Willamette International Travel
Experience the World
Thanks for your comments, keep them coming
o far 2011 has been busy, and as always our current newsletter on the website, so this
very interesting. We are still sending clients newsletter will be online by end of June. We also
to far flung regions of the World. You will have lots of tips on our web site, so remember to
find in this issue reports from clients who spent visit www.wittravel.com.
time in Costa Rica, Antarctica, Baja and Egypt.
INVITATIONS We do thank you for reporting back to us, and Email blast: Nancy sends this out once a week.
for allowing us to use your comments in our We do not send to everyone, only clients who
Please join us
newsletter. We do learn, and grow from your have requested to receive them. The only time
Tuesday, Aug. 30
feedback. It is a great win/win situation. we send out to everyone is if the information
for an evening with
is general, such as when the passport fees were
Oceania Cruise Line. So please keep sending us your comments when increasing. However you may be missing out on
Learn more you return. Things change so quickly and so a travel bargain to a destination of interest to
on page 8. dramatically, it is hard to keep up with our you. This week’s email blast is about a special one
constantly changing Industry. We meet regularly time departure (March 16, 2012) to Vietnam,
RSVP to info@
with industry leaders, with members of our two Cambodia & Thailand. The regular price for the
consortiums. We have great communication tour is $2399. If you book by June 30, the price
with our preferred vendors located in the USA is reduced to $1899.00 (plus Trans-Pacific Air).
and overseas. But getting feed back from you If you would like to start receiving these weekly
first hand is vitally important to us. “blasts”, please email Nancy at nancyf@wittravel.
Nancy & Pam both celebrate twenty five years com. If you are interested in learning more about
with Willamette Intl. Travel in 2011. the March 16 trip call Nancy. She has been to
both Vietnam & Cambodia.
Inside It has been a pleasure to work with them for 25
years, to watch their growth, their eagerness to Also remember before you book with any tour
learn but most of all their dedication to you the operator or cruise line, call us. It may well be a
client. Nancy with husband Rob spent 2 weeks vendor we deal with on a regular basis, and we
Europe 2-3 between the Galapagos and mainland Ecuador. can book it for you. This way you know you have
Spring Break 4-5 See her two reports on pages 9 & 15. Pam us watching over every aspect of your trip.
returned to the office this week, having spent
14 days with husband Michael visiting Kauai, Christina Cooper, President
Cruises 8 Hawaii, Maui & Oahu. It has been 20 years
International 9 since Pam’s last visit to the Hawaiian Islands;
her report will be in our September newsletter. OUR EMAILS:
Groups/Tours 10-11 christina cooper firstname.lastname@example.org
However, if you are anxious to view the report
Travel Store 12 john cooper email@example.com
earlier, both Nancy & Pam’s full reports will be
barb baumer firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel Tips 13 on our web site by end of July.
pam davis email@example.com
Client Reports 14 Unfortunately the reports on our web site are linda fisher firstname.lastname@example.org
getting a little dated, so our goal this summer is nancy fowler email@example.com
Staff News 15 to bring them up to date. By the end of July, you karey van pelt firstname.lastname@example.org
What You Say 16 will also find Christina and John’s full report kathy balster email@example.com
on their last trip to Kenya (January 2011), as
Summer 2011 well as a more detailed report from John on his Willamette International Travel is not responsible for
recent trip to Paris, Madrid & England. We post any errors or omissions contained in this newsletter.
of these towns, which may be up to 50 miles from London but
with excellent train service. Become a Brit for the week live in
the countryside and commute into London. Most trains offer
service from early morning until very late evening.
There are two official US ticket resellers. JetSet Sports, and its
sister company CoSport. www.cosport.com or www.jetset-
sports.com. But if you just wish to be in London during this
time to soak up the atmosphere, remember there will be plenty
of “free” sporting events taking place. Road Cycling, Triathlon
and the Marathon using the streets of London, simply find a
spot along the route.
QUEENS DIAMOND JUBILEE will be held the first week of
UNITED KINgDOM June, and will mark the Queen’s 60 years as Britain’s monarch,
For us the UK used to be # 1 destination, but since 2000 Italy the only monarch other than Queen Victoria to celebrate this
has been # 1, followed by France, with the UK coming in milestone. Events are being organized by Buckingham Palace,
third. Maybe with the Royal Wedding this year, and in 2012 but the UK government is planning a 4 day Jubilee weekend.
the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee during the first week of June, To keep up to date on both this event and the Olympics go to
followed by Olympics July 27-August 12, we will see the United www.visitlondon.com
Kingdom return to # 1 destination.
ANgLESEY – Wales FANS OF BRITISH SPORTS
Home to Prince William & Kate Middleton (now the Duke &
Duchess of Cambridge) whilst Prince William is a search-and- FOOTBALL (SOCCER) fans:
rescue helicopter pilot with the Royal Air Force. Visit the new Chelsea Football Museum & book a tour
of the stadium. Also when Fulham Football Team is not
Located on the beautifully rugged northern coastline of Wales, playing at home you can tour the stadium and get an
it is also within a short driving distance of Snowdonia National in-depth education about this worldwide sport.
Park, with its amazing hiking trails, and its narrow gauge steam
rail (www.snowdoniaguide.com). Bodnant Gardens (www. TENNIS FANS:
bodnantgarden.co.uk) located over looking Conwy Bay and Make a point of visiting the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis
within driving distance of the wonderful Roman walled City of Museum, and take a tour of the grounds, (led by specially
Chester. One could easily spend a week in this part of the U.K. trained Blue Badge Guides) to gain access to restricted
and barely scratch the surface. You can also take the ferry over areas normally closed to the public.
to Ireland from Holyhead.
Or book a 3 night bed and breakfast package in
KEvIN SPACEY, starting June 18, 2011 will be the lead in a 3-star hotel that will include The Chelsea Football
Richard III at the Old Vic in London. Book on line at Stadium; the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, a tour of
www.oldvictheatre.com the Lord’s Cricket ground & Museum (a sport not fully
understood by Americans!), Twickenham Rugby Stadium
LONDON OLYMPICS : July 27 to August 12, 2012 tour & museum visit. Plus a London Bicycle tour.
The main event venues are being built in Stratford (not
Stratford on Avon) but Stratford is part of the East End of
London. This Stratford has stations on both the Circle &
District Lines of the London Underground system, and is a
TRAIN TRAvEL IN FRANCE is very fast and very easy. All train
major stop on Britrail. So if you are among the lucky ones
stations throughout France are accessible by public transporta-
with tickets, but no where to stay, you can just easily stay
tion, and most airports have links to city center by train.
in the towns bordering Stratford, such as Ilford, Shenfield,
Chelmsford, Colchester, even Ipswich in Suffolk. All just 30 to Remember to be at the rail station 30 minutes before the
45 minutes by fast train from Stratford, all east of London. You departure of your train. Validate rail pass at the “yellow”
will avoid the high prices for London hotels, we may even be validation machine. There are several different French Rail
able to find for you a small home, or apartment rental in any Passes available as well as passes which combine France/Spain;
France/Netherlands and France/Switzerland. For France only,
think about the 4 day Flexipass which allows 4 days of travel ROME
within a 30 days period. If you are a fan of ballet or opera, you can experience
authentic Italian productions without breaking the bank.
