Mikel Stoops' Grand Tour of Scotland

SCOTLAND & FREEMASONRY

The Grand Master of Kansas' Tour

Sept. 24 - Oct. 4, 2021

 

Come join us as we explore the wonders and history of Scotland and Scottish Freemasonry! 

On September 24th we will depart New York's JFK Airport to begin your Scotland adventure, traveling through iconic, historic, and stunningly beautiful natural landscapes. Fantastic excursions, cultural encounters, preserved historic sites, delicious food, entrance to rarely seen Masonic sites  and wonderful shopping make this trip exciting and rewarding. Bring these memories home with you as the tour concludes on October 4h.

ITINERARY

SEPTEMBER 24th to OCTOBER 4th, 2021

On September 24th, you will depart New York's JFKAirport to begin your Scotlandf adventure, traveling through iconic , historic, and stunningly beautiful natural landscapes! Fantastic excursions , cultural encounters, preserved historic sites, delicious food and wonderful shopping make this trip exciting and rewarding. Bring these memories home with you when this tour concludes on October 4th.

EDINBURGH

On September 25th, you will arrive in Edinburgh and begin your Scottish adventure!  Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, has a has a violent and romantic history. This city ranges from medieval Old Town to Georgian New Town, giving the city a unique architectural character. You will begin your visit with a guided city tour* of Edinburgh as you travel to your hotel. Some points of interest you will see are the Royal Mile*, Arthur's Seat and inside visit to Edinburgh Castle*. Visits to Cannongate-Kilwinning Lodge* and The Grand Lodge of Scotland* are your focus on September 26th. Visits to Melrose Abbey*, lunch at the original Roslyn Inn*, Roslyn Lodge*, and Roslyn Chapel* are all planned for September 27th. The Roslyn Chapel, built by Sir William St. Clair, and is a mystical location with many Masonic connections. Tours or Bannockburn Battlefield* and Sterling Castle* are scheduled as you travel to your Inveraray Hotel on September 28th.

INVERARAY AREA

You will arrive at your Inveraray Hotel in there late afternoon of September 28th after a full day of touring. On September 29th, you visit Kilmartin Museum* Church*, and graveyard* a fascinating area of Scotland that holds 800 historic monuments, many of which appear to be the gravesites of Knights Templar who found refuge here following their persecution. The afternoon includes an enjoyable visit to Oban Distillery*. Plans for September 30th include a visit to Inveraray Castle* and boat trip on Loch Lomond* before you arrive at the Bothwell Hotel.

 

BOTHWELL & UDDINGSTON AREA

Following your overnight in Bothwell, Tunnock's Bakery will be your first stop on October 1st, where you may wish to try one of their famous Caramel Waffers of Teacakes. You then continue to David Livingston Center, Bothwell Church and Castle* and tentative plans are being made for a social at Lodge St. Bryde*.  Mother Kilwinning* and Castle Barr Lodge* are your planned stops on October 2nd before you arrive at your Ayr hotel.

 

AYR

Touring in Ayr on October 3rd will include Robert Burns Museum, Old Kirk* and Brig-O-Doon Bridge. In the evening you will; enjoy a wonderful Gala farewell dinner* before returning to your hotel. On October 4th, you will transfer to Edinburgh Airport where you will board your flight home.

 

 

Price:

The tour price, if payments are made by cash or check, is $4,475.00; otherwise, if paying by credit card, the standard non-discounted price is $4,575.00.  If you wish to use a credit card for your initial deposit, you will be allowed to pay the remaining payments by check and still receive the discounted tour price. Included are the estimated applicable governmental international airline ticket taxes, fuel surcharges, security surcharges, and associated fees. If applicable, unforeseen tax increases will be billed on a supplemental invoice. A minimum number of paying participants may be required to operate the tour

A $100.00 non-refundable initial deposit is required to reserve your space on this tour. All tour participants must submit an online application. Please go to “Student/Traveler Sign Up” on the home page at www.EAtours.com. Your tour number is 222127. A second payment of $1000.00, will be due no later than 30 days after your initial payment. Final payments are due no later than seventy (70) days before departure. A minimum number of paying participants may be required to operate the tour.

