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Insight Vacations’ USA and Canada Collection Offers Incredible Escorted Journeys for 2019

Famous sunrise at Mesa Arch

Insight Vacation’s USA and Canada collection offers 15 outstanding escorted journeys with authentic experiences that bring you to the very heart of this amazing continent, all while ‘staying in style’ in their hand-picked luxury hotels.

 

Explore Monument Valley in an open-top vehicle with a Navajo guide, watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon as you stay INSIDE the National Park and enjoy a fisherman’s lobster feast on his boat in Shediac Bay – Insight Vacations’ slogan, “we show you the insights, not just the sights” is a true reflection of what you can expect on an Insight Vacations escorted journey.

Why Insight Vacations?

It is widely accepted that Insight Vacations are the global leader in premium escorted journeys and there are many reasons for this. One of my favourites is how they have mastered the art of travelling in style, yet offer immersive Insight Experiences, so you feel like you are genuinely experiencing the local culture. There are so many incredible Insight Experiences in the Insight Vacations USA and Canada collection, 35 to be precise, so that no matter which itinerary you choose, you are guaranteed to experience them.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada
Monument Valley, Utah

Where you stay is a vital part of the Insight Vacations experience. From contemporary five-star hotels to Swiss-style lodges, Insight Vacations hand-picked hotels include Washington State’s grandest hotel, the Historic Davenport, as well as the National Park Lodges in the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park Lodge.

Insight Vacations also manage to offer the perfect selection of dining options, from farm-to-table meals to fine dining. In fact they even offer a dine-at-home experience in some of their tours, where you can eat with local foodies in their own homes.

Like all Insight Vacations tours you will be treated to a ‘business class’ coach with extended leg room, free wifi and your expert tour director, who caters for your every whim. Excursions, most meals, hotel and restaurant tips, taxes and porterage are included in the cost of your tour. This is a huge bonus in America, where tips average 20%. For more information on the amazing service that Insight Vacations provide, click here.

There are so many incredible journeys in the Insight Vacations USA and Canada collection. I have chosen a few of my favourites to give you a flavour of what is available, but you can see all of Insight Vacations American and Canada collection here. You can also add on extra nights at the start or end of each tour, just speak to one of the expert staff or your local travel agent and they will arrange it for you.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada

 

Enchanting Canyonlands: 7 Days from €1976

This tour takes you from Scottsdale to Sedona and on to the Grand Canyon, where, in true Insight Vacations style, you spend the night inside the Grand Canyon National Park. Watch the sunset without the Las Vegas day trippers, enjoy a private dinner as you take in the views of the South Rim –  a breathtaking Insight Experience for sure. This tour also includes visits to Monument Valley, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, where once again you will be staying inside the National Park. Enjoy a cruise through the spectacular Antelope Canyon, all before you arrive in the city of lights – Las Vegas. What I love about this tour is that most of the spectacular sights are quite close together which makes for short journeys each day, leaving you plenty of time to explore.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada
Grand Canyon

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New England’s Fall Foliage: 8 Days from €2318

Explore the Freedom Trail and Boston’s highlights when you stay in the heart of the city. Follow that with an overnight stay in Williamstown before you journey through the stunning fall foliage of Vermont. Visit the charming village of Woodstock before arriving in Stowe, where you will overnight in the real Von Trapp’s family Austrian-style lodge and enjoy a three-course Highlight Dinner.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada

Insight Vacations don’t leave all the best meals for dinner time! This tour brings you to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory where you can treat yourself to a ‘Boston Cream Pie’. You can also sample a ‘Sugar on Snow’ at the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks  – sure it would be rude not to! Enjoy a Gondola SkyRide at Loon Mountain Resort which offers superb views of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York and Canada and witness the famous crimson and orange hues of Kancamagus Scenic Byway, before travelling through the White Mountains to catch the views of Mount Washington. Your next stop is Maine where you will travel along the coast stopping in Portland for your last night, before returning to Boston for your flight home.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada

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Great West American Adventure: 15 Days from €4333

From San Francisco to Las Vegas, this epic adventure will show you California’s spectacular coastline as well as its iconic cities. You will visit Sonoma where you can enjoy private wine-tasting and explore the original hippie district, Haight-Ashbury, before moving on to Yosemite National Park, where you will stay close to Yosemite Falls, inside the National Park.

