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Home | Travel Adventures

BAO Travel Adventures

BAO activities include group travel around the world with our partner, Collette. We chose Collette as our travel partner because of their long history of high-quality service and reliability. Most importantly, we trust Collette will take the utmost care of our travelers. Collette's CSOT number is 2006766-20. Bay Area Older Adults' CSOT number is 2120658-40.
Special for BAO travelers – Everyone who travels with BAO is invited to a

  • Pre-trip meeting to get you ready and meet your fellow travelers (typically lunch is included)
  • Post-trip gathering with your group to share photos
  • End of year travel party where you can meet other BAO travelers and share photos and experiences.

North American Trips

America's Music Cities
Majestic Peaks of the Canadian Rockies
Canadian Rockies by Train
The Best of Eastern Canada
Maritime Coastal Wonders

Central and South American Trips

Costa Rica's World of Nature
Highlights of South America

European Trips

Alpine Lakes & Scenic Trains of Switzerland & Italy
Christmas on the Danube
Iceland's Magical Northern Lights
Italy's Treasures
Spain & Portugal
Switzerland's Hidden Trails & Majestic Peaks by Train

Trips to Africa

Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls & Botswana

Trips to the Far East

Cultural Treasures of Japan

America's Music Cities
October, 2019

Take an 8-day tour of the rich musical heritage of the United States. Visit New Orleans, the Jazz Capital of the World, and revel in soulful music, savor its rich cuisine, discover its French and Colonial past and experience the fascinating ecosystem of the Louisiana bayous. Visit Memphis, the birthplace of the Blues, Rock n Roll and Soul and home to the best ever BBQ. Absorb the city’s musical heritage including a visit to Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Explore the history and lore of Nashville with a show and backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry, an up-close look at the oldest remaining record studio where Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Charlie Pride recorded their classic songs and visit the largest museum of popular music in the world.

Days 1, 2: Arrive in New Orleans, Louisiana and spend three nights at the 4-star Sheraton New Orleans located less than one mile from the Mississippi River, the French Quarter, the Audubon Aquarium of Americas, the National WWII Museum and the Streetcar line. New Orleans is the Jazz Capital of the World. This soulful city abounds with rich history, mouthwatering Cajun and Creole cuisine, and lots of home town music. The streets of New Orleans and jazz music of the French Quarter

Choose a French Quarter Walking Tour or Motorcoach Tour of New Orleans. The walking tour of the famous French Quarter takes you to the majestic St. Louis Cathedral, one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, then to the bustling French Marketplace where you will explore Pirates Alley, the Cabildo, the Presbytere and the Pontalba. Stop to taste a true New Orleans favorite – beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

The other option is a panoramic motorcoach tour of New Orleans with a local guide. Begin along historic Esplanade Avenue to see St. Louis Cemetery #3 which opened in 1854 and holds some of the most elaborate crypts found in the city’s cemeteries. Then, relax during a drive along the shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain. This romantic road eventually leads to St. Charles Avenue, whisking you past gorgeous mansions as well as Tulane and Loyola, two world-famous universities.

In the evening, roll up your sleeves and prepare to learn how to cook New Orleans style during your welcome dinner. Join your fellow travelers for a unique cooking demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Your chef will indulge you in everything that Louisiana cuisine has to offer - gumbo, etoufee, and pralines and banana foster for dessert. Live street jazz and St. Charles Avenue mansions

Day 3: Journey through Louisiana’s swamp on a boat cruise. Learn about the history and ecology of this fascinating ecosystem while keeping an eye out for wildlife including bald eagles, herons, turtles and alligators. See houses (accessible only by boat) of the local Cajuns who have made their homes here in the bayous. Louisiana Swamp Cruise

Next, celebrate the festive side of New Orleans at Mardi Gras World, where you can watch artisans create the spectacular floats for the famous parade and taste the famous King Cake. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure and discover more of New Orleans on your own. After dinner, meet the group at Maison Bourbon, a live jazz club in the French Quarter to enjoy some local music. Mardi Gras Floats and King Cake

Days 4, 5: Travel north to Memphis, the birthplace of the Blues, Rock n Roll and Soul. Your two night stay is at the 4-star Guest House at Graceland, where you can easily explore more of Elvis' life on your free time.
The next morning, embark on a one-of-a-kind tour of Memphis. Local musicians board the coach and tell the story of Memphis’ musical heritage and history as you view the city’s many highlights. Beale Street - Home to the Blues, Memphis

