It all began more than 80 years ago when a young man purchased a rowboat to transport visitors across Lake Lugano, Switzerland. Who would have thought that this single rowboat would launch one of the world's leading travel companies.
In 1928, Antonio opened a company specializing in motorcoach touring called Globus Viaggi. The company began with a fleet of 12 coaches which operated local excursions for European tourists in Switzerland. Antonio's frequent trips across the scenic lake led him to consider opportunities in a different market tourism. His entrepreneurial instinct pushed him to gradually acquire some motorcoaches to transport tourists around the Lake Lugano area.
By 1950, Globus Viaggi had grown to a fleet of 33 coaches and featured overnight excursions to Rome, Venice, the Dolomites, and the French Riviera. Gradually, these 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 1962, the company launched its Cosmos arm, which featured affordable, budget-priced European touring for the cost-conscious British traveler.
The 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, Cosmos air holidays became so popular the company formed its own airline, Monarch Airlines. Monarch Airlines started out modestly with two used Britannia aircraft and eventually blossomed into one of the most successful European charter companies with a large fleet of modern jets and its own engineering division.
Under the flagship of Sergio Mantegazza, current president and son of Antonio, the company began expanding its markets beyond Great Britain and North America. Since 1974, tour packages have been sold in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and most recently in Southeast Asia. Starting in the 70s, the company also aggressively expanded its tour offerings, introducing travelers to more countries than any other tour operator with packages to Africa, USA, Canada, Europe, the South Pacific, and Asia.
Today, the Globus family of brands is a global company reaching every corner of the world, yet remains family-owned and steeped in the values Antonio had when he set out across Lake Lugano—to enlighten travelers by showing them the very best of the destinations we know so well.
The Globus Family of Brands is marketed and operated by a network of more than 32 offices around the world, serviced by a group of more than 5,000 professionals. Combined, Globus, Cosmos and Avalon Waterways carry about 500,000 passengers a year making the organisation the leading operator of guided touring worldwide. At the core of the company are Antonio’s ideals of passion, hard work, innovation and love for travel. These values are the cornerstone on which Cosmos was built and will continue to grow for generations to come.