TORONTO — As part of its ongoing U.S. expansion, Intrepid Travel has launched a brand new tour in Southeast America that highlights West and Central African culture.
The trip, says the B Corp-certified tour operator, is designed to introduce new experiences that not only celebrate BIPOC cultures, but also provide a more diverse and inclusive perspective of the United States. Called ‘Charleston to Savannah: Exploring Gullah Geechee Culture,’ the six-day itinerary from Charleston to Savannah includes a tour of the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church, a sweet grass weaving workshop, a musical and dance performance in Beaufort, a seafood boil with locals, and Sunday worship service at one of Savannah’s Black churches.
The new tour is one of nearly 40 new trips Intrepid is launching in the U.S. this year, its most robust offering in the country since its inception over 30 years ago. Within these tours are several new BIPOC-centric experiences designed to help travellers see America through a move inclusive lens. The eight new experiences include:
- Native American river-to-table lunch in the Pacific Northwest (Portland to San Francisco Discovery): Travellers will head to Warm Springs, Oregon for a Native American culinary experience provided by a former tribe anthropologist and the founder of Salmon King Fisheries. This meal acknowledges salmon’s vital role in the history of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.
- Cajun and Creole cooking lesson (Tennessee Music Trail to New Orleans): Travellers will get a hands-on cooking lesson in Cajun and Creole cuisine at Deelightful Roux School of Cooking, the only African American woman-owned cooking school in New Orleans. The class will be led by Chef Dwynesha Lavigne, an award-winning baker who hosts a monthly baking demonstration at the world-renowned Southern Food and Beverage Museum.
- Backcountry hiking in Montana (Best of Montana): Travellers will visit the Badger-Two Medicine region, located at the intersection of the Blackfeet Reservation, Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Highlights include a traditional Native American lunch and a half-day hike with a local Blackfeet guide.
- Charleston Tour (Georgia History trail to Nashville and Best of the South: Atlanta to New Orleans): Local professor and author Damon Fordham will guide travellers on a special ‘Lost Stories of Black Charleston’ walking tour, sharing stories based on historical documents, oral histories and his own perspective as a Black Charlestonian.
- Learn about the Oglala Lakota People (South Dakota Lodge Stay): Travellers will spend a full day with an expert Lakota guide to visit Pine Ridge Town in South Dakota and tour the Heritage Center, which was one of the first cultural centers and museums located on an Indian reservation. Also included will be lunch at a Lakota-owned restaurant and a stop at Wounded Knee where a battle with U.S. soldiers killed hundreds of Lakota people in the late 1800s.
- Visit to the Whitney Plantation (Tennessee Music Trail to New Orleans, Best of the South: Atlanta to New Orleans, and Best of the South: Louisville to New Orleans): Travellers will join 2nd Line Tours, a Black-owned business committed to telling the true history of New Orleans, to learn about what life was like for those enslaved on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation.
- Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (South Dakota to Montana Parks Explorer): Travellers will join their Crow Nation Guide for a three-hour tour of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, and also traverse the battlefield and learn how Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors defeated the U.S. Army on the Greasy Grass at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.
Intrepid Travel launched its own dedicated American operations hub in 2021, Intrepid DMC North America, which has been increasingly focused on building more impactful relationships with BIPOC-owned businesses and suppliers to offer its travelers a broader range of experiences and perspectives.
According to Intrepid, each new highlighted activity could not have been possible without the collaboration and partnership of several BIPOC organizations and representatives, such as the National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative and representatives from the Crow Nation and Lakota tribes.
For more information go to www.intrepidtravel.com/united-states.