Finding Your Winter Wonderland; 10 Adventures from Xanterra Parks & Resorts

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DENVER, November 14, 2014 – Sometimes the hardest part about taking a winter vacation is deciding which one to choose. Winter-season adventurers will find many options in destinations with offerings from Xanterra Parks & Resorts, from Western national parks to international adventures in varied climates.

As a highly diversified hospitality provider, Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers Windstar Cruises in Asia, experiential family tours to Yellowstone and visits to other western national parks such as Zion, Grand Canyon  and Death Valley.

“Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and play, and Xanterra offers a variety of options,” said Betsy O’Rourke, vice president of sales and marketing for Xanterra. “From the frosty fun of cross country skiing in Yellowstone to lounging by the pool in Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park, there are winter-season experiences for virtually every interest and budget.”

Here are 10 winter-season vacations ideas. Unless otherwise noted, the packages quoted are for double occupancy and do not include taxes, fees or gratuities. Some restrictions may apply.

Be awed by Christmas Town in Williamsburg, Virginia. Enjoy the holidays Williamsburg style with the Christmas Town Package at Kingsmill Resort. Starting from $249 per night, guests enjoy resort accommodations and amenities, including full breakfast and use of the fitness center and indoor pool. This package also includes complimentary transportation between Kingsmill and Busch Gardens® where the Christmas Town Experience takes place, Christmas Town tickets good for the length of stay and breakfast in Elements 1010 for each registered guest. For more information and to make reservations, visit www.kingsmill.com or call 1-800-832-5665 or 1-757-253-1703.

Swing away at Furnace Creek Resort, Death Valley National Park. The Furnace Creek Golf Course is the lowest course in the world at 214 feet below sea level featuring tight fairways and challenging greens. This rugged 3.3 million-acre national park is surrounded by four mountain ranges, and the views from every hole are breathtaking. The Stay and Play package features accommodations for one night at either the Inn or Ranch at Furnace Creek, one day of unlimited golf, 18-hole cart rental and club storage. From Nov. 11 through Dec. 19, 2014, rates start at $280 per couple at the Ranch and $500 per couple at the Inn. From Jan. 2 through Feb. 28, 2015, rates start at $310 per couple at the Ranch and $500 per couple at the Inn.  The package can be reserved at www.furnacecreekresort.com using the promotional code GOLF or by calling 1-800-236-7916 or 1-303-297-2757.

Enjoy the Polar Express and an old-fashioned train ride aboard the Grand Canyon Railway. Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) offers its Polar Express runs many nights in November and December. Closely following the book by Chris Van Allsburg, this trip from the Grand Canyon Railway depot in Williams travels through the starlit wilderness to the “North Pole” and features a special reading of The Polar Express while passengers enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. The “North Pole” features storefronts, mailboxes and other structures. Upon arrival at the North Pole, passengers are welcomed by Santa Claus and Elf Bernard before Santa boards the Polar Express for the return trip to Williams. Santa makes his way through the passenger cars, greeting every child and presenting each one with a special gift – a jingle bell signifying their belief in Santa Claus. The round-trip journey is a little more than an hour in length.

GCR packages with overnight stays in the park are among the best winter bargains in Arizona. Vacationers get to begin their national park adventure in Williams, Ariz. 62 miles from the park. The train travels through northern Arizona’s picturesque ponderosa pine forests for about two hours and 15 minutes before arriving at the park. The Canyon Discovery Plus package features roundtrip coach-class travel, two dinners and two breakfasts per person, two nights of lodging in a standard room at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, one night of lodging at Maswik Lodge and a motorcoach tour in the park. The rates for this package vary by season. For the period between Nov. 7, 2014 and Jan. 3, 2015, for example, rates start at $747 for two adults and $91 per child. Book by visiting www.thetrain.com or calling 1-800-843-8724 (1-800-THE-TRAIN). Grand Canyon Railway runs every day of the year except Dec. 25.

Take a walk through history in Grand Canyon National Park – People who like learning about history will enjoy wandering through the Grand Canyon Historic District, with buildings that offer a fascinating glimpse of the early days of tourism in the American Southwest. Xanterra South Rim is offering the Winter Value Rate at Maswik Lodge Nov. 10, 2014 through March 5, 2015. Rates are $89 per night plus tax at Maswik South and $122 per night at Maswik North. Maswik Lodge is located a short walk from the South Rim of the Canyon. Book by visiting www.grandcanyonlodges.com or calling toll-free 1-888-297-2757 or 1-303-297-2757 from outside the U.S.

