Posted by: searstravelsaintjohn | December 6, 2013

Tanzania Encompassed – 17 day G Adventures Tour

images       kilimanjaro

Three tours in one where you get to experience Mt. Kilimanjaro, a safari on the Serengeti, and last but not least relax on the beaches of Zanzibar.

G Adventures are world leaders in Kilimanjaro treks and specialize in small groups  and their safari vehicles allow for a more authentic travel experience.

Day 1 – Arrival in Moshi where you will spend a night at the Springlands hotel and meet with your mountain guide and the rest of the group.  Moshi is located at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the heart of a major coffee growing region.

Day 2 – Marangue to Mandara Hut. After breakfast you will transfer to the gates of Kilimanjaro national park, about a 45 minute drive from Moshi to Marangu gate. You will spend the night at Mandara hut which is at an altitude level of about 2,743m. You will pass through thick rain forest and gorgeous scenery.

Day 3 – Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut. Continue your ascent through forest zone for a limited time before reaching the heather and moorland zone at roughly 3000m. Spend the night at Horombo Hut which lies in a valley surrounded by giant lobelia and groundsel

horombo          porter

Day 4 – Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut. Continue past the final watering point and ascend onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mwenzi. Altitude sickness is common at these altitudes after 4,000m

cabin      kibo2    kilimanjaro1

Day 5 – Kibo Hut to the Summit to Moshi. You will climb the last part during the night as it is easier to climb on the crater rim when it is frozen. You will finally reach Khuru peak, the highest point in Africa.


Day 6 – Descend Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate – Moshi. From the summit it is roughly a seven hour descent with a break at Kibo Hut to Horombo Hut where you will spend your last night on the mountain. The final days descent from Horombo to Marangu generally takes 7-8 hours. The night will be spent in Moshi again.

Day 7 – Mid morning you will be transferred to Arusha, the gateway to Tanzania’s safari areas. It is the most important center in Northern Tanzania. Arusha has many protected national parks, reserves and mountains nearby. It is a modern town and with its markets, services and location, it is a great base for your safari trip.


Day 8 – Lake Manyara National Park. You will visit a village and learn about their culture and tribes. You will also get a chance to shop at their markets and artisan shops . You get to eat a traditional lunch in the village and then spend the afternoon viewing wildlife in the park. Lake Manyara National Park is home to giant fig trees, acacia woodlands, mahogany trees. You will also get to see blue monkeys, hippos, impala, elephants, wildebeest, warthog, giraffes, leopards etc.

manyara      lunch masai

Day 9-10 – Serengeti National Park. One of Africas premier game parks and it is over 7 times larger than Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. You’ll experience the vastness of the territory while taking in multitude animal and bird species

serengeti   gapjeep

serengeti zebras

Day 11-12 – Ngorongo Crater / Arusha. Before you will leave the Serengeti, enjoy one last morning game drive then continue your journey to the Ngorongo Conservation Area, which is famous for Africa’s best game viewing due to it’s permanent water supply on the crater floor. The Ngorongo Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and most spectacular natural arena

Day 13-14 – Zanzibar / Stone Town. After breakfast you will be transfered to Kilimanjaro Airport to board your plane to Zanzibar. This part of the tour is done independently; relax or explore Stone Town at your own leisure. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site with captivating labyrinth of narrow streets and winding alleyways. Zanzibar, also known as the spice island, has some interesting history and culture as it was the center of the slave and spice trades in the 1800’s.


Day 15-16 – Zanzibar / Kendwa. Explore the beaches of Northern Africa and visit a spice plantation where they grow cloves, pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, lemongrass. Day 16 is spent on your own to enjoy the beaches and African sun.


Day 17– Depart Zanzibar

For more information on the tour please contact me at or call 506-632-3660 ext 74068

Posted by: searstravelsaintjohn | July 24, 2013

Beach Stay In Bali – Exotik Tours




exotik                 nikko_bali_leonardo


Bali also known as the island of the gods is a very diverse island with hills, mountains, rugged coastline, sandy beaches and volcanic hillsides. Bali is also known for its very spiritual and unique cultural, historical and archaeological attractions.

Bali is one of more than 17,000 islands in the Indonesian archipelago and is located just over 2km from the island of Java and west of the island of Lombok. The island is home to about 4 million people.

The word paradise is used often in Bali with its combination of friendly, hospitable people, culture infused with spirituality, and its spectacular beaches and great surfing. It is no surprise it is the number one tourist destination in Indonesia.

The island of Bali is divided into regions; South, Central, West, North, East and Southeastern Islands. The most visited region is Southern with Nusa Dua,  Seminyak and Kuta Beach etc.

