Speaker Stages

America’s Favorite Travel Shows Have the Most Comprehensive Educational Content That You Can’t Find Anywhere Else.

You’ll be inspired to take your dream vacation. Learn how to be your own travel expert on your next vacation, from top celebrity travel personalities and leading local experts at dozens of travel workshops on 3 theaters located on the show floor.

Check back often as speaker information is being updated daily!

3 Theaters and Over 30+ Sessions

Travel Theater: Hear from the top travel celebrity personalities such as Josh Gates, Rick Steves, Pauline Frommer and Peter Greenberg as they inspire you to take your dream vacation.
Destination Theater: From where to go and when to go, to what to do and how to get there, destination experts will give you the in depth information you need to travel like a local.
Savvy Traveler Theater: Showcasing travel tips, tricks and actionable advice, you’ll learn how to travel like a pro straight from the experts. Topics include packing tips, technology skills, travel safety methods, budget travel hacks, etc.

Speakers and schedule are subject to change without prior notice, please check back often for updates.

Stop by the on-floor bookstore to purchase books from your favorite travel authors here at the show.

Saturday, February 8

10:15 am – 10:45 am
Destination Theater

AmaWaterways: Where Luxury Means Love

Jazzmine Douse, Manager, National Accounts, AmaWaterways
“Ama” means love – and we put love in everything we do. Join me as I share all the luxuries AmaWaterways has to offer.  From twin-balcony staterooms – an innovation created by our founders to maximize your breathtaking river views to the most knowledgeable local guides to take you to the heart of each destination and introduce you to the local culture on a variety of included excursions. You’ll experience the best each city or village has to offer in the way that suits you best.

10:15 am – 11:00 am
Savvy Traveler Theater

Travel Safe, Travel Smart, and Travel Well

Moderator:
Angel Castellanos, World Travel Expert, Writer/TV Host, AngelsTravelLounge.com
Panelists:
Marshall C. “Marc” Derks, Foreign Service Officer serving as the Speechwriter for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the U.S. Department of State
Mark Howell, Regional Spokesperson, TSA
 

10:30 am – 12 Noon
Travel Theater

European Travel Skills

Rick Steves, Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves’ Europe and Travel with Rick Steves
Join travel expert Rick Steves as he shares the latest in smart European travel. In this entertaining, information-packed slideshow lecture, he’ll explain how to travel smoothly and affordably by stretching your travel dollar, eating and sleeping well, avoiding crowds, and packing smartly. Freshly back from four months in Europe, Rick reveals exactly how you can enjoy maximum travel thrills for every mile, minute, and euro on your next European adventure.
Autograph Signing Immediately Following

11:00 am – 11:30 am
Destination Theater

Discover Celebrity’s Galapagos

Susana Romero, Director, Galapagos Sales & Communication, Celebrity Cruises
A cruise to the Galapagos Islands is infinitely different than other voyages. Smaller, more intimate, a gathering of people all bound by a fascination with exploration and ecology.  All with renowned Celebrity service at every turn. Our Galapagos sailings prove that you can visit the most ancient places on earth wrapped in modern luxury.

11:15 am – 12:00 Noon
Savvy Traveler Theater

Choose Fun! With Carnival Cruise Line

Tom Panici, Business Development Director, Carnival Cruises
Over 6 million guests chose Carnival as their vacation destination with over 1,500 departures among our 26 ships from 14 U.S. ports. Carnival is fully committed to providing an exceptional experience, value, great food and fun for our guests each and every day.

11:45 am – 12:15 pm
Destination Theater

Rocky Mountaineer, A Canadian Rockies Experience Like No Other

Dawn Elmendorf, Key Accounts Manager, Rocky Mountaineer 
During Rocky Mountaineer’s presentation, you will learn all that is new with us for the 2020 season.  Brand new and exclusive AAA Promotions, insider tips on making your vacation to the Canadian Rockies truly memorable, and so much more.  It’s a presentation not to be missed!

