TCA Travels 2019

Scotland and England
September 27 – October 6, 2019

Tour Code: 220125

The Craftsman’s Apron is honored to provide the information detailing your cultural, educational, and Freemasonry inspired trip to Edinburgh and London!

You will find attached a proposed itinerary, travel arrangements, and detailed information regarding all aspects of the tour package.

As with everything we do here at TCA, it is our desire to produce a product that reflects our clients.

If you have any questions regarding your proposed tour, please do not hesitate to contact Brother Patrick Craddock, directly at: patrick@craftsmansapron.com

We are excited about this opportunity and hope to be given this chance to work closely with you and other interested Brothers!

I have had a few questions regarding the trip and will attempt to address each of them at the bottom of this page. I have also added a few travel suggestions to make life easier. 

See our previous travels gallery for a glimpse of what is in store for you!

Tour Web Page Information:

Web Based Registration
Registration for this tour is made through the web page:
The Tour Code is: 220125

Registration Deadlines:

Registration Opens: 1 March 2019
Registration Closes: 15 June 2019
Final and complete Payment is due no later than: 20 July 2019

Itinerary 

Dates for travel:
September 28th – October 6th, 2019

 

Day 1 (Friday, Sept. 27th)

Depart Chicago by plane.

Day 2 (Saturday, Sept. 28th)

Arrive in Edinburgh. Guided city tour, including Edinburgh Castle, Charlotte Square, Princess Street Gardens and St. Giles Cathedral. A walk down The Royal Mile, the Old Town’s famous thoroughfare, will introduce you to such places as the Royal Museum of Scotland, the Huntly House, and the Holyroodhouse, the celebrated royal palace.

Day 3 (Sunday, Sept. 29th)

Visits to Stirling Castle and Glengoyne Distillery.

Day 4 (Monday, Sept. 30th)

Visits to Roslyn Chapel, Roslyn Lodge and Edinburgh Grand Lodge.

Day 5 (Tuesday, Oct. 1st)

Visits to Edinburgh #1 (Mary’s Chapel) and Kilwinning Lodge.

Day 6 (Wednesday, Oct. 2nd)

Depart Edinburgh to London by train.

Your train departs Edinburgh at 9:00 AM on October 2nd and arrives in London at 1:40PM. Upon arrival you will enjoy a guided city tour en-route to your hotel. Some points of interest that you may see include Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Parliament and Big Ben.

Day 7 (Thursday, Oct. 3rd)

Visits to the United Grand Lodge and British Museum. Following time to rest and refresh you will enjoy a festive dinner at the Andaz* (pending availability).

Day 8 (Friday, Oct. 4th)

Visit to the Tower of London, and plans for the evening include a Lodge Meeting at Freemasons for the men (as available) and a West-End Theatre performance for the ladies.

Day 9 (Saturday, Oct. 5th)

A guided tour of Westminster Abbey is planned followed by a “bird’s eye view” of London from the World Famous London Eye.

Day 10 (Sunday, Oct. 6th)

Return flight from London to Chicago.

Price

The discounted for your itinerary, if payments are made by check or cash, is $3,685.00 per person.  The standard non-discounted price, applicable when paying by credit card, is $3,785.00 per person.  The tour price is based on a minimum of 40 paying tour participants.  In the event that the minimum number of tour participants listed is not attained, DO NOT presume that the offering is cancelled.  TCA and EA Tours reserve the right to offer the tour with any number of tour participants.

FAQ And Travel Tips!

Lodge Functions and Meetings: Opportunities to sit in lodge are being planned.  Availability is limited to seating capacity and the schedule of local Lodges.  ALL Masons are responsible for their own regalia and should not expect any loaner regalia to be available for their use.

Air Travel Hub: This tour includes airfare from Chicago to Edinburgh, and from London back to Chicago.  If any tour participant requires and additional airfare in travelling to Chicago, it is their responsibility to arrange and pay for the additional travel expense.  TCA and EA Tours are not responsible for scheduling or paying for flights or accommodations before departing Chicago or after the return to Chicago. 

Spending Money:  Difficult to place a daily amount on that because everyone’s spending habits are different.  A good rule of thumb is $100.00/day.  That would allow for souvenirs, a pint (or two), and food.  However, the amount of daily spending money needed is completely up to the individual.

Travel Visa:  You do NOT need a travel visa, but everyone MUST have a current and valid PASSPORT that does not expire before February 1, 2018.

ATMs:  Check with your bank about making international withdraws from ATMs in Britain.  I have found this to be the easiest way to restock the pocket cash reserves while traveling through the UK.  Many Banks will wave ATMs fee, but I STRONGLY suggest you discuss with your local banker.

Food included as part of tour:  Please visit EA Tours web page they have set up just for our tour.  It will give you the complete itinerary.  Dinners that are included with the tour are listed on the day’s itinerary.

Breakfast:  Breakfast is provided each morning at the hotel.  Make sure you give yourself enough time to have some breakfast before our coach leaves for the day’s adventures!

Pounds in your pocket:  It is always a good idea to have some currency of your destination in your pocket before you start a journey.  Consider exchanging enough Dollars for Pounds to get you through the first few days of the trip.  You can always hit the ATMs once we get acclimated and our travel routine started in the UK, but the first few days will be busy and it will make life easier if you have some Pounds in your pocket when you arrive.

Sleeping on the plane:  When we arrive in Edinburgh on the morning of Saturday, September 28th, we will hit the ground running!  Everyone should attempt to grab some sleep on the plane – if possible.  This will help reset your internal clock while adjusting from jet lag and will give you a bit of extra energy to make it through our first day on the ground in Scotland.

