NEW YORK -- Sometimes a tour operator can stumble upon a good find.
Such was the case with Mayflower Tours.
"It started when we had a Canadian Rockies program that
originated in Seattle," said Mayflower president John Stachnik.
"The comment cards that came back said, 'We really liked Seattle.
We'd like to spend more time in that area.'"
So, Mayflower, which has had a Pacific Coast Journey tour
(Seattle to San Francisco) for the past four years, launched a tour
called Washington State and the Cascades.
The seven-night program includes a tour of the Boeing factory, the
North Cascades National Park, the National Historic Reserve at Fort
Casey, Deception Pass State Park, Ebey's Landing, Ohme Gardens, the
Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village, a cruise of Lake Chelan and a
float trip on the Skyomish River.
It is priced at $1,268 per person, double, land only.
"Travelers are always looking for something new," Stachnik said.
"New England is so wonderful, but people have been doing it for 80
years on an organized basis. We're finding that a lot of people
have not toured the northwest."
Meanwhile, the Pacific Northwest is old hat for Tauck World
Discovery, which has been taking passengers to the region for 35
But recently Tauck also has found a tightening of focus on
Oregon and Washington, according to Kendra St. John, a Tauck
spokeswoman and a guide on Tauck's Pacific Northwest tours.
"We used to have a tour that went all the way from San Francisco
to Calgary (Alberta), then we broke it into two smaller pieces, San
Francisco to Seattle and Seattle to Calgary," she said. "Now we are
seeing the people who want to go a long distance have dropped off.
Now, people want to focus more in-depth within an area.
"People from other parts of the country were always amazed. They
knew the Canadian Rockies were going to be spectacular, they just
didn't know that Oregon and Washington were going to be so
Meanwhile, Robert Brennan, president of Seattle-based Brennan
Vacations, said interest in the Pacific Northwest is being boosted
by a trend to travel domestically.
"There is also more interest in it now because people are
wanting to stay close to home," said Brennan. "There is still this
uncertainty. People are finding different things to do in North
America. Not that they don't still want to do Europe, but they are
thinking they'll wait another year."