From spectacular lowland rainforests on the coastal plains to 15,000-foot-high peaks, Papua New Guinea is rightly called “the land of the unexpected.” Explore the fascinating culture and villages along the Karawari River, and the spectacular flora, fauna, and unique culture of the highlands from
New and Unique Trips Around The World
Unlike other tour operators, Zegrahm’s calendar of expeditions changes from year to year. 2019 is no different, with 15 brand-new itineraries that have been carefully curated to immerse you in the culture and natural history of each exotic destination.
We recently caught up with Director of Planning, Jon Nicholson, to find out more about the trip planning process and the exciting new expedition lineup.
Q: How does Zegrahm come up with new itineraries?
A: We plan each new season based on feedback from our expedition staff and guests—we literally sit around a giant map of the world each spring to plot out where we are going to go the following year. Our operations team then takes this “wish list” and begins the enviable task of researching and scouting each new destination to create a unique lineup of trips.
Q: What are some of the trips that were on the “wish list” of the expedition staff?
A: Our expedition staff is extremely well traveled and always comes armed with interesting and original ideas on where to go next. If only we could do them all! Below are the “wish list” trips that came to fruition in 2019.
Parks & Palaces of Rajasthan combines the amazingly diverse natural history of Rajasthan with stays at some of India’s most luxurious properties, including a maharaja’s palace.
Underwater Wonders of Western Australia offers a comprehensive exploration of one of the least-visited and most pristine corners of Australia—you’ll search for whale sharks off Nigaloo Reef, glide past colorful gardens of hard and soft coral, and step ashore on remote, protected islands that provide safe nesting sites for numerous species of turtles and seabirds.
Time of your Life South Africa is a revelation of the diversity and natural beauty of the Rainbow Nation. You’ll discover fields of fynbos, an entire floral kingdom only found in the south-western corner of the country; search for iconic African wildlife; stay in luxury accommodations; and sample world-class wines and cuisine.
Cultural Gems of Sri Lanka—a trip inspired by Travcoa—explores the impressive ruins of ancient kingdoms, as well as sacred Buddhist sites, beautiful colonial architecture, and a tea plantation. Even if you’ve traveled on Zegrahm’s Natural Wonders of Sri Lanka, this expedition offers a new perspective of this dynamic country.
And finally, explore the Iberian Peninsula “Zegrahm-style” with visits to the very best sites along with plenty of hidden gems.
Q: Several of the “new” small-ship cruises are visiting places that Zegrahm has gone to before. What makes these trips new?
A: Our new small-ship cruises combine some of our favorite stops from past voyages, plus some very expeditionary stops that were proposed during our spring planning meeting. All of these voyages incorporate brand-new stops for at least half of the itinerary. On Bay of Bengal: Chennai to Yangon you’ll explore Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and make stops along the coast that are difficult to reach by other means.
We couldn’t resist the opportunity to trace the Path of the Vikings: Reykjavik to Quebec. We’ll combine our favorite spots in Iceland and Greenland, plus all new explorations along Newfoundland and the St. Lawrence Seaway aboard Le Champlain, a brand-new vessel boasting luxe accommodations and fine French cuisine.
Papua New Guinea is rightly known as the ‘Land of the Unexpected,’ and after dozens of visits, we’re still discovering new islands, beaches, and underwater landscapes to explore—many are almost untouched by the modern world.
Q: Zegrahm has been offering African safaris for more the 28 years; what’s special about these new expeditions?
A: For many people, one trip to Africa is never enough. That was certainly true for me after my first safari in 1976! Since then I’ve returned to Africa a dozen times and have used my experiences to craft Ultimate Kenya and Iconic Africa: Kenya & Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls.Kenya is an ever-popular safari choice. In fact, the concept of “safari” was invented here—it means journey in Swahili. With an amazing range of habitats and the full panoply of East African wildlife, Kenya offers a classic and rewarding safari experience for beginners and safari aficionados alike. For those who want a taste of both East and Southern Africa, Iconic Africa offers the perfect combination of habitats, plus the impressive spectacle of Victoria Falls.
Q: Which new itineraries do you think are the most unique, adventurous, or expeditionary?
