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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, July 2013 Issue

Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright  2013 
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff

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Around The World Flights - Promo Code WORLD15

In This Issue:
Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island, Galápagos Islands

Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands photo PinnacleRockonBartolomeIsland.jpg

  • Greyhound "Capture the Moment Sweepstakes"
  • Florida Ladies Golf & Spa Package
  • Trip Tip
  • MSC Cruises Balcony Deals
  • Caribbean, Mexico Resort Deals
  • U.S. Hotel & Resort Deals
  • $761 Rome/Sorrento Package
  • Chile Family Friendly & Ski Deals
  • New Orleans Park Family Fun Pass
  • Minimize Risk of Allergic Reaction when Flying
  • IHG Customer Loyalty Rewards
  • Mystic Aquarium’s Titanic Hotel Package
  • Couples Save $200 on 9-Day Costa Rica Tour
  • Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf Bed And Breakfast Package
  • Savings at the Parking Spot Airport Parking
  • Hurtigruten Up to 50% Off on Fly-Voyage Packages
  • Free Air on International Expeditions’ Galapagos Cruises
  • Free Nights at Ritz-Carlton Hotels
  • United Planet Annual Photo/Video Contest
  • Cruise Industry’s Passenger Bill Of Rights

    Greyhound "Capture the Moment Sweepstakes"

    Greyhound will give one person and three guests a chance to win a weekend getaway to any Six Flags theme park with its "Capture the Moment Sweepstakes." Through July 31, 2013, you can enter to win by submitting a photo and caption that completes the sentence, "We need an adventurous trip to Six Flags because…" to social.dog@greyhound.com.

    The winner and their three guests will receive a grand prize worth up to $4,000, which includes admission for four to a Six Flags theme park of their choice, free roundtrip tickets on Greyhound, a VIP Tour of Six Flags for four people, a two-night hotel stay, food and beverages.

    The grand prize winner will be selected by random drawing and notified by telephone and mail by Aug. 16, 2013. Click here to review the restrictions, official rules and details for the "Capture the Moment Sweepstakes."

    Greyhound or 800/231-2222.

    Florida Ladies Golf & Spa Package

    Renaissance World Golf Village Resort in Jacksonville/St. Augustine, FL offers a “Fore The Ladies” package.

    In addition to accommodations for two nights at the Northeast Florida resort, the package includes: one round of golf per person on the resort’s Slammer & Squire golf course or King & Bear golf course; one spa treatment per person at the Spa at World Golf Village; free transportation to downtown St. Augustine; breakfast daily per person; champagne and strawberries delivered to the room, and range balls.

    Available through Aug. 1, 2013, the two-night package is based on availability and costs from $329 per room, per night (plus tax and gratuity) for two people in the room. The rate for four people in the room is from $539 per room, per night (plus tax and gratuity).

    For the package for two people, reference Promotional Code GPF. For the package for four people, reference Promotional Code P51. Advanced reservations are required, blackout dates may apply, and a limited number of rooms are available. The offer does not apply to groups of 10 or more rooms and cannot be combined with any other promotions.

    Located next to the World Golf Hall of Fame, the resort is 10 minutes (one exit) from St. Augustine Premium Outlets.

    Fore The Ladies Package or or 888/740-7020.

    High Sierra

    Trip Tip by Nicki Chodnoff

    Can cozys, those soft foam rubber can slip-ons that keep soda and beer cans cool, are great protectors. When you buy them as souvenirs they can also help you on your trip. Stash your valuables such as credit cards or cash inside the can cozy to make your valuables less obvious in your suitcase. Or you can store fragile things in your suitcase that you intend to take with or bring home inside the cozy such as small bottles to cushion them from breaking.

    MSC Cruises Balcony Deals

    If you are looking for value for Caribbean getaways next spring, take advantage of MSC Cruises' Divine Balcony Deals. MSC celebrates the U.S. debut of MSC Divina with a private balcony at the price of an interior stateroom. Prices represent savings of up to 25 percent.

    Divine Balcony Deals make it easy to enjoy views the Caribbean has to offer. Choose from 2014 select sailings, starting from $829 per person.

    Seven-night Western Caribbean cruises calling at Falmouth, Jamaica, Georgetown, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Mexico with private island experience at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

    Seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises calling at Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.

