Tapping into the growing solo travel market, nature travel expert International Expeditions is offering cabins with no single supplement fees on all 2013 Amazon and Galapagos small-ship cruises.
“We have seen growing numbers of single travelers looking for safe, escorted travel to the world’s wildlife-rich regions, and in 2012 solo travelers have made up 21 percent of all passengers in the Amazon and Galapagos,“ said IE President Van Perry in a written release. “IE has made every effort to make our journeys open and inclusive for all travelers, and that includes keeping single supplements as low as possible and waiving the fees on cabins throughout the year – not just at the last minute.”
These statistics echo a report released in May by TUI North American Specialist, a collection of adventure tour companies, which stated that solo travelers accounted for 22 percent of the business for those companies, up two percent over last year.
Aboard IE’s pioneering journey into the headwaters of the Amazon River, clients travel aboard a classically styled riverboat, the 24-guest Aquamarina, enjoying numerous wildlife sightings. Daily outings on this small-ship adventure take travelers deep into the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve to spot diverse wildlife, hike into the rainforest, and even fish for piranha. During excursions into the narrow river tributaries, clients may spot more than 100 kinds of birds, pink and gray river dolphins, sloths, giant otters and such nocturnal animals as caimans and capybaras.
Amazon cruise passengers also spend time with Ribereños in remote river villages, handing out school supplies to children and meeting with a local shaman. Ensuring a high level of authenticity, IE varies the villages guests visit during their Amazon expedition.
2013 rates for the 10-day Amazon River cruises start at $3,898 and include pre-cruise accommodations, complimentary onboard laundry, all excursions, most meals, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals.
On the 10-day Galapagos Islands cruise, International Expeditions’ 32-guest yacht M/V Evolution navigates to captivating islands, where the small group size allows for easy access to the wildlife and far more personal attention than guests find aboard large cruise ships. Onboard, clients sail in comfort with spacious accommodations, fine cuisine and a host of amenities including an observation deck (perfect for whale watching) and canopied bar, plus complimentary snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks.
In addition to daily snorkeling and hiking, other highlights include a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center, famous for its tortoise breeding programs; an exploration of Santiago Island, a haven for finches, doves and Galapagos hawks; and a sailing to iconic Kicker Rock.
Highly trained Galapagos naturalist guides enhance travelers’ experiences by sharing their in-depth knowledge and bringing guests within inches of giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and other animals.
Prices for the Galapagos Islands expedition cruises start at $5,098 in 2013, and include pre- and post-cruise accommodations, all excursions, most meals, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals.