Take A National Geographic Arctic Expedition

Summer sail – high and cool in the Arctic Svalbard (northern Norway)

During the Arctic summer the tundra, miraculously carpeted with wildflowers, awakens to the thunder of glacial ice cracking and crashing into the sea. Polar bears, seabirds, reindeer, arctic fox, seals and great pods of walrus are out sunbathing, foraging, and camera-ready in up-close viewing. Temperatures push up to a toasty 30° – 45°F, perfect for walking, hiking, kayaking and Zodiac sorties under the sun that never sets.

Maximize your experience by travelling with one of the best teams in the biz: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic offers exceptional itineraries aboard their 148-guest National Geographic Explorer — a state-of-the-art, ice-strengthened Arctic cruise ship with the best Ice Team on earth. Great guest speakers, professional photography instructors, oceanographers, and filmmakers.

Choose from:

  • Northern Norway and Fjords -13 days of deep fjords and ice-capped mountains and the best place on earth to observe polar bears in their natural habitat — on pack ice.
  • Norway to Greenland via Scotland -26 days of fairytale villages and the Lofoten Islands jagged peaks.
  • The Faroe Islands and Iceland.

Cabin discounts (up to $1000) and free air offers are available now through March 31, 2012. So rush! Click: www.expeditions.com for all details or call 1-800-EXPEDITION.

Tip Toe…through the Thistles…

A gentle fog rolling in from deep-blue lochs, the haunting sound of bagpipes drifting over the moors, historic stone castles set upon imposing clifftops—this is the southwest highlands of Scotland and one of the most divine walking tours on earth.

Get a kick out of kilts? Start in Edinburgh, home to Mary, Queen of Scots, walk to the resort town of Callander, through the hills and glens of Trossachs National Park to a wayside inn, where haggis, neeps and tatties await. Sound delish? Walk 3-8 expertly guided miles a day near lochs (“lakes” to you), through coniferous forests and moorlands, on panoramic clifftops, and tootle along in the waters of Loch Katrine in a 19th-century steamship to the odd, almost-village of Stronachlachar. The “Devil’s Staircase” will surely deliver most dramatic scenery, on past viaducts, a bog excursion, and 13th-century Inverlochy Castle.

Expert guides, welcoming hosts, and friendly locals. Hear tales of Highland battles, glimpse, if you are lucky, a sea monster, and knock off a coupl’a shots of malt whiskey enroute.

This summer the world-class Country Walkers, winner of every award in the book, including Top Tour Operator year after year by Travel + Leisure, will deliver the Scotland of your dreams — and discounted for solo travelers – a room of your own without, finally, a single supplement.  (Save $350 on the August 7-13, 2011 departure).  Call 800.464.9255 or click: www.countrywalkers.com for the Scotland Highlands Tour.