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WASHINGTON (April 9, 2015)—National Geographic Traveler magazine today announced its annual Tours of a Lifetime selection, now in its 10th year. From stalking lion tracks in the Serengeti to kayaking secret coves in Croatia to following the wine trail in the Republic of Georgia, the 50 best guided tours selected this year offer authentic travel experiences that are sure to leave participants engaged and ensconced in culture. National Geographic Travel is the travel arm of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, founded in 1888. Select your travel style--whether it's our signature expeditions, our active outdoors adventures, or our lower-priced journeys.
Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices. On our voyages to Antarctica aboard the state-of-the-art National Geographic Explorer or the new National Geographic Orion, experience the splendor of the coldest and oldest continent with an unparalleled team of scientists, photographers, naturalists, and undersea specialists. Travel the world with our experts on our flagship expeditions by land, train, private jet, or on board our fleet of small ships. All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy, are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. This temple in Abydos, Egypt, is part of a tour offered by Sanctuary Retreats.See all tours in Africa.
Chagres National Park in Panama, home to Indian villagers, is part of a tour offered by Ancon Expeditions of Panama.See all tours in Central and South America. Brazil's Chapada Diamantina, pictured here at sunset, is part of a tour offered by Country Walkers.Se all tours in Central and South America. A visit to the Monastery in the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, is part of a tour offered by Wildland Adventures.See all tours in Asia. The coral islands of Raja Ampat, part of southeast Asia's Coral Triangle, is part of a tour offered by SeaTrek Sailing Adventures.See all tours in Asia. A tour by Polar Explorers features views of king penguins on the march on South Georgia Island. Iceland: Horse Course Brought by Viking settlers some 1,000 years ago, Icelandic horses are coveted for their flowing manes, good temperaments, and graceful gaits. A mountaineer absorbs the sunset view of Everest in Khumbu, Nepal, part of a tour offered by One World Trekking. Nepal: Everest at 60 Traveling to Everest—even if only to its base—takes on special significance in 2013, the 60th anniversary of the first successful ascent of the mountain.
The Galapagos Archipelago, Darwin's living laboratory, is home to an abundance of wildlife. Cruise to pristine islands and walk among colonies of animals and birds unfazed by your presence. Explore the waters of the Galapagos by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only), or Zodiac.
In keeping with the nature of an expedition, our itinerary is flexible, allowing you to take advantage of this extraordinary wildlife sanctuary. Walk to the top of Bartolome's volcanic cone for a stunning view of Pinnacle Rock and the surrounding white sand beaches.
Santa Cruz is home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, a breeding station for endangered native species. Spend the early morning on the lookout for dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and the unusual ocean sunfish, the Mola mola. We are happy to announce that our tour Wolf tracking in Winter has been selected as one of 50 tours of a lifetime by National Geographic 2015. This is the most prestigious award we can get, says Marcus Eldh, founder and owner of WildSweden. It means that our tours are among the best in the World. We have been working with the details to deliver the type of experiences that people truly enjoy and remember. The tour that is selected is organized by WildSweden, and led by the Swedish Wolf tracker and artist Anders Stahl in the county of Dalarna, Sweden.

The 2015 list features 50 of the world’s best guided trips chosen by the editors of National Geographic Traveler. The additional five unique tours from the National Geographic Travel family include inspiring expert-led adventures from Australia to Ireland to the Pacific Islands.
Exploring by kayak, Zodiac, and on foot, discover a spectacular world sculpted from ice, and encounter the whales, seals, and quirky penguins that call this place home.
Walk, trot, gallop, and tolt (a natural gait unique to the breed) astride one of these beauties through the meadows, lava fields, and sandy beaches of Sn?fellsnes Peninsula—all in the shadow of Sn?fellsjokull, the glacier-capped cone volcano that inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, it is that rare wilderness where animals have no instinctive fear of humans. Walk among vivid green and red marine iguanas, and observe sea lions up close on a pristine white-sand beach. Offers are for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and are subject to availability. And I am sure we will reach out to even more travelers after being selected to this list by National Geographic. The accommodation, the food, the guides were all excellent and we were very lucky with the wildlife.
In addition, the editors picked five of their favorite expeditions of a lifetime offered by National Geographic. National Geographic Traveler (eight issues per year) is the world’s most widely read travel magazine and has 17 international editions. National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the Society, offers a variety of unique travel experiences led by top experts to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents. He stopped to chart Easter Island, the launching point for this voyage aboard the 114-passenger M.S. Base camp awaits, buzzing with the excitement of the anniversary celebration, mountaineering expeditions preparing for summit bids, and the start of the annual Hillary and Tenzing marathon. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Endeavour or National Geographic Islander, experience up close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and domed giant tortoises. Lots of beavers, 17 moose, 3 bears and lots of birds and other wildlife we just happened to see.My husband and I had high expectations for this trip and we were not disappointed.
Travel opportunities include family and student expeditions, active adventures, private jet trips and voyages on the six expedition ships in the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet, as well as photography workshops, expeditions and seminars.
We learned a huge amount about Sweden and it’s wildlife and this made the sightings even more special.
Relax over evening meals of kebabs, hummus, olives, and fresh pita bread in traditional Bedouin camps filled with tribal rugs and plush, overstuffed pillows.
Adding context are onboard lectures from Temple University art history professor Frank Dabell and National Trust for Historic Preservation horticulturalist Patrick Bowe. Your reward is a rare approach to the monastery and ancient city, rediscovered by Swiss explorer Johann Burckhardt in 1812. Everywhere we stayed and everyone we met through Wild Sweden was wonderful.I cannot recommend this trip highly enough and cannot wait to come back for wolf howling and any other trips Marcus and the team can offer! Meet some of their descendants before calling on the idyllic, if less storied, island of Mangareva and the Tuamotus archipelago for nature walks and snorkeling amid iridescent fish. In Syracuse, the group will visit the baroque palazzo of Baron Beneventano for a tour and refreshments. We were looking for a holiday to remember with a personal touch and that’s exactly what we got. Poke around the ruins of what experts believe is the lost city in the vast sand of the Empty Quarter. Picnic at private estates and stay at five-star digs (Siena’s 17th-century Grand Hotel Continental, for example). The trip launches in exotic Muscat and traces the craggy coast of the sultanate before plunging into the interior. The Anglo-Irish polar explorer Ernest Shackleton landed here in 1916 after sailing 800 treacherous miles in an open boat, only to trudge across the island in a bid for safety.

