Open Jaw

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ACV Offers European vacations tailored to every style, pace & palate

It’s here and it’s better than ever. The 2020 Air Canada Vacations Europe collection offers singular European adventures your clients won’t get anywhere else. The collection features 145 itineraries in 21 countries – the broadest range of epic European experiences ever offered by ACV, ranging from food-centric escapades to culture-rich excursions.

Costa Del Sol

“In 2020, we have new offerings in each of Italy, Portugal, France, and Spain,” says Dana Gain, Senior Director of Sales for Air Canada Vacations. “The idea is to expand our Europe portfolio based on what the consumer is asking for, and these four countries continue to be in very high demand.”

And that’s just the beginning.

“We have also further developed our offerings within the existing portfolio by adding such things as new rail tours and longer stays – now up to 28 days – and many more river cruises in the mix. We are adding depth to the program and delighting our customers with a broader range of options delivering more memorable moments. It’s exciting to see the collection grow so quickly,” Gain told Open Jaw.

Here's a snapshot of some of the highlights:

GUIDED TOURS let your clients explore Europe alongside someone who is in the know. This collection includes itineraries crafted by Trafalgar and Insight, companies that have spent decades perfecting the guided travel experience, blending must-see sights with authentic, unique experiences, and carefully balancing group travel with time for independent exploration.

INDEPENDENT ESCAPES help your clients wander Europe at their own pace, with included transportation by car, motor coach or train. Packages feature handpicked ‘More Moments” that enable travellers to make deeper connections, interact with local people and their culture and learn something new.

Open Jaw’s editor-in-chief Bruce Parkinson chose an ACV Independent Escape in Portugal this past June, to celebrate 30 years of marriage. Inexplicably, a 20-year-old son tagged along, proving that children never outgrow their ability to interrupt romantic opportunities.

Parkinson says what most impressed all three of them on the trip was the seamlessness of the working parts and the quality of the ‘More Moments’ experience.

“There were at least seven included private transfers from airport to hotel to train station to hotel, and every single one of them was right on time, waiting for us when we arrived,” Parkinson says.

“And the ‘More Moments’ Tuk Tuk tour in Lisbon was a highlight of the trip -- especially for my wife -- partly because our guide Nunno was so strikingly handsome and charming, but also because he was full of insights and took us beyond major tourist sites, giving us a real taste of life in Lisbon.”

Other ‘More Moments’ opportunities on 2020 ACV Europe Independent Escapes include:

  • LA DOLCE VITA allows travellers to explore Rome’s Travestere district and local market and then prepare their lunch under the direction of an Italian Chef.
  • SUNNY PORTUGAL will allow them to discover Lisbon on a Tuk Tuk while getting insider tips and sampling tasty tapas.
  • Back by popular demand: FLAVOURS OF PORTUGAL and TASTES OF NORTHERN PORTUGAL – two independent escapes inspired by the Ferreira Family and their hit series Portugal Gourmand offers travellers a food-centric tour of the country.

ISLAND HOPPING in Greece lets your clients explore numerous Greek islands with ease Seamless connections, great hotels and truly magical places are all built in — these packages come with guided explorations of Athens and the Acropolis.

CRUISING EUROPE – Air Canada and Rouge offer frequent flights to the most popular European cruise ports, enabling your clients to fly in comfort before getting aboard a floating resort that will take them to the most-desired highlights of the world’s most popular tourist destination.

With 10 partner ocean and river cruise lines, ACV will offer over 500 itineraries in 2020, giving travellers a wide range of destination options and a broad choice of cruising styles. Another story in this Headliner looks specifically at ACV’s major partnership with Royal Caribbean International, which will base seven ships in Europe next summer, in key ports including Rome, Barcelona, Southampton and Venice.

À LA CARTE allows you to work with your clients to help create their own European adventure with a wide range of hotels, flights and car rentals too! À la carte options are now available with all Air Canada destinations.


Among the new offerings for 2020 are seaside escapes in Paestum, Italy; the Portugal Explorer fly-drive independent escape; a guided rail tour exploring the foodie scene in Italy’s Puglia; long-stay on Spain’s Costa Del Sol and an independent escape exploring Spain’s Andalusia, including Madrid, Grenada, Córdoba & Seville. There are new ‘More Moments’ experiences too, including a home-hosted dinner and evening walking tour in Barcelona. New flight routes open up new regions as well, including Montreal-Toulouse and Toronto-Brussels.

Incentives to help you close the sale

ACV’s Senior Director of Sales Dana Gain says a lot of thought has gone into promotions encouraging travel agency clients to plan their 2020 Europe vacation while there’s plenty of inventory to ensure they get exactly what they’re looking for.

“We have a rolling early booking savings available based on how far travellers are from departure. We have group promotions available offering free flights for the 16th passenger along with future travel credits and free seat selection. We have our Trafalgar early booking bonus, our Europe promise, a Europe cruise offer…the list goes on,” says Gain.

“Best of all we have connectors from 63 Canadian cities so we can get you to Europe from anywhere.”


Rhiannon Reay
November 02, 2019 at 08:01



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