Posts tagged with "national parks"

Artwork by Kaelen of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Tasmania’s Great Eastern Drive: An Epic Australian Road Trip

Tasmania’s east coast boasts abundant natural beauty, stunning landscapes, and gorgeous sandy beaches. Taking a road trip along the Great Eastern Drive is one of the best ways to explore the coast, which spans an impressive 176 kilometers. While you can take all the time you want to explore this route, it can also be completed in as little as one weekend.

Drive in comfort

Living up to its name, the Great Eastern Drive involves plenty of driving. A reliable and spacious car is therefore a must to keep you comfortable on your trip. In particular, drivers commonly rate SUVs as practical vehicles with expansive interiors and roomy trunks. You’ll have plenty of legroom to stretch out your legs, as well as space to keep your belongings and luggage. You’ll also need to pack enough water and snacks to keep you hydrated and well-fueled on the road. Bananas and nuts can provide great energy boosts when your energy levels start to dip. Also be sure to bring sunglasses: having the sun in your eyes while driving can cause headaches. Tinted sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh glare. 

Begin in Hobart

Your road trip kicks off in Hobart: Tasmania’s capital city. From here, you’ll drive north on the Tasman Highway while enjoying the expansive scenic views. It’ll take you about an hour to arrive in Triabunna, a charming small coastal town surrounded by beaches, hills and forests. Make time to sample the locally-caught fish and chips before taking the ferry to Maria Island (only half an hour away). You can explore the beautiful and peaceful island’s hiking trails, as well as go swimming, scuba diving or snorkeling. When you’re ready, catch the ferry back to mainland Orford, another nearby small village. Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants before unwinding for the night in your hotel room. 

Exploring Orford and Swansea

Start the next day with a hike in Wielangta Forest — the Three Thumbs track is a 2-hour, 4-kilometre loop that passes through dry eucalyptus forest and temperate rainforest. Exploring Three Thumbs is well worth the effort: you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views over Maria Island, Orford, and Spring Bay. Next up on your road trip, you’ll drive to Freycinet Peninsula, a large peninsula overflowing with natural beauty, including pink granite mountain ranges. Here you can enjoy a number of water sports in Wineglass Bay (think swimming, diving and surfing). If bird-watching is more your thing, head to the Moulting Lagoon wetlands and keep an eye out for the beautiful native pelicans and black swans.

If you have the time, don’t end your road trip before exploring Freycinet National Park — Tasmania’s oldest national park. It has a number of hiking trails of varying lengths, which will give you sweeping views over Wineglass Bay. If you’re lucky, you’ll also spot some of the local wildlife like honeyeaters, black cockatoos, yellow wattlebirds, white-bellied sea eagles, and dolphins.

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Post-Vaccination Adventures

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May – two months earlier than previously thought – is promising news for travelers. Precautions will still need to be taken, of course, but domestic travel is likely to be popular again this summer, highlighted by national parks, active trips and travel where physical distancing is possible. Here are six dream vacations to take this summer once you’ve gotten your shots.

 

1. Long-Weekend Cycling: Adventure Cycling Association is offering a new collection of long-weekend tours close metropolitan areas to make it easy to give bike travel a try. Options include taking in the crisp mountain air and stunning vistas while cycling around the stunning Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, or leaving behind the hustle and bustle of New York City to bike up the Hudson River valley and visit peaceful state parks. To learn more, visit this website

 

2. Greater Yellowstone Adventures: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish in a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking at Big Sky Resort, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of Yellowstone. To learn more, visit this website.

 

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. To learn more, visit this website.  

 

4. Channel Your Inner Cowboy: “Yellowstone,” the wildly popular cable television series starring Kevin Costner, has sparked newfound interest in luxury dude ranch vacations. Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, has experienced a surge of guests booking five-figure vacations because of their love for the series. Guests stay in fully-stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. To learn more, visit this website.

 

5. Idaho Hot Springs, Camping and Cycling: Escape Adventures is excited to offer a multiday cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most scenic natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of transfixing road rides – including over the highest paved road in the American Northwest – colorful mining towns, wild rivers and remote natural hot springs. To learn more, visit this website.

 

6. Retreat to a Teton Tiny House: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort is Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s most innovative take on resort town lodging. The resort embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. To learn more, visit this website.

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 MagazinePost Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

Fireside Resort. Post Vaccination Adventure Image by Sublime Public Relations courtesy of Adam York for 360 Magazine

First Jewish American Heritage National Park Made Law

Yesterday marks a significant win in the decades-long effort to recognize and celebrate the philanthropic legacy of Julius Rosenwald and his impact on American democratic equality.  With the president’s signing of the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools Act of 2020, a process begins that would lead to the establishment of the first National Park Service site to honor a Jewish American and celebrate the contribution of a Jewish American to our society, while preserving a selection of iconic Rosenwald Schools.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation first highlighted the threatened natureof the Rosenwald legacy by placing Rosenwald Schools on its 11 Most Endangered Historic Places List in 2002. The National Trust supported the preservation of Rosenwald Schools for many years, providing workshops, conferences, and technical assistance – including a publication: the Grassroots Guide to Preserving Rosenwald Schools.

The heightened awareness created by the endangered list designation and Rosenwald Schools initiative  ultimately led to a partnership between the National Trust, the Campaign to Create the Julius Rosenwald and Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park, and the National Parks Conservation Association, which together collaborated to achieve the successful enactment of the Julius Rosenwald and the Rosenwald Schools Act of 2020 (H.R.3250).  Within this effort the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund established a grant fund that has provided over $2.5 million in matching grants to advance Rosenwald School preservation, including planning, engineering studies, architectural plans, archaeology, research, and rehabilitation.

“Rosenwald Schools unearth a fascinating and true history of African American activism, achievement, and resilience in the United States,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.  “Their permanent preservation and interpretation broadens our understanding of the civil rights fight for equality in twentieth century America and the enduring power of interracial cooperation.”

BACKGROUND
Born in 1862 in Springfield, Illinois not far from the residence of then President Abraham Lincoln, Julius Rosenwald made his fortune as co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company. His own parents, however, had fled persecution in Germany in the late 1900s, and he began to channel his experience of hatred and bigotry into the creation of the Rosenwald School Fund, which had a lasting impact on education in America.  A prominent philanthropist, Rosenwald joined the board of esteemed black educator Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute in 1912.  Together, these two champions of social justice, one a former slave and the other a first-generation American refugee from persecution, used architecture and innovation to address the crisis in education facing Black families across the South.

Between 1917 and 1932, the Rosenwald School Fund, working in partnership with local Black communities, helped to finance the construction of more than 5300 state-of-the-art school buildings for community and academic use.  The schools served as a lifeline for students and educators whose progress was held back by the separate and unequal school system that ruled the Jim Crow South.  By 1928, one-third of the South’s rural African American school children and teachers were educated in Rosenwald Schools.  Notable former students include poet and activist Maya Angelou and the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), among many notable others.

“History shows us,” Leggs continued, “that countless ordinary citizens were the vanguards of collective action and human innovation.  These stories and landmarks serve as a testament to our progress, and they remind us that our work is not complete.”

Passage of the bill was a multi-year effort, but yesterday it was signed into law.  The legislation,  sponsored by Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) and Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), directs the Department of the Interior to conduct a special resources study of sites associated with the life and legacy of Julius Rosenwald, with a special focus on Rosenwald Schools and determine how they might be designated as a new unit within the National Park System.  Once established, the Rosenwald park unit would become the first of over 420 National Park Service sites to honor the life and contributions of a Jewish American.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.  http://savingplaces.org | @savingplaces

About the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, the JPB Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism. Visit http://www.savingplaces.org/actionfund

Tree illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

USDA Forest Service Reflects on 2020

Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, the USDA Forest Service today announced it surpassed goals and set records in 2020.

“2020 was a challenging year, with record wildland fire activity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the Forest Service, we have risen above these challenges and set our minds, hands and hearts to carrying out our mission to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen.

The Forest Service relied on its strong science, innovation and partnerships to overcome this year’s challenges as the agency found new solutions to serve the public during a time of unprecedented need.

Creating healthy, productive forests and supporting rural economies

In 2020, the Forest Service provided jobs and stability for local economies through a year of historic timber production, selling more than 3.2 billion board feet of timber, the second-highest level in 20 years. The agency also improved forest conditions and reduced wildfire risk on over 2.65 million acres, removing hazardous fuels like dead and downed trees, and combating disease, insect and invasive species infestations.

