WELCOME TO CHRISTIAN TOURS
features fun-filled, family-oriented, fully escorted vacations
to your favorite destinations.
With 35 years of
travel experience we have set the standard, offering the very
best in motorcoach tours, fly tours, cruises and international
vacations. Let us take the worry and work out of your vacation
planning. Our courteous office staff will assist you with
your reservations. Join an escorted tour to your choice of
exciting destinations within the USA and Canada. Board a luxurious
cruise to exotic ports of call. Adventure with us to International
countries and experience the places you've only dreamed about.
How we got started
It all started in 1976 when Catawba County native Udean Burke was Minister of
Music at Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina. He and his wife Nancy were
celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with their dream trip to
Hawaii. After talking to friends
from church they got a group of sixty-seven people together and went on that
dream vacation. On the tour several
of the ladies were bragging about what a wonderful group of Christian people
were on the tour with such a great atmosphere. Some of the ladies had been on bus tours before and were embarrassed by
the jokes and language and were uncomfortable with the incompatibility of the
people on the tour. They wondered
why they couldn’t get the same kind of people that they had on the Hawaii tour
to go on a motorcoach tour and share a Christian atmosphere with great
fellowship with family and friends.
After a nice organized tour to Hawaii Nancy and Udean talked about planning a
motorcoach tour…and they did just that. Their neighbor just happened to be a driver for Trailways. They chartered a motorcoach from
Trailways driven by their neighbor and toured the Amish Country of Pennsylvania,
Washington, D.C., and Williamsburg, Virginia. With a group of thirty-nine people they had a successfully organized
tour. After this tour people started
talking about what a great trip they had and suggested other place to take
tours. With these ideas they mailed
out a small brochure promoting several other upcoming tours. With more and more people finding out
about Nancy and Udean’s Christian Tours, a new business was now formed. By 1977 their daughter
Mellonee, now Vice President of the company became the secretary, making
reservations and handling many office tasks. Nancy, Udean and their son Tim were the tour directors/escorts on each of
the tours.Continuing to charter
motorcoaches from local companies Christian Tours began to offer a more variety
of fully escorted vacations.
1982 was a big year for the Burke family! Making a decision to move back to
Catawba County and the purchase of the first vehicle in the fleet was made, a
brand-new Prevost motorcoach.
Now celebrating over 35 years of travel, Christian Tours / Burke International
Tours now operates a fleet of 42 full-size Prevost H345 Motorcoaches, 10
Mini-Coaches and a Mercedes High Top Limousine, the business continues to grow. The vehicles are available for
charter to businesses, major events, schools, churches, special events, shuttle,
etc. The company also owns and
operates two other divisions Burke Educational Travel and Burke International
Tours Travel Agency.
With the Christian values of the company, the company is still owned and
operated by Nancy and Udean Burke and their daughter Mellonee Owenby. The company now has around 150
employees including several grandchildren.
Travel with other
other adventurous and like-minded people on an unforgettable
vacation with Christian Tours.