Onward Travel is known for planning thoughtful, interesting, and fun trips for small groups. Now, we are expanding what we can offer to our Onward Travel customer base by partnering as certified travel specialists with Viking Cruises and Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, as well as ClubMed All-Inclusive and Intrepid Travel Adventures. We can book cruises, vacations and tours for individuals or groups. So whether you’re traveling alone, with your spouse, with your family or a group of friends…we’re pleased to have the opportunity to organize your vacation!

We’ve thoughtfully chosen each of these companies. Read on in this post for more information about Viking and Uniworld, already popular with a number of Onward Travelers. ClubMed offers wonderful travel opportunities for those who want to get away as a family, especially those with young children. Molly has stayed at a few of their properties over the years and has always loved her experiences with her children and her husband on those vacations. Molly has also traveled with the other brand we’re newly engaged with, Intrepid Travel Adventures. Intrepid plans small group tours which are a bit more rustic than the Onward experience, and they go all over the world with some truly fascinating itineraries. Molly went to Vietnam with Intrepid and had a great trip. Onward Travel is happy to advise you on different destination and itinerary options with all of these partner companies.

Molly eating noodles in Vietnam with her husband, our mom (Peggi), and Peggi’s friend

In addition, we are proud to work with this group of brands as each is operating with respect for the environment, for their employees and for the local communities in the places where they do business. In 1978 ClubMed formed one of the first corporate business foundations so they could invest in regions where they have resorts with the mantra of “education and recreation for all,” and since then the ClubMed Foundation has expanded with a number of groundbreaking climate initiatives. Viking and Uniworld are also leaders in the travel industry when it comes to setting and achieving self-set sustainability goals, pushing for innovation from within their industry, and fostering a positive and enriching workplace. Additionally, Intrepid is an industry leader with an eye towards the healthy and low impact future of travel, as a certified B Corp they even offer sustainable travel training to their agents.

Viking Voyages

If you have ever been on a Viking or Uniworld Cruise, you know it is top notch. From the excursions to the food and wine, to the comfort of the rooms to the excellent service, both cruise lines go above and beyond for their passengers. So, why would you book a cruise using our services? Because we exhibit the same level of customer service for our travelers!

Bruce Grim and his wife Lynn recently returned from their fourth Viking cruise. They have done both ocean and river cruises and cannot say enough about their Viking experiences. “We haven’t considered booking any other cruise line because the service, the food and everything about Viking is fantastic,” said Bruce.

They booked their Viking Homelands cruise for a group of seven couples using Onward Travel because the Grims are valued customers, and they like the amenities that come with our trips. We previously planned a private group trip to Italy for them that included four cooking classes, vineyard visits with wine tastings, local markets, and boat rides. “That was a spectacular trip, and we’ve had great success with everything Onward Travel has planned for us,” said Bruce.

Viking canal

Bruce has also attended trips for the International Fruit Tree Association, which Onward Travel organizes. He and Lynn went to New Zealand with Molly and Kat in 2018. “That’s really where we got to know them well. We got to see them in operation and managing a group of 100+ people. We saw their confidence on that trip, and they’ve never let us down,” said Bruce.

Bruce usually adds trip extensions to his cruises, and he and Lynn spent four days in London after the recent cruise. “Onward Travel booked the most perfect hotel for us there because it was very strategically located,” said Bruce. “I have heard stories from others who have booked extended stays through Viking and did not have the best experience.”

One of the things the Grims love about Viking cruises is that the staff always goes above and beyond for their groups. “When we went to our favorite restaurant, they let our group of 14 people sit together at the captain’s table rather than breaking up the group into smaller tables which they could have easily done. There were partitions in the room, so we had a quiet area to enjoy our conversations,” said Bruce.

Viking Chef Table

All Viking’s ocean ships have outside berths, so everyone has a balcony. But on this cruise, Bruce learned that the dividers between the outdoor balconies could be opened when the ship was docked. “Three couples had staterooms next to each other, so that meant the doors could be opened to create one large space which was perfect for cocktail parties before dinner or enjoying breakfast and coffee together as a group,” said Bruce.

Viking Balcony

Bruce says he is already planning his next Viking cruise which will be the Paris and D-Day river cruise and he will use Onward Travel to plan it. “This visit of D-Day sites and reliving some of the epic events of World War II is a trip I’ve always wanted to do. We will add on an extension at the front end of the cruise as well as the back end of the cruise, and I trust Onward Travel to plan that for us,” said Bruce.

Viking view

Another benefit of having Onward Travel book your cruise is that groups of eight people or more will receive some fun swag for the trip! Here is a photo of Bruce’s group sporting their new look on the ship.

Viking hoodie front

Viking hoodie back

Bruce says he will continue to book cruises with Onward Travel because of our attention to detail and the convenience factor since we can also help with air travel and planning trip extensions. “They are exceptionally good at what they do. We will continue to use them for trip planning, and I certainly encourage anyone else to do the same,” said Bruce.

Uniworld Adventures

Like Viking, Uniworld has loyal travelers. Molly and Kat’s mom, Peggi Clauhs, recently returned from a cruise on the Rhine River where she traveled from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland for her husband’s 70th birthday celebration. The trip was even more special because two couples joined them, and it was a complete surprise. “We planned this trip over a year ago so that was an exceptionally long time to keep a secret. It was so cool to see Herb’s face when he saw our friends on the first night!” Peggi said.

River Cruise Group

This was Peggi’s second time doing a river cruise with Uniworld, which only travels on rivers and not oceans. She has not taken a Viking cruise yet, but she says that a lot of the people on her trip had also cruised with Viking and found the companies to be very comparable.

