Sent by Irene McWeeney
Based in Alexandria
Hello and Thank You for taking the time to visit my webpage!
As a travel expert with years of all-round experience in the travel world, my job is to take the stress and work out of planning your time away so you can relax and look forward with confidence to enjoying your holiday.
I am passionate about helping customers create their perfect holiday and I pride myself on customer satisfaction.
I specialise in creating bespoke itineraries that take you off the beaten path to suit you and your needs. I have special interest in small ship luxury and expedition cruising to Antarctica, the Arctic and the Galapagos Islands.
From a very early age all I wanted was to see the world. That passion led me to work with various cruise lines, travelling around the globe. In fact, it was while at sea with Princess Cruises I met my husband. Some of my personal favourite destinations are Thailand, Mauritius, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South America, and the Polar regions.
Working with Travel Counsellors means I am independent and able to offer you impartial advice so you can have the best holiday for you. I can be contacted out of regular working hours including weekends. I am always available for my customers!
So, if you are looking for your next dream trip – a cruise, a tailor-made trip to an exotic destination, or a holiday for a special occasion such as a honeymoon or anniversary – please contact me.
Together we can get you that perfect trip you have been waiting for.
I look forward to hearing from 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.
15 July 2019
What is your top priority when looking for your family holiday? Most of my clients say – keep the children happy! Gone are the days when cruising was reserved mainly for the “older generation”. Nowadays almost all cruise lines cater for families in some form or shape. Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean are extremely popular with families offering great value for money, facilities and activities specifically tailored for families, and staterooms designed to accommodate the whole family. So, let’s look into more detail why a cruise can be your ultimate family holiday! SO MUCH TO DO ONBOARD Cruise ships are getting bigger and bolder each year! A lot of the cruise ships have waterparks, waterslides, rock climbing walls, surf simulators, ice skating, skydiving, ziplines, cinema, the list is endless of what you and the kids can do onboard. Best part of it all – most of these activities are already included in the cruise fare! On top of this Royal Caribbean also offers complimentary ice-cream for kids to enjoy all day long. VALUE FOR MONEY At first glance, the cost for a cruise for the whole family might look as the more expensive option. However, if you look at it more closely you will see that once you’ve paid your holiday you don’t really need to reach for your wallet again while away, making it perfect for budgeting. Unlike many land-based holidays, you get so much more for your money while keeping everyone happy and being able to really treat yourself. So, what is included in your cruise? This can vary by cruise line, but most cruises include comfortable family accommodation, all meals, entertainment onboard (including cinema), use of facilities already mentioned earlier (waterslides, surf simulator, zipline, etc), kids club, and of course being able to visit various destinations in one single holiday. KIDS CLUB It’s important to mention that kids’ clubs’ activities onboard are tailored according to age, so even teenagers are kept happy. Most cruise lines kids’ clubs are for children of age of 3 and older, but some also have nurseries onboard for toddlers from 6 to 36 months. Nanny services are also available on most lines. And while the children are in the kid’s club, parents can enjoy a romantic dinner and Broadway-style entertainment! FAMILY CABINS Most cruise lines can accommodate the whole family in one cabin, or offer interconnecting cabins, or family suites. Royal Caribbean offer cabins which are big enough for families of five. And if you can splash the cash, you can treat the family to the ultimate family suite, which is a two-level suite with a slide, table tennis, PlayStation room, etc. You want to find the perfect cruise for your family? Get in touch and I will be happy to help. Happy holidays!
