Pacific Delight Debuts Kosher Jewish Heritage Tour of Southeast Asia ‘Through Jewish Eyes’

NEW YORK – Pacific Delight, a luxury tour operator which introduced a Jewish heritage tour of India last year, is now introducing Southeast Asia Through Jewish Eyes™ covering Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam in partnership with Rabbi Marvin Tokayer and the Foundation for Remote Jewish Communities (FRJC). The tour departs on Jan. 3, 2018 and will be co-led by Rabbi Marcia Tilchin, founder of the non-profit Jewish Collaborative of Orange County, and Rabbi Rachel Safman of Congregation Beth El in New London, CT.

Highlights include dinner at Singapore’s historic Magen Aboth Synagogue and a night safari to observe Singapore’s nocturnal wildlife, a boat ride on Bangkok’s “River of Kings” to the Temple of Dawn and shimmering Grand Palace with lunch at “the backpacker’s shul,” a tour of the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site at Ayutthya, a journey through Chiang Mai’s rainforests interspersed with rice paddies and waterfalls, Shabbat at the historic Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue in Myanmar, and a fascinating trip to observe the famous pagodas of Bagan. The experience culminates in Ho Chi Minh City where passengers will visit the local synagogue in addition to exploring Saigon’s past and present by boat, bus, cyclo and foot.

The tour cost is $6,988 per person, based on double occupancy, and includes roundtrip group economy airfare from New York (JFK) or Los Angeles (LAX) via Cathay Pacific Airways, with premium upgrades available at additional cost. All internal flights and transportation are included along with deluxe, air-conditioned four- and five-star accommodations, all meals (kosher or vegetarian) including memorable Shabbat dinners in Singapore and Yangon, and fascinating cultural events and sightseeing, including riverboat tours in Singapore, Bangkok and Saigon.

Transfers, all gratuities to guides, drivers and hotel staff, and all hotel taxes and service charges are included in the package cost. Airport taxes, fuel surcharges and visa fees for Myanmar and Vietnam are not included.

An early-bird discount of $180 per person applies to bookings received by Oct. 3, 2017.

The tour cost includes a $900 per person tax-deductible donation to FRJC, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational charity that is devoted to preserving and promoting the endangered Jewish communities on the periphery of the Diaspora. Since its inception in 2003, FRJC has distributed more than $1 million for Jewish libraries, scholarships and sustainable farming projects in the Far East, Southeast Asia and India. Learn more at www.frjc.org.

Rabbi-Cantor Marcia Tilchin is the founder of the Jewish Collaborative of Orange County (JCoOC), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping OC Jewish residents and their families “feel the joy of Jewish.” Marcia’s passion for all things Jewish and love of helping people find what is meaningful to them in Judaism is a signature of her spiritual leadership and service to the OC Jewish community.

Rabbi Rachel Safman of Temple Beth El in New London, CT is a second-career rabbi. She earned a BS in biology from Harvard and a PhD in sociology from Cornell, then served as an advisor to the government of Thailand before accepting a teaching position at National University of Singapore, where she became involved with Singapore’s Jewish community.

Pacific Delight Tours has been a leading American tour operator to China and Asia for 44 years and is a member of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA). The luxury tour operator has won numerous industry awards including the TravelAge West WAVE Award from 2008-2015, the 2009 Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Award, and the 2016 Travvy Award from travAlliancemedia for Best Vacation Packager-Pacific Asia.

Reservations, brochures and information can be obtained from travel agents and Pacific Delight Tours, telephone: (800) 221-7179 or (212) 818-1781; website: www.PacificDelightTours.com.

 

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World Spree’s October India Tours Showcases Photogenic Pushkar Camel Fair

Getting close-up view of camels at the Pushkar Camel Fair © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Bellevue,  WA — One of  the most photogenic events in a fabulously photogenic country is the annual October Pushkar Camel Fair, which draws 11,000 camels, horses and cattle, and is part tribal gathering, part livestock market and part colorful carnival.  World Spree Travel has put together a 14-day tour that showcases the highlights of northern India—Delhi, Agra and Jaipur—plus a safari in search of the royal Bengal tiger, but two departures, October 22 and 27, also include the amazing Pushkar Camel Fair, for $1,999 or $2,049 per person, double occupancy from San Francisco (New York and Los Angeles are $50 more).

