Peregrine Tours are one of the leading operators of small group guided adventure tours with tours on every continent (yes, even Antartica).Experienced guides, a respect for the environment and local culture and the wide range of tours designed to take you off the beaten track make Peregrine a great choice for those seeking adventure.
Peregrine Holiday Packages
Here is a selection of Peregrine Tours deals from across their range. There are plenty more though so be sure to check them out for something that is what you're after.
HIGHLIGHTS: Delhi - Dadhikar - Jaipur - Agra
- 7 day tour departing Delhi.
- 5 nights accommodation in hotels.
- 1 night accommodation on an overnight train.
- 5 breakfasts.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
- Transport by a private vehicle.
Day 1: Delhi
Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Your airport representative will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, located after passing through the customs area and beyond the travel desks and exchange counters. Look out for the note on the hotel signboard. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 45 minutes. Please note this trip begins at 1 pm with a group meeting. As most flights arrive in Delhi in the late evening you may need to arrive a day prior to make the most of your time in Delhi. Following the meeting, your group leader will take you on an organised sightseeing trip through Old Delhi via the city's modern metro. After wandering through Delhi's historical alleys, you will also see the oldest mosque in Delhi, Jama Masjid, an impressive structure, and visit the Sikh Temple, Sheeshganj Gurudwara.
Day 2: Dadhikar
Today you will visit the 1100-year-old Dadhikar Fort. It is situated on a hilltop amid dense forests in the lap of the Aravali Hills. Losing all their possessions in a flood, the family of King Chand relocated here and set up a permanent residential camp some time in the 9th or 10th century. In recent times the fort has emerged from restoration work to retain much of its original form. The history of the fort has been immortalized in a song performed by local singers in the area. (Driving time: approximately 5 hours)
Day 3-4: Jaipur
You will continue by road to Jaipur (driving time: approximately 6 hours)the colourful capital of the state of Rajasthan. Here, traditionally dressed Rajput men wearing colourful turbans and sporting magnificent moustaches make their way through crowded streets packed with cars, camel carts, rickshaws, trucks and bicycles. The day will be free for you to explore the vibrant city. On your second day in Jaipur you will travel 11 kilometres to the stunning medieval Amber Fort. This fort was built in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh and is a superb example of Rajput architecture. In the afternoon you will also visit the Old Bazaar and Hawa Mahal, better known as The Palace of the Wind. This five-storey facade with its pink, honeycombed sandstone windows is one of Jaipur's best-known landmarks. In the evening you can dine at one of the many fine restaurants in the city (optional).
Day 5: Agra
You will leave for Agra today, home to India's most famous site - the majestic Taj Mahal. This amazing 17th century marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his second wife, who died giving birth. Started in 1631 the project was completed in 1648 and employed a workforce of over 20,000 people. Construction materials were brought from all over India with the marble from Rajasthan transported by over 1000 elephants.
Day 6: Delhi
This morning you will visit the nearby Agra Fort - a huge complex built originally as a military structure of red sandstone by Akbar in 1565, and partially converted into a palace during the time of Shah Jahan. The rest of the day in Agra is free until our evening group meeting, prior to boarding the train to Delhi. (Travel time: approximately 3 hours)
Day 7: Delhi
If you wish to spend some more time in Delhi we recommend you book additional accommodation for this day. If you plan to leave, as most flights leave Delhi in the late evening, we would also suggest you consider booking accommodation for the day as well. Your leader will be on hand to assist with transfers to the airport. These are not included, but can be booked through us or your travel agent. If you are spending extra time in Delhi, there is still plenty to see. Humayun's Tomb and Safdarjang's Tomb are other great examples of Mughal architecture and design. The narrow streets of Old Delhi are worth exploring, with the highlights being Red Fort. Raj Ghat is a monument that marks the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated. Hauz Khas Village is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of downtown - a chic artistic enclave set right next to the remnants of a historical site.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Istanbul - Cappadocia - Konya - Pamukkale - Ephesus - Selcuk - Canakkale - Gallipoli
- 10 day tour departing Istanbul.
- 9 nights accommodation in hotels.
- 9 breakfasts.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
- Transport by a private vehicle.
Day 1: Istanbul
If arriving at Istanbul Atakurk airport (IST) you will be met and transferred to your starting hotel. If arriving at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) airport please make your own way to the hotel (unless you have booked a transfer). As today is an arrival day, there is no formal sightseeing planned. Istanbul is one of the great cities of the world, with a history spanning thousands of years. It has been through several incarnations, firstly as Byzantium, then Constantinople and finally Istanbul. The city today is bustling and its streets are crowded with locals busily going about their daily lives. If you arrive early enough, you can wander and absorb the vibrancy of this exciting city that links Europe and Asia. In the evening there will be a welcome meeting (please check noticeboard for exact time) held in the hotel, where you will meet your tour leader and fellow travel companions.
Day 2: Istanbul - Cappadocia
This morning your guide will introduce you to the treasure-trove of the historic old town. You will visit the iconic 17th century Blue Mosque, built for Sultan Ahmet I and a unique piece of architecture because of its six minarets, rather than the usual four found across the rest of the Muslim world. Another striking feature is its 20,000 beautiful Iznik tiles. The ancient Hippodrome with Obelisk of Theodosius, Snake Pillar and German Fountain of Wilhelm II will also be visited today. A free afternoon will enable you to further explore this fascinating city. In the late afternoon you will drive to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival you will drive into the heart of Cappadocia where you will be based for the next three nights.
Day 3: Cappadocia
This morning you will visit the Goreme Open Air museum: The people of Goreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realised that the soft rocks of the area could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. This Christian sanctuary contains many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. These frescoes are a unique artistic achievement from the 10th - 12th centuries. There are several fascinating Byzantine cave chapels to explore, most of them decorated with exquisite and colourful biblical frescoes. In the afternoon you will discover the local handcraft of the region and visit a carpet workshop where you will be fascinated by the beauty of the carpets, a tradition that reveals the nomadic origins of the Turkish people. Later in the afternoon you will embark on a short walk through the fascinating 'Love Valley' before heading back to your hotel. There is the option of enjoying a traditional Turkish bath to unwind from the day's activities.
