Wanderlust Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Australia / Pacific’

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Wanna Get Away? A Sneak Preview for 2013

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Boy, does Amazing Journeys have a lineup for the ages!  If you are starting to think about traveling in the next year, just you wait and see what we are going to be offering!   We are aware that the information that follows will fill your plates with so many exciting possibilities that you’ll be asking your boss for extra vacation time.  This is why we are letting you know NOW what’s in store for the coming year.  Get those vacation request days in before your co-workers and lock in what we proudly proclaim will be one of the best–if not THE BEST–vacations of your life! 

You may have traveled with us in 2012 or maybe in 2011…..or maybe not for a few years. Or, dare we say….not yet at all?  In any case, you’ll need to hold on tight as we tempt, tantalize and treat you to a lineup of Jewish singles trips for 2013 that you will want to start planning for now.  We are in the throes of putting the final touches on many journeys that are amazing throughout next year, but its not too early to start planning for them. 

Firstly, check out our website (www.amazingjourneys.net) for details on Jewish singles trips that are currently available and sizzling hot:

-Northern California (August 26-Sept 3, 2012); Just ONE spot left!

-New Mexico and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (October 12-17, 2012); Only 7 spaces left!

-New Year’s Southeast Asia Cruise (December 23 – January 6, 2013); Over 70 people booked!

-Brazil including Rio, The Amazon and Iguazu Falls (February 21-March 2, 2013)

Now that’s what we’re selling today.  In the days and weeks ahead, stay tuned for this AMAZING array of 2013 AMAZING JOURNEYS….and start making plans to join us!

Israel: May 2 – 13

Irresistible Italy by Land:  June  6-16
 

Italy/Croatia Cruise: July 19 – 31

Alaska: August 16 – 23

Heli-hiking in the Canadian Rockies: Summer

Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons: Summer

Baseball Lover’s Dream Weekend: Summer

African Safari to South Africa and Botswana:  Fall

Australia and New Zealand:  Fall

Granted that some of these trips are well over a year away, but there are benefits to starting the planning process now.  Send us a note that you are interested in any of our destinations and we’ll place your name and email address on an “interest list”.  Interest Lists receive advanced and priority notice of all trips when they become available, and allow those individuals to capture what is sometimes very limited space or, as in the case of our cruises,  the very best stateroom location.

Amazing Journeys; going strong for over 22 years and heading towards even more amazing destinations.  We hope you’ll join us!

Traveling Single; A Fast & Furious Growth in the Travel Industry

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

After a long and committed relationship with couples and families, the travel industry is hitting the singles scene full force. There is a growing number of companies exclusively catering to unattached travelers organizing journeys that mix high-end vacationing with coed bonding. Many of these outfits are going beyond the old lonely hearts Carnival booze cruise, rolling out extended excursions to both nearby US National Parks and far-flung locales like Asia, Australia, South America and even Spitsbergen, Norway. 

According to the latest census, nearly half of all adult Americans are unmarried. With young people waiting till later in life to settle down and with more boomers retiring and getting their second wind, the travel industry has a lot of potential single clients. Research has found that 26 percent of leisure travelers took at least one trip by themselves last year. So while many others in the business are just starting to recover from the recession, solo-specific tour operators are reporting two or three times as many 2011 bookings as the industry overall.

Of course, going solo isn’t without its quirks. To begin with, singles-only companies sometimes avoid the single supplement by matching travelers with roommates, a delicate procedure. Then there’s the age factor: Since these trips draw nearly all ages, age-specific trips can lend itself to some people who miss the spectrum to feel left out….yet if a trip is open to too wide an age range it can tend to be too diverse for an interest group.

And women hoping to be surrounded by travel-loving men may be disappointed to discover that the clientele skews so heavily female that a few companies even reserve “emergency” spots for men. 

If you’re already humming the theme to The Love Boat, you’re not far off; while Julie and Gopher may not have been aboard, most early singles tours were cruises. Singles cruises today are no longer limited to just romantic Caribbean getaways.  Quite the contrary as experienced cruisers “outgrow” the fun in the sun idea in lieu of more destination-oriented endeavors.  Indeed, ocean-faring trips are still popular and becoming even more broad with cruising opportunties that not only include Europe, Alaska and Southeast Asia, but unique cruising experiences to far away places like Antarctica, Galapagos Islands and The Amazon.

