Jan 19th
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Ask the Travel Agent

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Ask the Travel Agent

Q.     How does one pick a qualified travel agent?
A.     Seek an agent who is educated and has a good reputation--CTC designation (Certified Travel Counselor), MCC (Masters Cruise Counselor) or ACC (Accredited Cruise Counselor).  Agents with these designations have completed rigorous schooling in the travel industry.  You can find a CTC
in your area by calling ICTA at 800-542-4282 or looking up http://  To find a MCC or ACC in your area, call CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) at 212-921-0066 or look up  You also can ask friends for recommendations.
        Does your agent understand your needs, preferences and expectations?  Make sure he or she won’t just use their "preferred suppliers" but will shop around for the best deal.  Ask how they would go about getting information on a unfamiliar destination.

Q.     Can you suggest a tour or itinerary for viewing northeast U.S. fall foliage?  We will be traveling with our children ages 6, 10 and 13 and would like the trip to include history and other scenic attractions.
A.     There are many ways to view the fall foliage. Maupintours (800-255-4266) offers 7, 8 and 10 day New England fall foliage tours. Tours begin and end in Boston, MA and travel to Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Lake Placid, New York as well as to Massachusetts.  You will travel to historic places such as Old Sturbridge Village, MA, and enjoy a lobster cookout in Maine.  Tours and itineraries vary and tours include some meals. Ten percent off for children 12 and under on selected dates.
        Many cruise lines offer Fall Foliage Cruises.  Royal Caribbean International's Enchantment of the Seas offers 10 day fall foliage cruises starting and ending in Boston, cruising the New England Coast. Regal Cruise (800-270-7245) offers Fall Foliage cruises starting and ending in New York City.  Norwegian Cruise Lines and Holland American Lines offer cruises departing from New York and ending in Montreal, or the reverse.
        Also, Backroads (800-462-2848 / offers many hiking, biking, and camping trips through the northeast during this time of the year and geared to families. Packages include either all camping or inn accommodations, most meals, van support and other activities.  Equipment rentals are additional.
        If you want to travel independently, I would suggest flying into Boston, MA--rent a car and drive to Sturbridge Village (see fall adventures) just outside Boston.  Then drive through New Hampshire to Rutland, VT or to the Killington, VT area (where you can rent a condo) and back to Boston by going through southern Vermont.  There are many sights and also beautiful inns to stay in along the way.  
Q.     My family and I will be traveling to Europe in the summer of 1999. Our family will include mom, dad, two children (7 & 5), one set of grandparents and a great aunt.  Any help would be appreciated.
A.     Barge cruising is one good way to see Europe.  Afloat in France (803-842-6297) and Ambercrombie & Kent’s Continental Waterways (800-323-7308) offer family barge cruises though France on selected sailings.  Also Inland Waterway Holidays has family cruises though Belgium on selected sailings.
          GrandTravel Tours of Chevy Chase, MD (800-247-7651 or offers family tours through Europe.  One tour is called Fairytale Europe with stops at Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague.  Barging on the waterways of Holland and Belgium is also an option.

Q.     Where can our family (kids ages 9 and 11) find the best price for a week of skiing in Switzerland during the Christmas holidays?
A.     Adventures on Ski's (800-628-9655) offers round trip air from Boston or New York to Zurich with round trip 2nd class rail from Zurich to St Moritz.  Enjoy 7 nights at the Hotel Laudinella.  Packages start at $1450 per adult; children, $550.  Plan 4 hours for the train ride.

Debbie Gioquindo--Certified Travel Counselor


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This is Solomon, a new born Humpback whale. He provided hours of entertainment for our group of whale watchers. Where was Solomon born? Click here to find out.

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