Day 4: Cappadocia
After a relaxing breakfast you will take a walk toward Kizilcukur (Red Valley), where its magnificently sculptured, red rock formations have created arguably the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia. Small valleys, cones, peaks and fairy chimneys blend harmoniously with fascinating cave chapels that date back to the early Christian period. In the afternoon you will drive to the unique Pasabaglari Valley, where multiple fairy chimneys hewn from the earth and shaped by centuries of erosion lend a moon-like landscape and atmosphere to the valley. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a hermit's shelter are built into one of the fairy chimneys, which appears to have three heads! You will walk today for a total of about three hours. In the afternoon you will take the opportunity to discover the local handcraft of pottery. Returning to Goreme, you will have a night at leisure. You may have an opportunity to attend a folk dance show or witness an original Whirling Dervish 'Sema' performance.
Day 5: Cappadocia - Konya
For early birds, there is the possibility to rise before dawn to take an awe-inspiring optional hot-air balloon ride over the 'other-worldly' Cappadocia landscape and witness an amazing sunrise in the process. For those preferring a more leisurely start to the day, one can relax over breakfast before regrouping and leaving the fairytale landscapes of Cappadocia behind and driving to the incredible underground city of Derinkuyu. Some of the dwellings here contain rooms expanding seven levels beneath ground level. You will then continue to the village of Belisirma in the Ihlara Valley on the slopes of Mount Hasan, one of the volcanos responsible for the forming of Cappadocia. From here you will embark on a wonderful walk along the Melendiz River and experience traditional village life, as you walk through the beautiful Ihlara Valley to Ihlara village. There are dozens of fascinating Byzantine cave chapels to explore along the way and most of them are decorated with exquisite biblical frescoes. You will then leave the area of Cappadocia behind and drive to Konya, your stop for the night. Please note that Konya is a very religious town, so it is best that you dress conservatively during your time here.
Day 6: Konya - Pamukkale
After breakfast this morning you will drive to Pamukkale, also known as 'Cotton Castle' and a truly unique sight. This magical and spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming a myriad of pools and terraces. As the water overflows from the pools, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites are formed that, from afar, resemble cotton or snow. The pools are filled with hot spring waters that supposedly have healing properties for a person's circulation and digestive systems. Close to Pamukkale are the ruins of Hierapolis, which was founded by the King of Pergamon in 190 BC. By the 2nd century AD it had become an important Roman bath centre. The extensive ruins of Hierapolis are well worth exploring and include a theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica and necropolis. You will spend the night in a hotel in Pamukkale
Day 7: Pamukkale - Ephesus - Selcuk
After breakfast you will make an early start for a drive of about four hours to Selcuk, which will be your base for visiting Ephesus - one of the best-preserved classical cities in the eastern Mediterranean, and a great example of Roman architecture. You will drive to Ephesus, possibly the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world and definitely a highlight of your trip! Always an important religious centre, Ephesus was founded by Ionian Greeks in the 11th century BC and flourished under Roman rule. The Greeks replaced the cult of the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele with Artemis and built a fabulous temple in her honour. With the arrival of the Romans, it became the Temple of Diana and was one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world. You will visit the vast amphitheatre, walk the marble street once trodden by Cleopatra and Mark Antony, and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and wonderfully restored Library of Celsus. An orientation tour familiarises you with Selcuk, a sprawling town lying at the base of the ancient fortress on Ayasoluk Hill. Those who wish can take an optional visit to the last home of the Virgin Mary, who as legend states came here accompanied by St John and lived out her days in this beautiful spot. You will spend the night in a hotel in Selcuk and have the chance to reflect and fully comprehend the history and splendour of the day's discoveries.
Day 8: Selcuk - Canakkale
Early this morning after breakfast, you will begin the drive to Canakkale, located on the shores of the Dardanelles, which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea and touches both Europe (with the Gelibolu Peninsula) and Asia (with the Biga Peninsula). On the way, you will visit an important historical site near Canakkale - Troy. Troy (Truva) was a city that existed over 4,000 years ago and was known as a major ancient civilization. For many years people believed that it was the city mentioned only in the tales and never truly existed, as the area had become known as Ilium, or New Ilium. Archaeological digs subsequently proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement. (3000 BC-AD 400) on what became accepted as the site of ancient Troy. Each successive period of habitation lies on top of its former incarnation. Here you can see the remnants of the ancient city walls in addition to a replica of the famous wooden horse. Historians are still at odds as to whether or not this fable or indeed the battle itself is stuff of lore or reality. Arriving in Canakkale, you will have the remainder of the day free to wander around this vibrant waterfront town, and perhaps view the Trojan horse used and subsequently gifted to the city by the producers of the movie Troy, filmed in 2004.
Day 9: Canakkale - Gallipoli - Istanbul
You will cross the Dardanelles and return to 'Europe' today, visiting the Gallipoli Peninsula - a place of enormous significance to Australians and New Zealanders. Located at Turkey's most westerly point, this area is now serene, but the role it played on April 1915 during the First World War is now firmly etched into the psyche of New Zealanders and Australians. You will visit the beach and cemeteries of Anzac Cove, then head up the hill to pay homage at the poignant memorials of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. The latter is the highest ground secured in the campaign on the 8th of August, 1915 (by New Zealand and British troops), before they were beaten back due to lack of reinforcement. From the Ataturk Memorial at this spot, you can view the Allied troops goal - the Dardenelles. You can look down upon the rough and barren hills and gulleys that became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men from both sides. Around this area you will find remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. After touring the former battlefields, you will head back to where your adventure began - Istanbul. You will arrive back in Istanbul in the late afternoon or early evening and the remainder of the evening will be free.
