Archive for the ‘adventure travel’ Category

Valentine’s Gift of Travel: 10 Romantic Adventures for Lovers

February 10, 2017

 

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What could be more romantic than experiencing the Northern Lights in Iceland together? Big Chill Adventures offers that trip (photo by Mindy Cambiar)

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many have romance on the mind. If you are looking to rekindle old flames or charm your significant other with something extraordinary, consider these romantic retreats. From “glamping” in Wyoming to touring France by bike, here are 10 adventures that will make capture your hearts. Consider gifting the romantic trip for a future date, with so much to look forward to.

Bike Across France – Ride & Seek has introduced a romantic cycling tour in the Provence region of France highlighting some of the most beautiful villages as ordained by the group Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Guests will visit a number of classic destinations such as St Remy de Provence and the Vaucluse. From Venasque to Les Alpilles to Glanum, this is a dreamy tour of Provence.

Rocky Mountain Glamping – Hike, ride horses, fly fish, snowmobile, x-country ski, and play cowboy at the 25,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Wyoming. The ranch is both working ranch and luxury resort.  Gourmet dining offers ingredients from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens.  From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.

Robinson Caruso Island Retreat – Retreat to the mystical Chilean island where marooned explorer Robinson Crusoe once lived. Hear the legends of pirates and treasure as you hike through deep forested ravines, cascading streams, and along jagged coastlines in this World Heritage Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy active excursions such as snorkeling, hiking, diving, horseback riding, and fishing, by day. Return to the comfort of your Robinson Crusoe Island resort by night.

New Zealand Food & Wine Adventure – On this exclusive luxury food and wine tour hosted by Frontiers International Travel President, Mike Fitzgerald, guests will experience New Zealand’s charming mixture of refined lifestyle and adventure. Discerning travelers will visit some of the most scenic coastal and inland areas of New Zealand, while enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, fine dining, and world-class wine.

Trek with Gorillas in Rwanda – Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda. Intrepid travelers will also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and likely come across elephants and African buffalo.

Escape to Romantic St. Petersburg – Forget Paris or Rome. Join MIR Corporation in St. Petersburg where you and your lover can peruse Fabergé eggs, attend world-class ballet and opera performances, walk the halls of luxurious palaces of the czars, and stand before “The Dance,” a joyous painting by Henri Matisse.

Après-Ski Retreat in Montana – Rent a luxurious cabin at the Moonlight Basin community in Big Sky, Montana and find active pursuits paired with food and drinks. Ski beautiful terrain that isn’t open to the public, sample hors d’oeuvres and après-ski drinks by a campfire, snowshoe to the clubhouse by starlight, and then sit down for an exquisite wine-paired dinner.

Wine Cruise on the Douro River –  On this romantic cruise with Adventure Life, guests will visit a fairytale castle from Portugal’s Romantic period, dine with breathtaking views from a 14th century monastery, take in art from the 12th century to modern times, and taste plenty of wine – including at a family-run estate and a terraced vineyard.

See the Northern Lights in Iceland – Big Chill Adventures offers an opportunity to explore the southern part of Iceland, known for its glaciers, icebergs and black sand beaches. Highlights include dogsledding, trekking glaciers, snowmobiling, spelunking, and soaking in geothermal hot springs.

Discover the Silk Road and Tibet – Explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid circular route that embraces the sacred cities of Tsetang, Lhasa, Gyantse and Shigatse. Ride the high-altitude train from Lhasa down to Lanzhou, and onto Western China and the Kashgar Animal Market. Along the way, visit Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves and Turpan’s lush Grape Valley.

 

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For Mothers Day, Give the Gift of Travel: 8 ‘Bucket List’ Adventures Sure to Make this an Epic Event

April 26, 2016

 

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This Mother’s Day, you can fulfill a bucket list wish of giving the gift of travel to Iceland, Land of Fire and Ice © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This Mother’s Day, spice things up by giving her the gift of travel. Travel expert Adam York has selected eight bucket list adventures that span the spectrum of Moms, but are sure to make this the most epic Mother’s Day ever. 

