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  3. Not paid on time

    Can someone tel me what happens if full holiday is not paid on time and are you able to get a few days extension? Thanks
  4. With every new detail we hear about Carnival Horizon the Barrhead Travel team get more and more excited and the newest information certainly didn’t disappoint. Carnival Cruise Line’s entertainment team has partnered together with creative directors all the way from Broadway, Los Angeles and London’s West End to bring three new amazing shows. Three new shows – Soulbound, Celestial Strings and Vintage Pop – will make their big debut in April 2018 when the ship launches. The already fantastic line up will be completed when a fourth show, Amor Cubano: A Caribbean Dance Romance, joins from Carnival Vista The Playlist Productions shows on Carnival Horizon include: · Soulbound: Hosted by Carnival Horizon’s very own “soul catcher,” this fun, high-energy show offers a gothic-inspired journey through New Orleans with stops at recognizable Crescent City landmarks like a haunted paddlewheel ship, an apothecary shop and cemetery highlighted by levitating chairs and other spookily stunning illusions. As spirits are playfully captured and brought back to life through dazzling special effects, cast members belt out R&B favorites like Superstitious, Soul Man and Born Under a Bad Sign. · Celestial Strings: Billed as a “breathtaking performance beyond your wildest dreams,” Celestial Strings merges the beauty of classical music with modern pop beats that takes place in an elegant and enchanted garden that seamlessly transforms from season to season, stimulating the senses with unbelievable visual imagery, 3D cast interactions and aroma-infused sets to bring the garden to life. The first Playlist Productions show to feature a live string trio, Celestial Strings is truly a multi-sensory symphony for the soul. · Vintage Pop: Taking viewers back to the Great Gatsby and Cotton Club era with contemporary songs like All About that Bass, That’s What I Like and Work transformed into classic jazz interpretations, Vintage Pop features a toe-tapping six-piece live band performing in a modern-day speakeasy. Highlighted by a show-stopping burlesque number that leaves audiences breathless, Vintage Pop ends with a rollicking after party in the atrium where guests can dance and interact with the flapper- and zoot suit-outfitted cast members. · Amor Cubano: A Caribbean Dance Romance: This exciting get-on-your-feet show blends classic Latin songs with today’s hits and features an authentic reproduction of Carnival Horizon’s sizzling Havana Bar. The show is highlighted by a seven-piece Cuban-inspired band that performs songs by Gloria Estefan, Celia Cruz and others amid a tropical, multi-hued backdrop of Cuba and Miami, the latter of which will be the ship’s eventual year-round homeport.
  5. 10 of the best beaches in the Algarve

    If you’re looking for a holiday destination that offers golden beaches, a stunning coastline and warm waters, then look no further than the Algarve. Located in southern Portugal - where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean – the Algarve is well-suited to beach-bums looking for isolated alcoves with sleeping fishing villages. But the best bit? The Algarve has been awarded 50 Blue Flag awards over the years thanks to their dedication to providing clean and safe beaches for holidaymakers. Here are just 10 of the best beaches in the Algarve. Arrifes Beach, Albufeira Sometimes referred to locally as Praia dos Três Penecos (beach of triple rocks in English) because of three large isolated rock formations that dominate the horizon, this beach is as beautiful as it is popular. To reach it, there are wooden steps from the car park that descend into the sands. The beach is also home to a bar (that is closed in the winter), toilets, showers and – in the summer – it is patrolled by lifeguards. Praia da Luz Praia da Luz was originally a traditional fishing village, which has slowly become a popular beach destination with luxury villas. Its beach extends the whole way along the urban town. Along the beach you’ll find windsurfing and diving schools, as well as discos, restaurants and shops. Praia da Dona Ana, Lagos This was once described as the ‘Best beach in the World' by magazine Condé Nast Traveller. In typical Algarve style, it is nestled between golden cliffs where it will catch the sun but also avoid Atlantic winds. But having Blue Flag status also means that it has all the facilities you would expect as well as including a cafe built into the cliff-side. Oura You’ll find this golden stretch of sand located down a hill from the resort town of Oura. Home to a promenade lined with cafes, bars and some nice restaurants, Oura beach is a little more laid back than the beaches closer to Albufeira town itself. It also stretches for 2km when the tide is out so you’ll always find plenty of space. Olhos d’Água If you’re looking for a relaxing Algarve holiday in a quaint tourist town, we recommend Olhos d’Água. The main beach here is lined by old fisherman huts and surrounded by the characteristic red sandstone cliffs. There are also a series of small cove beaches that surround Olhos de Agua. After this the coastline opens up to the beautiful Praia da Falésia beach, which extend for 5km and leads to the stylish town of Vilamoura. Praia do Amoreira, western Algarve If you’re looking to get away from it all, we recommend this isolated spot. Perfect for naturalists, with endless rock pools harbouring starfish and sea urchins. Plus, the undertow current creates amazing waves for surfers. There’s also no restaurants or bars nearby, so we recommend taking a picnic. Praia do Barril, eastern Algarve If you’ve seen images of numerous metal anchors positioned permanently into the sand – here is where you’ll find them. Known as the Anchor Graveyard, the anchors were left by the tuna-fishing boats that once fixed their large nets there. But history isn’t the only thing you’ll find here – Praia do Barril beach itself is really popular with windsurfing and sailing. Praia do Martinhal, western Algarve This another beach that is perfect for sporty types looking for activities. Surf, body-board and windsurfing are popular in the azure waters, while volleyball and football are regularly played on the sands. But if you’re not feeling too confident yet, there’s a surf school where you can sign up for lessons. There are also restaurants and cafes nearby where you can sample some of the Algarve’s fresh seafood. Praia do Armado, western Algarve If you’re a pro-surfer (or like to watch pro surfing) then this is the Blue Flag beach for you. This is Portugal’s premier surfing beach and the venue for many national and international body-boarding and surfing competitions, with its own surf school on site. There is also beach bar on site. Praia da Marinha, Lagoa You could argue that we’ve saved the best for last. It is widely considered to be one of the best beaches in Portugal, having won countless awards and being regularly used in tourist board campaigns. However, the beach is a bit out of the way and requires a car plus a walk down some steep steps – though this does mean that there is significantly less people. Praia da Marinha is about half an hour’s drive from Albufeira in the Lagoa area, and is well sign-posted.
  6. Barrhead Travel NHS Discount

