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CRAIG COREY VACATIONS Recommends
the American Express
Platinum Card.

     

Celebrating the Art of Travel for Over 
25 Years


ABOUT CRAIGCOREYVACATIONS 

  

 

RAISING THE BAR ON TRAVEL. Welcome to Craig Corey Vacations!
We're an award-winning retail travel comany specializing in luxury-leisure. We book the savviest cruises, small-group tours, and beach vacations around! And we book thrilling African safaris, transatlantic-crossings, and long-distance rail journeys for example, plus airline tickets, and much more! And we're members of IATA, and ARC.

PROFESSIONAL KNOW-HOW. We're professional travel advisors with decades of travel-industry experience! We know the travel products first-hand, and we know what works-and what doesn't. We represent the most reputable, dependable purveyors of travel on the planet, like Tauck World Discovery, Silversea Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Scandinavian Airlines, and Small Luxury Hotels of the World just to name a varied few! 

CONSULTING SERVICES. We help our customers make informed decisions about their travel plans and we're destination specialists. We're the ones that work the magic that it takes, to make dreams comes true, and we do it every day!   

*IATA (International Air Transport Association.)
*ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation.)

MAKING AN IMPRINT. You might notice our footprint-in-the-sand logo in our advertising and communications. It's our corporate identity, and it makes a statement about our decades of experienc selling travel, but it's also a reminder of the neutral carbon imprint that we all leave behind in our travels, and to respect the places we visit, and not spoil them in any way. 

TRAVEL-RELATED SERVICES. We offer travel-related services with your booking, including assisting with foreign entry-visas, or securing theater tickets for example. And we make dining recommendations, and much more. We try to protect your travel investment and your travel plans from the possible unforeseen circumstances of reality by suggesting that you purchase Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance. 

WHY US? Why should you use a travel advisor? Well, for one thing, we're more well-versed with travel than any other entity. After all, we've been the backbone of the industry since the very beginning, and today we still produce two-thirds of the travel market. You see, we know the world isn't perfect. We attend travel seminars, and we keep abreast of things. And we experience many of the products first-hand so that we can give you up-to-date feedback. 


ABOUTCRAIGCOREY  

L'AGENT PROVACATEUR

By Gilles Renusson

2019 marks Craig Corey’s 45th year selling retail travel, and his own company's 25th anniversary! It’s been a wild ride in an industry of perpetual change, and Craig has successfully found ways to evolve his business over time, keeping it fresh and exciting for years to come.

Enter the world of Craig Corey Vacations. Just walking into the company’s stylish travel-planning studio on Washington Square in downtown Lansing, Michigan (one-hour west of Metro Detroit ) on any given day immediately evokes images of faraway places, and the grandeur of a bygone era in travel. A lavish window display promotes trips on the legendary Venice Simplon Orient Express rail line. Visible through the glass, a small flat-screen television continuously plays the famous Hercule Poirot movie for effect. Inside the office, a large Kilimanjaro area rug covers the reception room floor under creamy-white leather chairs. Sleek, vintage scale models of the legendary ss France oceanliner and Air France Super Constellation airplane adorn the setting. On an adjacent wall, rows of shiny stainless-steel mason worker’s mud pans hang, cleverly disguised as brochure holders advertising dreamy and exotic destinations.  “I always wanted customers to walk in and say WOW, this gets me excited about going somewhere. I’ve tried to recreate the ambiance of the airline and steamship ticket offices that used to be in the big cities like New York, Chicago, and Detroit for example, back in 1960's. They were done-up in such a way that made you feel like you were already on the trip,” says Craig Corey, the company’s owner and founder.

His career began as an office boy (an abstract term by today's standards) in a local travel agency which eventually led to a position in sales while Craig was in college at Michigan State University. “I worked for a company that leaned heavily towards leisure, or vacation travel, as we say in the industry,” cites Craig. “And we were encouraged to travel as much as possible for familiarization. I mean, here I was a young guy, juggling a full-time job and college classes, and taking intermittent trips (perks of course) to the most exotic places on earth, it was crazy!” remarks Craig. 

