Our People: In The News

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Kelly Marrapese Interveiwed by WROCTV News8
Craig Curran Interveiwed by Democrat & Chronicle 
Whitaker named as one of Tauck's top-producing agents of 2012
The DePrez Group Helps Make the Season Bright
NY Times Interviews our CEO, Craig Curran
Paul G. Allen Announces Revolution in Space Transportation
DePrez Agent Selling Space Travel for Civilians
DePrez agent awarded "Travel Advisor" of the month by Cox & Kings
DePrez official drop site for Cell Phones for Soldiers
Local Agent Selected to as Vigin Galactic Space Agent
Fundraiser Cruise Helps Fund Emergency Flights
Local Travel Agency Contributes to University
Whitaker & DePrez Present Fundraiser Check
Whitaker & DePrez Named to Global Top 100
DePrez Group Donates Again
DePrez Embraces the Spirit of the Season
DePrez Helps Spread Holiday Cheer
DePrez Employees Participate in Eat Well Live Well Challenge
The DePrez Group Helps Suppport Katrina Victims
Local Person Selected for Travel Consultant Board with Bon Appetit
Local Travel Specialist Quoted in Forbes.com

Leading Travel Professionals Form Areas First Partnership
LocalCruise Agency Recognized as the Best in the Nation
DePrez Travel Coordinates Accommodations for Drum Corp
Fran Kramer Featured by Virtuoso
New Management Services
Katrina Relief Efforts
6 New CTA's Added
DePrez Manager Conference Speaker
Cruise for a Cause Awards Family with Vacation
Pinnacle Club Award
Our "Top 80" Travel Agent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 KELLY MARRAPESE INTERVIEW BY WROCTV NEWS8


Rochester, N.Y.(October 29, 2013) - Kelly Shares Tips and Tricks for Holiday Air Travel.

It will be a busy holiday travel season, according to Kelly Marrapese of Whitaker and DePrez Travel. Children have a full two weeks off from school.

"More families are traveling for the Christmas holiday than ever before," said Marrapese. "People still want to travel and they want to do it as a family. It's a big travel trend this year, families traveling together."

Marrapese said most hotels have space, but villas and condos are sold out. And get ready to shell out big bucks for airline tickets. Prices have gone up from last year, especially to Europe. Those who haven't booked flights yet will pay a premium.

Marrapese also says people should be prepared for full flights. Since airlines charge to check baggage, most passengers bring carry-ons. That means full overhead bins and long waits to get on and off the plane. See the video.

 

About Kelly Marrapese
Kelly is the Manager for Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners, LLC and has over 13 years of service to the travel industry in the Rochester market. She has extensive travel experience throughout the world. She specializes in foreign travel, the Caribbean and Mexico travel. Kelly is certified with Virtuoso.

About Virtuoso
Virtuoso® is the industry’s leading luxury travel network.  This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 300 agencies with more than 6,000 elite travel specialists in 22 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, as well as over 1,000 of the world’s best travel providers and premier destinations.  The network’s member agencies generate over $5.1 billion annually in travel sales, making the group the most powerful in the luxury travel segment. Their relationships with the finest travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access.

 

 

 

CRAIG CURRAN INTERVIEW BY DEMOCRAT & CRONICLE 


Rochester, N.Y.(May 29, 2013) - Inside his airy presidential office at the DePrez Group of Travel Companies off Clinton Avenue South, Craig Curran is surrounded by relics from around the world — tapestries from Asia, handmade knickknacks from Africa — and soon, he may be adding suborbital souvenirs. Curran is an accredited space travel agent and among 45 agents in Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic program.

“I always make this comparison: a lot of us say we’re related to the pilgrims, but it’s another thing to say my great-great-great-great grandmother was on the Niña the day it landed,” he said. “This is akin to what these folks are getting. We’ve never done this before.”
 
Curran said several Rochesterians have paid in part or full for spots on the first space trip, though he wouldn’t give exact numbers or names, other than to say “it’s more than one.”
 
So why would someone want to go to outer space and not a cruise or trip to the Bahamas? Curran believes it’s human nature to dominate and explore.
 
“Humanity has always had adventurous, cutting-edge early adopters; people who found the new world, settled the Wild West, and came for the Gold Rush,” he said. “This is what we do, and there’s a huge portion of the population still looking for that.”
 
For Curran, 56, it’s about a little bit more. He believes this is the next evolution of travel, and as a 30-year veteran of the travel industry, it’s important to be on the cusp of fresh destinations.
 
“I like to tell people if Richard Branson can trust me with his space ship, you can certainly trust me with your trip to Africa,” he said. “This is exciting, new and sexy. I’m just having a blast.”
 
The space trip costs $200,000, which gives the “commercial astronaut” a training period and 90-minute trip into space — after the research and development phase ends, that is. “This is a milestone-driven event, so we can’t tell you when we’re going to fly,” he said. “We go from milestone to milestone.”
 
A deposit of $20,000 secures a place in the Virgin Galactic “milestones club,” which holds annual updates for things like the first successful glide flight, or testing of the cantilevered wing system. These events keep antsy passengers at bay while the team at Virgin continues to work toward a departure date.
 
Curran has done some homework. He can give a brief history of space travel in the new millennium, from the Ansari X Prize, where the first 90 percent reusable vehicle completed a successful flight, to Richard Branson’s commercialization of the industry, which Curran himself is part of today.
 
He has a small model of the mother ship, WhiteKnightTwo, and the attached SpaceShipTwo, in his office. As he holds it, he demonstrates the process: at a certain height, SpaceShipTwo detaches from the mother ship and carries the commercial astronauts toward a “religious experience” beyond the planet Earth.
 
VirginGalactic.com describes it this way: “The spaceship can be thought of as an air launched glider with a rocket motor and a couple of extra systems for spaceflight.
 
Just like any conventional flying machine, it requires aerodynamic forces to provide its stability and control which, clearly, it only has whilst in the atmosphere.”
 
On April 29, Virgin Galactic had the first successful powered flight of WhiteKnightTwo at its facility near White Sands Missile Testing Base in Las Cruces, New Mexico. All systems were integrated, and the sound barrier was broken.
 
Craig Curran predicts that his children and grandchildren will be booking affordable vacations to space in their lifetime. He said hotel prototypes, created by Bigelow Industries in California, are already sharing the celestial skies with satellites.
 
“Some say when Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, it was like lighting a match to a bonfire — this is lighting a match to a bonfire,” said Curran. “We have no idea where this is going to take us, but it will certainly take the human species off the planet.”
 
Craig Curran of Galactic Experiences by DePrez is part of a small group hand-selected by Virgin Galactic to sell suborbital space tickets. He is your dedicated Virgin Galactic Accredited Space Agent in the Central and Western NY, Ohio, Ontario, Canada and Western Pennsylvania areas.

About Craig Curran
President of the DePrez Group Of Travel Companies, Craig has been a travel agent for the past 30 years. He has traveled the globe and directed the growth of the DePrez Group into one of the most diverse and successful independent travel management firms in the United States.

Mr. Curran is the Board Chairman of VisitRochester, the convention and visitors bureau for Rochester, NY. He also serves on the Hillside Family of Agencies Board of Governors and resides in Pittsford, NY. Mr. Curran has long been fascinated with space and space travel. He has flown light jets, skydived and is an avid scuba diver.

About Galactic Experiences by DePrez
Galactic Experiences by DePrez is a member of the DePrez Group Of Travel Companies and is the largest independent travel management firm in central and western NY. Founded in 1929 the group provides extensive and diverse travel services, including cruise sales of Just Cruises, Inc. a top 50 cruise-only agency in N.A.), meeting and congress planning to fortune 100 companies and large associations, corporate travel management, and luxury travel leisure sales through Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC

For additional information please contact Craig Curran at ccurran@galacticexperiencesbydeprez.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 WHITAKER NAMED AS TOP- PRODUCING AGENT FOR TAUCK IN 2012

 
Rochester, NY 1/15/13 -We would like to congratulate Stephanie Whitaker, Director of Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners, LLC; who was just named as one of Tauck's top-producing agents of 2012 for her outstanding sales in 2012. Having experienced Tauck's river cruise in the South of France, Stephanie can use that first hand knowledge to help plan your trip in the South of France or anywhere else in the World, with Tauck World Discovery. 
 
To knowledge-seeking world travelers, Tauck is the premium guided travel experience, with all vacation details taken care of so that guests connect with people and places in every destination, every day. Their passion for travel, and dedication to superlative service, makes every Tauck travel experience enriching and inspirational. From cruising to rail excursions, family travel to holiday travel, trips to the great North American national parks or trips celebrating food, wine, fall foliage and nature, there are so many ways to travel with Tauck. There are even trips created with award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns.  Tauck offers many different types of trips designed to meet many different interests and wish-lists!
 
If you would like further information on a Tauck vacation, call Stephanie at 585.442.8900 Ext. 251 for an appointment.
 
 
 
 
 
THE DE PREZ GROUP HELPS MAKE THE SEASON BRIGHT
 
Rochester, NY 12/01/12 - Each year we at DePrez enjoy helping to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. This year we are contributing to two very special projects, Cards that Care and Matt's Coats for Kids.
 
Cards that Care is a project started by the daughter of one of our employees in 2004. In 2004, Nicole, a daughter of one of our employee’s, thought that any child that had to be in the hospital during the holidays should receive a card to cheer them up & put a smile on their face. She asked for donations of blank non-religious holiday cards from friends & family and with their help they were all signed with encouraging words. That 1st year she delivered over 500 cards, enough for every child in the 5 local hospitals with some extra for other patients also. 
 