    Cruises must be booked by Sep. 30, 2013. Rates are cruise only, per person double occupancy for U.S./Canadian residents. Government fees and taxes are additional. Cruises need a $100 deposit. Offer is subject to availability and cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions.

    MSC Cruises or 877/665-4655.

    Caribbean, Mexico Resort Deals

    It’s off-season in much of the Caribbean and Mexico, so that usually means discounts. Here are some family friendly resort deals.
    • The Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort & Casino is a budget-friendly resort on Cable Beach in the Bahamas with a “Sunsational Savings” offer of $199 nightly. Book four nights and receive the fourth night free, plus a $100 food and beverage credit and free room upgrade when available. To keep the family entertained, Sheraton Nassau provides free non-motorized watersports equipment from kayaks and floating trampolines to paddleboards and floating bicycles. The “Sunsational Savings” rate can be booked online through Aug. 15, 2013, or 866/716-8106.

    • The Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino,in the heart of San Juan, has nightly summer rates of $179 when booking a “Third Night Free with Sunsational Savings” offer. Book a three night stay and receive a free third night plus a $75 food and beverage credit. The property features an infinity pool and spa. Book online through Dec. 30, 2013, or 877/822-0000.

    • Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, 800/4RioMar, adjacent to El Yunque National Rainforest in Puerto Rico, has summer rates from $132 nightly when you stay four or more nights. Through Sep. 30, 2013, the resort allows kids (under 12 years old)to stay and eat free (must book by July 31, 2013). The 500 acre resort has two beach-front pools with waterslide, a kid’s club, fire pit, on-site iguana feedings, nature walks, two 18-hole golf courses, multiple lounges and entertainment venues, and tennis center.

    • CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta, 800/228-9290, between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Mexico’s Bay of Banderas offer a Family Fun in Puerto Vallarta package that starts from $213 per night. The package offers families two connecting rooms, access to the resort’s Kids Club, a daily $100 resort credit and daily internet access. The beach front resort offers four gourmet restaurants, infinity oceanfront pool, health club with whirlpool and spa. Ask for promotion code ZJ5 when booking by phone or online.

    Everything You Need - Your Source for New York

    U.S. Hotel & Resort Deals

    Summer is a split decision for travel discounts in the U.S. In the south and southwest, it’s off-season so you typically expect discounts. Deals or discounts in New York City, where it is prime visitor season, are rare in summer. Here are some U.S. travel deals that may tempt you to get up and go.

    Wolcott Hotel, NYC, 212/268-2900, A budget-friendly place for families blocks from the Empire State Building and near the city’s top attractions including the South Street Seaport, Highline, Governor’s Island and Central Park. The hotel’s amenities include free breakfast, concierge services, fitness room, laundry facility, an on-site gift shop and free bike storage. Opened in 1904 and designed by the architect of Grant's Tomb, summer rates start at $180 per night.

      The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Arizona provides value this summer with the Family Swing and Fling, with rates from $149 per night and valid through Sep. 5, 2013. The package includes:
    • $50 Resort Credit daily
    • Access to the Family Escape Center for entertainment, computer fun or a place to lounge for teens and kids of all ages.
    • Free Golf (certain time restrictions apply)
    • Free appetizer or dessert
    • Free kids meals 12 and under
    • Free Resort Fee including internet, self-parking, bike rentals and tennis.
    • Use rate code ZJ5.

    JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ -The Play Your Way Summer Package starts at $179 per night and includes $100 resort credit. Valid through Sep. 14, 2013. Use rate code PK9.

    JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa - Set on 600 acres in Texas Hill Country, the resort offers a River Bluff water experience with six acres of heated pools, fountains, waterfalls, rivers, and poolside lounges. Valid July 8 to 31, 2013, rates start at $199 per night for stays Sunday to Thursday using rate code BQ7 online.

    In the Maison Blanche department store in the French Quarter, the Courtyard New Orleans Downtown/Iberville is steps from Bourbon Street, Café du Monde and Jackson Square. The property’s summer rate starts at $109 per night.

      The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Florida - This summer the Vacation Like a VIP offer includes tickets to the Peanuts exhibition. From $235 per night, the two-night package includes:
    • $100 resort credit per stay
    • free valet or self-parking
    • $25 American Express gift card
    • Room upgrade to the next available type (excludes suites)
    • Super Summer 2-for-1 savings card
    • Two Tickets for admission to Charles M. Schulz: Pop Culture in Peanuts exhibition at the Hollywood Art and Culture Center, Downtown Hollywood
    • Valid for stays through Sep. 30, 2013. Use promo code: VACVIP.

