AWARD WINNING TRAVEL SERVICE | TOLL FREE: 1-800-350-9333

TOLL FREE:
1-800-350-9333

AWARD WINNING
TRAVEL SERVICE

MENU
menu

TOLL FREE:
1-800-350-9333

MENU

TRAVEL BLOG

Enchanting India with Tamara Kinsell

tamara

If you had a free plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? Santa Barbara Travel Associate, Tamara Kinsell chose India when the opportunity was presented. It was 1985, and the unknown destination of India became a two-week journey that would change her life—and perhaps yours. Join Tamara, your escort, on this unforgettable journey to “Enchanting India”.

On this guided trip in the Fall of 2017, step away from the boulevards lined with 5-Star hotels, which will be your home in India, and explore the labyrinth of streets teeming with vibrant colors,  exotic smells and tastes found in local markets and the unfolding panoramic views of the vast countryside. Ride an elephant, overnight in a luxurious tent in the fabled desert kingdom of Jaisalmer, and stay in a palace that was actually built for a king!

Mela GIrls in India. Photo by Tamara Kinsell

Mela GIrls in India. Photo by Tamara Kinsell

Find wonder and delight as you walk amongst the true palaces of India in the state of Rajasthan, the “dazzling land of princes and palaces – ancient traditions and quiet villages.”

Cast your eyes upon the famed Taj Mahal in Agra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and see it in the light that makes it float like a pearl.

Photo by Tamara Kinsell

Photo by Tamara Kinsell

When you travel with Tamara, you can dive deeper into the heart of India
This Fall, travel to India with Tamara Kinsell as your guide. Her 30+ years of experience will expose the intimate beauties of this golden country.

Meet Tamara and representatives from the India Tourist Board and Taj Hotels & Resorts by joining our March 9th  Enchanting India Evening. Call Santa Barbara Travel for location and event information. Call 805.869.1140 or ezetter@sbtravel.com

Erin Zetter

Erin Zetter

Travel Advisor, Santa Barbara

Email: ezetter@sbtravel.com

Phone: 805.869.1110
Direct: 805.869.1140

Meet the Silversea Expedition Fleet

For adventurous travelers who wish to visit remote parts of the world, Silversea Expeditions will take you there, and show them to you intimately. Each of their four Expedition Ships is specifically designed for adventurous terrain.

Silver Cloud

The Silver Cloud is joining the Expedition fleet! After an extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud will be the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Explore far-flung regions of the world, while eating lavishly on board in her five dining options. Watch whales breach from the veranda of your suite. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today. A limited number of guests, particularly with just 200 in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest ratios of space to guest; and crew to guest in expedition cruising.

protofinoSilversea

Silver Discoverer

Explore the remote islands of the vast Pacific aboard the 120-guest Silver Discoverer. Her shallow drift allows her to get closer to shore than the other vessels, and offers many vantage points to view the untamed landscapes of the Pacific Ocean. The fleet of 12 Zodiacs can deliver guests to secluded shores and wetlands to explore submerged ecosystems.

See wild life and wild places   on your Silversea Expedition Voyage

See wild life and wild places on your SilverSea Expedition Voyage

Silver Galapagos

A Galápagos expedition cruise, enjoyed aboard Silver Galapagos, brings you to one of the most isolated places in the world to encounter an abundant variety of wildlife species that is incredibly unique and found nowhere else on earth.The Galápagos archipelago is inaccessible to most, yet this isolation has allowed nature to develop in ways exclusive to the islands. Experience it all with complimentary exploration activities including Zodiac tours, snorkeling, kayaking and nature hikes led by highly experienced  guides certified by the National Park of the Galápagos.

Explore the Galapagos aboard Silver Galapagos

Explore the Galapagos aboard Silver Galapagos

Silver Explorer

Explore some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both of earth’s polar regions aboard Silver Explorer expedition cruise ship, specially designed for this purpose.  A strengthened hull with a Lloyd’s Register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger vessels enables the Silver Explorer Expedition cruise ship to safely push through ice floes with ease. A fleet of Zodiac boats allows Silversea Expedition guests to visit even the most off-the-beaten path locations and an expert Expedition Team provides insight and understanding to each unforgettable Silver Explorer luxury cruise adventure.

From the Pacific to Alaska, Silver Discoverer is perfectly designed for the experience

From the Pacific to Alaska, Silver Discoverer is perfectly designed for the experience

To learn more about Silversea, call your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor!

