Official Blog of Cartan Tours Inc. From the Winter Games to the World Cup, shared stories and experiences of the Cartan Tours family. Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:04:40 +0000 en hourly 1 We Need Your Input for London in 2012 Tue, 13 Apr 2010 18:48:59 +0000 Sarah Joy Are you interested in having input into Cartan Tours Summer Games programs?   We’re putting the travel plans in your hands for 2012.

Our Los Angeles office is in the middle of building our London Travel Programs –which has us all very excited–and our planning department is having a lot of discussions of the different types of features these should have.  We know that London is already a world-wide tourist destination so we want to make sure our 2012 programs opens up new opportunities to all.

Because of our long-time relationships with Games clients, we are aware of many of our travellers’ habits and preferences.  We always appreciate some constructive criticism. For example, we received the following guidance from our Vancouver clients when asked:

What can Cartan Tours do to improve our programs?

  • Longer length of program stay in order to view more events without a lot of increase expense
  • Offer longer individual wavelengths and continue to provide the service as effectively as you do now
  • Keep price down
  • We’ll need to arrive earlier or depart later than the package.
  • We might be able to use some advice on a homestay near London (in addition to staying at your hotel during the 5 day wave).

If you are thinking about travel packages to London in 2012, we would love to hear from YOU as well - Click here to take survey on SurveyMonkey.

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Those Golden Tickets Mon, 12 Apr 2010 23:56:51 +0000 Sarah Joy The countdown to South Africa continues as the final design of the official 2010 FIFA World Cup ticket was unveiled on April 9 at a press conference in Soweto, South Africa.

According to FIFA’s website, a total of 2.2 million tickets have been sold for the tournament. Of these tickets, 925 437 have been obtained by South Africans, 118,945 by the United States of America, 67,654 by the United Kingdom, 32, 269 by Germany, 29, 657 by Australia and 16,001 by Canada.

For those anticipating tickets, Pretoria News gave a detailed overview of exactly what what you will find on each ticket:

  • Venue – The name of the stadium where the match is being played and the name of the city.
  • Match Number – indicating for which match the ticket has been bought for.
  • Match Date – indicating the date on which the match will be played.
  • Seat Category and location – this indicates the gate to be used as an entrance, the tier block, row and seat number.
  • Kick Off Time – the time the match is set down to begin.
  • Price (ZAR or USD).
  • Match Fixture – indicates which teams are playing.
  • Name of Ticket Applicant – the name of the person attending the match.
  • Colour Sector (arrow indicates the colour sector).
  • Seat Location (indicates gate/entrance/turnstile, tier block, row and seat number).
  • Barcode.
  • security hologram.
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    New Facebook Community for World Cup Family Thu, 11 Mar 2010 18:07:26 +0000 Sarah Joy In our Vancouver Feedback Surveys, many travelers asked for the opportunity to connect with Cartan Tours program managers via facebook and twitter.

    Your satisfaction is our priority – so we took this request to heart immediately for our next event.  With great excitement, we just launched our brand new facebook group dedicated to our 2010 FIFA World Cup Travelers.   While I’m the only one in the group right now – our goal is to make sure every traveler is connected to the Cartan Tours World Cup family before, during and after the event.   So if you’re a Facebook user heading to South Africa with Cartan Tours this summer, just click on the fan box below to join our community.

    Cartan Tours World Cup Family

    Promote Your Page Too

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    Dream Travel Packages for 2010 World Cup Fri, 05 Mar 2010 18:29:15 +0000 Sarah Joy With the 100 day countdown in place, we are excited to announce a brand-new travel package for the  2010 FIFA World Cup in July.

    This World Cup travel program is specifically tailored for Cartan Tours travelers looking to experience both Cape Town and Johannesburg during the semi-finals and finals.

    • We’ll spend four nights in Cape Town, then we head to Johannesburg for the remaining three nights.
    • We’re offering 3 great hotels at reduced rates: your choice of the Stellenbosch Lodge or Auberge Rozendal hotels in Cape Town – then the popular Don Sandton suites near Sandton City and the 2010 FIFA Fan Fest™.
    • Semi Final and Final World Cup seating tickets &  FIFA Accredited Match transportation are included, as Cartan Tours is a MATCH services Tour Operator.
    • Packages also include round-trip airport transfers, local concierge services, tours of Cape Town and Johannesburg, Daily Breakfast, 2010 FIFA World Cup Souvenir

    Call 1-800-584-2010 or contact us at our main website for details.  We look forward to helping you experience the best of the World Cup in South Africa.

