Escape Adventures’ Top Fall/Winter USA Cycling Tours

Biking Death Valley © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Fall already?! The leaves are changing and everything is becoming either pumpkin-flavored or knitwear. But don’t plan your hibernation just yet. There are still adventures to be had and plenty of time for a last minute family getaway. Grab your bike buddies, and check out Escape Adventures’ top 3 picks for fall/winter cycling tours. 

1. Arizona – Best of Phoenix, Black CanyonExplore all the Sonoran Desert has to offer with the Best of Phoenix and Black Canyon Trail (BCT) Mountain Biking Tour. This trip is ideal for close groups of biking friends looking for a warm winter excursion. Highlights include exploring McDowell Mountain (a 21,099-acre regional park), riding conservancy lands, and ripping more than 40-miles of fast and flowy singletrack. 

2. Utah – Best of Moab: Best of Moab is less of a winter trip, and more of a fall mountain biking escape. Plan on getting out there sometime in September or October, but not after Halloween. About 245-miles south of Salt Lake City, Moab and its dramatic surroundings have served as the backdrop for many Western movie classics. Now, it is on every mountain biker’s “bike-it list.” While the beauty of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park has drawn nature-lovers for generations, it’s the land surrounding the parks that defines Moab. With Escape Adventures, you’ll experience the best hits and hidden treasures of this world-class adventure travel destination. 

3. California/Nevada – Death Valley & Red Rock: While big swathes of North America deal with snow and icy roads, we consider it a great fortune to offer an exemplary outdoor wintertime cycling adventure in the heart of the Mojave Desert, from Death Valley National Park to Red Rock Canyon. The wild beauty of Death Valley is too hot to handle during the summer months, but come winter, it’s juuuuust right! We promise amazing cycling, eyefuls of arid majesty, glittering salt flats, gypsum-colored sand dunes, and ghost towns! 

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‘Long Travel’, A Post-Pandemic Trend

Our chalet at the Red Reflet Ranch, Wyoming, is ideal home-away-from-home amid red-rock cliffs, with all the amenities and activities of a luxury 28,000-acre ranch © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New data indicate that travelers want to vacation for longer than in the past due to pent-up demand, an excess of paid time off, and a surplus of funds from saving during the pandemic. GlobalData’s newest poll discovered that more than 1/4 of travelers now prefer taking a vacation of 10 nights or more. “Long travel” could become a post-pandemic travel trend, reaching into vacations for 2022 and beyond. From the Galapagos to the Grand Tetons, Andes to Appalachians, here are a few examples of longer bucket list adventures:

1. Galapagos, Amazon + Andes: This two-week-long journey showcases Hacienda PimanSacha Lodge and Scalesia Galapagos Lodge, taking guests to the snow-capped volcanoes of the Andes, the depths of the Amazon jungle and the breathtaking mini-worlds of the Galapagos Islands, unspoiled by civilization.

2. Epic Appalachians: Cycle from the wilderness of Maine to vibrant Asheville, North Carolina during Cycle of Life Adventures’ 28-day Epic Appalachians Bike Tour, paralleling the Appalachian Trail on low-traffic roads. Cover more than 1,300 miles and more than 100,000 feet of elevation gain as you climb and descend through the Green and White Mountains, the Berkshires, the Red Mountains, the Delaware Gap, the Poconos, and along Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

3. Yellowstone, Jackson Hole + Dude Ranch: Spend a few days playing cowboy at the 28,000 acre Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, before heading to The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana to explore the surrounding area and Yellowstone National Park. After that, journey to Jackson Hole and use Fireside Resort as your base camp for a Grand Teton National Park adventure.

4. TransAmerica Trail: For many, the 4,200-mile TransAmerica Trail remains the holy grail of American bike trips, crossing the country between Oregon and Virginia. Ride from the outlet of the Columbia River, over the Cascades and Rockies, across the Midwest and Mississippi, then descend the Appalachians to Chesapeake Bay on your own with resources from Adventure Cycling Association or join its 93-day TransAm Westward tour.

5. Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion by RVBlacksford offers overland RV adventures and an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, z national park pass, and 24-hour roadside assistance. The company curates multi-week road trips by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. Pick up an RV at their Las Vegas location and spend a couple weeks exploring the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion and Arches via a tricked out Mercedes Sprinter van. 

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New Week-long Galapagos Glamping Plus Island Hopping Adventure

Scalesia Galapagos Lodge, Isabela Island.

(Quito, Ecuador) — The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel (on Santa Cruz Island) has joined forces with Scalesia Galapagos Lodge (on Isabela Island) to offer a new week-long program in the Galapagos. Highlights include: touring Quito’s Old City, glamping in safari camp-style tents, snorkeling with sea turtles, hiking active volcanoes, visiting the Charles Darwin Research Station and tortoise breeding facility, and exploring islands by motor yacht. Prices start at $4,658 per person double.

The tour begins in Quito, Ecuador’s charming Andean capital, where guests will spend a night in an ornate Renaissance-inspired mansion in the heart of the Old City. Next, travel by air to Isabela Island, taking in the breathtaking scenery from a twin engine light aircraft, before ascending into the highland forests that envelop luxury safari-style tents at Scalesia Galapagos Lodge. Nearby volcanic islands of twisted lava and sparkling sandy coves await exploration, with daily excursions from the lodge to encounter the graceful marine creatures and trusting wildlife that make the archipelago so unique. The tour finishes off at the stylish Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, located on a tranquil beach within easy reach of the region’s oldest and most beautiful islets.

