Not for the faint of heart, The Explorers Club has been traversing the world’s most majestic places for a century.

With a membership list that reads like a who’s who in science and exploration, the Explorers Club is a turn of the 20th-century fellowship comprised of now thousands of members who have contributed extensively to their field of research through exploratory journeys of land, sea, air and space. With the likes of Buzz Aldrin, Sir Edmund Hillary, Jane Goodall, James Cameron, even Theodore Roosevelt, to name a few, The Explorers Club is not short on household-name members.

Exclusive as they are, with their recent partnership with luxury travel company Absolute Travel, world-class opportunities, designed to enrich lives through insider experiences, are now offered to any one craving modern exploration.

“We found that Absolute Travel is a very unique travel organization that caters to the traveler that is really interested in life and new experiences,” says The Explorers Club executive director Will Roseman. “I know very few organizations that, through travel, enriches one’s life and life’s experience the way they do.”

Membership acceptance into The Explorers Club is no easy feat. The Explorers Club members have proven their boundless desire to not only venture to far reaches of our planet and beyond (case in point: member Artido Desio who is also featured in this issue), but also relate these journeys to the advancement of field science studies of little-known, or unknown subject matter.

“There is no other place in the world that you can go where one day there is Buzz Aldrin, Bob Ballard or Dr. Richard Leakey. Our members can speak with like-minded individuals about the planning of new expeditions, or discuss and invite people to come with them on expeditions,” Roseman says.

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Varied in their fields, The Explorers Club continues to grow as a gathering place for researchers, scientists, academics and explorers.

Their membership began with a small niche group of Arctic explorers in the early 1900s, and has since expanded exponentially. A few of the famous firsts executed by The Explorers Club members are first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to summit K2 and Mt. Everest, first (and second) to the deepest ocean depths, and first to the surface of the moon. It is this breed of trailblazers, those adventurers, oceanographers, mountaineers, cavers, divers, submariners and now conservationists and archeologists who will lead The Explorers Club trips created by Absolute Travel.

Absolute Travel’s pulse on the travel market is rare. An underlying theme that sets them apart in the now highly competitive travel market is the deep-rooted relationships and personal expertise they have developed in each of their travel destination sites, which grows by the year.

“We offer a lot of insider opportunities. We’re known for deep connections in many places that allows us to customize each of our trips to the liking of the client. Whether it is conservation, art, cuisine, adventure or wellness, we have people on the ground who are invested in our travel destinations,” says Absolute Travel director of marketing Katie Losey.

Absolute Travel has had a unique travel model that has built its way almost from the outside inward. They were the first to offer trips for U.S. travelers to both Cambodia and Vietnam before embargos on each country were lifted in the mid-’90s. Spreading from South East Asia, Absolute Travel has grown ties in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the South Pacific. It was actually only recently they began coordinating North American trips.

The hotspots and guidebook sites we all can find online are of certain value. But, Absolute Travel has a passion and pleasure to connect travelers with the more elusive, culturally and historically sacred pockets of each region. A few examples of these sorts of ventures include guidance toward ancient temples and ruins of India, safari lodge getaways in Tanzania, or weeklong treks through the bold peaks of the Cordillera Real mountain ranges of Bolivia.

Expanding further, Absolute Travel’s prowess in highlighting and bringing awareness to worldwide conservation and environmental preservation has been noticed on a global level. Most notably they have been invited to become one of the newest members of the Clinton Global Initiative helping in the ongoing effort to create a Responsible Tourism Guide.

As like attracts like, the engagement and now partnership between The Explorers Club and Absolute Travel was inevitable.

“You do not need to have discovered a new species or been the first to summit one of the world’s highest peaks to be connected to The Explorers Club—if you support our mission to preserve the instinct to explore, you can contribute to the club’s legacy, and that is precisely what the Absolute Travel team is doing,” says The Explorers Club president Alan Nichols.

Currently, The Explorers Club and Absolute Travel are offering three widely unique ventures open to members and the public. For wildlife enthusiasts, the Close Encounters In The Land Of The Kiwis uncovers a personal viewpoint of the secret life of New Zealand’s penguins, with guidance provided by award-winning author and penguin expert Dyna DeNapoli.

Coincidentally, through introductory conversation both Alan Nichols and Absolute Travel’s founder Ken Fish discovered their joint affinity for the landscape and culture of Iran. With this common thread they created the Luxury Travel In Iran expedition that sets out to unveil the natural beauty and cultural richness of Iran that is often widely misunderstood.

Reconnecting with the U.S, the Discover America’s Serengeti journey provides a privileged look into what National Geographic coined as “one of the most ambitious conservation projects of our time.” This six-day expedition brings explorers to the American Prairie Reserve, following Lewis and Clark’s original trail westward. With a two-night float trip down the Missouri, nights in deluxe prairie yurts and days at Kestrel Camp in Montana, explorers will have an exclusive look into what is the redevelopment of America’s prairie plains and wildlife.

“The legendary Explorers Club galvanizes thrill-seekers and helps preserve the very special spirit of chasing adventure at a time when it’s so easy to live life virtually,” Fish says. “The Absolute Travel team is honored to help facilitate discovery for this eclectic crew through distinctive experiential journeys.”

For more information, visit explorers.org or absolutetravel.com

Photos courtesy Explorers Club and Absolute Travel