Libya is just one of the many less-traveled destinations that define the itineraries of TCS Expeditions (866.276.9077, www.tcs-expeditions.com), a division of Grand Expeditions. The TCS travel experience is perhaps most distinguished by the mode of transportation: a chartered business-class Boeing 757, which can touch down in remote and far-flung locales unhampered by commercial air schedules. The pace of a TCS tour is indeed brisk: Our Seven Seas Odyssey made 10 stops on multiple continents in three weeks. Despite their average age of about 70, TCS travelers like to see and do as much as possible, so downtime is minimal.
The TCS staff has mastered the art of organization and coordination, with advance teams that prepare for the group’s arrival at each destination and collaborate with local guides to deliver a smooth, high-quality experience. Everything from passport control to luggage handling is expedited so valuable time can be saved for exploration. Frequent TCS travelers note the company’s attention to details—from “surprises,” such as concerts or dance performances, to small gifts, local currency, and prestamped postcards that are placed in hotel rooms. A doctor travels with the group to provide medical assistance when needed, and TCS offers air medical evacuations for emergencies.
Most TCS expeditions are built around a conceptual theme, and expert lecturers travel with the group, providing lessons in history, culture, architecture, and art to enhance the experience. Some upcoming expeditions include Currents of Culture (fall 2006), which follows the Eastern Hemisphere’s most famed rivers, and Great Faiths (spring 2007), which explores religious capitals.