G Adventures softens a trip's rougher edges with Geluxe

A new line of tours from G Adventures aims to fill what the tour operator said is a gap in premium adventure travel.

The Geluxe Collection will provide travelers with a more comfortable, upgraded level of adventure than G Adventures’ standard tours, through higher-end culinary experiences, hotel and camping accommodations, and transportation.

The tours are designed to deliver a more pleasant adventure experience for travelers while still enabling them to connect deeply with the communities they’re visiting, as G Adventures tours aim to do.

“We’re very focused on making an upgraded, active experience that people feel comfortable in, as opposed to feeling like they need a vacation from their vacation,” said Ben Perlo, CEO of G Adventures.

Geluxe taps into what the tour operator called growing demand for more comfortable adventure travel.

“People are asking for a softer landing,” Perlo said. “They want more flexibility and freedom with their time, more included features but features that are still unique.”

G Adventures’ English-speaking active travelers told the company that they are looking for even more active experiences, Perlo said, but with more comfortable settings and the same immersive, community tourism-driven travel experiences that G Adventures has long provided.

Perlo said customers also told the operator that within G Adventures’ competitive set there was a lack of upgraded, active programs. 

“That was a huge hole we wanted to fill,” Perlo said.

Leisure time on Manuel Antonio Beach in Costa Rica on a Geluxe tour.

Kicking comfort up a notch

There will still be plenty of adventure on Geluxe tours, such as multiday hikes in remote locations, camping under the stars and engaging with communities in educational and meaningful ways. But with Geluxe, the added comforts of nicer lodgings and elevated dining opportunities are sprinkled into the itinerary.

The Geluxe Collection, which will have its first departures in May, will feature groups of up to 16 travelers on 28 itineraries. They will be offered in 16 countries across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Every Geluxe trip will include what the company calls a Your OMG Stay, which are upgraded hotel and glamping experiences, and a Your OMG Day, which is the opportunity to choose between two travel experiences on a trip.

For example, guests on classic versions of the company’s Inca Trail journeys in Peru might rent or bring their own sleeping bags to use in tents that G Adventures provides for multiday hiking and camping adventures. But guests on a Geluxe Inca Trail departure experiencing a Your OMG Stay will have more comfortable features included, such as air mattresses, warm blankets, toiletries and late-morning starts so that travelers can ease into their days.

Your OMG Stays may also include nights at higher-end properties like Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley in Peru or the Mr & Mrs White Hotel Tinos Boutique Resort on the Greek island of Tinos. Glamping experiences include properties such as Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia, Changa Safari Camp in Zimbabwe and Imperial Glory Lodges in Morocco.

G Adventures said all of the Your OMG Stay properties are hand-picked for their unique history, standout design features or the overall high-end quality of the experience travelers can have.

For Your OMG Day experiences, guests traveling in Japan might have the choice between a food walking tour in Tokyo or a full-day trip to Mount Fuji. In Jordan, a Geluxe guest can walk a mile in the shoes of a Bedouin shepherd during the Life as a Shepherd excursion or learn about culinary traditions passed down through generations in the Bedouin Experience & Cooking activity in Petra.

“Every meal tells the story of the people and place it came from,” said Yves Marceau, vice president of product at G Adventures. “All trips have community tourism at their core, so travelers form a richer connection with local people and their culture, while also giving back as they travel.”

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