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Vacation Details

2nd Prize: Vacation in Australia (12 days) or $10,000 cash

Discover Australia

Experience the very best of the Land Down Under, journeying from quirky foodie-haven Melbourne, to the heart of the Red Centre, to tropical North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Kick things off by eating your way through Melbourne's best restaurants before heading to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to explore its sacred rock formations. Next up is Sydney for a behind-the-scenes tour of the world-famous Opera House. Cruise the Great Barrier Reef aboard a catamaran, then continue your exploration of Queensland and meet members of the Kuku Yalanji: the world's oldest living culture.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: MELBOURNE - Arrive at any time.

DAY 2: MELBOURNE - Embark on a food tour of Melbourne with a local author and culinary storyteller. Home to many thriving immigrant communities, Melbourne has long been considered one of Australia's gastronomic hubs. On this foodie walk through the city's famed laneways, we'll experience a range of flavors and cuisines over lunch at three popular venues. Start with an Asian entree; move on to an Italian restaurant for a main dish, and finish off the tour with a gelato dessert at our third stop. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

DAY 3: MELBOURNE - Spend the day exploring vibrant Melbourne. Set out on an optional excursion on the Great Ocean Road, following spectacular sea cliffs along the windswept Southern Ocean. Visit some of the region's top wineries or wander the city's narrow cobbled lanes and alleys, discovering quirky cafés and colorful murals.

DAY 4: MELBOURNE/ULURU - Catch a flight to Uluru, in the heart of the Australian outback. Visit the Cultural center of the Uluru–Kata Tjuta National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and learn about the beliefs and customs of the Anangu, the area's traditional Indigenous owners. Cap off the day with a crimson sunset over this fabled monolith.

DAY 5: ULURU - Awaken at dawn to witness the sunrise over Uluru and see the famous Field of Light installation. Then delve into a full-day exploration of the ancient, red-hued landscapes of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. After breakfast, make your way to Kata Tjuta, Uluru's neighboring natural wonder for a morning of exploration. Later set out on a guided walk around the base of the monolith, gaining insight into its sacred significance to the Anangu.

DAY 6: ULURU/SYDNEY - Enjoy free time on our final morning in the Red Centre. Then pack up and head off to the airport for an afternoon flight to Sydney. Check in to our hotel and opt to join our Chief Experience Officer for a dinner out on the town in one of Sydney's famous neighborhoods.

DAY 7: SYDNEY - Take it slow with a leisurely morning, or get up early and join your Chief Experience Officer for a walk around the Rocks area, a waterfront neighborhood that marks the spot of the first European settlement in Australia. It also holds a spiritual significance for the area's indigenous people. Around midmorning, circle back and meet for a private tour of the Sydney Opera House. This afternoon, step aboard a private catamaran for a sunset sail around Sydney's famous harbor. Tuck into a delicious Australian Barbecue dinner as the sun sets in the background.

DAY 8: SYDNEY - Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the best of Sydney. Take the ferry to Manly Beach or walk the Bondi Coastal walk and snap some photos. Or, spend a full day exploring the Blue Mountains on an optional excursion.

DAY 9: SYDNEY/PORT DOUGLAS - Fly to Cairns today and travel up the scenic coastal road to Daintree Rainforest, the world's oldest tropical rainforest and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Embark on an interpretive walk with an indigenous guide at the lush Mossman Gorge, learning about the traditional ways of life of the region's Kuku Yalanji people. Continue to the resort town of Port Douglas, our home for the next three nights.

DAY 10: PORT DOUGLAS - Explore the Great Barrier Reef on a full-day catamaran tour to the Outer Reef. Immerse yourself in the largest coral reef system in the world, which teems with 1,500 species of tropical fish, as well as whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Hop into the warm waters off Australia's east coast and experience this marine wonderland for yourself. Lunch will be served onboard. Back in Port Douglas, the evening is yours to do as you please.

DAY 11: PORT DOUGLAS - Enjoy a free morning in charming Port Douglas. Stroll the town's boutique-lined streets and idyllic beaches or head to the Sunday markets to browse the stalls. Later in the day, join your fellow travelers for an exclusive cultural experience at Cooya Beach. Meet Indigenous guides for a welcome ceremony, and get acquainted with members of the Kuku Yalanji people. Our Chief Experience Officer will organize an optional farewell dinner to toast your adventures down under.

DAY 12: PORT DOUGLAS/CAIRNS - After one last breakfast in Port Douglas, transfer back to Cairns where our tour ends at the airport mid-morning. Alternatively, extend your stay in Port Douglas.

Your Trip For One Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotels (11 nights).
  • Meals: 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Transport: Private vehicle, plane, boat.
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Melbourne Foodie Walk, Melbourne
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Private Tour of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Exclusive Indigenous experience at Cooya Beach, Port Douglas
  • Sydney Harbour cruise
  • Indigenous dreamtime walk through the Daintree Rainforest at Mossman Gorge
  • Sunrise interpretive walk at Uluru
  • Walk through Walpa Gorge in Kata Tjuta
  • Full-day excursion snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the destination
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Optional activities
  • Meals on your own

3rd Prize: Vacation in Costa Rica (6 days) or $5,000 cash

Wild Costa Rica Escape: Exploring Guanacaste's Natural Wonders

Set out on a compact, six-day voyage to discover the treasures of one of Costa Rica's most intriguing provinces: Guanacaste. Snorkel and kayak along the palm-lined beaches in the Guanacaste Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hike and zip line amid mist-shrouded volcanic peaks in Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where intriguing archaeological sites provide insight into Costa Rica's ancient past. As we venture from uninhabited isles to wildlife-rich jungles and friendly surf towns, bask in the pura vida that infuses this ecologically-rich country.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA/PUERTO CALDERA/AT SEA - Arrive in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, transfer to Puerto Caldera, and embark on the National Geographic Quest. Enjoy a sunset dinner onboard as we chart a course for the Guanacaste province on Costa Rica's Pacific coast.

DAY 2: PLAYA ZAPOTAL (ZAPOTAL BEACH)/BAHIA HUEVOS - Drop anchor off remote Zapotal Beach, where we'll spend the morning snorkeling in waters fringed by offshore islets that create an outstanding habitat for a variety of tropical fish. Or choose to walk along a rarely used 4-wheel drive track that brings us into a beautiful gallery forest. The area is rich with bird and plant life, and our naturalists describe the intricate web of life in this coastal ecosystem. After lunch on board, we cruise north to the Papagayo Penisula, dropping anchor in Bahia Huevos. Our Zodiacs take us on an exploration of the bay and peninsula. If conditions permit, we'll drop kayaks and paddleboards and explore the nearby mangroves.