Still, the singles-travel market now looks much like the general travel industry, with its constant stream of new and more unusual trips designed to appeal to experienced travelers. But no matter how much these companies tout their travel bona fides and stress that they’re not dating services, they say vacationers only care about one thing: more than where they are going, a recent survey showed that they want to know who else is going.

Despite even exotic destinations, it’s really the social side of the trips that has prompts many to sign up again and again.The preponderance of repeat bookers, though, can be intimidating to travelers who show up without knowing a soul. Travelers also report that the trips sometimes develop their own cliques, and even the companies admit that there are often one or two people who need a lot of help being eased into the group. Amazing Journeys, for example works diligently to “cater to the solo traveler”- expressing to first time travelers that everyone traveled with us for the first time once.  By nourishing the lasting value of repeat business while cultivating and catering to first time travelers, Amazing Journeys has had exceptional results in blending the two sources into each and every successful trip.

An Unofficial List of Amazing Journeys’ Top 10 Lifetime Experiences

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
Having traveled to all 7 continents with thousands of travelers over the course of 20 years in the biz, we have been privy to so many amazing life experiences for so many amazing people. While some prefer adventure to fulfill their bucket lists (jumping off the Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand), other prefer seeing famous landmarks (The Sydney Opera House). While some are in search of elusive wildlife (spotting a cheetah in Tanzania) others are thrilled to simply experience a paradise (snorkeling in French Polynesia).
Whatever the destination, we live in a world chock full of so many incredible, sometimes life-changing places to see, do and experience. Its why we do what we do–giving folks an opportunity to experience places once only read about in books or seen on television is something we are passionate about.
As a group of “wandering” Jews, we not only crave the next adventurous pursuit…we have strong opinions about how we do it. Feedback is an important component for Amazing Journeys in meeting the needs and understanding the interests of our clients. Through this feedback, we not only learn how to better meet these needs, we learn just how our jobs change lives of people. As our tagline says “Vacations That Change Your Life”.
In light of this premise, check out our Top Ten List of Lifetime Experiences that so many our passengers have shared with us; that have changed their lives. And ours too!
10. Zip Lining above the treetops in a cloud forest…in Costa Rica!
9. Witnessing the birth of a baby buffalo on safari…in Botswana!
8. After a day of waddling with thousands of penguins, having a whale swim so close to our ship that we could almost reach out and pet her…in Antarctica!
7. Cuddling a koala in our arms the same day we snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef…in Australia!
6. Traveling about as far from home as humanly possible and finally arriving at the Taj Mahal….in India!
5. Actually standing on and seeing the endless structure (over 4000 miles long) of The Great Wall….in China!
4. Watching all the pageantry culminated by seating at the famous Samba Parade during Carnaval….in Rio de Janeiro!
3. Physically exploring the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels – a labyrinth of underground survival strategies used by the Viet Cong during the war….in Vietnam!
2. Arriving atop the ancient, hard-to-truly-grasp preserved landscape of Machu Piccu….in Peru!
1. Mushing on a dog sled atop a glacier after the most scenic helicopter ride imaginable….in Alaska!
Now this is by no means a complete and final list. Some honorable AJ-Mentions include visiting The Hermitage in St. Petersburg Russia, climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia, cruising around Cape Horn-the southern tip of South America, living in scenery that looks like a painted picture in the Canadian Rockies, and hiking in the US national parks. There are so many other life experiences shared by our passengers and you too can experience a few yourself. Check out what AJ has in store for 2012 by visiting our website www.amazingjourneys.net or calling us at 412-571-0220.

Vacations That Change Your Life

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Over the past 20 years, (the last 11 years under the name Amazing Journeys) we have taken over 6000 passengers across seven continents to places once only dreamed of .   We tag our Amazing Journeys with “vacations that change your life” and there’s a reason we do so.

Together we’ve gone jetboating in New Zealand, hot-air ballooning in Australia, dog sledding in Alaska, snorkeling in the Caribbean, zip lining in Costa Rica, parading at Carnaval in Rio, biking in Europe, off-roading in Iceland and even swimming in Antarctica! 

We’ve seen the Statue of David, the Sydney Opera House, the massive Alaskan glaciers, the Aurora Borealis, the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, The Grand Canal in Venice and The Grand Canyon itself. 

