Small-group tour operator G Adventures proudly introduced its newest office with a ribbon-cutting and party to celebrate its “Wild West” operations base serving all of North America. The award-winning travel company also unveiled the first of its straight-from-the-assembly line fleet of cross-country touring vehicles that will cover as many miles during the 2018 season as it would comparatively take to reach the moon and back.
The move marks a significant investment for G Adventures, together with its new operations partner Bus Fleet North America Inc, to strengthen its North American product and help increase the visibility of its brand across the United States. G Adventures has been leading adventure tours in the USA since 2012 and achieved a solid 30 percent rise in travelers choosing guided, group travel over the past five years.
The fleet of 13 large adventure vehicles and three smaller transits hit the roads this spring with a bold, metallic, purple wrapping and over-sized G Adventures logos. The design includes a unique nickname for each vehicle that starts with the letter “G”* and social media hashtags designed to encourage travelers to share and tag their photos online, while also catching the eyes of onlookers. The larger of the vehicles is 28 feet long and comfortably seats 22 people, plus two G Adventures Chief Experience Officer guides who also do the driving. They were assembled in New Paris, Indiana, and took approximately three months to custom-build and wrap at the cost of close to $205,000 USD, apiece.
Because the majority of passengers who book G Adventures’ U.S. tours is in the 18 to 30-something age range, each seat provides essential connectivity for millennial snaps, tweets, grams and stories on the go. A USB charging port, built-in wifi, and eight 120-volt AC outlets enable convenient recharging for mobile devices, while a rear stereo system has USB ports, a CD player and Bluetooth capability for playing music or streaming audio from mobile devices. Throughout, there are four television screens.
Extra-tall scenic windows at each seat and in the rear were designed to optimize sight-seeing and picture taking along America’s scenic roads and byways while giving travelers who may be prone to motion sickness the ability to keep their eyes on the road ahead. For safety, each seat offers a three-point seatbelt, while the driver has a windshield-mounted screen for the rear view when reversing, plus artificial intelligence guidance that alerts to objects in blind spots.
In total, USD $3 million was invested to build and brand the new fleet and operations base. It was a joint effort for G Adventures with its new North American partner, Bus Fleet North America Inc, a privately-owned company whose partners include Don Bentley (USA), Andrew and Glenn Ritchie (New Zealand). Andrew and Glenn also own Ritchies New Zealand and its Australian subsidiary, Busfleet Australia, and have successfully provided tour transportation for G Adventures across Australasia since 2013.
G Adventures’ Operations Director for North America and Oceania, Kate Croucher, introduced the new fleet to a crowd of nearly 70 staff and guests gathered in Nevada for a launch party last month. “We are breaking new ground with these custom-built, connection-friendly and comfortable adventure vehicles. They are the safest touring transports on the road and we are thrilled to make them available to our customers. As constant innovators within their market space, we have every confidence that Bus Fleet North America Inc. will continue to do the same for us here in the United States.”
Bus Fleet North America Inc. General Manager Don Bentley added: “It’s been my long-held belief in business that you should surround yourself with people who share a common goal and have a positive energy. G Adventures’ core values align with my personal beliefs. I also believe that we can make the world a better place by experiencing it, as well as interacting with people from all walks of life. So, it is our mutual goal to make travel an interactive experience that brings people together to expand their world view. These vehicles, coupled with G Adventures’ team of highly-trained Chief Experience Officers, have upped the ante for overland adventure travel in North America.”
The large adventure vehicles will be used for G Adventures’ National Geographic Journeys tours (passenger capacity of 15) and 18-to-Thirtysomething tours (passenger capacity 22) across the United States. Three smaller transit vehicles, which are also wrapped in purple G Adventures branding, carry up to 14 passengers during each of the operator’s Classic trips across Canada and the USA.
U.S. Managing Director for G Adventures, Ben Perlo added, “There is huge potential for growth in guided, small- group tourism in the United States, both among North American travelers and especially from our key source markets of Europe, the United Kingdom and Australasia. Our expanded partnership with Bus Fleet will help us change the way people discover the awesome variety of culture and adventure that the United States offers; that is, together with fellow explorers from around the world.”
The maiden tour for 2018 rolled on March 25th with G Adventures’ six-day San Diego, Grand Canyon & Las Vegas tour for 18-to-Thirtysomethings. It is one of 32 different itineraries the tour operator offers across mainland USA.
From now until April 30, more than 20 different U.S. itineraries are on sale for up to 20% off for select departures, from USD $682 pp for select 6-day departures in the American southwest, to an epic 43-day guided road trip all around the States for USD $5199 pp. While supplies last.
* Names for the 13 new adventure vehicles: #gadvGOLDIE, #gadvGINGER, #gadvGILBERT, #gadvGINA, #gadvGODFREY, #gadvGLADYS, #gadvGILLIGAN, #gadvGERONIMO, #gadvGROVER, #gadvGENEVIEVE, #gadvGULLIVER, #gadvGERREN, #gadvGRISWOLD