Boat Trip to Riva del Garda and Malcesine

It was a warm morning in late September 2013 when I set out for Riva del Garda. I waved goodbye to my wife Sue and our dog Coco as we did not possess the required muzzle to bring Coco on board.  So it was a day trip on my own. The fast ferry was covered on the top deck, but not enclosed at the sides. Going out this morning it was a little cold once the ferry got up to cruising speed.

Lake Garda

Setting out for Riva del Garda

We called at three ports on the way including Limone. Riva and Malcesine are both much more commercial than Gorgnano, but have more of a centre you can walk around exploring. They both have old castles to visit. Riva has a tower in the square too. It’s castle is located high above the town so would be an uphill walk away, whereas Malcesine has the castle in the town. You can rent boats and pedallos in Riva. As an option this may be a good time to buy a new custom powerboat for recreation.

Lake Garda
The further north in the lake you go, the more sports you see. Sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, even paragliding off the steep mountains that tower above. In Malcesine you can take a cable car ride up the mountain. The slow ferry is best in fine weather – it has an open top high up and the seats swivel to give you breath taking 360 views!  This is the Riva to Malcesine leg of the journey.

 

I took tour 8 which gives you an easy timetable to follow with approximately 2 hours in each place. It costs 25 euro with a promo card from your hotel. One of the boats incurs a supplement for going faster. You can’t pay the supplement when you buy the ticket. Due to procedure adopted by the ferry company you must pay it later, but before you board! Don’t buy the all lake day ticket unless you are really good with timetables. See the tour plans below.

Coco kept Sue company for the day at our dog friendly hotel, the Villa Sostaga A large  male dog called Lupo had arrived at the hotel and Coco was beside herself! I would recommend this hotel and restaurant for the stunning views and good service.

Enjoy tours of the entire Italian Lakes region with Trafalgar’s Highlights of the Italian Lakes  or Cosmos Magic of the Italian Lakes

 

Garda ferry tours

Find a Coach Tour that suits you!

Not sure which tour operator to book with when deciding on a coach tour?

Don’t know who provides what and when?

Just too much choice out there!

Well worry no more as I can explain what some of the leading tour operators have to offer. There is  a simple way to decide on which Tour Operator to look at first – by age group and budget.

The number game!


Massive Contiki Savings

Contiki tours are ‘fun and funky’ but only available to you if you are 18-35 years old.

It’s a shame if you are young at heart, but this policy is strictly adhered to. If there are two of you travelling as a couple, Contiki will consider you if ONE of the partners is 17 and has permission from a parent or guardian. Or 36/37 might be considered if ONE partner is 35 or under. They have a worldwide choice of destinations at competitive prices. In Europe they have tours for different budgets such as hotel, resort and camping. There is even a boat option!

The minimum age on a Trafalgar and Insight tour is 5 years but 8 years on a Cosmos tour.

The tour operators decided years ago that small children don’t enjoy coach touring and they introduced these lower age restrictions. There is no upper age restriction. Apart from the Contiki brand, the average age on most coach touring vacations is 50 with a fair mix of 20’s-40’s and retired folks. Age 50 is just an average and it’s impossible to know the exact age groups on any given tour. 

If you are in good health and can walk at a gentle pace without difficulty then coach touring is for you. If you can’t walk very far, but can manage the steps on and off the coach you will still be able to participate in most of the tour. If you use a wheelchair let the Tour Operator know about this in advance, it must be the fully collapsible, manual kind, not electric. You must also be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who is capable of helping you on and off the coach and pushing your chair.

 

 

Premium, First Class, Cost-saver or budget?

 

If you look at individual tour pages at Global CoachTours you will see a price per day for the tour. This is shown so you can easily compare the cost of one tour with another. It varies considerably from country to country. For example the cost of premium touring in Morocco is much less than in Scandinavia. For all brands, all hotel room bathrooms are private so you don’t have to leave your room!

 

Insight

Insight is a premium first class brand. Insight guests expect and receive personalized service, balanced itineraries and carefully chosen, well located first class and premium first class hotels. The coach has a maximum of 40 guests and extra legroom seating.

