I don’t think that Elvis would have minded us ‘borrowing’ the title of one of his numbers as a header for this piece as it so perfectly sums up where we are with the Covid pandemic. ‘What Now, WhatNext, Where To’ seems to sum it all up quite nicely. We (nor anyone else at the moment) reallyknows where we are, what we can do or where we can do it. BUT THINGS WILL CHANGE!
At Strictly Elvis UK/Elvis Travel Service we’ve had a whole year of setting up events and tours, then postponing them, then resetting before postponing them yet again – all a bit soul destroying and if we are feeling it, we know you are too. We’ve never been so long without getting together with our Elvis Family and, like you, we are desperate for good things to happen. So, with all the bad news and confusion around we thought that we’d give you something to look
forward to by sharing with you what’s in our plans for the future.
The Luxury Memphis and Florida ‘Follow That Dream’ tour scheduled for April has been postponed simply because whilst the UK may be a lot safer by then we can’t be sure about whether international travel will be allowed and so we have moved that whole tour to November and (HERE COMES THE BONUS!) to over the Thanksgiving Weekend – the USA’s largest annual holiday and it’s when the Christmas lights are switched on at Graceland. With temperatures still relatively warm it’s an ideal time to be in the USA and, a bit of a double-bonus, you’ll be able to do your Christmas
shopping there too! We are re-opening the tour for bookings just as soon as the new brochure available.
For our trip to Bad Nauheim in June we’ve taken over the whole of the Grunewald Hotel where Elvis lived for much of the time when stationed in nearby Friedberg. This tour not only includes all the Elvis sights in and around Bad Nauheim it also takes in the places that were location sites for the movie G I Blues. The tour is still 4 months away and so we are hoping that international travel restrictions will be relaxed by then although we will monitor the situation carefully. We still have 4 places available on this tour so if you are interested in joining us call 01473 621 564.
Many of you have asked us about the Thames Cruise in July and of course we hope that the Covid problem will be much reduced by then so that it can go ahead but remember this is a Charity Cruise and we need the numbers in order to raise funds for the Little Havens Children’s Hospice that was such a favourite charity of our much-missed colleague Mike Davis. If numbers are restricted because of Covid then we may well have to postpone this to 2022.
Which brings us to August and the two great holidays scheduled for the 44th Anniversary – the USA (New York, Memphis, Tupelo, Dollywood and Nashville) and Bad Nauheim (including the European Elvis Festival) – again we are hoping that these holidays won’t be affected by the pandemic but if you have booked on either we will be watching the situation closely and will contact you as soon as we have any news; and if you haven’t yet booked then please talk to us as we’ll gladly hold you a place. Both are great tours and either would give you something wonderful to look forward to.
Our annual Elvis Festival in September is expected to go ahead as planned – by then the vast majority of people will have had both ‘jabs’ of the vaccine, herd immunity could well have kicked in and we should be well on the way to seeing the back of this pandemic. I sure hope so as I know how much the Festival – the largest weeklong Elvis fan event outside of Graceland – means to us all. And with a top-class line-up of Guests and Bands this is one that we know you won’t want to miss.
We’ll be repeating our Memphis Luxury Break in April 2022 and for our extension option we will
travel via Fort Chaffee, where Elvis was inducted into the US Army and had his famous ‘buzzcut’, before 2 nights in Shreveport where Elvis starred on the Louisiana Hayride and where we’ll show you all the Elvis sights before heading south visiting a beautiful Plantation home on route to fabulous New Orleans where we’ll stay for 4 days. We’ll include a tour of the King Creole movie location sites plus you’ll have ample time to explore and enjoy this exciting Mardi Gras city.
In August 2022, for the 45th Anniversary Tour we have a wonderful ‘Elvis Aficionados’ tour lined up for you (we’ve been kept busy planning this during the Lockdown and it certainly promises to be one of our best ever tours linking Elvis on stage with his homes and movie sets!!) as in addition to the Memphis and Tupelo Tour we have an Extension Option that includes 4 days in Las Vegas staying at the very hotel that Elvis lived and performed in, 4 days in Palm Springs where Elvis had two homes including the Honeymoon House, and where we’ve included an excursion to nearby Idyllwild where Elvis filmed Kid Galahad. Elvis loved his Palm Springs retreat – it’s beautiful, retro and fun and you’ll love it too but we haven’t finished yet! Onward then to Hollywood and Burbank and all that these movie towns have to offer and from where we’ll visit both Bel Air and Beverly Hills where Elvis had homes.
And when are we visiting Hawaii we hear you ask?...Well that will now be in late April/early May
2023 purposely to give us all an extra year to save for what will be a rather special trip to a rather special place in our and Elvis’ heart– especially as it will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Aloha and we’ll return to the UK via a short stay in Seattle – after all, you have to remember, ‘It Happened at the World’s Fair’! Just so happens that it’s the 60th Anniversary of that movie so our visit here will include the film location sites too.
We are working on brochures with full details for all of the tours and these will be sent out with future mailings of our Newsletters, but if you want us to hold places on any of these exciting tours just send us a Pre-booking Deposit of just £50 per person and this will guarantee your seat. If, after the brochure is released, you decide against travelling (for whatever reason) then your deposit will be refunded. We can’t be fairer than that.
If you have any questions or to make a payment by Debit/Credit Card to hold your place/s please call us on 01473 621 564 or 07721 435 291 or you can write to us at Strictly Elvis UK/Elvis Travel Service, Unit D Bristol Court, Martlesham Heath Business Park, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP5 3RY. Cheques should be made payable to our handling agent ‘America as you like it’ which holds an Air Tour Operators License (ATOL 2966) and is fully bonded for your financial protection. Government advice is that you should only ever book an air holiday with companies that hold and display an ATOL.