Tag Archives: USTOA

USTOA Member Tour Companies Offer Wildlife Encounters Around the World

Sri Lanka is one of the destinations where intrepid travelers and animal lovers can join small group trips that contribute to conservation and protection of species © Sarah Falter/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –Observing animals in their habitats around the world can be a life changing experience for not just animal lovers but intrepid travelers of any age. Tour operator members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) are committed to offering wildlife-focused itineraries and small group trips that contribute to the conservation and protection of species, while offering access for travelers to learn from nature. 

“Explorers who are searching for enriching nature-based experiences need to look no further than our tour operator members, who offer sustainable wildlife experiences and open-air excursions from Thailand and Norway to Tanzania and Russia, and many more destinations around the globe,”said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. 

Wildlife itineraries offered by USTOA tour operators include:

  • Birdwatching in Costa Rica – The tailor-made 13-day itinerary from Audley Travel showcases Costa Rica’s pristine tropical forest trails and the tranquil cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota. Home to 448 species of birds, the trip offers a naturalist guide and a stay at the renowned birding lodge, Rancho Naturalista. Rates start at $5,410 per person. Find information on departures at www.audleytravel.com.
  • The Great Migration + Gorillas in the Wild – On a Gorilla Trek with Alexander + Roberts, guests will observe gorilla families living in the forested mountains of Rwanda. A hot air balloon adventure is available to watch zebra, gazelle, and more from above at the 5,700 square mile Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The twin lakes of Buerra and Ruhondo offer a variety of birdlife. Departure is available on September 20, 2021 starting at $12,499 per person. www.alexanderroberts.com
  • Exploring Russia’s Far East & Wrangel Island – A 13-day exploration with Lindblad Expeditions of the remote Siberian coastline reveals bird cliffs teeming with puffins and landscapes that are home to walrus and polar bears. Even grey whales can be spotted in their feeding grounds while cruising through the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Departures are available on August 3 and August 15, 2021, and August 7, 2022 starting at $17,830 per person. www.expeditions.com
  • Sri Lanka Expedition: Wilderness & Wildlife – AAA Club Adventures offers 12-days of nature in Sri Lanka. Guests will visit Project Orange Elephant, dedicated to sustainable farming practices and wildlife conservation, and stay at an eco-lodge in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve to see monkeys, big cats, and more in their tropical habitat. Departure is available on September 3, 2021 starting at $1,890. www.clubadventures.com
  • Intro to Spitsbergen: Fjords, Glaciers and Wildlife of Svalbard – Quark Expeditions’ 10-day journey through Spitsbergen, also known as the wildlife capital of the Arctic, showcases walruses, reindeer, polar bears, and more in their natural habitat. Guests will learn the history and geology of this remote land while traveling by ship. Departure is available June 12, 2021 starting at $7,495 per person. www.quarkexpeditions.com

Find all the wildlife itineraries offered by USTOA tour operators at www.ustoa.travelstride.com/trip-list/wildlife

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.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Women Travel the World With USTOA Tour Operators

smarTours’ seven-day, women-only tour through Iceland takes travelers through Reykjavik and Vik, with opportunities to see the Northern Lights and Iceland’s famous waterfalls
© Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) is highlighting women-focused itineraries offered by its tour operator members. Spanning the globe from Iceland to Ireland, Japan to Chile, each program offers small group, immersive experiences that allow guests to pursue a passion or check a box on their bucket list.

“USTOA tour operators have a collection of itineraries created by women, for women, that are packed with hands-on adventures and singular experiences. Each vacation provides much more than a traditional getaway, with opportunities to explore a new destination with like-minded travelers,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA.

The collection of small group, women-only trips in 2020 include:

Incredible Iceland with Northern Lights – smarTours’ seven-day, women-only tour through Iceland takes travelers through Reykjavik and Vik, with opportunities to see the Northern Lights, Seljalandsfoss & Skogafoss Waterfalls, and more. Departure is available on October 29 starting at $2,399 per person.

Authentic Ladies Tee Time – Authentic Vacations offers a nine-day tour of Ireland’s five-star golf courses, designed for a private group of women who are interested in golfing the Emerald Isle’s lush landscape, experiencing fine dining, and relaxing at spas. Private group tours are available starting at $3,248 per person.

Japan Zen – The Art of Simple Living – Perillo’s Learning Journeys’ 11-day women’s journey  explores Japanese culture in Tokyo and Kyoto, where guests will attend meditation sessions, stay in a traditional ryokan inn, and participate in sake tastings and cooking classes.Departure is available on May 31 starting at $5,475 per person.

