The 20th Anniversary Bus Tour will be on the road across the USA and Canada from July 8 through August 23, 2015. We’ll participate in Ratha-yatra festivals in Toronto, Thunder Bay, Saskatoon, Calgary, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Edmonton.
We’ll visit ISKCON temples and devotee communities in Houston, St. Louis, New Vrindaban, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Spanish Fork, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Sharanagati, Edmonton, Denver, Dallas, New Talavan, Miami and Alachua.
We’ll explore the Mississippi River by paddle-wheel boat*, the St. Louis Arch*, Serpent River, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Little Manitou Lake, Yellowstone National Park, natural hot springs in the Wasatch Mountains, canyoneering near Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, the Mojave Desert, Pacific Ocean beaches, Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Crater Lake, Mount Rainier, whitewater rafting* on the glacier-fed Kicking Horse River, Lake Louise in Banff National Park, the Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Crow Fair – a Native American Pow-Wow, Rocky Mountain National Park, horseback riding* with Navajo guides in the Navajo Nation’s Canyon de Chelly, spelunking in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Florida Keys beaches, and snorkeling* the coral reef at Key Largo.
We’ll drive through 28 states and provinces including Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Colorado, New Mexico.
We’ll also participate in The Sanga Initiative retreat in Houston, Texas, where we’ll meet up with ISKCON youth from around North America.
This is an ISKCON Youth Ministry mission trip for our temple youth group, organized by volunteers. None of us get paid to do this. The actual costs of the tour for transportation, accommodations, food, and activities are added up, then divided by the number of available spots on our bus. In the next few weeks we’ll be fundraising and holding bake sales to subsidize the costs of this trip to keep it affordable for our youth.
The per-person minimum contribution towards the shared expenses of this mission trip is $1400*.
* PLEASE NOTE: Some optional add-on adventure activities are not included in the tour base price, to make this mission trip more affordable for a greater number of our ISKCON youth. You can choose to participate in these optional add-on activities and pay extra for them. Here’s a list with links to more information, and the cost per person.
St. Louis Gateway Arch – Journey to the Top ($10)
Jasper Sky Tram to the top of the Rocky Mountains ($37)
Snorkeling the coral reef off the coast of Key Largo, Florida ($30)
Contact us for more information.
Flying in/ Flying out
Tuesday July 7 is the ideal day for flying in. August 25 is the ideal day for flying out. Save money by sharing an airport ride with other tour participants on those days. On Monday, August 24th the bus tour will organize a float trip together on the Ichetucknee river, followed by a bus tour after-party in the evening. So in order not to miss that, please book your return flights for Tuesday, July 7.
NOTE: Do not book airfare until your application has been approved.
The tour leaves on July 8, 4:00 pm, and returns on August 23, 4:00 pm, at the ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple in Alachua, Florida. If you’re flying in to meet us, here are the preferred airports:
Gainesville, Florida (GNV). 50-minutes round-trip from Alachua. $25 per pick-up or drop-off.
Jacksonville, Florida (JAX). 3 hours round-trip from Alachua. $75 per pick-up or drop-off.
Orlando, Florida (MCO). 5 hours round-trip from Alachua. $135 per pick-up or drop-off.
(UK and European youth can save by flying into Orlando on the same day, arriving as a group, and we’ll arrange a group pickup / drop-off. As of March 14, round-trip tickets from London to Orlando were $730 / £495, about $400 less than flying into JAX or GNV.)
Coordinate your arrival and departure plans with us and we may be able to have you share an airport ride with other tour participants, which will reduce your shuttle costs.