ATS Travels and ATS News Combined to Form ATS News & Travels

ATS Travels, an earlier version of this blog, has been combined with ATS News, a subscription-based e-newsletter, to become ATS News & Travels and is located at https://antietamtravel.wordpress.com.

Thank you.

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Posted in Vacation

Press Release – Anna Lipka Joins Antietam Travel Service, Inc.

Frederick, Maryland, April 27, 2015– Antietam Travel Service, Inc. is pleased to announce that Anna Lipka has joined our team of travel consultants. She brings a wealth of knowledge of the Caribbean.


Anna Lipka

Says Lipka about travel, “Being born in the Caribbean, I spent my summer vacations visiting other islands. My love for travel started then.” She graduated from Baltimore City Community College in 1994 with a Certificate of Travel in the Travel Industry. She has 16 years experience as a Travel Consultant at other Maryland travel agencies. Lipka has traveled extensively in the Caribbean. She has also traveled to England, France, Panama, Venezuela, and the Eastern United States.

Lipka lives in Westminster with her husband Thomas and children Ari and Caz.

With the owners and six full-time travel consultants Antietam Travel Service, Inc. is Frederick’s largest travel agency and has provided expert travel service to both leisure and corporate clients since 1984. For more information about Antietam Travel Service, Inc., please call 301-662-8080 or visit http://www.antietamtravel.com.

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Posted in ATS, Travel Agent, Vacation

Press Release – Anita Staley Joins Antietam Travel Service, Inc.

Frederick, Maryland, April 23, 2015 – Antietam Travel Service, Inc. is pleased to announce that Anita Staley has joined our team of travel consultants. She brings a wealth of knowledge about Disney resorts.


Anita Staley

Says Staley about her love of travel, “Travel takes me out of the ordinary and into a world of wonder, magic, and adventure.” Walt Disney World is her favorite destination. “I love the smells on Main Street, the corny jokes of Jungle Cruise, the uniquely themed restaurants, and the general excitement of feeling like a kid again.” Staley graduated from Hood College in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation. She has a professional background in Parks and Recreation. After 30 trips to Walt Disney World and years of sharing her Disney secrets and tips with others, Staley became an independent Travel Professional in 2014 associated with a Florida agency. She is thrilled to share her love for Walt Disney World with her new clients at Antietam Travel Service. Staley has also traveled to the Western United States, Alaska, Mexico, and South Korea.

Staley lives in Johnsville with her husband Mark and children Anna, Luke, and Michael.

With the owners and six full-time travel consultants Antietam Travel Service, Inc. is Frederick’s largest travel agency and has provided expert travel service to both leisure and corporate clients since 1984. For more information about Antietam Travel Service, Inc., please call 301-662-8080 or visit http://www.antietamtravel.com.

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ATS is a 2015 Platinum Apple Vacations Agency

We did it again for 2015! Apple Vacations honored their top agencies on March 31, 2015, at their annual awards banquet. Antietam Travel Service, Inc. received its second Apple Vacations Platinum Award. This award goes to agencies who have sent more than 800 clients on an Apple vacation, meaning we are one of Apple Vacations’ Top 4 agencies in our region of Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, and southern Delaware.


Bill & Linda Cleveland received the
Apple Vacations Platinum Award on March 31, 2015

We are very proud to have won this award, and we want to thank all of our clients who have chosen an Apple Vacation from ATS. We send hundreds of passengers on Apple vacations each year to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. We really know the Apple Vacations destinations! As Frederick’s largest travel agency, we have the expertise and first-hand knowledge to help you plan your dream vacation at any of Apple Vacations’ destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Europe.

Apple Vacations Platinum Award

Apple Vacations Platinum Award

Apple Vacations is one of our top suppliers, and you can search their vacation packages on our home page (look for Apple Vacations under Specialties). The next time you want to vacation in one of Apple Vacations’ destinations, please call the travel professionals at Antietam Travel Service, Inc. We know the resorts because we’ve seen most of them. Give us just a little of your time, and we’ll help you make memories to last a lifetime with Apple Vacations.

