• Anteater

    Meet the Anteater WHISPERER

    <h2>… AND THREE OTHER EXCEPTIONALLY TALENTED LOCAL GUIDES</h2>   <p>A guide can make or break a vacation. We understand the importance of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">having the best travel guides an area has to offer</a>. 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. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">Meet a few of our very special guides</a>:<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">BENY</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">POETIC NATURALIST | PANAMA</a><br><br><img alt="Beny" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6E" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">find the royal palm tree flowers, peripheral vision to spot the chestnut-backed antbird</a>, 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.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/reservations/" target="_blank">Want to meet our spectacular guides? Sign up for the trip of your dreams today!</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">FLAMINIA</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">ART AFICIONADA | TUSCANY &amp; THE CINQUE TERRE</a><br><br><img alt="Flaminia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6O" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">knack for seeing under the skin of Italy</a> is a skill we treasure.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">MICHAEL</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">SLOW FOODIE | NOVA SCOTIA</a><br><br><img alt="Michael" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6Y" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">Ditch your impressions of Nova Scotia</a> 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.” <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">And you thought Nova Scotia was only about big tides and whales.</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">ERIC</a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">BACKCOUNTRYMAN | ALASKA’S KENAI PENINSULA</a><br><br><img alt="Eric Kessler" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7le&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002s6n" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">on the Kenai Peninsula where life is somewhat tamer</a>. “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: “<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">Sharing the hike to Grewingk Glacier</a> 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.”</p> <h3><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/guest-reviews/" target="_blank">WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY</a></h3> <blockquote> <p>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.<br>–LOGAN AND DOROTHY, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">AMALFI</a></p> <p>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.<br>–NICOLE, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/prague/" target="_blank">PRAGUE TO BUDAPEST</a></p> <p>Our guide was delightful! The trip was a good combination of exercise and learning about the local culture.<br>–STEPHEN, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/nova-scotia-tours/" target="_blank">NOVA SCOTIA</a></p> </blockquote>

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  • Group walking in Amalfi, Italy

    Four All-Time Favorite Walking Vacations

    <h2>We want you to enjoy some of our favorite strolls from around the world.</h2>   <p>Some walks have reputations all their own. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru/" target="_blank">The Inca Trail.</a> <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">The Cotswold Way.</a> The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany/" target="_blank">coastal footpath in Italy’s Cinque Terre</a>. We love and offer trips to them all. But just a few extra steps off the beaten path, we’ve found walkways that lead to wonderful sights and places you never expected. Here are a few of our personal favorites. </p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">VALLEY OF THE MILLS, AMALFI</a></h3> <p>Every great walk requires fuel. This day, it’s a slow lunch in Ravello on the crest of a cliff overlooking the sea. Later, your walk starts with an easy descent to the head of the “Valley of the Mills.” Along it, lemon trees groan under the weight of the softball-sized fruits. The ancient mills — built at streamside to harness the water’s downhill force — made paper, and they sit now in haunting ruin. In quiet contrast to the endless postcard views you enjoy all week, the leafy green embrace of this footpath is a chance to imagine the coast as the locals have lived and worked in it forever. Occasionally, you catch a glimpse of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi/" target="_blank">town of Amalfi below, a tight pastel delta of buildings where the stream empties into the sapphire sea</a>. In the final stretch, you enter the upper residential reaches of the town, sort of the high-water mark of habitation. One of the best parts of the walk is how it ends — with syrupy golden sips of limoncello. Our friend Valentino knows we’re headed his way and hosts you at an exclusive tasting at his small workshop where he explains the traditional process of making the lemon liqueur.<br><br><img alt="Amalfi" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ll&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rMk" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank">Download one of our walking tour itineraries today and lace ’em up! We’re going for a stroll.</a></b><br> </p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">KENAI PENINSULA, ALASKA</a></h3> <img alt="Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ll&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rMp" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>  <p>One day in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska-tours/" target="_blank">southern Alaska hosts two unforgettable walks</a> that give you a deep and peaceful sense of wilderness. First, you head out on our favorite stretch of the Iditarod dog sled racecourse. The spruce and hemlock forests are snow-free when we visit. You pass a series of small waterfalls. Ferns, blueberry bushes and horsetail — one-of-a-kind plants that are living fossils — line the route. And just wait until you pitch in to crank your handtram across the Winner Creek Gorge. Later, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska-tours/" target="_blank">after a high-altitude lunch on Mt. Alyeska, you take a great path right up to the face of Exit Glacier</a>. It’s amazing to be up close with the massive wall of creeping ice. If you like, you can continue your walk on a footpath that leads up glacier-scoured rock to get an eye-popping view of the glacier, waterfall and ice fields.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco/" target="_blank">OURIKA VALLEY, MOROCCO</a></h3> <img alt="Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ll&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rMu" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>  <p>The High Atlas Mountains are, well, high. But tucked in between the slopes is Tamzenddirt, a village of low clay houses and one of the all-time great walks in the Ourika Valley. There’s plentiful (but fordable) water in the boulder-strewn streams. Waterfalls tumble from the high slopes. You stroll amid cornfields and rich green meadows with clusters of poplars and willows. The mountain air is clean and sweet, and as the trail winds up to tiny Anins, you get a constant stream of greetings from the local Berbers who share the path as they go about their day. The walk ends in the town of Aghbalou. Coming just days <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/?utm_campaign=four-all-time-favorite-walking-vacations&amp;utm_source=sojourn&amp;utm_medium=blog/" target="_blank">after an overnight in the Sahara</a> and only a few hours before arriving in Marrakesh, the walk is all the more memorable for the distinctive window it offers into Moroccan life.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyon/" target="_blank">BRYCE CANYON, UTAH</a></h3> <img alt="Bryce" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7ll&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rMz" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>  <p>Next stop Mars. Or is it some alien Star Wars planet? <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">You and your family will certainly be forgiven if you forget you’re in the U.S.</a> while you’re walking among the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park. Nowhere on earth are more of these rose-colored pillars of sandstone found in one location. Boulders teeter on top of some. The formations look like castle turrets or mammoth totem poles or a towering topless forest. On this walk, we love to imagine what the first explorers made of it all. You’ll have no trouble understanding why this has long been seen as a magical place. (It’s easier for you because a geologist is along to explain 50 million years of erosion.) On <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">our Multisport Family Journey</a>, it gets even better as the walk becomes a ride — specifically a sure-footed mule ride along switchbacks and into rockscapes that just keep getting crazier and crazier.</p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/catalog/" target="_blank">REQUEST A CATALOG TO READ MORE ABOUT OUR WALKING ADVENTURES AROUND THE WORLD!</a></h3> <p> </p>

