Intrepid Travel is honing in on its active trips, releasing a swathe of European walking tours alongside its biggest collection of US trips to date.
During the past year and a half, Intrepid has amped up its portfolio of active trips, recognising that they are some of the lowest carbon-output trip styles, while also being in high demand as travellers seek outdoor adventures following months of being in lockdowns.
The new “Great Walks of Europe” collection includes six iconic treks covering ground across Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and Switzerland delivered in a sustainable and accessible way, each led by highly qualified local leaders.
The range includes a mix of centre-based itineraries, which provide the possibility for a traveller to skip some walks if they wish, and point-to-point hikes, which require participants to complete particular routes to get to the next destination.
Each trip includes stays at small, family-run hotels and authentic style accommodations with minimal transport used, making them a more sustainable option while supporting local communities that have been affected by the pandemic.
“We have seen an increase in active adventures in the past few months. Fresh air, iconic routes, remote locations and a guarantee of vaccinated trip leaders and fellow travel companions make these new walking tours a desirable option for travellers looking to explore Europe in 2022,” said Brett Mitchell, managing director at Intrepid Travel.
In November, the tour operator announced a collection of 38 new trips in the US to depart in 2022 – its most robust offering in the country since its inception over 30 years ago.
“We’ve thought for a long time about the unique role Intrepid can play in the United States,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel.
“We felt compelled to not only offer sustainable and unique travel experiences for international travellers, but to also ensure we use the power of tourism as a force for good.
“We created these itineraries to showcase the US through a more authentic and diverse lens. While they will offer travellers the chance to see the country’s most iconic sites and cities, they also celebrate the lesser-known places, communities and highlights that make up the rich fabric of America.
“While we did include many of the well-loved places that get people excited to travel, we took it a step further by celebrating the small towns and varying perspectives that allow travellers to understand what America is – not just at its surface, but rather at its core.”
Intrepid’s new US trips will incorporate the must-see attractions while giving travellers more curated, in-depth offerings. From enjoying local delicacies and going on human-powered active adventures, to spending time with First Nations tribes, each trip will provide a unique take on the destination.
The launch of these new trips brings Intrepid’s total portfolio in the United States to 57 tours, together covering 28 states and Washington D.C. and including a mix of walking, cycling, multi-active, culinary and general sightseeing adventures.
To increase its capacity, ensure the utmost quality control over each trip and incorporate the highest sustainable and responsible measures, Intrepid has built and launched its own dedicated American operations hub this year, which allows Intrepid to build more meaningful and impactful relationships with its suppliers.
For example, when creating the itineraries for its South Dakota trips, Intrepid made sure to acknowledge the sensitivities of certain tourist attractions in relation to the Indigenous experience. Following conversations with and recommendations from both the Crow Nation and Lakota tribe representatives, the company decided to not include a visit to Crazy Horse on its trips, while ensuring it pursues ways to incorporate the Indigenous American perspective during the visit to Mount Rushmore.
Future plans in the United States include continuing to work with First Nations outfitters to run more specialised trips and experiences focused on several perspectives and cultures of the country’s various tribes, and aiming to introduce its recently launched Premium tour range in the States, which will provide a sustainable travel option for the higher-end adventure traveller.
As of September 2021, all travellers and tour leaders with Intrepid Travel must be vaccinated, and every Intrepid trip operates under Safe Travel protocols developed and endorsed by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
Featured image credit: Intrepid Travel