With the festive season under way and the New Year and traditional holiday booking period just around the corner, leading tour operator TUI is gearing up for what is set to be a busy start to 2019. With hand-picked quality hotels, all-inclusive offerings, cruise holidays, tailor made experiences, an award-winning airline as well as a selection of early booking offers, TUI is well placed to offer something for everyone next summer and help you ‘discover your smile’.
With the TUI 2019 offering including destinations such as the Greek Islands and the Caribbean Coast of Mexico, as well as the latest additions of Paphos, Cyprus and Dalaman, Turkey, Irish holidaymakers will be spoilt for choice.
Also new for 2019, TUI is delighted to announce the addition of honeymoon favourites Mauritius, Maldives and Bali thanks to TUI’s airline partnerships with British Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Aer Lingus. Other additions for 2019 include Dominican Republic and even greater choice in Italy with Tuscany and Sicily now on sale for summer.
As a result, TUI customers will now be able to visit luxury resorts such as the elegant Kuredo Island Resort & Spa which offers a diverse dining scene and the Maldives’ largest watersports centre, all wrapped in sandy white beaches. Set on a teardrop island in the Lhaviyani atoll, the Kuredu Island Resort & Spa is cloaked in greenery and fringed by idyllic beaches. Depending on the level of luxury you want, you can choose from thatched garden bungalows, beach villas kitted out in dark wood, or over-water huts with private pools.
Charlotte Brenner, Marketing Manager at TUI Ireland comments, ‘As our customer’s thoughts quickly shift from festive cheer to summer holiday planning, at TUI, our teams are gearing up for a busy start to the New Year and what is deemed the traditional holiday booking period. We have a range of early booking offers in place including thousands of free child places, savings of up to €300 per couple and low booking deposits. For 2019, we are delighted to extend our programme to include new destinations including Paphos, Cyprus and Dalaman and Turkey, and for the first time, the well-known honeymoon destinations of Mauritius, Maldives and Bali, utilising our partner airlines.These new destinations have paradise written all over them and are a welcome addition to our long-haul programme.’
Check out TUI’s highly recommended hot spots for 2019:
Best new destination – Maldives
Offering uninhabited islands, over-the-water accommodation, and the world’s best scuba spots, holidays to the Maldives fall into the once-in-a-lifetime category and have paradise written all over them. These whiter-than-white islands are sprinkled across impossibly blue waters. If you count each one, you’ll have over 1,000 reasons to visit. They all boast their own unique credentials, but when it comes to places to stay, the word on the street is luxury. Hotels line up over-water bungalows, infinity pools and gourmet dining at sunset. And beneath the water’s surface, there’s a whole new world of technicolour coral and marine life to discover. For honeymooners, nothing compares to the Maldives’ just-married credentials. The archipelago’s trademark accommodation is stilted water villas, which come with four-poster beds and infinity views of the sea. The islands’ restaurants, meanwhile, have turned tables for two into an art form.
- 10 Mar 2019, Dublin to Male, 4* Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, Lhaviyani Atoll, 14 nights, Full Board from €3,931pp
Best for history – Turkey
Today, Turkey has tourists flocking to its shores to discover this country which has such an ancient history. We know the country as Turkey, but it has actually been the Republic of Turkey since 1923. The legendary Roman ruler Caesar made one of his most famous statements in the Black Sea region of Turkey, near Anatolia. Veni, vidi, vici — ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ — was Caesar’s own account of his defeat of the Pontus in 47 BCE. The war may have been brief, but these words have stayed with us forever and he spoke them in Turkey. Most people associate tulips with the Dutch, but in the 18th century, growing tulips became something of a craze in Turkey. Some of the Ottomans had begun to imitate European court life and pleasures while under the influence of the grand vizier Ibrahim Paşa. Soon rich and poor alike were growing tulips. This symbolised westernisation.
- 03rd June ‘19, Dublin to Dalaman, 4*+ TUI Blue Marmaris, Marmaris, 7 nights, Half Board from €987pp.
Best for honeymoons – Paphos
Cyprus has been a love nest for centuries. According to legend, the island is the birthplace of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. It’s thought the immortal temptress enjoyed secret forest rendezvous with ancient gods, like Ares and Adonis. Fast forward a bit, and the Roman general, Mark Antony, is said to have presented the island to Cleopatra as a token of his love and affection. Today, Cyprus still spells romance. Here, couples can walk hand in hand along the 800km long coastline and picnic in pine forests straight out of a storybook. Nights are also made for outings à deux, with spots like Limassol specialising in lantern-lit tables, light jazz and sea views.
- 29th May ‘19, Dublin to Paphos, 5* TUI Sensimar Pionero, Paphos, 7 nights, Half Board from €1,079pp.
