Trip Merchant Newsletter 2023/2024

Welcome to the BC Retired Principals’ & Vice- Principals’ Association Travel Newsletter!

This week is the start of our first Trip Merchant Journeys Icelandic Adventure group departure from May 9-17, with the second departure following that, from May 20-28! Visit our Facebook page HERE for updates throughout the month and be inspired by this incredible destination – the land of Fire and Ice

In this newsletter we are featuring the following:

*ALL DEPARTURES: Other 2023/2024 group departures including Southern Africa, Vietnam and Cambodia, Egypt/Jordan, Costa Rica, Belize, Colombia and Portugal…

*TRAVEL NEWS: U.S. to end vaccine travel requirements – COVID-19 vaccination requirements for foreign air travellers and at the Canada-

U.S. border are being lifted as of May 12 | COVID-19 is no longer global health emergency: World Health Organization

*OTHER TRIP OFFERS: Save up to 30% on adventure programs, Save up to $2000 on Boutique River Cruises, and more…

Please note: Trip Merchant sells anything and everything. If there is a travel supplier or a specific trip that you do not see on your travel site with any Ocean or River Cruise line, Guided Tour company or All Inclusive Vacation, Trip Merchant can still provide that experience for you, match any applicable offer and you will also earn your Trip Merchant Loyalty Reward Dollars on the booking! *If you book a trip directly with the travel supplier you will not receive your member benefit or your Trip Merchant Loyalty Reward Dollars (you must book directly with Trip Merchant).

Password for Access: BCRPVPATM18


Mesmerizing Morocco

Departure Date: October 23-November 6, 2023

There is something about Morocco that mesmerizes you. Everyone who travels here falls in love with this country. Morocco has plenty to offer, including medieval cities, the maze-like Medina’s, local open-air markets, Riads, mosques and minarets, the Sahara Desert, the Arab & Berber culture, the Atlas Mountains, Roman ruins, the Moroccan cuisine and the beautiful Islamic architecture/monuments. One day you will be staying in a traditional Riad (a Moroccan house or palace) in the Medina to riding a camel in the desert where you stay at a luxury camp/tent in the desert. Another day, you will be enjoying Moroccan tea in the red city of Marrakesh to next, dodging donkeys to get to a leather tannery in the holy city of Fez!
Routing: Casablanca – Chaouen – Fes – Erfoud – Merzouga
– Boumalne Dades – Marrakech
*In Casablanca you will visit the impressive Hassan II Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world.
*Spend 2 nights in the “Blue City”, built on a mountainside, Chefchaouen is a city with unique vibes, its unique charm gives an impression of unreality as if you are walking around in a dream, and with its blue rinsed houses the whole city seems to be bathed in azure.
*In Fez, have lunch at Medina Bis during your tour, located in the center of the old medina of Fez, the restaurant Le Medina Bis makes the gastronomy of Fez a philosophy!
*Camp out in a luxury tented experience for 2 nights – from the Merzouga village where you will be transferred by 4×4 cars into the sand sea of the Moroccan desert, and you will camp on the edge of the Sahara Dunes.
*Drive through Tinejdad, Tineghir and the Todra Pass in the beautiful 1,000 Kasbah Valley to El Kelaa des Mgouna where the palm trees are replaced by orchards and irrigated gardens.
*Visit Ait Ben Haddou, which is considered a great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987
*In Marrakech, dive into the maze-like Medina with its colorful alleyways and the Souks with their shimmering colors and oriental smells a discovery of the most colorful souks in the north of Africa. Then conclude the day with a sunset drink overlooking the exciting Jamaa El Fna Square!
Save $300 CAD per person if booked by May 31st, 2023 (or until sold out)!
Regular Rate: $5299 | Trip Merchant Member Rate: $4999
*Prices are CAD per person, based on 2 people sharing and reflects early booking discount (land only) – rates are based on a minimum of 15 guests.
Click the button below for the full itinerary, highlights, and inclusions:

Click the button below to view a video from the Moroccan Tourism Board. This energetic video summarizes the landscapes and experiences within this mesmerizing country. When you visit the trip

page above, you can view many other great videos of the various regions/cities that this tour will be visiting. Be inspired!



