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LIST: SPECIALIST ONLINE TRAVEL AGENCIES

These are specialist online travel agencies covering specific market areas such as flight-only, ski holidays, cruises, golf breaks, etc.
ActivityBreaks.com Activities specialist site offering a range of activity and special interest holidays, including ski breaks, cycling, walking and horseriding holidays.
aferry aferry is an online ferry booking system for European ferries services, not just ex-UK but in the Adriatic, Aegean, Baltic, Mediterranean,etc. It has an extremely simple to use graphical 'point & click' selection process.
Alternative Airlines starReally useful specialist agency (launched in April 07) selling flights on less well-known international and regional airlines. So if, for example, you need to buy a ticket from Ekaterinburg to Osaka, you can buy it online with Vladivostock Air. Its parent is the mainstream air ticketing agency Flight Directors who also create dedicated UK ticketing websites for overseas airlines. Now Alternative Airlines sells seats for over 180 airlines, many of which you will never have heard of! (eg. Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Donbassaero, or Air Corridor)
Boat Bookings.com Yacht chartering specialist with a huge selection of over 5000 boats - from day power boats to sailing yachts to super yachts - available in the UK, French Riviera, Ibiza, Palma, BVI, Caribbean, USA, & Thailand.
CheapCruises.com Cheap cruise deals and offers. A Hays Travel group brand.
CruiseDirect.co.uk Specialist cruise-only site. Part of the Barrhead Travel group.
Cruise Line, The Cruise-only direct-sell agency launched 1993. They are also the publishers of World of Cruising magazine.
Direct Ferries Ferry specialist covering over 36 routes to and from the UK. Not the most intuitive site. It can be difficult to work out which company operates which route.
Ferrybooker.com Online ferry and cross-Channel booking service and the only resource offering reservations with all operators offering UK departures. The site features complete searchable timetables, city break & holiday offers, and add-ons including accommodation, insurance, car hire and currency. Visitors also get weather reports, a Calais shopping directory and a guide to driving in France. Another site in the OTC stable.
FlightsDirect.com Flight only website belonging to the Glasgow-based Barrhead Travel group.
Holidayextras Online booking for a range of UK airport based holiday extras like airport hotels, car parks, lounges and transfers, plus foreign exchange and travel insurance. For example you can check availability and book space at airport car parks. It is operated by ABC Holiday Extras who, since 1983, have been wholesalers dealing in UK airport hotels and car parks for the retail travel trade. ABC Holiday Extras have recently dropped the 'ABC' bit of their name, but they are still a wholly independent website- something of a rarity.
ifyouski.com ifyouski.com started life as complete-skier.com before becoming the founding site of the short-lived ifyoutravel.com family (ifyougolf, ifyouexplore, ifyoudive, etc), aquired later by OTC. Like the others in the ifyoutravel family it's a brilliant site and sets the standard for niche sector travel sites. Not only does it sell ski packages, but it has advice on what ski boots to buy, what restaurants to go to, how to improve your technique, what the weather will be, who won the latest Mens Giant Slalom Gold Cup, etc, etc, etc. Everything you want to know or do. If you ski, go there.
igluSki.com The original site of iglu family; a specialist ski portal site selling ski holidays & accommodation with snow reports, resort reports, news & advice.
igluTropical.com Specialist long-haul holiday site selling family holidays, safaris, beach holidays, all-inclusive holidays, wedding & honeymoons, diving holidays & cruises, with booking taken through a call centre.
Just The Flight Discount air fares specialist that compares and books scheduled flights, charter flights and low-cost flights from hundreds of airlines.
Latelink.com Specialist online site for late-availability UK boating holidays. Booking is done by phone. 
Pack Your Skis Ski portal
Planet Cruise Cruise agency website selling 7,000 itineraries on 22 cruise lines, all bookable online. Planet cruise is a brand of Freedom Travel Group, a subsidiary of United Co-op Travel.
Qjump UK train ticketing, with quite a sophisticated travel management system for business accounts. Part of the National Express Group.
Railbookers.com UK & European rail ticketing (inc Eurostar & Orient Express) and short breaks with accommodation.
