Monthly Archives: April 2009

Wilderness Vacation Get-Away for B.C. Coast

Explore the city lights of Vancouver, B.C. Canada, float plane over the lush Canadian west coast, explore the bays and inlets amidst B.C.’s rain forest, then tour the resort town of Whistler. Top this off with a first class rail tour back into Vancouver and you have the perfect 4 night/5 day vacation get-away.

The British Columbia coast is a wilderness paradise with lush, intensely green rain forests lining a rugged Pacific coastline teeming with wildlife. Vancouver B.C. is a dynamic, multicultural city set in a spectacular natural environment and Whistler, the ski resort village, was selected for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Highlights of this trip include your first night in Vancouver at the Fairmont, a scenic float-plane flight to the Wilderness Lodge, sightseeing, dining, activities, hiking and a boat tour of Jervis and Princess Louisa Inlets. These incredible fjords are renowned for their 7,000 foot towering cliffs, dozens of cascading waterfalls, abundant wildlife, ancient petroglyphs and protected waters surrounded by the lush rain forest. The return float-plane trip flies over glaciers and mountain lakes en route to Whistler B.C., where you’ll enjoy the Fairmont Whistler Resort. Your journey back to Vancouver will be on the famous Rocky Mountaineer, a first class scenic train tour through the mountains and valleys of British Columbia.

TMI Tours and Cruises offers great vacation ideas and extended weekend get-aways to unique areas in the Pacific Northwest. Call Rhonda or Linda at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at [email protected] for more information.

“Staycations”—Ideas for Locals Who Want to Explore Their Own Backyard

Need to take a break from work without breaking your budget? Why not consider taking a staycation? If you aren’t completely familiar with this term, here’s the official definition:

“A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs offers. A dream vacation right at your doorstep.”
The Urban Dictionary

In light of today’s tight economy, choosing a staycation this year is an excellent way to relax and explore the beauty of North Idaho. We live in such a magnificent place…why not spend some time exploring and experiencing some of the great locations close to home! A staycation offers you the ability to “play tourist” right at home.

Like any vacation, a staycation requires planning. Let TMI Tours help you plan your excursions. Interested in a private boat tour of Lake Coeur d’Alene? Want to try your hand at fly fishing some of the world class rivers and streams in our area? How about about spending a day whitewater rafting?

This is only a sampling of the unique adventures that TMI can create for you and your family here in North Idaho. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at [email protected] for more information about planning your staycation.

Romantic Canadian Rail Travel

Want to experience the romance of luxurious rail travel?  Following  the historic train routes built over 100 years ago through Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies, the Rocky Mountaineer is one of the most spectacular train trips in the world.  These 2 day itineraries travel through breathtaking scenery; glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountain ranges, ferocious rivers, historic bridges and tunnels. There are 3 itineraries through the Canadian Rockies, each offering it’s own unique sights, all daylight travel, overnight hotel accomodations and exceptional onboard service.

  • Kicking Horse Route: Named for the pass over which it crosses the Rockies, the Kicking Horse route takes you between Vancouver, B.C. and either Banff or Calgary, Alberta.  This route traces the historic transcontinental rail line uniting East and West Canada and includes, amongst other hightlights, the legendary Spiral Tunnels.  Route hightlights: The Last Spike, Spiral Tunnels, Stoney Creek Bridge, Fraser and Thompson Canyon and Kicking Horse Pass.
  • Yellowhead Route:  Journey between Vancouver, B.C. and Jasper, Alberta along the Yellowhead route, names for the second pass through the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  This rail route is known for scenic valleys, plentiful wildlife and majestic Mount Robson, highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.  Route highlights: Fraser and Thompson Canyon, Pyramid Falls, Yellowhead Pass, Mount Robson and Jasper National Park.
  • Fraser Discovery Route:  Named for the mighty Fraser River whose length the tracks follow, this route links the resorts of Whistler B.C. and Jasper, Alberta.  Journey through the historic Cariboo Gold Rush region, the lush forests of northern B.C. and the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain Trench past Mount Robson to Jasper.  Route highlights:  Anderson and Seton Lakes, Cariboo Plateau, Fraser River Canyon, Rocky Mountain Trench and  Mount Robson.

To learn more about these and other great rail journeys, contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours & Cruises at 1-800-975-7775 or email us at [email protected].  Visit our homepage for other great Canadian vacation ideas.

Luxury "Glamping" Eco-Safari at Clayoquot

Nowhere else on earth has the meeting of land and sea created the magnificent beauty of Canada’s Pacific Coast.   The substantial rain forests and amazing marine environment are the back drop for a premier eco-safari destination, offering soft adventure and soft beds.  Clayoquot is the ultimate destination for intimate couples retreats, or adventurous and educational family vacations.

