I recently returned from an 18 day expedition cruise onboard the ms Roald Amundsen from Nome to Vancouver as well as 3 other trips to Alaska this year so I am up to date and enthused after a couple of challenging years. Small ships- whether expedition or luxury ships - are wildly popular now; I'm in the right business!
As a reminder, I also handle River cruises and luxury/expedition small ships anywhere in the world.
NOTE: I am no longer taking new clients. Busy busy !
Why Book with Patty?
The travel industry has changed drastically with the internet. The need for a friendly navigator through the overwhelming amount of information is higher than ever before. I have been booking Alaska for MANY years and my experience can help make a good trip into a great one! My preferred affiliations and volume allows me to pass along discounts and valuable amenities (on most departures of larger ships and tours) not available anywhere else, including booking directly with suppliers.
Small ships don't have many discounts or amenities to get you to book- they don't need to! But working with me allows you unbiased recommendations on all of your choices- many you may not be aware of, as well as putting together your entire trip- a daunting task for even the most dedicated people! I'm your personal trip concierge.
"Patty: Cathy and I must tell you that everything you helped us plan for this trip (French River Cruise & private tours in Paris) was flawless! You listened carefully to what we wanted this special trip to include and then executed our needs seemingly effortlessly. to the extent you are seeking to provide hands-on, high end concierge travel and service, then you have hit the sweet spot! Well done! We are already formulating thoughts for our next trip through you. Sincere thanks, John and Cathy Schwab, Chapel Hill, NC"
Alaska is complicated, and each company has different policies, deadlines for payments, and what about insurance and type of cabin and.....I take care of it all for you!
Price is important to everyone, and I will research to get you the best offers. Cruise Lines & Tour Companies already have a percentage built into their pricing for agents, so you've already paid! Take advantage of the extra service I provide . But the true value of a good travel agent is also:
Advice and recommendations that will make a good trip into an exceptional one. Most people going to Alaska or a first cruise are overwhelmed by all of the choices and are so thankful for my help in narrowing down the options, and offering suggestions they wouldn't have known about. ("We couldn't have put this together without you" is a regular comment) People are amazed by the amount of time that I spend with them, but it's important to me to get your trip right- for YOU!
Service: there are so many factors to service, and everyone claims to have it, but bottom line is:
prompt response to your inquiries,
comprehensive planning of all components,
detailed invoicing and
keeping track of dates and monies due,
Detailed personalized itinerary and documents, (this is VERY helpful),
and a person to call if you need assistance. If you book something using some online travel suppliers, good luck trying to find a person to call to resolve a problem with your credit card, or if your room reservation is lost. Or the computer failed to notify you that your name is spelled differently on your cruise ticket, and you are denied boarding when you arrive for your long-awaited cruise or flight. I book myself online all the time and love the convenience, but I would talk to a professional for an expensive and/or complicated product. It doesn't cost more to use an agent (except a planning/research fee for some custom tours), and may save you money- certainly save you time andheadaches.
Whether you are planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Alaska, a cruise to the Caribbean, Antarctica, or around the world, I start by asking you questions to narrow down the choices, and offer you some options that you may not have considered. I listen; I am not just an order-taker.