Explore The World With National Geographic And Give A Gift Inspired By Travel, Adventure, Science, Exploration, Photography And Global Craft This Holiday.
If you have a love of people, places, culture and history or if you are looking for gifts that are out of the ordinary, National Geographic has some unique selections in its 2016 Holiday Look Book. From books to home goods, eclectic apparel and jewelry, gear, photography workshops and private expeditions National Geographic offers high-quality, authentic gifts that would delight anyone on your list.
Another plus: All purchases support National Geographic Society’s vital exploration, conservation, cultural preservation and education programs around the globe.
“Buyers from National Geographic travel the globe in search of beautiful, handmade objects that tell a story,” said Jill Dvorak, director of site merchandising & marketing, catalog and online operations for National Geographic. “We’ve assembled an extraordinary collection of gifts for the traveler, the book lover, stargazer, home decorator, adventurer, animal lover, young scientist and beyond that will inspire them to learn and explore the world around them.”
Highlights From The 2016 Gift Selection:
National Geographic Exclusive: Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit. $179.95
The revolutionary Geno 2.0 Next Generation test has been enhanced to offer the most up to date ancestry available and now has:
- -Improved results based on a higher-capacity DNA-testing chip
- -More accurate regional ancestry—double the number of regions and 50+ reference populations
- -Improved DNA haplogroup calls and 20 new ancestral stories.
Introducing the next generation of the Genographic Project Participation Kit. This new DNA test uses cutting-edge technology to give you the richest ancestry information available. Join the more than half a million people who have already taken part in National Geographic’s groundbreaking Genographic Project—contribute to this real-time scientific effort and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells and his team designed Geno Next Gen based on the new technologies and insights that emerged since the launch of the Genographic Project ten years ago. Using an exclusive, custom-built genotyping chip, they test nearly 750,000 DNA markers that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-related information.
For the Holiday Host or Hostess: Personalized Nautical Flag Coasters (Set of 4), $55.00
Although signal flags have been largely replaced by two-way radio and cell phones, in the 19th century they were how ships at sea communicated with each other. Each flag stands for a letter, but also represents a full message. For example, the “T” flag also meant “keep clear!” Today the flags are reserved for yacht racing and formal occasions. Choose your three-initial monogram and artisans in New England will create a coaster set on cork-backed, rustic tumbled marble that shows your initials along with the corresponding signal flags. Click here for a list of initials and their corresponding flags, or click on the Flag Meanings tab to see what phrase each flag symbolizes in the International Code of Symbols.
(Please note: Personalized items cannot be returned unless damaged or defective. Please check your order carefully; once placed, your order for this item cannot be canceled. Not available for shipment outside of the U.S. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery to the continental U.S. and 4-6 weeks for delivery to Alaska and Hawaii.)
For the Adventurer: Carabiner Clip Watch with LED Micro-Light, $45.00
Equipped with a powerful LED micro-light, this clever explorer’s watch has a built-in carabiner that clips right onto belt loops, packs, and more, keeping the time and a light source within reach as you travel. Luminescent hands and hour markers provide visibility in all kinds of conditions.
(Details: Uses one 376 watch battery and one LR1131 watch battery (both included). We recommend having a jeweler replace the battery. The case is intentionally challenging to open in order to better protect the mechanism and increase the watch’s water resistance. 1 1/2”W x 3”L x 1/4”D, 3 oz, Water-resistant to 100 feet.)
For the Book Lover: Wild, Beautiful Places: Picture-Perfect Journeys Around the Globe, $40.00
Experience the world’s most wild, remote, beautiful places with shots by National Geographic photographers and vintage photos pulled from the National Geographic archives. Highlighting 50 of Earth’s most pristine, scenic locales, this beautiful book is illustrated with stunning images, coupled with accessible, engaging descriptions and practical travel information. The book covers everything from otherworldly, secluded valleys to far-flung, soaring mountain ranges. National Geographic photographers share some of their favorite shots from around the world and explain how they got them, and historical photos culled from National Geographic’s hallowed image archive highlight old Society explorations in rugged, distant locations, and give a glimpse into the bygone days of these exotic places.
For the Photographer: Camera Lens Travel Mug. $24.00
Increase your focus, clarity, and zoom abilities. We’re talking about the coffee! This deceptively realistic, BPA-free travel mug looks just like a DSLR camera lens with details like a focus ring and grip—perfect for coffee lovers and camera enthusiasts alike. The stainless steel lining keeps drinks hot and is extra easy to clean. The screw-top lid with sliding sip top keeps your coffee from spilling as you venture off road to capture that perfect shot.