From there you will drive to the Pacific Coast Highway and see the coastal towns of Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea and Santa Barbara as well as visiting the magnificent Hearst Castle. Experience the glitz and glamour of LA with a local expert as you explore Hollywood and the beach town of Santa Monica.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada

You will then leave California to experience the incredible Mojave Desert as you drive to Scotsdale. Venture north to Sedona and onwards to the Grand Canyon, where once again, you will spend the night inside the National Park. Enjoy a ‘Highlight Dinner’ overlooking the South Rim, without the usual crowds. Drive through Monument Valley and explore the Navajo Tribal Park with your Navajo guide before arriving at Lake Powell for an over-night stay. You will discover more of America’s Canyonlands as you take a cruise through Antelope Canyon and explore Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park before driving to Las Vegas for your last night.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada
Bryce Canyon

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Canadian Rockies & Pacific Coast: 14 days from €4433

With Aer Lingus now flying direct to Seattle from Dublin, there has never been a better time to explore the Canadian Rockies. This magical itinerary will bring you through magnificent Banff and Jasper National Parks as well as allowing plenty of time to explore the cities of Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. Take a river safari in Jasper National Park and try to spot some grizzly bears, cruise across Maligne Lake and drive along the majestic Icefields Parkway – one of the world’s most beautiful mountain drives. You can take the Ice Explorer on to the Athabasca Glacier before returning to the Rimrock Resort Hotel for two nights, a hotel inside Banff National Park, that offers spectacular views. You also have the option of taking a helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies or ride the Banff Gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada

This amazing trip just gets better and better. You will then cross the border into Montana where you will stay inside the Glacier National Park. Travel through Logan Pass before arriving in Lake McDonald Lodge, a Swiss-style chalet with more incredible views. Travel to Lake Coeur d’Alene and visit an award-winning boutique winery in Washington State, before arriving in Seattle for your last two nights.

Insight Vacations USA and Canada
Lake McDonald

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Insight Vacations’ USA and Canada collection offers 15 outstanding escorted journeys that brings you to into the very heart of America and Canada’s National Parks and it’s iconic cities. The small group sizes on spacious coaches, with high quality accommodation, authentic dining and experiences that are not available to the independent traveller, are just some of the reasons that Insight Vacations are the global leaders in premium escorted journeys. Now for the hard part – which tour to choose?

You can save 10% off selected Insight Vacations tours with their popular Early Payment Discount. This is available if you book and pay in full by 28 February 2019.  For more details contact an Insight Expert on 1800 98 98 98 or visit your local Travel Agent.

 

Want to see  more? Check out Insight Vacations European Collection here

 

This post was sponsored by Insight Vacations but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 
Europe

Insight Vacations’ Europe Collection Includes 96 Incredible Journeys With Experiences That Money Can’t Buy

Insight Vacations dining 2

Sip a glass of wine in a 17th century wine estate overlooking Lake Geneva, enjoy VIP access to the Sistine Chapel or make a meal with Lorenzo in his restaurant kitchen in Orvieto. There are so many incredible experiences in the new Insight Vacations Europe and Britain collection – which one will you choose?

 

I am just back from a trip to Puglia in Italy, a place that I fell completely in love with. So when I was asked by Insight Vacations to review their 2019 brochure, the first thing I noticed was their Country Roads of Southern Italy tour. A quick glance at the itinerary and I couldn’t help but see that they included a Dine-At-Home dinner in the fairytale town of Alberobello – a town that I stayed in.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Dine-At-Home dinners are regularly included on Insight Vacations tours. In this case you are welcomed into a local family home in Alberobello, where an Italian Nonna (grandmother in Italian) makes the regions traditional dish of orecchiette pasta. I was intrigued but also amazed that in all my searching for ‘things to do in Puglia’, I hadn’t seen that as an option anywhere. The reason is that Insight Vacations offer unique Insight experiences like this, that money can’t buy. I wish I had known about this before I booked…

insight vacations

Insight Experiences

There are many reasons to choose Insight Vacations for your next escorted tour, but these unique experiences are one of my favourite. There are over 70 Insight Experiences throughout 96 journeys in their new 2019 Europe and Britain collection. Enjoy VIP fast-track entry to the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum, go sailing with an oyster farmer and taste the freshest seafood in Croatia or experience Arctic Norway with a dog-sled champion. And the best part is that all of these experiences are included in the cost of your holiday.

Top class Hotels

Insight choose first class hotels in premium locations too. In their Northern Lights of Scandinavia tour you will enjoy drinks in a real Ice bar and watch the aurora borealis through your hotel’s glass ceiling – how amazing is that? When you visit Venice you will stay beside the canals and in the Douro Valley you will enjoy a night in the 18th-century Pinhao’s Vintage House. Their 12 day Greek Island Hopper tour not only explores the best of Athens but it also includes stays in luxury hotels in Santorini and Mykonos.