    Good Morning @sairajee2@hotmail.com, Yes, just be sure to make the consultant aware at the enquiry stage that you are an affinity member. Depending on the type of package that is being booked your discount will vary although you should be advised of this by your consultant. Have you set your sights on anywhere in particular yet? Shannon
  7. Barrhead Travel NHS Discount

    Hi one of my family member works for police Scotland and they are entitled to 5% discount. Can the above apply to them as well i.e we book in store and show our ID to the operator, therefore we can get discount?
  8. Twin Centre Holidays

    Hi Margaret, Amazing choices, New Orleans is a bucket list one for me. I have sent you over a private mail . Thanks, Shannon
  9. Twin Centre Holidays

    Hi I'm looking to go to New Orleans, San Francisco, Memphis. We will be traveling for 14 nights the 2 of us. I would love your help thanks Margaret
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  11. 5 things to do in Napa Valley

    There’s no arguing that Napa Valley is primarily famous for producing some of the world’s finest wine. But this scenic county in central California is much more than just wineries and rolling vineyards. Located north of San Francisco, Napa Valley works as a day-trip or as a relaxing end to a busy city-break in one California’s urban hubs. Aside from the obvious wine tasting tours (which are considered some of the best in the world) you’ll also find plenty of laid-back activities as well as beautiful outdoor pursuits in this beautiful but popular county. Here’s just a taster. 1. Sip fine wine We’re going to start with the obvious though. Napa Valley is home to more than 400 wineries, some owned by multigenerational families, others by massive corporations – and a few by celebrities. Shortlisting the best wine tasting experiences in Napa is another blog post entirely – but an insider tip is to move away from the large wineries along Highway 29 and head to the hills, where a plethora of medium- and smaller-sized wineries awaits. Also, most wine tours are by appointment only so remember to research and book before you go. 2. Treat your taste buds Wine has always been the perfect accompaniment to delicious cuisine, and Napa Valley isn’t short on that either. The Oxbow Market is the perfect place to try some regional food and wine, including fresh seafood and locally made jams. If it’s high-end sit-down dining that you’re looking for, then head to Yountville – which potentially has one of the world’s highest concentration of fine-dining restaurants. 3. Rent a convertible Take advantage of California’s sunny weather and hit the Silverado Trail on the east side, which curves through the landscape from Napa to Calistoga. Plus, Calistoga is a hot springs town – making it the perfect place to rest after a day of driving. 4. Explore the great outdoors If you’re into hiking, head to Westwood Hills Park and try the three-mile long trail. Alternatively, tackle the five-mile path to the top of 4,343-foot-high Mount St. Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson Park, outside Calistoga. 5. Admire some art Originally a winery, the 217-acre Di Rosa now displays an impressive collection of works by Bay Area artists. It’s well worth a visit, and official guided tours highlights the 125-year-old residence and sculpture garden. Then in the evening, head to the Cameo Cinema, a historic cinema house in St. Helena, which dates back to 1913 and showcases a mix of indie, foreign, and first-run Hollywood films. If you’ve been to Napa Valley, what is your favourite thing to do?
  12. Barrhead Travel were excited to hear that Carnival Splendor is to Reposition to Sydney In 2019, becoming both the newest and largest ship to be based in Australia year round. Before making her maiden voyage from Sydney in December 2019, Carnival Spendour will undergo a re-vamp with new and improved features such as new dining experiences and waterpark that are geared towards the Australian market. Carnival Splendor currently operates seven-day Mexican Riviera and longer length voyages to Alaska and Hawaii with her replacement ship yet to be announced.
  13. 6 romantic activities for couples in Prague

