To truly understand China, you’ve got to get out and meet it on its own terms, which is exactly what this 12-day trip through the country’s northern reaches delivers. Up here, you’ll get to the big stuff (the Great Wall, Xi’an’s Terracotta Army, Beijing) and lesser-known treasures that only the hardiest of travellers ever get to see: village life in Inner Mongolia, the amazing Yungang Buddhist Caves and the nearly 3,000-year-old city of Pingyao, to name just a few. North China: No tourists allowed!
Highlights: Envision ancient times at the Great Wall of China, live like a local in an Inner Mongolian ger, marvel at the Hanging Monastery of Datong, stare down the Terracotta Warriors, learn traditional Chinese painting in Pingyao
Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)
Decades after the fall of communism, the Baltic countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia remain a mystery to most travellers. We’re not complaining, though; more mystery means fewer crowds and an easier time getting to know these fantastic countries. Beginning in charming cobblestoned Vilnius and ending in St Petersburg, Russia’s cultural capital, this two-week trip gets to the very heart of the region. Get an up-close glimpse of Riga’s castles and art district, experience rural life in Estonia, and venture into the fortresses and medieval architecture of Tallinn before crossing into Russia by land. Make the Baltics your special travel secret.
Highlights: Explore the charming and enigmatic Baltic countries, ride a bike around the coastal dunes of Lithuania's Curonian Spit, picnic in beautiful Riga, live like a local on a farm in Estonia, wander through back alleys in St Petersburg
This is hardly a sleepy trip. Rather, this is the perfect 12-day adventure for sailing buffs that want to experience the blue waters of Australia, as well as off-road enthusiasts looking to explore via private 4x4s. We’ve got an exclusive beachside permanent tented camp to stay at on sandy Fraser Island, and once we’re north of Cairns, we’ll spend 3 days with Aborigines learning spearfishing in mangroves, amongst other things. While “dreamtime” is a mythology central to indigenous Australian society, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to be wide awake for this trip.
Highlights: Sleep under the stars at a remote cattle station, zip over dunes in a 4x4 on a remote sand island, sail from island to island through the Whitsundays on a maxi yacht, spearfish and cook what you catch with Aboriginals, make your own Aboriginal artwork, learn about life in remote communities with a local host.
Highlights of New Zealand (ONAC)
Two weeks is barely enough time to thoroughly explore your hometown, let alone a place as fascinating as New Zealand. For adventurers on a tight time-budget, this 15-day trip wraps up the must-dos of both islands with a nice little bow. Dig your own Jacuzzi in the sand on Hot Water Beach, hang with the Maori in a traditional village, walk the black sand beaches of Kaikoura, and get your adrenaline fix in Queenstown. Consider this your New Zealand Starter’s Kit.
Highlights: Dig your own hot tub in the sand, attend a Hangi in Rotorua, eat fish and chips on a black sand beach at sunset, let loose in Queenstown, cruise around the fjords of Milford Sound, travel famous scenic rail routes
Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)
|Trip||Length||Style||Service Level||Starting Price|
|Hidden China & Inner Mongolia (ACNC)||12 days||Classic||Basic||
|Baltics to St Petersburg (EXVS)||14 days||Classic||Standard||
|Queensland Sand, Sailing & Dreamtime (OAQE)||12 days||Yolo||Basic||
|Highlights of New Zealand (ONAC)||15 days||Classic||Standard||