DAY 3: GUANACASTE CONSERVATION AREA - Enjoy a morning of snorkeling or hiking along the Guanacaste coast. Depending on the conditions, we may choose to explore Santa Elena Bay in Santa Rosa National Park, Junquillal Wildlife Refuge, or Cuajiniquil Bay, all part of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Guanacaste Conservation Area. Venture out by kayak or Zodiac to discover the extraordinary biodiversity of the tropical forests that line the coast. Watch for a wide range of bird species, including toucans, white-throated magpie-jays, kiskadees, ringed kingfishers, parakeets, and more.

DAY 4: CUAJINIQUIL/RINCÓN DE LA VIEJA NATIONAL PARK - Today go ashore to explore Rincón de la Vieja National Park, a mountainous region encompassing more than 34,000 acres and two active volcanoes. Hike through a dense green woodland dotted with bubbling mud pots, and keep an eye out for exotic and rare wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, emerald toucanets, and the curious kinkajou. Soak in the Río Negro hot springs or choose between several exciting excursions: strap on a harness for a canyoning expedition or soar through the canopy by zip line. Note: Due to governmental regulations, the National Geographic Quest will sail into Nicaraguan waters during tonight's sailing, before returning to the Costa Rican coastline on Day 4; however, it is important to note that the voyage will not be visiting the mainland of Nicaragua.

DAY 5: CURÚ NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE/ISLA TORTUGA - Along the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, delve into a hotspot of biodiversity at Curú National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica's first private national wildlife reserve. Learn about the hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, and mammals that inhabit this thriving ecosystem while exploring the winding trails of the refuge. Later, as we enjoy lunch onboard, cruise to two offshore islets collectively called Isla Tortuga, named for one island's turtle-like shape. Explore idyllic white-sand beaches shaded by swaying palms and tropical vegetation. Cap off the day with a sunset barbecue dinner on the beach.

DAY 6: PUERTO CALDERA/SAN JOSÉ - Disembark in Puerto Caldera, and transfer to the San José airport to connect with your flight home.

Your Trip For One Includes:

  • Transfers upon arrival/departure for guests booked on recommended group flights
  • Accommodation aboard the world-class expedition ships of the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet or a luxury chartered ship
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancelation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic spirits, liquor, and mixed drinks
  • Gratuities

4th Prize: Vacation in Bhutan (10 Days) or $5,000 cash

Wonders of Bhutan

Set out on an adventure through the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the only country in the world that measures its progress in terms of happiness. Explore timeless mountain villages, spectacular fortresses, and ornate shrines as you travel across this bastion of Buddhist culture, and meet local people from different walks of life to gain insights into the secrets of Bhutan's wellbeing.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: PARO/THIMPHU - Arrive at any time and transfer to Thimphu, Bhutan's capital. Time permitting, take a guided walk around town.

DAY 2: THIMPHU/PUNAKHA - This morning, meet a Buddhist monk and scholar to discuss Buddhist beliefs and ways of life in Bhutan. Then drive to scenic Punakha, crossing the lofty Dochu La pass and enjoying stunning views of the Himalayas through flickering prayer flags. Settle into your hotel and drive to Lobesa after lunch. From here, hike up to Chimi Lhakhang, a 15th-century monastery dedicated to the Buddhist saint Drukpa Kunley, known as the "Divine Madman." Learn about his colorful, eccentric life, and witness women devotees who visit the monastery to receive blessings of fertility.

DAY 3: PUNAKHA - Enjoy a full day of exploration in Punakha, the old capital of Bhutan. Visit the magnificent Punakha Dzong, or fortress, situated at the confluence of two important rivers. Drive to the Sangchhen Dorji Lhuendrup nunnery, a meditation and training center for Buddhist nuns. Then drive to Wangdue Phodrang to discover the town's dzong. In the afternoon, weave your way through rice terraces and pine forests to Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten, a cheerful temple perched on a picturesque mountain ridge overlooking the Punakha Valley.

DAY 4: PUNAKHA/GANGTEY - Travel to the Gangtey Valley—also called Phobjikha Valley—the winter habitat of rare black-necked cranes. If your trip falls between October and February, you'll have a chance to visit the information center of the Royal So­ciety for Protection of Nature (RSPN) to learn about these graceful, vulnerable birds, which migrate from Tibet to Bhutan every year.

DAY 5: GANGTEY - Set out to discover the stunning Gangtey Goempa, one of the oldest Nyingma monasteries in Bhutan. This 17th-century temple recently underwent an elaborate renovation. Afterward, we'll walk across Phobjikha Valley to Khewa Valley, stopping at an old temple on the way to make an offering. This evening, explore Khewa village and enjoy a cooking demonstration and delicious home-cooked dinner at a family farmhouse.

DAY 6: GANGTEY/THIMPHU - Return to Thimpu and take in the golden splendor of the Buddha Dordenma, a massive Buddha statue that graces a hill overlooking the city. Visit the National Institute for Zorig Chusum, an arts and crafts school where we can watch students practicing traditional arts such as woodworking, painting, and ceramics. Later, enjoy a talk on Gross National Happiness, an index used by the Bhutanese to measure the nation's progress.

DAY 7: THIMPHU/HAA - This morning, visit the National Memorial Chorten, one of Thimpu's most recognizable landmarks and a focal point of daily spiritual life. Then venture off the beaten path towards the remote Haa Valley, stopping for a night in charming Haa town. Explore Lhakhang Nagpo, the "black temple," and Lhakhang Karpo, the "white temple", two ancient Buddhist shrines which are said to be among the 108 temples built in one day by the seventh0century Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo.

DAY 8: HAA/PARO - Drive into picturesque Haa Valley by way of the dramatic Chele La pass, one of the highest mountain roads in Bhutan. Hike through thick pine forests to the Kila nunnery, which clings to a rocky cliff. Later, return to Paro and visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the country's oldest and most beautiful temples. Then head to a local archery ground to watch locals practice Bhutan's national sport.

DAY 9: PARO - Today, we embark on a vigorous hike to Bhutan's most iconic and revered site: the Taktsang Lhakhang or Tiger's Nest Monastery, perched high above the Paro Valley. Visible from afar, this architectural masterpiece straddles a vertical granite cliff 2,000 feet above the valley floor. Later, drive the winding road to Drukgyal Dzong, a ruined fortress that once defended Paro Valley from Tibetan invasions.

DAY 10: PARO - Depart at any time. Airport transfer is included.