PARIS CITY PASSES: The Paris Pass is a smart chip card that
Performed at Teatro Dell Opera Di’Roma, tickets start at
provides extensive travel on the city’s public transportation
system and priority entry into the museums and attractions.
vATICAN MUSEUM & SISTINE CHAPEL: Avoid the
The Paris Museum Pass allows priority admission & free
long lines. Through 2 different tour companies, we can
access to 60 museums. The City Rama Paris L’Open Tour Pass
pre book admission with a private guide. One of these
allows more than 50 stops and 4 open air bus routes.
companies also offers “small group tour” (maximum 8)
FOR THE gOURMET: Through several of our tour operators with pre booked admission time and the private guide.
we can also organize a one day Cooking Class in Paris, a Let us include this special visit during your time in Rome.
“French Wine Discovery” package or an escorted Walking
COLOSSEUM: Book your admission in advance to this
Tours of Paris.
largest surviving edifice from the Roman Empire.
LYON & MARSEILLE also offer hop on/hop off buses. We www.pierreci.it
recommend this as a great way to view the entire city on your
ROMA PASS: Buy on arrival this pass which allows 3 days
first day, then revisit the sites that interest you the most. Also a
of unlimited travel on the buses, trams and metro. Also
great way of sitting your first morning and getting over jet lag!
includes free admission to two museums or sites of your
vERSAILLES: If you want to avoid the huge crowds during choice. www.romapass.it
the summer, Chocolatine Tours recommend that you
Make time to visit Santa Maria in Trastevere.
organize either an early morning or an early afternoon
Celebrated for its façade of stunning gold mosaics, this
reservation. The big buses start to arrive by 10 a.m.. Try to
church is reputedly one of the oldest places of worship in
be at Versailles by 9 a.m., visit the gardens first then have a
Rome. Open daily from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
reservation to visit the Chateau after 11:30 a.m. Remember
Versailles is closed on Monday, so Tuesdays are very crowded
and should be avoided.
IF YOU ARE IN AvIgNON on a Sunday, consider taking TURKEY
in Sunday Mass at Notre-Dame-des-Doms, imposing 12th NEW TOUR: We are very excited to announce a new tour in
century cathedral beside the Palais des Papes. Or at the small association with Meli & Asli Kumari of Meli Tour based in
14th century church of St. Didier in Place St Didier. Kusadasi.
So many of you have met Meli & Asli, at our offices or have
PARIS MUSEE DES ARTS through August 28 exhibition of been privileged to visit their home outside of Kusadasi after
17 of Ralph Lauren’s collection of fine cars including a 1938 your private shore excursion of Ephesus. Those of you that
Bugatti Atlantic of which only 4 were produced. have actually been on one of Meli’s tours through Turkey,
Syria, and Georgia have all told us just how great she is as a
HARD TO FIND TICKETS May 22 to June 2 2012. A special tour geared to photography
of the people, landscape and sights of Istanbul, Cappadocia,
Ticket Finders International has sent us the schedules
Guzelyurt, Konya, Pamukkale, Meltius & Dydina ending in
for the 2011-2012 Season at the following opera houses.
Kusadasi. Limited to 10 participants. Call Christina to get on
Royal Opera House/London; Teatro alla Scale/Milan: The
the list for more information & costing.
Met/New York; Opera de Paris/Paris; State Opera/Vienna;
Plus they may still be able to find tickets for this seasons
festivals at: Glyndebourne; Salzburg; Venice; Verona and
Spring Break 2012
Plan Ahead for a Fabulous Family Vacation
It is not too early to start thinking about Spring Break 2012.
If you are thinking Christmas/New Year vacation it may not PRINCESS CRUISES
be too late, but you do need to call us sooner than later, and
you need to be flexible not only with dates, but also with the March 24 7 days Mexico Riviera aboard the SAPPHIRE
destination. Sailing round trip Los Angeles
Through our association with Riverside Travel Group, we March 25 14 days South Caribbean aboard the
have blocked space and special pricing on the following family CARIBBEAN PRINCESS.
cruises for Spring Break 2012. The cruise lines will, as space Sailing round trip San Juan. Unique back to
sells, reduce down our allotment. The time to book is NOW back 7 day cruises.
for Spring Break 2012. We had several multi-generational Visiting St. Thomas, Tortola, Antigua,
groups take cruises in 2010. These families were varied in ages, Dominica, Barbados, St. Maarten, St. Lucia,
and lifestyle, yet all found a cruise a good vacation to share Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba
quality time and create those lasting memories. The following
cruise lines are as varied as you our clients; there should be
something for everyone. Princess Cruises was named “Best Cruise Line itineraries”
by Recommend magazine’s December 2008 readers. Whether
you prefer sunny shores or historic sights you will find it on
NORWEgIAN CRUISE LINE either of these 2 cruises. Princess Cruises take pride in the little
March 24 7 days Eastern Caribbean aboard the EPIC things that make the difference, from the waiter at dinner who
Sailing round trip Miami remembers your favorite drink; or the friendly daily greeting
from your cabin steward. Larger ships that are designed to give
March 24 7 days Hawaii Cruise PRIDE OF AMERICA you plenty of personal space, such as the Sanctuary a soothing
Sailing round trip Honolulu adults-only respite. Everyone loves “Movies under the Stars”;
you get a spot by the pool, on a cool evening a blanket, some
March 25 7 days W. Caribbean aboard the PEARL popcorn and watch a movie on the big screen. Three different
Sailing round trip Miami
programs for your children or grandchildren: Remix ages 13 to
March 31 7 days Hawaii Cruise PRIDE OF AMERICA 17; Shockwaves ages 8 to 12 and Princess Pelicans for the 3 to
Sailing round trip Honolulu 7 years.
March 31 7 days E. Caribbean aboard the EPIC
Sailing round trip Miami
Norwegian Cruise Line famed for its “freestyle” cruising.
Their theme “on vacation you should have the freedom to
enjoy it on your own terms”. Dress up or down. Sleep in or
catch a sunrise. Do as much or as little as you please. It is up
to you with thousands of choices. They have staterooms they
come in all shapes & sizes, family accommodations including
3 bedroom garden villas and interconnecting staterooms.
On their new ship the EPIC they offer true singles. Plenty
of activities for kids of all ages (including grown ups who
want to act like kids!). Climbing & rappelling walls; bungee
trampoline & gyroscope; spinning; yoga & Pilates classes.
Basketball, volleyball and a soccer court.
