(Rovaniemi, FINLAND) A new seven-day, six-night Ultimate Christmas Invitation itinerary transports visitors to the Arctic Circle to meet Santa Claus in his home, deep in the Lapland forest. The Finland-based program includes dog-sledding, a visit to a reindeer farm, and snowmobiling.
The festive journey starts in Helsinki before heading to Lapland with a personalized, handwritten letter and photobook from Santa Claus, highlighting all the ways guests have been “nice” this year and requesting the traveler’s presence at a one-on-one meeting at Santa’s home in Lapland.
Designed to enthrall all ages, the Ultimate Christmas Invitation from specialist travel company Off the Map Travel, creates a personalized experience for each member of the traveling party. Perfect for pre-Christmas shopping and celebrating throughout the festive season, the program is offered from November to January and begins with an overnight in Helsinki in the art deco boutique hotel Lilla Roberts where guests receive a “golden ticket” for the “Polar Express” overnight night train from Finland’s capital city to Rovaniemi, above the Arctic Circle.
“The itinerary builds suspense and anticipation up to the moment of meeting Santa in person. With no queues and a location in the most festive place on earth, the trip is a dream for those who love Christmas and Santa Claus,” noted Jonny Cooper, Arctic travel expert and founder of Off the Map Travel.
Guests can also stargaze and search for the Northern Lights through huge skylight windows in exclusive Aurora loft rooms at Rovaniemi’s contemporary Arctic Light Hotel. The magical city, just above the Arctic Circle is perfect for an immersion into Christmas and for numerous shopping opportunities.
To complete the experience, the tour continues to Inari, a center of winter activities, the birthplace of Finnish Sami, and the home of Santa. There, with winter clothing provided, guests can choose from outdoor programs including dogsledding, a reindeer farm meet-up and sleigh ride, and snowmobiling through the brilliant Lappish landscape.
In Inari, at Santa’s workshop, participants have a personal meeting with Kris Kringle himself with plenty of time to chat about Santa’s feelings about this year’s holiday, his elves and, of course, you. Since no Christmas holiday is complete without a gift, visitors receive something very special before embarking on a sleigh ride to the Wilderness Hotel Inari, an unusual “round” log cabin resort with comfortable beds, a personal sauna in each cabin, and views over Lake Inari or River Nukkumajoki. In the evening, the cabin’s open fire invites you to cozy up and search for the Northern Lights in the clear skies.
The seven-day, six-night Ultimate Christmas Invitation itinerary is priced from $3806 per person (at the time of this writing) including all activities, transfers, one night’s accommodations in Helsinki , one night’s accommodations in Rovaniemi, three nights’ full board accommodation in Inari, and the overnight train to Rovaniemi from Helsinki. Flights are additional. As with any itinerary from Off the Map Travel, this program can be tailor-made to fit the wishes and requirements of the guest.
The team at Off the Map Travel works with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of our planet. Specializing in Soft Adventure OTMT creates tailor-made holiday itineraries offering authentic experiences not offered by many larger travel companies. For more information on Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 1-646-701-0041, email email@example.com.
Cool weather, brightly colored foliage, and destinations largely free from crowds make fall the perfect time to travel. Here are eight vacation ideas for the months ahead, ranging from the mountains of Montana to the Natchez Trace and even the Galapagos Islands
1. Pacific Coast Cycling: The Pacific Coast Route is one of America’s premier cycling routes and autumn is an optimal time to avoid heavy tourist traffic. Pedal south through the lush forests of western Washington before following the Columbia River to the Oregon coast, then enter California and encounter massive redwoods coastal headlands and sandy beaches with bike paths. Ride the route on your own with maps from Adventure Cycling Association, or join other on a tour.
2. Fall Under the Big Sky: A visit to Big Sky, Montana, and stay at The Wilson Hotel offers the opportunity for fall adventures in Yellowstone country, as elk bugle and pockets of aspen trees turn golden against the backdrop of the green forest. Hike and mountain bike trails surrounding town, fish the famed Gallatin River or take one last tour of Yellowstone National Park’s natural wonders and wildlife before roads close for the season.