The Wonders of Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

With Optional 5 Night Amazon Post Extension
Departure Date: April 1-16, 2024

Join us on this exciting Trip Merchant Journeys adventure in Ecuador! With several bookings already, you do not want to miss out on this opportunity…Hosted by Trip Merchant | 16-24 passengers only!
Ecuador is a country in Northwestern South America, with a Pacific Ocean coastline, lying on the Equator between Colombia, to the northeast, and Peru, to the south and east. Cotopaxi is the world’s highest active volcano. Many cities and sites in Ecuador are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Such cities and best known places are the Galapagos Islands, and the city of Cuenca. Ecuador is the most biodiverse country in the world. The Galapagos Islands are justly famed for their wildlife, but there is also a lot to see on the mainland.
Ecuador has over one hundred different types of hummingbirds and thousands of orchid varieties. Cuyabeno Wild Life Reserve, Mindo and San Luis de Pambil are all good places to see many types of flora and fauna. The beaches in Ecuador are amazing, including: Salinas, Bahia de Caraquez, Manta, Crucita, San Jacinto, and San Clemente.
*3 Nights in the Colonial City of Quito, Ecuador’s Capital
*Tour of Quito’s Historical District
*Stay in local Haciendas in Otavalo and Cotopaxi
*Middle of the World Monument – Stand on either side of the equator
*Visit Cotopaxi National Park, site of the highest active volcano in the world
*Quilotoa Crater Lake Tour
*Otavalo Market
*7 Night Cruise of the Galapagos Islands (Visiting the Islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, South Plaza, Sante Fe, Santiago, Rabida, Isabela and Fernandina)
*And much more!
Save $400 CAD per person if booked by September 1st, 2023 (or until sold out)!
Regular Rate: $12,399 | Trip Merchant Member Rate: $11,999
*Prices are CAD per person, based on 2 people sharing and reflects early booking discount (land only); domestic flights and taxed – rates are based on a minimum of 16 passengers.
Single traveller looking for a roommate! Please contact us at
Optional 5 Night Post Extension in the Amazon with Anakonda

Amazon Cruises!
*6 days/5 nights: April 16-21, 2024
*1 Night Lodge + 4 Night River Cruise
Click the button below for the full itinerary, highlights, and inclusions:

Delightful Dervishes: Athens to Istanbul

Featuring a 7-Night Tall-Shipping Sailing Experience with Star Clippers!

Departure Date: May 20-June 4, 2024

Routing: 4 Nights – Athens | 7 Nights – Star Clipper Sailing (Piraeus, Greece – Mykonos, Greece – Patmos, Greece – Chios, Greece – Dikili, Turkey – Bozcaada, Turkey – Sea Day – Istanbul, Turkey) | 3 Nights – Istanbul
*Experience a 7 night tall-shipping sailing journey from Athens to Istanbul (Greece to Turkey)!
*Visit one of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek Islands, Mykonos is a contrast of rocky hills and beautiful beaches.
*Visit remote locations along the Turkish coastline such as Dikkili, a sleepy little beach town, authentically Turkish – the harbour is lined with open-air restaurants and shops with local food specialties.
*Also, visit Bozcaada where if you venture aware from it’s glorious uncrowded sandy beaches, you will find yourself wandering around it’s ancient cobbled streets, lined with quaint rustic homes adorned with gorgeous flora and fauna.
*Plus, other incredible experiences!
Save $300 CAD per person if booked by May 31st, 2023 (or until sold out)…Limited space available on the ship!
Regular Rate: $6299 | Trip Merchant Member Rate: $5699
*Prices are CAD per person, based on 2 people sharing and reflects early booking discount (land/sailing only); based on an interior cabin (cabin category 6). Upgrades to other cabin categories available – for the Star Clippers sailing portion of the trip. Rates are based on a minimum of 12 guests.
Click the button below for the full itinerary, highlights, and inclusions:



Cultural Treasures of Vietnam & Cambodia

Departure Date: October 25-November 12, 2023

Click the button below for the details – day by day itinerary, cabin categories, highlights, and inclusions:


The Best of Egypt

Optional Post-Tour Extension to Jordan Departure Date(s): October 27 OR November 3, 2023

Click the button below for the details – day by day itinerary, highlights, and inclusions:

Explore Southern Africa

Featuring Wildlife, Wineries & Waterfalls Optional Post-Tour Extension to Botswana Departure Date: November 10-25, 2023

Click the button below for the details – day by
day itinerary, highlights, and inclusions:



