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Young & Free Contiki, offering tours for 18- to 35 year olds, says Lawson, is a perfect fit for Millennial couples because "they'll be able to meet peers with similar interests, and our trips to Europe are built to accommodate free time for those that fear having to stay with the group. Couples who travel on Contiki, for example, still have plenty of time to have a romantic dinner or enjoy a night out, and they have an expert Trip Manager to provide suggestions." Contiki classifies its trips into several categories such as "High Energy," "In-Depth Explorer" and "Easy Pace." The latter is recommended for couples since they provide two to three nights in each destination and feature later start times each day. The tour operator's 9-day Croatia Island Escape Plus (another destination Ciccarelli says Millennials are requesting) includes visits to Split, Hvar, Korcula, Dubrovnik, Trstenik and Makarska, with ME Time Optionals such as a Dubrovnik city walking tour; city walls kayaking trip; and a captain's dinner (not included in the tour cost). This cruise tour docks at stunning locales, including the unspoiled village of Trstenik, and sails past such beauties as the Elaphite Islands, known for its palms, cypresses, olive trees and citrus plantations. There's plenty of free time for couples to explore on their own or kick-back and cuddle while sailing one of the region's most stunning areas. Rates for this tour start at $1,324. Another point that Ciccarelli brings up regarding Millennials is that they tend to move from city to city, rather than staying in one city and going on day tours. To that end, Contiki's 13-day Eastern Road hopscotches across Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, taking in nine World Heritage Sites. Recommend the ME Time Optional add-ons that offer quintessential experiences such as a salt mines tour; a traditional Czech evening; and a Vienna classical concert and dinner. Tour rates start at $1,684. Cooking Up Romance Quintessential experiences are also on the menu in Avanti Destinations' new cooking class offerings in Europe. The emphasis is on seasonal dishes made with locally produced ingredients. Are your Millennial clients' ears perking up? They should be, because according to Avanti's president Harry Dalgaard, Millennials, which make up 23 percent of the operator's bookings, "seem to value authentic experiences. Many of these involve adventure or something unusual, like hiking on glaciers in Iceland or activities that give them an opportunity to meet local people and learn a skill, like how to make Provencal pastries or how to prepare a truly Roman dinner." In Capri, for example, couples can opt for a private afternoon cooking class with dinner at a private villa overlooking the sea ($279), and in Venice they have the option of going on a 4.5-hour private tour of the Rialto market with a chef instructor who'll teach them how to prepare a complete Venetian meal in his traditional home (from $485). Dalgaard recommends that when booking Millennials on a romantic getaway, travel advisors should look for accommodations "in castles or B&Bs, or romantic places like Venice, the Amalfi Coast, the Greek Islands, the Loire Valley or Barcelona." Discover Beyond the Ordinary Another top destination for Millennials, couples or otherwise, is, as Ciccarelli mentioned, Iceland. On Collette's 9-day Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice (from $2,549), part of the operator's Explorations line, Millennial couples can go on a lava cave adventure or walk coastal lava fields; they can cruise on the ice-strewn Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon past icebergs; learn about the 400-year-old tradition of catching and preserving Greenland shark; and overnight in a fishing village to enjoy a scenic bay cruise. Paula Twidale, the operator's executive v.p., says that Collette's Explorations product is a good fit for Millennials because it's "full of experiential components. This product appeals to many demographics, including Millennials, based on exotic destinations such as Costa Rica, Morocco, Galapagos and emerging destinations like Myanmar." Twidale also advises travel advisors to look at the company's Spotlight tours when booking a trip for Millennial couples because "they provide core components to an international destination, but allow free time to engage on your own based on your interests. This type of escorted product incorporates value and safety, but does not confine you to a packed itinerary." And that's exactly what Millennials are looking for in their travels. ■ Contact Information Avanti Destinations: Collette: Contiki: Opposite page: Contiki caters to 18- to 35-year olds and visits European cities such as Dubrovnik (top); and Avanti is now offering cooking classes in Europe (bottom). This photo: Iceland, a hot destination with Millennials, is offered on Collette's Explorations product. august 2016 37

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