3. Traffic-Free Natchez Trace: The Natchez Trace is a historic travel corridor through Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi used by American Indians, settlers, soldiers and future presidents. And with no commercial traffic, the Natchez Trace Parkway is a cyclist’s dream come true. Join Cycle of Life Adventures for a fall tour to enjoy the changing colors of maple, hickory, oak and other hardwood trees, milder temperatures and overnight accommodations in small towns along the parkway.
4. National Parks RV Trip: National parks saw record crowds over the summer, but now that fall is here it’s a great time to visit for fewer crowds, less traffic and pleasant temperatures. Blacksford rents fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, kitchen and bath supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to the national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance.
5. Arizona + Black Canyon Mountain Biking: Explore all the Sonoran Desert has to offer with the Best of Phoenix and Black Canyon Trail Mountain Biking Tour from Escape Adventures. This trip is ideal for close groups of biking friends looking for a warm fall or winter excursion. Highlights include exploring the 21,099-acre McDowell Mountain regional park, riding conservancy lands and ripping more than 40-miles of fast and flowy singletrack.
6. Jackson Hole Glamping: Wyoming’s Fireside Resort offers 25 pint-sized, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a short distance from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes, making it the perfect place to post up for a fall getaway or winter ski trip.
7. Play Cowboy at a Dude Ranch: Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just three hours from Yellowstone National Park. Guests stay in private chalets and enjoy family-friendly activities like horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, hiking, fishing, shooting and feasting on farm-to-table cuisine.
8. Autumn Galapagos Adventure: Fall is one of the best times of year to visit Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands, particularly when it comes to wildlife and weather. The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel has joined forces with Scalesia Galapagos Lodge to offer a new weeklong program that includes day trips aboard Yacht Sea Lion, glamping in luxury tents on Isabela Island and visits to remote and mysterious places that illustrate the incredible diversity of the archipelago.
SALT LAKE CITY – For over 60 years, Western River Expeditions has specialized as Nature’s partner, offering guests the specialized expertise, matched with a pristine river environment to enable transformations in body and spirit that are so needed as families emerge from COVID isolation.
“Reservations are up 37 percent over the same period last year for our premier family rafting trip,” reports Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions. “Families are clamoring to reinvent themselves in one of the most remote (no roads, no towns and no cell service) destinations in the continental United States. They are counting on us to deliver their first great trip back after hibernation for so long.”
This is Utah’s Desolation Canyon, carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River that is spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming.
The company’s proven and lauded health protocols are in place for this trip that welcomes families with children ages five and up. Fully 100 percent of this vacation takes place outside together. Transportation to the put-in is by small plane on a 40-minute flight over the desert plateau from Moab, Utah. Passengers are appropriately distanced on the aircraft and are required to wear masks on the airplane and in shuttle vehicles.
“Being able to travel and vacation in confidence will also assist the healing process – especially for parents,” Lake said. He explained that the rafting journey through Desolation Canyon is much more than rafting. The environment offers large beaches, swimming holes, outlaw cabins to explore, Native American sites, wildlife, fishing and great hikes. “It’s absolutely one of the best family vacations in the world.”
The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to excite all ages.
Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day Trip is offered June through August. Rates are $1,845 for ages 16 and up and $1,145 for ages 5-15 including airport transfer and flight from Moab, Utah, to the river, cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and water-resistant bags, all meals from between departure to return, guides, staff and equipment.
exploring 88 river miles
the option to paddle two-person inflatable kayaks or, relax in a guide-powered oar boat
witnessing 40 million years of geologic history
maneuvering 60+ fun-filled Class I-III rapids. One of the greatest features of this expedition is that the rapids are spread fairly evenly throughout the length of the trip so the action keeps it exciting all journey long.
visiting famous Wild West outlaw hideouts. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway.
wondering about the past at now-derelict homesteads built of native materials
getting to know an ancient culture that both foraged and planted corn from the 7th to the 13th centuries, leaving behind Fremont Native American petroglyphs
hiking off-river with a seasoned guide well-versed in the region’s history and geology
deluxe camping on broad, sandy beaches along the river bank
enjoying host-prepared meals for both adults and children, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers
sunbathing on and off the water shaded by ancient cottonwoods
watching a Trip Jester entertain the children so parents have some down time
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the recently enhanced 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 it 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 sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).
