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Click here for photos from Iceland trip 2017

Click here for photos from the Sicily trip

And here for Killarney Photos.

Our Trips are open to all SU3A members

Index:
Organisers
Cancellations and Insurance
Anatomy of an ETG Tour
Forthcoming Trips and application forms
Trips from Previous Years

Organisers:
Samina Aslam, Coordinator              (0114) 235 1489          sammas1747 gmail.com
Brian Cave, Treasurer                       (0114) 230 5312          bpcave hotmail.com

Fran Rodway                                        (01246)  554879           fran048 hotmail.co.uk
Philip Long                                           (0114)221 4540            pelong54 gmail.com

Cancellations and Insurance:
All members are responsible for arranging their own insurance to cover the costs of cancellation (whether the deposit or full amount) through sickness, personal injury, any change of personal circumstances, accidents and loss of or damage to luggage or personal property.
Sheffield U3A cannot be responsible for any such claims
In case of cancellation please note that refunds for deposits or full amounts are subject to the travel operator’s terms and conditions and if a replacement (who must be a Sheffield U3A member) can be found by the organiser. All refunds are subject to an administration charge of £10.00

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Anatomy of an ETG Tour:
It all starts with members of the ETG committee sitting around a table over coffee and biscuits putting forward ideas for future trips: how many in the year, which destinations, how many days, mode of transport, how many are likely to travel? This is just the start of the questions that need to be answered

At this point each member takes responsibility to research one or two of the options to return in a couple of months for review of the draft itinerary and final choice. We look at the standard of hotels, quality of local restaurants, what members might do with any free time, how much travel is involved to/from the area, flight times, hours in a coach etc. The draft itinerary is sent to a number of group travel specialists to provide an approximate cost per person for the trip.

To comply with U3A guidelines for 3rd party and personal liability insurance, we have to use an ABTA and ATOL registered travel operator for our travel and hotel bookings.

After about 2 months, when our research is completed, the ETG committee meets again to look in more detail at the tours. At this point together we look at costs, travel details, options, is it likely to attract enough travellers to make it viable, dates, who will lead from ETG and will it fit in with the other tours for that year. From all this we make the decision about which tours we will progress and when they should be advertised in the Links magazine.

The first advert in Links will give a description of the proposed tour with a guide to the itinerary and approximate cost. You will be invited to register your interest.

Your response is important to us.
Based on your response we decide whether we proceed with the trip or not. It is not a booking but is indicative of the likely number of members who would make a booking if this trip went ahead.

As you have seen, a lot of time and effort is spent in organising these trips and in the past we have cancelled trips through lack of interest. Those of you who return an expression of interest will be given priority in the event that a trip is over subscribed.

If sufficient expressions of interest are received we than go back to the tour company and agree/negotiate the final details. This will include number and type of bedrooms, restaurants, day trips, travel details and final cost.

We then place an advert in Links for the tour and include an application form. This should be returned by the due date to the person leading this tour, together with your deposit and showing the type of bedroom required.

Single rooms are at a premium, which is why we ask if you would be prepared to share a bedroom.

Once the closing date is passed, the committee meets again to open the applications. If we do not have the minimum number of applications, we return the deposit cheque to the applicants. If we have more than we can cope with, we give priority to those that had sent in an expression of interest and the remaining are drawn out of a hat until the maximum number is achieved.

Successful applicants are sent a booking form, details of the itinerary and a receipt for their deposit. The booking form should be returned a.s.a.p.

A lot of work but worth it for a successful holiday!

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Forthcoming Trips and Application Forms:
If you have a destination that is unusual or you think would be of interest to our
SU3A members please contact any of the ETG organisers, we would love to hear from you.
Trips for 2017
Avignon and the Camargue: 1– 7 October 2017        (October 2016 Links)
Sorry: now full

Cathedrals of Northern France

Cathedrals of Northern France 30th May – 5th June 2018

This 7 day, 6 night coach holiday in Northern France encompasses the Heritage and Cathedrals of the region. We follow in the footsteps of the kings of France for their coronation in the magnificent Gothic Cathedral in Reims, we also visit the UNESCO listed town of Arras with its Neo-Classical Cathedral, the UNESCO listed Amiens Cathedral, the Cathedral in Chalons en Champange with its mixture of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque architecture, one of France’s early Cathedrals in Laon and the Cathedral in Cambrai.

All the Cathedral visits include a guided tour by an accredited guide and city walking tours are included in Reims, Chalons en Champagne, Laon, Arras and Amiens. The holiday also includes: a boat trip through Chalons en Champagne, a visit to the House of Perrier for a tour and tasting of their fabulous champagne, we cruise through the floating gardens of Amiens, we shall visit the famous Fossier biscuit factory and descend into the Carrier Wellington, a vast subterranean city constructed by New Zealand miners in 1916-17, where 20,000 men once sheltered.

We shall be travelling in a dedicated executive coach throughout, and staying in the centrally located 3-star Grand Hotel Continental in Reims on a B&B basis. Lunch or dinner is included every day except on day 4 when you will have the opportunity to enjoy the many cafés, bistros and restaurants in Reims.

The cost includes the Dover-Calais return ferry crossing, the hotel, all entrance fees, guides, boat trips, meals as shown above and gratuities (except the hotel).