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Alex Bohn of Antietam Travel Service Earns SA Specialist Designation

Frederick, Maryland, May 12, 2014 Alex Bohn, DS, ACC, of Antietam Travel Service, Inc., recently earned the SA Specialist designation from South Africa Tourism. SA Specialists are experts in South African travel. The thorough online training curriculum assures that Alex is well equipped with the knowledge necessary to create memorable vacations for travelers to South Africa. She is “competent to advise clients on all essential aspects of travel to South Africa, reasons to visit South Africa, the best attractions and activities on offer in South Africa, and more.” Alex also participated in Lion World Travel’s Solid Gold Educational trip to Cape Town and Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa.


Alex Bohn in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Alex has been a travel consultant for 37 years. She is also an Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC) and has destination specialist (DS) designations for more than 10 countries. As a native of Germany she also specializes in travel to Europe.

Alex resides in Williamsport with her husband Jon.

With seven full-time travel consultants Antietam Travel Service, Inc. is Frederick’s largest full-service travel agency and has provided professional travel service to both leisure and corporate clients since 1984. For more information about Antietam Travel Service, Inc. and how Alex Bohn can help you plan a trip to South Africa or elsewhere, please call 301-662-8080 or visit http://www.antietamtravel.com.


Antietam Travel Service, Inc.
2190 Old Farm Drive
Frederick, MD 21702
301-662-8080

http://www.antietamtravel.com

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Posted in Africa, Safari, Travel Agent, Vacation

Safari in Kenya-Amboseli National Park

Our final Kenyan Safari stop is Amboseli National Park, 151 square miles in size near the Kenya-Tanzania border in southern Kenya. Mt. Kilimanjaro is visible from this park as well as from our hotel, the Amboseli Sopa Lodge. Since we flew back to Nairobi prior to this final leg of our trip, we have a new safari guide, Rop Koi.

Amboseli National Park Entrance - Kimana Gate

Amboseli National Park Entrance – Kimana Gate

Amboseli National Park is known for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants. It offers some of the best opportunities to see African animals because of its semi-arid climate, but it also contains a large expanse of swampy areas. The contrast between the arid areas of the dry-lake bed and the  swamps is visually stunning. We saw numerous large “dust devils” in the distance as we watched elephants grazing in the swamps.

Dust Devil

Dust Devil

We saw elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, hippos, baboons, Grant’s gazelles, and numerous bird species, including Grey Crowned cranes.

Elephants

Elephants

Hippos

Hippos

Zebra with Foal

Zebra with Foal

Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

Baboon with Baby

Baboon with Baby

Below is what our guide referred to as a five-legged elephant.

Five-legged Elephant

Five-legged Elephant

We witnessed a sad sight on our last game drive in Kenya at the Amboseli National Park. Shortly before we exited the park we saw a dead elephant not far from the road. It was clear that the elephant had its tusks removed, whether by park rangers after it died of natural causes or by poachers for its ivory. Of course, we suspected poaching. We really hope the Kenyan government is able to reduce the poaching of elephants and rhinoceros so future generations may witness the beauty, variety, and uniqueness of African wildlife.

We were fortunate that the Amboseli Sopa Lodge was so near to Mt. Kilimanjaro, which was south of us in Tanzania. We took numerous photographs our last evening in Kenya with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background as we said goodbye to our safari experience.

Farewell to our Safari in Kenya

Farewell to our Safari in Kenya

Next time: Safari in Kenya-Getting There.

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Posted in Africa, Kenya, Safari, Travel Bucket List, Vacation

ATS is a Platinum Apple Vacations Agency!

We did it again for 2014! Apple Vacations honored their top agencies on April 8, 2014, at their annual awards banquet. Antietam Travel Service, Inc. received its first Apple Vacations Platinum Award. This award goes to agencies who have sent more than 800 clients on an Apple vacation, meaning we are one of Apple Vacations’ Top 4 agencies in our region of Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, and southern Delaware.

