Monograms

Now your vacation can be exactly what you want it to be, fun!—without all the planning
and logistics hassles. With Monograms, they handle all the details, so you can feel comfortable
and confident in your destination—even if it's your first time there.

You Choose Where You Want To Go

Spend a week in the city of your choice for an in-depth discovery—or just 3 nights for a relaxing mini-break. With Monograms, it's easy to combine multiple destinations, like Paris and London, or to explore North and South America. From the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Great Wall of China to the wonders of Italy and the magic of Russia, with Monograms, the world is waiting.

History

Where & How It All Began

It all began more than 80 years ago when a young man purchased a rowboat to transport visitors across Lake Lugano, Switzerland. Who would have thought that this single rowboat would launch one of the world's leading travel companies?

Today, the Globus family of brands is a global company reaching every corner of the world, yet remains family-owned and steeped in the values Antonio had when he set out across Lake Lugano—to enlighten travelers by showing them the very best of the destinations we know so well.

The Globus story takes us back to 1928 in Lugano, Switzerland. Mongram's founder, Antonio Mantegazza, had been fascinated with travel and the wonder he saw in the eyes of travelers to his home country. To pursue this interest, Antonio bought a rowboat (on credit) and began transporting visitors to the area across Lake Lugano, sharing stories of the local sights and stories along the way. This small enterprise grew quickly, motivating a young Antonio to purchase more rowboats, convincing his friends to join him as he expanded this budding business.

Rowboats grew to motorboats, then moved to land with a taxi service. Every good story has an element of luck, and their story is no exception. Antonio's good fortune came in the form of a local sweepstakes, from which Antonio won the rights to operate a popular local route for the Swiss national postal and transportation service. To service this route, Antonio purchased his first motorcoach--the beginning of motorcoach touring as we know it today. Now in his 30's, Antonio was at the helm of a full-fledged travel business—a company he named Globus Viaggi.

Through the 1930's, this company grew to a fleet of 12 coaches, operating local tours for European tourists in Switzerland. Business remained strong, and after a hiatus during World War II, Antonio acquired two other competing coach companies and grew his fleet to 33 coaches (his nearest competitor had just five!).

Over the years, Antonio's business dealings introduced him to another young man who shared his ideals and passion for travel—Werner Albek. Antonio and Werner partnered to operate popular excursions to St. Moritz, Milan, Venice, Rome, etc. Only later did Werner and Antonio discover that Werner's fiancé, Eurosia, was the daughter of Antonio's sister, Agnese. This family connection formed the foundation of the company for the decades to come.

As business grew through the 1950's, so did the company's scope. The Globus portfolio had expanded from Switzerland and Italy to the French Riviera, Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium and England. Innovation was a key ingredient in this success. Early in the decade, Globus developed the first "circular tours," designed as a more complete travel experience and enhancing the convenience of motorcoach touring. Antonio and Werner also pioneered the concept of Grand European Touring by offering first-class European tours, which became the cornerstone of the company's entry into the U.S. market in the late 50's.

Now with his son Sergio by his side, Antonio and the company continued its rapid growth. In the 60's, the company launched its Cosmos arm, which featured affordable, value-priced European touring for the cost-conscious traveler. These coach tours were so successful that Cosmos soon introduced another form of travel: air holiday packages to the sunny destinations of southern Europe. Then in the 80's, Globus truly became worldwide, selling in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Destinations expanded, too, adding Africa, the South Pacific and Asia to its array of vacations in Europe, North America and South America.

The spirit of innovation continues today. In 2003, both Avalon Waterways and Monograms were introduced, adding river cruising and independent travel to the expansive product offering. Today, the Globus family of brands is marketed and operated by a network of more than 32 offices around the world, serviced by a group of more than 5,000 professionals. Combined, Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways carry over 500,000 passengers a year, making the organization the leading operator of guided vacations worldwide.

At the core of the company are Antonio's ideals of passion, hard work, innovation and love for travel. These values are the cornerstone on which Monograms was built and will continue to grow for generations to come.

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Included Meals

Vacations to Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Africa include breakfast. Breakfast is a buffet (B) and is listed on each itinerary page. In North America breakfast is not included. Your Local Host® can assist in recommending local favorites or you can simply explore on your own!

Dining in Style

In general, lunches and dinners are not included in your Monograms vacation. Your Local Host® will have a number of suggestions for dining—after all, one of the best ways to learn about other cultures is to eat like the locals do!

On some travel days in remote regions, on cruises, and at some resorts lunches and dinners are included. Please check the included section on the vacation page for a list.

Unlike an airline, Monograms cannot process requests for special meals. While some hotels and restaurants may be able to provide for a special diet, such as vegetarian or salt-free food, there is no way for them to guarantee this. Special food usually costs extra.

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Included Sightseeing

You personalize your experience

Monograms knows that your vacation is just that—your vacation. With that in mind, they help you truly personalize your getaway. With an outstanding collection of activities and excursions in each destination, Monograms gives you more choices, and that means your vacation will be exactly what you want it to be!

Most Monograms vacations include sightseeing and orientation in each city, so you don't miss the must-see sights. Monograms lets you personalize your vacation by adding your own set of activities and excursions throughout your vacation! How about an encounter with the world's greatest collection of Italian art at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or an adventurous climb to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge? Or you may choose to immerse yourself in the local culture by attending a Navajo cookout in Monument Valley, enjoying a traditional folklore show in Budapest, or exploring the floating market at Damnoen Saduak near Bangkok. Whatever your interest, with Monograms you choose how to make the most of your time.