    The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village, Westin first property in Southwest Florida, has summer rates from $169 per night. Book the Sunsational Savings promotion and receive every fourth night free, $100 food and beverage credit per stay and a free room upgrade on check-in, based on availability. A free water taxi takes you from the resort’s marina to nearby Fort Myers Beach.

    Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, 407/390-2300, has summer rates from $179 per night. Located in Bonnet Creek inside the Walt Disney World complex (with free shuttle to the Disney parks), the resort caters to families with bunk rooms, an alcove for tiny travelers with twin bunk beds and an extra sink in the bathroom at children’s height, pirate ship pool slide and water feature, and activities for the entire family.

    $761 Rome/Sorrento Package

    Treat yourself to a summer vacation to Rome and Sorrento, with four-star hotels, breakfasts, a transfer from Rome to Sorrento and a guided visit to the ruins of Pompeii for $761 per person,based on double occupancy and subject to availability. TourCrafters offers a 10-night land-only Rome and Sorrento package with departures in July and August.

    Summer in Rome means restaurants and bars spread out into streets and piazzas and stay open until the wee hours. The four-star Ars Hotel has free WiFi, a gym, garden and a private shuttle to the centro storico, or historic center of Rome. At seaside Sorrento, the four-star Hotel Residenza, in a botanical garden, has an outdoor terrace restaurant and a swimming pool with solarium.

    On the way south from Rome to Sorrento, you take a guided tour of Pompeii, preserved in a layer of volcanic ash and cinders after Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. In Sorrento you can rent a car (or take a bus) to tour Amalfi Drive and its picturesque towns such as Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Or, take a day trip by boat to see the island of Capri.

    TourCrafters Rome/Sorrento package or 800/482-5995.

    Chile Family Friendly & Ski Deals

    Turismo Chile, Chile’s tourism promotion agency, has family friendly deals throughout the season. Take advantage of the reverse seasons and hit the slopes, or head to the Atacama desert and explore archaeological landmarks.

    New gondolas, ski lessons and the third person stays free at Valle Nevado ski resort, in the Andes Mountains one hour outside of Santiago. With the first ski resort gondola in Chile, the resort unveils new slopes for adult beginners and a new ski and snowboard school offering group and customized private classes complete with a dormitory for children to take a break after a lesson. Two hour lessons are $57 for children and $61 for adults. The ski resort’s “third person free” deal is valid July 12 to 19 and Aug. 23 to 30, 2013. This offer is available at the resort’s Tres Puntas and Puerta del Sol properties and includes lodging in a double room, lift tickets, breakfast and dinner. Rates begin at $3,486.

    At Hotel Portillo, a parent who is a paying guest may bring one child between four and 11 years old for a free Portillo ski week. Free ski weeks for children are: Sep. 1 to 8, Sep. 8 to 15, and Sep. 15 to 22, 2013. Two children can ski free the week of Sep. 28 to Oct. 5, 2013. Prices for the 2013 season begin at $1,950 at Hotel Portillo, $1,300 at the Octagon Lodge, or $950 at the Inca Lodge. Restrictions apply and are detailed here.

    Awasi, inside an ancient site in Chile’s archeological capital of San Pedro de Atacama, offers discounts for families. Through the end of September, children up to age 12 stay free when accompanied by two adults. Children between 13 and 18 receive a rate of 70 percent off the all-inclusive programs which include private airport transfers, lodging, all meals, private excursions and a personal concierge. All inclusive rates for the 2013 winter season begin at $1,545 for a two night program.

    Turismo Chile.



    New Orleans Park Family Fun Pass

    With 1,300 acres of oak trees and green space, bayous and lakes, walking paths and more, New Orleans City Park is one of the largest urban public parks in the country. Inside the park are amusement-style family attractions where you can walk through the Botanical Garden, ride an antique carousel or experience fairytales in Storyland. Now, the park offers a cost-effective Family Fun Pass, a bundled package for families to enjoy the park and its top attractions.

    The Family Fun Pass is good for seven days, starting with the first visit. With the pass, family members have entrance to the following attractions:

    Storyland – Captain Hook’s pirate ship, the mouth of a whale or Jack & Jill’s Hill. Contains more than 25 storybook exhibits.

