Specialist Expeditions Worldwide

Winter 2023 Short Break

Posted on: October 17th, 2022 by Amelia Dalton

EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT OFFER

REIDS PALACE HOTEL  has breath-taking sea views, bright light-filled rooms, lush gardens with exotic colourful plants. With 2 Heated Pools (salt & fresh), a spoiling Spa, Michelin* dining, Italian restaurant, pool bar and graceful terrace. This is one of the world’s truly historic and charming places. Funchal, is a 10 min. walk, offering excellent seafood restaurants, buzzing cafés and intriguing museums. The island has unhurried, gentle charms and style of yester-year, at an unhurried and charming pace.

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Yorkshire’s Private Country Houses

Posted on: July 26th, 2021 by Amelia Dalton

With privileged, special access we visit three of Yorkshire’s most glorious private houses.

HOVINGHAM HALL, NEWBY HALL and CLIFTON CASTLE.

Each remarkable house has an intriguing history with impressive collections of furniture, tapestries, paintings, delightful gardens and rolling parkland.

BENINGBROUGH HALL,  RIEVAULX ABBEY, the RYDEDALE MUSEUM, SWINTON CASTLE,

the cathedral city of RIPON will also be on our agenda, plus touring the YORKSHIRE WOLDS and PENNINES.

DOWNLOAD the Brochure here.Yorkshire’s Great Private Houses OCTOBER 2021

Scotland’s remote Archipelagoes: exploring in comfort 2023

Posted on: July 25th, 2021 by Amelia Dalton

St. KILDA, COLONSAY, IONA, the OUTER HEBRIDES, LEWIS, SHIANT ISLES, SKYE, the SMALL ISLES & MULL

with Amelia Dalton, seabird & wildlife expert ANDY BUNTEN & musician Martin Treacher.

Cruising west onboard the sumptuous Hebridean Princess, we across the Sea of the Hebrides remarkable for its abundant marine life: basking sharks, killer whales, seals and dolphins. Leaving the Outer Hebrides astern we cruise to the remote and spectacular ARCHIPELAGO of ST KILDA. Long days offer plenty of time ashore to stroll orchid-rich uplands, listen for corncrakes and puffins as well as enjoy informative talks and entertaining musical evenings onboard.

Exploring St Kilda & The Western Isles 2023

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GREAT PRIVATE HOUSES of YORKSHIRE

Posted on: March 10th, 2021 by Amelia Dalton

Architecture, Paintings, Furniture, Tapestries, Plasterwork, Grottoes & Gardens, the variety, quality of craftsmanship and elegance of these superb houses is remarkable. In the course of this 4 day break, we visit the finest Yorkshire has to offer, from elegant HOVINGHAM HALL and the superb collections of NEWBY HALL to the rarely-visited splendours of CLIFTON.   We stay in the Worsley Arms and Goldsborough Hall, once the home of HRH The Princess Royal.

Walking & Boating in RURAL BURMA

Posted on: July 30th, 2019 by Amelia Dalton

February Escape: explore deep into the Burmese countryside, close to the CHINESE BORDER and boat through the string of backwaters south of Lake Inle, home to fascinating colourful tribes.

amara one long necked woman Inle Sanctuary Phayart

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SPICE ISLANDS of the Moluccas & Celebes Seas 2023

Posted on: April 5th, 2019 by Amelia Dalton

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FEBRUARY 2023 Wildlife, History, Sailing & Snorkeling  

BIRDS of PARADISE, GOLDEN BIRD-WINGED BUTTERFLIES, lush JUNGLES, SNORKELING in the CORAL TRIANGLE & HISTORIC FORTS.

We explore and sail through the remote islands of the Moluccas & Celebes Seas in the wake of Russell Wallace from the comfort of our luxurious private yacht. Idyllic days to weave amongst the archipelagos, stroll coral-sand beaches, swim, snorkel, kayak or laze on board.