Best for Families with younger kids – Majorca
The biggest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Majorca has long been a favourite with the world’s travel pack. Year after year it leads the way with its short flight time, abundance of hotels and apartments and resorts and beaches that are ever so child friendly. On the Island TUI boasts its popular Holiday Village, two SplashWorld Resorts, three TUI FAMILY LIFE, three Suneo Club’s as well as a wide range of self-catering and all-inclusive hotels and apartments. Majorca is that reliable choice, one of those places you can book year after year, safe in the knowledge you are onto a winner especially if you have young children. The soft, sandy beaches of Alcudia, Puerto Pollensa and Cala Bona put this trio among the best destinations in Majorca. Their calm waters and selection of restaurants and bars means they’re firm favourites with families. It is also an island in which each visit can bring a different experience to the last, no wonder its top of the list for Irish holidaymakers.
- 18th Aug ‘19, Dublin to Palma, 4* Protur Aparthotel Bonaire, Cala Bona, 7 nights, Self-Catering from €1,940 (2+1)
- 25th May ‘19, Cork to Palma, 4* Globales Bouganvilla, Sa Coma 7 nights, All Inclusive from €1,910 (2+1)
- 11th May ‘19, Shannon to Palma, 4* TUI Family Life Coma Gran, 7 nights, Self-Catering from €1,576 (2+1)
Best for foodies – Canaries
It’s not just the year-round sunshine that makes holidays to the Canary Islands so popular – it’s also the fantastic variety of food on offer that makes them a foodie heaven. Thousands of years of volcanic activity have left their legacy on the Islands which have in turn affected the texture and flavour of their potatoes – in a good way of course. Their traditional ‘Papas’ (wrinkled potatoes) are cooked in salt with their skins left on and served with ‘mojos’ (sauces). A simple but tasty dish. Everyday Canarian dishes emphasis freshness and as they are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, they offer an amazing rage of fresh seafood which you can pick up at a local market along with lots of other local produce. If you are looking for something a little more casual, why not enjoy a film and pizza under the stars at Europe’s only permanent outdoor cinema in Gran Canaria. Waiting staff will serve you at your seat and there are duvets available for snuggling under on chillier nights.
- 17th May ‘19, Dublin to Tenerife, 4*+ TUI Sensimar Los Gigantes, Los Gigantes, 7 nights, Half Board from €659pp
- 14th May ‘19, Cork to Lanzarote, 4*Coronas Playa, Costa Teguise 7 nights, Half Board €680pp
- 19th May ‘19, Dublin to Lanzarote, 3* Cinco Plazas, Puerto del Carmen, 7 nights, Self-Catering from €670pp
- 23rd May ‘19, Dublin to Gran Canaria, 3* Revoli, Puerto Rico, 7 nights, Self-Catering from €487pp
Best for romance – Sorrento, Italy
Italy has always been known as a lover’s paradise, so it’s the perfect place to spend a romantic getaway with your significant other. More specifically, though, head to Campania – a place the Roman’s nicknamed ‘the happy land.’ It’s home to Sorrento, full of twisting lanes decorated by family-run boutiques, dreamy piazzas and shabby chic buildings. Pavement cafés and tucked-away antique and craft shops cram the maze of cobbled streets in Sorrento’s old town, making it an ideal place for a romantic wander. For culture vultures, there’s also an impressive church – the 11th-century Chiesa di San Francesco – plus a bell tower, a monastery, and a cathedral with colourful frescoes. Pompeii’s only about 40 minutes away from Sorrento by train, and a proper must-see. Life in the city was stopped in its tracks when Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying everything – and everyone – in volcanic ash. Two thousand years later, you can still see Pompeii’s citizens, frozen in time in the city’s well-preserved ruins.
- 03rd May ‘19, Dublin to Campania, 4* TUI Sensimar Nastro Azzuro, Piano Di Sorrento, 7 nights, All Inclusive from €1,004pp
Best adventure – Tenerife
Some people head to Tenerife to just laze around in the sun on the island’s beaches. Some come over to revel in the nightlife scene. To both, we say, ‘Why not?’ But today, we want to recognise the adrenaline lovers who go in search of action and thrills. If adventure travel is the aim of your trip, then we can promise Tenerife will meet and beat your expectations. Flyboarding is the latest adventure pursuit on water that is taking the island by storm, it’s a cross between jet skiing and hoverboarding. You simply stand on a board or jet pack which is attached to a hose connected to a jet ski, and you’ll be travelling through the air. Perhaps you’d like to get your kicks not on the water, but from above. In that case, you’ll want to try some paragliding. The island tantalises adrenaline junkies who are seeking adventures on the waves with some superb beaches, ideal for windsurfing. Whether it’s your first time on the board or you’re an old hand, El Medano Bay is a terrific spot for all levels. The spot is popular the whole year round because of the sublime circumstances for surfing and windsurfing. A wind speed above 25 knots will create the right for windsurfing, whereas anything below that is better for sailboats. Whichever activity you choose, you’ll be glad you choose Tenerife for your adventure holiday.
