Skip to main content
  • Mule

    Unique Trips to Take This Spring

Our most extraordinary experiences for a one-of-a-kind spring getaway.

Are you ready for an unforgettable spring vacation? 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 below the rim of the Grand Canyon, riding a historic railway, pondering the mysteries of the cosmos under a sky filled with stars, or exploring hidden gems in Europe, Xanterra Travel Collection® offers A World of Unforgettable Experiences® just waiting to be discovered.

Steam Engine Train Three people stand in front of a train Private Train Car
GCR Lux Dome Couple Champagne Toast

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.

Since its opening in 1901, this storied Grand Canyon Railway has transported travelers from Williams, Arizona directly to the breathtaking South Rim of the Grand Canyon. More than just a mode of transportation, this railway excursion is a voyage through time—where refurbished Pullman Class rail cars dating back to 1923, genuine cowboy entertainment, and the strumming of western melodies breathe life into the legends of the American frontier.

As you embark upon this historic route, every detail from the sumptuous finishes to the refreshments is meticulously curated to ensure a unique and incomparable travel experience. Elevate your adventure in our Luxury Parlor Class boasting an exclusive bar service where you can savor a glass of champagne on the open-air rear platform, toasting to a truly grand getaway.

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

While horses are often viewed as a symbol of the American frontier, in the sprawling expanse of the Grand Canyon, the mule claims the spotlight. These dependable creatures have carved their place in history, having been the star performers for prospectors during the early days of exploration and now play the role of trusted guides to visitors since their introduction in the 19th century.

One of the most remarkable ways to experience the majesty of the Grand Canyon is atop a mule, taking in the awe-inspiring views on the Canyon Vistas Rim Ride. Tailored for those new to mule riding, this tour stretches across four miles of the picturesque South Rim. Along the way, the trail is brought to life by seasoned guides who impart tales of the canyon’s geology, history, fire ecology, and more during various informative stops.

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 sole 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.

Badwater basin under the Milky Way Galaxy oasis death valley The Real Reason You Should Visit Death Valley in Winter Night View Stars Sky in Death Valley National Park California

A True American Oasis


The wildflower bloom in Death Valley National Park is a rare and mesmerizing phenomenon – one that can be decades in the making. A unique floral display, also known as a “super bloom,” occurs only under perfect conditions of rainfall and temperature – and enthusiasts say this may be “the year.” After bountiful winter rains experienced this fall and winter, the kiss of spring sunshine will transform the desert with an array of wildflowers, painting the landscape with vivid colors and delicate textures. Pockets of gold, purple, pink, and white blooms create a stark contrast against the valley’s rugged terrain. The sight of these resilient blossoms, thriving in one of the toughest environments on Earth, is a testament not only to the beauty of nature but also to its remarkable tenacity. Don’t miss your chance to witness what may be deemed a “super bloom” this spring!

Starry Nights

There are breathtaking sights to behold in every corner of Death Valley National Park – and after sunset, the starry night views are magical. Recognized by DarkSky International 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.

Greece Windstar Cruises
Two cruise ships off a colorful coast

Sail Away to Greece

Exploring Greece is a dream for many travelers, and what better way to experience this beautiful destination than sailing through the Greek Isles with Windstar Cruises? Sail through turquoise Mediterranean waters and past iconic white-washed buildings on a yacht-style cruise that takes you to hidden gems and charming villages only accessible by small ships. With mild weather and fewer crowds in spring, it’s the ideal time to visit.

Whether exploring the ancient ruins of Athens or the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos, each stop offers a unique experience that will leave you in awe. Exclusive excursions give guests an insider’s look into the destination, such as a sunset cocktail party on a secluded beach or a traditional Greek feast in a historic castle, a perfect way to elevate your trip and create unforgettable memories.

Windstar Cruises also offers top-notch amenities and unparalleled service onboard their six yacht-style ships. From luxurious staterooms with ocean views to exquisite culinary experiences by world-renowned chefs, you’ll feel pampered every step of the way. So come aboard and set sail to experience the magic of Greece like never before.

Morning view of Amalfi cityscape on coast line of mediterranean sea, Italy Italy, Dolomites, Val di Funes, Villnöss Tuscany landscape with winding country road at sunset (Val D'orcia, Italy).
Biker couple riding moutain bike in the countryside at sunset

An Italian Escapade

Springtime unravels a vibrant tapestry of experiences for the discerning traveler in Italy, a gem of Europe that never ceases to enchant and inspire. With VBT Bicycling Vacations and Country Walkers, your European adventure becomes a harmonious blend of leisure and discovery, where each pedal stroke or step takes you deeper into Italy’s soul-stirring landscapes.

From the cypress-lined lanes of Piedmont to the lush, rolling vineyards that seem to stretch limitlessly, springtime in Italy exudes a sense of renewing life that perfectly complements exploratory spirits. Imagine cycling through the Dolomites’ picturesque valleys, their jagged peaks standing sentinel over storybook villages awash with the fresh bloom of mountain flora. Picture yourself strolling into towns draped in Renaissance splendor, where the art isn’t just in galleries — it lines the very streets and lives within the terracotta roofs of its time-worn buildings.

Indulge in the simple yet profound pleasures of Italian cuisine, a merry dance of flavors born from time-honored recipes and locally-sourced ingredients. Sample the finest wines where they are birthed, within the sun-kissed groves, and olive oil mills nestled within ancient olive orchards. Envision a pause in a cliffside village in Tuscany, a gelato in hand, as the Mediterranean sun kisses the sparkling waters, crafting a fleeting masterpiece.

VBT Bicycling Vacations and Country Walkers promise more than a trip; they offer a deep immersion into the Italian way of life, celebrating its zest for fine food, art, and the outdoors.

Xanterra's Best Tour Experiences 2 Carrigaphooca Castle photographed from the north east in the evening. The Rock of the Fairies. Ireland. Xanterra's Best Tour Experiences 3

Unforgettable Ireland

For a truly unforgettable experience in Ireland, look no further than Holiday Vacations. With their expertly crafted itineraries and attentive staff, you’ll see the Emerald Isle in all its splendor. Visit iconic landmarks such as the Cliffs of Moher and Blarney Castle, while also venturing off the beaten path to discover charming villages and hidden gems. And with the convenience of organized transportation and accommodations, you can sit back, relax, and fully immerse yourself in Irish culture. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Ireland with Holiday Vacations will leave you enchanted and wanting more. Sláinte!

For more travel experiences available from Xanterra Travel Collection®, visit