Trip price is based on double occupancy and includes round trip airfare from New York's JFK Airport, point-to point transportation between cities while in Scotland, . All breakfasts are included, 1 lunch and 4 dinners including the special Gala farewell dinner in Ayr.  Additionally, *Entrance fees and/or transportation marked with an asterisk as well as city tours in Edinburgh are included in the tour price (Edinburgh Castle, Melrose Abbey, Roslyn Chapel, Bannockburn Battlefield, Stirling Castle, Oban Distillery, Loch Lomand Cruise, David Livingston Museum, Bothwell Castle, Mother Kilwinning, Robert Burns Museum, Auld Kirkas well as all mentioned Lodge visits pending availability, are included in the tour price. Additional items may be offered optionally, are subject to availability and are not included in the tour price. Please note: Additional tour conditions apply and are listed in the Tour Conditions Section of the Online Application.

Updated tour details (hotels, day by day itinerary, etc.) are scheduled to be released approximately four weeks prior to departure. Please note: Additional tour conditions apply and are listed in the Tour Conditions Section on the Online Application.

Additional items may be offered optionally, are subject to availability and are not included in the tour price. A guaranteed single room may be available for a supplemental charge of $725.00

From the date of the initial $100. nonrefundable deposit being received, up to and including March 15, 2021, a complete refund, minus the $100. nonrefundable deposit will be issued. For any cancellation received from March 16, 2021, up to and including July 1, 2021, a complete refund, minus a 40% cancellation penalty of the tour cost, will be issued.   For any cancellation received from July 2, 2021, up to and including August 15, 2021, a complete refund, minus a 75% cancellation penalty of the tour cost, will be issued.   For any cancellation received from August 16, 2021, up to and including June September 24, 2021, the cancellation penalty is 100% of the tour price.

In the unlikely event that EA Tours cancels the tour and is unable to operate a substitute itinerary, the tour cost sans the initial deposit is fully refundable.

 

Registration Deadlines and Tour’s Web Page information:

Registration for this tour is made through this web page:

https://eatours.com

Enter the Tour Code: 222127

Registration Deadlines:

Registration opens: 1 January 2021

Final Payment due no later than: 1 July 2021

Details and Fine Print:

The tour price includes the following:

  • Hotel accommodations for each night in a tourist, superior tourist or first class rated hotel based on 2 persons to a room.
  • Meals and beverages beyond those listed above are the responsibility of the individual traveler and each client should budget accordingly.
  • Sightseeing as indicated on the itinerary including visits and entrance fees.
  • Tour participants may request a guaranteed a single person room for a supplemental charge of $725.00. However, this request must be in writing and is subject to availability.
  • Mailing of promotional materials from our office.
  • EA Tours travel aids (i.e. security pouches, luggage tags, trip information packet, etc.)
  • 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.

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 July 1, 2021. Participant applications received after that date may be subject to an increase or denied because of availability.

FAQ & Travel Tips!

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 March 1, 2022.

ATMs:  Check with your bank about making international withdraws from ATMs. Many Banks will waive 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 and or ship.  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 country 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 Amsterdam, 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.

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.

When will airline tickets be delivered:  I have spoken with the good people at EA Tours and they have informed me, that with group tickets, the airlines usually release them near to 30 days before the scheduled flight.  So, look for the air tickets to be released/delivered two to three weeks before we leave for our adventure.

Are converters needed:  YES!  If you plan to take any electronic devise (phone, iPad, tablet, hairdryer, etc.) from here to Britain you WILL need an electrical converter!  Make sure the converter you purchase is made for the UK.  There are many offered on Amazon.com or in most places where luggage is sold.

Will there be hairdryers in the hotels:  I cannot guarantee that each place we stay will have a hairdryer in the room.  I’m sure some may, but am also as confident that some may not.  So, it is a good idea to pack a small hairdryer in your luggage if you require one each day.

Will we be required to pay for luggage:  No. Each person is allowed a standard suitcase (I believe up to 50 lbs.) and two carry on bags (One personal bag – purse, book bag – and another small travel bag.  MAY I SUGGEST, that the fewer bags you bring, the easier your trip will be for moving luggage.  I will be travelling with my suitcase (checked) and a shoulder bag (carry on).

Is Patrick Craddock a Freemason:  Yes.  I was Raised on 11 November 1988, in O.D. Smith Lodge No. 33, Oxford, MS.  I am a Past Master of Conlegium Ritus Austeri, Nashville, TN.  I have articles (either about me or written by me) in Northern Light Magazine, The Scottish Rite Journal, The California Freemason, and The Masonic Society Journal.  Although I reside in TN, I hold membership in Lodges in the Grand Lodges of California, Kansas, and Washington D.C.