Adventure Collection Ten Top Trips for Fall
As September approaches and life’s post-summer routines return, many travelers are contemplating fall getaways. The ten member companies of the Adventure Collection offer a globe-girdling spectrum of trips that range from biking and trekking to cruising and cultural touring. To whet travelers’ autumnal wanderlust, I asked each company to highlight one trip they are especially excited about this fall. Here are their choices.
Backroads: Wine Country Biking — Napa & Sonoma Counties: Vineyards, Redwoods & Coast
Join us to explore five valleys of world-famous vineyards, forests of soaring redwoods, perfect pastoral landscapes and the captivating Pacific Coast. Since 1980, we’ve introduced enthusiastic travelers to — and reacquainted many with — the region’s hidden gems and treasures, from wineries and restaurants to picnic spots and deluxe spas. And we’ve found what our guests like best are the options — to keep biking the stunning countryside, indulge with a relaxing massage or schedule a tasting at an off-route winery. The choice is yours on this vintage Backroads experience.
Wine Country Biking — Napa & Sonoma Counties: Vineyards, Redwoods & Coast: Multiple departures from Sept. 5 through Nov. 21; from $2,698.
Bushtracks: African Wildlife Foundation’s Heart of East Africa
Presented in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation, this Kenya safari is one in a series of African ecotours focusing on the AWF’s Heartlands: African wildlands deemed top conservation priorities for their wildlife concentrations. You’ll start at the Samburu National Park and meet with African Wild Dog research and conservation staff who are trying to understand and reverse the decline of this endangered species. Next, accompanied by an AWF scientist, you’ll take guided safaris in the wildlife-rich Serengeti where you can see the beloved little “Tommie” with ever-flagging black tail, buffalo, rhino, lion, zebra and elephants. Your ecotour also includes private stays at Ol Lentille Conservancy and Manyara Ranch, two of AWF’s community conservation projects, where you can enjoy safari activities as well as cultural interactions with the people who live and work there. In addition to your wildlife-viewing experiences, you’ll see firsthand how conservation can save wildlife habitat, conserve important species and improve the livelihoods of many people.
African Wildlife Foundation’s Heart of East Africa: Oct. 21– Nov. 2; $12,250.
Canadian Mountain Holidays: September in the Bugaboos — Photography Workshop with Acclaimed Wilderness Photographer John E. Marriott
September in the Bugaboos. Clear crisp mornings under brilliant blue skies. A dusting of snow on the mountains provides captivating contrast to the blue skies. Cooler temperatures force the larch trees to turn their needles from deep green to bright gold, filling the valleys with color. September is the local’s favorite time to hike and the perfect time for photographers to capture this unique mountain landscape. This September, CMH Summer Adventures is fortunate to offer a digital photography workshop with renowned wilderness photographer John E. Marriott. John’s easygoing manner and passion for photography will inspire photographers of all levels. The helicopter allows us to explore a variety of landscapes and CMH’s professional mountain guides will take us to special places in and around the Bugaboos with spectacular photo opportunities. Back at the lodge John will lead evening discussions about techniques and technology and lead a group critique. CMH’s unpretentious hospitality and mountain luxury lodges top off an unforgettable photography workshop.
September in the Bugaboos — Photography Workshop with Acclaimed Wilderness Photographer John E. Marriott: Sept. 7-10: $2,990 (Canadian) plus taxes.
Geographic Expeditions: Essence of Bhutan
Getting to know Bhutan has been a balm and a revelation to our many GeoEx travelers through the years. Brent Olson, a veteran of three score and more trips to the Dragon Kingdom since we started our program there more than 20 years ago, created Essence of Bhutan as “a summary of all that draws us to Bhutan: its outstanding people, its sweet scenery, and its vibrant, proud culture.” (Vibrancy: Bhutan recently became a parliamentary democracy, with a constitutional monarch, 28-year-old King Jigme Khesar Wangchuck.) Not to be immodest, but we’re confident that because of our long experience in the country, our deep affection for it, and the matchless know-how we bring to it, no company can showcase Bhutan like GeoEx.
Ranging through exquisite countrysides, staying in local guesthouses, making day hikes to remote villages and hidden valleys, we immerse ourselves in this unique island of sanity and peace. We’ll take close looks at the creation of Bhutanese art forms: thangka painting, textile weaving, and wood carving, art forms that are cherished and used by the Bhutanese. On some of our departures we’ll attend one or two of the country’s festivals, where the kingdom’s vibrant culture kicks up its heels. And throughout we’ll rejoice in the essence of a country that seems to have gotten it right, and is determined to keep it that way.
Essence of Bhutan: Oct. 6-19, Oct. 24-Nov. 6, Nov. 6-19; from $5500.