In the afternoon, visit Graceland, the palatial home of Elvis Presley. Tour his home, including unique family rooms, the original business office, trophy building and the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family have been laid to rest. The remainder of your day is free to enjoy the city’s vast musical offerings on your own. Graceland – home of Elvis Presley

Days 6, 7: Journey to the Nashville, the Music Capital of the World. Your three-night stay is at 4-star Gaylord Opryland Hotel within an atrium surrounded by the Cumberland River and with a river running through it. The atrium hosts 17 restaurants and is nearby local parks.

Start off with a stop at the Western Tennesse Delta Heritage Center to learn about the roots of country blues and Tina Turner, The Queen of Rock, who was born here. Tina Turner Exhbit at Delta Heritage Center

This evening, take in a show at the renowned Grand Ole Opry, an entertainment complex that attracts music fans from all over the world. Grand Ole Opry

Day 3: Begin the next day with a visit to the old Ryman Auditorium with a newly renovated stage. This venue has hosted a variety of musical concerts since it opened in 1892, and has been called the Carnegie Hall of the South. Ryman Auditorium

Later, explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, the largest museum of popular music in the world. The museum’s vast collections of memorabilia, costumes, recordings and instruments are artfully presented in cutting-edge exhibits relaying the colorful histories of country music and its artists. Music Row and Country Music Hall of Fame

This is followed by a visit to the historic RCA Studio B for an up-close look at Nashville’s oldest remaining record studio where Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Charlie Pride once recorded some of their classic hits. Learn the secrets of how each artist recorded their chart-topping music in this famous studio. You may even have an opportunity to record your own hit! RCA Studio

Last but not least, tour a family-owned distillery and induldge in Tennessee whiskey tastings. Famous Tennessee Whiskey

Day 8: Return home with a wealth of memories that will have you humming a new tune.

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Majestic Peaks of the Canadian Rockies
September 2019

This tour takes you to the most striking mountains, lakes, waterfalls and canyons in the Canadian Rockies and on a scenic trip to Glacier National Park in Montana.

Day 1: Arrive in Calgary and mingle with your fellow travelers during a cocktail reception this evening.

Day 2: Visit and take a guided tour of a world famous archaeological and historical site used by the aboriginal peoples for almost 6,000 years to hunt bison. Continue on your journey to Waterton Lakes National Park with views of the glacier lake and surrounding mountains. Savor dinner and a two-night stay at the Waterton's only lakefront hotel where every room has a balcony with a view of Waterton Lake or the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Waterton Lakes National Park, Calgary

Day 3: Revel in the incredible views of Glacier National Park with a ride on the 52-mile Going-to-the-Sun Highway in a 1930’s Red Jammer Touring Car for optimal sightseeing of the park's 70 species of mammals and 270 species of birds. Drive across the Continental Divide, go over Logan Pass at an elevation of almost 7,000 feet and pass famous waterfalls along the way. Views from Going-to-the-Sun Highway in Glacier National Park, Montana

Day 4: Travel to Banff and enjoy breathtaking views of Kootenay National Park and Sinclair Canyon. Enjoy a sightseeing tour with stops at Bow Falls to see the Hoodoos, known as the Land of the Sleeping Giants. Later visit a local ammolite specialist and learn about this rare gemstone only found in Alberta. Stay two nights at Banff Inn, conveniently located a short walk from the charming town of Banff that is home to galleries and museums and popular local attractions including the mineral rich Banff Upper Hot Springs that you can enjoy during your leisure time. Kootenay National Park, British Columbia

Hoodoos, Alberta

Day 5: Enjoy a full day of sightseeing along one of the most scenic highways in the world, which is named Icefields. This parkway links Lake Louise and Jasper. Pass waterfalls, rushing rivers, glacial peaks, imposing cliffs and snowcapped mountain ranges and if you are lucky, catch a glimpse of moose, elk, bears and bighorn sheep. Stop at the Athabasca Glacier where you have a choice of either taking a fun ride across the Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Canadian Rockies which is more than 1000 feet thick and lies across the northwestern tip of Banff National Park and the southern end of Jasper National Park or Columbia Icefield, Alberta

take a walk on the Glacier Skywalk, that is a glass-bottom platform, for the dramatic views of Sunwapta Valley and stunning turquoise colored, glacier-fed Peyto Lake. Either way, there is a stop for breathtaking views of Peyto Lake. Glacier Skywalk, Jasper National Park

