LEESBURG, Fla. -- More of today's financially and physically fit
seniors are riding the adventure-travel wagon, and it is the
successful agent who climbs on board.
Take Paul Holland, vice president of Barbara's Cruises and Tours,
an agency here that markets mainly to seniors.
Although some agents contacted by Travel Weekly said they
dropped their senior itineraries in favor of adventure (read
"younger") travelers, Holland has begun offering older adults rail
tours and tall-mast cruises along with the traditional motorcoach
trips and Alaska cruises. "TransCanada by Train [tour] is very
popular as well as Windjammer cruises," Holland said.
The TransCanada itinerary is operated by Maupintour, which pays
agents a standard commission of 10%. But according to David Smith,
Maupintour's marketing communications manager, commissions can go
as high as 17%, depending upon the number of sales and special
marketing agreements that have been made with several
Barbara's Cruises and Tours belongs to GEM Cruiselink, a member
of the Travel Associates Network consortia, and earns between 13%
and 17%, Holland said.
Maupintour's 12-day rail trip begins in Toronto aboard the
Canadian, switches to motorcoach in Jasper, Alberta, for the ride
to Banff, where passengers board the Rocky Mountaineer train for
the two-day trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. The rail tour
operates from early June to late September at a price of $3,495 per
Miami-based Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' passengers can choose
from one of six tall ships or the company's "workhorse" vessel, a
supply ship turned small-cruise ship.
For the less intrepid, Barbara's Cruises and Tours sells
multiday motorcoach trips to South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and
South Florida as well as day trips to Disney, the Space Coast,
Busch Gardens "and places that people would not think of on their
own," Holland said.
Here is a sampling:Savannah Retreat, a tour of the Georgia city, Sept. 27 to 29.
For $323 per person, double, motorcoach passengers receive two
nights' accommodations at the Days Inn Historic, two breakfasts,
lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House, a Southern buffet at Lady and
Sons restaurant, dinner at the Riverhouse restaurant and a city and
book tour ("Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil") with a
step-on guide.A Dickens Christmas, Savannah and Myrtle Beach, S.C., Nov. 10
to 14. The annual Dickens Christmas Show and Festival is a 19th
century country fair.
The setting includes gas street lamps, three-dimensional London
row houses and a 28-foot Victorian tree.
Crafts, toys and antiques will be offered for sale, and the
Beggars Ball features a dance band and a full Elizabethan-style
supper (no utensils). The program includes a Holiday Plantation
Tour with a Victorian holiday luncheon.
Entertainment includes the "Carolina Opry's Christmas Show" and
the "Radio City Christmas Spectacular," starring the Rockettes, at
the Palace Theater.
The price of $528 per person, double, includes motorcoach
transportation, one night in Savannah and three in Myrtle Beach,
four breakfasts, two lunches, four dinners, all admissions on the
itinerary, taxes and gratuities. For more information, call
Maupintour at (800) 255-4266 and Windjammer Barefoot Cruises at