    Prague is the perfect city break for a romantic weekend. Unnervingly beautiful but also filled with fine-dining restaurants, there’s plenty of little date spots hidden within the city. If you and your beloved are heading off to the Czech capital sometime soon, here’s our top six romantic activities for couples in Prague. Stroll Through Petrin Park For an affordable date, take your sweetheart’s hand and walk through Petrin Park. A mere 10 minutes’ walk from the Charles Bridge, the park surrounds its namesake hill and is a popular recreational ground for the locals. Popular spots include the Rose Garden, Petřín’s lookout tower, Štefánik's Observatory and the Mirror Maze. Vintage Car Ride If your sweetheart isn’t a fan of walking for hours, hire one of the city’s many vintage cars - but don’t worry, they come with a driver so you can snuggle up in the backseat. The drivers are also trained tour guides so they can verbally illustrate the history and significance of all the sites you pass. Admire the city from above Prague is a beautiful city, and the skyline is the perfect backdrop to a romantic evening (or even a proposal). There’s an abundance of beautiful look-out spots to choose from, including attic bars and riverside restaurants to historic look-out towers. Secure your love with a padlock Just like many of Europe’s key cities, Prague also has two bridges decorated in padlocks. The first one can be found in the district of Mala Strana and after a wander you’ll find the small padlocked bridge over one of the canals. Or head over to Naplavka, and walk along the metal train bridge that is a stone’s throw away from Prague Castle. Take a River Cruise around the city’s canals Take the scenic route through the city on board a river cruise and admire the buildings on the banks of the Vltava River. There are a few liners to choose from, plus you can really treat your other half with a special dinner cruise. Purchase jewellery made with local ruby gems If you’re jewellery shopping in Prague, keep an eye out for the labels Czech Garnet, Bohemian Garnet or Turnov Garnet. This is the trade name for a type of Garnet called Pyrope that historically is mined in the north of the Czech Republic and has the deep red colour and from Latin it translates as Fire-Eyed. If you’ve been on a romantic weekend getaway to Prague, let us know what your favourite activity was?
  14. 10 historical sites to visit in Croatia