Peyto Lake, Banff National Park

Day 6: This morning enjoy some leisure time in Banff. Next travel to Kananaskis Valley to visit a local ranch where you can play a game of horseshoes, take a line dance lesson and enjoy a wagon ride. Meet the family that lives there to learn about daily life on the ranch. For dinner, savor a traditional Albertan BBQ and take in views of the Rocky Mountains. Next we pass through prairie land to reach the vibrant city of Calgary. Tonight, enjoy a farewell toast with your fellow travelers.

Kananaskis Valley Ranch Wagon Ride

Day 7: Return home.

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Canadian Rockies by Train

On this 9-day journey, climb aboard VIA Rail’s The Canadian that takes you between Vancouver and Jasper in a once-in-a-lifetime overnight train journey. Relax in the dome car and experience panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes, rushing rivers and the sheer unspoiled wilderness of Canada. In Jasper, see the dramatic Maligne Canyon and its picture-perfect lake, where you enjoy breakfast with a view! Journey along the unforgettable Icefields Parkway and stop at Columbia Icefield. You will have a choice between taking a fun ride across this massive glacier ice or a walk on the Glacier Skywalk. Feel like royalty while overnighting in the region’s most elegant hotels and resorts. Discover the natural beauty of Moraine Lake, the powerful Bow Falls and impressive Hoodoos. Experience a day on a ranch in the Alberta plains, complete with a wagon ride in search of buffalo and a BBQ lunch in the great outdoors.

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Best of Eastern Canada
Featuring Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Niagara Falls & Toronto

On this 8-day tour, you will explore Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Niagara Falls and Toronto. From the European-styled, old world elegance of Quebec City to the thundering magnificence of Niagara Falls, you’ll love every moment of this tour of Eastern Canada. Enjoy two-night stays in Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto, as well as an overnight stay in Ottawa and city tours of each of these elegant cities. Have a breakfast of regional specialties at a local sugar shack and learn about maple syrup making. Board a boat to experience the incredible power of Mother Nature at breathtaking Niagara Falls and discover Niagara-on-the-Lake with quaint local shops and a charming atmosphere. Niagara Falls

Tour Montreal with a view of the busy St. Lawrence River from high atop Montreal’s Mount Royal, see Jacques Cartier Square and McGill University, and a cruise through the spectacular unspoiled 1000 Islands. Walk the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec and take a stroll through Ontario’s bustling Byward Market. From picturesque countryside to glistening skyscrapers, a truly unforgettable cultural and historical experience awaits you in the heart of Eastern Canada. Old Quebec

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Maritimes Coastal Wonders

Join us for an 11-day tour of Northeast Canada and uncover the treasures of the Canadian Maritimes from the rugged Cabot Trail to the amazing Fundy tides, where fun, adventure, a rich history and culinary delights await you. Marvel at the incredible views at Nova Scotia’s Peggy’s Cove. Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

See the four-story high flowerpot-shaped Hopewell Rocks and savor a traditional Maritimes lobster feast. Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick

Visit Prince Edward Island and its Anne of Green Gables Museum and learn about potato farming. Prince Edward Island

Travel along the striking Lighthouse Route, board a fishing boat at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic and learn to shuck scallops. Cape Breton Fishing Boats

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Costa Rica's World of Nature
featuring Tortuguero National Park, Arenal Volcano & Manuel Antonio National Park

Join us for an 12-day small group tour of vibrant Costa Rica. Settle in for two nights in Tortuguero National Park which protects 13 of Costa Rica’s endangered species and visit the green turtle research station. Traveling the Waterways of Tortuguero National Park

Wildlife in Tortuguero National Park

Spend two nights in an eco-lodge within the Sarapiquí Rainforest. Taste Costa Rica’s finest during a pineapple plantation visit and a cacao demonstration and tasting. Cacao

