Catch the wave of family surfing holidays in Hawaii ahead of the Olympics

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Surfing fans have reason to celebrate in Tokyo this summer as their favourite sport makes its debut in the 2020 Olympic Games. The sport originated in the island of Oahu, Hawaii, where rolling Pacific Ocean swells meet offshore reefs to create perfect waves.

On Oahu, the tiny surfing town of Haleiwa on the legendary North Shore  is considered the Surfing Capital of the World, while better-known Waikiki Beach on the south of the island claims the Birthplace of Surfing.  

Join the experts in catching a wave in both these surfing hotspots with this twin-centre family holiday from Bon Voyage. Start with a 5-night stay in bustling Waikiki (with surfing lesson included) before a 90 minute drive to the North Shore and the swanky Turtle Bay Hotel near Haleiwa.

The package (available during school holidays) includes flights (from London, Manchester and Glasgow), accommodation on the beach in both Waikiki and on the North Shore (room only) and car hire and costs from £2,895pp for a family of four.

Mix things up with optional tours and excursions to the likes of Kualoa Ranch on Oahu (where scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed) and the pivotal WWII naval base at Pearl Harbour.  Or for the more adventurous try your hand a shark cage diving.

For more information and to book, call Bon Voyage on 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk


In a time before America became the land of the automobile, the only way to travel over distances was by train

Time-travel through Wild West scenery on Colorado's historic railroads

Thursday 20 February 2020

In a time before America became the land of the automobile, the only way to travel over distances was by train. A good many of the USA's railroads have since been axed or decommissioned, but the state of Colorado still has heaps of appeal for train buffs.

Its Denver & Rio Grande Railway - which celebrates its 140th anniversary this year, having opened in 1880 - is a highlight, but it's not the only remarkable track to cross the Centennial State.

From the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a journey by train here combines epic landscapes with the romance of the Wild West.

Mainly built to transport gold and silver from the mines throughout the region, these railroads are now more appreciated for the vistas that they offer. Combine five of them on an all-new guided trip from Bon Voyage, which pairs rail excursions with Wild West towns and the mile-high city of Denver. 

Travelling via a mix of nostalgic trains and comfortable motor coaches, the holiday takes in Pikes Peak National Natural Landmark, the cowboy town of Durango, unspoiled canyons and mountain passes, and eerily empty Silverton (a mining era ghost town). Along the way, the itinerary crosses the continental divide as it follows a route through and around the Rocky Mountains.

Costing from £2,695 per person, the holiday has frequent departure dates between June and October and includes flights (from LHR, MAN and GLA), accommodation, transfers, GUIDING and most meals. For more information and to book, call Bon Voyage on 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk


Wander in the spirit of St David's Day on a Welsh Ramblers holiday

To celebrate Saint David's Day*, why not embark on your own Welsh pilgrimage this Spring to discover more about this country’s very distinctive culture and revered Patron Saint with walking specialists Ramblers Walking Holidays.  

Based an hour’s drive from his resting place in the eponymous St David’s, Ramblers Walking Holidays’ 5 night ‘Ceredigion & The Pembrokeshire Coast’ offers a great introduction into this esteemed Saint’s stomping ground walking one of the county’s most impressive coastal trails.   

Ceredigion & The Pembrokeshire Coast (Grade 6, Moderate)  Perfectly based for exploring Ceredigion and the more famous Pembrokeshire Coast Paths on the west coast from a tranquil bolthole nestled above the mouth of Teifi Estuary, explore an area blessed by the outstanding natural beauty, wildlife and a fascinating history. 

Covering a mix of heady coastal, wood and farmland paths, wander through tiny white-washed villages to smuggler’s coves, Stone Age forts and early Christian communities dating to the time of St David.  

Other highlights include the estuary path through the pretty town of Cardigan and St Dogmael’s beach, the hike north towards the Irish Sea and a wild moorland walk in the Preseli Mountains.

