Kissimmee, Florida air-touring company Mauiva has launched two U.S. ‘AirCruise’ tours which it believes will revolutionize the concept of guide-escorted sightseeing packages both in the United States and internationally.
Mauiva has partnered with Florida-based travel wholesaler Tourico Holidays – a subsidiary of Travel Holdings, Inc. – to create two competitively priced itineraries that replace traditional multi-destination coach tours with packages that rely extensively on private air travel from business-aviation terminals at smaller airports.
In addition to replacing road travel by air travel, Mauiva’s use of business-aviation terminals and private aircraft means that tour guests do not have to go through the bothersome TSA security checks to which air travelers are subjected at regular airline terminals. This makes the air-travel component of each AirCruise feel convenient and easy, as well as saving time.
By using private air travel to replace road travel between leading sightseeing destinations, Mauiva claims to save more than 20 hours of road travel on its five-night, six-full-day ‘All-American East Experience’ and more than 40 hours on its six-night, seven-day ‘Western Wonder Experience’.
Mauiva uses this saved time to pack in additional sightseeing opportunities and access to various additional attractions and tourism experiences at the destinations, all of which are pre-paid and pre-arranged for tour guests. Despite providing this added-value component, Mauiva says the average retail prices of its packages are less than those of comparable traditional, guide-escorted coach tours.
All ground links between airports and nearby sightseeing destinations are provided by luxury coaches – most equipped for Wi-Fi – and guests do not need to worry about handling their baggage at any point during the tour. Baggage is taken direct from the start-point to the aircraft, and then at each intermediate destination on the tour, guests’ baggage is taken direct to (and picked up directly from) their hotel rooms. Guests are allowed to bring one 44lb (20kg) case as checked baggage and one smaller item such as a purse, laptop bag or other bag. (No roll-on cases are allowed on the aircraft, because the aircraft do not have overhead bins).
Overnight accommodations are in four-star hotels and full breakfast and dinner each day is included in the cost, as is the cost of all porterage and gratuities. Breakfasts are provided by the hotels (generally in the form of extensive breakfast buffets) and group dinners are arranged at good-quality restaurants, though menu choices for each group are limited. Itinerary-inspired souvenirs such as sunscreen and wine-bottle openers are also given out to guests, and each day Mauiva provides guests with a complimentary Daily Mauiva Newsletter detailing the following day’s activities, weather forecast and recommended dress.
Mauiva’s AirCruise tours are accompanied by specially selected ‘travel hosts’, who are multi-lingual and are accredited by either the International Guide Academy or the International Tour Management Institute. The travel hosts’ jobs are to provide information about the destinations, sights and attractions covered by the tour; help guests with any additional requirements they have; and make sure that all accommodation, dining and attraction-entry arrangements are in place in advance of the tour arriving at each destination. Additionally, Mauiva’s customer-support staff is available 24 hours a day by phone to assist tour guests, in guests’ native languages if requested.