Press Release: CONTIKI VACATIONS LAUNCHES NEW 2011 EUROPE SUMMER BROCHURE

 Official Dates. Official Prices. Officially Awesome Trips.

ANAHEIM, Calif., November 2010 Contiki Vacations, the leader in fun travel packages for 18-35 year olds, is pleased to announce the launch of the 2011 Europe Summer brochure.

The brochure is available in print and online at Contiki.com/brochures, and offers up 38 countries, 76 tours and cruises including a brand new trip, 72 World Heritage sites, and five different ways to travel.  Traveler favorites are back and better than ever, including the European Discovery, Italian Espresso, and Egypt and the Nile trips. New to the gang is the Turkey and Greek Island Odyssey, an 11-day adventure to some of the most scenic and historical spots on the planet including Istanbul, Pamukkale, and fantastic Greek islands Rhodes, Santorini, and Crete.

 The brochure and Contiki.com have been beefed up for the new season, including printed QR codes linking to YouTube videos and unique online tools that make the Contiki experience easier to visualize. Contiki.com now offers the Tour Genius, a cool feature that asks simple questions matches you to your ideal Contiki tours. For more information, visit Contiki.com/Genius. To ring in the brochure launch, Contiki is offering $175 off land-tours nine days or longer in Europe or Egypt. The promotion begins November 16 and is available through November 30, 2010. To find out more info and score the promotion details, visit Contiki.com/Deals.

The $175 off will come in handy for travelers who want to wine taste or shop in France, cruise the canals on an old-school gondola in Venice, sample local specialties in Germany (mostly beer), and climb up ancient pyramids in Egypt. “One of the many great advantages of going Contiki is that we take care of the heavy lifting for you – transportation, accommodations, and most meals” says Greg Fischbein, President of Contiki Vacations. “You get to do what you came to do – have the time of your life experiencing the world” Contiki clients can choose from several types of tours including multi-country, in-depth regional, and special departures for events and festivals including Oktoberfest.

About Contiki
Contiki has helped students and young professionals travel to the world’s most fantastic destinations for over 45 years. The trips are hassle-free and include the perfect mix of sightseeing, culture and free time.  Choose from over 190 itineraries throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada & the USA. For more information, visit Contiki.com.

Travel Tip: How Much Moolah to Bring to Europe

Planning a trip and have absolutely no idea how much moolah to bring?  Yep, we know planning for spending cash can be pretty tricky, but don’t fear – we’re here to help.

With ample time to explore the cities and countryside or embark on optional activities during your Contiki trip, you will need to plan for spending money. The first question you have to ask yourself is: what kind of spender am I?  Do you shop like a pop star or party like a rock star? If so, you might need to take more spending cash with you to satisfy your awesome lifestyle.

Partying in FlorenceWhen it comes to the dough, the Contiki general rule of thumb is to plan on spending a minimum of 45€ per day.  Now when we say minimum, we mean minimum.  If you plan on doing some major shopping or sightseeing you may need to increase this.  Past Contikians recommend bringing 70-100€ per day in spending money.  This way you usually end up with a little extra cash at the end to put toward your next trip or go out with a bang. Remember the wise words of the boy scouts. . . “Always be prepared.”

What can you expect to spend your money on, you ask?  Well, there are three basic categories you will need extra cash for: optional activities, some meals and personal expenses.

You Got Options

On every Contiki tour, every day, you’ll experience lots of included highlights like seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, visiting the Acropolis in Athens, relaxing on the beach in Barcelona, or cycling through Amsterdam. You will also get plenty of free time every day to do your own thing.   One of the most popular ways to explore on your own in Europe is to visit museums and major sites.  Entry fees vary from the free museums of London to 14€ for the Vatican Museum in Rome.  Contiki also offers a variety of optional activities that are handpicked to turn a great trip into an unforgettable one.  Try a gondola ride in Venice, nightclubbing in Florence, whitewater rafting in Austria, a Moulin Rouge dinner in Paris and parasailing in Corfu.  Best of all, Contiki has negotiated great prices and already organized everything for you.

Food!!

All Contiki tours include breakfast every day . . . it is of course the most important meal. We don’t include every meal, (especially lunches) because we want to give you flexibility.  Go off and explore, take the opportunity to meet cool locals and try all kinds of European delicacies.

It’s Personal

Counting on winging it with the hopes of finding stacks of cash strewn about on the streets of London? Probably not the most solid plan.  It’s always a good idea to plan ahead for personal expenses.  Some common items people spend their money on include: shopping, drinking, souvenirs, phone calls home, recreational activities, transportation in cities. Chances are you already know what kind of spender you are… so always be prepared!

