Monday, March 23, 2015

The Seychelles Carnivall

I will be leaving at the end of April to attend this years edition of the Seychelles Carnival! . . . . can't wait to hear the music!. . . . Sandy Dhuyvetter
Join me!!
Seychelles carnival crowd can expect to be blown
away by Spain’s La Tuna band

Without moving so much as one footstep the throng of people that will come down for the 2015 edition of the Seychelles carnival, will get a glimpse of Spanish culture.
La Tuna band have confirmed that they will be in Seychelles to delight the crowd with Spain’s folkloric traditional music.
It will be La Tuna’s first participation in the carnival but it will not be the first time that the band performs in Seychelles; in fact they were here in April 2014.  They performed outside the National Cultural Centre for orphans, at popular local bazaar ‘Bazar Labrin’ at Beau Vallon and at the Eden Island jetty.  Destination Management Company had worked collaboratively with Seychelles Tourism Board to bring them here.
The group coming down for the Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria will not consist of the same members as the ones who visited our small islands last year.
La Tuna has a long, rich history dating back from 1218 that is closely linked to the University of Salamanca. Struggling university students with musical skills would perform in taverns, ale-houses and at university functions to pay for food and tuition fees.
Press forward to the 21st century, band members have changed along the years but the values remain more or less the same.  They perform wearing the same costumes members used to wear in the 13th century, playing the guitar, accordion, tambourine and bandurria.  They are very popular across the globe and in their home country, regularly hired to perform in auditoriums, hotels, restaurants and at wedding ceremonies.
The public can expect to be entertained by a great variety of Spanish and Latin melodies and rhythms such as rumbas, flamencos, pasos dobles, boleros, tangos, sones and baladas.

The French Quarter Festival is my favorite!

I love music and there is no better music festival(s) then in New Orleans. Affordable, fun and memorable! The French Quarter Festival is my favorite! ... Sandy Dhuyvetter

April 9-12, 2015
Enjoy 275 hours of entertainment featuring more than 250 musical performances on twenty stages throughout the French Quarter over four days

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. (FQFI) annually produces three festivals: French Quarter Festival, Satchmo SummerFest, and Christmas New Orleans Style. FQFI is a 501©3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the Vieux CarrĂ© and the City of New Orleans through high quality special events and activities that showcase the culture and heritage of this unique city, contribute to the economic well being of the community, and instill increased pride in the people of New Orleans.
  • In 2015 – French Quarter Festival celebrates its 32nd Anniversary; Christmas New Orleans Style celebrates its 31st anniversary; and Satchmo SummerFest celebrates its 15th anniversary.
  • French Quarter Festival was first produced in 1984 as a way to bring residents back to the Quarter; following the World’s Fair and extensive sidewalk repairs in the French Quarter.
  • More than 2,000 community volunteers help to make the festival a success.
  • French Quarter Festivals, Inc. is a private, non-profit 501©3 organization.
  • French Quarter Festival is the largest, free music festival in the South.
  • Chief sources of funding are: sponsorships, beverage and merchandise sales, vendor fees, and annual Gala.
  • 23 stages throughout the French Quarter celebrate local music and represent every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R&B, New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, Latin, Zydeco, classical, cabaret, and international.
  • New Orleans great restaurants, create the food and beverage offerings know as “The World’s Largest Jazz Brunch” in Jackson Square, the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint and Woldenberg Riverfront Park during festival weekend; Satchmo SummerFest hosts New Orleans restaurants, known as “Red Bean Alley”, with Louis Armstrong-inspired dishes and great local cuisine. Louisiana restaurants are invited to participate in these festivals.
  • French Quarter Festival has been consistently voted “favorite festival”, “favorite food festival”, and “favorite event open to the public” by locals.

French Quarter Festivals, Inc.
400 North Peters Street, Suite 205
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 522-5730
Toll Free: (800) 673-5725
Fax: (504) 522-5711

Monday, March 16, 2015

Star Clippers! "BUY ONE GET ONE FREE" promotion

Our good friend Greg Baxter sent this email out today to travel agents who are selling Star Clippers.

If you want to go on this wonderful adventure, take this information to your travel agent so they can get you this same deal...Sandy Dhuyvetter

Hear is Greg's Message today!

This is something Star Clippers has never done before, so I emplore you to contact your clients and take advantage of this opportunity!

Star Clippers is offering a true, "BUY ONE GET ONE FREE" promotion on select 2015 Summer Mediterranean sailings.  This is not buying the first bed in the cabin at an inflated rate, then getting the second bed free.  It is buying the first bed in the cabin at our already discounted "Savings Rates," then getting the second bed in the cabin free after that.  It doesn't get much better than that!  We have double occupancy cabins starting at a total cost of $1,575 per cabin
This promotion is good for all Cabins and Suites onboard our ships.  So it will be "First Come, First Served."  So please  don't wait.  If you have clients who would love to sail on a "true" sailing ship, now is the time.  Remind them that we  turn the engines off, and sail with the power of the wind.  We also visit the small, intimate ports that larger ships cannot access.  So no lines, crowds or waiting.  We also allow our guests to climb to the Crow's Nest, or lay in the nets over the water at the bow of the ship.  Or just relax and let us sail you to amazing destinations.
Please read the details below.  Where it says, "Click Here for Details," please do so.  It will show you all of the Sailings, Dates, Maps of the Ports as well as Pricing. 
This promotion will only be effect for 3 WEEKS!  So please hurry and take advantage of the wonderful offer!  It is for double occupancy bookings only, and does not apply to Single cabins.  it is also not applicable to Group bookings.  But your FIT clients are going to love it!
Please let me know if you have any questions?  My contact information will be at the bottom of this email.
Happy Sailing!