We’ve been kissed by dolphins, cuddled by koalas, snorkeled with sea lions, swam with the stingrays, witnessed the birth of a buffalo and waddled with penguins. And….we’ve been the venue for the introduction of over 100 “happily ever after” individuals who, for obvious reasons, won’t be seen on an upcoming Jewish singles Amazing Journey.

Check out some of these life changing experiences we have provided and shared with our Amazing travelers. If you are one of the lucky one’s who have ‘been there, done that’ then you can attest to the life changing experiences we offer to our travelers and we invite you to come back for more. If you are one of our readers and followers and facebook friends who have yet to travel with us…what are you waiting for?  Life is too short to stay home. Get out there with us and experience what it’s like to have, by true definition, an Amazing Journey.

A vacation that will change your life.

Landmarks of the World

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Are you ready for a trip around the world?  Are you?  Really??

Sadly, the majority of Americans will rarely see any geography beyond their own borders.  The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries published a finding that only about 10% of of US residents have ever traveled to overseas destinations (Canada and Mexico excluded – they’re not overseas. )  Leisure travel is more than a vacation. Its an activity that makes you more worldly, knowledgeable and tolerant of the differences in cultures that make our planet so special.  Its an adventure.  Its a means to experience “Life” with a capital “L” – a chance to break from the routine…the norm…the grind…the familiararity…the common.  Its a purpose, not just an experience.  Humans are born to travel; we’ve been given the mobility and dexterity to do so and as Americans we’ve also been given the “land of opportunity’; a means to earn, spend and have plentiful of what most other nations around the world don’t.

Get Out There, America! Whether you’re single or married…Jewish or Christian….in your 30s or in your 60s; don’t do what the regretful elderly do when they say for decades “I’ll travel when I retire” or “I’ll get there someday”.  Go now, while you’re able-bodied, healthy and capable! You never know when you might not be, and denying yourself the greatest of life’s givings is a regret of unfathomable proportions.  Trust me, the world is an incredible place.  America is wonderful…but the world is, well, an Amazing Journey for all to see.

IF NOT NOW….WHEN?

Cairns

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

We experienced the best travel day ever!  We headed out in the wee hours of the morning for a hot air balloon ride over the city of Cairns. We lifted off in the balloons just as the sun was gently rising to unveil the surrounding beauty.   After the flight, we came back to earth for a champagne breakfast!  Later, we boarded a high-speed catamaran for an exciting excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.  From our base on Green Island, we were able to explore the reef and see beautifully colored fish swim by in their natural habitat.

The next day, we explored the rainforest, rivers and beaches of Daintree and Cape Tribulation. We joined a wildlife cruise through the mangroves and rainforest wilderness, and looked for crocodiles, pythons and flying foxes.  We met up with a botanist who guided us on an interpretative walk through the rainforest.

On our last day in Cairns, we  experienced the beauty of Far North Queensland’s World Heritage Rainforest as we traveled on the Kuranda Skyrail – the world’s largest gondola railway.  We rode above the canopy of the tropical rainforests of the Barron Gorge National Park.  Then we experienced the unique lifestyle of the Aborigine people with a visit to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Center.  We witnessed an Aboriginal dance show, learned about the Aboriginal life style, learned to throw a boomerang and to play a didgeridoo, a traditional instrument.

We’re on our way to Sydney…more later!

Ayers Rock and Cairns

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

At Ayers Rock we took a flightseeing plane over Uluru to watch the sunrise, and then had a relaxing day by the pool of our beautiful resort hotel.  In the evening we got to have “steaks on the barby”!

Today we’ll leave behind Australia’s Outback, and fly to Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. One of the world’s most spectacular natural attractions, the reef was established as a marine park in 1975 and is a collective haven for thousands of species of sea life, as well as turtles and birds.  In 1981 the United Nations designated the Great Barrier Reef a World Heritage site. This evening we’ll explore this enjoyable sea-side town, filled with night markets and restaurants galore!

Amazing Australia

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Our Amazing Journeyers arrived in Melbourne on Tuesday after flying over the international date line.  On the first day of our adventure, we enjoyed  kangaroos and koalas on a guided ecotour. We took an easy walk through the gum trees of the You Yangs Park looking for koalas, wallabies, kangaroos and birds in their natural settings and found them!  The cute koalas in the tree tops were just as we imagined!   Next, we traveled to the Serendip Open Range Sanctuary, developed by the Victorian government to provide refuge for a large variety of Australian fauna.  With our guide, we discovered water birds and dry land birds along with the exclusive viewing of wallabies, kangaroos, emus and other Australian wildlife.  This is what we came to Australia to see!   After our “outback lunch”, we took a short walk through the forest alongside a quiet stream.  Yesterday, we had the opportunity to explore Melbourne on a city tour, and in the evening, many of us got together with local singles.