Chile with Patagonia – SITA World Tours’ six-day, women-only adventure through Chile and Patagonia takes guests to Chile’s wine country in Casablanca and Curacavi and a day in Torres del Paine National Park, with trip extensions available to Easter Island and Buenos Aires. Departure is available on November 12 starting at 3,810 per person.

In addition to better access to attractions, activities and lodgings, a benefit of traveling with a well-established tour operator is the additional layer of safety and security and ability to respond to changing situations at the destination.

Find all the itineraries offered by USTOA tour operators at https://ustoa.stridetravel.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.

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

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

USTOA Tour Operators Offer Immersive Off-Season Itineraries to Portugal

Picturesque Porto, Portugal, on the Douro River. With an annual average of 3,000 hours of sunshine, this southern European country has idyllic scenery and outdoor opportunities year-round and USTOA member tour operators offer immersive itineraries. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –Portugal beckons travelers to its historic, cobblestone villages and pristine beaches in the fall and winter, when temperatures are mild and airfare is offered at value prices. With an annual average of 3,000 hours of sunshine, this southern European country offers idyllic scenery and outdoor opportunities year-round.

When comedian Harrison Greenbaum visits Lisbon, Portugal in the travel video series “Recalculating” he ventures off to the local coastal community of Trafaria to take a cooking lesson with a group of grandmas, meet a sea captain at the beach, and even learn a few new dance moves. Tour operators of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) create immersive, fulfilling experiences for destinations like Portugal throughout the year. 

Here’s a collection of itineraries for travelers looking to book a trip to Portugal in 2020:

Jewels of Portugal – Homeric Tours’ offers a five-day trip through Lisbon with tours of Sintra’s palaces and castles, a day at the Historic Centre of Évora, and visits to Jeronimo’s Monastery, Belem Tower, and more. Departures are available between January and October 2020, starting at $1,165 per person.

Portugal In Depth – Globus’ 11-day trip stops in Lisbon, Porto, Algarve, Tomar, Viseu, and Évora for exposure to the best of Portugal’s inland communities and coastal cities. Highlights include a visit to the Church of São Francisco in Porto, an olive oil tasting in Belmonte, and a stop at the 700-year-old University of Coimbra. Departures are available between April 2020 and October 2020, starting at $1,979 per person.

Treasures of Portugal – smarTours brings guests to a collection of historic landmarks in Portugal with visits to the medieval village of Marvão, the Cathedral of Évora, the Belém Riverside District in Lisbon, and the University of Coimbra. Departures are available between April and October 2020, starting at $2,199 per person including airfare.

Portugal & The Douro River Valley – YMT Vacations offers a seven-night cruise down the Douro River and a five-night land tour stretching from Lisbon to Porto. Guests will enjoy a port wine tasting in the Douro Valley’s wine region, a walk through the streets of Sintra and Óbidos, and a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima. Departure is available October 10, 2020, starting at $3,199 per person.

Into the Heart of Portugal – Scenic Tours USA Inc.’s 11-day luxury river cruise is hosted by a National Geographic expert and photographer. Activities include a festive flamenco performance in Salamanca, Spain, birdwatching in Porto’s wetlands, and practicing landscape photography in the Douro Valley vineyards. Departures are available between September 22 and October 2, 2020, starting at $7,395 per person. 

Other episodes of Recalculating take place in Whistler in British Colombia, New York’s Coney Island, Philadelphia, Mexico City and Slovenia. Watch them all by visiting  https://ustoa.com/recalculating

Find all Portugal itineraries by USTOA tour operators here.

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 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.

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

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

USTOA Tour Operators Venture to Lesser-Known Corners of the World in 2020

USTOA members bring travelers to less-trafficked places in the world, like cruising in Vietnam © Laini Miranda/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK –Each September, the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) celebrates Travel Together Month to showcase the unparalleled group travel experiences offered by USTOA tour operators. This year, USTOA is spotlighting new itineraries that lead travelers off-the-beaten path in 2020.

Travelers who explore relatively less-traveled destinations often experience fewer crowds, encounter more opportunities to immerse themselves in the local culture, and discover activities that are distinctly different.

“Traveling to the lesser-known corners of the earth supports the growth of emerging destinations while providing a richer and deeper understanding of local cultures and communities,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “Our tour operator members have been taking travelers to off-the-beaten-path places for decades and have an exciting array of new programs available in 2020 to explore.”

New USTOA tour operator itineraries for 2020 include:

Lithuania & Latvia: the Baltics – Cyclists can spin along the Baltic coast, take a private cruise to the Curonian Spit, and join a Lithuanian barbecue with VBT Bicycling Vacations. Departures are available between May and September 2020, starting at $3,095 per person.