THE VOYAGE of a LIFE TIME. 

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The Enchanting Emerald Isle

Posted on: November 5th, 2018 by Amelia Dalton

Unhurried, Vibrant & Utterly Charming,

An exploration of luxuriant gardens, magnificent mansions, followed by weaving along with ever-changing views on board the luxurious Belmond Grand Hibernian Train.  We visit the Palladian splendour of CASTLETOWN, magnificent POWERSCOURT, enjoy the charms of the gardens at HUNTINGBROOK and MOUNT USHER before travelling in style and comfort on the Belmond delightful train as we cross to the West Coast with daily visits from the train and exceptional dining.

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Andalucia, Spirited, Passionate & Scented

Posted on: April 18th, 2018 by Amelia Dalton

SEVILLE is one of the world’s most romantic and charming cities – home to Carmen and Don Juan where traffic-free streets are tightly packed with magnificent monuments and buzzing tapas bars. JEREZ  boast unique wine bodegas with old-world charm, style and appeal whilst in CADIZ history and art combine with the city’s spectacular situation.  SAN LUCAR de BARRAMEDA, situated on the dune-backed estuary of the Guadalquivir River has the charm of a quiet beach-side village and produces sensational wines, and has a thriving fishing fleet supplying the delightful seafood restaurants.  We will feast on stunning local tapas, sample unusual wines, including the unctuous Pedro Ximénez and relish the variety of this charming, sun-blessed area.

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Exploring the Andaman Sea with Durrell Conservation

Posted on: November 22nd, 2017 by Amelia Dalton

TIGERS and TEMPLES, FISH EAGLES and FLAMINGOS, we voyage across the Bay of Bengal to the remote ANDAMAN ISLES and on to INDIA’s west coast. Exploring by ship and zodiac we investigate the labyrinthine SUNDARBANS wildlife reserves, coastal elephant camps and exotic bird reserves with experienced guides to accompany us ashore and inform us on board.

This is a UNIQUE WILDLIFE EXPEDITION with distinguished and knowledgeable guest speakers.

snorkelling CinqueHoopoe

Kyaking the backwaters

Sundarbans

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Cruising the Irrawaddy, January 2018

Posted on: November 22nd, 2017 by Amelia Dalton

Escaping European winter we stroll the colonial streets of romantic RANGOON, now a fascinating mix of old and new.

Lunch in the buzzy RANGOON TEA HOUSE, whilst staying at the glorious Governor’s Residence Hotel.

From our delightful river boat, we cruise the mighty IRRAWADDY RIVER, visit an ex British Hill Station where the colourfully dressed locals

bustle about the market and explore the magnificent temples of BAGAN: all in the sunny warmth of late January.

 

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Exotics in Spring, an April short break

Posted on: September 22nd, 2017 by Amelia Dalton

Colour, warmth, TAPAS and TIPPLES, exotic birds and rare orchids.  We will cram our weekend in Southern Spain with the best of Andalucia whilst based in a stylish ex-olive Hacienda.

SPOONBILLS, FLAMINGOS, rare ORCHIDS and steep WHITE VILLAGES, scrumptious SEAFOOD and cool WINES will all combine to create a memorable short break.

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Polar Bears & Wildlife deep within the Arctic Circle REPEATED in 2018

Posted on: July 29th, 2017 by Amelia Dalton

polar-bear-story-1In 2017 this tour was a huge success – see the comments.  Using the same comfortable ice-class, purpose-built ship, we cruise remote fjords and corners of the strikingly beautiful SVALBARD ARCHIPELAGO deep within the Arctic Circle. The continuous mid-summer daylight ceaseless opportunity to scan the edge of the pack ice and glaciers, while the crow’s nest camera and experienced team spot polar bears, walrus, seals, reindeer and arctic fox.  We can view from the bridge or right up in the bow with uninterrupted sight lines.  Zodiacs and kayaks take us closer to Svalbard’s dramatic geological features to see the abundant wildlife flourishing in mid June.  Svalbard is the most striking place to see polar bears and boasts a growing population.   