    Carousel Gardens Amusement Park – one of 100 antique wooden carousels in the country. The Carousel Gardens include rides such as a Ferris Wheel, bumper cars, Scrambler, Tilt-A-Whirl and the miniature train ride that tours the park. Pass includes entrance and unlimited rides.

    City Putt – 36-hole, miniature golf course. Pass includes entrance and play on one course.

    Morning Call – Grab a cup of café au lait and plate of beignets at this coffee stand. They also serve gumbo, étouffée and jambalaya. Pass includes discount on a frozen café au lait.

    The Family Fun Pass costs $30 for adults and $25 for children. The pass is valid for a week after the first use. Rules and regulations for mandatory ride height requirements are posted at the front gate and rear ticket booth of the Amusement Park.

    City Park or 504/483-9402.

    Minimize Risk of Allergic Reaction when Flying

    Few situations provoke more anxiety for people with peanut or tree-nut allergies than having an allergic reaction while flying on an airplane and being unable to get help.

    But in a new study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology-In Practice, researchers found passengers who engaged in eight mitigating factors were less likely to report an allergic reaction.

    This is the first study to show that in-flight peanut and tree nut allergy is an international problem, says the University of Michigan’s Food Allergy Center and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Past research has focused on the U.S. and only on those who had reactions, instead of including those who did not.

    Lead author and pediatrician Matthew Greenhawt, M.D. and co-authors from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and the International Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance, asked passengers to answer an online survey about their in-flight experiences. More than 3,200 people from 11 countries completed the survey. Of those, 349 reported having an allergic reaction during an airline flight.

      Passengers with peanut/tree nut allergies who reported taking these actions had significantly lower odds of reporting a reaction:
    1. requesting any accommodation
    2. requesting a peanut/tree nut-free meal
    3. wiping their tray table with a commercial wipe
    4. avoiding use of airline pillows
    5. avoiding use of airline blankets
    6. requesting a peanut/tree nut-free buffer zone
    7. requesting other passengers not consume peanut/tree nut-containing products
    8. not consuming airline-provided food

    Greenhawt says most airlines still serve peanuts and tree nuts or snacks and meals with peanuts or tree nuts included. Canada is the only country with any formal policy in place, which requires a three-row buffer zone with advance notification only on Air Canada flights, he says.

    The study also found that epinephrine, a common and effective treatment, was drastically underused in-flight. Only 13.3 percent of passengers reporting a reaction received epinephrine as treatment. Flight crews were notified regarding 50.1 percent of reactions. In a similar study of US passengers five years ago, Greenhawt noted a similarly low rate of epinephrine use.

    “Despite that 98 percent of passengers had a personal source of epinephrine available, epinephrine was underused to treat a reaction. Flight crews were not always readily alerted to reactions when they occurred, but interestingly, when they were notified, it was associated with a higher odds that epinephrine was used to treat the reaction,” Greenhawt says. Nationality was not a significant factor influencing the use of epinephrine as treatment.

    Greenhawt adds that future study is necessary to further validate the effectiveness of these passenger-initiated risk-mitigating behaviors and create better educational efforts around the use of epinephrine.

    Save BIG Bucks on Vacation Packages! Search & Compare with TripMama!

    IHG Customer Loyalty Rewards

    InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)rewards guests and loyal Priority Club Rewards members, no matter where they stay, all season long. Stay at any of IHG's 4,600 hotels, including the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels, Holiday Inn Resort Hotels, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Holiday Inn Express Hotels, Staybridge Suites Hotels or Candlewood Suites Hotels, and earn rewards including double Priority Club points or miles, "Vacation Pay" via Prepaid MasterCard cards, hotel stay discounts and free breakfast over the next few months.

    Promotions include:
    Unlimited Double Priority Club Points - IHG will award Priority Club Rewards members double Priority Club points or double miles for hotel stays through July 31, 2013. To participate in the Unlimited Double Priority Club Points or Double Miles promotion, can register online and earn double points or double miles beginning with the second stay.

    Get $50 Back in "Vacation Pay" - Residents of the U.S. and Canada can receive a $50 Prepaid MasterCard card when they register and stay any two weekend nights (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) at IHG hotels anywhere in the world through Sep. 1, 2013 and pay for their stay with a MasterCard card. IHG's "Vacation Pay" promotion is redeemable via rebates with maximum rewards of $200 per traveler. Click here for full details about "Vacation Pay" and to book accommodations.

