’s September 19 New England/Canada sailing and Crystal Symphony’s October 15 Panama Canal cruise, each Crystal Society guest will receive 60 minutes of complimentary internet access for every day of the cruise

Society members can use the new complimentary access time wirelessly via iPad, iPhone, laptop or other wireless device or on Crystal’s own Computer University@Sea 27” dual-compatible iMac computers. A multi-million dollar Wi-Fi upgrade rolled out in recent months helps guests enjoy maximum onboard connectivity

All full revenue guests who have completed their first Crystal cruise automatically become Crystal Society members, and, thusly, can take advantage of this perk on all subsequent Crystal voyages. Guests wishing to purchase additional minutes for $.75 per minute can do so without an activation fee. Internet packages that reduce the per minute charge are also available.

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