Apple Vacations Platinum Award
Apple Vacations Platinum Award

We are very proud to have won the Apple Vacations Platinum Award, and we want to thank all of our clients who have chosen an Apple vacation at ATS. For the past three years, we won the Apple Vacations Premier Award for sending more that 600 clients plus the Apple Vacations Hawaii MVP (Most Valuable Partner) Award. We send hundreds of passengers on Apple vacations each year to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Hawaii. We really know the Apple Vacations destinations! As Frederick’s largest travel agency, we have the expertise and first-hand knowledge to help you plan your dream vacation at any of Apple Vacations’ destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Europe.

Apple Vacations is one of our top suppliers, and you can search their vacation packages on our home page (look for Apple Vacations). The next time you want to vacation in one of Apple Vacations’ destinations, please call the travel professionals at Antietam Travel Service, Inc. We know the resorts because we’ve seen most of them. Give us just a little of your time, and we’ll help you make memories to last a lifetime with Apple Vacations.

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Thank You, Captain Stubing!

Some of you already may know the story of how Linda and Bill Cleveland purchased Antietam Travel Service in 1989. As we and our staff prepare to celebrate the 25th anniversary of that purchase on April 3, 2014, we thought it was fitting that we tell the story to all of our valued clients.

The Love Boat was a television series that aired from September 1977 through May 1986. Linda and Bill enjoyed watching the show, and Bill would ask Linda occasionally, “Wouldn’t you like to go on a cruise?” She always said no, “I would be bored.” Linda worked as the comptroller at Shockley Volkswagen, Audi, and Honda at the time, and she had only two weeks of vacation each year, while Bill had five weeks. She always dreamed of traveling, as well as owning her own business. One Saturday night in late 1985 while watching The Love Boat, Bill once again said, “Hey, let’s try a cruise,” and Linda relented and said yes. In January 1986 she called the 800 number for American Hawaii Cruises and booked our very first cruise to celebrate her 40th birthday aboard the S.S. Liberte, which was sailing an itinerary in French Polynesia in November 1986. We visited Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a, and Bora Bora, which is still Bill’s favorite place on earth.

We were booked in an inside cabin with upper and lower berths, and Linda turned the booking over to a local travel agency. Even then, we recognized the value of a travel agent. Although we never received a cabin upgrade on that cruise, we both enjoyed that first cruise so much – Linda was not bored – that we sailed twice more before 1989. We were hooked! Linda decided to pursue her dream and called Pat Fogle, owner of Antietam Travel Service, which had been established in 1984, to talk about the travel agency business. Linda asked Pat during their conversation, “Would you be interested in selling your agency?” To her surprise, Pat replied, “Why yes, I would.” And the rest is history!

Linda and Bill purchased Antietam Travel Service, incorporated the business, and settled the sale on April 3, 1989. Pat O’Beirne and Julie Shanholtz have been with us since the beginning, and they helped to train Linda. Linda is especially proud that they are still here at ATS. Alex Bohn joined us in 1994, Debbie Riffle in 1997, Nancy Roberson in 1998, and JoAnn Lindgren in 2001. We have become a multi-million-dollar travel agency and are proud of the business we have built along with our dedicated staff – our “family.” Since they purchased ATS, Linda and Bill have cruised more than 50 times.

As we celebrate on April 3, we especially want to say, “Thank you for your business!” to all our clients. And, of course, “Thank you, Captain Stubing!”

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Next time: Amboseli National Park.

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Posted in ATS, Bora Bora, Travel Agent, Travel Bucket List, Vacation

Safari in Kenya-Masai Mara National Reserve

The next stop on our Kenyan safari is Masai Mara National Reserve, a 583 square-mile reserve in southwestern Kenya adjacent to the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. The terrain is primarily open grassland, “spotted” with bushes, animals, and acacia trees. All members of the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, and black rhinoceros) are found in the Masai Mara. However, we witnessed only four of the five here – lion, leopard, elephant, and cape buffalo. The black rhinoceros population is very small, and we did not see any.

