I’ve had a passion for travel and exploring different cultures across the world for as long as I can remember. I love inspiring my customers, planning interesting itineraries, and helping them to make the most of their hard-earned holiday time.
My customers will tell you that the reason they book with me is because I care about them and their holiday. I look after all the research, planning, booking, and pre-departure preparation, removing all stress from the process, so they don't need to spend hours getting tied up in knots on the internet or queuing in a shop. All my clients need to do is look forward to putting their out of office on and getting away from it all. Whilst away I'm at the end of my personal mobile phone for anything they need.
I take personal pride in making sure every single one of my clients gets the trip they have dreamed of - whether it be relaxing in the sunshine, or an adrenaline fuelled adventure. I specialise in tailor-made itineraries – so you can have the holiday you want, designed around you. I love everything about cruising and I'm a CLIA Cruise Master- the highest accreditation in the cruise industry.
I’ve also been specially trained to understand the needs of clients with mobility or other accessibility requirements and I have the tools at my fingertips to make sure their needs are met no matter where in the world they would like to go. I believe in making travel accessible, everywhere, for everyone.
I’ve travelled extensively and have a wide range of experience to draw on to find exactly what is right for you. In the last two years I’ve enjoyed mini-breaks in Krakow & Tenerife, enjoyed several cruises in Europe, including a family cruise from Liverpool, a cruise in Arabia, experienced a wildlife safari in Kenya, spent long weekends living in a field at a chilled out music festival in Cumbria, spent a lovely family week in beautiful Wales, visited Thailand - including a stay at the wonderful Elephant Hills luxury tented jungle camp, camped under the stars in Jordan, and been to South America twice – Brazil & Peru. Our last family summer holiday was a family adventure holiday to Morocco, and our last family winter holiday was skiing in February half term. My most recent adventure was a California road trip in March 2020.
In March 2021 I’m embarking on a big charity challenge, trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal to raise much needed funds for Reuben’s Retreat charity to continue its amazing work supporting families bereaved of children and with life limiting illnesses. If you'd like to know more about my challenge and Reuben's Retreat please take a look at my fundraising page here https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/CatherineMackey
If you'd like to get in touch about your own travel plans please call me or send me a message to arrange a time for a phone consultation (day or evening), or if you're local we can meet for a coffee. My service always starts with a conversation so we can have a thorough discussion about exactly what you are looking for, or to chat through initial ideas if you’re unsure, so that I can design something that is perfect for you.
Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:-
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
18 May 2020
Lockdown may have you dreaming of distant sandy shores, but the UK has some spectacular beaches of its own. Here are my seven ideas for a sandy staycation in our own beautiful country... Mwnt, Wales Perfectly cut-out from the Ceredigion cliffs, the secluded cove of Mwnt is owned by the National Trust. The sheltered bay is a favourite for dolphins and seals, which are often spotted playing in the turquoise waters. The surrounding hilly cliffs create a natural wind-break for beach-bums while more active types can enjoy picturesque walks along the coastline, passing the charming 14th century Church of the Holy Cross. Luskentyre, Scotland Visit...
01 May 2020
I hope this finds you well. The past two months have without question been a challenging time for all of us at home and at work, and I wanted to take this opportunity to get in touch to let you know what’s been going on in my office during this time. By the end of February the impact of Coronavirus was starting to affect travel on a global scale. As March progressed more and more countries closed their borders, and FCO travel advice was changing hourly, leaving many people's current and imminent travel plans placed in jeopardy. My immediate concern and focus were...
19 June 2019
I was lucky to be invited to be part of one of G Adventures biggest ever educational trips, which involved over 100 travel professionals and G staff from all over the world, coming together to learn more about G Adventures, how they run their trips, and how they work within the areas visited to ensure that tourism is a huge force for good, ethical and sustainable for future generations of travellers and the communities visited, in conjunction with their not for profit partner Planeterra. Peru is a wonderful example as there are many wonderful projects there demonstrating Planeterra's work, which...
25 May 2019
Absolutely GONE are the days of a cruise being an ‘old’ person’s holiday. If you love a land-based resort holiday packed with loads of activities for the children, kids’ clubs and great entertainment, then you will love a family cruise. Everything is included in your cruise fare, often even your ice creams, very much like an all-inclusive land-based holiday, but way better value for money, as not only are you able to access full on family fun on board, you will also be waking up in a new destination every day waiting to be explored! For families wanting to experience a...