23 May 2019
Someone once said, 'expedition cruising is for people who don’t cruise' and this is not far from the truth. Expedition cruising is all about exploration and adventure in off-the-beaten path places, the ship is the means of getting access to places you would not be able to access otherwise and a way to completely immerse yourself in the destination. Expedition ships can anchor in smaller ports and many of them have reinforced hulls for sailing in icy waters. Expedition cruising involves much smaller ships – think 200 rather than 2,000! On expedition ships, you will not find twenty bars and restaurants. Instead of Broadway-style entertainment in the evenings, you will listen to real stories by the expedition team on board. All expedition cruises have experts onboard presenting in-depth lectures on science, history, geology and culture. Older expedition ships are quite basic in terms of accommodation and public areas. However, this is changing with ultra-luxury operators like Seabourn, Crystal and Scenic entering this increasingly popular market. Some of the brand-new ships have submarines and helicopters making exploring the destination even more thrilling and exciting. One of the leaders in expedition cruising, Hurtigruten, is to launch a brand-new fully hybrid ship that will feature 50% suites, offering more comfort to its guests, but also a much more environment-friendly cruising. WHERE TO GO? Destinations are remote and bucket-list-worthy like Antarctica, the Arctic and the Galapagos Islands. You can also experience the wilderness of Alaska expedition style. ANTARTICA The best time to visit is between December and March, but ships will start sailing from October. Most expedition cruises to Antarctica, start from the town of Ushuaia, located at the bottom of Argentina. Due to the remote location and the time it takes to get there from the UK (about 25 hours by air), most people will combine a cruise with a land stay exploring what South America has to offer. After boarding the ship in Ushuaia, it takes almost 2 days and 2 nights to cross the Drake Passage which is an experience itself. Antarctica is where you will find unspoilt landscapes with snow-covered mountains and icebergs the size of houses. Access ashore is by Zodiacs and due to restrictions, you usually get to spend 1 to 2 hours. In terms of wildlife, Antarctica is home to whales, orcas, seals, albatrosses, various seabirds and of course, this is where you are guaranteed to see penguins. For the ultimate Antarctica experience, make sure you get yourself booked for an overnight camping ashore. THE ARCTIC Arctic cruises operate in the summer – from May to September. The North Pole encompass the Svalbard archipelago and parts of Norway, Russia and Canada. Most cruises start from Norway with flights taking about 3h 30min. Arctic cruises include voyages around Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, sailings along the west coast of Greenland, through the Northwest Passage and one-off sailings to remote islands and Arctic Russia. In the North Pole is where you will find the Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer and polar bears. Landing places, timings and itinerary can change due to wildlife sightings, weather and ice conditions. Landings are usually done by Zodiacs or tender boats. THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands that comprise of 19 main islands. The Galapagos Islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s also known as the place where animals have no fear. It is year-round destination with average temperature of about 25 degrees Celsius. To get to the Galapagos Islands, you need to fly to Ecuador first. It takes about 14h 30min from London to Quito and then you will have another flight of about 2 hours to one of the main islands of Baltra or San Cristobal. Most people will have couple of nights in Quito before continuing their journey. Duration of cruises varies from 3 to 7 nights. To get most of the destination I highly recommend seven nights. Most cruises are on all-inclusive basis – including all activities and any equipment required. In the Galapagos you will find cruise operators like Silversea and Celebrity which operate small-size, luxury ships with maximum passengers’ capacity of 100. But if your budget does not stretch that far or you would like more small-yacht-style experience with only about a dozen of cabins onboard, this is also catered for by local operators specialising in the region. As a Travel Counsellor, I can offer whichever one suits you best. Whichever option you choose, you are guaranteed to see plenty of wildlife – iguanas, flamingos, sea turtles, sea lions, etc. Activities are led by expert naturalists and include nature walks ashore and snorkelling. For the ultimate holiday experience combine the Galapagos islands with Peru and get to discover Machu Picchu and the Amazon. If you would like to find out more, please contact me on 01389 330 004 or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
15 May 2019
If you are on a journey of getting a precious little bundle of joy, you have probably heard of all the talk about Zika and how it can affect unborn babies. I love travelling and I found it difficult with the restriction to visit various destination due to possible Zika exposure. It gets even more complicated if you are going through an IVF treatment. If you happened to have your dream holiday or honeymoon in a destination affected by the virus, your NHS treatments gets postponed by 6 months which feels like an eternity in IVF world! So, I have put a short list of my favourite Zika-free options for an amazing holiday. MAURITIUS This is probably my number one destination. I have been to Mauritius three times and every time it has been amazing. Beautiful beaches, hot weather and some incredible hotels – what not to love. Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean which is very easy to access from the UK. In general Mauritius is year-round destination but bear in mind our summer is their winter and temperatures can fall to 20 degrees, and you might experience some rainfall. Mauritius offer a great range of hotels to suit everyone’s budget. My personal favourite is Lux Le Morne located in the south-west of the island, settled in a lagoon overlooked by the majestic Le Morne mountain. This is perfect for honeymooners or a romantic couple escape. MIDDLE EAST Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Ras Al Khaimah – the choice is yours! All three destinations are amazing in their own way. Dubai is fabulous with lots of blink everywhere you turn. Weather is hot all year round so no need to worry you won’t be able to sunbathe. Also, Dubai is packed with various things to do – enjoy a desert safari, visit the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa, enjoy an afternoon tea at the Burj Arab, wander around the souks, cool down in the Atlantis water park or just shop ‘til you drop. You can spend days exploring the many shopping malls which are destinations of their own. Abu Dhabi is very similar to Dubai. It is the home of the Grand Prix circuit which you can also visit if you are a fan of Formula 1. While in Abu Dhabi, don’t miss a visit to the Grand Mosque and the Emirates Palace. But if you feel like doing nothing you can just relax at Corniche beach which is just across from all the action. Ras Al Khaimah is the least known emirate, but it is all new and upcoming home to some beautiful hotels so well worth a visit, especially if you are on a budget. Hotel prices tend to be half the price of what you will get for similar standard in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Ras Al Khaimah is just an hour away from Dubai airport, so you can easily stay in Ras Al Khaimah and do excursions to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE How about visiting not one but multiple destinations in one holiday? Europe destinations are Zika-free and there is so much to see and do. In one single holiday you can visit places like Nice, Cannes, St Tropez, Sicily and many more without the need to constantly pack and unpack. During your time onboard you will get to enjoy excellent food and Broadway style entertainment – all included in the cost. You can also combine a cruise with few nights stay in the city you board the ship. Most cruises start from places like Barcelona, Rome and Venice, so couple of nights before or after your cruise is highly recommended. There is a cruise to suit everyone’s requirements and needs – from 3* deluxe to ultra-luxury, the choice is yours. One thing is for sure – service onboard is always impeccable! All cruise lines are very different in terms of onboard facilities, so make sure you speak with your Travel Counsellor before making your choice. Always check with your doctor before travel.
05 April 2019
It’s this time again when you are thinking about your next holiday? Where should you go? What should you do? If you have a family the dilemma is even bigger – what would everyone enjoy? How can I keep everyone happy? You want your holiday to be happy and unforgettable time after all, right? Well, have you thought about perhaps taking a cruise? I already hear you saying “reserved for the older generation”, “I will be bored as not much to do”, “I won’t be able to see new places”, and “on top of that no wi-fi to share my pics!” – these are just some of the misconceptions about cruising. Let me tell you – cruising has changed massively since the days of “The Love Boat” sitcom. Here are some of the trends that shape the cruise sector in 2019, that can just change your mind and you finally take that cruise! Solo travel It is on the rise and cruising allows for solo travel without the worry of arranging a ton of details while visiting even the most far-reaching destinations and connecting with other travellers, forming community bonds and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. A lot of cruise lines cater specifically for the solo traveller offering solo cabins, so you don’t pay single supplement, solo travellers’ events onboard so you get to meet other fellow customers, and so much more. As a keen female traveller with extensive cruise experience, I can say cruising is one of the safest methods of exploring the world on your own. Working Nomads A lot of people nowadays choose to combine work with leisure. With Wi-fi, desks and work-friendly cafes, travellers can keep up with work while enjoying a cruise vacation. Cruise line are heavily investing in providing high-speed internet that rivals on-land quality, so you don’t need to worry if you need to check work emails or simply keep up to date with social media. Gen ‘Z’ at sea Generation Z prefers experiences over material items and is seeking out travel. Cruising offers multiple destinations in one trip and unique experiences such as musical festivals at sea. Did you know Bon Jovi will be performing onboard Norwegian Cruise Lines in 2019? Access in the New Luxury Destinations that were previously out of reach are now accessible by cruise ship – think Darwin’s Galapagos Islands and Antarctica Conscious Travel The cruise industry is more conscientious than ever before, working to local destinations to cultures, landmarks and minimize environmental footprints On-board smart tech You probably use tech on daily basis and expect smart tech when vacationing as well. Cruising have you covered – cruise lines have adopted technology and provide things such as smart keychains, necklaces, bracelets, apps and more so you can have highly personalised travel experience while on and off the ship Achievement over experiences Experiential travel has evolved into achievement travel as travellers are looking for experiences beyond sightseeing. Bucket lists have become goal-orientated and cruise lines are meeting these demands. You can conquer Machu Picchu or complete culinary workshops hosted by Le Cordon Bleu chefs Total restoration Stressed out from fast-paced life? Cruise lines offer total wellness in the form of restorative spa experiences, onboard oxygen bars, healthy menu choices for a wide variety of diets, and the latest fitness innovations Instagrammable travel Yes, this is a thing now. With onboard connectivity, you can fill your Instagram feed with diverse travel experiences both onboard and on land from several cruise destinations Not your usual cruise expectation, is it? And the best of it all – you can do as much or as little as you like! If you would like to find out more about cruising, just give me a shout.
St Andrews 17/09/2019