Separate pools for grown ups and kids. On the Epic an Aqua
Park with three thrilling water slides or Spice H2Q beach club
for Adults only. It is all about choice, and is perfect for multi
Spring Break 2012
CELEBRITY CRUISES March 24 7 nights Eastern Caribbean aboard the
March 25 7 nights Eastern Caribbean aboard the
Round trip Fort Lauderdale.
Sailing round trip Fort Lauderdale.
March 29 12 nights on the new Celebrity Holland America ships offer plenty of activity. Digital
SILHOUETTE Workshop, Culinary Arts Center where you take hands on
Round trip from New Jersey. Southern
cooking class with one of their talented cooks, fully equipped
Caribbean ports St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St.
Fitness Center, basketball and practice tennis or volleyball courts.
Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten.
Tranquil Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Holland is renowned for its
refined ambiance, its classic design, it museum quality artwork.
It wonderful alternative restaurant “The Pinnacle Grill”. Yet it is
Celebrity offers interlocking veranda staterooms to provide great for family vacations offering connecting staterooms, triple
family & friends the togetherness they desire. When you & quad occupancy. Their dedicated youth facility and activities
board, bring your sense of fun, because here you can live from pizza parties and scavenger hunts to dances & deck parties.
the Celebrity Life, and extensive variety of palate-pleasing, Colorful playroom
fun-filled and life-renewing activities, games, music and for children 3 to 7;
entertainment designed with your every interest in mind. separate area for ages
Choose from sixty of the very best culinary, enrichment and 8 to 12 and the Loft &
wellness programs. Try Tai Chi, or take “Tour de Cycle” for The Oasis for the teens.
a spin. Learn new technologies; relax with a day of scrap- All the ingredients
booking. Get in the groove with their “Let’s Dance” series or for a perfect family
brush up on your language skills with Rosetta Stone system. vacation.
The possibilities for the entire family are endless. Toddler
time gives toddlers and their parents the opportunity to play
together, with plenty of activities for 4 other age groups.
Shipmate’s ages 3 to 5; Celebrity Cadets ages 6 to 8; Ensigns
ages 9 to 11; and X Club for teens between 12 & 17.
On Land: Club Med Sandpiper in Florida
Sandpiper Club in Florida recently underwent a 25 million A Petit Golf program similarly provides instruction on the
investment. It’s new feature is CLUB MED ACADEMIES, a sport for guests between the ages of 4 & 7. For adults and
training center for tennis, golf & fitness. Professional coaching juniors, Sandpiper’s International Golf Academy offers
by reputed industry experts such as Gabe Jaramillo who access to the onsite 18 hole golf course as well as to a Tom
trained Andre Agassi and Monica Seles. Brad Brewer the host Fazio II designed practice center complete with putting
of Golf Channel’s ”Daily Brew” and five time Ironman Champ green & driving range.
Heather Gollnick in the fitness center. If you have budding tennis or golf players in your family
Sandpiper has partnered with the Tennis Academy this would be a wonderful way for them to enhance their
(www.itausa.com) to offer an elite training & learning center skills. They certainly will not spend time in their rooms
composed of six clay courts, 14 hard courts and one stadium or playing video games. There are educational programs
court. Even children can learn to play through the Petit Tennis in the Kidz Village which allow children to interact,
program, which teaches little ones as young as 4 about the participate and grow in programs specially designed for
sport of tennis through an interactive story in which they are their age group. Besides the tennis & golf, there is sailing, a
participants. circus school and Let Petit Chef cooking lessons. Club Med
Sandpiper has all the ingredients for a fun week of learning
new skills or improving current ones.
TOP US DESTINATIONS
In a recent survey the top domestic destination – The U.S.
MUSEUM UPDATES National Parks, with Alaska and Hawaii cited as other “hot”
If you have a few hours available in Houston remember destinations. If you are heading to Las Vegas, and want to visit
the Holocaust Museum, www.hmh.org. Tour begins with Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam,
a look at life prior to the Holocaust, visitors will see the along with historical sites in Southern Nevada, Western Utah
beginning of Nazism and Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in and Northern Arizona, ask us to check availability on the Pink
addition to the exhibit the Museum displays a 1942 World Jeep Tours. They have a fleet of 25 off road touring vehicles
War II railcar, the type used to carry millions of Jews to (painted pink!) and take an average of 7 guests per day per
their death in concentration camps. Plus a 1942 Danish vehicle out to these sites. Each of the guides are certified
rescue boat that was used to save over 72000 Jews. by the National Association for Interpretation, a non profit
group that works to advance the profession of heritage
Take a three dimensional journey through US History interpretation.
when visiting the brand new Presidents gallery, now
a permanent exhibit exclusive to Madame Tussauds in
Washington DC. Explore the forty-four presidencies on
a chronological journey through fourteen themed
immersive rooms. www.DCPresidentsGallery.com
Also in Washington DC, visit the Newseum, where
you will find the exhibit “Pictures of the Year” on
view through end of October. Images from the Winter
Olympics, flood-ravaged Pakistan, the front lines in
Afghanistan, along with award-winning images from
Haiti & the Gulf oil spill.
Between February 1 – May 6 2012, visit the “van gogh
Up Close” exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art,
www.philamuseum.org. Explore the reasons and means
It is still not too late to book an Alaska Cruise, or Cruise
by which Van Gogh made innovative changes to his
tour. Several of Willamette Staff have traveled to Alaska and
painting style during his career. How he was influenced
would love to share their knowledge in helping you plan your
by contacts with Degas, Monet, and Signac. The museum
trip. There are many unique shore excursions you can take,
offers private guided tours of the Van Gogh exhibition in
including a new active tour that features a zip line adventure
the morning before it opens to the public.
in the Skagway area. Activities include 12 zip lines measuring
At the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, “Mummies of up to 750 feet long and four adventure ski bridges overlooking
the World” will open 18 June 2011 (www.fi.edu). A first the Mammoth Waterfalls. There are many companies offering
of its kind to be showcased at the Franklin Institute, the shore excursions so before you book the cruise line shore
exhibit will feature a 6,420 year old child mummy from excursions discuss with us the alternatives.
Peru as well as other Mummies from South America,
Asia, Oceania and Egypt. Learn how scientific studies
of mummies provide a window into the lives of ancient
people from every region of the world. Exhibit runs
through October 23, 2011
Getting rave reviews is the Titanic Museum in Branson
Missouri, and Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Advance reser-
vations required www.TitanicAttraction.com or call
to a creperie tucked away in a former gas station. A valley
landmark is Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies on East Manoa
Road in operation since 1977.
There are many new hotels opening in New York this year,
including Aloft (same chain as the Aloft at Portland Airport).
One will be located in Harlem, the other in Brooklyn. Both
will have prepaid non refundable rates between $261 and $291
per night plus taxes. So excellent rate for New York, for this
quality of a hotel. We do have good rates at the Aloft Portland
with free parking if you wish to experience this unique hotel
chain. Rooms are well furnished and large, and the staff at the
Portland Hotel excellent.
