Bhutan, Colombia and The Baltics will offer inspirational travel experiences through Expert-led itineraries
CELEBRATION, Fla. (June 6, 2023) — Travelers will soon have more exciting destinations and countries to explore with National Geographic Expeditions. Beginning in 2024, three new itineraries spanning five countries will be added to the leading global travel portfolio, all featuring the incredible access, deep knowledge and extraordinary storytelling that only National Geographic can provide. Travelers will be inspired by the insights, beauty, landscapes and architecture as they discover the wonders of the world.
The new Signature Land trips visit Bhutan, Colombia and the Baltics. These group-guided itineraries will provide an enriching, in-depth look at the history, cultures and natural heritage of each destination. Each Signature Land trip is hosted by a National Geographic Expert who provides a one-of-a-kind perspective. With specialties such as filmmaking, conservation, photography, archaeology, geography and many more, the Experts who travel on Signature Land expeditions are passionate storytellers who have a close connection to National Geographic, and their unique insights foster a travel experience that enlightens, inspires and goes in-depth like no other.
Bookings for all three itineraries will open on June 13, 2023.
The remote kingdom of Bhutan welcomes travelers to experience the wonders of its dramatic landscapes and storied cities. An exploration of this Buddhist kingdom found on the Himalayas’ eastern edge is filled with a rich and unique culture and reflects its commitment to tradition, the environment and the happiness of its people. The 11-day, 10-night itinerary includes visiting much of Bhutan through major destinations such as Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Phobjikha Valley.
Highlights of the expedition include:
- Unparalleled access: dining with Bhutanese dignitaries such as business professionals and government officials who will engage with guests and provide insights on everyday life in Bhutan and, a meet and greet with a Buddhist scholar and a privately guided hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
- Architectural wonders: touring Punakha Dzong to learn and appreciate Bhutanese architecture and visiting the golden Buddha Dordenma Statue and the Divine Mad Monk Monastery.
- Cultural immersion: enjoying hands-on experiences such as participating in the butter lamp lighting tradition and lessons in the national sport of archery.
Renowned medical anthropologist Carroll Dunham has been confirmed as one of the National Geographic Experts slated to join select Bhutan departures. Dunham has lived in Nepal studying Buddhism for the past 30 years. She is an avid storyteller with a focus on environmental conservation related to sacred spaces of Southeast Asia. Dunham has authored four books exploring the feminine divine in South Asian history and culture, and she has also produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic and others on topics ranging from Living Goddesses to polyandry, nomadism and geology.
There are five Bhutan departure dates in 2024 beginning in March and extending through December. Specific Expert dates will be released later this year.
Travelers will dive into a nine-day, eight-night tour through beautiful landscapes of Colombia from the mountains to the beaches. They will embark on a journey across Bogota, the Cocora Valley, Pereira, Santa Marta and through Tayrona National Park and Barranquilla to make their way to Cartagena.
Highlights of the expedition include:
- Insider experiences: visiting San Basilio de Palenque, the first free town for enslaved people in the Americas, which was proclaimed a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2005.
- Inspiration from the past and the present: exploring the archaeological ruins of Taironaka, learning about the modern-day Kogi people or being immersed in the music and traditions of the celebrated Barranquilla Carnaval.
- Delicious journeys: sampling local delicacies and savoring the flavors of the coffee region while learning how Colombia became one of the most popular coffee exporters in the world.
- Spectacular wildlife: hiking through the towering wax palms of Cocora Valley or gazing in wonder at the endemic species of birds and mammals found in Tayrona National Park.
National Geographic Explorer Rosa Vásquez Espinoza has been confirmed as one of the Experts set to join select Colombia departures. Chemical biologist, educator, conservationist and TV personality, Espinoza travels to the most extreme ecosystems of the planet searching for the tiniest creatures, from heat-loving microbes to Amazonian stingless bees. She is passionate about driving awareness for conservation.
There are six Colombia departure dates in 2024 beginning in January and extending through December. Specific Expert dates will be released later this year.
The Baltics are classified as one geographic region, yet it consists of three distinct countries sitting on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. Travelers will visit all three countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, to gain a deeper understanding of what makes each region unique, from language, traditions and beyond. The 11-day, 10-night itinerary will take travelers across destinations such as Vilnius, the Curonian Spit, Klaipeda, Riga, Sigulda, Gauja National Park and Tallinn.
Highlights of the expedition include:
- History brought to life: delving into medieval times during privately guided excursions to Cesis Castle and Gusmanas Caves and more recent history of World War II and the Soviet Era during guided visits to the Ninth Fort, Hill of Crosses and Maajamae Palace. Each experience showcases how these countries changed over time and were influenced by foreign occupations.
- Cultural preservation: cruising along the UNESCO recognized Curonian Spit or venturing through the UNESCO celebrated Old Town Centers of Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn.
- A taste of the destination: touring a local market in Riga and seeing — and trying — the local ingredients that make up Latvian cuisine.
Photographer and naturalist Jeff Mauritzen has been confirmed as one of the Experts slated to join select Baltics departures. With adventures taking him to more than 60 countries around the world, Mauritzen’s photography has appeared in dozens of National Geographic books, several National Geographic Traveler magazine articles and on the @natgeotravel Instagram account.
There are four Baltics departure dates in 2024 beginning in May and extending through October. Specific Expert dates will be released later this year.
Bookings for the new itineraries will open on June 13, 2023. Visit NationalGeographicExpeditions.com, call 888-732-2379, or contact a travel agent to learn more or to book an expedition.
About National Geographic Expeditions
For more than 135 years, National Geographic Explorers have ventured across continents and into remote cultures, down to the oceans’ depths and up the highest mountains to further their understanding of the world. National Geographic Expeditions builds upon this legacy, inviting travelers to embrace their inner explorer and encounter the wonders of the world firsthand — up close and in depth — and be inspired by the experience. With many ways to explore the world via Signature Land, Expedition Cruise, River Cruise, or Private Jet, National Geographic Expeditions gives travelers unparalleled access to the world through the eyes of knowledgeable Experts. Additionally, traveling with National Geographic Expeditions helps further the work of the global community of National Geographic Explorers around the world. Every trip booked helps support the global nonprofit National Geographic Society in its work to protect and illuminate our world through exploration, research, and education. For information on National Geographic Expeditions, please visit www.natgeoexpeditions.com or follow along at @natgeoexpeditions.