About Us

Experience our extraordinary world of travel and discovery

The Essence of Travel

At Adventure Associates our passion for travel dates back over 3 decades and defines our style: exciting, adventurous, cultural and one of discovery. Since that time, we have created and expanded our portfolio to incorporate a vast collection of destinations, from the polar reaches to the depths of the Amazon jungle.

Exploring firsthand

Since our beginnings we have provided outstanding holidays to the far corners of the world specializing in destinations and places that are different, sometimes a little off the beaten track, but always fascinating, educational and above all enjoyable for those journeying with us.

Spirit of adventure

Whether you select an expedition cruise, an exhilarating tour to the deserts of Libya and Morocco or a tour of discovery to Bhutan, Madagascar or the blue waters of the Adriatic. It is our spirit of adventure and affinity with inspiration and the good-life, that becomes evident in the magnificent touring opportunities we create.

What sets Adventure Associates apart is the leisurely way in which we conduct our tours and cruises. This is your holiday, and it should be just that – a relaxing, stress-free experience. With that in mind, taking a trip with Adventure Associates gives you the freedom to relax and travel with the confidence of knowing that all your needs have been anticipated. The experience begins as soon as you contact us to request one of our brochures. Our friendly and efficient tour consultants are there to assist you.

 

Sue Werner

Trained as a veterinary nurse, Sue has worked as an expedition leader, photographer and lecturer for 20 years, specialising in Antarctica and the High Arctic, but with trips throughout remote corners of the world, including the Amazon, Africa and the Himalaya. She’s led trips to most coastal regions of Antarctica and spent three months in Grytviken, working for the South Georgia Heritage Trust.

Julie Anderson

Julie is our Himalaya specialist, having worked and travelled in the Himalaya for over 20 years. Her passion for the mountainous regions of the world has inspired her travels to far flung corners of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan. A keen rock climber and sometimes mountaineer she has also travelled extensively in the USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Mexico. Julie is the Australian representative of the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG), working to improve welfare and conditions for the mountain porter worldwide.

Henrik Løvendahl

An adventurer, explorer and electrician, Henrik has scaled Andean peaks, trekked in the Himalayas and, as a qualified PADI Master Instructor, brought recreational scuba diving to Antarctica while working for Greg at Aurora Expeditions. He’s led trips throughout Antarctica and the Arctic for 20 years, has spent a winter in Svalbard working as a dog handler and dog sled guide and three months on South Georgia working with Sue.

 

Greg Mortimer

First went south as a geologist in 1978 to the Transantarctic and USARP mountains, became first Australian to climb Mt Everest, K2 and Mt Vinson (Antarctica’s highest peak) and led a successful yacht-based expedition to climb Mt Minto in the Ross Sea. With Margaret Werner, he established Aurora Expeditions, helped create environmental guidelines for Antarctic tourism and was chairman of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators.

 

 

Tony Gordon

After a background in Theatre and Photography, Tony began a career in magazine and book design, becoming art director for Nature & Health and Simply Living magazines. In 1985 he was contracted by Dick Smith to design and produce the first issue of the Australian Geographic Journal. Over 17 years at AG his role as Creative Director involved expanding the publishing division to produce Newton Graphic Science magazine plus a long list of quality books and related products. Upon leaving AG in 2001, Tony established the design consultancy Tony Gordon Printcounsel – specialising in book, magazine, and brochure design & production, print management and consulting for a select group of clients.

 

Sue Werner

 

Why Tour with Adventure Associates’ Small Group Tours?

If touring in a traditional large group isn’t for you and the idea of sorting it all out for yourself doesn’t appeal, a small group journey might be just the answer. As part of an Adventure Associates’ smaller group, you’ll experience a totally free style of travel. A different kind of attitude and a far more personal experience awaits you. And, you’ll be traveling with likeminded folk from your own country.

