Email info@TheNatureBus.com if your question is not answered below.
Where are the pick-up locations?
Arrive 15 mins early so you won’t miss the bus; we depart from REI exactly at the time specified on the website/your ticket. We begin and end all of our trips at REI (350 Independence Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462). For customized tours, we can accommodate your group by picking you all up at your preferred local location.
What is the cost for a custom group tour?
Base Price Fee Scale =
$140/hr. (16 seats)($8.75/hr. per person)
Additional Costs =
- Guide gratuity + 15% (of final cost)
- Credit Card Fee + 2.9% (of final cost)(not applicable if paid by check)
- Weekend Fee (Saturday + Sunday) + $100
- Extras/Accommodations (additional cost TBD per item)
- Tolls, gasoline, supplies/rentals, food/drink, pick up/drop offs at special locations
Typically included in base price:
- Expert Planning Services
- Cooler/ice pack
- Bug suits
- Picnic blankets
Not included in base price:
- Insect repellant
What happens in the event of bad weather?
We go rain or shine, so please dress for the weather! In heavy rain, we simply take cover and wait it out. In light rain, we offer umbrellas.
NO REFUNDS are issued due to weather. Tickets are not refundable unless we must cancel a trip due to severe weather conditions.
In the event of SEVERE WEATHER, we will contact you prior to the departure time. We may offer an alternative schedule of indoor activities/tours/site visits for that day which you may accept or decline. If you choose to decline you will be given the option to receive a refund, or transfer your ticket(s) to a later date.
If The Nature Bus cancels a trip for any reason, a full refund will be issued at no penalty.
Why we don't offer ANY refunds after you purchase your ticket
There are NO REFUNDS once you register for a Nature Experience. As soon as we have sold tickets, we begin to secure our guides, make reservations, and we often put down deposits. All sales are final.
Like a non-changeable airline ticket, once paid the ticket is not refundable, nor transferable to another individual. Each individual is required to print their TICKET and show it at the gate to be permitted to board the bus. Your ID must match the name on your ticket.
• We go rain or shine, so please dress for the weather! Please check the weather and in the case of rain, dress in head-to-toe rain slickers and prepare to have fun in the rain! In heavy rain, we simply take cover and wait it out. In light rain, we offer umbrellas. NO REFUNDS are issued due to weather. Tickets are not refundable unless we must cancel a trip due to severe weather conditions.
• In the event of SEVERE WEATHER, we will contact you prior to the departure time. We may offer an alternative schedule of indoor activities/tours/site visits for that day which you may accept or decline. If you choose to decline you will be given the option to receive a refund, or transfer your ticket(s) to a later date. If The Nature Bus cancels a trip for any reason, a full refund will be issued at no penalty. This is the only exception to the no-refund policy – when WE cancel a trip due to conditions out of our control, icy roads, or if we do not meet the minimum seat sales to make the trip feasible.
What should I bring?
– Your printed/digital ticket
– Printed/signed waiver (or you can sign one on the bus)
– Photo ID
– Your camera: phone cameras or DSLR.
– Closed-toed/tennis shoes
– Water bottle
– Snacks (granola bars, trail mix, etc.)
– Swimsuits and towels (for some trips)
– Water shoes (for some trips)
– Please access the registration portal for your specific itinerary for any additional items to bring.
Is the bus safe?
About the MFSAB microbird G5:
- 1.5’’ fiberglass throughout
- Insulated roof bows
- Reduction in noise transfer into passenger compartment
- Prevents condensation
- Dual rear wheel
- Up to 27 passengers (18 adults OR 27 children)
- Optional seatbelts for all passengers
- Standard 32 in electric entrance door
- 93 in. interior width at hip
- 76 in. headroom
Galvanized Steel Structure and Side Impact Barriers
- Steel body frame ensures that all exterior elements, including
dust, moisture and noise, remain outside the passenger
- Superior side impact protection is offered by the use of
heavy-gauge steel side impact barriers that incorporate the
seat rail into the design for extra strength.
You can also go to www.microbird.com for additional product information.
Is your business a VIRGINIA GREEN certified business?
The Nature Bus offers a variety of green programs and tours! New this year, The Nature Bus has added brand new, unique tours including Experience Oysters (guests learn about sustainable oyster aquaculture), Bridal Meditation (couples and their wedding parties experience deep forest relaxation right before the big day), and Nature Quest Summer Camp (zen-like, sensory activities to encourage nature affinity for children ages 8-12), and so much more. All of the tours are helping people connect with Nature! The Nature Bus is an excellent choice for groups of 18 people to carpool – rather than drive a dozen or more cars, to a nature destination. Groups book the bus. A birding trip for a garden club. A wine tour with friends. A team-building day with staff. A day trip with the family. A birthday party for a child. A meditation for a bridal party. These are just a few of the customizable nature-themed outings offered by The Nature Bus programming. Travelers, the public, individuals can also hop-on-board for a special public program entitled “Saturday Escapes.” Tickets are available for public tours on the website. All of The Nature Bus tours encourage guests to be good stewards of the earth. Packing lunches and water in reusable containers, steering clear of balloons for birthday parties, picking up litter along our way, using electronic ticketing, are just a few of the sustainability messages The Nature Bus encourages. The Nature Bus is listed as a Green Business on the Virginia Tourist Corporation website, and it goes the extra mile to participate on committees that promote Virginia Green efforts. We won an all-star award from Virginia Green ( https://www.virginiagreen.net/ ). Programming includes getting involved with clean-up efforts, attending Green festivals and conferences, and offering tours to show off exemplary local green infrastructure. The owner is certified as a Virginia Eco Tour Guide in the state of VA, and also at the national level with National Association for Interpretation (NAI); these certifications train nature guides to offer sustainable tours that are respectful of the environment. The end goal is to help guests have a great day out in nature, with respect for the flora and fauna and their habitats. The mission statement for The Nature Bus is: To be a vehicle for transformative, shared nature experiences. To nurture peoples’ affinity for the natural world. When folks fall in love with nature, they tend to develop pro-environmental stewardship behaviors and often become more active in green efforts. We develop our programs/tours with this perspective.
