Our Expert Local Guides

Take You Inside The Places They Call Home 

 

The warm beating heart of every Classic Journey is your experienced local guide. After all, there is no better way to discover a faraway place than in the company of a well-connected friend. Your guide will be the kind of person whose cousin is the llama-trekker. An insider who knows the opening day of truffle season … and a truffle-hunter who’ll let you tag along. A native who can navigate the maze of the medina in Fès with her eyes closed, because it’s where she and her family live.2017_Welcome-to-my-world_Guide-MichaelOur local guides are more than map-readers, agenda-followers and spouters of statistics. They are colorful, caring personalities who are unflappable, genuine and as sunny as they are sincere. As your cultural hosts, they are with you full-time — just like a friend should be — to open doors and help you see their world through their eyes. We know them so well that we happily empower them to personalize your trip on the fly, whether it’s to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity like a one-day festival or an invitation into a private home. And your guide will also be glad to offer ideas that appeal to your special interests. Some trips have two full-time guides, and on any itinerary specialists in anything from birding to wine tasting to archaeology may join you. Best of all, even after your trip is over, some of your happiest memories will be of the shared stories, unfiltered insights and plain old good times that you shared with your new friend in Peru or Iceland or India or …

Vibeke

Home turf: Norway
Professional guide for: 7 years

On thick ice: “When we go walking on a glacier, it looks like a big, difficult challenge. But our excellent professional ice guides make it all achievable. At the end, I see that my guests have a great sensation of having mastered something very exciting. It does something good to everybody to be in nature like this.”

The Norway way:
“My countrymen are so positive and helpful. The shipyard manager at Orne shows us everything about shipbuilding, just because he loves to. At Urnes farm, I love how the mother tells the family’s story over lunch. Her English is not so very good, but she is so genuine that everybody understands her perfectly.”
2017_Welcome-to-my-world_Guide-Vibeke

Diane

Home turf: Cornwall and the Cotswolds
Blue Badge guide for: 15 years

A windy path: “I worked in a bank, my own tea shop and the fashion industry before I found this calling. A lovely volunteer guide in Lincoln Cathedral inspired me. She loved sharing her knowledge, and I thought ‘so would I.’ I have not regretted a single moment since I earned my Blue Badge!”

Menu of surprises: “I love revealing local food traditions. Stinking Bishop cheese (tasty!), Cornish pasties, endless clotted cream, even a fish-and-chips takeaway on the beach at St. Ives. Sophisticated dinners and pub lunches. The food is lots of fun, especially because so much of it is unexpected.”2017_Welcome-to-my-world_Guide-Diane

Juan

Home turf: The Galápagos Islands
Professional guide for: 8 years

Special quality: “I was a white water rafting guide while getting my degree in Ecology and Tourism. Then I studied Quality Management on scholarship in Germany,” Juan recalls. Clearly, he’s a guy who knows more than how to track down a blue-footed boobie. The real kicker: “Many think it is only the fauna to see in the Galápagos. So I look forward every time to the boat ride to Kicker Rock. These huge jagged rocks rise from the water and you really feel the power of nature. You can feel how insignificant we are, and I think that is a good lesson of coming to the islands.”

The real kicker: “Many think it is only the fauna to see in the Galápagos. So I look forward every time to the boat ride to Kicker Rock. These huge jagged rocks rise from the water and you really feel the power of nature. You can feel how insignificant we are, and I think that is a good lesson of coming to the islands.”2017_Welcome-to-my-world_Guide-Juan

Marcia

Home turf: Bryce, Grand Canyon & Zion
Professional guide for: 15 years

The real thing: “I was a ceramic artist for many years and my specialties were reptiles and the Grand Canyon, sculpted out of clay. I decided I needed to get out more! After observing the Southwest for so long, I enjoy helping others appreciate the reality of it.”

Deep impressions: “Six days in the three parks is a life changer for a lot of guests. The cultures and landscapes, the air, animals and food are all so different from ‘home.’ Doing things a little outside their normal comfort zones leaves an impression on people that really stays with them.”2017_Welcome-to-my-world_Guide-Marcia

“With our Classic Journeys guides, we never got that ‘who-are-you-and-what-are you-doing-in-my-village’ look from the locals. They treated us as friends and let us see a side of life we’d have missed otherwise.”

-Bruce & Theresa R., Kentfield, CA