Roger Kershaw Custom Travel Design Inc.
The Confidante Your Source for What's New in Luxury Travel
Fall 2016

Team Kershaw is fresh off our annual "Reunion Cruise Group" - this year with 69 friends, clients and family from Venice to Rome on Azamara's newly "Reimagined" Azamara Journey, and what a wonderful experience it was. If you would like to join us next year, see the Featured Destination story (and call me before October 31 to save CAD2000 per stateroom)! Bordeaux, here we come!

Meanwhile, we are preparing for our annual International Luxury Travel Mart (ILTM) meetings in Cannes, France, in December. This will be the first time for Ian, who is rapidly becoming an integral and well-known member of the team. Imagine my meeting a supplier for the first time and they ask if I'm any relation to Ian Kershaw!

This also marks the end of our fiscal year, another record breaker, due entirely to your support and referrals. I can't thank you enough for your continued faith in me. Business is great, but I'm never too busy for you - just let me know when you are ready for another travel adventure and then...

Consider it done!

Roger Kershaw, ASA
Roger Kershaw Custom Travel Inc.

in this issue
  • Featured Destination
  • My fee, re-defined
  • TripScope
  • CIBT Visa Concierge Services
  • Long airport layover? Time to explore a new city!
  • Important Changes for dual citizens entering Canada
  • Don't throw out your old passport!
  • Now even more hotels with amenities for my clients
  • Yellow Fever: More Prevalent Than Zika
  • Is it safe to travel to Morocco?

  • My fee, re-defined

    After 15 years without a change, I am re-defining my fee schedule. Not a change in cost (it was and remains $150 per person per ticket), just a change in definition. As more of my clients begin to rely on private jet, and with some confusion as to what a "ticket" is, my revised fee statement is somewhat clearer:

    My core service fee is $150 per person per trip, all destinations. Includes airline tickets and frequent flyer redemptions; hotel and cruise reservations; dining, spa, theatre, airport transfers and tour arrangements; and planning.  Exchanges and Refunds at additional cost. Custom-designed Family Reunions, Special Events and individual booking and concierge services, $70 per hour.

    This also re-emphasizes my policy of booking entire trips, rather than piecemeal. There is no fee advantage to booking your own air or hotel or transfer or dining reservations if I can do it for you, and when I do that you are assured a more seamless experience and complete documentation.


    I have recently subscribed to itinerary production services offered by TripScope to produce a more readable and enjoyable itinerary version than the current TripCase. And naturally, that leads to some confusion. Let me explain:

    TripCase is automatically generated from your Sabre-based itinerary (Sabre is the major booking system used by travel agents around the world to book flights, hotels, etc.). TripCase is updated automatically when there are changes to your flights, including departure gates and even luggage carousels upon arrival. It is also the repository of all your invoices and e-ticket receipts (click on the Your Documents link). You can read it as a PDF email attachment or on a TripCase app. The app version does not display "Other" entries - that is, transfers, dining reservations, etc. - these only appear on your emailed PDF.

    TripScope is prepared manually by a team of real people who review the Sabre itinerary and any other notes we send them to detail your trip in a more readable, complete format, with illustrations and often extra descriptions of restaurants or room categories and informative City Guides for example. It is also available as a PDF and as an interactive TripScope app for your smartphone. The more you use the app the more features you will discover.

    However, TripScope it is not "live": any last minute flight delays or changes will not be reflected. For that, you will need to rely on your TripCase updates.

    I don't automatically order a TripScope itinerary for every trip, but am delighted to do so if you wish. I hope that TripScope can enhance your enjoyment of your travels. Please let me know what you think of the service.

    CIBT Visa Concierge Services

    Bewildered by, or too busy to complete, foreign visa applications? That's when we call in the big guns from CIBT Visa Services. Their exclusive White Glove service offers full concierge-level attention: I send them your itinerary and vitals, and they take it from there, jumping through all the hoops and completing all the forms with a minimum of disruption and interaction with you. Just let me know if you need their assistance and "consider it done!"

    CIBT also handles "document legalization services" for those rare times when a notarized or other official processed document is necessary for your travels.

    You may also investigate the visa process independently to see just what's required. Using my account number will keep me in the loop and allow me to forward itinerary and other information to CIBT on your behalf.

    Canadian nationals, click here and use my account 65457.

    American nationals, click here and reference my US account 65502.

    Long airport layover? Time to explore a new city!

    Long airport layovers are usually associated with expensive Wi-Fi, reheated sandwiches, and people crowded onto uncomfortable metal chairs. But these eight airports have turned that whole idea on its head, offering travelers the most of their time between flights.

