Having worked in the travel business since 2002, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many familiarization trips. A FAM is a trip that a travel company or tourism board hosts for travel advisors to learn about the destination. We at Cruise and Travel Specialists think FAMs are so important our motto is “We know because we go”.
And go we do!
Last month, I was invited on a FAM to help promote the “Local Flavors of Great Britain”. The trip was hosted by Avanti Destinations, a Portland based tour agency, along with the tourism board, VisitBritain. Norwegian Air sponsored our flights to London and Rail Europe sponsored our first class train rides. How could I turn down this fabulous invitation?
Did you know Norwegian Air has one of youngest fleets in the industry with their 787 Dreamliners, flying to 150 destinations? The fare tiers start around $250.00 for a one way flight to Europe if you only have a carry on bag. For about $100.00 more you’ll get a seat assignment, checked bag and two meals. Premium seats are also available with more leg room. Unfortunately, they don’t fly out of Portland, but the low fares may be worth flying to Seattle or Oakland to catch your flight.
Our first dinner was in the private dining room of the Parliament Building in London! Such a treat. Since 2017 we have been able to reserve this experience for our clients. The dining rooms are labeled “Members” and the other “Strangers”. We of course, were the “Strangers.” Got a real laugh out of that. We were served traditional prime rib and Yorkshire pudding after our cocktail party. The dining room was elegant and beautiful.
No visit to London is complete without visiting the oldest and largest food market in London, the Borough Market. Since the 12th century, Londoners have enjoyed the best cuisine in this open air market.
Our first class train ride’s first stop was York. A beautiful walled city halfway between London and Edinburgh. The Yorkshire pudding was served with horseradish flavored potatoes and tender beef baked into the pudding. Delicious!
Edinburgh was our next foodie tour stop. “Haggis” is the popular dish served there. A Scottish dish made from the stomach of a sheep or calf. Interesting to say the least!
I’m happy to help you experience the “Local Flavors of Great Britain”.