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Dear Travellers,

This edition of Navigator is our first newsletter of 2014; as such, we'd like to wish all our travellers, friends and contacts a very happy and prosperous year ahead...hopefully it turns out to be one that's filled with adventure.

And since we've just seen in another New Year (Adventures Abroad's 27th!), we thought it might be timely to announce a couple of other 'new' features and happenings that have been in the works:

* A fully redesigned website
A new look, fresh content, enhanced search capability and improved general navigability. Click the link below to visit us today at and let us know what you think!

* A new comprehensive catalogue of trips
The ultimate coffee table book, our 130-page, full-colour Travelogue details our extensive range of 350+ scheduled tours across six continents, along with information on how we can assist with custom group tours, private departures and cruises. Click on the below icon to order your copy today.

*New destinations, new tours and revamped itineraries
Scroll down to read about all our new adventures and itinerary enhancements for 2014.

Happy travels!

The Adventures Abroad team


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Switzerland
Code: XSW Switzerland

Our new walking tour of Switzerland, rated moderate difficulty (see our activity level ratings here), is already guaranteed for June 2014! Mediaeval historic towns set against the most spectacular mountain backdrops mark our passage along some of the most scenic alpine routes in Europe: the Engadine Valley, the foothills of the Matterhorn and the Eiger, Interlaken, Lucerne, Bern and Zurich are among the highlights.

Germany, Czech Republic & Poland
Code: GP1 Germany, Czech Republic, Poland

Just two more bookings are needed to guarantee the April 2014 departure of this, our newest offering in Central Europe. An intriguing showcase of the centuries-old architectural wonders and millennia-old cultural legacies that characterize both West and Eastern Europe, tour GP1 features Renaissance chateaux, baroque churches, Gothic fortresses, opulent concert halls and modern, cosmopolitan urban centres, with city tours of Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Dresden, Prague, Cesky Krumlov and Krakow.


Canadian Arctic Safari
Code: MCCA Canadian Arctic Safari

Limited space available & imminent booking deadline; deposits for this tour are required by this coming Friday (24 January 2014)!
A brand-new, one-time departure led by Senior Tour Leader Martin Charlton that provides prime opportunities to get up close and personal with the Arctic's exotic wildlife, fascinating Inuit culture and bewitching, otherworldly landscapes, this unique adventure in 2015 is timed to coincide with the transition from spring to summer, when temperatures are milder, purple saxifrage flowers are in bloom and bird- and marine-life viewing is at its best. Likened to the Serengeti, the Arctic is a wildlife enthusiast's paradise, where tusked narwhal, polar bears, harp seals, bearded seals, ring seals, beluga whales, bowhead whales and thousands of species of bird have thrived for centuries alongside traditional Inuit communities.

Portuguese Africa
Code: AF6 Portuguese Africa

Taking its place among our most 'off-the-beaten-path' tours, this unique itinerary explores Mozambique, Angola, Sao Tome and Cape Verde; destinations whose annual number of foreign visitors is measured in the dozens and not in the ten of thousands. Discover the cultural and historical legacies of Portuguese presence in Africa, one of the world's first great empires, with game viewing safaris in some of Africa's most remote areas, great variety in African- and European-influenced cuisines, and friendly local peoples, wholly unaccustomed to mass tourism. Only needs two more bookings to guarantee!


Trans-Mongolian Adventure
Code: JHTM , JHTL Trans-mongolian Adventure

Following in the footsteps of Genghis Khan and his descendants, this tour traverses two continents; from Beijing, China, through Mongolia and Siberia, to end in St Petersburg, Russia. Our almost guaranteed August 2014 departure led by Senior Tour Leader Jonathan Hodgson is a one-time offering and features a host of unique highlights: the less visited parts of the Great Wall; the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Siberian Railways, two of the world's great train journeys; overnights in gers, traditional sleeping quarters of nomadic tribes; the Mongol Steppes; and city tours of Ulaan Baatar, St Petersburg and Moscow.

North Korea
Code: MCNK North Korea

Very likely the most atypical destination on our tour roster, North Korea can only be visited on an organized tour; there simply is no alternative. Only a couple of North American operators offer North Korea— we are one of even fewer who not only offer it, but have run successful departures in the recent past (2012). So successful, in fact, that we've scheduled a new date for September 2014! Witness sights only a scant few Westerns have seen: the Mass Games celebrations; Pyongyang; the Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung; the International Friendship Exhibition, Kaesong and the De-militarized zone (DMZ).