Cost £1,067 Single supplement £189

For booking form see: LINKS Open Groups Supplement Aug 2017 page 7

Our trips are open to all SU3A members



Planning for 2018

We are starting to consider options for 2018. They include:
Spain,
Oporto and the Douro River,
Iceland and the Northern Lights
Gastronomic Bologna region.
Malta and the Balkans.

If you have an idea that is unusual or you think would be of interest to our
U3A members please email bpcavehotmail.com.

We often have difficulty in securing a large number of single
occupancy rooms. This is why we have to turn away many of
you from our holidays. So, if all possible, please let us know on
the application forms if you would be prepared to share a twinbedded
room with a fellow traveller. You would only be called
upon to do so if absolutely necessary.

Trips for 2018: The following are at the planning stage:
Cathedrals of Northern France
Short Festival Break
History of Malta
Trips for 2019: The following are at the planning stage:
The Grandeur of Iceland and the Northern Lights – subject to exchange rates
Gastronomic Bologna region
Short Festival / City break
Romania

Trips from Previous Years
Trips in 2016
The History of Berlin and Dresden 10-16 October
Alsace and the Strasbourg European Parliament: 9-13 May

Trips in 2015
A Classical Sicilian Adventure: 20 - 26 April
Killarney and the Ring of Kerry: 28 Jun - 2 Jul
La Rioja and the Pilgrim Trail: 8 – 18 September: cancelled


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Avignon and the Camargue
1– 7 October 2017

This 7 day, 6 night holiday to the beautiful Provence region of France
includes 6 nights bed & breakfast in a centrally located hotel in the UNESCO
town of Avignon, famous for its bridge named in the nursery rhyme.
The cost also includes 4 dinners at a local restaurant, a 3 course lunch in the Camargue, all flights, UK transfers
and an executive coach for all transfers and excursions in France, a walking guided tour in Avignon, Arles and Aix-en-Provence and a wine tasting session. All gratuities (except for the hotel) and Whisper Audio
Headsets for the tours are also included.

During this holiday we will spend a day in Avignon which includes a guided tour, taking in the sights of Le Pont St Benezet, the ramparts, the Petit Palace, the Cathedral and the Palais des Papes, the mighty symbol of the church’s influence throughout the western Christian world during the 14th century. The rest of the
day is free time to enjoy this famous town at your leisure. Our excursions include a walking tour of Aix-en-Provence – home of Cézanne, the Château de Lourmarin, Cucuron Church and wine tasting at
Château Val Joanis on the site of a Roman Villa. We will also enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of the Camargue which is famous for its flamingos and wild horses and visit Arles for a guided walking tour. We
also visit Nîmes and the Pont du Gard – which at 49 metres is the highest bridge the Romans constructed.
The cost of this tour is £1166 plus £149 single supplement.

Download form here, or see October Links

Trips in 2016

 

The History of Berlin and Dresden
10-16 October 2016

Sorry: now full

Strasbourg and Alsace : Trip Report

On a bright spring morning a group from Sheffield U3A left for Manchester
Airport. There we were met by Joyce Spencer from Simply Travel who
was to guide us through the next four days. On our arrival at Stuttgart a
coach took us to our hotel in Rastatt.
Soon after breakfast we returned to our coach, driven by the intrepid Ivan
(pronounced Ewen) whose ability to reverse down the narrow alley beside
the hotel was much admired. In Heidelberg a local guide navigated us on
a brief city tour before Ivan tackled the steep hair-pin bends up to the
ruined castle. The link with the UK was strong and continues – there are
seven rugby clubs in the city. Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James,
married Frederick the Elector and became the grandmother of George I.
Turner and other travellers on the Grand Tour stayed to marvel at the awe-inspiring scenery of the river gorge. Some of us were grateful for the
funicular railway that whisked us down to street level. Despite the
overcast skies the Neckar river trip on a solar powered boat passed
without incident.
Wednesday saw us at the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.
We saw part of a debate in the amazing chamber and then met two of
Yorkshire’s MEPs. Speakers are allotted a time to speak and if they overrun
the President can, and does, turn off their microphone. A late lunch
followed by a town train trip round the medieval city gave us time to visit
the magnificent cathedral. Afterwards some of us had time to people
watch from under a cafe awning as the thunder clouds gathered. Dinner
at Restaurant Le Bistrot des Arts was a highlight of the day and meant we
missed the downpour.
Thursday gave us time to visit the splendid Palace in Rastatt, maintained
by the state of Baden-Württemberg, before exploring the town market.
Sandwiches were eaten on the coach as we drove through the Vosges
country side to the Lalique museum. It was well worth the journey to see
the exquisite workmanship and designs and there was a gift shop. A small
Lalique dragon and other purchases returned to Sheffield with us.
Friday was our last day, but filled with activity. The pretty town of Obernai
was explored before leaving for the Chateau of Haut-Koenigsboerg. This
ancient castle is built on a mountain bluff , with 8 kilometres of hair-pin
bends up to the gate house.
There is a view across the plain below which defies description. Safely
negotiating the bends in reverse order we arrived at Colmar, where we
had another trip on a town train before exploring on foot. Ivan was waiting
for us and we soon arrived at Basel/Freiburg/Mulhouse airport for the
journey home.