Kathy Reimer

Kathy Reimer

Travel Advisor, Ventura

Email: kreimer@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1151

SeaDream Yacht Club Wine Voyages

“It’s Yachting, Not Cruising”

With SeaDream, look forward to a casual yachting experience that goes above and beyond expectations.

The twin yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II, were voted “Best Small Luxury Cruise Ship of 2015” in ForbesLife. The intimate mega boutique yachts with 95 crew members and 112 guests makes each guest feel like they are on their very own private luxury yacht. Chic and stylish, SeaDream’s 56-stateroom yachts are favored for its elegant informality, highly personal service, inclusive open bar and gratuities, all ocean views staterooms and suites, luxury accommodations and world-class cuisine.

SeaDream I and II Nice

This Fall, sail from Nice to Malaga on a wine voyage designed to enhance both your culinary and yachting experience. Explore the flavors and history from some of the worlds most renowned wineries through exclusive wine tastings, and highlights such as a Winemaker’s Dinner with Chateau Gassier and Finca Valpiedra, offering a special menu complemented with top cuvees.

Nice to Malaga on SeaDream I

Nice to Malaga on SeaDream I

WINE VOYAGE ACTIVITIES

8th of Oct. Wine tasting with Chateau Gassier

9th of Oct. Visit to Castellet & Winery Visit, Sanary Sur Mer

10th of Oct. Winemaker’s Dinner with Chateau Gassier

12th of Oct. Visit to Cavas Recaredo & Chocolate Factory, Barcelona.

13th of Oct. Wine tasting with Finca Valpiedra

14th of Oct. Winemaker’s Dinner with Finca Valpiedra

15th of Oct. Cooking, strolling & tasting, Cartagena.

Itinerary is subject to change. For updated itinerary, please contact Santa Barbara Travel Bureau

For more information about SeaDream, please call your Santa Barbara Travel advisor.

Tina Slimp

Tina Slimp

Travel Advisor, Santa Barbara

Email: tnordholm@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1112

Sailing with Seabourn to UNESCO World Heritage Sites

When you travel with Seabourn, expect the experience to be “luxurious, yet relaxed — elegant, yet casual — sumptuous, yet understated.” Visit UNESCO World Heritage sites on all over the globe, and feel good about your cruise– this company understands what it is to be a conscious traveler. To this effect, Seabourn and UNESCO have partnered in a mission to promote sustainable tourism at World Heritage properties.

“For our guests, this partnership with UNESCO means their travels with Seabourn will be enhanced by deeper insight and information about these intriguing destinations while supporting their conservation through sustainable tourism.” The partnership helps to “engender a wide understanding and commitment for the UNESCO World Heritage Convention’s mission to identify, safeguard, and promote unique cultural and natural heritage around the world deemed to possess outstanding universal value for all humankind.”

Seabourn’s fleet features 5 ships of the award winning Odyssey Class — which includes Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn and Seabourn Quest. The newest ships, Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation, will maintain a high ratio of space per guest, enabling highly personalized service by close to one staff member for each guest on board. With the addition of these two new ships, Seabourn will have the youngest and most modern ultra-luxury fleet in the industry.

Perhaps best of all, each ship offers all-suite accommodations, Seabourn’s signature water sports Marina, an open-bar policy serving premium wine, champagne and spirits, and renowned menus.

Sail to the heart of landmark cities, as well as to hidden gems where larger vessels cannot follow. Travel with interesting people like yourself, “who seek to share experiences beyond the ordinary.”

Featured Itinerary

Seabourn Ovation 11-Day Inaugural Mediterranean Voyage Destination Map

Seabourn Ovation 11-Day Inaugural Mediterranean Voyage Destination Map

05 MAY 2018
SHIP: Seabourn Ovation
DEPARTS: Venice, Italy
ARRIVES: Barcelona, Spain
From US$7,999 per person Veranda Suite
Prices may vary. Call your advisor for details and availability.

To learn more about sailing with Seabourn, call your Santa Barbara Travel advisor, or contact Corinne by email to chart@sbtravel.com or by calling 805.969.7746
If you are in Santa Barbara, ask about our local Small Ships Travel Shows to learn more from the industry’s leading companies.

Introducing Windstar’s James Beard Collection of Culinary Cruises

“Sip fine wines and eat like a locavore, with Windstar delectable food and wine themed cruises. Foodies: get ready to indulge your senses with a glimpse into the art and flavors of incredible cuisine from around the globe”

Wind Spirit photo (3)

Seattle, WA, February 7, 2017 — Windstar Cruises and the venerable James Beard Foundation are building an unprecedented travel-culinary partnership in 2017. The just-announced, exclusive partnership will result in scrumptious bites at sea for cruise guests and raise awareness of the epicurean delights to be discovered in ports around the world where the leading small ship line sails.

