Celebrating one hundred years of service, it’s safe to say award-winning tour operator Collette knows a thing (or a hundred!) about guided tours. Just when we thought Collette had created fascinating tours for every part of the world, they introduce even more for 2019.
Here is a taste of the exciting and enlightening itineraries you can look forward to, and the good news is, they are bookable now!
1. Painted Canyons of the West Featuring Utah’s Five National Parks
With the majestic Rocky Mountains as your backdrop, your kaleidoscopic journey through America’s mystic canyons begins in the Colorado capital, Denver. Admire breathtakingly distinct scenery, from canyons, carved millions of years ago, to landscapes evocative of the wild, wild west. The pristine beauty and prismatic colours of Utah’s five national parks play a starring role on this tour: Arches to Canyonlands to Dead Horse, Zion, and Bryce National Park. Rugged scenery, like Utah’s Red Rock country, is paired with refined offerings in Colorado wine country, where you’ll enjoy a homey dinner and tastings at a family-run winery. From barren landscapes to the bright lights of Vegas, this unique tour will leave you amazed.
2. The Northern Lights of Finland
This once-in-a-lifetime adventure gets you up close and personal with the elusive beauty of Finland and its culture. Seek out the shimmering splendour of the Aurora Borealis. Spend the day touring Helsinki’s history with a local guide. Savour foraged delicacies and haute cuisine in both family and chef-run restaurants. From Lapland, log cabins and lovely reindeer, the fairytale atmosphere of Finland includes sipping warm berry juice with Santa Claus and dog-sledding through dreamlike vistas. The captivating charm of this Scandinavian gem will stay with you forever.
3. Switzerland: Hidden Trails & Majestic Peaks
If you’ve always wanted to channel your inner Maria von Trapp, twirling away on the grand, green Alps, here’s the tour for you. Aboard the Swiss Railway, curve your way through the timeless splendour of Switzerland. Greatly influenced by neighbouring France, Italy, Germany, the regions of this small country remain unique and inviting. Clear lakes, like Lake Geneva, and mind-blowing mountain peaks, like the Matterhorn, are some of the icons you’ll see, as well as old, charming vineyards and artisanal chocolatiers. Your Swiss Travel Pass provides unlimited access to the best way to see these magnificent places, on the railway as well as its transportation network, including free entrance to all 500 museums of this historic and cultural European jewel.
4. Charming French Canada Featuring Montréal, Quebec City, Charlevoix and Montebello
Rich in European heritage and proud in its distinct history, charming Quebec is filled with endless delights and pursuits. Enjoy immersive discoveries with local guides as you meander the cobblestoned streets of Old Montreal and Quebec City, and admire the captivating landscapes of Charlevoix and Montebello. Experience sublime grandeur at the famous Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, the sumptuous Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu and the luxurious Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. From maple syrup making at a traditional sugar shack to shopping in stylish Montreal; whale-watching in the St. Lawrence to viewing Montmercy Falls by cable car; sampling artisanal cheese right on the farm, to admiring the great architecture of past and present, here is your chance to see Quebec like you’ve never seen it before.
5. Germany’s Cultural Cities & the Romantic Road Featuring Berlin, Hamburg, Rothenburg and Munich
The radiant cultures of Germany’s famous cities are optimally enjoyed on a guided tour. Relaxing and romantic, your journey begins in Berlin, touring its fascinating, historic landmarks and modern diversity. Next is Hamburg, dubbed “The Venice of the North,” with a stop in Lubeck, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and where German delicacy of marzipan was invented. At night in Hamburg, have a walking tour of the red light area where The Beatles gained fame and notoriety, led by a singing, ukelele playing music expert! After salacious stories, we take you back to more innocent ones, when you spend a night in enchanting Hamelin, home of the Pied Piper. Your fairytale journey continues at Rapunzel’s Castle and a visit to the Brothers Grimm Museum, then onto magical, must-see Rothenberg on the Romantic Road. From Munich excursions to the BMV factory to tippling on world-renowned Bavarian beer, experience the intricate and inviting German culture. Prost!