She has done this every year since. Nicole now delivers cards for all patients in the 5 local hospitals & to many assisted living centers in the surrounding area. Since 2004 she has delivered over 25,000 cards total.
 
Matt's Coats for Kids - Also, each year, in the memory of Matthew Fitton, nephew of one of our agents, we collect gently used (clean) and new coats of all sizes as well as scarves, hats and gloves. These go to help needy children in our area to stay warm. Occasionally the children's caregivers receive a warm winter coat, too. Since the Fall of 2004, "Matt's Coats for Kids" has helped to distribute thousands of coats donated by members of our community to children in need for the winter months. For more information see http://www.mattscoatsforkids.org
 
 

 

NY TIMES INTERVIEWS OUR CEO, CRAIG CURRAN
 
Written by Jesse McKinley, NY 9/07/12 WEDGED between a strip-mall chiropractor and a cluster of optometrists in Rochester, N.Y., the offices of the DePrez Group of Travel Companies hardly seems like the kind of place where someone would begin a journey to the stars.
 
But Craig Curran, the company’s president, says that’s exactly where he can take you — provided, of course, that you have a spare $200,000 lying around. Mr. Curran, you see, is a so-called “accredited space agent” for Virgin Galactic, an outfit founded by the multitasking mogul Richard Branson that is promising to take hundreds of high rollers some 60 miles up in a futuristic craft known as the SpaceShipTwo. And while the flight lasts only two hours or so, with a mere five minutes spent coasting in weightlessness, the bragging rights will go on forever.
 
“If you could say my family came over on the Niña, the Pinta or the Santa Maria, this is the equivalent,” said Mr. Curran, wearing a black Virgin Galactic T-shirt and an enthusiastic smile. “You are part of the birth of an industry.”
 
Virgin Galactic may be aloft as soon as next year, just one among a handful of companies competing to take amateur astronauts to the upper reaches of the atmosphere — and beyond. In what may be the final frontier in extreme tourism, these outfits are offering experiences that range from a few moments of weightless wonder (most for six figures), to weeks-long Apollo mission-style adventures (for, gulp, nine). Forget climbing Everest, trekking to the South Pole or canoeing up the Amazon: How about taking a trip to the far side of the moon?
 
That’s exactly the package being offered by Excalibur Almaz, based on the Isle of Man, which recently announced its intention to send people — very, very wealthy people — to a “gravity neutral point” near the moon for the ultimate get-away-from-it-all. The price: About $150 million. Wait, you’re on a budget? O.K., well, for just $50 million, Space Adventures, in Virginia, says its can get you to the International Space Station, a trip seven people have already enjoyed that includes up to 12 days in orbit and, presumably, all the freeze-dried ice cream you can eat.
 
Not crazy about the lodging options? Well, if you’re willing to wait, the owner of the extended-stay hotel chain Budget Suites of America, Robert T. Bigelow, says that he plans to launch a variety of private space stations (nightly rate to be determined).
 
And while some trips will be more readily available in the near term than others, scientists and players in the space race say that the long-fanciful idea of vacationing in space, if only for a few moments, is on the cusp of becoming reality.
 
“There’s no question, in the next couple of years there’s going to be commercial space tourism,” said Roger D. Launius, senior curator of space history at the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution. “That’s clearly going to happen.”
 
MR. LAUNIUS and other experts say suborbital flights in reusable vehicles are more feasible than, for example, retracing the steps of the Apollo mission. And confidence is high that there is an appetite for even brief tastes of space: last month, the Tauri Group, a Washington-area consulting firm with a specialty in space issues, found a potential market of up to $1.6 billion over the next decade for suborbital flights.
 
“In terms of an industry moving toward fruition, versus an industry that has a plan,” said Carissa Christensen, managing partner of the Tauri Group, “I think it has absolutely made that shift.”
 
There is a variety of practical reasons for the sudden surge in activity. They include cheaper, better technology and composite materials, along with a burst of previously pent-up entrepreneurship let loose by NASA’s new need for private companies to replace shuttle flights. For its part, NASA says it is “counting on the innovative commercial space industry” for rides to the space station and other low-orbit destinations.
 
But the desire for such trips may also lie in the fact that people are simply running out of places to go. 
 
“Not everyone climbs Mount Everest,” he says.
 
“Every square inch of Earth, pretty much, has been explored at this point by somebody,” said Eugene Linden, a science and environmental writer and the author of “The Ragged Edge of the World,” about the planet’s endangered wild lands. “Next, we’ll be hearing about roller-skating across the East Antarctic ice sheet or something like that in order to have some sense of accomplishment.”
 
Mr. Linden also suggested that some of the lust for going to space may come from a primal animal drive to do something no one else can imitate — something, he says, that is “meant to show reproductive robustness on the part of the male.”
 
Mr. Linden added that while males “can fake a lot of things — you can rent a Ferrari for the weekend — it’s hard to fake going to outer space.”
 
Sure enough, Virgin Galactic says 77 percent of its customers are male. And many of those leading the charge to the cosmos are deep-pocketed, ample-ego men like Mr. Branson, 62, who in addition to running the billion-dollar Virgin Group also recently became the oldest man to kite surf across the English Channel (really). And Virgin Galactic’s own SpaceShipTwo happens to be based on a craft — SpaceShipOne — that was backed by the Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. (In 2004 SpaceShipOne became the first privately developed manned vehicle to reach space. It carried a single pilot; no tourists were allowed.)
 
Then there’s Elon Musk, the dashing chairman of Tesla Motors who founded the SpaceX company, which develops rockets, who hopes to cart astronauts and cargo aloft. SpaceX also promises, according to a spokeswoman, to ultimately “make life interplanetary.”
 
Then there’s Elon Musk, the dashing chairman of Tesla Motors who founded the SpaceX company, which develops rockets, who hopes to cart astronauts and cargo aloft. SpaceX also promises, according to a spokeswoman, to ultimately “make life interplanetary.”
 
Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, meanwhile, has Blue Origin, a media-shy operation promising “human access to space at dramatically lower cost and increased reliability” with suborbital flights and other orbital services, according to the Web site.
 
Indeed, companies planning to offer suborbital trips are already involved in the type of service boasts and fare battles common among airlines, whose early days are often likened to the current state of space companies. While Virgin Galactic, for example, is charging $200,000, Space Adventures, working with Texas-based Armadillo Aerospace, says it can get you there for about half that. And that’s not even the cheapest: a company called XCOR Aerospace is working on a nifty little space coupe called the Lynx, which would offer a two-person flight — just you and the pilot — for $95,000.
 
“This is more like the ‘Right Stuff’-kind of experience,” said Col. Richard Searfoss, a company test pilot, in a promotional video on the Web site. Missions are expected to start by 2014.
 
Once the flights are operational, they will be brief and action-packed. SpaceShipTwo, for instance, will carry six passengers and two pilots. Attached to a twin-fuselage jet, it will take off from Spaceport America, a sleek, futuristic complex on a desolate patch of ranchland in southern New Mexico. It will then cruise to about 50,000 feet, where it will detach and tip skyward, blasting off toward higher orbit. Noise and some serious G-forces will ensue, but once customers reach 60 miles or so, they will coast along in almost complete silence. (Except for your gabby co-astronauts, no doubt.)
 
PASSENGERS will then be able to unbuckle from their seats, float in weightlessness and take some killer vacation photos. And oh, what a view: hundreds of miles in every direction, with a glimpse of the Earth’s curve and the luminous arc of the atmosphere.
 
Re-entry will be a little more intense, with the ship’s wings folding and body-depressing G-forces, until it arrives at about 70,000 feet, at which point the wings will open again and the plane will glide back to the Spaceport and the astronaut’s giddy family members (and, one hopes, a fully-stocked bar).
 
While the price is steep, the physical requirements are expected to be simple: basic health. And bravery, of course. Paul Barbara, 54, a marina and boat salesman from Babylon, N.Y., said he put down his $200,000 after a lifelong obsession with space. He said he planned to lose some weight before his flight but had no trepidation about being so high above the planet. “I wouldn’t bungee jump,” he said, “but I’ll go to outer space.” According to Virgin Galactic, the passenger list already includes a teenager and a 90-year-old.
 
In promotional materials for Virgin Galactic, Glenys Ambe, an Australian fashion retailer, says she bought a ticket as an early 60th-birthday present to herself. “How cool,” she said.
 
Such awe-struck idealism is echoed by many of the corporate backers of the suborbital business, who dislike the term “space tourism,” saying it demeans the true beauty of slipping the bonds of Earth.
 
“We think in terms of explorers and expeditions,” said J. Buckner Hightower, the executive vice president of Excalibur Almaz, who said that human space exploration — versus robotic — is a guiding principle.
 
“Manned space has always been my thing,” he said. “I grew up reading fiction about humans exploring the cosmos. And I just think that it’s a two-legged proposition.”
 
When exactly that proposition becomes a statement of fact, mind you, is an open question. Companies still have to clear all sorts of regulatory, legal and logistical hurdles. Certain details — departure dates, for example — can be hard to come by. Still, Virgin Galactic says that it has more than 500 confirmed customers, many of whom have paid the entire $200,000 to guarantee a seat. (More recent customers have been asked to put down just 10 percent, which is fully refundable.)
 
Meanwhile, Mr. Bigelow’s company — whose so-called “habitats” are launched in a rocket and then expand like space accordions into rudimentary dwellings — is in a holding pattern until the company can find carriers capable and ready to transport guests. (But don’t chuckle at the concept: two of Mr. Bigelow’s futuristic bouncy castles have already been shot into orbit.)
 