“Our partnership as the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation solidifies our goal to support culinary excellence and innovation, and be the world’s best small ship cruise line in everything that we do. We’re thrilled to offer our guests exclusive access to the Foundation’s diverse roster of award-winning chefs and cross-cultural culinary leaders who will help chart a course for extraordinary new menu offerings and dining experiences featured daily across our fleet wherever we sail in the world,” says Windstar President John Delaney.

“The James Beard Foundation welcomes unique opportunities to celebrate the chefs, writers and restaurateurs who advance both American and international culinary arts,” says James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro. “This Windstar partnership’s emphasis on innovation, superior service, intimate ambiance and the unique style of small ship cruising offers distinctive epicurean experiences while enjoying the cultures of France, Spain and Portugal.”

A hallmark of the partnership is a special themed food and wine cruise hosted by acclaimed chef, restaurateur, and author Hugh Acheson. Other major components include the James Beard Foundation Culinary Cruise Collection, a series of cruises throughout 2017 featuring James Beard award winners and nominees. Additionally, cruise guests on every single sailing enjoy culinary demonstrations by Windstar chefs of James Beard Award-winning chef recipes, and the addition of James Beard Foundation Signature Recipes aboard all Windstar sailings.

To learn more about Windstar’s James Beard Collection of Culinary Cruises in 2017, email chart@sbtravel.com or call 805.969.7746

Planning a Destination Wedding? Answers You’ll Want to Know

Thinking about a destination wedding? You'll want to start here.

Thinking about a destination wedding? Here are some answers to your basic, but pressing questions

Planning a wedding is one thing, planning a trip is another, and planning both is a special talent. Each bride and groom has unique questions, but these are always on the list. Here are the questions you really need to ask to start making decisions about the destination and property.

With destination weddings, either the guest list or the budget is the problem. What is the balance of guest attendance and a great location?

Essentially, guest attendance depends on how affordable and accessible your itinerary is, paired with the travel experience of your guest list. To make the journey easier and more affordable, areas with direct flights from different parts of the country will cut hundreds of dollars per ticket and connection hassle for you and your guests.

On the other hand, those with unmanageable guest lists can solve that problem by choosing a remote destination. Have fun finding out how far your guests are willing to go! No matter what you choose, using a travel advisor will save you and your guests valuable time and money through their partnerships and group rate access, and give your party support through last minute changes and travel mishaps.

Visit the Resort before the wedding to meet with your wedding planner and take a much needed trip with your fiance.

Visit the Resort before the wedding to meet with your wedding planner and take a much needed trip with your fiance.

Should we take a trip to the property before selecting the destination or after?

It depends on your budget and style. If you and your fiancé want to take a trip to Mexico and stay at potential venues along the way, we highly recommend it. You will have a better sense of the atmosphere, service, surrounding area, ease of transportation, climate, and more. More often than not, we can get you an upgrade with our affiliates.

Of course, your travel advisor will also be familiar with the area, so if you can’t make it down there, you have more than the internet on your side.

Visiting the destination before you make the choice  ensures you both love the choice, and gives you some alone time.

Visiting the destination before you make the choice ensures you both love the choice, and gives you some alone time.

Does the property I choose need to have experience with destination weddings?

Yes! Coordinating the guest list and travel details will be one thing, but you want a wedding planner who knows the area and all of the local vendors. Make sure there is an event planner on staff, or at least a good one they can recommend. Meet with the event planner often—at least twice a week via Skype or email. You’ll want to make sure that the event planner becomes familiar with you, your preferences, and your budget, so they can help make the best decisions.

European Planning or All-Inclusive?

 

Ideally, the property can offer guests both plans in order to cater to the budget and travel style of each guest. Of course, all-inclusive plans are the easiest to coordinate—order what you want, eat any time, and the price is paid with the room. Another alternative is to consider two sister properties that offer a variety of price points and share amenities.

paul G bora bora

 

We are worried about proper marriage documentation. What do we need to know?

 

In some destinations, the legal requirements are complicated. An easy, pre-planned way around this is to make things official at City Hall before you depart, then invite family and friends to celebrate at the destination. You can still have a ceremony and exchange vows, of course. Otherwise, the rules change per country and you will need to learn the requirements.