Day 10: End Istanbul
Your tour will come to an end this morning after breakfast.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Lampang - Sukhothai - Kanchanaburi
- 10 day tour departing Bangkok.
- 7 nights accommodation in hotels 1 night accommodation in a lodge.
- 1 night accommodation on an overnight train.
- 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Kanchanaburi - Bridge over the River Kwai, Hellfire Pass and a section of the Burma Death Railway, Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep Temple.
- Cycle tour around the archaeological site of Sukhothai.
- Visit the elephant hospital in Lampang.
- Arrival transfer.
- The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
Day 1-2: Bangkok - overnight train
Welcome to Thailand. Upon arrival you will be collected at the airport by one of our transfer representatives and taken to your hotel. Your Thai adventure will begin with an important meeting at 6pm. You will find details of the meeting venue at the hotel reception. Keep in mind that you will need your next of kin and insurance details with you at this meeting. Bangkok is the colourful and frenetic capital of Thailand. Characterised by its iconic tuk tuks, fragrant street vendors and the traditional khlong boats that wind down the Chao Phraya River, it a wonderful city to explore. You will enjoy a city tour of Bangkok. You will visit the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), a must for first-time travellers to Bangkok. Visit Wat Pho, home of the famous Reclining Buddha. (When visiting temples and palaces in Thailand, please dress conservatively in order to respect the local culture). A long-tail boat trip along the canals is another lovely way to enjoy the natural scenery and buzz of daily life in Bangkok. In your free time you can visit the chaotic tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or prepare for the journey ahead with a relaxing Thai massage. You will depart Bangkok on an overnight train journey in the evening of Day 2, which will carry you north to Chang Mai. You will be accommodated in a shared, air-conditioned sleeping berth with a bunk bed arrangement. Sheets and pillows will be provided and there will be a food and beverage service on board. (Train travel: approximately 13 hours).
Day 3-4: Chiang Mai
Chang Mai is a vibrant city situated in northern Thailand. It is awash with famous temples and quaint cafes, and is known as one of the friendliest cities in the country. You will have the opportunity to take part in a local cooking class today where you will uncover the secrets of aromatic Thai cuisine. You will learn everything from the most important ingredients and what to use in their place if you can't access them at home, to preparing dishes from a comprehensive book of recipes (that you will be able to take with you). Sitting down to feast on the fruits of your labour at lunch is the perfect way to finish the class. After lunch you will go on a scenic, winding drive up a mountain to the famous temple complex of Doi Suthep (approximately 45 mins). On arrival you will be met with an impressive 300-step naga-guarded stairway to reach the temples. The climb is well worth the effort, this is one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand. The sweeping views of the city and the hypnotic chanting by the resident Buddhist monks combine to make this a memorable experience. You will awake to a free day for independent exploration on day 4. Your leader can help you to arrange optional activities - you might like to hire a bike and ride to a nearby temple, or indulge in a Thai massage or spa treatment, or simply relax by the pool. As evening falls, you will enjoy a traditional Khantohk Dinner while being entertained by Akha, Yao, Lahu, H'mong, Lisu and Karen tribal dances.
Day 5: H'mong Hilltribe
You will drive through the picturesque, undulating countryside today, to reach the H'Mong Hilltribe Lodge. The H'mong are an ethnic minority in Thailand. They originated in the south of China and today make up the second largest hilltribe group. In the evening you will enjoy a barbecue dinner along with a cultural show by the H'mong people.
Day 6: Lampang - Sukhothai
You will depart the hilltribe village this morning and head on to Lampang (approximately two hours). Lampang is considered to be one of the last remaining paradises in Thailand, and is referred to by locals as mueang rot ma - Horse Carriage City. In Lampang you will visit the Friends of Asian Elephant Hospital, the first elephant hospital in the world to be established, before driving on to Sukhothai, where you will spend the night (approximately 3.5 hours).
Day 7-8: Sukhothai - Kanchanaburi
Sukhothai was established in the 13th century and was the first ancient capital of Siam. It is famed for its World Heritage listed park that captures the Golden Age of Thai civilisation; its name literally translates to Dawn of Happiness. You will hire bicycles upon arrival at the park, before embarking upon a cycle tour that overviews the history of this fascinating wonderland. A home-cooked picnic lunch will be enjoyed at some stage throughout the tour. You then drive on to Kanchanaburi (approximately 6 hours), where the Khwae Yai and Khwae Noi rivers meet. This is also where the infamous Bridge Over the River Kwai is housed. On your first night here, you enjoy an included dinner at the Felix River Kwai Resort. On your day trip around Kanchanaburi you will visit the Hellfire Pass Memorial. It commemorates the allied prisoners of war and Asian conscripts that died while building the most dangerous and challenging sections of the Thai-Burma Death railway. To complete this experience, you will take a ride along the historic tracks of the railway. Boarding at Nam Tok, the main terminal, you will wind along the scenic riverside tracks before crossing the original, POW-built wooden viaduct over the River Kwai.
Day 9-10: Bangkok
A relaxing river cruise with dinner along the grand Chao Phraya River as evening falls makes for a memorable end to the trip. You will have the final day free so you can choose to depart at your leisure. Your trip ends after breakfast on day 10.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Johannesburg - Greater Kruger National Park - Blyde River Canyon
- 5 day tour departing Johannesburg.
- 4 nights accommodation in a Lodge.
- Most meals.
- Game walks accompanied by an armed guide.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader and an experienced English-speaking specialist local guide.
- Transport in an open 4WD vehicles whilst on safari.
Day 1: Johannesburg
Your grand adventure will begin at 6am on day 1. Leaving Johannesburg, 'The City of Gold' behind you will head for Greater Kruger National Park, arriving just in time for lunch. Your accommodation for the evening will be an intimate lodge tucked into the Greater Kruger, crafted with local materials and boasting just 14 intimate rooms. The lodge also has a swimming pool perfect for late afternoon refreshment, and a little bar. The staff are also incredibly helpful and friendly.
