You might have heard us talk about this before, but one of the advantages to using a travel professional to plan your travel, is that we're able to leverage our relationships with our preferred travel providers to make sure that you get the best experience, the best pricing, added amenities and a trouble-free vacation. For the folks who are most likely to travel with us, that's a good thing--our clients are almost always looking for a travel experience that is unique, immersive and authentic.
A quick survey of some of our travel partners quickly reveals a trend: more and more our experts in travel are partnering with other organizations--anything from a media outlet to a private foundation--to offer specific itineraries that go above and beyond when it comes to providing cultural enrichment.
We're really excited about these partnerships, and once you hear about them, we think you'll be excited, too. So here, just to name a few, are some options from our preferred providers for you to consider.
1. The James Beard Foundation and Windstar Cruises
If you're a bona fide foodie, this just might be the perfect pairing. Windstar Cruises and the James Beard Foundation have partnered to bring you culinary experiences that are 180 degrees from ordinary. Through this program, Windstar works with James Beard to bring together some of the most talented chefs and sommeliers on themed cruises and in Windstar's dining program. Imagine dining on dishes created by not just one celebrity chef, but a list of all-stars with the likes of Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab), Evan Hanzcor (Egg), and Jose Mendin (Pubbelly Noodle Bar, Habitat, Baja Bao). Our themed cruises featuring James Beard Foundation chefs and beverage experts are a foodie’s dream, with chef demos, special beverage pairings, and market tours. And learn their secrets as you watch demos of their recipes on every sailing. Windstar is one of our preferred cruise lines, and we'd love to book you on a culinary adventure on a luxury yacht!
2. BBC Earth and Tauck
You've seen it on TV, now experience it in real life on one of Tauck's Earth Journeys, created by Tauck in collaboration with BBC Earth. From frozen worlds to tropical jungles, shallow seas to African plains, our planet is filled with unforgettable adventures in the most magical natural realms. Tauck and BBC Earth take you on a journey to discover what inspires the world’s greatest nature filmmakers. It's a backstage pass to experience the places, people, animals and stories of BBC’s landmark natural history series. Whether you're looking to go on a Mountain Gorilla Safari in Rwanda and Uganda, or would like to explore the Galápagos islands, these trips include hands-on use of field equipment to see how the BBC’s filmmakers reveal nature’s secrets, along with bespoke videos created for each destination, and educational touches. You'll have a fresh perspective on our planet, and we'd love to send you on one of these trips!
3. Discovery Channel/Animal Planet and Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises, another of our preferred cruise lines, has partnered with Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to provide truly unique opportunities to immerse yourself in the destinations you'll visit. Discovery Channel and Animal Planet shore excursions--available only through Princess--are available at each port-of-call. But Discovery has also created educational programs for kids who are cruising, and families can all enjoy their Stargazing at Sea program, where you can have an interactive guided tour of the night sky with an expert. Oh, and if you're obsessed with Shark Week, well, there are specific select special Shark Week sailings this year, in honor of the 30th Anniversary of Discovery's most awesome (and terrifying) tradition.
4. National Geographic and G Adventures
National Geographic Journeys, with our preferred adventure travel provider G Adventure, has a collection of unique tours designed to take you deeper into the cultures and habitats of the places you'll explore. They offer more inclusions, greater hands-on exploration, interactions with local experts, and the freedom to roam, all within the structure and security of traveling in a small group. If there's a destination that's on your radar, but you're really not sure how best to experience it, you can have the perfect mix of comfort and genuine cultural interaction on one of these trips. Traveling with National Geographic Journeys gives you the ideal combination of fun, rawness, and exploration with flexibility, convenience, and the occasional indulgence. Want to experience G Adventures award-winning Inca Trail itineraries? Or explore Israel and Jordan? Morocco? India and Nepal? A Canadian polar bear experience? This is definitely the way to do any of those trips--and so many others!
5. O, The Oprah Winfrey Magazine and Holland America Line
When Oprah Winfrey did her first cruise in collaboration with Holland America Line (another of our preferred cruise lines), it was big news! Since then, the partnership's been elevated, with Holland America Line and Oprah Magazine pairing the eye-opening wonder of travel with the soulful, inspiring content found in every issue of the magazine. It's part of a unified vision that invites guests to live their best lives. And you can do just that on one of the Oprah-branded (and sold out) 3 night "Girls Getaway" cruises, or one of the longer "Adventure of Your Life" itineraries, where you can experience the transformative power of travel with O-inspired activities and events on sailings that feature special appearances by thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and O, The Oprah Magazine editors.
6. Ken Burns and Tauck
If you're a fan of Ken Burns's documentary films and series, you know that Ken Burns and his longtime collaborator, Dayton Duncan, are America's premier storytellers. Well, Ken Burns has also collaborated with Tauck to craft specific itineraries that delve into American history in a way that's immersive and enriching. Whether you're looking to explore the National Parks of the American West, the History of New England and the northeast or the legacy of America's Civil War in the South, you'll find incredible deep dives into US History and Culture. But these trips aren't limited to domestic travel, Ken Burns and Tauck have also crafted a unique Vietnam itinerary, to explore the legacy of one of America's most difficult eras, from a different perspective.
7. America's Test Kitchen and Holland America
Oprah's not the only exciting partnership from Holland America, these days. One of the newest features on Holland America Line is America’s Test Kitchen programming, where guests can learn recipes and techniques for making delectable dishes, watch live cooking shows and attend hands-on workshops. And now, they're expanding the experience with select feature cruises. On these select sailings, guests will also have the opportunity to meet their favorite Test Kitchen celebrities, and other food experts connected with the show. Want to sail on one of these incredible foodie journeys? Let us know, we can send you there!