Discover Ethiopia –Perillo’s Learning Journeys takes guests on a city tour of the capital, Addis Ababa, home to museums and open air markets, and on an exploration of Lalibela, a town in the Amhara region known for its distinctive rock-cut churches. Private group departures are available throughout 2020 starting at $3,890 per person.

Wukalina Walk – Travelers can take a guided, four-day adventure in Tasmania with Goway.com through Launceston while listening to the stories of this northeast region. Departures are available on Sundays through March 2020, starting at $1,609 per person.

Coastal Wonders of Norway, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland – Adventurers can visit Norway’s spectacular fjords, discover the Viking heritage in the Faroe Islands, and observe nesting seabirds on Iceland’s Látrabjarg cliffs with Lindblad Expeditions. Departure is June 18, 2020, starting at $17,160 per person.

Vietnam & Cambodia – Holiday Vacations takes travelers through these two neighboring Southeast Asia destinations with time for traditional cooking classes, museum visits, and boat cruises. Departures are available in March 2020, starting at $8,299 per person.

Bolivia & Chile’s Atacama Desert – International Expeditions takes guests through Bolivia’s dramatic landscape and wildlife, and to the turquoise lakes and red plains of the Atacama Desert in Chile. Departure is available May 9, 2020, starting at $10,698 per person.

UNESCO Banff National Park & The Rocky Mountaineer – Travelers can explore the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park, and Lake Louise by boat, rail, and a glass-domed car with Seabourn Cruises. Departures are available on select dates between June and September 2020, starting at $5,399 per person.

Find all the itineraries offered by USTOA tour operators at https://ustoa.com/dream-vacation

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 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.

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

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

USTOA Members Offer Travelers Access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites Around the Globe

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rapa Nui National Park (photo credit: Zegrahm Expeditions)
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rapa Nui National Park
(photo credit: Zegrahm Expeditions)

NEW YORK—Members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) offer travelers ease of access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the globe. From well-known sites such as Stonehenge and Victoria Falls, to unparalleled access to places like Iran’s historic cities of Pasargadae and Persepolis, USTOA members continue to recognize the importance of these sites and include them in packaged travel options for travelers across the world. UNESCO showcases and protects the world’s most cherished cultural and natural wonders while adding new World Heritage Sites to the prestigious list each year. This year’s World Heritage Committee decision to add 24 culturally significant sites brings the list total to 1,031 sites throughout 163 countries.

“By including UNESCO World Heritage Sites in their itineraries, USTOA members offer travelers a exceptional way to experience some of the world’s most fascinating and bucket list worthy sites,” said USTOA President and CEO Terry Dale. “Each year our members are excited to learn about new inductions and look for ways to include them in future expeditions.”

Following is a sample of USTOA member tour operators offering a chance to explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the globe.

  • Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island, is home to an impressive cultural landscape and intriguing Polynesian history. Zegrahm Expeditions offers explorers a 20-day journey from Tahiti to Easter Island to experience Rapa Nui National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, during its “Tahiti to Easter Island: Marquesas, Tuamotus & Pitcairns” trip. Travelers discover the shrines and ancient figures, known as moai, built by the Polynesian society who settled on Rapa Nui around 300 AD. This tropical vacation also offers stunning views of volcanoes and the chance to snorkel amid vibrant reefs. Available November 5, 2017 from $19,980 per person.
  • Alexander + Roberts is bringing travelers to Iran for unparalleled access to 11 of Iran’s 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the “Persian Moments Private” itinerary. During this 13-day private tour, guests will visit the only bazaar in the world recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as discover Pasargadae and Persepolis, cities of the Achaemenid Empire. Available in 2017 and 2018.
  • Guests on African Travel Inc.’s 10-day “Southern Explorer” tour will hike alongside the mighty Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Other highlights include dining in the home of a local Capetonian family, discovering breathtaking scenery at the Cape of Good Hope and searching for the “Big Five.” Available throughout 2016, prices start at $3,895 per person.
  • Adventures by Disney’s “Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Family Vacation” visits three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Angkor Archeological Park, the world’s largest religious monument; Luang Prabang, a town with rich architectural and artistic heritage; and Hoi An, an ancient trading port. Starting at $5,599 per person and available June through August 2016 with more departures in December, the adventure is rounded out by a Tuk-Tuk Temple Treasure Hunt, cooking class and an interactive experience with a Tai-Chi Master.
  • During Globus’ “The Best of Southern England” seven-day tour, guests get the chance to visit some of the most recognizable UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Stonehenge, the City of Bath, Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church. Historical and beautiful, this trip starts at $1,549 per person land only.

For further inspirations or to search for dream travel itineraries and destinations, visit www.ustoa.com/dream.

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

Representing more than $13.5 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow nearly 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.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures