Friday, September 19, 2014

Charlotte’s tour companies are diverse, abundant and visit every continent

African lion rests in the sun of South Africa  (Photo: John Lasater)
CHARLOTTE, September 19, 2014 – If you love to travel, Charlotte has an abundance of top notch tour operators that can take to places beyond your wildest imagination.

Once you have conquered the traditional destinations of Rome, Paris and London, Charlotte’s travel experts are ready to elevate your expertise to new levels of traveling experience which include every continent on the planet.

Nada Vergili among Italian sunflowers  (Photo: Nada's Italy)
Nada Vergili returned to the United States from her native home in Florence, Italy after living several years in Florida as a child. Today, Vergili’s tour company Nada’sItaly recently celebrated its tenth anniversary featuring more than 30 Italian tours each year.

Nada’s approach to travel is the same as her business slogan, “Tours for people who don’t go on tours.“
Using her personal knowledge of the birthplace of the Renaissance, Nada limits her groups to a maximum of 12 participants with an emphasis on opening a window to the traditions and lifestyles of the Italian people.

The Duomo of Florence  (Photo: Nada's Italy)
Vergili’s infectious personality combined with her genuine love of her homeland brings Italy alive in ways that are uniquely personal and unlike any visit you have ever encountered in Europe’s sunniest destination.

Many travel experts believe that when the merger between US Airways and American Airlines is complete Charlotte’s airfares will skyrocket. Perhaps, but one benefit of the union will be added international access, especially to South and Central America.

Enter Raffaele Beltram of Beltram Travel. Raffaele has been sending visitors to our neighboring southern continent for decades, and he is knowledgeable about all things South America including Antarctica.

Guess who's coming to dinner  (Photo: Facundo Santan/Antarpply Expeditions)
The silver haired, white mustachioed tour operator loves to talk about the heritage and traditions of Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and other latin lands. In addition, he offers expeditions to explore the wildlife and vegetation of the world’s last frontier in Antarctica with cruises sailing from Ushuaia, Chile.

A whale of a tale  (Photo: Antarpply Expeditions)
Though Beltram’s expertise is South America, he also occasionally offers tours to Europe including his current program to visit the Christmas Markets of Prague in December of this year.

With Europe, South America and Antarctica covered, why not visit Asia? Francis Tsai ( is a veteran of the hospitality industry with nearly 5 decades of experience.
Breathtaking Hanging Temple Monastery
Tsai is a native of China with personal travel credentials and skills to offer tours to Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.

Tsai’s destination list includes some of the most exotic spots in the world. In addition, enough time has elapsed since the war in Vietnam that many veterans of that era now have a desire to return much like D-Day veterans go back to the beaches of Normandy.

The Great Wall
During the early years of his travel career, Tsai worked with Pan American Airlines, Eastern Airlines, Lufthansa, Carnival Cruise Lines and the Hong Kong Tourist Association among others which give him a broad, diverse background in the tourism business.

Turkey is the only country in the world situated on two continents and Istanbul is the only city with “dual continent“ status.

Sam Crane of Crane Travel Tours worked in NATO headquarters in Izmir, Turkey as Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. He is fluent in the Turkish language and, thanks to his years of working in the Adriatic region of the world, Sam has compiled a encyclopedic knowledge of Turkey and environs.
Crane’s tour company has been active for nearly 20 years with specialized tours to one of the best kept secrets in the tourism business.
Istanbul's Hagia Sophia  (Photo: Crane Travel Tours)
Crane’s tours emphasize Turkey’s historical heritage as ancient Asia Minor which was “the cradle of Western civilization.“

Magnificent Cappadocia  (Photo: Crane Travel Tours)
From the covered bazaar and mosques of Istanbul to the Greek ruins of the Mediteranean and beyond, Crane Travel Tours takes you into the past through the crossroads of Western culture.

Africa completes Charlotte’s list of continental knowledge and Safaris by John Lasater is all you need to know. 

When it comes to photo safaris, John Lasater is one of the best. Over the past quarter century Lasater has visited the “dark continent” nearly 60 times.

Rare sighting of a leopard in a tree  (Photo: John Lasater)
For more than 13 years Lasater has been personally customizing tours to Africa. Best of all, Lasater’s prices are frequently comparable to what most people pay for a trip to Europe. Many tours, which include accommodations, game viewing, tours, guides, meals and air, can be done for less than $5,000.

Jumbo out for an afternoon stroll  (Photo: John Lasater)
As a consultant for South African Airways for more than a decade, Lasater developed a passion for Africa that carries over to the detailed personalized attention he incorporates in each of his itineraries. Our tours are “customized to your requirements,” he says while adding the caveat, “If you come back unhappy it’s your own fault.”

And there you have it. Five tour operators and six continents all available through local Charlotte experts who have seen the world and will gladly share it with you.