In addition to each tour’s travel host, accredited, knowledgeable local guides join each tour group at each destination to provide local color and masses of information about the sights, attractions and experiences that the tour includes. Another thoughtful touch from Mauiva is that the documentation it provides for each guest includes an impressively informative ‘Attractions Guide’ in eight languages, detailing a wealth of facts about and historical background to the attractions and destinations covered in the tour.
The company initially is using chartered aircraft (one is a 30-seat Fairchild Dornier 328JET chartered from Cleveland-based Charter Air Transport, Inc.) to provide the air-travel element of the tours. However, Mauiva – which in December 2009 began operating aerial tours over Orlando and central Florida, a commercial activity it continues to offer – is in the process of hiring its own crews, acquiring its own aircraft (which are understood to be two Saab 340B turboprops) and becoming a fully FAA-certificated airline.
Mauiva’s plan for summer 2011 and beyond is to run daily tours on each of its two itineraries, the aircraft dropping one tour group off at an airport near its destination and then picking up the group which visited that destination the previous day for onward transport to the next destination. In this manner, the company aims to have each aircraft cover the entire multi-destination tour route each day.
The ‘All-America East Experience’ starts from the Hudson Hotel on West 57th Street in New York City (stays at the hotel are not covered by the cost of the tour but Mauiva has an arrangement with the hotel to offer a discount rate to tour guests who stay there before or after the AirCruise itself). The first flight is from Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey, approximately 30 miles from Manhattan, to Niagara Falls International Airport.
Destinations on the ‘All-America East Experience’ start at Niagara Falls (both the U.S. and Canadian sides), the visit including entry to five separate attractions and experiences at and around the world-famous falls.
Toronto (including a trip up the CN Tower) and the charming town of Niagara on the Lake are next, followed by two days down in Pennsylvania around state capital Harrisburg and nearby Lancaster. The Pennsylvania part of the tour includes visits to Hershey’s Chocolate World (including entry to several attractions) and taking a detailed look at the fascinating Amish culture of the “Pennsylvania Dutch Country”, as well as a meal at the Amish-style ‘Plain and Fancy’ restaurant in the village of Bird-in-Hand.
The next two days take in many sights in and around Washington D.C., including the ‘Iwo Jima’ Marine Corps Memorial in Rosslyn; the sights, museums and memorials round the Mall (including walks past the White House and the Capitol); and the beautiful Mount Vernon estate of George Washington in Virginia, overlooking the Potomac River some 15 miles south of Washington D.C. After the tour group is carried by coach back to the airport, the aircraft then travels back to New York and the tour ends back at the Hudson Hotel.