Of all the private companies, Space Adventures has perhaps the most established track record, having sent a series of paying customers to the space station over the last decade. Like some of its competitors, Space Adventures sometimes uses technology and facilities from the former Soviet Union, including a launch facility in Kazakhstan (If you’re interested, though, you’ll have to wait: the next flight isn’t scheduled until 2014 or so.) Those trips — to an orbit of more than 200 miles — are just one of several spacey options offered by the company. Others include zero-gravity flights on a modified 727, starting at $4,950, and flight training in a centrifuge machine starting at $9,750 (airsickness bag not included).
 
Customers of Space Adventures say the cost is worth it. Richard Garriott, a video game designer who grew up in Houston (his father, Owen, was an astronaut), traveled to the space station in 2008 and said that the vistas from on high could be life-changing.
 
“The biggest single moment was when I could look down and see an area I knew intimately — Texas — and then see the rest of the Earth,” Mr. Garriott recalled. “I thought, ‘I now know the true scale of the Earth by direct observation.’ ”
 
The biggest ticket item is the company’s never-before-tried trip to the far side of the moon (similar in destination and price to the Excalibur Almaz trip), which would cost some $150 million, but would allow the buyer to “become a catalyst for humankind’s expansion into space,” according to the company’s Web site. Tom Shelley, the company’s president, said he’d already sold one seat (launch is scheduled for 2016 ... or 2017).
 
The biggest ticket item is the company’s never-before-tried trip to the far side of the moon (similar in destination and price to the Excalibur Almaz trip), which would cost some $150 million, but would allow the buyer to “become a catalyst for humankind’s expansion into space,” according to the company’s Web site. Tom Shelley, the company’s president, said he’d already sold one seat (launch is scheduled for 2016 ... or 2017).
 
“The moon,” he said, “is within our reach.”
 
Maybe. Skeptics still have their doubts. Paul Milo, author of “Your Flying Car Awaits,” which chronicles various failed predictions about space tourism, among other things, said the idea of an average person going to the moon is still far-fetched. “To be optimistic, maybe by 2030 that could happen,” Mr. Milo said.
 
But Mr. Milo was more bullish on suborbital flight, in large part because master marketers like Mr. Branson and Mr. Bezos are involved. “The folks at NASA thought about solving a problem,” Mr. Milo said of early spaceflights. “Private companies think about market appeal.”
 
George Whitesides, the chief executive and president of Virgin Galactic, agrees that the company’s goal is not only to fly people to suborbital space for five minutes, but also to “establish the first commercial space line,” with an emphasis on customer service, something that Virgin has road-tested with its cooler-than-thou airline.
 
“It doesn’t just mean that you have a vehicle that works,” he said. “You have to have a whole customer experience that works.”
 
To that end, customers will have a three-day training course at the Spaceport before launch day. And there is talk of building a hotel nearby for families and other well-wishers. (Mr. Whitesides said he can see the company eventually establishing a hotel in space, too, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)
 
THAT said, Mr. Whitesides underscored that the company’s bigger mission is to “keep on opening up space to humanity,” something that will, he hopes, involve lowering that $200,000 price tag. “We want it so that it’s no longer restricted to the elite-elite,” he said.
 
It’s just such democratization that Mr. Curran seems to be trying to spread. And while Rochester — home of the bankrupt Eastman Kodak company — might not seem like a fertile market, Mr. Curran said he’d already sold one Virgin ticket since becoming an accredited space agent last year.
 
For his part, Mr. Curran, 55, says space never held a particularly strong lure for him. But this has not stopped him from putting down his own $20,000 deposit — for a space trip.
 
Asked why, he sounds Kennedy-esque.
 
“I don’t know where it’s going to take me, and I don’t think it would be fair to get involved with it if I only had some sort of guarantee about what I was going to get out of it,” he said. “The question might better be asked: What am I going to contribute to it?”

 

 

PAUL G. ALLEN ANNOUNCES REVOLUTION IN SPACE TRANSPORTATION

Stratolaunch System to bring safer, less expensive, missions


December 13, 2011 - Entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen announced today that he and aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan have reunited to develop the next generation of space travel. Allen and Rutan, whose SpaceShipOne was the first privately-funded, manned rocket ship to fly beyond earth's atmosphere, are developing a revolutionary approach to space transportation: an air-launch system to provide orbital access to space with greater safety, cost-effectiveness and flexibility.

The space flight revolution Allen and Rutan pioneered in 2004 with SpaceShipOne now enters a new era. Only months after the last shuttle flight closed an important chapter in spaceflight, Allen is stepping in with an ambitious effort to continue America's drive for space.

Allen’s new company, Stratolaunch Systems, will build a mobile launch system with three primary components:


• A carrier aircraft, developed by Scaled Composites, the aircraft manufacturer and assembler founded by Rutan. It will be the largest aircraft ever flown.
• A multi-stage booster, manufactured by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies.
• A state-of-the-art mating and integration system allowing the carrier aircraft to safely carry a booster weighing up to 490,000 pounds. It will be built by Dynetics, a leader in the field of aerospace engineering.

Stratolaunch Systems will bring airport-like operations to the launch of commercial and government payloads and, eventually, human missions. Plans call for a first flight within five years. The air-launch-to-orbit system will mean lower costs, greater safety, and more flexibility and responsiveness than is possible today with ground-based systems. Stratolaunch's quick turnaround between launches will enable new orbital missions as well as break the log jam of missions queued up for launch facilities and a chance at space.

It will use six 747 engines, have a gross weight of more than 1.2 million pounds and a wingspan of more than 380 feet. For takeoff and landing, it will require a runway 12,000 feet long. Systems onboard the launch aircraft will conduct the countdown and firing of the booster and will monitor the health of the orbital payload. The plane will be built in a Stratolaunch hangar which will soon be under construction at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

The multi-stage booster will be manufactured by California-based Space Exploration Technologies, one of the world's pre-eminent space transportation companies. "Paul Allen and Burt Rutan helped generate enormous interest in space with White Knight and SpaceShipOne,” said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. “There was no way we weren't going to be involved in their next great endeavor. We are very excited.”

Dynetics will provide the mating and integration system and the systems engineering, integration, test and operations support for the entire air-launch system. The mating and integration system will be manufactured in Huntsville, Alabama in Dynetics’ new 226,500 square foot prototyping facility. Dynetics has been a leader in aerospace engineering since 1974. “We are excited to play such a major role on this system. This is an ambitious project unlike any that has been undertaken and I am confident the Stratolaunch team has the experience and capabilities to accomplish the mission,” said Dynetics

Virgin Galactic welcomes this announcement of a new air-launched space system as the foundation of commercial orbital operation. In their response Virgin Galactic states:

The announcement from Paul Allen and Burt Rutan today represents the latest chapter in the extraordinary story of commercial space. The initial collaboration between the two men produced SpaceShipOne and gave Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic the confidence to make the significant investment required to commercialize the prototype technology, thus creating the world's first spaceline. With that project nearing completion and Virgin Galactic on the cusp of offering safe and commercially viable suborbital space flight for the very first time, it is exciting to see such a credible consortium now seeking to continue the heritage of air-launched space access towards the significant challenge of orbital flight.

Virgin Galactic has established itself as the lead operator of private sector manned spaceflight and as such is building a body of knowledge, expertise and assets, all of which will be invaluable as we assess the commercial opportunities that emerging technologies present. We therefore look forward to working closely with Stratolaunch as the project unfolds over the coming years.

Commenting on the announcement, Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic said: "I very much welcome today's announcement from Paul and Burt. It takes me back to the exciting conversations the three of us had in 2004 when we first started talking about commercializing SpaceShipOne technology. We've come a long way since then; WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo are built and flying and we have nearly 500 private individuals and science researchers signed up and ready to fly. The potential of the industry we are leading is immense but will depend on the continuing emergence of truly safe, affordable and transformative technologies. Burt and Paul's record in that respect is unmatched. I hope that in due course, in partnership with Stratolaunch and others, we will be able to repeat the pattern that has worked so spectacularly well in the suborbital sphere, for orbital spaceflight.”

Craig Curran of Galactic Experiences by DePrez is part of a small group hand-selected by Virgin Galactic to sell suborbital space tickets. He is your dedicated Virgin Galactic Accredited Space Agent in the Central and Western NY, Ohio, Ontario, Canada and Western Pennsylvania areas.

About Craig Curran
President of the DePrez Group Of Travel Companies, Craig has been a travel agent for the past 30 years. He has traveled the globe and directed the growth of the DePrez Group into one of the most diverse and successful independent travel management firms in the United States.

Mr. Curran is the Board Chairman of VisitRochester, the convention and visitors bureau for Rochester, NY. He also serves on the Hillside Family of Agencies Board of Governors and resides in Pittsford, NY. Mr. Curran has long been fascinated with space and space travel. He has flown light jets, skydived and is an avid scuba diver.

About Galactic Experiences by DePrez
Galactic Experiences by DePrez is a member of the DePrez Group Of Travel Companies and is the largest independent travel management firm in central and western NY. Founded in 1929 the group provides extensive and diverse travel services, including cruise sales of Just Cruises, Inc. a top 50 cruise-only agency in N.A.), meeting and congress planning to fortune 100 companies and large associations, corporate travel management, and luxury travel leisure sales through Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC

For additional information please contact Craig Curran at ccurran@galacticexperiencesbydeprez.com.


 

 

DEPREZ AGENT SELLING SPACE TRAVEL FOR CIVILIANS


Rochester, N.Y.(October 24, 2011) - First off, it’s true. A groundbreaking in the New Mexico desert last week is taking the dream of space travel from science fiction to reality – in about two more years, and a Rochester travel agent is connected to the project.

"I’ve seen the spaceport, I’ve seen the runways, and I’ve met the astronauts,” says Craig Curran of the DePrez Group of Travel Companies based in Brighton. He hands out a card that says “Galactic Experiences by DePrez”.  The small print reads:  "'The art of space travel."