What COVID-19 safety measures are you taking?
We care about the health and safety of those participating in our nature experiences. Please stay home if you are not feeling well or have a fever. Federal law no longer requires masks to be worn, however they are optional and recommended. Feel free to ride with the windows partially open for optimal air flow.
What qualifications does the staff have?
Ownership/Staff Qualifications & Passenger Safety:
You are in good hands with Owner/Operator, Suzanne Moss who holds many certifications and licenses to qualify her for working with the passengers on The Nature Bus such as:
- American Red Cross Adult and Child CPR and 1st Aid certifications
- Water Safety Instructor certification
- Wilderness First Aid certification
- Virginia Ecotour Guide
- National Association of Interpretation: Certified Guide
- CDL (commercial driver’s license, trained through the Norfolk Public School transportation system)
- Yoga Instructor
- Professional State of Virginia Teaching License preK-6, gifted endorsement
Can I hire your bus and driver?
Our focus is THE NATURE EXPERIENCE. We build itineraries so you will have a memorable experience! The bus ride is optional as a complementary free carpool arrangement with your paid experience. You may choose to drive yourself and meet us at the Nature Experience. The Nature Bus is “not for hire.” You cannot hire the bus and driver for transportation alone.
I'd like to share a nature topic with others, but is my "topic" taken?
We are always in search of individuals who may enjoy sharing their knowledge and skills on a particular topic of nature with others. We need more than one person for the great variety of nature topics, so your area is not “taken.” Don’t be hesitant; Let us know you may be available! Fill out the collaboration proposal form. Email us at info@TheNatureBus.com.
How can I register as an Individual for The Nature Bus?
Individuals: Our business model is GROUP TOURS for up to 16 people. Bring your group! (shore excursions, conference optional outing, family reunions, work outings, team building, birthday parties, graduations, any types of celebrations with your friends, family and co-workers). However, individuals often ask if they can register on their own, without a group. The answer is yes! Whenever we don’t have a custom group booked, we open up our Saturdays to the public at discounted prices! This is our SATURDAY ESCAPES tours. Join us in being adventurous on your weekends! These are nature tours listed as UPCOMING TOURS on our website, on facebook and on our VIP facebook group, and on Instagram. If you are interested in one of these you should reserve your seats as soon as possible after they are posted! There are only 16 seats available for each experience. To stay in-the-know of our special events for individuals, be sure to sign-up for our QUARTERLY (seasonal) NEWSLETTER. You can sign up on the home page, at the very bottom of the page.
Group Types: Corporate outings, employee appreciation, business staff meetings outdoors, adult birthday party or celebration, child birthday party, school field-trip, graduation party, senior day out, wedding/bachelor(ette) memorable experience, church or temple groups (adult and/or child), baby shower, club or organization, homeschoolers, family reunions, singles group, neighbors, book club, and so many more. YOU have a group! Ask them to join you on a fun, memorable, instagram-able outing on board The Nature Bus! What are you waiting for? Email us. Info@TheNatureBus.com
How can I register my Group for a Nature Experience?
Groups: If you already have a group in mind, great! Check out the packages on our website’s home page AND also read through the descriptions on the Imagine the Possibilities Page. Then discuss these ideas with your group. Don’t feel beholden to just these ideas. Remember that we can customize a Nature Experience totally for your group! Once you’re ready, contact us immediately so we can begin to plan your memorable experience! You can fill out the Interest Form and we will contact you about crafting your very own Experience with Nature! YOU will choose the date, the duration, the destination, etc and we will begin immediately to make all of the arrangements for your special day. If you feel there are too many choices, we can simplify it for you by offering your group just two packages to choose from. Either way, when all of the plans are set in place, we will post a REGISTER NOW private event for your group (under the Register Tab). Each person in your group can use the website to register him/herself, or you can designate one person to register the entire group. All registration and payment is taken care of through our secure online registration system. Email or text the owner, Suzanne Moss, with any questions/requests: firstname.lastname@example.org / 757-288-9595 (text preferred please)
Can your tours accommodate groups larger than 16 people?
Yes! We can accommodate larger groups (of up to 50 people) upon request. We require at minimum of 30 days notice. The Nature Bus only has 16 seats, so larger group tours are created with a rotation of activities, and the group is divided into smaller groups who are taken to the separate activities one at a time. An example: 50 passengers would require 4 groups of 16, and a rotation of 4 activities. Group 1 would be picked up first and taken to go kayaking at First Landing State Park. The bus returns to pick up Group 2, and they are taken to a natural area fr a naturalist guided walk. Then Group 3 is picked up… and so on. After Group 4 is dropped off, Group 1 is picked up and taken to their second experience. The groups rotate until each has been on all 4 tours. This is an example, but we can customize the itinerary to fit your specific needs and interests.