    (Click to download the Travel Package PDF)

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    Thank You, Vancouver Wed, 03 Mar 2010 22:58:27 +0000 Sarah Joy
    When I first started working at Cartan Tours, a co-worker spoke of measuring a program’s success by the “Games Afterglow” of departing clients.

    Thankfully, the airport atmosphere was tribute to the happiness of Vancouver Games travelers.

    A record-breaking 39,000 departed a day after Vancouver’s closing ceremony.  Despite the suggested five-hour wait time, people continued the celebration all the way to the plane, enjoying athlete sightings, medalist photo ops and live musical entertainment.

    Airport spokesperson Rebecca Catley said the Vancouver Airport Authority had been planning for the day for several years.

    “We knew that the day after the closing ceremonies would be busy because we spoke to other Olympic airports,” she said. “I’m sorry we haven’t been able to oblige (the media’s expectation of chaos) but I’ve been very happy. We had a good plan, we were confident with our plan, but you never know. Everybody is in a great mood.”

    The spirit was contagious.  As the communications director for Cartan Tours, I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview a few members of the Cartan Games Family in Vancouver.

    Downtown Vancouver

    From local staff, to senior executives to first-time Games travelers, I soon realized that I was not the only one rooting for Canada this February. The universal spirt of happiness and praise for Vancouver’s organizing committee was overwhelming. We all wanted Canada’s Games to succeed, especially in light of the tragedies they faced early on. I’ll even admit to secretly rooting for their hockey team on Sunday – just because I thought the maple-leaf-covered fans that packed the streets of Granville were delightful.

    The Vancouver Sun said it best,

    “Tens of thousands of people poured into downtown streets Sunday, as they had each night of the Olympics, to celebrate and cheer not only Canada’s hockey win but merely being Canadian and part of these Games.

    There were seniors, babies in strollers, kids holding glow-sticks and middle-aged men and women waving flags tied to hockey sticks. And at the intersection of Smithe and Howe, at 9:30 p.m., there was a full-on street hockey game, complete with nets.

    Five hundred people stood and watched and cheered every goal, no matter which team scored.”

    street parties

    Hockey Fans on Granville Street

    Were these the best Games the world has ever seen? Anyone else coping from Vancouver withdrawal? Back in Los Angeles, I’m already started my countdown for London.

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    Affordable 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Travel Wed, 03 Feb 2010 21:31:10 +0000 Sarah Joy

    Officially sanctioned by FIFA, Cartan Tours is offering budget-conscious US travelers all-inclusive travel packages to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa for less than $5,000.

    ESPN Soccernet’s recent article was one of many featuring US fans priced out of a 2010 World Cup trip.  With 3-star accommodations and coordinated game day transportation, Cartan’s new “Sandton Suites Packages” are a great deal for travel budgets falling in the $4,000-5,000 range.

    “We started looking for flights, and the cheapest we can find right now is $2,800, and the transfer between Cape Town and Johannesburg is an additional $500,” Schwartz said. “We’d all budgeted $5,000 to $6,000, and we figured that would be able to get us a safari.”

    “We looked up how much it would cost us and it would be seven to 10 grand right now,” Fried added. “When we looked it up before we got the tickets it was going to be $4,000 or $5,000. I knew prices were going to jump, but I didn’t realize by how much.”

    Diana Imhoff, Cartan’s VP of Business Development recently appeared on radio talk show, World Football daily to promote the Sandton Suites prices.  (A video clip from the interview is below.)

    As Diana details in the interview, Cartan’s Sandton Suites packages range from $4,499 to $4,999, including airfare, tickets, accommodations and on-site concierge services.

    Complete package details are listed below.  Prices subject to availability.  Call 1-800-584-2010 or visit Cartan Tours main website for more information.



