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Our escorted group program, Upscale Excursions & Discovery Tours, recently traveled to the Grand Canadian Rockies on a private and customized tour and we wanted to share some comments from the travelers and also some photos. We hope you will enjoy reading their comments and viewing the photos.

> Thank you so very much for all of your work in putting together such a fabulous trip to the Grand Canadian Rockies. It was a trip that exceeded my greatest expectations. Everything just kept getting better and more wonderful day after day, ending with Lake Louise & our deluxe lake view rooms. Looking forward to more adventures with you. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Nancy L.

> Thank you for a most magnificent trip to Canada's Grand Rocky Mountains! We're unaware of all the hard work and effort you put into making our trip possible, but we certainly do appreciate all you did to make the trip both pleasurable and memorable. We cannot begin to list everything we'd like to thank you for, but please know we are grateful for all you both did to make ours a trip that was most definitely not "cookie cutter" but individualized to each of your high expectations. Thank you and we look forward to traveling with you again. Keith and Susan H.

Here is a map of our tour route along with our itinerary so you can get a feel for our journey.

DISCOV 21 Custom Canadian Rockies

Day 1 – August 6 (Thur) – Vancouver, Canada

Welcome to Vancouver, your gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Upon arrival, meet your Tour Director at the airport for a group transfer to your hotel. This evening, we will visit the VANDUSEN BOTANICAL GARDENS followed by dinner. (D)

Day 2 – August 7 (Fri) – Vancouver
Your included sightseeing this morning includes the waterfront, Chinatown, and Stanley Park with its old-growth evergreen forests and totem poles. The rest of the day is free to explore the many attractions at your leisure. (B)

Day 3 – August 8 (Sat) – Vancouver – Capilano – Squamish - WhistlerThis morning we visit Vancouver's North Shore on the way to Whistler. Drive over Lion's Gate Bridge to world famous CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE, one of Vancouver's most popular attractions. Capilano Suspension Bridge offers a unique mix of adventure, history and culture making this Vancouver tourist attraction a complete British Columbia experience.


The Capilano Suspension Bridge is over 230 feet high and spans 450 feet across.


Stop for lunch at SHANNON FALLS and then on to Squamish where you will take the SEA TO SKY GONDOLA with stunning 360 degree views of Howe Sound from 2900 feet above sea level.


Arrive in Whistler, one of Canada’s newest and most exciting mountain resorts, and host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Settle in for a relaxing evening at the deluxe Fairmont Chateau Whistler. (B,L – boxed lunch)
SPECIAL FEATURE: Overnight at the all-season luxury resort, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Nestled at the base of breathtaking Blackcomb Mountain, the chateau brings old and new together in a seamless meld of historical style and modern beauty. Enjoy impeccable service and outstanding cuisine in this pristine mountain wilderness.

Day 4 – August 9 (Sun) – Whistler - Kamloops
This morning, enjoy a visit and private breakfast at he SQUAMISH LIL’WAT CULTURAL CENTRE, dedicated to the history and culture of the First Nations people. Travel to Kamloops today with a late afternoon arrival. (B,D)

Day 5 – August 10 (Mon) – Kamloops – Glacier National Park– Yoho National Park - Banff


This morning, depart Kamloops on the way to Banff. Stunning scenery awaits you as we follow the scenic rail route. Enjoy panoramic vistas of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet on Rogers Pass at the summit in Canada’s Glacier National Park. Next travel through Yoho National Park and cross the Continental Divide at Kicking Horse Pass as you descend into Banff. This evening, dinner is at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 6 – August 11 (Tue) - Banff
Breathe in the fresh mountain air! Enjoy sightseeing with a ride on the BANFF GONDOLA up Sulphur Mountain. Afterward, a scenic drive around Tunnel Mountain—watch for animals like elk and deer and unique landscape features like the Hoodoos and Bow River. Enjoy some time to explore Banff on your own or possibly join an optional excursion. Later this afternoon, relax with your travel companions with AFTERNOON TEA at Banff Springs Hotel. (B)

Day 7 – August 12 (Wed) – Banff –Columbia Icefield – JasperFollow breathtaking Icefields Parkway today and head for JASPER NATIONAL PARK.



Scale Bow Pass for splendid views of Peyto Lake. Then, climb to Sunwapta Pass to savor stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and glacier masses. Next is the highlight of the day: stop at the 1,000-foot-thick Columbia Icefield for a memorable ride aboard an ICE EXPLORER.





Still time this afternoon for an optional float trip down the historic Athabasca River



Your overnight destination is the charming village of Jasper in Jasper National Park. (B,D)

Day 8 – August 13 (Thur) – Jasper – Lake Louise
A highlight saved for the last day of your vacation: a visit to famous LAKE LOUISE.


