Premier tours in popular USA

Premier Holidays has added a raft of new experiences and tours to its latest America brochure following a bumper year for sales in 2018.

VUSA

The 2019 brochure, valid for travel until March 2020, features 21 new experiences in Florida, the Deep South, California, Las Vegas, West and the North East.

Six new self-drive itineraries and escorted tours and 38 new hotel options have also been added.

The operator says sales to the USA for 2019 are up 33% to California and 10% to New York compared to this time last year, with bookings to the Deep South states, particularly Tennessee and Louisiana, also bouyant.

Tim Greathead, America Product Manager for Premier Holidays, said: “ Tailormade holidays are becoming more popular and we have seen a big increase in this type of booking to America, particularly to California, Florida and southern states such as Tennessee and Louisiana.

New escorted tours include an eight-night small group tour of Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC, priced from £3,299pp, a 10-night Western Highlights coach tour of San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, from £1,599pp, and a 10-night Splendours of the West coach tour visiting California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona from £1,699pp.

Experiences in Premier’s new America brochure include NBA tickets to Orlando Magic basketball, between October and April, from £13pp; a Redwoods and Wine Country Escape in Northern California, from £119pp; a Las Vegas strip helicopter flight, from £89pp; a Catalina Island day tour from Los Angeles, from £116pp; and an Antelope Canyon sightseeing tour from £55pp.

premierholidays.co.uk

Cajun flavours a trailblazer

New in Louisiana is the Cajun Bayou Food Trail.

Cajun

Created last summer the trail, which stretches about 60 miles from its northernmost to southernmost stop, links 18 ‘authentic’ restaurants that serve up food in a style that is heavily linked with the state.

“Cajun food is all about tradition, heritage, love and the heart and soul of our region,” said Melissa Durocher of Louisiana's Cajun Bayou.

“We are surrounded by water and this is ‘wet Cajun country’, so lots of fresh seafood right from the Gulf, like soft shell crab, shrimp, crawfish, crabs and more.

“The restaurants on the trail are a mix of mom and pop eateries as well as fine dining establishments, serving up fried and boiled seafood, gumbo and etouffee, home-cooked dishes and poboys (meat sandwiches with melted butter and sliced pickles)," added Durocher.

“Our food is all about the seasoning rather than the heat, so we use lots of herbs, onions, bell peppers, etc – we want to arouse visitors taste buds not scald them,”.

The first stop on the Cajun food trail is located 25 miles from New Orleans.

Guests can download a ‘passport’ featuring all the venues – if they drop into seven of the venues and get a stamp from each they can claim a Bayou t-shirt.

louisianatravel.com

lacajunbayou.com/foodtrail

Myrtle Beach set for influx

South Carolina’s most popular beach destination is expecting a surge of interest from UK visitors in 2019.

Myrtle

British Airways will introduce a twice-weekly service between Heathrow and Charleston on April 4, which will put Myrtle Beach within easy reach of self-drive tourists.

The city and holiday resort on the Atlantic coast is known for its Grand Strand, a 60-mile string of beaches.

Last year it welcomed 18 million visitors in 2017 with the UK the largest overseas market after Canada.

“We are already popular with British visitors looking for the ultimate U.S. east coast beach holiday but the convenience of this new direct flight and the short (two-hour) drive to the coast should further heighten interest,” commented Kimberly Hartley, International Sales Manager for Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

“It will also open up more of the Southern region for fly-drives,” she added.

Meanwhile, construction is well underway on a major new development along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk on the oceanfront that will see several new restaurants, shopping and live music venues, a new Hilton hotel property and a new oceanfront park.

Visitors to the Grand Strand can choose North Myrtle Beach, to relax among fewer crowds and explore the quaint fishing village of Little River, or head to Myrtle Beach's southern tip, to Murrells Inlet, which is known as the seafood capital of South Carolina.

discoversouthcarolina.com

Norwegian unveils free wifi

Norwegian has become the first low-cost carrier to offer free wifi on intercontinental flights.

Norwegian

Passengers flying between Europe and the USA (and South America and Asia) can now access the free wifi for the full duration of long-haul flights onboard its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 MAX fleet.

A high-speed premium option, fast enough to stream movies, is also available at an introductory price of $14.95 for a three-hour package.

More than 50% of Norwegian’s 787-9 Dreamliner fleet is expected to offer in-flight connectivity by 2020.

Vice-President Business Development, Boris Bubresko said: “Millions of Norwegian customers have already enjoyed free wifi over the skies of Europe and now long-haul passengers can continue to rely on free and high-speed internet connectivity that will enhance and personalise their journeys.”

Norwegian flies from the UK to 11 U.S. destinations, including Tampa, Orlando, Boston, New York (JFK), Seattle and Las Vegas.

norwegian.com

'Go Out', says NYC & Company

New York City is encouraging visitors to explore the city’s many attractions and neighbourhoods this winter with a new campaign.

Go Out

'NYC Winter Outing' seeks to address and reverse what the tourism board has coined 'FOGO' (the fear of going out) and inspire out-of-town visitors to plan overnight trips to the city from January 21 through February 10, 2019.

The NYC Winter Outing landing page at nycgo.com/nyc-winter-outing highlights upcoming NYC Broadway Week participating shows, NYC Must-See Week participating attractions and NYC Restaurant Week participating restaurants, with the ability to save a list through nycgo.com’s new 'favoriting' tool and to book overnight accommodations at a selection of city hotels.

Visitors who sign up for nycgo.com emails are notified when all three programmes are live and bookable from their saved list. The NYC Winter Outing site also features suggested ‘mini-itineraries’.

“One of New York City’s best-kept secrets is the incredible value overnight visitors experience during the winter months,” said Fred Dixon, NYC & Company’s president and CEO.

“Winter consistently offers the most attractive hotel rates of the year. That combined with aligning the dates of NYC & Company’s signature winter programs—NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Broadway Week and NYC Must-See Week—makes NYC an irresistible draw for travelers in January and February.”

nycgo.com

Grand Adventures; big deals

Small group adventure specialist Grand American Adventures is offering up to £613 off selected tours booked until January 31 2019.

Grand Adventures

The ‘My Year of Grand’ sale, which kicked off on December 21, offers 15% off selected tours and 10% off all other tours for departures until December 31 2019.

Escorted tour examples include the 15-day National Parks and Lodges, which explores the crown jewels of America's national parks system whilst staying in historic lodges and upgraded hotels.

Featured parks on a tour departing May 20 2019 include Yosemite, Yellowstone, Death Valley and Grand Canyon.

Priced down to £3,476, highlights along the way include a Navajo-guided backroads tour of Monument Valley, sunrise and sunset at the Grand Canyon and a Salt Lake City tour guided by a local Mormon.

Alternatively, the 12-day Wonders of Oregon tour, leaving on June 22, 2019, will see guests journeying through five of the state’s most diverse regions with highlights including Crater Lake National Park, a scenic float trip down the Dechutes, investigating lava tubes at Mount St. Helens National Monument, a visit to the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast and sampling some award-winning Oregon wine.

The tour's sale price is £2,599pp.

grandamericanadventures.com