Pam Davis is spending the first 2 weeks of June visiting
Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Oahu. Linda will be visiting Hawaii LEgOLAND
& Maui in October, so they will have the very latest to share Legoland in Florida is due to open Fall 2011. Close to
with you when they return. However they will not be visiting Orlando and just a 45 minute drive to Disney World.
Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a remote Geared toward children 2 to 12, it will be the largest of
conservation area comprising of 10 islands and atolls in the five Legolands in the world, and the only one on the US
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This region was designated East Coast. Others
as a United Nations World Heritage site, the first ever in the are in California,
USA with a “mixed” designation, meaning it possesses both England, Germany
natural & cultural importance. This region has more than & Denmark, where
7,000 marine species, one fourth of which are endemic to the the toy company
Hawaiian Islands. For more information; www.papahanau- was founded.
mokuakea.gov. Built on the former
site of Cypress
If you enjoy gentle hiking, think about joining Hike Maui, an
outdoor adventure company, on their Short Waterfalls Walk,
their easiest hike. Named 2010 Eco-tourism Operator of the
Year they offer half and full day hikes to a day-long helicopter/ vISITOR’S gO PASS
horseback/hike combo. Let us incorporate one of their tours US CITIES who offering flexible Visitor’s Go Pass include
in your next visit to Maui. www.hikemaui.com San Francisco; Boston; Seattle; Chicago; San Diego; Orlando;
If you are on the Big Island of Hawaii check the web sit www. Miami; Los Angeles; Oahu (including a golf pass) Maui; and
fhvnp.org, Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, who Toronto (Canada).
one Sunday every month organize a guided group hike on the Example of the San Francisco Pass: Buy for 1, 2,3,5,
area’s diverse trail system. Hike through fern-filled rain forests, or 7 days. With the Go San Francisco Card you get free
over the hardened lava of a Kilauea volcano crater, to the edge admission to 11 Museums including deYoung Museum;
of steam and sulphur vents. There is a small fee to participate. Choice of 8 different tours, including SF Explorer Cruise, or
In Oahu, find your way to Manoa Valley (zip code 96822) the a San Francisco Walking Tour: Admission into 20 different
name in Hawaiian means “vast”. This lush valley on Oahu’s attractions, such as the Aquarium of the Bay, a bike rental,
south shore extends from the peaks of Ko’olau Mountains to or a one way ticket on the Cable Car.
the coral reefs of Waikiki. Manoa is a residential valley, rich If you find yourself in Napa/Sonoma area you can use your
with churches, parks and tree-lined streets, where you will still SFO pass for wine Tasting at 12 different wineries including
find homes built in traditional New England style. Manoa is Simi Winery.
stocked with waterfalls and miles of hiking trails. Here you
COST FOR THE SFO ONE DAY PASS IS $54.99.
will find remnants of Old Hawai’i yet you are only 5 miles
from downtown Honolulu. It is also home to many quirky You can buy these passes ahead of time through Willamette
eateries, from an old-fashioned hillside tearoom built in 1922 Intl. Travel.
An Evening with Oceania Cruise Line
We are thrilled to host again an evening with Lanier Reid of Oceania Cruise Line.
COME AND LEARN FIRST HAND - TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2011
Location: Willamette International Travel
1314 NW Irving Street, Suite 101, Portland, OR 97209
TIME: 6:00 pm—Refreshments & food. Presentation at 6:30 pm
Presentation by: Lanier Reid, Oceania Cruise Line
We are getting such positive feedback from clients who have Nancy & Christina had the opportunity to go on board
been on Oceania during the last 2 years: Oceania’s Regatta in May. As many of you know Christina
“We had a fabulous time on the Insignia. The staff was prefers to be in East Africa, and not “wasting” her days
attentive, friendly & fun. We were spoiled by the atmosphere looking at an ocean. Nancy, on the other hand loves cruising,
of a small ship experience. There were a couple of rough having traveled on Oceania between Rome & Venice in
nights at sea, but we all seemed to handle it well. Turkey was 2009. During lunch in the specialty restaurant “Toscana”
a wonderful experience. The cities are beautiful and clean, Nancy asked Christina if she could get used to the service &
the people friendly and thrilled to have Americans visit. food. Lunch was caviar; lobster risotto; miso-ginger salmon;
Israel was interesting and of course the Greek Islands were and a crazy-good, gold dusted chocolate dessert. Anyone
all wonderful, especially Santorini & Rhodes. We kept a busy answering “no” to this question would be crazy especially
schedule in each port but still found time to sample local when there is no additional charge to dine anywhere on
wines & beers and experience the local sights. We cannot board, and wine is included with all meals.
wait till our next adventure, hopefully Northern Europe’. Would Christina be bored? How could she!? Oceania cruises
Client: Julie Sorenson — 14 nights Rome to Athens have very few days at open sea and have more time in ports.
“First & foremost I was impressed with the entire crew. But if there was an open day at sea, Christina said she would
They were friendly, courteous and without exception they spend the day at the Canyon Ranch Spa, the Fitness Center
performed to a high level of excellence. Food service in the or curled up with a book in the wonderfully intimate library
three main venues superb from greeting to seating to service or in their internet room.
to enjoying the well prepared food. Eating at “The Waves” or Christina compared the feel on Oceania to that of an
“Terrace” was always pleasant. Cabins were well maintained intimate boutique hotel. Throughout the ship, you
by a truly professional staff. Probably the most comfortable experience understated elegance, and the staff instantly
bed I have ever slept in. Really enjoyed the fitness track & put you at ease. Oceania has managed to blend elegance &
the exercise room. Library was a nice touch that I utilized luxury with exceptional intimacy & warmth. Yet it is a cruise
extensively, along with the 24 h our coffee bar. For those of line where you can leave your black tie at home. The dress
us that dislike large crowds, the passenger capacity of 648 code is “country club” attire.
was a welcome plus. Only disappointment was removing
Cairo as a port of call and not being notified ahead of time”. What Nancy really wanted to know was could Christina
Client: Jim Patrick — 20 day Dubai to Athens enjoy a cruise on Oceania?” Christina’s reply: “Yes I could!”
Red Mangrove Lodges, Galapagos
By Nancy Fowler
Red Mangrove (RM) Lodges in the Galapagos are on 3 islands,
offer 3 styles and 3 flavors plus 3 experiences! Each lodge is
unique, reflecting the character of its home island. The staff,
food, and environmental practices are the best in the islands.
Any requests I had, or overheard other guests have, were met
with “of course, that is possible. No problem”. Don’t expect
TV, radio, phones, internet to be available, even though the
lodge’s description mentions their availability; it is truly hit
Likely Aventura Lodge at Santa Cruz will be the first you
encounter. It is an ocean-front lodge at the edge of Puerto While cruising is a popular way to experience the Galapagos, I
Ayora and within minutes to the Charles Darwin Research feel Red Mangrove is an excellent alternative or enhancement
Station. This is the largest of the 3 lodges, with 14 rooms. to a cruise. When comparing the Lodges’ locations and
It is a multi-story adobe walled complex built through a activities offered on each of the 3 islands, they have little
mangrove forest. The restaurant fronts the ocean and its deck overlap with the cruise ships’ stops. Transfers between the
is a popular sunning spot for marine iguanas and sea lions. 3 islands is by small boat, averaging 2 hours per transfer.