The program is available year-round.

Day 1 – Private transfer to a luxurious boutique hotel in the main square of Quito’s Old City. Casa Gangotena is a restored Renaissance-inspired mansion, with ornate neo-classical furnishings and spacious rooms. Relax in the terrace bar or the quaint patio garden, sample delicious food in the small restaurant and enjoy the complimentary cultural activities on offer.

Day 2 – Journey to Isabela Island on a twin engine light aircraft. Enveloped in wild forests, the Scalesia Galapagos Lodge features an ultra-contemporary glass-fronted main building housing the restaurant and lounge areas. Stay in one of the 16 safari camp-style tents, fully-equipped with a king-sized bed and modern facilities. Soak in the easy-going atmosphere and choose from an astounding range of excursions and activities on offer, including hikes, volcano visits and snorkeling trips as well as wildlife-spotting.

Day 3/4 – Choose from a wide range of excursions on offer at Scalesia Lodge, with different activities scheduled each day. Visit the white tip reef sharks and penguins of islet Tontoreras, or the thriving mangroves, natural pools and solitary beaches of Los Humedales, frequented by magenta-hued flamingos. One of the best snorkeling destinations is Los Tuneles, a marine paradise where lava flows have produced many arches and tunnels both under and above water. 

Day 5 – Transfer across the Itabaca channel to Santa Cruz, the most populated island in the Galápagos. Drive up into the rugged highland forests to reach the twin volcanic craters Los Gemelos. At 600m above sea level, these volcanic sinkholes are home to many Darwin’s finches. Finch Bay overlooks the lush greenery and glittering waters of Punta Estrada.

Day 6 – Join highly-qualified naturalist guides for a day of exploring nearby islands on Finch Bay’s own motor yacht. The island you visit will depend on the day of the week. In the evening you have the option to dine al fresco, enjoying a 3-course meal set up especially for you on the beach.

Day 7 – Divine Bay is a tranquil haven for wildlife, protected from ocean swells by natural volcanic reefs on one side and a gallery of mangrove trees on the other. Hundreds of herons cross the bay each morning and return at sunset, while noddy terns and blue-footed boobies perch along the cliffs. Snorkel in the inviting waters of the cove, where sea turtles graze on seaweed, hundreds of reef fish species swim about the lava crevices, and young reef sharks and rays employ the brackish streams as havens from large predators while they mature.

Day 8 – Head home

Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of 16 a hectare (40 acre) property of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other Islands of Galapagos dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/

Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel is a beachfront base from which you can discover the wildlife of the islands aboard its private yacht and create your own adventures on land and sea. https://www.finchbayhotel.com/.

For more information, visit Scalesia Galapagos Lodge

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New-York Historical Society Exhibition Honors Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The New-York Historical Society honors the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG)—the trailblazing Supreme Court justice and cultural icon—with a special exhibition on view October 1, 2021 – January 23, 2022, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg  © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The New-York Historical Society honors the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG)—the trailblazing Supreme Court justice and cultural icon—with a special exhibition this fall. On view October 1, 2021 – January 23, 2022, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is based on the popular Tumblr and bestselling book of the same name. A traveling exhibition organized by the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the show takes an expansive and engaging look at the justice’s life and work, highlighting her ceaseless efforts to protect civil rights and foster equal opportunity for all Americans.

In light of the extraordinary developments on the Supreme Court threatening to overturn Roe v. Wade with the breathtaking, unprecedented lightning-fast addition (even as voting for president was underway in 2020) of Amy Coney Barrett in place of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the threats to women’s reproductive and voting rights sweeping the nation,  this exhibit opening at the New-York Historical Society brings special significance on top of honoring the heralded Justice’s extraordinary life and legacy – a legacy that is being ripped apart with breakneck speed.

It has been all too easy to take for granted the rights won over the course of RBG’s trail-blazing life and fight, and it is important to be reminded of the way things were and could be again.

“It is a great honor that we celebrate Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a native New Yorker whose impact on the lives of contemporary Americans has been extraordinary,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “Justice Ginsburg fought hard to achieve justice and equality for all, inspiring us with her courage and tenacity in upholding our fundamental American ideals. A special friend to New-York Historical, in 2018 she presided over a naturalization ceremony in our auditorium. The exhibition is a memorial tribute to her achievements and legacy.”

Notorious RBG features archival photographs and documents, historical artifacts, contemporary art, media stations, and gallery interactives spanning RBG’s varied roles as student, wife to Martin “Marty” Ginsburg, mother, lawyer, judge, women’s rights pioneer, and internet phenomenon. Highlights include a robe and jabot from RBG’s Supreme Court wardrobe; the official portraits of RBG and Sandra Day O’Connor—the first two women to serve on the Supreme Court—on loan from the National Portrait Gallery; and QR-code listening stations where visitors can hear RBG’s delivery of oral arguments, majority opinions, and forceful dissents in landmark Supreme Court cases on their own devices.

The exhibition also displays 3D re-imaginations of key places in RBG’s life—such as her childhood Brooklyn apartment; the kitchen in RBG and Marty’s home, with some of Marty’s favorite recipes and cooking utensils; and the Supreme Court bench and the desk in her chambers.

Personal materials range from home movies of RBG with Marty on their honeymoon and in the early years of their marriage to yearbooks from RBG’s academic life—from her Brooklyn high school to Harvard, Columbia, and Rutgers Universities—to a paper that she wrote as an eighth grader exploring the relationship between the Ten Commandments, the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the recently formed United Nations Charter.

Special to New-York Historical’s presentation are remembrances from RBG’s visit to the Museum in 2018 to officiate a naturalization ceremony of new citizens after she learned about New-York Historical’s Citizenship Project which teaches U.S. history and civics to green card holders, a video featuring a map and photographs of key places in her life as a New Yorker, and an overview of the memorials that cropped up around her hometown in the wake of her passing. As part of New-York Historical’s upcoming public program series, on December 8, Supreme Court expert Linda Greenhouse looks at where the courts stand following Justice Ginsburg’s death. Families can explore the exhibition with a specially created family guide, and themed story times will take place throughout the exhibition’s run.

After debuting at the Skirball Cultural Center in 2018, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has toured the country and was on view at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland, through August 29, 2021. After its New York run, the exhibition will travel to the Holocaust Museum Houston in Houston (March 2022) and the Capital Jewish Museum in Washington, D.C. (September 2022).

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been coordinated at New-York Historical by Valerie Paley, senior vice president and Sue Ann Weinberg Director, Patricia D. Klingenstein Library; Laura Mogulescu, curator of women’s history collections; and Anna Danziger Halperin, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s History and Public History, Center for Women’s History.

Lead sponsorship for Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at New-York Historical is provided by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Major sponsorship is provided by Northern Trust. Generous additional support is provided by Helen and Robert Appel and Bernard and Denise Schwartz. Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Evelyn & Seymour Neuman Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.

The Skirball Cultural Center is a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. The Skirball welcomes people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and calls upon everyone to help build a more just society.

New York City’s oldest museum, the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library was founded in 1804. The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library—one of the most distinguished in the nation—fosters research through its outstanding collections, which include more than 10 million items. The Museum presents groundbreaking history and art exhibitions as well as public programs that convey the stories of New York and the nation’s diverse populations to the broadest possible public.

The New-York Historical Society is located at 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024. Information: (212) 873-3400. Website: nyhistory.org.

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New-York Historical Society Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of September 11 With Special Programs, Displays

The New-York Historical Society, the oldest museum in New York City, is commemorating the 20th anniversary of September 11 with displays of objects collected in the aftermath of the attacks and special programs taking place throughout the day on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

The New-York Historical Society, the oldest museum in New York City, is commemorating the 20th anniversary of September 11 with displays of objects collected in the aftermath of the attacks and special programs taking place throughout the day on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

ON VIEW

Remembering 9/11: On the morning of September 11, 2001, just 15 minutes after hearing the alarm, the FDNY’s elite Rescue Company 2—Lieutenant Peter Martin and firefighters William Lake, Daniel Libretti, John Napolitano, Lincoln Quappe, Kevin O’Rourke, and Edward Rall—arrived at the unfolding World Trade Center tragedy.  All seven were killed when the building collapsed. On special display is a damaged door of Rescue 2’s fire truck that is part of New-York Historical’s collection. 

Objects Tell Stories: 9/11: In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, New-York Historical launched the History Responds collecting program to document monumental events as they are happening. Explore objects from that initiative in our fourth floor permanent display, including a mangled Venetian blind retrieved from St. Paul’s Churchyard and a memorial of candles, notes, and mementos erected on Barclay Street.

PROGRAMS

Captioned videos related to 9/11 and the aftermath as well as images from here is new york, a photographic archive that documented the various aspects of Ground Zero, will be projected on digital displays in the Smith Gallery. In addition, a 25-minute cinematic experience with accompanying music will screen in the Robert H. Smith Auditorium on the hour and half hour, providing a quiet place for visitors to reflect.

From sundown on Friday, September 10, to sunrise on Sunday, September 12, New-York Historical’s facade will be lit up in “Memorial Blue,” as we join other cultural organizations across the city for the annual Tribute in Light.  

As part of New York City’s Key to NYC program, all visitors to New York City museums age 12 and over are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For more details, go to our FAQ page.

New York City’s oldest museum, the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library was founded in 1804. The Patricia D. Klingenstein Library—one of the most distinguished in the nation—fosters research through its outstanding collections, which include more than 10 million items. The Museum presents groundbreaking history and art exhibitions as well as public programs that convey the stories of New York and the nation’s diverse populations to the broadest possible public. 

The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org.

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Western River Expeditions Advises Booking Well Ahead for Epic Canyon Rafting Trips

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – If an epic river rafting adventure is in your future, Western River Expeditions says don’t delay making reservations for trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and in Utah’s Cataract Canyon.
 
Here are a few good reasons why to act now:
 
Tight controls on inventory through commercial permits make these areas available only to a limited few every year. While Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the Colorado River on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah and Arizona than any other rafting operator in the country, Western River, as well as other commercial tour operators, has to abide by the limits set by government-issued permits. These coveted seats are being snapped up quicker than ever before by an unprecedented surge of demand following months of COVID lockdown, record-breaking heat waves that beg for water-based recreation, and an exploding demand to visit America’s national parks.

As a result, Western River Expeditions has filled all Grand Canyon slots for 2021. Many departures for 2022 are sold out and others are very close to selling out. If you’re looking to raft the Grand Canyon in 2022, Western recommends checking availability online now for the Grand Canyon 3 & 4-Day Expeditions at https://www.westernriver.com. The company also suggests looking at Cataract Canyon, just upstream from Grand Canyon.

“While Cataract Canyon doesn’t carry the same name recognition as Grand Canyon, the scenery and whitewater along this section of the Colorado River through Canyonlands National Park are absolutely stunning,” says Brandon Lake, CMO for Western River Expeditions. “Guests can often find some availability on a Cataract Canyon expedition when Grand Canyon may be sold out.”

