BIRMINGHAM, AL, October 31, 2006 "“ For those who seek real adventure, breathtaking scenery and rare creatures from unspoiled locales, International Expeditions is offering two journeys in 2007 that will visit some of the world's remotest regions. The world leader in nature travel, International Expeditions has designed bold and adventurous itineraries to the far-flung coastal regions of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland (May 11 "“ May 25, 2007), and to the distant Arctic coasts of Spitsbergen and East Greenland (August 22 "“ September 4, 2007). Each adventure brings guests up close to magnificent animals (polar bears and walruses in the case of Spitsbergen and Greenland, puffins and other seabirds in the case of the British Isles), along with wild, dramatic landscapes, fascinating archaeological sites and hardy villages that have weathered these daunting conditions from Neolithic times to the present.
Guests will sail aboard the 96-guest M/V Polar Star, enjoying first-rate accommodations and cuisine, as well as lots of personal service and contact with expedition staff. With her Zodiac landing craft (and ice capabilities for Spitsbergen and Greenland), the Polar Star is perfect for exploring these regions. An Ice Class 1A Super vessel, she can go almost anywhere, including Arctic pack ice, with a maximum of comfort and stability.
As with all International Expeditions journeys, these voyages will be led by expert English-speaking naturalists and historians, whose knowledge and passion are part and parcel of the experience.
British & Irish Isles "“ May 11 to May 25, 2007
This journey to the astonishing beauty of the most isolated coastal stretches of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland, is believed to be the first-ever combination of the particular locales on the itinerary. In these regions, the challenging environment shaped natural and human histories. Guests will have ample opportunity to witness the vibrant cultures and meet with the local people. Highlights of the journey:
Â· Exploring vast seabird colonies teeming with thousands of birds such as guillemots, shearwaters and puffins.
Â· Seeing three World Heritage Sites: Skellig Michael, where monks lived under extreme conditions for centuries; the seabird cliffs of St. Kilda; and the heart of Neolithic Orkney.
Â· Exploring Fingal's Cave on Staffa Island in the Hebrides "” a place that inspired Mendelssohn's famous overture and generations of artists and poets.
Â· Visiting evocative archaeological sites: the standing stones of Callanish and Stennes, the cairn of Maes Howe, the remains of Jarlshof, and many more.
Â· Breathtaking views of dramatic cliffs and coastal landscapes.
Â· Plenty of free time to explore on travelers' own, to see contemporary villages and towns and rub elbows with inhabitants at local pubs.
Â· Traveling with an outstanding expedition staff and noted wildlife and travel photographer Wolfgang Kaehler, who will help guests with their photography.
Prices start at $5,598 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare, and include accommodations, most meals, transport by land and boat, guides and group transfers. Guests can also add a two-day post-voyage extension in Edinburgh, starting at $1,398 per person, double occupancy.
Spitsbergen & East Greenland "“ August 22 to September 4, 2007
Exploring regions where few humans have ever gone, far north of the Arctic Circle, the expedition begins in Arctic Norway on the island of Spitsbergen, in the fabled Svalbard Archipelago, then sails along the coast of East Greenland, discovering some of the High Arctic's most extraordinary wildlife amid astonishing landscape. Highlights include:
Â· Looking for walruses, foxes, reindeer, caribou, and the greatest sight of all "“ polar bears. Other animals include humpback and minke whales, dolphins and perhaps even blue whales "“ the largest creatures ever to live on earth.
Â· Watching seabirds, some still in huge colonies, as they prepare to migrate south, and looking for smaller animals such as hares and lemmings.
Â· Enjoying the delicate beauty of Arctic wildflowers.
Â· Viewing some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world "“ icebergs in their infinite variety, glaciers and waterfalls cascading down cliffs.
Â· Walking the tundra, exploring spectacular fjords and seeing tall snow-covered mountains.
Â· Learning from the expedition staff of historians and naturalists, as well as renowned photographer Kevin Schafer who can help guests create outstanding photographs.
Prices start at $4,948 per person, double occupancy, plus airfare, and include accommodations, most meals, transport by land and boat, guides and group transfers. Guests may also add a three-day post-voyage extension in Iceland exploring powerful waterfalls, dramatic fjords, enormous seabird colonies and thermal areas created by volcanic activity, with ample time to explore Iceland's most famous sites, including Thingvellir National Park, the Gulfoss waterfall and the charming fishing village of Grindavik. Rates for the extension start at $898 per person, based on double occupancy.
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.
For more information see your travel agent, or visit the website at www.ietravel.com.
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