Lindblad Expeditions: Lindblad-National Geographic Galapagos Photo Expeditions
Three National Geographic Photographers will accompany fall Galapagos journeys: James Blair will be on the October 22 and 29 departures, Mark Thiessen will be on November 12 and 19th departures, and Michael Melford will join the December 12 and 19th departures. On these Photo Expeditions, our guests will have access to shoot alongside and learn from top National Geographic Photographers and Lindblad Photo Specialists. They’ll be able to learn composition, lighting and framing tips in the field. Our Photo Expeditions also have all of the other tools for exploration that are included on our other departures, making them great for families where not everyone shares the same passions for photography. Speaking of families, Galápagos is one of our most popular geographies for parents to take their children or for grandparents to take their grandkids. The lack of fear the animals have around humans is something that brings out the child in people of all ages. Our fall departures also feature plenty of undersea exploration. There’ll be chances to snorkel with sea lions and penguins, and we use underwater cameras and video microscopes to explore the ocean.
Lindblad-National Geographic Galapagos Photo Expeditions: Departures Oct. 22 and 29, Nov. 12 and 19, and Dec. 12 and 19; from $4,980.
Micato: Tanzania Spectacular
This exhilarating new safari combines stays at stylish new safari lodges — astounding properties that bring five-star elan in harmony with nature, with the unparalleled game viewing that can only be found in a country where nearly 25 percent of the land is protected. Beginning in Arusha at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, an idyllic escape tucked away in a verdant coffee plantation, guests then travel to Tarangire Treetops, a property that offers supreme luxury with private balcony views of Lake Manyara and the Rift Valley Wall. Then it’s off to Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, a unique haven for over 20,000 species of wildlife, and Migration Camp in Serengeti National Park.
Tanzania Spectacular: Departures weekly through December; from $7,880.
Natural Habitat Adventures: The Classic Polar Bear Photo Adventure
You won’t find another Churchill-based polar bear tour odyssey that promises as much proximity and time among the King of the Arctic, coupled with our intensive focus on helping you gain superlative photos. With our Classic Polar Bear Photo Adventure, you’ll start from our base in Churchill, where we will head out for three full days on the tundra at the edge of Hudson Bay, where polar bears congregate each fall waiting for freeze-up and the winter hunting season. Specially designed tundra vehicles take us into the heart of their wild habitat, with plenty of space for equipment and spreading out to get just the right shots. On-site guidance from our expert photographer guide is complemented by evening lectures on how best to capture the wonder of Arctic wildlife, most notably the famed Churchill polar bears, through the camera’s lens.
The Classic Polar Bear Photo Adventure: Departures from Oct. 21 through Nov. 14; $5,095.
NOLS: Baja Coastal Sailing
Flanked by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Sea of Cortez on the east, the Baja California Peninsula is a land of extremes and contrasts. Explore this rugged and beautiful landscape from aboard a 22-foot Drascombe Longboat — a small, maneuverable craft that allows you to explore shallow coves and beaches that larger vessels can’t reach. You’ll learn coastal navigation on waters rich with marine life, and challenge yourself on long days in rough seas. By the end of your course you’ll be able to read winds and waves with confidence, work as a crew with your coursemates, and, on windless days, practice rowing and towing. Though the Drascombe will be your home on the water, the desert beaches of Baja will be your home on the shore. Here you’ll practice Leave No Trace camping techniques and go on day hikes in this unique desert-ocean environment.
Baja Coastal Sailing: Oct. 15-Nov. 5; $3,850.
O.A.R.S.: Colorado and Green River Hiker Special
On this O.A.R.S. Utah hiking and rafting adventure, outdoor enthusiasts will raft the Green River through Dinosaur National Monument and the Colorado River into the untouched heart of the majestic red rock wilderness of Canyonlands National Park, enjoying an in-depth exploration of remote canyons, Pre-Pueblo ruins, petroglyphs, pictographs and fascinating geology over a period of two full weeks.
Colorado and Green River Hiker Special: Sept. 25-Oct. 8; $3437.
Off the Beaten Path: Hiking and Exploring New Zealand with Bill and Pam Bryan
Consider this trip, led by OBP co-founders Bill and Pam Bryan, your personal invitation to visit New Zealand. Backcountry tramps to walk-in lodges in Abel Tasman and Hollyford, and a stay at a high-country sheep station make this journey really unique! The Abel Tasman Coastal Track, with its magnificent coastline, sandy bays, and secluded beaches, is the jewel of New Zealand’s “Great Walks.” The Hollyford Track, in Fiordland National Park, is primal wilderness at its most awesome, with waterfalls cascading down cliffs through thick rainforest vegetation. At the Tasman Sea on the wild west coast, you might see seals, penguins, and dolphins. Along the way, visit Nelson, a center for the arts, and Queenstown, the adventure capital of the Southern Hemisphere. This 12-day journey is true Off the Beaten Path adventure.
Hiking and Exploring New Zealand with Bill and Pam Bryan: Nov. 2-13; from $8,400.