A Word From MD Charlie about the new Trips
What's New for 2013
Burma, Bhutan, Ladakh, Tibet, North America, Central America, Togo and Benin are just some of the new destinations included in Dragoman's 2013 - 2014 brochure, out next week.
The 50 new trips, the largest amount ever launched in one year by the pioneering overland specialist, represent a major shift in focus for the 31 year old operator.
Having carved out its reputation as an Africa specialist since being founded in 1981, the operator launched in South America in 1989. Now, offering adventurous, off-the beaten track trips to the latter represent over half of its business. This year, it's significant that many of the new trips are forging new routes through Asia and, in its 10,000 mile epic, Alaska to Ushuaia, North America and Central America, too.
Here's what Dragoman think will be the best selling trips and destinations of 2013 to 2014.
The release of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2010 and later election to the country's parliament didn't just herald a new era in Burmese politics, it opened the doors to mainstream adventure tourism. Undoubtedly the golden destination of 2012, 2013 will see tourist numbers soar further, a trend that is set to continue over the coming years. Dragoman have two new trips to this beautiful country are the only major overland operator to offer trips there. The 4 week Kunming to Bangkok via Burma, which takes travellers through three countries in a month: China, Burma and Thailand. Highlights include trekking through tribal villages in Burma's Shan state, exploring the archaeological wonders of Pagan, relaxing on the Irrawaddy River and visiting the former Royal capital of Mandalay. Inle Lake, Yangon, travelling deep into Burma's Mon state and joining local pilgrims as they admire the sunset from Mount Kyaiktiyo are also a draw. Dragoman's first Burma departure in 2013 is 15th October 2013 and costs from £2386 per person, which includes a local kitty payment. Flights from £869 per person ex Heathrow.
For travellers with more time, there's the 7 1/2 week 'Bangkok to Bangkok via Burma', which traverses Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China and Burma. Cost from £4016 per person which includes a local kitty payment. The first departure is 14th November 2013.
It's the subject of Michael Palin's next travelogue and with good reason. With the World Cup being held there in 2014 and the next Olympics two years later, Brazil is the latest South American country to have its time in the tourist spotlight. Experiencing Rio Carnival is unarguably the highlight for anyone visiting and for 2013, Dragoman have launched a new bracket in its now three-strong Rio Carnival Package portfolio: Rio Carnival Basic*. Testament to how hot a ticket this is, the 2013 departure sold out before the brochure was even printed, so our advice is: book early for 2014, when the Carnival is being held between 28th February and 6th March. Package costs £1040 per person, flights ex Heathrow from £649 per person. *Dragoman also offer a Standard Carnival Package and luxury 'Superior Carnival Package'.
Rio to Cusco
For the first time, South America's two most visited cities, Rio and Cusco, are now linked thanks to a brand new Trans Amazonian highway, and Dragoman are the first major overland operator to offer trips that use it. This 3 1/2 week, holiday-length trip will take travellers across the heart of Brazil via the Amazon Basin; beaches, steaming jungles and icy mountain passes all part of the adventure. The first departure, guaranteed, for 2013 is 14th February. The trip costs from £680 per person which includes a local kitty payment. Flights ex Heathrow from £899 per person. There are 13 departures in 2013, testament to how popular the operator anticipates this route will be.
Set deep in the Indian Himalayas on the Western edge of the Tibetan Plateau and one of the highest places on earth, the season for travelling through Ladakh is short. June-July-August are undoubtedly the best months to visit 'Little Tibet', before the snow makes the high roads surrounding Leh impassable. This new 21 day Ladakh trip, overlanding by 4WD Mercedes Benz truck will see you visiting serene Buddhist monasteries and palaces in Leh, driving along some of the highest roads on earth to the remote and rugged Nubra valley. The trip visits Srinigar before heading back to Delhi. First departure 6 July 2014, costs from £1231 per person, which includes a local kitty payment. Flights ex Heathrow from £499 per person. Dragoman is the only major overland operator to offer trips in Ladakh.
21 days Kolkata to Kathmandu, through Darjeeling, Sikkim and Bhutan. One of the most isolated countries in the world, Bhutan's strict limit on visitors has enabled it to retain its traditions and religious heritage, making it one of the most untouched destinations on the planet. Again, Dragoman is the first major overland operator to run trips there. It's first 3 week trip between India, Bhutan and Nepal leaves on 25th August 2014 and costs from £2200 per person plus on the ground payment of US$270 per person. For travellers with more time, the 3 month long trip, Kolkata to Kolkata via Bhutan takes in India, Nepal and Bhutan. Cost from £6058 per person which includes an on-the-ground kitty payment. Flights ex Heathrow from £599 per person. The first departure is 25 August 2014
Anchorage to Ushuaia
Is this the world's ultimate road trip? We think so. Summer sun to summer sun, this 10,000 mile epic, from the wilds of Alaska to the 'end of the world', Ushuaia, will see passengers traverse the entire North American, Central American and South American continents in 30 weeks, the North American section in an iconic bright orange school bus. First departure is 9th January 2013, second departure 10th August, cost from £10,980 per person which includes local kitty payment. Flights ex Heathrow are from £999 per person. First departure in 2014 is 2nd January 2014.
For bookings, call Dragoman on 01728 861133 or visit the website at www.dragoman.com
Please note, all flight prices quoted include taxes.
For more information about Dragoman or the new trips it offers, please contact:
Notes to editors
Dragoman now offers over 110 different overlanding trips of between 2 and 28 weeks to more than 70 countries.
Dragoman has pioneered many overland routes throughout the world. It is the only major UK operator to offer overland adventures; that span the entire Silk Route, from Istanbul to Beijing (West to East Asia); that cover India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma and Tibet ; that traverse from Ulaan Bataar in Mongolia to Singapore, just off the coast of Malaysia (North to South East Asia); that extend from Alaska to Argentina and; that circumnavigate almost the entire African continent.