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WeVenture & Tusker Trail Winter in the Northeast

6 day winter adventure in Maine, New England

Join us on this winter adventure and experience unique winter activities; skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, dog mushing and riding a snowmobile.

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Dates 2023:
Tue 24 Jan – Sat 28 Jan
Tue 07 Feb – Sat 11 Feb 
Tue 28 Feb – Sat 04 Mar
Tue 14 Mar – Sat 18 Mar
Select preferred dates at checkout.

Tour length:
6 days, 5 nights

Tour start and end: 
Portland, ME

Tour Price
Per person tour price: $3499,-
Single supplement: $1220,-

Inclusions:
Expert driver/ guide
Transportation
2-hour Dog Mushing Experience
Ski resort pass and equipment
Full day Ice fishing experience
Half day snowmobile rental

Exclusions:
Optional activities
Personal Passenger Insurance
Gratuity for leader
Meals (outside of the above inclusions)
Flights

Meet the guides

a man wearing a helmet and sunglasses with a mountain in the background
Tom Courtney
Tom’s life quote: “I prefer mountain ranges over beaches, snow over sunshine, and know my way around a fire pit. There is nothing like the cold, brisk, clear air of winter!”

Reading and discussing histories and science, hiking, archery, sightseeing.
I love Thai and Indian cuisine and finding the best beef jerky. I’ve lived in Japan and hiked the forgotten sections of the Great Wall of China, taken a train across Siberia and backpacked all over Eastern Europe. I’m always looking for my next adventure and can’t wait to help you find yours.


Tim Mitchell
I am passionate about living in the Northeast in beautiful New England. I grew up in Somerville, MA and spent many winters in Maine and Vermont, exploring winter activities and enjoying the silence and emptiness of the cold winters up north.

As a historian, an adventure outdoors traveler, an endless music and beer enthusiast and an energetic and thoughtful guide, I love to share stories and connect all elements of a tour being a great storyteller to make a tour come alive. Guiding in many cities out East and in rural areas of New England, I look forward to supporting our guests on this winter experience in Maine and ensuring their safety and comfort.

a man wearing sunglasses posing for the camera
Michiel Stavast
Growing up in the Netherlands there weren’t any mountain slopes to ski from, but every winter I would tie under my ice skates and ride for miles through the Frisian landscape of the North of the Netherlands. As a teenager I started to conquer the slopes in Austria and Switzerland. Moving to the United States and eventually settling in the Los Angeles ski-area at Big Bear lake, I started snowboarding in the afternoon while surfing in the morning!

As a wilderness first responder I am thankful that I can look after the guests’ safety and have them enjoy the places we visit to the fullest. While visiting unique and remote areas in Alaska, I took guests out on winter evening hikes to hunt the Aurora Borealis. As a passionate adventure sports traveler and guide, this Northeast winter experience is a unique opportunity to learn or grow in the winter activities offered. If you want to ski, snowboard or snowshoe, I look forward to being part of your winter journey.

Our Story

Eddie Frank, Tusker Trail,  and Michiel Stavast, WeVenture, met during the early days of the COVID pandemic and shared their thoughts on how and when to bring adventures together in the US when travelling would be safe again. Eddie and Michiel share a passion for new adventures, preferably with a level of new exploration. Both living in the mountains of California, their businesses specialize in adventure travel. Having many zoom calls, the “new” way of doing business in times of the pandemic, Michiel used Eddie’s extensive knowledge on adventure travel to create unique itinerary for US travelersBoth businesses focused on bringing back their activities before finalizing the Winter in the Northeast tour. With a combined 60+ years of experience in adventure travel, Eddie and Michiel know it is the right moment to bring this collaboration to the US and the winter tour is the first of many more to come.

WeVenture is offering tours in 11 cities and multi-day tours on the East Coast of the USA. Tusker Trails offers overland tours in Africa, Mongolia, Greenland and Nepal.

Winter in the Northeast

Day 1: Portland, Maine
Meet the group and guide at 5 pm in the lobby of the start hotel for a welcome meeting and group introduction. Your expert guide will take you out on a walking tour of the Old Port and invite you to a unique seafood experience including oyster shucking as a welcome dinner.

Accommodation
Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities
Walking tour of Portland, ME Old Port

Meals Included
Unique seafood experience including oyster shucking as a welcome dinner

Day 2: Saddleback Mountain Ski Area, Maine
After breakfast we drive north to Oxford, ME to enjoy a safe and conscious 2-hour Dog Mushing experience in the mountains around Oxford, ME. The sled trails run directly into the Maine Wilderness following along a network of streams and ponds that open into a beautiful lake. While some of the sled dogs come to the family-owned business as rescues or second-chance dogs, many of them have been in the owner’s family line that can be traced back up to 8 Generations of sled dogs! This line of dogs has been with the family for the past 36 years!

