I hope you are doing well, and that your loved ones, friends, and family are safe and healthy. Here in Seattle, our ExpeditionTrips team is safe and well. We transitioned to working remotely just over a week ago, and we are in daily communication via video chat so we can continue business during this time. While this is a new reality for us, we appreciate the need to follow the recommended public health guidelines as we continue to look after you and share revised policies and procedures as they are released...
A Wedding in Antarctica!
The term "destination wedding" conjures images of sunny, tropical beaches with barefoot couples saying their "I dos." But adventurous couple Janet Hsieh and George Young ventured to the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula to begin their new life with the trip of a lifetime. And even the locals were already dressed for the occasion.
So pristine and remote, Antarctica barely feels like it’s part of Earth at all, and it’s that very otherworldliness that appeals to the adventurous souls who come here. Painted in shades of white and blue, the landscape is beautiful and intriguing: mammoth glaciers, saw-toothed mountains, colossal icebergs, and fields of ice that stretch on forever. Yet life—penguins, whales, and seabirds—finds a way to thrive here.
Come for the penguins, glaciers, whales and the barren-but-beautiful winter wonderland of Antarctica. Stay aboard the well-appointed and comfortable MS Expedition, and remember it forever. Here are 7 reasons why.
I have worked for ANTARCTICA XXI for four seasons now. But I will never forget that very first season. There I was, on the quayside in Ushuaia, a veteran Antarctican of 39 years standing, excited beyond belief as I caught my first sight of Ocean Nova.
The serene silence while kayaking amongst whales, the spectacular breach of a massive humpback, the rare sight of a white penguin chick, colossal prismatic ice and so much more have made this an exceptional season to visit the White Continent. Expedition leaders and guests share some of their favorite moments from the 2013/14 season.
Bill Fraser: A Love Affair With Antarctica
Palmer Station's lead scientist, Bill Fraser, talks about his summers on the Antarctic Peninsula and his research on global climate change.
Circle to Circle: Bergalia Boys' Epic Ride Ends in Antarctica
A journey of 42,000 miles successfully concluded with a Crossing of the Antarctica Circle! We caught up with the Bergalia Boys after their Circle to Circle finale to hear all about the end of the road onboard an Antarctica expedition.
Looking for a family adventure vacation away from big resorts and theme parks? These are five of our travel expert’s favorite family vacations in some of the most awe-inspiring destinations including: Alaska, Baja, Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Arctic. Learn more.
Have Fun with Your Antarctic Gear!
Packing the proper items for your trip to Antarctica is an essential and a potentially fun part of preparing for your trip! There are some Antarctic must-haves on the list which also allow you the opportunity to bring your own personality to your Antarctic apparel.
IAATO: The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators
Geologist and IAATO representative since 1991, John Splettstoesser claims: "Travelers who cruise to Antarctica become Ambassadors as a result of the transformation that occurs when they experience the magic of the place."
We're pleased to announce a new partnership with the "great adventure people" at G Adventures, offering a fantastic line-up of polar adventures! Travelers aboard the sleek 126-passenger Expedition will have opportunities to overnight at an unrivaled campsite on the Antarctic Peninsula and experience the Arctic from the unique vantage point of a kayak.
Kayaking in Antarctica
Gain a new perspective, experience the profound silence and feel at one with your environment while paddling through the crystal clear waters. Get close to the shores and cliffs; observe wildlife, from penguins and seals, to whales, up close and personal. Travel Blogger Sherry Ott recounts her experience of kayaking in Antarctica and explains why it's one of her favorite things about her Antarctic cruise. Sherry explains why travelers to Antarctica will enjoy this amazing experience.
Reflections from an Antarctic Expedition Specialist
A small ship cruise to Antarctica is unlike any other travel experience, akin to visiting another planet. And the expedition team you travel with is just as important as the destination in creating a unique and memorable trip of a lifetime. Susan Adie, Expedition Leader of the MS Expedition, shares what makes the crew of the Expedition so special, as well as unforgettable moments from her Antarctica travels.
Reflections of a Top Travel Specialist
ExpeditionTrips President Ashton Palmer was recently named a Top Travel Specialist for Small Ship Expeditions by Condé Nast Traveler magazine. Ashton discusses the great honor of receiving this recognition, his journey to Top Travel Specialist, and how ExpeditionTrips provides expertise and value to travelers planning the Trip of a Lifetime.
G Adventures Expedition Leader, Susan Adie, takes a moment to share with us a very special moment in Paradise Bay aboard her Antarctic Cruise.
The Sea Kayaking Experience - Alaska to Antarctica
ExpeditionTrips' Betsy Forbes has had the opportunity to kayak around the globe; the bays and inlets of Puget Sound, aboard small ship cruises to Alaska and Baja, and, most recently, in Antarctica. She reflects on her adventures and shares the special experiences she gained while kayaking in various destinations.
Tips for Stress Free Travel
Travel can be entertaining, relaxing and awe-inspiring. Whether traveling to the sandy beaches of the Galapagos Islands, the beautiful frozen icebergs of Antarctica, or anywhere in between, the potential for stress is present. Travel Expert, Beth Mercier, has compiled a list of helpful tips to help reduce stress and have the best trip possible while traveling.
Maximize your time in the Antarctic region with a trip that includes visits to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands during one of the best times of the year for wildlife viewing and sea ice levels.
Land of the Midnight Sun: Svalbard
The main draw to Svalbard is the elusive polar bear. While the worldwide population of polar bears is alarmingly vulnerable, this remote archipelago remains a good place for sightings, since nearly 65% of the land in Svalbard is protected. Arctic Specialist, Shelley Fry, answers some commonly asked questions about trips to Arctic Norway.
John Dunn: Frozen Footsteps: Trekking in the Arctic
Destination Canadian Arctic
Explorer and photographer, John Dunn, describes the lure of Arctic cruises… from the polar bears to the 5,000-foot cliffs.
Tim Soper: Circumnavigation of Newfoundland
Tim Soper, Expedition Leader
Destination Canadian Arctic
A visit to Newfoundland boasts fantastic vistas, profuse wildlife, a journey into history, and encounters with a vibrant contemporary culture. Expedition Leader, Tim Soper, shares his adventures on the inaugural Circumnavigation of Newfoundland expedition.
Amazing Arctic Wildlife
The Arctic is a land of extremes, seemingly uninhabitable. Yet this vast frozen landscape and frigid waters are home to a remarkable assortment of amazing creatures, from polar bears to narwhals.
Face to Face with a Polar Bear
Seeing a polar bear up close is one of life's greatest thrills. Few animals on our planet command such respect and reverence for their beauty, strength, and power. Encountering one of these graceful creatures while they roam quietly across the sea ice and on land throughout the Arctic is an experience that takes your breath away.
Favorite Arctic Expeditions
The Arctic is a spectacular region with a variety of destinations and experiences, from the geologic wonderland of Iceland to the marine life rich Canadian High Arctic. Learn more about these amazing places and why they're some of our favorite destinations.
Life During the Age of the Vikings
Learn what life was like during the age of the Vikings on an Arctic cruise. Karen Gruber provides some insight on this subject for Arctic travelers.
Reflections from Life at 90° North
Amelia Tockston & Leslie Holgate
Destination North Pole
ExpeditionTrips' traveler Giovanni Savaglio has traveled the world from top to bottom: first as a passenger on an Antarctic cruise in 2002 and most recently as the official blogger on a North Pole expedition. We caught back up with Giovanni to hear his perspectives after experiencing polar travels on both ends of the earth.
Ashton's Tips for Galapagos Family Travel
ET's President Ashton Palmer recently returned from two and a half weeks exploring the Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador with his wife and four small children. Read Ashton's travel highlights and Top 10 tips for traveling with kids in the Galapagos Islands.
Set Sail Aboard the Silver Galapagos
Immerse yourself in the extraordinary and come face-to-face with some of the world's most fascinating islands and awe-inspiring wildlife while exploring the Galapagos Islands aboard the Silver Galapagos.
Come for the giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, volcanic landscapes, and the distinct serenity of the other-world that is Galapagos. Stay aboard the comfortable and well-appointed Evolution, and remember it for a lifetime. Here are 7 reasons why . . .
Decoding Galapagos Cruises
Galapagos expert, Joy Martinello, takes the guesswork out of selecting an itinerary and ship for your trip of a lifetime to these fascinating islands.
Dr. Robert Bensted-Smith: Darwin's Delight: The Galapagos Islands
Dr. Robert Bensted-Smith
Director of the Charles Darwin Research Station offers insight to the background and mission of the Station, a popular component of Galapagos cruises.
ExpeditionTrips' Summer Adventures
We had an amazing summer here at ET—from hiking the Inca Trail to experiencing the culinary wonders of Sicily, and from an amazing triathlon finish to welcoming a 16th member to our crew! And now as the leaves begin to display their brilliant autumn colors, we reminisce fondly about our beautiful summer filled with international exploration, Pacific Northwest adventures, 4th of July family gatherings, beach combing and island getaways.
