Saudi Arabia

March 16-23, 2019

(+ Optional Extension to Kuwait)

Greenland

September 16-25, 2019

TBA

Extreme Oz



In May of 2010, Calvin started The Monsoon Diaries as his personal travel blog where he would post daily updates to let the world (and his mother) know he was okay. As his readership expanded, a large humble following of good people asked if they could join on his adventures.

So what began with a trip for a few friends now has blossomed 5 years later into the popularly recognized travel style known as monsooning, and has featured on TEDx, The Huffington Post, USA Today, National Geographic, Business Insider, and Rachel Maddow. Every few months Calvin himself, and some of his most dedicated repeat monsooners, will lead scores of international young-at-heart travelers on their premier expeditions around the world.

Take a look at any of the offered trips below and sign up even if you’re just curious about travel; we will take care of the rest!



Saudi Arabia

March 16-23, 2019

(+ Optional Extension to Kuwait)

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Qassim, Saudi Arabia

Ha’il, Saudi Arabia

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Ta’if, Saudi Arabia

Ta’if, Saudi Arabia

Kuwait City, Kuwait



Saudi Arabia

(+ Optional Extension to Kuwait)

March 16-23, 2019



Join one of the world’s first-ever official tourist groups to the notoriously restrictive Saudi Arabia!

We’ll link up with our longtime travel partners Young Pioneer Tours as we start in the capital city, Riyadh, and explore the modern centre of the KSA as well as its ancient history in and around, from the Al Masmak fort to the Edge of the World.

From Riyadh you catch the train to Qassim. Saudi Arabia does not lack sand, and you will watch the sun set over the huge dunes around Qassim. Another train ride later and you will reach the ancient city of Ha’il where you will visit Jubbah town and explore the forts and mosques of this famous city.

Then you’ll fly to Jeddah, and explore the stunningly beautiful, labyrinthine al Balad old town and its coral houses and souqs as well walking the famous corniche, and spend a night in the mountains around Ta’if, famous for its rose farm and its funfair. The trip will end with the chance to go snorkeling in the Red Sea!

We are accustomed to hearing that Saudi is opening up to tourism and yet find that tourist visas are still impossible to obtain. But this tour is part of a test program for tourist visas approved by the KSA government.

Make this trip the ultimate Arabian experience and witness the wealth of black gold in YPT’s follow-up tour to Kuwait

So the good news is that it is open to female as well as male travelers, but the bad news is that tourist visas are only possible for people traveling on passports from the USA, UK, Switzerland, New Zealand and Japan.

If you are NOT from one of these countries please get in touch for the options on how to join this trip.

At this point we are not certain if tourist visas will roll out in full after the March test run or if they will once again be very difficult to get, and we recommend coming with us/YPT on this first official tour to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!

All photos below in gallery are courtesy of Marko Mudrak

Saturday 16th March – Riyadh Arrival

  • Arrival into Riyadh with Monsoon Diaries and YPT staff able to help with airport transfer to our centrally located hotel
  • Meet your guide at the lobby of our hotel at 6pm for a quick pre-tour meeting before we go for dinner
  • Overnight in Riyadh

Sunday 17th March – Riyadh

  • After breakfast we head straight to Al Masmak, the clay and mud brick fort in Riyadh city centre. Probably the most iconic part of Saudi today this part of the old town played centre stage in the restoration of the House of Saud
  • Visit the Grand Mosque, Deira Souq and the Dukhanah and Athomairy Gate
  • After lunch head to the National Museum including the Al Muraba Palace and mosque
  • Stroll through the museum gardens and take in the atmosphere
  • We head to Riyadh’s highest tower and mall to see how Saudi’s spend their money
  • Dinner and overnight in Riyadh

Monday 18th March – Riyadh and around

  • Get up early to head out to the Edge of the World – a ‘window’ in the Tuwaiq Escarpment cliff face looking over an acacia valley. This place is one of Riyadh local’s most popular vacation spots and gives amazing views over the plains below
  • After lunch we head to where it all began at Al Diriyah, Saudi Arabia’s first capital and the original home of the royal family, now a UNESCO heritage site
  • Drive back to Riyadh
  • Dinner and overnight in Riyadh

Tuesday 19th March – Qassim

  • Set off for the train station and we board the 9am train to Qassim, arriving at 12 noon
  • Grab lunch and then we explore this historic city, renowned as one of the most conservative parts of the whole of the kingdom
  • Our first stop is the al Mithnab mud village. Then head to the heritage museum and a palm tree farm
  • At the end of the afternoon we’ll watch the sun set over an expanse of sand dunes. Optional extras – camel ride, quad biking or microlight flight
  • Dinner and overnight at the Qassim desert camp

