For those looking for travel opportunities, both domestic and worldwide, the Big Canoe Travel Club fulfills that desire in grand style. The Club was launched in 2013 by the Big Canoe Homeowners Association, and Mike Ziegenbalg, who owns a Cruise One franchise named Dream Vacations, located in the Northgate Station on Steve Tate Highway. The first meeting drew a standing room only crowd, and membership has continued to increase over the years. In 2018, another Big Canoe resident, Katie McGrady-Allman, owner of Cruise Planners/American Express Travel franchise, will begin hosting some of the Travel Club meetings, which are held the fourth Wednesday of every month in the Sconti Clubhouse.
A Big Canoe Travel Club Planning and Advisory Committee meets quarterly to suggest meeting topics and help plan the meetings scheduled from January through October. Vendor representatives from the most well-known cruise and land travel companies come with their slick brochures and dazzling photo presentations—and often discounted prices—to entice members to sign up for individual and group tours that take them wherever their hearts desire. Some of the well-known vendors are Viking River Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Celtic Tours, AMA River Cruises, Tauck Tours, Paul Gauguin, and Extraordinary Journeys African Adventures.
Customized group tours are especially popular with Big Canoers’, and the Club usually offers at least three trips each year. Members often take family and grandchildren on some trips that designed especially for multi-generational groups. Other travel companies specialize in adventure and educational tours to remote or exotic destinations. An added bonus on some trips is round-trip bus transportation from Big Canoe to the airport. Recent Big Canoe Travel Club members and groups have traveled to Scotland, Ireland, the Galapagos Islands, South Africa, Antarctica, Rhine River cruises, Croatia and the Polynesian Islands, to name only a few.
Upcoming tour itineraries include Portugal and Spain, the Danube with Budapest and Prague, and the American Queen Steamboat Company’s Mark Twain trips down the Mississippi. An annual Travel Club gala event in October, titled “My Great Big Greek Barbeque,” will feature a drawing for a Celebrity Cruises trip to the Greek Islands. Celebrity and AMA Waterways are co-sponsors of the Big Canoe Travel Club. There are no fees to become a member of the Club–just come with your travel dreams and enjoy!