Take in the spectacular views of Arenal Volcano during your three night stay at the foot of the volcano. Choose from a thrilling zip-lining experience or hiking the lava fields of Arenal Volcano. Walk among the treetops on a guided tour of Arenal’s hanging bridges. Arenal Volcano

Embark on a jungle crocodile safari and bird watching cruise. Soak up the sweeping view of the Pacific during a resort stay at Manuel Antonio, where you can step outside your door to explore the white sandy beaches of this National Park. Crocodile Safari

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Highlights of South America
featuring Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls & Rio de Janeiro

Join us for a 10-day tour that takes you from Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires to the Natural Wonder of Iguazu Falls, and Brazil’s marvelous Rio de Janeiro, to delve into the vivacious sights and sounds of South America. Spend three nights in fantastic Buenos Aires, the "Paris of South America." Discover the best Tango show in Buenos Aires and stroll the famed 9th of July Boulevard as you explore life in this vibrant city. Spend a day in the Argentinian countryside featuring a traditional asado lunch and gaucho horse show at an estancia. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Explore Buenos Aires by bus or on a bicycle with a local guide and visit La Boca and the Puerto Madero neighborhoods. La Boca Neighborhood, Argentina

Behold the power of the Iguazu Falls from both Argentinian and Brazilian vantage points and explore Iguazu National Park. Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Learn how to craft the famous caipriniha cocktail and eat and dance with the locals at a dinner and music show in Rio de Janeiro. Ascend Corcovado by train to Christ the Redeemer, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Next, you choose from a Carnival Experience or a visit with local family in a favela. And finally, indulge in a Brazilian-style barbeque at one of Rio's top churrascaria restaurants. Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Alpine Lakes & Scenic Trains
of Switzerland & Italy

This 10-day tour features the enchanting Alpine cultures and scenery of Switzerland and Italy as you journey through spectacular mountains picturesque towns. Ride aboard three of the legendary Alpine railways – the Golden Pass Panoramic Train from Gstaad to Montreux; the Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz; and the Bernina Pass Train, which takes you from Switzerland to Italy. The Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz

Relax in some of Europe’s most stunning and exclusive resort villages, including Zermatt, St Moritz and Lago Maggoire. Explore Lucerne, called the Swiss Paradise on the Lake. Spend time at a family-owned farm where you sample their handmade cheeses paired with wine. The 14,692-foot Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland

Along the way, you will cruise across two of the most scenic lakes in the world, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. Enjoy traditional regional cuisine and Italian delicacies. Savor a traditional Italian dinner on the Isola dei Pescatoril, an island on Lake Maggiore. Lake Como, Italy

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Christmas on the Danube
December 2019

Bay Area Older Adults has partnered with Collette to offer a nine day tour featuring Germany and Austria with a six-day cruise down the Danube River. Browse famous Christmas markets along the river, explore Vienna, Regensburg home to the first stone bridge over the Danube, Nuremberg and Wurzburg with local experts, visit the 900-year old Benedictine Melk Abbey, experience the most picturesque region of the Wachau Valley, take a walking tour of Passau, a 2,000-year-old fairy-tale city and indulge in unlimited wine and beer with every dinner onboard your cruise ship.

Melk Abbey
Melk Abbey Church is a Benedictine abbey above the town of Melk, Lower Austria, Austria, on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Danube river, adjoining the Wachau valley.

Our 5-Star Luftner Cruise aboard the AMADEUS fleet allows you to relax with a large sun deck and reclining chairs, the Panorama-Bar with an almost uninterrupted 360° view over the passing river landscapes, the viewing deck on the River Terrace, as well as the relaxed Amadeus-Club. The stylish Panorama-Restaurant head chef on your AMADEUS vessel will create new and imaginative menus for you every single day including five-course dinners. Drawing inspiration partly from the regions you travel through as well as the season, our chefs will produce fresh and authentic symphonies of flavor to tempt you away on a culinary voyage of discovery. Of course, you are always free to choose between your classic favorite dishes and sophisticated specialties, vegetarian alternatives and delicious gourmet treats. There are on-board expert lectures, folklore shows, culinary demonstrations and live music. There are complimentary bicycles too! Christmas Market in Rothenberg, Germany

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Iceland's Magical Northern Lights