Your Trip For One Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotel/lodges (9 nights).
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Transport: Private vehicle, hiking.
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Meet a Buddhist Monk, Thimphu
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Family Farm Meal, Gangtey Gonpa
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Lecture on Gross National Happiness, Thimphu
  • Arrival and departure transfer
  • Sustainable Development Fees
  • Visit the Rimpung Dzong
  • Hike to Punakha Dzong monastery and fertility shrine
  • Visit the town of Wangdue and walk to Khamsum Yueley Chorten shrine
  • Visit the village of Khewa
  • Black-Necked Crane center visit
  • Hike to the monastery of Gangtey Goempa
  • Walk across Phobjikha and Khewa valleys
  • Visit the National Library, the Institute for Zorig Chusum (arts and crafts) and the Thimphu Chorten
  • Hike to Kila Goempa nunnery
  • Explore the shrines and temples of the Haa Valley
  • Visit the fortress of Drukgyal Dzong and hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger's Nest)
  • Visit Kyichu Lhakhang Temple
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the destination
  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Any activity not described in the Included list above
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities

5th Prize: Vacation in Iceland (8 days) or $5,000

Iceland Journey: Geysers, Glaciers, and Fjords

From glittering glaciers to black-sand beaches, Iceland's wild landscapes will surprise and inspire travelers of all ages. Explore this subarctic isle's natural and cultural treasures alongside our dynamic guides as you step behind the curtain of a spectacular waterfall or hike to the edge of a volcanic crater. Descend inside a lava tunnel, delve into Viking history, and get to know all about Icelandic horses at a farm.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: REYKJAVÍK - Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.

DAY 2: REYKJAVÍK - Start the morning at the Perlan museum, which showcases Iceland's geological forces through exhibits on volcanic eruptions, explosive geysers, and more. After a classic Icelandic hot dog lunch, hop aboard a ship for a whale-watching expedition on Faxaflói Bay. Search for minke whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises diving through the waves, and learn about the incredible diversity of sea life in Iceland's waters. The rest of the day is free for relaxing at your hotel or exploring Reykjavík.

DAY 3: HVERAGERÐI - Set off on a hike through an area dotted with hot springs, stopping to soak your feet in steaming pools along the way. Then head to a traditional Icelandic horse farm to meet the friendly equine residents and learn about this special breed. Icelandic horses are small, hardy, and have a unique ambling gait called the tölt. Get to know the horses amid the beautiful backdrop of surrounding hills before gathering for a homemade lunch at the farm. This afternoon, travel to a vast lava field and enter one of the longest lava tunnels in Iceland, where we'll explore the amazing inner workings of a volcanic eruption. Continue to our hotel in Hveragerði, a town built around its own bubbling hot spring.

DAY 4: GOLDEN CIRCLE - Discover the celebrated Golden Circle, a circuit that will take us to some of Iceland's most amazing natural treasures. Hear the roar of the mighty Gullfoss waterfall and visit the Geysir hot spring, the namesake of all the world's geysers. Continue to Thingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates collide. Then visit a geothermal bakery to watch bakers digging pots of fresh bread out of hot black sand. Taste a slice still warm from the ground, and get the recipe for a loaf of rye. In the late afternoon, opt to stop by the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa for a soothing soak in geothermal waters.

DAY 5: SOUTH COAST - Today, explore Iceland's amazing history, from the Viking era to the Industrial Revolution. Visit a traditional turf-walled dwelling, and step inside a 20th-century schoolhouse while learning about Iceland's architectural heritage, folk crafts, and modern technology. Then take a short walk to the Skógafoss waterfall, one of the biggest falls in Iceland at more than 80 feet across. Enjoy a picnic lunch near the base of the waterfall and watch for rainbows sparkling in the spray. This afternoon ramble on one of Iceland's legendary black-sand beaches.

DAY 6: WESTMAN ISLANDS/VÍK - Leave the mainland behind and voyage to the Westman Islands, a volcanic archipelago off Iceland's southern coast. Go ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited isle in the archipelago, and wander among the white wooden buildings of the single tiny town. Learn about the island's recent volcanic history, view parts of the town buried by lava flows, and hike up the slopes of the Eldfell crater, where the ground is still warm from geothermal activity! Search for adorable puffins and other seabirds nesting on the island's steep cliffs, then sail back to Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland, known for its black-sand beach and strange rock formations.

DAY 7: REYKJAVÍK - Return to Reykjavík this morning, stopping along the way to visit Seljalandsfoss, one of Iceland's most spectacular waterfalls. Step behind the curtain of the falls into a hidden cave filled with mist, and enjoy one of the best photographic opportunities in Iceland. Continue to the famed Blue Lagoon to soak in the hot spring's iridescent blue waters. Continue to Reykjavík and enjoy a farewell dinner.

DAY 8: REYKJAVÍK - Depart at any time.

Your Trip For One Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotels (7 nights)
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Transport: Private minivan/bus, boat
  • Your Journeys Moment: Horse Farm Visit, Hveragerdi
  • Your Foodie Moment: Geothermal Bakery Entrance, Laugarvatn
  • Your Journeys Moment: Skogar Open Air Museum, Hveragerdi
  • Your Wellness Moment: Blue Lagoon Visit, Grindavik
  • Arrival transfer
  • Perlan Museum visit
  • Whale watching tour
  • Visit a horse farm
  • Lava tunnel visit
  • Golden Circle tour including Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir Hot Springs
  • Skogafoss waterfall picnic lunch
  • Visit a Black Sand Beach
  • Westman Islands excursion
  • Seljalandsfoss waterfall
  • Blue Lagoon admission
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the destination
  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Any activity not described in the Included section above
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities

6th Prize: Vacation in India and Nepal (17 days) or $5,000

Explore India & Nepal

On this exciting South Asia journey, explore the three cities that form northern India's famed "Golden Triangle"—Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur—and get a taste of mountain air and Buddhist culture in Nepal. Take in the ethereal beauty of the Taj Mahal and delve into the vibrant bazaars of rose-hued Jaipur. Then head to the Himalayas to discover ornately carved palaces and Buddhist monasteries, learn how to cook Nepalese dumplings with locals, and search for tigers and elephants in Chitwan National Park.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: DELHI - Arrive at any time. Your arrival transfer is included through Women With Wheels, a G Adventures–supported project.

