One of the perks of using a travel company to book a small group guided vacation is getting to know your travel partners in a way that’s only possible with a small number of people. When the group is hosted by the travel company’s president and his wife, the group dynamic promises to be far from routine. To celebrate a legacy of 40+ years in the adventure travel business, Billings, MT based Austin Adventures is kicking off 2015 by launching a new President’s Trips series of adventures.
The award-winning travel company will run three trips, two of which will be hosted by Dan Austin, president and founder of Austin Adventures, and his wife, Carol Austin, an adventure travel consultant at Austin Adventures. The third trip will be guided by Ron van Dijk, the company’s European Operations Director who is celebrating his 40th anniversary of guiding this year.
“Customer service is our strong suit, and we always make a point to get to know each guest like family, but we seldom get a chance to travel with them,” says Dan Austin. “That’s why my wife and I are so excited to pack our bags, visit some of our favorite places and share our years of travel experience with the people who allow us to keep living out our dream of operating an adventure travel company.”
Dan is a travel industry veteran with three decades of experience creating and marketing adventure vacations all over the world. Under his leadership, Austin Adventures has received countless industry awards including Travel + Leisure’s “Best Tour Operator in the World.” In 2013, he sold the company to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, and has stayed on as managing president along with his wife Carol who has 17 years of experience selling trips and creating customized vacation packages.
Van Dijk is a native of Holland who has lived all over Europe and is fluent in five languages. When he’s not out guiding, which he’s been doing for 40 years, he runs the Austin Adventures Europe office and manages the European guides including his son and daughter who are also active in the business.
The 2015 President’s Trips series will include two of the company’s signature multisport tours: the Alaska Kenai Adventure, and the Italy: South Tyrol and The Dolomites tour. The third trip will be a Venetian Passageways cruise operated by Windstar Cruises – one of Austin Adventures’ sister companies also owned by Xanterra Parks & Resorts.
The Alaska Kenai Adventure that the Austins will be hosting is a 6-day/5-night adult trip that allows guests to experience Kenai Fjords National Park via hiking, biking, kayaking and cruising. Dan designed this itinerary, his first ever, more than 20 years ago, and as a former longtime resident of Alaska, he knows the “Land of the Midnight Sun” as only a local can. The trip departs on June 14, 2015 and starts at $3,298 per person, double.
The Venetian Passageways trip that the Austins will be hosting is a 9-day small ship cruise trip that explores the city of Venice before voyaging east to follow ancient trade routes. Guests stay on the 212-passenger Star Pride yacht which takes them to ports in Italy, Greece, Albania, Croatia and Montenegro. The cruise departs from Venice on July 26, 2015 and starts at $3,999 per person, double.
The Italy: South Tyrol and The Dolomites tour that van Dijk will be leading as a celebration of his 40th anniversary as a guide is a 6-day/5-night adult vacation that allows guests to explore the Alps and Dolomites via hiking and biking excursions. Highlights include a visit to Trauttmansdorff Castle, lunch at a local mountain farmstead and a cable car ride to the charming town of St. Ulrich. The trip departs on July 26, 2015 and starts at $3,398 per person, double.
The Alaska and South Tyrol trips are limited to 12 people, and reservations for all three trips can be made by calling 1-800-575-15401-800-575-1540 or contacting Austin Adventures at email@example.com.