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Tour Newsletter Dated July 25, 2016
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Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
I'm writing today at the end of a European vacation that took me to
London, Tenerife, Madrid and Monte Carlo.
Despite the strong dollar, travel to Europe from America is off somewhat
this year, due primarily to the fear of terrorism. It's understandable
that some people are afraid to travel after a terrorist attack, but I'm
not one of them.
Travel is a right and a privilege that none of us should be denied.
There's an immense and incredible world out there, calling out to be
explored, and only so much time in which to see it.
Anyone who has vacationed internationally knows that travel, above all
other things, builds bridges between countries, cultures, religions,
races and individuals. Everyone at Vacations To Go feels blessed to be
part of such an amazing industry, and it is an honor to be trusted to
annually help more than 700,000 customers see the best that the world
has to offer.
If the number of Americans in Europe this summer is a little lower than
usual, I certainly couldn't tell it from the packed streets, cafes and
tourist attractions everywhere I went.
I stood in line for an hour to enter Westminster Abbey in London, one of
my favorite places, and I shudder to think how long the queue might have
been if it hadn't been raining.
I took the enjoyable, self-guided audio tour there, as I did at the
Tower of London, another of my favorites, and stopped afterward for a
pint at the colorful Hung, Drawn and Quartered pub.
Madrid was equally busy, with bustling squares and streets and vibrant
nightlife on rooftop bars. Outdoor cafes were packed starting at 10
p.m., not coincidentally about the time the 100-degree heat of the
summer day begins to wane. Bring on the tapas and ice-cold sangria!
On Tenerife, largest of the Canary Islands, I floated just offshore with
a dozen pilot whales (there year-round) and a stray humpback whale,
usually seen in February in those waters. I hiked through and around the
spectacular, sheer cliffs of Los Gigantes, which rise from the sea to a
height of 2,600 feet, took a helicopter tour of the island and rode a
cable car to the top of El Teide, a 12,000-foot active volcano.
Tenerife's breathtaking natural beauty is on display just far enough off
the beaten path to allow tourists to escape the crowds, even in summer.
I then flew to Nice and was shuttled to nearby Monte Carlo. A couple of
days later, I heard the horrific news that someone had driven a truck
into a crowd of children, women and men along the oceanfront in Nice.
Initial suspicions were quickly confirmed when it became clear that the
crime was the act of another jihadist lunatic. The target was not just
the good people on the Promenade des Anglais, or the people of Nice, or
the people of France, but people who live free from tyranny, anywhere on
At least 84 killed, more than 100 injured, a mile-long trail of carnage
I resolved then to visit the Promenade to pay my respects, and here I
Today, along the Cote d'Azur, sunlight glistens off the water and a lone
swimmer back strokes against the tide. Families spread their blankets on
the rocky beach and children play at the water's edge.
But only a few steps away, on the pedestrian promenade, a memorial has
sprouted and the city publicly grieves. People speak in hushed tones or
not at all, hugging, crying, consoling.
Scattered amid thousands of flower bouquets and handwritten cards, there
is a heart-wrenching display of ownerless toys and tiny stuffed animals.
Candles flicker for those whose lights have been extinguished.
We will never know what all those children might have done with their
lives, the songs they might have sung, the books they might have
written, the light they might have brought to the darkness. All of that
potential was swept away by the pointless act of a misguided coward.
The memorial has spread across the wide boulevard to the park, where it
continues to grow at a rapid rate. The outpouring of love and goodwill
from people of all nationalities is touching and inspiring.
This is a tribute to those who lost their lives and to those who lost
loved ones, to be sure, but it also seems to me to be a tribute to what
is good in the world.
A prayer for Nice is a prayer for the world.
Chairman & CEO
To see photos of the Nice memorials, please
Here are this week's Top 15 Tours
. All prices are per person,
based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.
Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina
10 days with CostSaver by Trafalgar. Begins and ends in Zagreb. Starting
at $1,375. Departures from March 25 through October 7, 2017.
Morocco Panorama (Small Group Journey)
8 days with Keytours Vacations. Begins and ends in Casablanca. Save
$300 per couple.
Starting at $1,455. Departures from August 13
through October 29, 2016.
Amazing Spain and Portugal
10 days with Insight Vacations. Begins and ends in Madrid. Save up to
Starting at $1,935. Departures from March 31 through October
Heart of Wales and England
8 days with CIE Tours. Begins in London and ends in Windsor. Save
$200 per couple.
Starting at $1,943. Departures from August 27
through October 1, 2016.
Spectacular Canadian Rockies
9 days with Trafalgar. Begins in Vancouver and ends in Calgary. Save
up to 10%.
Starting at $2,156. Departures from May 13 through
September 16, 2017.
National Parks Wonders
9 days with Trafalgar. Begins in Salt Lake City and ends in Rapid City.
Save up to 10%.
Starting at $2,228. Departures from May 13
through October 7, 2017.
Kruger & Cape Town by Plane
11 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins in Johannesburg and ends in Cape
Town. Save 20%.
Starting at $2,630. Daily departures from August
8 through September 30, 2016.
Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries
10 days with Collette. Begins and ends in Lima. Save $200 per
Starting at $2,799. Departures from May 13, 2017 through
March 3, 2018.
The Best of Italy
11 days with Globus. Begins and ends in Rome. Save 10%.
at $3,027. Departures from April 2 through October 25, 2017.
Best of Ireland & Scotland
15 days with Brendan. Begins in Dublin and ends in Edinburgh. Save up
Starting at $3,353. Departures from April 15 through October
Gems of Northern Italy
10 days with Uniworld. Begins in Milan and ends in Venice. Fly for
free from select gateways.
Starting at $3,749. Departures from March
31 through November 3,
12) Rhine Getaway
8 days with Viking River Cruises. Travels between Basel and
Amsterdam. Fly for free from select gateways, plus companion cruises
Starting at $3,948. Departures from March 18 through
December 29, 2017.
Splendors of Africa
12 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg.
Save $1,000 per couple.
Starting at $5,945. Daily departures from
August 9 through December 13, 2016.
The Frozen Land of the Penguins
13 days with Hurtigruten. Begins and ends in Ushuaia. Fly for free
from select gateways.
Starting at $8,970. Departs November 15, 2017.
Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent
11 days with Quark Expeditions. Begins and ends in Ushuaia. Save 10%
Starting at $10,595. Departs February 2, 11 & 20, 2017.
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
For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click
For river cruises up to 50% off, click
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality,
Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at
and I will respond the same day.
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Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go