The Spaceport is a futuristic hangar, training center and runway near Alberquerque. The planes that will take off and land there will leave the earth’s atmosphere and carry ordinary civilians into space.

“It’s not just a ride for rich people,” explains Craig Curran. “This is the birth of a new industry.”

Space Ship Two is a smaller aircraft about 60 feet long. It carries six passengers and two pilots. It is launched horizontally from a larger twin aircraft with a wingspan of 140 feet.

“When they’re at altitude, Space Ship Two will be decoupled from the mother ship and drop,” Curran explains. Asked about his terminology he said, “I think a lot of folks can’t grasp that this is already happening and not 23rd century technology."

"Space Ship Two has a rocket-fueled engine which kicks in at three and a half times the speed of sound, allowing the ship to break through the atmosphere to an altitude of 5,000 feet...."

"Then everything stops."

“The rocket ride is a minute and a half or so. It’s like nothing else you have ever done,” according to a video on the website www.virgingalactic.com. “When the engine shuts down and the vibration ends, you get this sense of weightlessness.”

Video animation shows how passengers then release their seatbelts and experience zero gravity. They float about the cabin and to large windows completely surrounding the vessel.

From the window planet earth is visible. “All you will see for 1,000 kilos in either direction is the earth,” says Curran. “And you’ll see this thin ribbon around the globe of the atmosphere.”

The ride takes just over an hour and a half. It reaches into the sub-orbital range which means it’s below the earth’s orbit. It is the next step toward hypersonic travel which could take passengers around the globe in four hours.

The founder of Virgin Airlines Sir Richard Branson is the force behind Galactic Travel. He says the technology is here. “I’m going and I hope you will join me,” he says.

There is still one obstacle between you, and space. The journey for now costs $200,000. For that price, civilian astronauts get a three to five day adventure including training for g-force and zero gravity.

“We do have people from our area signed up,” says travel agent Curran, though he did not name names. “I’m also on the list but I’ll have to sell a lot of seats before I can afford to go,” he adds.

Galactic Enterprises can handle about 500 passengers a year. Four hundred thirty have already signed up. Before the flights can take off, the government must decide how to regulate the fledging industry.

The first flights are expected to launch in 2013.

 

 

DEPREZ TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL IS AWARDED BY COX & KINGS


 

It is with great privilege that Cox & Kings announces Judy Shafer as winner of the Cox & Kings’ Travel Advisor of the Month Award for August 2011.

Thank you again, Judy, for your valued partnership with Cox & Kings, and thank you so much for your loyal business and support. We are so pleased to be working with you and look forward to arranging more fabulous travel journeys for your valued clients traveling to our growing portfolio of destinations.

Merritt Howerton - Director of Sales, Eastern U.S. and Canada

I have been a travel consultant for the past 29 years, specializing in FIT trips for upscale travelers. Prior to that time, I was a teacher. I have always been interested in travel, since my high school days when I was an exchange student. I have been fortunate to have traveled to many destinations throughout the world, sometimes traveling with my husband and other times escorting small groups on educational and adventure-oriented trips.

My favorite destination is Africa. It is a magical place where every day you experience something unexpected and different. No trip is ever the same and you gain a perspective of world you would not have if you elected to stay at home. I truly believe the saying, "The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page'.

Judy -

  

 

 

DEPREZ - OFFICIAL DROP SITE FOR CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS

ROCHESTER, NY (August, 31,2011) - The DePrez Group of Travel Companies is proud of the support of our employee's and the local community.  Our Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC division continues to be an official drop site for Cell Phones for Soldiers.  It's simple and FREE.  Every phone you donate will help increase the amount of talk time provided to our troops.  The cell phone is a charitable donation.  The donated phones are purchased by RECellular and the money generated is used to purchase sixty (60) minutes international calling cards. What a great way to support our troops!  Bring your old cell phones and accessories to us at Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC at 133 Rue de Ville in Brighton.
Sue Koch of RECellular reports that with our continued support we have helped Cell Phones for Soldiers to provide almost 25 million minutes of talk time to troops and their families in 2011 so far.
The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, is the largest independent travel management organization in the 5-county Rochester area.  Founded in 1929 the group provides extensive and diverse travel services, including luxury travel leisure sales through Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC, (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), DMI (DePrez Meetings and Incentives), Charlie Cheap Seats, Gem Event Planners, Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc., and Precision Planning.  

                     

 

 

 LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT CRAIG CURRAN OF DEPREZ TRAVEL BUREAU, INC. IN ROCHESTER, NY SELECTED AS VIRGIN GALACTIC ACCREDITED SPACE AGENT

Craig Curran Receives Certification

LOCAL TRAVEL ADVISOR NAMED ONE OF ELITE FEW TO SELL SEATS ABOARD
SIR RICHARD BRANSON’S COMMERCIAL SPACE VENTURE

                         

Rochester, NY(May 6, 2011) -  With every day bringing the dream of space travel one step closer to reality, Virgin Galactic has added Craig Curran as an Accredited Space Agents (ASAs) to its existing sales force.  Craig Curran of DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc./Virtuoso, a Virtuoso member agency, has been selected as one of an elite group of travel advisors who are specially trained to sell the most exciting new adventure in travel: suborbital flights aboard Sir Richard Branson’s commercial space venture.  Craig Curran joins an existing group of 72 Virtuoso ASAs – the only travel advisors throughout the entire Americas who have this distinction. 

Craig Curran is part of a small group who were hand-selected by Virgin Galactic to sell the seats, which go for $200,000 a ticket.  Virtuoso determined its new recruits through a two-step process to ascertain each candidate’s potential to sell these one-of-a-kind flights. After submitting an initial online application, Craig Curran submitted a proposal outlining how he planned to produce space sales. Other criteria included a proven track record in selling Virtuoso preferred supplier product, client demographics, market location/penetration, marketing and public relations acumen, and - most importantly - a demonstrated passion for space travel.  Craig Curran recently participated in an intensive Virgin Galactic training session  in  Fort Worth, Texas office, which will allow him to bring this opportunity to existing and prospective clients. 

“The advisors who are selected as ASAs have an opportunity to be on the forefront of one of travel’s most significant breakthroughs,” says Matthew D. Upchurch, CTC, CEO of Virtuoso and Virgin Galactic ‘Founder’ Passenger.   “Virgin Galactic – an organization with enormous name recognition – has entrusted trusted travel advisors with the sales of its pioneering project.  This recognition raises the bar for all travel advisors by highlighting the value that advisors like Craig Curran provide to their clients.  Virgin Galactic continues to cross major milestones that bring us closer to realizing space travel, and Craig Curran and his future astronaut clients will be part of this historic journey.”

Carolyn Wincer, Head of Astronaut Sales for Virgin Galactic, commented, “Adding new ASAs like Craig Curran will prove beneficial for the entire Virgin Galactic program.  Not only does it strengthen the existing ASA program, it builds awareness for the project and brings the opportunity to more future astronauts.  We are confident Craig Curran’s participation will be an asset.” 

Virgin Galactic is the commercial space project currently in development by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.  With its a specially built spacecraft currently undergoing successful test flights, Virgin Galactic leads the way in private space tourism.  Virtuoso’s ASAs recently hit the $10 million mark in space travel sales, with demand continuing to build with every milestone reached. See our website to learn more.

 

# # #

 

About DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc.

DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc. is a member of the DePrez Group Of Travel Companies and is the
largest independent travel management firm in central and western NY.  Founded in 1929 the
group provides extensive and diverse travel services, including cruise sales of Just Cruises, Inc.
a top 50 cruise-only agency in N.A.), meeting and congress planning to fortune 100 companies and
large associations, corporate travel management, and luxury travel leisure sales
through Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC

 

About Craig Curran

Craig Curran is President of the DePrez Group Of Travel Companies and has been a travel agent
for the past 30 years.  He has traveled the globe and directed the growth of the DePrez Group into
one of the most diverse and successful independent travel management firms in the United States.

Mr. Curran is the Board Chairman of VisitRochester, the convention and visitors bureau for
Rochester,NY. He also serves on the Hillside Family Of Agencies Board of Governors and resides
in Pittsford, NY with his wife Donna Lee and his 2 children.  Mr. Curran has long been fascinated
with space and space travel.  He has flown light jets, skydived and is an avid scuba diver. 

 

      About Virtuoso

Virtuoso® is the industry’s leading luxury travel network.  This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 300 agencies with more than 6,000 elite travel specialists in 22 countries in North and South America, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand, as well as over 1,000 of the world’s best travel providers and premier destinations.  The network’s member agencies generate over $5.1 billion annually in travel sales, making the group the most powerful in the luxury travel segment. Their relationships with the finest travel companies provide the network’s affluent clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. Virtuoso is the exclusive network of travel services and benefits provided by MasterCard® for participating World Elite MasterCard® programs. For more information, please visit www.virtuoso.com.  To see Virtuoso’s latest video
content, visit
http://www.youtube.com/user/VirtuosoTraveler
.

 

Media Contacts:                                                                   

Craig Curran                                                                Misty Ewing, CTA

DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc.                                         Virtuoso – Director, Public Relations

585-442-8900 x224 / Cell: 585-721-9641                   Office: 212.588.8242 / Cell: 206.484.8022

Email: ccurran@depreztravel.com                               Email: mewing@virtuoso.com

 

 

  

 

HISTORICALLY BLACK UNIVERSITY RECEIVES CONTRIBUTION FROM JUST CRUISES, INC.