27 April 2019
There is most definitely a cruise out there for everyone. If you are an adventurous traveller who is interested in exploring the world, enjoy nature, embracing new cultures, love expanding your knowledge, and sharing your experiences with like-minded people, then expedition cruising could be for you. Where expedition cruises differ from classic cruises is that they are all about the destination and exploring parts of the world that are sometimes so remote that they are only accessible by sea. The onboard experience is generally more low-key (definitely no Broadway shows or waterslides!). The ships used for expedition voyages are much smaller...
05 March 2019
The brand new MSC cruise ship Bellissima has just set sail on her maiden voyage from the UK. To celebrate the launch, I was invited on board to explore the ship’s wide range of wonderful facilities. This ship is big, accommodating over 5.5 thousand passengers – the advantage of this being the amount of space on board creatively designed to keep every single passenger happy on their cruise. From quiet spaces, to kid's spaces, an adult only spa, 12 dining venues serving food from all over the world, 20 bars and cafes, a choice of outdoor and indoor pools and breath-taking...
28 December 2018
In 2018 I’ve created some wonderful trips – including tailor-made adventures, cruises, safaris, road trips, luxury beach getaways, city breaks, honeymoons, school trips, business travel, and ending the year with lots of families enjoying the magic of Lapland. I’ve also been lucky to visit some exciting destinations - seven of these being places I’ve never been to before and one new continent – South America! January Travel Counsellors are at the forefront of making travel accessible for all. In January I completed specialist training and now have the tools at my fingertips to plan travel for anyone with simple or complex access...
27 December 2018
Here’s a brief run-down of what I’ve been up to in 2017. I’ve had a brilliant year in my first year as a Travel Counsellor getting to know some lovely new customers and I’ve had amazing opportunities to myself too – visiting 10 new countries - the most in one year since my back-packing days! January I was excited to start my Travel Counsellors journey with intensive induction training and loved learning about the amazing technology about to be at my fingertips to enable me to create tailormade itineraries for my clients. February I’ll never forget my launch day on 3rd Feb – it...
25 November 2018
I’ve got lots of families booked and getting excited for their Lapland adventures this year – and early bookings in for 2019 too! A trip to Lapland is a magical experience and not a trip that families do over and over again, unlike holidays to sunshine destinations, so I’m asked a lot about what to pack. Here are my top tips to ensure that your trip goes smoothly… • It’s essential that you have adequate insurance place so that you are fully covered from the time of booking should anything happen to prevent you from travelling. It's important that you make...
14 August 2018
I’ve just returned from a family cruise with Cruise & Maritime Voyages where we spent 12 nights sailing the ocean waves down to Gibraltar with plenty of food, drink, pool action, beach fun, jacuzzis, ice creams, family card games, entertainment and sightseeing to keep every member of the family happy. Getting to our ship was really easy as we just hopped on the train to Liverpool. Urmston, where we live, is on the direct train line to the port and it wasn’t long before we were all unpacked and settled into our home for the next 12 nights. Our outside cabins...
16 July 2018
In June this year I set off on an adventure of a lifetime with my favourite supplier of small group adventure travel, Intrepid, to explore Kenya, meet the people of Kenya, and get up close and personal with the abundant wildlife! It was a wonderful experience in so many ways. On arrival in Nairobi we started off by visiting a village where Intrepid’s charity foundation are funding projects to help the villagers alleviate poverty by helping them set up small pig farms. We were warmly welcomed by traditional singing and dancing from the village ladies, who welcomed us into their homes,...
05 July 2018
Here are my top ten reasons to start your cruise from my local cruise port of Liverpool! 1. You don’t have to spend 5 hours+ on the train, or 7 hours+ on the coach down to Southampton. From anywhere in the North West you can leave home and be sunbathing by the pool (weather permitting of course!) and sipping on your first cocktail in under 2 hours. 2. If you don’t like flying or don’t want to put yourself through the airport hassle it is a stress-free alternative AND the best bit is that there’s no maximum luggage allowance. 3. The cruise ships...
