There are a lot of myths about sailing the high seas. Some people think you need to know the nautical names of every sheet (sorry, ropey thing) and smell of seaweed all day, others reckon you can only do it on a giant cruise ship with four cinemas and a pants-exploding buffet station.
When sailing in Europe, you have to slap yourself every once in a while to make sure you haven’t stumbled into a cliché. Lying on a warm deck, with the waves of the Mediterranean lapping against the hull and the cliff-top villages of Amalfi drifting past the starboard bow, it can all get a little surreal.
The term ‘trip of a lifetime’ gets bandied about a lot these days, possibly too freely, but for Lee Bethune travelling to the Galapagos Islands lived up to the expectations that comes with such an assured claim…
“Over 1000km west of the mainland of Ecuador, I thought there would have to be something special and there was… it was the Galapagos Islands.
Having recently returned from a trip around Turkey, I feel somewhat qualified to discuss the merits of this spectacular Eurasian land. And let me tell you, spending two days on a boat cruising along the Mediterranean is definitely what any self-respecting traveller would define as a ‘merit’.
Sometimes in life, we’re lucky enough to do things that absolutely knock our socks off. Some of these things are adrenaline inducing, some are emotionally overwhelming and some are spectacularly relaxing. The aforementioned boat experience falls into the latter category. But you knew that already, right?
March 20 is proclaimed as the UN International Day of Happiness. The day recognises the importance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of people everywhere.
It was inspired by the country of Bhutan and their political philosophy of prioritising and measuring happiness amongst their people, over income.
Intrepid trips have always been designed to be as planet friendly as possible – using public transport where we can, staying in smaller locally owned and operated accommodation where available, buying local produce and carefully managing precious resources such as energy and water.
And since 2010, the majority of our trips are carbon offset – this means we measure the carbon emissions from the transport, accommodation and waste generated and contribute to emissions reduction programs ‘balancing out’ these emissions.
Just imagine the Galapagos…with no majestic giant tortoise, no quizzical looking blue footed boobies, no sea lions taking over the park benches on the water front, or no dinosaur-like marine iguanas sun-baking on the rocks.
It’s a scary thought – but if not for one action 50 years ago, that’s how the Galapagos Islands could be now.
Hot off the press are Intrepid’s new Polar brochures, packed full of more Antarctica and Arctic adventures than ever before. To research these fantastic trips, we sent our own Wendy Smith into the frozen wonderland of the great white continent…
“I had my first Polar experience in January when I joined the Sea Spirit for an 11-day Antarctic Explorer voyage and it blew my mind! I find myself struggling for words that adequately describe how beautiful it really is. The views from the deck of the ship were ethereal, otherworldly and like nothing I’ve seen on this earth.
As a holiday destination, we reckon the sea gets a bit of a rough deal.
Together with its buddies (lakes, rivers and bays), the ocean makes up 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Yet, when it comes to planning an adventure – the other 30 percent seems to get all the love.
So if you like to be near nice beaches, swimming pools and sea views, why not take that next step (or splash) and head for the high seas, low lakes and long rivers of the world on one of these epic aquatic adventures…