Rochester, NY (9/21/10) - Judy Day of Just Cruises, Inc. on behalf of DePrez Group of Travel Companies, recently presented a check for $1,550 to Willard Brown, Jr. for Central State University (CSU). This amount represented a fund raiser in conjunction with Princess Cruise Line. "I was proud to be able to work with Willard this past year along with alumni and family members for an unforgettable Asian Princess Cruise in March 2010".  The diverse group was excited about the fascinating itinerary to China, Vietman, and Thailand. Brown is a CSU Alumni and has been a travel representative with Just Cruise, Inc. since 2008. He has been the coordinator of the Central State University Alumni travel group's cruises since 2000 for their first cruise to the Bahamas and Key West, FL. Since that first cruise there have been nine others including this year's to SE Asia. Their 2011 cruise to Egypt and The Aegean will depart from Rome on May 18 and return on the 30th. Brown adds "Our cruise to SE Asia and China had the largest participation since our first cruise in 2000. The cruise was thoroughly enjoyed by all 59 passengers with some intending to return to our planned cruise to Egypt and The Aegean in 2011. Much of the success of this activity is attributed to the service and support provided by Just Cruises, Inc. and in particular to Judy Day, our group's dedicated travel representative. We look forward to a continued association with Just Cruises, Inc. and their group of travel representatives for our future cruising destinations."

Central State University, established in 1887, is a nationally recognized academic institution in the heart of Ohio.  The main campus is located in Wilberforce, Ohio outside of Xenia and close to Dayton, OH. Central State University is a premier historically black university that nurtures students within a value-based environment focused on excellence in teaching and learning, research, and public service.

Just Cruises, Inc. is the largest cruise retailer in Western NY and is part of the DePrez Group of Travel Companies.  Founded in 1984, Just Cruises, Inc. is amoung the top 50 cruise-only agencies in the United States and has supported several fund raiser cruises over the years.

 

WHITAKER & DEPREZ TRAVEL PARTNERS PRESENT FUNDRAISER CHECK
 
Will Hall and Stephanie Whitaker present check to Memorial AME Zion ChurchRochester, NY (5/18/10) - Will Hall and Stephanie Whitaker of Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners present a $1,900.00 check to Memorial AME Zion Church of Rochester.  The check was the result of a fundraiser cruise aboard the Carnival Victory.  The cruise was on April 25th – May 2nd 2010, with a 7-night Southern Caribbean itinerary. We were pleased to have 61 people take part in this wonderful event.  A group from the church came in to plan a trip and was thrilled with the idea of cruising while raising money for their church.  The worth while effort paid off for the church.  Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners are currently planning the 2nd annual fundraiser cruise for the Memorial AME Zion Church in March 2011.
 
Alma Campbell from the Memorial AME Zion Church said, "Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners believes in the Golden Rule. They stand behind their product.  What the agency says it will do, indeed you can depend on. Everyone enjoyed the cruise!”
 
“It was a fun challenge and I look forward to working with this wonderful group of people for the 2nd annual fundraiser cruise”, added Will Hall from Whitaker & DePrez
 
Memorial AME Zion Church was founded in 1827 by Rev. Thomas James who felt the need to have a church for his own people. This was the first Black Church in Rochester. The church has been the home of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and a stop over station for the Underground Railroad Movement.
Memorial AME Zion Church 549 Clarissa Street Rochester NY 14609
 
Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners, LLC is a partnership of the areas leading professional travel counselors. Located in Brighton, NY, the group is a member of the invitation-only Virtuoso network made up of the top 225 deluxe travel agencies in the world. Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners is one of The DePrez Group of Travel Companies founded in 1929. The DePrez Group is the largest independent travel management organization in the 4 county Rochester area.
 
For more information, please contact Stephanie S. Whitaker at 442-8901 or swhitaker@wdtravelpartners.com

  

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY NAMED TO GLOBAL TOP 100
 
Rochester, NY (5/18/10)Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners, LLC of Rochester, NY was recently honored by Abercrombie & Kent, the world's foremost luxury travel company, with induction into the A&K “100 Club.”  As a member of Abercrombie & Kent’s exclusive “100 Club”, Stephanie Whitaker, CTC Managing Partner of Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners, LLC, recently joined other “100 Club” members at Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower for the induction ceremonies and conference discussion about the evolution of luxury travel.  “100 Club” membership is limited to top travel agents from around the world that meet Abercrombie and Kent’s exacting criteria.   
 
Abercrombie & Kent USA, LLC president Scott Wiseman thanked the group for its outstanding support and talked about how travel is changing. “We believe luxury has three hallmarks: authenticity, flexibility and a sense of well-being,” explained Wiseman.  “Authenticity means the product is true to its place and its traditions, incorporating elements of the past and reflecting the local culture.  Flexibility refers to service that anticipates your clients’ needs and satisfies them in an unobtrusive manner.   Peace of mind comes from knowing you are traveling with a first class organization staffed by professionals for whom the word ‘impossible’ does not exist.”
 
D. Shawn Johnson, Sales Director at Abercrombie & Kent, added “The internet is making for a more informed consumer.  Prospective clients are doing more of their own research and have a better idea of the kind of experience they want.  But when it comes to making the final decision, they want to work with experts – like those at Whitaker and DePrez – who bring a rare blend of professionalism and knowledge to their passion for travel.”
 
“Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners, LLC maintains a level of dedication and service to their clients that is also embraced by Abercrombie & Kent. This is a perfect partnership for growth in a changing travel environment” Whitaker said.
 
Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners, LLC is a partnership of the areas leading professional travel counselors. Located in Brighton, NY, the group is a member of the invitation-only Virtuoso network made up of the top 225 deluxe travel agencies in the world. Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners is one of The DePrez Group of Travel Companies founded in 1929. The DePrez Group is the largest independent travel management organization in the 4 county Rochester area.
For more information, please contact Stephanie S. Whitaker @ 442-8901 or swhitaker@wdtravelpartners.com

  

DEPREZ GROUP OF TRAVEL COMPANIES SUPPORTS HAITI RELIEF

ROCHESTER, NY - DePrez Group of Travel Companies has pulled together again to support those in need. Upon hearing about the devastating Earthquake in Haiti, a call went out to the entire staff of DePrez Travel to reach into their pockets and make a donation for the American Red Cross for the relief efforts in Haiti. In just four business days the employees pulled together to raise $804. They were all challenged by the President & CEO, Craig Curran. For every dollar the DePrez family can donate to help the Red Cross's efforts in Haiti, Craig offered to match the contribution 100%.

Allen Bernstein, Vice President of DePrez Travel Companies is proud to announce that they will be making a contribution to the American Red Cross in the amount of $1608.
 

 The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929, is the largest independent travel management organization in the 5-county Rochester area. The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), DMI (DePrez Meetings and Incentives), Charlie Cheap Seats, Whitaker and DePrez Travel Partners, LLC. Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc., and Precision Planning.

For additional information on this, please contact Allen Bernstein at abernstein@depreztravel.com or visit www.depreztravel.com.

 

THE DE PREZ GROUP OF TRAVEL COMPANIES EMBRACES THE SPIRIT OF THE SEASON!

ROCHESTER, NY (12/18/09) - DePrez Travel's owner and CEO, Craig Curran, along with his entire staff will make the donation to the representatives of NCMEC on Wednesday December 23. The presentation will take place at a holiday luncheon for the travel agency's staff and key clients held at the main branch of DePrez Travel, located at 145 Rue De Ville in Brighton NY.

"We are so very grateful to receive this generous donation from the employees at DePrez Travel. It is very heartwarming to see the staff at a great local company embracing the spirit of the holiday season by making children safer. In supporting the work of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children right here in the Greater Rochester area, they are helping us to do more to keep our kids safer throughout the year." said Edward Suk, Executive Director NY.

"Our staff really felt that this was the year to forego our holiday party and donate to an exceptionally worthwhile cause" stated Allen Bernstein, Executive Vice President and Director of Operations at The DePrez Group of Travel Companies.

The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929, is the largest independent travel management organization in the 5-county Rochester area. The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), DMI (DePrez Meetings and Incentives), Charlie Cheap Seats, Whitaker and DePrez Travel Partners, LLC. Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc., and Precision Planning.

For additional information on this, please contact Allen Bernstein at abernstein@depreztravel.com or visit www.depreztravel.com.

 

 

THE DE PREZ GROUP HELPS SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER

Rochester, NY 12/01/08 - Each year we at DePrez enjoy helping to make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. This year we are contributing to two very special projects, Cards that Care and Matt's Coats for Kids.

Cards that Care is a project started by the daughter of one of our employees four years ago. She began collecting blank holiday cards for people in local hospitals, nursing homes and senior living centers. Family & friends help to fill out the cards, add stickers and stamps. In the past 4 years, with the help of family, friends, several schools and a Boy Scout Troop she has put a smile on the faces of over 15,000 people. The goal this year is 10,000 cards. We are collecting clean, blank holiday cards in an effort to help spread the cheer.

Also, each year, in the memory of Matthew Fitton, nephew of one of our agents, we collect gently used (clean) and new coats of all sizes as well as scarves, hats and gloves. These go to help needy children in our area to stay warm. Occasionally the children's caregivers receive a warm winter coat, too. Matt's Coats for Kids has distributed about 2000 coats to needy children since 2004. For more information see http://www.mattscoatsforkids.org

  Rochester, NY - The employees of DePrez Travel have elected to scale back their annual holiday party this year and donate a large portion of those monies directly to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC is a national non-profit organization that provides assistance to recover missing children and raise awareness to prevent child abduction, molestation and exploitation.

 This is not the first time that DePrez has donated to a much greater cause. The employees of DePrez Travel elected to scale back their annual holiday party last year and donate a large portion of those monies directly to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC is a national non-profit organization that provides assistance to recover missing children and raise awareness to prevent child abduction, molestation and exploitation.