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

The Best Travel & Packing Tips for the Ultimate Vacation

Angel Castellanos, World Travel Expert, Writer/TV Host AngelsTravelLounge.com
Make your next trip, the next best trip of your life and “Travel Like a Pro”! Angel Castellanos, The Travel Ambassador, delivers his popular and energetic talk on packing tips & savvy travel skills drawing from his experience as a full-time professional traveler. This highly informative talk is updated every year and “packed” with the most up to date savvy travel tips and inspirational stories from all over the world to help travelers travel smarter, better and cheaper. Angel will deliver the best travel tips on packing smart, safety, de-stressing the airport experience, saving money, sightseeing hacks, traveling with technology and much more! No matter your level of experience, you are bound to come away with practical current travel tips. The packing demonstration included in this talk is one you do not want to miss. Packing in a carry on? After this presentation, packing in any bag will not be a problem! Join us for this insightful and dynamic presentation. Travel smart, well and often! www.AngelsTravelLounge.com

12:30 pm – 1:00 pm
Destination Theater

The Hottest Destination You’ve Never Been To – Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC Cruises New Private Island.

Denise Reichwein Lees, Director of Sales USA, MSC Cruises

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm
Travel Theater

Adventure Awaits! Turn any vacation into the journey of a lifetime

Josh Gates, Explorer, Host of Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown
As the host of Discovery Channel’s smash-hit series Expedition Unknown, explorer Josh Gates travels around the world and off the map to find the truth behind iconic legends and thrilling archaeological mysteries. Join Josh in-person for an exclusive talk about his most daring expeditions as well as real-world advice on how to embrace the unknown and transform your next vacation into an epic journey. Whether you’re looking to climb a mountain or kick back on an all-inclusive cruise, Josh shares practical tips from his travels to help shift your next vacation into another gear.
Autograph Signing Immediately Following

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
Destination Theater

Chicago Gateway to Australia and New Zealand

Sunnie Rossi, President, Aussie Experts
Hayden Fitzpatrick, Premium Trade Manager – North America, Tourism New Zealand
Glen Davis, Distribution Development Manager, Eastern USA Tourism Australia
It has never been easier to get to New Zealand and Australia with new direct (nonstop) flights from Chicago. Join representatives from Tourism New Zealand, Tourism Australia and your local South pacific expert Sunnie Rossi to learn about how to get there, how to get around and what makes each of these destinations so unique.

1:15 pm – 2:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

ALASKA 2020: Explore the Great Land with Princess Cruises

James McBride, Business Development Manager, Princess Cruises
Explore the Inside Passage, charming frontier towns, Glacier Bay and Denali National Park. With 8 beautiful ships and 21 cruise/tour itineraries there are a lot of choices.  We’ll help you plan your dream vacation.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Destination Theater

Explore the Celtic Isles Your Way with Brendan Vacations

Katie Ledwig, Field Sales Manager, Brendan Vacations
We are your Celtic experts and plan every vacation to ignite the sense of wonder that is aligned to the extraordinary part of the world we call home, Ireland and Scotland. From fully guided trips that bring destinations to life to the absolute freedom of discovering Ireland and Scotland on your own, our trips are individually crafted to help you travel your way.

2:15 pm – 3:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Adventures Worthwhile

Kellee Edwards, Adventure Travel Expert & TV Host
Travel is constantly evolving, and many people find themselves wanting to bypass the ordinary for the extraordinary. With so many choices, destinations and experience available to travelers these days, how does one choose their next adventure? Travel journalist, adventure expert and TV Host, Kellee Edwards will share how she explores the world and how you too can let your passions be the compass for your adventures.

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
Travel Theater

Spend Less, See More: Strategies for Creating Dream Vacations in ALL Price Ranges

Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides and Publisher of Frommers.com
Accommodations, airfares, tours, car rentals, cruises—the truth is there are no set prices for any of these items. Join nationally syndicated radio talk show host, guidebook publisher, and travel expert Pauline Frommer for a talk that will change the way you book travel. She’ll give you the insider tools you need to work the system smartly, whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury-seeker. Plus, Frommer will introduce destinations that you may not have considered visiting but should and answer questions.
Autograph Signing Immediately Following

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Destination Theater

Join us on a Hike Through Switzerland

Paolo Lunardi, Head of Trade Relations North America, Switzerland Tourism

3:15 pm – 4:00 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Creating Great Memories of Your Travels (with Any Camera!)

Ralph Velasco, Founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer), PhotoEnrichment Adventures
In this session professional travel photographer and veteran international tour organizer Ralph Velasco will discuss how to capture a variety of great images and other content of your travels, with any camera, and how to turn them into shareable memories that will last a lifetime.
Through a series of images, he’s created around the world he’ll share simple but powerful photo tips and inexpensive gear and easy-to-use app suggestions that will help you to more effectively tell the story of your travels…how anyone can do this.
Look for an interesting surprise Ralph will reveal part way through his presentation and then go out and create your next memories with the many tips and suggestions he’ll provide. Even if you only travel with a smartphone in your pocket you won’t want to miss this session.
Now, let’s get out and shoot!