Wednesday 20th March – Ha’il

  • After breakfast we’ll explore the local souq and the nationally famous date market
  • Catch the 12:06 train to Ha’il arriving at 2pm
  • Ha’il is an oasis town famous for its natural beauty and we first drive out to Joubbah town via the Sanman mountain with its 10,000-year-old rock carvings
  • Visit the Al Qashlah Fort and Earf Castel as well as the local souk
  • Dinner and overnight in Ha’il

Thursday 21st March – Jeddah

  • Up early for the 6:30am flight to Jeddah, the second largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a port city on the Red Sea
  • After we check in to our hotel we go straight out to explore Jeddah, taking in the city centre and old Jeddah – al Balad. See the old city gates and traditional markets (souqs) in this labyrinthine part of the city. This is where traders from all over Arabia and Africa live and work in a surprisingly colourful world
  • The most famous architecture are Jeddah’s coral houses, that still stand in various states of disrepair.
  • Stroll along the beach and view the ‘floating’ mosque, before a walk along the Jeddah Corniche for great views of the Red Sea
  • Seafood dinner in one of the cities famous seafood restaurants
  • Overnight in Jeddah

Friday 22nd March – Ta’if

  • In the morning we drive to Ta’if, in the Mecca region and one of the oldest towns in the KSA, famous for its rose production, and the rose season will have just started
  • Stop at Al Katib and Kaaki House, the Bin Abbas Mosque and visit the local souq
  • Lunch in Ta’il
  • Head to the Al Gadee Factory where roses are distilled to produce rose water and oil and see the Al Koaa Mosque and Dam
  • Drive out to the Al Shafa mountains and visit a local rose farm
  • Bin Abbas Mosque and city centre souk
  • Overnight in Ta’if

Saturday 23rd March – Jeddah

  • Early morning drive back to Jeddah
  • Optional extra – snorkeling in the Red Sea!
  • Enjoy a late lunch in Jeddah to celebrate our time in the country
  • End of tour, The Monsoon Diaries and YPT can arrange airport transfer and onward flights from Jeddah
  • Those who follow us to Kuwait will be on the 15:25 flight arriving in Kuwait City at 17:35.

 

OPTIONAL EXTENSION – KUWAIT 

Saturday 23rd March – Kuwait

  • Arrival into Kuwait City, those coming from our Saudi Arabia tour will be on the 15:25 flight arriving at 17:35, and transfer to our centrally located hotel
  • At 8pm we meet in the hotel lobby for a quick briefing then head out for dinner
  • Overnight in Kuwai

Sunday 24th March – Kuwait City

  • After breakfast we head out on a tour of Kuwait City.
  • Our first stop is the must-see museum of Kuwait, which is not for the faint-hearted, the War Museum which depicts the Iraqi invasion during the Gulf War
  • Visit Kuwait’s Grand Mosque, proper dress for women can be borrowed from the gatehouse. This huge mosque is fairly unique in the region for its Andalusian architectural influence
  • Lunch at the Kuwait Towers with great views of the city
  • After lunch we head to the traditional fish market and Dhow harbour
  • Visit Sadu house, where we can see a traditional Bedouin Kuwaiti house and culture and stop by the National Museum
  • If we have time we’ll head to the Tareq Rajab museum of Islamic art and calligraphy. This private collection is one of the best not only in the country but of the whole region and a must-see if you’re an art afficianado
  • Head for dinner and then watch the sunset over the Arabian Sea
  • Overnight in Kuwait City

Monday 25th March – Road Trip

  • Today we grab our car and drive off to see parts of the country outside Kuwait City
  • We stop off at, you guessed it, an oil refinery to get some classic Kuwait oil photos
  • Lunch in Ahmadi
  • Head towards the Iraqi border on Highway 80, the road the invading armies entered Kuwait on, now known as the Highway of Death
  • Get some shots of the desert which makes up most of this country
  • Head back to Kuwait City
  • Our last group dinner and overnight in Kuwait City

Tuesday 26th March – End of tour

  • End of tour, YPT can help arrange airport transfers or travel to your next destination

How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Boutique, top-end hostels, or boutique hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 8 weeks (60 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 15 – 60 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-14 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.