The package with Exotik Tours is 12 nights and includes flights from Canada, hotel, transportation and 5 tours during your stay. Price starts at $2079 p/p

Included Excursions include;

  • Visit northern Bali and Lovina beach with its black sand. Admire the mountainous region and coastal landscape.2Lovina-beach_
  • Experience the beauty of the Kintamani region. Enjoy the traditional Balinese dances and breathtaking views of Lake Batur.                                                                                                                                                                      lake-batur-and-mount-batur
  • Journey through the east and visit local villages and temples.
  • Visit various markets for hand crafted souvenirs.
  • Enjoy the Bali sunset. Visit the temple of Mengwi and Taman Ayun. See the wild monkeys of Alas Kedaton Forest. Finally capture the sunset at spectacular Tanah Lot.

monkey           tanahlot         royal-family-temple




Posted by: searstravelsaintjohn | May 29, 2013

Contiki – Australia’s Reefs and Rainforests


Are you still thinking about what to give your daughter/son or even grandchildren for their graduation. This might be something to think about !

“Memories aren’t created from the things you said you’d do. They’re built from the things you’ve done. The moments captured. The world discovered. The lifetime seized. You only get one, after all. So you’ve got to make it count.”

Contiki are all about making your life count in every way possible and not sitting on the sidelines watching other people’s adventures, but to actually experience it first hand. Their motto is #noregrets. This is their original spirit that has kept them going since 1962, back when there was no Facebook and social media, just a shared sense of adventure and beaten up old mini van.
Contiki stands out amongst other tour companies because they cater people who are between 18-35 with uniquely designed itineraries and tours that other age groups might not enjoy.
They offer medium-sized groups, big enough to have a blast, but small enough to bond with people. Their tour guides are local experts and really know where the hidden gems are.

Something that I really value about tour operators, is when I hear that they are doing something to give back to our planet. Contiki really show passion for doing that and are working with numerous organizations that help make our world a better more sustainable place. They give their passengers different tips on how to conserve the planet while traveling, such as download digital guide books instead of buying them, and buying souvenirs that aren’t made from endangered species or scarce natural resources…

Todays I chose to highlight their Australia Reefs and Rainforests tour which is a 16 day tour starting in Cairns and ending in Sydney. You can also choose to start in Sydney and end in Cairns.


Day 1 – Cairns to Cape Tribulation where you will get an insider look at ancient aboriginal culture at Mossman Gorge.
Day 2 – Cape Tribulation back to Cairns; visit Cape Tribulation Beach and check out the mangroves before heading back to Cairns.
Day 3-4 – Cairns, these two days you get to experience Cairns freely. Anything from shopping, great nightlife, and all kinds of adrenaline activities like rafting, skydiving etc. There is also an optional tour to snorkel or dive on an outer Great Barrier Reef cruise with lunch.
Day 5 – Cairns to The Whitsundays and visit Airlie Beach and take a ferry to paradise on Daydream Island.
Day 6 – The Whitsundays where you will have time to relax on the beach and take in the scenery and enjoy some water sports and good times at Daydream Island. Optional tour to Whitehaven Beach with lunch.
Day 7 – The Whitsundays to Farmstay where you will get to experience true Aussie farmstay overnight.
Day 8 – Farmstay to Fraser Island; head back to the coast where you will spend a night at an eco lodge on Fraser Island.
Day 9 – Fraser Island to Noosa; explore Fraser island, the worlds largest sand island, by 4WD. Get back to nature with a bushwalk and drive through the rain forests, sand dunes and dip in the freshwater Lake McKenzie. Noosa for dinner at a surf club.
Day 10 – Noosa to Surfers Paradise; explore Noosa, then stop to check out Brisbane before reaching the East Coast party capital, Surfers Paradise!
Day 11 – Surfers Paradise where you will get a free day to do whatever you want. Great shopping, sky dive, visit Australia zoo or just hang out on the beach.
Day 12 – Surfers Paradise to Byron Bay; You will stop in at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where you can see wombats, pat a kangaroo and cuddle up to a koala. Then you will head to Byron Bay.
Day 13 – Byron Bay to Coffs Harbour Surf Village where you will get to try surfing and taught by a pro surfer
Day 14 – Coffs Harbour to Sydney; head to the big city of Sydney and perhaps climb the harbour bridge and experience Sydney’s nightlife.
Day 15 – Sydney; see the opera house, cruise to manly beach for a swim, take a tour of Kings Cross, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Macquarie Street and The Rocks.
Day 16 – Sydney; this is your last day of the tour and before ending the tour at 5pm, you will head to the Blue Mountains and learn about this amazing landscape including the Three Sisters and hike Wentworth Falls.


What’s Included:
15 nights multi-share accommodation, 22 meals (15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 6 dinners), experienced tour manager and driver team, modern air-conditioned coach. rainforest adventure, sightseeing tours of all major cities and national park fees, local taxes and service charges.
Price if from $2775 per person depending on the time.

For more information call me at 506-632-3660 ext 74068




Posted by: searstravelsaintjohn | May 10, 2013

G Adventures – Galapagos Islands


G Adventures was started in 1990 in hopes that other travelers would share the desire to experience authentic adventures in a responsible and sustainable manner. It has then grown to a company of 1350 staff, from a handful trips in Latin America to hundreds of adventure tours around the world.

G Adventures are known for being affordable while offering a small group experience at the same time as getting the adventure and culture experience of a lifetime. They are also very enthusiastic about giving back to the communities and preserving our planet for our children and grandchildren.

They offer tours for all types and age groups; you can choose the tour that best suits your lifestyle and pace, as well as comfort level.