The October 22 and October 27 trips cover round-trip flights on Air China,  5-star hotels in the cities and deluxe accommodations in the tiger sanctuary and Pushkar, daily buffet breakfasts, 12 other meals, all transportation in India, comprehensive sightseeing with entrance fees, two game drives in Ranthambhore National Park, professional English-speaking tour manager/guides, and baggage handling.

Everyone will marvel at the sights of the Golden Triangle: the monuments and markets of Old and New Delhi, Agra’s breathtakingly-beautiful Taj Mahal, and the pink city of Jaipur with its palaces and bazaars, as well as the elusive royal Bengal tiger.  But photographers will be especially thrilled by the Pushkar Camel Fair, where herders, traders, entertainers and thousands of camels stream out of the desert to set up camp near the town of Pushkar. Camel races, livestock exhibitions, street vendors, tented bazaars and contests add to the spectacle.  And since Pushkar is a holy city, there are also pilgrims bathing in the sacred lake.

While travelers will enjoy all this exoticism during the day, at night they can relax in luxurious-but-familiar hotels like the Vivanta by Taj in New Delhi, the Hilton in Jaipur and the Courtyard Marriott in Agra.  The charming, bungalow-style Ranthambhore Kothi offers beautiful gardens, a swimming pool and spa adjacent to the tiger sanctuary. And just outside Pushkar, accommodations are in a deluxe tented village that boasts private bathrooms and standard hotel amenities.

Those travelers who wish to see even more of northern India can take advantage of the 17-day Epic Journey to India with Pushkar Camel Fair, which also departs on October 22 and 27 ($2,799 or $2,849 (per person, double occupancy).

There are post-trip extensions to Nepal and Amritsar  and, to take advantage of China’s 72-hour visa-free stopover program, World Spree offers a 3-day/2-night Beijing package that includes hotel, breakfasts and airport transfers.

For more information, visit www.worldspree.com or call 866-652-5656.

World Spree Travel, which started 10 years ago as China Spree with tours of China, is a tour operator renowned for its 5-star trips at 3-star prices.  Based in Bellevue, Washington, World Spree has expanded all over Asia and now operates tours to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bali and, yes, Peru.  Japan and Sri Lanka are coming soon.  Notably, 70% of World Spree’s tour participants are repeat clients who value well-planned trips at a reasonable price.

See also:

Day into Night at Rajasthan’s Pushkar Camel Fair & Festival of Brahma

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Caves of the Ice Age Become 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany

Some 35 to 40,000 years ago, humans took up residence in six caves in the Swabian Jura, and left behind unique evidence of their creative endeavours. These are the oldest works of art and musical instruments yet discovered anywhere in the world. Hailed as an archaeological sensation, the caves featuring the oldest Ice Age art were added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 2017.

Only the most outstanding testimonies to the history of mankind are awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many of them are in Germany. Thousands of years of history have left behind a significant legacy, and it is the continuous goal of UNESCO to keep these valuable sites protected. Two places from very different eras are now coming into the spotlight of international recognition at the same time: the caves of the Ice Age in Baden-Württemberg, dating back 40,000 years, and architecture of the Bauhaus era, which began in 1919.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has named the caves of the Ice Age in the Swabian Jura in Baden-Württemberg to its list. More than 50 artifacts mostly made of bone and ivory, were discovered in six caves in the Ach- and Lonetal. These archaeological sites and prehistoric works of art from the Ice Age allow researchers to draw conclusions about the earliest traces of human settlement.