Fernando Zambrano: Diving in Galapagos: An Interview with Sub-Aqua Founder
Tery Byus and Elisa Behnk
Why dive in the Galapagos Islands and what should you expect from a Galapagos dive? Expedition leader Fernando Zambrano shares some of his favorite moments diving in the Galapagos and explains what are the important issues to consider about a dive trip there.
Flavors of Ecuador
ET's Amanda Gerardo brings the delicious cuisine of Ecuador home through her re-creation of a local favorite. "It was love at first bite when I tasted my first spoonful of Locro de Papas, a traditional potato stew anchored by a generous hunk of cheese and littered with avocado…" writes Amanda.
Galapagos Wildlife List
Many Galapagos ships offer more than one itinerary and each one travels to a different set of islands. Find out how to select the very best itinerary to make sure you'll see the animals you’ve read and heard about.
The Galapagos Islands are one of those rare places in the world where nature presents itself at its finest. You get to see how nature has evolved without the influence of man and witness the playful characteristics of the unique species that inhabit these remote and well-preserved islands. And when you're exploring an otherworldly destination like this, it's important to know that you've got all the things you'll need to enjoy yourself while you're there.
Hiking Peru's Inca Trail
Peru is an oft overlooked expedition travel destination that offers fascinating ancient and modern culture, amazing history, biodiversity, and more. The destination has numerous activities and draws, including the unparalleled Inca Trail.
Prior to founding ExpeditionTrips in 1999, ExpeditionTrips' President, Ashton Palmer, worked as an Expedition Leader in the Amazon Basin. Ashton shares his insight into cruising this extraordinary river and shares the highlights of an exciting program now available aboard the Delfin II. Explore the narrow tributaries, see the myriad of colorful birds and mammals, learn about the amazing biodiversity, and discover the fascinating treasures of the rainforest, and Ashton's favorite stretch of the river, the Upper Amazon.
Expedition Reports: Peruvian Upper Amazon
Take a peek into a typical day of adventure aboard the Delfin II. Spot monkeys and a myriad of bird species, explore remote tributaries by kayak and skiff, and learn about the life of the locals. On these trips, you're an active explorer!
Exploring the Mighty Amazon
Whether you're looking for an ecologically-responsible jungle lodge to explore the rainforest from or a riverboat expedition to take you into remote tributaries and isolated communities, the Amazon offers an unequaled combination of nature and culture.
Pepper Trail: Oregon and the Amazon
Naturalist Pepper Trail describes Amazon cruises as "exhilarating, mystifying, awe-inspiring, and ultimately very, very humbling."
Wayne Mayer: Putting Community into Ecotourism
Conservation Biologist, Wayne Mayer, explains why small ship cruises to the Amazon are great examples of community-based ecotourism.
ExpeditionTrips' President Ashton Palmer shares the wonder and excitement of his recent trip to Chile's Atacama Desert and Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park. He reflects on its vast beauty, outdoor adventure options, wildlife encounters and superb accommodations.
42,000 Miles – Arctic to Antarctica by Motorcycle!
Congratulations to the Bergalia Boys who successfully completed their epic Circle to Circle trip! Their journey grew from an anticipated 28,000 miles to a final tally of 42,000 miles. Before their grand finale of an Antarctic Circle Crossing, we caught up with them to hear about their eight months of life on the road.
Antarctica via Easter Island!
Now you can visit the remote UNESCO World Heritage site of "Rapa Nui" (Easter Island) en route to Antarctica. Renowned for its 887 prehistoric monumental statues, Easter Island offers you the perfect dose of culture before you're submerged in the natural history, abounding wildlife and frozen landscapes of our southern-most continent.
South Pacific travel is about voyaging to paradise. Learn why these islands have long attracted artists and writers seeking to escape.
In Pursuit of Pura Vida
Destination Costa Rica/Panama
While scouting out spectacular new experiences to share with you, Program Manager Joy Martinello trekked 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 who venture here.
Expedition Reports: Costa Rica and Panama
Margrit Ulrich & Federico Chacon
Destination Costa Rica/Panama
Take a peek into a typical day of adventure aboard the Sea Lion. Snorkel, kayak, and hike the wild coasts and landscapes of Costa Rica and Panama. With Lindblad, you're an active explorer!
Exploring Alaska's Outer Edge aboard L'Austral
It is often said that "the third time is a charm," yet ET's Shelley Fry never anticipated just how charmed her third trip to Alaska would be.
The Alaska of Your Dreams
How would you describe the Alaska of your dreams? You may envision massive glaciers that sparkle and calve, towering emerald forests surrounding quiet inlets, or a bounty of wildlife that surprises you at every turn... there's just no denying that Alaska will take your breath away!