31 October 2017
With the cold weather starting to bite in the UK I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Agadir, Morocco, at the end of October - where the weather is still sunny and warm and the beach resort of Agadir perfect for an alternative half term family getaway, some great value 5* luxury, or as a base for a more active holiday. I flew with Air Arabia who have just launched their twice weekly low cost direct route from Manchester to Agadir - increasing competition with other airlines and keeping prices competitive for travellers. The only downside, for me, of...
21 September 2017
I had a great few hours yesterday at Travel Counsellors HQ getting up to date on the latest developments happening in the largest of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is home to one of the best airlines in the world, Etihad, the national airline of the UAE, who offer direct flights twice daily from Manchester and three times daily from Heathrow – with a brand-new space age airport opening in 2018. The flight time from the UK is around 7 hours. Abu Dhabi offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors, depending on whether you want luxury, family fun,...
31 August 2017
In August I was invited to Liverpool to visit Holland America’s ship, Ms Zuiderdam, which is one of their Vista Class cruise ships, so called because of the amount of glass used around the ship which means the majority of the staterooms on board have ocean views or balconies. There are four ships in this class which are all named after points of the compass (in Dutch) – the others being Noordam, Oosterdam and Westerdam. The mid-sized Vista Class ships carry around 2,000 passengers. Holland America is an American owned cruise line, so named as it originally operated as a shipping,...
21 July 2017
I recently visited visit Fred Olsen’s ship Boudicca in Liverpool, where she sets off on many of her summer voyages from this handy port - perfect for North West based cruise lovers, or a great place from which to give ocean cruising a try without the hassle of a long flight or drive. Fred Olsen is a family owned cruise company with 4 ships that sail the world – Boudicca, Black Watch, Braemar and Balmoral. One of the main differences between Fred Olsen and other cruise companies is that their fleet is made up of small ships, which has the benefit...
27 June 2017
This week I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to visit the Ms Magellan ship while she was docked in Liverpool prior to departure on an 11-night voyage to Spain, Portugal, France and Gibraltar. The Ms Magellan and sister ship the Marco Polo often sail from Liverpool to these and various other destinations including Canada, Ireland, Fjordland, Iceland, the Scottish Isles and the British Isles. Liverpool Port is really easy to find and parking is easy too and only a short walk across the road to the cruise terminal. The famous Liver Buildings look down over the terminal and would be...
11 March 2017
It’s hard to organise a group of busy mums for a night away, so this trip has been a long time coming. Finally my friends and I managed to block out a weekend in our diaries for a girls-only night away in Chester. We picked the perfect weekend for it as the weather was lovely for March so we were able to stroll between shops, bars, along the walls, and along the river bank during our short time away from our usually action-packed weekends full of ferrying the kids all over the place. We picked Chester, having been there before...
Sent in by J Sheil
Urmston, 11 March 2020
Sent in by S Bould
Urmston, Manchester, 16 February 2020
Great service from Catherine. We flexed our original plan a couple of times and nothing was too much trouble. Really glad I found Catherine.
Sent in by M Mullany
Urmston, Manchester, 07 February 2020
Super helpful and professional service.
Sent in by O Cross
Reading, Berkshire, 07 February 2020
A personalised and highly professional service. Incredibly speedy responses, kept to all scheduled phone-calls and made the whole process as easy as could be for us! Can't wait to get travelling now...
Sent in by V Tansey-Brown
Manchester, 07 February 2020
Nothing was too much trouble. She went the extra mile in a short time frame.
Sent in by G Carruthers
Urmston, Manchester, 07 February 2020
Catherine is totally committed to meeting our exact holiday requirements and will not settle for less than the perfect choice. Given complex requirements for a large group, Catherine left no stone unturned to meet our exact needs. Excellent services as always. Our holiday is in great hands!
Sent in by D Featherstone
Burnley, Lancashire, 07 February 2020
Your service has been fanastic as always ~ you answer enquiries and queries very promptly. Very grateful Thanks so much.
Sent in by W Dove
Warrington, 07 February 2020
Very knowledgeable not pushy.
Sent in by L Swindells
Clitheroe, Lancashire, 07 February 2020
Absolutely brilliant so far, Catherine listens to exactly what we need and is flexible as our needs constantly change.
Sent in by J McCarthy
Wrexham, Wales, 07 February 2020
Catherine was excellent always there to help & provide support.