Visitors to Germany will experience the works of the Ice Age in various historical museums in Baden-Württemberg. The Prehistoric Museum Blaubeuren is a central museum for the Paleolithic period of the state of Baden-Württemberg. It displays, among other original finds, the “Venus vom Hohlenfels” and three flutes of the Ice Age. At various locations, visitors can not only marvel at the objects, but also try working with stone tools.

The museum of the University Tübingen displays a 40,000-year-old figure of a horse made of mammoth ivory, called “Vogelherdpferd“, and a cave named “Vogelherdhöhle“ is part of the archaeological park Niederstotzingen. Other artifacts from the era of hunters and gatherers are on display in the permanent Stone Age exhibition of the Landesmuseum Württemberg in Stuttgart.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Bauhaus Era 

The committee also decided to allow visitors to tour further Bauhaus buildings listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In addition to the architectural sites already included in 1996, the Bundesschule of the General German Trade Union Confederation in Bernau, as well as five arcades in Dessau-Rosslau are now added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The exterior of the Bauhaus Memorial Bundesschule Bernau, north of Berlin, is open to the public all year round. Visits of the interiors are possible through guided tours, organized by the Association baudenkmal bundesschule bernau e.V., and visitors can tour the Dessau-Törten settlement.

Petra Hedorfer, chairman of the board of the GNTB, said, “Germany is already the number one cultural destination of Europeans today. With our theme campaign “UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany – Sustainable Culture and Nature Tourism,” in 2014 we have communicated responsible tourism to these particular cultural heritage sites worldwide. The inclusion of further unique testimonies of the cultural history of humanity on the UNESCO World Heritage list will give Destination Germany new impulses. As part of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus in 2019, we are preparing a further theme campaign.”

Detailed information on UNESCO World Heritage sites in Germany is available online at www.germany.travel.

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Savor the Best of New Zealand Food & Wine with a New Curated Tour

New Zealand in Depth is introducing a wine-centric travel program which recognizes winners of the Air New Zealand 2016 Wine Awards with a “pairing” of gourmet, local food experiences.

Auckland, New Zealand – New Zealand travel experts New Zealand In Depth announce a wine-centric travel program which recognizes winners of the Air New Zealand 2016 Wine Awards with a “pairing” of gourmet, local food experiences.  The personalized 13-day New Zealand Food and Wine Tour visits New Zealand’s three main wine regions, Hawkes Bay on the North Island with its award-winning Chardonnay and full-bodied Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot; Marlborough on the top of the South Island, acclaimed for Sauvignon Blanc and aromatic whites; and the Central Otago, the world’s most southerly wine-growing region and home to some of the world’s best Pinot Noir.

Accommodations include lodges and inns, selected for their personalized service, outstanding location, and gourmet offerings. Travel is by ferry, plane and car, starting in Auckland on the North Island and ending in Queenstown on the South Island. Additional activities such as hiking, cycling, and gourmet sailing excursions are available. The program is fully customizable to reflect travelers’ activity, wine and dining preferences. To help you decide, New Zealand In Depth offers a quick overview of the country’s wines here. Travel can be arranged from September 2017 to June 2018.

Among the wines to be sampled are many of New Zealand In Depth’s “insider” favorites:  Bordeaux-style Stonyridge Vineyard Larose on Waiheke Island; Endeavour Chardonnay at Clearview Estate Winery in Hawke’s Bay; barrel-aged Sur Lie Sauvignon Blanc from Hans Herzog and Alsace-style Gewurztraminer at Johanneshof Cellars in Marlborough. In Central Otago, oaked Fume Blanc at Amisfield Winery in Arrowtown and single-vineyard Cornish Point Pinot Noir are showcased. Paul Carberry, founder of New Zealand In Depth and a passionate wine lover notes, “There is nothing better than hopping from one winery to another across New Zealand to sample some of the best award-winning vintages. Whether you are an expert, or a passionate enthusiast of good food and wine like me, this new itinerary is a celebration of the best New Zealand has to offer.”