    Discover Latin America and the Caribbean - Based on a four-night minimum stay, the "Discover Latin America and Caribbean" promotion is valid through Sep. 15, 2013 at participating IHG hotels in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. You will receive a 25 percent discount; buffet breakfast for two adults and two children staying in the same room; and a 4 p.m. late check-out, based on availability. Book promotion here.

    Year-round Beach Weather - During each stay through Aug. 31, 2013, at any IHG hotel in Mexico, receive a scratch-off card for a chance to win a trip to the U.S., South America or Mexico during "Our Biggest Treasure" promotion. Book your stay here and receive a hotel reward, a scratch-off card upon check-out.

    Qualified hotel stays booked under each of the four promotions are eligible for Priority Club points on top of the hotel rewards and bonuses. Elite members will also receive free internet during their stays beginning July 2013.

      From July 1, 2013 new benefits will include:
    • free internet for all Elite status members from July 2013 and extending to all members in 2014;
    • Fast Track to Elite status by staying at three or more of IHG's hotel brands;
    • Reward Nights count toward earning Elite status
    • Platinum Elite members' "extra" nights will roll over toward maintaining their status in their next membership year

    Mystic Aquarium’s Titanic Hotel Package

    Plan an affordable family getaway package to New England’s hands-on aquarium in Mystic, CT. The home of famed ocean explorer Dr. Robert Ballard offers animal encounters, hands-on interactive experiences and educational Titanic – 12,450 Feet Below exhibit. Mystic Aquarium also features the region’s only beluga whales, two fur seals, a newly launched reptile encounter exhibit, and 4-D Theater showing “SpongeBob Squarepants.”
      Mystic Aquarium Titanic Hotel Package includes:
    • Hotel accommodations for one or two nights
    • General admission tickets to the aquarium for a family of 4
    • Free 4D Theater ride vouchers
    • $20 free food voucher for Penguins Café at the aquarium

    The package is available at the following participating hotels and the Mystic Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn Groton, Hampton Inn Groton and Howard Johnson Mystic.

    Residence Inn, Mystic CT, 800/228-9290 - valid through Oct. 31, 2013. Rates from $209. Use promotional code ZQJ.

    Springhill Suites Waterford, CT, valid through Oct. 31, 2013. Rates from $209. Use promotional code ZQJ.

    Mystic Marriott, Groton, CT, valid through Dec. 31, 2013. Rates from $259. Use promotional code EB7.

    Couples Save $200 on 9-Day Costa Rica Tour

    Perillo Tours offers a nine-day adventure in Costa Rica. Book by July 30, 2013 and receive $100 off ($200 per couple). This itinerary takes you beyond the beach and cocktail vacation.

    Pricing for the nine day itinerary starts at $1,890 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes hotel accommodations, most meals (eight breakfasts, five lunches and eight dinners), airport transfers, private guide for all tours and activities in the itinerary, private ground transportation, entrance fees for activities and departure tax. Airfare is not included and can be added for an additional cost.

      Activity highlights include:
    • Boat excursion through Tortuguero Jungle Canals
    • Skywalk at the Arenal Rainforest
    • Thermal bath at Eco-Termales
    • Educational lecture on the exotic life forms of Costa Rica
    • Sail across the Gulf of Nicoya
    • Traditional tamale cooking class
    • Cloud Forest nature walk
    • Walking tour of a local banana plantation

    On arrival, you are escorted by a Perillo Tours representative to the hotel for a welcome dinner. There is an opportunity for a two mile Skywalk through the rainforest, or for the extra adventurous, whiz through the forest via Zipline.

    Perillo Nine-Day Costa Rica Tour or 800/431-1515..


    Dollar Rent-a-Car, Inc.

    Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf Bed And Breakfast Package

    San Francisco is a perennial favorite travel destination. The Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf features a value package for those who want the basics and value in San Francisco hotel accommodations.

    The Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf Bed and Breakfast package features a room for up to two people and breakfast in the hotel’s Knuckles Restaurant. Rates start at $209. Add on rates are available for parties of more than two people.

    The Bed and Breakfast package is available through Dec. 30, 2013, based on availability. Rates vary according to dates of reservations.

    Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf or 800/233-1234.