    There’s a reason why Dubrovnik and Split were the perfect places to bring King’s Landing to life – it’s because they themselves are historical cities with beautiful monuments and fascinating buildings. We’ve already shared a location guide to all the Game of Thrones filming spots at the end of Season 6 – but there are plenty more historic buildings that are worth scouting out when you land on Croatia’s shores. Here are 10 historical sites to get you started – some of which ended up on the television show and some that are still waiting for their famous debut. 1.Dubrovnik’s City Walls Dubrovnik’s city walls showed up in many Game of Thrones scenes and were actually one of the primary reasons producers chose this city to bring King’s Landing to life. Surrounding most of the city, they are actually considered to be one the great fortification systems of the Middle Ages, as they were never breached by a hostile army during this time period. In 1979, the City Walls (along with the Old City of Dubrovnik) joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. 2. Diocletian’s Palace The Diocletian’s Palace forms about half the old town of Split, so it’s very hard to not notice. Originally constructed as an ancient palace for the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the 4th Century, its size means that it more closely resembles a fortress (in fact, one half of the structure did house the military garrison). 3. Pula Arena Rome is home to the world’s most famous amphitheatre – but some of its walls have fallen down. The Pula Arena on the northern coast of Croatia, however, still stands in its original glory. It is also the best preserved ancient monument in Croatia and even made its way onto the Croatian 10 kuna banknote. 4. Hvar On the surface of it, the island of Hvar is where young yachters hang out and sunbathe (it’s actually the sunniest spot in Croatia). But when you wander beyond the harbour you’ll find a world of abandoned ancient hamlets, craggy peaks, vineyards and lavender fields. Top sights include the Tvrdalj, St Stephens’ Square and St Stephen’s Cathedral. 5. Lovrijenac Just outside the western wall of Dubrovnik, you’ll find Fort Lovrijenac (or St. Lawrence Fortress in English) - an ancient fortress and theatre famous for its plays and importance in resisting Venetian rule. Originally the Venetians wanted to build a fort in the same spot and would rule the city if they had succeeded. The people of Dubrovnik built the wall within three months so, when the Venetians returned with their building materials, the spot was already taken. 6. Dubrovnik Cathedral Dubrovnik's Cathedral (full name Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin) dates back to the 7th century and was built on the site of seven other previous cathedrals (nearby archaeological excavations have actually found the foundations and walls of two older churches). Even though the building is fascinating itself, it’s the Treasury that is most interesting to history buffs. The treasury holds 182 reliquaries, including relics from the 11th to 18th centuries. Its most important possession is the gold-plated arm, leg and skull of Saint Blaise (patron saint of Dubrovnik). 7. Euphrasian Basilica A beautiful example of Byzantine art and architecture, this 6th-century Euphrasian Basilica is found in the coastal resort of Poreč. Its most striking feature is its golden mosaics, especially the one above the apse depicting Christ and the Apostles. It was also built on the site of a Roman villa whose floor mosaic can still be seen in the Basilica garden. 8. Salona Roman ruins Salona was once the provincial capital of Dalmatia in the time of Diocletian and the Salona Roman ruins are one of the largest Roman settlements in the region. It is believed that a community of 60,000 people lived here, but fled when the city was sacked by Avar and Slav tribes. What you see in the ruins today is the base of the amphitheatre, trunks of columns and gravestone carvings scattered around an extensive archaeological park. 9. Trogir Cathedral Trogir Cathedral is considered a work of art and effortlessly blends Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Which isn’t surprising as it dates back to the early 1200s and took more than 400 years to build. The cathedral tower is 47m high and is one of the most noticeable buildings in Trogir’s skyline. 10. Walls of Ston Did you know that Croatia is home to the second longest stone wall in Europe? If you didn’t, you do now. It clocks in at 5.5km and surrounds the ancient city of Ston, and dates back to the 14th Century. And for more history head inside and explore Ston itself, where you’ll find narrow quiet streets and noble ancient houses.
  15. There’s no denying that the quality of smartphone cameras has increased over the last few years. In fact, the market for point-and-shoot cameras is decreasing as more and more people would rather just carry their smartphone around for impromptu photos. And while smartphones are definitely more convenient, they do come with a lot fewer features. But with these ten tips, you’ll have beautiful smartphone photos that rival camera-taken photos – and one attractive Instagram feed. 1. Shoot horizontally There are times when a photo is best taken in portrait mode (to be uploaded later to your Instagram story, for example) but generally landscape/horizontal works best (and is easier to crop if need be). 2. The rule of thirds still apply Some photographers argue that composition is more important than camera quality – and we are inclined to believe them. If you’re unfamiliar with this golden rule of perfect photography, it’s the idea that your photos will look better if the subject is one third in (from any side) rather than right in the middle. Many smartphones now have a grid overlay to make it easier to follow this rule of thumb. 3. Use bursts for action shots If you’re trying to capture some cute snaps of your little ones, or photograph your friend bungee jumping, turn on the burst feature. Not all phones have this feature but if you do have it, it will take lots of consecutive snaps that you can pick your favourite from later. 4. Take a few shots Even when your friend isn’t skydiving or your kids aren’t frolicking in the sand – it’s always a good idea to get a few shots, no matter what you’re doing. Even if it’s a holiday selfie against a famous landmark, take a few different shots, from different angles with different facial expressions – and then decide later which one you want to upload. 5. Extra make-up If it’s an Instagram-perfect selfie you’re looking for, remember that make-up is less noticeable on camera than it is in real life. If you’re wanting to look glammed up in photos apply a little extra product so the details don’t get lost. 6. Remember to focus Many modern smartphones allow you to touch the screen in order to focus in on your subject. Doing so prevents fuzzy images and adds depth to the most basic image. 7. Try and not zoom While zoom can be a handy feature, it also reduces camera quality. If you can get physically close to your subject, do so. But if your subject is far away, take one image zoomed in and another without the zoom that you can crop later, and then decide which is best. 8. Think about lighting Natural lighting is almost always the best option, so if you want some great shots of the kids it’s best to play outside. However, the midday sun can be harsh in photos and many photographers only shoot in the morning or late evening. If rounding up your children at these times is an impossible feat then opt for some gently shaded areas (ever noticed how fashion bloggers are always taking photos in alleyways and small streets? That’s because these places are the perfect balance between sunny and shaded). 9. Edit it afterwards Even the most experienced of professional photographers edit their photos afterwards. Whether it’s adding some contrast, adjusting the clarity or creating a hue – apps such as Instagram, VSCO and Snapseed are your best friend. 10. And keep the lens clean We know this sounds like the most simple of tips – but is important. A dirty lens can create blurs or even marks on your photo. Take a soft lens cloth on holiday and wipe your camera lens each morning before you head out. If you use your smartphone abroad for photos, what are your top tips?
  16. Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas is scheduled to enter dry dock in March and when she remerges she will be boasting some new attractions. Guests will have the opportunity to have a go on a virtual reality trampoline, two waterslides, a FlowRider surf simulator, a few new restaurants and a new-to-Royal Caribbean Polynesian-themed bar. Although there are many new attractions the most anticipated seems to be the new SkyPad which will be situated in the newly transformed top deck. SkyPad is a virtual reality, bungee-trampoline experience where guests wear a headset and bounce their way over and past obstacles. The attraction is suitable for all ages and can be ridden without the virtual reality headset. Other attractions being added during the dry dock include a glow-in-the-dark laser tag arena experience, located in Studio B, called "Battle for Planet Z" and a Puzzle Break: Escape the Room game.
  17. Norwegian Cruise Lines Names Newest Ship

    Barrhead Travel were delighted to hear that Norwegian Cruise Line had announced that their newest cruise ship will be named the Norwegian Encore. The announcement was made at the traditional steel cutting ceremony in Papenburg, Germany. Although details of the ships design and onboard experiences have still to be announced, we do know that the Norwegian Encore will offer weekly Caribbean itineraries from Miami to its 4,000 guests. The Norwegian Escape will join the new Norwegian Encore in Miami during Norwegian's autumn and winter 2019 season, offering seven-day western Caribbean cruises.
  18. Barrhead Travel prepares to open in Port Glasgow Retail Park

