Who We Are

A Brief History

The story of Xanterra Travel Collection begins in 1876 when talented visionary Fred Harvey struck a deal with the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad to open restaurants (and later hotels and gift stores) at rail stops for weary travelers making their way west. The famous Harvey Houses were even the subject of the 1946 movie “The Harvey Girls,” about the women who worked at his restaurants, starring Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse and Angela Lansbury.

The Harvey empire was sold in the late 1960s to Hawaii-based Amfac Resorts, which later acquired TW Recreational Services, making Amfac the largest national and state park concessioner in the United States. In 2002, the company name was changed to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, and the company was acquired by The Anschutz Corporation in 2008.

Over the years, Xanterra has expanded its operations to include the purchase of the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel, and Windstar Cruises, as well as pursued an expansion into adventure travel with the acquisitions of VBT Bicycling Vacations, Country Walkers and Holiday Vacations, and hotel properties near national parks (The Grand Hotel and Cedar Creek Lodge). Xanterra shares its ownership with two legendary, iconic hotels – The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs and Sea Island resort just off the Georgia coast.

Today, Xanterra Travel Collection is an upscale biking, walking, railway, cruising, sailing, touring, and hotel company offering exciting itineraries on six continents.

Properties In and Near National Parks

Cedar Creek Lodge – Located Just Outside Glacier National Park

The 64-room Cedar Creek Lodge and Conference Center (opened in July 2016), a AAA Three-Diamond property, is located in Columbia Falls, Montana, just outside of Glacier National Park. The modern mountain lodge is open year-round, and the perfect home base for hiking, biking, world-renowned river fishing, championship golf, winter sports, and other nearby activities.

Visit:  Cedar Creek Lodge

Glacier National Park

Known for its seemingly endless acres of rugged and breathtaking landscapes, Glacier National Park was established in 1910 and stands today as a monument to wild natural places. Just as the landscape and wildlife are part of the heritage of Glacier National Park, so are the historic lodges and classic Red Buses and their drivers known as “jammers.” With abundant in-park lodging, Glacier National Park Lodges stands ready to welcome the park’s visitors and help create memorable and meaningful experiences to last a lifetime.

Visit:  Glacier National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Long considered one of the seven wonders of the world, visitors flock to see the Grand Canyon’s unique combination of geological color and erosional forms. Grand Canyon National Park Lodges provides the premier in-park lodging at the South Rim – with iconic lodges like El Tovar and Bright Angel – and we are proud to provide you with everything you need to plan and enjoy your visit to the Grand Canyon. When you stay at Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, you’re not just close – you’re there!

Visit:  Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Arizona, is a AAA Three-Diamond property, just one mile from the South Rim entrance to Grand Canyon. The rustic, yet elegant hotel has recently renovated guestrooms and comforts and amenities that include an indoor heated pool, hot tub, and the Canyon Star Steakhouse and Saloon – where the specialty is hand-cut steaks and 24 draft beers from around the world.

Visit:  The Grand Hotel

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

There is more than gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Above dense forests and pristine streams, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial represents a national treasure. Symbolizing the ideals of freedom and democracy, it is a tribute to four presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln and their invaluable contributions to the United States. Mount Rushmore National Memorial represents not only the past, but also a promise for the future.

Visit:  Mount Rushmore

The Oasis at Death Valley

You don’t come to Death Valley because abundant life flourishes here. Which is exactly why an oasis in the middle of it is so special. Only here can you enjoy two distinct hotel experiences that have undergone a $100 million renaissance – the historic, serene, and peaceful Four Diamond Inn at Death Valley and the family-friendly, adventure-focused Ranch at Death Valley – the energetic epicenter of this True American Oasis located in Death Valley National Park.

Visit:  The Oasis at Death Valley

Rocky Mountain National Park

Travel along the backbone of the Continental Divide and visit us midway in your journey across Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road, the nation’s highest paved roadway — which leads through some of the country’s most scenic wilderness. Wind your way through five distinct ecosystems, with majestic mountain ranges, emerald lakes, ethereal waterfalls, lush valleys, and abundant wildlife. Then, take in the beauty of the park from a 12,000-foot vantage point atop Trail Ridge Road.

Visit:  Rocky Mountain National Park

Yellowstone National Park

At Yellowstone National Park Lodges, you’re invited to discover or rediscover the magic of the world’s first national park – Yellowstone. As proud stewards of the park and this truly extraordinary American wonder, we’ll help you find your ultimate Yellowstone experience—all while working to protect and preserve the park for future generations.

Visit:  Yellowstone National Park

Zion National Park

The name “Zion” means a place of peace and refuge. As a sanctuary with over 146,000 acres of cliffs, canyons, diverse plant and animal life, and uninterrupted beauty, Zion is well-named. Its massive sandstone walls, some as high as 3,800 feet, offer an opportunity for serenity and reflection for all who visit—and Zion Lodge offers the only in-park lodging inside this hiker’s paradise.

Visit:  Zion National Park

Rails, Trails, and Sails

Country Walkers

At Vermont-based Country Walkers, every trail tells a story. For 40 years the company has been leading off-the-beaten-path adventures on foot with expert local guides, providing guests immersive cultural moments complemented by stays in unique boutique accommodations. The tours are offered at various activity levels – the core belief being that walking is a great way to experience the world.

Visit:  Country Walkers

VBT Bicycling Vacations

Since 1971, Vermont-based VBT has been devoted to providing extraordinary experiences for active travelers in destinations around the world, with stays in places such as castles and quaint farmhouses. VBT’s six- to 14-day small group bicycling trips are offered at various, easy to understand levels of activity.

Visit:  VBT

Holiday Vacations

Since 1973, thousands of people have experienced carefully planned, value-priced itineraries with Wisconsin-based Holiday Vacations. What started as a small company providing motorcoach tours to Midwest travelers has grown into a nationwide provider of guided vacations to more than 65 destinations worldwide. Tours are now available by motorcoach, van, air, rail, and cruise.

Visit:  Holiday Vacations

The Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel

Head to the Grand Canyon on a one-of-a-kind railway, with visual splendor, superb service, and extraordinary Old West entertainment delivered on a 65-mile, 2 ½ hour journey between the retro-cool town of Williams (located right off of Route 66), and the stunning South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Then stay next to the train depot, in the AAA Three-Diamond Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, which provides the luxury of a bygone era.

Visit:  Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel

Windstar Cruises

Seattle-based Windstar Cruises specializes in small ship vacations that are “180 Degrees from Ordinary®.” Glorious 148- to 310-passenger sailing ships and luxurious 212-passenger motor yacht visit bucket list destinations such as the stunning fjords of Norway, the friendly Greek Isles, ethereal French Polynesia, the wilds of Alaska and the hidden harbors of the Caribbean.

Visit:  Windstar Cruises

The Xanterra Travel Collection Difference

Our tagline is “A World of Unforgettable Experiences” and we specialize in bucket list experiences, at sea and by foot, rail and by bike (including e-bikes) – or as we like to say, on rails, trails and sails. We look forward to providing you with a trip that makes memories to last a lifetime.

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