Pelicans and frigate birds are overhead as they visit their
nests in the mangroves and fish in the waters fronting the I strongly recommend the inclusive Red Mangrove packages,
lodge. The only accessible hotel room in the Galapagos is as what is included is what travelers need and want to do:
in this Lodge. meals, ground transfers, local guides, park guides, activities,
tips to all staff except the Park Guide, and snorkel equipment.
Floreana Lodge is a grand name for the adventure camp it The $100 park fee is paid locally.
really is. Constructed over a black lava field, the 10 wooden
cabins are located directly in front of the sea with a boardwalk I often hear “Galapagos is on my bucket list”. I encourage
running the length of the cabins. The cabins are approx. 10 ft. you to move this up your list while your health is good. This
X 14 ft., each with a set of bunk beds and a single bed, private is a very active destination as the wildlife, flora and fauna,
bathroom with western toilet and shower, air conditioning, geology do not come to you; you find them, and that takes
safe, flashlight, and bottled water. Meals are sourced in the some work. Days start around 6 a.m., out by 7:30 a.m. doing
town and were some of the best we had during our stay. activities; and they finish at 4-5 p.m. (sunset at 6 p.m.) Walks
of 2-3 miles over uneven surfaces, up and down hills, through
In front of the lodge, guests can snorkel and swim with sea mud, combined with swimming/snorkeling with penguins, sea
turtles (water conditions permitting). lions, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and more make up a typical
The night sky is incredible: Southern Cross, Big Dipper, and day. My most extreme day was on Isabela, with a 10 mile trek
an intense Milky Way are a few of the treats. up Sierra Negra volcano to the world’s second largest caldera.
Since 10 miles is more than I walk in a week, and my uphill
On Isabela Island is Isabela Lodge, also built beachfront, this
form is pitiful, I frankly slowed the group down a bit. Avid
time on a lovely, long white sand beach. 8 rooms (2 with beach
photographers in the group began lagging behind, shooting
view), plus a restaurant and bar, roof-top terrace and lounge
vistas, flowers, etc., which saved me. I owe them my gratitude!
chairs make this the most relaxing of the 3 lodges. Breakfast
Had I been there with a gimpy hip or knee, or breathing
and lunch is buffet, dinner is a la carte.
issues, I’d have missed a truly magical day.
Rooms are large with either 2 beds or a king bed, air condi-
There is so much more I can write about the lodges, the
tioning and ceiling fan, tiled bathroom with shower.
islands, and tips for traveling to them. I learned so much
Remaining in harmony with the incredible surroundings, about this incredible destination, its inhabitants’ quick
these lodges are simple and comfortable, provide healthy meal reactions to environmental changes, and what is being
options using local fresh fruits/vegetables/seafood, and leave done every day to preserve and enrich it fragile structures.
a visitor with a sense they stayed “local”, contributing to the I encourage YOU to find for yourself why there are so many
protection of this incredible piece of our planet. adjectives used to describe the Galapagos.
We are changing format a little in this newsletter. We feel it is time to highlight and remind you of the wonderful relation-
ships we have with travel providers throughout the World. We use them to create private and very personalized tours,
ranging from day trips, or private shore excursions, to trips as 4 weeks. They help us fit a personalized tour to your budget
and dreams. Below we are introducing you to a three of these special companies who help make us unique.
MELI TOURS – TURKEY have long relationships with the various camps and lodges of
Meli Tour is a family run business operating since 1968. Meli East Africa, but can also arrange mobile tented camps. Some
and her daughter Asli work with a great team who love what of Christina’s most treasured memories have been created by
they do. They offer small groups & individual cultural tours, Steve & Origins, ranging from trekking to see the gorillas in
educational tours and special interest tours. They give the Rwanda, to a ride in a glass floored helicopter over the sand
best an independent minded visitor can hope for, mixing dunes of Northern Kenya en route to Lake Turkana. Origins
the ease and guidance of small group travel with the sense and Willamette Intl. Travel can definitely turn your dreams of
of adventure and discovery as if you were exploring these visiting East Africa into a reality.
countries on your own. Their specialty; tours to Western
Turkey, Eastern Turkey, Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Turkmeni-
stan, Mongolia and West China along the Silk road. We know
many of you have enjoyed the hospitality of Meli & Asli at
their family farm/home outside Kusadasi, the cruise port for
Ephesus. You have all returned saying this was a highlight of
WILLAMETTE TOURS 2012
TURKEY Meli Tour May 22-June 2 2012
EAST AFRICA Origins Safaris September/October 2012
Join Christina when she returns to East
Africa in the hopes of seeing the migration
JALAN JALAN ASIA – BALI INDONESIA
Call to be on the list to receive full details of both these Owner Chee Choy (better known to many in the Portland
tours when available. area as “Choy”) grew up in Malaysia, before coming to
Portland where he worked as an environmental scientist/
planner for 24 years. Several years ago Choy decided to switch
ORIgINS SAFARIS – KENYA careers and founded Jalan Jalan Asia Tours, which sustains his
Willamette started working with Don Turner when the passion for travel, people & cultures. He hopes to encourage
company was named East African Ornithological Safaris, others to share in rich cultural experiences. Choy has led
some 25 years ago. When Don retired, Steve (Don’s son) took groups through the dense jungles of Borneo, on culinary
over the company and in recent years renamed the company expeditions (he is a foodie and has taught Malaysian cooking
to Origins. Christina uses Steve for her groups to Kenya, we at Caprial & John Pence Cooking School in Portland) or a
all use them for individuals wanting to make a private, or textile trip around Indonesia. He is happy to book individuals
small group trip to East Africa. By working with Origins, we or small groups. Recently he escorted a group of six women
do not have to try to fit a “square peg into a round hole” we from Portland around Bali, the following are comments we
can customize your East Africa trip to fit your budget, your received from Ruthann Hartley a client on this trip.
time and your tastes. Origins are for travelers with a passion “Textiles, temples & much more” My recent trip to Bali
for wildlife, cultural heritage, adventure & exploration. They & Java with five women arranged through Chee Choy,
See itineraries at www.marksmithnaturetours.com or
call Pam Davis for brochures and reservations.
COPPER CANYON BY RAIL Sept. 24-Oct. 4, 2011
Dramatic Landscapes, Nature, Birds, Culture, Art & History
Leaders: Mark Smith & Regional Naturalists.