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Destination Theater

French Wine & Cheese?  Yes Please!

Kim Dickey, Marketing Manager, French Canal Boat
Do you love the idea of spending a week in France immersed in the best of French food, wine and culture?   How about with just a few of your closest friends and none of the crowds?  Are you looking for something unique and active with the perfect mix of down time and excursions?  Do you want to unplug from your daily life and enjoy the simple pleasures of sipping champagne as you cruise through some of the most beautiful scenery in France?  Or…. would you prefer to take a leisurely bike ride along the historic towpaths and through quaint country villages?  If this sounds like you, we invite you to join us as we introduce you to the little-known world of luxury of barge cruising in France!

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Travel Theater

Best of Europe

Rick Steves, Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves’ Europe and Travel with Rick Steves
Travel with Europe’s best-selling guidebook writer, Rick Steves, as he shares his favorite corners of Europe. He’ll venture from the castles of Wales to Denmark’s over-looked isles to Istanbul’s back lanes. From mountain villages in the Swiss Alps to beach villages in Portugal’s Algarve to Italy’s Cinque Terre, Rick will inspire with ways to avoid the crowds while enjoying his top discoveries.
Autograph Signing Immediately Following

4:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Destination Theater

Wonder Awaits

Joyce Lopez, Market Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises
Wonder Awaits as you explore the world in Modern Luxury onboard Celebrity Cruises.

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm
Savvy Travel Theater

So You Want to Start A Travel Blog?
A Conversation with Chicago’s Top Travel Influencers 

Moderator: Beth Santos, Founder and CEO, Wanderful
Panelists: Francesca Mazurkiewicz, The Working Mom’s Travels and Roots Music Rambler
Lisa Lubin, LLWorldTour.com and LLMedia
Natasha Nicholes, HouseFulofNicholes.com
Want to start a travel blog but don’t know where to begin? Join Chicago’s top travel bloggers as they reveal all about how they got their start and their best tips for anyone who wants to dive into the world of content creation. The panel will be moderated by Beth Santos, founder of Wanderful and creator of the Women in Travel Summit (WITS), one of the country’s top travel blogging events. Plus, one lucky audience member will win a ticket to WITS ‘20!

Sunday, February 9

11:15 am – 12:45 pm
Travel Theater

European Travel Skills

Rick Steves, Travel Writer, Host of Rick Steves’ Europe and Travel with Rick Steves
Join travel expert Rick Steves as he shares the latest in smart European travel. In this entertaining, information-packed slideshow lecture, he’ll explain how to travel smoothly and affordably by stretching your travel dollar, eating and sleeping well, avoiding crowds, and packing smartly. Freshly back from four months in Europe, Rick reveals exactly how you can enjoy maximum travel thrills for every mile, minute, and euro on your next European adventure.
Autograph Signing Immediately Following

11:15 am – 11:45 am
Destination Theater

On Stage Alaska

James & Dee Saccomano, Journey Hosts, Alaskan Holland America Line Cruise
Get to know Holland America Line’s Great Land with an exciting On-Stage Alaska® performance — including awe-inspiring Denali National Park and the Yukon’s spectacular wilderness. Join our Alaska & the Yukon Experts as they captivate you with their knowledge and enthusiasm about this magical destination.

11:55 am – 12:25 pm
Destination Theater

Africa – A World of Discovery Awaits!

Kevan Cowie, Director of Sales, African Travel
Come and discover the magic and mystery of Africa as we take you on a journey to this amazing destination that will be a life-changing experience.

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm
Savvy Travel Theater

See the World Like Never Before with Club Adventures

Lucas Bialecki, Head of Sales, AAA Club Adventures
Club Adventures, powered by AAA Exclusive Vacations®, was created for those who want to explore the world through a local lens. With global journeys 8-14 days long, group sizes are kept small and leaders are local. With Club Adventures, get closer, go deeper, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

12:35 pm – 1:05 pm
Destination Theater

Welcome to the World of Viking Cruises

Mark Stromberg, Director, Business Development, Viking Cruises
A 30 min presentation covering Viking River and Ocean, exploring destinations, ships and inclusions.