If a 2022 trip is not in the cards, mark your calendar for 2023! Western River Expeditions’ Grand Canyon trips for 2023 go on sale (tentatively) on Nov. 30, 2021. Cataract Canyon itineraries, which are more impacted by spring runoff than the dam-controlled flow through the Grand Canyon, are in demand for the high-water trips of May and June 2022. See dates and availability at https://www.westernriver.com/cataract-canyon-rafting.

For 2023 in the Grand Canyon, these options exist:

Even though hearts may be set on the longer 6 and 7-day options, itineraries of 3 and 4 days are easier to come by. These shorter trips are more popular with families with young teens and first-time canyon rafters. Space is still available for these trips for April-September 2022.

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021/2022 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October the operator escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

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Active Adventures and Austin Adventures Unite to Create Global Adventure Travel Company

The merger between Active Adventures of Queensland, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Billings, Montana will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

BILLINGS, MT — United by a powerful belief that travel creates inspiring and life-changing moments, Austin Adventures of Montana and Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand have merged to provide a wider world of opportunities for global travelers. 

The merger will enable more adventure travelers to benefit from a broader range of global destinations and experiences. Both companies specialize in off-the-beaten-path small group adventure trips delivered with a personal touch.

“Travel today is not just about choosing a destination. Now more than ever, it’s about how we travel,” says Wendy van Lieshout, CEO of the new merged adventure travel company.

“It’s about precious time together – creating lifetime memories, being inspired, and connecting with the people and environment around us. It’s about feeling you can trust the company you are on that journey with that all the little details will be taken care of to create the best experience possible.”

“To expand our offerings to our loyal customers, it was critical we find a like-minded brand to join forces with. Just like us, Austin Adventures was born out of a deep passion for sharing authentic, curated, and inspirational adventure experiences with their guests.” 

What does the merger mean for travelers? More choice of destinations, dates, and trip styles:

  • 100+ adventure trips available across the globe
  • More departure dates available throughout the year
  • More life-changing experiences – to be able to share with family and friends
  • Two customer service teams in different time zones, providing extended hours to help adventurers find the best trip to suit them

Each brand brings its own specialties and experiences that form an expanded, unified collection of adventure opportunities across the globe. Now, Austin Adventures’ tours will be available for booking on Active Adventures’ website, adding adventures in the USA, Canada, and Central America for both brands, including specific family departures. Active Adventures’ unique hiking, biking, and kayaking experiences in New Zealand, South America, Europe, the Himalayas, and Africa will be available via the Austin Adventures’ website. 

Dan Austin, founder of Austin Adventures, stressed that the homework has been done to make sure the match was a natural fit and would create new opportunities for each company’s loyal guests. “We were founded in different countries, yet our companies have very similar stories. Each business is like a family – now we’ve just created one bigger family!”

Shared features:

  • Skilled local guides who have in-depth knowledge of every destination and years (if not decades) of experience
  • Small group sizes – average of 12-18 travelers per trip with two guides.
  • One-of-a-kind experiences, away from the crowds
  • All-inclusive, multi-day, fully guided, multi-activity adventures in the most stunning adventure travel destinations around the world
  • Authentic, personalized service – taking care of every detail, so guests can just relax and enjoy their vacation
  • Hand-picked accommodations in amazing locations
  • Great food and memorable meals are part of the adventure and experience

The two brands have come together as one global team across New Zealand and the USA, with operational bases around the globe.

“We share the same commitment to putting our guests at the heart of everything we do. We look forward to sharing many more special experiences with our guests and partners,” says van Lieshout.

With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive small group adventures in the most breath-taking regions of the world. Teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal, and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand- picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining, and activities showcasing the best of each region. Each of their 100+ trips are crafted to perfection, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically, but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com.

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Autumn Fun in Moab: Zip Lining, River Rafting and Hummer Tours

Hummer tours are on Moab Adventure Center’s short list of how to enjoy autumn in the world’s red rock playground of Moab, Utah.

Moab Adventure Center, a division of Western River Expeditions, has a short list of how to enjoy autumn in the world’s red rock playground of Moab, Utah. This region becomes an artist’s dream world when fringed by the Colorado River’s yellow cottonwoods along the Colorado River and the golden aspens of the LaSal Mountains.
 
After the summer rush, daytime temperatures in September and October cool down to around the mid-70s to mid-80s. Fewer people around means more elbow room to be had on every adventure in not just one but two National Parks – Arches and Canyonlands.
 
Here are seven suggested adventures that continue through the end of November, with the exception of rafting which concludes the end of October.

  1. Fall River Rafting Adventures are full or half days, some served up with a BBQ lunch on a world-renowned stretch of the Colorado River, winding through scenes made famous by dozens of popular movies. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-river-rafting
     
  2. Horseback Adventures come with cowboy-trained quarter horses. A professional wrangler leads the way on trails made famous by John Wayne himself.  Rides are three hours in the mornings and 90 minutes in the afternoons. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-horseback-riding
     
  3. Hummer Tours are conducted in style and comfort aboard the world’s most serious 4×4. Spectacular backcountry opens up in the hands of professional guides who help visitors explore seldom-seen, awe-inspiring Moab overlooks. Tours are two, three and four hours including a sunset safari. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-hummer-tours
     
  4. Zipline Tours are always a thrill, but how about skimming over sheer sandstone cliffs and canyons on Moab’s only zip line? The Raven’s Rim Moab zip line tour begins with a spine-tingling ride to the top of the cliff faces overlooking Moab, swooping like a bird of prey landing on each of six gaps.  https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-zip-line
     