    Scotland’s largest independent travel agency, Barrhead Travel, has confirmed plans to invest £2.5m in a new experience store at Port Glasgow Retail Park, due to open in mid-2018. The new store opening will be a relocation from its current Inverclyde outlet in Greenock’s Oak Mall. The move to a larger premises will double the existing team of travel consultants and Barrhead Travel are on the lookout for talented travel sales people with a passion for providing exceptional customer service. There will be dedicated cruise and longhaul areas in the store as well as a foreign currency unit. The positioning of the store will be close to the Tesco Superstore and opposite Marks & Spencer, Next and Boots. Doors will be open 7 days a week and will be open until 8pm during weekdays. The plans are unveiled as Barrhead reveal three new store openings in the first half of 2018, as part of a continued drive to expand its footprint across the country. Scotland’s largest independent travel agent is investing £8.1m on new store launches across the UK in 2018. The plans are hot on the heels of other store launches in the last 18 months, the most recent of which was in Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast, in December 2017. The travel retailer said the expansion was needed as the number of customers booking holidays in its stores continued to rise. Barrhead Travel’s rapid growth campaign bucks the travel industry trend following the recent closures of other high street travel agents. Sharon Munro, CEO of Barrhead Travel, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce the new store opening in Port Glasgow Retail Park. We know more and more customers are booking in store because they want the expertise of our specialists. “We really look forward to welcoming both returning and new customers to our new location. Holidays are an emotional purchase and customers want to feel they are getting the best possible value for money, sound advice from genuine specialists and to know that their holidays are fully financially protected.” In 2015 Barrhead Travel expanded into the English market with a new store in Eldon Square, Newcastle, then in Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester. Its network of stores, call centres and offices is over 70. Barrhead Travel currently employs over 1000 people and is recruiting throughout the UK for experienced sales consultants, team leaders and managers. For more information on the vacancies available, contact their Recruitment team on 0141 223 6655 or email recruitment@barrheadtravel.co.uk
  19. Barrhead Travel prepares to open in Southampton

    Barrhead Travel, one of the UK’s largest independent travel agencies, has confirmed plans to open an experiential store in Southampton, investing £2.1m over 5 years. The new store opening will create approximately 12 new jobs in the local area and the travel agency are looking for experienced travel specialists to apply. Southampton is the latest outlet adding to its extensive network of over 70 retail outlets across the UK. There will be separate cruise and longhaul areas in the store but the agency will provide all types of holidays. The store will also feature a foreign currency unit. The positioning of the store will be on Above Bar Street, facing the entrance to Westquay Shopping Centre and close to Boots, Primark and the Post Office. The plans are unveiled as Barrhead Travel revealed another new store in Fort Kinnaird Retail Park in the Edinburgh area earlier last week with an investment of £3.5m over the course of 5 years. The travel agent is investing millions of pounds in new store launches across the UK in 2018 covering shop fit outs, staffing, technology, training, IT and support. The plans are hot on the heels of several store launches in the last 18 months, the most recent of which was in Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast, in December 2017. The travel retailer said the expansion was needed as the number of customers booking holidays in its stores continued to rise. Barrhead Travel’s rapid growth campaign bucks the travel industry trend following the recent closures of other high street travel agents. Bill Munro, Chairman of Barrhead Travel, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce the new store opening in Southampton, the first on England’s South Coast. We really look forward to welcoming new customers to our fantastic store. “Customers book with Barrhead Travel because they want the expertise of our specialists. Holidays are an emotional purchase and customers want to feel they are getting the best possible value for money, sound advice from genuine specialists and to know that their holidays are fully financially protected.” In 2015 Barrhead Travel expanded into the English market with a store in Eldon Square, Newcastle, then in Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester. Its network of stores, call centres and offices is over 70, UK wide. Barrhead Travel currently employs over 1000 people and is recruiting for Southampton and throughout the UK for experienced sales consultants, team leaders and managers.
  20. Barrhead Travel were delighted to hear that our partners P&O Cruises have confirmed that they will have another ship joining their fleet in 2020. The ship, at a whopping 180,000 gross tons with a capacity for 5,200 passengers, is set to be the largest cruise ship to be built specifically for the British market. Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein said: “We are seeing the momentum in awareness of cruising both across the media and in our national psyche as ever-increasing numbers of people see first-hand the value for money, unrivalled service and extraordinary onboard experience. “These two next-generation ships for delivery in the next four years are real and tangible evidence of our absolute optimism for future growth.” P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow added: “We have a bold and ambitious vision for P&O Cruises to become Britain’s number one holiday choice and we can only do that by increasing our fleet. “The build for our 2020 ship begins this spring and it will offer all generations of British guests the holiday of a lifetime on the next generation of P&O Cruises ships. “In four years’ time when her sister ship is launched, adding an additional 22% capacity, we will see an even greater rise in the popularity of cruising across all demographics and all age ranges including both Millennials and Generation Xers. “Many of them have already learned to appreciate cruising by going on cruises with their families while growing up. Additionally, there are millions more we will attract in the future by retaining the amazing onboard and on-shore experiences and itinerary choices P&O Cruises is known for, while reflecting forward-thinking trends and tastes of British holidaymakers. “This evolution of the guest experience will be evident over the next few years but will be underpinned throughout with in-depth market insight and feedback we receive from the best source: our current, past and prospective guests. “The first of our new ships will go on sale in September and we will be announcing key elements of the design and build this year. “Our P&O Cruises signature features in dining and entertainment will be across all our ships, but the space and build of the two new ships allows us to have innovative new experiences to create the most memorable holidays.” Thomas Weigend, managing director of Meyer Werft, said: “We are very happy to continue our excellent partnership with Carnival Corporation and P&O Cruises.”
  21. A beginner’s guide to the Azores

