Catch the Wind Tours!
The Alaska tour is unlike other Catch the Wind Tours, in that you are in control. Group size is strictly limited to five, and can be comprised of individuals, couples, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, or any combination thereof.
You choose the length and dates of the trip. You choose activities and accommodations to fit your budget. I will be your driver/guide, and we will explore Alaska’s interior in depth, north from Anchorage to Denali, and south into the Kenai Peninsula to Homer and Seward.
During our two weeks in France, we will discover the beautiful Minervois villages and the fascinating Languedoc region of South France.
This tour is a balance of relaxation and discovery. The region is rich in history (primarily Roman Colonization, and the Cathar movement, which provoked the Albigensian Crusade) and wine production.
Can you imagine two weeks immersed in two of the most exotic and archeologically rich civilizations of the world? You can experience it all on our small group tour of Greece and Turkey.
Our tour of Greece will combine conventional cruising with private yachting aboard the 25-cabin Harmony V mega yacht. We will visit the famous islands of Mykonos and Santorini along with many of the smaller, beautiful islands.
An optional small group land tour of the Pelloponnese is available for touring classical sites like Olympia, Delphi and Meteora.
Our small group tour of Turkey includes the enchanting city of Istanbul, a cruise on the Bosphorus strait, and a visit to the Cappadocia region.
Istanbul is a unique city combining Eastern and Western cultures. It is set in an amazingly beautiful location that everyone should visit at least once.
Cappadocia is a stunning area of other-worldly rock formations, subterranean churches and underground dwellings.
For two weeks our little group (12 maximum) will explore Ireland, escorted in our luxurious and spacious motor coach.
We will discover the myriad beautiful, charming and mysterious sights, sounds, and tastes of the Emerald Isle, making a wide circle, primarily around the coast. ‘Must See’ locations, such as Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny Castle, Ring of Kerry, Killarney, the ‘Quiet Man’ country of Connemara, and more will be interspersed with lesser known local gems, such as Cobh, Doolin, the Aran Island of Inish Mor, and New Grange.
This small group tour of Spain is an in-depth exploration of a most treasured region - ANDALUCIA!
Rich in Spanish traditions influenced by the ancient Moors, sunshine, olive groves, white pueblo villages, tapas, Sangria... Spain's Andalucia contains all this and more, and we will have two weeks to enjoy it to the fullest!
Highlights include three guided tours, a visit and show at the famous Andalucian Equestrian School, and an authentic Flamenco Show at an intimate, locally owned establishment. Two meals are included daily, as well as rental cars, including gas.
Lodging will be in Haciendas and hotels, conveniently located within walking distance of historic city centers, shops and attractions. Three 4-night stays help make this an in-depth experience and adventure you don’t want to miss!
Staying in a villa in Tuscany is one of the least expensive, and perhaps most rewarding, travel experiences one can enjoy.
We stay one week each in two villas, which are strategically chosen for convenient day trips throughout central Tuscany. First is Borgo Corsignano, a renovated medieval village in the lovely Casentino Valley. Our second villa is San Giuseppe, near Sienna, a big, old restored farmhouse with six bedrooms (all with ensuite bathrooms).
Let's Go to the Canadian Rockies!
August 15-24, 2014
Get ready for the ride of your life, through Canada’s Rocky Mountains. And what better way to see this pristine scenery than aboard Canada’s famous Rocky Mountaineer. First, I have chosen their premier Northern Explorer tour, which includes three days on the train and four days on a luxury motor coach. I then added meals and other amenities, making it a truly customized Catch the Wind small-group tour.
We will start by spending two nights in Vancouver, allowing a full day to explore this very doable and enjoyable city, before beginning our rail journey aboard Rocky Mountaineer’s “Whistler Sea to Sky” train the next morning. Majestic mountains and glittering waters are the backdrop for this amazing adventure. We will relax in our reclining seat and enjoy the commentary and impeccable service provided by Onboard Attendants. A scrumptious chilled breakfast will be served at your seat, so you won’t miss a moment of the breathtaking scenery through the large picture windows, or from the open-air Heritage Observation Car. After a fun afternoon and overnight in Whistler, we will board the Rocky Mountaineer for our two-day journey east through some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery in the world. Next we will experience five days of sightseeing by deluxe motor coach through Jasper, Banff, and Yoho National Parks, including a ride on an Ice Explorer onto a glacier. Our last two nights will be spent in Banff before transferring to Calgary for our flight home.
During our two special days on the Rocky Mountaineer, we will enjoy GoldLeaf Service. The luxury and comfort of this top-of-the-line service defines an incredible rail journey that is beyond compare. The custom-designed GoldLeaf Dome Coach allows us to experience the breathtaking scenery of the Canadian Rockies as we enjoy superb and delectable gourmet hot breakfasts and lunches from an a la carte menu, served in the Exclusive GoldLeaf dining room, prepared by talented onboard chefs. You will sip complimentary beverages (including alcoholic) and savor gourmet snacks while listening to commentary from your Onboard Attendants, who will ensure our enjoyment of luxury and comfort while taking in the dazzling vistas and nature in action.
If you were to book this itinerary with Rocky Mountaineer yourself, you would pay more, plus, I have negotiated extra meals and amenities that an individual booking through the company would not receive. So if you have ever dreamed of taking this fantastic journey through the Rocky Mountains, this is the trip for you – and NOW is the time to do it.
Video about the Rocky Mountaineer experience
Video detailing GoldLeaf Service
Although every effort will be made to adhere to this itinerary, it is subject to tweaking as conditions dictate.
Victoria and Tofino pre- or post-trip Extensions available
Days 1-2 – Vancouver
Day 3 - Vancouver to Whistler on the train
(Sea to Sky Train)
(Scenery on way to Whistler)
Day 4 – Whistler to Quesnel on the train (GoldLeaf Service)
(Spacious Seating, Large Windows)
(Farming in Pemberton)
Day 5 – Quesnel to Jasper on the train (GoldLeaf Service)
(Crossing Fraser River)
(View of Mount Robson)
(Main Street, Jasper)
Day 6 – Jasper Tour
(Jasper National Park)
(Jasper National Park)
(Moose in Jasper)
(Goat in Jasper)
Day 7 – Jasper to Lake Louise
(Driving the Icefields Parkway)
(Our Ice Exploration Vehicle)
Day 8 – Lake Louise to Banff
(Scenery in Banff)
(Emerald Lake Lodge)
Day 9 – Banff
(Hoo Doo Formation in Banff)
(Sulphur Gondola Ride)
Day 10 – Banff to Calgary
(Enjoying the Scenery)
(Riding through Forests...)
(...and past Rivers)
(Enjoying Snacks on the Train)
(Thompson River Rapids)
• 2 days aboard Rocky Mountaineer's GoldLeaf Service and 1 day Whistler Classic Service
• 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 9 dinners.
• Complimentary snacks and beverages served on the train (including alcoholic during 2 days while in GoldLeaf)
• Friendly service and interpretive commentary from the onboard train attendants
• 9 nights hotel accommodation
• National Park Fees
• Transfers onboard motorcoach as outlined in the itinerary with driver/guide providing commentary where appropriate
• Jasper tour
• Full day tour from Jasper to Lake Louise via Icefield's Parkway including the Ice Explorer
• Private, full day tour of Yoho National Park including a stop for lunch at Emerald Lake Lodge
• Half day tour of Banff including Banff's Sulphur Mountain Gondola Ride
• Train crew and meal gratuities
• Shared Transfers between the train station and your accommodation in Whistler and Quesnel
• Train station luggage handling and personal room delivery of luggage
• Airfare to Vancouver/from Calgary
• Optional Activities not on itinerary
• 3 lunches
• Alcoholic Beverages that are not included on the train
• Any personal expenses (i.e. telephone calls, laundry, etc.)
• Hotel Housekeeping Gratuities at your discretion (~$1/day/person)
• Trip Insurance (Highly Recommended – ~5% of trip cost – Travel Guard
SAMPLE LODGING (other equivalent properties may be substituted)
Georgian Court Hotel (or equivalent), Vancouver
Delta Whistler Village Suites
Saw Ridge Hotel (or equivalent), Jasper (2 nights)
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Rimrock Resort, Banff (2 nights)
LET’S GO TO THE CANADIAN ROCKIES, August 15-24, 2014
8-15 passengers (8 min, 20 max)
$6,067 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare
$5,067 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare
LET’S GO TO THE CANADIAN ROCKIES Coastal Passage Option, August 16-24, 2014
Coastal Passage Option: Your Day 1 is Saturday, August 16, when you check in at Seattle's King Street Station for the first leg of your Rocky Mountaineer journey to Vancouver. After boarding, toast the rail voyage ahead and enjoy dinner onboard as you travel past the Chittenden Locks linking Puget Sound to Lakes Union and Washington and wave goodbye to Seattle. Highlights include the fishing fleet (and Boeing jets) of Everett, the fields at the foot of the Cascade Mountains near Mount Vernon, sunset views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands beyond, and, after crossing the Canadian border, the community of White Rock as the train hugs the Pacific Coast and travels into Vancouver. On arrival in Vancouver, a motorcoach will transfer you from Pacific Central Station to Hampton Inn, where you will join the rest of the group to overnight in Vancouver, boarding the Rocky Mountaineer to Whisler the following morning.
8-15 passengers (total on both options)
$6,557 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare
16-20 passengers (total on both options)
$5,557 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare
*Single Supplement for all options $1,959
(an attempt will be made to pair you with a roommate if you want, but there is no guarantee)
DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT DUE DATES
$500 Deposit due October 15, 2013, or upon sign up after this date
Final Payment due June 10, 2014, or upon sign up after this date
Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel 120 days prior to departure (for any reason), you will receive 100% refund of any monies you have paid to Drifter Sister, less any prepaid nonrefundable purchases made by Drifter Sister. If a cancellation occurs between 119 and 75 days prior to departure, you will receive a 75% refund of any monies you have paid to Drifter Sister. In the case of a cancellation after 75 days prior to departure, a 50% refund of monies paid to Drifter Sister, will be allowed only if the trip is full and a replacement can be found for you. Otherwise there will be no refund.
How To Book
P.O. Box 60042
Boulder City, NV 89006
Pay through PayPal
(For your convenience we offer this credit card payment option for the Deposits. No fee will be charged for the Good Faith Deposit. However, for the Trip Deposit, we must include PayPal's 2.9% fee.)
NOTE: Your Good Faith deposit is applied to the cost of the trip, and is fully refundable if you must cancel for any reason.
Q. Are there physical limitations for this trip?
A. Active adults of all ages are welcome. You will need to be able to get in and out of busses, trains, and the motor coaches. There is a moderate amount of walking. Wheelchair-bound clients can be accommodated if accompanied by a caregiver.
Q. Do we sleep on the train?
A. No. The train stops each night and we stay in a hotel.
Q. Are alcoholic beverages served on the train?
A. Yes. And they are complimentary in GoldLeaf.
Q. What meals are served on the train?
A. Breakfast and lunch.
Q. Where will the dinners be?
A. Dinners will either be at the hotels or nearby restaurants.
Q. What meals are included?
A. All breakfasts, all dinners, plus all but three lunches. This is more than you would receive if you booked directly with Rocky Mountaineer. They do not include dinners on the train days.
Q. Are there vegetarian options for meals?
Q. What is the dress code?
A. Nice casual. You will be doing a lot of sitting while on the train, so you will want to wear comfortable clothing. The temperature inside the train car is controlled, but you might need a light cover-up at times.
Q. What will the weather be like?
A. In August the weather should still be warm, but it can be changeable, and we will be in several different climate zones, so a jacket will probably be needed at night – and for the Icefields excursion for sure.
Average temps in August
Banff - hi 71, low 44, Precipitation: 2.0 inches
Kamloops - hi 82, low 54, Precipitation: 1.1 inches
Vancouver - hi 71, low 55, Precipitation: 1.5 inches
"Our trip was as seamless as any trip could be. Thanks for freeing us up from concerns about luggage, tipping, making connections, etc., so we could instead just soak up the ambiance and beauty of each and every minute. Great, great itinerary and trip.!! Thanks!" - Judy M.
"The beauty of the land was amazing. Thank you for a great tour! We talked to several other people on the train who had booked the trip by themselves, and they didn’t visit all the places we did. In fact one couple had less experiences but paid more!" - Nancy & Steve C.