NEW YORK – March 9, 2015 – As the US dollar continues to strengthen against global currencies like the euro, Japanese yen, Russian ruble, and Canadian and Australian dollars, travelers will find greater spending power in destinations across the globe. In particular, the current strength of the dollar is a boon for Europe-bound travelers as Americans will see the most favorable exchange rates in more than a decade.
With increased European bookings this year and earlier than usual requests for summer travel to Europe, the tour operator members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) have expanded already robust tour programs to meet growing demand, many also providing special value offers.
“Traveling internationally with a USTOA tour operator offers an extra layer of value allowing visitors to delve even deeper into local cultures across the globe,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “Tour and travel prices are negotiated a year or more in advance which locks in savings and protects travelers against rising costs. And, once in the destination, the current exchange rates means that travelers’ dollars will go even further for shopping and additional excursions,” he continued.
Following is a sampling of European and UK itineraries from USTOA members – many of which are new and some with special offers for savings – on which travelers can take advantage of the rising strength of the dollar:
Insight Vacations has recently added 12 new itineraries to Europe, now traveling to nearly every single country on the continent. On the 10-day “Dalmatian Elegance” journey to Croatia, guests will sample wines at a local winery in Korcula, enjoy a typical village feast of Croatian delicacies in Kuna, and ride a cable car to the summit of Srd Mountain for scenic views over the famous fortifications in Dubrovnik. Available over multiple departure dates May through October 2015, prices start at $2,566 per person based on double occupancy. Early payment discounts are available. Visit www.insightvacations.com for more information.
Cox & Kings has made it easy to tailor the perfect European vacation with its new Spotlight Journeys, a collection of immersive single destination four-day/three-night itineraries to popular European cities. The journeys start at $750 per person, and can be easily combined to create a longer, multi-city trips. The “Italy-Florence, Bernini Palace” journey, for instance, includes three nights in the heart of Florence, breakfast daily, and a half-day customizable sightseeing tour with a local guide. More details can be found at www.coxandkingsusa.com.
On Mayflower Tours eleven-day “Legendary Blue Danube River Cruise,” available May 4 and September 27, 2015 aboard the exclusively chartered MS Amadeus Elegant, guests will visit Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Highlights include an organ concert in Passau, Germany, a culinary demonstration by the ship’s chef and a visit to Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Prices start at $3,149 per person twin. With a special offer – two for one airfare or a waived single supplement – guests can save up to $2,159. For more information, visit www.mayflowertours.com.
Travelers can take particular advantage of the stronger US dollar on the new “Glacial Wonders of the South Coast” itinerary from Avanti Destinations. This four day foreign independent tour includes two nights in Reykjavik, one night in Vik, a Solheimajokull glacier hike, and a Myrdalsjokull glacier snowmobile excursion. Available through April 2015, prices start at $759 per person, double occupancy, land only. Visit www.avantidestinations.com for more details.
Travelers are invited to spend “A Week in London” with Monograms. On this seven-day trip, guests will receive VIP access to St. Paul’s Cathedral, watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and enjoy plenty of free time to explore at leisure using recommendations from local guides. Available over various departure dates in March 2015 and from March through November 2016, prices start at $1,044 per person, double occupancy, land only. Visit www.monograms.com for more information.
SITA World Tours recently launched a new Europe product line, Europe Value Tours, and when booked before March 31, 2015, guests will save 5% off land prices on all itineraries. On the seven-day “The Great Wine Regions of France – Champagne, Burgundy and The Rhone Valley” guests will learn how bubbly wine is produced at a family run champagne house, discover regional wines from local experts and explore the eateries and boutiques lining the cobblestone streets of charming, historic towns. Available May 10 and 31, August 2 and 23 and September 13 and 27, prices start at $3,615 per person, double occupancy. For more information, visit www.sitatours.com.
In addition to launching a new super ship, S.S. Maria Theresa, in 2015, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has added a handful of new European itineraries, including the 12-night “Jewels of Spain, Portugal and the Douro.” On this exceptional journey, guests will visit a number of cities, seeing a flamenco show in Madrid, meeting winemakers who run picturesque quintas and tasting Lisbon’s famous local dessert, pastéis de Belém, a custard pastry. Available April 2015 through July 2016, prices start at $5,299 per person, double occupancy, cruise/tour only. Visit www.uniworld.com for more information.
On the 13-day “Celtic Dream” journey from Celtic Tours World Vacations, available May through September 2015, travelers will visit Dublin, Belfast, Donegal, Galway, Limerick, Adare, Killarney, Blarney, Cobh and Waterford. Highlights include a traditional medieval castle banquet and a visit to a working farm. Prices start at $2,449 per person, double occupancy, land only. Guests can save $400 per couple with promo code DREAMWEB400. Visit www.celtictours.com for more details.
With the Euro at its low level, this summer is an ideal time to plan a multigenerational trip to Europe. Abercrombie & Kent’s 10-day “World War II on the Rhine: 70 Years After Victory” will appeal to the whole family with stories from noted European art historian and lecturer, James McKenzie-Hall. Available June 3 and 17, 2015, prices start at $5,695 per person based on double occupancy. More details are available at www.abercrombiekent.com.
Save up to $2,000 per cabin on Collette’s “Legendary Waterways of Europe” 16-day itinerary, departing May 1 or 15, 2015. While cruising along the waters of the Rhine, Moselle, Main and Danube, guests will visit Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. Local highlights include a Dutch folklore show, exploring the market in Miltenberg and learning about Vienna’s imperial architecture, from Hofburg Palace to the Vienna Opera House, from an expert. Prices start at $4,049 per person, land only, double occupancy. For more information, visit www.gocollette.com.
Representing more than $12.5 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 7.6 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.
As a voice for the tour operator industry for 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.
Gina Sisco Dolecki/Liz Carty
Redpoint Marketing PR., Inc.
A travel vacation should not only be an unforgettable experience, but offer solid peace of mind. That’s why USTOA created a consumer protection fund which protects consumers who book with our Active Members.Learn More