For the second year, Xanterra is offering the Grand Canyon Escape package at Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges. Rates per night are $189 for a street-side room and $199 for a Canyon-side room. The package is available Tuesday, Nov. 11 through Thursday, Nov. 20 and again beginning Saturday, Nov. 29 through Thursday, Dec. 18. The Grand Canyon Escape package includes accommodations, breakfast coupons for two people, choice of a motorcoach tour for two people and a one-time gift shop discount good for 10 percent off purchases of $50-$149.99 and 20 percent off purchases of $150 and above. When booking this package, travelers should use the promotional code “ESCAPE.”

Glide through Yellowstone’s winter wonderland. Yellowstone National Park Lodges is offering the Nordic Heaven package with a minimum of two nights of lodging at either Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel or Old Faithful Snow Lodge, one breakfast per person per night, one welcome gift per adult, one ski rental per person each day, unlimited ski shuttles, unlimited ice skating and a Snow Card good for 10 percent discount on gift shop items, tours, rentals and meals. Ski instruction is available at an additional cost. The package at Old Faithful Snow Lodge also includes roundtrip snowcoach transportation to and from the park entrance. The package is available at Mammoth Jan. 4 through March 1, 2015, and starts at $205 per person double occupancy. The package at Old Faithful Snow Lodge is available Jan. 4 through March 2 and starts at $445 per person double occupancy. The package price is lower for guests who bring their own skis. The package can be reserved at www.YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com (by using the online package request form) or by calling toll-free 1-800-GEYSERLAND (1-866-439-7375) or 1-307-344-7311.

Have some frosty family fun in Yellowstone. Austin Adventures focuses on family adventures and offers its six-day, five-night Yellowstone Winter Family package. Departing on various dates in December and February this winter, the package features snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice skating while traversing Yellowstone and staying at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Rates start at $2,798 per adult and $2,518 per child. For more information, go to www.austinadventures.com  or call 1-800-575-1540.

Get cozy in Zion National Park. Zion Lodge, the park’s only lodging facility, offers the budget-friendly “Winter Bed & Breakfast” package from Nov. 12, 2104 through March 20, 2015. The package includes accommodations and breakfast for two each morning. The nightly rate for a Sunday-through-Thursday stay starts at $129 for a standard room. Some restrictions apply. For complete details visit www.zionlodge.com/dealsandpackages/Winter-Bed-Breakfast or call 1-888-297-2757 or 1-303-297-2757.

Save and play at Ohio State Park Lodges. The five lodges operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts are close to major Ohio cities and surrounding states. Salt Fork Lodge, Mohican Lodge, Punderson Manor Lodge, Maumee Bay Lodge and Deer Creek Lodge introduced this year the popular 10/20/30 Deal featuring a progressive discount that increases to up to 30 percent off room rates as guests extend their stays. For a one-night stay guests receive a 10 percent discount off the room rate in any lodge room or cottage.  For two-night stays, the discount increases to 20 percent for the room or cottage, and three or more nights will result in a 30 percent discount off the room or cottage. Guests need to use the promotional codes STAY1, STAY2 or STAY3 depending upon the number of nights they reserve. For more information go to www.ohiostateparklodges.com or individual lodge web sites or call 1-800-AT-A-PARK (1-800-282-7275).

Discover the mysteries of Asia. For travelers looking for an exotic vacation in a warmer climate, Windstar Cruises offers several Asian destinations. Southeast Asia Unveiled features 10 nights on the intimate Star Pride as it makes its way from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Hong Kong. Along the way are stops and tours in various ports throughout Vietnam. Windstar is known as one of the world’s top small-ship cruise lines with fine dining, high-end accommodations and stops in ports inaccessible to the large ships. For more information go to www.windstarcruises.com/ or call 1-800-258-7245.

Find your inner Kiwi in New Zealand. Country Walkers has introduced “New Zealand: The South Island,” a nine-day/eight-night package with daily hikes in spectacular landscapes featuring snowy summits, rolling hills, coastal headlands and subtropical forests. At night participants stay in welcoming inns and eco-lodges in national parks and rugged mountain wildernesses. Expert guides are with the group 24/7. The package is offered Feb. 16-26 and March 16-24, 2015. Rates are $5,998 per person. For more information call 1-800-464-9255 or visit www.countrywalkers.com/trips/south-pacific/new-zealand/guided-walking/the-south-island.