Peggi feels Uniworld stands out because of its staff, which she says could not be nicer. “The staff are from all over Europe and there is a broad range of ages. One of our servers was from Serbia, and he has been working with Uniworld for the past ten years. That is very impressive to me to have staff that has been with the company for such a long time,” said Peggi.

River cruise

The food on Uniworld cruises also receives accolades from travelers. “Each meal we had was delicious and there is a lot of variety. There is always a heart healthy menu as an option as well,” said Peggi.

River cruise food

One thing that differs between Uniworld and Viking is that Uniworld is more all-inclusive. All beverages are included, and the wine and beer are top shelf. Gratuity is included as well as all the excursions. Because Uniworld offers river cruises, the ships can dock right in the city.

Peggi liked the variety of excursions provided. “There’s always a historical walking tour and there are activities for the more adventurous like a cycling trip or hike. There are winery tours, and my favorite excursion was to a nice bakery that had gorgeous gardens. You can choose to do as many excursions as you like or none. They also pay incredible attention to detail, including a ‘gentle pace’ tour for those people with mobility difficulties. That’s a nice touch because those people are still able to participate but don’t hold up other travelers who may prefer a faster pace. There’s even a snack in your room when you return from an excursion,” said Peggi.

River cruise

There were just 106 travelers on Peggi’s cruise so it was small enough that she said you will start to recognize people after a couple of days. There were younger and older people, but most of the travelers were in their sixties. Uniworld markets heavily in Canada, so you can expect to have some Canadians on your trip. Like Viking, repeat travelers also receive a discount.

The entertainment was a standout for Peggi. “There were violinists, folk dancers, and other musicians, and they are all local performers. They would come on the ship, perform, and then get off the ship. Someone would give them a ride back to the location where they got on. It was all very well-orchestrated,” said Peggi.

River cruise entertainment

The casualness of Uniworld cruises is another draw for travelers. Unlike some cruises where you must dress up for dinner, you can wear the same clothing that you wear all day to dinner. There’s also a captain’s dinner one night so if you do like to dress up a little for dinner, you have that opportunity.

River cruise dinner group

Just like Bruce, Peggi added on time before and after her cruise to extend the trip. “It is always nice to get to your destination a little early. You start your trip rested and since usually the starting city is not included in the cruise package, you’ll want to spend some time there to see the sights. You can book travel extensions through the cruise line, but it is usually extremely expensive,” said Peggi.

Peggi and Herb wrapped up their trip in Switzerland and then stayed a few more days before leading Onward Travel’s recent tour Enchanting Isle: A Culinary and Cultural Adventure in Ireland. Of course, Onward Travel selected their hotels and helped with all those arrangements, too!

Learn more about our travel planning services

This spring Onward Travel brought a group of AIGA members from across the United States to Iceland for Spring B’Reykjavik, our third annual design-focused trip centered around the Icelandic design festival called DesignMarch.

One of the highlights of this year’s trip was the afternoon we spent bopping around Reykjavik with designer Halfdan Pedersen. Halfdan studied film in Los Angeles and began his career in production design, which eventually transitioned into interior design. He has left his mark on Reykjavik in a serious way – it’s almost impossible to visit the city and not encounter his work.

Afternoon light at Snaps

Afternoon light at Snaps // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

Halfdan has designed many of the best restaurants in Iceland’s capital, including Dill and Snaps, as well as its trendiest place to sleep – Kex Hostel – and coolest places to hang out, such as Loftið and Mikkeller & Friends.

The bar at Mikkeller and Friends

The bar at Mikkeller and Friends // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

Of course Dani, as he prefers to be called, has also designed the interiors of the Reykjavik’s outposts of one of the country’s most iconic brands, Geysir:

Old mattress springs serve a new function at Geysir

Old mattress springs serve a new function: displaying woolen socks at Geysir // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

A rustic feeling in the Geysir store // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

A rustic feeling in the Geysir store // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

During our afternoon with him, Dani led us around Reykjavik, having made special arrangements for the restaurants and bars (not yet open for the evening hours) to serve us drinks and snacks as we learned about his process while enjoying and experiencing the amazing spaces he has created in his country’s vibrant capital city.

An extremely kind and clearly brilliant designer with a great eye for detail and real skill working with salvaged and reclaimable materials, Halfdan Pedersen may not admit it but there is no question that his work is playing a major role in defining 21st century Scandinavian design. As some of the brands he works for go international, so will his aesthetic – currently Dani is at work on projects in Portland, OR and Tokyo.  Lucky cities! Halfdan Pedersen is a designer to watch and we can’t wait to see what he does next. Thank you for a truly special and once in a lifetime experience, Dani!

A gorgeous afternoon in Reykjavik with Halfdan Pedersen // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

A gorgeous afternoon in Reykjavik with Halfdan Pedersen // Photo courtesy Brea Heth


At Loftid, a former tailor's shop has become one of Iceland's hottest nightlife destinations // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

At Loftið, a former tailor’s shop has become one of Iceland’s hottest nightlife destinations // Photo courtesy Brea Heth


The dining room at Dill, the restaurant by celebrity chef Gunnar Karl Gislason // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

The dining room at Dill, the restaurant by celebrity chef Gunnar Karl Gislason // Photo courtesy Brea Heth


AIGA members pose for a picture with Halfdan // Photo courtesy Brea Heth

Our Onward Travel group poses for a picture with Halfdan at Loftið // Photo courtesy Erika Enlund