Day 2: Greater Kruger National Park
You will awake early today and head into the park itself. Upon entry you will find yourself in prime game viewing territory, perched to catch a glimpse of the Big Five. Breakfast will be a picnic in the park, fuelling you for the full day of game viewing ahead. You will continue on through the park, stopping off at various points and waterholes to observe the incredible animals go about their daily life. You will return to the lodge in the late afternoon, where you can enjoy an evening of relaxation.
Day 3: Blyde River Canyon
You will head to the Drakensberg Escarpment today. Travelling along the Panoramic Route, you will experience some of the most glorious scenery in South Africa. Some of the sights you will catch en route are God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondavels and the stunning Blyde River Canyon. After a full day of exploration, you will return to the lodge to relax by the fire.
Day 4: Greater Kruger National Park
Today is your final day at the lodge, so you will have a free day to enjoy it. There will also be a number of optional activities available to those who are interested. You will be taken to a neighbouring game reserve in the afternoon, for one final game drive by spotlight. This is a great opportunity to catch a glimpse of the elusive animals that operate after dark. You'll return to the lodge for a Boma dinner after the drive.
Day 5: Greater Kruger National Park - Johannesburg
It is another early start today for a guided bush walk in the area, where you'll learn some interesting details about the natural world, including tree, spoor and bird identification. Transfer back to Johannesburg after your morning safari walk. There's plenty of time to stop and explore along the way. Take in amazing views at the viewpoint over the awesome Blyde River Canyon. Upon arrival back in Johannesburg, you will be dropped to your nominated hotel or directly to the airport for any onward travel. If you are planning to depart Johannesburg today for an international destination, please ensure that your flight is later than 10pm.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Kathmandu - Pokhara - Bandipur - Chitwan National Park - Bhaktapur
- 11 day tour departing Kathmandu.
- 2 nights accommodation in a guesthouse.
- 8 nights accommodation in hotels.
- Sightseeing and entrance fees.
- Services of a Peregrine tour leader and specialist local guides.
- Airport arrival transfer.
Day 1: Kathmandu
On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport by our representative who will be waiting with a Peregrine sign outside the terminal. After you settle into the hotel there will be a group briefing with your tour leader in the late afternoon. He will discuss the trek details and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements. The evening is free, but the tour leader will usually organise dinner (optional) at one of Kathmandu's fine Nepali restaurants.
Day 2: Kathmandu
In the early morning - weather permitting - you will take a scenic Mt. Everest flight. The flight will glide through Sagamartha's National Park, past a crescendo of the highest peaks in the world, climaxing with Mt. Everest. Upon your return you will explore Kathmandu on an organised sightseeing tour. The tour will take you to Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where you can observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. You'll also explore Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here you will see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. Tonight you will partake in a wonderful traditional Nepalese banquet with traditional dancing.
Day 3-4: Pokhara
You will depart the hotel early for your flight to Pokhara today. The flight offers spectacular views of the main Himalayan chain to the north. On arrival in Pokhara, you will take a boat ride across the lake (Phewa Tal), which is the second largest in Nepal. You will also visit the Peace Pagoda, which enjoys excellent views of the mountains including the Annapurnas and the famous fishtail peak, Machhapuchhare, along with views back across to Pokhara. Next you'll visit the fascinating International Mountain Museum, where you'll hear about the exploits of various climbing expeditions from the past 50 years. A free day has been allocated for further exploration in the peaceful surroundings of Pokhara. Your leader can advise you of sightseeing opportunities. The lakeside area has great shopping and Internet cafes. Pokhara has an interesting old area, as well as an elaborate Hindu temple and a Buddhist monastery to explore.
Day 5 - 6: Bandipur
In the morning you will drive to Bandipur. This traditional Nepalese settlement is a natural treasure and one of the hidden gems of Nepal. Tourism in Nepal essentially developed along its main roads and airport infrastructure. For over 30 years, there was simply no major road linking Bandipur to this infrastructure, leaving it almost untouched by touristic influence. The village is saddled on a high ridge above Dumre, 700 meters above the Marsyangdi River Valley and is gifted with an exceptional view of the Himalayan panorama. The surrounding hills are ideal for hiking. The trails will wind you through villages, verdant forests, 'power places', and hilltop shrines that once doubled as fortresses. You will explore this incredible settlement and enjoy a myriad of opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture of Nepal of old, while enjoying spectacular views, incredibly maintained architecture, and amazing trails.
Day 7: Chitwan National Park
After breakfast you will drive to Chitwan National Park. There is some flexibility at this stage of the trip, and the activities may vary depending on the time of year, and the known wildlife movements and locations. A late afternoon safari will take you in to the forest and across grasslands to observe the varied and exciting wildlife in the park. In the early evening the local Tharu dance troupe may perform a cultural program. You will then enjoy dinner and afterwards you will be free to relax in the bar.
Day 8: Chitwan National Park
You will awake today to an early morning excursion. This could include either another safari to different parts of the park in search of the great Indian rhino, deer, and exotic bird life, or joining one of the other activities available at the park. Tiger sightings are rare these days, but these magnificent animals do inhabit the park. After breakfast you will leave the lodge for a dugout canoe adventure on the Rapti River. This is an exciting trip with chances to view marsh mugger crocodiles and various birds that inhabit the riverbanks. A program will be organised for you to fill the rest of the day, and may include further excursions by jeep or a visit to one of the nearby villages.
Day 9: Chitwan National Park - Bhaktapur
If you are an avid wildlife lover, there is an optional early morning bird watching safari available today - a worthwhile addition to your trip. After breakfast you will drive on to Bhaktapur, which was once the capital of Nepal and the Great Malla Kingdom during the 15th century. Its rich heritage, inspiring temples and artisanal history played a big part in Bhaktapur being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an evening of exploration on your own, soak up the incredible atmosphere in one of the local cafes, or just relax in your hotel.