 

THE DE PREZ GROUP OF TRAVEL COMPANIES CHALLENGES EMPLOYEES TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EAT WELL LIVE WELL CHALLENGE

ROCHESTER, NY 10/2/2008 – The DePrez Group Of Travel Companies recently joined with several other businesses in the area to take part in the Eat Well Live Well Challenge sponsored by the Rochester Business Alliance. This program is one in an ongoing series to encourage healthy life habits. The Eat Well Live Well principles are these:

  • Strive for 5 cups of fruits and vegetables

  • Strive for 10,000 steps per day

  • Watch portion sizes

  • Measure your progress and success

 Thirty five employees donned pedometers provided by DePrez as they took part in the 8 week adventure. Over 12,600,000 steps were logged and a total of 5,680 cups of fruits and vegetables were consumed. Employees got creative trying to increase their daily number of steps by parking farther away from the office door and taking walks at lunchtime.

Shari Putnam, company controller, commented "We are always trying to find new ways to make our employees more successful, both professionally and personally. We understand the tremendous value of our employees and being able to impact them in a positive way while building company morale simultaneously is a definite plus for all."

The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929, is now the largest independent travel management organization in the 5-county Rochester area. The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), Charlie Cheapseats, Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC, Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc., DePrez Certified Convention Management, Precision Planning and DePrez Corporate Services Division. 

For More Information Please Contact: Shari Putnam. 585-442-8900 x232 sputnam@depreztravel.com

 

 THE DEPREZ GROUP HELPS SUPPORT KATRINA VICTIMS

NYC, NY 7/05/2008 - ICSC received the Social Responsibility Caring Hands Award from the New York Society of Association Executives, in recognition of the efforts of its members who helped rebuild homes and schools devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The DePrez Group of Travel Companies who contributed $2255 for the effort, is proud to be afilliated with ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers).   

About 300 ICSC members attending the Fall Conference last October in New Orleans devoted a day to do some heavy lifting and help the people there. The event, called The Passion Team: Helping to Rebuild the Gulf South, put volunteers to work relandscaping, repainting and generally rebuilding the Hollygrove-Carrollton section of the city. The program's organizers were American Express, AmeriCorps, the Lousiana Serve Commission, Rebuilding Together, and Trinity Christian Community.

Kate Wendel, SCMD, director of marketing, marketplace centers and new developments at General Growth Properties, who served on the planning committee, welcomed the news. “ICSC is to be commended for its willingness to embrace this idea wholeheartedly, not just for the New Orleans program, but going forward in future years,” said Wendel.

Afterward, the used equipment was donated to local organizations, and an additional $1,100 was raised for the cause. The NYSAE, which created the award in 1991, seeks to honor organizations that help solve social problems through community service.

LOCAL PERSON SELECTED FOR EPICUREAN TRAVEL CONSULTANT BOARD WITH BON APPETIT
 
ROCHESTER, NY 5/30/2008 – Fran Kramer of The DePrez Group of Travel Companies has been selected, along with other top culinary travel advisors from the Virtuoso luxury travel network, to serve on a newly formed Epicurean Travel Consultant Board, which will exclusively provide travel fulfillment for Bon Appétit's promotional special events and travel promotions.
 
“Culinary travel is an ever-growing trend in the luxury segment,” said Paul Jowdy, Vice President and Publisher of Bon Appétit, “We are thrilled with the level of expertise, first-hand experience and connections that our new board members demonstrate. Our readers and partners will greatly benefit from this relationship.”
Virtuoso and the board members will develop exclusive travel packages in conjunction with Bon Appétit promotional events. Board members will be able to promote these exciting packages to their clients and to the millions of Bon Appétit subscribers. Board members will also be invited to attend special Bon Appétit industry roundtables in major markets throughout the United States.
 
“Being a great travel advisor is very much like being a top chef,” said Kramer. “We have to select just the right travel ingredients and combine them flawlessly for a remarkable experience anywhere in the world. Culinary travel is a real passion for me, and I am honored to serve on the Epicurean Travel Consultant Board. Discovering the world and its many cultures through your sense of taste makes travel all the more rewarding and exciting.”
For vacation planning with a focus on epicurean excellence or to receive information about the travel packages developed for Bon Appétit, contact Fran Kramer at 585-442-8900 ext.207
 
The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929, is now the largest independent travel management organization in the 5-county Rochester area. The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), Charlie Cheapseats, Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC, Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc., DePrez Certified Convention Management, Precision Planning and DePrez Corporate Services Division.
 
For More Information Call: The DePrez Group of Travel Companies
145 Rue de Ville * Rochester, NY 14618 * 585-442-8900

 LOCAL TRAVEL SPECIALIST QUOTED IN FORBES.COM

 Rochester,NY 02/26/08 - When Forbes was looking for a knowledgeable agent to interview for a feature article on Australia, New Zealand and the SouthPacific, they turned to Virtuoso, North America’s most respected network of travel agents. Virtuoso recommended that Forbes call Fran Kramer of The Deprez Group of Travel Companies.

 Fran, who specializes in luxury travel to the Oceana Region (the collective name for the islands scattered throughout most of the Pacific Basin) was selected for her experience and standing in the travel industry. She is a past resident of New Zealand, has visited the “Down Under” countries dozens of times, and has been recognized as one of the Top 80 Travel Agents in the US by National Geographic Explorer magazine. 
 
To read the Forbes article on “Swanky Vacation Spots: Australia/ New Zealand/ South Pacific”, go to http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/21/travel-pacific-resorts-forbeslife-cx_ls_0221travelpacific.html.
   
The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929, is now the largest independent travel management organization in the 5-county Rochester area. The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), Charlie Cheapseats, Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC, Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc., DePrez Certified Convention Management, Precision Planning and DePrez Corporate Services Division.
 
For More Information Call:
The DePrez Group of Travel Companies
145 Rue de Ville
Rochester, NY  14618
585-442-8900

 
 LEADING TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS FORM AREAS FIRST PARTNERSHIP

Rochester, NY 2/07/08 - Under the leadership of Stephanie S. Whitaker, 10 of the areas premiere travel professionals have created a first of its kind, professional partnership.  The organization, Whitaker and DePrez Travel Partners, LLC opened to the public in its new state of the art offices on December 15, 2007. Whitaker and DePrez Travel Partners, in a collective effort, brings the areas most experienced travel consultants under one roof, offering clients a level of customer care, service and counseling never before available.  “Many of my colleagues, representing the very best and longest tenured travel professionals in the area, have long been looking for the absolute best way to serve our clients.  We have all reached the same conclusion, that by joining forces in the framework of a professional partnership, we can bring an unprecedented level of expertise and customer service to our clients” says Whitaker. 

The organization will also combine two of the area's best known brands in retail leisure travel.  Stephanie Whitaker, CTC,  is the best known and respected Luxury travel advisor in the area and will serve as the managing director. Whitaker has over 40 years of service to the travel industry in the Rochester market. She holds a BA in English from Hollins College and has extensive travel experience. She has served as a regular industry panelist for Virtuoso (the leading luxury travel industry trade group) and has been a long time member  of the Travel Institute.  Stephanie specializes in foreign independent travel, is certified with Virtuoso, and is a 'LEXPERT” with Lindblad Expeditions.

Operations for the new organization will be provided by The Deprez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929.  The DePrez Group is the largest independently owned travel management firm in upstate NY and has been regularly recognized as the leader in this areas leisure travel trade.  

Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC. is a member of the most prestigious and established travel network in the world, Virtuoso. The invitation only group is North America's most respected network of travel agents.  Through this affiliation Whitaker & DePrez offers increased value,  the highest level of industry expertise, professional standards, and unparalleled choices that you won't find anywhere else.
Whitaker and DePrez Travel Partners, LLC is:

Stephanie Whitaker, CTC (Certified Travel Consultant)
Stephanie serves as Managing Partner and Director.

Maxine Krasnoff, CTA
Maxine has served the travel industry for 27 years and holds an Associate Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Paul Smiths. She also has a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Wisconsin/Stout. She specializes in all-inclusive vacations as a Sandals Specialist.

Cindy Marshall, CTA
Cindy has been a travel consultant for 24 years. She is a graduate of Genesee Community College with an Associates Degree in Travel & Tourism. Cindy works with both leisure and corporate clients. She is Virtuoso accredited and specializes in independent and group travel to Egypt, Turkey, China, Israel and Antarctica.

Diann J. Meek, CTC
Diann has 25 years experience in the travel industry and holds a DS(Destination Specialist) in corporate destinations. She also holds an ACTS (Austrian Certified Travel Specialist) certification. While being a corporate travel specialist, she has handled music and marching groups and has traveled extensively in the US, Caribbean, Hawaii and Asia.

William Hall, CTA
William has worked for 15 years in the travel industry. He services both leisure and corporate clients. Will specializes in luxury travel to the Caribbean and Europe and is also a specialist in private yacht charters.

Valerie Case Daciw, CTA(Certified Travel Associate)
Valerie has 13 years of experience in the travel industry. She is a graduate of Alfred State College with a degree in Marketing. She also holds an AAS in Travel Tourism from Sarasota Travel School, as well as Disney College of Knowledge. She is certified with Virtuoso, and specializes in Disney, honeymoons, and cruising.

Livia Ocwieja
Livia has been a travel consultant for over 30 years. She has traveled extensively. Born in Italy, Livia specializes in Europe, Asia, Caribbean, and of course Italian vacations.

Also affiliated with Whitaker and DePrez as direct agents are:
Kathleen Begemann, Stu Bloome, Sue Davin, Carole Erikson, Joe Fanelli, Barbara Gombetto, Sherri Handelman, Nancy Jeffries, Herb and Fran Kramer,  Carol McCarthy, Enid Ryan, Judy Shafer.