DAY 2: DELHI/AGRA - Set out to discover Delhi, the capital of India, which consists of two cities: historic Delhi and New Delhi, built by the British in the early 20th century. Explore New Delhi's lively Paharganj district with a youth guide from the G Adventures–supported City Walk project, and hear about how the program provides opportunities to disadvantaged street youth. Then delve into the narrow, winding lanes of Old Delhi, visiting the 17th-century Jama Masjid—the largest mosque in India—and the Sikh temple Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, located close to a busy shopping area. Drive to Agra this afternoon.

DAY 3: AGRA - Spend the day in historic Agra, which served as the capital of the Delhi sultanate and later of the Mughal Empire. Discover the Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; widely considered to be the finest example of Mughal architecture, this breathtaking mausoleum was built by the emperor Shah Jahan for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Afterward, visit the exquisite tomb of Mumtaz Mahal's grandfather, often referred to as the "baby Taj," and explore Agra Fort, an impressive red sandstone citadel that conceals palaces of white marble within.

DAY 4: AGRA/JAIPUR - Travel to Jaipur, the capital of the state of Rajasthan. On the way, stop at the magnificent Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, a masterpiece of red sandstone, and hear about its fascinating history. The emperor Akbar built a short-lived capital here in the 16th century to honor a Muslim saint from the village of Sikri who had predicted the birth of his son, Jehangir. Then visit the Rajasthani village of Abhaneri for a walk around the Chand Baori—an ornately decorated stepwell or water tank constructed over a thousand years ago—learning about ancient Indian methods of water conservation.

DAY 5: JAIPUR - Explore Jaipur, known as the "Pink City" for its rose-colored buildings. Take a tour of the sprawling Amber Fort, the former residence of Jaipur's Rajput rulers; and visit Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, a stunning five-story sandstone building with distinctive honeycombed windows. We'll also meet with a local historian to discuss India's complex social fabric, customs, and architecture. Tonight, consider going to the cinema to watch a Bollywood movie—a truly unique experience.

DAY 6: JAIPUR/PACHEWAR - Drive to the rural village of Pachewar, where we stay in a beautiful heritage home. Exploring this traditional community is like stepping back in time: walking and meeting with local residents, observing potters, silversmiths, and cobblers at work; wandering amid old temples and mud homes, perhaps witnessing a cooking demonstration; and noting how urbanization and modernization have altered village life.

DAY 7: PACHEWAR/DELHI - Drive back to bustling Delhi. This evening, opt to join the group for a farewell dinner.

DAY 8: DELHI/KATHMANDU - Transfer to the airport and catch a flight to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. After our welcome meeting, experience a sound bath wellness demonstration and enjoy a six-course dinner featuring organic Nepali cuisine.

DAY 9: KATHMANDU - Spend the day exploring Kathmandu, the colorful capital of this Himalayan nation. Pay a visit to Bodhnath Stupa, the holiest Tibetan Buddhist shrine outside of Tibet, and explore the wood-carved temples, pagados, and palaces of Bhaktapur, Nepal's medieval capital. Afterward, enjoy a cooking demonstration at a local community restaurant and learn how to make Nepalese momos (dumplings). Afterward, taste your delicious creations during a traditional lunch.

DAY 10: KATHMANDU/PHARPING - Venture to the ancient hilltop temple of Swayambhunath, decorated with vibrant prayer flags and home to troops of rhesus monkeys. Later, we'll hear about National Geographic Grantee Chhing Lhomi's efforts to preserve the weaving traditions of the Upper Mustang region through her work with the Himalayan Indigenous Society, a Kathmandu-based nonprofit. Then depart for nearby Pharping, known for its Buddhist pilgrimage sites, and settle into a tranquil monastery guesthouse for the night. Get an insider's view of monastery life, and enjoy a chanting and prayer service, or opt to take a walk in the monastery's peaceful grounds.

DAY 11: PHARPING/KURINTAR - Rise at dawn to listen to the monks' morning chanting and witness a stunning sunrise. Then drive to the small riverside village of Kurintar and hike to our lodge, nestled on a forested hill overlooking the Trishuli River. Opt to relax by the pool or take a guided walk through the surrounding countryside, stopping at local villages.

DAY 12: KURINTAR/ROYAL CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK - Today, we travel towards Chitwan National Park, Nepal's oldest wildlife reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park is home to 68 recorded mammal species, including the one-horned rhino and the Bengal tiger, as well as hundreds of species of birds. Check in to our lodge, located on the banks of the East Rapti River. After lunch, board a traditional flat-bottomed boat for a river safari, keeping your eyes out for aquatic birds, crocodiles, and other riverine fauna.

DAY 13: ROYAL CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK - Spend the day exploring Chitwan National Park on a variety of excursions; activities differ depending on the season. Set out on a jeep safari through the grasslands and forests, seeking out rhinos, leopards, elephants, monkeys, and the elusive Bengal tiger. Meet with a "tiger technician" from the Nepal Tiger Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to the protection and conservation of these majestic cats. Visit a farming village bordering the park for a glimpse of rural life, and return to our lodge this evening in time for a dance performance by the local Tharu people.

DAY 14: ROYAL CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK/POKHARA - Drive to Pokhara, an enchanting town set on the shores of turquoise-hued Phewa Lake against a backdrop of snowcapped Himalayan peaks. Enjoy a guided walk around the city, and opt to have dinner at a popular local restaurant.

DAY 15: POKHARA - Venture to Sarangkot village early this morning and hike to the famed Sarangkot lookout to witness a breathtaking sunrise over the Annapurna Himalaya. Back in Pokhara, climb up a lush forest path to the gleaming white Peace Pagoda, built by Japanese monks after World War II. Later, visit a Tibetan refugee settlement, established by the United Nations in 1964. Learn about the history of the community on a walk through their photo gallery, and enjoy a traditional Tibetan lunch. In your free time, opt to take a boat tour of Phewa Lake.

DAY 16: POKHARA/KATHMANDU - Catch a flight back to the capital, Kathmandu. Enjoy time to shop in the bustling Thamel district, or choose to visit Pashupatinath Temple, the most sacred Hindu temple complex in Nepal.

DAY 17: KATHMANDU - Depart at any time.