The Forest Service undertook a suite of regulatory reforms to meet the goals of the Secretarial Memorandum to the Chief of the Forest Service modernize and align agency directives with new legislative authorities and reduce regulatory burdens. By the end of December 2020, the Forest Service will have nearly completed all guidance to implement new legislative authorities in the 2018 Farm Bill. In addition, Forest officials quickly began implementing President Trump’s Great American Outdoors Act to increase access to national forests and grasslands and make progress towards reducing the agency’s $5 billion infrastructure backlog.

Managing wildfire, and providing for health and safety

The Forest Service was successful in prioritizing early suppression of wildfire ignitions while facing a record-breaking fire year, with the most acres burned on national forests since 1910. The agency’s modeling research on how COVID-19 may spread between firefighters or in communities during response efforts led to new interagency safety protocols to better support fire camp management.  The protocols not only successfully minimized the spread of COVID-19 among the agency’s 10,000 firefighters, but early learning suggests the safety measures resulted in additional health benefits to fire crews, reducing ailments common in fire camps, which translated to a healthier and more resilient firefighting workforce available to protect lives, homes, and communities threatened by wildfire.

Sharing stewardship responsibilities and being better neighbors

The Forest Service made significant strides toward Shared Stewardship this year, working more closely than ever with Tribes, States, and local partners to make sure the right work happens in the right place at the right time. So far, 44 states and territories are now involved in a Stewardship Agreement. The agreements allow the Forest Service to employ the latest tools and share decision making on the highest priorities to improve forest conditions across broad landscapes. These new agreements have resulted in increasing resiliency of forests, protection of communities and reduction of wildfire risks. They have also produced jobs and stabilize economies.

Increasing access and improving recreation experiences

This year, Americans sought out their public lands in tremendous numbers, finding relief in the Great Outdoors, showing us once again how public lands unite our nation. In response, the Forest Service generated solutions to ensure visitors had every opportunity to safely use and enjoy their national forests and grasslands during the pandemic. The Forest Service welcomed record-breaking numbers of visitors, many of whom were first time users, with 95% expressing satisfaction with their experiences.

“Next year, we will continue to build on these successes to improve conditions on America’s national forests and grasslands to ensure they are healthier, more resilient and more productive,” added Chief Christiansen. We will keep building on the partnerships that make these successes possible and commit to increasing access to better connect people to their natural resources, so these national treasures endure for generations to come.”

For more information about the Forest Service visit www.fs.usda.gov

Xanterra Travel Collection Sale

As COVID-19 regulations ease, many are wondering where to travel. Of course, it needs to be a special destination and it never hurts to get a good deal.  Luckily, you can find all of that at xanterra.com/week-of-wanderlust-sale.

The Xanterra Travel Collection, an award-winning globally diversified travel company offering unforgettable experiences in some of the most Beautiful Places on Earth®, Week of Wanderlust Sale will happen from July 3-9, 2020. This year’s sale also features generous cancellation policies so travelers can book now with confidence and travel when they’re ready.

National Parks

  • The Oasis at Death Valley: 30% off hotel stays at the beautifully renovated historic AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Death Valley and newly revitalized, family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley. Valid for select overnight stays between Oct.1, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021 for the Inn at Death Valley and July 10, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021 for the Ranch at Death Valley.
  • Grand Canyon South Rim: 30% off in-park lodging at Maswik Lodge North, Thunderbird Lodge, Kachina Lodge, Bright Angel Lodge, and 20% off the crown jewel, El Tovar during select dates July 10, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021 and Oct. 15 to March 1, 2021. The lodges are either in or within walking distance to the Historic District and rim of the Grand Canyon that includes Lookout Studio and Hopi House.
  • Zion National Park: 30% off overnight stays inside the park at Zion National Park Lodge on select dates between Nov. 2, 2020 and March 5, 2021.
  • Cedar Creek Lodge, the gateway to Glacier National Park: 30% off room rates on select dates from Aug. 16, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
  • The Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel (Williams, AZ): 30% off train tickets on one of America’s great train rides within steps of the Grand Canyon’s fabled South Rim. Up to 30% off on overnight stays at The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, AZ where the trains begins for select dates between July 10, 2020 to March 1, 2021.
  • The Grand Hotel (just outside of Grand Canyon National Park): 30% off daily rates at the only AAA Three-Diamond hotel near the Grand Canyon in Tusayan (just one mile from the South Rim entrance) on select dates between July 10, 2020 and March 1, 2021.

