Overseas Adventure Travel

Overseas Adventure Travel hails itself as "The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled." Supporting this claim are the group sizes for Overseas Adventure Travel trips. They never have more than 10 to 16 people. As for destinations, the travel company focuses on destinations outside of the United States, with examples including Costa Rica, Peru, Japan, Thailand, Israel, Turkey, Iceland, and New Zealand. Generally, while the minimum age requirement for Overseas Adventure Travel trips is 13 years old, the company specifically caters to Americans aged 50 or above. Overseas Adventure Travel brings more than 30 years of experience to the table and prides itself on offering trips that have a favorable value to cost ratio.

History and Founders

In 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Its founder, a 28-year-old high school teacher named Judi Wineland, was so inspired by a trip to Africa that she decided to form a company and start offering her own guided ventures to the continent. Among the main goals of Wineland was to improve on the safari experiences that were offered at the time. To do this, she partnered with Rick Thomson who ran his own safari company in Tanzania. The two would later marry. The OAT safaris in Tanzania were more affordable than the few being offered at the time. Eventually, after a rather slow start, Overseas Adventure Travel found its feet within the travel industry and started offering custom small group tours to exotic destinations outside of Africa. Early on, these destinations included Peru, Turkey and Nepal. The company continued to grow over the years, and in 1993, it was purchased by the Grand Circle Corporation.

Grand Circle Travel

Grand Circle Travel is the parent company of Overseas Adventure Travel. Founded in 1958 by a retired California teacher and principal named Ethel Andrus, the company was intended to serve the members of another organization that Andrus had formed, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). The various tours were designed specifically with Andrus’ peer group in mind and aimed to both challenge and invigorate. For many years, Grand Circle Travel was based in New York City. In 1982, the decision was made to move operations to Boston. While the location of the Grand Circle Travel headquarters may have changed, the aim of the company has always remained the same. It continues to specialize in offering unforgettable travel programs for mature Americans. 

Types of Tours

Types of Tours
Types of Tours

Overseas Adventure Travel offers two main kinds of tours. There are the Land Adventure tours and the Small Ship Adventure tours. On the land-based tours, groups of no more than 10 to 16 people venture off to destinations often missed by larger tour groups, and there are opportunities to enjoy special cultural connections. Examples of destinations that can be visited on the Overseas Adventure Travel land tours are such African countries as Zambia and Botswana and the Indian cities of Delhi and Agra. On the Small Ship Adventure tours that are offered by Overseas Adventure Travel, small groups make their ways along rivers, coastal stretches and other waterways in vessels that have been designed specifically for small group travel. Examples of such tours include one that involves cruising along the Yangtze River in China and another that takes guests from Turkey’s shimmering Turquoise Coast through the Bosporus Strait to Istanbul. It is common on the small ship tours to spend some time on land visiting major sites. On a trip that targets South America, for example, Overseas Adventure Travel guests visit Lima, Cuzco and Machu Picchu before sailing off to the Galapagos Islands. More often than not, the various tours that are offered by Overseas Adventure Travel include international airfare and all transportation after the flight. Accommodations that are comfortable, but not overly luxurious, are commonly included in the package deals as well, as are some or all meals.

River Cruises

As mentioned, some of the tours that are offered by Overseas Adventure Travel include river cruises. Travelers who are interested in these Small Ship Adventure tours are also encouraged to consider the Small Ship and River Cruise trips that are offered by the Grand Circle Cruise Line division of Grand Circle Travel. These trips aim to deliver a "4-star experience at a 3-star price" and allow their guests to ply the waters of some of the world’s most famous waterways. Special European river ships with comfortable accommodations are used for the Grand Circle River Cruises. Groups sizes are never larger than 25 to 45 travelers, and an English-speaking crew is on hand to help guests with all their needs. As the name implies, Grand Circle’s Small Ship cruises employ rather small vessels. These vessels can access ports that larger cruise ships often can not, allowing passengers to visit unique destinations in the Mediterranean region, Antarctica, Burma (Myanmar) and beyond.

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