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Friday, March 13, 2015

Venture Into Unknown Territories With Intrepid's New Expedition Range

Is there anywhere genuinely new left for travellers to discover? That was the question considered by more than 1000 Intrepid Travel staff tasked with designing dream trips to the world's most obscure destinations, as part of a new product incubator project for the world's largest adventure travel company.

Mexico southern jungle
Copyright: Intrepid Travel

Now Intrepid Travel has launched a range of Expedition trips, with itineraries in a southern Mexican jungle, Georgia, Kosovo and Papua New Guinea the first to be announced, and with more itineraries to off-the-map regions expected to be unveiled throughout 2015.

The trips in the Expedition range will have limited departures in 2015, allowing Intrepid to test new product as well as satisfy the adventurous spirit of its most well-travelled customers and staff.

More than 50 submissions met the criteria set out by Intrepid for the new range of exploratory-style tours, which required trips to be logistically possible, not include a 'danger zone', and to visit somewhere genuinely new and unusual.

“Some of the dream itineraries submitted had us busily checking our maps and DFAT warnings – and all of them inspired us to want to pack our bags and do it!” says James Thornton, Managing Director of Intrepid Travel. “The ideas are a wonderful reminder of the passion for travel that we share with our customers.

“While the trips are all new, the Expedition-style of travel marks a return for us to the early days of adventure travel. When Intrepid started 26 years ago there were times that we didn't know exactly what we were doing each day, and that was part of the attraction for the travellers who joined us. Expeditions are back by popular demand.”

Intrepid Travel acknowledges that the Expedition style of travel is not for everyone with a warning on its website that these are new trips and travellers should “expect some things to go wrong”.

Visit www.intrepidtravel.com/theme/expeditions for more information.

Intrepid's new Expedition trips include the following (with more to come):

Exploring the Mayan World
Thick jungle, lost cities, and famous archaeologists – this is a true Indiana Jones style expedition. In 1946, Lacandon Maya led archaeologist Giles Healy to the ruins of Bonampak, deep in the jungles of southern Mexico, which turned out to be one of the great discoveries of the 20th century. Retrace Healy's footsteps with a native Lacandon guide and a local archaeologist to discover some of the lesser known Mayan ruins and camp right next to an unnamed site. If hacking through the Mexican jungle isn't enough adventure, travellers will also explore the markets of Oaxaca, colonial Puebla and Cristobel de las Casas.

The 15-day trips costs from $2,995 per person, with one scheduled departure on 14 November 2015.

Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
There's a lot more to Papua New Guinea than the Kokoda Trek. A famously crabby geography of rivers, valleys, gorges, mountains, volcanoes, lagoons and inlets carve up the country, making for an environment where different cultures have been able to develop in virtual isolation from each other and the outside world. This trip is designed to throw the traveller into the guts of rural PNG. The timing of this one-off expedition will see the canoe landing that kicks off the Kinavai Ceremony, the vibrant masks and costumes of the Rabaul Mask Festival and men dance through flames at the Baining Fire Dance. Encounter local village life in Matupit Island, visit war relics in Kokopo Town and cruise around the Duke of York Islands.

The eight-day trip costs from $3705 per person, with one scheduled departure on 13 July 2015.

Svaneti, Georgia

Georgia-Ushguli
Copyright: Intrepid Travel

Georgia's isolated Svaneti region is remote and rugged in nature. Tribal traditions still hold sway here in a major way: the wheel only made an appearance in 1935, pagan elements suffuse Christian beliefs, stone watchtowers dominate the valleys of Mestia and Ushguli, and provincial cuisine is still preferred. Travellers will visit centuries old churches, explore watchtower-strewn landscapes, hike through verdant valleys to see Mt Shkara, and join a local family to help prepare a traditional meal.

The ten-day trip costs from $1590 per person, with the first of two scheduled departures on 20 July 2015.

Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia
It's hard to find a patch of Europe that hasn't been overrun by travel - hard, but not impossible. Among the rocky mountains and green fields of Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia there are plenty of shepherds, monasteries, lakes, valleys and Byzantine churches – what is lacking is the crowds. It's taken decades for the Balkans to wipe away memories of conflict and communism, but they've emerged strong and smiling. From hip cafes in Skopje, sailing on Lake Ohrid to the mosques of picture-perfect Prizren, this trip showcases Balkan beauty at its very best.

The 15-day trip costs from $1795 per person, with one scheduled departure on 5 September 2015.

About Intrepid Travel
Intrepid Travel is a global adventure travel company that has been taking travellers off the beaten track to discover the world's most amazing places for 26 years. The company offers more than 1,000 trips in more than 100 countries and on every continent.Every trip is designed to truly experience local culture - to meet local people, try local food, take local transport and stay in local accommodation. A world leader in responsible travel, Intrepid's award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and included activities mean they offer travellers great value for money. www.intrepidtravel.com
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