Archive for October 2019

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Archive for October 2019

The One With the Top 5 Christmas Destinations of 2019

Amidst Jennifer Aniston’s recent Instagram success; creating an account and posting her first ‘selfie’ in one day, the one with her friends. We have collated the top 5 Christmas destinations of 2019 for you and your friends to travel to this festive period.

Edinburgh, Scotland

East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market in Edinburgh, Scotland

For true Christmas Spirit, head to one of the most magical cities in the world during the festive season. Join Edinburgh’s spectacular 6-week celebration, from mid-November to the amazing Hogmanay celebration in January. You and your friends can take advantage of the immaculately decorated stores open late for some last-minute shopping; soak up the atmosphere at the East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market or enjoy an afternoon tea in The Dome’s Georgian Tea Room – the perfect excuse to marvel at the extravagant decorations inside. 

London, England

Christmas in London, England, Christmas Destinations 2019

Spending Christmas in London is nothing short of magical. Department stores are adorned in luxurious Christmas decorations, not to mention the world-class window displays that will leave you in awe. The illuminations in Kew Gardens and the giant Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square are sure to get you into the festive spirit. But if that doesn’t give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, perhaps sipping a warm mulled wine and indulging on roasted chestnuts at the Southbank Centre Christmas Market will. 

York, North Yorkshire

St. Nicholas Christmas Fair in York, Christmas Destinations 2019

The York Christmas Festival attracts more and more visitors every year. With its fantastic ice sculptures, spectacular shows and artificial snow, York loves all things Christmas. You can pick up some last-minute handmade gifts at the St. Nicholas Fair and visit the large Christmas tree in St. Helen’s Square. If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle and spend some quiet time with your loved ones, you can escape to Castle Howard, a fairytale country house adorned in traditional decorations.

Aviemore, Scotland

Aviemore in Cairngorms National Park in Scottish Highlands, Scotland

The enchanting town of Aviemore is one of the most scenic places to spend your Christmas holidays. Set in the heart of the Scottish Highlands in Cairngorms National Park, if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas you may well see one here. To add to the magic of Christmas in Aviemore, you also have a fantastic chance of spotting the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights. If you can prise yourself away from your cosy, snow-covered cottage, head to the town for the annual Christmas Eve Parade, which features Santa with his team of Cairngorm Reindeer and a spectacular fireworks display at the Cairngorm Hotel. 

Rochester, Kent

Dickensian Christmas Market in Rochester, Kent

Image: Medway Council

A Christmas Carol is one of the most loved Christmas stories of all time, and with Rochester having such strong connections to Charles Dickens, it’s only fitting there’s a huge celebration dedicated to the author. The Dickensian Christmas Market takes visitors back 200 years over the festive period to bring the author’s world back to life. The streets come alive with Victorian performers, a fantastic Christmas Market and even artificial snow. With a dramatic cathedral and a medieval castle, Rochester sets the tone for a magical season.
If you and your friends are looking for the perfect Christmas destination to celebrate the festivities in but aren’t sure on how to get there, we offer private coach hire for any group size. We provide everything from small 16 seat coaches to large executive vehicles. 

Official Music Video for TEAM

The official music video for Team by James Okulaja has been released. 

James Okulaja AKA Oktave has released his latest track ‘Team’ with the help of local sponsors The Kings Ferry, McDonald’s Chatham and the Medway Rugby Club. 
The anti-bullying ambassador for the charity The Diana Award, uses his incredible talent to raise awareness around social issues. James is one of 25,000 ambassadors in the UK and Ireland who help create campaigns to tackle cyber-bullying and hate crime. He has worked with the likes of Google, Snapchat and Facebook, as well as HRH Prince William. 

The Message Behind The Song

Team carries with it a strong message to the hate crime James has endured. He explains, “TEAM is about lifting up the people around me, exaggerating the excellence of the people I surround myself with and amplifying the fact that we don’t care about the hate we get or approval from society. We will still be successful regardless of people’s negative opinions.”

Exclusive Preview

Before the premiere, James came to our head office in Gillingham to give an exclusive preview of the finished music video. The reaction to it was brilliant, both the Executive and Marketing team loved it and we cannot wait to see what reaction it gets in public. The video has already attracted almost 4,000 views on YouTube in just 3 days!