  1. Nicaragua Escape – Retreat to a tranquil hideaway overlooking the white sands beaches of the Pacific Ocean at Aqua Wellness Resort. Mom will enjoy two days in charming Granada City where she will kayak, volcano hike, and zip-line, before heading to her exceptional beachfront retreat. She will relax, play, and decompress in a beautiful rainforest setting.
  1. Alaska Northern Lights – Join Gondwana EcoTours on a Northern Lights tour of Alaska. Mom will get a dose of local culture by day, and by night have the opportunity to photograph the Aurora Borealis under the massive Alaskan sky! She will zip between snow-covered trees on the back of a dog-sled, soak in the mineral-rich waters of geothermal hot springs, walk through the frozen art of an ice-sculpture museum, and sip martinis out of glasses made of ice.
  1. Argentina Wine + Photo Adventure– Mom will join renowned Argentine photographer, teacher, and documentary filmmaker, Ossian Lindholm, on the first-ever photography + high-altitude wine tour of Northwest Argentina. This is a magical journey that is perfect for photographers and wine lovers of all levels. Mom will be immersed in the region’s geography, wildlife, cuisine, and culture.
  1. Barge Cruise through France – Fine wines, delicious cuisine, and a leisurely approach to the enjoyment of each day await Mom on a barge cruise down France’s picturesque waterways. From the rolling vineyards of Burgundy to the tree-lined Canal du Midi in the Languedoc region, Frontiers International Travel’s selection of handpicked vessels provide a range of options suitable for anyone in search of a unique holiday with like-minded people.
  1. Moscow, the Golden Ring and St. Petersburg – Mom will discover where Russian art, architecture and culture began. In between the urban centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg, she’ll experience the Russian countryside. The oldest and loveliest churches in Russia, Sergiev Posad’s wooden crafts, and Fedoskino’s glowing lacquer boxes all put a shine on Russia’s Golden Ring that Mom will never forget.  
  1. Cycle Villages of Provence – Take Mom on Ride & Seek’s Provence cycling tour through the most beautiful villages of France as ordained by the group Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. This tour emphasizes authentic cuisine and local wines. There is a wonderful correlation between fine wine growing areas and world-class cycling.
  1. Dude Ranch Retreat – The 25,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming is both working ranch and luxury resort. Mom will hike, ride horses, skeet shoot, fly fish, mountain bike, dine on gourmet food, and play cowgirl on this fun-filled getaway.  From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.
  1. Diamond Circle Tour of Iceland – The land of fire and ice, active volcanoes and glaciers! Countless geysers, hot pots, and fumaroles dot the landscape. These unique features create a landscape filled with incredible waterfalls, lakes, mountains and stories of trolls and elves. On this six-day trip, Mom will travel by 4WD car from Reykjavik through the Skagafjordur Region to see the highlights of the Diamond Circle in the north, and return to Reykjavik by plane.

 

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Vail Resorts to Launch On-Mountain Epic Discovery Summer Adventures

March 1, 2016
Vail Resorts is set to introduce on-mountain Epic Discovery adventures this summer at Vail Mountain in Colorado and Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe.

Vail Resorts is set to introduce on-mountain Epic Discovery adventures this summer at Vail Mountain in Colorado and Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe.

VAIL, Colo. – Want to soar like an eagle? Travel through the forest canopy like a squirrel? Find out if you’re as strong as a bear? See the world through the eyes of a trout? This summer, Vail Resorts is introducing Epic Discovery at Vail Mountain in Colorado and Heavenly Mountain Resort at Lake Tahoe. Epic Discovery provides an on-mountain summer experience, immersing guests in activities which provide big-time thrills, allow them to challenge themselves physically, guide them to explore and better understand their natural surroundings, and ultimately create lifelong memories.

“Epic Discovery will provide an avenue for our summer guests to experience our alpine settings in a new, immersed way, similar to what our ski and snowboard guests experience in the winter,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “Vail Resorts, along with our partners at the U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy, envisions Epic Discovery as a catalyst for helping to foster a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors among a diverse audience of summer visitors to the mountains.””

This new comprehensive on-mountain summer adventure will feature components such as zip lines, canopy tours, alpine coasters, wildlife trail exploration, and interactive, “learn-through-play”  activities, which will debut at Vail and Heavenly in June and at Breckenridge in 2017.

“Epic Discovery offers families the opportunity to learn through play together in the national forest,”” Jarnot continued. “For kids, it will be the ultimate playground in an alpine setting.””

Vail Mountain’s Epic Discovery proposal received final approval from the U.S. Forest Service in October 2014, and the resort began construction the following summer. Vail’s existing Adventure Ridge has already undergone enhancements with the addition of two rope challenge courses, summer tubing, a four-line Zip Flyer, as well as a kids’ challenge course and kids’  zip line.

In June, Vail Mountain, located on the White River National Forest, will debut these Epic Discovery experiences:

  • Game Creek Canopy Tour: The ultimate outdoor experience, this guided tour will immerse guests in the forest habitat with an array of zip lines and aerial bridges as high as 300 feet above the valley floor. Guests will learn about the mountain environment from interpretive guides while working their way through the course.
  • Forest Flyer: This gravity-based alpine coaster allows guests on individual sleds to descend on a raised track through the forest while giving riders full control of their speed.
  • Expanded Trail System: A wildlife exploration trail, featuring mountain flora and fauna and a series of installations that each resembles a different animal ability, such as vision, stride, agility and strength. Vail has partnered with The Nature Conservancy, the USFS and Walking Mountains Science Center to bring interpretive elements to the Epic Discovery experiences and will be contributing one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy for forest restoration projects.

