Vacations By Rail has been acquired by Great Rail Journeys resulting in an extensive global portfolio of escorted rail itineraries, as well as an expanded collection of independent rail holidays to customers in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It will also provide the UK market with exclusive access to unique VBR products in North America’s national parks including the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the Grand Canyon, and Alaska.
“We are delighted to be growing our partnership with GRJ, building on our strong working relationship to date,” says Todd Powell, co-founder and CEO of Vacations By Rail. “The combination of our two companies represents a significant opportunity to grow our footprint in the rail vacation sector domestically and internationally, as well as accelerate into new markets. We look forward to formally becoming part of the GRJ family.”
Established in 2004, Chicago based Vacations By Rail offers North American customers independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, luxury rail journeys, and custom train vacations to worldwide destinations. VBR has specific expertise in the US National Parks, in particular Yellowstone and Glacier, Alaska including Denali, the Rockies and cross-Canadian rail journeys. York, UK-based Great Rail Journeys offers almost 400 itineraries to over 50 countries globally.
“We are thrilled to welcome VBR to the GRJ family,” says Peter Liney, CEO of Great Rail Journeys. “This acquisition is the first step of many as we look to enhance our position as the world’s leading provider of rail vacations. Building on recently launched programs such as Rail River Cruise and Small Group Tours, this acquisition gives us an unrivaled rail portfolio range, giving greater choice for all of our customers globally.”
VBR co-founders Todd Powell and Cole Dannewitz will join the existing GRJ executive team and will assume new global leadership roles, following a transition period. Heather Leisman, GRJ’s current president of North America, will assume leadership of the combined North American operation.