Asia

The Arc of the Sacred Symposium

January 2015

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Religion, Art, and Culture Across Southern Asia
Featuring Eminent Scholars Dr. Helen Ibbitson Jessup, Dr. Todd Lewis, Dr. Vasudha Narayanan, Dr. Damian Evans, and John Sanday, OBE
A Symposium at Angkor Wat with Journeys from Nepal to Indonesia

We are thrilled to present our newest Special Event—an extraordinary four-day symposium in Siem Reap, Cambodia, that explores the remarkable spiritual synchronicity that exists across Asia. The religions and cultures of southern Asia are vibrant and distinctive, yet the region’s art, architecture, and traditions share much in common due to the extraordinary influence of sacred beliefs as they spread across the arc of Asia. These influences are still visible today, from the Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal to the vast array of temples at Bagan, Burma, to the living artistry of Balinese Hindu culture.

Our symposium, based at the Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Resort, a short distance from the breathtaking Angkor Wat temple complex, features distinguished guest scholars, including Dr. Damian Evans, whose recent work has been lauded by Archaeology Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Discoveries of 2013.” Our speakers will offer us an insider’s perspective on the fascinating interplay of religion and culture across southern Asia, including the Khmer and the ultimate expression of their civilization, the World Heritage Site of Angkor. The speaker’s presentations are complemented by in-depth excursions to the most inspiring shrines of Angkor, including the Bayon, Angkor Wat, and the Buddhist monastic complex of Preah Khan, where Guest Speaker John Sanday was instrumental in the site’s restoration.

In conjunction with the symposium, we have created six special tours focusing on the sacred monuments and living traditions of a wide range of destinations, from the Himalayan foothills to the verdant rice fields of Bali. These tours will be led by a combination of our Guest Speakers and most beloved Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders. If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the mysteries of Asia or wish to return to this fascinating continent, this unique event offers a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience. We hope you’ll join us. But call soon—space is limited!

The trip costs include donations to three important organizations affiliated with our guest speakers: the Greater Angkor Project, the Global Heritage Fund, and Friends of Khmer Culture.

 

USA

Alaskan Passage

May 16-23, 2015

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Natural History and Native Heritage of Alaska’s Southeast
Featuring Acclaimed Interpreters of the Natural World Barry Lopez and Richard Nelson
on the 60-passenger Wilderness Adventurer

Experience Southeast Alaska’s astounding beauty and learn about the fascinating cultures of its native people in the company of distinguished authors Barry Lopez and Richard Nelson. From Ketchikan to Juneau, we voyage along the Inside Passage, the spectacular waterway lined with immense glaciers, misty fjords, temperate rainforests, and islands teeming with wildlife. Our days are filled with hiking, kayaking, and whale watching in the company of our naturalist guides and guest speakers, who further enrich our journey with engaging evening presentations. Our home base is the Wilderness Adventurer, a 60-passenger vessel that’s wonderfully comfortable, yet small enough to venture into tiny coves and anchorages.

Indonesia

Total Solar Eclipse of 2016: From Bali to Borneo

March 1-15, 2016

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A Voyage on the Caledonian Sky Featuring Award-winning Astronomer Dr. Alex Filippenko

To witness a total solar eclipse is an unforgettable experience—and combined with this unique cruise, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure! Our journey offers the best weather prospects on the Indonesian eclipse path and more than three minutes of totality, observed from the safety and comfort of a small expedition ship. The maneuverability of the 114-guest Caledonian Sky further enhances our prospects on Eclipse Day, the centerpiece of our fascinating voyage that brings us from Bali to Borneo. Fantastic experiences along the way include seeing both Komodo dragons and orangutans, snorkeling amid the astounding reefs of the Coral Triangle, and exploring the tropical islands of Sulawesi. Astronomer Alex Filippenko, PhD, one of UC Berkeley’s most popular professors, will join us to share his expert knowledge in a series of presentations and on eclipse day—this is his 11th eclipse with us!

Indonesia

Total Solar Eclipse of 2016: Darwin to Kota Kinabalu

March 4-15, 2016

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A Voyage from Australia to Borneo on Le Soleal

To witness a total solar eclipse is an unforgettable experience—and combined with this unique cruise, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure! Our journey offers the best weather prospects on the Indonesian eclipse path and more than three minutes of totality, observed from the safety and comfort of a sophisticated yet friendly yacht. The maneuverability of the 132-cabin Le Soleal further enhances our prospects on Eclipse Day, the centerpiece of our fascinating voyage that brings us from Darwin, Australia, to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Fantastic experiences along the way include snorkeling amid the astounding reefs of the Coral Triangle, exploring the rich culture of the islands, and a special opportunity to see orangutans. Astronomer Rick Fienberg, PhD, will join us to share his expert knowledge in a series of presentations and on eclipse day.