This is your Captain speaking. Or as the folks around here call me, The Captain.
They also know I like to get around. The world, that is.
I don’t always travel for leisure. But when I do, I choose guided tours.
I know what you’re thinking. “But Captain, you don’t need a guide -- you’re the leader of the pack!”
And you’re right. I am in charge of a flight crew and a plane of passengers. I’m an icon. A role model. And sometimes just plain model (not that there’s anything plain about this face-- yes, the one you admire on the Flight Centre website.)
Despite all the leadership hats I wear so dashingly, touring with a local guide in my destination gives me authentic, insider experiences. Plus, I get to meet amazing people from around the world and they, in turn, get my autograph.
I took time from my world travels, and answering adoring fan mail, to give you this essential list of the best tours to take in 2019.
Given my discriminating taste, only the best tour operators made the cut, and range from youth adventures to ultra-luxury.
Flying may be my bread and butter (not that I eat much of that, as a glance at my glutes will reveal) but like my glutes, my belief in tours is firm. Without further ado, here are the tours you need to take this year.
The Captain’s Top 10 Tours of 2019.
While many of you fantasize about my cockpit, others want to get inside my mind. Well here is your chance-- I’m revealing to you my personal top tour picks. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy looking at photos of myself in the destinations.
Trafalgar – Highlights of Australia & New Zealand
Destinations: Australia & New Zealand Duration: 21 days
I like to explore my homeland, Australia, by ripping off my uniform so my undulating muscles can tear through the wild outback. For those of you who prefer more red carpet refinement than my rugged ways, book Highlights of Australia and New Zealand with Trafalgar. It covers all the famous Australian icons (besides me) -- Uluru, Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef, and much more. Then it’s onto New Zealand’s snow-capped Southern Alps, geothermal springs, and warm local hospitality.
On The Go – Buddha & The Beach
Destination: Sri Lanka Duration: 21 days
We go from my favourite island continent to another island rich in diversity. Sri Lanka may be lesser travelled, but 2019 is set to change that. Check out Colombo, Kandy and Ceylon tea plantations, and more on this perfectly planned tour. If you thought my features were chiselled, wait till you see the 14-metre Buddha statue chiselled from cave rock, among other 2,000-year-old carvings. From Benota’s blissful beaches to Indian elephants on a nature reserve and food bursting with flavours, I suggest you put this Sri Lanka tour on your map.
Intrepid – Northern Lights Escape
Destination: Iceland Duration: 6 days
Showcasing Iceland’s unique, raw beauty, as well as Reykjavik’s culture and history, this tour is my favourite way to witness Mother Nature’s phenomenal luminescent light show, the Aurora Borealis. Set against a backdrop of a glacial wonderland, the Northern Lights are even more dazzling than my smile, and slightly more natural.
Exodus – Walking the Amalfi Coast
Destination: Italy Duration: 8 days
This walking tour puts a spring in my strong, assured step. Although nothing beats a romantic stroll with yours truly, the Amalfi Coast is what Exodus calls “the ultimate Italian romantic getaway” and travellers agree. The glamourous setting and spectacular scenery of this stunning region is best explored on foot, led by an expert guide. Admire heritage sites, hillside towns and hospitality by a local family. Eat fresh delicious seafood and regional Italian fare. Treat your senses to grand vineyards and lemon groves. Bellissimo!
Collette – Tropical Costa Rica
Destination: Costa Rica Duration: 7 days
This year, discover why Costa Rica is the world’s most sought after eco-destination. A kaleidoscope of biospheres, from majestic volcano Arenal, to pristine beaches, colourful rainforests and coral reefs teeming with life, this tour combines tropical adventure with total relaxation. And in true Collette fashion, does so in comfort and style.
Globus – Wonders of the Maritimes & Scenic Cape Breton
Destinations: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island Duration: 9 days
When I’m visiting my hard-working Flight Centre Canada colleagues, I’m usually in beautiful Vancouver and bustling Toronto. I noticed many Canadians overlook guided tours in their home and native land, and in 2019, I urge you to change that! This fun and far-reaching tour lets you enjoy picturesque sights and captivating delights (yes, I’m also a poet.) From the natural splendour of Cape Breton, the red sand beaches of PEI, the world’s highest tides in Hopewell Rocks to an authentic ceilidh, where you’ll eat, drink and be Maritime-merry with your travelling companions and local hosts.
Avalon – Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River
Destinations: Vietnam, & Cambodia Duration: 13 days
Avalon Waterways is best known for its fantastic cruises along Europe’s famous rivers. Try something different this year by jumping onboard Avalon’s fascinating Southeast Asian itinerary. Enjoy attentive service, beautiful surroundings and ever-changing scenery while on the vessel, as well as immersive experiences in ancient cities and peaceful countryside. Bike through rice paddies and try your hand at Vietnamese cooking (if you’re curious, The Captain likes it spicy) and other unique experiences best discovered on tour.
G Adventures - Machu Picchu Adventure
Destination: Peru Duration: 8 days
When I’m not living vicariously through myself, I look at travel photos of my friends and fans. Perhaps you do the same, and you’ve envied countless Instagram pics of your friends at Machu Picchu’s famous peak. Now it’s your turn! Combining the historic wonders of the Sacred Valley, with local markets, museums and more, award-winning G Adventures takes you on the perfect Peruvian tour.
Blue-Roads – Corners of Cornwall
Destination: England Duration: 7 days
Cornwall’s magnificent coastlines, quaint fishing villages, and culinary dishes (we all know Cornish hen) are the pride of southwest England. Visitors from around the country, and the globe, are captivated by the heritage and traditions of Cornwall, which boasts incredible seafood, local farm-to-table restaurants, world-class surfing and a long history. Cornwall is charming, good-looking and hard to forget-- remind you of anyone?
Topdeck -- Mega European
Destinations: France, Spain, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City, Greece, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands. Duration: 49 days
Not everyone is blessed like me to have so many passport stamps. The understanding folk at Topdeck created this amazing tour of-- wait for it-- 20 countries all over Europe! What could be the best 49 days of your life (since I’m hard to pin down for that long), there is no better way to discover the allure and fame of Europe’s uniquely breathtaking cities. Mega European-- the name says it all.
I also have one tour not on this list that deserves a special mention:
Insight Vacations’ Luxury Gold Majestic Japan. If you’re seeking a guided tour that goes beyond the expected, travelling in exquisite comfort and staying in luxury hotels, may I suggest this tour of Japan, where modernity and tradition fuse into one of fascinating destination.
All of these tours remind me of me: exciting, breathtaking and well-balanced. Combining adventure, history, culture and local experiences, along with personal time, make this your year to experience the pleasure of a guided tour. The Captain loves to deliver pleasure, so take my word for it. You can thank me later. ;)
Thank you for hanging onto my every word here. Now friends, I encourage you to discover the world of touring at your fingertips this year.
Contact an Expert Traveller now to plan your 2019 travels and for the best pricing and availability. This is your Captain, over and out.