Editor's Notes: May 2011

If you’re gearing up for your summer vacation bookings, we’ve got a world of opportunities for you in this month’s issue—from golf vacations in Latin and North America, Europe and the Caribbean, to information on new river cruise ships and vacation choices in this month’s issue. We mention these two niche features specifically because it occurred to us that both of these travel products offer such unique booking possibilities. Golf vacations, for example, have a spontaneity to them that other vacation applications simply don’t—particularly a domestic or even a Caribbean golf getaway with good pricing that will entice that golf enthusiast client who’s been dreaming all winter of getting out on a challenging course. And with the Europe golf packages, you’re looking at a vacation deal that lends itself perfectly to multiple bookings, whether it be a group of golfing buddies or a family trip when the wife, or in the case of a golf vacation—the husband—says, “You want a golf vacation, that’s fine, but you’re not going without the rest of us.” In the case of our two river cruise features—one dealing with our onboard review of the Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection’s S.S. Antoinette, and the other focusing on exotic river cruising in Asia highlighting Pandaw Cruises—we were struck by the way that product has grown in such a short period of time, primarily because of extensive marketing efforts on the part of the cruise companies. But more importantly, the cruise companies’ efforts to differentiate their products and broaden their appeal to the different market segments. Uniworld, in particular—part of the Travel Corporation, which also owns Insight Vacations, Trafalgar and Red Carnation Hotels—is putting its very specific signature on its ships, by incorporating Red Carnation’s elegant boutique style, even on its upcoming new ship on the Mekong in January 2012. That ship is being built for them by Pandaw Cruises and will offer the same colonial style look of the other Pandaw ships, including the one being leased by Viking River Cruises on the Mekong. Pandaw is also building a ship for Avalon Waterways that will debut in 2012, underscoring the popularity of Mekong river cruising. So popular, in fact, Viking sold out its initial sailings on the Mekong in just a few short weeks. That popularity has now expanded to Pandaw Cruises, whose exposure to U.S. and Canadian passengers thanks to the marketing efforts of U.S.-based river cruise companies, is giving them a stand-alone identity, and that product recognition has come on them quite quickly and will grow even more as Uniworld and Avalon Waterways kick off their Mekong promotions.

Also, in this issue, we’re giving you a huge collection of up-to-the-minute Mexico destination wedding and honeymoon product with our Mexico Destination Weddings & Honeymoon Planner. You’ll find information on the perfect resort or venue for saying I do, as well as sightseeing options for your client and their guests.

corrections In last month’s Hurtigruten’s Trollfjord onboard review, on page 14, we mistakenly wrote that it’s a 250-mile trip from Bergen to Kirkenes. It’s actually a 1,250-mile trip. Also in last month’s issue, in the Savoring Adventure on Small Ship Cruises feature, on page 18, we quoted the founder and president of Orion Expeditions and misspelled her name as Serena Bratton—it’s actually Sarina Bratton.

next month It’s that time again—our June issue and we’re bringing you our top destination wedding resorts and top honeymoon resorts in North & Latin America and the Caribbean; and the top honeymoon resorts in Europe, Asia and the South Pacific, as well as Africa and the Middle East. We’re also going to throw in five top honeymoon resorts in Mexico, as well as the top five sexiest cruise shore excursions. And last, but never least, you’ll want to pull out and save our 2011 Brazil Travel Planner. In the meantime, have a great read.