  5. Hot Air Ballooning can be likened to riding a magical carpet for 3.5 hours over the astounding red rock landscape of Moab. It’s an unbelievable way to experience the sights of Moab in the quiet of the early morning. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/hot-air-balloon-rides-moab-utah
     
  6. Arches National Park Tours are stunning, morning or evening. Arches National Park Tours showcase the more accessible of more than 2,000 arches, the highest concentration on the planet, after which the park is named. https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-tours
     
  7. Mountain Bike Tours requests a commitment of 4.5 hours to experience why Moab has become the undisputed mecca for mountain bike enthusiasts from all over the world. Whether beginner or advanced the Moab Adventure Center offers professionally guided mountain biking tours on all of Moab’s classic rides.     https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-mountain-biking 

America’s red rock playground, Moab, Utah, home of two national parks that are coveted icons to explore in post-pandemic lockdowns, has experienced an unprecedented surge in popularity this summer.

This influx means that visitors should “nail down your accommodations and your preferred guided excursions as soon as possible and certainly before you arrive in Moab,” said Cort Wright, manager of the Moab Adventure Center. This is the go-to outfitter for securing pre-set backcountry and national park access and tours. Moab Adventure Center specializes in all there is to do in Moab and bundles assorted activities and lodging to maximize enjoyment of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park and the surrounding Colorado River country.
 
“Arrangements made in advance help deliver the peace and privacy you expect when surrounded by this natural playground,” Wright said. In fact, for early bird planners, Moab Adventure Center is offering excursions in 2022 at 2021 rates when booked this season. (www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-lodging)
 
The company has seen growing demand unleashed by the desire to return to nature and outdoor recreation. Compared to their record 2019 season, programs have seen phenomenal growth through the end of July 2021, including Moab Zipline Adventure, Arches National Park Sunset Discovery, The Ultimate Moab Canyoneering AdventureMoab Hummer Tours, and Full-Day Colorado River Rafting Adventure.

 “Making reservations well in advance of arrival helps assure that we can gear up to accommodate your specific adventure requests,” Wright said. “Now is the perfect time to plan for a fall escape to Moab. Everyone loves autumn in Moab. Just about every trip operates right through the end of October and all land-based tours through mid-November.” 
 
Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs. Visit https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/.

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Virtual Walking Tours, 9/11 Tribute Concert Highlight Museum of Jewish Heritage’s Fall Programming

The Museum of Jewish Heritage, NYC, mounts an enriching line-up of in-person and virtual events, including virtual walking tours of historic Jewish sites and a 20th anniversary 9/11 tribute concert this fall © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(New York, NY)— This fall, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will present an enriching line-up of in-person and virtual events, including virtual walking tours of historic Jewish sites, launches for four upcoming books about the Holocaust, and a twentieth anniversary 9/11 tribute concert with the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra. 

“This fall, we’re excited to present an array of programming that will allow our visitors to explore, learn, be entertained, and remember together,” says Museum President & CEO Jack Kliger. “Whether you join us virtually or in-person in our newly renovated Edmond J. Safra Hall, we look forward to offering programs that take you to another place and time and leave you with a new or deeper understanding of Jewish heritage and the Holocaust.”

All in-person events will also be livestreamed and available virtually for audiences around the world.

Fall Highlights include:

  • Virtual walking tours that highlight the Jewish history and neighborhoods of major European cities such as Budapest, Berlin, and Amsterdam (September 1 – October 17)
  • Book launches for four new nonfiction books that explore Holocaust history: “All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days,” “ We Share the Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory & Migration,” “Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love,” and “What They Didn’t Burn: Uncovering My Father’s Holocaust Secrets” (August 31 – October 5)
  • A special 9/11 tribute concert with the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestraon the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks (September 11) 

For more information and a full calendar of events, visit the Museum’s events page:

During in-person events, the Museum’s LOX at Café Bergson will be open for brunch, lunch, and

dinner, serving its Museum-made smoked salmon and other kosher delicacies.

Here are event details:

“All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days” Book Talk 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Mildred Harnack was an American activist who witnessed the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and joined what would become the largest underground resistance group in Berlin as the only American in the leadership of the German resistance. She recruited working-class Germans into the resistance, helped Jews escape, plotted acts of sabotage, and collaborated in writing leaflets that denounced Hitler and called for revolution. When the first shots of the Second World War were fired, she became a spy, couriering top-secret intelligence to the Allies.  Harnack would eventually get captured and was sentenced to execution by Hitler and was beheaded. 

Join the Museum for a program exploring Harnack’s life and legacy with her great-great-niece Rebecca Donner, author of the newly-released book “All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler”

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Budapest 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle to discover the vibrant history and culture of Jewish Budapest. On this live, virtual walking tour, tour guide Adam will bring visitors through the heart of the historic Jewish quarter of Pest—one of Budapest city center’s most intriguing areas.

“We Share the Same Sky” Book Launch

Thursday, September 9, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

“We Share the Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory & Migration” documents Rachael Cerrotti’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s Holocaust survival story. The new memoir, scheduled for release in August 2021, explores the pursuit of memory and how the retelling of family stories becomes the history itself.

Join the Museum and Descendants of Holocaust Survivors (2G Greater New York)for a program celebrating the launch of We Share the Same Sky. Cerrotti, who is an award-winning photographer, writer, educator, and audio producer and the inaugural Storyteller in Residence for the USC Shoah Foundation, will be in conversation with Ellen Bachner Greenberg, co-founder of Descendants of Holocaust Survivors.

