Australia Region Group Travel Tours

by admin on July 15, 2011

The following tours were chosen as part of National Geographic’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime for 2011. They were selected for their authentic immersion into local cultures, their commitment to sustainability as well as their sense of adventure.

Tiger Shark Feeding on The Great Barrier Reef

The “Tiger Shark and Turtle Tagging Expedition”, from Marine Encounters, is an 8-day tour led by famed shark scientist Richard Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is one of the foremost shark experts in the world and has been featured as an expert on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic and 60 Minutes. This summer expedition travels to the Great Barrier Reef where green turtles annually migrate to lay their eggs, attracting the area’s numerous tiger sharks looking for an easy food source. Travelers will assist Fitzgerald in a series of dives where they photograph, collect data and tag the tiger shark. Other marine life in this rich marine habitat includes moray eels, the unusual flashlight fish, and hammerhead sharks. The site featured in this expedition is off-limits to everyone but government researchers and their assistants, some of which are the adventurers able to reserve a slot on this expedition.

Marine Encounters [http://www.marineencounters.com.au/] offers a variety of hands-on marine encounters in Australia including shark adventures, Minke Whale expeditions, and customized expeditions. Their itinerary caters to those interested in the underwater realms of Australia and can be tailored for those on a budget as well as those looking for luxury accommodations.

Explore the Culture of Papau New Guinea

The “Wild Papua New Guinea” tour is a 12-day small group travel adventure from Natural Habitat Adventures concentrating on the cultural history of Papau New Guinea. It includes a visit with the Huli people from the Southern Highlands of the country who have inhabited the region for over 1,000 years. The Huli are known for their elaborate headdresses, hereditary social structures and expertise at farming. Their ancient cultural traditions are still largely intact since they were relatively unknown to outsiders before the 1930′s. Other attractions on this tour include a journey into the Tari rain forest, featuring a wide variety of flora and fauna, two full-day snorkeling adventures, and canoeing in the jungles led by an experienced guide. Lodging accommodations are located in eco-friendly natural settings in the highland rainforests, the volcanic coast, and the jungle tropics. This is a flexible adventure for free spirits and guests should only expect the unexpected.

Natural Habitat Adventures[http://www.nathab.com] focuses strictly on nature adventures, offering them at sites throughout the world. They employ the most experienced nature guides with the goal of being considered the premier nature travel company in the world.

Re-Conquer the South Pole in Antarctica

For a chillier adventure, the “Centennial South Pole Expedition” from PolarExplorers is an 8-day polar challenge with travelers departing to Antarctica from Cape Town, South Africa and Punta Arenas, Chile in December of 2011. The tour is a celebration the 100th anniversary of the race to the South Pole by the explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott. Adventurers on this tour will track the last 20 kilometers of Admunsen’s feat and stand on the spot where he planted the Norwegian flag exactly 100 years before on December 14, 1911, beating the British Scott by a month. Travelers fortunate enough to reserve a space on this expedition should properly train ahead of the trip for the final ski run to the South Pole. Visitors will also get a chance see the large emperor penguin colony in the area, explore the mountains of Queen Maud Land and visit a scientific research station base camp.

PolarExplorers [http://www.polarexplorers.com/] is the world’s foremost polar adventure company. They have been offering exclusive polar expeditions for over 15 years in the Arctic regions of North Pole as well as the Antarctic. Their experienced guides have led teams on more than 40 polar adventures and have been featured in media publications like the New York Times and USA Today.

Celebrate Waitangi Day with the Maori

For an immersive experience into the Maori culture of New Zealand, Cultural Crossroads offers the 8-day “Maori Celebration in New Zealand.” Guests spend six days of their tour among the Ngaphuri tribe, the largest Maori community in New Zealand. The adventure features daily in-depth talks about Maori customs, history and cultural traditions. The tour is set up to coincide with the Waitangi Day, a celebration marking the treaty signed by the Maori people with Great Britain in 1840. This treaty recognized the Maori rights to ownership of their land and is the most important historical date on the Maori calendar. Guests will also visit Haruru Falls, the hot springs of Ngawha, and Paihu, the site where Captain James Cook landed in the 18th century while mapping the complete New Zealand coastline. Two days will be spent in Auckland where visitors will tour the Auckland museum, featuring cultural and historical collections relating to New Zealand and South Pacific history.

Cultural Crossroads [http://www.culturalcrossroads.com/] offers group cultural tours throughout the world, limiting the number to between 8 and 16 people for a truly personal and interactive experience. Cultural Crossroads specializes in immersive tours featuring authentic cultural celebrations, native story telling with customs and cuisines unique to the local population.

{ 0 comments }

North America Group Travel Tours

by admin on July 15, 2011

Traveling with friends, family, co-workers and sometimes even strangers can bring more excitement and memorable experiences than when just traveling alone. Luckily, National Geographic has created a list of the top 50 group travel destinations in North America, including Canada and Mexico. Below are just of few of your group travel options (http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/tours/north-america-tours-2011/).

1. Civil War Tours

Lancaster, PA, USA

Join in the four year long commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Group tours are guided by qualified, experienced historians. Take the five day tour and visit all famous battle sites and notable locations pertinent to the civil war. The tour includes meals, transportation, wine tasting, picnics on actual battlefields, educational and informative films, museum visits and explanations from well trained historians. For a group of 15, this tour will run a little over $800 per person (http://www.civilwartours.net/).