SEATTLE – REI Co-op is revising plans for the future of its experiences business with a goal of getting 3 million people outdoors each year through its experiences programs, which will focus exclusively on U.S. domestic adventures.
The co-op is investing in an expanded network of experiences close to iconic U.S. outdoor destinations, building on its expertise of small group active travel and local programming currently offered across the nation. REI expects to launch at least 12 new experience centers in the next two years where customers can tap into REI’s guided tours, gear rental and instruction. As part of the announcement, the co-op will discontinue its international adventure travel trips effective May 2021 in order to invest in its domestic travel growth strategy and expand offerings in hiking and camping, backpacking, cycling, women’s only, under-35, family and weekend adventures.
With more than 100 itineraries across the United States, REI adventure travel offers one of the broadest activity assortments of any U.S.-based tour operator. Sales of REI domestic adventure trips have gotten off to a fast start in 2021. As of March, domestic trips were up by 28 percent compared to 2019, making it one the strongest years in adventure travel sales.
“REI is a leader at getting people outside. We’re the only national organization with a wide range of experiences that provide life-changing outdoor moments, whatever someone’s skill level may be,” said Curtis Kopf, who was recently named REI’s chief experience officer. “The co-op’s bold investment in our U.S. experiences will help us welcome more people into the outdoors by making nature more accessible and attainable for everyone.”
A leader with REI since 2018, Kopf’s new role is an evolution of his previous oversight over REI’s experiences and digital divisions. As chief experience officer, he will oversee REI’s acceleration of efforts to design and build differentiated customer experiences that are interconnected across the company in physical locations, digital platforms and hosted experiences.
In recent years, REI annually has helped over 310,000 individuals across the country progress their outdoor interests and explore iconic outdoor destinations like national parks. Beyond multiday adventures, REI also offers fun and educational local experiences in major markets across the country through beginner-to advanced-level classes and guided day tours for hiking, cycling, paddling, climbing and more. REI is a top provider of how to ride a bike classes and wilderness training through its long partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The co-op also operates a destination adventure center based in Scottsdale, Arizona with gear rentals, day tours and education for residents and tourists visiting the region.
As REI focuses exclusively on U.S. domestic adventure travel and experiences, the co-op will provide full refunds to any guest who was booked on an international adventure. The co-op’s final international trip will depart in early May. All camping and hiking gear provided by REI to its international vendor network will remain in country for the continued use by individual operators.
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. One of the nation’s largest consumer co-ops, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.
(Las Vegas, NV) – Escape Adventures, one of the first outfitters to offer guided mountain bike tours of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park 29 years ago, is introducing a six-day multi-sport and camping tour that combines these two of Mother Nature’s greatest marvels. In addition to riding Escape Adventures’ favorite mountain bike routes, guests will enjoy hiking, rock climbing, canyoneering and rappelling among the region’s cliffs, crags, plateaus, and pinnacles.
This multi-sport tour with first-class camping is ideal for active families and starts at $1,895 per person. E-bikes are available at an additional cost. For more info, click here or call Escape Adventures at 800-596-2953. Watch a gorgeous video here.
“From mountain biking the trails of Red Canyon and Sunset Cliffs, to hiking and climbing in Sunset Point, Cascade Falls, and Zion’s Narrows, this multi-sport tour offers an array of exciting activities,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “A canyoneering day in Zion takes us bouldering in deep canyons and rappelling chutes up to 150 ft.”
Not only is the mountain biking phenomenal and diverse, so is the terrain. In a sense, it is a geologic extension of The Grand Canyon, located 75-miles to the south. The landforms lend themselves to a multitude of adventures and inspiring place names, such as The Court of The Patriarchs, The Beehives, Mountain of The Sun, and The Great White Throne.
Guests will move seamlessly from one day to the next, camping, and enjoying delicious homemade meals. The majority of campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers. In more remote backcountry camping scenarios, Escape Adventures will provide portable toilets and private solar showers.