- 10th May ‘19, Dublin to Tenerife, 4* Guayarmina Princess, Costa Adeje, 7 nights, Half Board from €739pp
Best activity / families with teenagers – Austria
Turn daydreams of wandering though blooming Alpine pastures beneath snow-capped peaks into reality in Austria. A holiday here will take you to some of Europe’s most scenic spots, with plenty of authentic local culture along the way. Lake Achensee is Tyrol’s largest lake and possibly one of Austria’s most striking. Get stuck into canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, water skiing, wakeboarding or take a boat out onto the lake. Take a summer lift into the hills for an amazing view of the lake where you will get the ultimate Instagram post, which is bound to make teens come along. Stay in Mayrhofen or Kaprun if you prefer your walks to pass through dramatic Alpine scenery with glimpses of glaciers as you go. Finding a path that suits you is simple, as the signage is clear and uniform across all regions. Look out for the Austrian flag painted on trees and rocks, along with obvious markers explaining all the details for each walk. Older children and teenagers will love the Alpine coasters and high ropes courses in St Anton and Mayrhofen, while all the family can enjoy boat tours and classic train rides in Austria’s lake district, or Salzkammergut – try St Gilgen or Fuschl am See.
- 26th June ‘19, Dublin to Salzburg, 4* Hotel Waldhof, Zell Am See, 7 nights, Half Board from €2,559 (2+2)
Best cruises – Marella Discovery 2
Marella Discovery 2 is one of our biggest ships, with highlights like an outdoor cinema, a rock climbing wall, a mini-golf course, five-storey atrium and an indoor pool. Not to mention the range of bars, excellent dining scene and night-time shows enhanced by up-to-the-minute technology. Just like Marella Discovery, Marella Discovery 2 is All Inclusive as standard. So, drinks, including prosecco and cider, meals in a selection of restaurants and most onboard activities are included in the cruise price. All Marella Cruises include tips and service charges in the price you pay before departure, plus cruises set sail at night meaning fewer days spent at sea and more time spent ashore. Conveniently, Irish customers can fly to Palma from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to join the new ship next summer.
- 18 May ‘19, Dublin to Palma, Magic of Spain on board the Discovery 2, inside cabin, 7 nights, All Inclusive from €1,223pp
Best long-haul – Mexico
Fancy retracing the thousand-year-old steps of the Ancient Maya people? There are more than a few impressive sights for you to explore on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast – with the most famous being the ancient city of Tulum. This crumbling civilisation is the home of Chichen Itza, which is now known as one of the seven new wonders of the world. And, there are several other temples for you to visit, including the impressive, towering El Castillo and the Templo Dios del Viento which guards the sea entrance to the city. Tulum is easy to get to from Cancun, so if you’re enjoying a sunshine holiday it’s easy to get your culture fix, too.
Fly direct from Dublin Airport in approximately 10 hours on TUI Airways’ Dreamliner 787. Upgrade to Premium Club from just €300pp return to enjoy fast track security, lounge access, increased luggage allowance, 38” seat pitch and more.
- 03rd June ‘19, Dublin to Cancun, 4* Riu Cancun, 14 nights, All Inclusive from €1,953pp.
Best for luxury – Rhodes
Most people are drawn to Rhodes by the beaches, but it is also steeped in ancient history, and holidays here come wrapped up in ribbons of myths and legends. For starters, it was once home to the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 226BC. You can zip back to the 14th century, when you take a stroll down Ippoton Street, in Rhodes Old Town, one of Greece’s 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This long, cobble-stone road was the central meeting point of the Knights of St John – men whose role was to protect and defend the city against siege. You’ll find plenty of guided tours to take you around, where you can hear the stories of old.
TUI SENSATORI Atlantica Dreams Resort and Spa, Rhodes
With highly polished interiors and a Blue Flag beachfront location, this new-for-2018 resort adds a splash of luxury to an under-the-radar corner of Rhodes. Being All-Inclusive as standard, the TUI SENSATORI Atlantica Dreams Resort and Spa lets you try a range of different cuisines without racking up a large bill. Five-star facilities are in the palm of your hand at this TUI SENSATORI Resort. In the landscaped grounds, you’ll find pools for adults, children and activities, along with sports courts and an archery range. The restaurants are dedicated to American, Italian and Greek fare, plus a buffet that puts on globe-spanning cuisine. Children can get involved with activities at the Play House, while adults make use of the spa, gym and dance studio.
- 05th June ‘19, Dublin to Rhodes, 5* TUI Sensatori, 7 nights, All Inclusive from €1,279pp.
Best for festivals – Lake Garda
From age old agricultural celebrations to toasting the region’s most delicious foods, Lake Garda offers something a little different in terms of festivals. Visit Garda in July and experience ‘Sardellata Al Chiar di Luna’, an age-old tradition that guaranteed the survival of local families, where for 3 days a delicious street-food festival along the promenade takes place which is dedicated to the lake fish. If you are looking for something a little more light-hearted, head to Bardolino for their ‘Gara Della Cuccagno’ (Greasy Pole) competition. Watch participants try balance on a 12-meter-long tree trunk suspended above the lake, to grab the small flag at the end – it’s guaranteed to have you on your knees with laughter. There is also a puppet festival in Sirmone in August and the Chiaretto wine festival in Bardolino in June. Something for everyone to enjoy.
- 25th May ‘19, Dublin to Verona, 4* Hotel La Perla, Garda, 7 nights, Half Board from €875pp.