Heavenly’s Epic Discovery project, which received final approval on May 14, 2015, has already seen the implementation of several new on-mountain adventures, including a permanent rock climbing wall and kids ropes course and zip line, all located at Adventure Peak at the top of the Heavenly Gondola.

Opening in June, Heavenly’s Epic Discovery will feature:

  • Canopy Tour: Set amongst the pines surrounding the mid-station observation deck of Heavenly’s Gondola, this guided tour will immerse guests in the forest habitat with an array of zip lines and aerial bridges featuring an unfiltered view of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains.
  • Alpine Coaster: This gravity-based alpine coaster allows guests on individual sleds to descend on a raised track through the forest and natural rock formations, with incredible scenic views of Lake Tahoe. Located near the existing summer tubing hill, the alpine coaster will utilize gravity for the descent while giving riders full control of their speed.
  • Guided 4×4 Mountain Tours: Guests will enjoy Heavenly’s stunning view from the cab of an off-roading SUV. These 4×4 tours offer the best of an alpine summer with views of Lake Tahoe, the Carson Valley and Desolation Wilderness.
  • Interpretive Learning: Heavenly’s project integrates a robust interpretive learning component with curriculum created in collaboration with the Forest Service, the League to Save Lake Tahoe and The Nature Conservancy.

Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Epic Discovery proposal to the USFS received its final record of decision on Nov. 16, 2015, and includes adventure hiking zones, plus additional activities including zip lines, canopy tours and ropes courses, all with extensive environmental and interpretive programming. Construction is expected to begin during summer 2016 and will include the following primary activities and enhancements:

Full details on all the Epic Discovery activities at Vail and Heavenly, as well as online ticket purchasing will be available soon online at www.vail.com or www.skiheavenly.com.

Epic Discovery: A Summer Mountain Adventure

Summer in the mountains is taking on a whole new feel thanks to legislation passed in 2011, the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act, and Vail Resorts is the first in the ski industry to submit and implement a comprehensive new summer activities plan to the U.S. Forest Service. Vail Resorts’ Epic Discovery program encourages “learn through play,” promoting environmental education and forest stewardship with numerous fun experiential activities across three different mountain resorts, Vail Mountain, Breckenridge and Heavenly. The Epic Discovery experience will incorporate extensive environmental and interpretive programming that offers guests a unique opportunity to try new outdoor activities, challenge themselves physically, discover an appreciation for nature and create lasting family memories. Each of these new activities will capitalize on the existing summer visitation at each resort and leverage existing infrastructure, creating the opportunity for high-impact and high-return projects. Through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation non-profit organization, Epic Discovery will complement the eco-discovery experiences across the mountain with scientific content. Subsequently, Vail Resorts will utilize its new “1% For The Forest” program as a means to contribute one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy for forest restoration projects on national forest lands.

To learn more about Epic Discovery, visit www.epicdiscovery.com.

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a leading global mountain resort operator, operating nine world-class mountain resorts and two urban ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Perisher in Australia; Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan and Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin The Company owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Visit www.snow.com.

 

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Booking a Romantic Biking Adventure Shows You Care for Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2016
A romantic biking/boat trip through the Greek Islands with BikeTours © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A romantic biking/boat trip through the Greek Islands with BikeTours © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the love in your life by booking a romantic adventure for two.

From leisurely cycling on romantic country roads to wine tastings in charming vineyards to slow strolls exploring a new city, there are many ways to embrace adventure with the one you love.

“A romantic trip or honeymoon doesn’t have to mean sitting in a beach lounger all day,” says Vice President of BikeTours.com, Natalie Cook. “Explorer-type couples look beyond the all-inclusive to active vacations that immerse them in the culture and beauty of a destination.

Leisurely cycling, plenty of scenic selfie-opps, and plenty of off-bike time to relax and relish the day — these are the experiences that make memories for a lifetime.”

BikeTours.com highlights its top suggestions (and some limited-time special offers) for dreamy escapes with your significant other.

Tuscan Wine Classic: Popular for honeymooners, this tour features charming inns, incredible landscapes, candlelit dinners, visits to vineyards and breathtaking scenery. Learn more.

Bali Paradise Ride: With its verdant rice paddies, white-sand beaches, ancient temples, and colorful culture, Bali is a place where every day is a celebration and where love and family are heralded above all else. Learn more.