“There is nothing better than rolling into camp to fresh made chips and salsa, homemade guacamole, and Dutch oven enchiladas,” said Fisher. “Then making your way to a sweet and inviting campfire, sharing your favorite anecdote or image from the day’s activities, and enjoying a local beer before retiring to your tent.”
Day 1-2: Meet in St. George. Ride Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon, Hike the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Day 3-4: Ride Red Canyon past Tropic Reservoir to Hatch. Descend to Zion. Day 5-6: Canyoneering in Zion, hike the narrows. Rock climbing in Red Cliffs.
All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of this tour. This means from the time Escape Adventures picks you up, all transportation, food preparation, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle. Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.
Since 1992, Escape Adventures has lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, fitness level and activity type, from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels (https://escapeadventures.com/).
New Yorkers are encouraged to celebrate the New Year safely by spending time outdoors this holiday season at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the state beginning January 1, 2021. Families across the state can register for one of the many walks and hikes being held across the state as part of the 10th Annual First Day Hikes program, a partnership between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
“In these challenging times, getting out into nature has been a major outlet for safe and healthy recreation for New Yorkers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Whether you’re taking a self-guided hike at a favorite park or discovering a new local trail this holiday season, New Yorkers have unparalleled options and destinations to embrace the outdoors this winter and bring in the New Year while remaining COVID safe and COVID smart.”
With the Empire State Trail near completion, residents along the 750-mile route – the longest multi-use state trail in the nation- can enjoy the great outdoors while supporting tourism and community revitalization across the state. Information about the trail, including an interactive map detailing the route, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions is available on the project website.
Walks and hikes are family-friendly, and typically range from one to five miles and are being offered at more than 60 state parks, historic sites, DEC state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers.
A list of New York State First Day Hikes, location details, format, pre-registration requirements and additional information can be found online at parks.ny.gov and dec.ny.gov. Interested participants are encouraged to check the details of their preferred host site and pre-register where required.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for safe outdoor recreation, there will be no large group hikes this year. The event options for hikes range from self-guided treks to staff- or volunteer-led hikes with a limited number of participants. All hikes are subject to regional COVID-19 limitations. Masks or face-coverings are mandatory, and capacity restrictions may limit participation so have some alternate locations in mind. Hikes will span Friday, Saturday or Sunday of January, allowing participants the time and space to social distance while still enjoying nature’s winter wonders.
Here is a list of First Day Hikes by region, along with contact information:
Western New York
Allegany State Park- Red House; 716.354.9101 x.232
DeVeaux Woods State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154
Evangola State Park, Irving; 716.549.1050
Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown; 716.282.5154
Genesee Valley Greenway, Hinsdale; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway, Cuba; 585.493.3614
Genesee Valley Greenway Snowmobile Ride, Avon; 585.964.3614
Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin; 585.964.2462
Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora; 716.549.1050
Letchworth State Park, Castile; 585.493.3680
Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154
Plumbottom State Forest, Amity; 585.415.1521
Reinstein Environmental Education Center, Depew; 716.683.5959
Finger Lakes & Central New York
Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 607.334.2718
Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 607.535.4511
Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 607.648.5251
Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 315.415.8377
Shirley Chisholm State Park, Brooklyn; 212.866.3100
Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park; 631.269.4333
“First Day Hikes have grown into a popular tradition for many New Yorkers and we look forward to welcoming families and friends out on the trail at many of our parks and historic sites,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “While this year’s program may look a little different from previous events, exploring the outdoors is still the perfect way to enjoy the winter landscapes, unwind with loved ones and kick off the coming year.”
“One unexpected, yet welcome result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in the number of New Yorkers heading outdoors to explore world-class recreational opportunities close to home,” State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “As we get ready to turn the page on 2020 and enter the New Year, DEC and our partners at State Parks are encouraging visitors to keep discovering New York’s abundant lands and parks and to do so safely and responsibly by observing social distancing and other guidelines to ensure an enjoyable and healthy experience for everyone.”