For the Stargazer: Star Talk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson 2-DVD Set, $34.95
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson brings together celebrities, scientists and comedians to explore a variety of cosmic topics and collide pop culture with science in a way that late-night television has never seen before. Weekly topics range from popular science fiction, space travel, extraterrestrial life, the Big Bang, to the future of Earth and the environment. Tyson is an astrophysicist with a gifted ability to connect with everyone, inspiring us all to to “keep looking up.”Not available for shipment outside the U.S. and Canada.
For the Roadtripper: Personal GPS Tracker, $89.95
Mark your location with the push of a button, and then explore at your leisure. This GPS-enabled digital compass is designed to lead the way back to home base. Mark as many as three places at one time, and you’ll always know how far away you are from those sites and how to get back to them. Water-resistant, and backlit for nighttime viewing. Includes a clip for attaching to a backpack or purse.
For the Global Chic Home: Irish Aran Knit Throw, $129.00
Aran knitting is well known for its wealth of intricate stitches and symbolism. In this cozy, wool throw, the diamond stitch represents prosperity, the honeycomb stitch represents the hard work of the honeybee and the rewards of an industrious life, and the cable stitch stands in for the fishing rope that was so essential to livelihood on the Aran Islands. Knit from 100% merino wool.
For the ‘Outlander’ in All of Us: Scottish Castle of Mey Wool Scarf, $58.00
Situated on a rugged stretch of the Caithness coast in the Scottish Highlands, the remote Castle of Mey is the inspiration for this wintery tartan scarf. Woven from wool and cashmere at a family-run mill, the scarf is part of His Royal Highness Prince Charles’s North Highland Initiative, a project that aims to support the craftspeople of the Scottish North Highlands. With a brushed finish and purled fringe.
For Young Scientists and Animal Lovers: Brain Games Kids, $19.99
Based on the Emmy-nominated National Geographic Channel TV series, Brain Games, Brain Games Kids Game takes players through a series of challenges that put both mind and body to the test. Play as individuals or teams and work together to answer mind-bending challenges in this cerebellum showdown. Teams go head-to- head to test their logic, language, vision, and physical coordination. It’s a great party game and perfect for family game nights.
For Your Bucket List: Around the World by Private Jet, $76,950 (2016)
Circle the globe with top National Geographic experts on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Traveling in the comfort of a private jet, encounter legendary places from Machu Picchu and Tibet to the Taj Mahal and Marrakech. Experience natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Serengeti Plain, and the island paradise of Samoa.
- Explore 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, and the lost city of Petra.
- Meet with National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Meave or Louise Leakey in Tanzania.
- Discover Easter Island’s giant moai statues and famously lost culture with resident archaeologists.
- Delve into the natural world on game drives in the Serengeti Plain and snorkeling excursions on the Great Barrier Reef.
Itinerary – 24 Days
Day 1 — Washington, D.C.
We begin this extraordinary adventure with a welcome reception at National Geographic Society headquarters, followed by dinner at the base hotel. The Hay-Adams, Washington, D.C. (Dinner)
Days 2, 3, & 4 — Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru
This morning, the private jet takes passengers to Lima, where we take a local flight to charming Cusco (11,200 feet). Explore the imposing cathedral in the Plaza de Armas, considered by many to be one of the finest combinations of Spanish Renaissance style and legendary Inca stonemasonry. Marvel at the treasures of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, where we will meet with National Geographic grantee and master weaver Nilda Callanaupa, who works with traditional weavers throughout Peru to preserve the rich textile arts.
Discover the remains of the great fortress Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cusco, where enormous blocks of stone—some weighing more than 200 tons—were used to build the walls. Assembled without the use of mortar, the blocks fit together so tightly that a knife blade cannot be inserted between them.
Then travel on the Hiram Bingham, on a privately chartered train, to Machu Picchu, passing through the spectacular Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Still clouded in mystery, Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Inca and lost to history until it was rediscovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911 and excavated with support from the National Geographic Society. Examine the artfully cut stone altars, temples, foundations, staircases, and terraced gardens that make this one of the world’s most extraordinary archaeological treasures. Hotel Monasterio or Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, Cusco (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner daily)
Alternative: Instead of visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu, head to northern Peru to visit the temples of Trujillo and Chiclayo, where the richest burial chambers in the Americas were discovered. See where the ancient Moche and Chimu peoples lived, and explore Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the world. Libertador Trujillo (B, L, D daily)
Days 5 & 6 — Easter Island, Chile
Fly to Easter Island, located 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile. Scattered with mysterious, colossal stone statues called moai, the island is an open-air museum of the ruins of a lost culture. The island has been a subject of debate since it was first seen by Europeans on Easter Sunday in 1722. How did its native people first arrive? What transpired over the centuries? What do the tall, brooding statues mean? Learn the hidden stories of the island’s wonders with renowned archaeologists, and marvel at the many moai that dot the island’s windswept landscape. Along the way, discover the ancient ceremonial centers, volcanic craters, petroglyphs, lava formations, and fascinating clues to the Orongo birdman cult. Then enjoy a splendid performance by the Kari Kari Rapa Nui dance troupe. Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa (B, L, D daily)
Day 7 — Cross the International Date Line
From Easter Island you will continue your voyage across the Pacific, crossing the international date line, losing a day en route and arrive in Samoa the following evening. (B, L, D)
Day 8 — Apia, Samoa
Samoa is one of the few places where pure Polynesian culture remains essentially intact—tribal rituals and hierarchies are little changed from ancient times. This beautiful island world is well known for its hospitality, traditional ceremonies, and distinct communal customs (known as fa’a Samoa, or “the Samoan way”). Enjoy a fia fia—a colorful performance of Samoan dance and song. Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort (B, L, D)
Days 9 & 10 — The Great Barrier Reef or the Daintree Rain Forest, Australia
Fly to Cairns and transfer to the charming seaside town of Port Douglas. Explore the Great Barrier Reef, the largest known coral reef in the world and home to an exceptionally rich variety of marine life. Snorkel among rainbow-colored corals with schools of unicornfish, surgeonfish, bumphead parrot fish, and sea turtles.