Natural Costa Rica

Departure Date: February 4-16, 2024

Click the button below for the full itinerary, highlights, and

Belize Combo Stay

Departure Date: February 14-28, 2024

Click the button below for the full details:

Discover Colombia

Land Program (with Optional Post River Cruise Extension along the Magdalena River)

Departure Date: November 26-December 7, 2024

Click the button below for the full itinerary, highlights, and inclusions:

Long Stay Programs in Portugal

Four Departure Dates:

November 2023, and February 2024 (Two Options) & April 2024

Join other members on one of these three Long Stay Vacations in Sunny Portugal! Immerse yourself into the Portuguese culture and enjoy a warmer climate with sunny skies.
This trip starts in Lisbon for 1 night before transferring down to the Algarve and staying for 22 nights in either Portimão or Albufeira (at either Jardim do Vau or Cerro Mar). Then return back to Lisbon for 2 final nights to explore this historic capital city, prior to returning home!
Trip Merchant Member Rate: Starting at $1999
*Prices are CAD per person, based on 2 people sharing a room; land only
Click one of the dates below for the full details on the Portugal Long Stay:


Click the button below to explore all available group departures!


Silversea Cruises


*Silversea is delighted to welcome solo travellers aboard our intimate ships. For a limited time, they are offering 0% single supplements on selected 2023 sailings. Every voyage includes an exclusive welcome reception, making it easier to meet and mingle with other solo travellers. Silversea cruises include butler service for every suite, wine and spirits served throughout the ship, complimentary gratuities, and so much more. You can make new acquaintances while enjoying the all-inclusive lifestyle of Silversea. *Terms and conditions apply.

Rocky Mountaineer


*Take advantage of their best offer of the season and save up to

$1,410 per couple on select bookings in 2023. Seats are limited and selling fast – book by May 31. Save $1,000 on Canadian routes or

$1,410 on Rockies to the Red Rocks. Available for select 2023 travel dates on all routes. Dates are subject to change. Available for all packages, including rail-only. *Terms and conditions apply.

G Adventures


*Trips around the world. Departures around the corner. Climb to the top of South America with an action-packed journey through Bolivia. Visit the serene temples of Chiang Mai. Set sights on the majestic Taj Mahal in real life. Do you have an urge to get away in the next few months? You can save up to 30% on all types of adventures across the globe, with travel by August 31, 2023 (book by May 31st)! *Terms and conditions apply.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

SAVE $750-$2000 PER PERSON!

*Looking for the perfect autumn trip? You will find it on the legendary Danube River. Bursting with gorgeous landscapes and dreamy fall foliage, the Danube is also home to several of Europe’s most enticing destinations. Our all-inclusive, luxury river cruises in the region take travelers to charming medieval villages, renowned wine regions, and showstopping imperial cities from Salzburg to Budapest. Uniworld has extended savings from $750 to $2,000 per person* for a short while longer, so you book on the Danube River cruises

today! Offer is also combinable with exclusive River Heritage Club savings for past guests. River cruises include: Enchanting Danube – Budapest to Passau / Delightful Danube & Prague – Budapest to Prague / Highlights of Eastern Europe – Budapest to Bucharest / Authentic Danube – Vienna to Prague. *Terms and conditions apply.



*Book Hurtigruten’s 14-day Alaska and British Columbia cruise, and not only will you save big, but you will also have the chance to book an extra excursion to explore Wrangell, Alaska, and learn about the region’s Tlingit, Russian, and gold mining history. Now through May 31, when you book select expedition cruises, you can bring a guest for FREE. *Solo travelers can receive a discount of 50%.

*Terms and conditions apply.


Please Note:

*On your travel site there are some trips/itineraries that do not have the most up-to-date details and departure dates, and in some cases, the lead in price or general offer may have changed slightly. We will be taking the time to update the current trips, with the addition of new programs being added over the next couple months. However, we are also diligently working on the next travel website platform to offer many more trips and suppliers. Thanks for your

patience. Please contact us directly if a trip is of interest and we can provide the most up to date information for you, where applicable.

Contact us at or 1-800-481-9739 ext. 0

Upcoming General Meeting:

Latest news

A Six Day Adventure in England

Contributed by Trudy Baggett On my recent trip to England, my daughter and I had a very short time in…

Chronicles & Capers - Issue #97

May 2024 Newsletter – Issue #97 (pdf) BC Retired Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association


Sign in for exclusive offers.