Limit to 12 guests
MADAGASCAR Sept. 29-Oct. 21, 2011
was truly an experience in cultural emersion. Our tour Madagascar, the eighth continent! Biologically speaking this
began with a lecture at Threads of Life, an organization 1000 mile-long island is another continent, its biota evolving
working with traditional Indonesian artists to revive and during eons of isolation. This trip sells out each year.
maintain the skills of their ancestors. We visited villages, Leader: Rivo Rarivosoa. Limit to 12 guests.
private studios and markets. We learned about all things Note: several Willamette Intl. clients have traveled with Rivo,
Indonesian; textiles, silver, carving, mask making, puppets. who is based in Madagascar. They loved the experience.
Keliki painting and basket making; visited temples and AUSTRALIA Oct. 29-Nov. 21, 2011
attended Kecak & Ramayana dance performances. Because This Island Continent is home to the most distinctly
of the personal nature of our itinerary we experienced first different assemblage of organisms on earth: plant and
hand the lives & cultural heritage of the Balinese/Javanese animal groups, long-since declined or extinct elsewhere.
people. Food was fabulous with a half day cooking class Itinerary will include Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, before
and an added glimpse into Balinese home life. It was truly a flying north to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Continue
once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Chee is an incredible listener, north to Darwin and Kakadu Park. Ending in Cairns, in
accommodating all of our curiosities. tropical Queensland, with a night at Green Island Resort, a
These are just three of our private contacts around the trip into the Atherton Tablelands and the famed Daintree
world. Let us introduce you to a different way of exploring River mangroves and rainforest.
unique destinations with people that are passionate about Leaders: Mark Smith and Jon Starks with regional
their country and pride themselves on the personal service naturalists. Limit 14.
ARGENTINA & CHILE Nov. 12- Dec. 2, 2011
Andes, Patagonia, Pampas, Tierra del Fuego, Iguazu Falls.
MARK SMITH NATURE TOURS Note on this trip, countries can be taken as individual trips.
Willamette Intl. Travel has been helping book air, pre/post November is spring in the south of South America. Start
tours and insurance for Mark’s clients for over 25 years. in Santiago, through the wine country to the Chilean Lake
District. Then to the Towers of Paine, and the Glaciers
Pam Davis, who has been with Willamette for 25 years in National Parks. From the Straights of Magellan fly south to
2011 helps answer questions about Mark’s Tours when he Tierra del Fuego’s lakes. From Ushuaia, cruise the Beagle
is away escorting and we know many of you enjoy Pam’s Channel before flying north to the Valdes Peninsula, a park
knowledge and willingness to assist. of Patagonian steppe. Time in Buenos Aires, with a visit to
Mark’s keen interest in nature as a boy led him to study the Pampas, before flying north to Iguazu Falls.
biology at OSU and to build his own tour business. Most Leaders: Marc Egger & Santiago de la Vegas. Limit 14
of Mark’s tours are co-led by fine naturalists from the host
country and each destination is researched personally
Willamette Travel Store
Pack Smart: The Beauty of Packing Light
By Christina Cooper
John and I spent 18 days in London and Kenya at the end of our slacks on top. The cubes fit snugly into a suit case with
December/January this year. We had to have warmer clothing no wasted space. The cubes hold your clothing tightly which
for our stopover in London pre/post Kenya, plus we had school means less wrinkles We both use the Travelin’ Toiletries Kit
supplies to deliver to the school we support in the Lewa region which are very functional .
of Kenya, as well as gifts for our guides and others in Kenya. ALL THESE PIECES ARE LIGHT WEIGHT ESSENTIAL
We traveled using the items shown below and the Civita Day NOW THE AIRLINES ARE REDUCING DOWN BAGGAGE
Pack. Had we not had the school supplies and gifts we would ALLOWANCE. We do carry limited stock in our Travel Store,
have both been able to use a 21" roll-aboard. The Civita Day and we can also order any item that’s currently out of stock
Pack is light and will pack into your checked suit case to use on and have it sent directly to you.
arrival at your Destination. It was great for day use on safari, We elected to go with the bright red knowing it would show
holding 2 pairs of binoculars; camera and our valuables. We up on the baggage carousel. These are available in grey, black,
left the Avanti Rolling Tote which was our carry on during the or blue.
flights, stored at our Nairobi Hotel packed with our London
clothing. Stop in and see John or call him if you wish to order over
the phone. We will give a 20% discount to any client who
We can travel light because we use the Rick Steves packing receives our newsletter (means you are in our active
cubes. In one large packing cube we can roll up 5 tops and lay data base).
Rick Steves Packing
Rick Steves Avanti Rolling Tote Cube Set
Locking handle, in-line skate wheels. Three ultra light mesh cubes.
Bold colors for easy I.D! Padded Keep your gear and clothing
laptop compartment. happily organized.
Item No. 2517 $99.95 Item No. 1108 $19.95
Rick Steves 21" Roll-Aboard Rick Steves 24" Roll-About
Rick Steves Roll-Abouts are ultra light; This ultra light weight Roll-About weighs
This 21" rolling case weighs 7.8 lbs. only 9 lbs. Made from super tough UV
Made from super tough UV resistant resistant shell fabric, with a non-slip
shell fabric, with a non-slip handle, and handle, and exceptionally smooth rolling
exceptionally smooth rolling wheels. wheels. All the same great easy packing
Easily expands to gain extra 2 inches of features as the 21" Roll-Aboard with a lot
packing depth. Includes organizer mesh more space. Includes organizer mesh bags
bags and clip-in security pouch. and clip-in security pouch.
Item No. 1105 21" $149.95 Item No. 1105 24" $179.96
Shipping is FREE on orders over $150.00
OR stop into our office to pick up your item and receive a 20% discount!
gLOBAL RE ENTRY TRAvELgUARD INSURANCE
Remember the Global Re Entry which speeds up entry back I think you all know we are big proponents of trip insurance.
into the USA. All the information can be found on the web Taken when you pay your initial deposit, Travelguard covers
site usa.immigrationvisaforms.com. Remember to give us your you not only for unforeseen natural disasters, airline strikes,
membership numbers if you do sign up and are accepted. etc, but also if you have to cancel for work reasons, and will
cover your investment if your tour operator, cruise line or
gOvERNMENT REgISTRATION PROgRAM airline file for bankruptcy. Travelguard will cover up to 2
Before taking an international trip look at the STEP program. children under 17 years of age for no additional fee.
This is the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment While many feel they can afford to loose their trip invest-
Program, which enables you to register your contact ment, the financial impact of requiring an air ambulance
information & travel details prior to leaving the USA. The can be huge. One year we had clients who had to be air
State Department uses this information to communicate travel ambulanced from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore. The one
alerts, warnings and updates from embassies to US Travelers hour flight cost close to $25,000.
(travelregistration.state.gov). Many travelers found this STEP
program invaluable during the recent unrest in Egypt and If you want to gamble and not cover your trip investment,
other Middle East countries. think about at least taking the emergency medical
evacuation, coverage for medical expenses, lost baggage,
missed connections, & trip delay expenses. This insurance
SEATS is relatively inexpensive, and will give you peace of mind.
Many of you already view SeatGuru (seatguru.com).Other
sites are: seatexpert.com, and SkyTrax (airlinequality.com).