Insight Vacations

Relaxed Itineraries

Another personal favourite of mine is that Insight Vacations tours are not rushed. Their ‘Easy Pace’ itineraries have a minimum of three nights in the one place. Whatever trip you choose you will see a number of ‘relaxed starts’, which means tours don’t start till after 9 am.

Get off the beaten track

If you want to venture off the beaten track and skip the well known tourist trail, select one of their ‘ Country Roads‘ tours. Expect lots of adventure, home cooked meals with locals and many interesting Insight experiences.  However if there is a particular festival you want to visit, Oktoberfest, Bastille Day or perhaps the Christmas Markets – Insight will have tours scheduled around these special events too.

Insight vacations

Authentic Dining

Authentic dining is a big part of an Insight Vacations tour and I love the variety they offer. From farm-to-table meals with locals or a pintxos foodie tour in San Sebastian, to an elegant evening at the 5* Ashford Castle – each tour offers an authentic dining experience to match your destination. There is also a welcome dinner with drinks on arrival as well as a celebration dinner at the end of your trip. You can also choose ‘freestyle’ dining if you want to dine alone some evenings.

Variety of tours available

Whether you want a 26 day tour of Europe or a 4 day tour of Malta, Insight Vacations have you covered with their Europe & Britain collection. Their Easy Pace Russia is one of my favourites as you get to spend three nights in Moscow and four nights in St Petersburg, travelling by Sapsan train between the two. With new direct flights from Dublin airport – there has never been a better time to go.

Insight Vacations

Northern Spain is also another favourite of mine, possibly because it includes wine tasting in Rueda 🍷.  You also get the opportunity to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal in Gijón. You will meet Flor, a local of the area, who will source and prepare a typical meal for you. If that’s not enough you also visit the big cities of San Sebastian, Barcelona and Madrid.

Madrid, The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery

With the exception of a quick over-night stay in Geneva, Switzerland is a country I haven’t properly visited yet. The snow-capped Alpine peaks look very inviting and it is certainly on my wish-list! On Insight’s Glorious Switzerland tour you ride the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway to the upmarket town of Zermatt and travel the route of the Glacier Express. You also meet a Swiss ranger on your way to the summit of Mount Stanserhorn where you learn all about the local wildlife.

Insight Vacations

As the award-winning global leader in premium escorted journeys, no matter which tour you choose, with Insight Vacations you can rest assured it will be top class. Their guests rated them 4.5 out of 5 based on 11402 independent user reviews received during the past year – that is a remarkable achievement. The small group sizes on spacious coaches with high quality accommodation and authentic dining, means you are getting the best that money can buy, and then some. In fact as I have previously mentioned, many of these Insight Experiences are not for sale.

 

You can save 10% off any Insight Vacations tour with their popular Early Payment Discount. This is available if you book and pay in full by 28 February 2019.  For more details contact an Insight Expert on 1800 98 98 98 or visit your local Travel Agent.

 

This post was sponsored by Insight Vacations but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 
Uncategorized

Enchanting Canyonlands of the USA, Luxury Escorted Tour, Incl Flights, €2350!

Famous sunrise at Mesa Arch

Marvel at the Grand Canyon, be inspired in Bryce Canyon and Instagram to your hearts content in Monument Valley! The enchanting canyonlands of the USA must be one of the most captivating parts of America.

 

I fell in love with this escorted tour from Insight Vacations. There are deserts, mountains, canyons and monuments at every turn. Many places are still considered sacred, adding a touch of magic when exploring the landscape. Surprisingly the most spectacular sights are quite close together which makes for short journeys each day, leaving you plenty of time to explore. This tour takes you from Scottsdale (Arizona) through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona and on to the Grand Canyon. This is when you will be delighted that you chose this escorted tour – as it allows you to spend the night inside the Grand Canyon National Park! Watch the sunset without the day trippers from Vegas, enjoy a private dinner, as you take in the views of the South Rim. 💛

USA Canyonlands Escorted Tour by The Travel Expert
Grand Canyon

From there visit the Navajo Indian Reservation, the Glen Canyon Dam, before taking a cruise on Lake Powell, where you will stay for the night. Once again you will be spoilt, as all rooms have lake views. Next stop is the famous Monument Valley, featured in many movies and one of the best places to test your photography skills! You can then choose to take a boat trip down the Colorado River before stopping in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah. Enjoy an overnight stay in a traditional lodge inside the National Park, with a celebration dinner included.