    Taipei - Twice a day tours offer visits to some of Taiwan's most famous sites, including the gorgeous Zushih Temple the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall and Taipei 101, the country's tallest building.

    Singapore - If the butterfly gardens within the terminal are not enough, there are the City Sights tour hitting all the downtown highlights like the Merlion and Gardens By the Bay, and the Heritage Tour of cool neighborhoods like Little India and Kampong Glam.

    Salt Lake City - Anyone with a more than two-hour layover can get a free tour of the Temple Square area of downtown SLC courtesy the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    Istanbul - If you have more than six hours between flights there, you can sign up for the free "touristanbul" program, for a brief tour of the city and some of its most iconic landmarks, including Hippodrome Square, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace.

    Tokyo (Narita) - The offerings are divided into two basic groups: sightseeing with a guide on a cultural tour, you can explore the towns of Tako or Shibayama, go on a forest walk, or visit the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences; and shopping at one of two malls that are accessible from the airport via train.

    Seoul - Travelers can spend from one to five hours on either a temple- or city-focused tour with English-speaking guides, all provided gratis. And there's an insider tour of the airport itself.

    Amsterdam - If you're flying KLM and have a layover of six hours or more, you can sign up for the airline's "layover with a local" program and KLM will pair you up with an English-speaking local with similar likes, give you free bus tickets into town and back to the airport, and pay for the first round of drinks when you meet your new pal at a bar in central Amsterdam.

    Doha - Flying Qatar Airways with at least six hours to spare between flights, the national airline has free tours of Doha, which hit major attractions like the Zaha Hadid-designed Museum of Islamic Art, the Souk Watif, and the Katara Cultural Village. The tours come with a complimentary visa, meaning that getting back into the airport won't be a hassle later.

    Important Changes for dual citizens entering Canada

    Canadian citizens with dual citizenships will soon be allowed to fly into the country only if they have a Canadian passport. If you are a dual citizen, travelling on a passport other than Canadian, even if Canada is your primary residence, you may be denied re-entry unless you have a Canadian passport. This change came into effect on September 30. Previously, Canadian citizens with dual citizenships could use the passport of the other country to enter Canada by air if they could provide proof of residency in Canada, such as a driver's licence and Canadian citizenship card.

    Don't throw out your old passport!

    While on the subject of passports, please note that the Consulate of China requires visa applicants whose passports have been issued from January 2014 onward to provide their original previous passport along with their current valid passport. If the previous passport is not available, the traveler must submit a letter to the consulate explaining why they are unable to provide the document. Travelers who cannot submit their previous document may experience processing delays.

    This may not be restricted to China - so save your old passport!

    Now even more hotels with amenities for my clients

    There are nearly 2000 luxury hotels in the Virtuoso family, allowing me to offer my clients the exclusive Virtuoso amenities (complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, priority check in and out, spa credits and more). However, there are still many fine hotels within the major luxury chains who are not Virtuoso partners. Working with these chains, and based on my and my agency's volume, we have successfully negotiated similar amenities with Four Seasons, Belmond, Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Rocco Forte, Peninsula and several others - and now most recently with the 101 properties of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts' Legend and LVC Collections!

    Your hotel booking through me guarantees you the most generous amenity extras - even, on occasion, a value exceeding the room rate for one-night stays!

    Yellow Fever: More Prevalent Than Zika

    While all the attention lately seems to be on Zika virus, it is important to remember that Yellow Fever, also transmitted by mosquitos, is far more dangerous and prevalent than Zika.

    Preventative measures are exactly the same: don't get bitten! Use insect repellent; wear long sleeves, long pants and socks sprayed with repellent; and stay inside in air-conditioned accommodations during peak biting times. Vaccine is available for yellow fever and is required in some countries.

    More information:

    Is it safe to travel to Morocco?

    The labels accorded by the media to the kind of global terrorism that the world is currently facing have had a misleading effect, whereby certain nations that are as safe, if not safer, than the West, and that enjoy a social stability that would be judged as enviable even to Western standards, have been unjustly labeled as dangerous to various degrees in the minds of some travelers, without any objective reason for it, just on the grounds of their religion or cultural background.

    Last November, Morocco was described by the British Foreign Office as 'one of the safest countries in the world to travel to.' Very recently France's Foreign Affairs Ministry spoke in the same sense, adding that, in any case, Morocco was currently 'the only safe North African country to visit.' Morocco has been, indeed, the only country in the Middle East/North Africa region to avoid coming under a terrorist attack last year. The current level of alert for Morocco is lower than that accorded to countries such as Spain, France, or the UK. Not equal, not higher: lower.