Remembrance, Reflection, Resilience: A 9/11 Tribute Concert 

Saturday, September 11, 2021 | 8:00 P.M. 

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Knickerbocker Chamber Orchestra present a special concert to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. Interspersed with readings of remembrance and reflection, the concert will feature Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings,” the world premiere of Gary S. Fagin’s “9/11 In Memoriam,” Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington’s “Come Sunday” featuring the KCO’s Orlando Wells on violin, and other music of uplift and inspiration.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Porto

Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle for a live, virtual walking tour in the beautiful coastal city of Porto, Portugal.

Jews have lived in Porto since the 12th century, and the city’s Jewish population was an active part of its business and civic community in medieval times—until the Inquisition forced many into conversion or expulsion.

With our guide Sara, the walking tour will explore some of the old neighborhoods of the ancient Portuguese Sephardic Jews, turned into the boroughs of converted “New Christians.” We’ll also learn the exciting story of the rejuvenation of Porto’s Jewish community during the last century.

“Into the Forest” Book Launch 

Sunday, September 12, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

From a little-known chapter of Holocaust history, Rebecca Frankel’s “Into the Forest: A Holocaust Story of Survival, Triumph, and Love” (which will be published on September 7, 2021) is one family’s inspiring true story of love, escape, and survival.

In the summer of 1942, the Rabinowitz family narrowly escaped the Nazi ghetto in their Polish town by fleeing to the forbidding Bialowieza Forest. They miraculously survived two years in the woods―through brutal winters, Typhus outbreaks, and merciless Nazi raids―until they were liberated by the Red Army in 1944.

During the first ghetto massacre, Miriam Rabinowitz rescued a young boy named Philip by pretending he was her son. Nearly a decade later, a chance encounter at a wedding in Brooklyn would lead Philip to find the woman who saved him. And to discover her daughter Ruth was the love of his life.

Join the Museum for a program celebrating the launch of Into the Forest with Frankel and David Rothkopf, host of the Deep State Radio podcast and CEO of The Rothkopf Group. 

Stories Survive: Dr. Rene David Alkalay

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event) 

Dr. Rene David Alkalay was born in March 1941 in Zagreb, the capital of the former Yugoslavia (now Croatia). When Dr. Alkalay was just a few weeks old, Croatia became a puppet state of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and his father and paternal relatives were imprisoned in a concentration camp run by the country’s new Ustaša regime. Later that year, Dr. Alkalay, his mother, and his maternal relatives were imprisoned in other Ustaša-run concentration camps, where they remained for two years.

After the camp was liberated, Dr. Alkalay hid in the forest with partisan groups for a year and then was airlifted out of Yugoslavia to a Displaced Persons camp in Italy. He spent four years after the war at a Catholic school in Rome, unaware of his true religious identity.

In 1950, Dr. Alkalay and his family emigrated to the United States, where he later became a psychotherapist, nutritionist, and pastoral counselor. Join the Museum for a program exploring Dr. Alkalay’s story of survival in Croatia.

“Truus’ Children” Screening and Discussion 

Sunday, September 26, 2021 | 2:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

In December 1938, Dutch social worker Truus Wijsmuller was invited to a meeting with Nazi official Adolf Eichmann regarding the transportation of Jewish children out of Nazi territory. With Eichmann’s permission, she quickly organized 600 Jewish children in Vienna and helped transport them to safety in England and the Netherlands. She then continued organizing transports for the next 18 months, becoming a central figure in the rescue network known as the Kindertransport. In total, the Kindertransport saved the lives of approximately 10,000 children.

Join the Museum and the Netherlands’ diplomatic network in the US for a virtual screening and discussion of Truus’ Children, a new film from Dutch filmmakers Pamela Sturhoofd and Jessica van Tijn exploring Wijsmuller’s remarkable legacy. As it tells Wijsmuller’s story, the film also probes the question of why Wijsmuller has been largely forgotten in the 75 years since the World War II.

This program will feature an exclusive panel discussion with Sturhoofd, van Tijn, and Ilse Bauer-Langsdorf, one of the children saved by Truus Wijsmuller. The discussion will be moderated by Michael Simonson, Head of Public Outreach and Archivist at the Leo Baeck Institute. 

Jewish Multiverse: Judaism and Superheroes

Thursday, September 30, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Since the first Superman comic was published in 1938, there has been a persistent fascination with superheroes. Today, we see them everywhere: television, movies, comics, toys, and anywhere else one can think of. Jews have played an important role in superhero culture, both as characters and creators.

Join the Museum for a program exploring Jewish superheroes with comic book writer Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells) and editor Danny Fingeroth (Marvel’s Spiderman Comics Line). They will be in conversation with journalist Abraham Riesman, author of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.

Powerhouse Jewish Women: Isle of Kiezbos & Stephanie Lynne Mason in Concert 

Sunday, October 3, 2021 | 3:00 P.M.

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

Celebrate Jewish women’s music at this energetic Isle of Klezbos concert, held live in the Museum’s Edmond J. Safra Hall.

This soulful, fun-loving powerhouse all-women’s klezmer sextet has toured from Vienna to Vancouver since 1998. The band, led by drummer Eve Sicular, approaches tradition with irreverence and respect and is known for its tight yet adventurous sound, lush arrangements, luscious compositions, and solos that swing the Yiddish stratosphere. The band also includes Pam Fleming on trumpet,Reut Regev on trombone, Melissa Fogarty on vocals, Shoko Nagai on accordion and piano, and Saskia Lane on double bass.