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Choice of Hotels

You Choose Your Hotels

Monograms knows that accommodations are of paramount importance to your vacation enjoyment. Monograms offers an impressive selection of hotels that are known for great location, amenities, and services. They have mastered the art of balancing the need for efficiency with the desire of each traveler to receive individual attention.

On Monograms vacations, they offer you a choice of hotel accommodations to fit your style and budget. The specific hotel options are listed separately on each vacation page. Some vacations may only feature an included hotel.

Hotel Amenities & Services

To help you make decisions about your hotels, the rating system ranks the service, amenities, and décor of each hotel. Because the world offers such a variety of choices among hotels with a wide range of quality, amenities and services, Monograms also uses half increments to augment the precision of their scale. This helps give more clarity to overall ratings, so you can choose the perfect hotel for your vacation. The number of buttons for each property indicates the ranking according to the following system:

Accommodations that are among the finest at your destination, featuring a high level of personal service, exceptional grounds and facilities, upscale décor, and rooms with high-quality amenities.

Superior properties that feature a high level of service, stylish décor in public spaces and rooms, upscale amenities and grounds, and a true emphasis on comfort.

Full-service hotels that offer upgraded furnishings and décor as well as good, dependable amenities and services. All include at least one bar, a restaurant serving meals throughout the day, in-room dining, and many feature a fitness center.

Mid-range properties that offer a simple level of comfort and service, affordable rooms, and basic décor with a few added amenities. Most have a restaurant that serves continental or full breakfast and sometimes additional meals.

Budget-minded properties that fulfill the basic needs of comfort and typically offer limited services and amenities. Most do not have an onsite restaurant but are usually within walking distance of dining options.

Extra Nights Before or After Your Vacation

If you require extra nights at the first and/or last vacation hotel, Monograms will make reservations for you at the rates quoted, provided you request them at the time you book your vacation. Rates are per person, per night, and include room with private bath, breakfast (excluding North America), service charges, and taxes.

Extra nights are only available immediately prior to or after your trip. Every effort will be made to reserve extra nights at the hotel where your trip stays. If space at the trip hotel is not available, alternative accommodation will be reserved at a hotel of equivalent standard. When this is the case, the transfer from and to the trip hotel is at our expense.

As hotel space is limited, Monograms cannot reserve more than two extra nights before and/or after your vacation, unless they are needed to bridge the gap between two Monograms trips. During particularly busy periods, hotel space in certain cities can become so tight that Monograms may be unable to sell extra nights.

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Local Host

Make the most of your vacation

On a Monograms independent vacation, they'll help you feel right at home in your destination—even if it's your first time visiting there! Before you leave, you'll receive a Trip Planner complete with key information. Then, once you arrive at your destination, friendly, professional Local Hosts® are on hand to provide you with a Destination Guide, to offer hints and recommendations to help you get the lay of the land, and to ensure you have what you need to make the most of your time.

Local Host®

What's the best way to get around town? What are the local specialties and dining possibilities? What's the best time to visit the museum? Your Monograms Local Host® can tell you. Count on your Local Host® to give you a warm welcome, to share local insights and suggestions for getting off the beaten path, and to answer your vacation questions as they pop up.

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Getting Around

They'll Get You Around & Make Traveling Easy

You've spent three wonderful days in city "A" but now you need to get to city "B." You get a train schedule from the front desk and try to figure out the best time to travel. Where is the train station anyway? And you'll need transportation to get you to your transportation. What if you're in Asia? You'll need a flight to get from Tokyo to Beijing. All of this sounds extremely time consuming with much room for error. But not with Monograms. When you buy a Monograms package, all intra-city transportation is included in your package price, not only for a great value but for a lot less hassle while you are on vacation. All aboard!!

Types of Transportation

Depending on where you are going, you could be traveling on many modes of transportation. Here's a list of types of transportation used by Monograms:

Trains & Rail

For example, in Europe you could travel from London to Paris on the high-speed Eurostar train, in Western Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer, or in Alaska on the Alaska Railroad.

RedLeaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer provides spacious, fully reclining seats, picture windows, and delicious meals served at your seat. An upgrade to GoldLeaf Dome Service features extra attendants, an elegant dome car, and gourmet meals in a separate dining car.

The Alaska Railroad is the perfect way to see the state's spectacular scenery. Adventure Class provides spacious seats and picture windows, while an upgrade to GoldStar Service features a confirmed seat in the upper-level dome car, complimentary nonalcoholic beverages served at your seat, priority check-in and boarding, a private outdoor viewing deck, and priority seating in the lower-level dining room.

Ships

There are vacations where you'll travel by ship, including the Aria on the northern Amazon River in Peru, the Santa Cruz in the Galápagos Islands or on the Reef Endeavour in Fiji, as well as many others.

  • Aria
  • Santa Cruz
  • Galápagos Explorer II
  • Iberostar Grand Amazon
  • Stella Australis
  • Reef Endeavour

Intra-Vacation Flights

There will be times where the only way or the fastest way to get to your next destination will be to fly. For example, Monograms will arrange your flight from Hong Kong to Beijing or from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires. Monograms offers many vacations where flying from one city to another is the best mode of transportation.

Rental Cars

Renting a car is one of the best ways to explore the beauty and diversity of North America and New Zealand. When you book a Driving Vacation, you're in control of your vacation. View a list of Hertz (North America) and Avis (New Zealand) vehicles to help you find the perfect-sized car for your needs.

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