The itinerary visits Auckland, Waiheke Island, Napier and Hawke’s Bay on the North Island with opportunities for beach activities and city sightseeing; and South Island’s Blenheim, Marlborough region, and Queenstown with possibilities for hiking along the Queen Charlotte Track, cycling to the vineyards, adventure sports and boat trips. http://www.newzealand-indepth.co.uk/experiences/food-and-wine-itinerary/

For more information, program detail,  and advice on travel to New Zealand in general, visit http://www.newzealand-indepth.co.uk, call +44 1298 74040 or email explore@newzealand-indepth.co.uk.

Now entering its 14th year, New Zealand In Depth is a team of travel experts who are passionate about creating personalized luxury experiences for clients looking for a distinctive and exclusive vacation in the land of the Kiwis. With nearly 50 years of collective experience, the New Zealand IN Depth team develops programs that reflect a commitment to understanding client needs on a one-on-one basis. The company advocates for responsible tourism in New Zealand and works with people on the ground who genuinely care for their local environment and actively take steps to protect local habitats and native flora and fauna. Personalized programs reflect the long-term relationships held with local providers of activities, superior and unusual accommodations, and off-the-beaten-track experiences, allowing New Zealand In Depth to create itineraries with experiences that are often not available through other tour operators while being mindful of their impact on the environment. http://www.newzealand-indepth.co.uk/, +44 1298 74040 Twitter: @NZInDepth   Facebook: NewZealandInDepth.

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World Spree’s October India Tours Includes Photogenic Pushkar Camel Fair

Camel cart, Pushkar Camel Fair, India © 2017 Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Bellevue,  WA — One of  the most photogenic  events in  a fabulously photogenic country is the annual October Pushkar Camel Fair, which draws 11,000 camels, horses and cattle, and is part tribal gathering, part livestock market and part colorful carnival.  World Spree Travel has put together a 14-day tour that showcases the highlights of northern India—Delhi, Agra and Jaipur—plus a safari in search of the royal Bengal tiger, but two departures also include the amazing Pushkar Camel Fair, all for only $1,999 or $2,049  from San Francisco (New York and Los Angeles are $50 more).

The October 22 and October 27 trips cover round-trip flights on Air China,  5-star hotels in the cities and deluxe accommodations in the tiger sanctuary and Pushkar, daily buffet breakfasts, 12 other meals, all transportation in India, comprehensive sightseeing with entrance fees, two game drives in Ranthambhore National Park, professional English-speaking tour manager/guides, and baggage handling.

Everyone will marvel at the sights of the Golden Triangle: the monuments and markets of Old and New Delhi, Agra’s breathtakingly-beautiful Taj Mahal, and the pink city of Jaipur with its palaces and bazaars, as well as the elusive royal Bengal tiger.  But photographers will be especially thrilled by the Pushkar Camel Fair, where herders, traders, entertainers and thousands of camels stream out of the desert to set up camp near the town of Pushkar. Camel races, livestock exhibitions, street vendors, tented bazaars and contests add to the spectacle.  And since Pushkar is holy town, there are also pilgrims bathing in the town’s sacred lake.  It is all a true cultural phenomenon.

While travelers will enjoy all this exoticism during the day, at night they can relax in luxurious-but-familiar  hotels like the Vivanta by Taj in New Delhi, the Hilton in Jaipur and the Courtyard Marriott in Agra.  The charming, bungalow-style Ranthambhore Kothi offers beautiful gardens, a swimming pool and spa adjacent to the tiger sanctuary.  And just outside Pushkar, accommodations are in a deluxe tented village that boasts private bathrooms and standard hotel amenities.

Those travelers who wish to see even more of northern India should know about the 17-day Epic Journey to India with Pushkar Camel Fair, which also departs on October 22 and 27 and costs $2,799 or $2,849.

There are post-trip extensions to Nepal and Amritsar  and, to take advantage of China’s 72-hour visa-free stopover program, World Spree offers a 3-day/2-night Beijing package that includes hotel, breakfasts and airport transfers.

