Talk to our North America travel specialists for advice on what would suit you best. Perhaps you are after a self-drive adventure through Canada, a cruise in Alaska, or a US city stopover while on the way to Australia. Our travel consultants often take reconnaissance trips to experience first-hand what our passengers do; so you can be sure their advice is well informed – maybe even learn where the best places are to spot and swim with whales, and to track polar bears.
Meet the team - North America
I come from a small village of about 60 people in the Peak District and with a thirst for travel, headed to Australia at 22. I spent a year travelling the length and breadth of the country by road. My next adventure was supposed to be a week in Bangkok, but quickly turned into a six-month voyage through south-east Asia, sampling all the wonderful sights and sounds of the Far East.
It was inevitable I would find myself in the travel industry on my eventual return and I know how lucky I am to combine my passion with my career. I’ve hired out surfboards to tourists in Bali, rode like a gaucho through the hills of Argentina, busked in Laos, skydived in Queensland and, more recently, proposed on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
My Insiders Tip
Tanzania holds a special place in my heart. It has an amazing diversity of wildlife, epic landscapes, a colourful culture, delicious food and some of the friendliest people in the world. To me, it’s the ‘best of Africa’ condensed into a single country. This special country became even more memorable after I got engaged at the summit of a very cold Kilimanjaro; my reward after a week long trek to the top! My recommendation is to rise early, the Big 5 are liveliest from 5am. The light is perfect for photography and the sunrises over the plains alone are well worth the early mornings.
I met a chap once in Lumphini Park in Bangkok. As usual I was lost and was asking for directions to The Golden Buddha (nowhere near Lumphini Park). He clearly twigged I had recently arrived and asked if he could accompany me for the day to show me some places. He explained he was studying English and would benefit from my conversation. Despite an initial apprehension I decided the very worst case would be I would find myself in his brother’s suit shop and agreed. I was taken to the suburbs where tourists rarely venture and shown the local temples. He explained the Buddhist culture, their rituals and practices. He introduced me to his friends in the monastery. We prayed a little together. And then he took me home to his wife who made the most amazing fish suki while we got drunk on Thai whisky and swapped tales of our homelands. Not once was money ever asked for. For me that gentleman defines Thailand and its people.
My Favourite Place
For most of the year, Calgary is a sleepy city. The annual Calgary Stampede lasts for two weeks and the city comes alive. As a self-appointed British cowboy, I’ve been several times and it’s my favourite time to visit. Streets are lined with live music, a variety of local cuisine and offices are shut so all can celebrate. You can watch some of the best bull-riding, saddle bronc – the rider has to stay on a bucking horse – and nail-biting barrel racing. Each evening local Canadian music and talent acts perform, which is followed by an impressive firework display.
My Favourite Hotel
My hidden gem is La Maison Minervetta in Sorrento. I’ve always had a passion for Sorrento, and the Maison epitomises everything great about the place. It is set high on the cliffs where you can sit in the comfort of your suite, watching the sun set over the bay of Naples. The hotel is small and cosy with 13 bedrooms, and has a wonderful homely feel – particularly at breakfast where owners and guest mingle over what’s to come in the day ahead. The decor is a mish-mash of traditional and modern art which makes it a stand-out option in Sorrento and the attention to detail, particularly in the rooms, is outstanding. Most importantly, however, it has a wonderful courtyard style decking where you can sit with a spritz in the Italian sunshine and watch the fishing trawlers hard at work in the Bay of Naples, possibly catching something for your dinner.