The Aeolian Islands by Bike and Boat: Cycle among the charming islands in Sicily by day and sleep on a romantic Turkish gulet by night. This tour features delicious dinners with wine on deck each evening and beautiful Italian islands perfect for exploring on two wheels. Learn more.

Atlantic West Coast and Sintra: Portugal’s bluebird skies, charming inns, gorgeous coastlines, and sunny disposition all make for a perfect week of wine, romance, and adventure. Learn more.

Connemara Lazy Days: This is a relaxing and enjoyable cycling trip that leaves plenty of time for picnic lunches, a visit to the romantic and storied Kylemore Abbey, walks on the beach, and more.

PLUS! All bookings made in February for any date in 2016 will get a free bottle of bubbly on arrival! Learn more.

Castles and Wine of Portugal: Charming hotels, beautiful castles, and delicious wine make this tour a real treat.

Plus! For all tours booked in February 2016, they’ll throw in a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride in Évora for free!

Treasures of the Donegal Coast (Ireland): Peaceful, hidden beaches, charming Irish pubs and restaurants, vibrant traditional music – this tour along the coast offers relaxation, culture, and adventure.

Mosel Bike Path (Germany): This popular tour offers a leisurely ride along a popular wine route.

Plus! Add a special wine tasting (6 wines) in Trittenheim for €15 per person.

The Cotswolds and Stonehenge (England): Experience Shakespeare, country charm, and loads of romance bottled up in a 9-night self-guided tour perfect for a romantic holiday.

Prague to Venice (Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, and Italy): A 21-night self-guided tour along a romantic route, featuring beautiful landmarks of UNESCO heritage and some of the most charming cities in Europe.

Bruges and the Belgian Coast (Belgium): Experience this country’s culture, nature, and history on this 7-night self-guided tour full of romance and charm.

Hudson Valley National Heritage Area: Explore the Hudson Valley’s romantic country roads, award-winning wineries, historic inns, and lovely scenic vistas, all great recipes for romance in New England. Learn more.

BikeTours serves as a central resource for bicycle tours worldwide, representing 125 tour companies with over 500 tours in 71 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas (the newest program is in Namibia).

Bike Tours, 1222 Tremont St., Suite 100, Chattanooga, TN 37405, 877-462-2423, 423-756-8907, info@biketours.com, www.biketours.com.

See

A biking/boating odyssey amid the Greek Isles and slideshow

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Wildland Adventures Bets On Home Team With Super Bowl Promo: 10% Off Galapagos Cruises, $500 More If Seahawks Win

February 1, 2015
Expressing confidence in their team’s victory, Wildland Adventures is celebrating with its own Galapagos Adventure Bowl by offering a 10% savings on a Galapagos Islands cruise in 2015. And the kicker: if the hometown Seahawks win, another $500 comes off the adventure package.

Expressing confidence in their team’s victory, Wildland Adventures is celebrating with its own Galapagos Adventure Bowl by offering a 10% savings on a Galapagos Islands cruise in 2015. And the kicker: if the hometown Seahawks win, another $500 comes off the adventure package.

Wildland Adventures believes that Darwin’s survival of the fittest applies to the outcome of its home team, the Seattle-based Seahawks, as they compete in this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, AZ.

Expressing confidence in their team’s victory, Wildland Adventures is celebrating with its own Galapagos Adventure Bowl by offering a 10 percent savings on a cruise through the Galapagos Islands in 2015. And the kicker: if the hometown Seahawks win, another $500 comes off the adventure package.

The small country of Ecuador is a player in this year’s half-time advertising break during the Super Bowl on Feb. 1. This is the first time the country has decided to promote itself in such an ambitious way to a huge US audience and it will be the only destination to be promoted in this event.

Why so bullish on the Seattle Seahawks? “Like Darwin’s observations of physical and behavioral characteristics of animals in the Galapagos, we have studied and documented the extreme levels of strength, size and speed among individual Seahawk players and we predict they will dominate in the Arizona bowl habitat,” said Sherry Howland, the company’s Galapagos Program Director and most ardent Seahawks supporter.

For details on Wildland Adventures Galapagos Adventure Bowl, see
http://www.wildland.com/trips/south-america/ecuador-and-galapagos/galapagos-adventure-bowl/overview.aspx

While aboard a deluxe 20-passenger yacht for eight days (the total package is 11 days/10 nights), guests explore where Darwin once roamed. They also enjoy three nights on the Ecuador mainland connecting through the capital city of Quito.

Galapagos Adventure Bowl is available only for new bookings made from Feb. 1-28, 2015 for departures in 2015. Space is limited by availability. Best available dates in 2015 are Sept. 4, 11, 18, 27, Oct. 25 and Dec. 4, 11. Other dates are available on request. Galapagos Adventure Bowl savings are not applicable with other discount programs.

