You made 2016 another year to remember. As always, it’s travelers like you—those who are itching to see the world and experience its wonders—who make what we do worthwhile. We’re eager to continue the journey in 2017 and have some big things in the works including an even greater focus on conservation (look out for partnerships with Blue Sphere Foundation and artisan-engagement organizations), fresh ideas on traveling with the kids, and plunging deeper into connecting travelers with experiences that surpass anything on record. But first, here’s a look at what we’re particularly proud of accomplishing in 2016. It wouldn’t have been possible without dedicated partners and clients like you. We’re sharing a big thank you, and here’s to 2017!
Preserving the world’s
rare & irreplaceable treasures
Sustainable tourism is part of our DNA. Through our philanthropic arm, Absolute Awareness, we collaborate with organizations leading the way in protecting and connecting others to our planet and creating innovative solutions to systemic issues. Working together, we facilitate donor engagement trips to connect donors with the projects they help fund. Invariably, seeing their dollars at work through on-the-ground experiences inspires donors to engage at a higher level for a longer term. This is essential to furthering the organizations’ causes. We are honored to facilitate engagement journeys like these:
American Museum of Natural History: Seychelles 2016
NEST: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand 2016 & Haiti 2017
The Nature Conservancy: Brazil 2016
World Wildlife Fund: Mekong on the Aqua Mekong 2016
Yale Alumni Service Corps: Brazil 2016
American Jewish World Service: Uganda & Rwanda 2016
Every Mother Counts: Guatemala & Haiti 2017
A 7th continent,
a Europe expert with fresh ideas,
a safari redux.
We are dedicated to connecting travelers to adventures worth chasing, lands worth exploring and cultures worth discovering. We were the first U.S.-based company to bring Americans to Vietnam and Cambodia. This pioneering spirit has stayed with us over the decades. Here are a handful of destinations we’re particularly excited to showcase in 2016:
In 2016 we added the seventh continent, Antarctica, to our portfolio scouted out by our director of operations Sasha Lehman. We’re bringing travelers like you face to face with gargantuan icebergs and playful penguins in the most logistically savvy way possible—by flying over the Drake Passage. Rather than utilizing precious days covering vast open water by boat, flying over the Drake Passage means the most time possible is spent kayaking beside whales and photographing glowing ice formations taller than skyscrapers.
This year we welcomed Martina Reznick as our Europe expert. Martina’s spent years uncovering the fine details that will change the way you travel Europe—the ideal order to pop into Venice’s canal-side museums, bicycle directions to Copenhagen’s best meal, an Italian town overlooked till now. Plus, over five years working at Relais & Châteaux makes her hotel knowledge hard to beat. Her insider tip for 2017: get to Puglia. Whether exploring posh Europe, wild Europe, or uncovering Europe’s secrets is what you’re after, we’ve got you covered.
Everyone knows Cuba was the breakout destination of 2015. Over the last couple years, we’ve watched our next-door neighbor increasingly grow in popularity. The island is responding to the influx of visitors with a burgeoning food scene, boutique shops, and insider arts experiences all with a decidedly Cuban flair. Our Cuba expert, Maryana Dudkina, knows exactly what you want to know when it comes to Cuba. Here are her big tips on what’s worth your time, what doesn’t live up to the hype, and what’s new for 2017.
When hearing feedback from our clients, more often than not they tell us their safari was their “best trip ever.” It’s hard to pinpoint the power of an African safari and the impact it has on us, but we know this feeling well. Maybe it’s because safari gives us the chance to sleep under the stars in Kenya’s open plains, look into the eyes of a prowling apex predator, or get in sync with the natural world’s rhythm.
We’ve created remarkable safari vacations for years. But in 2016 we made it our mission to put the best of safari front and center. Why? Above all, we want more people to go because this is a life-changing trip. It’s also one of the most complicated and challenging trips to plan. We don’t want that to stop you. We’re here to help. Our team of safari expert are top notch: creative, thoughtful, connected and will be mindful of exactly what’s important to you. Unsure where you want to go? Chat with Daniela Bonanno who is based in Cape Town, to help determine the African safari you want. She’s done nearly all there is to do when it comes to safari and will give you her honest opinion.
Focus on industry leadership
Travel to Sudan is a mystery to most. Did you know: Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt, the confluence of the White and Blue Niles, and fabulous hospitality? On a trip to Sudan and Ethiopia this year our expert, Matthew LaPolice, was amazed by his experience and returned eager to connect others to this overlooked destination. After sharing these insights with us, we were all clamoring to go. Find out all the reasons we added Sudan to our top destinations in 2016 here.
In 2016 we were proud to be named to Travel + Leisure’s top ten list of World’s Best Tour Operators, and we’re humbled to be nominated again for 2017. If you have a few minutes to vote and help determine the World’s Best winners, thank you! And thank you for simply helping us get this far.
We cheered on our team members for being recognized for their unique talents. Leslie Overton made Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist list for her expertise in Family Travel for the ninth year.Brooke Garnett was named to Travel + Leisure’s A-List of the World’s Top Travel Agents for her expertise in adventure travel and Australia. This was her fourth consecutive year making the list. Holly Monahan was named to the Travel + Leisure A-List for the second consecutive year for her expertise in travel to Thailand.
What we’re smiling about
We conquered a few personal milestones this year, too! Martina Reznick crushed her personal record running the 2016 New York City Marathon in honor of Every Mother Counts. Sasha Lehman visited her seventh continent when she journeyed to Antarctica last February. Katie Losey was asked to co-chair the 113th Explorers Club Annual Dinner on March 25th at Ellis Island. And Robyn Mark welcomed a baby girl to her family while Brian Lonergan is excited to welcome another little one in 2017.
We’re more than just a travel company
We’re original, creative, and we care, a lot. We take travel seriously (not much surpasses the level of joy, learning, and ability to put things in perspective, as travel). We’re grateful to surround ourselves with partners and clients who care just as much. When practically every inch of the globe can be virtually zoomed in on from your smartphone, and new roads, sailing routes, helicopter rides, and treks can take you to parts once unknown, the possibilities for “seeing the world” grow while the impact of travel amplifies. We’re on a mission to help you see all the world’s staggering places and take the type of trip you need and want. All while looking to the future and doing our best for the earth’s lands, peoples, and creatures. We’re excited about what we can do together in 2017, and thank you for being a part of the adventure.
Ready to take a trip?
Get in touch and let’s start planning your trip.
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