Sent in by A Bruce
Urmston, Manchester, 07 February 2020
Great service, very reliable!
Sent in by G Jenner
Sale, Cheshire, 07 February 2020
Catherine is very helpful, efficient and personable.
Sent in by T Tolan
Sale, Cheshire, 17 January 2020
Catherine has a wealth of knowledge, our second holiday booked through her services and completely satisfied with every aspect.
Sent in by M Clegg
Urmston, Manchester, 29 November 2019
Really friendly and helpful and quick to respond.
Sent in by C Holt
Burnley, 14 November 2019
Very patient and attentive. Allows you to give your ideas then finds the best way of adapting them to get the most out of your money and dreams.
Sent in by Lisa Clennell
Chorlton, Manchester, 03 November 2019
I loved that we didn't have to trawl through options, hotel details etc - and could deal with someone who knew the location etc. It was all super easy x
Sent in by P Rigby
Urmston, Manchester, 15 October 2019
Fantastic help and advice after our flight was cancelled due to Thomas Cook collapsing. Booked on another flight within a few hours all checked in with boarding passes in the post. Great service.
Sent in by N Horner
Altrincham, Cheshire, 15 October 2019
Really nice friendly personal service.
Sent in by Z Lee
Urmston, Manchester, 12 October 2019
Brilliant service and Catherine made a chore into a pleasure. Thank you so much.
Sent in by C Bailey
Stoke-on-Trent, 12 October 2019
Patient, considerate, worked hard to match a holiday to my requirements, good deal. I have already recommended Catherine to others!!
Sent in by S Sasimowicz
Chorley, Lancashire, 12 October 2019
Catherine is always a pleasure to deal with and is very patient and personal at the same time.
Sent in by P Goddard
Sale, Cheshire, 27 September 2019
Catherine provides an excellent comprehensive reliable service and always with a smile
Sent in by H Adams
Urmston, Manchester, 27 September 2019
Catherine has just organised me a trip to Brazil! I can’t wait. I’m not going to such s well known part but she has organised it perfectly so that everything flows and making my journey as easy and as comfortable as possible! Thank you Catherine for your attention...I will post another review when I am back! I would recommend anyone planning a trip to use you.
Sent in by L Bairstoo
Manchester, 27 September 2019
When you meet Catherine she instantly becomes your friend, you can trust that your holiday will have no hitches and she’ll look after you. It’s good to have the personal touch from Catherine to help you book your holiday of a lifetime, cruise or a family holiday.
Sent in by M Clegg
Urmston, 26 September 2019
Fantastic informative service right to the tiny details to ensure an amazing trip away
Sent in by S McNeill
Cheshire, 24 September 2019
Catherine provides an efficient friendly service and in conjunction with her colleagues across the globe takes care of any issue which may crop up during your holiday with no fuss at all as happened to us last year.
Sent in by B Boyd
Belfast, 24 September 2019
Catherine was sooo efficient and friendly to deal with. We had wonderful suggestions and the holiday booked within 48hrs. We are looking forward to our trip and will definitely use Catherine for our next holiday. Thank for everything Catherine.
Sent in by J Brown
Manchester, 24 September 2019
Great service thanks
Sent in by P Green
Sale, Cheshire, 16 September 2019
We have booked more than one holiday using Catherine's services and on each occasion she has responded promptly and efficiently to our requests, whether this be after the initial enquiry or when we have wanted to adjust dates, itinerary or cost. Once booked, the paperwork for the trip is handled for us, including check in for our flights. It is also comforting to know that Catherine or one of her colleagues are available to contact should something unexpected happen while we are away.
Sent in by Mike M
Cheshire, 16 September 2019
Catherine is excellent! We have just come back from amazing holiday today that she researched and booked for us. Awesome lady and the holiday couldn't of gone better. Some how Catherine got us a free room upgrade and a free lounge with drinks at the airport, what a welcome surprise! Don't hesitate to call her, stop reviewing trip advisor and let her do it all for you. Thanks Catherine, see you next year.
From the pristine white-sand beaches of Thailand’s idyllic islands to the sprawling wide-open roads of the USA; the historic and breathtakingly beautiful architecture of India to the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Maldives – there’s a world of wonder out there and it’s just waiting to be explored.
Contact me on 0161 826 4970