Scenic Group continues its growth in the North American market with the purchase of one of North America’s leading tour operators, Mayflower Tours. Both companies share similar histories, albeit on two different continents. Scenic began as a luxury tour operator in 1986, adding luxury river cruises in 2008, and is now an industry leader with more than 800 escorted itineraries in 66 countries, 22 river ships, and two luxury Discovery Yachts (launching this year and in 2020). Mayflower began in 1979 doing the same thing in the US and today offers hundreds of deluxe tours in 52 countries. Mayflower will continue to run as a separate entity called Mayflower Cruises & Tours with many of the same people, same executive team and same focus — offering immersive programs that are always aimed at exceeding the guest’s expectations. The purchase will offer Mayflower greater access to river and ocean itineraries on both Scenic and their sister brand, Emerald Waterways, that can be enjoyed by their many groups, while Scenic and Emerald Waterways will have a litany of great land-based tours that can be joined with their cruise offerings.
“We are always looking for synergies that produce greater opportunities for our guests,” states Glen Moroney, founder and chairman of Scenic Group. “We have worked with Mayflower Tours for several years and have always been incredibly impressed with the level of service and offerings that John and Mary Stachnik (Mayflower Tours founder/owners) have offered their guests. So, when the opportunity came about due to their wish to retire, it was an easy decision.”
Mayflower Cruises & Tours will continue to be based in Downers Grove, just outside of Chicago, and led by current Mayflower president, Nish Patel. “The Scenic Group and Mayflower – this is a perfect match,” offers Nish Patel. “Mayflower’s fastest growing product segment is the river cruises and having access to Scenic’ s excellent quality and vast inventory will offer substantial growth. This is very exciting times at Mayflower Cruises & Tours. We look forward to continuing to provide the same high-quality tours and services.”
Mayflower Tours was founded in the US by John and Mary Stachnik in 1979 and expanded throughout the world in the late 1980s. Mary started the group department, which has grown into the company’s foundation. “We had many AH HA moments and going on our first river cruise convinced us that this was something our customers had to experience themselves,” says John and Mary Stachnik. “We raised two wonderful kids, Molly and John Jr, and our primary goal was for them to lead a wonderful life and be independent. We accomplished that task and now it’s time to appreciate the fruits of our labor. We want to thank everyone in the travel industry and most importantly our personal and business families plus the entire staff at Mayflower and last, but not least, the biggest thank you is to our travelers.”
Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has grown over its 31-year history to include award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours that take participants to many of the world’s most fascinating destinations; two award-winning river cruise lines – Scenic and Emerald Waterways; and the world’s first Discovery Yachts – Scenic Eclipse in 2018 and a sister ship in 2020. Award-winning Emerald Waterways’ seven Star Ships offer deluxe cruises in Europe, and the Mekong, while Scenic’s 15 Space-Ships offer truly all-inclusive, five-star river cruises in the same destinations as well as the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar and Russia.