    In the North Atlantic - 900 miles from the coast of Portugal – lies one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Beautifully rugged with giant craters, the nine islands that make up the Azores are an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Are you unfamiliar with this hidden adventure-filled paradise? Here’s everything you need to know. What to do Whale watching The Azores is currently one of the world’s largest whale sanctuaries and is home to large numbers of blue whales, sperm whales, dolphins and sea turtles. Taking a day trip on a boat is a must while visiting the islands (and if you’re here on a cruise, remember to stand on your balcony as you sail into port). Outdoor adventure sports Thanks to the islands’ volcanic origins, the Azores is home to an uneven landscape that is perfect for hiking, cycling and canoeing in the waterways. It is also home to some of the world’s best diving spots. Bird watching The Azores is home to the Azores bullfinch, one of the rarest birds in Europe – and as such has become a popular bird watching destination. Explore the cities The Azores isn’t all ethereal landscapes and lush forests. Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel is the Azores main urban hub. With a population of 68,809 it’s not the biggest city you’ll ever visit but you’ll still find beautiful Mediterranean architecture as well as restaurants, bars and clubs. How to get there Azores is already a popular cruise destination and regularly pops up on Atlantic Islands itineraries. If you prefer land holidays there are a few direct flights available from London. Though typically you’ll need to book two inter-connecting flights that change in Portugal. Direct flights take four hours and the islands are behind the UK by one hour. When to go The Azores is a year-round destination but is in its prime during the summer. This is when whale-watching is at its best and the warmer weather lends a hand to the outdoor pursuits the islands are known for. Typically the temperature hovers between 13 and 25 degrees throughout the year. Other important information Nationals of EU member countries do not require visas The official currency is the Euro Portuguese is the official language, though most locals who work in the tourist industry will speak English.
  22. Barrhead Travel prepares to open in Fort Kinnaird Retail Park

    Scotland’s largest independent travel agency, Barrhead Travel, has confirmed plans to invest £3.5million over a five year period in a new experience store at Fort Kinnaird Retail Park, due to open in mid-2018. The new store opening will create approximately 16 new jobs in the local area and will be the fifth Barrhead Travel store in the Edinburgh vicinity. There will be dedicated cruise and longhaul areas in the store as well as a foreign currency unit. The positioning of the store will be close to M&S, Primark and TKMaxx and doors will be open 7 days a week and will be open until 10pm during weekdays. The plans are unveiled as Barrhead reveal three new store openings in the first half of 2018, as part of a continued drive to expand its footprint across the country. Scotland’s largest independent travel agent is investing millions of pounds on new store launches across the UK in 2018 covering shop fit outs, staffing, technology, training, IT and support. The plans are hot on the heels of other store launches in the last 18 months, the most recent of which was in Victoria Square Shopping Centre, Belfast, in December 2017. The travel retailer said the expansion was needed as the number of customers booking holidays in its stores continued to rise. Barrhead Travel’s rapid growth campaign bucks the travel industry trend following the recent closures of other high street travel agents. Bill Munro, Chairman of Barrhead Travel, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to announce the new store opening in Fort Kinnaird Retail Park. We know more and more customers are booking in store because they want the expertise of our specialists. “We really look forward to welcoming both returning and new customers to our new location. Holidays are an emotional purchase and customers want to feel they are getting the best possible value for money, sound advice from genuine specialists and to know that their holidays are fully financially protected.” In 2015 Barrhead Travel expanded into the English market with a new store in Eldon Square, Newcastle then in Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester. Its network of stores, call centres and offices is over 70. Barrhead Travel currently employs over 1000 people and is recruiting throughout the UK for experienced sales consultants, team leaders and managers. For more information on the vacancies available, contact their Recruitment team on 0141 223 6655 or emailrecruitment@barrheadtravel.co.uk
  23. Ask any cruiser why they prefer cruising to land holidays and you’ll hear phrases like “great value for money” and “can budget easily”. Which is true. Within the cost of your cruise you’ve already paid for several destinations, your room and usually some kind of dining. Many cruise lines also sell All-Inclusive packages that offer better value for money than many hotels. Below are five cruise lines whose all-inclusive packages are amazing value for money and allow you to get on with your holiday without worrying about your bill at the end. Saga Cruises Saga Cruises specialise in small-ship experiences for the over 50s – with some of the best inclusions at sea. All meals (including speciality dining), a choice of wines with dinner, all onboard gratuities, 24 hour room service, shuttle buses and WiFi are included in the price. Most impressively however is the door-to-door chauffeur service. If you’re staying less than 250 miles from Dover, Portsmouth or Southampton, Saga Cruises they will pick you up (and even carry your bags). NCL Every passenger on board an NCL cruise will have entertainment, aqua parks, sports facilities, kids clubs and complimentary dining included. However, any passengers that opt for Premium All-Inclusive will receive no extra charges for premium beverages, speciality coffees, soft drinks, bottled water and any tips related to all-inclusive services. Also – if you feel like treating yourself – passengers who stay in The Haven® or suite accommodation will be treated to gourmet dining, 250 minutes free WiFi per suite and $100 onboard spending money per suite – at no extra cost! Marella Cruises Three ships in the Marella fleet are all-inclusive by default: Marella Explorer, Marella Discovery and Marella Discovery 2. But if you have your eye on one of their other ships, you’re still in luck. We are offering a free all-inclusive upgrade on summer 2018 cruises on Marella Spirit, and a free all-inclusive upgrade on winter 2018 cruises on Marella Celebration and Marella Dream. Plus upgrade to all-inclusive for only £10 per person, per night in summer 2018 on Marella Dream and Marella Celebration. Regent Seven Seas This super-luxury cruise line might not be the cheapest at face value, but when you learn what is all included in the fare you’ll realise that sometimes paying a bit extra is worth it. The usual things like 24-hour room service, dining, WiFi, shore excursions, and gratuities are included. But with Regent Seven Seas you’ll also received complimentary access to the fitness centre, spa and speciality restaurants as well as unlimited beverages, including premium spirits. Most river cruises We’ve already mentioned Saga (who offer both ocean and river cruises) but generally speaking river cruises are very generous with their inclusions. But if it’s fully all-inclusive that you are looking for we recommend Scenic Tours , Tauck, Uniworld and Crystal River Cruises. Uniworld, for example, includes all gratuities, exercise classes, shore excursions, bicycle hire, WiFi access, onboard entertainment, in-suite butler service, all dining and premium beverages. While Scenic River Cruises include WiFi, complimentary beverages, all gratuities, and shore excursions. Which All-Inclusive cruise line is your favourite?
  24. Jamaica Remains Open for Business

    Barrhead Travel is pleased to share the below statement from our partners at the Jamaican tourist board. Jamaica remains one of our customers’ favourite holiday destinations and the beautiful Caribbean island boasted visits from over 4.3 million tourists in 2017. "KINGSTON, Jamaica; January 22, 2018 – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett has again reiterated that Jamaica is safer than ever and the recent state of emergency was called to ensure the Saint James Parish continues to be safe for tourists and locals alike. The reality is that Jamaica remains a safe destination for all tourists and the state of emergency has been put in place as an added precaution and gives greater powers to the police force ensuring that Jamaica maintains its enviable record of safety towards tourists. Bartlett continues “Security, safety and seamlessness is the standard that defines ‘destination Jamaica and the country continues to be very much open for business and we continue to welcome tourists from all over the world to enjoy the warm Jamaican hospitality”. St James is one of 14 parishes in Jamaica and the Minister confirms that the area that has been largely affected by the recent troubles is one that is rarely visited by tourists. These enhanced security measures are not out of the ordinary in international tourism markets and the Jamaican residents have shown great support of this action with a resident from the affected area declaring, “This is the best thing that could have happened at this time”. Jamaica however remains a safe place for tourists. Every year, Jamaica welcomes visitors and volunteers from around the world to enjoy all that Jamaica has to offer. Provisional data shows a record breaking 4.3 million tourists visited Jamaica in 2017, which represents a 12.1 per cent increase over arrivals in 2016."
  25. Hapag-Lloyd in 2019

    It’s only 1 year until Hapag-Lloyd’s twin ships launch and with their combination of traditional expedition, high-end luxury and green technology we at Barrhead Travel are excited, to say the least. Karl Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd, unveiled details of the 230-passenger ships Thursday at a press gathering in New York City. "If you want to be on top, you have to deliver quality," Pojer said. Some of highlights already revealed include Hanseatic Inspiration will feature three restaurants: a main restaurant, a bistro with outdoor and indoor seating, and a specialty restaurant that will serve a Peruvian-Japanese fusion menu. HanseAtrium, which Pojer calls "the heart of the ship." It will accommodate all 230 passengers, and it includes an ice bar. A second bar will be located in the ships' Observation Lounge. Every sailing will include a minimum of 16 expedition team members, a group comprising biologists, glaciologists, historians and geologists. Ships will feature the 645-square-foot Ocean Academy, a room created purely for education. Nature is a major theme for the ships. Color schemes are inspired by nature's hues, and the environment was an important consideration. The ships will feature onboard sewage treatment systems, for example. They are certified for the highest ice class available for passenger ships, so they can safely sail the Arctic and Antarctic. "We thought our project should be inspired by nature," Pojer said. The ships will feature six different cabin types, including 14 junior suites and four grand suites. All are outside cabins, so no passenger will miss the view even when in their rooms.
  26. 8 reasons to stay at the Roosevelt in New York City