Advice from the Road

Michael Thomas, Tour Manager, Europe: “Money? – bring lots! And spend it – you should go home broke!! You can pay off the credit card when you get home – it is as shame to travel all this way and go home with regrets.”

David Hackett, Tour Manager, Europe: “Work out prior to the trip what sights & excursions you are most keen on and then include some extra cash for a few nice lunches, some quick food stops and all that shopping you can do in Europe. Expect to spend 50 Euro per day on average but always plan to spend more, you may only ever be able to go inside the Colosseum once in your life and this could be it!!!”

Stella Hritis, Tour Manager, Europe: “I’ve have had people not realise that they have to pay an entrance fee into museums.”

Matt Vernick, Tour Manager, Europe: “I’d budget for about £75/100€ a day. Some days you might spend 200, other days 20. At £75/100€ a day you’ll probably go home with some left over to take home or spoil yourself with towards the end of the tour.”

Forget the Business of Planning, Get Down to Traveling

Contiki Enables Travelers to Relax and Enjoy the Ride!

For today’s young professionals, vacation planning can be overwhelming - especially if travelers are attempting itineraries that cover a lot of territory in a limited amount of time. Coupled with the obligations of work or school, traveling can be a daunting (if not impossible) mission. Offering just under 200 packages all over the world, Contiki takes all the hassle and stress out of vacation planning.

“Contiki relieves stress for travelers by taking care of the heavy preparation and research that goes into planning a vacation. With Contiki, travelers are able to relax and enjoy their free time without worrying about transportation, lodging, language barriers, safety and other potential complicated matters,” noted Contiki President, Greg “Fish” Fischbein. “In addition, Contiki passengers have the benefit of traveling with other like-minded people from all around the world – it’s a cultural immersion inside and out.”

“Time is often an issue for working professionals and students. With limited vacation time and heavy work loads, it can be difficult to find the time to go on vacation let alone plan one,” added Michelle Murray, Director of Marketing and Key Accounts. “With Contiki, you select the itinerary and Contiki takes you to the cultural attractions, hot spots, hidden gems, and must see’s on the route. Our optional excursions allow for travelers to customize their trips with activities such as museum visits, white water rafting, Flamenco shows, wine tasting, and shopping.”

Additionally, globe trekkers looking to paint the town red can feel good about the green initiatives Contiki is undertaking to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment. From reducing overall company resource consumption and waste to applying recycling and energy reduction programs at all offices and operational facilities, Contiki is dedicated to the fight against climate change and reducing carbon emissions. In honor of their commitment Contiki has set up The World Conservation Foundation and is donating $1 million per year to fund sustainable tourism projects across the globe. For more information on Contiki’s green initiatives, please visit Contiki.com/ResponsibleTravel

Contiki of the Week: Scandinavia

Book the 11-day Scandinavia Contiki trip and score a $25 voucher good towards optional excursions! Mention promotion code CW25V4 when booking, some restrictions may apply.

Scandinavia is full of stunning scenery, long summer days, enchanting folk tales & mythical wild life. Explore it the easy way with this journey through the capital cities of Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen & some of the lesser known spots. See spectacular fjords & glaciers – don’t forget to pack your camera! This version of the tour is 11 days long and ends in Helsinki. There’s also a 9 day version of this tour ending in Stockholm.

Detailed Itinerary 

Arrive Copenhagen: Check-in to your hotel and head straight out into Copenhagen for a first glimpse of this cool canal city. Later, meet up with your fellow travellers and Tour Manager. Get to know the group over dinner at a local restaurant smack in the middle of town and head out into Copenhagen’s diverse nightlife – with live jazz, pumping clubs and chilled-out bars, there’s loads of choice.

Copenhagen to Gothenburg: Full of history, Copenhagen is a compact city with a really festive feel. Jump start your travels with a look into Denmark’s culture on our city tour, as your Tour Manager tells you the story behind the Little Mermaid statue, the Resistance Museum and the Royal Palace. Use your free time to explore the waterways and streets of Copenhagen, where the major sites are all within walking distance. Put your feet up, treat yourself and order some Danish pastries, cake and coffee. This afternoon, cross into Sweden and journey to fun-loving Gothenburg. With Europe’s busiest port and a lively student population, Gothenburg is down to earth and serves up cafes, culture and the good times.