Luxury Five-Star Hotels

  • The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO:  A special golf package with rates starting as low as $595 per night. Package Includes: Classic accommodations per night (upgrade options available), unlimited golf for each person each night of the package (includes cart, weather permitting), personal locker, club storage and range balls. Suites available at 25% off of published rates.
  • Sea Island, Georgia on the Georgia coast – 25% off stays from Aug. 2-Dec. 26, 2020 at The Cloister or The Lodge (excluding Lodge Cottages). Booked online only.

Luxury Yacht-Like Cruises

  • Windstar Cruises – NOW is the best time to plan an unforgettable cruise with some of the best savings of the year. Windstar’s fleet features six ships with fewer than 300 guests per ship, you’ll experience more of what you travel to see, in private yacht-style. Plan ahead for 2021 with these incredible fares and see how Windstar makes your voyage 180 degrees from ordinary. Destinations include Tahiti, Iceland, Europe, The Mediterranean Sea and The Caribbean, and more.

Guided Travel/Tours (Bikes, walking and more)

  • VBT  – European Bicycling Tours: Get a group of your family or friends together to take the ultimate small-group biking vacation. Receive the cash equivalent of one free trip with a group of 11 people for Guided Biking Vacations.
  • Country Walkers – Worldwide Walking & Hiking Adventures: Travel with your own group of family or friends of 14 on a Fully-Guided Adventure or 17 on a Flex-Guided Adventure and receive a thank-you check of $100 per group member. Travel with a group of 8 or more on a Self-Guided Adventure and receive a thank-you check of $100 per group member.

Holiday Vacations

  • Save $500 per person on the 2021 Wonders of Australia, $500 on the 2021 Holland in Bloom, or $250 per person on a 2021 Glacier, Yellowstone & Grand Tetons tour.

For a complete list and to take advantage of Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliates’ Week of Wanderlust offers, visit xanterra.com/week-of-wanderlust-sale/.

Door County, Wisconsin, Travel, Food, Geiger PR, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Outdoor Adventures for Your Next Vacation

There’s nothing like quality vacation time to help you recharge and enjoy the important things in life. While it’s the perfect chance to disconnect and catch up on your rest, it’s also a great opportunity to add some adventure to your life. The truth is, most people long for exciting and meaningful experiences, but it can be difficult to find them in the day to day. If you’re preparing for an upcoming trip, take advantage of the journey and try something new and exhilarating. Whether it’s a family getaway or adults only, there are plenty of outdoor adventures you can choose from to broaden your horizons.

White Water Rafting

If you’re looking for an exciting activity that’s great for exploring nature while working as a team, white water rafting can be a great choice. It works well for groups of practically every size, whether you’re going alone or want to bring several friends or family members along for the ride. While most people assume you need to be a good swimmer to stay safe with this kind of activity, there are actually several levels of intensity to choose from. As long as you work with a company of highly trained professionals who provide quality safety gear, being a strong swimmer isn’t necessary to enjoy the adventure. However, many locations offer more relaxed options for those who are looking to float over gentler waters so they can take in the sights.

Ziplining

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush with a bird’s eye view, Denver ziplining is a unique and exciting experience for adventure lovers. A series of cables are suspended, usually over scenic locations, from forests and rivers to mountains and cliffs. Participants travel along the cable through the air from one base to the next while experiencing the beauty of the outdoors from an entirely new perspective. Some locations even offer nighttime packages so you can explore under the stars. Most trips usually last between two and three hours and some courses are open to children as young as four or five. However, the age requirements and duration will vary based on location and company, so be sure to check ahead before you book a package.

Camping and Hiking

For a more accessible approach to trying something new, camping and hiking are great options for the entire family and virtually every age. To keep things exciting, find parks and campgrounds with unique options, like treehouse cabins, beach grounds or even dark-sky zones for the best view of the stars. While you can plan your own hiking trip, consider hiring a guide to take you off the beaten path for a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether you choose a location with historic significance or scenic waterfalls, a professional can help you get the best views while pointing out unique flora and fauna along the way. If you do desire to plan your own itinerary, be sure you research the local guidelines and make the necessary safety precautions, especially when traveling alone or in small groups.