6. Experience Colombia
If Colombia isn’t on your bucket list, you’ll want to consider it when you learn about what this tour promises. Embark on a 10-day journey of this South American gem and you’ll immediately embrace its passionate spirit. Beginning in Bogota, the colourful, cultural capital, a local guide shows you the art and architecture of Colombia’s beating heart. Perk up when you fly over the rolling hills of its famous coffee region, then learn all about the process, from bean to cup (with some requisite sampling too, of course.) That evening, stay in a lodge overlooking lush valleys, for a good rest to enjoy Medellin, “The City of Eternal Spring”, which includes dining with locals on fresh, traditional foods. From hiking and horseback riding, murals and markets, you can set the pace of this special adventure. Cartagena, on the Caribbean Sea, easily seduces visitors, or if the way to your heart is through your stomach, a Colombian cooking workshop will do the trick. From sweeping landscapes to sultry culture, your South American love affair begins here.
7. Treasures of Europe From London to Rome
You could think of this tour as many trips in one; we think of it as a once in a lifetime journey. Explore iconic London, from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace. Board the Eurostar, the high-speed train that goes through the Channel tunnel, to The City of Lights. Enjoy a full day in Paris, ending with an unforgettable dinner at the Eiffel Tower. Cross to Lucerne, Switzerland in comfort on a train, and experience this captivating city nestled on a cobalt lake. The beauty continues in Venice, where all the images you’ve seen of its ancient canals and gondolas are brought to life. This Italian leg of your European journey continues into Florence to immerse yourself and admire its masterpieces, wrapping up in Rome to experience the earthly and otherworldly treasures of the Eternal City.
8. Memorials of World War II Featuring the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing
This special sojourn, commemorating the 75th anniversary of The Allies landing in Normandy to liberate mainland Europe from the Nazis, is a must for history buffs. Beginning in London, visit the War Rooms, Churchill’s underground bunker and operative in Westminster. Via the Channel on the Eurostar train to Paris, a coach will take you through the French countryside, over Caen Canal and Pegasus Bridge and other significant spots heroically saved during World War II. Visit the famous D-Day beaches where The Allies arrived, its monuments and the Normandy American Cemetery, Bayeux Memorial and the Museum of Surrender in Reims. Your journey through important and intriguing history ends in Paris, enjoying an uplifting and unforgettable dinner in the Eiffel Tower.
If you’re looking to make a positive difference when travelling, this tour is it. One of the world’s most biodiverse countries, Costa Rica is a dream destination of various ecosystems — paradisaical rainforests teeming with animals and exotic plants, stunning coastlines and ocean vistas, soaring waterfalls and stirring volcanoes, and so much more. This tour allows you to enhance your Costa Rica experience by volunteering with CEPIA (Culture, Education and Psychology of Children and Adolescents) which helps at-risk families in the Guanacaste province on the Pacific coast. Stay in the cloud forest in Monteverde, and walk hanging bridges or zip line through the lively forest canopy. You’ll also help children in Arenal and learn about local and country-wide conservation efforts. For a dose of culture, visit San Jose’s impressive National Theatre and the Plaza de Cultura. Both exciting and educational, the Costa Rica Impact Tour is a meaningful travel experience, rewarding to you and the local communities.
10. Cultures of Peru & Bolivia Featuring a 2-night stay on the Uyuni Salt Flats
Peru and Bolivia have grown to become such sought-after destinations, Collette introduced this two-week tour of two fascinating countries. Explore natural wonders like the breathtaking Andean Mountains range and the world’s largest salt flat. Visit the “City of Kings”, Lima, filled with colonial heritage and acclaimed culinary experiences. From UNESCO World Heritage Sites to learning from indigenous peoples, every day presents something new and exciting. See the Sacred Valley and take a train to Machu Picchu, where you’ll spend a night in a luxury hotel. Take a catamaran across Lake Titicaca and follow the footsteps of the Incas on Sun Island. Venturing to La Paz, Bolivia, you’ll be in the world’s highest altitude capital city, which you can admire on an exciting cable car ride, too. Finally, be the envy of all your friends with a two-night stay in a hotel built with salt bricks on the incredible Uyuni Salt Flats. Bienvenido!