Or discover the natural wonders of the Daintree, a rain forest that is approximately 90 million years older than the Amazon rain forest. Go on a Dreamtime walk in Mossman Gorge with an aboriginal guide, a member of the Kuku Yalanji, who will share his people’s legends and take you to sacred sites. Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa (B, L, D daily)
Days 11 & 12 — Angkor, Cambodia
Fly by private jet to Siem Reap, your base for exploring Angkor, the heart of the ancient Khmer Empire. Delve into the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex, one of humankind’s greatest architectural triumphs; and discover the massive towers, carved murals, colonnades, and courtyards that exemplify classic Khmer architecture. At Angkor Thom, explore the Bayon Temple and the Terrace of the Elephants. Then set out on a cruise to nearby floating villages on Tonle Sap lake (water levels permitting), or explore the temple of Ta Prohm, still tangled in the thick roots of banyan trees. In the evening, enjoy a classical Apsara dance performance during dinner at our fine hotel.
Alternative: Instead of Angkor Wat, explore the lost jungle temple of Beng Mea Lea (water levels permitting), among the largest Khmer temples, and the ninth-century Roluous temple complex of Hariharalaya, the first capital of the Khmer Empire, which predates Angkor Wat by some 300 years. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor (B, L, D daily)
Day 13 — Kathmandu, Nepal
Fly by private jet to Kathmandu and visit the medieval city of Bhaktapur, once a royal capital whose stunning pagodas, palaces, and squares still captivate today. Then enjoy dinner and a night’s rest before departing for Tibet. Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu (B, L, D daily)
Days 14 & 15 — Lhasa, Tibet or Chitwan National Park, Nepal
This morning, take a local flight to Lhasa, Tibet’s capital, located on one of the world’s highest plateaus. Once a “forbidden city,” this Himalayan center of Buddhist pilgrimage—with the spectacular Potala Palace dominating its skyline—still retains a mystical atmosphere. Visit the Jokhang Temple, the region’s oldest and most revered; and explore the colorful Tibetan markets, known for their finely crafted ornaments, rugs, religious paintings, and carvings. The next day, venture into Potala Palace, a highlight of your time in Lhasa. The palace, with its hundreds of rooms, lavish decor, and labyrinthine corridors, was once the winter residence of the Dalai Lama and served as the seat of the Tibetan government for more than 300 years. Stop by the nearly 600-year-old Sera Monastery, where we may see monks in the debating courtyard. You may also visit the Tibet Museum or a local nunnery. St. Regis Lhasa Resort (B, L, D daily)
Alternative: Instead of exploring Lhasa, visit the World Heritage-listed Pashupatinath Temple on the outskirts of Kathmandu. Then board a local flight to Chitwan National Park, one of Asia’s premier wildlife reserves. Venture into the park with a naturalist in search of a variety of birds and mammals, including elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and rare one-horned rhinos. You may also opt to visit a local village, canoe along the peaceful Rapti River, or take a guided walk through the forest. Celebrate with a Nepali barbecue dinner and a traditional dance performance. Rejoin the rest of the group in Kathmandu before departing for India. Taj Meghauli Serai Lodge (B, L, D daily)
Days 16 & 17 — Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Return to Kathmandu by local flight and continue on our private jet to Agra. Discover the iconic Taj Mahal, built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. A masterpiece of the Mogul empire, the monument soars majestically above the banks of the Yamuna River. Wander the site, admire its form among the reflecting pools and gardens that surround it, and examine its intricate mosaics made of precious stones. In the afternoon, you may explore the imposing sandstone Red Fort of Agra, where Mogul emperors lived in splendor. Or you may choose to venture into Kachhpura, a village in Agra inhabited by the Harijan people, otherwise known as “untouchables.” Meet with local families and visit a school. If you wish, rise early to join our National Geographic photographer to capture images of the Taj Mahal at sunrise.