Entrance to Masai Mara National Reserve

Entrance to Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve was by far our favorite stop during our Kenyan safari. The large expanse of land and diversity of wildlife were simply amazing as the photos below will express. We did three game drives in the reserve, one the afternoon of our arrival, an all-day drive to the river and back (our hotel, the Masai Mara Sopa Lodge, even provided us with a boxed lunch!), and a morning drive on the way to the Keekorok Airstrip for our flight to Nairobi.

Lions Greeting One Another

Lions Greeting One Another

The above photo is one of my favorites! Andrew, our guide told us lions greet one another when they approach with a roar. The lioness and lion had just greeted each other before this photo was snapped. I was lucky enough to catch the moment the lion and cub roared. What a great shot! Other highlights are below.

Elephants

Elephants

Masai Giraffes

Masai Giraffes

Wildebeest Herd Approaching the River

Wildebeest Herd Approaching the River

Hippos in the River

Hippos in the River

Nile Crocodile

Nile Crocodile

Cheetah

Cheetah

We also saw hartebeests, cape buffaloes, a leopard, zebras, topi, jackals, impalas, baboons, ostriches, and warthogs, as well as a large variety of colorful birds.

I call this final photo the “Circle of Life.” This lioness is the final one to clean up the remains of a wildebeest after the “kill” on the previous night. Her sleeping pride is nearby. This activity obviously has attracted a lot of other safari vehicles. Although we all are very close to the lioness, she has learned that the vehicles are no threat to her, so she finished her meal and then strolled away to join her pride for a nap.

"Circle of Life"-Lioness Dining on Wildebeest

“Circle of Life”-Lioness Dining on Wildebeest

Truly an amazing three days at the Masai Mara National Reserve! After the final morning game drive, we flew to Nairobi before the long drive south to Amboseli National Park, located just north of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Next time: Amboseli National Park.

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Posted in Africa, Kenya, Monograms, Safari, Tour, Travel Bucket List, Vacation

Safari in Kenya-Lake Nakuru National Park

Our Kenyan Safari continues at Lake Nakuru National Park, a 73 square mile park created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru, an alkaline “soda lake” best known for its thousands (sometimes millions) of flamingos nesting along its shores. Andrew, our guide, told us shortly before our arrival that the flamingos had moved from Lake Nakuru to other nearby lakes because the alkalinity of Lake Nakuru had changed due to pollution and drought that destroyed the flamingos’ food supply of blue-green algae. So no flamingos at Lake Nakuru!

Of course, we were disappointed, but the sights to come would make this a very memorable visit.

Lake Nakuru National Park Entrance

Lake Nakuru National Park Entrance

As we entered Lake Nakuru National Park we drove along a road parallel to the lake about a quarter-mile away. We saw no flamingos. We saw cape buffalos (number four of the Big Five sightings for us) and a male lion a couple of hundred yards away and then came across a group of baboons foraging and playing alongside the road.

Baboons

Baboons

Further along the road we saw zebras in the tall grass. Our first sighting of zebras…

Zebra

Zebra

As we came to a very large clearing adjacent to the lake, we saw rhinoceros (number five of our Big Five sightings!), warthogs, zebra, impalas, Grant’s gazelles, and cape buffalos all peacefully coexisting. What a sight!

Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros

The sight of a male impala trying to control his harem of 40 to 50 females was comical at times. And he sure looked tired…

Male Impala with Harem

Male Impala with Harem

At last we got close enough to a cape buffalo to get a good close-up photo.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

We were told by Andrew early in the safari that the leopard would be the most elusive of the Big Five for us to see. After we saw not one, but two leopards in Samburu, he was very confident that we would see all of the Big Five, and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have seen them!

The next morning we departed on the drive to Masai Mara National Reserve, truly the highlight of our Kenyan safari!

Next time: Masai Mara National Reserve

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Posted in Africa, Kenya, Monograms, Safari, Travel Bucket List, Vacation
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