Ceredigion & The Pembrokeshire Coast 5 night holiday starts from £479 /person including half board en suite accommodation,  transport to/from trailheads and services of an experienced leader. Departing 20  April, 18 May, 15 June, 20 July 2020.  

Other great Welsh walks from Ramblers Walking Holidays include: 

The Wonders of Snowdonia (new for 2020) – a 6 night half board holiday exploring pathways and parts of the 83 mile long Slate Trail over the hills and through valleys and forests in a part of Wales that became world-renowned for its slate quarries which led to the development of the narrow-gauge railways. Immersed in Snowdonia’s beautiful mountain scenery, walks are easy and varied with picture postcard views throughout. From £729/person.  

The Four Corners of Anglesey – a 5 or 7 night half board holiday along the Anglesey path, one of the best kept secrets of Wales’ largest island, steeped in history, wildlife and natural beauty.  From £659/person.  

For more information, contact Ramblers Walking Holidays, tel: 01707 818705, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk. 818705, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk

FURTHER LATE DEAL: Save £70 and enjoy Venice without the crowds with Ramblers Walking Holidays departing 7 March 2020.

Save £70 and enjoy Venice’s gondola festooned canals and impressive venetian treasures, such as the Doge’s Palace and St Mark’s Square before the summer throngs descend on Ramblers Walking Holidays Venice - La Serenissima one week half board holiday departing 7 March 2020.

Wandering through the city’s many hidden way nooks and crannies, soak up the grandeur of Piazza San Marco and its many canals before venturing further afield by vaporetto to see glass blowing on Murano, Burano’s colourful houses and mosaics from the 12th century in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta on Torcello.

Was £1249, now £1179, Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) Venice - La Serenissima includes return flights, a 7 day pass on Venice’s transport system,entrance to the Scrovegni Chapel (new for 2020), dinners in local restaurants, local transport and expert leader.  https://www.ramblersholidays.co.uk/europe/italy/venice-la-serenissima#overview


Some of the colourful accommodation on Spitsbergen.

Explore the polar wilderness of Spitsbergen with Rubicon 3

Wednesday  5 February 2020

For an Arctic adventure this summer head north with sailing holiday experts Rubicon 3 for a two-week voyage from northern Norway to the remote wilderness of Spitsbergen in July and August for £3,069 pp.  

Rubicon 3 specialises in sailing holidays in exciting and off the beaten track locations. Sailing aboard one of their fleet of iconic 60ft clipper expedition yachts, on each voyage there is a real emphasis both on learning to sail and being able to head ashore to explore.  

On the voyage to Spitsbergen you’ll weave your way into icy coves to anchor for the night, listening to the crack of nearby icebergs and the calls of walruses and reindeer ashore. In this incredibly remote, awe-inspiring high altitude see wildlife and nature at its most beautiful. Spot artic foxes on Tryghamna and spy polar bears and beluga whales on Spitsbergen’s northerly coast.

At the beautiful bay of Magdalenefjord, where vast glaciers rolling down to the sea, step ashore on to a white sandy beach and for hardy crew members there is the chance of an invigorating swim amongst the floating ice.

The voyage ends with an open ocean passage across the Barents Strait to Tromso and the northern shores of Norway in 24-hour sunlight.    The holiday costs £3,069 pp includes 14-nights’ accommodation and food on board the yacht, foul weather and safety equipment on board, excursions and expert sailing instruction throughout.  It excludes travel to and from the start of the holiday. Departing June 17 –4 July 2020 and July 20 –7 August 2020. Rubicon 3 on 020 3086 7245;  www.rubicon3.co.uk 


Visit the Yellowstone Loop and the enjoy a journey through Utah, Wyoming and Montana

Bon Voyage offers the best accommodation available in the Yellowstone Loop

 

Tuesday 21 January 2020

The epic scenery and maxi-scale skies of America's Wild West make road-trips here a bucket-list adventure. The only catch is that the best accommodation often sells out way in advance: so North America specialist Bon Voyage suggests booking now for this summer.

