Local program gives seniors a chance to explore, meet new people along the way

Published on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 by Ian Ferguson

Read More News

Traveling to a foreign country, a different state or even close to home can be a rewarding experience for anyone. Whatcom County Senior Tour Program offers a one-stop shop that makes it easy for seniors to enjoy all-inclusive trips to destinations around the world.

Program coordinator Cheryl Willis said the benefits for those who can afford a tour go beyond sightseeing.

“You get an opportunity to meet other people who enjoy traveling,” she said. “It’s great for people who are looking to expand their circle of friends and, in some cases, tour-goers make lasting friends who become like family. 

It’s also a mind-expanding educational experience you wouldn’t get otherwise.”

The program offers a wide variety of trips, from motorcoach sightseeing tours to weeks-long cruises that span continents.

“The goal of the program is to provide people in northern Washington and southern B.C. with the opportunity to enjoy group travel that’s pleasant, safe and of exceptional value,” Willis said. “We cover all aspects of the trip so participants don’t have to worry about driving, parking, lodging and things like that. People can feel secure in what we’ve put together. It’s a safe travel environment with trained, competent guides.” 

Anyone is welcome to join, but senior center members get reduced fares as well as an armchair presentation from a specialist on upcoming tours.

“It’s a nice way to reward yourself with a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go,” Willis said.

Whatcom County Senior Tours Program is coordinated through the Whatcom County Council on Aging and Bellingham Senior Center. For more information, visit wccoa.org or call 733-4030, ext. 47015. 

Whatcom County Senior Tours

June 14: B.C. Hidden Beauties and Beach Pier. Come enjoy charming Crescent Beach Village and White Rock’s famous long pier. Cost: $69.99. Depart 9:30 a.m., return 4 p.m.

June 18: Garden and Glass Museum, Seattle. Experience world-renowned glass, plastic, water and ice artist Dale Chihuly’s Garden and Glass Museum. Cost: $81. Depart 9:30 a.m., return 5 p.m.

June 20–29: Heart of Eastern Canada. A 10-day tour through three eastern Canadian cities and countrysides. A taste of France in our backyard. Cost: call for pricing.

June 22–26: Barkerville, B.C. and Scenic Route. Cruise picturesque Route 97 to Barkerville, an historic gold rush town. Stage coach rides, Theater Royal shows, tours through the Canadian Rockies and more. Cost: $850 per person double occupancy, $1,050 single.

June–September: Mariners baseball games. Seats in section 323 except for Red Sox, section 329. Cost: $73. Depart 9:30 a.m., return 6:30 p.m.

October 4–13: New York City and fall foliage tour of upstate New York. Experience a 10-day tour in New York, with sightseeing in the Big Apple. Cost: $2,999 per person double occupancy, $3,799 per single.

November 15–19: Branson, Missouri. Experience great shows in Branson. See the 12 Tenors, the Shangri-La Circus, the Hughes Brothers, Shmirnoff the comedian and more. Call for cost.

December 5–9: San Antonio Holiday. Join a five-day tour of San Antonio and Texas highlights. The city is transformed into a holiday wonderland. Call for cost.

April 14–May 3: Panama Canal Cruise. Fly to Florida and take a three-week cruise through the Panama Canal and up the west coast back to Seattle. Call for cost.

For more information, visit wccoa.org or call 360/733-4030.