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  • Young girl posing in front of Alaska scenery

    In Alaska, if you cruise you lose

    <p>We know tons of people who’ve gone to <a href="https://classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank" title="Alaska Adventures">Alaska</a>. Most of them, it seems, did it by boarding cruise ships as tall as a small mountain with a thousand or two other passengers. Certainly, that approach has its appeal: at least nine major cruise lines offer multiple departures every year. In the relatively short high season, it’s not unusual for several of the ships to dominate the harbors that can handle them. (One friend’s post-trips slideshow had as many photos of other liners as of the Alaskan landscape.)</p> <p>There’s no denying that, as a company that specializes in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/walkingtours/" target="_blank" title="Walking Tours">small-group cultural trips </a>and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank" title="Family Vacations">multi-sport family adventures</a>, our personal bias is not in favor of invasion-style cruise travel. The funny thing about Alaska travel, though, is how many people think their only alternative to a cruise is a camping trip in the bush: sleeping bags on permafrost, pestilential clouds of mosquitoes, lessons in how to scare off a grizzly bear.<br><br><img alt="Grizzly bear" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002ruw" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> What we quickly came to realize when we first scouted our trip to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula about a dozen ago is that it’s extremely easy to do better than an arm’s-length cruise, that you can immerse yourself in the state instead of just tip-toeing in water deep enough to handle a ship. <p>For us, one way to understand what it is you miss on a cruise is by looking at what the experts tell you to consider when planning a sailing excursion.</p> <p><b>Splurge on a cabin with a balcony!</b></p> <p>Well, yes, that’s a good idea. On a cruise ship, it’s all about the view. The experts aren’t as quick to remind you to pack a telephoto camera lens and binoculars. The views are undeniably beautiful, but from your cabin you’re only a spectator. On the ground, you are within the view – and make no mistake, there are plenty of scenic and accessible trails that make it easy to venture comfortably into the awesome landscape. Alaska, seen from the floor of a quiet forest is an experience you’ll never forget. And kayaking beside a small iceberg that’s just calved from a glacier is a perspective you just can’t get from the Promenade Deck<br><br><img alt="Group hiking in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002ruh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><b>Go ashore to meet the people!</b></p> <p>Unfortunately, as the tenders-full of passengers hit the dock, you’ll stand in line to meet the good people of Alaska. It’s kind of a shame because Alaskans are really terrific and very interesting people. You’ve probably read about that independent, individualist streak that runs through the folks who choose to live here. We get to see that when we talk to halibut fishermen, marine biologists, naturalists, glacier guides and the colorful folks we encounter during the trip. That personal connection is essential to knowing Alaska.</p> <p><b>Book your extra-cost shore excursions before you depart!</b></p> <p>The reality of a cruise is that the fare isn’t the cost of the experience. If you’ve ever cruised to any destination in the world, you know that there are lots of add-on costs if you want to seriously explore the places where you dock. Classic Journeys is the flip side of that. We include everything, so the cost of the trip is the cost of the trip. Whether we go kayaking along the coast, or glacier walking, or whale watching, or visiting a gold mine, it’s all included.<br><br><img alt="Kayaking in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rum" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><b>Plan for some long days at sea!</b></p> <p>The majority of trips start in ports like Seattle and Vancouver, and it takes some steady steaming to get to prime Alaska territory. On the other hand, we start in Anchorage, and we spend the week on the Kenai Peninsula, which means we cover drastically less ground (or sea) to see Alaska at its best. So your time in Alaska is all about Alaska instead of getting to and from Alaska.</p> <p>In the end, we’re not a bit worried that our take on Alaska travel is going to put any cruise ship lines out of business. Cruises work for a lot of people. But if you’re one of those travelers who really likes to see and immerse yourself in the places you visit, you should look into a land-based trip like our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank" title="Alaska Travel">Cultural Walking Adventure</a> or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank" title="Alaska Family Vacation">Multisport Family Journey</a>.</p>

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