The upcoming 2014 season will mark the most impressive expansion of trips and destinations to date for award-winning tour operator Austin-Lehman Adventures (ALA). The multisport tour company setting adventure travel standards in The Americas, Europe, Africa,Antarctica and now the Pacific announces that with the addition of 23 new trips for 2014, it now offers nearly 100 small group adventures spanning six continents.
“We’re working on the seventh,” says Dan Austin, founder/director, hinting that excursions in China might be the next big news. “We have several new programs in the works that we are really excited about.”
Why such aggressive growth? During this company’s 40-year legacy of creating multi-generational, multi-sport, hiking, paddling, cycling, safari and small ship cruising opportunities worldwide, they have always listened to their loyal alumni guests for ideas and inspiration.
“We talk to our alumni and take to heart where they would like to go next,” notes Austin. “We also hear how they want to spend their precious vacation time. This year you will see a return of our walking/ hiking emphasis as well as more family programs – plus a new small ship luxury cruise in Australia!“
Walking/hiking programs new for 2014 include Glamping along Peru’s Inca Trail,Provence in France, Bavariain Germany, Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park,Botswana and Morocco. Families can anticipate new trips to Montana,Belize, southern Australia and Botswana. New multisport adventures will be offered in Austria/Slovenia, Spain, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and the Republic of Congo. Spain’s Catalonia,Argentina’s wine country and the Canadian Rockies will host new biking tours. And the coast and islands of Western Australia will be explored on a new small ship cruise adventure.
For a full list and descriptions of all of Austin-Lehman Adventures’ new trips for 2014, please see here.
A good example of ALA’s ambitious expansion into more hiking and walking is their new Walking in Provence tour that begins inAvignon,France. With guides well-versed in local lore, participants will walk in the footsteps of Van Gogh in the sun-washed valleys of Luberon and Vaucluse. Here is a vibrant tapestry of fertile vineyards, ancient ruins, colorful markets and the ubiquitous fragrance of honey, thyme and lavender. Emphasis is placed on the region’s rich history, rustic elegance and world-renowned cuisine. Seven day/six night trips begin at $3,598 per person, double. See here.
Montana - Discovering the Wild West brings families up close and personal with the special places Austin-Lehman Adventures call home. ALA sought input from kids when building this active six day/five night program. Highlights include a visit to the historic Little Bighorn Battlefield, hiking the Beartooth Mountains with a summer snowball fight, channeling one’s inner cowboy on a horseback ride across Montana’s prairieland, soaking in the sunrise over Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley while searching for wolves, bears, bison, elk and antelope and a wild and wooly night at the Cody Stampede Rodeo. Call for 2014 pricing and departures: 1.800.575.1540. See here
For travelers who want a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a new safari is the seven day/six night Gorilla Tracking in the Congo adventure. With the region’s most revered guides guests make their way from Brazzaville into the heart of the Congo Basin where safari camps, built seamlessly into the river and rainforest environments of Odzala-Kokoua National Park, offer up-close encounters with some of the world’s most elusive wildlife. Guests spend two full days tracking a group of magnificent western lowland gorillas watching quietly from a forest perch as they rest and forage, often with youngsters in tow. Nightfall brings the comfort of a luxurious wilderness camp and sharing the day’s sightings around a bonfire. Call for 2014 pricing and departures: 1.800.575.1540. See here
The Australia | Kimberley Snapshot Cruise is now the fifth small ship cruise available through Austin-Lehman Adventures. This adventure is an 8-day/7-night program on the 36-passenger True North that cruises through Western Australia’s pristine Kimberley region. On shore excursions (included in the cruise rate) guests hike (or helicopter) to the top of King George Falls, take a refreshing dip in a secluded billabong, marvel at some of the oldest art in the world -- "The Bradshaws," a group of traditional cave paintings with mysterious origins -- and climax each day with a glass of Australian wine while watching the sunset from an observation lounge. Departures in 2014 are April 19, May 10 and 31, June 21, July 12, and Aug. 2 and 23. For cabin pricing, call ALA at: 1.800.575.1540. See here