DESTINATION GUIDES

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
THAILAND
SEE EUROPE
BY RIVER
SWISS ALPS

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Follow in Charles Darwin’s footsteps and explore one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Prepare to see sea lions, iguanas, albatross and thousands of floral species on these remote volcanic islands. Only four of the eighteen islands are inhabited by people - if you’d like to see all eighteen, a cruise is the best way to do so.

 

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT:

The Galápagos are a year-round destination, with peak season for visitors from June through September and December through mid-January. Island access and the number of visitors is monitored daily, so you’ll never experience or feel crowded. The best diving and snorkeling is in December. April is a beautiful time to visit as colorful flowers are abloom all over the island and adorable newborn sea lion pups are abundant.

 

MEMORIES TO MAKE:

  • Save an afternoon to volunteer with the Charles Darwin Research Center and make a positive impact with local conservation efforts during your vacation.

  • Take photos with largest living species of turtles at Rancho Primicias. They can live up to 170 years and weigh almost 1,000 pounds!

 

THINGS TO DO:

  • Visit the Twin Craters on Santa Cruz

  • Walk through tunnels made of cooled lava near Bellavista

  • Snorkel with sea lions

 

CULINARY DELIGHTS:

  • Local lobster and various ceviches

  • Puerto Ayora Fish Market for dinner

 

VIP TRAVELER TIPS:

  • Check your pockets and backpacks before you set out for the day - food is not allowed while touring the islands.

  • During the sixteenth century, pirates introduced the first destructive species - goats! They quickly became feral and are still a serious problem today.

THAILAND

Start off your complete cultural immersion in Bangkok before moving on to see emerald forests, misty mountains, and some of the best beaches and diving in the world. Thailand has so much to offer, from adventurous treks through the jungle to majestic Buddhist temples and international museums and hip art scenes.

 

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT:

The best time to visit Thailand is during the cool season (November through February), as opposed to the hot or rainy seasons. If your schedule doesn’t allow for this, the rainy monsoon season is still pleasant, with long spells of sunshine in between the heavy rains.

 

MEMORIES TO MAKE: 

  • Release an airborne lantern or floan an offering to the river spirits during Loy Kratong.

  • Cheer on your favorite pachyderm in the annual Surin Elephant Round-Up, when 300 tame animals play games and demonstrate their skills like painting and hula-hooping

 

THINGS TO DO:

  • Spend a day volunteering to feed and bathe old, sick and disabled rescued elephants

  • Observe the monks’ morning chanting ritual

  • Explore the Mahasawat canal on a private boat

 

CULINARY DELIGHTS: 

  • Take a private cooking class with a local chef and bring your expertise on crafting traditional Thai dishes back home with you. 

  • Indulge in Ko Chang’s famous fresh crab, squid, and fish.

 

VIP TRAVELER TIPS:

  • Climb the 300 steps to a golden temple and learn the legend behind the white elephant shrine.

  • Have a traditional Thai massage in a Buddhist temple.

SEE EUROPE BY RIVER

Visit seven countries in ten days - and only unpack your suitcase once! Spend your days exploring some of the world's most beautiful cities and your nights in luxurious accommodations. River cruises truly offer something for every type of traveler: history, cultural immersion, local foods, and active exploring, like biking to your next port.

 

Best time of year to visit: Late August and early September have mild, agreeable weather and the most favorable water levels. Plus, you'll miss the summer crowds. Of course if you'd like to shop the famous Christmas Markets, plan to go in November or December.

 

MEMORIES TO MAKE: 

  • Test your skills on a family scavenger hunt in the Louvre 

  • Cheer on your favorites at a castle jousting tournament in Slovakia

 

THINGS TO DO:

  • Take part in crafting your own local souvenirs like hand painted clogs in Holland or a feathered mask in Italy

  • Feed the famous dancing horses at Vienna's Spanish Riding School

 

CULINARY DELIGHTS: 

  • Have a private dinner in a centuries old castle along the Rhine

  • Hone your cooking skills in various classes offered onboard - make authentic strudels, pasta and more

 

VIP TRAVELER TIPS:

  • Extend your vacation on land in cities along your cruise or an entirely different part of Europe

  • Arrange for nightly destination keepsakes on your childrens' pillows at turndown

SWISS ALPS

Whether you prefer powdery slopes, afternoon hiking, or simply taking in the colorful scenery by car or train, you'll find something to fall in love with when you visit the Swiss Alps. The quaint towns and charming locals will leave you in a laid back state of mind.

 

Best time of year to visit: March is best for skiing, while mid-June offers great hiking weather with fewer tourists. Nature is amazingly beautiful in early to mid-October. 

 

MEMORIES TO MAKE: 

  • Visit the world's oldest truss bridge - Chapel Bridge in Lucerne that was built in 1333

  • Visit the almost perfectly symmetrical Matterhorn and enjoy views from a train ride; if you're feeling brave plan for a ten day trek

 

THINGS TO DO:

  • Visit the almost perfectly preserved Thun Castle, built at the end of the 12th century; it holds one of the only Knights' Halls remaining from the Middle Ages

  • Savor the lush handcrafted chocolates at luxury candy boutique Max Chocolatier

 

CULINARY DELIGHTS: 

  • In addition to fondue, branch out and try Käseschnitte (or croûte au fromage), raclette with boiled potatoes, Alpine mac & cheese....how many ways can you experience cheese during your visit?

  • Try out an Alp specialty - charcoal grilled meats or customize an enormous charcuterie board after a long day on the slopes

 

VIP TRAVELER TIPS:

  • If you want to après with the locals I have just the spot - stay warm with heat lamps & fur blankets while a popular Cuban-born bartender keeps your glass Veuve bubbling

  • Stop outside Zermatt for an Instagram-worthy photo with a flock of Valais Blacknose sheep