All prices are per person double occupancy.  For more information, visit www.worldspree.com or call toll-free 1-866-652-5656.

World Spree Travel, which started 10 years ago as China Spree with tours of China, is a tour operator renowned for its 5-star trips at 3-star prices.  Based in Bellevue, Washington, World Spree has expanded all over Asia and now operates tours to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bali and, yes, Peru.  Japan and Sri Lanka are coming soon.  Notably, 70% of World Spree’s tour participants are repeat clients who value well-planned trips at a reasonable price.

See also

Day into Night at the Pushkar Camel Fair & Festival of Brahma, India

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Follow the Sun on Freewheel Holidays’ Winter Bicycle Vacations In 4 Sun-Splashed Coastal Europe Destinations

Freewheel Holidays offers a family-friendly biking trip to Costa Brava, Spain in winter.

MANCHESTER, UK– As the long days of summer fade into fall, and avid cyclists can follow the sun south to warmer climates. Freewheel Holidays, a UK specialist in cycling vacations, arranges week-long bespoke, self-guided bicycle vacations in Sardinia (Italy), on the Costa Brava (Spain), in the Algarve (Portugal) and on Lanzarote (Canary Islands).

These four sun-splashed destinations have in common beckoning cultures and cuisines, wave-fringed coastlines with sandy beaches and dependable reputations for showering warmth on vacationers escaping winter’s doldrums.

Following are snapshots of Freewheel Holidays’ 2017-2018 portfolio of Winter Sun cycling vacations. Accommodating parties with as few as two adults, in some instances these vacations can be tweaked to accommodate families who enjoy traveling at their own pace on two wheels.

Sardinia Family Cycle Tour is an 8 day/7 night vacation in Sardinia bicycling over terrain graded “easy” and over distances that can be tailored to meet family needs. Daily rides range from 20km to 36km. The itinerary is also flexible with choices on one day, for example, to ride to a beach famous for its turquoise waters or to board a ferry to a village where locals fish for red tuna and where surrounding lagoons are populated by flocks of pink flamingo. On some days vineyards and olive groves vie for attention with ancient ruins, Roman roads, vestiges of the Phoenicians and always beaches. The per person double rate is from £549; rates for children ages 3 to 12 are available. Included are seven nights accommodation with breakfast, bike rental, luggage transfers, welcome meeting, detailed route notes and maps and 24-hour emergency/service telephone access. This tour is offered year-round (http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/sardinia-cycling-holiday).

Discover Costa Brava for Families is a 7 day/6 night vacation in Spain’s Catalonia, a distinct, autonomous region in northern Spain known for the beach resorts of Costa Brava and for the Pyrenees Mountains. This flexible trip can also be from two to five days, giving ample time to explore this fascinating area and add on a beach or city break. On two wheels guests discover the unspoiled hamlet of Can Muni, a beautiful coastline, pine forests and the fascinating medieval, Greek and Roman architecture of the region. Must-sees are the world famous Dalí museum in the town of Figueres and the Museum of Empordà which showcases the archaeological finds of the region, including the Hall of Asclepius. Guests can also mix in horseback riding. Ambitious riders can ride up to 56km on a day; but shorter routes halving the daily distances are also outlined. The mostly flat terrain is rated as “easy.” The per person double rate is from £539; rates for children under 13 years of age are available. Included are 6 nights accommodation with breakfast, a welcome meeting, bike rental, GPS with everyday tracks and map, detailed route notes and local information and 24-hour emergency/service telephone access. (Offered year-round, for details see http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/costa-brava-family-cycling-holiday.)

Guests on the 8 day/7 night Algarve Coast to Coast bicycle vacation enjoy “easy” to “moderate” cycling on the Ecovia do litoral, a dedicated cycle route in Portugal that links Vila Real de Santo António on the Spanish border with Cabo de São Vicente (Sagres) in the west. This route that requires cycling up to 40km on some days combines trails in nature preserves with stunning coastal views and beach access. There are also linked stretches on traffic-calm or car-free routes. Fishing villages that date to Roman times, Moorish architecture and cafes heralding coffee and wine breaks blend into the horizon that’s the sea. The per person double rates begin at £779. Included are 7 nights accommodation with breakfast, return transfers from Faro Airport, bike rental, luggage transfers, detailed route notes and cycling maps and 24-hour emergency/service telephone access. Departures may be scheduled any day of the year (http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/algarve-coast-to-coast-7-nights).

