Photo: (Northern Lights) Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson-ARCTIC IMAGES-Visit Iceland
Fall 2017
In This Issue
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October 15 - 22, 2017
$2,900 per person
Hosted by Asia Director
Daphna Stromberg  

Uganda: Safari and Silverbacks
Only 2 Spots Left!
November 1 - 12, 2017
$5,960 per person
Hosted by Africa Specialist
Andrea Berger
December 1 - 6, 2017
$2,358 per person
air included from Minneapolis/ St. Paul (other departure cities available- please inquire) 
$100 Early Booking Discount until Sept 15
Hosted by Managing Director
Linda McCormick and Scandinavia Specialist Ana Cline 

December 27, 2017 -  January 1, 2018
$3,285 per person
air included from Minneapolis/ St. Paul (other departure cities available- please inquire)
$100 Early Booking Discount until Sept 15
Hosted by Scandinavia Specialists
Nicole Anderson and Andrea Berkeland

February 10 - 18, 2018
$5,785 per person
$300 Early Booking Discount until Sept 30
Hosted by Managing Director
Linda McCormick  

March 31 - April 10, 2018
$3,400 per person
$100 Early Booking Discount by Oct 15
Hosted by Asia Director
Daphna Stromberg

March 1-16 , 2019 
More info coming soon!

Limited Time Offers

We've had fantastic response to our London football package featuring MN vs. Cleveland at Twickenham Stadium, and we have some extra seats on the group flights for those who are interested in airfare only.
For just $795 round-trip, you can enjoy a long weekend in London! Take in a show, explore the museums, go pub-hopping, or take any of several guided tours in and around the city!

January 25 - February 3, 2018

Cass Stillman - our longtime Borton Overseas colleague (now, redefining retirement) is truly a traveler at heart. Her passports are thick with unique stamps from faraway lands and exciting stories of adventure. She has led groups around the globe introducing her travelers to new experiences from Africa to Switzerland. Her popular annual ski trips are to some of the best slopes and après ski areas and 2018 is no exception.

This January she will be leading a trip to Méribel, France and she would love to have you join her!

What is your position at Borton Overseas?
Scandinavia Specialist  
What is your background?
I have a degree in Scandinavian Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College. I've lived in and traveled to Sweden and Finland.

What is your favorite thing to do on vacation?   
Explore a new city, hike, try new foods, and relax.

What are you most looking forward to this
After the winter I know I'll be excited for (warm) outdoor activities again. 
What is your favorite vacation destination a nd why?  
My favorite vacation destinations would be Finland and New Mexico. I love the forests and lakes in Finland. I love New Mexico because that's where my family lives.
What travel tips do you have for our readers?  
Try not to over pack! I always end up bringing way more than I need on trips and end up regretting it.

Our Gift Certificates can be customized to any occasion and are available in any denomination.
Borton Overseas Staff Travel Journal

Linda - Norway

Elisabeth - Norway
Betina - Denmark

Linda - Ecuador, Galapagos Islands
EJ - Ecuador
Betina - Iceland

Elspeth - Iceland


Daphna - India


Andrea Berger - Uganda


Linda - Norway
Ana - Norway
Nicole - Iceland
Andrea Berkeland - Iceland 
The Natural Wonders Edition
Mother Nature is extraordinary. The way our planet has evolved is a wonder. Ice cracks mountains, volcanoes change landscapes, water and wind erode stone, and beauty can be found everywhere.

This edition of our newsletter highlights just a few of the natural wonders that should not be missed when visiting our destinations: unique water currents, limestone formations, migration patterns, and the mysterious Northern Lights.

Many of our clients are interested in seeing the aurora borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights, during their travels. Peak season for this incredible natural phenomenon is right around the corner!

The Northern Lights are most often seen at night when the skies are clear, but they do occasionally appear in daylight and are visible between clouds. With fall and winter bringing longer nights, your chances of seeing this beautiful display grows. Northern Light-themed tours
are offered in Iceland as early as September and as late as April, and since the Northern Lights are more frequent at higher latitudes, the best chance of seeing them is at or above the Arctic Circle. For the Nordic region, that means Iceland, Greenland, and the Lapland/Northern areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Keep in mind that the Northern Lights are a naturally occurring phenomenon, dependent on weather and solar activity. There is no guarantee that they will appear, even if conditions seem right, so you may have to be patient. Certain hotels and Hurtigruten even offer wake-up service if the Northern Lights appear!

All of Iceland, the SnowHotel in Norway, ICEHOTEL in Sweden, or Inari Village in Finland are fantastic places for Northern Lights activities. They allow you great viewing options and other winter activities such as dogsledding, snowmobiling, glacier hikes, reindeer sled rides, super jeep exploration, and much more. 
Learn more about what causes the mysterious aurora borealis in our article:
Photo: Gaute Bruvik -
Africa is definitely the heart of the animal kingdom, complete with some of the most impressive displays of natural animal behavior on the planet, not the least of which is the "Great Migration" of East Africa. This annual migration of over 2.5 million wildebeest, zebra and various antelope species circulates from Tanzania's Serengeti National Park to Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve. It is actually a yearlong movement of the herds in search of fresh supplies of food and water. While the herds are striking as they make their way across the grassy plains, forging rivers filled with hungry crocs, this is just the beginning of why East Africa should be on your bucket list.

One-quarter of Tanzania has been set aside for conservation purposes to protect this natural animal behavior. These areas harbor an estimated 20 percent of Africa's large mammal population. Following the herds are a variety of opportunistic predators ready to cull those that wander off or struggle to keep up. For safari-goers, this translates into an exciting and unfiltered experience.