Alternative: Instead of visiting the Taj Mahal, explore Fatehpur Sikri, Emperor Akbar‘s crowning architectural achievement, an exquisite red-sandstone city that served as the Mogul capital from 1572 to 1585. Stroll through well-preserved pavilions, courtyards, tombs, and palaces—most notably the emperor’s private quarters, a “palace of dreams” richly decorated with Persian calligraphy and murals. The Oberoi Amarvilás (B, L, D daily)
Days 18 & 19 — Tanzania
Fly by private jet to Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to a smaller aircraft for the flight to Serengeti National Park. In the local Maasai language, Serengeti means “extended place“—an appropriate name for this vast wildlife sanctuary, which is one of the most complex and least disturbed ecosystems on Earth. Go deep into the savanna to witness Africa’s greatest concentration of wildebeests and zebras, as well as lions, cheetahs, and leopards. Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti (B, L, D daily)
Alternative: Instead of exploring the Serengeti, descend into the Ngorongoro Crater to observe the permanent population of almost 25,000 animals in one of the largest unbroken calderas in the world. Along with herds of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras, we may also see the “big five” (rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, elephants, and buffaloes). Spend your nights here at a well-appointed lodge perched on the crater’s rim. During our stay, travelers will have the opportunity to meet either Meave or Louise Leakey, both National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence whose family of renowned anthropologists has discovered many important fossils in the area. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (B, L, D daily)
Days 20 & 21 — The Lost City of Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan
Situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Petra was settled by the enigmatic Nabataean people in 312 b.c. and became an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt, and the Levant. The Nabataeans disappeared mysteriously, but the nomadic Bedouin civilization remains to this day. Half built, half-carved into rose-red sandstone cliffs, Petra is undoubtedly one of the world’s most impressive architectural achievements.
Step back in time 2,000 years as you stroll this ancient city, and learn why these enigmatic people built their capital in such an inaccessible spot. Enter the Siq, a dramatic opening in the brilliantly hued bedrock; and arrive at the Treasury, Petra’s most exquisite edifice. Discover many other elaborately decorated buildings and tombs chiseled from sheer rock walls, and observe up close the superb blending of Eastern traditions with Hellenistic architecture. On our last evening, gather for a festive Bedouin dinner. Mövenpick Petra, Jordan (B, L, D daily)
Alternative: Instead of exploring Petra, travel to Wadi Rum, a beautiful desert landscape made famous by T. E. Lawrence and the film Lawrence of Arabia. See the spectacular rock formation known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and enjoy a traditional mansaf meal prepared by local Bedouin villagers.
Days 22 & 23 — Marrakech, Morocco
Fly by private jet to Marrakech where we explore this fabled city, located in an oasis of palm and olive groves, and steeped in ancient Berber tradition. See the Koutoubia Mosque, Ben Youssef Madrasa, and the grand Bahia Palace. Wander through the medina, a jumble of colorful suqs; and stroll the Djemaa el Fna, a lively square where snake charmers, acrobats, and magicians enchant the passsersby. If you wish, immerse yourself in the lush blue-and-green paradise of the Majorelle Garden, a delightful combination of traditional Moroccan architecture, Islamic art and artifacts, rare plants from five continents, and North African birds. On our last evening, celebrate our adventure at a farewell banquet with traditional entertainment.
Alternative: Instead of exploring Marrakech, spend the day in the spectacular Atlas Mountains, the highest mountain range in North Africa. Visit a Berber village, share tea with a village elder and his family, and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. In the evening, rejoin the group in Marrakech for our farewell dinner. La Mamounia (B, L, D daily)
Day 24 — Marrakech, Morocco/Washington, D.C.
Following breakfast, board our private jet and fly to Washington, D.C. Upon arrival, you may connect with your commercial flight home, or, if you wish, we will provide complimentary accommodations at the Hyatt Dulles Airport Hotel for the night. For the January, March, and December departures, which end in Orlando, complimentary accommodations will be provided at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Hotel for one night. (B, L)
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $8,950. Transportation by private Boeing 757 jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary, is included in the expedition cost.
Airfare to/from Washington, D.C. or Orlando, Florida is not included in the expedition cost. Our specially outfitted Boeing 757 is ideally suited for this extraordinary expedition. Its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports afford us unmatched flexibility. We set our own schedules, flying direct and avoiding layovers, which allows us the freedom to make the most of our adventures on land. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s interior has been customized and refitted to accommodate just 75 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating. For your protection, all payments are secured in a bank escrow account. See special terms and conditions for these expeditions.