Your Trip For Two Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotels (14 nights), heritage hotel (1 night), monastery guesthouse (1 night)
  • Meals: 16 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners per person
  • Transport: Van, bus, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw, plane, boat, 4x4.
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Meet a Local Historian, Jaipur
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Local Village Immersion, Pachewar
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nepalese Welcome Experience at Avata Wellness, Kathmandu
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Traditional Weaving and Indigenous Peoples Lecture, Kathmandu
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Overnight at a Buddhist Monastery, Pharping
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Neydo Monastery Sunrise Chant, Pharping
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Chitwan Tiger Experience, Royal Chitwan National Park
  • Your G for Good Moment: Women With Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • Your G for Good Moment: City Walk, Delhi
  • Visit the Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort
  • Excursion to Fatehpur Sikri and the Abhaneri step wells
  • Explore Jaipur
  • Sound bath wellness experience and six-course vegetarian Nepalese dinner
  • Tour of Kathmandu
  • Bhaktapur guided tour
  • Visit Swayambhunath
  • Chitwan National Park village walking tour and jeep safari
  • Hike to the World Peace Pagoda
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the destination
  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Any activity not described in the Included section above
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities

7th Prize: Vacation in Mongolia (14 days) or $5,000

Discover Mongolia

Mongolia's sublime beauty reveals itself in endless expanses of steppe and sky and an age-old nomadic culture that joins the people with the land. Journey through this remote, seldom-travelled region of Asia, from sprawling Ulaanbaatar to green, grassy plains where wild horses roam. Discover the country's surviving Buddhist heritage on visits to historic temples and monasteries, walk across the rocks and sands of the sweeping Gobi, which conceal troves of dinosaur fossils, and get a taste of traditional Mongolian life.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: ULAANBAATAR - Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

DAY 2: ULAANBAATAR - Enjoy a morning tour of Mongolia's bustling capital. Visit Gandan Monastery, one of the country's most important Buddhist sanctuaries, and wander the rooms and temples of Bogd Khan's Winter Palace, the former home of Mongolia's last king. Climb up to the Zaisan Memorial, a Soviet Era monument that commemorates Russian soldiers killed in World War II, and take in sweeping views of the city from the hilltop. Afterward, pop in for a visit to No Limits Cafe and enjoy coffee, tea, and snacks prepared and served by local youth with Down Syndrome, and their mothers. Later, admire the world-class collection of fossils at the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs, dedicated to preserving Mongolia's paleontological heritage.

DAY 3: ULAANBAATAR/HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK - Travel by 4x4 to Hustai National Park, where some of the Earth's last wild horses roam. The takhi or Przewalski's horse native to these grasslands had nearly vanished from the wild until the species was reintroduced here as a result of a successful captive breeding program. Meet with park staff to learn about the takhi reintroduction project, and keep an eye out for these stocky, coffee-colored horses that have never been domesticated. Settle into a ger tonight, a round, felt-covered tent with basic furniture. We will stay in traditional Mongolian lodgings like gers through day 12 of the trip.

DAY 4: HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK/KHARKHORIN - Drive to the city of Kharkhorin and onward to nearby Karakorum, Mongolia's ancient capital. Here, Genghis Khan established his headquarters in the early 13th century. Explore the remains of the Erdeni Dzu Monastery, considered Mongolia's earliest center of Buddhism, and meet with the head monk to learn about the communist purges that decimated much of the country's Buddhist heritage. Later, visit the Karakorum Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the 13th and 14th centuries as well as a scale model of the ancient capital.

DAY 5: KHARKHORIN/TSENKHER - Arrive at Tsenkher in the afternoon, the site of natural hot springs surrounded by serene, forest-covered hills. Popular with tourists and locals alike, these springs have long been known for their therapeutic benefits. Take a soak in one of the outdoor pools, or choose the privacy of an indoor bath.

DAY 6: TSENKHER/ORKHON VALLEY - Drive to the breathtaking Orkhon Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site that encompasses rolling hills and pastureland, traditional pastoral societies, and archaeological remains. Set out on a hike to the lofty Tuvkhun Monastery, founded by the Mongol Buddhist leader Zanabzar in the mid-17th century. Explore the monastery's wooden temples, integrated with a natural system of caves, and enjoy beautiful views of the Orkhon Valley and surrounding pine forests.

DAY 7: ORKHON VALLEY - Immerse yourself in traditional Mongolian culture on a visit to a local family's goat and sheep farm. Learn about daily life from the family and see how they make some of their food. Then, sample some of their products, including curd and yogurt. Later, enjoy a hike to a picturesque waterfall before returning to your ger camp for a traditional Mongolian barbecue, prepared over hot stones.

DAY 8: ORKHON VALLEY/ONGIIN KHIID - Today, we make our way to the Gobi, one of the world's largest deserts, which covers much of the southern part of Mongolia. Visit the ruins of Ongiin Khiid, a complex of Buddhist monasteries and universities that were tragically destroyed during the communist purges. Tour the site and learn about the monks who have returned here in recent years, bringing new life to the complex.

DAY 9: ONGIIN KHIID/BAYANZAG - Venture to the Flaming Cliffs or Bayanzag, a rust-colored sandstone landscape where a vast amount of dinosaur fossils have been found. Spend time exploring the dramatic crags and canyons.

DAY 10: BAYANZAG/KHONGORYN ELS - Today, the group will drive to the spectacular sand dunes of Khongoryn Els in the western Gobi, popularly known as the "singing sands." In the afternoon, spend time with a desert nomadic family and gain a greater understanding of how they survive in the harsh environment of the Gobi. Witness their simple, and incredible way of life. Afterward, clamber up the wave-like peaks for stunning views of the golden landscape, and Altai mountain range. Listen for the musical sound the dunes produce when the wind blows over them. In the evening the group will witness a demonstration of archery, one of Mongolia's national sports. Learn the basics of this time-honored tradition during a hands-on lesson.

DAY 11: KHONGORYN ELS/YOLYN AM - Drive through the magnificent gorges of the Altay Mountains to the Gurvan Saikhan National Park, a vast protected area that comprises canyons, sand dunes, and a steppe. Stop for a hike in rugged Yolyn Am, the "valley of the eagles," keeping an eye out for ibex, gazelles, argali sheep, and countless species of birds. Later, pay a visit to the Yolyn Am museum, where the group can admire a collection of dinosaur bones and eggs.

DAY 12: YOLYN AM/BAGA GADZRÏN CHULUU - Continue onward as the group drives to the Dungobi Aimag region—Middle Gobi—and witness the astonishing granitic formations of Baga Gazriin Chuluu. Arrive in the afternoon, set off on a hike around the national park, and visit the site of ruins of an old temple dating from the 17th century.

DAY 13: BAGA GADZRÏN CHULUU/ULAANBAATAR - Spend driving through the Mongolian countryside to Ulaanbaatar. The drive is long and the group will arrive by the early evening. Enjoy a farewell dinner accompanied by a memorable performance of traditional Mongolian songs and dances.

DAY 14: ULAANBAATAR - Depart at any time.