    Savings at the Parking Spot Airport Parking

    The Parking Spot, a near-airport parking operator, offers 15 percent off parking as part of its "Spot Easy Savings" national promotion through Labor Day. With locations at 22 U.S. airports, you can save on parking plus low airfares to plan a getaway.

    Redeem specially marked coupons for savings on parking – 15 percent off – at participating locations. Coupons will be available at the Parking Spot's Facebook page. Present a printed coupon or show the coupon on your mobile device to take advantage of the promotion.

    The Parking Spot offers frequent shuttles, free bottled water and a loyalty program, where you earn a free day after seven days of paid parking.

    The Parking Spot.

    Hurtigruten Up to 50% Off on Fly-Voyage Packages

    Hurtigruten has a series of specially-priced fly-voyage packages on their six- and seven-day Norwegian Coastal Voyage sailings. Hurtigruten’s ships offer a glimpse of Norwegian culture as they sail along Norway’s fjord-indented west coast, stopping at 34 ports between Bergen and Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle.

    Four nine-day southbound packages and six 10-day northbound packages, departing in Aug. and Sep., are priced from $2,795 to $4,076 per person, based on double occupancy, with savings of up to $2,125 and $2,525, respectively. The fares include the voyage with all meals on board; flights from Atlanta, Charlotte and Chicago; hotel accommodations for two nights; airport and ship transfers; two or three shore excursions; and current air, cruise and hotel taxes and air fuel surcharges. Additional add-on gateways from 19 North America cities (with more planned) are offered at fares of $50 to $650 per person. This offer is for new bookings, is capacity-controlled, cannot be customized (beyond purchasing additional excursions aboard the vessel), and must be fully paid within 48 hours of booking. Air carriers and routing are at the discretion of Hurtigruten.

    Ports of call include small fishing villages in the Lofoten Islands; Art Nouveau Ålesund, the medieval Viking capital of Trondheim; and Norway's "Paris of the North," Tromsø. One of the three excursions in the northbound sailings is a trip to the North Cape, the northernmost point on the European continent, with a visit to the North Cape Hall and time spent with the local Sami people and their reindeer herds.

    The southbound journey offers two excursions: A Taste of Vesterålen the archipelago region between Harstad and Sortland; and Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral where you can explore this 1,000-year-old city and its near 1,000-year-old cathedral. Additional excursions are available for booking on board.

    Additional North American gateways include: Albuquerque, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, Orlando, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, St. Louis in the US; and Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver in Canada.

    The company’s fleet of 12 ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows you to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere.

    Hurtigruten or 888/912-2571.

    Hotwire: 4-Star Hotels at 2 Star Prices; Save 50%

    Free Airfare on International Expeditions’ Galapagos Cruises

    International Expeditions offers free airfare, up to $1,400 per person, on three small-ship Galapagos expedition cruises departing Aug. 23, Sep. 6 and Sep. 20, 2013.

    August and September are ideal months for snorkelers to visit the Galapagos Islands, when the Humboldt Current brings more nutrients to the waters making the marine life more active. You can take part in daily swimming and snorkeling opportunities to spot golden rays, white-tipped reef sharks and green sea turtles. These are also the prime months for dolphin and whale watching in the islands.

    On these 10-day Galapagos Islands cruises, you travel aboard the newly renovated 32-guest yacht M/V Evolution, with a two-to-one guest-to-crew ratio. Plus, traveling with small groups of like-minded travelers ensures everyone feels comfortable in this remote archipelago.

    Onboard, you receive fine cuisine and amenities including an observation deck for whale watching, canopied bar, plus free snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks.

    In addition to daily snorkeling and hiking through deserts, rainforests and volcanic terrain, highlights include a visit to Fernandina to search for flightless cormorants and the largest marine iguanas. You will stop at the Charles Darwin Research Center, famous for its tortoise breeding programs, and explore Santiago Island, a haven for finches, doves and Galapagos hawks.

    Trained Galapagos naturalist guides enhance the experiences by sharing their knowledge and bringing you within inches of giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and other animals.

    Prices for the Galapagos Islands cruises start at $5,098, and include accommodations, all excursions, most meals, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals.

    International Expeditions or 800/234-9620.

    Free Nights at Ritz-Carlton Hotels

    Ritz-Carlton Rewards members who make two paid stays at participating Ritz-Carlton hotels will receive a free night that may be used for a future stay at a participating Ritz-Carlton hotel. Ritz-Carlton Rewards members may earn up to two free nights.