    . Six (6) nights accommodations at the DON SANDTON SUITES (3 STARS) from June 10 to June 16
    . Full day city tour in Johannesburg
    . Round trip airport transfers and match day transportation
    . 2010 FIFA World Cup Souvenir
    . South Africa Welcome Kit
    . Daily buffet breakfast
    . Cartan’s on-site concierge service
    . One (1) CAT-3 Ticket per person for each game below (3 TOTAL):

    06/11 – South Africa vs. Mexico
    06/12 – England vs. USA
    06/14 – Netherlands vs. Denmark


    . Five (5) nights accommodations at the DON SANDTON SUITES (3 STARS) from June 16 to June 21
    . Full day city tour in Johannesburg
    . Round trip airport transfers and match day transportation
    . 2010 FIFA World Cup Souvenir
    . South Africa Welcome Kit
    . Daily buffet breakfast
    . Cartan’s on-site concierge service
    . One (1) CAT-3 Ticket per person of your choice from games below (3 TOTAL):

    06/17 – Argentina vs. South Korea OR France vs. Mexico
    06/18 – Slovenia vs. USA
    06/20 – Slovakia vs. Paraguay OR Brazil vs. Ivory Coast

    SCENARIO 3 – DON SANDTON SUITES (3 STARS) – PRICE PER PERSON: USD $1,741 (4 people – 2 bedroom suite)

    . Five (5) nights accommodations at the DON SANDTON SUITES (3 STARS) from June 21 to June 26
    . Full day city tour in Johannesburg
    . Round trip airport transfers and match day transportation
    . 2010 FIFA World Cup Souvenir
    . South Africa Welcome Kit
    . Daily buffet breakfast
    . Cartan’s on-site concierge service
    . One (1) CAT-3 Ticket per person of your choice from the games below (3 TOTAL):

    06/22 – Mexico vs. Uruguay OR Greece vs. Argentina
    06/23 – USA vs. Algeria OR Ghana vs. Germany
    06/24 – Paraguay vs. New Zealand

    Looking for additional 2010 World Cup Travel Promotions from Cartan Tours? Click on the link to read about Cartan Tours Shumba Valley Lodge packages starting at just $1,999 (Budget Travel)

    Follow @cartan_worldcup on twitter for the latest travel updates and promotions.

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    Top Reasons to Travel with Cartan Tours to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa Tue, 26 Jan 2010 20:19:55 +0000 Sarah Joy


    Expertise is a key element to a successful trip to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and luckily we’ve had over 30 years of experience providing travel programs to international sporting events. Actions always speak louder than words, so please feel free to read some of our favorite traveler testimonials from the Beijing Olympics here or browse through the Google News archives featuring “Cartan Tours” in hundreds of travel news headlines.


    Cartan Tours qualified as a Participating Tour Operator appointed by MATCH Services to distribute Tickets and Travel Programs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the United States.  What does that mean to our travelers?  We’ve passed the rigorous selection criteria created by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tour Operator Program to implement safe and effective travel to South Africa.  Each and every one of our travel packages is authentic and FIFA-sanctioned.

    Customer Service

    From our Los Angeles offices to the South Africa stadiums, we’re ready to ensure a fun, safe trip from start to finish.  As soon as you step off of the plane, our local staff will be at your service to provide assistance with airport navigation, luggage handling, transportation, restaurant reservations, local sightseeing and personal requests.


    As a Participating Tour operator, we are given priority by the airlines to block seats for the FIFA World Cup™ and we are confident we can get you the best possible options for your air travel.  We’ve also secured rooms in a variety of hotels throughout Johannesburg and Capetown, allowing us to help our guest with match-day travel needs within South Africa.

    Local Expertise

    Our World Cup program directors have spent the past year carefully investigating accommodations, transportation, and locations in South Africa to develop travel packages for varying needs, budgets and desires.  This year’s World Cup is undoubtedly a long-haul destination, and many of our clients are grateful to have an expert take them through the travel process.  Our Los Angeles office is open M-F, 9-5pm and we would be more than happy to answer any questions.  Feel free to call us at anytime or shoot us a question directly on the website.

