Greetings from Mauritius!
I'm here quite some distance east off the coast of Madagascar and the African continent, in the southern Indian Ocean, checking things out so we can add it to our slate of tropical LiveAway trips for the end of next year and the beginning of 2024.
It's been a beach destination for the well-heeled European and Indian elite for some time, but for obvious reasons of distance fewer Canadians make it all the way out here.
As such, there is a unique collection of cultural presence here, an interesting blend of Indian, African, French, and British influences. In fact next week I'll be 'reporting' from the nearby island of Réunion, where I anticipate we'll spend part of our LiveAway, and which is actually a province of France, in spite of 9,000 kms of separation.
There's lots to explore, some gorgeous nature, and lots of fine beach ambience to relax into, and I think it fits the bill for those looking for a winter getaway to a different tropical locale. More to come on this as we put the program together.
As for programs that are fully together, I'm pleased this week to release a lovely program taking us through Cambodia and Vietnam via the mighty Mekong River, happening in November 2023.
This is a classic river cruise program and many members in this community have sailed the Mekong before, including some who have rated it among their best travel experiences, according to our New Member Questionnaire.
The Mekong has been the defining influence on life in this region for as long as it's been here, and winding our way along it far away from the cities is our best chance to get a feel for life away from the melting pot and simply as it is in this part of the world.
We'll begin with a few days in Siem Reap so that we can get early visits to the indescribable Angkor Wat and Angor Thom in ahead of the tourists, and then make our way to Chau Doc to board our vessel to cruise the river.
The ship we've chartered for this journey is an authentic replica of the river boats from French Indochina, allowing us to imagine what it must have been like to explore this region over a century ago. Slowly gliding past the parts of the river surrounded by the lushness of untouched jungle on this kind of ship may indeed take us through a time vortex...or one could hope 🙂
We'll then end with a few nights exploring the energetic vibe of Ho Chi Min City, formerly the more exotic-sounding Saigon. And where this program ends, another begins, as we'll set off to explore the coastal cities and islands of Vietnam immediately afterward.
In a similar situation as our Turkish yacht program, there aren't very many of these ships in existence and they are in high demand, and thus we have a short window in which to secure it...these are the challenges of the times. As such we've put in a $500 early bird offer in, so do take a look and please get in touch if you'd like to join us.
You can find the whole Mekong itinerary below, and the aforementioned Vietnam: Coastal Cities & Islands program in about two weeks (webinar registration in your newsletter should you be interested).
Next week we'll be launching our Fall 2023 trip to Japan, with extensions covering South Korea and Taiwan. Our spring version filled up very quickly and I'm pleased we were able to pull another one together for those who couldn't get on the first trip. The webinar for that will be Dec 1 and can be found in your newsletter as well.
We've still got a few more 2023 trips coming together before we get to the 2024 lineup, so lots to come in the weeks ahead and as we close out the year. Be warm, be well, and stay tuned 🙂