James Okulaja with The Kings Ferry Groups' Ben Bhattal, Carl O'Neill, James Okulaja, Ollie Taylor and Sam Adams

Left to right; Ben Bhattal (Group Business Development Director), Carl ONeill (Group Sales & Marketing Director), James Okulaja (Rapper Oktave), Ollie Taylor (Operations Controller), Sam Adams (Head of Marketing)

Carl O'Neill, Group Sales and Marketing Director says, "We have really enjoyed working with James (AKA Oktave) on his latest Music video. It's encouraging to see a talented and driven individual make such an impact in his local community by using what he enjoys the most to raise awareness around such key and relevant topics. James’ latest number is around the challenges we face in day to day life and how our support system, and team help us to tackle these."

"It was great to be a part of the video by providing one of our VIP coaches and the finished outcome is incredible. The TEAM had a lot of fun during the filming and we are pleased to be working with such a talented individual and look forward to the exciting projects ahead."

Does Your Workplace Celebrate Christmas?

Workplace Christmas Celebrations

With less than 2 months until Christmas, it won’t be long until the humming of Christmas songs start to echo through the office. 

With most companies having already started looking at ways to celebrate the festive season, there are some which refuse to do so. According to a study by Perkbox, 41% of offices fully embrace the Christmas spirit, whereas a close 38% are workplace Grinch’s.
Christmas is the perfect time to reward your employees for their continued hard work and there are plenty of ways to do it. Some companies tend to buy their employees personalised gifts. While others offer incentives during the quiet period to help boost morale and sales. In addition to arranging activities in the build up to Christmas; Christmas jumper days, office decorating competitions, Secret Santa, baking festive cookies and arranging a Christmas dinner. 

The Gift of Giving 

Gift-giving can go a long way in the eyes of your employees. According to research by Instantprint, 94% of employees would like to receive a gift from their employers at Christmas in order to feel valued and appreciated. However, studies by Perkbox show that a massive 45% of employers don’t give their staff any gifts!
A small show of gratitude can be important for your workforce. Something as simple as an early finish, a Christmas gift voucher or a free bar at a party. As a result, this can help boost morale, loyalty and productivity in the workplace. 

The Office Christmas Party

An office Christmas party is the perfect way to celebrate the festive season. It’s an excuse to strengthen relationships between different departments as well as giving your employees a chance to get to know each other. Employers can also use the event to hold an award ceremony to give recognition to hard-working individuals. 
A study by Perkbox shows that 86% of organisations will host a Christmas party for their staff. Event planning platform Eventbrite puts the cost of parties at £42.48 per head, while in London the cost increases to £56.49 per employee. 
We all know Christmas parties can be expensive and there’s a lot of hard-work that goes in to arranging this annual celebration. So, to help keep costs down and because we are in a celebratory mood, we are giving all Christmas party coach hire bookings an exciting 10% off* when you quote 'XMAS19'!

Terms and conditions: this offer is valid on new enquiries only, it cannot be applied to existing bookings. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. 


A Guide To Surviving Your Office Christmas Party

Office Christmas Party

The annual office Christmas party is coming up, so be prepared for dodgy dancing, festive jumpers and loose lips. 

Although Christmas parties are fun and considered a laugh, there are plenty of opportunities for embarrassing mishaps that you’ll live to regret the following day.
Here are some dos and donts when it comes to your office Christmas party… 

Do Dress To Impress

Dress smart – remember you are around your boss and colleagues so you want to avoid anything too risky. If in doubt ask your colleagues what they will be wearing and if all else fails you can’t go wrong with a Christmas jumper!

Don’t Get Over The Top Drunk

Christmas is a time to be merry but when it comes to alcohol and work dos, this can often lead to some embarrassing moments if not kept in check. Try to pace yourself and don’t let the mulled wine get the better of you and talk you into office politics. 

Do Avoid Social Media

Social media can be great but you don’t want to come across as that person who documents the whole evening from behind a screen. Enjoy being in the moment, take the time to have fun and get to know your colleagues on a personal level. 

Do Keep It Professional

Although a Christmas party is the time to unwind, remember who you’re with. You don’t want to get too familiar with your colleagues or behave inappropriately in front of your boss. Try to stay away from the gossipmongers if you’ve had a few drinks, you wouldn’t want to say something you might regret in the morning.