Optional Extension - Kuwait

March 23-26, 2019
$595/pax
  • You can secure the lower price by submitting a 40% down payment before then and pay the rest when the trip begins!



Price inclusive of:

  • Hotel accommodation
  • Breakfasts and lunches
  • All excursions & transfers with experienced driver and local guide
  • All transport to complete the tour including train journeys and domestic flight
  • Entrances fees
  • Visa support

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to begin and end the trip
  • Visa fee
  • International Air transfers
  • Dinners, drinks and personal spending
  • Optional Extras as stated in the itinerary
  • Tips to the drivers & local guide
  • Optional Kuwait Extension: Travel to and from Kuwait City





Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).



Greenland

September 16-25, 2019

Greenland

September 16-25, 2019

Reykjavik, Iceland

Akureyri, Iceland

Denmark Strait

Danmark Island, Greenland

Scoresby Sund, Greenland

Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland



Greenland

September 16-25, 2019



Join us and our longtime partners at YPT and Oceanwide Expeditions for the sequel to our 2014 trip to Antarctica: The northern edge of the world of Eastern Greenland.

We begin in the capital city of Reykjavik, Iceland — where we visited back in 2014 — exploring the town for our first day before taking a charter bus up north to AkureyriThere we’ll board our home for the next week, the brand new m/v Hondius, as we depart for the the Denmark Strait in the early evening. We’ll spend a full day sailing Greenland Sea to arrive the next morning at Ittoqqortoormiit, a settlement of 452 people in a region known for its polar bears and seals. 

Thus begins our 5 days exploring Eastern Greenland, including the remains of an Inuit settlement at Danmark Island, Sydkap, the tundra of Liverpool Land by Hurry Inlet, the dazzling reflected lights of Hall Bredning, the plains of Turner Sound, the calm waters of Rømer Fjord, and the magnificent icebergs of Røde Fjord. Trip extras include plenty of opportunities for viewing the Northern Lights, kayaking, SCUBA diving, zodiac cruising, hiking, onboard lectures, and plenty of sustainable and responsible wildlife spotting.

Don’t let once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like these pass you by before it’s too late: Sign up today!

 Monday 16th September – Reykjavik

  • Arrival at your convenience during the day
  • Meet up for our pre-tour meeting at 6:00 pm at the Lebowsky Bar. Reykjavik’s own homage to the cult movie to meet the members of the group and have a great White Russian.
  • Overnight in Reykjavik

Tuesday September 17th – Akureyri

  • We depart in the morning via chartered bus from the city hall of Reykjavik on a six hour trip to Akureyri, in the north of the country. From there we will embark the ship of adventure, none other than the brand new Hondius.
  • Departure! In the early evening we will sail towards the Denmark Strait.
  • Dinner and our first night aboard the ship.

Wednesday September 18th – East Greenland Sea

  • On the way north, we will look out for arctic animals with the local specialists able to answer our questions about all creatures we will encounter. We can expect to see fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets and guillemots.
  • During the day, we’ll cross the Arctic Circle and if we’re in luck, might be able to spot whales.
  • During the evening, we can expect to see our first icebergs as we get near to the east Greenland coast, near Brewster.
  • Dinner and overnight on the Hondius

Thursday September 19th – Scoresbysund

  • In the morning, we’ll reach Scoresbysund, known by the locals as Ittoqqortoormiit, a settlement of 452 people in a region known for its polar bears and seals.
  • We’ll hop onto zodiacs to visit the glacier fronts and a visit of the basalt columns of Vikingebugt.
  • In the afternoon, we’ll have reached Danmark Island, where we’ll land to explore the remains of an Inuit settlement. Due to the cold conditions surrounding the settlement, it has been very well preserved and it will be easy for us to guess what life was like on the settlement.
  • Dinner and overnight on the Hondius

Friday September 20th  Røde Fjord

  • On today’s menu, a zodiac cruise to Røde Fjord where a mountainous coast meets with some of the world’s most beautiful icebergs in an all-natural myriad of colours.
  • In the afternoon, we’ll head to the northern part of the fjord, where we can take in the colours of autumnal Greenland and maybe spy on a few musk oxen.
  • This will be a great time for one of the many lectures we can attend to learn more about the flora and fauna of the land we are visiting.
  • Dinner and overnight on the Hondius