After our unique winter experience we continue our drive north to stay at Saddleback Mountain Ski Resort for snowshoeing, cross country or downhill skiing and snowboarding. The resort is the largest independent ski area in the East, in terms of number of skiable acres. Upon arrival your expert guide will take you out on one of the winter trails to explore the area. Dinner in resort area.

Accommodation
Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities
2-hour Dog Mushing experience
Ski resort pass and equipment for snowboarding, skiing, nordic skiing or snowshoeing

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 3: Saddleback Mountain Ski Area, Maine
Today we will enjoy a full day on the mountain by either snowshoeing on the trails, skiing or snowboarding on the slopes, ice skating on one of the many lakes, Fat Biking on snow or just relaxing next to the fireplace at the great hotel we are staying at. Whichever activity you prefer, your guide is available at any time to support you on your winter activities. Ask your guide what lessons are available if you would want to learn skiing or snowboarding. Dinner in resort area.

Accommodation
Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities
Ski resort pass and equipment for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating or Fat Biking 

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 4: Moosehead Lake, Maine
Drive to the winter wonderland North to end at Moosehead Lake, Maine and join the ice fish derbies! Go out on the ice and enjoy a full day of fully geared, guided ice fishing trip on the lake. Moosehead Lake is a deep, coldwater lake located in Piscataquis County in Northwestern Maine. It is the second-largest lake in New England, and the largest mountain lake in the eastern United States. Situated in the mostly undeveloped Longfellow Mountains. Our hotel for the night is in Greenville, ME. Dinner in Greenville, ME.

Accommodation
Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities
Full day ice fishing on Moosehead lake 

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 5: Moosehead Lake, Maine
Today it is adventure time, join a Maine and highly experienced guide who will lead you on a fun and beautiful cruise through the snow covered trees and scenic vistas of Maine’s fabled woods and mountains. This is a great way for beginners or those short on time to get a taste of what the great sport of snowmobiling is all about. This half-day snowmobile adventure will follow trails along Moosehead lake. When you prefer a different activity, there are endless winter trails for Nordic skiing or snowshoeing. Your tour guide will support you in deciding which winter activity you feel most comfortable with.

Accommodation
Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities
Half-day snowmobile tour along Moosehead lake

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 6: Portland, Maine
After a leisurely morning and breakfast we are bringing closure to our winter adventures and are returning to our tour start in Portland, ME. After 3-hours of driving through the winter wilderness of Maine we arrive around noon and our tour comes to an end.


Trip Essentials

Where we stay
Portland, ME – Hampton Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront
Saddleback Mountain Resort area – Rangeley Saddleback Inn
Greenville, ME – Leisure Life

Tour will end in Portland, post nights are available upon request

What to expect, Is this trip right for you?
Physical rating: Moderate

Joining point:
Hampton Inn Portland Downtown – Waterfront
209 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101

Joining point description:
Lobby of the Hampton Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront, meet your group and guide at 5 pm. The frontdesk can advise you on where to meet your group

Finishing point:
Hampton Inn Portland Downtown – Waterfront
209 Fore St, Portland, ME 04101
Or
Portland International Jetport
1001 Westbrook St, Portland, ME 04102

Finishing point description:
The tour will end at the Hampton Inn Portland Downtown – Waterfront or the Portland International Jetport. Your guide can advise you on where to go after the tour ends. Pre and post tour nights are available upon request before the tour starts.

What to bring, the Perfect Winter Trip Packing List

  1. Ski, Snowboard and Winter Clothing:
    Waterproof Ski Jacket
    Waterproof Ski Pants
    Under Layers for additional insulation such as a vest or fleece sweater
    Base Layer Tops – non-cotton
    Base Layer Bottoms – non-cotton
    Multiple winter hats/beanies/ski mask
    Multiple warm winter ski socks (for skiing/snowboarding only; non-cotton)
    Waterproof Gloves/Mittens
  2. Ski, Snowboard or snowshoeing Gear(equipment will be provided)
    Skis, Snowboard, snowshoes with Bindings
    Ski Boots or Snowboard Boots-Remember to try them on at home with thick socks to ensure they still fit. If not you can always rent them when you get here.
    (Ski) Poles
    Goggles – Try to bring extra lenses if possible to change out for different weather conditions.
    Sunglasses
    Helmet
  3. Mountain Casual (Non-Ski Clothing)
    Warm Jacket
    Warm Hat
    Gloves/Mittens
    Warm Socks and lots of them
    Warm Waterproof shoes
    Jeans/Pants
    Warm Tops
    Undergarments
    Sleepwear
    Swim Suit
    Comfy after ski pants and tops (Yoga pants and a sweatshirt)
  4. Toiletries
    Sunscreen
    Lip balm (w/spf in it)
    Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
    Hairbrush
    Makeup
    Contacts/Glasses, contact solution, and case
    Extra contacts/glasses
    Lotion
    Deodorant
    Shaving products
    Nail Clippers
    Tweezers
  5. Miscellaneous 
    Camera, Memory Cards or Film, Charger
    Headphones
    MP3 player
    Tablet
    Chargers for all electronics
    Insurance Cards
    Medications/Vitamins
    Wallet
    ID card – Passport or Drivers License
    Books
    Emergen-C or Airborne
    First Aid Kit: antacid, antihistamine for allergies, bandages, motion sickness medicine, mild laxative, pain reliever, antibacterial wipes and cream
    Water Bottles
    Swiss Army Knife
    Sewing Kit
    Shoe chains
    Toe and Hand Warmers
    Travel pack of tissues

