Imagine being offered 21 days in Alaska, with a seven-day cruise, Denali, Fairbanks -- the works -- for $715 per person. Great price, right? That's what Insider thought, until closer examination of the brochure at hand showed that it was for a Westours program on the market 31 years ago. The brochure made fascinating reading. The ships used for the cruise portion, for instance, were the Glacier Queen, Yukon Star and Westar, owned or chartered at that time by Westours founder and Alaska pioneer Chuck West. The tax on the selling price -- the entire tax -- was $3.64. A 13-day tour, with all the trimmings, started at $525 per person (tax, $2.88), and a 12-day version started at $360. Holland America-Westours' 1997 cruise-tour brochure does not offer a 21-day product, but you can have a dandy 12-day Gold Rush package starting at $2,205 per person, plus $119 in port charges and taxes -- pretty much the going rate in the industry. Of course, it must be conceded that the Yukon Star and its fleetmates of 31 years ago don't hold a candle to Holland America's current Alaska fleet of six. Nor would the motorcoaches and accommodations offered back then stack up to those offered today. Still, reading 1966 brochures can't help but make one nostalgic for simpler -- and cheaper -- days gone by.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI