Can I be added to a waitlist?
Yes, we do have a waitlist and often add tours based on demand. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the tour name and tour date. We will keep you posted on the status of the trip!
When is the best time to visit the Pacific Northwest and Walla Walla?
Pacific Northwest tours are for any season. We operate Washington tours and Oregon tours all year to take advantage of the charm and attractions available throughout each season. Late spring through early fall generally offers clear skies, warm, even hot temperatures, and amazing views. This also happens to be the busiest and most visited time of the year and early reservations are necessary as tours fill up quickly. When you join us during the off-season, we usually have a special event or theme for the trip or you have 6 or more people. The NW Wine & Rail Tour will complete your Northwest experience.
Most of your tours operate on weekdays. Why is this?
We believe that experience is everything. On weekdays, you will experience popular destinations without the crowds (especially the Walla Walla tours and Washington and Oregon wine country tours!). It is not uncommon to mingle with the farmer, the winemaker, the artist or locals directly without fighting crowds. We also find that weekday sightseeing tours pair nicely with an Alaska Cruise (pre-cruise or post-cruise) from Seattle.
Why are the train tours offered mostly in the summer months?
Our belief is that a large part of the train tour experience is the enjoyment of the scenery along the train route. Given that the train schedules depart in the late afternoon, wintertime hours do not provide the daylight needed to fully take in the scenery. However, our Northwest tours which utilize van or motor coach have the flexibility to leave earlier in the day, therefore are scheduled in Fall, Winter, and early Spring.
If you are seeking a receptive tour operator we are happy to consult on the perfect seasonal itineraries.
How should I pack?
Comfort and convenience are critical. As our tours are mostly 2, 3 or 4 nights, we encourage you not to over pack, but rather to bring outfits that can be mixed and matched for style – and layered or removed for changes in temperature. Above all, bring shoes that are supportive and comfortably broken in for walking, preferably with a non-slip sole. We recommend checking the weather forecast to help aid you in your packing.
Always remember to keep critical items with you such as medication, ID, money, glasses, sunscreen, etc.
What are the luggage requirements?
As a general rule, we encourage you not to overpack. Instead, bring casual outfits that can be mixed, matched, and layered and utilize a carry-on (up to 2 per person).
If you will be taking the train tour, the first day of the trip is via Amtrak, and 2 carry-on's are consistent with their policy. Please, always keep your essentials with you, such as ID, money, prescriptions, water bottle, glasses, etc.
If you are touring with us as a part of a greater trip and have larger suitcases, you can leave your luggage at the Amtrak train station. Upon return to Seattle or Portland, we will drop you back at the train station so you can collect your bags. Additionally, most hotels will store luggage if you are a confirmed guest either pre or post tour.
Do I need to bring rain gear?
Always. As much as Eastern Washington is known for the sunshine, there may be occasional rain showers. We wish we could control the weather; we are working on it! Please bring a light wind/waterproof jacket just in case.
What kind of food is included in the package?
Breakfast – Hot and cold breakfast, served at the hotel.
Lunch – Lunchtime may find us at a scenic winery with full lunch service, a gourmet picnic or charcuturie board, or even a food truck.
Dinner – On the train, a gourmet picnic meal or dinner on the train from the departure city will be arranged. The dinners in Walla Walla are unique and venues and caterers will vary based on the tour, though all with a focus on locally sourced quality cuisine. You will not walk away hungry.
*Reception - A glass of wine or beer and appetizers.
*Upon booking, please advise us if you have any food restrictions, allergies or requests. We can accommodate a wide variety of needs when given enough notice.
How many people are in a typical group?
Our tours typically accommodate between 6 – 20 people. If you have a larger group, please contact us directly so we can ensure we can meet your groups needs.
Will we be eating as a group for meals?
Breakfasts will be held at the hotel and you will be given times for operation so you can choose the best time for you and your party. Lunches that are included during touring days are often held in a group setting, and the Walla Walla dinner is held as a group function.
What is the age group of the people who take your journeys?
Northwest Wine, Rail & Tours are enjoyed by people of all ages who are interested in escorted group tours and spectacular sightseeing, fine food and world-class Washington wines and Oregon wine, deluxe accommodations, and learning about the history of the region while having everything taken care of. While the majority of our guests are 60 and above, we've hosted many people in their 30's and 40's. As the tours pair nicely with an Alaska cruise, we find similar demographics to those who enjoy cruising or just appreciate the ease of inclusive packages.
Can we cancel or change our booking?
This depends on your specific situation and how far in advance you are able to make your changes. Please review our Terms & Conditions pagefor specific details and before making a booking. As always, we highly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance in the case of any unforeseen events which may impact your booking. Visit our partner page for more information on Allianz Travel Insurance.
What are your payment terms?
Full payment is due upon time of booking to confirm your reservation. Please see our Terms & Conditions page for our cancelation policy.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and check payments. Payments made by check or cashiers check will be the listed price while credit card payments made online will incur additional expenses for processing.
What kind of information can I expect to receive when I purchase my journey?
When you book a escorted tour, you are sent a “Confirmation” email outlining the tour’s start time and location, and other pre-trip details. Final tour documentation with meeting times, hotel names and the trip itinerary will be sent to the email on file one week prior to the departure date. If you will be taking an Alaska Cruise please let us know details upon booking.
Should I tip my guide?
It is our belief that gratuities are a direct reflection of the level and quality of service received. It is customary to extend gratuities as a sign of your appreciation on the last day. The following is a recommended industry standard: $5-$7 per person per day for the escort and driver.
What type of vehicle will we be in?
It all depends on the size of the group. Whether via a small-coach, a Sprinter or a Van, each is equipped with air conditioning and we will make several stops for bio-breaks. There will be room for everyone's comfort
Do you work with Travel Agents?
Yes! Please give us a call at 1-888-477-4787 and we’d be happy to set up an account to easily manage your bookings. However, if you do not have or typically use a travel agency, you may make a reservation directly with us at 1-888-477-4787. Located outside of the US? You can call +1-503-358-9462.
We are also known as a "receptive operator". Should you seek these services please reach out to the contact information above.
Do you have large group pricing?
Yes, we do offer special pricing for groups of 10 or more. Our inclusive packages and escorted group tours are perfect for family reunions, employee incentive trips, corportate retreats, or a ladies getaway. Please give us a call at 1-888-477-4787 for more details. (Outside of the US call +1-503-703-8506).
Do you offer private tours or the ability to charter a whole departure?
Yes! Please contact us directly and we can customize itineraries specific to your group’s needs. We welcome Washington Wine enthusiasts (or those curious), friends and family, corporate retreats, employee incentive trips, ladies getaways and all others interested in the ease of inclusive packags with our escorted and group tours.
Do you offer Travel Insurance?
While we don't sell travel insurance directly and highly encourage it, we do recommend purchasing travel insurance through Allianz Travel Insurance.
When we are not traveling on the train, where do you pick up and drop off?
We will pick up in a central downtown locations in both Seattle and Portland. The location will be communicated to you a week before departure.
If you will be embarking a cruise ship in Seattle on the return day, please let us know and we will plan to take you to the cruise ship terminal. Likewise, if you are disembarking an Alaska Cruise, please let us know.
How do you recommend getting to the train station?
Seattle: We suggest you utilize light rail, King County Metro, a car service, or have someone drop you off. There is no long-term parking at the station and the parking garages nearby are quite costly. If you require your car nearby, check this site with parking garages and prices near King Street Station.
Portland: We suggest you utilize Max light rail, Tri-Met, a car service, or have someone drop you off. There is no long-term parking at the station and the parking garages nearby are quite costly. If you require your car nearby, check this site listing parking garages and prices near Union Street Station.
How far in advance should I make my reservation?
We encourage you to make your reservation just as early as possible – especially if you are limited to the time in which you can travel. Train journeys are popular and tend to fill quickly.
What are the hours of your reservations center?
Reservation Center hours – North America Pacific Time Zone (Seattle time):
Monday – Friday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – noon
How do you choose your hotels?
We will always select the best available accommodations in great locations. We select hotels for their central location, ambiance, service, and value; most are conveniently located, close to key historic, downtown walkability and cultural sights, and reflect the character of the town in which we overnight.
Can you accommodate three or four guests in a room?
Yes. Room accommodations for three or four are typically two beds and a roll-a-way.
Can I bring a wheelchair or motorized scooter?
Within Eastern Washington, wheelchairs and certain types of motorized scooters can be accommodated, if we know far in advance to plan with our transportation partners. Please note, InquisiTours cannot provide wheelchairs to guests or wheelchair assistance during the tour. Persons needing such assistance must be accompanied by an able companion.
Generally, wheelchairs and motorized scooters are not accepted for our international destinations. The international community does not adhere to the same accessibility standards that hotels, restaurants and public buildings do in the United States.