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ABTAATOLTravel Awards 2015

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Meet the Team

Tim Gemmell

When did you join GRJ?

December 2011

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Discovering Japan. I've always wanted to go to Tokyo and get the chance to experience a new continent, culture and cuisine!

What do you love about travelling by rail?

Most of all I enjoy the freedom and flexibility that rail offers, allowing travel across entire continents while relaxing and enjoying the ever-changing scenery along the way.

Where in the world have you been?

I have been fortunate enough to travel Europe extensively by rail; from regular visits to popular destinations such as Switzerland, Germany and Italy to intriguing rail adventures exploring cities as far afield as Sarajevo, Bucharest and Istanbul. I've also enjoyed the unique experience of crossing the United States coast to coast using the excellent Amtrak rail network.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

I love to travel around Europe using a rail pass and covering as many countries as possible! My favourite destinations are Berlin, Krakow and Interlaken.

Adrian Craven

When did you join GRJ?

I've been with the company for almost five years now.

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Out of any of the tours I would choose the USA Coast to Coast, as it takes in the places I'd love to visit.

What do you love about travelling by rail?

I think you can just sit back, relax and take in all the beautiful scenery.

Where in the world have you been?

I've travelled to Australia, Dubai, Egypt, Singapore, Hong Kong and a majority of the Mediterranean. I've also visited various parts of the UK. I did an educational on the Rhine Cruise, which I thoroughly enjoyed as it gave me the knowledge on various aspects of our holidays that I can pass on to customers and colleagues.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

It has to be Australia. I spent seven weeks on holiday and visited all the major destinations such as Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns, and I ended up in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in the last week I was there.

Hayley O'Rourke

When did you join GRJ?

December 2011

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Yorkshire by Steam. I enjoy booking customers onto this tour and discussing the itinerary with them. As the location is close to our hearts here in York, I have lots of knowledge and experience to talk about the area and what's included in Harrogate. I feel proud to live near to these great places of interest in Yorkshire.

What do you love about travelling by rail?

I believe rail travel is the most relaxing and enjoyable way to travel and to take in the best scenery across the world. The various trains to experience are endless, from design to age.

Where in the world have you been?

As an ex-airline stewardess I've travelled to many worldwide destinations - the USA, Asia, the South Atlantic and many overseas holiday resorts. However, since starting at GRJ I now feel inspired to cover a lot more of Europe and the UK. I've already started by taking an educational trip to Amsterdam, and I'm due to be visiting the Highlands of Scotland. This will increase my knowledge of these areas that I can then offer to the public.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

Ascension Island in the South Atlantic. I carried out many flights to this destination while working as an air stewardess, in transit to the Falkland Islands on behalf of the RAF. This destination is rarely available to visit as a civilian, and is my favourite as the temperature is sub-tropical with untouched beaches and coves to snorkel in and explore all to yourself.

Helen Jones

When did you join GRJ?

October 2011

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Rockies & Alaska Cruise - the scenery and wildlife on this tour is amazing. I would definitely extend the holiday at the end to add a few days exploring Seattle, as it is such a diverse and interesting city. This tour ticks the boxes of everything I want to see!

What do you love about travelling by rail?

While I enjoy flying, you see much more of a country by rail.

Where in the world have you been?

France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Russia, the USA, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cyprus, Tunisia, Egypt, Ibiza, Canary Islands, Jersey, Slovenia, Switzerland, Gambia, Senegal, Mexico and Brazil!

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

Brazil - absolutely stunning and such a fun experience. I lived in Italy for many years and have fantastic memories of the food and culture!

Jake Gorner

When did you join GRJ?

August 2008

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Vietnam

What do you love about travelling by rail?

Not being stuck in an airport while your flight is delayed for nine hours!

Where in the world have you been?

I've been pretty much everywhere in Europe now with only a few of the smaller countries left to visit. Mexico is the furthest I've travelled, but as I get older I hope to go farther afield - Asia being top of my list.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

For me, as a young adult, it has to be Ibiza. Not only the stunning scenery and sunny weather but it's a great place to meet new people from all over the world while you watch the sun set over the horizon.

James Eaton

When did you join GRJ?

August 2009

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Classic Glacier Express - because of friendly Swiss people, the stunning scenery and the transport network that's arguably the best in the world!

What do you love about travelling by rail?

I love how easy it is to pass through customs to board trains. It gives you a chance to see the scenery and famous landmarks of wherever you are in the world. The excellent food and drinks are served to you right in your seat. I also like how comfortable it is, and you get plenty of leg room. You always have the opportunity to get up and walk around freely on trains too.