A: Cultural Treasures of Northern Vietnam & Laos, Gorillas of the Congo, Ultimate Ethiopia, and In Search of Snow Leopards. Each of these expeditions travel to places that can be difficult to navigate on your own and take you to some very remote areas.
Q: Which of the new trip would you like to go on?
A: Oman & Jordan! I’ve been to over 100 countries but never traveled to Oman. Unlike its northern neighbors, Oman has maintained its traditions and offers an authentic taste of Arab culture. And though I’ve already been to Jordan, the ruins of Petra are worth another visit, and the people are always so welcoming.
Papua New Guinea: Cultural ConnectionsFebruary 25 — March 6, 2019
Natural Wonders of Sri LankaMarch 15 — March 31, 2019
Wildlife expert Mark Brazil leads this immersive exploration of the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” with its bird-watching haven, Sinharaja Nature Reserve; Yala National Park’s Sri Lankan elephants; and the World Heritage Site of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
Cultural Treasures of Northern Vietnam & LaosMarch 23 — April 7, 2019
With social anthropologist Shirley Campbell by your side, you'll enjoy this unique look at the people of Northern Vietnam and Laos. You'll meet with locals from Tai Dam and Tai Kao minority groups, and even join monks for their morning prayers in Luang Prabang.
Iberian PeninsulaApril 18 — May 3, 2019
Join this brand-new itinerary highlighting the very best of the Iberian Peninsula’s diverse history, cultural traditions, and architectural wonders. Tour the Alhambra, visit the Sagrada Familia Church, stroll through the old town of Porto, and follow in the footsteps of ancient Christian pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela.
Australia's Kimberley: A Voyage to the OutbackMay 3 — May 17, 2019
Your adventures in the remote and captivating Kimberley region of Western Australia are highlighted by unusual wildlife in Prince Regent Nature Reserve, the beauty of the Buccaneer Archipelago, and sublime desert-scapes.
Underwater Wonders of Western AustraliaMay 13 — May 27, 2019
Snorkel or dive nearly every day on this brand-new expedition of Western Australia, to discover colorful hard and soft corals, along with healthy populations of tropical fish. You'll explore Ningaloo Reef, home to whale sharks, dolphins, and humpback whales, as well as Little Turtle Island, an important nesting site for flatback turtles.
Iconic Africa: Kenya & Zimbabwe with Victoria FallsJune 18 — June 30, 2019
If it's wildlife you seek, look no further than this brand-new for 2019 adventure to Kenya and Zimbabwe. You'll spend two full days in Hwange National Park, home to 100 mammal and 400 bird species; watch hundreds of elephants and buffalo just outside your elegant safari tent; and search for hippos and crocodiles during a sunset Zambezi River cruise.
Gorillas of the CongoAugust 2 — August 14, 2019
A list of the wildlife you may spot on this brand-new adventure through the Congo: chimpanzees, pygmy hippos, gray-cheeked mangabeys, putty-nosed monkeys, forest buffalo, bongos—and that's not to mention the western lowland gorillas!
Time of Your Life South AfricaAugust 24 — September 8, 2019
The Rainbow Nation summons with its rich cultural diversity—where one can go on a game-viewing safari and wine tasting in the same day—dramatic Kalahari, its own floral kingdom, mystical Table Mountain, and the highest concentrations of wildlife in all of Africa.
Path of the Vikings: Reykjavik to QuebecAugust 27 — September 12, 2019
Cruise along chiseled fjords packed with icebergs for up-close views of glittering glaciers on our brand-new expedition that explores the Arctic region of Iceland, Greenland, and Canada. You'll search for beluga whales, and seabirds such as razorbills, guillemots, and kittiwakes, and enjoy a hike through Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Papua New GuineaSeptember 20 — October 6, 2019
Highlights of our return to Papua New Guinea include snorkeling or diving among some of the most biodiverse waters in the world; meeting friendly Trobriand Islanders; and watching the spectacular fire dances of the Baining tribe.
Oman & JordanNovember 2 — November 19, 2019
Spend star-filled nights at luxe desert camps in Great Wahiba Sands and Wadi Rum; soak in amazing vistas from the “balcony walk” along the edge of Wadi Nakhr, the Grand Canyon of Arabia; and explore the “Red Rose City” of Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.