WINDSTAR FLEET EXPANSION
Windstar Cruises’ recent acquisition from Seabourn of the 212-passenger Star Pride is just the start of a major expansion for the cruise line.
In 2013, Windstar was ready to expand its fleet for the first time in 16 years and wanted to add motorized yachts that would have more comfort for guests,
a higher speed capacity and greater itinerary reach than the company’s signature sailing ships. At the same time, Seabourn who launched larger ships in 2009,
wanted to make its fleet consistent. Seabourn sold its three smaller ships to Windstar and ordered a new larger vessel - a win-win deal for both cruise lines.
The acquisition of the three Seabourn vessels doubles the size of Windstar’s fleet. Star Pride, formerly Seabourn Pride launched in May 2014, Star Breeze, which
is now sailing as Seabourn Spirit, and Star Legend, now sailing as Seabourn Legend, will set sail under the Windstar banner starting in May 2015. Star Pride has
undergone an extensive renovation by the same company that refurbished Windstar’s three sailing ships: the 148-passenger Wind Star and Wind Spirit,
and the 312-passenger Wind Surf. As a result the décor and approach is consistent across all four vessels. Star Pride features Windstar’s hallmark service and
its focus on unusual ports of call. Accommodations on Star Pride are larger than on the sailing yachts with standard suites at 277 square feet, featuring sleeping
and sitting areas and a coffee table that can be raised for dining in-suite. There are French balconies on 36 suites, and all accommodations have walk-in closets
and elegant bathrooms. Private balconies are a feature of the four Owner’s Suites (now called Destination Suites), and the two Classic Suites.
Cruise roundtrip from Singapore through the fascinating kaleidoscope of culture that make Malaysia and Thailand sparkle with excitement aboard Star Pride on Windstar’s
new “Singapore & Malay Peninsula” voyage, recognized by Fodors as one of the 10 Best New Cruise Itineraries for 2014 and for a limited time receive a free hot air balloon
ride in Bagan. Rates for the 14-day cruise start at USD5,999 per person double plus taxes and fees based on 12DEC14 departure. Rates include a Windstar Exclusive Private
Event, all meals in all venues, non-alcoholic beverages including specialty tea and coffee drinks, beautifully appointed ocean view suite, plush bathrobes and slippers,
fresh flowers and fruit in suites, spectacular onboard deck barbeque, 24-hour room service, fully equipped watersports platform, use of all water sports equipment, access
to the Open Bridge, Champagne Welcome Reception and a beautiful Sail Away from every port.
“Jewels of the Windward Islands” is a 7-day Barbados roundtrip sailing aboard the sleek 4-masted, 148-passenger Wind Star. Sail from the rugged natural beauty
of St. Lucia to little-known isles that are off the tourist radar - colourful Bequia and Mayreau in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and the open-air markets of exotic
St. George’s. All staterooms have ocean views, queen beds, flat-screen TV with DVD player and a Bose SoundDock. Sample fares are from USD1,799 per person double
plus taxes and fees for 29NOV, 06DEC and 13DEC14 departures
Contact us for fares and schedules on all Windstar sailing cruises and motorized yacht cruises. windstarcruises.com
McTAVISH TRAVEL WINS AGENCY OF THE YEAR
As agency approaches its 40th anniversary, Trish McTavish says secret to success
is providing excellent customer service - Terrilyn Kunopaski
The McTavish Travel team - Back row: Cathy Faleiro, Marian Strus, Jessica Scott,
Allyson Pelisek, Marybeth Parrott, Diane Hink, Jody Grierson, Kathryn Butt,
Christine Hillis, Kelly Howard, Carolyn Valenti, Ance Gheorghescu, Deanna Pesa,
Sandra McGregor, Nadine Davies, Betty-Anne Ley, Lisa Spears, Dianne McHugh,
Tina Leslie & Jo-Anne Wilbur. Front: Ross & Trish McTavish. McTavish Travel
has earned the title of Travel Agency of the Year in the TRAVELHotNews.com Awards
of Excellence contest 2011.