Saturday September 21st – Sydkap

  • Today is iceberg day. During the day, we’ll get the chance to see enormous icebergs, some of which are taller than 100 metres and a few kilometres long! They are so big that some of them touch the bottom of the sea.
  • In the afternoon, we’ll land near Sydkap, where we’ll have the opportunity to see one of the most iconic sights in Eastern Greenland, Hall Bredning, renowned for its dazzling display of reflected light.
  • Time and weather conditions permitting, those who have signed up for the kayaking supplement will be able to go on their first outing.
  • Dinner and overnight on the Hondius

Sunday September 22nd – Scorebysund

  • In the morning, we’ll land on the tundra of Liverpool Land by Hurry Inlet, a peninsula of East Greenland
  • Things will get even more exciting in the afternoon as we’ll reach Ittoqqortoormiit, this time landing here. We’ll get to experience life in Greenland, seeing people going about their business on their sleds pushed by dogs. You may have sent a postcard from Pyongyang, and here you can send postcards too!
  • In the afternoon, we’ll head back on the boat to sail south, following the gorgeous Blosseville Coast.
  • Kayaking is available for those who have paid the supplement
  • Dinner and overnight on the Hondius

Monday September 23rd  Rømer Fjord

  • Today, we’ll head the most inland of our trip as we will explore Turner Sound and Rømer Fjord.
  • If we’re lucky, we might spot narwhals and polar bears here!
  • Kayaking is available for those who have paid the supplement
  • Dinner and overnight on the Hondius

Tuesday September 24th – East Greenland Sea

  • Today is a sea day. We’ll spend the day heading back towards Iceland. It won’t seem so long as we’ll get plenty of opportunities to see whales and seabirds. Your Monsoon Diaries and YPT guides will also keep you well entertained
  • In the evening, we end our trip on a memorable note as we will hopefully get to sit back and take in the Northern Lights.
  • We may have spent some time there already but we’ll celebrate our last night in the ship’s bar for what will surely have been the trip of a lifetime

Wednesday September 25th – Akureyri

  • Arrival in Akureyri
  • Bus transfer back to Reykjavik
  • End of tour, The Monsoon Diaries and YPT can help you arrange connections to your next destination

WHY SHOULD I GO?

“Momentum comes from pushing, not from planning. Confidence comes from scars and risk, not from indecision.” – Life Doesn’t Start Tomorrow.

It starts with *you*. None of the following will ever matter unless you commit to your decision. Yes, dropping everything for something totally new and unknown can be scary! But nobody ever learned how to ride a bike by reading about it; you have to get on the damn thing! So get on and go!

You might respond with “Yeah, but…” “’Yeah, but…’ is pernicious. Because it makes it sound like we have the best of intentions when really we are just too scared to do what we should. It allows us to be cowards, while sounding noble.” – 3 Reasons to Travel While You’re Young.

Let’s entertain the possibility that you’ll skip out. Then watch us as we come back safe and sound, share our stories, show you our photos, and talk about how our lives have changed. Whether or not you will realize it then, when you have your first child, when in your midlife crisis, or on your deathbed, you’re inevitably going to regret that you missed out on an epic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This could set the tone for the rest of your life. Don’t let this happen. Starting slowly never ever works in travel and habits become harder to break once you’ve accustomed yourself to a way of approaching new experiences.

Do you think that to skydive you first have to look it up on Wikipedia, or learn to fall off a table? No. You simply jump. So those of you who want to travel, travel. And imagine how easy traveling will seem to you afterwards. Imagine how much confidence you’ll gain in yourself. Imagine the bragging rights and stories you’ll have when you come home. Not many people realize that the opportunity for a tremendously positive life change is right in front of their faces: This could be the very moment where you turn your life around and finally do something *epic*. The world won’t wait for you.

 

DO YOU HAVE PHOTOS FROM YOUR PREVIOUS, SIMILAR TRIPS?

Start here and work your way forward: First Landing In Antarctica.

 

WHAT ARE WE SAILING ON?

We will sail on the Oceanwide Expedition’s brand new m/v Hondius. Sample pictures & layout of our cabins: Cabins aboard m/v Hondius.

OK, I'M INTERESTED: How do I pay?

 

A 30% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

 

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

 

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with us directly before purchasing tickets! 

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

 

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

 

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

 

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

 

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

 

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

 

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

 

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

 

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

 

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 30% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.



Price inclusive of:

  • Accommodation aboard the Hondius (quadruple porthole)
  • All meals on the Hondius
  • All excursions unless otherwise mentioned
  • Lectures by ecologists and photography Workshop
  • Local Guides
  • Rubber Boots for landings
  • Transfer from Reykjavik to Akureyri and back

 

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to and from Iceland
  • Accommodation in Reykjavik
  • Upgrade to double porthole or single (available on demand)
  • Visa if required
  • All meals off the boat
  • Drinks and personal spending
  • Extra Kayaking Supplements
  • Polar Scuba Diving Supplement: $520 
  • Tips for the local guides





Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).