 

Trafalgar

Trafalgar has both a First Class and Cost Saver brand. Both provide exceptional value for money, with the same professional service of a Tour Director and Driver and comfortable coaches. First Class tours include First Class Hotels, buffet breakfast daily and more sightseeing inclusions. Cost Saver hotels are guaranteed Superior Tourist class or better and continental style breakfast daily. Dinner is provided on selected nights.

 

Cosmos

Cosmos provide  great value budget tours – hotels vary between 2-4 star, but are usually in edge-of-city locations or at airports. For European tours they include breakfast and some dinners. They don’t include any food on their USA tours.

When travelling alone,  some clients do not want to incur the expense of an additional single room supplement. However, to avoid having to pay this supplement, Contiki,  Cosmos, Insight and Trafalgar all offer a twin share option whereby you agree to share a room with someone (same sex of course) at no extra cost. As you can imagine, this is a very popular option.

 

Whichever brand of tour operator you decide to  choose, you can be sure that Global Coach Tours will look after you and handle your booking with the utmost care and personal attention.

Whatever you’re looking for, we can guarantee you’ll find a coach tour that’ll take your fancy.

 

 

Travel your way with Cosmos Tours!

Cosmos
Using a great tour company is like hopping on a magic carpet: They take care of all the bothersome details while the traveller experiences a series of wonderful adventures in distant lands. Cosmos Tours is that magic carpet offering the four corners of the globe in well-planned holidays filled with world-renowned sites.
For those seeking the wonders of nature, Cosmos has tours of the vast fjords in Oslo, the Alps of Switzerland or Mount Vesuvius. The relaxed charm of the Old World lifestyle can still be found in their tours of Portugal, Greece or Madrid while others may prefer New York or Las Vegas. There is something for all tastes here.
At Cosmos, tours are suitable for all ages from 8 years to senior citizens. Multi-generational travel is now very popular. Families share an experience together. Parents, their children and grandparents alike. Travellers with Cosmos will find themselves in a group of people with whom they can feel comfortable, the first requirement for having fun.
Instead of rushing through a blur of destinations as quickly as possible, travellers can take more leisurely tours. Coach or rail tours are available in many popular locations, allowing travellers to enjoy the landscape flowing by. This is travel as it should be.
Every coach tour is carefully planned to give maximum enjoyment without worry or inconvenience. The planners at Cosmos know what travellers love, and they are experts in supplying it. To see the world your way, see Global Coach Tours, and book that magic carpet today!

Bed hopping around the world

Double, Single, Queen, King, Twin, Triple, Quad, Suite, Full Size, Wide Double, Olympic, Super King, California King, King Long, Stateroom?
These are all terms used by bed mattress makers worldwide, but when it comes to travel, they mean different things in different countries!

We all like a nice comfy bed after a busy day sightseeing on an escorted tour of Europe or Britain.

A double bed in a London hotel

A double bed in a London hotel

At Global Coach Tours, we are always explaining the terms, so at last, here is the full explanation you wanted, but were afraid to ask.

All these terms are bed configurations within rooms, except did you spot the deliberate mistake?
The word ‘stateroom’ is not a bed, but is a type of room used on board ships and river cruise boats.

Four poster

A romantic four poster double bed in a country house hotel

A single room or bed in North America might mean ‘a room’ rather than a suite, but in Europe it means a room for one or a bed wide enough for only one person to sleep in.

Touring by coach in Britain & Europe you will get a “twin room” as standard. That’s a room with two single beds in it  (approx 90 x 190 cm aka a twin). If you are travelling as a couple, you can request a double (aka a full size bed) but as you will be staying in a variety of hotels, demand may outstrip supply in some hotels. You should get your request fulfilled for most of your tour.  The size of a double will be at least 140 x 190 cm, but you may get a larger bed in some hotels.

Put simply, request ‘double bed’ if you are travelling as a couple and like to sleep in the same bed. This means one larger/wider bed sleeping two, rather than two narrow beds sleeping one person each.