 

Today we fly to Ayers Rock in the heart of the Australian Outback.  The huge monolith called Ayers Rock and the sandstone domes of the Olgas were created through the process of upheaval and erosion.  We’ll tour the Olgas and around the base of “the Rock”  and have some free time to relax or hike around the Olgas.

Tonight, we’ll partake in a Shabbat service with the base of Ayres Rock as the backdrop. Here we will be surrounded by a carpet of bright red ground beneath our feet and only the sounds of our voices to fill the night sky. We’ll then have an experience like no other during the “Sounds of Silence” dinner under millions of stars. We’ll sip on a glass of champagne with the sound of a lone didgeridoo filling the air as the sun slowly sets over the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) and Ayers Rock (Uluru).  We’ll dine on a gourmet BBQ of Australian delicacies and then sit back and take in the mystery of the desert at night as an astronomer takes us on a tour of the clear Southern night skies.

Follow our Amazing Journeyers when we update our adventures on this blog as well as on our Facebook Amazing Journeys Fan Page.

Goin’ to a Land Down Under

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

AJ heads off to the land of OZ. With koalas, kangaroos, boomerangs and a few  “G’day Mate”s leading the way, our group departs this weekend for 2 weeks to Australia.  And then, for many, another week follows to the land of kiwis, adventure and spectacular landscapes throughout New Zealand.

Soon, we’ll be snorkeling at The Great Barrier Reef, climbing The Sydney Harbour Bridge, tour The Sydney Opera House, safari-ing in the saavannah with ‘roos, emus and koalas, and exploring Ayres Rock in the true Outback. 

Its trips like this that give true meaning to the words “amazing journey”.

Stay tuned for highlights…

Friends

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

One of the greatest things about Amazing Journeys is, well..the journeys themselves.  Traveling to Alaska, Costa Rica, Australia, Europe or South America are destinations that fulfill lifelong dreams and help make us all more worldly and appreciative of other walks of life.

But a journey can be an incomplete experience  if you have no one with whom to share it.  Like a tree in the forest needs other trees to grow, prosper and evolve…so do we humans need others to share in such landmark experiences as seeing life & history in another land.  From here, friends are made.  A team of players share the thrills of competition, a couple share the birth of a child, a committee helps steer the future of a community center — these are all examples of the attachments we have to needing and desiring the company of others.  These are also examples of how friends are made.

Through Amazing Journeys, friends are made by sharing a common experience together; that of visiting another land.  Taking pictures, going on a hike, sitting with a new acqaintance on a bus ride, sharing a meal, sitting in the jacuzzi or just chatting with someone while strolling through the streets are some of the most meaningful shared life experiences, and friend-making opportunities while on a tour.  We know this premise very well as we instruct all our tour guides to not be offended if there’s chatter going on while a tour is in progress. Our groups love to chat!

But that’s the process…and the meaning behind traveling with a group.  Traveling with others brings a world of perspective, adventure and the unexpected.  It brings a potential for new friends that no other venue can offer.  The experiences that AJ-made friends share together are life changing and special.  And sometimes even matrimonial–over 100 individuals have found their soulmates on a previous Amazing Journey.

As Amazing Journeys embarks on our Reunion Weekend this Friday, we relish in the thousands of  friendships that have been made over the years along our travels.  We’ve made friends, yes, but the essense of our joy is witnessing the endless array of friendship and courtship that comes with being a travel member on an Amazing Journey.  As our new friend Arlene stated in an email to us upon returning home from our recent Alaska cruise/tour:  “Hopefully this will be only the beginning of our friendship. You said this trip would create wonderful new memories and friendships that would last a lifetime and already I see this coming to fruition.After I returned home, following my incredible two week trip, I felt “Alive”, busting with pure joy, exhilaration and happiness. Thank you for an incredible and outstanding trip and experience!!”

Whatever you garner while traveling, the memories will last a lifetime…but the friendships will change your life, over time.

There’s great meaning to the phrase “that’s what friends are for”