Group trips to Vietnam and Greece are being planned by the North San Diego Business Chamber for next year.
But those who want to go need to act fast since both sold out last month and are only available again because an 15 extra spots were added to each destination, according to Debra Rosen, the chamber’s president and CEO.
The Vietnam trip will be Feb. 18 to 21, 2023 and the Greece trip is set for April 15 to 23, 2023. Both are open to anyone 18 and older. Chamber membership is not required.
“We’re offering the opportunity for the community to travel with the chamber at competitive and inclusive rates,” Rosen said.
Overseas chamber trips have been offered for several years. Previous destinations included China, Spain, Italy, Ireland, South Africa, Croatia and the Rhine River.
This is the third time the chamber is visiting Vietnam. There was a trip in 2019 which Rosen went on and another this past April. Due to its popularity — 30 locals went the last time — Rosen said chamber officials decided to return to Vietnam next year.
“We were one of the first groups to get into Vietnam after the COVID lift and the people were so happy to see tourists,” Rosen said. “It had been two years that they were closed to tourists.
“Many in our group had beautiful clothes and shoes custom-made while we were able to see some magnificent places,” Rosen said. “One of the favorite spots was Halong Bay, a beautiful location we took an overnight cruise. Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi Ann and My Son Sanctuary were also very popular destinations that were included on our trip.”
Rosen said when she went to Vietnam in 2019 “it was the experience of a lifetime, probably the second favorite trip of the many we have taken.”
Melissa DeLaCazada is among those who has gone on the chamber’s trips. Rosen said DeLaCazada went to Spain, Italy, on the Rhine River cruise, Croatia and the African safari.
“Chamber trips are ideal for those traveling alone or with friends, and a great deal featuring all-inclusive travel destinations,” DeLaCazada said. “I’ve visited countries (I’ve) always dreamed of visiting and felt completely comfortable and safe doing so with the chamber.”
Rosen said this is the first time the Rancho Bernardo-based chamber has organized a trip to Greece.
“There has been strong demand for this particular country and we are able to offer a really good package that is inclusive and reasonably priced,” Rosen said, adding that typically airfare to Greece can cost $2,100 to $8,000.
The Vietnam trip in February is $2,399, an inclusive package covering 10 days and eight nights. That price includes round-trip international airfare and tax from LAX, Vietnamese domestic airfare and tax, 4-Star and 5-Star hotel accommodations, three meals per day, deluxe bus tours, fluent English-speaking tour guides and entrance fees to attractions. Those wanting a single-occupancy room pay $600 more.
The itinerary on the trip’s website lists a full-day city tour of Hanoi, an overnight cruise of Halong Bay, visit to Soi Sim Island, a swim in Halong Bay, a boat pass to Thieh Cung and Dau Go Caves and opportunity to see towers constructed centuries ago at the My Son Sanctuary. There will also be a boat trip on the Thu Bon River; opportunity to explore the four mythical islets of the Dragon, Unicorn and Paradise in the Mekong Delta; and tour the Cu Chi Tunnels, a byzantine maze of underground passages, chambers, rooms and body traps during the war. Other stops will be at the Reunification Palace, War Museum and Ben Thanh Market.
As for the nine days/seven nights trip to Greece, that is priced at $3,399. It includes round-trip international airfare and tax from LAX, 4-Star hotel accommodations, daily breakfast and lunch, deluxe bus tours, fluent English-speaking tour guides and entrance fees to attractions. A single-occupancy room is $800 more.
Destination highlights on the trip’s website include Athens, Panathenaic Stadium, Zappeion, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Acropolis Museum, Piraeus, Mykonos, Island of Santorini, Fira and Oia with views of the volcano, Syntagma Square, Ancient Agora of Athens, Theatro Technis Karolos Koun, Peloponnese, Canal of Corinth, Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, Nafplio, Mycenae, Gate of Lions and Atreus King Tomb.
For details, call 858-487-1767 ext. 10, email travel@SDBusinessChamber.com or visit sdbusinesschamber.com/travel.