The Globus family of brands began as a small family company with one man and a rowboat in 1928. Antonio Mantegazza, the company’s founder, used his rowboat to transport commercial goods across Lake Lugano in Switzerland. While taking frequent trips across the scenic lake, Antonio began dreaming of a different opportunity … tourism.
Over time, his entrepreneurial instinct and drive led him to acquire motorcoaches to transport tourists around the Lake Lugano area in southern Switzerland, ultimately making his dream of owning a company specializing in motorcoach touring come true. Boasting a fleet of 12 coaches, operating local excursions for European tourists in Switzerland, Mantegazza called his new venture Globus Viaggi.
By 1950, Globus Viaggi had grown significantly, featuring 33 coaches with overnight excursions to Rome, Venice, the Dolomites and French Riviera. Thanks to their popularity, gradually, the overnight excursions became regularly scheduled tours and grew longer to cover more ground. Later that decade, under the leadership of Werner Albek, Antonio’s business partner, Globus pioneered the concept of Grand European Touring by offering first-class European tours to North Americans.
By 1961, the company launched the Cosmos brand, featuring value-priced European touring for the cost-conscious British traveler. These coach tours were so successful that Cosmos soon introduced another form of travel for the British market – air holiday packages to the sunny destinations of southern Europe. By 1968, just 40 years after the company's launch, Cosmos air holidays became so popular the company formed its own airline, Monarch Airlines.
Beginning in 1974, under the flagship of Sergio Mantegazza, son of Antonio and current president of Globus, the company's brands began expanding their markets beyond Great Britain. The 70s was a big decade for the company, introducing travelers to more countries than any other tour operator with packages to Africa, Australia, North and South America, Southeast Asia, Europe and the South Pacific. Also in the early 70s, Globus launched its North American company – Group Voyagers – overseeing U.S. tour operations and the American market for the Globus and Cosmos brands.
The entrepreneurial spirit that launched Globus is very much alive in Group Voyagers today. In 2003, the Globus family of brands launched a cruise company, Avalon Waterways, setting a new standard in small ship cruising. Also in 2003, the brand family extended its offerings by creating Monograms, which provides consumers independent travel opportunities with behind-the-scenes experts taking care of vacation details. Through Monograms, travelers get insider information and the services of a Local Host to enhance the experience and journey.
Attributing its success to the ideals of founder Antonio Mantegazza, Group Voyagers has witnessed three generations of his vision, hard work, love for travel and commitment, culminating in unparalleled vacations for millions of travelers around the globe.
Today, the group of companies consists of more than 30 tourism and aviation businesses, serviced by more than 5,000 professionals. The companies’ escorted and independent vacations offer nearly 10,000 departures and almost 300 different itineraries, covering more than 65 countries on six continents. Combined, the travel brands carry nearly 500,000 passengers in a normal year, making the Globus family of brands the leading tour operators worldwide.