Situated at the mouth of the Bedwell River, where it spills into a nine-mile-long fjord, an enclave of 20 great white canvas guest tents, massage and treatment tents, dining tents, lounge tents and a massive timber cookhouse peek out from the dense bush. This safari-style resort offers a discreet paradox of individual pampering and untamed wilderness.  Specializing in remote experiences, guest may choose to learn to surf on a pristine, secluded beach or have a First Nations guide escort them on a day hike to the “Wildside” Interpretive trail and tour the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Village.  Whether you prefer whale watching or viewing black bears fishing for salmon, wildlife abounds just outside the perimiter of camp. 


The resort is open mid-May through the end of September for 3, 4 or 7 night all inclusive stays with airfare from Vancouver to the Resort, deluxe accommodation, all meals, snacks and beverages (including alcohol), massage treatments and guided activities including fishing.  Contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours for rates and ask us about the great discounts for children.

River Voyage of Discovery Cruises: Apr 3-May 1 and Sept 18-Oct 16

This 8 day journey along the Columbia and Snake Rivers combines scenic river history and unexpected cultural expeditions. Learn about the proud Nez Perce tribe and their way of life, past and present, along the Snake River. Combine that with an exhilarating jet-boat ride deep into Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America.

Your small ship will navigate 8 sets of locks and dams, changing a total of 738 feet of elevation within 470 miles. Pioneer history will come alive as you visit the Ft. Walla Walla Museum which houses over 35,000 artifacts, dioramas, and a real-life pioneer village. See the personal effects of the Queen of Romania as well as European paintings and Native arts at the unusual Maryhill Museum. Visit Ft. Clatsop and experience what life must have been like for the famous Lewis & Clark expedition during the winter of 1806. Learn about this region’s geographical and navigational history at the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center and the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Cruise in the wake of history and enjoy stories of courage and discovery that await you around every scenic bend.

Northwest Passage Cruises: May 15-Sept 11 2009

Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge

Summer in the Pacific Northwest is characterized by long, warm days with clear blue skies and gentle breezes. Nowhere is more beautiful this time of year than the Columbia River Gorge. This “Summer Celebration” cruise will celebrate the traditions of the past along with the fantastic wineries of the present while exploring the indigenous culture and history of the Columbia River Basin.

Beginning with your visit to the Bonneville Dam Visitors Center, you will transfer through 8 locks and dams on your way to the northwest “seaport” of Clarkston, Washington. An exhilarating jet-boat ride up the famous Hells Canyon on the Snake River will reveal elk, bighorn sheep, and 7,000 year old petroglyphs. An underground tour at Pendleton explores tunnels built in the late 1800’s by Chinese immigrants for illicit purposes and a visit to the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute will immerse you in a living, cultural Native American village. In Walla Walla, you will be treated to tasting and touring at two unique Columbia River wineries.

Join a special sailing, June 19th, with the chairman of the cruise line and his family. Guests will be treated to exclusive amenities at the chairman’s reception, an exciting raptor exhibition, guest speakers discussing the Lewis & Clark expedition, and the chairman’s farewell dinner. Come enjoy a cruise on the Columbia River at a time of year when the temperatures are pleasant, the wildlife is abundant, and the scenery dramatic.

Taste of the Pacific Northwest Cruises: Sept 13-Oct 18

This 8 day epicurean cruise on the Columbia River will feature the rich history and delicious flavors unique to this region. When it comes to the art of wine, Washington State knows its “terroir”—the combination of soil, climate, and geography that makes wine distinct.

You will be welcomed aboard in Portland, Oregon with a taste of Willamette Valley’s signature flavors: a Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris. To get a feel for the culture and industry of this area, we will visit the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center with a focus on Native foods and the agricultural history of the Columbia River Basin. A jet boat tour to the Hanford Reach National Monument will evoke memories of WWII and the Cold War era.

You will be treated to tours and wine tastings at two of Washington State’s AVA’s (American Viticulture Areas, also known as appellations) while exploring four of the Columbia Valley’s finest wineries: Coyote Canyon, Terra Blanca, Three Rivers, and Beresan. The Fruit Company, where orchards have been handpicked for 65 years, will take you by tractor into the field for fresh picked fruit. Before returning to Portland, we’ll visit the Seafood Consumer Center in Astoria. While we are here, those of you who enjoy the culinary arts will help our chef prepare lunch, fusing the freshest seafood with the unique local flavors of Oregon’s fresh fruits, vegetables, and cheeses, creating a delicious, enjoyable meal for all of us. Join us and see for yourself why Washington State is ranked among the top wine regions of the world. Its vineyards largely focus on Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah; however they also produce a wide range of other spectacular whites and reds.

Lake Coeur d’Alene Vacation Rentals

TMI Tours has a wide variety of accommodations in and around the Coeur d’Alene area. Our luxury home and cabin rentals come with all the amenities you could want in a summer vacation on Lake Coeur d’Alene—private homes complete with beautiful lake views, open air decks, sandy beaches, dock space for boats, jet skis, and more.