Water Sports

Whether you’re traveling to the coast or visiting a lakefront destination, water sports are a great way to add some extra fun to your vacation. From kayaking and paddleboarding to jet skis and sailboats, playing on the water is a rare treat for most people, so take advantage of it if you’re vacationing nearby. If you want to relax, enjoy a casual lunch and take a swim, renting a pontoon boat is a great option. However, if you’re looking for an extra adrenaline rush, give parasailing a try. 

As you plan your next vacation, why not add an outdoor adventure to your itinerary? There’s something for every age, interest and group size out there, so give something new a try. You can enjoy a unique experience while creating life-long memories.

Austin Adventures: Family Appreciation Month

Through hard work and dedication to the details, Austin Adventures has grown to be the #1 Family Adventure company in the country. For over 35 years they have been taking families to the national parks of the West as well as special places around the globe. As a two-generation, owned and operated active travel company, family travel is in their DNA.

For the second year in a row, Austin Adventures is dedicating the entire month of March to “Family Appreciation,” with special incentives and giveaways, plus an interactive child & parent “Take a National Park Vacation” webinar that all ages will want to attend.

“Between work, school, athletic and social schedules, planning and scheduling a family vacation has never been more challenging, often to the point of missing the opportunity all together to create lasting bonds and memories within the family,” explains Dan Austin, company president and founder. “Austin Adventures is fully committed to helping anyway we can. Our goal is to take the stress out of vacation planning and then deliver an experience second-to-none.”

On Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019 at 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT Austin Adventures invites kids and parents to a live webinar focused on helping families (especially the kids) with their vacation planning. Anyone considering a small group vacation tour now or in the future is encouraged to attend. For information and to register click here.

The seminar will be hosted by Kasey Austin, Outside Magazine 2014 Family Guide of the Year. Making a cameo appearance will be Dan Austin, company visionary and travel industry legend. Together, The Austin Family has set the bar for family adventure travel for decades, so much so, they are often referred to as “the First Family of Adventure Travel.”

During this informal and informative webinar focused on the younger generation, Kasey will offer tips and insights on planning and visiting America’s National Parks along with other popular family destinations.

As an incentive to register and attend, every family that participates will receive a coupon worth $250 off their next Austin Adventures family vacation. Plus, all participating kids (age 6-12) whose parents end up booking a 2019 family national park adventure will receive a logo-embossed backpack (on Day 1 of the trip) packed full of swag (logo water bottle, trip journal, field guide, hacky sack, stickers and more).

“I had so much fun sharing my passion for our National Parks last year, I couldn’t wait to do it all again this year. Sharing the parks with the next generation of adventurer really is my passion. I am looking forward to sharing what we know and have learned from our 35+ years of taking families deep into our national parks,” said Kasey Austin.

“Dan and I will draw from our own experiences and help families with real time information that can assist them in making the most of a park vacation, whether with us or on their own. There will be a follow-up email survey as well as ample time for questions and answers.”

The webinar will help Austin Adventures kick-off their second annual “Family Appreciation” Month. Dedicated to celebrating and encouraging family vacations worldwide, this observance comes on the heels of the company’s 2nd wildly successful “Alumni Appreciation” month held in December, 2018. Throughout the month there will be dedicated e-newsletters and blogs on family travel, special incentives, travel agent promotions and for extended families, an offer of a free trip for one guest in groups of ten or more booked.

To assist in vacation planning, Austin Adventures also offers a free Insider’s Guide to Planning the Perfect Family Adventure. See: http://www.austinadventures.com/free-family-travel-guide/.

Austin Adventures has led the field when it comes to family adventures (twice being acknowledged by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the #1 Tour and Family Tour Operator in the World). For 2019, there are over 40 family adventures planned across the globe. Here is a sampling of some of the more popular National Park itineraries on the current Austin Adventures roster. All adult rates are per person, double occupancy.

Grand Canyon National Park: 6-days/5-nights from $2,998; children from $2,398.

Alaska- Kenai Fjords National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,698; children from $3,328.

Bryce & Zion National Parks: 6 days/5 nights from $2,798; children from $2,518.

Yellowstone National Park:  6 days/5 nights from $2,898; children from $2,318.