Don’t Make ‘The Move’

While there may be a lot of Dutch courage going around, an office party is not the time or place for a drunken hook-up. In a survey by Recruiting Times, 39% of people admitted to ‘intimate activity’ at the office Christmas party. Office flings can have a really serious effect on your career and reputation, so before you do anything, consider the consequences of your actions! 

Don’t Overindulge 

We all love free food but you don’t want to be remembered as the one who ate everything and left none for everyone else. While it’s a great idea to eat if you’re drinking alcohol, be mindful of your colleagues. They need to eat too! 

Do Have Fun

Most importantly, have fun! Get involved in the festive games and have a boogie on the dancefloor with your boss. It’s important to let your hair down and forget about work. This is your chance to show your colleagues a bit of personality, show them the relaxed and fun side of you. 

Do Arrange Travel To Get Home

Lastly, with all the free-flowing booze on offer it’s easy to forget how much you’ve drunk, even if you’re not feeling the effects. It’s best to be safe than sorry so make sure you have arranged transport for you and your colleagues at the end of the night. That way at least you will have a safe way of getting home if you’ve had one too many. 
A great way to ensure you all get home safely is by hiring a private coach. Whether you need a simple shuttle service picking people up from different locations and dropping them off, or are looking to continue the party after on-board our luxury VIP coaches, we have a transport solution suitable for any office Christmas party.

Large Coach Operator of the Year at the RouteOne Awards 2019

RouteOne Award Large Coach Operator of the Year 2019 Winner
The Kings Ferry in Gillingham, Kent has won Large Coach Operator of the Year (over 50 vehicles) at the prestigious RouteOne Awards 2019. The winners were announced on Wednesday 2nd October at the annual award ceremony which recognises and celebrates achievements, innovation and the highest standards of excellence in the coach and bus industry. 
The Large Coach Operator of the Year award recognises a company that has a commitment to quality, innovation and customer service. The Kings Ferry won this accolade from a shortlist of six finalists.
Ian Fraser, Managing Director of The Kings Ferry Group was at the event to accept the award, he proudly says, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of the team from across all of our Group sites in Reading, Leicester, London and Kent for their continued support and hard work. It is thanks to every member of the team that we have won this award and I am honoured to be able to work alongside them all.”
The company is renowned for providing premium and luxury coach travel across the South East of England, utilising the latest innovations in safety, comfort and technology. The Kings Ferry has proudly won 44 industry awards in addition to this years’ RouteOne Large Coach Operator of the Year. Previous awards include: Managing Director Ian Fraser being crowned Manager of the Year at the 2018 RouteOne Awards and winners of the Gold Award for Top Large Fleet Operator at the UK Coach Awards in 2017 for the second consecutive year. 
RouteOne Awards 2019 Winners
The RouteOne Awards took place on 2nd October 2019 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.

Our Driver's Most Memorable Moments

Being a coach driver for one of the most luxurious coach companies in the UK certainly has its perks. Our drivers have met famous faces, attended weddings, had some uninvited guests and even appeared on TV! 

Racking up thousands of miles between them every week, they are the best storytellers on the road. Have a read of some of their most memorable moments…

A Fast Food Stop Off

We once had John Travolta and his family on-board. They were travelling on the Orient Express and during the coach leg of the journey, he asked the coach driver to drive into London with just him and his family on-board. He stopped off along the way and bought his family and the driver a McDonalds. 

The Biggest Boyband in the World

During the London 2012 Olympics we transported a host of big names; Sir Paul McCartney, The Spice Girls, The Who and One Direction. One of our VIP drivers Kevin recalled how down to earth the One Direction members were. “They settled in the rear lounge and looked relaxed, they were really friendly and shook my hand as they left.” 

When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Go VIP

Earlier this year, Billy Ocean performed live in 9 locations across the UK on ‘The Best of Billy Ocean’ tour. Billy and his team travelled on-board one of our VIP coaches, driven by Daniel. 
“I turned up to work just like any other day and checked my pigeon hole for the jobs I had coming up. I couldn’t believe what I’d been given, the Billy Ocean tour! I was buzzing, I heard that something big had come in a few days before but never imagined it would be assigned to me. Definitely a highlight of my career meeting Billy Ocean, what an honour!”
Not only was Daniel invited backstage where he was able to get some photos of the singer and his band but he was also given complimentary tickets to watch the show. 
Billy Ocean and band backstage at The Best of Billy Ocean tour
Billy Ocean singing on The Best of Billy Ocean tour

The 28 Day Battle

Our VIP driver Frank embarked upon an incredible 28-day trip with Prime Minister David Cameron during his Conservative campaign back in 2010. “I found him to be very approachable, interesting and friendly. This trip was very enlightening and I would enjoy doing a trip like this again if given the opportunity.”
Shortly after the campaign came to a close, Frank received a letter through the post thanking him for his service.
The letter read, “ Dear Frank, 
Thank you very much for your commitment and hard work during the election campaign. 
It was down to your constant dedication that we were able to visit such a high number of marginal seats and meet so many members of the public. 
I know that everyone who travelled on the campaign coaches was impressed not only with the professionalism and expertise of your driving, but also the politeness and high level of customer service that you provided. I am also hugely grateful to you for the commitment you gave during the final 36 hour campaign. Without you, this simply would not have been possible. That we were able to cover the ground we did and were delivered safely to our final destination is testament to your skill and expertise. 
Once again, many thanks for your hard work throughout and for literally going the extra mile!
With my thanks, 
Prime Minister David Cameron letter to Frank for work on Conservative Battle Bus election campaign

Getting Cold Feet

Our Managing Director, Ian Fraser was asked to present an award at the Music Week Awards alongside actor James Nesbitt OBE. Before walking on stage the event organisers told Ian he would only need to open the envelope and announce the winner, it sounded simple enough. However, when Ian walked out on stage there was an autocue. First it showed James’ script which was a couple of sentences and then it showed Ian’s script followed by a HUGE paragraph that he had to read out. Panic set it and Ian cut straight to opening the envelope without saying a word! James was laughing on stage and said, “I love it when these things go wrong!”

Where’s Woody?

Our VIP Driver Frank had the exciting opportunity to drive the ‘Rest of the World’ at Soccer Aid 2010. He met some great legends such as, Jamie Redknapp, Zidane, Mike Myers and Woody Harrelson. Frank recalls one day when he saw Woody Harrelson walk down by the river without any security guards, thinking that was a bit odd. Shortly after, a load of security guards ran out towards Frank asking if he’d seen Woody to which he said, “Yes, he walked down by the river!” When they finally found him, he was playing football in an enclosed pitch with a load of kids! 
Frank was with the ‘Rest of the World’ team for a full week driving them to their training ground at Fulham, before taking them to the Soccer Aid Match at Manchester United’s ground. He even got given a full breakfast from Woody Harrelson! 

Fast Cars & Big Stars

“I had the pleasure of being with Santander and taking the president of the company and his family to the 2010 Silverstone Grand Prix. One evening, the Santander president invited English Formula 1 Driver, Lewis Hamilton to join him for dinner and I drove them to the restaurant on-board the VIP coach.”
“He was a very polite and kind person, it was a pleasure to meet all of the Santander team and Mr Lewis Hamilton.”, says VIP Driver, Frank.

The Bodyguard

Our VIP driver was with Whitney Houston for three days in Manchester while she was performing at Manchester Arena. She travelled with a huge entourage and a lot of security. “I remember thinking her bodyguards were massive and really scary!”, recalls Frank.

Strictly Business

Our VIP Driver Frank ended up in the local newspaper after driving the Strictly Come Dancing professionals and celebrities from BBC Television Centre in London to Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. “It’s a really fun job because they’re all such nice people. They treat me really well and there’s always someone laughing. Everyone has a bit of a sweet fight at the beginning of the journey on Friday.”, says Frank. 
Amongst the celebrities was Maidstone MP Ann Widdecombe. Speaking on Ann, Frank said, “We stopped at the services on the M6 and she got mobbed by fans there. She’s a lovely woman, as is Pamela Stephenson.”
However, not all the celebrities got on at the BBC Television Centre, “I had to pick up Matt Baker from Oxford services and his little boy sat in the driver’s seat and pretended to drive the coach, which was lovely.”
Frank didn’t just have the professionals and contestants on-board, the judges came on too. “They used to set up the judges in the rear lounge, including Len Goodman. They would hook up the coach TV’s and watch the celebrities and dancers doing their rehearsals.”, said Frank.
VIP Driver Frank is the local newspaper for driving Strictly Come Dancing professionals and celebrities
Our drivers have had some weird and wonderful experiences driving their coaches all over the UK and Europe. If you’re looking to become a coach driver and tell your own unique stories, take a look at our current vacancies for licensed and non-licensed PCV drivers.

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