An OG of the travel industry with over 30 years invested in the business, Sherri Barber shares her thoughts on Airbnb's recent launch of "Airbnb Adventures" and what it means for the conventional travel agency. We're not throwing shade at Airbnb; we're just asking the logical questions that any of our clients might ask and we're comparing/contrasting the differences between what Airbnb offers vs. what we as a travel agency offer.
My initial plans for Vietnam only included Hoi An and Hue, to focus on central Vietnam during my short trip. When booking my flights, I found out I could fly direct from Guangzhou to Da Nang, but no direct flights were offered in the reverse direction. In order to return to Guangzhou to catch my flight home to SFO, I had to travel either south to Hoi Chi Minh or north to Hanoi from Hue. So that’s how I reluctantly wound up in Hanoi, the large, bustling, crowded capital city.
As many of you travelers out there know, Southwest Airlines recently made waves in the domestic market by launching it’s multi-island service from the west coast to Hawaii. Their much-anticipated entry caused other carriers to slash prices, so much so that finding fares under $300 round-trip was commonplace for a solid two week period. Since we haven’t been to Hawaii in quite a while, and since our only attention to the islands came with our round-trip SF and LA cruise promotions, we decided to take advantage of the improbable airfare and booked ourselves a week-long stay. We would familiarize ourselves with the lay of the land and get to know Oahu in ways that you, our clients, would enjoy.
My plan of six whirlwind nights in Vietnam worked out to 36 hours to explore in each city: Hoi An, an UNESCO World Heritage Site; Hue, the former royal capital and another UNESCO Site; and finally Hanoi, the current capital of Vietnam. I always look for a walking tour at new destinations and for this journey, I lined up a street food tour in each city. History, culture and food in one go!
The Seven Seas Splendor of Regent Seven Seas has officially entered its final construction phase after being floated out from drydock at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Ancona, Italy. For the final stage of her development, workers will focus on her interior spaces, which includes 375 luxury suites, lounges and gourmet restaurants. When the Seven Seas Splendor sets sail in February 2020, she will bring about an impressive take on the modern definition of luxury cruising.
There’s a new cruise line in town, and you may have heard of the name before. It’s making waves in the cruising new cycles and it comes from a very well known brand. Virgin Voyages, of the famous Virgin Group most known for its fiery founder Sir Richard Branson, will be debuting the first of her planned four cruises ships, the Scarlet Lady, some time in 2020. She will be sailing from her home port of Miami and will set out on four and five-night sailings to various Caribbean destinations.
Carnival Cruise Line said that for the first time it will offer a series of cruises from San Francisco aboard Carnival Miracle operating a diverse schedule that includes four- to 15-day voyages to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico in 2020. These deployments further bolster Carnival’s position in the West Coast, where it says it will soon be carrying more passengers than any other cruise operator.
After more than four years of planning and 23 months of construction, Celebrity Cruises officially took delivery of Celebrity Edge, the cruise ship that promises revolutionary changes to the cruise experience. As part of the delivery, Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s chairman and CEO; and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity’s president and CEO, hosted a ceremony aboard the ship while it was docked in the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.