Demand for international routes has been “surprisingly strong” given the circumstances, says Air Canada, but if Canada doesn’t reciprocate global entry privileges soon, we could see more ...
NEW YORK — Intrepid Travel is going big in 2020, with over 100 new tours for a total of 1,000-plus itineraries and 13,000 departures.
This, says the company, represents 11% growth from 2019, with a wide range of itineraries that focus on everything from ‘dark tourism’ to culturally-immersive festivals, all of which utilize local guides, accommodations and businesses to provide real-life experiences in a responsible manner.
New destinations have also been added to the B-Corp certified company, including Sudan and Scotland. And with the launch of a new program of sustainable small-group Antarctica expeditions on the newly refurbished Ocean Endeavour, Intrepid will officially become a seven-continent operator.
Here are some highlights for 2020:
• Greenland: After U.S. President Trump expressed interest in buying Greenland, Intrepid has seen a huge spike in interest for its new 2020 ‘Greenland Expedition’, which highlights the local Inuit culture and the famed Ilulissat Ice Fjord.
• Ukraine & Chernobyl: The new ‘Highlights of Ukraine’ trip taps into the dark tourism trend with visits to the Chernobyl disaster site. Additional new trips to Ukraine include a journey through all of Eastern Europe, and 20- and 13-day itineraries that cover Moldova, Ukraine and Romania.
• Japan: Travellers can get a head start exploring Japan before it hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics with a trekking trip along the ancient trails of Koya-san and Kumano Kodo. Alternatively, cold-weather lovers can tour Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, on a trip that includes dog sledding, ice bars and whiskey distilleries.
• Turkey: Despite political concerns, Turkey remains one of Intrepid’s fastest growing destinations, with four new itineraries available in 2020 to meet demand. Travellers can island hop on a coastal cruise, explore the country’s history on ‘Turkey Uncovered’, discover hidden gems on ‘Turkey’s Backroads’ and double the adventure with the ‘Turkey and Georgia’ tour.
• Africa: Intrepid Travel is encouraging travellers to head to coastal West Africa, where they can explore the rich wetlands of Senegal and Gambia, or learn about the misunderstood Voodoo religion in Benin, Togo and Ghana.
• Cultural Festival Trips: Travellers can experience the ‘Gaining Firedance Festival’ with a local village in Papua New Guinea, samba their way through Rio’s Carnival, marvel over the many colours of Holi in Rajasthan, and celebrate Mardi Gras from the back of a float.
• Trekking trips: These trips are gaining in popularity, says Intrepid, which has scoped out new and rugged routes around the world. These unique hikes and climbs include traversing the Transcaucasian Trail in Armenia, trekking from Portugal to Spain on the coastal Camino Trail, and climbing the summits of Simien Mountain National Park in Ethiopia.