The first foreign trip we arranged was a riotous weekend in Ostend in 1961.Our next tour abroad took place in 1966 and was a 5-day visit to Versailles and Paris. It cost all of £14.77! Subsequently we took travellers to Belgium and Holland and in 1974 we became full time Tour Operators when Brittany Ferries started their ferry operation from Plymouth.
From weekend visits to Brittany in those early days we evolved over the years to the point where we were running a regular twice-weekly shuttle service to the Costa Brava and Italian Riviera in conjunction with Trathens Holidays. We had offices in Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol and Portsmouth and in addition to the shuttles we were running regular holiday tours to Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Spain as well as breaks to Germany, Holland and France. We catered for many private groups on bespoke tours and started to develop our Wine Tours.
Although our main programme was based around coach travel we obtained an ATOL and offered air holidays to Tunisia, Greece, Portugal and Spain. We were one of the first companies in Britain to offer package holidays to the USA where covered the East Coast down to Miami and the West Coast triangle between Los Angeles-Phoenix-San Francisco long before the rest . We sold the operation in 1987 to what is now First Group but resumed a couple of years later when they decided that holidays were not for them.
This time the operation was much smaller as competition had increased enormously especially from low-cost airlines which by then had spread into all regions of the country.
Our programme has been quite modest since then but we have tended to specialise in areas which where airlines can’t compete such as – Wine Tours, Jazz Tours, Wildlife Tours and for 10 years we have operated the Spanish Minicruise for Brittany Ferries.
All those years of experience have not been wasted, they are embodied in our 2020 programme and are available to any private groups wishing to visit Europe by coach.