1:00 pm – 1:45 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Tech Tips for Smarter Travel

Angel Castellanos, World Travel Expert, Writer/TV Host AngelsTravelLounge.com
Learn about the best travel technology, travel apps and how-to-use your device abroad from full time traveler Angel Castellanos. This highly informative talk is updated every year and “packed” with the most up to date savvy travel tips to help you maximize your tech to travel smarter. Angel Castellanos, The Travel Ambassador, is a travel tech expert with tips to make traveling with your tech easy. Learn to unlock the potential of your device and travel easy and smarter without getting lost in your phone. This informative and popular presentation prepares travelers so they can confidently use their mobile devices as a tool to travel better and easier. Angel will cover the best travel apps to enhance your travels and allow you to communicate effectively without breaking the bank. No matter how tech savvy you are, you will definitely come away with great advice and helpful apps to travel smarter and better with your technology. Join us for this insightful and dynamic presentation. Travel smart, often and well! www.AngelsTravelLounge.com

1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
Destination Theater

Insider Tips to the Best of Alaska

Ruth Rosewarne Kimerer, Tourism Sales Manager, Visit Anchorage
Local experts from Anchorage, Alaska share their favorite places, hidden gems and insider tips on Anchorage and Alaska that will inspire an unforgettable Alaska vacation. Make this year… ALASKA!

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Travel Theater

Great Travel Secrets from the Master Traveler: Everything you need to know to win the travel game…every time.

Peter Greenberg, Emmy Award-Winning Investigative Reporter and Producer and CBS News Travel Editor
Autograph Signing Immediately Following

1:55 pm – 2:25 pm
Destination Theater

Your Own Italy – Boutique Travel Perfected

Carmen Carbonell, President, Your Own Italy
For those who want to experience the real Italy, join me as I share my love for Italy, with the heart and soul of the culture and its people. Your Own Italy focuses on living like a local from staying in small boutique hotels, apartments in historic centers and villas in Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast.  You’ll travel off-the-beaten path with guided tours that include…wine tasting and local cuisine in family owned villas, walking city food tours, hands-on cooking classes and cultural experiences like village festivals throughout Italy.

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
Savvy Travel Theater

7 Secrets to Maximize Your Solo Travels

Beth Santos, Founder and CEO, Wanderful
Thinking of traveling alone but not sure how to start? From inspiring memoirs like Wild and Eat Pray Love to our everyday Facebook feeds showing us epic landscapes from all corners of the world, solo travel is more popular than ever before, and anyone — yes, anyone — can do it.
Join Beth Santos, founder and CEO of Wanderful, for an invigorating session about why now is the time to take that solo trip, and how to make it your most memorable travel experience yet.

2:35 pm – 3:10 pm
Destination Theater

Discover Celebrity’s Galapagos

Gloria Rodriguez, Market Sales Manager, Celebrity Cruises Galapagos
A cruise to the Galapagos Islands is infinitely different than other voyages. Smaller, more intimate, a gathering of people all bound by a fascination with exploration and ecology.  All with renowned Celebrity service at every turn. Our Galapagos sailings prove that you can visit the most ancient places on earth wrapped in modern luxury.

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm
Travel Theater

Spend Less, See More: Strategies for Creating Dream Vacations in ALL Price Ranges

Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of the Frommer’s Guides and Publisher of Frommers.com
Accommodations, airfares, tours, car rentals, cruises—the truth is there are no set prices for any of these items. Join nationally syndicated radio talk show host, guidebook publisher, and travel expert Pauline Frommer for a talk that will change the way you book travel. She’ll give you the insider tools you need to work the system smartly, whether you’re a backpacker or a luxury-seeker. Plus, Frommer will introduce destinations that you may not have considered visiting but should and answer questions.
Autograph Signing Immediately Following

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm
Savvy Traveler Theater

Discover the World with Trafalgar

Matt Koehler, District Sales Manager, Trafalgar
Join us to learn more about the incredible experiences we offer across all seven continents. We have carefully crafted our trips with one goal in mind; to enable our guests to live The Good Life. Leading the industry since 1947, each individual itinerary is crafted by our team of travel experts to give you what you crave out of your vacations: the freedom to discover and the confidence to explore.

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm
Destination Theater

Sun, Sand and Beyond

Judy Koziel, Business Development Manager, Pleasant Holidays