What the experts say about the regions
'As cheaper flights have opened up the farthest-flung corners of the world, it’s become easy to forget (or dismiss) what we have in our own backyard. But Europe is packed with the very ingredients we travel the globe for: romance, adventure, contrast, drama. My trip to Romania with Exodus involved only a three-hour flight, but it introduced me to landscapes and cultures I thought had long disappeared, as well as one of the most thrilling animal encounters I’ve ever had: watching a dozen brown bears from a hide deep in the Carpathian mountains. Now there’s a backyard worth exploring.'
Dan Linstead, Wanderlust Editor who travelled to Romania with Exodus in 2008
'In the spectacular, lunar-landscape of the Jebel Sahro desert mountain range, it’s incredible to think that Morocco is only a three-hour flight from the UK. Trekking through the fertile Draa Valley, to the majestic pinnacles of the Ridge of Fingers, this remote region was like nothing I had seen before. Passing through the red mud-built villages, where women were busy laying out their washing to dry on rocks and young children laughed as they played in the dusty streets, we got a fascinating insight into the way the local Berber people live, their Islamic beliefs, and how they cope in such barren surroundings.'
Beverley Fearis, Freelance Travel Writer, travelled to Morocco with Exodus in 2007
'Photographs can be unkind to Africa. The widest lens in imagedom cannot do justice to the breadth of vision that so liberates the eye on this magical continent. The usual banal clutter that so obscures perspectives in Britain has not (yet) infiltrated the grassy plains that are within tickling distance of the Equator. So there is an awful lot of land, and dust, and a huge sky perforated by skeletal acacias and speckled with ghostly clouds, for your untrained eye to take in.'
Simon Calder, Independent, travelled to Kenya with Exodus in 2008
'My elephant has stumbled across a tiger. It sounds like the least used line in a Hindi phrasebook, but it's the truth. And instead of being safely down around the elephant's feet, the tiger is at eyelevel, on a ledge just 8ft away. He watches our panic with disdain, his thick fur spilling in golden folds over his rocky perch, his whiskers catching little rainbows in the dappled sunlight, as the mahout, or elephant jockey, frantically tries to back up.'
Chris Haslam, award-winning travel writer, travelled in India in 2007
'Standing at sunset on Roraima's summit, with a view that stretched for nearly 200 miles (322km), it wasn't hard to see why. Just a few feet away, the cliff walls dropped 2,000 feet (610m) beneath us. No lips, no ledges. Straight down. Above us, a full moon shone out of a clear blue sky as a rolling bank of cloud like a giant tongue licked its way through the chasm between Roraima and its neighbour, Kukenan. And as the setting sun performed miracles in the sky, it was easy to imagine a time when Roraima, indeed the world itself, was young.”
Richard Madden, who travelled to Venezuela with Exodus and the article was published in The Telegraph (Jan 2008).
'At the ends of the earth and far from the madding crowd, the polar regions are perhaps the last pristine wildernesses left on the planet. They’re harsh, merciless environments of savage, eye-watering beauty and to unlock these inaccessible Edens it’s essential to choose the right ship.
Unlike the rigorously scheduled liners plying the polar waters, we offer intimate, flexible itineraries aboard the Vavilov, Shokalskiy and the Kapitan Khlebnikov.
Commissioned as ice-rated research vessels rather than Caribbean pleasure palaces, these small, superbly equipped ships are quiet and safe, and offer adventurers unequalled opportunities to experience these frozen worlds.'
Paul Goldstein, Photographer, Guide & Presenter