TBA

Extreme Oz

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Lea, Papua New Guinea

Melbourne, Australia

12 Apostles

Hobart, Tasmania

Richmond, Tasmania

Bay of Fires

Cataract Gorge

Hastings Caves

Port Arthur



Extreme Oz

TBA



After we finish our epic trip to the edge of the world with YPT, join us or continue your travels with us when we replant our feet onto greater land mass with a return to Australia, Tasmania, and New Caledonia.

 

  • Port Morseby, Papua New Guinea
  • Lae, Papua New Guinea
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 12 Apostles, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • Bay of Fire, Tasmania
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • Hobart, Tasmania
  • Richmond, Tasmania
  • Hastings Cave, Tasmania
  • Hobart, Tasmania
  • Port Arthur, Tasmania
  • Hobart Tasmania
  • Auckland, New Zealand

How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

 

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.



 

Price inclusive of:

  • All flights between the islands and travel as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in twin share hotels/guest houses
  • Breakfasts and Lunches
  • Local guide fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to the Marshall Islands before the tour and from the Solomon Islands after
  • Visa fees if needed (we can provide visa support)
  • Dinners and drinks
  • Other personal expenses
  • Tips for the local guides





Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).



TBA

Pacific Island Hopping

Apia, American Samoa

Cook Islands

Fiji

French Polynesia

Marquesas Islands

Niue

Norfolk Island

Wallis & Fortuna

Noumea, New Caledonia

Voh, New Caledonia



Pacific Island Hopping

TBA



Depending on how many people would be interested, we’ll make this happen. E-mail us that you want to come (contact details below) and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to make plans!
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Niue
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Rarotonga, Cook Island
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Voh, New Caledonia
  • Nadi, Fiji
  • Wallis Island, Wallis & Futuna
  • Futuna, Wallis & Futuna
  • Wallis Island, Wallis & Funtuna
  • Nadi, Fiji
  • Suva, Fiji
  • Apia, American Samoa
  • Auckland, NZ
  • Tahiti, French Polynesia
  • Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
  • Tahiti, French Polynesia
  • Auckland, NZ

 

How do I pay?

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), mailed check, PayPal, Chase Quickpay, Square Cash, or Venmo.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions beforehand and we can totally accommodate.

What are accommodations like?

Hotels all with running hot water, good people, and great amenities.

What days should I book my flights to arrive?

Depends on what part of the trip you sign up for; please confirm with Calvin directly before purchasing tickets!

Do you provide flight advice/support to get the cheapest flights?

Yep! We boast expertise in this area and would be happy to assist you in booking the cheapest flights, finding hack fares, or work with loyalty mile programs to getting you free economy, business class, or first class flights.

I’d love to come, but I’m limited on budget.

Contact us anyway and we can come up with a deal or financial aid packages.

Can I come alone?

Yes, many of our monsooners have joined our trip by themselves and end up meeting a whole new group of friends. We usually attract people who come from a range of backgrounds and have different levels of experience with travel.

What if I don’t usually like traveling with people?

Our trips are designed by independent travelers with independent travel in mind — we want to provide everyone with the opportunity and experience of traveling alone should they choose to. Therefore, there’s zero pressure to stick with the group anytime.

So if you want to venture off to a museum or try a different restaurant, by all means: Do it! The group will only be expected to stay together for transportation between cities.

Will you accommodate food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal, cardiac, diabetic, lactose intolerant, peanut allergies, etc.)?

Of course. Just tell us ahead of time when you sign up and we can make accommodations easily.

Do I need visas?

Depends on your nationality and type of passport. People with USA and EU nationalities do not need visas. Otherwise, we can help you with this if you need any visas. Please ask!

Will someone provide me with a list of tasks I need to complete for visas or pre-entry credentials

Yes, of course!

Do I need travel insurance?

Up to you! Some credit cards already include some sort of travel insurance (check with them). We tend to find the cheapest ones at: http://www.travelinsurance.com/

Terms and Conditions between The Monsoon Diaries LLC, henceforth called “MD,” and the customer, henceforth called the “customer.” Booking a tour with MD acknowledges customer understanding and agreement to the following terms and conditions.

