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The largest country in the world, Russia is a land of contrasts: timeless villages and cottages juxtapose with modern cities, incredible riches with the down-to-earth life in the countryside, the northern tundra and taiga with the beaches and steppes of the south, the mountains of Kamchatka with the plains of the west.
Ancient cities like Novgorod speak of a trading nation rich in natural resources while the Tsars left behind opulent palaces and a tradition of ballet and theatre. The imperial elite's treasures are now on display in magnificent museums such as St. Petersburg's Hermitage and Moscow's Kremlin. Churches and monasteries dot the landscape, and are particularly prominent in the Golden Circle.
Come and discover this fascinating country with us.
Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
The Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have much in common - geography and a shared history being the most obvious. Yet each country is very different too. There is the Nordic appeal of Estonia, sharing ethnic and linguistic links with Finland, hurling headlong into the cyberage while maintaining beautiful towns like Tallinn and unspoiled nature and islands.
To its south lies traditional Latvia where endless pine forests hide palaces, churches and crusader castles and endless beaches line the Baltic. Its capital Riga is famous for its Art Nouveau architecture.
Rounding off this trio of intriguing destinations is Lithuania where the beaches of the Curonian Spit give way to deep forests sprinkled with lakes and towns loaded with sculpture parks, a Cold War museum and galleries. Its capital Vilnius is a gem known for its Baroque architecture.
A country proud of its cultural and natural heritage, Belize occupies a sliver of land between Central American jungles and the Caribbean.
Belize's Barrier Reef has some of the best snorkelling and diving anywhere on the planet. Where the reef peeps out of the water you will find sandy Cays, perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding or just lazing about.
The jungles of the interior, where tubing, canoeing and caving are but some of the activities offered are a haven for myriad wildlife, flora and birds. Lost within are Mayan archaeological sites with numerous temples and tombs.
Beautiful Belize is an adventure playground, a nature lovers' dream come true and a beach paradise all rolled into one.
No experience is quite like coming eye to eye with mountain gorillas in their natural setting. After you trek through dense jungles and up and down slippery slopes, the hour spent with our closest relatives is one experience you will carry with you for life. All this against the stunning backdrop of volcanoes and terraced farmlands in Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills.
Tucked away in the south-western corner of Africa, Namibia has some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa - driving the lone roads it is the amazing arid rock formations and desert sands that will stay with you forever. The Fish River Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of Africa, the red sands of some of the highest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei; the salt pans at Etosha; it is hard to know where to begin. Add to those the unique wildlife like desert rhino, elephants and oryx and you have a destination that is hard to beat.
Svalbard and Beyond
Svalbard, the archipelago Spitsbergen is part of, truly is Europe's last great wilderness, home to more polar bears than people, land of snow-covered mountains and glaciers. Further east you will discover previously inaccessible lands such as Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya and other islands of the Russian Arctic. As you sail these frigid waters you are sure to encounter polar bear, walrus, bearded seal, minke whales and beluga, a myriad of wildlife such as Arctic fox and reindeer, as well as countless birds. The land is dotted by remains of centuries-old human intrusions, people that, like you, explored the outer limits of our earth.
Arctic Canada and Greenland
For nature and wildlife lovers, few places rival with the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. Endless mountain ranges, some covered in tundra alive with flowers, others as barren as a desert, are the domain of muskoxen, Arctic fox and hares. Deep-blue iceberg-studded straits, bays and seas, are home to polar bear, walrus and whales, including the elusive narwhal. Visit Inuit settlements and remains of expeditions of discovery, hike to marvellous views or kayak the still waters at the bottom of towering bird cliffs. The Arctic will leave you speechless at time, full of energy at others, changed forever.
No other destination in the world will leave you feeling as insignificant before nature, yet as alive, as Antarctica does. Giant glaciers calving enormous icebergs; penguins porpoising through the waters; leopard seal chasing their prey; whales feeding and coming up for air, curiously inspecting you in your zodiac. Hike along pristine shorelines and up snowy ridges to experience incredible views. This is Planet Earth at it's best, a proverbial Eden, Earth as it was before the arrival of humankind. This is a journey of a lifetime and Antarctica will change you forever.
As you walk through the Siq to the Treasury at Petra, you cannot help but be in awe. Hand-hewn red sandstone buildings rise up into the clear desert sky, remembering ancient caravans of spice traders travelling far and wide to sell their wares. In the Roman ruins at Jerash and in the crusader castles and Byzantine mosaics along the King’s Highway, history is everywhere in this beautiful land. Travel through canyons and oases, stay with locals among the rock formations of Wadi Rum, and begin to understand why T.E. Lawrence loved this land.
Could this be the friendliest country on earth? This nation which has seen the likes of Darius the Great, Alexander and Genghis Khan? This land of ancient civilizations, aesthetic beauty and exquisite architecture; where mosques, palaces and mansions stand proud; where history gazes down upon you in the ruins of Persepolis, the bazaars of Shiraz and the palaces of Esfahan; where poetry lives in the gardens of Kashan... Sit down for tea or share a meal in someone's home and let Iran embrace you.
Whether you walk among the beautiful rock formations of the White Desert, admire the sunrise from Mount Sinai, or soak in a hot spring in remote Siwa, the magnificent desert is all around you in Egypt. But it is the Nile that is the lifeblood of this dry country, the river that gave us one of the world's oldest civilizations. Witness the pyramids, citadel, mosques and museums in Cairo, the towering Pharaonic temples and Valley of the Kings near Luxor and the masterpiece of a temple Ramses II built in Abu Simbel. Join a Nile cruise and visit edifices where time has stood still for centuries. No matter how you travel, Egypt will leave an impression on you.
Turkey, crossroads of culture and history. You experience it in the bazaars of Istanbul, the city founded by the Romans, cultivated by the Byzantines, conquered by the Ottomans and made cosmopolitan in the modern era. You feel it in the ancient ruins of Ephesus, the Armenian churches in the east and the medieval fortresses along the south coast. You taste it in the olive oil–lathered Aegean vegetables and the spicy Anatolian kebabs. Turkey truly is the place where East meets West - come and explore it with us.