A triple room can either be a double plus a single or three singles. A quad room could be any configuration that sleeps four people, including two separate rooms.

Are you travelling alone? Touring with Trafalgar, Insight and Cosmos, single room prices apply if you want a room to yourself. If you wish to save money, on most tours you are guaranteed to be matched with a room mate of the same gender at the start of the tour and only pay the standard twin-share price. Should there be nobody to share with on day 1 of the tour, you would get a single room at no extra cost, but this doesn’t happen very often. The only way to be guaranteed a room for sole occupancy is to agree to pay the single room price when you book. 

For a definitive explanation with exact bed sizes, please see this Wikipedia article

 

 

Cosmos Tours Offers Travel Your Way

Using a great tour company is like hopping on a magic carpet: They take care of all the bothersome details while the traveller experiences a series of wonderful adventures in distant lands. Cosmos Tours is that magic carpet offering the four corners of the globe in well-planned holidays filled with world-renowned sites.
For those seeking the wonders of nature, Cosmos has tours of geysers in Iceland, the Alps of Switzerland or Mount Vesuvius. The relaxed charm of the Old World lifestyle can still be found in their tours of Portugal, Greece or Tuscany while others may prefer New York or Las Vegas. There is something for all tastes here.
At Cosmos, tours are suitable for all ages from 8 years to senior citizens. Multi-generational travel is now very popular. Families share an experience together. Parents, their children and grandparents alike. Travellers with Cosmos will find themselves in a group of people with whom they can feel comfortable, the first requirement for having fun.
Instead of rushing through a blur of destinations as quickly as possible, travellers can take more leisurely tours. Coach or rail tours are available in many popular locations, allowing travellers to enjoy the landscape flowing by. This is travel as it should be.
Every tour is careful planned to give maximum enjoyment without worry or inconvenience. The planners at Cosmos know what travellers love, and they are experts in supplying it. To see the world your way, give them a call today.

Crossing virtual borders to save $2000 on Cosmos Best of Europe Tour

Read this article to save $2,000 on your coach tour

The internet is an unparalleled research tool. If you are considering a trip anywhere from a local restaurant to a hotel in a far-flung destination, everyone is now booking online.

Hotels, car rental, flights. It’s all easier than ever before with the World Wide Web! At the same time it can be very confusing and time consuming.

If you are travelling outside your home country, you can easily find a tour package on the internet and book it with a tour operator based in your home country. Had you considered looking to see if that tour company has overseas offices in the region or country you intend to visit? Exchange rates have a considerable impact on the price you pay for a tour package. Global Coach Tours are authorised agents for many tour companies such as Cosmos, Trafalgar, Contiki and CIE tours. They make comparison shopping easy for you by having a ‘choose your currency’ option on the site. This enables you to look at the web site of the tour operator in your home country and compare prices.

Here’s a sample comparison on the land price of “Best of Europe” by Cosmos as sold in Australia and by Global Coach Tours in the UK

Cosmos Australia website price 10th June 2016 $3798
Global Coach Tours price for the same tour departs London 12th June 2016, same date $2735  – a saving per person of over $1,000 Australian dollars. Prices correct with exchange rates on 11 December 2015 –  UK price does not include 2 nights in London before the tour, worth about $400 AUD. These may be added to your booking or purchased later. However we DO include Eurostar train travel back to London from Paris on the last day.

Surely it’s a ‘no-brainer’? Australians can save $2,000 per couple in 2016 on a Cosmos tour. Whether you are from the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore or anywhere else, we’ll be pleased to compare the price here with your local price for any tour company we sell.

Global Coach Tours have been established for over 16 years and all transactions are financially protected under European law. The terms and conditions for the booking a broadly similar and over the years, many travellers have made combined savings of tens of thousands of dollars. Add local knowledge and personal service from this dedicated family firm, you can be assured of a great experience. They are now doing the same for river cruising, so why not check out the savings and try a little cross-border shopping in the comfort of your own home?