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Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 345
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

July 08, 2010

I'm going to ask a question even though I think I know the answer.

Why are tours that originate in, terminate in, or are completely in the USA so scarce with GCT?

I took "America's Majestic National Parks" and it was great. I toured New England and the Canadian Maritimes both by land and by sea, but not with GCT. With the current political climate I do not desire to do the Copper Canyon tour. I did the Alaska Cruise/Tour. About all that's left are tours that are mostly or totally in Canada. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is a lot of the USA that I have not yet visited and would like to visit.

I know that I can, with the aid of the Internet, do these tours independently. I know that I can get tours of the USA scheduled and conducted by other tour companies. But I like Grand Circle and the way GCT does things, and I would prefer to travel with them. How about giving some thought to tours or even river and lake cruises that concentrate on the interior of the USA?

I realize that the vision of GCT is that American seniors (mature travelers?) will see the rest of the world, and you are doing a marvelous job of that. Just a thought of possible future expansion.

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 152
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

July 12, 2010

GCT's Northwest National Parks is a very good tour too.

Author: frederickperona

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 3
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2005

July 17, 2010

I agree we would like more choices in the USA. Loved the Majestic Park tour and we are going south to Chile and Argentina but would love more domestic choices.

Author: njbird

Joined: 8/2/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 5
Traveler Since: 2007

August 01, 2010

I too would like to see more options in the USA, particularly including rail travel.

Monica

Author: asbinhvl

Joined: 9/8/2010
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 1998

September 08, 2010

I am currently scheduled to travel on the Mexico Copper Canyon Trip in October and would like to hear from anyone who has been on a recent trip (3 months or less) to that area.  With all of the media coverage concerning Mexico and the violence with the drug cartels along with a warning from the State Department, I am very concerned about the wisdom of making this trip.  Does anyone out there have any comments?  Thank you.

Bob in N. C.

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 152
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2005

September 11, 2010

Valid question and I do not have the answer. My post is just to "bump" it to the top of "recent posts" for maximum exposure.

I did the tour 4 or 5 years ago and we had no problems; however, "times are a changin" and it could be different now. 

Trivia: Copper Canyon got it's name because of the color of the lichen that clings to the canyon walls. It is green and resembles (i.e. kind of looks like) copper ore from a distance. There is no copper in Copper Canyon. 

 

  

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 102
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2001

September 12, 2010

I, too, am very interested in the Coper Canyon trip.  I do have safety concerns and wish GCT would address the situation.  Any recently returned travellers have any comments?

Also, thanks for the information on how the canyon got its name.  Very interesting!

 

 

 

 

Author: cmbaker69

Joined: 9/27/2010
Posts: 4
Trips Taken: 14
Countries Visited:

52 countries and 49 states and counting. Most recent international trips were Belize/Tikal for Mayan ruins and OAT's Safari Serengeti. The OAT trip remains the best trip I've ever taken as a tourist, and this was my 5th subsaharan trip/3rd safari type.

Traveler Since: 2000

September 27, 2010

My Copper Canyon trip was prior to the current problems, BUT I live in El Paso, just across from the worst of it, so here are a few comments/suggestions in no particular order:

1. Serious problems are mostly at night and in areas you probably won't want to go to anyway. I would NOT go to bars and clubs at night myself, nor would I go exploring/jogging/etc. in the early morning hours (before 8 or 9).

2. To date tourist vehicles have not been targeted in the areas you will visit.

3. This is one trip where I would not go off on my own, even with a group of friends. The guides will have a good idea of what is safe and what isn't.

4. This is a great trip and you will enjoy it and the people you meet.

5. Consider the cities you visit equivalent to visiting Chicago, Detroit or similar "dangerous" US cities and use good judgement as always.

Author: kfbrown

Joined: 5/4/2010
Posts: 2
Trips Taken: 6
Traveler Since: 2002

September 29, 2010

I would love to see more inside the USA trips as well.  The river cruises in Europe are great, but how about a Missouri/Mississippi cruise?  Other options within the US would appeal to us.

Author: sealionlady

Joined: 8/1/2010
Posts: 102
Trips Taken: 12
Traveler Since: 2001

September 29, 2010

I vote for the Missouri/Mississipi cruise!  More USA tours - please!

Author: laurat

Joined: 11/11/2010
Posts: 4
Trips Taken: 3
Traveler Since: 2010

November 11, 2010

I would LOVE to take a cruise from Chicago to New Orleans.  Only one company, not GCT, does this,  that I can determine,  but I don't know why GCT doesn't.  I have heard that the river is too shallow for most cruise ships, but surely the type of ships GCT uses in Europe would fit the bill?

I feel a bit guilty going to Europe when there is so much of my own country I have yet to explore.  But now that I've discovered small ship river cruises, I just don't have much desire to take a land tour. 

Anyone at GCT able to tell us if this is being considered, or why not?

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 345
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

July 16, 2011

I want to "revive" this thread to see if any newcomers want to chime in.

The research I have done indicates that travel within the confines of the USA tends to be much more expensive than similar trips in Europe, even when you add in airfare. Do we pay the workers that much more? Are the companies providing domestic travel making that much more profit per tourist? Is it the demand exceeding the supply thereby driving up the unit price?

I din't know that any of us can really answer these questions, but I'm sure we all have an opinion. It is a curiosity.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 885
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 16, 2011

I agree.  I've often thought that a trip on the Columbia River or one on the Mississippi would be a lot of fun and very interesting, but they always looked more expensive and seemed to have long waiting lists.  After traveling around the world, it makes me feel a little guilty when I realize that I've seen so little of my own country.

As for the Copper Canyon trip, that was on my wish list near the top.  But now with things as they are, I've taken it off.

 

Author: franniepat

Joined: 3/11/2010
Posts: 42
Trips Taken: 9
Countries Visited:

Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Costa Rica, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Western US parks.

Traveler Since: 2008

July 24, 2011

I have mentioned trips in the US to them also. I think OAT could do a great job on a Southwest tour, focusing on Native American cultures.

Author: suepoor1234

Joined: 7/20/2011
Posts: 38
Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

All the states except Hawaii; east and west Canada, all of Western Europe(except Iceland and Greenland); the Baltics and Scandanavia; Belarus, Poland, Ukraine; Russia; Turkey, Jordan and Israel; China, Mongolia, and Tibet; Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania; Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatamala, El Salvador; Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Peru, Argentina; Australia and New Zealand; Antarctica.

Traveler Since: 2007

July 25, 2011

The key terminology is that OAT is "OVERSEAS" Adventure Travel.  It is focused on trips abroad.  GCT would be the entity to develop anything within the US.  More Americans probably want to take their own vehicles for travel within the US and so the market for tours is much smaller than for foreign travel.  Of course, that may change now that gasoline is so high.  The company has to make a profit.  Without a profit, they cannot stay in business. 

Author: par5drl

Joined: 5/15/2011
Posts: 12
Trips Taken: 2
Traveler Since: 2011

July 25, 2011

FYI,

We did the Caravan Tours Grand Canyon, Sedona, Bryce & Zion Canyons tour 2 Years ago and it was outstanding....Originated in Phonex & ended in Las Vegas....Caravan has several other tours in the US and Canada.(I'm not a shill for that company) Just providing info....

Dave L

Author: alycemarie

Joined: 9/10/2011
Posts: 1
Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2010

September 09, 2011

I agree with njbird (Monica) post of 02 August 2010. I would love to see more USA Tours or Cruises by GCT. Being in the interior design business and having studied architecture, there is a lot US has to offer. 

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 443
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

October 31, 2011

We have done 12 trips between GCT and OAT, including America's Majestics National Parks and Northwest National parks, as well as trips to Egygt, China, subsaharan Africe, Israel, Russia, Thailand, Australia and NewZeland and would love to see more North Amrican trips, including river and coastal cruises. we realize that using chartered American cruise lines would make it difficult to match the price per day of overseas trips, but there are may unique American, Canadian and Mexican cultural experiences that would widen our travel exposure..

A few years ago GCT had coastal American cruises avialable from a third party, that appartly not successful, but there are many potential customers for GCT that do not have passports and are reluctabt to travel abroad that could be exposed to GCT and OAT. We would be very interested in taking a new trip in North America.

Jack and Ann Donoghue

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 345
Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2002

October 31, 2011

Late last week I received the GCT catalog of North America opportunities for 2012. It contained three trips. One is America's Majestic National Parks, which I have taken and enjoyed very much. The second is Nova Scotia & the Canadian Maritimes. I have not taken that one but a few years ago I took a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines that touched most of the sites covered. The third is Northwest National Parks. It has enough appeal that I expect we will take that tour sometime in the summer of 2012.

Today I received the brochure from YMT Vacations titled "Americas 2012". In it they list seventeen tours that are predominantly in the USA and Canada or cruising in the adjoining waters.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not equating YMT with GCT. Both do very well what they advertise, but YMT is a budget touring company while GCT falls in the "moderate" class. So you get better accommodations, more meals, and more attractions with GCT. But nobody can show you more for less money than YMT.

My question is, if YMT can sell out 17 different tours with multiple starting dates for each one, couldn't GCT come up with a few more than the three they offer? Many of us who may wind up taking YMT tours would be more than willing to pay the 50% to 75% premium for GCT's extra amenities and other advantages. I know I would.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 245
Trips Taken: 0

November 01, 2011

Hello Everybody -

It's encouraging to see that so many people want to extend their Grand Circle experience to domestic trips.  While we do have some domestic offerings, we have focused our efforts on international travel because we feel we are best suited to offer truly unique, discovery filled trips at an exceptional value in foreign destinations.

Again, thank you for your excellent suggestions and feedback.

-Michelle

OAT Forum Moderator

 

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