    In Morocco, gun crime is unheard of. The mere possession of a gun carries an automatic sentence of 25 years in jail. Put it this way: the number of casualties by mass shooting in Morocco over the last several years is ZERO. Compare this to the shooting incidents that plague us with regularity, for instance. Statistically, Morocco is much safer than any Western big city.

    Featured Destination

    Bordeaux and the Loire Valley

    France is the ultimate destination for food and wine lovers. Taste the bold red wines of Bordeaux; the foie gras, cheese and decadent artisan offerings of the Dordogne Valley; and the reds, whites and rosés of the Loire Valley's château country. In the Loire Valley and Bordeaux region of France, you will delight in exquisite landscapes while sampling some of the world's finest wines. The châteaux are legendary, the landscape is spectacular, and the wine is beyond comparison.

    Jim and I are hosting our 11th Almost-annual Reunion Cruise in October 2017 in the Loire Valley / Bordeaux region of France with luxury river cruise line, Amawaterways, and there is still room for you to join us! The best news: Amawaterways has extended their CAD 1000 per person discount to October 31, 2016. Compare this, a CAD 2000 per stateroom offer for my clients, to the current USD 500 per stateroom offer on their website for other clients and you'll see why this is such an extraordinary offer! Add a USD50 on board credit as a personal gift, and a further CAD100 per person discount if you've ever sailed Amawaterways before, and the fact that all shore excursions are included at no extra cost, and it's an unbeatable value.

    Join us for a few days in Paris, and then on October 26, 2017, we will transfer to Bordeaux, the capital of Aquitaine in Southwestern France and one of the world's undisputed wine capitals. Here we'll discover stately chateaux, abundant vineyards and stunning scenery as we sail along the Garonne River and its surrounding estuaries, aboard the luxury riverboat, Amawaterways AmaDolce, calling upon port cities like Cadillac, Bourg and Libourne. Enjoy tastings of some of the region's most distinguished wines and visit notable sights for seven wonderful days and nights. Then linger longer for another two nights in the Loire Valley, before transferring to your Paris Airport hotel.

    Full details here (Did we mention there will be wine?)

    Rupert's Report

    No one, man or dog, loves travel more than I do. And I'm happy to bark out the latest news to make that easier for our moms and dads.

    This issue, let's look at Why Your Pet Needs a Passport

    For travelers, few things are as valuable as a passport: they can get you across borders and onto ships, planes, and trains, and also serve as a tangible record of the places you've been. It makes sense, then, that there are similar documents for us animals. Taking your dog or (really now?) cat, pig, or turkey abroad sometime soon? Here's what you need to know.

    Well before you leave home, contact the embassy of your destination country about its requirements for importing animals. After determining how your pet will fly, contact the airline for their specific regulations, too, as there may be cases where a country does not require particular certification, but an airline does.

    The Canadian International Health Certificate may be used to accompany pet dogs and cats to other countries. Obtain a copy by calling your local CFIA Office. If your destination country accepts this document, have it completed by a veterinarian in Canada and endorsed by an official government veterinarian. There is a fee for this service. I'm worth it.

    You do not need a Canadian International Health Certificate if you are travelling to countries providing their own health certificates or to countries or zones that have negotiated specific veterinary health certificates with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

    For further information, please contact the CFIA Office for your province, or your local Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) office in the USA.

    DON'T FORGET ABOUT RETURN TRAVEL. Bringing me back home is a whole other bag of kibble. Prior to your travel date, check with your state or province of destination and with the airline to learn about requisite paperwork and policies.

    Read Virtuoso Life online

    The award-winning magazine published by Virtuoso for its agents and their most travelled clients is available online for everyone. You can always find a link to the latest issue from my website. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the current issue:

    How to Travel Virtuoso-Style

    Where To Eat in Puerto Rico

    Destination Wedding Planning Tips & Venue Ideas

    What I Pack: Virtuoso client Lauren Renfrow

    City Guide: Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood

    Family Adventure in Chile's Atacama Desert

    How To: Take The Best Vacation Photos

    How To: Picnic Like a Parisian

    How To: Buy Art Abroad

    How To: Pack Like A Stylist

    2016 Virtuoso Advisor & Traveler Photo Contest

    Read the complete current edition of VIRTUOSO LIFE now! In fact, check out the new Virtuoso Virtual Magazine Rack on my Website to browse all the great Virtuoso magazines! © 2016 Virtuoso, LTD.

    Referrals welcome!

    The highest compliment my clients can give is the referral of their friends, family and business associates.

    Thank you for your support.

    "Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller."

    --Ibn Battuta (1304-c.1368)

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