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Polar Bears, Emperor Penguins, dog-sledding, Kiwis

May 2008

Polar Bears, Emperor Penguins, dog-sledding and Kiwis.

Leading adventure tour operator, Intrepid Travel, has launched an exciting new research and development division, The Travel Lab, consolidating its innovative thinking with a dedicated team of travel experts to offer consumers extraordinary travel experiences.

After conducting detailed research into consumer desires, The Travel Lab has developed six ground-breaking Polar trips - two in Antarctica and four in the Arctic - now available to New Zealand travellers.

"These journeys are once-in-a-lifetime experiences" says Alison Mead, Intrepid Travel New Zealand General Manager. "Kiwis have always been at the forefront of adventure travel and these trips epitomise the spirit of the New Zealand traveller."

The Arctic trips will allow adventurers an “up close and personal" experience with unique fauna, including the opportunity to spy polar bears, caribou and wolves from a float plane, dog sled their way through Swedish Lapland or even snorkel with the famed white beluga whales.

Alison Mead continues "Imagine travelling to Antarctica in a custom-designed plane and following in the footsteps of famous adventurers Scott and Amundsen or discovering a 6000-strong emperor penguin colony never before visited by tourists. These journeys, that may have only been a dream for many Kiwis, are now a realistic opportunity for us."

Intrepid has always been one to push the boundaries and this latest foray into research and development is no different. From idea generation through to product design and launch, The Travel Lab's core mandate is to create experiences that are unique, truly innovative and not currently available to consumers.

After in-depth global research including online surveys, traveller polls and workshops with industry leaders, The Travel Lab uncovered a gap in the market for exceptional travel that guarantees 'unforgettable experiences' that 'take you to places you can't get to on your own'.

In keeping with Intrepid's responsible travel philosophy, these trips are carefully designed to minimise their impact on the environment and are sure to provide memories unlike any other holiday on the market.


An overview of the 6 polar trips

Land of the Emperor Penguin
Duration: 11 days, ex-Cape Town
Highlights: Travel to a region once the sole domain of scientists and grand emperor penguins. From your low-impact luxury eco camp perched atop a 60m icefall you'll spend your days gazing out over pristine Antarctica and visiting remote penguin colonies at Neumeyer.
Price: $65,535

For further information on this trip visit:

Remote Mountain Expedition
Duration: 11 days, ex-Cape Town
Highlights: Explore Antarctica by foot and by plane as you follow in the footsteps of the great explorers, Scott and Amundsen. Soar over the largely unexplored Orvin Ranges, by a turbo prop DC3 airplane, abseil into open crevasses, explore ice caves and get close to Adelie Penguins. This trip uncovers secrets of Antarctica that will amaze!
Price: $57,385
For further information on this trip visit:

The Arctic
Polar Bears and Belugas Up Close
Duration: 7 days, ex-Winnipeg
Highlights: Head deep into the Arctic for a sensational wildlife viewing extravaganza! From your base at an exclusive naturalist lodge on the Seal River Estuary you'll track polar bears, caribou, wolverines, foxes and even snorkel with the famed white beluga whales. This region is remote and spectacular - access is only by floatplane or helicopter.
Price: $7,655
For further information on this trip visit:

The Ultimate Adventure Flight to the North Pole
Duration: 8 days, ex-Yellowknife
Highlights: Be one of the very few to say you have literally stood on top of the world on this ultimate Arctic adventure. Go snowmobiling across icy plateaus, visit traditional Inuit villages, see Arctic wolves, foxes and hares in the wild and stand at the northern most point of the world - the North Pole.
Price: $TBC
For further information on this trip visit:

Swedish Lapland Dog Sled Adventure
Duration: 8 days, ex Storuman (Sweden)
Highlights: Experience a completely unique adventure dog-sledding through Lapland, Sweden where you will travel across mountainous plateaus, lakes and though the forests of fairytales. The tracks and the mountains are untouched, the crystal white snow brilliantly reflects the moon, stars and northern light, the dogs themselves will enchant you and the entire experience will be nothing short of spectacular.
Price: $4,935
For further information on this trip visit:

Canadian Arctic Dog Sled Adventure
Duration: 9 days, ex Ottawa (Canada)
Highlights: In Canada's Northwest Territories, learn to mush along frozen lakes to the north of the Great Slave Lake and on historic trappers trail in the Boreal Forest. Witness Arctic wildlife first-hand, including polar bear, seal, ptarmigan, and wolverine. Seek out and photograph the magnificent ice and snow-locked landscape, including the region's towering cliffs and a natural crucifix, rising 1kilometre above the sea - simply stunning!
Price: $8,050
For further information on this trip visit:


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