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Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
An overdue word of thanks to all who helped after Hurricane Harvey...
Five weeks ago, I wrote to describe what was happening here in Houston
in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
to see that report). Harvey flooded more than 130,000 Houston homes and
thousands of businesses, schools and places of worship, and destroyed
about 500,000 cars.
I mentioned that our Houston office was collecting donations for the
victims of the storm, and for a month, Vacations To Go became a
clearinghouse for clothes, shoes, diapers, blankets, toys and more, sent
from the readers of this newsletter. Our employees rushed your donations
and their own into the relief channels around the city.
I wrote that Vacations To Go had donated $1 million to shelter and
recovery efforts underway in Houston, and we heard from more than a
thousand of our customers who also donated to one or more of the
charities mentioned in the newsletter. We received about 100 donations
earmarked for these charities and sent to us directly for delivery. As
of today, all of those donations have been delivered to the charities
We also heard from dozens of amazing organizations, in every corner of
the U.S. and Canada, that were sending food and supplies and teams of
volunteers to clear out ruined furniture, carpets, hardwoods and drywall
before dangerous black mold could set in. People with huge hearts
dropped everything and traveled hundreds of miles at their own expense
to trudge through muck and debris helping strangers save their homes and
salvage their possessions.
Our employees worked alongside these volunteers to save homes, and
Vacations To Go's financial donation to Second Baptist Church enabled
their corps of volunteers to save 277 homes.
I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who
contributed in any way to the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and to all
those who are now helping the victims of hurricanes Irma, Maria and Nate.
One can add up what is lost in a natural disaster, but I am struck today
by what Houston has gained. The very best of the human spirit has been
on display here since August 26, and as this city returns to normal, we
are beyond grateful.
To see photos of donated goods and supplies and cleanup work being done
by VTG employees, please click
Tropical Storm Nate hit Central America last Thursday, bringing deadly
flooding and rains. At least 38 deaths have been reported in Costa Rica,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador. Cruise ships altered their
routes to keep passengers safe from the storm, skipping port calls in
Central America and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
Nate gained strength as it moved north through the Gulf of Mexico. It
made two landfalls as a Category 1 hurricane on the U.S. Gulf Coast over
the weekend, first near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana,
then near Biloxi, Mississippi. It spared most of the areas pummeled by
hurricanes earlier this year but still brought heavy rain, storm surges
and flooding to parts of southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama
and the Florida Panhandle. Port operations were suspended in Mobile and
New Orleans, causing a handful of delays in cruise ship embarkations and
disembarkations. Both ports have reopened.
At this writing, Nate has been downgraded to a tropical depression and
is moving in an easterly direction across the North Atlantic Ocean. Our
thoughts and prayers are with all who have been affected by this storm.
In addition to being the largest seller of
Vacations To Go is the world's leading seller of
We also are among the top sellers of
tropical resort vacations
If you browse our sites, you'll find travel options for every interest
on amenity-filled ships to river cruises along the
and from escorted tours of
safaris in Tanzania
we're here to help you see the world at the lowest possible price, in
whatever style you choose.
Today, I'll tell you about some of the best and most trusted companies
in the travel industry, along with special discounts and deals for
Vacations To Go customers.
Some of the cruise offers below include free shipboard credits, which
are as good as cash on board and can be used to pay for almost anything
not included in the upfront cost of the sailing, like spa treatments and
Just click any link for more information.
Founded in 1933, SITA World Tours
offers small-group vacations
that typically are limited to 15 guests per departure. Experienced
guides and well-crafted itineraries provide insight into the history,
customs, ecology and folklore of the places visited. The company visits
many destinations, but its trips to Africa and India are among the most
SITA provides upscale African safaris on scheduled departures for small
groups but will also customize a safari for as few as two people. It
works with the best lodges and guides in each destination and takes care
of every detail. A Kenya safari is designed especially for families with
In India, view the incredible Taj Mahal, seek the tigers of Ranthambhore
Game Reserve or take a sunrise cruise on the Ganges. On the "Palace on
Wheels" itinerary, you'll travel aboard a luxury train with
well-appointed cabins (with private baths) and dining and bar cars.
