By KarryOn @karryontravel26 Sep 2017Skill up on all you need to know with bite sized travel news designed specifically to help you, the Travel Agent, be your best. 1. 3 days left to WIN with Viking Travel Agents now have three days left to take advantage of Viking Cruises’ river and ocean trade incentive, and the opportunity to win an 8-day ocean and an 8-day river cruise. The most river cruise deposited bookings made by an agent between 1 July and 30 September 2017 will win an 8-day Danube Waltz (Christmas Markets) river cruise, from 24 November to 1 December 2017. This 8-day itinerary reveals the highlights of Passau, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery and visiting the famous European Christmas markets. The most ocean cruise deposited bookings made by an agent between 1 July and 30 September 2017 will win an 8-day Turquoise Caribbean Seas ocean cruise, from 10 December to 17 December 2017. Explore the magnificent Mayan treasures of the western Caribbean on this 8-day ocean cruise Miami to Miami. The competition closes at 11:59pm AEST, 30 September 2017. Winner will be announced by Friday 14 October 2017. Click here for more information. 2. Time is running out to be a Great Train Journeys expert Agents now have less than two weeks left to become certified experts in Great Train Journeys – one of the industry’s fastest growing sectors – with Rail Plus’ first-ever dedicated GTJ training program set to close on 6 October. The GTJ Rail Expert program is a stand-alone training program focused exclusively on the world’s most enticing train voyages. It offers eight modules, which explore leading train networks, journeys and regions. At the end of each module, Agents are presented with 10 questions, which they have until midday on 6 October 2017 to answer. Every Agent who achieves a 60 percent pass rate will graduate as a ‘GTJ Rail Expert’, and receive an e-certificate. The top graduate from the inaugural program will receive a $500 VISA Gift card, with prizes also on offer for second- ($250 VISA Gift card) and third-placed ($150 VISA Gift card) finishers. In addition, the top achiever for each modules will win a Kobo e-reader. Click here for more information. 3. Albatross Tours guarantees Festive Touring departure All Christmas, New Year and Winter Wonderland departures with Albatross Tours are 100% guaranteed to depart, with selected tours still available. With unique festive tours on offer, each one has been designed to bring alive the nostalgia, joy and romance of the Festive Season. Agents can recommend; the Christmas in a French Alpine Village tour for their clients who want to experience the snow staying 5 nights in a classic chalet style hotel in the beautiful French Alps, the German White Christmas tour for families who want to experience the magical Christmas Markets or our brand new Italian Winter Wonderland tour staying in a 900-year-old Italian Castle for clients who want to travel in February 2018. “If you book on any of our tours travelling this festive Season, Albatross Tours guarantee that regardless of numbers it will depart. That is our continued commitment to our travel partners!” commented Euan Landsborough, Managing Director for Albatross Tours. 4. G Adventures launches first small-group sailings in Sri Lanka A tripling of demand for trips to Sri Lanka in the past year has led small-group adventure operator, G Adventures, to launch a new programme of group sailing tours along the southern coast, becoming the first travel company to do so. The seven-day ‘Sri Lanka Sailing’ trip, which travels from, and returns to, Mirissa, begins on February 2nd, 2018, making it the perfect winter escape. The trip can also be combined with a land-based itinerary in Sri Lanka – known as ‘the pearl of the Indian Ocean’ – to create a 14-day land and sea getaway. Highlights of the new itinerary include Galle, a magnificent fort city on the southwest coast, which was founded by the Portuguese and feels like a small European town. Travellers will also visit Ussangoda National Park, the newest national park in Sri Lanka, which is home to a variety of wildlife and rare medicinal plants. Its red earth is said to be the result of an ancient asteroid that crashed into the land. Click here for more information. 5. Contours Travel launches small group tour to Patagonia & Antarctica Contours Travel has launched its first, hosted cruise tour to Patagonia and Antarctica, with two departures slated for the summer of 2018 and 2019. The new 29-day ‘Antarctica and Patagonia’ tour, escorted by Contours Travel, is the company’s third hosted group tour but the first including a cruise and the first to canvass the wilds of Patagonia at the southern tip of South America and the ice continent of Antarctica. Contours’ two other group tours are ‘Treasures of South America’ and ‘Treasures of Mexico’. The trio of tours means Contours Travel, established in Australia in 1975 and dedicated to Latin America holidays, now has Latin America covered from Mexico all the way south to Cape Horn and beyond to Antarctica. Appealing to nature lovers, the new Antarctica and Patagonia tour will depart Australia on October 28, 2018, and February 22, 2019. 6. Mat McLachlan unveils Remembrance Day Centenary Tour At 11am on November 11, 1918 the guns fell silent on the Western Front and the First World War came to an end. Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours are leading a Remembrance Day Centenary Tour to commemorate the 61,000 Australians killed. The tour includes key Ypres Salient and Somme battlefield sites, a Paris sightseeing tour, champagne tasting in Epernay, Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate, a day exploring the charming Bruges, Remembrance Day service at Villers-Bretonneux and much more. Beginning in Paris, the tour will explore the ‘City of Light’, seeing the city’s iconic sights including The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre and Notre Dame. From there the tour will travel south to follow in the footsteps of the Anzacs with extensive touring of the Australian battlefields led by an expert Historian. On the 11th November the group will join thousands of other Australians to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the war at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. The Remembrance Day Centenary Tour, begins in Paris on Nov 4, 2018, and runs for 10 days. Cost is $4597 per person (twin share, land only), and includes all accommodation, transport, guiding services by expert War Historian, and some meals. What are your thoughts on today’s travel news? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may like MOVERS & SHAKERS: Meet G Adventures’ new Director of Sales, Wendy Wu’s new GM & more Latin learning for Agents, AFTA insolvency, Club Med’s boutique store & more travel news Were you at the AMAs with Discover L.A.? Or maybe you were spotted in North Queensland & more?