Royal Air Maroc and JetBlue set to Expand Morocco-U.S. flights

During my recent visit to Marrakech.
After shooting multiple photos, I decided this was best example of what we witnessed the International press conference announcing this important news between a US and a Moroccan airline. 

Royal Air Maroc, Sponsor of ASTA Destination Expo in Marrakech, Signs Deal with JetBlue to Expand Morocco-U.S. flights
By Sandy Dhuyvetter, TravelTalkMEDIA
Starting left is Chairman and CEO of RAM Driss Benhima, JetBlue Director of Alliances Tracy Bink, and RAM executive, Mr. Elaissoug. Far right is ASTA President and CEO, Zane Kirby
Marrakech, Morocco - JetBlue Airways and Royal Air Maroc, the flagship carrier of the Kingdom of Morocco, signed an agreement in front of International Press from the American Society of Travel Agents Destination Expo held in Marrakech this month.

The two airlines filed an application with the U.S. Governments to enter into a codeshare partnership that will offer customers easy connections between the two airlines' networks. Customers will be able to combine ticketing and baggage transfer when connecting between the two carriers. Flights will become available for sale after receipt of regulatory approval.

Zane Kirby, President and CEO of American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) said, “The expansion of air service between the U.S. and Morocco is essential to tourism between both countries. We heard from Moroccan tourism officials that hotels are often at very low occupancy rates—under 60 percent. As Americans are better able to connect to Royal Air Maroc’s flights out of New York Kennedy, such as through this expansion with JetBlue, we know that it will drive tourism to Morocco, especially now that several hundred ASTA agents have returned home prepared to sell the country after experiencing it. ASTA encourages opening markets and increasing air service to more U.S. cities by more airlines around the globe. Free and unfettered travel for all Americans is a goal of our members.”

Under the proposed codeshare agreement, Royal Air Maroc will place its "AT" airline code on JetBlue flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and 22 destinations in the U.S., including Boston (BOS), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO), San Francisco (SFO), Tampa (TPA) and Washington D.C. (IAD). Additionally, JetBlue and Royal Air Maroc customers will be able to easily purchase a single ticket with seamless bag transfers via Casablanca's Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) to Marrakesh and 15 other Moroccan destinations, as well as a further 24 destinations in West Africa. Less than two weeks ago, Royal Air Maroc introduced its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft on the Casablanca-New York/JFK route.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Travel Planner Invitation from Star Clippers

Dear Planners,

I would like to invite you to join the Royal Clipper on an exciting expedition this May | 5 night expedition from:

- Malaga to Rome on May 11th, 2015.

Onboard the Royal Clipper, you will sail (yes, we will actually sail) from the quaint Spanish port of Malaga over to Palma Mallorca then on to Mahon Menorca and finally arrive in Rome. The short 5 night adventure will give you a taste of something that is truly unique within the industry and will give your guests something to talk about for years to come.
Experience the thrill of being under full sail (engines off), climb up into the crows nest for beautiful panoramic pictures, or relax in the bowsprit, with the soothing sounds of the waves crashing beneath you. A cruise on the Royal Clipper will open your eyes to a new experience that you can offer your clients.
Space is limited, so contact us now to reserve your spot on this on-of-a-kind adventure at sea. Trip does not include air, port charges ($180) or gratuities ($50).
Send your requests to To learn more about Star Clippers, visit our website at

Bill Dwyer
Director of Sales

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

For the FIRST time ever, Star Clippers is coming out with a "KIDS SAIL FREE" promotion

Now this is exciting to me. Children who are given the gift of travel as they grow, develop a better understanding of tolerance and the acceptance of diversity.  .  . enjoy! Sandy

 Take Your Kids Vacationing Today!

This is a great opportunity for you to offer your clients who have kids, a wonderful summer vacation adventure on a true sailing ship. We will be offering this promotion on select summer sailings on all three of our beautiful sailing vessels. The sailing dates are listed below. Not only do the Kids Sail Free...but the parents will earn $500 in Flight Credit as well. It doesn't get much better than that! Star Clippers accepts children of all ages. Please don't forget that we allow adults and kids to climb to the Crow's Nest (with a safety harness), lay in the large nets over the water at the bow of the ship, and even take the helm and steer the ship with the Captain. All of our watersports are also included in your sailing cost as well. This includes waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, sunfish sailboats, kayaks, brand new Stand Up Paddle Boards and snorkeling. All instruction is included as well. Kids love watersports, so this is a natural fit! Please see the details below, and let me know if you have any questions? Happy Sailing!

Reservations Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30am to 7:30pm Saturday 10am to 5pm est.