Small Groups

Our average group size is just 8-16! This makes for a stronger group spirit and a greater sense of camaraderie. More fun & more flexibility! It’s like being on holiday with a group of friends… travellers from all walks of life that you can share your day-to-day travel experiences with. And being smaller makes it easier to take those special little detours off the beaten track to visit places the larger vehicles and tour groups can’t.

Enjoy More Leisure Time

Too often we hear travellers say that they wish they had longer to explore and enjoy the places they visit. That’s why our itineraries purposely keep travelling time to a minimum. Our holidays are not about long days and rushing from one place to another. With such an incredible choice of things to do and places to see throughout the countries we visit, we set out to give you plenty of time to sightsee, relax and savour the lifestyle and culture of the various places.

Fabulous Dining

Individual appetites and tastes vary, so every day begins with a breakfast at your hotel. Some tours feature most evening or specialty meals and lunch on travel days, but when not included, we encourage you to seek out and enjoy the many bistros, cafes and restaurants that you’ll enjoy discovering. After all, discovering new and exciting places to eat is a fun part of any travel experience.

At Days End

Accommodation is usually high up on the list of importance on any holiday. At the end of a day’s travel or activity, you’ll want to freshen up and relax in comfort. That’s why the hotels featured on all our touring holidays have been carefully chosen for their level of comfort, amenities, friendly staff & service and their convenient location. And, of course in certain more remote areas the best available.

Solo Travellers

One of the great benefits of our trips is that they allow you to be independent but provide security and company whenever you choose. On any given departure, you’ll find a mix of couples and friends travelling together plus other solo travellers like yourself, with a large percentage of repeat clients that have travelled with us time after time.

Friendly, Professional Tour Leaders

Our Tour Leaders are passionate about their work and love nothing more than accompanying our small group tours to the four corners of the world. Every trip (subject to minimum numbers) is fully accompanied by a Tour Leader who will ensure every aspect of your holiday runs smoothly, provide you with friendly advice and give you a fresh insight into the destinations you are visiting. They’re only too happy to go that extra mile to make sure you have the holiday you deserve.

Our Environmental Policy

Responsible Tourism

Promoting travel to some of the world’s most secluded locations, Adventure Associates has long recognised the importance of preserving the natural balance of unique and beautiful environments. If you travel for relaxation, fulfilment, discovery, adventure and to learn – rather than simply to tick off ‘places and things’ – then responsible travel is for you. As such we promote and create smaller, individual group tours and expeditions that have complete respect for destinations visited.

Adventure Associates responsible travel suits life’s curious adventurers and enthusiasts.

The responsible traveller prefers smaller groups, and to meet some local people (as well as fellow travellers) rather than be surrounded by 100’s of people. They don’t like being herded about in a large crowd like nameless faces and understand that travelling in smaller groups makes local people and cultures more accessible. The responsible travellers wants to get a little bit more out of their travels, and to give a little bit back to the special places and people that they encounter.

They want deeper and more real travel experiences. The responsible traveller values authenticity – experiences integral to local people’s traditions, cultures and rituals – rather than those created for tourism, or those whose existing meanings and uses have become lost as they have been packaged up for tourism. At the same time the responsible traveller understands that some cultural experiences are best kept private, and that their visit would be an intrusion. They believe that travelling with respect earns them respect. Responsible travel maximises the benefits, and minimises the negative effects of tourism.

Looking after the environment

We minimise any disturbance to wildlife, fragile habitats or historic sites. Accompanying us is a dedicated staff of expedition leaders, naturalists and lecturers who share with us their knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to the environment. We follow the common guidelines adopted by the Antarctic Treaty System – and understand that the ship,its helicopters and Zodiac landing craft must be operated in an environmentally responsible manner. Antarctica’s wildlife, because of little previous interaction with humans, is amazingly tame and trusting. It is most important that we do not abuse this situation and the animals we encounter must not be in any way molested or unduly disturbed. Written guidelines for all shore activities will be given to all on board.

Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic

Recommendation XVIII-1, adopted at the Antarctic Treaty Meeting, Kyoto, 1994

Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.

In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that, pending its entry into force, as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate.

The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values. This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.

Protect Antarctic Wildlife

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.

  • Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
  • Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.
  • Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
  • Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
  • Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats or house plants.

Respect Protected Areas

A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority. Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.

  • Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.
  • Observe applicable restrictions.
  • Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.

Respect Scientific Research

  • Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.
  • Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.
  • Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps or supplies.

Be Safe

Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.

  • Know your capabilities, the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.
  • Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.
  • Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.
  • Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.
  • Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.
  • Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.
  • Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.

Keep Antarctica Pristine

Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.

  • Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.
  • Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.
  • Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.
  • Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.
  • Do not deface or vandalize buildings, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied, or emergency refuges.

Vessels

We are proud to announce and emphasise that all the vessels we use comply with and exceed the latest international rules on disposal of garbage and refuse at sea, with onboard compactors for waste handling. Waste storage areas are used to store non-biodegradable waste for return to port where it will be properly handled. No plastics or metals will be put overboard.

Vessels are equipped with the latest non-polluting incinerators available and no bio-degradable waste will be disposed of within 20 miles of coastline and in the case of sub-Antarctic islands, a 100 mile radius. All efforts will be made to avoid any other form of pollution. We implement a strict policy that passengers do not leave any rubbish or litter – including cigarette butts, ashore.

Privacy Policy

Adventure Associates’ privacy policy covers the collection and use of personal information that may be collected by Adventure Associates anytime you interact with Adventure Associates, such as when you visit our office, when you visit our website or when you call us. Please take a moment to read the following to learn more about our information practices, including what type of information is gathered, how the information is used and for what purposes, to whom we disclose the information, and how we safeguard your personal information.

What information we collect

We will collect personal information that is relevant to your travel arrangements. This includes providing necessary information to airlines, tour companies, car hire agencies, hotels or insurance providers to fulfil your travel arrangements. By making a booking, you consent to Adventure Associates using any personal information for the purpose of making and completing travel arrangements on your behalf.

Adventure Associates send each of our subscribers a e-mail newsletter ‘eNews’ which has been requested by them by adding their e-mail address in the subscribe box that appears in the Adventure Associates’ website. Or by having requested product information by individual e-mail, or via other on-line travel provider websites promoting and advertising Adventure Associates’ products. The newsletter is sent to our database of subscribers and clients approximately twice a month.

In accordance with the Spam Act 2003, No. 129, 2003, An Act about spam, and for related purposes.

  • Adventure Associates does not send unsolicited e-mail messages;
  • Adventure Associates does not purchase, sell or use third party distribution lists acquired through address-harvesting software;
  • Members can unsubscribe from Adventure Associates’ newsletter at any time by filling-in the un-subscribe form on Adventure Associ’ website or by clicking on the unsubscribe link located at the base of every newsletter: “This message is sent to you because you are subscribed to the eNews mailing list. Do not reply to this address. To unsubscribe, E-mail to: news-off@adventureassociates.com”.

Who is collecting your information

Anytime you interact with Adventure Associates, such as when you visit our office, when you visit our website or when you call us, and are asked for personal information, you are sharing that information with Adventure Associates only except when explained in this privacy policy.

Integrity of your personal information

Adventure Associates has safeguards in place to keep your personal information accurate, complete, and up to date for the purposes for which it is used. Naturally, you always have the right to access and correct the personal information you have provided. You can help us ensure that your contact information and preferences are accurate, complete, and up to date by calling us.

Our companywide commitment to your privacy

Adventure Associates takes protecting your privacy very seriously. To make sure your personal information is secure, we communicate these guidelines to Adventure Associates’ employees and strictly enforce privacy safeguards within the company.

Adventure Associates may update its privacy policy from time to time. When we change the policy in a material way a notice will be posted on our website along with the updated privacy policy.