By Terry Dale, President and CEO, USTOA


Whether it’s trekking through the Himalayas, sea kayaking in Croatia or zip lining through Costa Rica, a recent survey of USTOA tour operator members showed that more than half of the membership offers adventure itineraries diverse enough to fit all levels of thrill-seeking travelers.

Ready to get your adrenaline pumping? Be inspired by these adventurous itineraries from USTOA members…


Perillo’s Learning Journeys offers an otherworldly journey to some of the most sacred sites in the Hindu religion on its India Himalayan Spiritual Adventure-Source of The Ganges. Travelers will trek through the Himalayas on a quest to Gomukh at the Gangotri glacier, the source of The Holy River Ganges. Daily morning yoga sessions and a pilgrimage to the Badrinath Temple also await guests on this itinerary. Starting at $2,850 per person, this 17-day spiritual journey is available in May, June and September 2017.

Perillo's Learning Journey India Himalayan Spiritual Adventure-Source of The Ganges

Guests climb high into the Costa Rican forest for their choice of a “Hanging Bridges” tour or a zip line course during Collette’s nine-day Tropical Costa Rica trip. Also available is the chance to explore the world’s largest butterfly gardens and participate in a nature walk through the Monteverde Cloud Forest surrounded by trees up to 100 feet tall. This South American adventure is available on select dates June-November, 2017 from $1,749 per person.

Travelers on Grand American Adventures’ Alaskan Highlights itinerary will discover some of Alaska’s most enchanting destinations including Denali National Park and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Guests also will participate in a guided wildlife cruise through Kenali Fjords National Park and can see a dog sledding demonstration and the Talkeetna Ranger Station to perhaps taste a local specialty, reindeer sausage. Available on select dates in June-August 2017, this 11-day trip starts at $2,807 (after 10% discount).

Grand American Adventures’ Alaskan Highlights

Adventure seekers can head east for Wendy Wu Tours’ China Trailblazer itinerary. On this expansive 21-day trip, guests will hike along the Jinshanling Section of the Great Wall of China and through the picturesque Bifeng Gorge to visit the Duijangyan Panda Base. Additionally, travelers will come face to face with the infamous Terracotta Warriors and enjoy daily Tai Chi sessions. Available for select departures in April, May, September and October starting at $5,590 per person.

Why drive through the Irish countryside when you can cycle through the incredible landscape on VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations’ Cycling Ireland’s South: Counties Waterford and Tipperary? This easy/moderate biking journey immerses travelers in the spectacular cycling routes around Dungarvan Bay and along quiet country roads through quaint villages. Travelers can save $400 per person on the June 3 departure of this 10-day itinerary. Additional departures May to October 2017 starting at $3,395, including international airfare.

VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations’ Cycling Ireland's South: Counties Waterford and Tipperary

Discover the adventure of Botswana like never before during Abercrombie & Kent’s Botswana Safari in Style. During this luxury safari guests will cruise along the Okavango Delta in a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe), observing aquatic life from massive hippos to tiny frogs. Travelers will stay in intimate camps and lodges and get tips on capturing images of the “Big Five” during a private lecture from a professional photographer. Available on select departure dates throughout 2017, rates start at $6,995 per person.

Adventurous travelers can explore the winter wonderland of Finland on Alexander+Roberts’ Finland’s Lapland – Winter Adventures in the Arctic Circle trip. Guests will spend four nights above the Arctic Circle in a private log cabin with attached glass igloo, enjoying outdoor activities such as dog-sledding, nighttime reindeer sleigh rides, and snowmobiling in search of the Northern Lights. Starting at $5,899 per person, the itinerary is available from October 30, 2017 to March 28, 2018.

Alexander + Roberts Finland’s Lapland – Winter Adventures in the Arctic Circle

Avanti Destinations’ five-day Croatia: Split Adventure excursion offers travelers the chance to explore the city of Split through exhilarating activities such as sea kayaking, river rafting and zip lining tours. Available to book now through September 15, 2017 for travel from May 1 to October 15, 2017. Rates start at $845 per person, based on double occupancy.

Avanti Destinations’ Croatia: Split Adventure excursion

Escape the summer heat on Holland America Line’s 10-day Denali Alaskan cruise. Experience salmon fishing along the Alaskan port of Ketchikan, be enraptured by the sights of Denali National Park, cruise Glacier Bay’s ice-studded fjords, and more. Available on select dates from May to September 2017, rates start at $999 per person.

Chase the Northern Lights by husky sled, reindeer safari or horse sleigh ride on Europe Express’ action-packed Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort Winter Escape. For four nights, guests will ski, snowshoe or sled through snowy forests and stay in a glass igloo for Aurora Borealis spotting. Available from November 2017 through April 2018, prices start at $1,599 per person.

Europe Express’ Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort Winter Escape

Traverse to the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain on Goway’s seven-day Kilimanjaro Climb – Marangu Route expedition. The journey features treks through the rainforest and awe-inspiring views of waterfalls before the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. During the demanding climb, trekkers will stay in dormitory style huts scaling almost 20,000-feet. Available throughout 2017, prices start from $2,155 per person.

Discover Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand on two wheels with Intrepid Travel’s Cycle Indochina 13-day itinerary. On this trip through Indochina, riders will cycle 37 miles each day along sites such as the Mekong Delta and Khun Dan Dam, Thailand’s largest dam. Available on various dates from April to July 2017, rates start at $2,230 per person.

Intrepid Travel’s Cycle Indochina

Explore the remote country of Greenland by water on Quark Expedition’s East Greenland: Northern Lights 14-day itinerary. Guests have the opportunity to visit Northeast Greenland National Park and either hike through the Arctic tundra or journey Greenland’s waters via kayak. Prices start at $8,395 per person. An additional discount of up to $3,500 per person is available on the August 16, 2017 departure.

Quark Expedition’s East Greenland: Northern Lights

Families looking to spend quality time together are invited to experience Austin Adventures’ six-day Yellowstone Grand Teton Family Vacation Trip Solar Eclipse Departure. The trip includes views of the solar eclipse, whitewater rafting down the Snake River, a visit to Old Faithful, and a dip in a secret swimming hole. Families will also get the chance to spot a variety of wildlife, including moose and bald eagles. This special departure is available August 20, 2017 and rates start at $3,098 per adult and up to $2,788 per child.

Austin Adventures’ Yellowstone Grand Teton Family Vacation Trip Solar Eclipse Departure

Head south during Adventures by Disney’s 10-day South Africa Destination package. This African adventure gives families a chance to take a three-day safari through the Kapama Game Reserve, hike in the Featherbed Nature Reserve, and more. Guests can also see African penguins at the Cape of Good Hope. Departure dates are available from June 10, 2017 to December 23, 2017. Prices start at $8,679 per adult and $8,249 per child.

Adventures by Disney’s South Africa Destination

Travelers looking for Canadian adventure can find it on Tauck’s Bugaboos Adventure Featuring Heli-Exploring. Invented in the Canadian Rockies by Arthur Tauck Jr., Heli-Exploring brings guests by helicopter to Bugaboo Lodge, high in the Purcell Mountains in British Columbia to participate in daily helicopter-assisted hiking excursions. Passengers also will discover the town of Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta. Departures are available in July and August 2017 from $5,990 per person based on double occupancy plus airfare.


Editor’s Note: Information was correct at time of writing. All tours/packages subject to availability. Prices may vary from time of writing, based on currency fluctuations.