September 28, 2022
ARM Chapter 12 held our first in-person luncheon in over two years on Wednesday, September 28 at the Latvian Centre. It was a pleasure to see fellow ARM members, socialize and lunch with them once again. Organized by our Treasurer, Michelle Barraclough, an inveterate and adventurous traveller, the luncheon focus was a presentation by representatives of selected travel companies.
First up was Kathy Cuthbertson representing the cruise line Oceania. Its ships range from small ones accommodating 600 or so passengers to larger ones of 1200 and more. Fine dining is emphasized on Oceania ships, provided by top grade chefs recruited from around the world, served in different dining rooms on the ship. Entertainment of all kinds, music, competitions, movies along with spas, gyms and pools keep passengers active and engaged between shore excursions. In particular, former teachers will enjoy the lectures given by specialists on the geography, history, of the countries the cruise ship is visiting. Shore excursions give passengers choices from the adventurous to more moderate sightseeing conducted by local guides.
Oceanian appeals to middle aged people and retirees. The company is aware that this demographic generally prefers smaller ships (they can get closer to the glaciers on Alaska trips for example), want the ability to plan and book ahead several years for a trip (currently up to 2025) and increasingly, choose longer trips.
Our second presenter, Nuppy Mistry, represented G Adventures, a large Canadian travel company associated with National Geographic. It specializes in smaller group excursions, from 16 to 20 people, often to explore a specific country. They emphasize connections with local communities, use local businesses whenever possible, and try to ‘do good’ in the countries and areas they visit. Michele visited Madagascar a few years ago with the company, and was impressed how the guides helped people with differing stamina levels.
A third representative, Marianne De Lima is a travel agent working through Vision Travel. She made a convincing argument for using a reputable travel agent in planning any trip. Especially in an of era differing Covid restrictions and protocols, changing flight schedules, and unexpected problems, a good travel agent is invaluable. This writer has had a Vision agent for years now, and she has helped us in many ways.
We plan to have more activities on travel opportunities and travel experiences. Contact us with any ideas you have on the subject that would prove interesting or useful to you. Remember: “We travel not to escape life but for life to not escape us”.