Your Trip For Two Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotels (3 nights), Ger camps (10 nights).
  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners per person
  • Transport: Private vehicles, 4x4, hiking.
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Dinosaur Museum Visit, Ulaanbaatar
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Erdene Zhu Buddhist Monastery Visit, Kharkhorin
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Goat & Sheep Family Farm Experience, Orkhon Valley
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Nomadic Family Desert Experience, Khongoryn Els
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Archery Lesson & Show, Khongoryn Els
  • Your G for Good Moment: Cafe No Limits Visit, Ulaanbaatar
  • Your Wellness Moment: Tsenkher Hot Springs Visit, Tsenkher
  • Arrival transfer
  • Ulaanbaatar city tour
  • Visit Khustai National Park
  • Visit the archaeological museum
  • Soak in hot springs
  • Hike to Tuvkhun Monastery
  • Orkhon waterfall hike
  • Visit Hoshuu and Ongiin Khiid monasteries
  • Flaming Cliffs excursion
  • Gobi desert excursion and dune hike
  • Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park excursion
  • Folklore show with dinner
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the destination
  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Any activity not described in the Included section above
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities

8th Prize: Vacation in Portugal and Spain (15 days) or $5,000

Iconic Portugal & Spain

From the flash of flamenco to the soul of fado, discover the soul of the Iberian Peninsula on an in-depth exploration of southern Spain and Portugal. Venture from Moorish masterpieces to whitewashed neighborhoods, exploring an array of UNESCO World Heritage sites alongside knowledgeable local experts, including the spectacular Alhambra. Step back in time amid medieval Évora, the fairytale castles of Sintra, and painting master El Greco's ancient walled hometown of Toledo.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: LISBON - Arrive at any time. This evening, savor a traditional Portuguese dinner and performance of fado, a local folk singing tradition, in one of Lisbon's oldest neighborhoods.

DAY 2: LISBON - Travel back in time to the fairytale castles and hills of Sintra, a 19th-century resort town and UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the colorful manors, medieval palaces, and lush gardens that enchanted English Romantic poet Lord Byron as well as Portuguese royalty. Enjoy a free afternoon to discover Lisbon's pastel-hued architecture and lively plazas. Opt to soar over Lisbon on the historic Santa Justa lift, an engineering marvel that ascends 147 feet to an epic viewing platform.

DAY 3: LISBON/ÉVORA - Head to medieval Évora, in the heart of the bucolic Alentejo region, for a fascinating foray into the past. Be mesmerized by the haunting Chapel of Bones, erected by 16th-century Franciscan monks. Then pay a visit to one of the best preserved Roman temples on the Iberian Peninsula, known as Diana's Temple.

DAY 4: ÉVORA - Venture into the Montemor-o-Novo countryside, home to centuries-old cork forests. Join a local expert at a traditional farm, and learn about cork harvesting and production. Then sit down to a traditional cork stripper's lunch at a local restaurant in town. This afternoon, return to Évora and explore its UNESCO World Heritage–designated city center on your own, walking past whitewashed houses decorated with azulejos and wrought-iron balconies.

DAY 5: ÉVORA/COIMBRA - Spend the day in Tomar and delve into the Crusades era in Portugal. Go on a guided walk with a local expert around the vast medieval complex of the Convent of Christ, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Templar Castle, founded in 1160 by Gualdim Pais—the grand master of the Knights Templar. Continue on to Coimbra for the evening.

DAY 6: COIMBRA/PORTO - This morning, enjoy a tour around the centuries-old University of Coimbra, Portugal's most prestigious university and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter through the 10th-century Porta Férra, the old entrance to the citadel of Coimbra. Following mosaic cobblestone paths around campus, stopping to see the baroque stylings of the Joanina Library, elaborate azulejo wall tiles adorning the Chapel of São Miguel, and the 18th-century Botanical Garden. Later, catch the train to Porto on the coast.

DAY 7: PORTO - Board a boat down Portugal's Douro River, or "river of gold". Float on the typical Rabelo Boat along the riverbanks of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia and marvel at the historical bridges connecting the two cities. In your free time, explore the cobblestone streets of Porto's medieval Ribeira district, marvel at the baroque São Francisco Church, and admire the palatial Palácio de Bolsa, a one-time stock market.

DAY 8: PORTO/MADRID - Transfer to the airport and catch a short flight to Madrid. Set out on your own to take in the elegant squares and leafy boulevards of Spain's bustling capital. Amble around the baroque Plaza Mayor, a 17th-century square lined with shopping arcades, and soak up the scene over a coffee at one of its outdoor cafés.

DAY 9: MADRID - Drive south to the ancient walled city of Toledo, perched on a rocky headland overlooking the Tagus River. Join a local historian on a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site filled with churches, synagogues, mosques, and plazas. Explore the old quarter and glimpse the soaring tower of the city's 13th-century cathedral, a masterpiece of high Gothic architecture. Return to Madrid and enjoy free time to admire the world-renowned artworks at the Museo del Prado, relax at a café, or experience the city's legendary nightlife.

DAY 10: MADRID/CÓRDOBA - Take the high-speed train to Córdoba, a beguiling Andalusian town steeped in history. As the capital of Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) until its fall in 1236, Córdoba was once the largest city in Europe, known for its mosques, palaces, and libraries. Discover the medieval center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, or Mezquita, where a 13th-century Catholic cathedral stands in the center of a former Moorish mosque that dates to the 8th century. Afterward, stroll the historic Jewish quarter's maze of winding lanes and traditional whitewashed houses. This evening, opt to savor the city's distinctive gastronomy—a mélange of Roman, Moorish, Christian, and Jewish traditions.

DAY 11: CÓRDOBA/GRANADA - Arrive in Granada and set out on a Chief Experience Officer-led orientation walk of this alluring Andalusian city. Here, in the birthplace of flamenco, take a private dance class in a professional studio. This evening, put your new moves into practice as you experience the city's upbeat nightlife on your own.

DAY 12: GRANADA - Spend today immersed in the majesty of the Alhambra, a pinnacle of Moorish architecture in Europe. This fortress and palace built by 13th-century Nasrid sultans crown a hilltop overlooking Granada. On a guided tour of this extraordinary World Heritage site, marvel at the intricate stuccowork, elegant archways, and intimate courtyards bursting with blooms. Later, explore on your own time as you amble through the old Moorish quarter, the Albayzín, and enjoy views of the Alhambra glowing in the twilight.

DAY 13: GRANADA/SEVILLE - Journey to Seville, one of Spain's most colorful and beautiful cities. Set out on a Chief Experience Officer-led orientation walk and choose to climb the cathedral Giralda's bell tower or visit Casa Pilatos, a prototypical Andalusian palace that combines Italian Renaissance and Spanish Mudéjar architectural styles. Get a glimpse of traditional gypsy culture by opting to witness a soulful performance of flamenco dance.

DAY 14: SEVILLE - Enjoy a full day of free time to follow your impulses in Seville. Lose yourself among the winding alleys, flower-draped patios, and picturesque squares of the charming Santa Cruz quarter. Opt to visit the ornate Mudéjar palace and gardens of Real Alcázar de Sevilla, a World Heritage site and former filming location for Game of Thrones.

DAY 15: SEVILLE - Depart at any time.

Your Trip For One Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotels (14 nights).
  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Transport: Private vehicle, train, plane.
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Cork Farm Visit Montemor-o-Novo, Montemor-o-Novo
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Knights Templar Historic Tour, Tomar
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Historic City of Toledo visit, Toledo
  • Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Flamenco Dancing Experience, Granada
  • Your Foodie Moment: Fado Night with Traditional Portuguese Meal, Lisbon
  • Lisbon orientation walk
  • Guided tour of the Palace of Pena in Sintra
  • Chapel of Bones tour in Evora
  • Diana's Temple visit in Evora
  • Guided tour of Coimbra University
  • Porto orientation walk
  • Douro River boat cruise
  • Explore Cordoba including the Mezquita (mosque) and the medieval Jewish quarter
  • Granada orientation walk including a guided visit of the Alhambra
  • Internal flight
  • Transport to/from all included activities and between all destinations

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the destination
  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Any activity not described in the Included section above
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities

9th Prize: Vacation in Southern Africa (11 days) or $5,000

Southern Africa Journey: In Search of the Big Five

Boasting jaw-dropping scenery and some of the planet's most iconic wildlife, Southern Africa makes for an unforgettable adventure. On this action-packed journey, venture to South Africa to seek out the legendary "big five" on safari, soak up the charms of cosmopolitan Cape Town, and see penguins march along Boulders Beach. Then top off your journey in Zimbabwe with a tour of thundering Victoria Falls.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: CAPE TOWN - Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.

DAY 2: CAPE TOWN - This morning, set out on a daylong tour of the Cape Peninsula, a rocky headland jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. At Boulders Beach, watch thousands of African penguins waddle about their business. Then visit the notorious Cape of Good Hope, where many an unfortunate ship met its watery doom during the Age of Exploration, and climb up to the lighthouse at Cape Point for fantastic views. Head back to Cape Town via the spectacular Chapman's Peak Drive, which snakes its way along the Atlantic.

DAY 3: CAPE TOWN - Spend the day at leisure, discovering the charms of Cape Town on a variety of optional excursions. Choose to hop on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway for a quick ride to the summit, taking in incredible views of the Atlantic seaboard. Pay an eye-opening visit to the Iziko Slave Lodge—a museum devoted to the history of slavery in South Africa. Wildlife lovers can head to the Two Oceans Aquarium to gush over the variety of its marine residents—from adorable clownfish to translucent jellies.

DAY 4: CAPE TOWN/GREATER KRUGER AREA - Fly from Cape Town to the Greater Kruger National Park and settle into your lodge, located at the gateway to the famed wildlife reserve.

DAY 5: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK - Rise early and climb aboard an open jeep for a safari in Kruger National Park, home to a mindboggling array of large mammals. Spot trumpeting elephants, swaggering lions, graceful giraffes, and perhaps elusive leopards as you ride through this epic wilderness. We'll crisscross the savanna, scrubland, and riverbanks on our daylong excursion, following the tracks of the majestic creatures that inhabit the park.

DAY 6: GREATER KRUGER AREA - Venture out on another early morning safari drive, looking for the creatures you didn't get a chance to spot the day before. The afternoon is free to explore the Kruger region as you choos . Relax by the pool at our lodge, or opt to experience the area by zip line.

DAY 7: GREATER KRUGER AREA/JOHANNESBURG - After breakfast, head to Chimp Eden for an encounter with our closest relatives in the animal world. Run by the Jane Goodall Institute of South Africa, Chimp Eden is the first and only chimpanzee sanctuary in the country, and harbors more than 30 rescued chimps. Legendary ethologist and National Geographic grantee Dr. Jane Goodall devoted her life to the study of chimpanzee behavior; at Chimp Eden, we'll get an opportunity to see rescued chimps living in a safe and secure sanctuary and learn why Jane was so captivated by them when she first began her research in 1960. Later, settle in for the drive to Johannesburg, arriving in the evening.

DAY 8: CRADLE OF HUMANKIND - Step back millions of years in time on a visit to the Cradle of Humankind, where the fossils of some of our earliest known human ancestors were discovered. Here, National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Lee Berger excavated the Homo naledi, a recently defined species of hominin. Descend into the otherworldly Sterkfontein Caves, where the remains of "Mrs. Ples" and "Little Foot"—both more than two million years old—were found; then venture to the Maropeng Visitors center to gape at the actual skeletal remains and embark on an immersive journey through the evolution of our species. This evening, feast on a traditional South African braai (barbeque).

DAY 9: JOHANNESBURG/VICTORIA FALLS - Catch a flight to Zimbabwe and check in to your hotel. Set out with a local guide for a tour of Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls on Earth. Scottish explorer David Livingstone named them after Britain's Queen Victoria, while their older, indigenous name is Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning "the smoke that thunders." You can hear the falls' mighty roar from up to 24 miles away, and standing at one of the cascade's overlooks, you'll be drenched by its powerful spray.

DAY 10: VICTORIA FALLS - The day is free to explore Victoria Falls and its surroundings. Embark on a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, or embark on a canoeing excursion on the river. You can also take a day trip to Chobe National Park in Botswana to seek out its resident elephants. This evening, celebrate your journey with fellow travelers at a farewell dinner featuring a performance of local music and dance.

DAY 11: VICTORIA FALLS - Depart at any time.