In 2017 we saw 15 POLAR BEARS, cubs and an ice-floe kill, white Beluga, Blue & Killer Whales as well as reindeer, seals, etc. etc. 

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Portuguese Table Wines with Ben Howkins

Posted on: December 6th, 2015 by Amelia Dalton

PORTUGAL – “a treasure trove of indigenous grape varieties.”

The Douro Valley & Lodges of Oporto: a delightful wine tour with BEN HOWKINS & Amelia Dalton.

We will taste wines created by the historic family producers of the Douro Valley and our dining will vary to suit the locality, with special invitations to dine as private guests of the Symington family and at the prestigious Factory House, plus a luxurious Michelin starred dinner. We cruise the picturesque twists and turns of the Douro river by traditional boat and explore the charming streets of Oporto and Lamego. Our upriver hotel gazes across the romantic River Douro,  whilst the sumptuous Yeatman Hotel in Oporto cascades down the river bank between the old warehouses providing spectacular city views.

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Boating in the Brazilian Amazon

Posted on: November 21st, 2014 by Amelia Dalton

From the comfort of our private motor yacht,  chartered exclusively for us, we cruise the tributaries of the mighty Amazon, heading up into the tributaries of the Rio Negro before time in the world’s largest wetland – the Pantanal. We weave through the channels to discover untouched forests, the habitat of parrots, toucans, howler monkeys, river otter, peccairy and tapir as well as visiting local villagers.  Moving on to the Pantanal, Mato Grosso, we stay in a simple but comfortable eco-odge, our base on the Mutum River to hike and explore the trails by boat and on foot with opportunities to see some of the 650 different bird species including macaws and ibis, as well as over 260 species of fish, 1,100 butterfly species and 1,700 plant species in this amazingly rich bio-diverse area. 2015 FULL / Please enquire for 2016

Twin cabin on board

TWIN CABIN
Pantanal eco lodge

Pantanal eco lodge

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Burma past and present

Posted on: March 12th, 2014 by Amelia Dalton

Colonial Yangon occupied our first morning before visiting the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda during a golden sunset followed by a Burmese dinner with French wine, in the company of alumni from Prospect Burma, our chosen charity to support on this tour. On to Mandalay to board our smart new boat for the Irrawaddy cruise. Everyone settled into the luxurious cabins whilst I sorted out details for our forthcoming visits. Due to the river channel being unexpectedly blocked, 

I was creating a completely new itinerary so I was keen to work on this with the team; discussions ranged from candle-lit dinners in forts to cocktails on sandbanks and golf courses! As the river and days slid by, our experiences became more and more varied: we visited remote tribal villages, had rousing school singsongs and a quiet lunch with monks whilst transport ranged from bullock carts to balloons!  Lectures from Robert & Pam Gordon enlightened and entertained us with their knowledge and stories of Burma, both the official and the rather less official anecdotes of life as British Ambassador in the ’90s.  It was a sensational time, a superb group of charming, patient and humorous people resulting in possibly my most successful tour ever.As a result I shall repeat the itinerary, also working with Cazenove+loyd, as well as offer a different river cruise, both on the same boat in 2015. See Future Tours.

… wonderful trip and the last minute changes worked out seamlessly.  We know that this must have involved an enormous about of extra work but the result was a triumph – definitely one of our best ever holidays.  David L

Wines of the Rhône Valley

Posted on: March 10th, 2014 by isabel.albiol

In the warmth of early June, we will be tasting wines from some of the greatest producers including Château de Beaucastel, Maison Chapoutier and Domaine René Rostaing. We start in Orange with its superb Roman ruins and travel through the RHÔNE valley staying in simple well-located hotels. We meet the growers, dine in their restaurants and some of the most inspired French restaurants with Michelin stars as well as enjoy a simple vineyard picnic. The Rhône Valley was the gateway to France for the Phoenicians, Greeks and the Romans, who introduced vines: whether they came from Shiraz in Persia or Syracuse in Sicily is still disputed. This river route resulted in the founding of churches and abbeys to control this lucrative trade, which increased dramatically when the Pope moved to Avignon in the 13th century. During Napoleonic times the area flourished and the reputation of the wine grew, both for their quality and supposed medicinal qualities. DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

