International Expeditions: For the True Explorer

From the deep rainforests of the Amazon to the opulent temples of India, International Expeditions (IE) prides itself in providing travelers with nature-focused journeys that explore the natural history of some of the world’s most stunning destinations. In fact, the company has received top accolades over the years, including being named the “Best Adventure Travel Company on Earth” in 2009 by National Geographic ADVENTURES and making Travel + Leisure’s 2010 “World’s Best List” for tour operators and safari outfitters.

“At IE, we focus on the natural wonders of our Earth and giving our guests experiences with those wonders in a thoughtful and exciting manner,” says Bill Robinson, the company’s director of program development. And with a collection of brand-new, off-the-beaten-path itineraries just introduced for 2012, it may be the ideal time to start planning your client’s next big adventure.

“2012 is the first time IE will offer a Guyana & Trinidad trip,” says Robinson. “The pristine forests and unique wildlife are the major highlight of this trip. The Guyana Shield is one of the world’s last untouched tropical rainforests and is home to unique species such as the Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock and the giant river otter. On this journey, he adds, “Guests will experience unique wildlife from both South America and the Caribbean and will do so in a small group (max 16) and in an uncrowded environment.” Rates for the 10-day trip start at $5,598 pp dbl.

Next year will also be the first time the company offers a 13-day Into Africa itinerary. “The major highlight of this trip,” Robinson tells Recommend, “is the Bijagos Archipelago of Guinea-Bissau, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. A remote and seldom-visited treasure, the Bijagos Archipelago is home to a pre-historic matriarchal society and also to unique and interesting species, such as a rare salt-water dwelling hippo.” Rates start at $10,995 pp dbl.

According to Robinson, guests traveling with IE in 2012 can also experience a new Turkey & Greece itinerary (15 days from $4,798 pp dbl) where they can “enjoy sailing on the new Halis Temel, one of the largest gullet-style yachts to sail the Turquoise Coast,” and a revamped Borneo itinerary (20 days from $6,733 pp dbl), which Robinson says, “Features not only orangutans and the wilds of Sepilok, Kinabatangan and Danum Valley but also the amazing caves at Mulu National Park, two nights on Mt. Kinabalu, and the opportunity to witness nesting sea turtles and the diverse underwater biota of Selingan Marine National Park.”

The new Bali to Komodo itinerary, meanwhile, features a 7-night cruise on a traditional phinisi ship, taking guests to well-known wildlife hotspots such as Komodo Island, Rinca Island and Satonda Island but also to gorgeous spots off-the-beaten path such as Wera Island. Rates for this 15-day journey start at $5,898 pp dbl.

“Traditionally, IE’s travelers have been extraordinarily curious people—lovers of nature, geography, history and exploration,” says George Johns, the company’s v.p. of sales. “There are probably a good number of agents who think IE is too niche for their clients—or that we only do group travel—and that’s just not true,” Johns stresses, “IE can help agents personalize travel to fit any individual style and sense of adventure. Some of our destinations—like Guyana or Brazil’s Pantanal—are highly attractive to wildlife enthusiasts, while our explorations of Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands have a much broader audience. Plus, our skilled custom travel department can put together anything from private getaways for two, to full-ship charters for families and business retreats. Of course, no matter how someone decides to explore with IE—on an escorted journey, expedition cruise or completely customized private tour—they always enjoy the luxury of an authentic experience with world-class guides and unpretentious comfort.”

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