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Favorite Trips of the Experts

Jessica Apfel, Lorraine Chachere, Joshua Logan, Beth Mercier & Shelley Fry

Favorite Trips of the Experts

Jessica Apfel, Lorraine Chachere, Joshua Logan, Beth Mercier & Shelley Fry

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... With over 375 expeditions worldwide, the possibilities for the trip of a lifetime are numerous. The specialists at ExpeditionTrips have plenty of travel experience to help plan the perfect trip for you.  We asked the travel experts where they would go for their trip of a lifetime. They share their picks, from Australia to Antarctica.

Baja – Among the Great Whales, National Geographic SeaLion / SeaBird

Shelley Fry, Program Manager

After months of chilly gray weather and with spring break on my mind, I’m dreaming of taking my teenaged daughter to Baja! A client of mine and her 6-year-old daughter just returned from an “Among the Great Whales” expedition aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird, and she brought back some incredible photos! Some of the lagoons on the Pacific side, such as Bahia Magdalena, are nurseries for gigantic gray whale mothers and their calves. Out on the Zodiacs with whale spouts all around, it can seem like “whale soup” with these beautiful and social creatures who are as curious about us as we are of them. Baja is easily accessible from North America and the itineraries are short enough for families and working professionals…not to mention that the sun, sand dunes, and clear blue seas teeming with life are just what we need to clear away the gray of winter!

Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia, National Geographic Explorer + Patagonia Escape
Beth Mercier, Program Manager

My worldly travels have mostly involved bustling cities, top foodie spots and beautiful hotels and resorts. Or in other words- not remote! When discovering expeditionary travel, I have learned that the best types of trips are the ones where you feel like you are on top of the world…literally.

For my dream trip, I would love to go to the ends of the earth: Antarctica. The massive blue icebergs, snow covered mountains, and the adorable wildlife attract me to this beautiful destination. My clients and colleagues who have visited Antarctica have described the feeling as ‘something beyond them, larger than their existence’. I want to feel this connection with a part of the world that humanity hasn’t altered (too much) and connect with the massive beauty that surrounds you.

My style of travel is one part comfort, two parts excitement. That’s why I would choose the National Geographic Explorer’s Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia voyage. The ship is truly remarkable and provides all the creature comforts along with the hands-on scientific approach to expeditionary travel. Described as stepping onto the pages of a National Geographic magazine, I would love the education and experience of this trip.  I would opt for the kayaking activity and take every opportunity for shore excursions to maximize my time with the wildlife.

While in the Southern Hemisphere, I would love to extend my Antarctica dream trip with a Patagonia land program. If there was a way to make an already perfect trip even better, adding the Patagonia luxury extension would be it! Being in the heart of one of the most pristine and breathtaking landscapes in the world with luxury lodging would be the ultimate extension to complete this trip of a lifetime!

Australia – Kimberley Expedition, Orion
Lorraine Chachere, Program Manager

Having lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of my favorite places to hike and explore was the Valley of Fire, with striking red sandstone formations that are over 150 million years old and 3,000 year old Pueblo petroglyphs throughout the park, as well as gorgeous views of the unique desert landscape. When the sun sets, the Valley becomes illuminated as if the sandstone was on fire, paying homage to its name.

There are similar elements to be found in the Kimberley region in Australia.  Nearly three times the size of England, this little known area of Western Australia features sandstone domes of the Pumululu National Park, the opportunity to see horizontal waterfalls, and zodiac expeditions to enjoy the rainforest of the Hunter River and its tributaries.

The Kimberley Expedition on the Orion enables you to see all of this and more!! A scenic flight is included to appreciate the expanse and wonder of the Bungle Bungles which were formed 350 million years ago.  The Aboriginal art carved into the rocks will be explained by a descendent of the area, and you will be able to swim in Crocodile Creek that despite its name is completely free of the crocodiles that inhabit the surrounding area.  This is an adventure that cannot be missed!

Machu Picchu and Tambopata + Posada Amazonas
Joshua Logan, Program Manager

Though I spent over two years exploring Latin America, the mysterious Machu Picchu has eluded an encounter. I am drawn by the marvels of our past – periods in history when living was much simpler, yet much more difficult. Before the smartphone and fast food, there were the Incas. Perched in the sky, surrounded by dramatic mountain peaks, "the City of Incas" is an archaeological beauty that can only be fully captured and realized by our most basic senses from a first-hand experience. Machu Picchu is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and to fully take in all of its worldly implications, it needs to be experienced in person. The anticipation builds as you journey through the Sacred Valley, then take a few days to reflect while wandering through the culturally vibrant Cusco. Still not enough? Venture out into the lush Amazon jungle and take in the natural splendor and wildlife set before you… Now you can return home having completely satisfied that inner travel bug who pops up every so often.

Galapagos Classic – Southern, Eclipse
Jessica Apfel, Program Manager

Swimming with sea turtles and fluorescent tropical fish, basking in the afternoon sun with sea lions, hiking amongst vibrant iguanas and cartoonish blue-footed boobies—just another day in the Galapagos Islands! These mystical islands are one of the only places on the planet where you can hike around and swim with wild animals that are very approachable and don’t mind your presence at all. It is a magical, unique paradise that I cannot wait to experience, and when I do, I hope to be aboard the Eclipse. The Eclipse has some of the best naturalists around to guide you through Darwin’s famous footsteps. After an exciting day of exploration, retreat to a beautiful, modern ship and share stories over a delightful glass of wine and delectable cuisine. Expeditionary travel is exciting, adventurous, and luckily for me, it can also be comfortable. The Eclipse is the perfect mix of adventure and elegance!

We invite you to peruse our collection of over 375 expeditions worldwide. Come explore with us and prepare yourself to be inspired—these trips will change the way you view the world.