Arvid Olson

The Travel Advisor Group

Arvid Olson

I am a travel junkie and owner operator of The Travel Advisor Group of Palm Coast and The Travel Advisor Group of Jacksonville since 1999. I have lived in the orient for two years and Germany for three years. I have taken 151 cruises since my first cruise in 1974 on the Sitmar Fairsea. I started Travel Leaders (Carlson Wagonlit Travel) in Palm Coast in 1999 and it has become the largest travel agency in North Florida specializing in escorted tours, cruises and luxury and experiential travel. We have won 14 Travel Leaders Award of Excellence as a top 24 associate. In 2014 we won the Top Associate of the Year. We have been voted the best travel agency in Flagler County since the year 2000. Our travel professionals, not travel agents, have the passion for travel and expertise to help you travel better.
Areas of the world that I have a interest in are Argentina 4 visits, Australia & New Zealand 6 visits, France with extensive touring during my 3 year stay in Germany and many trips thereafter, and Italy where it is hard to stay away from for more than one year. All these areas have a commonality of great food and wine. I now add South Africa, Spain and Portugal to that list.
Some of my best experiences have been touring the Mendoza wine area of Argentina in 2010 while staying at Cavas Wine Lodge and experiencing some amazing lunches at various wineries arranged by our lovely hosts. Another one is our stay in 2013 at Villa Dievole located in the beautiful Tuscany Hills where we experienced wonderful Italian cuisine and wines.
Due to my cruise experience, the most frequent travel question that I am asked is "What is your favorite cruise?" My answer is "I have many, each one is unique and offers different experiences." Some of my favorite are the Galapagos Islands on Celebrity Expedition, Southeast Asia on Seabourn Spirit (what large ship could dock in downtown Saigon), following the path of the Vikings on Azamara Journey (I have lots of stories to tell about that one), sailing the Adriatic Coast on Seabourn Spirit (again), and a world cruise segment on Crystal Serenity from Singapore to Cape Town. I can not leave out our wonderful river cruises with Viking in China and in Southern France, and with Uniworld on the Danube.
Our widely traveled consultants have similar stories and look forward to helping you plan your own extraordinary travel experiences.
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North America » United States September 4th 2020

Based on a survey by Travel Leaders Group, the responses from nearly 2,900 Americans were literally all over the map. The top destination was Hawaii, followed by California, Alaska, Florida and New York. Its distance from the continental United States, along with its tropical climate, makes Hawaii a dream vacation spot for many travelers. The Aloha State is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors, from the vibrant resorts of Oahu’s Waikiki Beach to the hiking trails in Maui’s Haleakala National Park. Any of the four major islands (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island) have countless resort options ready to welcome your family with an all-inclusive type of experience. Looking for that perfect romantic destination, Hawaii fills all the requirements. Kauai, the Garden Island, is my favorite for a romantic stay with its beauty and ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Cadrona August 4th 2020

Justine Tyerman experiences wild beauty and challenging skiing at exclusive, private ski resort Soho Basin in the Southern Alps of New Zealand “Do you like mulled wine?” asks Thomas with a delightful Welsh lilt in his voice. “We make it with red wine, rum and cinnamon,” he says with a beaming smile. “I do,” I reply, trying not to sound too enthusiastic as I relish my current circumstances: It’s a crisp, late winter day, but I’m cosy thanks to my position in the sunshine by the outdoor fire at the little day lodge at Soho Basin. A private alpine resort on a magnificent mountain range between Wanaka and Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island, Soho Basin’s exquisite backcountry wilderness delivers a unique and exhilarating skiing experience that’s hard to match, but right now it’s inviting ultimate ... read more
Soho Basin 2
Soho Basin 3
Soho Basin 4

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Bled July 29th 2020

Slovenia is lush and green with a focus on wellness, food and a wine culture waiting to be discovered. Spa resorts, ski chalets, hiking trails and cultural sites abound and are sure to draw visitors from far and wide in growing numbers.Bled is located in the Julian Alps and is a short drive from Ljubljana, Slovenia's capitol. Its emerald green lake (Blejsko Jezero) already makes it postcard perfect. Add to that a medieval castle (Blejski Grad) clinging to the cliffside and the lake takes on a majestic effect. The most recognizable symbol of the lakeis the Church of the Assumption on the lake's only island. Visitors come for the photos and stay for the food, hiking trails, water sports, biking and more. The Vintgar Gorge hike is not to be missed. Photos by © Arvid Olson ... read more
Blejski Grad Entrance Gate
Island in Lake Bled
Vintgar Gorge

