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    Unique Trips to Take This Spring

We’ve rounded up a few of our most extraordinary experiences for a one-of-a-kind spring getaway.

The return of warmer weather and longer, brighter days reveals a whole new side to our incredible destinations—not to mention a host of exciting, unexpected, and off-the-beaten-path options for exploring them! Whether you’re descending over 6,000 feet beneath the rim of the Grand Canyon, riding the rails in true Gilded Age style, or pondering the mysteries of the cosmos under a sky filled with stars, Xanterra Travel Collection® offers A World of Unforgettable Experiences® just waiting to be discovered.

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All Aboard for Adventure

In an era of interstate highways and airline travel, it can be easy to forget that America was once a country forged by rail. The transcontinental railroad forever changed the face of the American West, opening up vast new areas that had previously been accessible only by mule, stagecoach, or wagon train—chief among them, the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.

​​First opened in 1901, the historic Grand Canyon Railway carries visitors from Williams, Arizona to the canyon’s spectacular and scenic South Rim. More than just a means of making the journey, the Grand Canyon Railway transports you back to a bygone age of frontier adventure, with original 1923 Harriman-style rail cars, cowboy characters, and authentic western musicians that bring the Old West to life.

Take your experience to the next level with sumptuous finishes, complimentary refreshments, and private bar service in our exclusive Luxury Parlor Class. Take in your surroundings from the train’s open-air rear platform, or raise a glass of bubbly and toast to a truly grand vacation.

How to Plan a Grand Canyon Vacation - Part III Four Great Ways to See the Grand Canyon Rock on with the Grand Canyon Railway! 1

The Ride of a Lifetime

Horses may be synonymous with the American West, but when it comes to the Grand Canyon, it’s their sure-footed cousin the mule who reigns supreme. A time-honored method of transportation, mules were first used by early prospectors seeking their fortunes on the rugged frontier, and have been ferrying visitors through this dramatic landscape since the late 1800s.

Experience the Grand Canyon from a unique vantage point on the three-hour Canyon Vistas Rim Ride. The perfect option for beginner riders, this tour follows a four-mile trail along the South Rim. Experienced guides make a series of stops to share fascinating information on geologic formations, human history, fire ecology, and more.

For a truly immersive expedition, venture deep into the canyon on muleback via the 10.5-mile Bright Angel Trail to spend a night at the historic Phantom Ranch. A welcoming oasis of rustic cabins made from rough-hewn wood and stone, Phantom Ranch is the only lodging below the canyon rim, reachable only on foot, by mule, or by rafting the Colorado River. Here, you can enjoy a hearty dinner served family-style in the Phantom Ranch Canteen, before spending an unforgettable evening under the stars.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, cultural connoisseur, or globe-trotting explorer, you’ll find an array of remarkable experiences just waiting to be discovered with the Xanterra Travel Collection®. What corner of the world is calling you? Start planning your next great getaway today, and prepare to spring into adventure!

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Starry, Starry Nights

Lush hills; desert canyons; towering mountains; plunging sea cliffs. There’s breathtaking scenery to be found in almost every corner of this wonderful, wide world—so long as you know where to look. But there are only a few that can boast of awe-inspiring views even after sunset.

One such place, less than a five-hour drive from Los Angeles, is California’s Death Valley National Park. Recognized by the International Dark Sky Association as a Gold Tier Dark Sky Park and the largest Dark Sky National Park in the country, Death Valley maintains strict limits on light pollution to preserve the darkness. As a result, it remains one of the few places on earth where you can look up and glimpse the heavens the way people could just a century ago.

And though the dark skies are a dazzling attraction for astronomy enthusiasts year-round, an exciting range of annual stargazing events make spring an especially good time to visit. Peer through a high-powered telescope to see distant stars and deep-space objects through Ranger-led programs at the Mesquite Sand Dunes, Harmony Borax Works, and the Death Valley National Park Visitor Center. Embrace the darkness on a moonlit horseback ride. Or meet up with other like-minded stargazers at a Star Party hosted by the Las Vegas Astronomical Society.

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Come Sail Away

Whoever coined the phrase “there’s nothing new under the sun” clearly never embarked on a Windstar Select Sailing. An unparalleled small-ship cruising experience, Windstar’s fleet of 148- to 342-guest ships bring you closer to each destination and port, letting you see the world from new perspectives. Enhanced itineraries are designed to entice even the most thoughtful, discerning, and well-traveled explorers.

Embark on an impressive eight-day cruise of Classic Italy and the Dalmatian Coast this spring. Beginning in the Eternal City of Rome, savor la dolce vita on a relaxing Mediterranean vacation aboard Wind Surf, our 342-guest flagship and the world’s largest sailing ship. Get up close and personal with the cultures, cuisine, and captivating history of ports in Sicily, Croatia, and Montenegro before concluding in the fabled Floating City of Venice.

Does your wanderlust have you dreaming of Edo-period gardens, fluttering paper cranes, and mystic Mount Fuji? Set off on a ten-day journey through the Land of the Rising Sun. Setting sail from cosmopolitan Tokyo, you will drink in the delights of Takamatsu, Nagasaki, and Hashima Island as you explore this vibrant, seagoing island nation on a voyage that’s 180 Degrees From Ordinary®.