 

We are thinking of taking our honeymoon right after the wedding. Is this a good idea or should we plan a separate trip?

The benefit of combining a wedding and honeymoon is that you are also combining preparation and travel time. The downside is that your wedding and honeymoon can get blurred into one very easily. Remember, your guests are likely staying longer than the wedding, so to start your honeymoon, change properties. We recommend moving to a new area—it’s a new trip, isn’t it?

 

We are planning on getting married abroad. Is my marriage legal in the United States, and are there religious limitations in other countries?

 

Almost always, if your marriage is legal in a foreign country, it is legal in the US. Just be sure you have the proper paperwork. Certain countries have requirements that you will need to abide by. If you are planning a religious ceremony, make sure you’ll be able to find an officiate of your religion. For example, in a strongly Catholic country, it may be challenging to find a Rabbi. If it is a same-sex union, make sure the union is legally binding.

For more information about destination weddings and honeymoon planning, contact your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor or our wedding specialist, Erin Zetter.

Erin Zetter

Erin Zetter

Travel Advisor, Santa Barbara

Email: ezetter@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1110
Direct: 805.869.1140

The Rocky Mountaineer Celebrates Canada’s 150 Birthday

Rocky Mountaineer Panorama

Photo by Rocky Mountaineer, Noel Hendrickson

 

If your summer travel plans aren’t yet finalized, there is still time for a memory-making rail journey in the Canadian Rockies on board the unparalleled Rocky Mountaineer…

Rocky Mountaineer Train

Named “The Best Train Experience in the World” by National Geographic, the RockyMountaineer offers guests amazing scenery aboard the train by day, and a chance to refresh and get a good night’s sleep in some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. On board the train, guests will experience award-winning cuisine and a variety of snacks and beverages, all included! Their GoldLeaf service boasts 5-star dining and panoramic views from their bi-level glass-dome luxury coach. Additionally, tales, stories and educational engagement will be provided throughout your rail journey by one of the Rocky Mountaineer onboard hosts. Rocky Mountaineer has partnered with iconic and historic hotels along their routes and throughout the Canadian Rockies including Four Seasons Resort Whistler, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, The Fairmont Banff Springs, The Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff, and many others. Santa Barbara Travel can help arrange all your land accommodations if you decide to extend your stay before or after your rail experience.

Rocky Mountaineer Wildlife

Extraordinary wildlife exists in its natural habitat, and you get to see it!

 

There are many great reasons to consider traveling to Western Canada this year: a vacation close to home; Canada’s 150th year anniversary; plus the value of the US dollar to the Canadian dollar is very advantageous. So, while all meals and drinks are included on the train, your holiday spending off the train will be stretched much further.

rocky-mountaineer-howe-sound

The Rocky Mountaineer winds along Howe Sound

 

As a special added benefit, guests who book a 4-day journey or more by March 3, 2017 through Santa Barbara Travel Bureau will receive a complimentary dinner at their hotel.* Additionally, this special offer is combinable with the current Rocky Mountaineer promotion which offers up to a $450 added value per couple that may be applied toward activities, excursions or pre and post night stays.

Nancy Herrmann, Travel Agent for Santa Barbara Travel, poses on her journey with the Rocky Mountaineer

Nancy Herrmann, Travel Agent for Santa Barbara Travel, poses on her journey with the Rocky Mountaineer

To receive more information or a brochure from Rocky Mountaineer, please contact your Santa Barbara Travel advisor or Nancy Herrmann.

Nancy Herrmann

Nancy Herrmann

Travel Associate, Santa Barbara

Phone: 805.679.3326
Email: nherrmann@sbtravel.com

 

 

Warm Weather Cruising with Paul Gauguin

The luxurious m/s Paul Gauguin chases warm weather and leads small ship cruising in destinations such as Tahiti, the South Pacific, Fiji and hidden ports found in the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. This year,  the ship is taking a “one-time” opportunity to voyage to Bali and Fiji and back. The all-inclusive pricing offers an extraordinary value, and allows you to spend more time enjoying your cruise vacation and less time worrying about every little detail when it’s all been taken care of—from airfare out of LAX to gourmet dining to onboard gratuities, and so much more. Once you’re on the plane, relax.

Relaxing by the pool on the deck in Tahiti

Relaxing by the pool on the deck in Tahiti

The experience is more than just sunshine and open waters. Guests can enjoy world-renowned SCUBA diving that will awe the most experienced divers and set the foundation for those new to the thrill of swimming under the sea. You can even earn your PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification on board instead of training in pools back home.

