Adventure & Specialty Travel
As international specialists, we are passionate about planning off the beaten path adventures
Antarctica's main attractions are ice, volcanoes, snow, birds (including albatross and terns), its surprisingly high mountains (almost none of which have been scaled by humans), penguins (seven species), seals (six species), glaciers, whales (orca, humpback, southern right, minke) and fascinating barren scenery. Flexible, tolerant and adventurous travelers looking for a unique experience will enjoy Antarctica. It is not a good destination for inexperienced travelers unless they are extremely interested in nature and are willing to put up with discomfort and spend large sums of money to see it. A trip to Antarctica is a fairly long and expensive venture that requires a lot of enthusiasm. Note that none of the IAATO members can guarantee positive sightings of wildlife, although the likelihood is very high.
Bhutan's main attractions are mountain scenery, beautiful architecture, Buddhist culture, spirited village festivals, game reserves, temples, monasteries, jagged gorges, green valleys, trekking and historical sites. Bhutan is a good destination for flexible, adventurous travelers who are visiting India or Thailand and who enjoyed Nepal, Tibet or the Ladakh region of India. Although there are several high-end resorts, the country is generally not for those who require deluxe accommodations, who are adversely affected by high altitudes, who desire a wide variety of food, shopping and nightlife, or who will become upset if everything doesn't go exactly as planned.
Cuba's leading attractions are massive forts, beautiful beaches, colonial architecture, friendly people, a vivacious culture, great freshwater and deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, exquisite tropical scenery, sailing, romantic and sensual music, the world's finest cigars, sizzling cabarets, classic automobiles and an Alice in Wonderland surrealism. Open-minded people who have a strong interest in beaches, water sports, Cuban history, and culture rich in art and music—and who want to see life under one of the few remaining communist regimes—will best appreciate Cuba. Travelers who must have efficient service at all times or who want a multitude of choices in restaurants and entertainment or Bulgari-style shopping will be dissatisfied. Others may be disappointed to find that many resort facilities are quite isolated from Cuban society and Cubans themselves (except those who work in the facilities).
Visitors seeking an immersion in Cuba's rich culture should avoid the beach resorts and instead stick to the major cities and to exploring the countryside. Visitors should also know that Cuba is more difficult to get around than many other Caribbean islands: Fuel and spare parts are in very short supply, the public transportation system is dire (at least for Cubans), bus travel for tourists is limited, and rental cars are expensive (and car rental contracts are full of state-run scams), although you can live without a car quite easily. Most people who visit Cuba and escape the all-inclusive resorts to really explore the country return home enraptured by its sensuality, profound culture, infectious rhythms and enigmatically eccentric ways.
Penguins and dolphins, sea lions and iguanas, tropical birds and giant tortoises—this bizarre collection of species comes together in a single destination on the equator. You can walk right up to most of them and look them in the eye. There aren't many places in the world where you can swim alongside a family of sea lions. The Galapagos Islands are one of those places, and so it's no surprise that these islands, 600 mi/970 km off the coast of Ecuador, are so special. Their remoteness from other landmasses and the absence of human settlements until the past century allowed their animal inhabitants to live with little fear of predators. As a result, the islands have an abundance of animals, birds and reptiles that are easily viewed, with or without binoculars. The islands are best known as the home of giant tortoises that can weigh as much as 600 lb/272 kg and live 150 years. But you'll also see marine iguanas (they resemble small dragons and are the only seagoing lizards in the world), scarlet-breasted frigate birds; blue-footed, red-footed, masked and Nazca boobies; tiny penguins at home in the tropics; and giant, graceful albatrosses. About half of the species are endemic to the islands, found nowhere else on Earth.
Wonders of the Natural World by Private Jet
Experience a dazzling array of our planet's natural wonders—from the thundering cascades of Iguaçu Falls to the fairy tale karst peaks of China's Li River. Delve into these incomparable landscapes in the company of National Geographic experts, discovering how indigenous cultures adapted to their unusual geography and encountering all manner of wildlife amid ice-capped mountains, tropical lagoons, and lush rain forests.
- See six UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Mount Fuji, and China's karst landscapes.
- Soar above Iguaçu Falls and Milford Sound on thrilling helicopter rides.
- Delve into wondrous landscapes, snorkeling in a Polynesian lagoon and exploring rice terraces in China.
- Discover Easter Island's giant moai statues, and learn about their lost culture from a resident archaeologist.
Virgin Spaceship Unity
People all around the world have experienced a sense of awe as they look up at the night sky. We discover a limitless universe of wonder as we learn to identify the Milky Way, or to spot planets, rings, moons, and even entire galaxies. As we peer into the heavens we look back billions of years in time, and connect simultaneously with the most primal thoughts of our ancestors and the most cutting-edge science of our day.Since the dawn of the space age, only 552 humans have traveled above the Earth's atmosphere and into space. Throughout five decades of human spaceflight, the national space agencies in the United States, Russia, and China have inspired the world. But because government space agencies are not asked to help ordinary citizens to become astronauts, most of our planet's seven billion people have had no opportunity to experience space and all of its possibilities for themselves, regardless of their passion or talents.Virgin Galactic is changing that. Our purpose is to become the space line for Earth; democratizing access to space for the benefit of life on Earth.