The tour I have decided to highlight today is on the top of my own bucket list, and one of  G Adventures top sellers! Galapagos Islands, situated 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador awaits a paradise full of wildlife and natural diversity you won’t experience anywhere else. Be prepared to snorkel with sea lions while soaking up the sun with the local iguanas. You will also get to experience blue footed boobies and giant tortoises. Galapagos islands is also home to the Charles Darwin research station, as he spent time there studying different species and it helped him tremendously with his research on theory of evolution.



This tour is $3149 per person and includes your hotel nights, most meals, local flights, transportation, excursions etc.

It’s a perfect tour for those who want to explore the Galapagos Islands but do not want to sleep on a ship. Your time on boats would be limited to commuting between the islands.

Day 1. When you arrive in Quito you are free to explore the city and check in to hotel.

Day 2. Flight to San Cristobal island where there is an included downhill biking excursion. You then visit Mann Beach where you experience  sea lions and other wildlife.

Day 3. Take a snorkel trip to Kicker Rock where you search for marine life;  Sea turtles, mantra rays and sharks.

Day 4. Travel by boat to Floreana Island with more opportunities for snorkeling. Afternoon is free time.

Day 5. Morning excursion to the highlands of Floreana, then continue to Isabela Island where you will visit the wall of tears.

Day 6. Full day tour of the Sierra Negra Volcano to see the second largest crater in the world. On your way back to town you will stop to visit the Giant Tortoise breeding center. Optional surf lessons are available.

Day 7. Excursion to Las Tintoreras (Shark Alley) to observe white tip reef sharks. Then you will take a boat to Santa Cruz Island with free evening.

Day 8.  Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to see the Galapagos Giant Tortoises natural habitat and the lava tunnels. Kayak excursion in Tortuga Bay in the afternoon.

Day 9. You get to visit the Charles Darwin research station before you fly back to Quito for your last night before flight back to Canada.

imagesCA5LK2P9 imagesCAT3EUN0

Posted by: searstravelsaintjohn | May 2, 2013

AMA Waterways – Europe’s colorful and historic rivers


Have you ever thought about visiting Europe? Why not take a trip of a lifetime and sail down some of Europe’s most beautiful rivers; The Danube, Rhine, Main, Seine, Mosel or even the Rhone river. Not only do you get to experience one of the most inclusive and relaxing ways of cruising, you also get to visit Europe’s most iconic and charming cities and hidden gems along the way.

AMA Waterways makes each passenger feel special with little touches that all add up to a magnificent experience all together. They are one of the most recognized leaders in the river cruising industry. Some of their features include

  • custom designed ships
  • extensive amenities
  • personalized service
  • expertly guided shore excursions
  • complimentary wine and beer with dinner
  • in room direct internet

AMA Waterways fleet of 15 ships operate throughout Europe, Russia, Southeast Asia as well as Africa.

The ships carry an average of 150 passengers and cruising on such a small ship offer some great benefits; such as docking  in the center of the towns you are visiting within easy walking distance to shops, restaurants, cafe’s etc.

AMA waterways really sticks out with how much inclusions come with the price. Passengers will enjoy complimentary champagne with breakfast, unlimited wine , beer and soft drinks with every dinner. Snacks and specialty tea and coffees available 24/7. Your daily shore excursions in every port are also included and you are also free to use the ships fleet of bicycles to use while in port.

The staterooms on the ship are very spacious and usually come with French balconies as there is always something interesting to see along the river journey. You also don’t have to worry about space on these ships as the custom designed rooms offer some of the largest cabins found on any ship, starting at 170 sq ft. The luxurious amenities  make it feel like you are in a floating 5 star hotel with spa quality toiletries, multi jet showers etc.

On all AMA waterways ships, there is an attractive lounge are with large panoramic windows with snacks provided all day, afternoon tea, light lunches and dinners.

In the evenings, the lounge turns into a full service bar with a dance floor, pianist and entertainment for the guests. Most of their ships that are built after 2010 feature a heated swimming pool, putting green and giant chessboard on the sun deck.

The tour I am going to talk about in this post is the “Castles and Wineries of Germany” on the AMA Dolce hosted by celebrity wine hosts and AMA Waterways executive staff. It features 2 nights in Prague, 7 night cruise from Nuremberg to Luxembourg, and 3 nights in Paris at the end.

The Mosel flows through France, Luxembourg and Germany which is a region known for producing some of the finest white wines, mostly Riesling. Surrounding the Mosel river, there are vineyards tumbling down steep slopes to quaint riverside towns. You begin your trip with two nights in Prague and then transfer to Nuremberg to get on the ship. You will stop to visit medieval themed towns of Bamber, Kitzinger and Wertheim, and then cruising the Rhine River full of beautiful castles from Rudesheim to Koblenz.  At the end of the cruise you spend a day in Luxembourg before you get on the high-speed train to Paris where you will spend 3 nights before flying back to Canada.

The tour starts Oct 29th in Prague and the price starts at $3839 per person plus port charges of $147 per person. For more details please contact me or anyone in our office here at Sears Travel at 506-632-3660


Patricia Johansson


A True Tall Tale

The Adventures of a Searching Soul


because travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer