December 23, 2016

Why your next holiday should be a cruise

There are so many reasons why your next holiday should be a cruise. With the rand how it is, more and more South Africans are turning to inclusive and package holidays to get the best value for money holiday. Cruising is a great option to consider. With Cruises International, offering itineraries covering the globe and options to suit every traveller, you’ll be hopping on board in no time…

Book your dream Cruises International cruise with your Sure Travel agency.

Our top picks?

7 Nights Western Caribbean including Cuba on Empress of the Seas
11 Nights Eastern European on Celebrity Constellation
12 Nights Ancient Silhouettes on Oceania Nautica

Cruises International has itineraries almost anywhere you can dream of: Alaska, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Dubai and the UAE, Panama Canal and South America, Asia and of course the World Cruise.

Representing nine of the world's renowned cruise lines, you’ll be sure to find a cruise to suit your tastes and needs. The Cruises International family includes Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Seabourn, Windstar cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club and Ama Waterways.



Why choose a cruise for your holiday?
• You only have to pack and unpack once.
• No driving or stressing with transport to get around
• Sightsee the world with ease
• A variety of activities on board: from learning a new dance step to taking a cooking class.
• Excursions at every port: Sightseeing, shopping, the beach, exploring vineyards, museums. You can do as much or as little as you please!
• A selection of dining options from casual cafes to the ultimate in gourmet.
• A superb variety of entertainment from Vegas, West End and Broadway-inspired high energy productions to intimate live music, casinos and much more.



What’s included in your cruise fare?
• Ocean transportation
• Accommodation (complete with plush robes!)
• Twice daily stateroom service
• Custom blended bath products
• Meals in the Main Dining Room
• On board activities
• Supervised kids programs
• Entertainment - Day and night!
• Fitness centre
• Library

The above is included on most cruise lines. Just imagine only unpacking once and everything being taken care of while you relax in style!

Book your Cruises International cruise today with your Sure Travel agency. 

November 23, 2016

You could win with Sure Travel & SAA!

Book and pay for a SAA air ticket (selected airfare classes only) to anywhere outside of South Africa with your Sure Travel consultant & stand a chance to win amazing cash prizes!

YOU COULD WIN: R10 000 in cash OR 1 of 3 prizes of R5000 cash

A SAA air ticket from South Africa to any regional or international destination, in selected booking classes, booked and issued at a Sure Travel agency between 01 November 2016 and 31 March 2017, for travel departing by 31 March 2017, is eligible for entry. Please check with your Sure Travel consultant if your preferred air ticket is eligible for entry into the competition.

You can browse, book and pay online for flights here too.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

TERMS AND CONDITIONS 

  • Terms and Conditions apply. 
  • No codeshares - only SAA operated flights are eligible.
  • Only SAA tickets issued in South Africa flying to anywhere outside of South Africa, in booking classes L, V, T, Q, S, H, K, M, B, Y, D, Z, J or C booked and issued at a Sure Travel agency between 01 November 2016 and 31 March 2017, for travel departing by 31 March 2017, are eligible for entry.
  • Competition closes at midnight on 31 March 2017.
  • To be eligible for the competition, participants must reside in the Republic of South Africa, Namibia or Botswana and be over 18 years old.
  • Winners will be chosen by random draw and will be notified via email by 30 April 2017.
  • Prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be exchanged.
  • One winner will win R10 000 in cash and 3 winners will win R5000 in cash each.
  • Declaring the winnings to SARS will be the responsibility of the prize winners.
  • Only one entry per ticket number allowed.
  • Sure Travel standard competition terms and conditions apply. Read Sure Travel T&Cs in full here.


September 13, 2016

A Uniworld river cruise honeymoon through Burgundy & Provence

River cruising may not be the first option you imagine  for a honeymoon, but after reading what Robyn Daneel-Spicer, Director of Sure Stellenbosch Travel, had to say about her river cruising honeymoon, we think you’ll be convinced. The new Mr and Mrs joined a Uniworld boutique river cruise through the spectacular Burgundy and Provence regions in France. Here is Robyn’s story…

Before starting, I feel that it is only fair to tell you that I like to do things differently. My husband and I secretly got married in November last year surrounded by 20 family members after only 3 weeks of planning, only to tell our very surprised friends 3 days later. Now why do this, you may ask? Well it was with the entirely selfish notion of being able to spend our entire wedding fund doing what we love best… travelling in style.

So how best do we South Africans travel given the delicate issue of foreign exchange? A cruise of course, which led to the next of our slightly different decisions. Cruises are a fantastic choice for travellers who don’t want to spend additional funds when travelling (you would look at an-inclusive package), for travellers who want to unpack once but see many different places and for those who want to come back on speaking terms with their loved ones because they didn’t get completely lost for a full day in the rental car. This sounded perfect, but not everyone’s first choice for a honeymoon. But for us, it was different and it ticked all the boxes, so we went for it!





As  avid wine lovers we both agreed that France would be a lovely choice, and the south of France during summer would be just magnificent. We chose the 8 day Uniworld cruise on the SS Catherine from Lyon to Avignon. We flew SAA via Munich and actually chose to do a stopover there after the cruise to diversify with beer after all the wine.



I was in awe of what the ship looked like upon arrival. The décor was exactly as in the pictures, the rooms were spacious and exquisitely decorated and Laura (who would be servicing the room daily) came in to introduce herself. The attention to detail was incredible and possibly what set this experience apart from my other holidays.

Check-in took 2 minutes after which we naturally found the bar and toasted to the next 8 days – and what an amazing 8 days they were. The food on board the ship was incredible, the menu changed every day and local produce was sourced at each port. How they manage to offer fine dining for 100 people at every meal is beyond me, but they do it with class. Every meal was an experience - both lunches and dinners were paired with the most exquisite wines from the region, introduced and explained by the sommelier who was exceptional.



Uniworld take great pride in their excursions and there was something for everyone - from truffle farm excursions to wine tastings, even cycling and kayaking for those active travellers who want to do a bit of physical activity. My advice to anyone travelling would be to find out how active these tours are! We found ourselves kayaking for 8kms against quite a strong headwind. I needed a straw to sip my wine that evening; my arms were finished! Most of these excursions are included within the all-inclusive package but you are given the optional extras should you wish to do something different. Other than these tours, you will not spend an additional cent unless you enjoy a bit of shopping, which makes these packages really worth it!





The service and the people on board were what really sold us on Uniworld. They knew our names, what we liked, what we didn’t like, and no, not like they were paid to do it, but as if we were becoming friends on a cruise that ended way too quickly.

Would I ever go back you ask? Without a doubt – Is Christmas too soon?

Book your Uniworld cruise with Sure Stellenbosch Travel or at your nearest Sure Travel agency



SURE TRAVEL BLOG CONTRIBUTOR
Brought up surrounded by a family-run travel business, it’s no wonder that Robyn followed her family’s well-travelled footsteps into the travel industry. Her first trip was to Disney World Orlando with her dad and she has been travelling ever since. USA, Europe, Thailand, Dubai, Vic Falls and Australia are just some of the places she has visited - so far!

Contact Robyn at Sure Stellenbosch Travel on 021 887 2920 or at robyn@steltrav.co.za.

September 9, 2016

Recharge in the Seychelles at Beachcomber’s Sainte Anne Resort

We all need a recharge now and again. And there’s not a more idyllic place to do it than the dreamy islands of the Seychelles. Sure Travel Marketing Manager, Geraldine Boshoff, got to enjoy the ultimate timeout at Beachcomber’s Sainte Anne Resort and Spa in the Seychelles. Here’s her story…

RECHARGE IS THE WORD

It was time for a time-out.  I was in need of total rest; a full recharge of energy to see the end of the year through.

I have had the privilege to travel extensively and therefore my criteria for this trip were very simple. No long flights, no long airport waits, no travel via any point to get to our retreat.  As little as possible driving, no cars and no TRAFFIC!

I chatted to my friends from Beachcomber and they said if that is what you want, then there is only one place to go. The island of Sainte Anne in the Seychelles. It houses only one property, Beachcomber’s Sainte Anne Resort & Spa, and best of all, there are NO CARS on the island!




ABOUT SAINTE ANNE 

The hotel is located on a private island just 10 minutes from the mainland and is surrounded by one of the largest marine parks in the Indian Ocean. Accommodation is in 87 private villas, 29 of which have private pools. It’s a true sanctuary for nature lovers. I was sold and booked a 7 night stay for myself and my partner.

And off we went! We enjoyed wonderful service on a 5 hour flight with Air Seychelles. Going through customs at Seychelles International Airport was quick and efficient. We were guided to our bus that transferred us within 15 minutes to Roche Caiman quay, Sainte Anne’s private jetty. We were about 10 people on a bus meant for 8 with baggage for 20 people. What fun that was!

The sun was setting as we set out for a 10 minute speedboat ride to Sainte Anne Island and the amazing Sainte Anne Resort and Spa. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by the friendly staff and taken to Villa 121. This was one of the most awesome surprises I have ever experienced.



Our huge villa had its own garden, swimming pool and a beautifully decorated room with block-out curtains to ensure that you can take a nap at any time in a darkened room or enjoy a very late sleep-in. The bathroom had a huge bath, double basins, indoor and outdoor shower, hairdryer and whatever else you might require.


We were invited to freshen up and join the rest of the guests for dinner at L’Abondance Restaurant in the main building. The spread of food was excellent and the service so welcoming. We were surprised by a few rain drops which subsided very quickly. I felt completely blissed out and knew that we had chosen well.


We cycled, swam, enjoyed yoga and wood carving classes, slept and slept some more and skinny dipped in the privacy of our own pool at night. What an awesome time!

We enjoyed an excursion to Moyenne Island, bought in 1962 by Brendan Grimshaw, the Englishman and modern-day Robinson Crusoe. He turned the island into a natural haven, protecting the giant tortoises, planting pawpaw trees and relocating birds to the island.

Sure Travel Tip: Ensure that you take your best mosquito repellent with you on this excursion!



SURE TRAVEL RECOMMENDATION

Sainte Anne island is a favourite nesting ground for turtles. Time your stay with the turtle hatching that takes place from September to November. Just imagine witnessing baby turtles make their way towards the ocean for the very first time!
The resort is committed to preserving this fragile ecosystem. The hotel’s initiatives, in conjunction with Sainte Anne marine park authorities, include clear marking of the turtle nests, switching off the beach lights to avoid disturbing nesting and hatching and informing clients what to do around the turtles. Read more about this here

We visited Mahé and enjoyed great seafood at The Boardwalk Bar, Eden Island. Eden Island is a beautiful development with hotels, restaurants and a residential area.  Many South Africans own holiday homes here.

Our favourite dining experience though, was definitely the Le Robinson restaurant at Sainte Anne. It boasts a beautiful romantic setting right on the beach. We enjoyed many lunches and dinners here sampling the novel hot rock cooking, seafood, freshly baked bread and great French cuisine.





Our experience at Sainte Anne was truly amazing and delivered exactly what we needed. A complete recharge! I will definitely visit again and would highly recommend you consider Sainte Anne in the Seychelles for your next holiday. Whether you want to recharge like I did, or if you’re looking for something a bit more energetic (such as diving, sailing, hiking, etc.), Seychelles is the perfect paradise to do it.


WHAT TO PACK FOR THE SEYCHELLES

CLOTHES
Linen outfits, casual and smart casual and a wrap for the cooler evenings.

GENERAL:
Make a copy of your prescription for chronic or any other prescription medication
Motion illness medicine
Wet wipes and waterless hand sanitizer
Airmune effervescent for your plane ride
Bactroban nasal ointment
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream
A DEET-based Mosquito repellent

Book your holiday at Sainte Anne here or browse all Seychelles packages.

Have you visited the Seychelles or Sainte Anne island? Comment below – we’d love to hear your story!

SURE TRAVEL BLOG CONTRIBUTOR
I was born with itchy feet. Since I was a child, I dreamed of travelling to Scotland and meeting my relatives there. I have since travelled extensively. I absolutely love train journeys and travel this way wherever possible. When a recharge is needed, I choose an island holiday. Some of my favourite places are the Seychelles, Montevideo in Uruguay, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Tioman Island in Malaysia, Paternoster and Struisbaai in South Africa. On my bucket list is walking the Camino in Spain and travelling France by camper van.