    Traveling to a foreign country may seem complicated, but we’re happy to do all of the hard work for you. For more information please contact  us today.

    > Visit the 2010 World Cup Page on Cartan Tours’ Website here

    > Download the 2010 World Cup Brochure in PDF format

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    Wicked Good Travel Tips Features Cartan Tours Latest Packages Winter Games 2010 Mon, 11 Jan 2010 22:07:34 +0000 Sarah Joy Wicked Good Travel Tips just released a new article featuring Cartan Tours’ latest travel packages to Vancouver in February.

    Cartan Tours’ discounts range in dates from February 11 – 26 which includes opening day on February 12th.  The games will take place both in the city of Vancouver and in the famed ski resort of Whistler, just to the north.

    Read more of the article here:


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    Cartan Tours Spotlight Sandton City prepares for 20,000 FIFA World Cup Fans Thu, 07 Jan 2010 20:22:26 +0000 Sarah Joy Even ESPN’s 3-D version can’t compete with 20,000 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP™ fans in Sandton.

    FIFA World Cup 2006 Germany

    FIFA Fan Fest 2006 Germany

    FIFA organizers are currently preparing to transform “Africa’s Richest Square Mile” into one massive World Cup party.

    Home to a prestigious Central Business District, the Johannesburg’s Stock Exchange, and famous Sandton City mall, the cosmopolitan energy of Sandton has always been a favorite destination for business and leisure travelers alike.  In November FIFA officials chose Sandton’s Innes Free Park as an official host for the 2010 FIFA Fan Fest.

    The “Fan Fest” concept was put into action for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  It turned out to be a huge success, with more than 18 million cheering fans gathered at the 12 official events.

    The excitement is building as organizers prepare for an even bigger 2010 event. At a recent press conference,  Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa explained “We have always wanted the 2010 FIFA World Cup to touch the lives of as many South Africans as possible. The FIFA Fan Fest will provide an opportunity for millions of our people to watch the matches in a festival environment for free and will also provide an opportunity for small businesses and our musical talents to benefit from this event,” he explained.

    As a participating tour operator appointed to distribute tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ Cartan Tours invites you to join us for the trip of a lifetime this June.  Our 2010 World Cup travel packages at the Don Santon Suites start at just $1,636 for 5 nights.  For more information call our Los Angeles office 9-5 MF 800.584.2010

    View PDF


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    Vancouver Foodies: Get ready for 2010 Winter Dining! Mon, 21 Dec 2009 20:50:49 +0000 Sarah Joy According to Zagat’s 2010 Vancouver Guide in Time for the Olympics: an expected 2.3 million attendees will descend on Vancouver by mid-February.  This means great news for  the “world’s most livable city” and its decidedly fierce restaurant scene.  

    As the winter games excitement heats up, foodies from all over the world are churning out their top lists of not-to-be-missed Vancouver restaurants for a 2010 vacation.   To help you sort out the top picks, below is my “best of the best for Vancouver Dining” link compilation list.  A survey of personal favorite restaurant memories at the Cartan Tours office revealed  the “Blue Water Cafe” “La Bodega” “Granville Island Public Market” “Raincity Grill” and  “A Kettle of Fish” to be amongst the top Cartan Tours staff picks.


    The “Burgandy Bible” on Vancouver Dining 2010: Zagat’s 2010 Vancouver Survey Out Now

    Vancouver magazine’s 20th Annual Restaurant Awards: 2009 Winners by category

    A sweeping overview with great picks: LA Times: Vancouver’s smorgasbord of cuisines

    Vancouver food-lovers update this awesome resource daily:

    Vancouver’s “Best Kept Restaurant Secrets” are revealed daily at:

    IgoUgo community picks for Chinese cuisine: Community Highlights: Tips for Visiting Vancouver & Whistler This Winter

    Perfect hot-spots for eco-concious travelers: Eco Chic Guide to Vancouver 

    See the Chowhounds battle it out in October 2009: Vancouver: lots of suggestions needed

    For the diehard Vancouver foodies, a tour of Yaletown for Ben and Suanne’s Adventures from Vancouver, BC

    Delve into the background of Vancouver’s Gastronomy with Edible British Columbia & BON APPETIT 

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