After checking into our rooms, the rest of the day is free to enjoy the beauty, romance, and serenity of this famous location.


This is a beautiful view from our lake view rooms at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Magnificent!

Tonight, your Tour Escorts host a special farewell dinner, the perfect finale for your vacation! (B,D)


Group photo at Lake Louise

SPECIAL FEATURE: Overnight at the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Built as a log cabin in 1890, the historic chateau has become world famous, hosting celebrities and royalty including Queen Elizabeth II, Alfred Hitchcock, and Marilyn Monroe. Take a leisurely stroll along the pristine lake, pamper yourself in the spa, or just relax with Afternoon Tea.

Day 9 –August 14 (Fri) – Lake Louise – Calgary
Depart for home. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. A group transfer is provided to the airport for your homebound flight. (B)

On behalf of Mustafa Saraclar and Patricia Schrader, Palmer Vacations & Destination Planners would like to thank all of the wonderful people that travel with our group, Upscale Excursions & Discovery Tours. You are the reason we do what we do. Thank you and we look forward to welcoming all of you on another fantastic journey. Avoid the driving - Ride with us - Enjoy the view!


Even though you are on vacation, arriving in a new country can be stressful with signage in another language, finding a currency exchange booth, finding transportation to your hotel, among other unfamiliar components of an international trip.

We are here to offer your these 5 helpful tips that we hope will help to reduce some of your stress and get you on the quick path to enjoying your vacation.

Keep a printed list of your hotel accommodations with you at all times. It is fine if you want to keep a list in your phone or ipad but do keep a paper copy with you. You may need the hotel name, address and phone number for an immigration form or you may need to show it to a transportation driver. You may not have time to power up your phone or ipad so the paper copy is always readily available. Also, we suggest having an extra copy of your accommodations list to leave at home with family members.

When packing your suitcase, pack have of your belongings in your travel partners suitcase and put half of their belongings in your suitcase. The half-and-half packing method will reduce some of the stress should one bag be delayed with the airlines. You know that you have a couple days worth of clothing in your partners bag until your bag catches up to you. Again, the hotel list in item #1 will come in handy should you need to fill out a lost bag claim form at the airport.

Exchange some U.S. cash for foreign currency BEFORE you depart. Some people will argue that the best exchange rates are found at the airports or at local banks in that country. While this may be true to an extent, we would suggest that your SAFETY is worth a few percentage points in exchange rates. All eyes are watching you exchange currency at the booth in the airport and now know you have currency in your pockets. If you exchange at your bank before you depart, you can safely secure the money on your person without pick pockets knowing you even have currency. This will also save you the aggravation of finding an exchange booth and waiting in line at the airport.

Pre-arrange transportation from the airport to the hotel or cruise ship. Even if you plan to just take a taxi, research to know approximate rates and distances so you are not caught off guard with how much it will cost or how long of a ride you have in store. Having pre-arranged transfer service is a great way to reduce stress knowing that someone will be waiting for you and will know how to get you to your hotel or cruise ship.

Prepare a list and practice some simple words in the local language. Please, thank you, hello, good-bye, restroom, water, coffee, How much does it cost are just a few suggestions. By trying to learn and communicate in their native tongue will mean an awful lot to the locals. You will find that a lot of restaurant staff, hotel staff and store keepers will at least speak enough English to communicate with you but they will genuinely appreciate you trying to use their language.

When you reserve a package or cruise with Palmer Vacations, we will advise the same 5 things above plus many other tips to make your trip a more relaxing and enjoyable vacation.

A couple has returned from their 12-day tour of Europe and wanted to share their comments with us and our clients. Joe and Kathy enjoyed a tour from Image Tours that covered London, Paris and Rome over the course of 12 days. Image Tours was founded in the Netherlands in 1939, opened an office in Grand Rapids Michigan in 1960 and has been offering outstanding tours to clients ever since.

London, Paris & Rome Tour DescriptionCosmopolitan flair combined with unique style characterize the ever-popular cities of London, Paris and Rome. Complementing these exciting cities is the stunning Swiss Lakes Region, Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa, the architecture of Florence, and the splendid scenery of Tuscany.

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We are back from our “European Adventure” and it was truly a trip of a lifetime. We found Image Tours to be a first-class operation and we want to thank you for your help in arranging the details of our travel.

As it turned out, when we flew to London on Virgin Atlantic, we had three seats for the two of us. Virgin was top-notch. Coming back, Delta was OK, but not as high quality as Virgin. All in all, the flights were on time and we had no problems. The pace of the tour was jam-packed, but we saw a lot. The guides were excellent. Our last day in Rome, we walked a total of 8 miles.

Attached are a few pictures we thought you’d enjoy.

Thanks again!

Joe & Kathy

London Tele Booth

London Tele Booth

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

 Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Stanserhorn in Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Leaning Tower of Pisa