    The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City is almost as famous as the city itself. Built right in the heart of Manhattan, and named after a famous President, its grand opening was earmarked by the Jazz Age. Since then it has earned a reputation as an iconic New York City hotel. Needless to say, everyone who has ever stayed in this classic hotel can attest to its beauty and elegance. If you were to ask them to name their favourite amenity or feature it would likely be one of these eight. 1. The prime location Located on Madison Avenue, some of NYC’s most energetic attractions lie right on the hotel’s doorstep. The Rockefeller Centre and Grand Central Station are literal seconds from the front door. While Central Park and the Empire State building are mere streets away. 2. Elegant rooms… There are a total of 1,025 rooms at the Roosevelt Hotel, polished to perfection with dark mahogany furnishings and traditional wheel back chairs. To add to the sophistication, the beds are made with triple layer sheets and a golden duvet. 3. …with modern amenities Catch-up with work or family back home with the high-speed wireless internet, or relax after a long day with Cable TV and in-room movies. When it’s time to leave your room and explore the city, make sure you’re impeccably groomed to cosmopolitan standards with your own hairdryer, iron and ironing board. 4. 24 hour Fitness Centre The Roosevelt Hotel also caters to holidaymakers who like to maintain their fitness regime while away. Use of the fitness centre is complimentary and includes fruit, water, towels, magazines and newspapers. 5. Five dining options Whether it’s a filling breakfast to start your day or a sumptuous dinner to celebrate a special occasion, The Roosevelt Hotel delivers. Choose between a special evening dinner in the Roosevelt Grill; or reward your taste buds with the legendary Roosevelt burger in the Madison Club Lounge; or stop for some convenient bar food at Vander Bar; or nibble away on the finger food in mad46 – plus there's room service! 6. Rooftop bar Mad46 is an iconic Manhattan establishment and many New Yorkers consider it the place to be seen on a Friday night. Its rooftop location is the perfect place to soak up the Big Apple’s exhilarating atmosphere while still high enough off the ground to feel like a calming oasis. Make sure you pop up to the Roosevelt roof at least once during your stay. 7. Fascinating history The Roosevelt Hotel first opened in 1924 and - while the hotel has added modern amenities - the elegance of the 1920s still fills the air. Named after Theodore Roosevelt, the architects chose the colonial architectural style because of the President’s fondness towards this period. It was also the location for the first ever broadcast of Guy Lombardo’s much-loved New Year’s Eve tradition of singing “Auld Lang Syne” over radio. 8. It’s a Hollywood film set Film buffs will recognise the exterior and interior of the hotel. It has made an appearance in several famous movies and cult-favourites such as Maid in Manhattan, Malcolm X, Wall Street, French Connection, The Boiler Room and 1408.
  27. Cruise and Stay Holidays

    If you’re new to the cruising world it can be a little daunting trying to find the right ship that caters for all the family’s needs that also goes to the right destinations. So we can imagine wondering if you should add in a land stay before or after your cruise might add more pressure. That being said we’re her to help you with information and pros of why a cruise and stay holiday might be for your family. What is a Cruise & Stay Holiday? The Caribbean is one of the most popular places to cruise. With itineraries mainly starting in ports such as Miami or Florida many people miss out in seeing these ports as they are just the “starting point”. Cruise and Stay holidays eliminate that issue. Example: 3 nights pre cruise will allow you to see your port destination, explore the area, do some tours then board your cruise for your Caribbean itinerary. The Benefits of Cruise and Stay There are 1001 reasons that cruise and stay holidays are so popular however we’ll keep it brief and list you our top 3 reasons. 1. You get two holidays in one. You get to have your fast paced/slow paced break before where you can explore the city/town at your leisure followed by your multi destination cruise. 2. You can add as many nights are you like before or after your cruise. (A popular one with families is 7 nights in Orlando followed by a 7 night cruise) 3. Bespoke packages just for you – you choose when you cruise and when you stay.
  28. Twin Centre Holidays

    Twin-Centre holidays have always been fairly popular but it seems to be the holiday type of choice even more now. Instead of heading to one place for two or three weeks, why not come up with an itinerary that takes in the many sides of a country. You don’t have to settle for just one type of experience you can roll them all into one trip. History one day, breath-taking scenery the next a day or two lazing by the pool thrown in for good measure. My perfect bucket list would be combing LA and Las Vegas. Mainly because I think for me a 4 nights in Vegas would be a maximum amount of nights but to travel all the way there for such a short time is a waste. So adding on a another few nights LA would bulk up my trip, I get to tick off another bucket list destination and of I was really feeling greedy I could add on another 7 nights in somewhere like Hawaii from LA. Has anyone got a multi-centre trip coming up or have you found a flaw in booking multi-centres?
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