He was always attracted to the  unusual, the abstract. In 1985 Craig was promoting private passenger orbits in Outer Space that were to cost around $100,000, and take place in the early 90’s. His ingenuity caught the attention of a local newspaper reporter, and before long, television crews from around Michigan were converging on the travel agency where Craig worked, to report on the phenomenon. “Thankfully, the owner of the company shared the same philosophy of promoting the “unusual,” jokes Craig.

Following graduation from Michigan State, he was feeling primed to launch his own business. "I was always forward-thinking. For example, back in the late 80’s I was already suggesting to my customers that they should go to Europe in winter because it was less crowded, less expensive, and certainly more romantic, long before it was popular to do so,” remembers Craig. And he was promoting off-the-beaten path destinations like reindeer safaris in Finland, or hot-air ballooning over Burgundy for example. He was constantly touting those basic “Moscow & Leningrad” 7-day packages, citing what a fantastic buy they were, and what stimulating cultural benefits they held, even trying to talk unsure customers out of a do-nothing beach vacation, into something of a life-changing experience. “I also knew early on that luxury travel was the core of the business I was going after," he confirms. 

The aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was directly and immediately felt throughout the travel industry, most especially for airlines and travel agents who were on the front lines, scrambling to restore relative calm following the mass cancellations that occurred. And the overwhelming majority of Americans were skittish about boarding a plane anytime soon.

 “But you know, I felt like I had to try to do something to put a different spin on this whole thing and get my customers back in the door again,” remarks Craig. So two months later, Craig Corey Vacations hosted an Evening in France celebration. “We invited 50 of our customers to come and savor fine French food and wines catered by a local bistro. Regent Seven Seas came in from Chicago to pitch their European cruising, and luxury department store Jacobson’s sent a representative armed with free samples of uniquely French fragrances, and we had plenty of brochures to inspire, perhaps intrigue our customers. You know what, we had almost 100% response that evening, and everyone went home with a fresh-baked baguette!” remembers Craig.   

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In 1985 Craig was promoting private passenger orbits in Outer Space. His ingenuity caught the attention of a local newspaper reporter, and before long, television crews from around Michigan were converging on the travel agency where Craig worked, to report on the phenomenon.       ______________________________

When asked about his favorite place, Craig stammers a bit “well, at the risk of sounding obnoxious” (in his own words) and goes down his long list of preferences. “Look, you can’t have just one favorite place! I mean, I love New York (I go there quite often, and I'm lucky to have a place to stay) and who doesn’t love Paris? I’m nuts about Venice. I was lucky enough to go to Haiti back in the late 70’s when there was still a bit of a tourism infrastructure. Gosh, it was incredibly exotic. And I will never forget the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, or an elephant trek in India, or staying in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora. Once, on a biking trip in the desolate French countryside-I’ll never forget this-pedaling from chateau to chateau I happened upon a lonely grave marker along the side of the road that said in French HERE LIES (SO AND SO) MURDERED BY GERMAN COWARDS 1944. And most folks are surprised when I describe the majesty of cruising on our own Mississippi River. And I know Rio de Janeiro seems too far to go, but there’s no beach like theirs, anywhere!"

And when asked about the best thing he ever ate, and where, his response was "oh, no question about it, it's a Mont Blanc at La Maison Angelina (aka Angelina's Tearoom) on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. This is a dessert with a meringue base, piled high with extrusions of chestnut puree, then filled with fresh whipped cream! You see, I have a sweet tooth, so I could bury my face in it!" laughs Craig. "On one particular trip to Paris, I thought it would be a great idea to carry home a box of these delectable desserts. Turns out it was one of the the most enduringly turbulent, bumpy flights over the Atlantic I've ever had, so you can imagine what they looked like when I landed in Chicago!"  exclaims Craig!-

Gilles Renusson.

 

 

Chef Gilles is a world-renowned pastry chef at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College.  

In 2011, he lead a team of talented U.S. pastry chefs to the World Pastry Cup (Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie) which was held in Lyon, in his native France. It's the world's most prestigious pastry competition involving chefs from 22 countries. Craig Corey Vacations was the official travel arranger for the U.S. team.