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Tour Newsletter Dated July 25, 2016

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Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

I'm writing today at the end of a European vacation that took me to London, Tenerife, Madrid and Monte Carlo.

Despite the strong dollar, travel to Europe from America is off somewhat this year, due primarily to the fear of terrorism. It's understandable that some people are afraid to travel after a terrorist attack, but I'm not one of them.

Travel is a right and a privilege that none of us should be denied. There's an immense and incredible world out there, calling out to be explored, and only so much time in which to see it.

Anyone who has vacationed internationally knows that travel, above all other things, builds bridges between countries, cultures, religions, races and individuals. Everyone at Vacations To Go feels blessed to be part of such an amazing industry, and it is an honor to be trusted to annually help more than 700,000 customers see the best that the world has to offer.

If the number of Americans in Europe this summer is a little lower than usual, I certainly couldn't tell it from the packed streets, cafes and tourist attractions everywhere I went.

I stood in line for an hour to enter Westminster Abbey in London, one of my favorite places, and I shudder to think how long the queue might have been if it hadn't been raining.

I took the enjoyable, self-guided audio tour there, as I did at the Tower of London, another of my favorites, and stopped afterward for a pint at the colorful Hung, Drawn and Quartered pub.

Madrid was equally busy, with bustling squares and streets and vibrant nightlife on rooftop bars. Outdoor cafes were packed starting at 10 p.m., not coincidentally about the time the 100-degree heat of the summer day begins to wane. Bring on the tapas and ice-cold sangria!

On Tenerife, largest of the Canary Islands, I floated just offshore with a dozen pilot whales (there year-round) and a stray humpback whale, usually seen in February in those waters. I hiked through and around the spectacular, sheer cliffs of Los Gigantes, which rise from the sea to a height of 2,600 feet, took a helicopter tour of the island and rode a cable car to the top of El Teide, a 12,000-foot active volcano.

Tenerife's breathtaking natural beauty is on display just far enough off the beaten path to allow tourists to escape the crowds, even in summer.

I then flew to Nice and was shuttled to nearby Monte Carlo. A couple of days later, I heard the horrific news that someone had driven a truck into a crowd of children, women and men along the oceanfront in Nice.

Initial suspicions were quickly confirmed when it became clear that the crime was the act of another jihadist lunatic. The target was not just the good people on the Promenade des Anglais, or the people of Nice, or the people of France, but people who live free from tyranny, anywhere on Earth.

At least 84 killed, more than 100 injured, a mile-long trail of carnage and cruelty.

I resolved then to visit the Promenade to pay my respects, and here I am.

Today, along the Cote d'Azur, sunlight glistens off the water and a lone swimmer back strokes against the tide. Families spread their blankets on the rocky beach and children play at the water's edge.

But only a few steps away, on the pedestrian promenade, a memorial has sprouted and the city publicly grieves. People speak in hushed tones or not at all, hugging, crying, consoling.

Scattered amid thousands of flower bouquets and handwritten cards, there is a heart-wrenching display of ownerless toys and tiny stuffed animals. Candles flicker for those whose lights have been extinguished.

We will never know what all those children might have done with their lives, the songs they might have sung, the books they might have written, the light they might have brought to the darkness. All of that potential was swept away by the pointless act of a misguided coward.

The memorial has spread across the wide boulevard to the park, where it continues to grow at a rapid rate. The outpouring of love and goodwill from people of all nationalities is touching and inspiring.

This is a tribute to those who lost their lives and to those who lost loved ones, to be sure, but it also seems to me to be a tribute to what is good in the world.

A prayer for Nice is a prayer for the world.

Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO



To see photos of the Nice memorials, please click here.
 


Here are this week's Top 15 Tours. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.

1) Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina, 10 days with CostSaver by Trafalgar. Begins and ends in Zagreb. Starting at $1,375. Departures from March 25 through October 7, 2017.
 
2) Morocco Panorama (Small Group Journey), 8 days with Keytours Vacations. Begins and ends in Casablanca. Save $300 per couple. Starting at $1,455. Departures from August 13 through October 29, 2016.
 
3) Amazing Spain and Portugal, 10 days with Insight Vacations. Begins and ends in Madrid. Save up to 10%. Starting at $1,935. Departures from March 31 through October 27, 2017.

4) Heart of Wales and England, 8 days with CIE Tours. Begins in London and ends in Windsor. Save $200 per couple. Starting at $1,943. Departures from August 27 through October 1, 2016.
 
5) Spectacular Canadian Rockies, 9 days with Trafalgar. Begins in Vancouver and ends in Calgary. Save up to 10%. Starting at $2,156. Departures from May 13 through September 16, 2017.
 
6) National Parks Wonders, 9 days with Trafalgar. Begins in Salt Lake City and ends in Rapid City. Save up to 10%. Starting at $2,228. Departures from May 13 through October 7, 2017.

7) Kruger & Cape Town by Plane, 11 days with Intrepid Travel. Begins in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town. Save 20%. Starting at $2,630. Daily departures from August 8 through September 30, 2016.
 
8) Peru: Ancient Land of Mysteries, 10 days with Collette. Begins and ends in Lima. Save $200 per couple. Starting at $2,799. Departures from May 13, 2017 through March 3, 2018.
 
9) The Best of Italy, 11 days with Globus. Begins and ends in Rome. Save 10%. Starting at $3,027. Departures from April 2 through October 25, 2017.

10) Best of Ireland & Scotland, 15 days with Brendan. Begins in Dublin and ends in Edinburgh. Save up to 10%. Starting at $3,353. Departures from April 15 through October 7, 2017.
 
11) Gems of Northern Italy, 10 days with Uniworld. Begins in Milan and ends in Venice. Fly for free from select gateways. Starting at $3,749. Departures from March 31 through November 3, 2017.
 
12) Rhine Getaway, 8 days with Viking River Cruises. Travels between Basel and Amsterdam. Fly for free from select gateways, plus companion cruises for free. Starting at $3,948. Departures from March 18 through December 29, 2017. 

 13) Splendors of Africa, 12 days with SITA Tours. Begins in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg. Save $1,000 per couple. Starting at $5,945. Daily departures from August 9 through December 13, 2016.

14) The Frozen Land of the Penguins, 13 days with Hurtigruten. Begins and ends in Ushuaia. Fly for free from select gateways. Starting at $8,970. Departs November 15, 2017.
 
15) Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent, 11 days with Quark Expeditions. Begins and ends in Ushuaia. Save 10% to 20%. Starting at $10,595. Departs February 2, 11 & 20, 2017.
 
Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-680-2858. For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click here.

For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click here.
For river cruises up to 50% off, click here.
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click here.
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality, click here.

Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@tourvacationstogo.com and I will respond the same day.

If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward this email to family and friends.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go



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