“This year gave New Yorkers a new opportunity to discover the wonders and adventures that await them just outside their doors,” I Love New York Executive Director Ross Levi said. “New York State is not just an amazing destination for visitors; it is a world-class getaway in our own backyard. First Day Hikes and the new year will offer New Yorkers another chance to find what they love here in our own amazing state.”
Get Outside Safely, Responsibly, and Locally
New York State’s PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL campaign encourages residents to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. New York State Parks and the Department of Environmental Conservation recommendations for getting outside safely incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL encourages New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, show respect for all outdoor adventurers, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. Wear a mask, even when visiting the outdoors. For more information, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 77 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
BILLINGS, MT – Challenging times call for creative solutions. Looking to expand its award-winning portfolio of naturally self-distancing, nature-based, small group vacations for adults and families, Austin Adventures only needed to look to its own backyard for the perfect solution – the Western guest ranch vacation.
In partnership with Best Ranches in the West, Austin Adventures has added 14 first- class guest ranches to its offerings. Founder and President Dan Austin and his Montana-based team drew from their personal knowledge and regional experience having hosted and operated adventures throughout the West for the past 40 years. With careful vetting and personal experience, they have bestowed their highest mark of approval on each property in this exclusive group of all-inclusive guest ranches situated in some of the most spectacular settings in the West.
In 2020, many North American guest ranches saw a surge of bookings from families needing to come up with safe alternatives to their cancelled cruise and international vacation plans. Austin recognized this trend early and in January began the steps to include ranch vacations in its 2021 line-up. It was, “a long overdue addition” in Austin’s words.
Knowing safety will be top priority to today’s traveler, Austin emphasizes the natural and healthy style of this type of vacation alternative that also embraces carefully planned and recently enacted COVID-19 mitigation protocols:
All are in wilderness-adjacent locations that are isolated and remote
Chef-prepared, fresh and locally sourced foods and wines of the region
Opportunities to indulge in a variety of outdoor recreational activities
The natural social-distancing that horseback riding provides
Adhering to the highest standards of housekeeping, service and maintenance
A rare feeling of exclusivity with VIP pampering, service and experiences
The ability to combine a ranch stay with a road-trip to avoid flying
Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection – Saratoga, WY
The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch – Shell, WY
Paradise Guest Ranch – Buffalo, WY
“We look forward in the months ahead to welcoming to our portfolio other outstanding properties that meet our criteria,” Austin adds. The Guest Ranch Collection is expected to grow with the addition of one or two new offerings a year.
Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. With cruises and accommodations on seven continents, they have been acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure Magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Awards along with other national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures has perfected the art of creating itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, incredible guides and exhilarating activities, all while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution, all backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee. Austin Adventures is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Where in the world – and how – will families vacation this summer?
Given months of pandemic-driven lock-down orders, stay-at-home summer vacation won’t be high on many lists. What will be attractive will be vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature that can work wonders on family spirits and recovery.
Western River Expeditions (https://www.westernriver.com/ for nearly 60 years has operated top-quality river rafting vacations for individuals, families and friends. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears.
Screening Employees:Every day before work, each employee must pass both a temperature and pulse oximeter screen, and then answer a detailed questionnaire.
Screening Guests at Check-in:Guests exhibiting temperatures of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to travel with Western River Expeditions at the time they planned; instead, they will receive an “Adventure Credit” which allows the guest and any members of the group who were currently living at the same physical address during any of the 7 days prior to the trip to use the full paid value of their trip as a credit for a future trip at a later date.
Screening while on Multi-Day Trips: All trip participants and guides will have a daily temperature and pulse oximeter checks and fill out a daily review of symptoms questionnaire.
In addition, there are new protocols in place should someone experience COVID-19 symptoms during a trip. In such case, steps will be taken to protect other guests from exposure during the remainder of that trip. There also will be protocols for toilet facilities, hand washing stations and social distancing (when feasible) as well as reduced number of guests per raft.
