NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y., Jan. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In 2000, insightCuba pioneered people-to-people travel by sending Americans to Cuba legally for the first time since 1961. Since then, the company has created hundreds of thousands of unparalleled travel experiences and paved the way to a country off-limits for more than half a century. That pioneering spirit is the force behind its new brand. Masala Expeditions will take guests beyond Cuba with the same enthusiasm and desire for discovering a country through its people.
Masala Expeditions is launching with nine small people-to-people group tours with a maximum of just 16 on each 2017-2018 guaranteed departure. From Bhutan and China to Peru, South Africa and Iran, all adventures are led by native-born local guides who are university educated, speak fluent English, and are experts in local culture and norms.
Persian Moments in Iran 14-day tour (from $7,199pp) is a rare opportunity for Americans to explore the cradle of civilization after decades of tensions between the two governments. Thanks to renewed relations, travelers will visit some of the Middle East's most extraordinary cities. We begin with an overnight in Dubai before flying to Iran's capital, Tehran, and onward to Tabriz, Isfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz. Highlights include 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites; ancient Persian ruins; Pasargadae and Persepolis, two of the world's best-known sites of antiquity; mingling with residents in Iranian bazaars and indulging in fine Persian cuisine.
Japan's Inland Sea to the Alps 11-day tour (from $6,899pp) takes guests on a journey to some of Japan's most iconic places, from Tokyo and Kyoto to Hiroshima, Kanazawa, Nara, Mt. Fuji and points in between, including five UNESCO World Heritage sites. Highlights include dining with a Geisha, sampling fine sake, touring a Zen garden, visiting the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, and enjoying a lesson on how to prepare restaurant-quality sushi.
China's Yangtze by Small Ship 12-day tour (from $4,299pp) brings guests deep into the heart of China, starting in the capital city of Beijing and continuing to Yichang for a four-day Yangtze River cruise through the stunning Three Gorges Dam, disembarking in Chongqing. Then it's on to Xian before concluding in Shanghai. Additional highlights include walking the Great Wall, seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors, shopping at a farmer's market with a local family, learning tai chi with a master, dining with a famous chef and visiting four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal 12-day tour (from $7,299pp) takes guests to Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan, three legendary countries rich in culture, heritage and mystique. Highlights include a meeting with the high lama, a firsthand account from a Mt. Everest climber, a visit to Bhutan's famous Tiger's Nest Monastery, attending Buddhist and Hindu ceremonies, meeting with a master Tibetan artist, and learning about ancient Eastern medicine from a local doctor.
South Africa and Victoria Falls 12-day tour (from $7,499pp) starts in a private reserve in Kruger National Park, where guests follow the Big Five on dusk-and- dawn game drives. Next, it's on to the beautiful oceanfront city of Cape Town and the nearby vineyards, followed by a drive to the Western Cape in search of the marine Big Five. The experience is topped off by a visit to Victoria Falls in Zambia. More trip highlights include a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River, climbing Table Mountain, and visiting Robben Island, where Mandela was incarcerated.
Safari in Kenya & Tanzania 12-day tour (from $7,699pp) features the ultimate search for the Big Five in the Serengeti in Kenya and the Maasai Mara in Tanzania, with relaxing evenings and mornings in a luxury safari lodge or hotel. Highlights include soaring over the Maasai Mara in a hot-air balloon, journeying across the Great Rift Valley to Lake Manyara National Park, and viewing wildlife on the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater floor.
Our Adventures Across Iceland 7-day tour (from $4,799pp) showcases the country's scenery and culture. Guests will visit the capital, Reykjavik, and Thingvellir National Park; experience Iceland's geothermal pools, geysers and waterfalls; visit the world's oldest parliament; meet fishermen and farmers, and speak with artists in the cultural capital of Akureyri.
Peru Explorer 9-day tour (from $3,999) begins in Lima before continuing to Cuzco and into the Sacred Valley. Guests travel toward Machu Picchu by train to experience one of the Seven Wonders of the World and travel off the beaten path in Oropesa and Cuyuni to get "up close and personal" with the residents. In addition to these three UNESCO World Heritage sites, trip highlights include exploring an Andean market and visiting an artist-and-weavers studio.
Machu Picchu and Galapagos 14-day tour (from $8,999pp) starts in Lima before we fly to the Andean town of Cuzco, and continue by train to Machu Picchu. After a sunrise visit to the Lost City and a flight to Quito, guests embark on the intimate expedition ship La Pinta for a five-day cruise around the Galapagos Islands, best known for Darwin's discoveries. Guests will tour five UNESCO World Heritage sites, visit Andean markets, and experience the Galapagos with an expert naturalist.
All Masala Expeditions tours include carefully selected luxury accommodations, internal flights and airline fees as noted, expert native guides, private drivers, meals as specified, small group size (16 or fewer guests), all entrance fees to scheduled activities and events, port charges for vessels on specified tours, all in-country ground transportation and airport transfers via luxury motor coaches, luggage handling, hotel taxes and service charges, 24-hour emergency customer-service hotline and more.
For more information on Masala Expeditions, visit www.masalaexpeditions.com or call 1-800-450-2822.
About Masala Expeditions
Masala Expeditions is a brand of insightCuba, the leading provider and pioneer in legal people-to-people travel for Americans visiting Cuba since 2000. After specializing in travel to Cuba for 17 years, creating hundreds of thousands of cherished travel experiences and receiving countless requests to take our small group tours beyond Cuba, Masala Expeditions came to fruition. Masala Expeditions was created from the same love of traveling and learning about a culture through its people that insightCuba is known for. Masala Expeditions offers nine regularly scheduled small-group tours spanning six continents, with hundreds of departures annually.
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