Isle of Klezbos will be opened by Broadway actress and singer Stephanie Lynne Mason, known for her leading roles in Fiddler on the Roof and Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, accompanied by Bob Marks on piano.

“What They Didn’t Burn” Book Launch

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Growing up, author Mel Laytner saw his father as a quintessential Type B: passive and conventional. As he uncovered documents the Nazis didn’t burn, however, another man emerged—a black market ringleader and wily camp survivor who made his own luck. The tattered papers also shed light on painful secrets his father took to his grave.

Melding the intimacy of personal memoir with the rigors of investigative journalism, “What They Didn’t Burn: Uncovering My Father’s Holocaust Secrets” is a heartwarming, inspiring story of resilience and redemption. A story of how desperate survivors turned hopeful refugees rebuilt their shattered lives in America, all the while struggling with the lingering trauma that has impacted their children to this day.

Join the Museum for a conversation with Laytner and Jane Eisner, Director of Academic Affairs at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and former editor-in-chief of The Forward, about “What They Didn’t Burn.”

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Berlin 

Wednesday, October 6, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle for this live, virtual walking tour of one of Berlin’s oldest neighborhoods. There will be an exploration of areas where Berlin’s Jewish community once flourished and explore how its tragic history is being memorialized today.

Led by tour guide Martin, the tour will begin at the Jewish Boy’s School, then head to the oldest Jewish cemetery in Berlin and the neighboring location of the Jewish retirement home. All three sites were seized by the Nazis. There will also be stops at the haunting memorial sculptures by German artist Will Lammert, the New Synagogue built in 1866, and Museum Island—a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the city.

Introduction to the Holocaust 

Thursday, October 7 – November 4, 2021 | 5:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum for a virtual adult education course offering an introduction to the Holocaust. The five-part course will meet weekly on Thursdays from 5:00 to 6:30 PM ET. Each class will include a full lecture followed by student Q&A.

The first four sessions will be led by Dr. Avinoam Patt, the Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies and Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Patt is a former research scholar at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and has published extensively about Jewish life in Europe before, during, and after the Holocaust.

The fifth session will feature Maritza Shelley, a Holocaust survivor from Budapest, Hungary. Shelley survived forced labor and a Nazi death march when she was a teenager. Along with her mother and sister, she eventually escaped, obtained false papers, and hitchhiked back to Budapest with a convoy of Nazis. Shelley emigrated to New York City in 1947.

Wallenberg: A Musical Tribute

Thursday, October 7, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

Edmond J. Safra Hall (In-Person Event)

“Wallenberg,” an epic new musical with book and lyrics by the 2006 Kleban Award-winning team of Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman and music by Benjamin Rosenbluth, brings the incredible true story of Raoul Wallenberg, one of the greatest unsung heroes of the 20th century, vividly to life.

In July 1944, the 32-year-old Wallenberg, a businessman from Stockholm, left the safety of neutral Sweden on an American-sponsored mission to Nazi-occupied Hungary. Between face-offs with the notorious Adolf Eichmann and secret dealings with the wife of one of Hungary’s most prominent fascist leaders, Wallenberg saved over 100,000 lives—more than were rescued by any other individual during the Holocaust.

Join the Museum for an evening with the creators and actors behind “Wallenberg,” who will explore the Wallenberg story and perform a set of exhilarating and richly melodic songs from the musical’s score.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Odessa

Sunday, October 10, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle for a virtual stroll through Odessa’s old town and uncover the story of Odessa’s Jewish community.

Tour guide, Olga, will be live on the streets of Odessa sharing her city’s rich Jewish heritage. She’ll showcase sites from the golden age of the city’s Jewish community, focusing on the time from the city’s founding through the 1860s and exploring the identities and motivations of Odessa’s early Jewish settlers.

Attendees will see the Brodsky Synagogue, talk about the powerful Ephrussi family, follow in the footsteps of the prominent Jewish revolutionary Ze’ev Jabotinsky, and see the beautiful mansions that were once home to Jewish merchants in the early 1800s.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Amsterdam

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle to travel back in time to learn about Amsterdam’s Jewish history on this live, virtual walking tour with tour guide Stephan.

Stephan will explore the city’s historic Jewish Quarter, explaining how Amsterdam became a safe haven for Jews fleeing southern and eastern Europe starting in the 16th century, and why 10% of its population was Jewish at the onset of the Holocaust.

The tour will include stops at the two Amsterdam synagogues and its famed Jewish memorial. Attendees will also see the city’s oldest park, the Hortus Botanicus—a botanical garden established in 1638—and Steohan’s favorite street in Amsterdam. Discover history through a walk along the canals.

Virtual Walking Tour: Jewish Prague

Sunday, October 17, 2021 | 11:00 A.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Join the Museum and Our Travel Circle to explore the historic Jewish community of Prague, in the Czech Republic.

On this live, virtual walking tour, attendees will learn the history of the Jewish community in Bohemia since the 10th century with our guide Nikola. They will visit several synagogues: the Maisel Synagogue, the Pinkas Synagogue, and the Old New Synagogue—Europe’s oldest synagogue still in use.

The tour will explore the impact of World War II and the German annexation of Czechoslovakia through the Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) and the Terezin Ghetto. Learn the story of Nicholas Winton, the British businessman who saved 669 children with his rescue mission. And finally, attendees will hear the story of the American ambassador’s residence in Prague—the spectacular Petschka Palace.