Grand Teton National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,298; children from $2,968.

Yosemite National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,698; children from $2,958.

Glacier National Park: 6 days/5 nights from $3,298; children from $2,638.

South Dakota – Black Hills (Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monuments / Wind Cave NP): 6 days/5 nights from $2,898; children from $2,318.

Banff to Jasper National Parks 6 days/5 nights from $3,098; children from $2,478.

About Austin Adventures
Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent over 35 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multi-sport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. They have been acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure Magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Awards along with other national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures has perfected the art of creating itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, incredible guides and exhilarating activities, all while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution, all backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee.

Natural Habitat Adventures Takes Stand Against Alaska’s Proposed Pebble Mine

Southwest Alaska is now ground zero in a conservation crisis. A massive open-pit gold and copper mine is slated for development inside the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed, home to two national parks, a national wildlife refuge, a state park and countless acres of sensitive and pristine roadless terrain. As a global leader in conservation tourism, Natural Habitat Adventures is taking a stand against this dramatic insult upon the environment, wildlife and Alaskan communities. Together with Alaska’s fishing industry, Native communities and more than 200,000 World Wildlife Fund supporters, Natural Habitat Adventures encourages opposition to the Pebble Mine’s environmental impacts and the destruction of Alaska’s pristine habitats, inviting signatures to WWF’s petition here.

A Continuing Standoff

A fight against the proposed Pebble Mine has raged for nearly two decades, following the discovery of the rich mineral deposit near Katmai National Park. Prospects looked positive for protecting this sensitive environment in 2014 when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama Administration deemed this heavy metal mining project too risky to consider further.

But the EPA under the current administration has reversed course, reopening the permitting process and charging the Army Corps of Engineers with preparing an Environmental Impact Statement that will aid regulators reviewing the permit application. The outlook for Bristol Bay and Katmai National Park, where Natural Habitat Adventures leads trips to view coastal brown bears, has become precarious. As the Trump Administration pushes the Pebble Mine agenda forward, the possibility grows for approval of a massive mining operation that would mar a vast tract of untouched wilderness and two of Bristol Bay’s prime river systems.

A Destructive Impact

The proposed industrial site would be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and consume more land than the area of Manhattan. It lies within an active earthquake zone. And it would harm one of the most productive marine ecosystems on the planet—including the world’s largest wild salmon fishery, which produces 46 percent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon harvest alone and provides income for 31 Alaska Native villages and more than 12,000 jobs for fisherman and processors—a $5.4 billion annual industry.

In addition to the footprint of the mine itself, multiple landscape-altering transportation systems would traverse pristine wilderness that provides critical habitat for wildlife, including thousands of bears and millions of wild salmon, and sustains ecosystem health for Alaska Natives who have relied on natural resources in this region for centuries. Other wildlife that depends on this unique environment include bald eagles and 189 other bird species, seals, walrus, pacific right whales, beluga whales, rainbow trout, and more than 40 other species of terrestrial mammals such as moose, wolves and others.

The Pebble project will cause irreparable harm to this vulnerable ecosystem. In addition to tailings and toxic water pollution on site, the injuries include an 80-mile-long road crossing more than 200 streams and penetrating the most productive brown bear habitat on Earth, a year-round icebreaking ferry running across Lake Iliamna, and a large industrial airstrip and port that includes a 4.2-mile dredged corridor through some of ¬¬the world’s most unmarred and productive marine ecosystems. A new road would pass within a mile of the McNeil River State Game Refuge and Sanctuary, currently the undisturbed home of one of Alaska’s densest concentrations of large mammals, including the largest congregation of brown bears anywhere on the planet.

Join the Opposition: Stop Pebble Mine—Make Your Voice Heard by June 29

Time is running out to help protect the brown bears, salmon and other abundant wildlife of Southwest Alaska. The public comment period for the Pebble Project Environmental Impact Statement ends after June 29, 2018, making it critical to voice concern about the Pebble Mine before the end of the month.

Join Natural Habitat Adventures and WWF’s joint opposition to the Pebble Mine by sharing your specific concerns about the project with the Army Corps today. Precise, detailed comments hold the most weight.

