In an Australian first, the man behind Escape Travel in Toronto is chartering an entire five-star river cruise ship to tour the south of France.
Bound for the European country in September 2019, the Scenic Sapphire will take the booked-out boat on a trip through the food and wine regions of France, including Lyon, Avignon and Macon.
The cruise will encompass 13 days of travel, and ticks off a number of sights that Adam Pearson – the man behind the cruise magic – describes as a “bucket list” trip.
As well as the Beaujolais wine regions, and a trip down the Rhône River, cruise-goers will also visit the Pope’s Palace in Avignon for a classical music concert.
It’s historic for Pearson, and the Australian cruise industry, and the Toronto-based franchisee is excited by the possibilities that it brings, both in the Hunter and beyond.
“No travel agent in Australia has ever chartered an entire ship before – we’ve done it so all customers on the ship are from the Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast regions,” Mr Pearson said.
“We’ve seen some lovely friendships blossom from our group departures and because everyone lives in the same region they can be continued after the trip. While we sell holidays for a living, seeing the friendships made and the smiles on our clients’ faces before, during, and after their trip is why we do what we do.”
Pearson, alongside his wife Fiona, of Kahibah, own a franchise of five offices of Escape Travel in Lake Macquarie, with offices located in Toronto, Charlestown, Glendale, Kotara and Mt Hutton.
His involvement in the travel industry came at a young age, fresh out of completing school with the HSC at Whitebridge High.
A throwaway comment to Pearson’s father, about his interest in the world of travel and organising holidays, led Richard Pearson to set up work experience for his son at Jayes Travel.
Father and son would go on to open Harvey World Travel together, 21 years ago, before rebranding to the nation-wide Escape Travel.
To enquire about, or book, a place on the cruise-ship journey to the South of France, visit www.etnewcastle.com.au or call Escape Travel on 1300 766 596.