Love in Wartime

Thursday, November 4, 2021 | 7:00 P.M. ET

(Virtual Event)

Love stories during the Holocaust are as inspiring as they are remarkable. In photographer Max Hirshfeld’s new book Sweet Noise: Love in Wartime, he offers an intimate look at one of these stories through powerful photographs, a series of emotional love letters between his parents, and the narrative of a son’s pilgrimage exploring his origins.

Join the Museum for a program exploring Hirshfeld’s work with the photographer and Jacqueline Kott-Wolle, a fellow artist and daughter of Holocaust survivors. Hirshfeld and Kott-Wolle will explore different forms of love, expression, and the idea that Jewish trauma and hardship did not end after the war.

The Light and Legacy of Rachel Cowan

Thursday, November 4, 2021 | 6:45 P.M.

(In-Person Event)

Rachel Cowan was a civil rights activist, community organizer, the first female Jew by choice ordained as a Rabbi, and a beloved and influential mindfulness teacher. After she was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer, her years of mindfulness practice enabled her to model living well while dying. Join the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, and presenting partners B’nai Jeshurun and the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, for an evening celebrating the remarkable light and legacy of Rachel’s life.

The program will feature a screening of Dying Doesn’t Feel Like What I’m Doing, a new film about Cowan from American-born, Jerusalem-based documentary filmmaker Paula Weiman-Kelman. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with Weiman-Kelman, Khary Lazarre-White, Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Brotherhood Sister Sol, and Jeannie Blaustein, Founding Board Chair at Reimagine End of Life. The discussion will be moderated by Rabbi Marc Margolius, Senior Program Director at the Institute for Jewish Spirituality.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of almost 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.

The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. 

The Museum is closed on Saturdays, Jewish holidays, and Thanksgiving. 

Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, 36 Battery Place, New York City, 646-437-4202, mjhnyc.org.

See also:

GROUNDBREAKING EXHIBIT AT MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE TRANSPORTS TO ‘AUSCHWITZ: NOT LONG AGO. NOT FAR AWAY’

GLOBAL SCAVENGER HUNT TURNS INTO PERSONAL ODYSSEY FOLLOWING ROUTE OF JEWISH DIASPORA (PART 1: Vietnam-Athens)

GLOBAL SCAVENGER HUNT TURNS INTO PERSONAL ODYSSEY FOLLOWING ROUTE OF JEWISH DIASPORA (PART 2: MOROCCO-GIBRALTAR)

GLOBAL SCAVENGER HUNT TURNS INTO PERSONAL ODYSSEY FOLLOWING ROUTE OF JEWISH DIASPORA (PART 3: IBERIA-NYC)

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US Tour Operators Bring Travelers to World’s Happiest Places

Soaking in the Blue Lagoon. Iceland scored second to Finland in the United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report for 2021. US Tour Operators Association member  Great Value Vacations offers Iceland Escape: Golden Circle & Whale Watching  package © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Who can’t use a little extra happiness now?

Tour operator members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) offer itineraries to destinations around the world, including the top five countries from the United Nations’ annual World Happiness Report for 2021.

Each year, happiness is measured by the United Nations through a complex process, integrating metrics such as social support, life expectancy, income per capita, and more. In 2021, the top five countries were Finland in first place, followed by Iceland in second place, then Denmark, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.

“Our tour operator members always make travelers smile, by handling all the logistics, ensuring peace of mind through trip protection and guaranteed accommodations, while offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences that travelers might not find on their own,”said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. 

What is more, travelers who experience what makes these places score so high in happiness bring these ideas back home.

Here is a sampling of itineraries for clients who want to visit the top five happiness countries with some of the most smile-inducing operators around.

  1. Finland – The Northern Lights of Finland with Collette takes travelers on a hunt for the elusive North Lights in Finland, with a culture and history tour of Helsinki, three nights in rugged Lapland, a reindeer safari, and dog sledding. Accommodations include stays in a glass igloo in the wilderness and a Finnish log cabin.  Departures are available between November 2021 and March 2022 for seven nights, starting at $3,199 per person.
  1. Iceland – Iceland Escape: Golden Circle & Whale Watching with Great Value Vacations is a four-night trip that includes whale watching at sea, a full day tour of the beautiful Golden Circle, and an excursion to the renowned Fontana Baths to bathe in mineral-rich geothermal waters. Departures are available throughout 2021 and 2022 starting at $1,388 per person.
  1. Denmark – Denmark Self-Drive: Copenhagen, Roskilde, Odense & Arhus with Goway Travel is perfect for independent travelers who want to travel at their own pace on an eight-day self-drive tour. The itinerary takes guests through Copenhagen’s museums, the zoo in Odense, and Europe’s Capital of Culture, Arhus. Departures are available throughout 2021 and 2022 starting at $1,307 per person.
  1. Switzerland – The Best of Switzerland with Globus is a vacation out of a storybook, with fresh Alpine air, Swiss chocolates, chalet-dotted hillsides, and lush green farmland. Guests will enjoy an eight-day trip beginning and ending in Zürich with stops at Lake Como, Lake Geneva, and more. Departures are available to book between 2021 – 2023 starting at $2,699 per person.
  1. Netherlands – Grand tour of the Netherlands with Audley Travel explores the Netherlands for ten days with bicycle tours, visits to the famous windmills, a sunset canal cruise through Amsterdam, and a pottery class at Delftware pottery. Departures are available throughout 2021 and 2022 starting at $5,455 per person.

Find all itineraries offered by USTOA tour operators at www.ustoa.travelstride.com

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

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