ExpeditionTrips' Meg Rand had the joy of traveling with family to Alaska's Inside Passage. She shares highlights from her trip aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion and reflects on what makes expedition family travel with multiple generations so special.
Nature photographer, Art Wolfe, explains why small ship cruises to Alaska play a critical role in conservation, are better for the traveler, and more conducive to photography.
Big Versus Small Cruises
Expedition Specialist, Joy Martinello, explains why she considers small-ship cruising to be the best way to experience the nature and wildlife of Alaska.
Photographic Journeys with National Geographic
Advice, assistance and tips from the pros in the field—where it counts! National Geographic Photographer, Kim Heacox, sent this Daily Expedition Report from Alaska. Heacox was traveling aboard National Geographic Sea Lion as the resident photographer, giving photo tips and coaching his expedition companions to take their best shots.
When planning for your next adventure, have you considered a trip to Alaska? From kayaking amongst waterfalls and beautiful blue icebergs, to viewing the amazing wildlife such as whales, bears and soaring eagles, Travel Expert, Joy Martinello, discusses options to consider when planning your next getaway.
The Many Faces of Alaska
The mention of Alaska often conjures up images of calving glaciers, beaching whales and soaring bald eagles. However, Alaska's history and rich culture equally fascinate. Visitors can learn about totem-carving techniques, celebrate Norwegian traditions, and visit the last remaining structures of Russian colonial architecture in North America.
Your Alaska Specialists: Alaska's "Inside" Inside Passage
Your Alaska Specialists
Our Alaska Cruise Experts share an inside look into the magnificent beauty of Alaska. Check out some of the different options available aboard small ship operators!
America's Galapagos: Touching Whales in the Baja
Margaret Backenheimer and J.D. Brown
Dubed the "American Galapagos", Baja is a wonderful destination for those interested in experiencing raw nature within North America. Discover the draw of Baja travel and the captivating mammals that never cease to amaze us.
Neil Folsom: Diving in Baja: An Interview with Neil Folsom, Expedition Leader
Trey Byus and Elisa Behnk
Drawing from over eleven years of diving experience in the Baja, Expedition Leader Neil Folsom tells us why diving is so popular on Baja cruises.
Page Saurs: Mexico's Sea of Cortez
Page Saurs reveals 'a day in the life' aboard an adventure cruise in Baja's Sea of Cortez.
Yvette Cardozo: Cruising with Hawaiian Mantas and More
Explore a different Hawaii with manta ray shows, hiking and lesser-traveled islands from the perspective of the 36-passenger Safari Explorer.
Journey to Africa: East vs. Southern
"I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy," wrote Ernest Hemingway. For lovers of wildlife and wild places, it's easy to understand why. Going on safari will touch you deeply. It will fill you with a childlike sense of wonder and awe, at once fulfilling a lifelong dream and igniting a hunger for more. Gazing across the African plains, being in the presence of mighty elephants or regal lions, and walking with the Maasai, you can't help but be swept away by the beauty of it all. Yet it takes careful orchestration to have the perfect Africa experience on a massive continent that's the size of Europe, Asia, India, and the United States combined! The first step on your journey is deciding whether to focus on East or Southern Africa.
Nadia Eckhardt, a native of South Africa, answers the most frequently asked questions about planning an African safari.
A Typical Day on Safari
Africa Trip Expert explains what to expect on a typical safari in Southern Africa.
Into the Heart of the Okavango Delta
Destination Southern Africa
In Botswana's Okavango Delta you will find a spectacular and tranquil oasis of waterways and lagoons where visitors often explore by boat and dugout canoe. June through August, this region of over 11,000 square miles is inhabited by a profusion of wildlife--from the large cats (lion, leopard, cheetah) and zebra to buffalo, hippos and elephants.
The Green Season Appeal: Botswana and Namibia
Destination Southern Africa
Learn about the benefits of going on safari to Botswana and Namibia during Green Season. The Green Season, December through March, not only provides a unique safari experience with superb wildlife viewing and great bird watching, but also the fares are the best value!
The Market: Adventures in West Africa
Amelia Tockston & Susan Adie
Destination West Africa
Expedition Leader Susan Adie, shares one of her favorite memories from her travels through West Africa: a morning spent in a Senegalese market. With an open and curious mind, she made friends, was humbled, and learned that sometimes things appear different than they truly are—a valuable travel lesson!
Ted Kenefick: Unlocking the Secrets of the Kurils
Often shrouded in fog and relentlessly marauded by the forces of wind and sea, these dramatically beautiful islands are mysterious and fascinating.
