For an out-of-the-ordinary tour suggestion that incorporates sought-after destinations and experiential learning opportunities, while taking into account your client’s special interests such as voluntourism or religious tourism, recommend these adventure-filled vacations.
In partnership with for-profit social enterprise ME to WE, The Travel Corporation and its seven brands—Trafalgar, Contiki Holidays, Insight Vacations, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Lion World Travel, African Travel, Inc., and Adventure World—is offering immersive volunteer trips for all ages to India, the Ecuadorian Amazon and Kenya. Available on set departure dates or as a requested custom trip, the tours allow travelers to stay among local communities in lodges, fully owned and operated by ME to WE. All meals, ground transfers, transportation and local sightseeing excursions hosted by an expert facilitator are included.
On a journey to Ecuador, travelers will embark on a rainforest adventure in the Amazon jungle at ME to WE’s Minga Lodge and join community members to work on a sustainable development project while learning about the indigenous Kichwa culture. Guests will also be invited to the home of a local shaman to experience a traditional cleansing ceremony and blessing. In India, guests will stay at Araveli Cottages and Tented Camp in Rajasthan, surrounded by the pink-hued Aravalli Mountains, and have the opportunity to help local women collect water for their families, learn to make chapatti bread or build a classroom. In Kenya, guests will stay at Bogani Cottages and Tented Camp in the Maasai Mara, where they will join the women of the Maasai and Kispigis communities to learn the craft of beading—a tradition passed down through generations that allows the women to earn a sustainable income. For more information, visit metowe.com/volunteer-travel.
Active, Women-Only Tours
AdventureWomen—a unique women-owned tour operator catering to active ladies over 30—offers sporty itineraries for women of all ability levels in exotic destinations, including India, Indonesia, Russia, Iceland and South Africa. The company, which was recently acquired by the Wineland Trio—Judi Wineland, president of Wineland-Thomson Adventures Inc., and her daughters Erica Landerson and Nicole Wineland-Thomson Quinones—is launching new trips for 2017, including to Baffin Island and Tanzania.
On the 7-day Baffin Island itinerary departing Aug. 14, 2017 from Ottawa, Canada, guests will discover the remote and rugged beauty of the Arctic as they observe polar bears in their natural habitat, kayak among icebergs and bowhead whales, hike at the foot of Coronation Fiord where the Penny Ice Cap Glacier ends abruptly in the sea water, and view the newly discovered bowhead whale molting area. Rates start at $9,595 pp dbl, including six nights in a Premium Safari Camp, the services of Inuit guides and expedition staff, all transportation to and from Base Camp, including local boats for the duration of guests’ camp stay, all meals while at Base Camp and return transfer. For more information, call (800) 804-868 or visit adventurewomen.com.
Kosher Jewish Interest Tours
Pacific Delight Tours has teamed up with Rabbi Marvin Tokayer and the Foundation for Remote Jewish Communities (FRJC) to create a series of specialized Kosher Jewish interest tours, beginning with the 14-day India: My Second Home tour. The program will be expanded throughout Asia and other destinations around the globe where travelers can meet with and learn about lesser-known, yet thriving Jewish diaspora communities.
On the debut tour, India: My Second Home, departing Jan. 10, 2017, award-winning author on Indian Jewish life Dr. Nathan Katz will lead guests to a variety of must-see sights, including the iconic Taj Mahal, Elephanta Caves and other UNESCO World Heritage sites. Throughout the journey, travelers will learn new traditions at Shabbat services and dinners in Mumbai and New Delhi, tour Kochi and Kolkata’s historic synagogues with local members of the Jewish community and experience Kerala’s scenic backwaters by boat while exploring rural Jewish settlements. Guests will also enjoy a scenic rickshaw ride through Old Delhi along with cultural music and dance performances.
In order to keep kosher while traveling—a dietary restriction less frequently accommodated in typical tour programs—the India: My Second Home itinerary features visits to jewish community centers with top-notch kosher restaurants. Additionally, in places where there is no synagogue, Hindu and Buddhist vegetarian restaurants will allow guests to keep kosher as these restaurants do not serve meat, poultry, fish, eggs or milk. Rates for the India: My Second Home itinerary start at $7,195 pp dbl, and include deluxe accommodations such as Mumbai’s five-star Taj Mahal Tower overlooking the Gateway of India and Arabian Sea, all meals (kosher or strictly vegetarian), and all intra-India flights, plus an English-speaking escort and local guides including Dr. Katz, access to cultural events, and personalized photos/travel blog of the trip. For more information, call (800) 221-7179 or visit pacificdelighttours.com.