Take a 7-day small group journey to the land of fire and ice, a place of many wonders, on a search for the rare opportunity to see the spectacular aurora borealis – or northern lights on an exhilarating evening northern lights cruise. Northern Lights

Travel to the “Golden Circle,” home to many of Iceland’s most renowned natural wonders. Spend time at Thingvellir National Park, the nation’s most historic area. Gaze at the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall – one of the world's most incredible cascades. Explore Skogar Folk Museum, covering all aspects of Icelandic life. Experience the energy at the geothermal fields of Geysir and Strokkur. Golden Circle

Journey to the mesmerizing Seljalandsfoss, one of Iceland’s most famous and picturesque waterfalls with a walkway behind it. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

At the Lava Exhibition Center, learn about Iceland’s volcanic history and its impact on daily life. Explore Skogar Folk Museum and see traditional turf-built homes. Walk on a black volcanic sand beach. See Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. Relax in the warm, mineral-rich water of the natural geothermal pool, the Blue Lagoon. Spend your evenings gazing at the night sky in search of the elusive and dazzling northern lights. Reykjanes Peninsula

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Italy's Treasures
Art, Food & Wine

On this 12-day small group tour, you will travel from Stresa and Lake Orta to the Italian Riviera with a visit to Cinque Terre and Lucca to Tuscany with visits to Florence and Siena to Venice with a visit to Bologna. This tour brings to life the romance and culture of Italy and brings your taste buds to life!

Travel by boat to your welcome dinner on Isola dei Pescatori, the most picturesque island on Lake Maggiore, Stresa. The next day, visit a local farm for wine and cheese pairing and attend a cocktail party in the evening. Isola dei Pescatori, Laggo Maggiore

Explore Lake Orta (Milan) by boat, one of Italy’s hidden treasures, and the rugged coast, medieval and remote fishing villages of the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Cinque Terre, Italian Riviera

Visit the medieval city of Lucca, encircled by 16th-century Renaissance walls, and see all the historic sites on foot or by bicycle, then sample seasonal, local delicacies at specialty food shops. Next, travel to Tuscany where you will spend four relaxing nights in a Tuscan villa and delight your palette with Tuscan cuisine including a cooking demonstration by a local chef. Tuscany Countryside

Get to know Florence with a walking tour of the city’s treasures and monuments and Siena with a tour of it's Romanesque and Gothic architecture and narrow medieval streets. End with two nights in Venice where you will see all the sights and enjoy a boat trip to Murano Island, off the coast of Venice, for a glass-blowing demonstration. Sight-seeing in Venice

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Tours of Spain and Portugal

BAO is offering five different tours of Spain and Portugal.

Spain's Classics is an 11 day - 10 nights tour where you experience Spain’s colorful pageant of art, architecture, history and culture against a backdrop of Mediterranean shores and grand mountain ranges. Visit Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Granada, Cordoba, Seville and Toledo. Experience East meets West with Spain’s Gothic buildings, Jewish heritage sites and Muslim architectural marvels and the Mediterranean’s warm sultry weather, olive groves and colorful, bustling marketplaces. Last but not least is the food including taking part in an authentic paella experience.

Spain's Classics and Portugal is a 14 days - 13 nights tour where you explore Lisbon, visit the pilgrimage center of Fatima, the picture perfect fishing village of Nazare and the medieval walled town of Obidos. Then experience all of Spain's Classics described above.

Madrid & Barcelona is an 8 days - 7 nights tour through the dynamic cities of Madrid and Barcelona. The thrilling AVE high-speed train transports you between your leisurely 3-night stays in each city. Travel to Toledo, the former capital of medieval Spain, explore Madrid's museums and sights. While inn Barcelona, explore the most popular monument in Spain, Antonio Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia and tour the city including its historic Gothic Quarter, 13th-century cathedral, La Boqueria, an open-air market, and Gaudi's architectural treasures. Explore the flavors of the country when dining on regional cuisine and sampling local wines at every included dinner.

Spain's Costa del Sol & The Portuguese Riviera is a 13 days - 12 nights tour of the Iberian Peninsula. Visit all the sights of Madrid, travel via high-speed train to the Moorish city of Cordoba, relax in Malaga’s parador on the Costa del Sol, tour Granada’s Alhambra Palace, marvel at the architecture of the Cathedral of Seville, visit Ronda, an architectural marvel in Andalucia, visit the sights of Lisbon and enjoy a 4-night stay on Portugal's Riviera. Visit the Mafra Palace and Monastery, one of the most impressive Baroque buildings in Portugal, and travel the Silver Coast and visit Fatima, the world-famous pilgrimage site.