The company will also implement specific guidelines that address everything from life-jacket use and sanitation, to meal prep and service, use of shuttle vans, number of people per shuttle vehicle, sanitation of rafts, dry bags, cots, sleeping bags and all associated equipment. For more details on Western River Expeditions’ specific protocols please see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19
Western River Expeditions hopes to still operate late spring and summer 2020 trips, subject to the easing of government-mandated closures. Three suggested trips ideal for families are:
Desolation Canyon, a five-day trip through breathtaking Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon on the Green River in central Utah. Trips are scheduled to depart June 7 through Aug. 12 with a minimum age of five years old. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
Southwest Sampler, a four-day adventure that includes an off-road Hummer Safari, Arches National Park tour and overnight rafting trip as well as a stay at Moab’s Marriott SpringHill Suites. Departures are scheduled May 26 through Aug. 26. If National Park closures affect the operation of the Arches National Park tour, guests will explore another stunning location in Moab. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/moab-utah-vacation-sampler
Grand Canyon, the three-day option still has some limited space on certain dates from June 21st through September. Conveniently departing and returning to Las Vegas, NV, this 100-mile journey is suitable for families with kids as young as nine. For details see: https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip
Other adventures from Western River Expeditions include:
Utah’s Cataract Canyon Classic 4 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 4-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 2 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This spectacular 4-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. A flight returns guests to Moab over Canyonlands.
Cataract Canyon Express 2 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 2-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 1 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This faster-paced 2-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. Large whitewater rapids are a big part of this adventure!
Upper Grand Canyon 6 or 7 Day: Trips starting June 14 and later are currently scheduled to operate. Select trips June through September have limited availability. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 6 & 7 Day Expeditions. The upper 188 miles of the Grand Canyon offer some of the largest whitewater rapids in North America and a plethora of side canyon attractions.
Lower Grand Canyon 4 Day with Bar Ten Ranch: We plan to operate all 4 day departures from June 21st through September. Limited space is available on select departures in 2020. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 3-4 Day Expeditions. Adding one day and a night at the Bar Ten Ranch before dropping into the 3-day river expedition is a popular way to extend your Grand Canyon experience.
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 it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the one of largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
Providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, Western River Expedition 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 sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
In 2020, take the kids
on an alternative spring break that will bring classroom learning to life.
Discover art and history or wildlife and nature on board a CroisiEurope cruise. From the
historical seaside cities of Rochefort and La Rochelle in France’s Aquitaine
Region to Africa’s diverse flora and fauna, there’s a new adventure for every
type of traveler waiting to be discovered.
Travelers who book a
2020 cruise before November 30, 2019 can receive a discount of up to 5% off per
person, per trip with the special code: EARBOOUS.
Travel to the ends of the earth in South Africa: From Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, discover incredible wildlife, take in the breathtaking scenery, and indulge in local flavors of Africa. Prices for this 9-day trip begin at $7,315 per person.
Bangkok, Thailand – Backyard Travel, a boutique private tour operator specializing in tours around Asia, introduced a new family-friendly adventure through magical Siem Reap.
The seven-day Cambodia with Kids tour introduces young explorers and their families to the wonders of ancient Khmer civilization, and the bucolic landscapes that surround Siem Reap.
The journey begins at Angkor Wat, where a private tour gives kids a close-up view of its elaborate Hindu carvings and lets them explore its hidden chambers and halls. Angkor expeditions continue with a walking temple trek that loops around Angkor Thom and the iconic Bayon Temple, with stops at the Terrace of the Elephants and the Pool of Ablutions.
Adventures continue outside of Angkor, with a cycling tour through rice-paddy countryside and a trip to the Tonle Sap lake for lunch in a local stilt house. In Banteay Chhmar, families get to experience village life with a homestay, and learn traditional rice farming, fishing and beekeeping.
On return to Siem Reap, families can enjoy some free time to rest or explore, or choose an optional activity such as zip lining, horse riding, or quad-bike riding. The tour ends on an acrobatic note with a performance by Phare, The Cambodia Circus.
Reap is a perfect destination for families,” says Backyard Travel General
Manager Trystan Trestchenkoff, “It’s got exciting ancient history,
hands-on cultural activities and a whole host of experiences that specifically
cater to younger travelers. Pair this with Backyard Travel’s years of
experience creating dedicated family tours and you’ve got an unforgettable trip
for guests of all ages.”