BRISTOL, VT—VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations has announced a new line of cross-country skiing vacations, a wonderful way to bring together an active traveler’s love for the beautiful winter landscape with VBT’s long commitment of providing warm encounters with local people, access to fascinating cultural traditions, and stays in superb accommodations around the world.
“This is the perfect way for VBT to offer a terrific outdoor activity, spectacular scenery, and our proven excellence in creating itineraries filled with unforgettable people, regional customs and cuisine, and excellent local Trips Leaders who are thrilled to share their knowledge and experience with our travelers,” said VBT President Gregg Marston.
“This new line of three cross-country skiing vacations is a natural extension into a new season of the year—winter, and all of its thrilling beauty—using a model we have perfected for thousands of travelers over 42 years,” Marston said. “Winter provides a whole new world of breathtaking natural beauty, and, as ever, we’ve designed these unique vacations to engage our travelers’ bodies, minds, and spirits.
“The result is a travel experience that, as with all of VBT’s vacations around the world, is so much more rewarding than ordinary sightseeing tours,” he said. “And the activity level is yours to choose—from easy skiing loops to moderate and every level in between. We’ve included some delightful and really enjoyable après-ski features, as well.”
VBT’s three new cross-country skiing vacations are:
- Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Dolomites including Lienz, Obertilliach, Passo Lavaze, and Cavalese
- Slovenia, Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Alps including Kranjska Gora, Planica, Valbruna, Tarvisio, and Ramsau
- Banff & Beyond: Cross-Country Skiing the Canadian Rockies including Kananaskis, Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise
VBT associate Garrott Kuzzy, a 2010 Olympic skier, former member of the US Ski Team on the World Cup circuit and a VBT Leader Operations Manager was the driving force behind VBT’s new cross-country skiing vacations. In addition to his ski expertise he brings a keen understanding of how to meet travelers’ needs creating itineraries in these superb winter locations that combine thrilling mountain landscapes, outdoor activities with flexible trail options, and plenty to do when the skis are put away. Kuzzy knows his way around a trail and knows a few things about après-ski, too. So travelers can look forward to some relaxation, friendly pubs, and great cuisine.
“In other words, more fun than a school snow day,” Marston said. “Caroline and I love cross-country skiing and it doesn’t require athletic prowess—it’s safe and easy and so enjoyable. There’s nothing like the fresh, brisk winter air in your lungs, the trail and the mountains spread out before you, and a nice drink and warm fire back at the lodge afterward.”
On all cross-country skiing vacations, VBT provides free use of all the skiing equipment a traveler would need—top-quality skis, boots, and poles—with a choice of skate skis, classic skis, or waxless skis, depending on the traveler’s level of proficiency. Since there will be a variety of daily trail options, travelers can pace themselves as they wish, and the lodge or hotel will usually be very close to the trails. VBT also provides two expert local Trip Leaders to provide fascinating insights into the culture and assistance on and off the trail.
As always, VBT’s travel experts have selected unforgettable accommodations in beautiful natural settings—framed by the jagged peaks of the Southern Limestone Alps, to Alberta’s spectacular Rocky Mountains—including Deer Lodge, in Lake Louise, Canada; Hotel Maria in Cavalese, Italy; and Hotel Vitranc in Kranjska-Gora, Slovenia.
Travelers can extend their discoveries and their value by adding affordable optional extensions. On Slovenia, Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Alps, travelers can add a pre-trip extension in romantic Venice and a post-trip extension in Salzburg, the city of Mozart. Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Dolomites offers a pre-trip extension in Salzburg and a post-trip extension in Verona. Banff & Beyond: CrossCountry Skiing the Canadian Rockies features a pre-trip extension in rollicking Calgary.
On one departure only—January 18, 2013—travelers on VBT’s Italy & Austria: CrossCountry Skiing the Dolomites will have a rare opportunity to attend the Dolomitenlauf in Austria and the Marcialonga in Italy. Both are events in the Worldloppet, a series of 15 international cross-country ski competitions sponsored by the Worldloppet Ski Federation.
Founded in 1971 by a Middlebury College professor, VBT offers deluxe, small group bicycling, walking and cross-country skiing tours worldwide, including destinations in Europe, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand, Peru, Argentina, Canada and the U.S.A. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and full vehicle support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes international airfare in its trip cost.
For reservations or more information, and to receive the new 2012-13 cross-country skiing vacations catalog, call 1-800-245-3868 or log on to the company’s website at www.vbt.com.
Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.