Day 10: Bhaktapur - Kathmandu
Spend the day exploring Bhaktapur's famous temples, starting at Durbar Square, which is reputed to be the most beautiful piece of art in Nepal. Durbar Square is home to the majestic Lion Gate and Golden Gate. You will also visit the Pashupati Temple, a replica of the Bagmati River in Kathmandu. This will be an enlightening morning of discovery and enrichment, as you truly delve into all Bhaktapur has to offer. In the afternoon you will drive to Kathmandu. The evening will be free but the group leader will usually organise an evening meal (optional) at one of Kathmandu's fine Nepali restaurants.
Day 11: Kathmandu
Your trip officially comes to an end after breakfast today. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Nha Trang - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Halong Bay
- 15 day tour departing Saigon.
- 11 nights accommodation in hotels.
- 1 night accommodation on an overnight train.
- 1 night accommodation on a boat.
- 1 night accommodation homestay.
- Enjoy a buffet breakfast at KOTO cafe in Hanoi - a project providing vocational hospitality training and experience to underprivileged young people.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Cu Chi Tunnels; Hoi An historical sites; China Beach; Hai Van Pass, Hue's Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and Emperor Tu Duc's Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's House and Temple of Literature.
- Enjoy a Dragon Boat cruise down Perfume River.
- Internal flights between Nha Trang and Danang (for Hoi An) as well as between Hue and Hanoi.
- Arrival transfer.
- The services of expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Your trip starts today with your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. No activities are planned until your evening group meeting, so you may arrive at any time. Please check the welcome board or reception desk, located on the ground floor of the hotel, for information on your upcoming tour. This will advise you of your tour leader's name, telephone number and the time and location of your group's Welcome Meeting. Normally, the meeting is at 6pm. Until your meeting we encourage you to get out and discover the delights that Vietnam has to offer. Make sure that you take a hotel business card so that you will be able to find your way back to the hotel. Please note that your tour leader will collect your travel insurance details at the meeting, so please bring them with you. The meeting is followed by a Welcome Dinner at one of Ho Chi Minh City's many fantastic eating spots.
Day 2: Mekong Delta
You will have the opportunity to enjoy a buffet breakfast at KOTO restaurant today. This restaurant is designed to give street children an education in hospitality. After breakfast you will drive south to Cai Be for a boat cruise along the intricate and beautiful waterways of the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta is renowned for its fertile land - rich in tropical fruits, flowers and rice. For this reason, it is often referred to as the rice bowl of Vietnam. You will visit an orchard in your cruise, where you will have the chance to taste some tropical fruits, before moving on to visit some local cottage industries. As the sun starts to drop you will continue to your homestay, where you will be sleeping for the night. Here you will enjoy a beautiful home cooked meal of local specialties. You will be sleeping in a dorm style room, with single camp beds. The beds will be fitted with bedding and mosquito nets. Keep in mind that the bathrooms and toilets are very simple, and will only have cold water available to them. This is very in keeping with the spirit of adventurous travel that you have undertaken to partake in!
Day 3-4: Ho Chi Minh City - overnight train
You will awake early with the locals today, and after breakfast you will be taken to visit the bustling Cai Be floating market - a place awash with colour and activity. You will then return to Ho Chi Minh City via Cu Chi Tunnels. Cu Chi is actually the name of the district that covers an extensive underground network (approximately 200 kilometres) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong. The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used extensively for refuge and storage and also utilised as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Saigon. The 1968 Tet Offensive was launched from Cu Chi with surprising effect. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what the life underground must have been like (please note that this will be hot and sweaty and also a bit claustrophobic!). Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and the nation's economic capital, after visiting the tunnels you will partake in a short city tour that will take you to the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral, and will allow you to admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall). You will then board an overnight train to Nha Trang. Overnight trains are not renowned for their cleanliness or opulence, but this is a true local experience, and it is also the best way to cover a long distance in Vietnam. The trains are usually made up of four berth compartments, and sheets and blankets are provided, Some travellers prefer to bring their own sheets, but this completely up to you. There is a chance that you will be sharing your berth with people of different sexes and on occasion with people outside of your travel group. There is a simple dining cart on the train, but it can be wise to stock up on bread, fruit and other delicacies prior to departure.
Day 5-6: Nha Trang
You will arrive in Nha Trang today, and spend the day exploring this idyllic seaside town. With palm trees, white sandy beaches and a hip cosmopolitan atmosphere, Nha Trang is often referred to as the Cannes of the Orient. You will venture out on a boat to explore the nearby islands, as well as a fishing village. You will also have the chance to snorkel in the pristine water, feast on a fresh seafood buffet and enjoy soaking up some sunshine on the deck of the boat.
Day 7-9: Hoi An
You will take a short flight to Danang today, from where you will embark on a short minibus ride to Hoi An. Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Hoi An was once a bustling port in centuries gone by, before the river silted up. Today it is a delightful backwater town with an air of liveliness about it. The tranquility and charm of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. It is a consistent favourite among travellers and staff alike. A tour will take you to a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. You get the chance to learn how to prepare Vietnamese cuisine in a cooking class. Better still, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour! You will enjoy a free afternoon to make the most of delightful Hoi An and its surrounding areas. The market is a good place to buy silk that can be made up into fine garments, all within a day. Close to town there is a nice beach, which can be reached easily by bicycle.
Day 10-11: Hue
You will leave beautiful Hoi An today for Hue, stopping at China Beach (known locally as My Khe Beach) and passing through the beautiful Hai Van Pass - a scenic, mountainous stretch of highway with views across Lang Co beach. You will also stop at this beach for lunch. Hue is the hub of Vietnam's historic past. The former imperial capital, Hue is an eclectic mix of busy streets and peaceful beauty. You will visit the Imperial Citadel here, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter of these was almost completely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War - but its humble, foliage-covered ruins remain a testament to its proud history, and offer a little insight into the horrific damage endured during the war. You will take a boat cruise on the Perfume River next, before visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda - the unofficial symbol of Hue. The Pagoda is an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. You will also have the opportunity to visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees, and if time permits you will also see what is believed to be the most magnificent of all the royal tombs, Minh Mang. While you are in Hue, you will also enjoy lunch at a local nunnery or monastery - this not only allows you to sample some of Hue's famed vegetarian food, but also offers an insight into Vietnamese Buddhism. This is also presents an opportunity for you to help keep these institutions alive through donations.
