900x500 CEO Blog 052018

Our CEO's Most Treasured Travel Memory

by Kristen Gilbert

May 02, 2018

3 minute read

In part 5 of a 12 part series, our CEO, Dan Sullivan, Jr., the enthusiastic world explorer and captain at the helm of this 100-year-old company, took some time to talk to us about his most memorable travel experience. Since we all know Dan so well, we had a feeling he would want to talk about a very important milestone in Collette history - our first foray into being an international tour operator.

What is your most memorable travel experience?

There really are so many, but the first one that comes to mind is when we were setting up our first international tours to the Alpine region: Switzerland, Germany and Austria. That was back in 1986 with Switzerland being the first European tour we offered.

It was an important moment in our history because we were able to open up a new continent to our travelers. People who had been traveling with us throughout the United States could now see Europe with us too. It was the first step towards bigger adventures that our travelers were ready for. By the end of the decade, we were offering tours across the globe.

What was that first tour like and how has it changed since then?

While planning our first tour of Switzerland, I realized that the best way to really immerse yourself in this beautiful country is to see it by train. Railways can access places you can't reach any other way. This offers travelers the most spectacular scenery and really an opportunity to take it all in.

To this day, our Switzerland tour features a journey on the Swiss Railway because it's still the best way to experience the country. We've even added a Swiss Travel Pass so that our guests can take public transportation to explore anywhere in Switzerland during their free time on tour. That pass gets them into all of Switzerland's 500 museums.

By traveling to each destination and truly immersing ourselves in it, we're able to replicate those experiences for our guests. That first journey to tour Switzerland was special to me because I was able to create something that was brand new and exciting. It provided a look deep into the country and our tours have continued to provide even more of what makes travel so special. We're continually searching for encounters that set us apart and provide our guests with an unforgettable experience.

That tour was such an important "first" for Collette, and all these years later, we are still creating 'firsts' - constantly finding new experiences to introduce to our guests each year.

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