 USA Canyonlands Escorted Tour by The Travel Expert
Monument Valley, Utah

Enjoy the last of the amazing scenery in Zion National Park before arriving at the city of lights, Las Vegas. What a nice way to toast the end of an amazing trip – with a cocktail at the 5* Cosmopolitan hotel. To see the full itinerary click here. Of course you can also choose to extend your trip with extra nights in Vegas or an additional tour of California.

 USA Canyonlands Escorted Tour by The Travel Expert
Las Vegas Strip

With the Enchanting Canyonlands tour you will not only experience spectacular scenery, but you will also stay in top class hotels, and lodges located inside the National Parks. You will be treated to a ‘business class’ coach with extended leg room, on board restroom and free wifi. The expert tour director is like a ‘travelling concierge’ who caters for your every whim. If you want to spend time away from the group, the personal radio headset allows you to wander alone while listening to commentaries, so you wont miss anything! Hotel and restaurant tips, taxes and porterage are included. Let’s face it, this is a huge bonus in America! For more information on the amazing service that Insight Vacations provide, click here.

USA Canyonlands Escorted Tour by The Travel Expert
Bryce Canyon National Park Lodge

2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in America so this is the perfect time to visit! Fly from Dublin on the 18th of June and experience this trip of a lifetime for only €2350 including luxury hotels, taxes and transfers.

Insight Vacations have many premium tours on offer from Ireland.  Click here for more details.

 

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change.

 

Sarah

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Escorted Tours – The Myths and the Magic!

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We have all been there, arrive at a destination, take out the obligatory map and spend two hours trying to figure out where to go first. Navigating a strange city can be tricky and you can waste a lot of precious time wandering streets looking for the ‘must see’ Cathedral!

 

 

 

Imagine if all of that planning could be done for you?

The best thing about escorted tours is convenience. Forget all the hassles and headaches. All the planning, hotels, meals and sightseeing are already done. Someone else is doing the driving so you can sit back, relax, enjoy the view and the commentary of a knowledgeable tour director. These tour directors are now like personal concierges! They pick you up at the airport, check you in at the hotels, organise your luggage and suggest local restaurants to experience authentic cuisine – they do it all!  There is also no need to worry about the language barrier. Although most European countries may be easy to navigate but what if you wanted to go to China or Russia, would you feel comfortable renting a car and trying to read the road signs? I love this quote, it really sums it up – ”Escorted tours can take you to see the maximum number of sights in the minimum amount of time with the least amount of hassle”.

Escorted tours the myths and the magic

 

The main myth debunked!

Most people think an escorted tour is going to be non stop without any time to relax. To be honest, that is what it used to be. However, escorted touring has evolved because traveller’s tastes have changed. Tour companies understand that guests seek more in-depth experiences and want more time to explore on their own. Many tours include overnight stays in main cities and freestyle dining. This gives you the choice to eat on your own and not always with the group. Check with your travel agent or website for easy paced tours if that’s what you want.

Escorted tours the myths and the magic

So which tour company should I choose?

There are many companies to choose from, some are specialists in particular parts of the world, like Wendy Wu tours for China and Tucan Travel for South America. Research is important. If you are looking for an upmarket choice with top quality hotels in stunning locations, then look no further than Insight Vacations. They really put the WOW factor into Escorted Tours. All of their hotels are first class and in premium locations, in Venice they are beside the canals and they are the only escorted tour company to offer hotels in the American National Parks.

Escorted tours the myths and the magic

All of the top excursions are included in the price, including gondola rides in Venice, private tours of palaces, which would normally be sold as ‘extras’.  They offer a variety of meals, from a welcome dinner with drinks on arrival to a celebration dinner at the end plus a chance to sample the local cuisine. You can choose from a selection of authentic restaurants for ‘freestyle’ dining rather than eating with the group each night. In Morocco you can have a meal at Ricks Café (from Casablanca) and in India you can enjoy an authentic dinner in a forest while on elephant safari.

Escorted tours the myths and the magic

They have smaller group sizes than most of the other escorted tour companies, from 32 – 40 and offer a more personalised service. Coaches are generally the same size but because Insight’s groups are smaller they can offer up to 100% more legroom than some of their competitors. Personally I love that their tours are not rushed. Over 95% of their overnight stays comprise of 2 or more nights and you can also choose ‘easy pace’ itineraries which have a minimum of three nights in every destination.

As I write this I somehow feel that the world is my oyster again. Places that I thought I would never get to, I’m now thinking why not?  Maybe Ill get to take part in a local ritual in Peru or take a private cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking, while touring the Deep South.

So if you always wanted to see the Great Wall of China or marvel at Machu Picchu, explore the world of escorted tours – getting there may be easier than you think…

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

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