Meet Sonia Hyncik – Travel Advisor with Cruise Planners

A citizen of the world at heart, Sonia is originally from Europe, where she grew up in France and England. She is a keen traveler with an appetite for wine and culinary adventures. She is also a Certified Specialist of Wine, a French and Spanish Wine Scholar, a Level 1 Sommelier and holds a WSET3 Certification in wine.

After a long career in the corporate real estate world, Sonia moved to the hospitality and travel business and now focuses on crafting exceptional travel experiences for her clients. While she specializes in ocean and river cruises for individual and group travel, she also provides a full range of other travel services including hotel stays, vacation rentals, all-inclusive resorts, tours, flights, transfers and so much more.

Check out our interview with Sonia below to learn more about how she can help you plan your next trip!

What is your best advice for people who are interested in your services but may be hesitant to contact you?

Working with a Travel Agent will save you so much time and stress researching & planning your trip.  You’ll benefit from our industry knowledge on destinations and how to make the best of your trip.  Whether it is a vacation, last-minute getaway, honeymoon, birthday, or other occasion – we can help you put all the components of your trip together.  Cruise Planners is a full-service travel agency helping you plan cruises, land trips, hotels, resorts, tours, flights and so much more.

What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your services?

First, it’s a MYTH that working with a Travel Agent will cost you more money. We can match – sometimes beat – the online competition, and we’re often able to add extra benefits to your trip that you wouldn’t get if you book through a bulk travel retailer.  In fact, we can even notify you if the price of your cruise goes down – something the cruise lines won’t typically do if you book direct.  Second, we do not charge fees for our services.  Our clients benefit from our travel services at no charge.  Plus, we’re your
advocate should anything derail on your trip.  During the Covid Pandemic, lots of online retailers wouldn’t even answer their phones.  We not only helped our existing clients but also stepped in to help stranded clients who booked through other providers. 

What do you enjoy most about your profession?

The personal connections I make with my clients, my industry peers, and our travel suppliers.  Oh yes, and the occasional travel opportunities I get to experience the products we sell!  I’m looking forward to sailing on a couple of group wine cruises to Europe this summer. 

What sets you apart from other travel advisors? 

I’m local! I live and work in Kensington.  Want to meet to discuss your trip? Let’s go grab a coffee or a glass of wine.  I’m very attentive to the needs of my clients and focused on crafting their best possible experience.

When is it appropriate to buy travel insurance?

To me, travel insurance is peace of mind, so I always recommend you protect your investment!  I will quote my clients insurance options as soon as they book their trip.  Cruise lines, hotels, and others charge penalties for cancellations which can range from the original deposit to the entire amount.  Travel insurance will protect you for those non-refundable costs. Getting insurance also protects you while you are out of the country with emergency medical and dental coverage, medical evacuation, baggage delay and more.  Often, your own health insurance will not cover you while you are out of the country. It happened to me once and I won’t let it happen again!

What are some of your favorite travel destinations?

I sell a great deal of trips to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico and Alaska, however, my favorite current destinations right now are Antarctica, New Zealand, the Canary islands, and Iceland.

Do you have a favorite cruise line?

I love Oceania for their luxury product, top notch service and of course, their delicious cuisine… probably my favorite at sea!  I also love Viking Cruises (in fact, I’m a Viking Certified Expert); Viking offers an incredible variety of ocean and river itineraries which appeals to many of my clients looking for a quality & value-driven experience.  In truth, there is a cruise line for every individual budget, taste, and occasion.  I hope you’ll let me book your next cruise!

Do you do group trips?

Yes!  We can plan many types of group travel from people who share a common hobby or passion to those who just want to gather with friends.  We also specialize in Food & Wine group travel and frequently partner with Sommeliers, Winemakers, and Chefs on cruises or land trips.  Check out our Groups & Events page on my website for a list of group trips.

Why did you decide to join the KTBA?

I want to meet more people in my community and help promote all our small businesses.  I also look forward to volunteering my time for upcoming events.

Sonia lives in Kensington with her husband, Didier, and their tuxedo cat, Smudge.
She is very excited to join the KTBA and looks forward to contributing to her community!

Cell: 619-980-7280
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