Your Trip For Two Includes:

  • Accommodation: Hotel (3 nights), safari lodge (7 nights)
  • Meals: 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners per person
  • Transport: Air-conditioned touring vehicle, open safari vehicle, plane
  • Your Journeys Moment: Jane Goodall Chimp Eden Tour, Nelspruit
  • Your Journeys Moment: Cradle of Humankind Experience, Johannesburg
  • Your Foodie Moment: Traditional South Africa Braai (Barbecue), Johannesburg
  • Arrival transfer
  • Excursion to Cape Point including the penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Kruger National Park wildlife safari drives in open vehicle
  • Tour of Victoria Falls
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to and from the destination
  • Minimum medical and emergency evacuation insurance
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Any activity not described in the Included section above
  • Meals on your own
  • Gratuities

10th Prize: Vacation in Holland and Belgium River Cruise (8 days) or $5,000

Holland and Belgium in Springtime by River Cruise

Immerse yourself in vibrant culture and bright blossoms on a springtime river cruise through Holland and Belgium aboard your ship. Glide through vivid landscapes dotted with age-old windmills, dock in charming waterfront towns, and experience history and art in the majestic cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Antwerp. Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites from the windmills of Kinderdijk to the medieval gem of Brugge alongside a National Geographic Expert and a National Geographic Photography Expert, and enjoy options for bike rides, farm visits, concerts, and tastings of chocolate and cheese along the way.

Full Trip Itinerary:

DAY 1: AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - Arrive in Amsterdam and board the ship this afternoon. Settle into your cabin before meeting your National Geographic Experts at a welcome reception and dinner tonight. Enjoy a lively performance of Dutch music and dance, or join your National Geographic Photography Expert for an informal tutorial before our explorations begin.

DAY 2: AMSTERDAM - Spend the morning exploring this enchanting city on a variety of excursions. Delve into Amsterdam's history and architecture on a canal cruise aboard a glass-roofed boat, gliding past steep-gabled houses and beneath flower-bedecked bridges. Head for Amsterdam's museum district to encounter the work of the Dutch masters at the Rijksmuseum, and trace the life and work of one of the Netherlands' most famous sons at the Van Gogh Museum. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon of cruising. Attend talks by our experts and afternoon tea as we make our way along peaceful waterways.

DAY 3: KINDERDIJK/ROTTERDAM - Discover the World Heritage site of Kinderdijk, where 19 windmills were built in the 18th century to drain marshy lowlands known as polders. Examine the intricate engineering of the site on a visit by electric boat and on foot. Or pedal along the row of picturesque windmills on a guided bike ride. Enjoy a late morning talk by our expert as you continue to Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world. Choose from four afternoon excursions. Admire the city's elegant and avant-garde architecture on a walking tour, and stop in at the otherworldly Market Hall to sample local cheese. Or, you may choose to explore historic Delfshaven, one of the few districts in Rotterdam spared by bombing during World War II; and visit Pilgrim Fathers' Church, where, legend has it, a group of pilgrims attended a final service before their voyage on the Mayflower. Alternatively, learn about the world-famous blue-and-white pottery of Delft on a visit to a porcelain factory and museum, or take a bike tour of Rotterdam. Join our expert for a talk this evening.

DAY 4: ANTWERP, BELGIUM - Dock in Antwerp and set out to discover this vibrant city, where art, high fashion, and, of course, diamonds, meet stunning medieval and Renaissance architecture. Take a walking tour of the old city, including Grote Markt Square, the Cathedral of Our Lady, and waterside Het Steen castle; ride down the historic Cogels Osylei street on a bike tour, passing gems of Tudor, art nouveau, and neoclassical architecture; or venture into the Rubens House museum, the home of 17th-century artist Peter Paul Rubens. In the afternoon, enjoy a tasting of Belgian specialties, from waffles to chocolates, or head to Groot-Bijgaarden Castle, home to more than a million tulips, to see the annual Floralia flower show. This evening, savor a classical music performance on board.

DAY 5: GHENT/BRUGGE - Step ashore in Ghent, a medieval manufacturing center that was once one of Europe's wealthiest cities. Choose a walking tour of this charming canal-lined city, including Cloth Hall, the Belfry, the celebrated Adoration of the Mystic Lamb altarpiece, and the 12th-century Castle of the Counts. Then head to a renowned chocolaterie for a chocolate-making workshop. Or take a half-day tour of Ghent and then travel to Brugge for the afternoon. Wander Brugge's narrow cobbled lanes along canals dotted with swans, and stroll through grand squares lined with magnificent architecture that dates back to the 13th century. Alternatively, spend the entire day in Brugge and enjoy time in the afternoon to explore the town on your own. Cruise back into the Netherlands tonight.

DAY 6: MIDDELBURG, NETHERLANDS - Wake up in Zeeland, a scenic delta where four rivers converge and charming historic towns dot the landscape. Stop in Middelburg and take a walking tour of the well-preserved medieval old town, or go on a bike ride, cycling through the lovely countryside to the village of Veere, pausing at a cheese farm for a tasting. Alternatively, travel to Ouwerkerk to learn about the devastating flood of 1953 and see the impressive engineering of the Delta Works that have helped prevent floods ever since. As we sail north this afternoon, enjoy a talk by our expert. Join our National Geographic Photography Expert on deck to learn techniques for capturing the setting sun. Tonight, we're treated to a special meal crafted by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society established in Paris in 1950.

DAY 7: HOORN/AMSTERDAM - Located on what is now a freshwater lake in North Holland, Hoorn was once a base of the Dutch East India Company. Tour the city and trace the history of the once-powerful trading company at the Westfries Museum. Or head for the blossoms with a visit to a tulip farm. Meander through the greenhouses and learn about the cultivation and trade of this beloved flower over tea and snacks. Alternatively, hop on a bike to explore Hoorn's waterfront and historic center, and then pedal into the countryside to see windmills and old villages. This afternoon, get immersed in a riot of colors and fragrances at the breathtaking Keukenhof Gardens, where more than seven million vibrant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other flowers show off their bright hues. Stroll acre after acre of one of the world's largest flower gardens, taking in a beauty that lasts just a short time each spring. You may also head back into Amsterdam for a tour or time at leisure. Celebrate our trip together at a farewell reception and dinner hosted by the captain tonight.

DAY 8: AMSTERDAM - After breakfast, disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Your Trip For One Includes:

  • Lectures by a National Geographic Expert
  • Photography tips and techniques from a National Geographic Photography Expert
  • Welcome and farewell receptions
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Unlimited fresh juice with breakfast
  • Airport transfers
  • Gratuities for guides, drivers and ship staff, and restaurant staff at included meals
  • Tapas, snacks and refreshments are served daily
  • Professional on-site Cruise Manager
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to sites as indicated in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Filtered water and non-alcoholic beverages at meals
  • Filtered water on all group transfers and activities

Does Not Include:

  • International flights
  • International airport departure taxes (included in most international tickets)
  • Additional beverages (discretionary)
  • Travel insurance (discretionary)
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required
  • Phone calls, laundry, and other items of a personal nature (discretionary)