Jan 102013
 

Is your New Year’s Resolution to travel somewhere special this year?  If so, we’ve got three amazing choices to tempt you with in 2013, and can also hint at the details of a February 2014 tour that is in the final stages of planning.

Choose any – or all – of these tours, and come join a special group of like-minded Travel Insiders, going to special places.

Dubrovnik, Croatia, where we spend two nights.

Dubrovnik, Croatia, where we spend two nights.

June :  Balkan Baltic Bucket List Tour

We’re very excited about this tour, which we’re offering for the first time in 2013.  It takes you through a kaleidoscopic series of different countries in the complex Balkans, then travels by train up from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, goes through the Baltic states and ends in Helsinki.

In total you’ll visit 17 different countries, and with optional pre and post tour extensions, you could easily go over 20 countries in total if that is your desire.

Due to the extended nature of this tour, we recognize not everyone will be able to enjoy the full 20 day experience.  We have split it into three suggested sub-sections, and, if that’s still not flexible enough, you are free to choose when and where to join the tour and when and where to leave the tour.

Please click here for lots of information about this tour.  Currently we have about ten people on this tour, so we’re almost at the point of reaching our ‘magic’ 12 person minimum to guarantee its operation.

Our 2012 group at a statue of Kim il Sung on a large farm complex.

Our 2012 group at a statue of Kim il Sung on a large farm complex.

September :  North Korea

After the outstanding success of our inaugural North Korean tour in 2012, we’ve managed to get arrangements in place to repeat the tour again in 2013.  To everyone’s surprise, five days in North Korea passed quickly and pleasantly, with some amazing and fascinating experiences.

The news has been full, the last week or so, of the visit to North Korea of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and former NM Governor Bill Richardson.  We can’t promise you’ll also meet the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, but we do hope that you’ll have better insights to share about this complex county upon your return than the simplistic and totally predictable comments offered by Messrs Schmidt and Richardson (we’re still wondering exactly what prompted them to go!).

Please click here for lots of information about this tour, and also a comprehensive photo-diary of last year’s tour.  The tour closed full last year, so don’t take too long to show your interest in joining.

A typical picture of me, souvenir mug of gluhwein in hand, at one of the lovely Christmas markets along the Danube.

A typical picture of me, souvenir mug of gluhwein in hand, enjoying one of the lovely Christmas markets along the Danube.

December :  Christmas Markets Cruise

This is our most popular tour – we’ve had several hundred Travel Insiders enjoy this tour over the many years we’ve operated it.

New for 2013 is a wonderful ‘super ship’ – longer and more luxurious than any we’ve on before.  Also super is that we’ve managed to secure a brilliant 40% discount on the cruise, with an itinerary and dates that we think are the absolute best of the entire Christmas Markets season.  It is very unusual to be able to offer a discounted Christmas cruise in January, and unusual to have a discount at any time on one of the best of the itinerary variants, so rush to take advantage of this while our allotted space remains.

We also have plenty of special Travel Insider exclusive features to add to the cruise, so that you’ll not only feel special but you will indeed be special.

Please click here for the main page about this tour.  You can also visit a detailed daily itinerary of where you’ll go and what you’ll see as you travel along the Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg, and you can see an interesting photo-diary of an earlier year’s tour.

Elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Feb 2014 :  Sri Lanka

For too long, Sri Lanka was in the grip of a protracted and nasty civil war.  But that ended in 2009, and in the 3+ years subsequently, the peace seems stable.  This means that a country which for decades was dangerous and therefore seldom on tourist itineraries has now opened up, and it is quickly becoming one of the most popular new destinations in the world.

There’s only one good month each year to visit, from a weather point of view, and that is February.  So we’re staging our first Sri Lanka tour in February 2014.  It will start and finish in the country’s capital of Colombo, will run about 12 days, cost about $2500, and will take you to all the ‘must see’ parts of this historic and fascinating country.  You’ll see elephants galore, leopards, and other wildlife, as well as World Heritage sites and sights, ancient cities and traces of past civilizations, plus enjoy one of the world’s great train journeys.

Final details expected in a week or two.  For now, we suggest you keep February 2014 open in anticipation of a great opportunity to see a fascinating country.

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