    You must register for the promotion by Sep. 30, 2013, valid for stays through Oct. 30, 2013. You earn one certificate for a free night at a Tier 1 to 3 hotel after the completion of two paid stays, up to a maximum of two free night certificates. A stay is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity.

    An earned free night award will be added to your account within three to five business days after the second qualifying stay. Awards are not transferable and may not be given as a gift. Certificates expire one year from date of issuance and other restrictions apply.

    Only one room per hotel per stay is counted toward earning for this promotion. Promotion excludes The Ritz-Carlton Millennia, Singapore, Ritz-Carlton, Montreal, Phulay Bay, Dorado Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, The Ritz-Carlton Residences and partner hotels.

    Joining The Ritz-Carlton Rewards is free and points may be earned and redeemed at Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts and 3,600 partner hotels around the world. Points may also be redeemed for airline tickets, rental cars and luxury merchandise.

    Free Nights at Ritz-Carlton or 888/674-5578.

    United Planet Annual Photo/Video Contest

    United Planet, an international non-profit organization that organizes volunteer trips to 40 countries wants submissions for its annual United Planet Day Photo and Video Contest.

    To spread awareness about the organization’s mission and to create cross-cultural understanding, United Planet hosts the United Planet Day Photo and Video contest each year. Contestants can submit photos and/or videos that illustrate cross-cultural understanding, friendship, and supporting one another at home or abroad.

    The grand prize winner whose photo or video is selected will receive a free two-week volunteer abroad trip to one of 10 select destinations. The contest is open to the public, regardless of previous volunteer abroad experience.

    The grand prize contest winner and runner-up will be announced on United Planet Day, on the Fall Equinox, when the middle of the sun is positioned above and below the horizon and shines on every location on Earth for an equal amount of time. Photo and video submissions should exemplify the mission of United Planet.

    To enter the contest, email entries to contest@unitedplanet.org with the subject line UP Day Contest and your name. The submission deadline is Aug. 21, 2013, at 11:59 pm EST. Voting will be open to the public by the following week. Winners will be announced around Sep. 22, 2013.

    United Planet Photo & Video Contest.

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    Cruise Industry’s Passenger Bill Of Rights

    Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), a cruise industry trade association, through its Board of Directors approved the adoption of a "Cruise Industry Passenger Bill of Rights" detailing CLIA members' commitment to the safety, comfort and care of guests in a number of important areas.

    The CEOs of CLIA North American member cruise lines each verify in writing that they adopted the Passenger Bill of Rights, which is a condition of membership in the Association. CLIA also will submit the Passenger Bill of Rights to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), requesting formal global recognition and applicability under the IMO's authority over the international maritime industry. The Passenger Bill of Rights is effective immediately for U.S. passengers who purchase a cruise in North America on CLIA's North American member cruise lines, regardless of itinerary.

    CLIA and its member lines posted the Passenger Bill of Rights on their respective websites, and CLIA provided its nearly 14,000 travel agent members materials to communicate the Passenger Bill of Rights to current and prospective customers looking to book a cruise.

      The members of the Cruise Lines International Association agreed to adopt the following set of passenger rights:
    • The right to disembark a docked ship if essential provisions such as food, water, restroom facilities and access to medical care cannot adequately be provided onboard, subject only to the Master's concern for passenger safety and security and customs and immigration requirements of the port.
    • The right to a full refund for a trip that is canceled due to mechanical failures, or a partial refund for voyages that are terminated early due to those failures.
    • The right to have available on board ships operating beyond rivers or coastal waters full-time, professional emergency medical attention, as needed until shore side medical care becomes available.
    • The right to timely information updates as to any adjustments in the itinerary of the ship in the event of a mechanical failure or emergency, and timely updates of the status of efforts to address mechanical failures.
    • The right to a ship crew that is properly trained in emergency and evacuation procedures.
    • The right to an emergency power source in the case of a main generator failure.
    • The right to transportation to the ship's scheduled port of disembarkation or the passenger's home city in the event a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
    • The right to lodging if disembarkation and an overnight stay in an unscheduled port are required when a cruise is terminated early due to mechanical failures.
    • The right to have included on each cruise line's website a toll-free phone line that can be used for questions or information concerning any aspect of shipboard operations.

    Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

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    The Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, P.O. Box 91033, Columbus OH 43209, edited by Nicki Chodnoff, is published monthly.

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