Realworld Travel This site specialises in adventure travel. It was launched in 1998 as the online identity of Realworld Travel, a walking & cycling adventure agency set up two years earlier by Robert Ferguson, a former Operations Manager at Exodus. Visitors can select a pre-planned Realworld adventure which has been packaged using specialist tour operators from around the world, or use their directory of those operators to plan and book their own components.
RocketSki An online agency for skiers and snowboarders (launched: Sept 00). What makes it special is its 'pick and mix' facility allowing you to buy any or all of the elements of a ski holiday - hotel, chalet, flights, car hire, airport transfer, lift pass, equipment hire, insurance, tuition, etc. The site covers Austria, France and Italy and has been developed by ski and snowboard specialist Equity Total Travel, a well-established and respected independent ski operator. It is well put together and easy to use. You can ask it to suggest a resort that suits you or simply go straight to the resort you are interested in. The online booking system is an easy-to-follow 'shopping basket' system that you can browse around in before having to fill in forms and if you can't cope or can't be bothered, there's a telephone phone booking number. The Company is a fully bonded member of ABTA and holds its own ATOL licence.
Round The World Flights.com star Is a part of the Global Village agency, specialising - as the name suggests - in round the world tickets. There's a really simple and clever graphical system for selecting your route from, and back to, the UK (it must have a minimum of four destinations en route) so that it can search for the best ticket pricing. There's also lots of other info aimed at long-term (gap year) travellers, not least a comprehensive library of travel articles/blog posts by some of the best professional travel writers in the world. 
Student Flights Student Flights launched in the UK in July 03 and is owned by flight-only specialists, Flight Centre. SF offers exclusive airfares to students and backpackers, as well as a range of holiday packages and budget accommodation, bus, rail and ferry passes, student discount cards and discounted travel insurance. It has five branded stores in the UK, which are located in London (Euston Road), Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh. There are also seven dual-branded Flight Centre / Student Flights stores in Earls Court, Goodge Street, Victoria in London, Kingston in Middlesex, Uxbridge, Manchester and Guildford.
TheTrainline.com Pound sign The top dog when it comes to online rail bookings - they sell 2 million rail tickets every month. They claim they can save travellers up to 39% compared to buying on the day at the station, and they take bookings up to 2 hours before travel.
Tourdust Online agency focused on walking & cycling holidays, safaris and cultural tours from specialist local operators. Everything from traditional activities like mountain biking breaks in the Alps, to fringe stuff like weekend courses in wild food foraging in Cornwall.
Travelorganisation.com Travelorganisation.com was launched in June 2001 as an online travel agency for conference/event organisers and their delegates. It is a sister company to TMO, the event and incentive travel management company. It offers delegates a one-stop shop for all travel services, including leisure add-ons and incidentals such as foreign exchange, insurance, theatre tickets and restaurant bookings.
TravelRepublic Online agency specialising in charter flights to holiday destinations.
Traxaway European rail travel specialist agency. Book Eurostar, TGV, ICE, Thalys, night trains, and hotel trains for business or leisure trips. They have a portfolio of good hotels right next to railway stations and organise car hire. They sell all the special tickets such as Inter-Rail, Eurail, & Eurodomino.
Viator Viator (it's the latin word for 'traveller' by the way), launched in 1995, sells ground-based tours, excursions and activities (over 5000 of them) in 75 countries, mostly through affiliates (other people's websites) such as Opodo, BA.com, Paris.com, visitLondon.com. You can book online for a range of tours covering everything from romantic excursions in exotic destinations to adventurous jaunts such as the 4WD Blue Mountains Explorer Trek in Australia. In addition to all the popular 'must-do' tours throughout the world like the Eiffel Tower or Seine dinner cruise in Paris, they also cover the more unusual Sex and the City Tour in New York, a daring Bridge Climb of Sydney Harbour or the Alcatraz Tour in San Francisco.
WorldSki Online ski agency offering packages from major operators like Neilson, Ski Total, Ski World, Ingham, Crystal and Thomson. An Online Travel Group brand.

 

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