FAMILIES WORKING WITH FAMILIES
Success is measured in many ways. For us, it’s always been based on our guests’ experience and seeing the joy and happiness in their faces. Over the past 35 years we have been very humbled to see more guests return to travel with us and refer their friends to travel with us, as opposed to other companies in Canada.
There are two very important things we owe our success to.; Foremost is our complete dedication to our guests, as Jerry always said, “treat every guest like family because they are a part of our family”. The second thing we owe our success to is the people and families we work with.
Anyone involved in a family business knows that the key to success is in the level of service you provide, because at the end of the day, it’s your service that sets you apart from the rest. This is why we look for other like-minded family owned and operated businesses to partner with. Large companies see small family businesses as the middle man and find ways to work without them. This is what the industry refers to as “making the same dollar twice” and the cruise industry is the best example of this. We however, believe these families and people are an investment into the guest’s experience!
When we start designing new journeys the first people we turn to are the families we work with and the local guides that have intimate knowledge of the area’s they call home. One of the first questions we ask our guides when asking for their help is, “tell us what you would share with your family if they came to visit”. Generally, this is very different than what the majority of tourists would get in their travel experience. We aim to provide a greater, more intimate view of cities, towns and villages.
Our roots in the Travel Industry can be traced back to the days when Jerry drove a motor coach all across North America. We know that planning the route of a journey is so much more than getting from Point A to Point B. This is why we love working with families like the Schulz and Saner families. These two tour companies are second and third generation companies and more often than not, when they arrive to greet our guests it’s one of the family members doing so. Having the owner of a company there to personally say hello and chauffeur our guests around means the world to us, as well as our guests.
Christian Saner and his family have shared their love of Switzerland and France with our guests for decades. It was natural for us to contact him for his guidance and expertise on our ‘Swiss Glacier Express.’ It was Christian again who we turned to when we dreamed of a new short program for the “Basel to Amsterdam Cruise”.
When we started researching our new “Saar, Mosel & Romantic Rhine River Cruise”, we sought guidance from the Schulz family. Oliver shared the secrets of the “European Christmas Markets” journey (one of our families personal favourites) so it was without question that we would ask for his thoughts on the new river cruise. Our guests had been asking for a river cruise that took them off the beaten path, and who better than Oliver to get us there.
What does this all mean for you? An authentic experience from local people who work hard to ensure your happiness. It’s personal for them, significantly meaningful to us and invaluable in making your experience unforgettable.
“Gordon and I were on the Canada and New England Fall Colours tour in October. We had the greatest and most informative bus driver of all our travels – Jerry. It was such a nice surprise!”
Mr. and Mrs. Beck
This wonderful compliment was in a letter that our guests sent us in the past year and it means so much to us. I started n this industry driving a coach and I still jump at the opportunity to do so. Right from the beginning we felt that working with other families would be one of the keys to our success. Imagine that the person responsible for the company you invested in is sitting beside you. Wouldn’t you think they would try harder to make you happy?
For so many years we have been working with families like the Saner family in Switzerland. Not only does Christian Saner (second generation) run his family owned and operated company, he also drives the coach for our guests as does Oliver Schulz (also second generation) who looks after us in Germany. Where ever we go, we always try to find families to collaborate with because we know that our guests will always be in good hands and their experience will be the best possible.
We would like to share a letter that we received this past year from Mrs. Dyer. This lady was not one of our guests and yet our Journey Manager, who, like our guests and local guides, are an extension of our family, was there to help her and her family. It truly makes us proud and it feels wonderful knowing that today, just as it always been, family makes the difference; family matters.