Personal watercraft rentals are a great way to see the lake and a sure fire way to add some excitement to your day. We can arrange jet skis or wave runners for you to enjoy for the day, or park them at your dock and use them anytime during your stay.

If you have never experienced the thrill of sailing your own boat, this is the perfect place to try it. Lake Coeur d’Alene always has gentle breezes on the water and we can arrange for you to learn with one of our sailing experts. The perfect ending to a day of sailing is refreshments on the deck at Silver Beach, where all the local sailors meet!

Water sports are a huge part of lakefront living on Coeur d’Alene Lake. Water skiing, boogie boarding, wakeboarding, and tubing can all be available right from your own dock and we’ll be happy to arrange instruction for beginners.

Your vacation won’t be complete until you’ve spent the day exploring the 130 miles of shoreline on a private lake tour. Armed with sun tan lotion, cool drinks, and a gourmet lunch, we can show you the most beautiful, secluded lake homes, wildlife drinking at the water’s edge, or the world’s only floating golf green. Enjoy lunch and swim at an un-crowded beach or go ashore to enjoy one of the lake crowd’s favorite watering holes. Learn about the rich and lively history of this lake and the small towns that still thrive on its shores. Let us take you up the “Shadowy St. Joe River” where the water is so clear, you’ll be able to spot fish swimming beneath the boat.

A vacation home in or around Lake Coeur d’Alene gives you the ability to enjoy a multitude of activities. To learn more about the many benefits of vacationing in our beautiful resort town, please call Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at 1-800-975-7775.

Explore the Northwest by RV

There is something very alluring about the open road and destinations unknown. Renting a RV for your vacation is a great way to bond with the family and still experience that sense of open road adventure. Let’s look at some of the great advantages of a RV vacation:

  • Getting Back to Nature – The great outdoors is what a RV vacation is all about. The Inland Northwest has rugged, unspoiled National Parks, sparkling clean lakes and rivers that are easily accessible from the highways and un-crowded campgrounds and RV Parks.
  • Campgrounds – You can choose the amenities that are important to you and your family. We can find you anything from rustic and secluded locations to parks with swimming pools, fishing ponds, game rooms, restaurants, and preplanned activities for adults and children.
  • The Comforts of Home – You can enjoy the fun and excitement of camping, yet retain the comforts of a full kitchen, TV, DVD, bathroom, and shower. And if the weather is unpredictable, you don’t have to suffer through it.
  • Fun for the Kids – They will love traveling in their “home on wheels” and children of all ages enjoy an old-fashioned campfire complete with stories, songs, stargazing, and of course s’mores!
  • Flexibility – You can change your locations at your own comfortable pace. Driving yourself gives you control over your schedule and allows you to really explore this beautiful country.
  • Relaxation – Get out there and really enjoy the leisurely pace of traveling by RV. You won’t return from this vacation feeling like you need a vacation. Take the opportunity to truly relax and unwind in some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.

TMI Tours, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, has all the information you need to start planning a great RV vacation for your family or group. We can plan your road trip, stock your RV, and recommend perfect places to stay and play in the Pacific Northwest. Please contact Rhonda Sand or Linda Bruno at TMI Tours or email us at [email protected] for more unique ideas on how to spend your next vacation.

Private Tours of Lake Coeur d'Alene

Tubbs Hill, Wolf Lodge Bay, Squaw Bay, Arrow Point, Rockford Bay, Kidd Island Bay, Cougar Bay…these are as familiar to the Coeur d’Alene locals’ as their own front yards. For an intimate, leisurely boat tour of Lake Coeur d’Alene, spend the afternoon with one of our expert, local guides.

Armed with sun tan lotion, cool drinks, and a gourmet lunch, we can show you the most beautiful, secluded lake homes, wildlife drinking at the water’s edge, or the world’s only floating golf green.  Enjoy lunch and swim at an uncrowded beach or go ashore at one of the favorite watering holes of the lake crowd. Learn about the rich and lively history of this lake and the small towns that still thrive on its shores.

  Lake Coeur d’Alene is fed by three rivers, the Coeur d’Alene, the St. Maries and the St. Joe, which is one of the highest navigable rivers in the world. An excursion up the “Shadowy St. Joe River” reveals water so clear, you’ll see fish swimming around the boat and the lattice work of fallen trees and limbs on the bottom. The Spokane River drains the west end of the lake and is a popular cruise, running along the city’s public beach, the North Idaho College campus, and the opulent riverfront homes that line its shores. 

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the unique scenery that makes North Idaho such a  popular vacation spot.  Call TMI Tours for reservations and itinerary ideas to make your stay in Coeur d’ Alene a memorable one. Email us at [email protected] or call 1-800-975-7775 for more information.