ET Adventures – Travel Experts on Location

Amanda Hagar

ET Adventures – Travel Experts on Location

Amanda Hagar

ExpeditionTrips grew out of a longtime passion for discovering the natural world and exploring some of the most remote and awe-inspiring places on Earth. ExpeditionTrips founder, Ashton Palmer, traveled for over a decade as expedition leader, naturalist, and operations staff. His adventures took him around the globe, including on over fifty voyages to Antarctica, more than 40,000 miles navigated on the Amazon River, and countless expeditions worldwide to the Galapagos Islands, Papua New Guinea, Baffin Island and beyond. With over 100 years collective experience leading and planning expeditions worldwide, we are true experts. The ExpeditionTrips team members are passionate about travel and providing you with expert knowledge to help you find, research and book the very best expeditions by land and sea to Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, the Arctic, Alaska and beyond. And in the coming months, several ET crew members are heading into the field, searching for more great experiences and bringing back a wealth of knowledge as we explore our little blue dot, from Galapagos to Kilimanjaro.

Program Manager Beth Mercier has extensive travel knowledge and years of travel under her belt. She’s been jet-setting since she was 6 months old when her father, a commercial pilot, would bring her along on his trips. And in the month ahead, she’ll return from Galapagos with first-hand knowledge of cruising this pristine National Park aboard the National Geographic Endeavour. An amazing abundance of approachable wildlife awaits Beth in these enchanted islands where she’ll observe giant tortoises, exceptional birdlife, and a unique undersea world populated by swimming iguanas, graceful sea turtles and friendly sea lions. She’ll also bring back amazing photos to share, capturing the spectacular wildlife, breath taking landscapes, and her most memorable moments since each National Geographic Endeavour departure is joined by an exceptional cast of experts, including a certified photo instructor.

Program Manager Joy Martinello is an ExpeditionTrips veteran who’s been planning outstanding and unforgettable travel experiences for nearly a decade. While scouting out spectacular new experiences to share with you, Joy will trek through Costa Rica, exploring the exceptional wildlife, breathtaking scenery, exquisite art, and distinctive culture of this unique destination. Lush forests abundant in wildlife from monkeys to rare birds, dramatic volcano views, and endless adventure—river rafting to hiking the hanging bridges of the canopy—await those that venture here. On her travels through this captivating Central American country, Joy will inspect a collection of extraordinary places that allow travelers a new perspective on travel, from haciendas to eco-lodges, where one can wake to the aroma of fresh locally grown coffee before beginning the day’s adventures, visiting local villages to meet the friendly people and see the colorful handicrafts or striking out into nature for the seclusion and rejuvenation of the verdant surroundings of this captivating destination.

Program Manager Jessica Apfel has indulged her wanderlust around the world from South America to Southeast Asia, and in the coming weeks, she’ll undertake one of our favorite adventures as she explores the wonders of Ecuador, including the highlands of Cotopaxi National Park, the handicrafts of Otovalo Market, and the amazing landscape and unusual wildlife of the Galapagos aboard the modern expedition ship La Pinta. On her 8-day cruise through the Western islands of the Galapagos, Jessica will encounter dramatic scenery, the iconic blue-footed booby, the unexpected Galapagos penguin, and the magnificent Frigate Bird, as she swims, snorkels, kayaks and hikes across this must-see destination. As an ExpeditionTrips travel expert, Jessica’s first-hand knowledge is invaluable to helping you select and plan your trip of a lifetime, making it yours with the perfect extensions to suit your interests.

Program Manager Shelley Fry has a passion for pristine landscapes, and recently returned from an exploration of the Canadian Arctic on her Baffin Island and Greenland Explorer adventure. Having traveled to Arctic Svalbard previously, Shelley discovered a new Arctic landscape as she explored the small villages of Baffin and Greenland, and stepped foot on the same sea ice that’s home to the mighty polar bear. You can learn more about adventure and see her beautiful pictures of sculptural icebergs and tiny yet beautiful tundra flowers in her Staff Review.  

Travel Coordinator Jennifer Santoyo’s adventurous spirit has brought her to the Australian Outback, the glaciers of Iceland, and sunrise atop Mt. Fuji. She’s currently wandering off the beaten path in Tanzania where she’s experiencing the endless plains of the Serengeti and undertaking the physical challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. While exploring some of the best game parks in the world, Jennifer’s in search of Africa’s Big Five – the elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard – and getting up close to a plethora of other amazing wildlife. We can’t wait to hear her amazing stories and see the spectacular pictures she’ll bring back from the soaring heights of Africa’s highest peak, the volcanic caldera of Ngorongoro Crater, and expansive grassland, forests and woodlands of Serengeti National Park.

Executive Assistant Meg Rand has satisfied her nomadic tendencies across the globe, backpacking across Europe, exploring Alaska’s Inside Passage with family, and discovering the wildlife of Costa Rica and Panama. But she succumbs again to the urge to explore and view the world through a different lens in the coming months on a cultural exchange to Cuba. Meg shares a few of her thoughts:

A visit to Cuba is “forbidden fruit” for any student of International Politics or avid traveler (I am both)! Resulting from the complex and fascinating modern history of Cuba-U.S. relations, it’s one of the few places that Americans cannot and, thus, don’t typically go. Its relative political isolation has preserved it from being overrun by tourists as well as western commercial interests (no golden arches!) It’s a place that feels lost in time, where classic American cars (1950s era) are set against a backdrop of colorful but rustic colonial architecture and pristine beaches. Cuban people are well regarded for being passionate, welcoming, resourceful and friendly – music, dance, art, food and ‘fiesta’ are core to their culture.

Meg explains that she’s “thrilled for the opportunity” to participate in this cultural exchange, visit a beautiful country and "sample the richness of its extraordinary and exciting culture.”

No other style of travel takes you farther or brings you closer to our planet’s most awe-inspiring destinations than expedition travel: swim with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, kayak alongside humpback whales in Alaska’s Inside Passage, hike over pristine glaciers in remote Arctic Svalbard, or visit penguin colonies numbering in the thousands in Antarctica . . .

Come explore with us and prepare yourself to be inspired—these trips will change the way you view the world. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing our stories of adventure. Our in-depth personal knowledge, combined with the highest level of personal service, allows us to offer our clients expert advice and guidance. The crew at ExpeditionTrips are experts on expedition travel, small ship cruises, and ensuring travelers experience their Trip of a Lifetime.