Sumatra & Super Trees

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by isabel.albiol

From the sophistication of Singapore to the simplicity of Sumatra, this will be a short tour of contrasts, principally offered to those taking the ORION voyage through INDONESIA. We experience some rugged walking to see Sumatra orangutans, so different from those of Borneo, stay in a simple Eco lodge and have the benefits of Dr Ian Singleton who trained in Edinburgh and on Jersey with Durrell to lead us through the tropical forests of this off-the-beaten-track island.  In Singapore our sybaritic hotel will be the Mandarin Oriental offering luxurious comfort and style whilst we sally out into the buzz of Singapore to visit the newly created GARDENS on the BAY as well as the famous BOTANICAL GARDENS.

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The Temples of Angkor & Cruising the mighty Mekong

Posted on: February 13th, 2014 by isabel.albiol

From VIETNAM to CAMBODIA by way of LAOS;  temples, rivers and lakes.  A cultural and wildlife extravaganza.

We started in HANOI and the small trading port of HOI AN, moved on LUANG PRABANG and then boarded our small boat for a cruise along the lesser known areas of the MEKONG river. SIEM REAP opened our eyes to the amazing temples of ANGKOR, the bird life and floating communities of the wide shallow waters of TONLE SAP and our final evening was a private dinner by candle light in a small temple;  a perfect tour of these fascinating countries with their ancient temples, vibrant people and scrumptious food.

JANUARY 2013

Spring Glamour: Italian Lakes, Villas & Gardens

Posted on: January 26th, 2014 by Amelia Dalton

 

The island gardens which dot the Italian lakes are among the most beautiful and beguiling in the world.  But it takes a gardener to explain their fascination” Monty Don.

Cicogna M loggia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We visited the Lakes of Maggiore and Como in the company of Mike Nelhams  RHS judge and Curator of the superb Abbey Gardens on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly.

In warm sunshine our private boat whisked us across the calm waters of Lake Maggiore to the stunning villas and gardens on the islands of  – Isola Bella and Isola Madre lunching en route on Isola Pescatore on local fresh pasta and ice cream. As we crossed between Maggiore and Como we were the guests of Count Jacopo Cicogna Mozzoni. He took us round his fascinating villa and gardens before a lunch at his restaurant in the village. On the shores of Lake Como we launched across to visit Villa Carlotta where we were staggered by the quantity and lush blossom before the scents of the wisteria at Villa Balbianello charmed the afternoon.  Dining in Bellagio was a highlight before a private visit to the steep alpine gardens at Villa Bagatti & Valsecchi offered sensational views up to the alps at the head of the lake.  Our final gardens at Villas Serbelloni and Melzi provided contrasts of the lake-side setting;  and throughout the sun shone!

bellagio closer E

isola bella web

15th – 20th April 2015

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Orangutans, Monkeys and Dragons

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by isabel.albiol

Dr Lee Durrell, who will be our speaker on this exotic voyage through the island chains of Indonesia writes: “I am delighted that the next Durrell expedition cruise will take us to see fascinating animals, from orangutans to Komodo dragons, living free in their natural habitats” This unique one-off and never to be repeated voyage by small expedition ship provides the only sensible and comfortable way to visit uninhabited and remote islands in the Coral Triangle, famous for their superb coral reefs and to venture far up river to inaccessible orangutan habitat where the highly endangered proboscis monkeys are numerous. With Lee on board, a small well-appointed ship and an experienced team to enlighten us, it will be the trip of a life-time. Come and join us!

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