Opt for an electric bike ($400 extra) to save face on those climbs and focus on the countryside vistas rather than the burning in your quads.
Retrace his journey, by ski and sleigh, from King Haakon Bay up the Murray Snowfield, over the spine of the Trident Ridge to Crean Glacier, and over the final hump from Fortuna Bay to the remains of the Stromness whaling station.
The country’s trademark breakfast (rashers and sausage) is included, but unlike most of the trips featured here, lunch and dinner are not. This multisport romp takes you mountain biking through the Whakarewarewa Forest and trekking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Recoup with a soak in geothermal pools and a Maori feast cooked underground with hot stones. Ask about private ancestral tours pegged to Ireland’s 2013 diaspora celebration, called the Gathering. Nineteenth-century British scientist Alfred Russel Wallace came up with similar theories after traveling widely in Malaysia and Indonesia, where he noted marked differences between the same animal species across a narrow strait in the archipelago (Wallace’s line). Finally, pay homage to that most beloved of explorers, Bilbo Baggins, with a visit to the set of The Hobbit. Naturalist Tony Whitten narrates select voyages aboard the traditionally built 12-cabin schooner Ombak Putih, exploring the flora and fauna that inspired Wallace’s work and commemorating the 100th anniversary of his death. There are long nature walks, such as the one through the Palava hills reserve, samplings of Czech beer and Moravian wine, and tours of Prague and the beautifully preserved city of Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its baroque and Gothic architecture. In between running rapids (Class 3-4), explore the Altay villages of Saratan and Ust’ Ulagan and check out the unique petroglyphs of the Chuya Trakt. Ditch your devices and float down the Klaralven River, a historic logging route, for five days. Visit this topographical and cultural wonderland with one of the few Western companies guiding trips there. Climb the 9,721-foot Mount Ramelau to take in the sunrise, hike through old-growth tropical forests looking for prehistoric rock paintings, and share ikan sabuko (fish cooked in banana leaves) with the villagers of Loi Huno.
Here’s a chance to experience this remote, unspoiled region with its unique Ottoman-influenced culture.
See it all on this compelling itinerary; highlights are a balloon ride over Angkor Wat and a stint helping staff at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre prepare food for its more than 100 resident sun bears. The Asia expert’s nonprofit partner, READ Global, has established 689 libraries throughout the continent.
This itinerary hits all the high notes: a private tour of the Anton Chekhov Museum and dacha, cooking and sharing a meal with descendants of the Tatars, and a VIP tasting at the storied Massandra vineyards.
In Gobi, your own caravan passes dunes and the Flaming Cliffs, where Andrews famously discovered the first fossilized dinosaur eggs the modern world had ever seen. Nice touch: Prior to the trip, kids are connected with pen pals they’ll meet once they arrive. There’s Peking duck in the capital, Sichuan hot pot in Chengdu, and lamb skewers roasted over coals at Xi’an’s Muslim Quarter market in the evening. Pedal some 40 miles a day on the back roads of Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrenees, and Languedoc-Roussillon, stopping for wine tastings, a canoe paddle down the Dordogne, and cassoulet, sans guilt. Work up an appetite between meals with cooking demonstrations and visits to the regions’ musts: the giant panda breeding center and the terra-cotta warriors. Tag along with Asia pro Denise Gogarty to experience traditional ceremonies of each: rites for novitiates at a Buddhist Burmese monastery, a lamp-lighting ceremony at Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma), and the colorful masked dances of Bhutan’s Thimphu Tshechu festival. Walk by day, stopping in the evening at one of the route’s 69 preserved “post” villages for a hot-springs soak and overnight at a ryokan.

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