I first visited Glacier Park in 1969 after graduating from Dental School and before my activation to active duty with the U.S. Army Dental corps. It was part of an extensive road trip from San Francisco to Alaska via the Alcan Highway and back utilizing the Alaskan Ferry system. Glacier Park was one of the highlights of my trip. The views from the Going-to-the-Sun Road through the Rocky Mountains were spectacular. I look forward to revisiting this park again. Lake McDonald is Glacier National Park's biggest lake; ten miles long and 472 feet deep, filling a basin gouged out by Ice Age glaciers. This long fjord-like lake is surrounded by mountains on the north, south, and east with the Continental Divide, 14 miles away. The mountains provide a spectacular backdrop for the lake and also act ... read more
Glacier National Park
Flathead River
Glacier National Park

Rainforest Adventures has announced a November 2017 opening for St. Maarten’s new Rainforest Adventures Rockland Estate eco-park. The Rainforest Adventures park will launch with two signature attractions, the Flying Dutchman, the world’s steepest zip line, and the Soualiga Sky Explorer chairlift, as well as the Emilio Wilson Museum and Emilio’s Restaurant. Additional attractions, including the Sentry Hill Zip Line and the Schooner Ride will open in early 2018. All of these attractions are opening despite the fact that Hurricane Irma heavily damaged the dual-nation island of St. Maarten/St. Martin. Princess Juliana International Airport has opened to commercial flights and Port St. Maarten is ready to welcome its first commercial cruise vessel on Nov. 5. Restaurants and attractions are reopening daily and are ready to receive guests.... read more

Myakka River State Park near Sarasota is one of the oldest and largest of the state parks. One of Florida's Wild and Scenic rivers, the Myakka River flows through 57 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. You will get a birds-eye view of the wetlands as you walk a 100 foot long canopy walkway, the first public treetop trail in North America. There is also a Bird Trail on a boardwalk ou to the Myakka River. Then cruise the lake aboard one of two enormous airboats. They are said to be the largest in the world. For the ultimate alligator experience, sign up for a five-mile roundtrip hike to Deep Hole, a sinkhole on the edge of the Lower Myakka Lake. From December to May, park waters dry up, and the sinkhole is one ... read more

North America » United States » Florida » Chipley October 19th 2017

Falling Waters State Park is located near Chipley in North Florida off Interstate 10. The park contains a 73-foot waterfall, the highest in the state known as either "Falling Waters Falls" or the "Falling Waters Sink". When we visited the park this month the falls were not flowing at a high level due to the lack of recent rain. The Sinkhole Trail was closed for safety reasons due to the heavy rains from Hurricane Irma the previous month, but we did see some other sinkholes on the trail to the lake. The trail to the falls is an easy walk with some stairs at the end. Photos by © Arvid Olson... read more
Falling Waters Viewing Platform
Trail to the Falls
View from Above

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » Rotterdam September 21st 2017

Rotterdam is not just a green city but also one of distinctive character that is constantly changing. It is also a city which Rough Guides placed in its top 10 cities to visit last year while Lonely Planet rated it the top five. It received a C40 cities and an International Festival & Event City award and was also voted the best City Centre in the Netherlands. Cruise passengers arrive at a modern cruise terminal that is conveniently located in the centre of a city at the heart of Europe with a dramatic skyline that reflects its contemporary outlook: young, dynamic, creative, exciting, vibrant, open-minded and cosmopolitan. The city has always been well-connected internationally thanks to its river Nieuwe Maas, which links it directly to the North Sea. Many cultures and tastes are represented in the ... read more
Markthal or Market Hall
Markthal or Market Hall
Hotel New York

North America » United States » Florida » Apalachicola September 14th 2017

Apalachicola is a little town on Northwest Florida’s Forgotten Coast on the shores of Apalachicola Bay an inlet of the Gulf of Mexico. There is only one road in and out of town, US 98. Most every place in town is within walking distance. We were stopped on our walks by locals who asked where we were from and they recommended restaurants or told us some interesting history about the buildings or homes around us. When you walk through this town, you can feel that it’s an authentic piece of Old Florida. Oysters are what Apalachicola is famous for. We had a fine dinner at the Owl Cafe located across the street from the Oyster Brewery. I had a tasty pint of Tupelo Honey Brown Ale prior to dinner. The John Gorrie State Museum is located ... read more
Owl Cafe
Raney House Museum circa 1838

Europe » Germany » Rhineland-Palatinate September 8th 2017

The Rhine in Flamesis the collective name given to a series of five absolutely stunning pyrotechnical displays in the Rhine valley each summer. Nighttime fireworks over the Rhine River between Bonn and Rudesheim are the highlight of this festival that illuminates medieval castles, hills and boats, and creates magical reflections on the water. It is accompanied by wine and folk festivals on the shore, Upcoming dates left for 2017 are September 9 and 16. The tradition dates back to the 1930s, when Kunibert Oches, director of the Landesverkehrsverbandes Nordrhein, lit the 16 mile stretch of water between Linz and Bad Godesberg with Bengal Fire. When World War II began in 1939, the festival was suspended. It was restarted in 1948 when residents along the river decided to organize and pay for the event themselves. It was ... read more

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