The thought of sailing away overcomes me in weather like this. I can imagine myself sipping coffee on a balcony, scanning the horizon for dolphins and waiting for the next port.
A cruise is a wonderful way to cross off several destinations (like Caribbean Islands, or Greek Islands) without having the expense to fly to one island at a time. This is definitely how I hope to do the ABC islands someday soon. (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao)
This week, Oceania (Cruise Line – The luxury division of Norwegian Cruise Lines) caught my eye. They are offering some outstanding deals. The great thing about these ships is that they are small. 700 passengers or less, feels like a vacation, not like a floating city.
Oceania has just 4 ships in the fleet, and the “Riviera” often makes the top 8 list that Cruise Critic puts out for the Best Luxury Cruises.
The Riviera, does one cruise from Montreal to Miami in late October. It’s a 14 day voyage as shown here. But, do look at all their European offerings and transatlantic voyages too. Maybe something will catch your eye. (I’m after the Miami to New York cruise that circles the southern Caribbean. I could get my ABCs and more!)
To avoid sticker shock from some of the brochure prices, do look for specials for Canadian Residents, or for particular cruises. Or ask your favourite travel agent for help. There are numerous offers that bring the prices right down, sometimes a 40% discount or more, you just need to know where to look.
As you know my eyes have been opened to more and more travel opportunities through my new job as a travel consultant. I have been reading and learning about tour companies and things you can experience through guided vacations. I was definitely surprised to learn that it is very affordable to participate in a guided tour rather than trying to do everything on your own.
6 months ago, I did not have any idea you could easily find like minded people and join their well planned excursions, rather than trying to “re-invent the wheel yourself.” I think this would have really benefitted me when I toured Ireland in 2017. Though I had a decent time and saw many things, I felt like I was missing out and not really experiencing Ireland. I was a casual tourist, and certainly did not have the full, and the enriching Irish experience I had hoped for.
So this next time, I’m looking at an award winning tour company in Europe called Back Roads Touring as my way to show my son Switzerland. Rather than putting all the pressure on myself to do months of research and then try to coordinate everything, I will enlist the experts. It already feels like a relief. I’d love for someone to take the lead so my son & I can both enjoy the adventure to the fullest rather than us both wondering when I’ll make the next wrong turn.
Here are three tour companies, of many, that my travel agency recommends. (I bet these will get you started on thinking about your next adventure!)
G Adventures A Canadian company well known around the globe.
On The Go Tours Specializing in 4 & 5 Star Luxury Guided Tours. Often with incredible deals on last minute adventures.
Consider the math if you think that $2000 is too much to pay for a 7 day guided tour. As an individual you might pay: 7 nights hotel ($1400), plus taxis/uber/shuttles ($300), plus admission tickets to museums/activities/monuments ($250) plus select meals ($300) for a total of $2250 or more. While you could share the hotel and taxi expense with your spouse, that’s true, the meals and tickets are individually priced regardless. Also consider the value of NOT stressing about planning and research and driving routes. Would that make your vacation more enjoyable?
If you’re interested in any of these tours, track me down at McPhail Travel in Brandon and let’s talk! (Cathie@mcphailtravel.net)
If you’re interested in booking, please call me at (204) 726-8468, 9-5pm Monday to Friday. (My direct line at McPhail Travel in Brandon.) You can also email me anytime at Cathie@mcphailtravel.net I’d love to help you plan your romantic getaway.
Date: September 26th, 2018
Rates quoted are current at time of publication. Rates subject to change or sell out without notice.
Here’s a follow up piece to help you plan your itinerary if you were lucky enough to grab flights at that amazing deal last week.
If you’re visiting Montreal, and have even 24 hours to spare, do consider Quebec City. It’s a short and convenient Via train ride between cities. And the feel, look and movement of the cities is completely different.
I love Montreal for the shopping and the sports and the scene. It’s so modern and cosmopolitan. Yet, when I’m wishing for a getaway from stress and work, I dream about Quebec City. Old Quebec is simply the most breathtaking Canadian tribute to our heritage. I fail to find words beautiful enough to describe the way I feel in Quebec City.
But enough about me. You should see it for yourself! Here’s a few links to help with the research. I hope you can build your own Quebec experience and love it too.
If just reading “Copenhagen” and “Dreamliner” isn’t enough to make your eyes bubble with joy and anticipation, maybe you don’t deserve this bargain! Just kidding. Read on.
I can’t explain it, other than to say, these prices have been hanging around a couple weeks already. There’s so much turbulence in the US market right now that it’s left some routes open for fierce competition, in my opinion. And now that there are low-cost carriers (like WOW and Norwegian) flying in/out of some select US coastal cities (Seattle, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, New York) there are price wars.
But the prices are crazy. Cray-cray. $316 Canadian dollars to fly tax in, and return (in economy class) on a Dreamliner. I repeat…. 787 Dreamliner.
Sure, this particular bargain is out of Boston, Mass but surely you can get there. Enjoy a few days on the harbor eating lobster rolls and watching the Bruins or Red Sox. Surely, you can see how to make this a winning combination.
Skyscanner.ca is the quickest way to track down these bargains and see what’s out there. And right now, there are so many it’s a little overwhelming for this rabid traveller. I want to see Europe. This is THE year. But where to start?
I’m not even sure why this bargain is on my radar, other than I need something to look forward to and this outrageous bargain fits my Kraft Dinner budget right now.
The hot prices on this route are for October and November 2017. Travel on Tuesdays for the best price.
Boston is high on my list of cities I’d like to visit. I’d love to see it in the fall when the leaves are turning colours. I’d love to sit on a dock and eat a lobster roll and visit some of the diners featured on Diner’s Drive Ins and Dives.
You could also catch a game in Boston. Epic sports franchises in this city.
Typical price for this route is around $300. You can even fly from Winnipeg, quite often, at that $320 price point. But my thought is that you could build an epic fall trip around it. Whether you take the train and see Canada’s east coast, or just cash in some Air Miles for a weekend in Montreal before heading to Boston, you could definitely incorporate the bargain into something bigger.
To start your planning and see why Boston should be on your list too…click over to www.masstourism.com