Eating on the Train:  We will be taking an afternoon train from Edinburgh to London.  There will be food available on the train.  I would encourage everyone who would like to eat on the train to get an early seating in the dining car.  If you would prefer to eat in London, that is an option.  However, we will be arriving in London well after the standard dinnertime, and it will be late by the time we get checked into out hotel for that evening.

Appropriate attire for Lodge functions:  At this time we working to secure a Lodge visit in either Edinburgh or London.  In either case you will need to bring appropriate attire.  We suggest that you bring a dark business suit, black shoes, white shirt, and a dark colored tie.  This suggested dress will be perfectly acceptable at Lodge in either country.

Do I need to bring white gloves?:  It would be a good idea to have them, but you may not need them.  You will not be turned away if you do not have any white gloves.

Do I need my own regalia?:  YES!  If you are planning to attend Lodge you will need to bring your own regalia.

Gifts at Tiled Lodge Functions: Although there is never a rule that says gifts are required, they are often exchanged between visiting Brothers and their Lodge hosts. Nothing elaborate or expensive, typical gifts may include: lapel pins, Grand line ties, and/or other small mementos from your Lodge/Grand Lodge.

While the men are off playing Mason:  Ladies, IF we arrange a Lodge meeting in Edinburgh, you will be on your own while the men are off at Lodge. (Big surprise there, right?)  However, Edinburgh is a bustling modern town set in a very historic city.  May I suggest this would be a good opportunity to get to know the other ladies over dinner?  There are some really good restaurants within walking distance of our hotel in Edinburgh.  In London, while the men are off to Lodge, we have arranged for you to attend a theatre performance as a group!  See the itinerary above!

Transportation while exploring on your own:  There are a number of ways to get around in Edinburgh and London.  Taxis are always available and are typically cleaner than what is found in the US.  If you are teckies, I found it easy to travel by UBER in both Edinburgh and London.  The Underground (aka the TUBE) in London is also a good choice if you choose to move around any distance in that city.  It is easy to purchase a pre-paid Oyster Card at any TUBE station, and any money left on your card at the end of your stay is easily refunded from machines in each TUBE station.

Comfortable walking shoes:  You should expect to do a bit of walking, so think about the shoes you will be wearing.  Plan to bring a comfortable pair of shoes that will stand the possibility of damp weather.

Personal Responsibility and Tour expectations: It is always fun to explore new places and to meet new people, but no one wants to be “that” person that caused the other 30+ people on the tour to be late or rushed.  Please be aware of all group functions and coach departure times.  Our Tour Guide will make sure to announce when and where to meet for each scheduled gathering and departure.

Up to date Itinerary, Flight, and Hotel Info:  To get updated itinerary information please visit the web page EA Tours set up for our tour at:

And enter our tour code: 220125

Details and Fine Print:

The tour price includes the following:

  • We currently have estimated 40 round-trip airline seats, based on deadlines and rules imposed by the airlines, from Boston, transfers and transportation as required to your hotel and point-to-point transportation between cities/specified sites throughout the trip. In order to meet airline group requirements, a minimum of 40 participants traveling together on the same flight (s) is required.
  • Hotel accommodations for each night in a tourist, superior tourist or first class rated hotel based on 2 persons to a room. All breakfasts, and 1 evening meal and 1 celebration dinner at the Andaz Hotel are included.
  • Meals and beverages beyond those listed above are the responsibility of the individual traveller and each client should budget accordingly.
  • Sightseeing as indicated on the itinerary including visits and entrance fees to Edinburgh Castle, Sterling Castle, Roslyn Chapel, Roslyn Lodge, Glengoyne Distillery, Grand Lodge of Scotland, Edinburgh Lodge No. 1, Mother Kilwinning Lodge, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, British Museum, London Eye, Theatre performance, United Grand Lodge of England, and city tours in Edinburgh and London.
  • A Tour Director will be provided.
  • Tour participants may request a guaranteed single accommodation. However, this request must be in writing and is subject to supplemental fees and availability.
  • Mailing of promotional materials from our office.
  • EA Tours travel aids (i.e. security pouches, luggage tags, trip information
  • INCLUDED are the estimated applicable governmental international airline ticket taxes and associated fees. Taxes and fees are charged by governmental agencies, are subject to change and is beyond the control of TCA and EA Tours.

 

The tour price is based on entrance fees, tariffs, (if applicable). If applicable, international currency exchange rates and governmental regulations are in effect at the time of pricing and may be subject to change. If exchange rates, entrance fees or other included items are higher when it is time to finalize the tour, any increases to operate the tour will either be reflected on the final invoice or will be billed on a separate invoice with an explanation. The tour conditions for TCA and EA Tours are listed on the official online tour application and serves as a contract between all tour participants and TCA and EA Tours. Please request and read the tour conditions carefully so that you understand all of the details.

Please note, unless stated otherwise in this Tour Offering Confirmation and if applicable, it is the responsibility of each tour participant to have a valid individual government approved form of identification or if traveling internationally, a valid passport and/or visa(s). Please note: Unless stated otherwise in this Tour Offering Confirmation, TCA and EA Tours DOES NOT arrange or secure visas for ANY tour participant. The arranging for and securing of ANY visa is the responsibility of the individual tour participant. Any costs associated with attaining ANY domestic or international travel identification documents are not included in the tour fees or price. Most countries require passports to be valid for at least three months after the tour ends.

Some countries even require validity for six months after the scheduled return.

In the event that EA Tours opts to cancel the tour offering, a 100 % refund will be issued to all persons who signed up for the trip.

All participants must understand that specific cut-off dates for itinerary design and modification, release of unused airline seats, supplier payments, as well as tour participant registration and other related items apply. Therefore, this tour offering is valid until August 1, 2019. Participant applications received after that date may be subject to an increase or denied because of availability.

Finally, be sure to read ALL the tour info and Special Tour Conditions printed on the official Tour Brochure.