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Star Destinations introduce flexible new tour packages

Photo courtesy Travel Alberta

CARROLL, Iowa — Star Destinations Inc., a family-owned and operated tour operator based in Carroll, Iowa, has designed innovative new packages of tours that give groups flexible new choices for travel.

In recognition of the importance of the business provided by bank clubs and the rapidly changing economics of the group travel market, Star Destinations introduced its New Travel Solutions at the BankTravel Conference in Milwaukee in February.

New Travel Solutions features three new group package categories — Essentials, Preferred and Signature — that provide groups with maximum flexibility in designing an itinerary to fit their travel, economic and service requirements.

New Travel Solutions enables planners to build an itinerary that has all the features needed for a great trip but with the flexibility for reducing some of the costs by using a more moderate hotel or attraction or eliminating elements, such as some meals.

The Essential series is designed to provide the maximum travel experience for the minimum cost. It offers the opportunity for the travel planner to create a package that includes all the essential components while minimizing the costs by creating more options in terms of meals, hotel amenities, attractions and activities.

An example of this series is the Star Destinations Essential Rockies package. The seven-day package offers a circle tour of the Canadian Rockies with no backtracking on any route. The package includes a night at the famous Chateau Lake Louise as well as two nights in Jasper, one night at the Sun Peaks Resort and two nights in Banff.

By mixing the accommodation categories to include deluxe and standard hotels, depending on the location, as well as including less expensive meals — some picnics, barbecues and continental breakfasts — and more “no cost” activities like nature walks, park interpreters and off-peak entertainment, the trip becomes more affordable but remains a high-quality tour in terms of guest satisfaction.

The Preferred series, Star Destinations’ most requested package tours, includes most meals, all attractions and activities, and all gratuities. Transportation is always in 56-passenger deluxe motorcoaches and includes the services of a professional tour director from start to finish. Additional Star Destinations amenities, like room gifts and onboard refreshments, are also included.

The Signature Series is designed to provide a unique travel experience that features luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, deluxe transportation and the highest level of service. In most cases, the journey will be available to only a small number of guests due to the high price and limited capacity.

The Great River Journey is a good example of a Star Signature package. Traveling in a deluxe 10-passenger domed riverboat, guests are catered to by their own private host and guide as they travel down the Yukon River. Stops are made along the river for historical and wildlife viewing, as well as for gourmet luncheons served on white tablecloths and featuring fine wines and fine Northern cuisine.

Overnight accommodations are provided in specially built chalets and lodges, providing the ultimate of comforts in the midst of the Yukon wilderness. Part of the journey is taken in a private floatplane that offers vistas of the Yukon seen only from the air.

Nightly gourmet dining and entertainment round out each day. Private cultural exchanges with the leaders of four First Nations bands and visits with pioneers of the area create an opportunity for guests to relive the historic Yukon Gold Rush era in an up-close-and-personal fashion.

Star Destinations, owned by the Greteman family for 25 years, extended its travel diversity in 1995 by creating Windstar Lines. Windstar Lines is now the largest motorcoach operator in Iowa with a fleet of 47 deluxe motorcoaches and services in seven surrounding states.

For information, contact Jim Warren at (712) 792-9793 or