River crossing locations and exact timing of the herd movements are really up to Mother Nature and dependent on the rains. The general schedule below provides a historical snapshot of timing: 
January-April: The Southern Serengeti. The herds move south, from the Mara into the southern plains of the Serengeti where they will give birth.
May-July: The Western Serengeti, Grumeti area. The babies are strong and run with the herds as they make the trip northward toward the Mara.
August-October: Maasai Mara. The herds move into Kenya's Masai Mara, crossing the Mara River.
October-December: On the move. The herds move from the Mara along the eastern Serengeti heading towards the Southern Serengeti plains.  

Ready to start planning your own safari? Contact one of our knowledgeable Africa Specialists!

Photo Credit: Karen Batchelder (Borton Overseas Client)
In a place almost untouched by humans, a journey to Antarctica is a voyage of natural beauty from start to finish. But what keeps this land so pristine?

The Antarctic Convergence is a line encircling Antarctica where major water currents meet forming a natural boundary around the entire continent. At the Antarctic Convergence, the cold water flowing north away from the continent meets the warmer water flowing south and they blend together.
The colder water is more dense and sinks below the warmer water, where it continues circling Antarctica. This circling current has protected the continent from much of the climate changes which are affecting the Arctic regions.

In the Drake Passage, where ships cross the Antarctica Convergence,
there is very little that that indicates how important the convergence process is to the rest of the planet. The only indication may be pods of whales feeding in the upwelling of nutrient-rich cold water, which is another fascinating natural phenomenon that happens there. Late Antarctic summer (March) is prime time to witness this, since the whales are starting their long migration northward. Our 2019 Antarctica Signature Journey is a cruise with a special focus on marine mammals. It will feature lectures by experts and the opportunity to work with the citizen science team by contributing data and images to a variety of active marine mammal projects. 
Most people have heard of limestone, a sediment rock made up of the old skeletons of marine organisms, but many people do not realize how beautiful limestone outcroppings truly are. Limestone landscapes are often characterized by tall peaks, deep gorges and specked with caves. While only ten percent of the world's rock outcroppings are limestone, they have definitely made an impression!

Asia has several examples of these impressive limestone-dotted landscapes. Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is the most famous. The majestic limestone towers dot the 600-square-mile area just southeast of Hanoi, and as you cruise the bay the landscape is sure to take your breath away. Limestone islets number in the thousands, some so eroded at the base that they look ready to topple over at the slightest breeze, and yet they stand solid, a true testament to the passage of time. The tropical climate has taken 20 million years to create this UNESCO site , which has even been described as the 8th Wonder of the World.

Another famous limestone outcropping is found in and around the city of Guilin in South Central China. Much like Ha Long Bay, Guilin has the magnificent towers of rock dotting the landscape, but Guilin is also known for a number of unique caves that have been formed over the centuries. Most notable is the Reed Flute Cave, which hosts many limestone marvels inside. It is definitely a wonder you will need to witness for yourself! 
The four seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall , are all dictated by the distance and angle of the sun. But what happens on the equator where the sun's position never really changes?

Some may wonder if a life on the Equator means a life without seasons, but this is not the case. In places along the Equator, such as the Galapagos Islands, the seasons are described as rainy or dry. These "seasons" are governed not by the position of the sun, but by the ocean currents. This system, along with fairly consistent temperatures, contributes to the vast ecological diversity that these islands are known for.

In the dry season, from June through November, the Humboldt current brings cold, nutrient-rich water to the Galapagos. Those nutrients attract an array of marine life, including whales and sea lions. This time of year is great for snorkeling, but you'll definitely want to wear a wetsuit if you plan to be in the water for any length of time.

The rainy season, December through May, brings warmer and clearer water which is more favorable for green sea turtles and hatching giant tortoises, as well as many of the marine and land iguanas nesting and laying eggs.

No matter the season, there are exciting adventures to be had in the Galapagos Islands. Join us this February 10-18, 2018, on our Signature Journey to this extraordinary destination!

hosted by Managing Director Linda McCormick!

Nothing sets the tone for a vacation more than the flight, so it is important to be prepared and make yourself as comfortable as possible on those long flights overseas. These 18 easy tips from SmarterTravel will give you insight on how to pick your seat, optimize your space, and stay active and entertained while on board. Whether you are headed to Iceland or all the way to Vietnam, these little tricks will make a big difference!

18 Easy Ways to Have a Better Flight
By Ed Hewitt courtesy of 
As individuals and as a company, we are dedicated to leaving a positive impact on our destinations and the people who call them home. HEARTBEAT is our way of raising awareness and endorsing organizations that are making a difference in our destinations and our local community. It is our heartbeat heard around the world, and your invitation to learn about and engage with these organizations....and to get your heart beating!
The Humanitarian Services for the Children of Vietnam (HSCV) is an organization that strives to provide services and relief for Vietnamese Children living in poverty. Founded in 2002 in Prior Lake, Minnesota, they provide support through specialized programs in Vietnam that are designed to enable every child to have a solid foundation and chance at a future. These programs are specific to each child's needs and range from providing food and education to medical assistance.

We proudly support HSCV and their efforts. In March 2018 our Vietnam Through Local Eyes Signature Journey will be visiting an HSCV facility called Blossom House to spend some time with the girls who have taken refuge there.

To learn more about HSCV or to make a tax deductible donation click here.