Its Scenic Yellowstone Loop itinerary - new for 2020 - circles though the Rocky Mountain states of Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho via dramatic landscapes where the journey itself is the destination.  

The tailor-made, 14-night holiday takes in some of North America's most astonishing scenery - including Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks - along with Wild West towns, natural hot springs and all the wildlife for which the region is famed.

Highlights include a visit to Dinosaur National Monument (for dinosaur fossils and indigenous rock art), the cowboy town of Jackson, the bison and geysers of Yellowstone and a chance to "glamp" in a covered wagon similar to those in which pioneer settlers once crossed these frontier lands.  

From £2,195pp, including flights (from London, Manchester or Glasgow) to Salt Lake City in Utah, car hire, accommodation and a personalised "road book" with detailed directions and travel tips. To book call Bon Voyage on 0800 316 0194, www.bon-voyage.co.uk

https://www.bon-voyage.co.uk/destinations/salt_lake_city_holidays/itinerary/the_scenic_yellowstone_loop_utah_wyoming_montana_idaho


Enjoy some February sunshine on a Ramblers Walking Holiday to Malta and Gozo.

Checkout Malta and Gozo with a discounted Ramblers Walking Holiday this February

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Save £94pp exploring ‘Malta & Gozo' (grade 4, moderate) departing 25 February 2020… was £1089pp, now £995.

Combining the islands of Malta and Gozo, explore the island of Malta on a wonderful mix of scenic walks, where both the Mediterranean and rural towns and villages act as the perfect backdrop to coastal paths with magnificent views out over the turquoise seas.  

Transferring to Gozo for five nights, follow a coastline characterised by white washed cliffs and rocky tracks and enjoy unobstructed views of the whole Maltese Archipelago, with landscapes ranging from green farmland with terraced fields and table-top hills to dramatic rocky bays. 

Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk) 10 nights Malta & Gozo walking holiday includes return flights from Heathrow to Malta, airport transfers, half board en suite accommodation, transfers and local transport costs and the services of a Ramblers walking guide throughout. 

Use a Leap Year trip to the Grand Canyon to ask for your fella's hand in marriage 

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Girls: if you're tired of waiting for your man to pop the question, this February comes with a chance to gain control of the situation. With 2020 being a Leap Year, tradition dictates that women can turn convention on its head by dropping down on one knee and proposing on the 29th of February.

Leap Years - when an extra day is added to February to keep the calendar year in sync with astronomy and the seasons - occur on a four-year cycle. Impatient women have Irish folklore to thank for the topsy-turvy Leap Year tradition - and if you're going to take the plunge and ask for your lucky fella's hand, you ought to choose a suitably signature spot in which to do so.

North America specialist Bon Voyage suggests the mighty Grand Canyon, where a five-night trip to Las Vegas costs from £1,795 per person. Departing on 27 February, the package includes flights, limousine transfers, accommodation (in a suite) at the five-star Venetian Hotel, plus a helicopter trip (with champagne picnic) to the edge of the Grand Canyon. Just don't even think about leaving him there should he happen to decline...

For more information and to book call Bon Voyage 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk


Travel on little Yellow Train from the historical town of Villefranche to Mont Louis with Travel Department.

Travelling on the red train or the yellow? There's a discount for early bookers

Monday 13 January 2020

You can save £50 per person on all Travel Department holidays of seven nights or more when you book by 31 January 2020 using the promo code: VP-UK2020NEW – https://www.traveldepartment.co.uk/offer/

For example, you can experience the Spanish and French sides of The Pyrenees with a hat-trick of incredible train journeys. Check out ‘Little Trains of the Pyrenees’ and save £50 per person. It was £719 per person, now £669 per person if booked by 31 January 2020 quoting VP-UK2020NEW.