The Deprez Group of Travel Companies includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc, Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), Charlie Cheapseats, Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC, Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc.,  DePrez Certified Convention Management, Precision Planning, and DePrez Corporate Services Division.

Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners
133 Rue De Ville
Rochester, NY 14618

For more information, please contact Stephanie S. Whitaker @ 442-8901 or swhitaker@wdtravelpartners.com

 
LOCAL CRUISE AGENCY RECOGNIZED AS THE BEST IN THE NATION

Rochester, NY (02/6/08) - Just Cruises, Inc. of Rochester, NY has been nationally recognized as an industry leading cruise agency and inducted into Carnival Cruise Lines' “Pinnacle Club.” The program was created by the cruise line to acknowledge those high-volume travel agencies that meet a certain sales criteria and exhibit excellence in promoting and selling the “Fun Ship” cruise experience. These select agencies represent the top Carnival retailers in the nation   

  “Travel agencies are an important part of our distribution system, which is why we created the 'Pinnacle Club' to recognize those high-volume agencies like Just Cruises, Inc. who are truly experts in their field and exhibit the highest levels of professionalism,” said Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill. The program is limited to less than 70 of the nations estimated 25,000 travel and cruise agencies. To be eligible for the program, agencies must meet the company's sales criteria, and demonstrate exceptional professionalism, creativity in sales and marketing techniques, and outstanding support of the Carnival product. To celebrate their induction into this elite group, the staff of Just Cruises, Inc was presented with a highly detailed replica of a Carnival “Fun Ship” to display at their office.

Just Cruises, Inc. is a Rochester based cruise agency. The firm specializes in cruise sales and consulting. It was one of the first organizations of its kind worldwide when it opened in 1984. Just Cruises, Inc. has been recognized many times by Carnival as an industry leader. “This award, created in 2004, is meant to recognize the absolute best of the best. Our selection, for the 5th consecutive year, is a clear reflection of the dedication and professionalism of our staff” said Craig Curran, President of Just Cruises, Inc. “We are honored to be recognized by the largest cruise organization in the world.” Just Cruises, Inc. is a member of The DePrez Group Of Travel Companies.

 

DEPREZ TRAVEL COORDINATES HOTEL RESERVATIONS THE DRUM CORPS ASSOSIATES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

 Rochester, NY (10/1/06) - The Drum Corps Associates World Championships came to Rochester on Labor Day Week-end.  DePrez Travel was proud to provide the hotel reservations for this group of Drum and Bugle Corps from all over the world.  To make this enormous event a reality, over 30 hotels and 7200 room nights in the Rochester area were used. 

There was a full year of planning and coordination of the event with an expected draw of about 15,000 people to the event in downtown Rochester. Attendance far exceeded these expectations.  It is estimated that up to $15 million was spent in the local economy.

The hosts of the event, our local Rochester corps, The Empire Statesmen,  finished in second place, with a mere 2/10 of a point to the Reading Buccaneers.  Reservations are already being accepted for the 2007 event, also to be held in Rochester.

FRAN KRAMER FEATURED BY VIRTUOSO

Fran is the featured Virtuoso Specialist on the Virtuoso website this month. Below is her article.  

 Travel is more than gorgeous beaches, great shopping, and getting away; it is a life-long enrichment that teaches history and geography, cultures, nature and more. I have not seen the world from my armchair, but from my deck chair, my passenger seat, and my window seat.

And when the opportunity to spend a year in New Zealand as a Fulbright exchange teacher was offered to my husband Herb, it gave us a front seat to a world of exploration. From the glaciers of the South Island to the Maori culture in the North Island, and on to Australia, Tahiti, and eventually, over the years, the entire South Pacific, we found the "spirit," the essence, of each destination. We have shared all of this information, insight and inspiration with our clients again and again, cutting through the hype on the internet, and, they tell us, "We are so glad we found you."

Experience, experience, experience. That is the mantra, and boy do we have it! Hot air balloon rides over Africa, museums in Shanghai, London, and St. Petersburg, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, touring the temples of Thailand and Bali, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, over six continents and seven seas.

Over the years, cruising has become a bigger and bigger part of my travel life. I have been on over 35 cruises on 10 different cruise lines. Why? Cruises today are not only worth the best value, they are the easiest way to see the most places. Plus, combining a pre- or post-cruise land experience with the cruise maximizes the value overall.

My choice is small ship cruise lines like Seabourn, with the highest guest/staff ratio in the industry. They provide the utmost service without being stuffy. And, they can get into places where the big ships cannot, for example, Seabourn docks right on the Thames near the Tower of London. No major cruise line can boast that!

Also, the all suite, all inclusive cruises on Seabourn feature extras like complimentary massage moments on deck; complimentary spa/baths in your own cabin; and a complimentary shore event on every cruise, yes, every cruise,  like the “Caviar in the Surf” experience I will have next year on the Seabourn Spirit, (ranked the number one small cruise ship in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine), on a  14-day sailing, March 23 - April  6, from Hong Kong to Singapore, when my husband and I sail as hosts for Virtuoso Voyager Club. You'll get a second complimentary shore event in Saigon, just for booking with a Virtuoso agent. Won’t you please join us!

If a specialist is defined as one with outstanding experience and knowledge, then you cannot find any better examples than the agents that make up the Virtuoso network. I am very proud to be a part of it. If you have not tried us, what are you waiting for?

  Fran Kramer is one of over 6,000 agents in the Virtuoso network, all specializing in different destinations, cruise lines, hotels, resorts and other travel opportunities. They have the knowledge and expertise to help you get the most out of your next getaway

  

THE DEPREZ GROUP EXPANDS TRAVEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES
Rochester, NY (11/18/05) -  The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, a leading travel management firm, today announced the creation of a new division, Precision Planning.  The new division consolidates the DePrez Group's full-service event capabilities.  The division will assist corporations, associations and individuals plan and execute all aspects of group travel, meeting and conference planning, and incentive program development.  "By creating an expert team that is specialized in the needs of groups, we offer complete travel management to our clients." said Craig F. Curran, President of the DePrez Group of Travel Companies, adding, "the Precision Planning team has long been planning these services in various divisions throughout our organization.  By bringing these expe rts under one roof we are able to focus that experience to best serve the unique needs of our clients."

  Services offered by Precision Planning include: 

  • Group and individual airline reservations including negotiated airline discounts and fares
  • Full registration services
  • Website development
  • Professional onsite coordination with complete hospitality and concierge services
  • Airport transportation, airport meet & greet including baggage coordination
  • Financial management and budget maintenance
  • Program marketing and exhibitor sales
  • Complete meeting coordination including food & beverage planning (on-site or off-site), transportation coordination for all events, coordination of audio visual requirements
  • Speaker coordination and program development
  • Sightseeing tours/activities, special events, theatre tickets, sporting events, pre and post tours, spouse/social programs including transportation coordination
  • Distribution of confirmations and program materials
  • Complete attendee list management and coordination
The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929, and is now the largest independent travel management organization in the 5-county Rochester area. The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), Charlie Cheapseats, Mainline @ DePrez, Wish Upon A Star Vacations, Inc., DePrez Certified Convention Management, and Precision Planning.
 
For More Information:
Catherine M. Root, CTC
Manager, Precision Planning
145 Rue de Ville
Rochester, NY  14618
585-442-8900 x212

 

  

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENCY SUPPORTS KATRINA RELIEF EFFORTS
Rochester, NY (9/21/05)  The employees of The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, a local area travel management firm, have raised $2,225 to donate to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

 The funds were donated by the employees of the firm through an internal fund raising effort.  "This is typical of the travel professionals in our organization," said Craig F. Curran, President.  "For as long as I can remember this group has been very supportive of charitable causes.  The staff initiated this effort on their own, and responded generously."

 The DePrez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929 and is now the largest independent travel management organization in the 5 county Rochester area.  The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), Charlie Cheapseats, Wish Upon A Star Vacations, DePrez Certified Management, and Precision Planning

 

6 New CTA's Added

DE PREZ TRAVEL ADDS 6 MORE CERTIFIED TRAVEL ASSOCIATES 
Rochester, NY (8/15/05) -  DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc. is proud to recognize the following agents for earning the CTA designation: Cheryl Hall, Maxine Krasnoff, Marisol Loncoa, Pam MacDonald, Marli Pacheco and Pam Whitcomb.

 The Certified Travel Associate (CTA) designation is conferred by The Travel Institute upon travel professionals who complete a rigorous certification program, demonstrate essential industry knowledge and experience, and maintain high standards of professionalism.  With the current class of graduates, DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc. now has twenty-four CTA's on staff, the most of any travel organization in Western and Central NY.  
 
"Training is the cornerstone of our mission as an organization.  Without training we cannot achieve the personal and professional success of our staff to which we aspire.  The Travel Institute is a critical partner", said Craig F. Curran, President of the DePrez Group of Travel Companies.  Sharon Hall, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer added, "Every member of our organization is required to have at least one professional designation.  Among these are the CTA and CTC (Certified Travel Counselor) conferred by The Travel Institute, ACC (Associate Cruise Counselor) and MCC (Master Cruise Counselor) conferred by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), CMP (Certified Meeting Planner) conferred by MPI (Meeting Professionals International) and a variety of destination specialist designations.  Many of our staff hold multiple designations."
 
For 40 years, the industry leading Travel Institute has been serving as a community of knowledge and insight for all travel professionals.  Through innovative educational opportunities, professional certification programs, and customized learning solutions, the Institute fulfills its non-profit mission to promote a standard of industry knowledge, professionalism and excellence.
 
