Docstoc

Willamette International Travel - PDF

Document Sample
Willamette International Travel - PDF Powered By Docstoc
					          Willamette International Travel
      Experience the World
                         Thanks for your comments, keep them coming

                         S
                                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
    wittravel.com
                         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
Domestic         6-7
                         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      christinac@wittravel.com
                         However, if you are anxious to view the report
Travel Store     12                                                                 john cooper               johnc@wittravel.com
                         earlier, both Nancy & Pam’s full reports will be
                                                                                    barb baumer               barbb@wittravel.com
Travel Tips      13      on our web site by end of July.
                                                                                    pam davis                 pamd@wittravel.com
Client Reports   14      Unfortunately the reports on our web site are              linda fisher              lindaf@wittravel.com
                         getting a little dated, so our goal this summer is         nancy fowler             nancyf@wittravel.com
Staff News       15      to bring them up to date. By the end of July, you          karey van pelt           kareyv@wittravel.com
What You Say     16      will also find Christina and John’s full report            kathy balster            kathyb@wittravel.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.
                                                    Europe
                                                                   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 &
                                                                                              FRANCE
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;


                                                                                                                                    2
                                                        Europe
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
                                                                         20euro. www.operaroma.it
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
                                                                       tour guide.
                   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
  Bayreuth.




                                                                                                                                        3
                               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
generation groups.

                                                                                                                                      4
                               Spring Break 2012
                                                                    HOLLAND AMERICA
CELEBRITY CRUISES                                                   March 24       7 nights Eastern Caribbean aboard the
                                                                                   EURODAM
March 25       7 nights Eastern Caribbean aboard the
                                                                                   Round trip Fort Lauderdale.
               SOLSTICE
               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.



                                                                                                                                         5
                                                Domestic
                                                                                  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
                                                                                              ALASKA
                                                               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
1.866.488.0908




                                                                                                                              6
                                                   Domestic
                                                                      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.

                                                                                                NEW YORK
                                                                      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.
                           HAWAII
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
                                                                        Gardens.
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.


                                                                                                                                      7
                                                    Cruises
             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!”


                                                                                                                                   8
                             International Travel
                       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
and miss.
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.


                                                                                                                                  9
          Recommended Groups/Tours
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
your trip.



                WILLAMETTE TOURS 2012

 TURKEY         Meli Tour May 22-June 2 2012
                Photography tour

 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,



                                                                                                                             10
          Recommended Groups/Tours
                                                                                Mark Smith’s
                                                                                Nature Tours
                                                                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.
they provide.
                                                                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
 by Mark.




                                                                                                                                 11
                      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!


                                                                                                                                 12
                                                Travel Tips
                     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.
New Zealand
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.


                                                                                                                                     13
                                          Client Reports
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
Sally LaPlante
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: nancyf@wittravel.com. 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”.




                                                                                                                                      14
                                               Staff News
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
   R
•	 	 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
   H
•	 	 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!!


                                                                                                                                     15
  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
                                                                                                       PORTLAND, OR
  Fax:	503•242•3867	Email:	info@wittravel.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”.


                                                                                                                              16

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:9
posted:10/21/2011
language:English
pages:16