Word of caution: two airlines with the same equipment
may not have the same configuration. Booking late will PASSPORTS & vISAS
mean little or no options for an aisle or window seat, but You may not need a visa to enter a country but you will
remember it is always best to take a less desirable seat than need a passport with a minimum of 3 to 6 months validity.
arriving at the airport with no specific seat. Go online 24 We heard a horror story recently of a relative of one of
hours prior to check in or ask the airline when you check our clients who had purchased a ticket online. When they
in at the airport to see if seating can be improved. Your checked in for their Amsterdam flight, their passport had
frequent flyer status may help open up seats to assign. only 2 months 26 days validity. Holland requires 3 months,
as do most Western European Countries. Australia requires
six months, as do many countries in Asia, Middle East
TRAvELEX CHIP & PIN CARDS & Africa. We are trying to notify our clients when their
As many of you have found out, U.S. issued credit cards often passport is about to expire. Please email to us your passport
do not work in Europe and other parts of the world where number, expiration date, date of birth, and how your name
credit cards have embedded chips and a personal identification reads on the passport.
number (PIN). Through our membership with Results/Travel
Leaders Consortium, we can help obtain a pre loaded card Many of you suffered with long delays in getting a Brazilian
which can be used throughout Western Europe. You decide the visa in 2010. Recent data showed the USA took as long as
amount of money you want loaded, and you can add to the 145 days to issue a U.S. Visa to Brazilian residents, and the
amount at any time. Cards can be issued in either Euro or the fees were high. 65% of visitors to the USA do arrive from
British Pound. The card is not connected to your bank account countries that require no U.S. Visa. However, the same data
so there is little risk of identity theft if lost or stolen. Talk to showed that the visa process to enter the USA deterred both
your Willamette Agent if you are interested in learning more. leisure & business travelers. Meaning the US was knocked
out of the running for numerous trade shows, conferences &
exhibitions. Winning back these visitors could help to create
KEY DATES WHEN HOTEL SPACE WILL BE vERY TIgHT jobs and boost the economy.
Oct 14-24 Rugby World Cup 2011
HOTEL RATINg gUIDES
Melbourne Australia Always compare 2 hotel rating sites. Most of you already
Nov 15-20 The Presidents Cup 2011 view TravelAdvisor but add www.raveable.com. You may find
Jan 16-29 Australian Tennis Open the hotel you are looking at is rated very differently.
ANTARCTICA – gAP Adventures BAJA – Lindblad Tours
John & Beth Bishop Mary Sonnack/Paul Conrow
February 2011 March 2011
Agent Linda Fisher Agent Nancy Fowler
Say “Antarctica” and scenes of explorers in ice-coated parkas We booked over a year in advance the Lindblad 2 week trip
toiling towards the South Pole come to mind. We have always to Baja the only time some of the Islands in the north end of
sought out-of-the-way places, so we contacted Linda Fisher the Sea of Cortez are visited. This is the only time to see the
for help in finding the right fit for us in our search for a trip to “boojum” tree. Lindblad pays the locals to be “whale watchers”
Antarctica. having found this wage system is working and the locals
We decided on the M.S. Expedition, operated by GAP now support the tourism and protect the marine life and the
Adventures. She carries 126 passengers, lands people by zodiac environment. Lindblad were upfront that in March some
at several locations and provides lectures on the flora, fauna, whales may have already left the area. However, we were lucky
history and geology of the area. to see; humpbacks; blue; fin; gray and beards. At one point we
had a pod of 1000 plus dolphins around our zodiacs.
Our February 5, 2011 departure was a good choice for weather
and temperature, while cold it was not frigid, and while cloudy Lindblad’s attention to detail is extraordinary. One day we
it was not stormy. Departing from Ushuaia we safely crossed could not get into the Pacific side to see the gray whales.
the Drake Passage, followed by landings on the Islands along Instead of giving up, Lindblad hired trucks, vans, cars whatever
the Antarctic Peninsula and on the continent at Neko Bay. was available and drove their guests over really bumpy roads to
It is an enchanted region of filmy clouds framing ice-bound the coast, where they had hired pangas to take the passengers
islands populated by seals, skuas, and penguins. Each landing out to get up close to the whales.
introduced us to something new; penguins with chicks; Baja is referred to as the Mexican Galapagos, and we were
molting seals; an old research station; an abandoned whaling surprised at the huge variety of endemic wildlife, the incredible
base or beaches littered with whale bones. Each day was bird viewing. We were also impressed with Lindblad’s Conser-
enriched with new experiences. Our thanks to Linda and GAP vation Fund, which they introduced at the end of the cruise.
Adventures for a wonderful adventure. They triple match any donation made by a guest. I highly
recommend this unique 2 week trip to Baja, but remember you
have to book at least a year in advance.
COSTA RICA – Caravan Tours
January 2011 REMINDERS FROM WILLAMETTE
Agent Barbara Baumer Do remember most of our trip reports are viewable on our
web site. This summer we will be updating these reports.
The Costa Rica trip was fabulous, Caravan Tours really takes
We will have Christina’s updated report on her recent trips
care of its clients.
to various parts of Africa; Nancy’s full report on her visit to
Each day was planned but not over planned. Plenty of free Red Mangrove Lodges in the Galapagos. Barbara’s report is
time, so you could take advantage of facilities at your hotel, already on the web. Pam is currently in Hawaii, her first trip
a massage at Arenal Manoa Resort, or taking a taxi into the in 20 years to Oahu, Hawaii, Maui & Kauai. Look for Pam’s
small town of Fortuna where I sat “nursing” an ice coffee report on the web by July.
and watching the local scene. The weather in January was
We encourage you to email Nancy asking to be included
great, only a couple of days when we have rain showers. Lots
in our email blast: firstname.lastname@example.org. We send these
of wildlife viewing; crocodiles, birds, iguanas. My favorite
out once a week, listing amazing deals from our preferred
place was JW Marriott on the Pacific Coast, our room had
suppliers. Many of you have booked from one of these
a wonderful balcony, and we could watch the incredible
emails; Oceania Cruises at 75% off; 2 for 1 sailings with
sunsets and the stars. Our excellent guide, Clarence Taylor
Viking River Cruises & Avalon; 2 for 1 business class air fare
was so knowledgeable and was willing to share his knowledge
to Australia/New Zealand. Early booking discounts on the
about the politics, and people of Costa Rica. I would highly
Trans-Siberian train. Free extra days on Eurail passes. We try
recommend Caravan Tours to others.
to make these messages, timely & varied. If you are not on
the list you will not hear about these incredible “deals”.