 

BOOKING POLICY

  • A 40% deposit is due upon booking confirmation and is non-refundable. The balance of payment is due 1 week before the tour commences. Following receipt of deposit customer is required to send relevant details for issuing of relevant permits.
  • Failure to send true and correct information may result in refusal of visa, or permit, and thus results in forfeit of deposit.
  • Should visa, or permit be refused through no fault of the customer, the customer shall receive a full refund minus associated banking costs.
  • In the event of personal injury, or bereavement that prevents the customer taking part on the tour, MD reserve the right to increase the deposit minus associated fees.

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of receipt by MD. Tour refunds will be given according to the table below.

  • 12 weeks (90 days) prior to the tour customers receive a 100% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 60 – 89 days prior to the tour customers receive a 50% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • 8-59 days prior to the tour customers to receive a 10% refund, minus associated and unrefundable costs.
  • Cancellations received on the day of or within 1 week of departure are non-refundable

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

  • MD may change these Terms & and Conditions at any time. MD will notify customers if changes to the booking terms and conditions are made.
  • It is the responsibility of all customers, regardless of nationality and destination, to check with the consulate of the country they are visiting for current entry requirements. As visa and health requirements are subject to change with-out notice, we recommend that you verify health and visa requirements with the appropriate consulate prior to departure.
  • Price quotations are subject to change without notice, until a booking has been confirmed.
  • MD fully reserves the right to change or amend all itineraries on a case by case basis depending on the situation on the ground. MD will always provide a suitable replacement for anything cancelled on an itinerary.
  • Train, and flight tickets are subject to availability. MD reserve the right to change the mode of transport depending on availability.
  • If for any reason, a client does not complete any portion of their tour or abandons their scheduled tour after departure, MD will not grant a partial refund, nor shall there be any credit given towards future travel.

VISAS

As with all travel there is always a minor chance that a visa will be refused. MD has an excellent track record for visas with a relatively insignificant amount having ever been turned down and all were with good reason.

If the customer has provided accurate information to us and their visa is refused and refunded, MD will in turn grant a full refund of any payments made to MD minus associated transfer fees and costs but will not be held responsible for any costs incurred by the customer in traveling to Beijing, Kuala Lumpur or any other location from which their tour was scheduled to depart. In the event you have intentionally misled us in an attempt to enter a country, we will retain your deposit.

FORCE MAJEURE

In the event of an uncontrollable event, such as war, revolution, and or natural disaster, the customer shall be entitled to a full refund.

What constitutes force majeure is decided solely by the company.

Note: With all refunds the company shall not be held liable for any bank, and or associated fees linked to transferring refund, with sole responsibility being borne by the customer.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Medical treatment in many destinations is not free, and it is strongly recommended that the customer take out their own travel insurance, AND check with the issuer whether it is valid in the country of the tour. MD does not provide, nor imply provision of health/travel insurance.

LOCAL LAWS

  • Customers are required to follow local laws and regulations at all times. In the result of a breach of local law, MD will not be held in any way responsible and the customer will take responsibility for any consequences, financial or otherwise, that arise from their actions.
  • Customers are required to follow the guidance and company rules of MD at all times. MD reserves the right to expel customers from the tour who do not follow company rules, without refund.

 

TOUR ITINERARY

Due to the nature of travel/tourism of certain countries, itineraries do not provide or imply a guarantee of the tour’s contents. Though we will make every effort to keep itineraries as described and to find suitable replacements, the company reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in response to unforeseeable events.

 

TRAVEL EXCEPTIONS

MD reserves the right in extreme cases to refuse service to anyone we deem unsuitable for one of our tours, in the event that MD deems you unsuitable prior to a tour any payment made to MD will be refunded minus associated transfer costs.

 

TRANSIT VISA

In the event the customer intends to travel to and from a country using a transit visa they bear full responsibility for ensuring the transit visa is organized correctly. MD will of course offer assistance in the event of issues arising with customer’s transit, but will in no case be held liable for any costs incurred in arranging customer exits.



 

Price inclusive of:

  • All flights between the islands and travel as per itinerary
  • Accommodation in twin share hotels/guest houses
  • Breakfasts and Lunches
  • Local guide fees

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to the Marshall Islands before the tour and from the Solomon Islands after
  • Visa fees if needed (we can provide visa support)
  • Dinners and drinks
  • Other personal expenses
  • Tips for the local guides





Interested in joining us?

E-mail us at calvin[at]monsoondiaries[dot]com if you want to sign up for updates (replaced bracketed text with appropriate punctuation, obviously).