Tag Archives: galapagos
Are you an adventurer by heart? Sailed with a large cruise line and on the lookout for something a bit different? Try Un-Cruise! We recommend Un-Cruise Adventures to travelers seeking an entirely unique trip experience.
Our clients who have sailed with Un-Cruise have raved about their small ships and the cozy, casual vibe onboard. The cruise line stations seven boats in Alaska, Hawaii, the Sea of Cortez, the Columbia River and British Columbia–each of which invites fewer than 90 guests at any one time.
The crew are dedicated to providing an exceptional vacation, and onboard you may be joined by wildlife rangers, historians, actors, or lecturers that bring the destination to life. There are ample opportunities for kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, paddle boarding and cultural encounters.
Call Wittravel at 503-224-0180 to find out more on any one of Un-Cruise’s amazing trips:
Alaska: Explore Alaska’s Inside Passage and Glacier Bay on an unforgettable expedition.
Hawaii: Cruise among the islands of Moloka’i, Lana’i, Maui and Hawai’i on a 36-guest yacht.
Columbia River: Visit the Columbia river gorge and discover pioneer history roundtrip from Portland Oregon.
Sea of Cortes: Sail into a world of wildlife: whales, manta rays, sea turtles, pelicans and more roundtrip from San Jose del Cabo.
Galapagos: Venture out into the famed Galapagos Islands on a 9-night journey to eight islands and islets.
Last year, WIT Agent Linda sailed on an Un-cruise ship around Baja:
We stopped at 5 different deserted islands where we would snorkel, hike or enjoy water sports such as kayaking and paddle boarding. Out of La Paz, we were taken out to see the whale sharks…the world’s largest fish species with lengths of up to 46 feet and weighing up to 66,000 pounds! There is such a wonderful ambiance onboard and the crew will do anything for you. One guide tried to get me standing up on the paddle board one day – I couldn’t quite do it, due to the swells being too high, so enjoyed paddling on my knees, but she was so supportive and kind. Honestly, the entire crew was phenomenal and I felt so at home with all of them. I highly recommend Un-Cruise Expeditions.
Click here to read her whole trip report!
Or call 503-224-0180 to talk to Linda directly about her incredible trip!
How did you get into travel?
I grew up in the country near the Oregon coast, on a dead end road, with few neighbors. Books were my escape to exotic places. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, so I attended a business school for a travel and accounting course. My first job in a travel agency was in 1978, handwriting Pan Am tickets for their Hawaii tours. Next up was a full time position, selling air tickets (only 3 fares –remember Continental’s Chickenfeed fare?) all done via the phone, as there weren’t computers yet. Soon I was trusted to discuss Hawaii, Mexico, some cruises with clients. My first work trip was Amtrak to San Francisco, followed by a trip to Hawaii. I was hooked!
What’s your favorite trip/memories of travel?
I’ve been fortunate to have so many wonderful trips over the years, and there hasn’t been a destination that didn’t become my new favorite. Call me fickle! A travel consultant is ALWAYS on the job, so a favorite personal escape is Hawaii. It is exotic, only 5 hours away, and very welcoming. Memories? Galapagos and the crazy marine iguanas! Snorkeling in Fiji, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, Turks and Caicos. Holding a young wombat and rubbing her tummy. Driving in Western Australia while a lizard races me (and wins). Watching cattle dogs work in New Zealand. A cooking class in Vietnam. Getting lost in Provence and missing our train to Paris. A walking tour in Regensburg while on a Xmas Markets cruise with my daughter. Visiting New Orleans post-Katrina. Attending a party on the heli-pad of the Celebrity Eclipse. Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage.
What’s still on your bucket list?
Norwegian fjords in the winter, Argentina, safari somewhere in Africa, Kangaroo Island, Arctic, Myanmar, Black Sea, Ireland, Molokai. And if time, return visits to Galapagos, Alaska, Australia, Scotland, Fiji, and Panama Canal.
What’s one tip you always tell your clients?
Be sure to take your brain and your common sense on every trip, along with an open mind for impromptu new adventures!