Scuba Dive in the South Pacific! Earn your PADI certification during vacation.

Scuba Dive in the South Pacific! Earn your PADI certification during vacation.

Built specifically for the shallow waters of the South Pacific, this luxurious cruise ship is able to access small ports (like the port pictured below) that other ships can’t. It is a thrill to look down over white sands in shallow waters, and even more of a pleasure when you arrive at the small ports made possible by Paul Gauguin.

paul gauguin tere mora

Paul Gauguin in Tere Mora

Bali to Fiji

17 Nights
Departure Date: June 7, 2017

Experience many different aspects of the Far East on this one-time, one-of-a-kind itinerary. Embark The Gauguin in the tropical paradise of Bali and continue your exploration of Indonesia. You’ll also call on the tiny new nation of Timor-Leste, as well as Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu en route to Lautoka, the heart of Fiji’s sugarcane-growing region. .

Prices starting from $7,895

(Includes airfare from Los Angeles)
*Prices and availability are subject to change. Please contact your Santa Barbara Travel Advisor for more details.
To see where m/s Paul Gauguin will be in 2017-2018, contact your Santa Barbara Travel advisor or call Tina at 805.869.1112
Tina Slimp

Tina Slimp

Travel Advisor, Santa Barbara

Email: tnordholm@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1112

Save the Date! Building the Ultimate Cruise Ship, Seven Seas Explorer on PBS

On February 8th at 6 PM (PST) we will be tuning in to PBS to watch this documentary created about the engineering challenges and construction of the luxurious Seven Seas Explorer. Watch pioneering shipbuilders as they endeavor to create the ultimate cruise ship, Seven Seas Explorer in the upcoming episode of NOVA, the most-watched, prime-time science series on American television.

See the ship by numbers here on our blog.

Our CEO, Charles de L’Arbre, traveled aboard this incredible ship on the invitation-only Pre-Inaugural Voyage from Barcelona to Monte Carlo. He shares his experiences, insider tips, and personal photos from the trip here.

Save the Date! Building Seven Seas Navigator

Save the Date! Building Seven Seas Explorer on February 8th

Sailing with Star Clippers Cruises

Experience the traditions and romance of the legendary era of sailing when you travel with Star Clippers. Step aboard the decks of this incredible fleet of Tall Ships recreated from early 20th century designs that are now paired with modern amenities, top of the line navigation, and relaxing luxuries on water.

Star Clipper and Star Flyer – true clipper ships for guests seeking traditions and romance of the legendary era of sailing ships.

Star Clipper and Star Flyer – true clipper ships for guests seeking traditions and romance of the legendary era of sailing ships.

With each destination, experience vastly different cultures from the Caribbean, to Indonesia, to the Mediterranean, to Cuba to epic Ocean crossings. Enjoy adventures on land, underwater (scuba!), and immerse yourself in new cultures. For the days when you just want to relax on board, enjoy evening performances by local musicians and dancers.

Unlike a typical cruise ship your voyage is wind-powered, and your schedule is relaxed and flexible. Enjoy on-board evening entertainment from local musicians and performers at each destination for authentic, local cultural experiences. Enjoy the salty, ocean breeze on your face– the same wind powering the sails above. Find your secret hideaway on one of the hidden balconies on either side of the bow. Or climb the mast (with safety harness provided) to one of the passenger lookout crows-nests, thoughtfully furnished with a comfortable settee, where you’ll have the grandest view of all!

StarClippers - rigging

The fleet of three ships includes Royal Clipper, Star Clipper, and Star Flyer. Royal Clipper, the crown of the fleet, was inspired by the largest, fastest sail boat made in 1902, that has now been redesigned for the 21st Century without losing their tradition or function. Today, the Royal Clipper is the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world, with 5 masts, 56,000 square feet of canvas sails, 3 swimming pools, and a 227 passenger capacity. The twin-sister ships –Star Clipper and Star Flyer– are true clipper ships for guests seeking traditions and romance of the legendary era of sailing ships.

Leave the hectic pace of land behind, and travel leisurely with the wind. For more information about sailing on small ships, join us at our event on Wednesday, February 22nd at 5:30 hosted in our Downtown Santa Barbara Office at 1028 State Street.

Kathy Reimer

Kathy Reimer

Travel Advisor, Ventura

Santa Barbara Travel Bureau
3140 Telegraph Road
Ventura, CA 93003

Email: kreimer@sbtravel.com
Phone: 805.869.1151