For more information contact Wildland Adventures at; 1800-345-4453, visit http://www.wildland.com/ or email info@wildland.com.

Follow Wildland Adventures
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/wildlandadventures
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/WildTravel
YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/wildtravel
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+wildlandadventures

 

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Wrap up a TerraVello Luxury Camping and Cycling Experience in Utah, Wyoming or California For the Holidays

December 7, 2014
TerraVelo Tours organizes an all-inclusive luxury camping escape with bicycling, horseback riding, massages and other amenities.

TerraVelo Tours organizes an all-inclusive luxury camping escape with bicycling, horseback riding, massages and other amenities.

This year, give your family the gift of your time and a shared experience to remember – a luxury camping (aka “glamping”) and cycling tour of the spectacular landscapes of Utah or Wyoming National Parks, or California’s vineyards and redwoods with TerraVelo Tours.

TerraVelo Tours offers fully-inclusive luxury mobile tent camping travel for both avid and casual cyclists – providing an unforgettable journey for both skill sets – TerraVelo has even created an elegant way to present your gift: a TerraVelo tote bag, complete with a custom-designed voucher and your choice of a selection of bath amenities from historic C.O. Bigelow & Apotheke Co.  or a TomTom MultiSport GPS watch.

The voucher can be redeemed for 2015 itineraries:

Utah Arches, Canyons and Hoodoos through Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce National Parks brings guests through some of the most jaw-dropping scenery in the nation. Departures are April 12-19; May 3-9 and 10-16; September 20-26; and October 4-10.

Wyoming Mountains, Geysers and Bison tours include stops at Grand Teton National Park , Jackson, Yellowstone National Park including  Old Faithful,  Norris Geyser Basin, the Hot Springs Loop,  the unique landscape of Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar River Valley. Tours depart June 28-July 4; July 19-25 (Family Tour); and July 26-August 1.

The California Oceans, Vineyards and Redwoods tours encompass stops at Point Reyes National Seashore, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa, Armstrong National Redwoods Preserve, Salt Point State Park, and sunrise yoga followed by a cycle through the Avenue of the (Redwood) Giants.  Departures are May 24-30 (Family Tour); June 14-20; August 9-15; August 16-22; and August 30-September 5.

“TerraVelo Tours combines moveable luxury camping with an exhilarating cycling itinerary, suitable for cyclists of all levels,” states David Levine, co-founder of the luxury cycling tour company. “Our bicycle tours bring together a maximum of 15 guests for intimate dinners, amazing food and enlightening conversation, complemented by luxurious camping and amenities. Our guests are cared for by 10-12 staff members, the highest ratio among bicycle tours.”

“Excursions, a masseuse, even the toothpaste are included in the experience,” adds Rebecca Martin, Levine’s partner and co-founder.  “A private chef and sous chef will accompany us, preparing all our meals and snacks during each seven-day adventure.  Our accommodations every night will be in luxurious, elegant tents, adding to the beauty of the scenery while providing supremely comfortable shelter. This is unheard of in our cycling world!”

Guests will be outfitted with a carbon fiber specialized Roubaix Expert Ultegra or similar high-end road bike and helmet; those preferring to ride their own bike can simply bring it to their local bike shop where TerraVelo will have it shipped, delivered and assembled, ready to ride when the guest arrives, and shipped back to the bike shop upon departure.

Each of the luxury tents simulates an upscale hotel guestroom, outfitted with plush memory-foam mattress;  Frette linens; down comforters;  rugs;  furnishings from ABC Home & Carpet and Mitchell Gold +Bob Williams; Turkish bath towels; and C.O. Bigelow & Apotheke Co.   toiletries and sundries.

Each night’s Camp will include: a full-time personal chef and sous chef who will prepare all meals served in the elegant dining tent. Several times during the tour guests can enjoy sunrise yoga; evening entertainment including live music and campfire; a masseuse who will provide 30-minute massages; educational sessions from a visiting expert, perhaps an astronomer and/or geologist who will share insights on the gorgeous night sky, landscape and vegetation. Laundry service is provided twice during each tour.

A Lounge tent with a sofa, club chairs, board games including chess, backgammon, playing cards; books and a fully-stocked bar; shower and restroom facilities complete the mobile accommodations.

Family-Friendly Tours Attract All Generations

For 2015, TerraVelo Tours will host dedicated Family Tour weeks in Wyoming and in California, welcoming children as young as 8.

“As the mother of two active children, I know what a joy it will be for parents – and grandparents – to watch their children explore the splendor of our national parks,” said Martin. “We will tailor activities to suit them, to assure a memorable experience for all ages.”