Cruising in Alaska

AdventureSmith Announces What’s New In Small Ship Cruising in Alaska for 2018- Including the Longest Season and Most Capacity Ever

 

There’s a lot of exciting news coming out of Alaska for the upcoming 2018 small ship cruise season. The experts at AdventureSmith Explorations have just announced the following. The 2018 expedition cruise season in Alaska will begin earlier than ever, an increased number of vessels will now be navigating Alaskan waters, there will be increased opportunities for exploring Glacier Bay National Park and more multi-sport options for active cruise adventures will be offered.

“Instead of waiting until Memorial Day to enjoy the experience of a small ship adventure in Alaska, guests will be excited to learn that they can sail as early as mid-April of 2018. This longer season adds a full month to take advantage of traditional early season savings,” noted Todd Smith, Founder/President of AdventureSmith Explorations.

Longer Season & Savings

Historically small expedition vessels begin plying cruise routes in Alaska in mid-May; however next year the first Alaska sailing of the season is set for April 14, 2018, aboard Wilderness Adventurer’s new Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise route. (Note: for real early birds, some positioning cruises from Seattle will sail as early as April 7, 2018.) A major benefit of cruising in April will be opportunities to see more wildlife. Sightings usually differ from spring into summer as do cruise rates. In the spring, moose, wolves and bears with cubs are active along with these 2018 savings:

  • Select April and May cruises aboard the Wilderness & Safari small ship fleet are $400 off per couple when booked by Dec. 15, 2017.
  • Select May sailings of Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness offer free airfare when booked by Dec. 30, 2017.
  • Select April and May Treasures of the Inside Passage departures sailing from Seattle to Alaska offer free one-way airfare when booked by Dec 31, 2017.
  • Select May and June land-based trips on the Kenai Peninsula and/or exploring Denali National Park offer a per person savings of up to $650.


Expanded Small Ship Inventory

Helping to expand the overall Alaska small ship passenger capacity is the returning 88-guest S.S. Legacy, a replica turn-of-the-century coastal steamer which features a dance floor, full bar and a new complement of adventure equipment for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. There will also be more charter options with the addition of the 8-guest Golden Eagle and its Golden Eagle Custom Alaska Cruise to the Alaska Charters inventory. These small ships join the popular 100-guest National Geographic Quest whose inaugural 2017 Alaska voyages sold out. Her sister ship, the 100-guest National Geographic Venture, is under construction and currently scheduled to sail Alaskan waters in 2018. AdventureSmith Explorations will release further news on the Venture as her cabins become available for booking.

More Ways to Explore Glacier Bay

New Glacier Bay National Park permit allocations opened the door for AdventureSmith Explorations and its partners to create for 2018 more itineraries exploring the park.

  • The new 8-day Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise aboard the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer spends three days exploring the park.
  • A new 15-day Alaska’s Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise between Seattle and Juneau (northbound in spring, southbound in fall) allocates one full day inside Glacier Bay. The selection of small ships for this cruise ranges from 36 to 88 guests.
  • The 8-guest Westward spends four days in the park on a special 10-day alternative itinerary round-trip from Juneau on May 19, 2018.
  • A new 11-day Alaska’s Frontier & Wilderness Quest itinerary aboard the 74-guest Chichagof Dream on June 3 and June 13, 2018, extends the classic Glacier Bay & Island Adventure journey to include two days in Glacier Bay and includes excursions north up the Lynn Canal to Skagway and down the Inside Passage south to Wrangell.
  • A new 18-day Great National Parks of Alaska journey by sea and land explores Glacier Bay, Kenai Fjords and Denali national parks via the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer and wilderness lodges. The first of the 13 departures is set for May 26, 2018, and the season’s final is Aug. 18, 2018.


More Multisport Options

Small ships have always been base camps for adventure, but AdventureSmith Explorations is reporting even more adventure options on board, and ashore, for the coming 2018 cruise season. A new 8-day Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers itinerary aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavour or the 88-guest replica steamer S.S. Legacy includes river rafting and biking in Haines. The S.S. Legacy has been newly outfitted with kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and skiffs. A new 9-day Alaska Yacht: Bears, Bergs & Bushwhacking aboard the 22-guest Safari Quest offers guests the included activities of flightseeing or charter fishing in Petersburg before they embark the ship.

For a full listing of all the various adventure options in Alaska, by sea and by land, see: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/alaska. For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide including itineraries, availability and reservations, please call 1-877-620-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.

