Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Vacations To Go is celebrating its 35th anniversary this month. Read on for a bit of the company's history, or scroll down for this week's special offers and best cruise deals.



Thirty-five years ago this week, we strung a hand-painted "Grand Opening" banner above the door in a small shopping center in Houston and Vacations To Go was born.

My business partner (Bob Carney) and I opened our two-room travel agency on a Sunday because the travel editor of the Houston Chronicle, Mary Lu Abbott, ran a story about us that day. With my meager life savings on the line, I wanted to be in the office just in case the phone rang, and it did.

We were a new breed of travel agency with a unique mission: to convince cruise lines, airlines, tour operators and hotels that they should deeply discount the price of unsold cabins, seats and rooms near departure date, that making anything on the inventory was better than making nothing.

If we could do that, we would have a viable business and open up the world to people who could not have afforded international travel otherwise.

I set out to convince major travel companies to give us deals they did not offer to other travel agencies. This was not made easier by the fact that we had no customers.

Finding customers, on the other hand, was not aided by the fact that we had no deals.

Eventually, a dozen airlines, cruise lines and tour operators agreed to test our concept. Riding what turned into a huge wave of publicity due to our record-low prices, we were off and running on that day in May 1984.

In 1986, we took the company public, and in 1987, we launched our publishing division with the first of our three magazines, Vacations, which was later joined by Travel 50 & Beyond and Where to Retire. I coaxed Mary Lu away from the Houston Chronicle and she became the founding editor of Where to Retire, where she called the shots until her own retirement in 2012.

We grew out of that shopping center space and opened an airline-style reservation center, and added travel and retirement books to our list of publications. After several years as a public company, we bought out the outside shareholders and took the company private.

In 1999, we launched our cruise website and within a few years, we launched sites for river cruises, escorted travel, air & hotel packages, safaris and more.

We bought our own office building, translated our cruise site into Spanish and Portuguese and French, launched group cruise and hosted singles departments and the industry's first department dedicated solely to cruise passengers with special needs.

Somewhere along the way, we became the world's largest seller of cruises and river cruises.

So many people have contributed to the growth and success of Vacations To Go that it would be impossible to name them all. Three who stand out are Emerson Hankamer, our CEO; Troy Bringle, our President; and Elizabeth Armstrong, our VP & Editor of Travel Media.

Today, we represent every significant cruise line, river cruise company, tour operator and hotel chain in the world. True to our roots, we are still the very best at finding last-minute discounts for our customers. Our 90-Day Ticker is the standard by which all last-minute cruise lists are measured.

Every week, we sell hundreds of cruise cabins at the last minute, at rates that other travel agencies never even hear about. And we offer deep early bird discounts and shipboard credits for people who simply have to make plans in advance.

Some tour operators and hotel companies also offer last-minute discounts. When they do, we rush the deals to our customers. However, the biggest discounts on tours frequently are offered many months in advance of departure.

When I look back at what has been accomplished in the last 35 years, I am most proud of the group we have built here, the more than 800 men and women of Vacations To Go. They are the kind of people you want to go to work with every day, dedicated to being the best and providing the best service and advice in the travel industry.

I am grateful to be on the same team.

In our three and a half decades, the travel industry has survived more epidemics, hurricanes, wars and recessions than I can remember. The instant, global dissemination of bad news sometimes makes it seem like the world is a dangerous place, but I don't believe there are any new threats in the world, just new strains of old threats.

International travel today is safer than it has ever been, and there are more amazing trips to more fascinating places than ever before.

What new adventures await travelers in the next 35 years? I can hardly wait to find out!

You can be sure that Vacations To Go will be here to bring you the very best the world has to offer -- at a discount, of course.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Executive Chairman
Vacations To Go



This week, we've arranged the following money-saving offers with Holland America, MSC, Oceania, Silversea and Paul Gauguin Cruises. In addition to deep discounts, these offers may include free amenities or shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on the ship and can be used toward onboard purchases not covered in the cruise fare, like spa treatments and shore excursions. Please note that some rates on our site may not be eligible for free amenities or shipboard credits.