Where in the world have you been?

Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Wales, Scotland, Spain, Malta and Gozo.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

Malta and Gozo, because of the warm Mediterranean climate, excellent local cuisine, the friendly and welcoming people, the relaxed way of life, and the history and culture.

Jon Brodrick

When did you join GRJ?

February 2005

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

The Glacier Express

What do you love about travelling by rail?

The freedom it brings while travelling. You're not confined to your chair by a seat-belt sign or blocked off from the aisle like you can be on an aircraft. You can move around, visit the bar or restaurant car, stretch your legs or just gaze out of the window. It's a relaxing and scenic way to cover great distances in comfort.

Where in the world have you been?

Scotland, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Tunisia, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritius, Singapore, Borneo and Malaysia.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

My honeymoon! We took a city break in Singapore; one of the cleanest cities I've ever seen, with some incredible architecture - both modern and traditional. Afterwards we went to Borneo, spending our time trekking to find wild orang-utans and watching green turtles nesting on a desert island beach. We ended our trip with a week on a beach resort in Langkawi. All in all, a fantastic three weeks away.

Kathryn Cambridge

When did you join GRJ?

January 2008

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Probably the USA Coast to Coast or India's Tigers & Palaces.

What do you love about travelling by rail?

Being able to sit back and relax in comfort and watch the changing scenery unfold.

Where in the world have you been?

On board the Anacoluthe on the Seine Cruise, to the South of France on part of the Rhone Cruise, and to Barcelona.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

To Northern France, camping when my children were small.

Lynne Broadley

When did you join GRJ?

January 2012

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Las Vegas & the Golden West, as it includes Monterey and the amazing coastline between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

What do you love about travelling by rail?

I don't have to go through all the stress of an airport, and have a much more relaxed journey and better views than on a plane.

Where in the world have you been?

Lots of places in North America including: Los Angeles, Carmel, Monterey and San Francisco in California, and Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Richmond, Washington and New York. I've also been to Italy, Holland, Belgium (Bruges is one of my favourite places), Greece, France, Spain, Switzerland, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Germany.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

A month spent travelling round the USA on a music-based tour, visiting Lubbock in Texas to see Buddy Holly's house, his grave and the first place he ever played. Memphis for Graceland, Sun Studios, B.B. King's Blues Bar and the carnival atmosphere of Beale Street, Nashville for country music and New Orleans for the jazz.

Nicki Wright

When did you join GRJ?

2009

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

USA Coast to Coast because it has so much included and so many places to visit on the tour.

What do you love about travelling by rail?

Rail travel is a wonderful thing because it is so relaxed, easy and you see so much of the scenery on the way to and from your destination.

Where in the world have you been?

Tunisia, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Majorca, Ibiza and France.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

To Turkey, especially Olu Deniz. The people are exceptionally friendly and nothing is too much trouble for them. The food is also wonderful, their kebabs are nothing like the ones we get in this country!

Paul Nicholls

When did you join GRJ?

2000

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

The Glacier Express

What do you love about travelling by rail?

You can relax while travelling by rail, and watch the scenery go by. You can read a book, have a drink or meet some new travelling companions. There are rarely any Eurostar delays and the check-in times are much shorter when compared to airports.

Where in the world have you been?

Pretty much everywhere in Europe except for Scandinavia. I've travelled through most other continents apart from Africa, although I've been to Morocco.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

In 2002 I did a round the world trip lasting for a year, travelling through Asia, Australia, South America and North America.

Phillippe Mair

When did you join GRJ?

May 2012

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

Fjords of Norway - I've always wanted to see the fjords and soak in the beautiful landscape.

What do you love about travelling by rail?

It's more relaxing and allows you to see the sights in comfort, and be in the midst of the action.

Where in the world have you been?

Switzerland (the French part - Geneva and Lausanne), Northern Italy, the French Alps, French Jura Mountains, the USA (Florida, New York, Chicago, Buffalo), Canada (Toronto, Niagara Falls, Quebec, Vancouver, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Alberta).

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

One where a volcano doesn't erupt and create havoc in transport! Or the mouth of St Laurent River, where I went whale-watching.

Sophie Wilson

When did you join GRJ?

February 2007

What's your favourite GRJ tour?

I'd like to travel on most of the Italian tours as it's somewhere I haven't been to, though I've always wanted to go.

What do you love about travelling by rail?

That you get to see where you're travelling through, and take in the scenery.

Where in the world have you been?

Most Greek islands, Spain, the Canaries and Turkey.

What is the favourite holiday you've taken?

Anywhere hot, relaxing and with good food and wine!

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