National Geographic is one of the most beloved institutions in the nation — and really, the world. We’ve all marveled at the stunning photos taken by National Geographic photographers, watched the inspiring television series that bring attention to the world’s most delicate habitats, and we’ve all lovingly flipped through the pages of National Geographic’s flagship magazine.
Now, National Geographic has paired with one of our favorite tour operators — G Adventures — to bring fun, affordable tour options to their fans. Below, you can read all about this new partnership, through our interview with G Adventures Global Purpose Specialist Sean Simmons. Sean really highlights what makes this partnership so special — enjoy!
What made G Adventures decide to partner with National Geographic?
Sean: Actually, National Geographic came to us. A couple of years ago National Geographic put out a survey, and they found that a large majority of their readers would love to travel with them, but couldn’t afford their tours. So National Geographic looked for a tour company with affordable tours that fit with the National Geographic brand — and that was us. They picked over 70 tours that we already had and enhanced them for a National Geographic feel, which are now called National Geographic Journeys. For example, on some tours we’ll have a National Geographic explorer come in with our CEOs (what we call our guides), or travelers will get advice prior to departure on how to take better pictures straight from a National Geographic photographer.
Is there an underlying theme to the collection of trips?
Sean: Like all of our trips, these journeys are all about cultural immersion, living local when you travel. The National Geographic Journeys immerse the traveler in the importance of the location.
Is there a particular trip that’s been very popular so far?
Sean: Peru. It’s one of the most popular destinations for us — we’re the largest tour operator in Peru — and it looks like it’s going to be a popular option through National Geographic Journeys as well. Beyond that, I’d say it’s too early to tell, since we just launched these journeys in December.
What kind of traveler is a good fit for these National Geographic Journeys?
Sean: That’s a great word, “traveler,” as opposed to tourist — because these trips are really for individuals who are genuinely excited about the location. We’re not an impulse purchase. When someone chooses to take a trip with G Adventures, it’s something they’ve thought about and wanted to do for a while. These travelers want to have the freedom to explore on their own, but with help of CEOs who grew up in the area, so they can give tidbits of advice tailored to you. For example, they can tell you about that market down the street, where the lady in the corner stall cooks all day, and you can sit and watch her. It’s that specific. In short, these trips are for people who are looking for a true education on the location.
While these trips do require some physical activity, it’s not active travel — it’s adventure travel. Most people think adventure travel is the same as active travel. But what we’re talking about is being in someone’s home and learning how to make tortillas, or going to a market in a village and buying your souvenirs directly from the locals. Anything that takes you out of your out of your normal routine is what we call adventure travel. Our traveler wants a full immersive tour of their destination.
What’s the price point for these trips?
Sean: Pretty affordable. I’d say the range is from about $1,200 per person to $7,000, with most trips less than $5,000.
And is there a trip that looks especially intriguing to you?
Sean: Yes, we have a tour in Peru that I did two years ago that’s now a National Geographic Journey, and I’d like to see how that tour was enhanced — since when I went on it, it was already so amazing. There’s also one in Australia, that’s a 12-day tour. But that’s definitely a bucket-list trip for me, which I don’t have enough vacation days for at the moment!
Want to learn more about National Geographic Journeys? Get in touch with our travel experts and we’ll help you to determine if this is the right travel experience for you and your family!