Issue № 38 : Early January 2021

Ideas and opportunities for group travel buyers. Brought to you by the team behind GTO magazine, the authoritative source of group travel knowledge.

Hello from all at
GTO magazine!

Darkest before the dawn?

Hello again, and a Happy New Year - but not as happy as we might have hoped, in lockdown and in a race between the virus and the vaccine rollout. We hope you all had a safe Christmas and New Year and that it was as enjoyable as possible. Surely things can only improve as the new year progresses, and we can start positively thinking about planning future trips.

Perhaps the best way of looking at things is for now to stay at home, take 'Virtual Trips' (we have some suggestions in this issue) and enjoy the first signs of colour in your back garden. Then maybe we'll be allowed some local walks as Spring arrives for those who are vaccinated and to designated lower Tier areas. And next perhaps, a small adventure into some opening up parts of Europe, or a carefully managed cruise departing from a UK port? We explore both of these possibilities in this Grapevine and we've worked with our friends at Travel Editions to give you some pointers to the kinds of tours they can provide!

Meanwhile, enjoy the little pleasures of nature close to hand. The picture above is from The Garden House Snowdrop Festival in Devon which we'll hopefully enjoy again in future years.

Travel Editions are ready to welcome you on tours again

Surely a lot of us are thinking the same thing - 'As soon as this is over, we're going to enjoy an uplifting holiday!' There's certainly no shortage of possibilities to explore with the help of specialists like Travel Editions, and we're pleased to provide an introduction to their portfolio of delights lined up for this year and onwards - with all the care they can provide to ensure your personal health and enjoyment of a holiday with confidence. Click below to discover what Travel Editions' Groups lead Ellen Walker has in store for you. All brought to life in our enhanced delightfully illustrated digital feature.


Grapevine Nuggets

Sunset extended

Leicester’s Curve 
theatre is extending the chance to remotely view its acclaimed production of Sunset Boulevard to 17th January, after streaming it online over the Christmas period. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical stars Ria Jones and Danny Mac in a gothic tale of a faded silent screen star's deadly entanglement with a younger man.

Find out more >>

Into the depths of London

Explore lost locations on the Underground with a group virtual tour of a disused Tube station provided by the Hidden London team at London Transport Museum. Expert-curator-conducted 'visits' include access to rare archives. Book by email or phone 0343 222 5000.

Read more >> 

Sign up - twitchers!

While we've been in and out of lockdowns, nature has been a great solace for many of us. Don't forget the annual Big Garden Birdwatch which is coming up from January 29th to 31st. Hundreds of thousands of people across the UK are expected to take part this year as they celebrate their love of nature and come together to count the nation’s garden birds.


Back in the dock - trial set to resume 

After a lengthy adjournment, Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution production is set to return to London's County Hall on the Southbank from 18th May. Christie's clever courtroom drama has been playing successfully for several years in the former council chamber of this historic venue.

Find out more >>

Classic car escapes

Driving tours might possibly be the safest and most socially-distanced way to travel these days - and are especially fun in a vintage motor! Classic Travelling offer holidays in such vehicles across the UK, Europe, and beyond. Their Accompanied Small Group Tours involve up to 20 cars. You can also go  independently as a smaller party.

Find out more >>

More armchair travel...

As well as the items featured here, there are further opportunities for virtual visiting far off places from the comfort of your sofa! Click below to visit our sister Great Group Trips website and see where you can explore yourself, or maybe set up a Zoom for a group to share the experience.


Tourism industry news

The UK government has launched the Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic), which will replace the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic).

UK residents can now apply for one of the Ghic cards, which will gradually replace the Ehic cards, which will be phased out as they reach their expiry dates so travellers can still use them when travelling to EU countries. Reciprocal healthcare will still continue between the UK and the EU, but now excludes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.


Viking Cruises has announced that well-known British journalist and broadcaster Anne Diamond will be the godmother of its seventh ocean ship, Viking Venus.

During 2020, Anne has also been heavily involved in the cruise line’s TV channel, Viking TV, interviewing a range of significant figures with relationships to Viking. The channel went live in March 2020 and was designed as a way to build community, stay connected and share positive experiences.


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