WHAT IS IN A HOTEL’S STAR? AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES
Nancy Fowler Barbara Baumer • May 2012
We are often asked what hotels offer for their purported star Our cruise was Athens to Rome, and I arrived in Athens one
rating. One of our most trusted sources bases its ratings on day ahead of the cruise departure date, which is what we always
the hotel’s character and its range of facilities, amenities and recommend allowing for flight delays.
services. AND criteria is relative to the location and type of Azamara is a small ship holding only 694 passengers with 408
property. For example, a pool is essential for a 3-star resort crew members. 70% of the cabins have verandahs. Our cabin
in Palm Springs, but an option in a 5-star hotel in London. was large enough to have a sitting area with sofa, coffee table.
Confused yet? On my recent visit to Quito, Ecuador, I found 2 Plenty of closet space for 2. Bottled water, soft drinks, as well
hotels that demonstrate the nuances. as wine with lunch & dinner are included. Premium wines are
PATIO ANDALUZ: 3-STAR RATED available at cost. Tips to the ship’s staff are included in the cost.
Formerly a 17th century mansion, located 1 ½ blocks from I loved the longer stays at the ports –we did not leave port until
Plaza Grande. No elevators, many steps. later in the evening, and we had 2 full days in Sorrento, so were
• leasing, sometimes awkward, mix of old colonial and
P able to take the train to Pompeii, Naples and still have time
utilitarian contemporary. to explore Sorrento & the Amalfi Coast. At each port, a local
tourist representative came on board and provided maps and
• 1 restaurant and 1 small bar general information for those not taking one of the Azamara
• 4-hr front desk with English speaking staff, electronic
2 organized shore excursions. We did take a shore excursion in
charger bank & 24-hr coffee/ tea service in library, 1 Sorrento called “hike the Path of the Gods”. It is a 2.5 hour
computer/printer free for guests (no WIFI in the hotel), walk along the Amalfi Coast, starting at Bomerano, a small
sun room. village, then through the hills high above the town to end in a
small village above Positano. I did not think the walk was too
• ooms are large with modern bathrooms and colonial style
strenuous, but be sure you can walk the distance. We had time
bedrooms. Few with a/c so upper floor rooms can get quite
in Positano before we were bused back to Sorrento & our ship.
hot from the greenhouse-like roof. No fridge or mini-bar.
Odd use of furniture; 1 chair for a double room, unusable
reading light positions. MADRID
• Staff are welcoming and so helpful. John Cooper • April 2011
I had a tremendous time in Madrid at the end of April. We
Nightly rates from $190 spent just two nights and it left me anxiously awaiting my
next trip to this great city. We flew from Paris to Madrid and
HOTEL PLAZA gRANDE: 5-STAR RATED
as we were traveling with hand luggage took the Metro from
On the Plaza Grande, with great views, with the president as a
the airport to the hotel. Just one change of trains, travel time
frequent guest. (Presidents keep their private home, not living
approximately 35 minutes, cost 2euro. We stayed at the Hotel
in the Palace).
Hesperia in the Castellana. However, after a long Trans Atlantic
• otel facilities include: small gym, sauna and spa rooms, flight, and with extra luggage I would recommend either a taxi
2 restaurants, several intimate bars, elevator, room service, or let us arrange for a private transfer to your hotel. The Metro
24-hr front desk with on duty manager. was spotless, as was Madrid, and using the Metro within the
• 5 suites over 2 floors. View suites have larger baths &
1 City only cost 1 Euro, the same as the bus system.
balconies opening either onto the Plaza or the side street. The hotel was great, with excellent service and food. It is well
• ll rooms have a/c, include free WIFI, stuffed minibars,
A located for both the Metro and bus and close to some superb
comfy sitting area, whirlpool-shower combo tubs and heated restaurants. We dined at the nearby Jose Luis on Serrano and
floor tiles in bathroom, Egyptian bed linens, goose down had a splendid dinner, in true Spanish tradition we did not
pillows, robes and slippers. start eating until 10:30 p.m. We visited the world famous
Museo del Prado, Museo del Ejercito and Museo Naval. One
Nightly rates from $550/Royal suites and $650/Plaza suites of our favorite areas was the Plaza Mayor, full of people and
Is each a good value for their price points? Absolutely! Decision wonderful cafes. We discovered the Mercado San Miguel, it is
depends on the experience you are looking for and the a fabulous covered market full of foods, tapas and wine bars.
amenities you want in your hotel. And your Willamette agent is Wonderful three hour lunch and an array of Spanish wines
an excellent source to match the right hotel to you. which were excellent and well priced. Cannot wait to go back!!
Willamette International Travel PRSRT STD
1314 NW Irving Street, Suite 101 US POSTAGE
Portland, OR 97209-2721
503•224•0180 or 1•800•821•0401 PAID
Fax: 503•242•3867 Email: email@example.com PERMIT NO. 2177
Web site: www.wittravel.com
Return Service Requested
What you have to say...
BE PREPARED 7. Be proactive in planning to leave so you can make plans to
William Kinsey & Arlena Barnes leave before events become so bad there is no way out. Again
Agent Pam Davis • Egypt January 2011 have good contacts on the ground and back at home.
Bill & Arlena found themselves stranded in Cairo during the 8. Allow for additional and unexpected costs. Unfortunately
unrest. Here are their thoughts about being prepared. our travel insurance did not cover “civil unrest”. (Note: trip
insurance does not cover for civil unrest but does cover for
1. Bring a world phone. We rented one from Verizon and it acts of terrorism within certain criteria)
worked well, and enabled us to send & receive text messages less
costly than phone calls Fortunately Bill and Arlena were flown by Wilderness Travel
(California) from Cairo to Amman Jordan on a chartered
2. When traveling include an option for accessing the Internet plane. Pam worked with Air France who allowed the return
such as a smart phone or computer. Small hotels often do not ticket to be changed to Amman/Seattle without penalty. We
have access to the internet. thank Bill & Arlena for sharing their insight.
3. Monitoring news is important. Look for English newspapers;
tune in to English TV Broadcasts. (WIT recommends the CONgRATULATIONS
International Herald Tribune or CNN international) To John Koch, who had one of his photos in the top 3 of the
Oregon Blue Book photo contest. This photo will appear in
4. Anticipate failure of electronic communications transactions an up-dated on line version of the Oregon Blue book.
through cell phones and the internet. Have a back up plan. http://bluebok.state.or.us
Whilst the cell network was down we used the hotel phone to
call the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. To Paula Naughton who was one of the judges at the World
Ice Skating Championship in Moscow, Paula’s last judging
5. Make sure you have cash on hand: ATM’s were down. assignment before her retirement. Originally due to take
6. Have good contacts in case of emergencies. We cannot speak place in Japan, but moved last minute to Moscow after the
more highly of Wilderness Travel & Akron their staff member, earthquake. Paula & Jim took the fast train from Moscow
as well as Willamette Intl. Travel. Akron acted effectively to St. Petersburg for 4 days after her assignment. In Paula’s
under stressful conditions to move us out of Cairo and Pam at words “The train ride was FABULOUS – fast, clean &
Willamette made new flight reservations assuring us of seats for modern, and interesting to see the countryside. The opulence
our changed return. of St. Petersburg is over the top”.