In business since 1980
Destinations on the edge (Azerbaijan, Colombia, and Yemen) share space in the Geographic Expeditions brochure with more popular locales like Costa Rica and New Zealand. Whether you're trekking around Nepal's 26,000-foot Mount Manaslu or taking an expedition cruise through the Northwest Passage, expect face time with archaeologists, dignitaries, journalists, and other local figures—plus five-star accommodations wherever possible.
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Geographic Expeditions is a proud founding member of the Adventure Collection, an alliance of ten of the world’s finest travel companies, committed to excellence, personal service, innovation, and enriching travel experiences around the world. Adventure Collection members actively embrace the following mission statement:
The Adventure Collection is committed to the cultural and environmental well-being of the places we visit. We follow scientifically supported on-the-ground and at-sea minimum-impact practices. We seek to create inspirational experiences for our travelers, and we partner with a wide array of nonprofit organizations that further these objectives.
Of course, it’s easy to say that we’re dedicated to conservation, eco-friendliness, fighting climate change, etc. The reality is more complicated and demanding, and we’re the first to acknowledge that bringing travelers to remote and not-so-remote places inevitably has local and global environmental and cultural impacts. But—and this is something to which we devote continual thought— we believe fervently that our trips provide meaningful and important ways for local communities and governments to create sustainable forms of development, which in turn relieves pressure on resources. Our more-than-a-quarter-of-a-century of experience has taught us that, when it’s intelligently done, travel is a net plus for the visitor and the visited alike.
Here are the major ways GeoEx enthusiastically puts into practice the strategic principles we developed with our Adventure Collection colleagues.
We’re big believers in walking the talk at home in order to be effective advocates for change abroad. GeoEx’s San Francisco office is located in the beautiful Presidio’s Thoreau Center for Sustainability. The Thoreau Center represents the cutting edge in sustainable architecture, recycling, energy conservation, volunteering, and public transportation. GeoEx also has a finely tuned direct-marketing program aimed at reducing the amount of unwanted and undelivered mail, and whenever possible, we print with soy inks and UV coatings on tree-free paper or high-quality recycled stock supplied by companies certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
works diligently with conservation organizations and our partners in
the field to develop practices that minimize our footprint and generate
meaningful contributions to local economies. We’re mindful that our
partners may have different conservation perspectives, and taking those
into careful consideration, we work with local people in developing
itineraries and routes; in selecting hotels, boats, and other
transportation; in choosing informed local guides; in educating our
travelers about local conditions and customs; and in adhering to
minimum-impact standards for all our tours, treks, and voyages.
Additionally, we partner with a variety of organizations to share best
practices. (For example, in 2007 we worked with Conservation
International to develop an international tour operator “best practices”
manual for travel to mountain areas.)
GeoEx supports a broad array of conservation, cultural resource protection, education, and health care organizations, including the Central Asian Institute, the Snow Leopard Trust, the American Himalayan Foundation, the Solar Electric Light Fund, and the Trust for Public Land.
Beginning in 2008, GeoEx ratcheted up our commitment to this somewhat beleaguered planet by pledging 1 percent of our net annual tour sales (as opposed to profits) to alternative energy technologies administered by the Climate Trust (www.climatetrust.org) as a way of offsetting the carbon footprint of our office, our marketing, and our trips. We also make a wide array of conservation, cultural resource protection, education, and health care grants to nonprofit initiatives in the areas we’re so privileged to visit.
The mantra is important and familiar: Keep abreast of global developments in conservation and sustainability. Act locally (and consistently). Cut down on waste, reuse, recycle, rethink priorities. Walk, run, bike, use public transportation, join a car pool. Put your talents to use with organizations trying to get the world on the right track. Vote. Think. Enjoy the world with loving care.
GeoEx provides all its travelers who contribute $250 or more to the Living Planet Trust (a donor-directed fund administered by the Tides Foundation of San Francisco) with a $250 travel voucher toward a future trip. These tax-deductible donations to the Living Planet Trust are dedicated to offsetting the carbon emissions generated by our travelers’ international air passage and to funding local initiatives in the destination the traveler just experienced. To donate to the Living Planet Trust, click here.