Spain & Morocco is a 13 days - 12 nights tour across two continents and two countries. Visit the sights of Spain's Classics and then board your high-speed ferry to Africa, across the Strait of Gibraltar, arriving in Tangier. Discover the Indigo-blue streets and painted Medina in Chefchaouen, in Fes, the “Mecca of the West,” visit a family-run riad in the Medina for a taste of traditional Moroccan delights, see the ancient door of Bab El Mansour, and the Bab El Khamis flea market in Meknes and explore Marrakech. In Casablanca, tour the masterful Hassan II Mosque, and see the city by night on a drive along the seashore.

View a short video about the Spain and Portugal tours

Switzerland's Hidden Trails & Majestic Peaks

On this 10-day small group tour you will journey through Switzerland entirely by Swiss Railway on an up-close-and-personal rendezvous with the Alps and the villages of the Swiss Riviera. Switzerland is the home of the Matterhorn and Lake Geneva, where chocolate is high art and culture is intrinsic. Sample legendary Laderach chocolate as you watch chocolatiers work their confectionary craft. Zermatt's Matterhorn

Nestled between four countries, Switzerland is a land where crystalline lakes sit amidst mountain peaks, and lush green valley’s yield centuries-old vineyards. Veveyu, Lake Geneva

Discover a world of pastoral splendor, where the history of the Belle Epoque is preserved in awe-inspiring architecture of Neuchatel, all set to the grand backdrop of the Alps. View of Gothic Collegiale Church on the Northern Shore of Lake Neuchatel

Use your Swiss Travel Pass, which grants you unlimited access to the country’s transportation network, along with complimentary entrance into all of Switzerland’s 500 museums. Lavaux Wine Region, Lake Geneva

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Exploring South Africa, Victoria Falls & Botswana

On this 14-day small group exploration, your complete African travel experience ranges from cosmopolitan Cape Town to the power of Victoria Falls to the remote wilds of Botswana with 7 wildlife safaris for a perfect blend of culture and thrills. Savor traditional African cuisine including a home hosted dinner.

Take a cablecar ride to the top of Table Mountain, a 3550 foot, flat-topped mountain, for a comprehensive view of the city of Cape Town. Cablecar and View from Table Mountain

Explore the tip of the continent at the Cape of Good Hope and Boulders Beach penguins in Cape Town. Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town

Boulder Beach Penguins, Cape Town

Search out the Big Five safari wildlife along the remote Chobe River, Botswana and marvel at the bio-diversity of the Entabeni Safari Conservancy. Chobe River Cruise, Botswana

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

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Cultural Treasures of Japan

On this 14-day small group tour, immerse yourself in the ancient and modern cultures of Japan. Experience the electric city of Tokyo, where Yanaka Ginza, the “shitamachi” of the city’s old town, serves as a window to Tokyo’s past and top-of-the-world views from Tokyo Tower give way to cosmopolitan vistas. Tokyo Skyline

Take part in a peaceful and meditative tea ceremony, and stand before the famous Senso-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the Bodhisattva Kannon in Asakusa. Explore the lakeside resort of Hakone and cruise the waters of Lake Ashi. Akakusa Kannon Temple

Board the Hakone Ropeway for goliath views of Mt. Fuji, and tour Matsumoto Castle, the “Crow Castle.” In the Japanese Alps, enjoy Hida beef and sake at a local brewery, and marvel at the gassho-zukuri-style homes of Shirakawa-go. Matsumoto Castle

Visit Kanazawa’s Omicho market, Kenroku garden and the Samurai district. Partake in a gold leaf class. Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan and a marvel to behold. Absorb the beauty of Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion, whose top two floors are covered with gold leaf. Explore Kyoto’s Nijo Castle, home of the first Shogun. Take a lesson in the art of stenciling.

Board the Shinkansen bullet train to travel to Hiroshima where you’ll visit Miyajima, Shrine Island and the Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Finally, sit down to a special farewell dinner in Kyoto that features a Geisha show.

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