Silver Travel Awards 2017

Travel Talk

Our illustrious host Aled Jones What a super time we had at the Silver Travel Awards on 8 June at a drinks reception at Madame Tussauds in London, where our guests were entertained beautifully, surrounded by stars of screen and music, by a charming recital from the Classic FM string quartet. 

Madame Tussauds is an iconic attraction, with the most life-like array of figures, including those from the world of sport, politics and history as well as our own royal family.  It was a real pleasure to welcome friends from the travel industry and silver travellers too, together with the wider Silver Travel Advisor team. 

After a chance for all our guests to explore the museum, the ceremony took place in the World Stage, hosted by Classic FM’s presenter, Aled Jones.  He wowed us all with humour and thoroughly enjoyed being our host, ‘What a wonderful opportunity this is – a real celebration of all that is excellent in travel for the mature traveller.’  We note that he’ll be joining our ranks very soon!  Aled was joined by our wonderful Patron, John Carter who draw the raffle and surprised the audience with his fluent Welsh – a nod to Aled’s home country.   

Silver Travel Awards Now in their third year, and supported by headline sponsor Saga Holidays, consumer media sponsor Mail advertising and Classic FM, the Awards have been expanded to a total of 17 main categories and were voted for by more people than ever, with over 55,000 votes being cast.

Read all about our Sponsors

Debbie Marshall, managing director of Silver Travel Advisor, said: “We are excited that a record number of over 50s have voted this year to choose these winners which recognise the holiday companies and experiences that serve them best. 

The winners and runners-up all share one common feature – the ability to listen to older travellers and respond to them with flair and imagination.”

Watch our video of the ceremony highlights

The runners-up and winners at the 2017 Silver Travel Awards

Best Ocean Cruise Line

Runner-up: Celebrity Cruises
WINNER: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
WINNER: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Best River Cruise Line

Runner up: Riviera Travel
WINNER: Viking River Cruises
WINNER: Viking River Cruises

Best Specialist Cruise Line

Runner up: Hurtigruten
WINNER: Noble Caledonia
WINNER: Noble Caledonia

Best Large Tour Operator

Runner up: Shearings Holidays
WINNER: Saga Holidays
WINNER: Saga Holidays

Best Activity Tour Operator

Runner up: Explore
WINNER: HF Holidays
WINNER: HF Holidays

Best City Breaks Operator

Runner up: Kirker Holidays
WINNER: Riviera Travel
WINNER: Riviera Travel

Best UK Breaks Operator

Runner up: Warner Leisure Hotels
WINNER: Shearings Holidays
WINNER: Shearings Holidays

Best Escorted Touring Operator (UK Tours)

Runner up: Grand UK Holidays
WINNER: Shearings Holidays
WINNER: Shearings Holidays

Best Escorted Touring Operator
(Europe and Long-Haul Tours)

Runner up: Jules Verne
WINNER: Riviera Travel
WINNER: Riviera Travel

Best Cultural Tour Operator

Runner up: Wendy Wu Tours
WINNER: Jules Verne
WINNER: Jules Verne

Best Self-Catering Accommodation

Runner up: Airbnb
WINNER: Forest Holidays
WINNER: Forest Holidays

Best Rail Holiday Provider

Runner up: Railbookers
WINNER: Great Rail Journeys
WINNER: Great Rail Journeys

Best Airline

Runner up: Emirates
WINNER: British Airways
WINNER: British Airways

Best Overseas Destination

Runner up: Italy
WINNER: New Zealand
WINNER: New Zealand - sponsor Carly Perkins of Holland America Line

Best Accessible Travel Provider

Runner up: Shearings Holidays
WINNER: Enable Holidays
WINNER: Enable Holidays

Best Operator for the Single Traveller

Runner up: Saga Holidays
WINNER: Solos Holidays
WINNER: Solos Holidays

Best Car Rental Company

Runner up: Hertz

Exceptional Achievement Award

The Exceptional Achievement Award is given to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to travel for the over 50s.

Wendy Atkin-Smith Wendy Atkin-Smith
Managing Director, Viking Cruises UK

The panel of judges said:
Everyone loves a success story – to have worked your way up within a business to lead it, especially if that business is Viking Cruises. Wendy has done so much to widen the possibilities of travel for people who want to discover new things – but in a comfortable way. River cruising was hardly taken seriously ten years ago. Now, it is the holiday of choice for more and more people. Wendy has worked at all levels of the cruising world and clearly has a fantastic understanding of the sector.

Read about the nominees for the 2017 Exceptional Achievement Award

Classic FM 25 Year Anniversary Travel Company Award

Winner: Kirker Holidays Classic FM celebrates 25 Years of delivering the world’s greatest music in 2017 and to mark this special anniversary, Silver Travel Advisor is delighted to have partnered with them in an additional award to recognise the Best Travel Company with at least 25 years’ experience of creating great holidays for their customers.

Runner up: Inghams

WINNER: Kirker Holidays

Photos © Steve Dunlop Photography

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