No stranger to industry recognition, the agency was also recently awarded the
title of North America’s Leading Travel Agency at the World Travel Awards and
has an array of other trophies on display at their Oakville office.
Ross & Trish McTavish, owners, McTavish Travel with Terrilyn Kunopaski, editor-in-chief,
TRAVELHotNews.com “We’re honoured to have even been nominated. I think when you’re
given an award by your peers, it’s probably the biggest honour you can be given,
particularly by our industry in Canada,” said Trish McTavish about the Award of
Excellence. “I have to say, I’m really proud of the travel industry in Canada -
I think we have a really good industry here, a lot of integrity, so to win this
in that circle is a great honour.”
The Award of Excellence comes at an appropriate time as McTavish Travel approaches a
special milestone of 40 years in business. When the agency was first launched by Ross
McTavish, it was Ross plus one teammate running the show. Trish started working with
the business in the early 80s and now, the team has grown to 28 in total and continues
to attract new business as well.
Originally, McTavish Travel focused mostly on leisure travel “because that’s what travel
was all about,” Trish said.
But, after seeing a lot of corporations coming to them in the early 80s, the agency
established a dedicated corporate department and now, that niche represents 50 per cent
of the business. Twenty-five per cent is leisure, and another 25 per cent is made up by
humanitarian/mission bookings as well as groups.
In fact, McTavish Travel is one of only two humanitarian/mission-accredited agencies
in Canada, which means it holds contracts with most of the legacy and large international
carriers to provide special fares to large charities, not-for-profits, humanitarian
organizations and missionaries.
Whatever the reason for travel, McTavish’s clients come from across Canada, as well
as some from the U.S. and other international markets.
So what’s the secret to the success of an agency that does very little marketing yet
continues to grow year-after-year?
“Our success has definitely been on the foundation of providing exceptional customer
service and referral,” Trish said.
“We have never strayed from our core value and that has been client-centric, client-focused;
we always have felt that if we do right by the clients, everything else will fall into line.
There are a lot of organizations that put call centres in place and that’s not about the
client, that’s about profits. Anything we do, the first question is: how does that
benefit the client? If there isn’t a benefit to the client, why are we doing it?
“We’ve never taken on an action because it’s better for us; some of the things we do
are more difficult for us, but there’s a huge benefit for the client – it doesn’t matter
how hard it’s going to make it for us to do this thing, if it’s good for the client,
that’s what we do. And it’s worked for us – if you look after your clients and you
look after your staff, your staff will look after your clients and
it all works out in the end.”
Being in business for 40 years, McTavish Travel has had many clients with them
for more than 30 and staff that has worked there just as long.
In the economic downturn of 2008, the agency was impacted just as everyone else
in the industry but was still able to turn a profit without making any layoffs.
“We don’t have growth for the sake of growth,” Trish said. “The important key to
growing is just growing enough that you don’t lose business because you’re not
able to provide that same level of service.”
McTavish Travel is affiliated with the Ensemble and Uniglobe networks in Canada.
McTavish Travel wins big at World Travel Awards
McTavish Travel is very proud of two recent awards!
McTavish Travel was awarded "North America's Leading Travel Agency" in the 19th annual
World Travel Awards. It's McTavish Travel's third World Travel Award in 5 years!
In 2007 and 2008, we were named "North America's Leading Business Travel Agency".
The much coveted World Travel Awards are considered to be "the Oscars of
the travel industry".
Launched in 1993, the awards "acknowledge and recognise excellence in the
global travel and tourism industry." A World Travel award is "regarded as the very highest
achievement that a travel company could hope to receive. Separating the good from
the outstanding. Identifying companies that consistently excel beyond expectation.
Taking customer expectations to a new, unparalleled high." For more information on
the awards, visit www.worldtravelawards.com
On December 22, 2011 McTavish Travel was named "Canadian Travel Agency of the Year"
in the travelhotnews.com Awards of Excellence.