Lanzarote in the Canary Islands may not seem an obvious choice for a cycling holiday, but here’s one island in the Canaries that offers easy access, year-round sunshine, minimal rainfall, some of the most dramatic and fascinating landscapes (think volcanoes) in Europe. Restrained development has preserved the best characteristics of this often-overlooked paradise. Fine beaches and quality hotel and rural villa accommodations are laced into this 8 day/7 night vacation on two wheels. The terrain is classed “moderate” with some daily rides covering up to 58km. Routes can be modified for families. A native son, César Manrique, who fought in the Spanish Civil War, left his mark artistically and in architecture on Lanzarote. Guests have an opportunity to view some of his work. They take in a volcanic cave and another volcanic landscape along a beach, cycle and walk under innumerable palm trees in towns with Moorish names, and they tour the wine-producing area of La Geria. A waterpark and go kart attraction add to the family fun. The per person double rate is from $809. Rates for children are available. Included are 7 nights accommodation with breakfast, bike hire, luggage transfers, detailed route notes & cycling maps and 24hr hotline assistance service. (For details on this year-round, self-guided adventure see http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/tour/lanzarote-7-nights-self-guided).

To check trip availability, make reservations, or to find out more about Freewheel Holidays’ leisure cycling tours call +44 (0) 161 703 5823, email info@freeholidays.com or visit www.freewheelholidays.com.

A division of Sports Tours International, Freewheel Holidays (http://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/) specializes in self-guided, expertly supported European cycling holidays that strike the perfect balance between leisure pedaling and immersive sightseeing. The company offers easy to moderate cycling programs designed with special appeal to European and North American travelers. Guests cycle on their own, with enroute assistance and distinctive accommodations expertly chosen and secured by the company. A portfolio of over 40 established European holidays offers riders of all levels a freedom of choice. The company features a range of 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 night itineraries to 12 European countries including the UK, Austria, France, Holland, Czech Republic, Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Portugal. The majority of tours are self-guided with the exception of a few fully-guided vacation packages in Croatia, France, Italy and Prague to Vienna.  The company also offers family-focused, coastal, wine lover and solo traveler holidays.

 

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Women-Only Hiking, Kayaking Adventures in Canada

The coastlines and national parks of Canada are components of three summer wilderness vacations with Wild Women Expeditions.

The coastlines and national parks of Canada, celebrating its 150th heritage anniversary in 2017, are components of three summer wilderness vacations with Wild Women Expeditions, the tour company offering more active travel departures for women only than any other operator in the world.

“Canada is a country designed for adventurers. For women who want it all, Canada delivers the goods,” said Jennifer Haddow, Owner of Wild Women Expeditions  “We’ve been trailblazing outdoor adventures in Canada for over a quarter of a century. Increasingly women want to feel the freedom of connecting with wild space in its finest form. In Canada are some of the wildest and grandest natural treasures on the planet.”

Wild Women Expeditions’ Canadian programs are prototypes for the baptism-by-wilderness experiences that Haddow’s team arranges in 26 countries. These journeys reflect that…

  • Women need opportunities to just be themselves, together;
  • The wilderness helps women connect with elements of their psyche that may be lost in the daily hustle and bustle;
  • Pairing women and wilderness often encourages women beyond their comfort zones, leading to increased confidence;
  • These ingredients can be transformational, perhaps leading to answers to the question that Poet Mary Oliver poses: What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Backcountry camping is one of Wild Women’s signatures, a staple of 70 percent of its trips (a higher percentage of wilderness immersion than any other women-only company offers). Women carry their accommodations (tents) on their backs, as well as food and personal belongings, into remote wilderness where come nightfall, a campfire and the stars overhead provide the only light. Geology, wildlife and First Nation spiritual heritage found in Canada’s national parks figure into adventures in Newfoundland, British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Professional wilderness guides, all female, lead the trips. Following are capsule descriptions of three of the company’s Canadian adventures…

