When Capetonians must leave the Mother City, there are an diverse group of travel agencies to serve them:
"T" is for TOURS DU CAP, which offers private guided tours of Cape Town and the Western Cape, in French or English, with experienced guides in the comfort of air-conditioned vehicles.
"C" is for: CLUB TRAVEL
Established in 1987, Club Travel("Club") has been voted "Africa's Leading Travel Agency " from 2007-2010. They offer 20 different Cruises whose destinations are as diverse as Antarctica to the south and Norway to the north. Many are out of the Mother City to destinations in Southern Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean. The Agency offers hundreds of Adventure packages via their link with Kumuka to 5 different continents varying in length (from 5 to 50+ days), mode of transport and accommodation. However, "Club" only offers the Honeymoon couple a choice of 4 packages all on Thai islands. In the category of Sport there are 5 different Grand Prix races, 6 different snow skiing packages in Austria and Italy, following the golf at the Ryder Cup competition in Wales or the Deutch Bank Cycle Tour on the island of Mauritius. Most of Club Travel's 33 Coach packages are bound for Europe, some to the U.K., and a couple to U.S.A., Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and the Grecian Isles.
"E" is for: ENCOUNTERS TRAVEL
Encounters Travel is registered in the United Kingdom, but has branches in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Its South African contact details are 0765-958-677 (ph). They specialise in group travel with no more than 18 passengers per departure. They offer tours to Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Egypt, India, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, the Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Peru, Russia, SA, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, the UK, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Their destination guides are selected based on their depth of local knowledge and are a contributor to the cultural experience they promise on these tours. If you use Encounter Travel frequently, then have a look at their loyalty discounts.
"H" is for: HARVEY WORLD TRAVEL
This Agency's 500 shops are located exclusively in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Founded in Australia in 1951, Harvey World Travel("Harvey") is one of the oldest travel agencies in the Southern Hemisphere.
Although Flight Centre appears to boast the greatest variety of cruises in the sub-category of 2 to 100+ days, Harvey World Travel seems to specialize in Cruises in the sub-category of less than 1 day. Most of their 250 packages range from only 60 minutes to 4 hours, i.e. a 1-hour champagne lunch on a yacht in San Francisco Bay, a 2-hour Lakaina Sunset Grill Dinner Cruise in Maui, Hawaii, or a 4-hour Bateaux Parisiens Dinner Cruise on the Seine River in Paris, France. These are cruises one could enjoy for an afternoon or an evening when visiting a particular city. Similarly, Harvey presents the prospective traveller with 250 different Adventure packages in the sub-category of less than 1 day i.e. going on a dolphin ride for 30 minutes in the Grand Caymens, riding in a submarine for 2 hours in Oahu, Hawaii, sandboarding for 4 hours in the Arabian Desert, or hiking for 8 hours through the Mindo RainForest while in Quito, Ecuador. Again, the majority of this Agency's adventure packages are designed to be enjoyed during an afternoon or at most a full day anywhere in the world that you may be visiting. Equally unique, Harvey presents the potential client with 17 different Honeymoon activities whether it is flying a plane over you and your beloved with "I love you,...." on the under side of the wing during your stay in Paris, France, getting married in the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada or sailing into the sunset out of Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. They have a variety of Sport packages with 21 packages that cover water, jet or snow skiing in addition to following the Grand Prix or the Ryder Cup. Harvey World Travel is the king of half day/full day Coach tours with 250 packages to send you almost anywhere in the world. Packages vary from 1 hour to 7 days; the overwhelming majority are 1/2 or full day tours. This Agency scores again in the Family category with the greatest variety of 250 packages i.e. exploring Legoland Discovery Center in Chicago, having a Family Pirate Cruise with barbecue lunch in Sydney Harbour or enjoying a Delhi Cultural Night with a family dinner included.
"P" is for: PENTRAVEL
Founded in 1983,Pentravel("Pen") partnered briefly in 1995 with Flight Centre. Then in 1999, Pentravel became part of the Cullinan group (that also holds Thompson Tours) whose majority shareholder, Travel Corporation, operates the major coach touring companies: Trafalgar, Insight and Contiki. Pentravel's 24 shops ( as of 2007) are located in the malls of most of South Africa's major cities.
