A guide can make or break a vacation. We understand the importance of having the best travel guides an area has to offer. We have teamed up with the locals who know the area best, are highly personable and have the connections it takes to ensure your trip is the most memorable trip you’ve ever had. Meet a few of our very special guides:
POETIC NATURALIST | PANAMA
Beny is the kind of naturalist travel guide you dream of: ridiculously well informed and fluent in how to transmit his treasure of information to you. In his own words: “As a naturalist guide I have to help people ‘remember’ the other senses that they have but seldom use. In a normal tour you roughly hear and see things. But out in nature, you have to slow down and use the sense of smell to find the royal palm tree flowers, peripheral vision to spot the chestnut-backed antbird, hearing to detect the silent crawl of the tamandua anteater or thermoception to feel the sudden rise in temperature inside the rubbish pile of the leaf-cutter ants. I help people understand themselves by helping them improve the way they perceive nature.” He’s a very rare bird and one of our favorite naturalist guides.
Flaminia is with Sotheby’s in Rome, an expert in Modern and Contemporary Art for the international auction house. When she steps away from her profession to guide for Classic Journeys, you can be sure she doesn’t leave it behind. Her discerning eye is a huge asset whether she’s helping you see the composition of Lucca’s townscape or interpreting an altarpiece. “Pietrasanta is one of my favorite places, where Michelangelo quarried his marble and still today mining continues. It is history, art and business all at once!” Her knack for seeing under the skin of Italy is a skill we treasure.
Ditch your impressions of Nova Scotia as another icy Canadian province. Moderated by the Gulf Stream, the climate is mild. The soil is rich, and then there’s the matter of all that lobster and fresh seafood. Enter Michael, a talented chef who rose through ranks at restaurants in Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Boston, New York and the Bahamas. He was a restaurateur himself before becoming a guide. Today, he’s a Slow Food advocate who says, “I cook with farmers on their farms in the summertime to have guests experience food where it grows. As a guide, I am able to take you to the best gastronomic experiences through my network of colleagues, and I have so much fun delivering the culinary play-by-play for our meals.” And you thought Nova Scotia was only about big tides and whales.
BACKCOUNTRYMAN | ALASKA’S KENAI PENINSULA
For much of the year, Eric is all backcountry, all the time. “One deep wilderness trip includes crossing the Alaska Range on foot and arriving at a lake where rafts are flown in by boat plane for a trip down a glacier river.” Those skills come in plenty handy, even on the Kenai Peninsula where life is somewhat tamer. “I know how to react quickly and safely with wild animals where guides who only work with book-learning cannot. I can also read the weather to adjust hikes to keep them comfortable and enjoyable. His favorite moment: “Sharing the hike to Grewingk Glacier on a sunny day and having a picnic along the iceberg-studded lake is just about as good as it gets. I love to hear the gasp of awe as guests see such a sight for the first time in their lives.”
All eleven members of our family from 10 to 72 had a magical experience. Our guides were wonderful and became part of our family … our time together was obviously carefully thought out, but they were flexible in planning things they thought we would enjoy.
–LOGAN AND DOROTHY, AMALFI
Our guides were the best! They made the whole trip interesting, fun, exciting and a very unique experience. They also gave great insight into the character, history and culture of the region.
–NICOLE, PRAGUE TO BUDAPEST
Our guide was delightful! The trip was a good combination of exercise and learning about the local culture.
–STEPHEN, NOVA SCOTIA