Gothenburg to Oslo: Cross the border into Norway and continue on to Oslo, Scandinavia’s oldest capital. This easy-going city oozes culture and has some amazing museums to visit. Your Tour Manager will introduce you to one of Oslo’s most famous spaces, the Vigeland Sculpture Park in Frogner Park. Packed with over 200 sculptures and bronzes, this outdoor gallery serves up loads of local art and gorgeous greenery. With free time, get inspired at Aker Brygge, Oslo’s cultural hub and central gathering spot for locals. Once an old ship yard, it’s now a popular shopping area with a sea-front promenade, galleries, cinemas and food stalls. Otherwise, find out about a fellow adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl at the Kon-Tiki Museum (no, it’s not ours! Kon-Tiki was the raft Heyerdahl used to cross the South Pacific) or explore the medieval dungeons, banquet halls and crypts of Akershus Castle.

Oslo to Voss: Cruise through Norway’s famous Telemark region and across the Hardangervidda, Europe’s largest mountain plateau. If you’re lucky, you might spot some wild animals. Then we journey onwards to the small town of Voss, Norway’s adventure capital.

Voss: Set lakeside, Voss is perfect if you’re after some adventure in the outdoors. Get your pulse racing on a white-water rating optional trip or take it easy with a walk in the pure and natural surroundings.

Voss to Geiranger: Travel 25km (15.3 miles) through the impressive man-made marvel, the Laerdal Tunnel, which is the longest road tunnel in the world – and it cuts though 3 caves. Get back to nature on our journey through Norway’s rugged wilderness and take in the spectacular Boyabreen glacier, as well as the 200km long Sognefjord. For awe-inspiring views, jump on board a cruise in an optional excursion and get out on the water of Geiranger Fjord. The picture perfect scenes keep coming, complete with dramatic waterfalls pouring down the sides of massive sheer rock walls.

Geiranger to Gjovik: Cruise past old farms and unspoilt wilderness to the alpine ski resort of Lillehammer, home of the 1994 Olympics and the impressive 136 metre ski jump! If you’re up for a bit of Olympic action yourself, have a go at bob-sledding in an adrenalin-pumping optional activity. We pull into small-town Gjovik, which is set on Norway’s largest lake, for an overnight stop. Walk around the picturesque town and get a feel for traditional Norwegian village life. Otherwise, check out an impressive architectural and engineering feat: the Gjovik Olympic Mountain hall. This cavern is the world’s largest underground public arena.

Gjovik to Stockholm: Into Sweden today, we pass the massive Lake Vanern and cruise through woodlands, lakes and gorgeous natural surrounds. With down time on the coach, chat to your new friends and keep your camera handy for photo ops of bears, moose and wolves. Get ready for the dramatic scenery of Sweden’s cosmopolitan capital, Stockholm. Surrounded by forests, deep blue waters and 24,000 islands, this cutting-edge city is one of Europe’s hot, creative capitals. Enjoy a night out with the group and order some chilled vodka at the world-famous Ice bar. This place is made entirely out of ice and kept at a cool minus 5 degrees all year round. Keep it moving and head to the modern and lively district of Norrmalm, for a more up-beat vibe.

Stockholm to Helsinki: This morning, there’s an option to visit to Stockholm’s stunning town hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize banquet is held. Learn about its unique architecture with our Local Guide. With its 8 million red bricks and 19 million gold mosaic tiles, this place will make your jaw drop. Then, your Tour Manager gets you right to pretty Gamla Stan’s (the old town) core spots, as the group explores the quarter’s quaint medieval streets. You’ll see the Royal Palace and the changing of the guard – a tradition dating back to the 16th Century. The old town is a great place to pull up a seat and try out classic Swedish food like salmon, herring or game as you take in the atmosphere. Free time means a chance to explore the many trendy boutiques, galleries, and cool vintage stores of the hip island of Södermalm or window-shop the big label and design stores of grand Drottningatan. Live the high life this afternoon as we board our luxurious cruise to Helsinki. Kick back with a drink on the deck and watch the sun set over the Baltic Sea, check out the shops of the Promenade deck or maybe try your luck at the casino tonight.

Helsinki: A blend of Finnish and Russian influences, Helsinki is a 21st century city with a lot of quirky aspects. Your Tour Manager will take you to check out Temppeliaukio, a church cut out of solid rock, and to see the famous Sibelius Monument, a gravity-defying sculpture made out of 600 steel pipes. Round off your Helsinki introduction with a drive past the Olympic Stadium and the historical heart of Senate square. Helsinki is all about location, so with free time on your hands, head harbour side to soak up the great views and mingle with the locals at South Harbour Market. Rummage through stalls selling flowers and local foods, handicrafts, fresh fish and tasty baked goods. You could visit Suomenlinna, the fantastic and impressive sea fortress where Swedes and Russians once fought.