Newfoundland Gros Morne (National Park) Multi-Sport Adventure is a seven-day hiking and kayaking expedition that utilizes ocean-side cabins. The $2,295 CAD per person rate includes professional, local female guide(s), all meals, fully outfitted sea kayak day trip on Bonne Bay (think Minke whales, eagles, terns, and kingfishers), guided hikes (think Woodland caribou, Rock ptarmigan and Arctic hare) and walks throughout the park, a Western Brook Pond fjord boat tour, roundtrip transfers from Deer Lake Regional Airport (servicing Toronto) and a park pass.

Daily challenges reflect the philosophy that women can discover and build on their own inner strengths by mastering hurdles in the safe company of other women. The first hike in this UNESCO World Heritage Site is 5km with a 500m elevation gain/loss on rugged trails; the second is roundtrip 9km with a 300m elevation gain/loss; an estimated five-hour kayak excursion precedes the third hike, a 16 km, 800m elevation gain/loss trek experienced in over eight hours while climbing Gros Morne Mountain, the highest point in the park at 806m. Easy walks follow in tandem with a catch-your-breath boat tour of a landlocked fjord.

This park is as important to Plate Tectonics Theory as Ecuador’s Galapagos Archipelago is to the Theory of Evolution. The challenges of this environment become metaphors for those the women face, hiking first through a barren, nutrient-challenged  landscape; then discovering where the peridotite ends and the ancient oceanic crust begins, down through boreal forest to rugged coastline where pillow lava and sea stacks dominate the shoreline; then moving on to the rich marine wonderland of Bonne Bay and a landlocked lake before accomplishing a summit (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/newfoundland-multisport/).

Haida Gwaii Kayak Adventure in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site is a fully outfitted eight-day camping (on beaches) and kayaking expedition at $2,795 CAD per person that includes camping gear, all meals, Zodiac transportation, park pass and the expertise of two certified kayak guides.

This National Marine Conservation Area of Canada is north of Vancouver, BC. Here paddlers drift through Haida First Nation waterways, passing ancient totem poles. Black bears mosey among towering trees; sea lions and seals flop at the water’s edge. “You are one with the water. The silence is heavy and heavenly,” said Haddow, adding that water, wildlife and the spirit of the First Nation combine to create a spiritual quest.

Routes south and north begin in Sandspit on Moresby Island (serviced by air from Vancouver). Southern route departure is set for Aug. 20-27, 2018. Northern Route departures are Aug. 21-28, 2017, and Aug. 27- Sept. 3, 2018 (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/haida-gwaii-british-columbia/).

Vancouver Island Multi-Sport Adventure in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a fully outfitted, eight-day camping, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, surfing and hiking adventure. The $2,895 CAD per person rate includes services of two female guides, three nights camping, four nights inn accommodation, all meals, ground transportation, scheduled activities (and all gear), half-day surfing and paddling lessons, four-day sea kayak expedition to Vargas Island in Clayoquot Sound and guided coastal hikes.

Guests meet at Tofino Ecolodge on Vancouver Island, accessed by ferry or air shuttle from Victoria or Nanaimo, BC. From here the Wild Pacific Trail and the Pacific Ocean become both playgrounds and challenges, as does a three-night camping/four-day backcountry kayaking trip to experience the old growth forests and First Nation spirits of Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve off the west coast of Vancouver Island (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/vancouver-island/).

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is one of the world’s largest women-only travel companies. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became Canadian experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. Even though the company now hosts guests all over the world, it retains a national focus with more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping adventures in Canada than any other women’s travel company.

 

For further information, https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

 

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