Did You Know?
It is generally accepted that the oldest travel agency in the world is British operator, Cox & Kings. It was Thomas Cook who came up with the concept of packaged tours. The oldest travel agency in the United States is understood to be Brownell Travel.
A desert hike in the Salar de Uyuni? Or an architectural tour in Alberobello? How about a visit to view Mt. Kelimutu's unique crater lakes? Our world, indeed is full of several awe-inspiring sites such as these, and it is one of life's great pleasures to be able to visit them.
While there are many who trumpet the cause of independent travel, citing various reasons such as cost-effectiveness and flexibility, assisted travel also has its fair share of takers. Well, isn't it nice to leave the hassle of planning a journey to an experienced operator? This way, the only thing the traveler has to do is have pure, unadulterated fun.
The following tour operators are known to have carved a niche for themselves, check them out for yourself.
Linblad Expeditions is the go-to company, if you're seeking an interesting and educational voyage of discovery. Their experiences involve high-tech, environmentally-friendly small ship travels, which include exclusive workshops with world-renowned scientists, exclusive itineraries in the most stunning natural settings, along with ground-breaking exploration tools. Their collaboration with National Geographic means that you have the best-in-the-business to teach you all there is about the environment, and to experience it responsibly.
So if it is the Arctic, or even the Galapagos Islands that's on your mind, all you need to do is to click on the link below.
Absolute Travel is another operator that has made a name for itself by banking on the exotic factor. But what puts them in this list is the fact that they've taken the concept of personalized tours to a whole new level of expertise. They promise to effortlessly incorporate any of your passions―be it cooking, yoga, archeology, or volunteering into your travel experience, in order to max it beyond your expectations.
These guys are the first to have taken American travelers to places like Cambodia and Vietnam, thus opening their eyes to a unique landscape and culture that was never viewed in touristic light ever before. Their patrons speak of them in glowing terms, and the awards have never stopped coming―a trip with Absolute Travels is an absolute must!
This quaint little family-run business is anything but little. Micato Safaris, with its trademark brand of warmth and hospitality has been taking patrons into their homes to acquaint them with the local flavors and conducting bush expeditions for a better part of the past century. Over the past 50-odd years, they've made their mark with the personal touch that they lend to every tour they conduct―something that several travel companies now put in their glossy brochures and market them as 'exclusives'.
Be it anywhere in Africa or India, Micato's safaris are a class apart from the rest, and they have a long list of awards and honors to show for it. They are impeccably organized, they hire locals, create a truly all-inclusive package with no last minute add-ons, cater to celebrities and us plebeians alike, and never ever cancel, no matter if the group size gets considerable reduced.
Abercrombie & Kent
When it comes to tailor-made holidays, you don't need to look beyond Abercrombie & Kent. All you have to do is name a place on any of the planet's seven continents, and they will take it up from there. Be it an adventurous trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro, or an archeological foray at Machu Picchu, or a trip into the unknown hinterlands of Bhutan, it certainly isn't a sweat for these guys to formulate a fantastic itinerary, just for you.
Their fabulous new addition remains the VIP Airport Concierge, which is available at more than 350 airports around the world. Which essentially means that those oft-boring layovers are now an absolute pleasure, since it includes perks like limo transfers, lounge access (regardless of ticket class), private city tours, and a customs escort. Talk about maximizing your entire travel experience.
Butterfield & Robinson
Butterfield & Robinson have been steadfastly urging people to 'stop and smell the roses' ever since they opened shop in 1966. Their specialty happens to be bicycling and walking tours, which has their very experienced staff take their patrons on to the path less trodden. What it results in, is an unforgettable experience that could at best be termed out of this world, and completely in tune with nature.
In a bid to go greener than they already are, B&R have added a spanking new fleet of e-bikes to their European tours, which makes zipping along those cobbled streets a lot easier. From trips that take you through the French vineyards, to gorilla tracking in central Africa, B&R seem to simply have it all covered.
It wouldn't matter much if we'd praised any number of tour operators to the high heavens―what matters more is what you think, once you've availed their services yourself. Top of the line services are a guarantee with these guys, so don't forget to share your experiences.