Greece, Macedonia & Kosovo
Code: GM1 Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo

A brand new combination that encompasses the breathtaking classical highlights of mainland Greece, the natural beauty and historical intrigue of Macedonia, and the complex and fascinating new country of Kosovo, formerly part of Yugoslavia, this 15-day tour yields a great deal of variety in a relatively short timeframe. From the ancient to the modern, we learn about the changing faces of civilizations and continents, the evolution of European countries, cultures and ideas and the rise and fall of some of the greatest empires the world has seen.

Kurdistan & The Caucasus
Code: KD3 Kurdistan The Caucasus

Iraqi Kurdistan has proved a popular option among our travellers since its introduction, particularly since we augmented our offerings in the region with a combination tour that features Iraqi Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. In recent years, we have run five successful departures to Iraqi Kurdistan, a peaceful, stable, and thriving destination, and have a file of past travellers who would love to share their experiences of it with you personally, should you be considering the tour. Call or e-mail us for more information.


Balkan Explorer
Code: BK1 Balkan Explorer

Comprehensive would be the word that most aptly describes this Balkan Explorer odyssey. Our journey takes us through an incredible seven separate countries in just under three weeks: Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The Western Balkans is an authentic and accessible region, where sidewalk cafes line cobblestone alleys and mediaeval castles loom over historic town centres; the Balkans offer a true adventure to one of the less-travelled parts of the world.

Kingdoms Of The Himalaya
Code: HM7, HM8, H10 Kingdoms Of The Himalaya

Improved and now guaranteed for April 2014, our magnificent Himalayan Kingdoms series delves deep into the hidden corners of the world's highest mountain range to reveal untold cultural and natural wonders in the remotest regions of India, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Through terraced rice fields, bamboo and orchid forests, lush valleys, tea plantations and breathtaking mountain passes, we encounter spectacular monastery-fortresses, UNESCO Heritage sites, disparate cultures and some of the most colourful and lively annual festivals in Asia.


Iceland & Greenland
Code: IC4 Iceland Greenland

Join us for a true Icelandic experience: icecaps, geysers, whale watching and much more! Iceland is a destination like no other, with glorious landscapes and extraordinary geographical phenomena at every turn. The 2014 departure represents a revamped 'full- circumnavigation' journey that sets us in prime position to experience our destinations' incredible geologies, enchanting landscapes and teeming land- and marine-life, not to mention lava caves, waterfalls, glacial lagoons and an unforgettable cruise along the spectacular southwest coast of Greenland!

Southern Africa
Code: SA2 Southern Africa

South Africa and its combination tour that features Zimbabwe and Swaziland have long been perennial favourites for our travellers and for 2014, we've improved them further with the inclusion of Robben Island, the infamous penitentiary location in which the late, great Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, and the opportunity to view the spectacular Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side.
And don't forget: all 2014 South Africa tours, along with combinations with Southern and East Africa, are on sale until January 31, 2014!


Israel
Code: IS1 Israel

Recently reclaiming the top spot as the most popular destination among our Middle East offerings, Israel is now guaranteed for spring 2014 and continues to be a very affordable and incredibly rewarding option for travellers looking to visit the area. With Biblical sites at every turn, underground Crusader cities, vibrant Tel Aviv, historic Nazareth, Bethlehem, the gorgeous Mediterranean coast and the Dead Sea, it's easy to see why Israel captures the imaginations and hearts of all who visit.

Iran
Code: IR1 Iran

Back on the tour schedule after several years' hiatus, the ultimate country-collector destination, Iran, is guaranteed for April/May 2014 and now comes with the option to add a 9-day extension to Iraqi Kurdistan (code IR8) — a truly remarkable touring experience that gives a fascinating overview of a region rarely visited by Westerners. Explore modern Tehran, mediaeval Shiraz, stunning Persepolis and beautiful Isfahan; experience the culture and friendly peoples; forget everything you thought you knew about Iran.


Greece Through The Ages Cultural Tour with Langara College
Greece

A special departure running in conjunction with Langara College, join instructor and program leader Peter Prontzos and explore 4,000 years of Greek history and culture, including "must-see" sites such as the Acropolis, the volcanic island of Santorini, the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi and the ancient theatre at Epidauros. Experience Greece as few visitors do — in the charming 19th-century town of Nauplion, the night life in Athens, and a stay in the traditional Greek village of Kyparissi on the Aegean Sea.

Croatia Photography Tour
with Langara College

Croatia

A limited-enrollment, custom photography tour running in conjunction with Langara College, this tour emphasizes documentation and interaction with contemporary life in Croatia. Croatia's rich history, picturesque scenery and attractive towns and villages await the participants' lenses. Experiencing and capturing Zagreb, Plitvice, Split and Dubrovnik is like travelling back a thousand years. The Diocletian Palace in Split is one of the most significant works of late-ancient architecture and the beauty of Plitvice is truly unsurpassable.