The 7-day tour packages include all food, beverage and accommodations, and are priced at $5,990 per person, double occupancy, with guests’ choice of one Queen bed or two singles.
Children’s rates are $4,990 with single bed accommodations in parents’ tents; youngsters 16 and over pay the adult rate.

For information or reservations, call 888-801-1446 or visit www.TerraVeloTours.com.

 

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AdventureSmith Explorations Reports Space Still Available for 2014 Holiday Small-Ship Cruises, Adventures

September 3, 2014

Suddenly it’s late summer with 2014 Holiday travel only months away.

AdventureSmith Explorations that offers both sea and land excursions year-round reports that there is still space available for prime holiday season December 2014 and early January 2015 escapes.

“But don’t wait too long,” said Todd Smith, founder/owner of AdventureSmith Explorations that specializes in small-ship expedition cruising that allows gusts to get up close and personal with the environments and landscapes they travel far to see.

Opportunities still available for Holiday cruises include the following destinations: Amazon, Antarctica, Australia, Baja (Mexico), Chile/Patagonia, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Galapagos and Hawaii.

For example, Hawaii Christmas Cruises Hawaiian Seascapes Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3, Jan. 3-10 on the 36-passenger Safari Explorer yacht lets guests explore four islands. This active itinerary includes time for snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, touring local farms and museums, and even night snorkeling. The 8-day cruise is from $3,595 per person double.

There are two Baja, Mexico, Christmas Cruises. The first is Wild Islands & Treasures of Baja Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3 on the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird. This expedition unites its twin facets: culture and wildness. Guests explore pristine desert islands, rife with endemic species, rare plants and towering forests of cacti, and spot Humpback whales migrating in the Sea of Cortez. The 8-day cruise is from $5,690 per person double.

Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3 uncovers the area of Dabo Pulmo where French Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau led numerous expeditions in a setting of steep bluffs and sandy beaches. This Baja expedition through marine-life-rich waters aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavour offers opportunities to snorkel among gentle whale sharks and sea lion pups, and explore the desert landscape explored by Cousteau. The per person rate for 8 days is from $3,395.

Baja, Costa Rica, Chile/Patagonia, Guatemala, Panama and Peru offer opportunities for both pre-set and on-request land departures that may also include itineraries suited to families. These combine hiking through rainforests, sourcing indigenous wildlife, sometimes whitewater rafting and explorations of archaeology, culture and history.

For example in Peru, the Peru Mountain Lodge Trek Dec. 20-26, Dec. 21-27 Dec. 24-30 Dec. 27-Jan. 2 is the very first trans-Andean lodge-to-lodge trek to one of the ancient world’s most extraordinary sanctuaries: Machu Picchu. After full days of trekking, guests spend evenings unwinding by the fireplace, stargazing and enjoying a comfortable lodge. The 7-day program is from $3,489 per person double.

Costa Rica Christmas Tours, Quest for Pura Vida Dec. 20-28, Dec. 27-Jan. 4, combines the cloud forests of Monteverde and the active Arenal Volcano with the verdant lowland tropical forests of Tortuguero to highlight Costa Rica’s diversity of nature and culture. This 9-day program combining mountains, rainforest and the Caribbean is from $2,700 per person double.

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. In 2012, owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious 14th Annual Travel Specialists List as the world’s expert on small ship expeditions. A distinction he received again in 2013. For information, availability and 2014 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.

 

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O.A.R.S. Adventure Travel Company Operates Rafting, Hiking, Multi-Sport Trips into October

August 12, 2014
Whitewater rafting in Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. O.A.R.S. adventure travel company is operating rafting trips into October.

Whitewater rafting in Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. O.A.R.S. adventure travel company is operating rafting trips into October.

Veteran river outfitter and nature-based adventure travel company O.A.R.S. (www.oars.com/) is operating rafting, hiking and multi-sport vacations into October that promise cooler temperatures along with great fishing, uncrowded wilderness and brilliant night skies.

“It’s our favorite season for hiking and exploring in the national parks,” adds Steve Markle, O.A.R.S.’ spokesperson. “And then there’s the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, which not only has spectacular alpine scenery, but also world-class trout fishing – especially in September when high water has receded, the river is crystal clear, and angling conditions are prime.”

Markle suggests some of the company’s most popular fall adventures for anyone looking for domestic travel from September through October:

Through mid-September O.A.R.S.’ six-day Yellowstone & Grand Teton Explorer takes guests off the beaten track at a time when seasonal visits to the two parks are slowing down. This multi-sport program in wild Wyoming includes two nights of lodging and three nights of catered camping on Jackson Lake with days spent touring Yellowstone and kayaking and hiking in Grand Teton. Through special access granted by the National Park Service, O.A.R.S. has been given permission to camp on an island in the lake, a privilege unique to this company. This trip transports guests into a world of mountain peaks and meadows, trout streams, waterfalls, bear, moose and bison. The rate is $1,589/person based on double occupancy for six days (five-day camping trips also available from $1399/person).

The company’s four-day, lodge-based Grand Canyon Rim to River Hiker in September and October brings guests into one of the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay at historic Phantom Ranch. The adventure begins in Walnut Canyon, en route to the South Rim, with a close-up view of 25 unique cliff dwellings. Hiking in Wupatki National Monument, features multi-story ruins of red sandstone blocks and mortar.  After gazing into the canyon’s depths from the Desert View Watchtower, a night at the South Rim is the perfect spot to rest before an invigorating hike into the canyon the following day. The South Kaibab Trail, a seven-mile hike into the canyon, reveals panoramic vistas that overwhelm the senses as guests take in the canyon’s grandeur.  The Bright Angel Trail offers a nine-mile hike out of the canyon, followed by a short stroll along the Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest before returning to Flagstaff on the final day of this hiking adventure. The rate is $1,599/person based on double occupancy.

In September, six-day fishing trips on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River combine crystal clear water, abundant wildlife, amazing scenery, hot springs and Blue Ribbon trout fishing. This Idaho adventure brings guests into the largest federally protected wilderness in the continental U.S., a rugged and varied terrain of pine-clad mountains, rolling grasslands and narrow gorges. The catch-and-release policy along with limited access to the river and little angling pressure has resulted in a river loaded with fish. Twelve- to fourteen-inchers are common, with an occasional trophy sixteen- to eighteen-inch lunker. From $2082/person.

The Colorado River through Cataract Canyon serves up ideal conditions for hiking to scenic viewpoints and pre-Puebloan sites, stand up paddleboarding in the flat water and Class III whitewater through the heart of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. By September the scorching heat of the summer has faded, and with the sun a little lower in the sky, the shade created by canyon walls produces mesmerizing oblique lighting and wonderful opportunities for photography. Guests can marvel at million-year-old rock formations as well as ancient pictographs & petroglyphs while hiking side canyon trails. Four- and six-day trips through October start at $1529/person.

On a special September 14 “Stars with Lars” astronomy trip, veteran O.A.R.S.’ guide Lars Haarr will help interpret the night sky that offers some of the best conditions for stargazing due to the remote location and absence of city lights.

The per person, double occupancy rates for autumn 2014 programs include nights of lodge accommodations and/or comfortable catered camping, all river equipment, dry bags for gear, meals from departure day through the end of the trip and professional guide services.

For more information, availability, reservations and a copy of the 2014 O.A.R.S. Adventures catalog call 209-736-4677 or 800-346-6277, email info@oars.com, or visit www.oars.com.

 

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O.A.R.S. Pairs Wine, Gourmet Dining With Multi-Day Rafting Expeditions

July 24, 2014
O.A.R.S.’ Wine on the River Series pairs vineyards and gourmet presentations with multi-day rafting expeditions.

O.A.R.S.’ Wine on the River Series pairs vineyards and gourmet presentations with multi-day rafting expeditions.

Due to popular demand, veteran outfitter O.A.R.S. has announced a second departure of their six-day gourmet wine tasting trip on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River Sept. 5–10.

After selling out the company’s scheduled departure on Aug. 27, this brand-new trip combines world-class scenery and renowned whitewater with chef-prepared gourmet meals, award-winning Idaho wines from Ste. Chapelle Winery and blue-ribbon trout fishing.

Chef Eric Conte from Gnosh restaurant in Moscow, ID, will return for his second trip of the season with O.A.R.S. with a locally focused and seasonally minded menu. Conte is Idaho-raised and takes pride in using the ingredients and products that grow in his own backyard.

The Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho is the flagship program in the company’s season-long Wine on the River Series. The per person price for this trip is $2,282 and includes a scenic flight to the river, six days of rafting and five nights of comfortable camping, professional river guides and fishing guides, all rafting and expedition equipment, dry bags for personal gear, fresh and healthy breakfasts and lunches plus chef-prepared gourmet dinners and an assortment of Idaho wines. The trip begins and ends in Salmon, ID.

Guests from San Diego wrote about their experience on this trip from last fall, “We booked the Wine on the River trip down the Middle Fork thinking it would be a little more relaxing (late-season water levels, wine tasting each night). Our expectations were exceeded in every way!”

They were blown away by entrees of grilled Idaho trout with wild blackberry/nectarine salsa, Rocky Mountain Elk steaks with zinfandel demi glaze and caramelized shallots and more complemented with appetizers, side dishes and desserts such as Dutch Oven apple crisp with cheddar cheese and crème anglaise.

