Travelling on an independent program gives you the flexibility to totally "do your own thing" on an entirely unguided basis, like a self-drive or city stay. There is always the option to add in some locally guided tours and activities on some days of your trip, leaving others free to explore. We can custom design programs to give you exactly the right level of independence you are looking for.
On an escorted tour you'll travel independently from your home city to join the group at the starting point of the tour. You will meet your guide and fellow travellers there and be accompanied by a guide for all or most of your land program. If you've booked on a designated Escorted Group Tour you will have a guide with you from the group departure point and return, as well being guided throughout the tour. Whether you're on an Escorted Tour or an Escorted Group Tour your tour guide will provide lots of information during the tour and peace of mind, so you don't have to think about all the little details of your travels.
There's just something so special about travelling by train. We don't know if it's the clickety-clack of the rails, watching the world pass by or the sense of nostalgia from train travel of days gone by - but we do know it's a great way to get from one place to another or enjoy an entire vacation on the train. Travel by rail on the ultimate Trans-Siberian Express from Russia across Siberia and Mongolia to China; the romantic Orient Express from London to Venice; through the rugged Canadian mountains on The Rocky Mountaineer; through Scotland's highlands and alongside her lochs on the Royal Scotsman; search for Northern Lights in Russia or explore Africa on Rovos Rail. We love trains!
See majestic polar bears, the king of the Arctic, in their natural habitat out on the tundra in Churchill, Manitoba; in different parts of Arctic Canada; in Kaktovik, Alaska or Spitsbergen in Norway. There is just nothing to compare to seeing these magnificent creatures out in the wild. In the summer months, travel to Churchill or north into Arctic Canada to see Beluga whales and their young calves by the hundreds. You can even kayak amongst them or go for a swim with them! These "canaries of the sea" are very friendly and curious and may even serenade you with a song.
Be awestruck by the most spectacular show on earth! The Aurora Borealis, commonly known as Northern Lights, is seen in all its natural splendour in northern Canada, Alaska, Iceland, Greenland, Norway and Russia. They're also often seen in Northern Ireland and Scotland during the colder, winter months. Some cultures believe them to be spiritual and to have strong powers over humans and nature. They really are an amazing sight to see!
Expedition cruising gets you up close to your destination, its people and wildlife. The ships used by expedition companies are much smaller than mainstream ocean cruise liners, so they can sail into small spaces and often right up to share. This makes getting on and off the ship quicker, to maximize your time for seeing the sites and wildlife. Expedition cruises focus on learning about the area you are exploring and, although generally not luxurious, you'll definitely be well taken care of and will travel with a small group of like-minded people.