SITA also travels to other destinations in Asia -- from beach escapes in
Thailand to Yangtze River cruises in China -- and to Europe, the South
Pacific, the Middle East, Central America and South America.
to view all SITA itineraries, dates and departures.
is known for its uniquely designed ships, with
restaurants that feature globally inspired cuisine, Canyon Ranch
SpaClubs and engaging onboard activities. Its Solstice-class vessels
introduced features like top-deck lawns of real grass and onboard
In 2018, Celebrity debuts the Celebrity Edge. It features staterooms
with Infinite Verandas that go right to the water's edge -- when the
windows are open, your cabin essentially turns into a veranda that's
open to the fresh air. The company announced that it will spend $400
million fleetwide to modernize all cabins and add some Edge features to
other ships, beginning in 2019.
Celebrity is offering our customers last-minute discounts of up to 83%
and exclusive shipboard credits of up to $300 per cabin on voyages
through March 2018. Plus choose two of the following perks when you book
an ocean-view cabin or higher on select sailings: 1) an additional
shipboard credit of up to $300 per cabin, 2) free gratuities, 3) a free
beverage package including alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages or 4)
unlimited Internet. Suites get all four perks. Book by October
See dates and prices
During your cruise, you can take a mixology class, learn how to dance
the salsa or participate in a Zumba session. Celebrity's exceptional
culinary program is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Cornelius Gallagher
and includes the classic French-inspired fare of Murano, the spa cuisine
of Blu and new twists on old favorites at Qsine.
To view Celebrity cruises by region,
Since 1972, Carnival Cruise Line
has delivered fun-filled
vacations at a terrific value. The popular line carries 5 million guests
a year and appeals to families, couples and singles. Currently, 24 ships
sail three- to 15-night voyages to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Alaska and
more. A 25th ship, the Carnival Horizon, debuts in April 2018.
You'll find day-to-night activities on board. There are deck parties,
comedy clubs, water parks, mini-golf courses and sports courts, as well
as no-kids Serenity decks, fitness centers and spas. Children's programs
are geared toward specific age groups, and teens have their own space at
Club O2. Carnival's newest ship, the Carnival Vista, boasts the first
IMAX theater at sea, an onboard brewery and SkyRide -- hanging recumbent
bikes that you pedal along a track suspended above the ocean.
Dining venues range from casual to elegant, and there's much to choose
from. Try Caribbean-inspired fare at the RedFrog Pub, lobster rolls at
the Seafood Shack and Italian dishes at Cucina del Capitano. The
Steakhouse serves premium cuts and the Chef's Table hosts intimate
dinners for 14. There are spots dedicated to sushi, burgers, barbecue
and much more.
Carnival has slashed rates by up to 83%. On select sailings, Vacations
To Go is offering our customers an exclusive shipboard credit of $50 per
cabin, plus pay a 50% reduced deposit. Past guests may see better rates
on certain cruises. Book by October 13.
See dates and prices
to see all Carnival ships and sailings.
The elegant, modern-day paddle wheelers of the American Queen
sail the Mississippi River and other heartland
waterways, as well as the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific
Northwest. Your upfront fare includes complimentary wine and beer at
dinner and bottled water, soft drinks and specialty coffees throughout
The line has the following fantastic savings for our customers when you
book certain cabin categories.
Save $400 to $1,400 per couple
($200 to $700 per person) off 2017
sailings. Departures include a
round-trip holiday sailing from Nashville aboard the new American
Duchess, Christmas markets cruises on the Mississippi -- featuring a
festive evening at Nottoway Plantation with a holiday market and
bonfires on the levee -- and New Year's cruises.
Save $400 to $2,400 per couple
($200 to $1,200 per person) off 2018
vacations when you book and
pay in full. Includes the American Queen's Return to Pittsburgh
(a new Ohio River sailing), departures of the Bourbon
and 15- and 22-day Mighty Mississippi
voyages between New Orleans
and Red Wing, Minnesota.
The 166-passenger American Duchess debuted in August. Among
accommodations are 550-square-foot Loft Suites with dining and lounging
areas, a bathroom and private balcony downstairs and a bedroom and
second bath upstairs. Some of the lowest-priced American Duchess
sailings of 2018 are scheduled for January, and right now, you can
save $1,000 per couple
($500 per person) off these attractive rates. The company also has
released additional summer departures from Memphis and New Orleans.
to see all discounts and departures with American Queen Steamboat
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
is one of four six-star cruise lines,
and it is the most all-inclusive of them all. The upfront price of a
Regent cruise includes unlimited shore excursions, gratuities, Wi-Fi,
unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium spirits, in-suite
minibars that are replenished daily, meals at specialty restaurants and
24-hour room service, with dinners served course by course during
restaurant hours. Throughout their cruise, passengers can expect a high
level of pampering and individualized attention.