The Deprez Group of Travel Companies, founded in 1929 and is now the largest independent travel management organization in the 5 county area.  The group includes DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc (a member of the invitation-only VIRTUOSO network), Just Cruises, Inc. (one of the top 50 cruise-only agencies in North America), Charlie Cheapseats, Wish Upon A Star Vacations DePrez Certified Management, and Precision Planning. 
 
  

DePrez Manager Conference Speaker

LOCAL TRAVEL AGENGY MANAGER GUEST SPEAKER NATION'S LARGEST CRUISE AND TRAVEL INDUSTRY CONFERENCE

 

Rochester, NY (6/16/05) Rhonda Smith, of Just Cruises Incorporated has just returned from an extensive 4-day series of professional workshops, training sessions and cruise ship inspections in Seattle, Wa.  While attending the 23rd Annual Leisure Travel Conference/Summer CRUISE-A-THON, conducted by Travel Trade Productions.  Ms. Smith was selected as one of only four agents from throughout North America to be a guest speaker at the conference, based on her extensive knowledge of the industry.

 

Rhonda joined with Cruise Line, and other travel industry leaders, as well as with professional travel agents from throughout North America, for an intensive study of cruise vacation opportunities available during the coming year. Panel discussions were led by Lisa Bauer, Senior Vice President of Sales, Royal Caribbean; Rick Meadows, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Holland America Line and Dondra Ritzenthaler, Vice President of Sales, Celebrity Cruises. 

 

 Leisure Travel/Summer CRUISE-A-THON participants agreed that, of all the world's exciting and romantic ports-of-call, none is more important than the cruise ship itself, and that there is a perfect cruise out there for everyone -- from the exclusivity offered by the "Small ships" to the thrilling experience of sailing on one of the new "Mega-Ships." 

 

According to Rhonda Smith of Just Cruises, Inc. "If Rochester residents are thinking about taking a cruise, we have the first-hand experience to guide them to the right ship, at the right cost.  They can get all the information and service they need for planning an unforgettable cruise in 2005 or 2006 by contacting us at 461-BOAT (2628)”.  

Rhonda Smith resides in Greece and has been in the travel industry for over 17 years.  She has the professional designations of ACC and MCC.  Ms. Smith began her career with Just Cruises, Inc. in 1991 and has overseen the growth of Just Cruises, Inc. to one of the largest cruise agencies in North America.  Just Cruises, Inc. was founded in 1984 and is a member of The DePrez Group Of Travel Companies.  Just Cruises, Inc. has been repeatedly recognized as an industry leader and was recently awarded the Pinnacle Award by Carnival Cruise Lines.

 

Cruise for a Cause Awards Family with Vacation

CRUISE FOR A CAUSE AWARDS CRUISE TO DESERVING FAMILY AND PRESENTS CHECK TO GOLISANO CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
Rochester, NY (06/02/05) - On Saturday June 4th, between 6:00 and 7:00 pm representatives from Just Cruises Inc. will present a check for $1525.00 to Golisano Children's Hospital representing the proceeds from the 8th annual.

Additionally, Cruise For A Cause organizers Graham Lodge and Patrick Booher, along with local cruise retailer Just Cruises, Inc. today announced that Ms. Stephanie LoPresti and her son have been asked to accompany the group on their Ninth Annual Cruise For A Cause as guests of Cruise For A Cause and Just Cruises, Inc. “We are so blessed to not only have come through a very difficult time in our lives with the help of the Golisano Children's Hospital, but to now be able to relax and enjoy life with my son, while sharing our Golisano Children's Hospital experience with many of those who have supported the hospital is truly a wonderful opportunity” said Miss LoPresti.  Organizer Patrick Booher remarked, “We have enjoyed raising funds and awareness for the Golisano Children's Hospital for many years now, but to be able to directly improve the life of one of the patients is a great feeling.  It's why we put on the event.”  Craig Curran, President of Just Cruises Inc. added,  “When Graham and Patrick suggested the cruise be enhanced with the invitation of Miss LoPresti and her son, we immediately agreed to help underwrite the cruise. Seeing how much Graham and Patrick care makes it easy to say yes. 

Cruise For A Cause has been supporting worthwhile charities for the past 8 years, raising awareness and approximately $20,000.000 for local children's charities. Proceeds from the cruise have been donated to Unity Health Foundation, Hillside Children's Center, Camp Good Days and most recently Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. 

 This year's event takes place on Carnival Cruise Line's Superliner, Carnival Victory. Departing from Miami on October 16, and calling on San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten, this seven day cruise vacation is sure to delight all guests. Ocean View Staterooms are available at $569.00 per person, and Staterooms with Private Balcony are available for only $709.00 per person, both based on double occupancy. These fantastic rates also include cocktail reception with open bar, port charges, champagne & chocolates, canvas tote bag and a gift of $25.00 per stateroom to Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong.  Additional information is available at www.cruiseforacause.org. or email scountryman@justcruisesinc.com for more details. 

Graham Lodge lives in Rochester and is the Director of Food & Nutrition Services for Unity Health System. Graham is passionate about cruising as well as giving back to the community with the efforts of Cruise for a Cause. Graham also volunteers for Internet travel site CruiseCritic.com where he is a moderator for the Carnival Cruise Line message board.  

Patrick Booher lives in Rochester and is the General Manager for B.J.'s Wholesale Club in Webster. Patrick is committed to the Cruise for a Cause concept because of his deep concern for children.  

 Just Cruises Inc. is the largest cruise retailer in Western NY and is part of the DePrez Group Of Travel Companies.  Founded in 1984, Just Cruises is among the top 50 cruise-only agencies in the United States and has been a supporter of Cruise For A Cause since 1996.  

Golisano Children's Hospital is the only Children's Hospital in the region and provides pediatric services to Monroe County and the surrounding communities. 

Pinnacle Club Award

LOCAL AGENCY INDUCTED INTO CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES' PINNACLE CLUB' 

Rochester, NY (04/28/05) -  Just Cruises, Inc. of Rochester, NY has been nationally recognized as an industry leading cruise agency and inducted into Carnival Cruise Lines' “Pinnacle Club.” The program was created by the cruise line to acknowledge those high-volume travel agencies that meet a certain sales criteria and exhibit excellence in promoting and selling the “Fun Ship” cruise experience.  These select agencies represent the top Carnival retailers in the nation   

 “Travel agencies are an important part of our distribution system, which is why we created the 'Pinnacle Club' to recognize those high-volume agencies like Just Cruises, Inc. who are truly experts in their field and exhibit the highest levels of professionalism,” said Carnival President Bob Dickinson and CEO.  The program is limited to less than 70 of the nations estimated 25,000 travel and cruise agencies. To be eligible for the program, agencies must meet the company's sales criteria, and demonstrate exceptional professionalism, creativity in sales and marketing techniques, and outstanding support of the Carnival product. To celebrate their induction into this elite group, the staff of Just Cruises, Inc was presented with a highly detailed replica of a Carnival “Fun Ship” to display at their office. 

Just Cruises, Inc. is a Rochester based cruise agency.  The firm specializes in cruise sales and consulting.  It was one of the first organizations of its kind worldwide when it opened in 1984.  Just Cruises, Inc. has been recognized many times by Carnival as an industry leader.  “This award, newly created this year, is meant to recognize the absolute best of the best.  Our selection is a clear reflection of the dedication and professionalism of our staff” said Craig Curran, President of Just Cruises, Inc.  “We are honored to be recognized by the largest cruise organization in the world.” Just Cruises, Inc. is a member of The DePrez Group Of Travel Companies.

Our "Top 80" Travel Agent

DE PREZ TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL SELECTED AS ONE OF TOP 80 IN NATION
Rochester, NY (11/26/04) - Long time DePrez Group travel professional Fran Kramer was selected by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of the "80 Best Tour Operators and Travel Agents" in the nation. The October 2004 20th anniversary issue has recognized Fran Kramer as uniquely qualified and featured her as the top expertise in the South Pacific and Tahiti.

"This is truly a great honor for me" said Ms. Kramer "I've spent 20 years traveling the world with a special focus in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Tahiti. To be recognized by such a prestigious publication is gratifying." Craig Curran, President of DePrez Group of Travel Companies remarked, "Fran is an instrumental part of our team. Along with her husband and lifetime travel partner Herb; she brings a level of knowledge to our organization that is above reproach. The expertise, coupled with her intense desire to please clients, her lifelong love of travel, and her infectious enthusiasm make Fran the Quintessential travel professional."   

The DePrez Group of Travel Companies was founded in 1929 and is Celebrating its 75th Anniversary throught 2004. The organization is the largest locally owned travel agency in the area and consists of DePrez Travel Bureau, Inc., Charlie Cheap Seats, Wish Upon a Star Vacations, Precision Planning, Mainline @ DePrez, Just Cruises,Inc. and the DePrez Certified Convention Management Group. DePrez Travel Group ia a member of Virtuoso, an "invitation only" organization of the top 200 deluxe leisure agencies in the United States. The DePrez Group is also one of the top 50 cruise sellers in America.

Fran Kramer lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband Herb. Both are former teachers. It was Herb's Fullbright Exchange Award that first took them to New Zealand and the South Pacific. Fran has many industry designations including Certified Travel Consultant, Aussie Specialist, and Kiwi Specialist. At one time, Fran taught travel at St. John Fisher College. Her hobbies include collecting, writing and speaking on shaker furniture. 

 

 

 

145 Rue De Ville, Suite 1 Rochester, NY 14618
Phone (585) 442-8900  Fax (585) 442-8309 Toll Free (800) 634-5642

Our Mission Statement: "To be the premiere provider of travel services through the professional and personal success of each employee."