Jan Morris said it for us: “If you love something hotly enough, consciously, with care, it becomes yours by symbiosis, irrevocably.” The key word is care. And with love and care comes responsibility. We, like so many of our caring travelers, are dedicated to living up to our responsibilities to the places that have touched, inspired, and given us so much joy.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been a world leader in protecting wildlife and wildlife habitats for more than 40 years. We have worked with WWF hither and yon for many years and are staunch supporters of their mindful, effective work. (www.worldwildlife.org)
Under the super-charged leadership of our friend and longtime trip leader Dr. Robert Thurman, Tibet House has been a spearheading partisan for the preservation and presentation of Tibetan culture since 1987. Founded at the request of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet House sponsors exhibits, seminars, retreats, talks, and a myriad of Tibet-related programs. (www.tibethouse.org)
An organization with deep, passionately nurtured roots in Tibet and Nepal, the American Himalayan Foundation is a leading light in bringing human-scale health care, educational, cultural, and environmental benefits to the region. (www.himalayan-foundation.org)
Globio is a unique international children’s educational nonprofit that supports and develops sustainable biodiversity educational programs that use innovative technologies and community partnerships, empowering children to increase their skills, knowledge, and desire to create a biologically diverse and healthy environment. (www.globio.org)
Give2Asia is a U.S. nonprofit that facilitates personalized charitable giving to Asia. Through Give2Asia’s donor-advised services, you can commit your support to a specific issue, a particular town or region, or even an individual organization encountered on your trip. (www.give2asia.org)
Since 1965 World Monuments Fund (WMF) has been hard at work on conservation projects in more than 70 countries. We are great fans of WMF, the only private, nonprofit organization devoted to the conservation of historic art and architecture worldwide. (www.wmf.org)
The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature is an independent, voluntary organization devoted to the conservation of natural resources in Jordan under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Noor. It is one of the few voluntary organizations in the Middle East that has been given such a public service. (www.rscn.org.jo)
Founded in 1999, the Center for Khmer Studies is an international, nongovernmental, not-for-profit membership-based consortium of universities, organizations, and individuals dedicated to study and teaching of Khmer civilization and the cultures of the Mekong region. (www.khmerstudies.org)
Founded in 1959, under the auspices of UNESCO and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the Charles Darwin Foundation is dedicated to the conservation of the Galápagos ecosystems. The Foundation’s Charles Darwin Research Station, with a team of over 200 scientists, educators, volunteers, research students, and support staff, conducts a variety of research and environmental education programs. (www.darwinfoundation.org)
The Gobi Revival Fund is a new NGO that seeks to help the nomads of Mongolia’s Bayankhonogor region, in the heart of the Gobi, to recover their losses after recent droughts and harsh weather. Livestock grants, educational help in this remote area, and health initiatives are at the top of the Fund’s list. (Creating a web site will just have to wait a little longer; admirers can reach the Gobi Revival Fund via its founders’ e-mail: Genghisemail@example.com)
Established by Bhutan’s Queen Asi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk, the Tarayana Foundation (“Service from the Heart. Toward Gross National Happiness”) focuses on bringing health care to the kingdom’s remote towns, providing assistance to elderly villagers in need, and supporting the Folk Heritage Museum in Thimphu, which has done much to keep artisan skills alive and well. For more info, visit their web site: tarayanafoundation.org.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a highly effective nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places. Since 1972, TPL has worked with willing landowners, community groups, and national, state, and local agencies to complete more than 2,700 land conservation projects in 46 states, protecting nearly 2 million acres. (www.tpl.org)
Chennai International Airport, Chennai, Tamil Nadu for 15 Days from $7,950* per person
Provider: Geographic Expeditions
There isn’t a real India any more than there is a real U.S. of A. But if there were, it would be in the south. Relatively unruffled by the waves of invasion that swept through and transformed the north, the south is the repository of the Dravidian culture that underlies the Indian reality.We begin in Tamil Nadu’s Chennai (formerly known as Madras) and drive to Mamallapuram, the City of Seven Pagodas, “a largesse of spirit and stone,” Louis MacNiece called… more
National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime 2010/2011
Bangalore, India for 15 Days from $7,950* per person
Provider: Geographic Expeditions
Another crossing of India’s cultural heartland, this time beginning in the mid-south at Karnataka’s Bangalore, whence we fly north to Hubli and the nearby World Heritage Site of Hampi, capital of the Vijayanagar kings, who dominated southern India from 1336 to 1565, when they went the way of all empires. Next to Chikmagalur, once a major hill station of the Raj, now a beautiful coffee-growing area. We’ll make an excursion over to the fine, fresco-decorated temples at Belur and Halebid,… more
Airport near Amman, Jordan for 9 Days from $4,410* per person
Provider: Geographic Expeditions
On this journey, we travel from Amman to the evocative Desert Castles of Qasr Kharana, Azraq, and the World Heritage Site Qasr Amra, getting a refreshing look at the transcontinental avian crossroads of the Azraq Wetlands along the way. Then to the unexpectedly lush Ajlun Forest Reserve for some serene walking in its oak, pine, carob, wild pistachio, and wild strawberry trees. And on to Mount Nebo, and Petra, the astounding city carved from living rock, surely one of the… more
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