Departing 14 April from London Gatwick, travel on little Yellow Train from the historical town of Villefranche to Mont Louis, the Núria Valley Rack Railway through the mountains to the small pilgrimage town of its namesake and the 100-year-old line Red Train from Rivesalets to Axat.  

The seven night holiday includes flights from London Gatwick, transfers, half-board 4 star hotel accommodation, transfers and excursions. 

See Travel Department www.traveldepartment.co.uk or call  020 7099 9665. 

The Red Train journeys through the mountains on a 100-year-old track.


Save £155pp on a car-free discovery of America's Deep South with Bon Voyage

Friday 13 December 2019

January 2020 is a memorable month in America's Deep South, when Elvis Presley would have turned 85. Celebrate the life and times of the King of Rock'n'Roll on an 11-day trip that includes a stay at Graceland, his legendary home.

The car-free multi-centre trip combines the southern belles of New Orleans, Nashville and Memphis, with transfers in between either by train or private limousine. Better still, save £155pp on January or February departures. The holiday includes three nights in each city (room only), plus transfers and return flights from London, and costs from £1,895pp. Book by 20 December 2019

To book, call Bon Voyage on 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk


One of the magnificent Egyptian temples in Aswan

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Save £75 per person on a 12-night cruise and stay in Egypt with Travel Department

Book between 20 November and 2 December 2019 and save £75 per person* on a 12-night holiday in Egypt with Travel Department (www.traveldepartment.co.uk; 020 7099 9665) from £1,849pp. *Use promo code VP-BLACK75UK.

As the new Tutankhamun exhibition opens in London’s Saatchi Gallery this month, take inspiration to join a 7-night cruise along the River Nile, on board the 4-star HS Radamis II, combined with Cairo’s magnificent sites and time relaxing in Red Sea beach resort of Hurghada. Explore the mysteries of ancient Egypt wandering through Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, the Temple of Horus, the Valley of Kings, the High Dam at Aswan and the Temples of Karnak at Luxor.

Cost includes return flights from London and Edinburgh, transfers, 4 or 5 star hotel accommodation (BB & HB), 7 nights cruising on the 4 star HS Radamis II (including meals) and programme of excursions with English speaking knowledgeable guides. Departing  from London Heathrow on 9 May and 19 September and from Edinburgh on 16 May, 20 June, 5 September and 24 October 2020. https://www.traveldepartment.co.uk/egypt-nile-river-cruise-incl-cairo-hurghada

* BLACK FRIDAY Booking discounts are valid for all new bookings made between the 20th of November 2019 and the 2nd of December 2019. Discounts can be redeemed by booking online or by phone using promo code VP-BLACK25UK, VP-BLACK50UK and VP-BLACK75UK - discount varies based on duration of trip. Offer is non-transferable, cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and has no cash value.


The magnifcent Arizona Biltmore which is now a Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

How to combine a White Christmas with a relaxing sunshine break in Arizona

Monday 11 November 2019

May your days be merry and bright this weekend, when White Christmas The Musical opens in London (on Saturday 16 November). The score for the family-friendly, festive show was written by Irving Berlin, whose most famous song, "White Christmas" itself (recorded by Bing Crosby) became the biggest-selling single of all time.  

Irving Berlin composed the track in Phoenix, Arizona while staying at the Arizona Biltmore, a historic hotel (now a Waldorf Astoria) also favoured by Marilyn Monroe. So if you're dreaming of a white Christmas but are not so keen on the cold, get the best of both worlds with a seasonal escape to the sun-drenched desert city.  

Bon Voyage can package seven nights (room-only) at this landmark hotel from £1,425pp, including flights (from London, Manchester or Glasgow). Call 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk


Soak up the sun in Portugal's Algarve this winter

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Save up to £150 on Travel Department’s final 2019 Deals – the perfect Hat Trick for a November Break departing from Scotland Make the best of Travel Department’s (020 7099 9665, www.traveldepartment.co.uk) final 2019 deals by booking one of the following holidays departing Edinburgh with discounts of up to £150 per person departing 6, 12 and 21 November 2019.

