BIRMINGHAM, AL, December 12, 2006 â€“ International Expeditions, the world leader in nature travel, is bringing families closer together with two thrilling itineraries designed especially for the young and young at heart. Six July and December 2007 Family Expeditions reach two of International Expeditionsâ€™ best-loved destinations: the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands. Each 10-day adventure offers special activities and educational experiences that can be shared by parents, grandparents and children alike.
In addition to featuring an expedition leader and expert local naturalist guides, a Family Director accompanies each Family Expedition, bringing a contagious love for science and wildlife along with an extensive background working with children. Learning and laughter go hand-in-hand and the Directors help organize all kidsâ€™ activities â€“ from meeting young local villagers who live along the Amazon River and joining them in a soccer game, to learning how Darwinâ€™s theory of evolution is still at work today.
The fun begins even before departure as children get mailed their very own activity booklet â€“ the Young Explorerâ€™s Field Guide â€“ chock full of facts and figures on the ecology of the area they will explore, with information on the importance of its growth and conservation. The guideâ€™s journal section provides space for kids to record their memories; there is also room to note science experiment results plus a wildlife checklist to tick off their findings, as well as wildlife word games and other entertaining puzzles.
International Expeditions regularly caters to those who enjoy more intimate settings by keeping groups small. This luxury is particularly advantageous during these family departures; with a maximum of just 32 guests on Galapagos trips and 31 guests on Amazon voyages, personalized attention is guaranteed, enhancing everyoneâ€™s learning experience. A kid-centric menu has also been created to appease even the most particular of eaters. While adults dine on international and local cuisine, kids can enjoy familiar favorites including chicken fingers, pasta and waffles.
Adventure-seeking families need look no further than to three 10-day Amazon Voyage departures on July 6, 20 and 27, 2007. The Upper Amazon is a perfect place for young explorers to learn about nature and wildlife firsthand. After two overnights in Lima, Peru, travelers sail aboard International Expeditionâ€™s classically designed riverboat, from which daily excursions in small boats take guests deep into the rainforest to look for flora and fauna. Kids can expect to spot more than 100 kinds of birds along the way, as well as gray and pink Amazon River dolphins, monkeys, interesting insect species and endangered giant river otters that live deep in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve (and grow up to eight feet long).
Other fun highlights for youngsters include a visit to a local shaman where they participate in a special ceremony for kids; fishing for (and eating!) piranhas; playing with kids from river villages while visiting their school; and learning to play Peruvian musical instruments.
Prices for the Amazon Family Expeditions start at $2,898 for adults and $2,748 for kids, including accommodations, most meals, transportation by land and boat, guides and group transfers. Air is additional.
International Expeditionsâ€™ 10-day Galapagos Islands journeys on July 6, 20 and December 21, 2007 bring guests face to face with some of the worldâ€™s most rare, interesting and exciting wildlife. The animals, which have little fear of humans, allow you to get extremely close, making for fabulous photographs and allowing ample opportunities for families to discover and learn together.
After an overnight in Guayaquil, Ecuador, guests board the M/V Evolution at San CristÃ³bal Island, where eight days of swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking with sea lion pups and other marine life awaits. During the journey see some of the worldâ€™s greatest natural treasures like giant tortoises, albatrosses, red and blue-footed boobies, short-eared owls, penguins and iguanas. Walk on ropy lava flows near the rim of the Darwin Volcano crater, and stand on EspaÃ±olaâ€™s famous blowhole where incoming waves spout 90 feet into the air. At night onboard the ship expert guides will relate stories about the southern constellations and help children locate and map the stars in the sky.
Prices for the Galapagos Family Expeditions start at $4,098 for adults and $3,748 for kids (aged 7-16), including accommodations, most meals and all ground transportation. Air is additional.
Post-Cruise Extensions in Machu Picchu & Cusco
Extend your family adventure with a meticulously crafted six-day post-cruise trip to the â€œlostâ€ city of Machu Picchu, the Incaâ€™s fable-like fortress in the sky, and Cusco, a pre-Inca architectural masterpiece nestled in the Andes. The combinable adventure reveals some of South Americaâ€™s greatest treasures and remains one of International Expeditionsâ€™ most popular add-ons. Highlights include two days in Machu Picchu, allowing for a second visit to the ruins or exploring the extensive orchid garden; 16 species of hummingbird, the Andean cock-of-the rock, Peruâ€™s national bird; and other animal life surrounding the Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. After a visit to the picturesque town of Cusco, 11,000 feet above sea level, enjoy a memorable visit with the villagers of the remote Willoq community, virtually unchanged in its social structure, dress, and language from pre-Inca times. Per person prices start at $2,198, exclusive of domestic airfare.
Founded in 1980, International Expeditions is the world leader in nature travel, specializing in small group and independent journeys to the most exhilarating destinations around the globe. A pioneer of environmentally responsible travel, International Expeditions is committed to preserving natural habitats and improving the welfare of the people and communities it visits.
For more information call an International Expeditions destination specialist see your travel agent or visit the website at http://www.ietravel.com.
For more on Peru at ITKT