“That the chefs were able to produce this kind of food in the middle of nowhere is astonishing to say the least, and we are pretty accomplished foodies. Five stars in every way!” they added.

Other Wine on the River trips pairing choice vintages with river adventure and remarkable cuisine include a three-day/two-night Aug. 12 departure on California’s Tuolumne River featuring Boyle MacDonald Wines and Chef Chip Roberts at $949 per person; and a five-day/four-night departure on Sept. 14 on Idaho’s Snake River through Hells Canyon (the deepest gorge in North America) with Foppiano Wines and Chef Aaron Woo. The per person rate is $1,695 and this trip also includes a scenic flight from Lewiston, ID, to Halfway, OR, with spectacular views of Hells Canyon below.

O.A.R.S. has been providing whitewater rafting vacations since 1969, handling some 500,000 guests. Over the decades, the company has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport adventure, with destinations and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines around the world. O.A.R.S. caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 itineraries, including one-day and weekend escapes. In 2013, for the seventh consecutive year, Condé Nast Traveler recognized Mindy Gleason, O.A.R.S. Reservation Manager and International Adventure Travel Consultant, as Condé Nast Traveler’s standalone Top Travel Specialist in the River Rafting category. In 2013 Outside, America’s leading multimedia active-lifestyle brand, named O.A.R.S. one of the top two outfitters in the world in its annual Active Travel Awards recognition program.

 

For more information, availability, reservations and a copy of the 2014 O.A.R.S. Adventures catalog call 209-736-4677 or 800-346-6277, email info@oars.com, or visit: http://www.oars.com/.

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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OARS.rafting
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/oarsweb
Blog: http://www.oars.com/blog/

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Four Seasons Safari Lodge Offers New ‘Walk in the Wild Serengeti’; Hosts Serengeti Lion Project Exhibit

July 16, 2014

Stop by the Discovery Centre for a viewing of the new Serengeti Lion Project Wildlife Photography Exhibition, August 1-31 by Serengeti Lion Project researcher Daniel Rosengren.

Proceeds from sales of photos will support the Serengeti Lion Project Research, the world’s most extensive daily mammal monitoring project, which has gathered detailed data on more than 5,000 lions since the 1960s. Rosengren, a Swedish biologist and senior field researcher who is passionate about travel and nature, traded in his globe-roaming bike for a Land Rover in 2010 to study the daily habits of the Serengeti’s lions. The exhibition will feature 40 or more of his most stunning images.

Inspired to follow in Rosengren’s photographic footprints? Visit The Lodge now and be among the first to experience its new Walk in the Wild Serengeti, a transformative 90-minute guided walk where you’ll help install a “camera trap” that digitally records the Serengeti’s majestic animals on the move. Elephants, cheetahs, lions and even notoriously hard-to-spot leopards are known for their cameos.

This guided walk shines a light on the wildlife sanctuary’s most subtle and unusual characteristics. Led by the Resident Naturalist at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Masai guides and national park rangers, you’ll explore the beautiful landscape of Serengeti National Park as your guides point out animal tracks, interesting insects and useful plants.

Guests can also help The Serengeti Lion Project classify the different animals found in images caught by over 200 remote camera traps that have been set up in the Serengeti by visiting the Snapshot Serengeti website.

The Walk in the Wild and the Serengeti Lion Project Photo Exhibition are among the many innovative experiences undertaken by Four Seasons Safari Lodge and its pioneering Discovery Centre.  Part museum exhibit, part lecture theatre, it’s the first lodge-based conservation research and education platform in Serengeti. Chat with Lodge experts and explore a series of displays, exhibition boards and interactive presentations, or attend periodic talks by guest speakers. Participate in special research projects with local experts closely involved with Serengeti’s wildlife research and conservation projects.

Make your base camp in The Lodge’s two-story great house, with guest rooms and suites that all offer stunning views of the Serengeti landscape.

A more private escape can be had in one of the five freestanding villas. Ideal for couples and families, The Lodge is one of the first on the continent to welcome children ages 8+, a significant milestone for families with young ones and teens. The entire property is accessible via raised wooden walkways making short excursions into the bush not a far venture from the Lodge.

In addition to taking your exploration to an intimate new level during the Wild Walk in the Serengeti, The Kijana Klub offers children their own opportunity to learn about local culture and wildlife through a series of planned activities including short walks in the bush with a Maasai guide and learning basic wildlife research skills such as radio tracking and camera traps.

Other memorable guest experiences include sundowners at the infinity pool while elephants gather at the watering hole below, private romantic dinners in the bush, the Lodge’s celebrated Boma Grill and signature spa treatments featuring Africology spa products at purpose-built Spa.

For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/serengeti

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