2. O.A.R.S

Flagstaff, Arizona/Grand Canyon, USA

O.A.R.S has over 40 years of experience in hiking, kayaking, and white water adventures in locations all over the world. Their Grand Canyon tours range from four all the way up to 18 days. Their 15-18 day tour is one of the most exciting. Travellers can chose between rafts or dories, depending on their level of comfort, experience or just personal preference. Most days will be spent with around 4 hours in the boats and the rest of the time exploring your beautiful surroundings. Meals, water proof bags, eating utensils and chairs will be provided, but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag. Each passenger must be at least 12 years of age and under 260 lbs. Price start at around $4800 per person (http://www.oars.com/grandcanyon/rafting/leesferry-lakemead.html).

3. Wild Triathlon

Alaska, USA

Alaska is beautiful, but it’s not for the weak. The Glacier Bay Traverse tour has 12 days of hiking, sea kayaking and rafting in store. Get the chance to see whales, bears, calving glaciers and picturesque scenery that not many people have laid eyes on. With over 20 years of experience, they know how to give you the best bang for your buck. You will start out in Juneau, the state’s capital, then a short flight to the town of Gustavus and a hop on over to Glacier Bay. The tour starts out with five days of sea kayaking, following by five days of glacier trekking and ending with an amazing raft trip down the Tsirku River. No experience is necessary, just a love of adventure. All gear, guides, instructions, food and permits are included. Tour prices start at $3400 per person (http://alaskamountainguides.com/?page_id=549).

4. Journey Mexico

Tarahumara, Mexico

For those who love the outdoors and an active lifestyle, this is the perfect trip. This is a nine day hiking tour that takes your group through canyons, villages, and scenery that most big cities just don’t have. Most areas can only be accessed on foot or by burro (donkey). Find out how the indigenous people still live simple lives in a harsh environment. Daily hikes can be at least six hours long, but you won’t have to spend the entire time on your feet. The tour includes your stay at hotels or cabins and even a train ride in first class. Most meals are included, as well as some snacks. Enjoy a scenic ride back to town and have fun at your farewell fiesta. Groups of seven or more cost around $2200 per person. Smaller groups can be accommodated but the price will go up (http://www.journeymexico.com/index.php/Trip/copper_canyon_hiking_tour).

5. Maple Leaf Adventures

British Columbia, Canada

Maple Leaf Adventures offer a number of multiple day cruises varying from six to 12 days. All cruises include meals created by the on board chef, dinner wine, shore excursions, use of kayaks, the opportunity to help steer and navigate and access to knowledgeable staff and tour guides. They have over 25 years of experience and the fact that their cruises sell out quickly speaks for itself. The Great Bear Rainforest tour takes you onboard a 92 foot wooden schooner and gives you the chance to see whales, bears and other wildlife. Not all your time will be spent on the boat either, you will be allowed to disembark and walk in the wilderness. Depending on group size and length of trip, the cost will be around $4000 (http://www.mapleleafadventures.com/sailing-cruises/great-bear-rainforest.php).

6. Elevate Destinations

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

This trip isn’t like any normal tour, it’s more like a mission. Haiti was struck hard by an earthquake in January 2010 and rebuilding has been difficult. Elevate Destinations give you two options to have a memorable vacation, and give back to those who are most in need. First, you can travel to Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital city. There, you and your group can help re-build a home for boys that has welcomed in children for many years and will continue to do so once they have their much needed space. Second, you could travel to the port city of Jacmel. There, they experienced a loss of 70% of their buildings, some hundreds of years old. Take part in building their free community school and get computers into place. Each trip will last 14 days and the basic package starts at $800 with the option to upgrade (http://www.elevatedestinations.com/journey_haiti.html).

Where ever your destination may be, two is always company but three or more is never a crowd. Enjoy taking a group tour or trip and watch your memories blossom into multitudes.

{ 0 comments }

European Group Travel Tours

July 15, 2011

These European tours are part of National Geographic’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime, offering immersive adventures from some of the best adventure companies in the industry. Kayaking in Scotland Wilderness Scotland is an adventure company that offers a 6-day kayaking tour in the western half of the country called “The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail” tour. [...]

Read the full article →

Asia Group Travel Tours

July 15, 2011

The thought of adventuring through Asia’s hidden wonders is enticing, to say the least. Dreaming of taking elephant rides through Thailand, walking down the Great Wall of China, or seeing the Taj Majal is enough to make you consider booking a plane ride immediately; however, without the right travel itinerary, an exciting trip can quickly [...]

Read the full article →

South America Group Travel Tours

July 15, 2011

Exploring Guyana’s Untouched Interior The highly populated coastal areas of Guyana leave the interior jungle undeveloped. These remote areas are accessible only by small plane, canoe and 4×4 pickup truck in one of Earth’s last unspoiled rain forests. The area is inhabited only by indigenous Amerindians; learn the culture of these people as you stay [...]

Read the full article →

Africa Group Travel Tours

July 15, 2011

The most convenient and safe way to travel is with a group. Group travel offers the traveler expert guides with well thought-out itineraries. Africa is one of those places that most people are reluctant to visit, but in fact it offers not only many cultural adventures, but also some of the most exciting activities that [...]

Read the full article →