Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Get a Cheap Grand Canyon Skywalk Tour

The Grand Canyon Skywalk is one of Las Vegas' hottest natural attractions. Tour prices are all over the map, and most of them are ridiculously high. But deals exist. Here are some tips on how to get them:

#1 Take an all-inclusive tour. There are three types: Bus, helicopter, and airplane. Bus is the cheapest option; helicopter the most expensive.

#2 Don't buy from third parties. You will pay more if you purchase a tour from a travel agent, an online broker (e.g. Viator) or a hotel concierge.

How to Get a Cheap Grand Canyon Skywalk Tour

#3 Purchase direct. You are buying "wholesale" when you purchase straight from the tour operator.

#4 Book in advance. You will always save money if you buy a high-season ticket during low season.

#5 Book online. Service and transaction costs are cheaper for the tour operator, which results in lower tour prices for you. The exception: The operator's 800# -- using it may result in a price increase.

I researched the Internet for the best online deals for Grand Canyon Skywalk tours from Las Vegas. Here are my findings:

Bus

Grand Canyon Coaches led the pack. Its all-inclusive West Rim bus tour with Skywalk costs 9. Transport is aboard a state-of-the-art luxury bus. Includes Skywalk, BBQ lunch, and plenty of time to sightsee Grand Canyon West. Travel time: 2.5 hours.

Helicopter

Papillon Helicopters smoked the competition. Their Skywalk tour came in at 5 (regularly 9), more than 20 percent cheaper than that of other operators. Includes the EcoStar 130 deluxe helicopter, BBQ lunch, and rim-top sightseeing. Flight time: 45 minutes.

Airplane

Grand Canyon Airlines was the clear winner. Their air tour with Skywalk cost 0 (regularly 9) and uses the award-winning Vistaliner aircraft, a custom-built fixed-wing airplane designed specifically for sightseeing. Includes lunch and time to explore the rim. Flight time: 25 minutes.

Here are a couple more things to consider as you choose which tour is right for you:

  • Luxury buses feature over-sized windows, plush seats, and clean restrooms. They also include a "smooth-ride" suspension system that ensures you travel in maximum comfort.
  • Helicopters fly at a lower altitude than airplanes. This results in closer, clearer views of Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon.
  • Airplanes are the quickest way to get to the West Rim. From a time and expense standpoint, they are the most economical way to fly.

The Grand Canyon Skywalk, a joint venture between a Las Vegas businessman and the Hualapai Indian Tribe, extends 70 feet over the edge of the rim and suspends you more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The structure can hold 120 people at one time, and there is no time limit to how long you can stay on the bridge.

Its horseshoe-shaped deck is made of 46 Saint-Gobain Diamant low-iron glass panels that cost 0,000 each. To protect the panels from being scratched, personal electronics, including cameras and cell phones, are not allowed. Protective fabric shoe covers are provided. Stationary cameras and staff photographers are available to take your picture.

If you are visiting Las Vegas, make the Grand Canyon Skywalk a "must-see" attraction. Located just 120 east of town, the Skywalk can be reached by bus, helicopter, and airplane. There's a tour for every budget. To get the best deal, book direct on the tour operator's website where prices will be at or near wholesale. Then kick back and prepare yourself for the what will be the experience of a lifetime.

How to Get a Cheap Grand Canyon Skywalk Tour

Don't visit the "glass bridge" until you've read travel writer Keith Kravitz' reviews of the best tours to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

1 comments:

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