Holland America is offering our customers huge discounts of up to 75%, providing newly reduced rates on a variety of departures such as European sailings and Alaska cruises and cruise tours. Plus, receive shipboard credits of up to $500 per cabin on select voyages. Book by May 20. See dates and prices.

MSC has reduced fares by up to 86% for Vacations To Go customers. In addition, get exclusive shipboard credits of up to $200 per cabin on select sailings. Book by May 20. See dates and prices.

Oceania is offering our customers newly reduced, exclusive pricing on select cruises -- save up to 81%. Receive shipboard credits of up to $900 per cabin on select departures. Book by May 20. See dates and prices.

Silversea is offering Vacations To Go customers savings of up to 79%. Our customers also can receive an exclusive additional discount of up to 15% off select last-minute departures. Plus, receive shipboard credits of up to $1,100 per cabin on select sailings. Your Silversea fare includes onboard gratuities, complimentary beverages including wine and spirits and butler service. Book by May 27. See dates and prices.

Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering our customers new discounts of up to 63% off its voyages in French Polynesia, along with exclusive shipboard credits of up to $300 per cabin on select departures. Book by May 27. See dates and prices.

As always, these offers are for new bookings only and subject to availability. Restrictions may apply, and some free amenities and shipboard credits may apply only to eligible rates. Past guests of some cruise lines may see better rates on select sailings.



I have scanned all the sailings in the next 90 days, and listed below are all the deepest discounts according to type of cabin.

Inside Cabins

Click here to see all sailings offering inside cabins for at least 65% off.

Oceanview Cabins

Click here to see all sailings offering oceanview cabins for at least 65% off.

Balcony Cabins

Click here to see all sailings offering balcony cabins for at least 60% off.

Suites

Click here to see all sailings offering suites for at least 55% off.



Here are today's Top 10 Cruises, brand-new specials from the world's best cruise lines. Click the FastDeal # for details.
 
1) Alaska, 7 nights on Princess, departs Anchorage Jun 8, starting at $399, save 60%, FastDeal # 33345

2) Caribbean, 5 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Galveston Jun 28, starting at $566, save 55%, FastDeal # 28642

3) Bermuda, 7 nights on Norwegian, departs New York Jun 9, starting at $549, save 63%, FastDeal # 40275

4) Caribbean, 7 nights on Celebrity, departs Fort Lauderdale Aug 24, starting at $549, save 71%, FastDeal # 11981

5) Alaska, 11 nights on Windstar, departs Vancouver Jun 3, suite starting at $1,999, save 76%, FastDeal # 26899

6) Caribbean, 7 nights on MSC Cruises, departs Miami Aug 24, starting at $528, save 67%, FastDeal # 22291

7) Northern Europe, 14 nights on Norwegian, departs London May 31, starting at $599, save 80%, FastDeal # 11332

8) Mediterranean, 7 nights on Celebrity, departs Barcelona Jul 6, starting at $1,219, save 62%, FastDeal # 21789

9) Baltic, 7 nights on Silversea, departs Copenhagen Jul 11, suite starting at $3,500, save 77%, FastDeal # 13612

10) Canada/New England, 10 nights on Regent, departs New York Sep 3, suite starting at $7,149, save 60%, FastDeal # 20672

For the best last-minute cruise specials in the next 90 days, please visit our world-famous 90-Day Ticker.
To search for discounts of up to 82% on cruises departing more than 90 days from now, click here.

To save up to 40% with escorted tours, click here.
For river cruises up to 50% off, click here.
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click here.
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality, click here.

Once you've found a FASTDEAL, call us toll free at 800-338-4962 (US and Canada) and a cruise counselor will attend to your needs. Customers from the UK, please call toll free 0-800-098-8546. All other international customers, please email or call us at +1-713-974-2121.

Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@vacationstogo.com and I will respond the same day.

If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward this email to family and friends.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Executive Chairman
Vacations To Go

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