About AdventureSmith Explorations – Think Outside the Boat!

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, in 2012 owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious World’s Top Travel Specialists List as the leading expert on small ship expeditions.

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Austin Adventures

Three Women-Only Multi-Sport Itineraries New from Austin Adventures in 2018

An award-winning adventure company, Austin Adventures, is tapping a nationally recognized, award-winning female guide to facilitate and lead three brand-new, action-packed itineraries created for women-only in 2018.

These journeys through wild and challenging landscapes of national parks in North America and in Costa Rica are designed to address a growing demand for women-only adventure travel, said Kasey Austin, Lead Guide and Vice President of Operations for Austin Adventures. As the designated host and facilitator for these new programs, she will bring to each trip her leadership and inspirational skills that include, among others, the annual training of each of Austin Adventures’ guides. Included in her many accomplishments, Outside Magazine recognized Kasey as the World’s Top Family Guide in 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Montana in Missoula where she was distinguished as a Presidential Leadership Scholar.

Women-only travel is on the rise according to industry expert Marybeth Bond, author of The Gutsy Traveler. “Whether we are single or married, career women or stay-at-home moms, traveling with other women is empowering. Statistics show that 75% of all those who take cultural, adventure or nature trips are women,” Bond reports. Furthermore, “…24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years, and 39 percent of American women plan on taking one in the next three years. Women are traveling to more exotic destinations, doing more adventurous activities and increasingly traveling alone.”

Kasey Austin concurs. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen a trend in everyday women taking on the world of adventure travel by storm. There’s nothing more empowering than taking a trip with other like-minded women who challenge you to push just beyond your comfort zone,” Austin said. “Women used to be portrayed as delicate figures who booked a spa vacation with the ladies for a week. Now they are looking to challenge themselves and their friends by pushing their limits together.”

Suitable for women age 16 and older, the new line-up of Austin Adventures’ women-only trips include:

Costa Rica – Tortuguero to Cahuita National Park, March 17-25, 2018: Over nine active days, women kayak the canals of Tortuguero National Park, paddle class II-IV rapids of the Pacuare River, rappel thundering waterfalls, zip line through canopies, snorkel in Caluita National Park and bike along the beach in Puerta Viejo. The per person double rate is from $3,498. For more information see:

http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/costa-rica-tortuguero-to-cahuita/

Utah – Bryce Canyon & Zion, May 20-25, 2018: For six days in the heady landscape of other-worldly rock formations capped with pure air and star-filled nights, women bike and hike together while being treated to one breath-taking view after another. The per person double rate is from $2,798. For more information see:

http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/utah-brycezion/

Glacier National Park Vacation Package, July 1-6, 2018: Over six days women cozy up to what the Native Americans call “Shining Mountains,” a region close to the heart of Kasey Austin and her company that has roots deep in this Montana soil. Ladies hike backcountry trails, raft the unspoiled waters of the Flathead, bike and even cruise by train through the mountainous scenes of the premier UNESCO World Heritage Site of northwestern Montana. The per person double rate is from $3,198. For more information see: http://www.austinadventures.com/packages/montana-glacier-np/

“I am the biggest advocate for girls ‘getting after it’ and proving they can do anything the boys can do when it comes to adventure. My goal is to get women hooked on adventure by overcoming obstacles like Angel’s Landing in Zion or biking over Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier, together!” she added.

All itineraries provide, among others, double occupancy rooms with private baths, all breakfasts, most lunches and dinners, the services of an all-female crew of guides, including Kasey Austin, and of knowledgeable local partners, vehicle support and land transportation during the trip, Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags, and pre-departure and packing information. See: http://info.austinadventures.com/women-only-adventures.

Exhilarating outdoor adventures that blend with cultural interactions are intrinsic to other new itineraries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Austin Adventures’ close-to-home programs continue to embrace US and Canadian national parks. See: http://www.austinadventures.com/new-2018-departures/.

To help plan, Austin Adventures’ 2018 catalog is now out and available upon request. Please order ONLINE or call 1.800.575.1540. For a full roster of 2018 trips please visit http://www.austinadventures.com, call (800) 575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com.

About Austin Adventures

Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent more than 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. Creative itineraries feature exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, Austin Adventures offers customized trip planning and a money-back satisfaction guarantee