Regent is offering our customers discounts of up to 84% and exclusive
shipboard credits of up to $500 per cabin on select sailings. Guests new
to Regent receive an additional shipboard credit of $200 per cabin on
See dates and prices
Regent's ships carry 490 to 750 passengers. All accommodations are
suites, and nearly all have private balconies. The line's newest vessel
is the ultra-luxurious Seven Seas Explorer, which has one of the highest
space-per-passenger ratios in the industry and the largest balconies at
Across the fleet, you'll find pools, libraries, spas, fitness centers,
show lounges and a variety of dining venues. Onboard activities include
exercise classes, personal training sessions, guest lectures and
instruction in food and wine pairings. The Seven Seas Explorer offers
hands-on instruction in its Culinary Arts Kitchen.
Regent's luxury cruises span the globe, from Alaska, the Caribbean and
eastern Canada to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Asia and South America.
to learn more about Regent's ships and view departures and rates.
"Destination Immersion" is the philosophy of Azamara Club
, which operates two boutique-style ships that carry 690
guests each: the Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. The company is known
for scheduling longer stays and more overnights in port so that guests
can experience more of the destination. For example, ships spend the
night in cities such as Venice, Stockholm, Bangkok and Sydney.
Azamara is offering our customers huge discounts of up to 76% and
exclusive shipboard credits of up to $1,000 per cabin. Book by
See dates and prices
The fare includes spirits, wines and beers in the ship's bars, lounges
and restaurants, as well as gratuities, bottled water, soft drinks, teas
and specialty coffees.
Also included on most sailings is a nighttime shore excursion called
AzAmazing Evening. You might attend a classical music concert at the
second-century amphitheater of Ephesus, watch the ceremonial dances of
the Huichol people in Mexico's Sierra Madre or enjoy West Indies cuisine
and a folklore show in Barbados.
Azamara's vessels often travel to harbors that larger ships can't
access. Among cruising regions are the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asia,
Australia and New Zealand. In 2019, the line will offer Alaska cruises.
Some itineraries are based on special events, like the Grand Prix in
In March 2018, a sister ship called the Azamara Pursuit will join the
fleet. Meanwhile, to view departures aboard the Azamara Journey and
has won "world's best" awards for its luxury
vacations aboard beautifully appointed ships. The 980-guest Crystal
Serenity and 848-guest Crystal Symphony sail to a variety of
destinations. A 62-passenger yacht, the Crystal Esprit, provides a
boutique ambience in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
Crystal is offering our customers savings of up to 75% and shipboard
credits of up to $700 per cabin. Gratuities, fine wines, Champagne,
premium spirits and nonalcoholic beverages are included in the rate.
Book by October 31.
See dates and prices
The Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony have multiple dining venues,
spas and enrichment programs that bring diplomats, historians, chefs and
others on board. Computer University@Sea schedules lessons in digital
video editing and Web page design, while the Creative Learning Institute
offers classes led by specialists in their fields, like tai chi with a
martial arts master.
Both ships will undergo extensive redesigns: The Crystal Symphony will
be completed later this month, and the Crystal Serenity will be
refurbished in fall 2018.
At 280 feet long, the Crystal Esprit sails to exclusive, out-of-the-way
shores. It is outfitted with a two-passenger submarine and a
water-sports platform with water skis, Jet Skis and snorkeling
equipment. Two complimentary excursions -- one culturally inspired, one
adventurous -- are provided in many ports.
To see all Crystal cruises,
Last year, Crystal launched Crystal River Cruises
, which offers
sailings on the famed rivers of Europe aboard ships of 110 or 160
Companion cruises for free
on many departures.
In 1840, the first Cunard Line
ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean
from England to North America, inaugurating the company's trans-Atlantic
mail and passenger service. The RMS Britannia made the trip in 14 days,
with 115 first-class travelers, 600 tons of coal, chickens and a cow to
provide fresh milk.
Today, Cunard's 3,064-guest Queen Mary 2 is the only ship to regularly
make this iconic voyage, sailing between Southampton and New York. The
trip is shorter now at seven nights, but it's still thrilling -- and
decidedly more elegant.
