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4 min read

Milestone Trips Fit for the Grad

Honor hard work by including everyone on your graduate’s list of travel guests.

The tassels have been tossed, the diploma has been framed, and the books have been shut for good. Graduation. A word that evokes pride from the culmination of pulling all-nighters for a test, balancing academics with social calendars, managing the dynamics of group projects and simply still growing up. Unlike a birthday, graduation is not a birthright but a hard-earned achievement, deserving of a grand celebration. Whether it's from high school or college, graduations can be projected years in advance, and in our experience of 25 years of planning trips, setting a date and preparing family and friends for the celebration helps everybody work this milestone into their daily lives.

The ideal itinerary can cater to all ages, and venturing on an expedition cruise with creative activities that go beyond port shopping and gambling is the right type of memorable experience deserving of a graduate's achievement. There's nothing better than time spent outdoors, and sharing space on a smaller ship offers quality moments parents and grandparents adore. It's the right amount of adventure for young children, and for the graduate—a chance to enjoy the rewards of gifted travel, knowing that those next big steps in life are waiting at the end of a memorable trip.

In our history of helping families and friends strengthen bonds on expedition voyages, we highly recommend two destinations that consistently please all ages: Alaska and the Galapagos Islands. Although vastly different in scenery and temperature, both destinations offer unique experiences tailored to spending time in nature, viewing wildlife, and being as active as you wish to be.

Alaska is traditionally our #1 multi-generational destination since a passport is not needed for American citizens. Most Alaskan expedition cruises depart from the ports of Seattle, Washington, or Vancouver, British Columbia. Both locations present a variety of pre-cruise and post-cruise activities, making them great starting points for an unforgettable voyage.
While some itineraries can last 15+ days, we recommend a 7-day voyage for groups. The duration of the cruise you choose will depend on your interests, budget, and the specific experiences you wish to have in Alaska. Some families wish to tack on time at a fly-fishing lodge, take a flight-seeing trip, or enjoy extended hiking treks in a national park. Others may seek to deepen their cultural and historical understanding of the region, such as exploring Gold Rush history. The beauty of Alaska lies in what’s outside, and the view from a small ship navigating narrow passages that big ships cannot enter is even more fascinating.

If you’re more of a warm weather family, then the Galapagos Islands produces the right blend of sun, sea and sand. Wildlife and snorkeling are the primary interests of the islands, and while also as pristine as our Northern friend in biodiversity and educational opportunities, the Galapagos seems more exotic. Rightly so, you'll fly into one of two Ecuadoran cities: Quito, the capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage site, or Guayaquil, also an economical and commercial hub. Next, hop on a short domestic flight to either Baltra Island or San Cristóbal Island to board the ship, and you're ready to go.
Again, we recommend a 7-day trip that will cover all the highlights the Galapagos has to offer. The pleasure of touring this national park is that you won't be competing with large cruise ships and 1000s of passengers. Expedition ships operating in the Galapagos Islands must adhere to strict regulations to protect the fragile ecosystem and ensure sustainable tourism. Ships must obtain special permits to operate in the archipelago, and only an exclusive number of licensed tour operators are allowed to run trips. You truly feel like you're cruising on your own personal yacht since typically vessels are limited to a maximum of only 100 passengers.

Whether you’re packing your parka or your swimsuit, our guests returning from Alaska, or the Galapagos consistently rave about their trips. They often highlight how all ages benefitted from the experience. While graduation warrants special times with special people, we believe that a special place is the third essential factor to fully acknowledge the commemoration. Besides, many graduates who leave college may not have the free time during holidays with their new jobs to take off for an entire week with the family, so observing the graduate in your life with an amazing trip is a sweet send-off into adulting.
Contact us with any questions or ideas you have in mind to honor that special loved one who is about to embark on a new journey in life. The transformative power of travel is our specialty, and we know just what milestone trips are perfect for the graduate in your life.