testing: Yellowstone News 2011 | Xanterra Working with Tauck & Ken Burns

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Press Releases


October 06th, 2011

Yellowstone concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts is working with tour operator Tauck and documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan to offer a series of nine-day tours that showcase the world’s first national park during its winter glory. Tauck will also offer a one-time, eight-day special event that includes an opportunity for participants to meet Burns and Duncan. The new tours and event are part of the “Ken Burns American Journeys” partnership between Tauck and Ken Burns announced last year.

Called “Winter in Yellowstone,” the special event with Burns and Duncan as well as the regular nine-day tour will include a variety of Yellowstone adventures in the company of park naturalists and experts who will provide interpretive information about the park’s wildlife, history, geothermal features and more.

“It has been a professional privilege to work with the staff at Tauck as well as Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan to create a winter experience unlike anything else that is offered,” said Rick Hoeninghausen, director of sales and marketing for Xanterra’s Yellowstone operations. “Xanterra is providing the accommodations, meals and in-park transportation, the park is providing the breathtaking backdrop, Tauck is providing the packaged tour planning and delivery for which it is world-renowned and filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan are providing the inspiration. If there is such a thing as a blockbuster tour, I think this is it.”

“Winter in Yellowstone” Special Event with Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan
Participants in the eight-day “Winter in Yellowstone” event will enjoy small-group field experiences and then gather in the evenings with the entire group of up to 210 participants for dinner and special presentations, including a keynote address by Ken Burns on Jan. 11 at the Old Faithful Visitors Center. Burns and Duncan will also meet with attendees to talk about the making of their film, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Other presenters and lecturers during the event include acclaimed videographer Bob Landis who contributed dramatic footage of wolves to the film; Paul Schullery, a noted naturalist, historian and author of more than 30 books; ecology and mammalogy expert Jim Halfpenny; and Gerard Baker, former superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial and a featured National Park Service spokesperson in the film.

The itinerary includes accommodations in Xanterra’s two winter-season in-park lodges – Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel – as well as at the Chico Hot Springs Resort and Spring Creek Ranch located outside the park. Participants will explore the park’s interior in Xanterra-operated snowcoaches, and will also have an opportunity to experience optional activities such as ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The event is priced from $4,190 per person based on double occupancy. The rate includes accommodations, airport transfers, most meals, all sightseeing, lectures and presentations and a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyo. Airfare is not included. This one-time event has two overlapping departures, beginning on either Jan. 6 or Jan. 8, with both departures joining together for the special Ken Burns evening on Jan. 11.

“Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter” Tours
After the kick-off event with Ken Burns, Tauck will offer six departures of a nine-day itinerary as part of its “Culturious” collection of immersive, small-group trips for active boomer-age travelers. The nine-day “Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter” itinerary will operate in January and February with an average group size of 20 participants. This itinerary includes accommodations in the Mammoth Hot Spring Hotel, Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Wort Hotel in Jackson. This tour is priced from $3,490 per person, double occupancy. The rate does not include air. The tour will be fully guided, although Burns and Duncan will not be present.
For more information or to book a tour, visit a local travel professional or call Tauck at (1) 800-468-2825 or visit www.tauck.com.

Xanterra also offers a variety of Winter Getaway, Adventure and Lodging & Learning packages. Packages can be booked by calling (1) 307-344-7311 or toll-free (1) 866-GEYSERLAND (1-866-439-7375). Complete tour details are also available at www.YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com.

Except for the road from Gardiner, Mont. to Cooke City, Mont. via Mammoth Hot Springs, transportation within the park is limited to snowmobiles and enclosed heated snowcoaches during the winter. Snowcoach transportation is available daily to a variety of park locations. Xanterra also offers a variety of half- and full-day snowcoach, ski and snowshoe tours and ski and snowshoe rentals as well as expert instruction and other services.

Announced last year, the “Ken Burns American Journeys” partnership brings together the award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns and his longtime collaborator Dayton Duncan with Tauck, the 86-year-old world leader in premium quality guided travel. The partnership was formed to create engaging and in-depth travel experiences that explore the themes of Burns’s and Duncan’s films, initially including “The Civil War,” “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” and “Jazz.”

To date, the partnership has been comprised of three components; cooperatively designed “Crafted By Tauck & Ken Burns” tour itineraries, special “Ken Burns Events” featuring personal appearances by Ken Burns, and “Stories By Ken Burns” filmed narratives – original short films that are aired on various Tauck itineraries, in which the filmmakers share their insights and perspectives on the places being visited. Those interested in more information can visit www.tauck.com.