Day 12: Hanoi
You will fly from Hue to Hanoi today. Hanoi is one of Asia's most enchanting cities. The northern capital is a quiet contradiction to its southern counterpart. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, and exploration by foot or bicycle is recommended. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes from the city. You will take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying a homage to Vietnam's most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. In the evening you get to enjoy a performance of the unique Water Puppets.
Day 13: Halong Bay
You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. It is a three-hour drive to famous Ha Long Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders. The views of sailing junks navigating past over 3000 limestone islands with rocky outcrops are nothing short of spectacular. You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available), as well as spending a night on board. We visit one cave in the area and, in the warmer months, you can enjoy a swim. Conditions may be somewhat more communal compared to the usual hotel setting, but spending a night on the bay is such a wonderful experience. If the weather is obliging, the views at sunset are especially incredible. There are only limited numbers of cabins on each boat, so the Single Supplement does not apply on the Halong Bay cruise, as all accommodation here is on a twin-share basis. All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. You may also have the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) while on Halong Bay.
Day 14-15: Hanoi
In the morning you will sail back to the port, where you will disembark and drive back to Hanoi. Arriving back in the capital, you will have free time to wander around and enjoy some of the city's other attractions. Perhaps some shopping on Hang Gai Street, or afternoon tea at the Metropole Hotel? You enjoy a final dinner in a Hanoi restaurant - a chance to farewell your fellow travel companions and new-found friends. Your trip will come to an end after breakfast on day 15.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Beijing - Datong - Pingyao - Xian - Luoyang - Shaolin - Shanghai - Zhouzhuang
- 16 day tour departing Beijing.
- 13 nights accommodation in hotels.
- 2 nights accommodation on a sleeper train.
- 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Beijing, Datong, Xian, including the Terracotta Warriors, and the water town of Zhouzhuang.
- Walk on the Great Wall at Jinshanling.
- Visit famous Buddha caves near Datong (Yungang Caves) and Luoyang (Longmen Caves).
- Discover the medieval town of Pingyao.
- See kung fu demonstration in Shaolin.
- Overnight trains from Pingyao to Xian and Luoyang to Shanghai in a �soft-class�, four-berth compartment.
- The services of Peregrine�s expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour and local guides at some sites.
- Arrival transfer.
- Transport by Minibus, Sleeper train.
Day 1: Beijing
On arrival in Beijing you are transferred to your hotel. In the evening you meet your tour leader and the other group members for a pre-tour briefing. This is followed by a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant where we get to dine out on the local speciality - Peking Duck.
Day 2-3: Beijing
Beijing offers endless opportunities for exploration. Strolling through Tiananmen Square we make our way to the enormous Forbidden City, built more than 500 years ago and off limits to commoners for almost all that time, is a truly amazing place. Its size might surprise you (it is huge!), but what makes it fascinating is that every square metre is interesting, ranging from intricately carved walkways to colourful, painted ceilings. We visit the Temple of Heaven, which is a fine examples of extraordinary workmanship. We also travel to the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall. Being perched on this incredible engineering feat and surveying the spectacular surrounding countryside is an unforgettable experience. There is some free time in the itinerary, allowing you to make your own discoveries. Our hotel is located in the south of the city and a walk in any direction will unveil all sorts of wonderful surprises. There are good shopping opportunities at the various markets around the city, such as the centrally located Dashilan Market. In the evening, you have the chance to enjoy a performance of the unique Beijing Opera (optional).
Day 4-5: Datong
We have a morning visit to the Summer Palace in Beijing, and then we catch an afternoon train for the five-and-a-half hour journey to Datong. Now an industrial city and transportation hub, Datong once served as a military stronghold throughout numerous dynasties and also as a capital of some ancient kingdoms. In those days it flourished in trade, agriculture and was a centre for Buddhism. A tour to the Yungang Grottoes, one of the three great Buddhist grottoes in China, is a highlight. Construction began as early as 460AD. There are over 50,000 Buddha statues carved into the caves by over 10,000 artisans, stonemasons and their assistants. We also drive for a hour south and spend time exploring the unique Hanging Monastery. This amazing Buddhist temple appears to be glued to the side of a cliff.
Day 6-7: Pingyao - overnight train
We depart at dawn and catch an early morning train to Pingyao. There are not many trains that service this route and the more comfortable air-conditioned train only leaves at this early time of the day. The journey takes about 8 hours. In Pingyao we spend a night in a historic traditional style Chinese inn. A delightful day is spent exploring this ancient town designed in the shape of a tortoise - a traditional Chinese symbol for longevity. It is full of temples, traditional architecture, city walls, watchtowers and battlements. China's earliest banks were set up in Pingyao, which at a stage during the Qing Dynasty, was the financial headquarters of the entire country. Boarding an overnight train, we travel soft-class sleeper and slowly head towards Xian.
Day 8-9: Xian
Xian is a wonderful place to explore. Food options are excellent here, ranging from delicious Muslim fare to great little dumplings in Chinese cafes. Widely regarded as the first capital of a united China in 221 BC, the city is rich in history. A half-day tour to the renowned Terracotta Warriors introduces us to these entombed statues, considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. Over 6000 of them were individually sculpted from clay, each having a different costume, height, even facial expression. They are standing in battle formation, facing east in order to protect the tomb of China's first emperor, the great Qin Shihuang. Peasants digging a well only discovered the underground vault, which was home to this army for two millennia, in 1974. Xian also has a wonderful Muslim Quarter. A free day can easily be spent wandering the narrow streets where we find quaint shops, lively markets, groups of white-bearded men in skull caps sipping tea in cafes, and the Great Mosque, one of the most important in China.
