Category Archives: Conscientious Traveler

Conscientious Traveler: Lindblad Expeditions

Welcome back to Conscientious Traveler–our monthly series in which we showcase a fantastic travel organization that supports humanitarian and/or environmental work. This month May is all about Lindblad Expeditions!

Lindblad Expeditions offers cruises emphasizing eco-tourism, adventure and conservation efforts around the globe. Travelers choose the cruise line for their on-ship education and intimate experiences with amazing wildlife and environments. They’ve partnered up with National Geographic to showcase earth-friendly destinations and projects around the globe.

Lindblad has raised more than $12 million to conversation initiatives worldwide. Projects cover everything from community development to ecological programs in Antarctica, Baja, Galapagos, Patagonia, Amazon and other areas around the globe.

Click here to read in-depth of all the donated programs!

Willamette Intl Travel has sent clients on Lindblad Expeditions for years now. Call now for an appointment to find out more! 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. 

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Filed under Conscientious Traveler, Lindblad Expeditions, Travel by Ship

Conscientious Traveler: G Adventures

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Welcome back to Conscientious Traveler–our monthly series in which we showcase a fantastic travel organization that supports humanitarian and/or environmental work. January is all about G Adventures!

It’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere, the perfect time to visit the Land Downunder and catch a glimpse of the Southern Cross! G Adventures hosts a variety of escorted tours (both luxury and backpacker-style) in Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and spectacular expeditions to Antarctica. Call Willamette Intl Travel (503-224-0180 | info@wittravel.com) to find out more about the fun and affordable tours G Adv that offers.

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G Adventures is also the founder and close partner of the Planeterra Foundation, a nonprofit designed to enrich communities touched by tourism in a sustainable way. G Adventures sees tourism as “a force for global good,” and we at Willamette Intl Travel agree. Though we’ve covered Planeterra on our blog before (way back in 2012!), we’re happy to feature them again!

Planeterra works directly with G Adventures to minimize harmful impact on destinations, promote economic growth and small local businesses, and ensure that all animals encountered on G Adv tours are treated humanely. They are working in over thirty projects empowering women, encouraging craft cooperatives, conserving cultures.

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In the “Oodles of Noodles” project in Hoi An, Vietnam, G Adventures works with STREETS International. This curriculum is a way for Vietnamese students to lead a noodle-making class with travelers, practicing their English and presentation skills.

In the “Moshi Mobile Mamas” project in Moshi, Tanzania, Planeterra works with a free and women-only business school. Their curriculum includes business management, accounting, and English, plus a seed fund for graduates to start their own business.

In the “Mayan Community Homestay,” in San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala, Planeterra works with the local communication in Lake Atitlan to develop a homestay program for travelers. They also promote local businesses centered around tourism including an art gallery, a medicinal shop, weaving co-ops, and a Temazcal steam bath.

Go to planeterra.org to find out more or to donate. There’s no question about it–G Adventures certainly is a Conscientious Traveler!

Thinking of going on a G Adventure? Call Willamette Intl Travel at 503-224-0180 or info@wittravel.com and we can get started on your adventure!

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Filed under Australia, Conscientious Traveler, Europe, G Adventures, New Zealand, Oceania

Conscientious Traveler: Bruce Mate (& Uncruise Adventures)

Baja (142)Welcome back to Conscientious Traveler–our monthly series in which we showcase a fantastic travel organization that supports the environment and wildlife. This month is all about Bruce Mate!

Call to all Potential Sailors: Join Bruce Mate — February 24, 2018!

Every year, Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute Director Bruce Mate and his wife Mary Lou lead a natural history trip down to Baja California. In 2018, he’s sailing back down to this area with UnCruise Adventures, joined by a team of interested individuals (such as yourself? read on!). Bruce has conducted marine mammal research since 1967, including determining the migration routes of sea lions along the west coast of the United States. He started in the Baja region with whale tagging work way back in 1979, and knows the area and its wildlife intimately. 

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So what makes 2018 so special?

YOU TOO can join Bruce Mate, whale expert, on that year’s annual sail down to Baja. Learn all about gray whales and whale sharks from one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading experts, all in the comfort and accessibility of a small cruise ship. We have fourteen open spaces left–can you fill one of them? Bring a friend or loved one, and fill two spaces! 

We already have 34 passengers confirmed to join him–but we still have 14 open spaces left! That’s in a ship that carries a total of 84 passengers. Call us up to join this rare, once in a lifetime cruise! 503-224-1080 or email info@wittravel.com for the details. Check out the on sailing on UnCruise Adventure’s website

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Need to Hear a Firsthand Experience?

WIT Agents Barbara and Racheal are now cruising with Uncruise Adventures down in Baja. We’re super excited for them and happy to hear all about it when they get back!

Missed our previous post about it? Click here.

Starting next week—when Barb and Racheal are back, you’ll be able to hear all about the cruise from a firsthand perspective!

