BIRMINGHAM, AL, January 30, 2007 â€“ Not everyone knows what itâ€™s like to sleep under Gobi Desert stars, and not many have witnessed the amazing spectacles put forth by man and nature in Papua New Guinea and Patagonia. Adventurers with International Expeditions, however, are among the few privileged with access to such less-traveled corners of the planet.
For these intrepid souls, seven ultra-remote 2007 adventures, from the southernmost tip of South America to the remote South Pacific, are showcased in a new â€œFar-Flung Journeysâ€ brochure. For a free copy call International Expeditions at www.ietravel.com/brochures.
Though these journeys may be to distant places (many locales arenâ€™t fully developed for tourism), they all have International Expeditionsâ€™ hallmarks: small groups, exceptionally knowledgeable guides and thoughtfully planned itineraries offering a true opportunity to explore.
Visiting Bhutan is like taking a step back in time. Nestled high in the Eastern Himalayas, itâ€™s a country of enchantment, with incredible natural beauty and cultural interest. Protected for many centuries from the influences of the outside world by its topography and remoteness (tourism is strictly limited), prayer wheels are in constant spin and the sounds of mantras coming from Bhutanâ€™s 4th century B.C. monasteries promote a sense of wonder.
On the journey, guests meet the friendly, gentle people of Bhutan and learn about their rich traditions, Buddhist practices, and way of life. They are welcomed at two Bhutanese festivals and experience the regionâ€™s living cultures through music, dance and colorful clothing.
Per person price for the 14-day journey departing June 19 is $4,298.*
From verdant fields to snow-capped mountains and towering garnet sandstone cliffs, the diversity and wild beauty of Mongolia’s landscapes are overpowering. International Expeditionsâ€™ inspiring journey provides a quintessential glimpse of Mongolian life and the countryâ€™s unique biodiversity. Trip highlights include overnighting in traditional gers in the stunning Gobi Desert, seeing abundant wildlife including Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep and goitered gazelles, exploring crystal-clear Lake Hovsgolâ€™s exquisite shores, visiting the Natural History Museumâ€™s Gobi dinosaur fossils and enjoying a show with Mongolian hoomei (throat) singers.
Per person price for the 14-day journey departing June 22 is $3,998*. The same itinerary on June 15 is tailored for photography enthusiasts with noted photographer Rick Sammon providing professional guidance. Per person price is $4,498* including photo workshops.
Papua New Guinea
There are few if any human spectacles in the world that match the gathering of tribes at Papua New Guineaâ€™s highland â€œsing-sings.â€ Thousands of participants come to compete in dancing, singing, drumming and in decorating their bodies in the most extraordinary ways. The â€œMount Hagen Showâ€ is among the greatest of all these events, and International Expeditionsâ€™ program is timed to allow for two days at the festival.
Other highlights include a three-night voyage along the Sepik River to visit traditional villages, rainforests and â€œwigmen,â€ who first had contact with the outside world in the 1930s. Time is also spent along the Bismarck Sea for world-class snorkeling and diving, and during a visit to Cairns, Australia, there is a chance to see the duck-billed platypus in the wild.
Per person price for the 19-day journey departing August 15 is $7,698*.
Argentina and Chile
A journey of astonishing scope, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, this expedition to Patagonia features some of the most remarkable landscapes and wildlife on Earth, with glaciers, lakes, forest, tundra, oceans and high mountains. From Buenos Aires, venture to the PenÃnsula ValdÃ©s, a World Heritage Site, famed for its endangered southern right whales, orcas, southern elephant seals, southern sea lions and Magellanic penguins. Continuing to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, the worldâ€™s southernmost city, travelers explore the Beagle Channel before a stop in Calafate, renowned for its huge active glaciers, and Chileâ€™s Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most impressive places anywhere.
Per person price for the 15-day journey departing October 13 and November 10 is $5,698*.
The majority of the relatively few visitors to the remote Falklands in the South Atlantic spend at most a day or two in the islands as part of a longer cruise. International Expeditionsâ€™ in-depth expedition provides seven full days in the Falklands along with time spent in Santiago and along the central Chilean coastline.
Nourished by the productive waters of the Antarctic, the Falklands and its surrounding seas teem with seabirds and marine mammals. This is the most accessible place in the world to observe breeding colonies of sub-Antarctic wildlife such as tame black-browed albatrosses, rockhopper and king penguins and marine mammals like southern elephant seals and orcas.
In the company of outstanding naturalist guides â€” Claudio Vidal on the October 3 departure and Enrique Couve on October 17 â€” intrepid travelers visit many of the wildlife-rich Falkland Islands.
Per person price for the 13-day journeys departing October 3 and 17 is $5,998*.
One of the most extraordinary journeys International Expeditions has ever offered is its four-wheel drive camping expedition to the heart of the Sahara in Niger. The area has great sand seas and magnificent thousand-foot dunes, along with mountain ranges and plains, oases and saltpans, some of the finest rock art in the world, and nomadic people such as the Tuareg.
During the expedition travelers may encounter some of the last of the Saharaâ€™s camel caravans. At the Djado Plateau, see sandstone rocks and mountains eroded into bizarre shapes, plus a French Foreign Legion fort and two huge citadels, abandoned centuries ago.
After several days taking in the desertâ€™s otherworldly beauty and exploring sand dunes, adventurers drive into the AÃ¯r Mountains and stay at the great oasis town of Timia, bisected by a wadi (sand river) that supplies the townâ€™s water.
Per person price for the 18-day journey departing November 10 is $4,648*.
Cape to Cairo
Traveling from the Cape to Cairo was for centuries a dream of explorers and travelers. International Expeditions has planned an epic journey reaching some of the continentâ€™s most enthralling places, complete with world-class accommodations. In Cape Town, South Africa, guests discover this beautiful city and the southernmost point in Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. Continuing to Botswana, explore the Okavango Delta, one of the most astonishing natural systems in the world. After visiting Victoria Falls, travelers continue to Kenya to see the glorious wildlife of the Masai Maraâ€™s savannahs and fly past the snows of Kilimanjaro. The journey concludes in Cairo and Luxor, Egypt, with some of the greatest works of the pharaohs.
Per person price for the 18-day journey departing October 22 is $14,498*.
*Prices include accommodations, most meals, local transportation, guides and group transfers. Prices do not include international airfare, however flights can be arranged through International Exhibitions.
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 or a copy of the new â€œFar-Flung Journeysâ€ brochure, call an International Expeditions destination specialist at www.ietravel.com/brochures.
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