Day 10-12: Luoyang - Shaolin - overnight train
A short train journey from Xian takes us to Luoyang where we base ourselves for the next 2 nights. Luoyang was the imperial capital of 13 dynasties. Luoyang is a great city for people watching. As there is a peoples square which is one of the most lively in China. In this square you can witness people ballroom dancing, doing Kung Fu, Tai chi or just wanting to practice their English with you. The following morning we visit the famous Shaolin Temple. It is here we can witness 1000s of students training in the ancient art of kung fu under the watchful eye of their master. After visiting the temple we can attaned a kung fu demonstration by some of the gifted students.. The following day we visit the Longmen Grottoes. The Longman Grottoes began in 493 and stretches 1 km in length and houses 100,000 statues with the most impressive Buddha standing 17.2 metres in height. Late in the afternoon we catch an overnight train to the exciting metroplis of Shanghai.
Day 13-14: Shanghai
In the morning we arrive in Shanghai and transfer to our hotel located near the famous Bund or waterfront area, where dozens of imposing European colonial buildings, remnants of the concession era, line the promenade. This is an excellent place to rub shoulders with the locals. The shopping area on Nanjing Road is situated nearby. We enjoy free time in Shanghai, and your tour leader can show you how to get to the famous Yuyuan Gardens and Bazaar, a fascinating highlight of the city and worth exploring for its tranquil Chinese garden and wonderful dumplings. This evening the tour leader can organise tickets to the famous Shanghai acrobats(optional). The following morning is a free morning where the tour leader can organise many activities for you from visiting the impressive Shanghai museum, to a morning cruise along the Bund or an excursion to one of the tallest buildings in China the Jin Mao tower for a view of the expansive Shanghai area.
Day 15: Zhouzhuang - Shanghai
In the morning we are transported by a private coach to Zhouzhuang where we spend the day exploring this ancient well preserved town. Zhouzhuang is the most famous water town in China and you can walk where Marco Polo once walked as he roamed these streets in the 1200s in what is known as the Venice of the East.
Day 16: Shanghai
The tour ends after breakfast. You should arrange an evening flight out, or stay an extra day, if you wish to have time to explore more of Shanghai. A transfer to the airport is not included, however, your tour leader will be on hand to advise you as to the options available.
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HIGHLIGHTS: Paris - Dijon - Beaune - Avignon - Nice
- 9 day tour departing Paris.
- 8 nights accommodation in hotels.
- Welcome dinner in Paris.
- Wine tasting.
- Palais des Papes Entrance.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
Day 1-2: Paris
Your French adventure will begin with a welcome meeting on day 1, where you will meet your tour leader and travel companions. Check with the hotel reception or look out for a notice board nearby for details of the meeting. You will need to bring your travel insurance details to this meeting. After the meeting, there will be a welcome dinner at a Parisian restaurant. If you arrive early, we recommend that you get out and explore this beautiful city. From the incredible art galleries and imposing monuments, to the world-renowned shopping, quaint cafes and hidden treasure, Paris is a wonderful city to explore by foot. There is of course the Eiffel Tour, Musee D'Orsay, the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, the Arc de Triomphe, and a host of other wonderful attractions here, but simply walking through the pretty little lanes of the Latin Quarter, lazing in the elegant shop-lined streets of St Germain, wandering down the opulent Champs-Elysee and meandering through the winding bohemian streets of Montmatre will also give you a wonderful overview of the city. Sitting with a baguette and cheese in the Luxembourg gardens and watching the French go about their daily life is the perfect way to wile away the hours.
Day 3-4: Dijon/Beaune
You will leave Paris by train and travel to Dijon today. The trip will take approximately three hours. From Dijon, you will be able to discover the beautiful region of Burgundy, one of France's wealthiest provinces. It is not only economically rich, but also has a wealth of historical, cultural and gastronomic delights for you to enjoy. Dijon itself is city of winding streets and medieval and renaissance architecture. You will have the opportunity to visit one of the region's most famed wineries in Beaune before lunching at the Michelin-recommended Caveau des Arches, which is hidden in the vaults beneath a 16th century fortified bridge. You will also have some free time to explore Dijon and perhaps taste its most famous export, Dijon mustard.
Day 5: Chateau stay
You will travel to a beautiful French chateau today, where you will spend the night amidst historic splendour. You will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the beautiful surrounds here, indulging in some of the delicious local cuisine and taking the time to explore the local French countryside.
Day 6-7: Avignon
From the gorgeous chateau, you will travel by train to Avignon (approximately 3 hours). Avignon is a beautiful walled city in the heart of Provence. Once home to French popes for more than a century, Avignon is now a haven of beautiful art, a grand papal palace and the Pont St-Benezet (immortalised as Pont de Avignon in a popular French song). You will have lunch in a local bistro, the perfect opportunity to sample Provencale cuisine. While in Avignon you will also have the chance to visit the Palais de Papes, which was built in the 14th century, and considered the largest medieval Gothic palace in the world. The palace's unreserved opulence decimated the papacy's income during its construction. You will also visit the Pont St-Benezet, once the only crossing of the Rhone River, which acted as an enduring natural boundary between the Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of France. Only four of the original 22 arches remain. You will have a free day to explore the surrounding region. Taking the train to Arles is a popular option; Arles has an abundance of Roman monuments and a strong association with the arts. Your tour leader will offer you a suggestion for lunch in the region, where you can sample more of the famed local cuisine.
Day 8-9: Nice
From Avignon you will continue your French journey by train to the glamorous French Riviera (or Cote d'Azur ) town of Nice (approximately four hours). Boasting beautiful lake-like beaches, high-end shopping and a vibrant nightlife, Nice is the perfect place to explore the sparkling Riviera. The evening flower markets in Place Saleya are a must-see, and the myriad of water sports available and beaches are a wonderful way to fill your time. If you would like to explore more widely, you can go on a trip to Monaco, uncover the secrets of crafting perfume in Grasse, jump on a boat to St Tropez or simply wander the historical sights of Nice. You will enjoy a farewell dinner with your travel companions on the last night of the tour. The trip will come to an end after breakfast on day 9.
