Q. What kind of pace can I expect on a National Geographic Expedition?
A. Our itineraries are designed to include full, active days with plenty of opportunities to experience each place from an insider's perspective, whether that means encountering wildlife, learning about different cultures and environments, or sharing in local traditions. Pace and physical activity level vary depending on the trip to accommodate our travelers' wide range of interests and preferences. We provide alternate activities when possible, and cater to a range of skill levels on hikes and other outdoor adventures. For more information about the pace of a specific trip, see the trip itinerary. Where applicable, we've added additional notes about the activity level or physical requirements in a "What to Expect" section on the trip itinerary page. If you are uncertain about the level of activity of a particular itinerary, please call us at 1-888-966-8687.
Q. What are National Geographic Adventures and how are they different from the National Geographic Expeditions travel line?
A. At National Geographic Adventures, our travel experts craft well-paced adventures incorporating cultural immersion and physical challenge, often built around activities such as hiking, kayaking, or horseback riding. In keeping with our emphasis on active pursuits, our Adventures Guides share insights into each locale’s history, landscapes, and cultures through casual conversations along the way, rather than formal lectures. With the exception of Photo Adventures, National Geographic experts do not accompany our trips. We may opt for simple, comfortable accommodations nearby over a more luxurious option farther way, in order to maximize time for our activities. Our small group size also enables us to support smaller, locally-owned hotels and inns, which provide a more authentic experience. All of our adventures require some degree of flexibility, especially if your itinerary includes camping.
Q. How much flexibility is there in the itinerary?
A. In keeping with the nature of expeditionary travel, we keep our itineraries flexible to take advantage of unexpected opportunities or to adapt to weather conditions or other circumstances. In addition, where possible, we have built in options and free time so that you can experience a place and its people in a way that's meaningful to you. If you are interested in exploring further, many of our expeditions offer pre- or post-trip extensions. We can also assist you if you'd like to extend your stay at the beginning or end of a trip.
Q. What does the expedition cost generally include?
A. The expedition cost includes meals, accommodations, and excursions as indicated in the itinerary; services of the National Geographic expert or expedition leader and local guides; ground transportation; most transfers; baggage handling; gratuities (except for those for the ship or train crew, where applicable, unless otherwise noted in the itinerary); and pre-trip materials. Included meals are noted at the end of each day on our itineraries with a B for breakfast, L for lunch, and D for dinner.
Q. Do I need to purchase trip insurance?
A. Trip cancellation insurance is optional and comes at an additional cost. We strongly recommend that you purchase this insurance to protect your travel investment. Trip cancellation insurance covers trip cancellation and interruption, $50,000 for medical expenses and emergency evacuation and assistance, and protection for baggage and personal possessions. Upon booking your trip, you will be mailed information about this insurance. We encourage you to sign up for the insurance within 21 days of booking your trip to receive maximum coverage. You can also purchase your trip insurance on the web immediately after booking your trip (http://www.travelinsure.com/custom/ngs/).
Q. What do I need to bring on my expedition?
A. On a National Geographic Expedition, the dress is typically casual, so we recommend that you pack clothes that are comfortable and that will be well suited to the activities and climate specific to your expedition. Prior to your trip, we will provide you with packing tips and suggestions and information regarding any baggage weight restrictions.
Q. Once I book my trip, what information and materials will I receive?
A. After you sign up for a National Geographic Expedition, you will receive several pre-trip mailings. Included in these mailings are specific information about your destination; packing suggestions; a reading list; and books, maps, magazine articles or other relevant information from National Geographic to help you prepare for your trip. You'll also receive 20 percent off any purchase in our National Geographic gift catalog or online store (http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/category/travel).