“Fresh Tracks Canada – Creators of Extraordinary Vacations” is the title of a new, beautifully illustrated brochure that caught my eye at the Canadian Marketplace for Travel Writers held in San Francisco last spring. Unlike a traditional brochure, it was more like a colorful storybook about Canada.
After chatting with Fresh Tracks’ CEO and Owner, John Parker, I discovered that his company of 20 employees based in Vancouver, Canada can book every type of travel in Canada.
The company’s brochure and website (www.freshtracks.canada) offer 45 sample itineraries ranging from train journeys through the Canadian Rockies to grizzly bear tours at remote mountain lodges or exploring the Arctic onboard a tundra buggy to view the polar bears.
“We know Canada better than any other travel company,” said Parker. “Our inside knowledge and attention to detail is what makes us special. Fresh Tracks specializes in planning unique, tailor-made vacations. We can customize anything in Canada, any activity, any transportation, quickly and affordably. “
“Agents can tell us what their clients are looking for, and we’ll put it together for them. They can simply go to our website and order brochures to arrive a few days later, while the on-line version will keep their clients’ interest piqued. We can also offer promotional ideas for their target audience.”
More than 90 per cent of Fresh Tracks’ clients come from the USA, Australia and the UK. Almost all prefer to travel independently rather than on group tours, with arranged guided and day tours when requested.
”On most of our multi-adventure trips, it’s the contrast of experiences that make it exciting. They may include a self-drive tour through Eastern Canada, an extreme heli-hiking tour, a casual canoe adventure in a glacier-fed lake, and/or hiking at a fly-in lodge. Family holidays and fly-drive vacations are a growing niche for us,” said Parker.
Other niche options include garden tours with locals in Victoria, riding a rickshaw on a gourmet tour of Old Quebec, or a yacht cruise to the Queen Charlotte Islands or Great Bear Rainforest.
In addition to iconic hotels like the Banff Springs, Fresh Tracks also books guests at luxurious boutique hotels, rustic mountain lodges, and some of the Maritime’s most treasured historic inns.
New this year are eco-adventures such as a nature walk along rugged cliffs, savoring a lobster bake on the beach, or kicking off your shoes at a local Cape Breton Ceilidh ( a traditional Gaelic social gathering with folk music, dancing and storytelling).
“Over 80 per cent of our tours involve some form of Canadian train experience,” said Parker. “For example, the Le Massif’s Charlevoix train’s round-trip daytime journey from Quebec with exquisite regional cuisine and visits to small French Canadian villages is Eastern Canada’s answer to the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer in Western Canada.”
After studying Fresh Tracks’ brochure, I opted to book the two-day, Rocky Mountaineer’s luxurious Goldleaf Service journey from Vancouver to Banff with an overnight stay in Kamloops. A Fresh Tracks agent promptly sent me a detailed description of three conveniently-situated hotels that satisfied my limited budget and I was pleasantly surprised to find delightful room upgrades with beautiful views at both hotels.
Guests who opt for Goldleaf service ride on the top floor of a two-story coach. The train’s glass upper dome is unobstructed, offering an awe-inspiring view of passing scenery and wildlife. Just down a spiral staircase is Goldleaf’s dining room where gourmet breakfasts and lunches are served to guests. Menus include local specialties and a list of award-winning Okanagan Valley wines.
The first day we went through the semi- arid desert in BC’s interior and the following day we travelled past emerald green, glacier-fed rivers and lakes and the looming Canadian Rockies.
Guests who opted for the less expensive, new Silverleaf Service rode in a single level dome with oversized windows and had hot entrée options and wine served at their seats.
The Communications Manager for Fresh Tracks, Canada, said, “The price is exactly the same, whether a client purchases a ticket through Rocky Mountaineer directly or through Fresh Tracks Canada.”
Nancy Dery, Manager of Communications for Rocky Mountaineer, adds, “Travelers who want an ultimate vacation where the Rocky Mountaineer is a part of their itinerary will benefit the most from booking with a wholesaler such as Fresh Tracks Canada.”
For More Information
• www.FreshTracksCanada.com, tel. 800-667-4744