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- 12 day trip departing Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.
- 10 nights shipboard accommodation based in Triple Cabin with daily housekeeping, 1 night pre voyage hotel.
- 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 11 dinners.
- This voyage is escorted by world class photographer Steve Davey.
- He will run presentations and provide group and private tuition to improve Arctic photography.
- All shore landings per the daily program, experienced expedition leader, all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
- A waterproof parka to keep.
- A selection of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.
- All shore landings per the daily program.
- A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists.
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled.
- Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
- Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin.
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- All luggage handling aboard ship.
Triple Cabin from $6,959*
Main Deck Suite from $9,175*
Superior Suite from $10,105*
Deluxe Suite from $10,105*
HIGHLIGHTS: Alkefjellet - Kapp Lee - Lilliehook glacier - Longyearbyen - Monaco Glacier - Nordaustlandet Island - Palanderbukta - Phippsoya - Martensoya - Seven Islands
If there is such a thing as a 'classic Arctic' expedition, this is it. Explore the western edge of Spitsbergen and some outlying northern areas home to polar bears and walrus. Come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and look for whales in the water.
Joining you on this exclusive departure will be photographer Steve Davey. Steve is an experienced Arctic photographer, and brings a unique blend of tailored tuition, encouragement and boundless enthusiasm to every tour he accompanies.
He has led a number of travel photography tours to some of the world's most fascinating destinations. He'll be on hand to give you detailed instruction about taking the best landscape and wildlife images on this expedition. Meet Steve on the first night in Longyearbyen for a three course welcome dinner and drinks. This is also a great chance to find out what to expect on your Arctic adventure.
Steve will provide practical photography tuition to ensure you bring home spectacular images. Although the primary focus of this photography trip will be to help you to take better pictures the Arctic, Steve will use the time onboard to help improve your general travel photography skills.
Join him for a range of illustrated talks, group practical sessions, photographic tasks and group and personal review sessions. He will cover exposure, shooting in RAW, composition and also the post processing of your images.
He will share advice and insights about why the Arctic conditions are so unique and provide simple yet comprehensive solutions to dramatically improve your Arctic photography. Come home with a perfectly finished set of pictures to amaze your family and friends.
Based in London, Steve's love of travel has taken him to some 87 countries. He has also written a number of international best-selling BBC books: Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die (BBC Books, 2004) and Unforgettable Islands to See Before You Die (BBC Books 2007).
His recent book, Footprint Travel Photography (Footprint Books, 2008) is one of the leading titles on travel and location photography and covers all aspects of travelling with a camera.
Private group Zodiac convoys will give you the chance to get to know Steve, and utilise his photographic experience in this region. This departure follows the standard Spitsbergen Explorer itinerary but an additional nights' accommodation in Longyearbyen has been included before embarkation.
Day 1 - Longyearbyen
Arrive at the small town of Longyearbyen before 5pm and settle into your hotel. This evening, join host Steve Davey for a three course welcome dinner, where you'll get to meet him and hear more about what to expect on your Arctic adventure. Spend the next 10 days benefitting from his photography knowledge and expertise.
Day 2 - Embarkation day
Your Spitsbergen adventure voyage begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island's largest settlement. As you embark, you'll get great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside settlement.
Day 3-11 - Around Svalbard
These days are spent exploring the coast, moving generally in a clockwise direction. There will be ample time for shore excursions, where we can simply sit on the beach and take it all in or enjoy energetic hiking, wildlife spotting or stunning Zodiac cruises. Since our itinerary is difficult to predict due to ever-changing ice conditions, we've provided some samples of possible excursions we may undertake from day 3 through to day 11. We may not have time to visit all these spots, but no matter where we end up, it is guaranteed that our explorations will involve many memorable moments. We may also visit other locations should their beauty or interest warrant it. You will also enjoy daily presentations from Steve Davey ensuring you take home the best possible pictures of this unforgettable Arctic journey.
Day 12 - Longyearbyen
The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we'll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
This cliff is a seabird centre, where brunnich's guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated 100,000 breeding pairs raise their young here in the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests, rather they lay an egg on the bare ledge.
KAPP LEE, EDGEOYA
This is a well-known walrus haul out. The pink colour to a walrus' hide as it lies in the sun is caused by blood pumped to the skin's surface to aid cooling, similar to that of a hippopotamus in Africa
In 1906, His Serene Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco visited Lilliehook Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson visited the glacier 100 years later. He, too, was part of a scientific investigation, this time to further our understanding of the Arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. The growth rings of a single clam's shell contain evidence of the chemicals encountered by the clam. Scientists can determine the variations of the water's temperature and pollutant content by studying the shell.
Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the shore of Isfjorden. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston.
HSH Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honours the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned.
This is the second-largest island in the entire Svalbard Archipelago. The largest glacier in Europe is located on the island, which is a known habitat for reindeer and walrus.
On the western coast, this bay stretches south and east from the Wahlenberg Fjord. This is a typical Polar desert scene where the 'ice bear' can sometimes be seen roaming in search of food.
PHIPPSOYA & MARTENSOYA, SEVEN ISLANDS
This small archipelago is the northernmost land in Svalbard. Englishmen left their mark during a survey of the islands in the 1780s. The party named the islands after themselves, with the smallest and least significant island being named Nelsonoya, after the lowly midshipman.
IMPORTANT REMINDER Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy - and excitement - of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you'll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
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what are people saying about tours?
Having not travelled too much I wasn't sure if a tour would be be my cup of tea. Oh how I was wrong, we had an extremely packed 1 week on the west coast of USA and saw some amazing things including The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, and the small group was filled with great people, very down to earth and loads of fun. Highly recommended!