Step aboard the inaugural voyage of the National Geographic Orion with top staff and special guests: a dive legend and pioneering undersea photographer, a premier naturalist guide with nearly 20 years of experience, a National Geographic Grantee archaeologist, National Geographic photographers, and more.
Papua New Guinea Culture: An Introduction to Ancient Traditions
Destination Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is one of the few places left in the world where overused adjectives such as “wild,” “remote,” and “pristine” genuinely still apply. It’s the world’s second largest island (after Greenland), and one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet.
The Resounding Travels of John Osborne
Veteran ExpeditionTrips traveler, John Osborne, reflects on his recent travels around the world. At the age of 80, not having traveled since the 1940s, he set off to discover "the rest of the world." And, neither age nor increasingly limited eyesight show any signs of slowing him down!
The remote islands of Pitcairn and Bering in the South Pacific are two of the most unique islands in the world. Bill Tuttle offers a glimpse into their impressive and fascinating history.
Sergey Frolov: Mimicking the Ancients
Destination Russian Far East
Russian Far East native, Sergey Frolov, says the Chukchi Peninsula is "one of the only places left that is untouched, unexplored, probably in the whole world." Take a peek into this isolated Eskimo culture, which only receives approximately 100 visitors each year.
Vietnam & Cambodia: Intimate, Up-Close Cultural Experiences Abound
Gain a glimpse into the dynamic adventures that await as you explore the wonders of the Mekong River.
Mick Fogg: Scouting Trip Through Wild Borneo
Mick Fogg, Expedition Leader
Read about Expedition Leader Mick Fogg's 70-day scouting trip in Borneo and Sulawesi to finalize itineraries for voyages aboard Orion II.
Singapore Christens the Silver Discoverer
The Silver Discoverer was christened in Singapore this week marking the city-state's first christening in 20 years, making for a grand day of celebration! This adventurous and always luxurious vessel accommodates 128 guests and will sail the waters of Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, the Russian Far East, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Silver Discoverer allows travelers to explore these beautiful, pristine and remote regions in the utmost comfort.
Vietnam Unveiled: A Conversation With Kim Saunders
A lecturer and expert on contemporary Asian culture, Kim has been traveling throughout Southeast Asia for nearly 20 years.
Welcome, National Geographic Orion!
The National Geographic fleet of ships has long been the gold standard for expedition travel, known for excellent guides with extensive field knowledge, captivating programs, elegant comfort, and unfettered access to the world's most remote destinations. The National Geographic Orion is the most recent addition, opening up new destinations—Australia's Kimberley, the South Pacific, and Southeast Asia—for amazing experiences aboard a National Geographic vessel.
Mysteries of the Kimberley Coast
Australia travel and cruise company owner, Mark Buckingham, talks about the rugged, dramatic landscape of the Kimberley and its magical Aboriginal history.
Tasmania: An Introduction
Claire Ellis explains "Tasmania, actually an archipelago of more than 300 islands, is ideal to explore by ship." Cross a few of the "best and biggest" off your list with a visit to Dismal Swamp, one of the largest sinkholes in the world and Wineglass Bay, named one of the top ten beaches in the world by Outside magazine.
The Captivating Wildness of Australia
Australia, a land of great biodiveristy, unusual history, and exotic wildlife, is an expeditionary traveler's dream. From the abundant marine life of the Great Barrier Reef to the expansive and unique geography of Western Australia's Kimberley Region, this amazing continent is well worth the time to get there. ExpeditionTrips Program Manager Beth Mercier, a former resident of this extraordinary continent, shares her knowledge of this exciting destination.
Lou Sanson: Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand
Destination New Zealand
Conservator, Lou Sanson, explains why it’s such a privilege to cruise to New Zealand and the Sub-Antarctic Islands. “Let’s not overdo tourism. Small ships are the only way to go.”
Peter Harrison, a professional birder, artist, author, and screenwriter, is widely considered the world's foremost authority on seabirds. Here, he takes a moment to explain the lure of expedition travel to the British Isles.
Staff at Zegrahm Expeditions: Attention: Slow Fish Ahead Sicily's Rich Culinary Heritage
Staff at Zegrahm Expeditions
Archaeology, gastronomy, and culture collide on a European cruise to Sicily and Croatia, exploring the azure waters of the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.
Meet the Jacobs, travelers extraordinaire!
Richard and Ilene Jacobs
Passionate travelers and valued ExpeditionTrips clients, Richard and Ilene Jacobs have traveled to Timbuktu and back. Literally. And, many places in between including three trips to Antarctica! We recently checked in with them to chat about their travel philosophy and inspiration!