By Terry Dale, President and CEO, USTOA
Calling all thrill-seekers: want to get your adrenaline pumping on your next trip?
From swimming with sharks in Australia, dog mushing in Manitoba, and mountaineering in Antarctica to white water rafting in the Grand Canyon, kayaking the Alaska Fjords and rock climbing in Yosemite National Park, USTOA tour operator members offer a wide variety of adventurous experiences across the globe. Here are a few extraordinary expeditions to satisfy your wanderlust:
Swimming with whale sharks – which average 40 feet in length – on Down Under Answers’ “West Coast and Whale Sharks” itinerary will get any traveler’s blood pumping. Luckily for humans, whale sharks are filter feeders and completely harmless. Available May 1 through June 10, the time period each year when whale sharks visit the Ningaloo Reef in the north west coastal region of Western Australia for coral spawning, prices for this extraordinary 11-day adventure start at $3,499 per person based on double occupancy. www.duatravel.com
Guests on Grand American Adventures’ “Grand Canyon Rafting” itinerary will raft the entire length of the Grand Canyon, enjoying the thrill of up to class IV white water rapids. Other highlights include exploring gigantic caverns, emerald pools and waterfalls, camping on the banks of the Colorado River, hiking in side canyons and spotting soaring birdlife. It’s the ultimate outdoor adventure. This exhilarating eight-day journey is available April through September 2016 and 2017 from $3,079. www.grandamericanadventures.com
Inspiring explorers on Quark Expeditions’ 11- or 12-day “Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent” journey starts in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, and then navigates through the wilderness of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Adventure seekers can add an extra rush of adrenaline to their expedition with optional adventure activities such as camping, cross-country skiing, kayaking, mountaineering and stand-up paddleboarding. Available select dates November 2016 through March 2017, prices start at $5,995 per person. www.QuarkExpeditions.com
On “Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness,” an eight-day journey from Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, guests will kayak amidst coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers and majestic mountains. With six veteran naturalists, including a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, the journey will also introduce guests to an abundance of wildlife including humpback whales, orcas, Steller sea lions, bald eagles, mountain goats, bears and more. Available over a variety of dates May through August 2016, this once-in-a-lifetime experience is priced from $6,490 per person based on double occupancy. www.expeditions.com/alaska
Visit www.ustoa.tripwing.com to find your ideal vacation in the destination of your dreams.