Save £60pp on ‘The Algarve Coast & Country’ (7 nights Half Board) – was £519, now £459, departing Edinburgh on 12 November 2019

Soak up the Algarve’s winter climate, expansive beaches, dramatic landscape and quaint villages with alternate days at leisure to enjoy the sunshine.  Exploring some of the regions historic whitewashed towns and colourful fishing ports, visit Lagos and its spectacular rock formations at Ponta da Piedade, the fishing town of Sagres, the Roman and Moorish influenced town of Silves and cobbled streets of Faro with the new option to book a half day wine tour. Price includes return flights from Edinburgh, half board 3 star accommodation, excursions as outlined in the itinerary, knowledgeable local guides and transfers.   

The Plaza España in Seville, Andalusia, Spain

Save £150 on ‘Highlights of Andalucia’ (7 nights Half Board) – was £849, now £699 departing Edinburgh on 6 November 2019

Discover Spain's sunniest and most vibrant region, staying in the charming, authentically Andalucían town of Antequera.  From this base of whitewashed plazas and narrow streets, surrounded by dramatic mountains and green valleys, explore the cities of Seville, Córdoba and Granada uncovering a fascinating history ranging from the Romans to the Moors with highlights including visits to Cordoba’s Great Mosque or ‘Mezquita’, Granada’s spectacular Alhambra and the impressive Alcázar Palace and gardens in Seville.  Price includes return flights from Edinburgh, half board 4 star accommodation, excursions as outlined in the itinerary, knowledgeable local guides and transfers.  

Save £140pp on a three night B&B ‘Lisbon City Break’ – was £499, now £359, departing Edinburgh 21 November 2019

Immerse yourself in this vibrant city’s history, traditions and culture on a 3 night city break, taking in UNESCO listed Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries as well as the  Belém quarter, Jeronimos Church, Rossio Square, and the Baixa and Alfama Quarters. Price includes return flights from Edinburgh, 3 nights B&B accommodation in a 3 star hotel, a half day locally guided city tour and transfers and plenty of free time to get your own taste for Lisbon trying out the delicious local cuisine such as the rich seafood rice dish , ‘arroz de marisco’ and the famous “Pasteis de Belem” custard tarts along the way.   

For more information see:  https://www.traveldepartment.co.uk/special-offers/ 

Columbus Monument in Lisbon, Portugal.

Enjoy festival fun in Las Vegas plus toe- tapping Nashville with Bon Voyage

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Departing on 26th December US experts Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk) are offering a week-long two centre break pairing three-nights in the bright lights of Las Vegas with four-nights’ in Nashville from £1,595 per person.

Enjoy the best festive shows with oversized Christmas trees and entertainment all along the Las Vegas strip, then swap the bright lights of Sin City for toe-tapping tunes in the home of country music – Nashville, Tennessee.

On New Years’ Eve there’s free entrance to Nashville’s Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight  (https://www.visitmusiccity.com/newyearseve) concert with fireworks, headlined by country singer, songwriter Keith Urban, joined by guitarist Peter Frampton, plus soulful rising star, Devon Gilfillian and other emerging local Tennessee bands.

Cost includes flights from London Heathrow or Manchester to Las Vegas and back from Nashville, three-nights’ in Las Vegas at the MGM Hotel (room only) and four-nights’ at the Indigo Hotel in Nashville (room only), internal flights from Las Vegas to Nashville. The concert is taking place at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.


Great walks include the shapely hill of Caer Caradoc and the moorland ridge of the Long Mynd.

Got a few days to let loose in the great outdoors? Check out HF's late availability breaks in the UK

Thursday 24 October 2019

SAVE 50% OFF ON SELECTED DEPARTURES

SEVEN-NIGHT SHROPSHIRE HILLS GUIDED WALKING HOLIDAY £363 PER PERSON

Departures: 15 Nov and 22 Nov 2019: Great walks right, including the shapely hill of Caer Caradoc, and the great moorland ridge of the Long Mynd. Be inspired by the history of this border county, and the charm of storied towns such as Much Wenlock, the birthplace of the modern Olympic Games. Discover Iron Age hill forts, castles, and medieval market towns as you explore the beautiful Shropshire countryside. 3 nights stay from £169 per person, 4 nights stay from £217 per person https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/holidays-and-tours/guided-walking-church-stretton-7  

SEVEN-NIGHT ISLE OF WIGHT GUIDED WALKING HOLIDAY £363 PER PERSON

Departures: 1 Nov and 8 Nov 2019: The Isle of Wight is a world away from the bustle of the mainland. On a Guided Walking holiday guests discover the best of the island’s glorious 85-mile coastline of unspoilt sandy beaches and dramatic white cliffs, as well as panoramic walks over the flower-rich chalk downland. 4 nights stay from £217 per person https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/holidays-and-tours/guided-walking-freshwater-bay-7  

SEVEN-NIGHT CORNWALL GUIDED WALKING HOLIDAY £363 PER PERSON

Departures: 2 Nov 2019: Blessed with breathtakingly beautiful beaches, Cornwall has more miles of coastline and more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in England. On a Guided Walking holiday at St Ives guests discover the fantastic coastal path in all glory, from hidden coves to rugged headlands. 3 nights stay from £169 per person https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/holidays-and-tours/guided-walking-st-ives-7  

WHAT’S INCLUDED

•  High quality en-suite accommodation in an HF Holidays country house  

•  Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day

•  5 days guided walking; 1 free day - applies to 7 nights stay only

•  Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day

•  The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders  


For more late availability visit https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/offers/late-availability


Why not celebrate Canada's Rocky Mountaineer's 30th anniversary in 2020?

Rocky Mountaineer to celebrate  its 30th anniversary with a free night in Vancouver

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Next year sees Rocky Mountaineer - Canada's celebrated luxury train - achieve the milestone of 30 years' service though the wilds of Alberta and British Columbia.

Celebrate in style by booking a trip though North America specialist Bon Voyage (www.bon-voyage.co.uk), which is offering an extra night's accommodation free of charge, three course meal and transfers with all bookings made by 25 October, 2019. Better still, customers can upgrade to an epic 'rail and sail' adventure that combines an overland journey on Rocky Mountaineer with a cruise along Alaska's Inside Passage.  

The adventure begins with an overnight in Vancouver before boarding Holland America's Volendam for a seven-night voyage (in an ocean-view stateroom) via Ketchikan, Juneau and Glacier Bay to seek indigenous cultures and wildlife encounters amidst epic coastal scenery. Guests then return to Vancouver for a two-night city break before commencing the rail element of the trip, which traverses the unspoiled scenery between Vancouver and Jasper via some of North America's most arresting mountain backdrops.

The journey continues by road along the legendary Icefields Parkway to Banff and on through Yoho National Park, Lake Louise (for an overnight stay at the celebrated Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise) and the cowboy town of Calgary, where the odyssey comes to an end.  

The holiday costs from £4,995 per person and includes flights (from London, Manchester or Glasgow), transfers, three nights in Vancouver (at the four-star Pinnacle Hotel), a seven-night ocean cruise and six-night escorted journey by rail and road from Vancouver to Calgary, including SilverLeaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer (covering drinks and meals). The itinerary is also available in reverse order. 

For more information about the holiday check out: https://www.bonvoyage.co.uk/holidays/cruise_and_stay/itinerary/rocky_mountaineer_holland_america_alaska_cruise or to book, call Bon Voyage on 0800 316 0194 or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk