Collette adds Portland, park stays to 8-night area plan


PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Collette Tours has made some changes to this year's package to the Pacific Northwest and the San Juan Islands.

The new features occur at the beginning and end of the trip.

Collette introduced a two-night stay in Portland, Ore., and a one-night stay in Washington's Olympic National Park at the beginning of the program.

The three-day cruise to the San Juan Islands has been shifted to the end of the trip.

Collette Tours' guests will visit Friday Harbor at San Juan Island, Wash. The decision, according to Peter Figueiredo, product manager at Collette Tours, was based on success with a similar land-cruise format on the firm's Alaska tours.

Figueiredo said the Portland stay was added because Collette really wanted to give a "Northwest flair" to the itinerary.

The highlights of the Portland stay include a tour of the city and a visit to the Bonneville Dam and the Columbia River Gorge.

According to Figueiredo, Olympic National Park was included this year because people like the idea of staying in an "untouched and rustic" area such as a national park.

A feature of the park portion of the tour is a one-night stay at the historical Lake Quinault Lodge, at which Franklin Delano Roosevelt once stayed.

Wenatchee National Forest is the next stop, after which guests will visit and stay at the Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth.

Guests then will move to Wenatchee, the "Apple Capital of the World." After a visit to the Washington Apple Commission, the journey continues to the former gold mining town of Winthrop.

In the morning, voyagers will go to the fishing village of La Conner to board the 300-passenger Island Spirit for the cruise to the San Juan Islands.

The ship offers plenty of open area for photography and bird-watching, said Figueiredo, but especially for the cruise's main attraction, the orca whale watch.

Figueiredo said he believes that the San Juan cruise gives the visitors an "Alaska of the South flavor."

The finale takes place in Seattle, where guests will tour the city, and concludes with a farewell dinner at the Space Needle.

Departure dates are May 26, June 23, July 7, Aug. 25, Sept. 15 and Oct. 6.

The rate is $1,599 per person, double.

Single supplement is available for $2,199, and the triple rate is $1,549.

For air rates and availability, call Collette at (401) 728-3805.

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