Where did you find the bus?
The bus was found trough a web platform. We were looking for a 40 feet-long bus, flat-nose or not, with not too much milage. We’ve found that bus on the south shore of Montreal, and went for a quick visit. A Thomas built bus with a Mercedes engine wich only had 190 000 km, second-owner who still made school transportation, and it was in pretty good shape! So we just went ahead and bought it it was really exciting!
What’s the concept behind the Bustel?
To get the whole concept behind the Bustel we need to talk about the travel agency we started a couple years back. Voyage Grand V offers group adventure trips around the globe since 2014. We now have more then 12 destinations, all focusing on a local, responsible and sustainable way of travelling. With the Bustel, we want to develop our expertise in Quebec by offering a unique group tour experience. Our main goal is to make the outdoors more accessible as possible by offering transportation, all camping gear and planning activities for about 16 people. If you are alone or with a group, a true « pure-laine québécois » or a traveller, the Bustel is an original service that would help you create memories.
Was the conversion a challenge?
I’m guessing every conversion is a challenge somehow. Although we we’ve learned a lot during the process, our main challenge was to find a way to keep 16 seats while being able to meet the licence requirements after the conversion. From the paint job to the roof-rack, we did everything ourselves, wich took us a total of 22 weeks.
What kind of tours will you offer with it?
We will offer tours all over Quebec and its surroundings, up to 16 days. We can even develop custom itineraries. Transportation, camping, meals and activities will be offered on our tours depending on the groups preferences. Camping gear is always included in our packages, and activities such as hiking, skiing, tubing, canoeing/surfing and skating can be added according to the season.
Can you operate it during winter?
We can and will definitely operate the Bustel during winter ! Obviously the fresh water tank won’t be accessible when it’s below 0 Celcius. Winter can be quite extreme up here so we can also arrange a few nights in a cool cabin if we want to!
Check out more about the Bustel here.