Several Cruises (76) are on offer from 3 days ("from Cape Town to Nowhere") for R2400 to 35 days (from Cape Town to Singapore) for R68,330. Most are to Europe, some to Greece. Pentravel can book you on a cruise down the major rivers of the world, around islands in the major seas or across the oceans between continents. Pen offers a variety of Adventure packages ranging from: an eco-adventure in Costa Rica, camping in Europe, going on safari in Tanzania or treking throughout New Zeland. Over 20 Honeymoon packages are available from 3-11 days; most destinations are to Mauritius(10) with another couple each to: Zanzibar, Maldives, Seychelles, Phuket, Penang and 1 to Limpopo. In the category of Sport, "Pen" gives you the option to follow the Sprinbok on their U.K. tour to Ireland and Wales as well as 15 different opportunities to ski in Europe. Although most of their 79 Coach packages will send you to Europe or the U.K., there are tours to destinations that cover 6 continents that include: going down the Yangtzee River in China, taking the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Beijing, big game spotting in Kruger national Park in South Africa or exploring the Amazon River in search of the Inca civilization in South America. Although it appears that this Agency has 100's of Family packages available, a random selection of destination and holiday type does not produce any information that would relate to "family"( except for Disney products).
"R " is for: HRG RENNIES TRAVEL
Since 1954, HRG Rennies Travel (or "Rennies") has served the exclusive needs of the corporate traveller. Today, "Rennies" is 100% owned by the BidVest Group here in South Africa and has a global partner in the Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) based in London. "Rennies" and HRG produce a worldwide network that combines "local expertise with specialist knowledge to tailor-make solutions to corporate travel clients". Represented in 28 countries in Africa, they are strategically positioned to serve the needs of corporate travelers to and from Africa. No stranger to awards, this Agency was again nominated in the categories of Africa's and South Africa's Leading Travel Management Company for 2010 at the 17th World Travel Awards. Even though "Rennies"does specialize in corporate travel management, there is one window, "Leisure", which offers 30 different tours- 13 to Europe(most to attend the Passion Play in Germany) 7 to Thailand and 10 to destinations in Africa. (renniestravel.com)
"S" is for: SURE TRAVEL
Sure Travel ("Sure") has been serving the travel needs of leisure and corporate clients since 1979. Today, "Sure" is Southern Africa's largest independent single travel agency brand with 134 agencies (all independently managed businesses)-which makes Sure Travel, "the largest agency network of any travel agency brand in Southern Africa". Sure Corporate is "Southern Africa's single largest travel agency brand with 21 travel management companies throughout South Africa". This Agency offers 40 Cruises whether it is on rivers in Ireland,Scotland or Russia, or on a motorized sailboat around the Adriatic Sea out of Dubrovnik,as well as your classic Mediterranean, Caribbean, South Pacific cruises. Romantic getaways offered include boating in France; cruising the Western Caribbean or beaching on: Bali, Mauritius, Phuket. The potential client is sure to find a romantic getaway that will match his budget and her dreams. "Sure" advertises 15 different Coach packages through Insight and Trafalgar mostly to Europe from 6-14 days as well as a couple to U.K., U.S.A. and 1 to Turkey.
"T" is for: THOMPSONS HOLIDAYS
In 1978, Anton Thompson established Thompsons Tours which became the largest wholesaler in South Africa. Since then, the wholesaler developed a corporate and a leisure branch to sell directly to the public. In 2008, the name was changed to Thompsons Holidays ("Thompsons").
The Agency wants their customers to"Dream the destination...Live the journey". "Thompsons" has 100's of Cruises to just about anywhere in the world from 3-107 days. "Thompsons" has Sport packages to allow the enthusiast to follow all the Grand Prix races, attend 8 different soccer games in the U.K. (including the F.A. Cup) be part of the gallery at the Ryder Cup in Wales, or watch the world's best tennis players at Wimbledon. Family packages include packages to Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Paris,France.