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Filed under Conscientious Traveler, Cruises, Europe, Mexico, Travel by Ship, Un-Cruise

Conscientious Traveler: Goway

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Welcome back to Conscientious Traveler—our monthly series in which we showcase one of our fantastic partners with projects that support the environment, wildlife and local communities. This month, we feature Goway

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Goway is one of our favorite trusted vendors specializing in fully customizable trips around the world. We have worked with them for years organizing trips for our clients to Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Japan and more.

Goway has supported many foundations over the years, donating to causes that benefit local communities, cultures, wildlife and the environment. Here are just a handful:

tourismcareslogoTourism Cares. Goway participates in Tourism Cares initiatives that preserve and enrich the travel experience of travelers worldwide through giving back and volunteering.


logo_top_enChildren’s Wish Foundation of Canada.
A nonprofit that helps Canadian children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness realize their favorite dreams. In 2015 & 2016, Goway received a Valued Partner Award for their efforts to support Children’s Wish, and last summer raised $10,000 for one child’s wish at their annual fundraiser.

canadianbloodservicesenglishlogofinalcolourrgbCanadian Blood Services. Goway had their first annual blood drive last month, during which staff donated blood to the clinic.

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Wildlands Conservation Trust. Goway has made two sizable donations to the Trust’s “Looking out for Rhino” campaign, supporting the latest tracking technology fitted for rhinos.

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So you can combine Travel with a Good Cause! Call your agent at Willamette Intl Travel and let us arrange a remarkable journey for you! Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Asia, Australia, Cambodia, Conscientious Traveler, Goway, Laos, News

Conscientious Traveler: Celebrated Experiences

Welcome back to Conscientious Traveler—our monthly series in which we showcase one of our fantastic partners with projects that support the environment, wildlife and local communities. This month, we feature Celebrated Experiences.

Celebrated Experiences offers customized trips to England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. They curate perfect vacations with castles, boutique hotels, country hotels, small bed & breakfasts, and apartments (breakfast always included!). Itineraries can be highly personalized, with themes ranging from Gardens; Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Film Locations, History, Culinary, Genealogy — plus chaffeurs and guides.

Their team personally inspects each property they book, and they constantly review, add and drop properties, ensuring great stays for our clients. Their destination experts and entertaining guides have walked the villages and explored off-the-beaten path locales in order to anticipate each guest’s need and wish. They are a marvelous travel company and just celebrated their 25th Anniversary. 

Stay in a 12-Century castle in Tuscany, Italy

Wake up in Ballynahinch Castle in the heart of stunning Connemara, Ireland

Treat yourself at the luxurious, award-winning five-star Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Golf on its own private island near Loch Lomond in Scotland

Celebrated Experiences’ unique philanthropic program donates a dollar for every hotel room night! We at Willamette Intl Travel are proud to partner up with such great companies that take the time to give back. As 2016 was their most successful year ever, this year they are donating more than $23,500 to important causes!

Foundations include Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and The Alzheimer’s Foundation. They also donate $500 to the favorite cause of each member of their team, including:

  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • St. Jude Children’s Hospital
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Pediatric Cancer Foundation
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation
  • PAWS Atlanta
  • US Navy Memorial
  • Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary
  • Children’s Miracle Network  

Every little bit helps and no booking is too small!

Call Willamette Intl Travel to find out more about these exclusive properties: 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. 

 

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Filed under Accommodation, Conscientious Traveler, England, Europe, Family Travel, Ireland, Itinerary

The Conscientious Traveler Series: Napili Kai Beach Foundation

Welcome to the Conscientious Traveler! We hope all of our readers had a fantastic Fourth of July Weekend. CT is our blog series focusing on vendors with projects that support the environment, wildlife and local communities. In celebration of July 4th, this month’s Conscientious Traveler will feature a property closer to home: Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui, Hawaii.
 Today’s Highlight: the Napili Kai Beach Resort
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Napili Kai is one of the most popular properties for our clients on Maui Island. This low-key, low-rise hotel offers a quiet beach, tasty restaurant, friendly staff, unpretentious accommodations, and many activities that guests can enjoy around the resort. Take advantage of the two reefs with an afternoon of snorkeling. Just off the beach you’ll see butterflyfish, red sea urchins, coral, dragon eels, and green turtles munching on algae and seaweed. Spring for the oceanview—it’s always worth it!
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Napili Kai is proud of its Hawaiian heritage and makes an effort to teach and promote Polynesian culture. In the mornings, you can catch cultural demonstrations of lei-making, tapa cloth-dyeing, and palm-weaving. But on Tuesdays, the Napili Kai Foundation really gets to shine.
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The Napili Kai Foundation is a non-profit organization that teaches children ages 6-18 the dances, language, history, arts and crafts of Hawaii. It was established in 1966 and is now celebrating its 50th Year! Founded originally as a way to culturally enrich the lives of the children of the hotel’s employees, now the program has expanded to welcome all kids (keiki) to participate in educational excursions, experiential learning and performing arts, all for free.
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Kumu Hula Kathy Ralar leads the program, teaching the keiki how to dance hula and make crafts. As well as immersing into the local culture, they also learn to share their aloha spirit by performing every Tuesday on the Napili Kai Beach Resort property. Kids from all ages dress in costumes and wow guests with a variety of Tahitian, Samoan, Maori and Hawaiian traditional dances. This performance is certainly a highlight of any stay at the resort—so be sure not to miss it!
Also a must-see: the Masters of Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Concert, performed every Wednesday!
Feedback from our Clients the Butters: 
“My husband & I have visited Maui many times, we always stay on Kaanapali Beach in one of the big hotels. This time our incredible travel agent, from Willamette International Travel, suggested we would love to stay at Napili Kai Beach Resort. She was right!! It was fantastic. Lovely location, on Napili Bay, we could walk out to a grassy lawn, beautiful beach and calm ocean or sit on our balcony to watch the beautiful sunsets. We had a family studio unit with a well-equipped kitchen which allowed us to barbecue several times. I must say the community barbecues were the cleanest & the nicest we have ever found at a resort. also, there is an excellent restaurant on the property, The Sea House, which we dined at on three occasions during our stay. We will definitely plan on staying at Napili Kai Beach Resort on our next Maui visit.”
Most of our agents at Willamette Intl Travel have visited the Hawaiian Islands numerous times. Just a short flight from Portland, it remains one of the more popular destinations for our clients. Let us recommend the perfect hotel or condo for your stay in paradise. Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com. Aloha!
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A Hui Hou!
photos courtesy of Napili Kai and Nancy Fowler, WIT Agent and lifetime fan of Hawaii

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The Conscientious Traveler Series: Inka Terra Asociación

Welcome to The Conscientious Traveler!our blog series focusing on vendors with projects that support the environment, wildlife and local communities. Did you know that there are tons of opportunities to combine your love of travel with a good cause? In our series we highlight tour operators, hotels and tour guides who play such active roles in their community. 

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Today’s Highlight: the Inka Terra Asociación

Inka Terra is a Peru-based partner of Willamette Intl Travel and a pioneer in ecological research and conservation funded by tourism. They have a number of quality hotels in Cusco and Madre de Dios, which together host more than 200,000 travelers every year. 

Inka Terra’s nonprofit offshoot Inka Terra Asociación (ITA) is a far-reaching foundation that supports scientific research for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of the community. Since its establishment in 1978, ITA has devoted its efforts to the conservation of Peru’s biodiversity, encouraging scientific research in the Amazon rainforest, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and many more locales across the country. ITA believes that learning about ecosystem dynamics and key species leads to better conservation strategies and education. 

Principal among their projects are: 

  • The Andean Bear Rescue Center, which studies the only bear species native to the Southern Hemisphere. 
  • The Inkaterra Canopy Walkway, a hanging bridge system to study wildlife in the rainforest canopy.
  • The Cabo Blanco Technical Study to justify the creation of Peru’s first marine reserve in the tropical sea off Cabo Blanco. 

For more info, check out their website: http://www.inkaterra.com/inkaterra-asociacion-org/

Support by Spending a Night in Luxury at an Inka Terra Hotel

Willamette Intl Travel has had a lot of success for clients staying at one of Inka Terra’s five hotels. We’ve received rave reviews of their cabins and eco-guides. Patrons of the hotels really feel like they are contributing to ecological efforts. On their blog they keep a journal for wildlife sightings at their hotels: Sunbittern bird, Andean Spectacled Bears, Jaguar, Harpy Eagles, Puma, Tapir, Deer. Last year, legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog visited three of the properties as part of Inka Terra’s 40th Anniversary. Send us a message to learn more: info@wittravel.com or 503-224-0180. 

From the desk of our client Julie V., who stayed at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in 2014:

“…we were treated as royalty. What an incredible place. After our little orientation with nice, cool tea we were told that we were being upgraded to a suite. And…it was spectacular. The room was huge, the bathroom included an indoor or outdoor shower, and we had our own garden Jacuzzi. We checked into all the activities and signed up for the orchid tour, the evening tour with lanterns, and the spectacled bear visit. The first two we had that afternoon and evening and they were excellent. We enjoyed time just relaxing in our suite and tasting the Pisco that was included. Dinner at the restaurant that evening was one of the best ever. We had a delightful server that we are staying in contact with, as we want to follow her career. She is outstanding. 

The next morning we had arranged to take the Andean bear tour. These are endangered bears that are being kept on a part of the Inkaterra property to ultimately prepare them for returning to their habitat. While it wasn’t quite what we expected we were glad we had taken the tour and learned a great deal about these bears. Breakfast was next and it was delicious and I even got the recipe for their quinua (English quinoa) pancakes.

Suggestion: Anyone going to MP must stay at least one night at Inkaterra. It is almost indescribably wonderful, relaxing, and beautiful. Truly a must do.”

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Filed under Conscientious Traveler, Peru, South America, Travel by Holiday