This week we asked around the office for our agents’ top destinations for 2012, and here are some of our awesome picks:
The Cook Islands are situated between French Polynesia and Tonga, comprised of 15 islands. Summers (Nov-Apr) are warm with afternoon rains, and winters are cooler and dry. It is largely unspoiled, with pristine beaches, coral atolls, blue lagoons and white sands. With no high rise hotels and a culture firmly based in its roots—each island offers unique ways to relax and enjoy Polynesia. The visitor can enjoy a variety of activities, including swimming in resorts, visiting the famous Aitutaki Lagoon, snorkeling, scuba diving, mountain hiking or stopping for a shore excursion at Palmerston Atoll.
Since the fall of Soviet communism, the Baltic states—namely Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia—have slowly emerged as a major travel hub. Still under the American traveler’s radar, the capitals of Vilnius, Riga and Talinn still retain their refreshing and unspoiled vibe. With old world architecture, pastel colors, and rich cultural backgrounds, the people have been called welcoming and yet still an enigma. The Baltics are also relatively inexpensive for Europe, with boutique hotels running less than 150 USD per night and private tours available for a third of the price of their Western European equivalents. From the lively cities to the icy resorts on the Baltic Sea, there’s something for nature and culture lovers alike.
photo by xiquinhosilva
Turkey is a less expensive option to neighboring and popular Greece—but as equally worth your time due to its rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes—from mountains to beaches to ancient monuments and ruins. Depending on your travel tastes, spend your vacation wandering through bipolar cosmopolitan Istanbul, sunbathing on the Bodrum Peninsula, touring the fairy chimneys in Cappadocia, or unwinding in a steamy hamam. If you’re feeling more adventurous, we recommend exploring the uncharted deserts of Eastern Turkey, trekking through the Ottoman and Greek ruins, or hiking through Nemrut Dagi National Park. Above all, don’t miss the food—mouthwatering mezes, olives, kebabs, anchovies, baklava, and kanafeh (a sweet and delicious pastry). WIT works with a fantastic tour guide named Meli who provides fully escorted tours through incredible historical sites, hot springs, monasteries, and the gorgeous architectural wonders of the Aya Sophia and Topkapi Palace.
Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, but features a biodiversity unparalleled in the Western Hemisphere. For decades a top destination for nature lovers, the country features volcanoes, tropical forests, Pacific coast, indigenous markets, and unique wildlife. Most popular are the Galapagos Islands, barren but beautiful landscapes ripe with giant tortoises, penguins, marine iguanas and sea lions. Due to the fragility of the islands, tourists’ access is limited and must be accompanied by a park-certified tour guide.
European River Cruises
The European river cruise is a massively growing industry—not a destination, but a worthy travel experience in of itself. These cruises are often all-inclusive, allowing Americans to avoid high exchange rates by locking fares in dollars, and can include accommodations, remarkable scenery, meals from stellar chefs and occasionally shore excursions. The most popular routes are on the Douro River, the Rhone, the Rhine and the Danube. River boats travel at a leisurely pace of 5 mph, allowing travelers spectacular views of the countryside, vineyards, castles, and villages. They can accommodate from 200-300 passengers, and the tiniest barges as few as four—intimate yet never feeling claustrophobic Many ships offer deluxe cabins, or suites with balconies, and there is a small number of public rooms and plenty of deck space. Fall is a popular time to go—the time for grape harvesting, Oktoberfest brewing, and the polychromatic turning of the seasons.
USA National Parks
Summer is a time for parks, and no better place to check out wildlife than in America’s diverse and breathtaking national parks. The National Park Service protects 58 areas across America, so there’s no excuse not to find one for a hike! Lodges are already selling out in well-known destinations such as Bryce Canyon or Montana’s Glacier Park. In Oregon, check out Crater Lake, Fort Clatsop, John Day Fossil Beds, or the Oregon Caves—or hike a historical trail, such as the Lewis & Clark or Pacific Crest trails. Some of the tours WIT works with offer escorted park tours, like Tauck’s Southwestern canyon vacation or their Yosemite trail, both crafted by filmmaker Ken Burns.
Interested in traveling this year to a top destination? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 503.224.0180.