Problems and emergency contact information
While we always endeavor to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognize that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction – if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. 

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still traveling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page:
https://www.we-venture.com/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our operations team on the number below: +1 215-676-4500

Itinerary disclaimer
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination.

The information included here may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary to ensure our travelers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.

Optional Activities
A selection of optional activities are available upon request. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. Your expert guide will be available to support you with booking and scheduling those activities.

Important notes
FIRST DAY: Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 pm. Please make your own way to the Joining Point.

LAST DAY: The tour will end around noon in Portland, ME.  If you would like to book additional nights in Portland please contact us through our contact page.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights.

COVID: Please ensure you have checked local state information regarding COVID-19 restrictions and regulations before you travel.

Passports, visas and entry requirements
PASSPORT
You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining.  We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leaving copies at home with family or friends.

VISAS
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government’s foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are traveling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place.

 Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip.

Medical and health information
General health
All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while traveling.

COVID-19
The safety and wellbeing of our travelers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. All our travelers need to be vaccinated against COVID to be able to join our itineraries.

Personal medication
Medical prescriptions written outside of the US and Canada aren’t accepted at local pharmacies. We recommend you bring along your personal medications in the necessary quantities for your trip.

Dehydration and sun protection
The most likely medical incidents to occur on our trips are dehydration, overexposure to the sun and twisted ankles from walking on uneven ground or winter activities . While being out on the slopes or trails please ensure you drink enough water to remain hydrated as some locations we visit don’t have refill stations for your water bottles. The sun can be harsh, particularly in the snow. Ensure you apply adequate sunscreen and wear a hat.

Food and dietary requirements
While traveling with us you’ll experience the vast array of wonderful food available. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let us know prior to departure.

Accommodation (Hotel – 5 nights)
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we’re arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn’t always possible which means we won’t be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transport (Private vehicle)
Our fleet of vans are fully equipped with dual air-conditioning system. Most have cloth-upholstered seats and carpeted interior with radio/tape or CD players. Your luggage is transported in either a trailer which is towed or in a luggage compartment. The vans are regularly serviced in our own maintenance facility and continuously checked and serviced by a well-established network of maintenance and service facilities throughout the continent. However, unforeseen maintenance problems can still occur while on the road and we appreciate the patience of our travelers as we make necessary repairs as quickly as possible. While your group will have a van for all included activities on the trip, the services of the van and the driver may not be available for your use during free time, or after you have arrived for the day. If you need a special trip into town you may need to arrange transport or a taxi.

Money matters
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveler is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while traveling.

Tipping
Tipping can be an appropriate way to recognize great service when traveling. While it may not be customary in your home country, it is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations and is greatly appreciated by the people who take care of you during your travels. It is always best to avoid tipping with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes, as this can be regarded as an insult rather than the goodwill gesture it is intended to be.

Your Leader
You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$7-10 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length and involvement of your leader on your trip.

Packing
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the places you are visiting and when you are traveling. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you can carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travelers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! All luggage is carried in trailers or inside the vehicle so please don’t bring more than one medium sized bag, backpack or suitcase per person. Your luggage may get some rough handling, so make sure it’s a tough one. You’ll also need a daypack to carry water, camera, jacket, etc when you’re exploring during the day.

Group Leader
Our leaders in the US are also responsible for driving the van and navigating across the country. The allowable driving times for drivers is strictly controlled in the United States. This ensures our drivers are  

A couple of rules
Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while traveling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronizing sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By traveling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines.

The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveler or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while traveling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section.

Traveling on a group trip
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travelers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Solo Travelers
This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travelers join because they are traveling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travelers with another traveler of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance.

We also have an optional single supplement available on most trips for travelers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will be on a single room basis.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those traveling (inter)nationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are traveling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travelers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects.

Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.