Kevin Johnson

In what year did you start working for Fred.\ Holidays?

I started working in travel in 2001 and joined the Fred.\ Holidays team in 2014. From a young age, I was fascinated by travel and wanted to get involved. This was before the days of computers and email and I sent many letters in the hope of getting my first travel job. To be able to work for Fred. Olsen Travel has been a fantastic opportunity for me.

What is your particular area of expertise?

I enjoy packaging European holidays and breaks with flights and rail and am learning more about river and ocean cruises. I am passionate about the Fred. Olsen owned Hotel Jardín Tecina on the island of La Gomera, about 40 minutes off Tenerife. I had the opportunity to travel to the island with my wife and experience the hotel and resort for myself. The journey from the port to the hotel was stunning.

Which countries have you visited?

The west Algarve in Portugal is one of my favourite destinations. I travelled there many times on familiarisation trips over a 12 year period. I’ve also been to Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa in Majorca, Tenerife and Malta. With Fred.\ Holidays I’ve been to Holland, France and Germany.

What would be your dream holiday destination?

I’d really like to go to Australia. It would be great to experience the remoteness of the country. There are so many iconic sights such as Alice Springs, the Great Barrier Reef and Ayer’s Rock.

Describe your favourite cruising experience

I went on a four-night cruise to France on board Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Braemar for an educational trip. We sailed across the English Channel and spent two nights in Le Havre before cruising along the Seine to Rouen. During the trip, I spent a full day at Le Mans, where I watched the start of the Le Mans 24 hour race. Rouen is a fascinating medieval city with many half-timbered buildings and an impressive cathedral. The food, service and entertainment provided on board Braemar were all excellent.

I also spent a weekend in Amsterdam on the AmaWaterways ship AmaPrima. A short cruise to Volendam and a gala dinner showcased the whole river cruise experience.

Describe your favourite Christmas market experience

I have been to markets in Bremen, Bonn, Frankfurt and Cologne. For me, Cologne really stands out as a Christmas market experience. There’s a requirement for stalls to publicly demonstrate how their products are made. I saw a blacksmith making his products from iron and steel. I was also able to spend some time in the Old Town, the magnificent cathedral and a walk along the Rhine. I’d really like to visit the Christmas market in Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The combination of the market and medieval buildings will create a magical setting.

Describe your favourite summer land-based holiday

The west Algarve is especially nice, but as a family, we have enjoyed many camping holidays in the UK. Devon, Cornwall and Dorset are particular favourites and we have recently discovered Sussex.

What would you recommend for families?

Theme parks are a great option for families, as there really is something available for everyone. Europa Park in Germany is a great option, as is Efteling in the Netherlands.

What would you recommend for couples?

The Romantic Road and River Rhine in Germany are both great options for couples. The Hotel Jardin Tecina is ideal for a peaceful and romantic holiday. Whilst at the hotel, you have to try the unique experience of dining in the cave.

What makes Fred.\ Holidays different to other tour operators?

We are unique and often told by agents that no one else does what we do. Virtually anything can be packaged into a holiday to suit your individual preferences. We are one of the few tour operators that offer package breaks, holidays and tours in Germany and are also rail holiday specialists. However, we don't just arrange holidays to Germany. We’ve noticed a rise in popularity for other destinations including Italy, Spain and Scandinavia. One package I organised recently included flying to Budapest and then travelling by rail to Vienna and then Prague. That’s how flexible we are.

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