Newly refurbished in 2016, the Queen Mary 2 has 10 dining venues, a
20,000-square-foot spa, a library with more than 8,000 books and the
only planetarium at sea. Passengers can participate in workshops led by
actors from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, join an alfresco yoga
class or go to a movie or musical production. Mingle in the Champagne
bar or English pub, try the golf simulator or attend talks by novelists,
actors or historians.
All of Cunard's liners provide white-glove service, well-appointed
staterooms and superb cuisine. A new ship joins the fleet in 2022.
Cunard is offering discounts of up to 73%, plus shipboard credits of up
to $500 per cabin on applicable voyages. On select 2018 sailings, pay a
reduced deposit and get free gratuities, or book a suite and also get
free drinks. Past guests may see better rates on certain departures.
See dates and prices
for details on Cunard's ships and itineraries.
Explore Alaska beyond its coastal attractions on a Holland America
cruise tour next summer. These trips package a sailing through
the Inside Passage and along the Gulf of Alaska with a multiday
exploration of some of the state's most popular inland sights, like
Denali National Park and Preserve. Itineraries also can feature
destinations in Canada, such as the historic gold rush towns of the Yukon.
The tour portion includes hotel accommodations, transportation to the
tour destinations via motor coach or domed railcar and some sightseeing.
Cruise tours last nine to 19 nights and depart from Vancouver, Seattle,
Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Holland America is offering Vacations To Go customers discounts of up to
54% off its voyages. Book select 2018 Alaska cruise tours and receive a
free beverage package for two plus dinner for two at the onboard
Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant and a shipboard credit of up to $500
per cabin. Past guests may see better rates on select sailings. Book
by October 31.
See dates and prices
To see all departures with Holland America,
Riu Hotels & Resorts
has 38 all-inclusive beach resorts in the
Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama. The upfront rate of a Riu stay
includes your accommodations, all meals and beverages, activities and
nonmotorized water sports.
On a Riu vacation you can go kayaking and snorkeling or lounge by a
sparkling pool. Get a spa treatment, work out at the gym, go to evening
shows or sample a variety of dining venues, including buffets,
steakhouses and Italian and Asian options. A beautiful beach is just
steps away. Everything you need for a relaxing vacation is right there
Often three or four Riu properties are located in one large complex,
where guests enjoy exchange privileges at the sister resorts. Most Riu
resorts welcome guests of all ages, but a few are designated as no-kids
retreats. The Riu Palace resorts are the top-of-the-line properties for
the Riu brand.
To price a stay, with or without airfare, at any Riu resort,
Top 10 Africa vacations
This week, I've created a Top 10 list of terrific Africa trips from the world's best operators. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.
South Africa: A World in One Country,
14 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town.
Starting at $3,345. Departures from October 29 through December 17, 2017.
Kenya & Uganda Gorilla Adventure,
14 days with G Adventures. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Starting at
$2,414. Departures from November 10, 2017 through December 7, 2018.
13 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Windhoek.
Starting at $3,600. Departures from January 13, 2018 through December 7,
Kenya Private Safari,
9 days with Monograms. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Starting at $3,659.
Daily departures from January 1 through December 30, 2018.
Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls & Botswana,
14 days with Collette. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg.
Save $200 per couple. Starting at $4,943. Departures from May 9,
2018 through April 3, 2019.
Tanzania: Serengeti to Zanzibar (BBC Earth Journey),
10 days with Tauck. Begins in Arusha and ends in Dar Es Salaam. Starting
at $5,540. Departures from January 15 through December 17, 2018.
Southern Africa: Travel to the Ends of the Earth,
9 days with CroisiEurope. Begins in Johannesburg and ends in Victoria
Falls. Starting at $6,319. Departures from January 5 through December
Splendors of Africa,
12 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg.
Starting at $6,525. Daily departures from January 1 through December 19,
Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Safari,
12 days with Abercrombie & Kent. Begins and ends in Nairobi. Starting at
$7,995. Departures from January 9 through December 23, 2018.
Pearl of Africa,
8 days with African Travel. Begins in Entebbe and ends in Kigali.
Starting at $8,095. Daily departures from January 1 through May 21, 2018.
Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-291-3346.
For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click
For the world's best selection of deeply discounted cruises, click
For river cruises along famed waterways, click
For escorted tours to destinations worldwide, click
For hotels and resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Bermuda, the
Bahamas and Europe, click
Please e-mail me your comments, suggestions and questions at
I will respond the same day.
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Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go