Saudi Arabia

October 9-15, 2021

Sudan & South Sudan

November 17-27, 2021

St. Lucia & Martinique (Yacht Week)

Jan 2-10, 2022

Polynesia/Tahiti (Yacht Week)

April 22-10, 2022

West Africa

Part 1: Gulf of Guinea

Cote d’Ivore, Ghana, Benin, Togo, Nigeria

TBD



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

October 9-15, 2021

Riyadh

Jebel Fihrayn

Jeddah

Ta'if



Saudi Arabia

October 9-15, 2021

 

Saturday October 9th – Riyadh 

  • Arrive at your convenience into Riyadh – the capital city of Saudi Arabia which have limited flights from with flights from the UAE, Europe and Hong Kong.
  • Airport transfer to our centrally located hotel
  • Pre-tour meeting will be held at the lobby of our hotel at 6:00pm to discuss tour itinerary and to meet your fellow travellers and YPT guide.
  • Dinner and overnight in Riyadh

Sunday October 10th – Riyadh

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • We begin today by heading straight to Al Masmak – this clay and mud brick fort in Riyadh city centre is one of the most iconic part of Saudi. Its location was centre stage for the restoration of the House of Saud.
  • Visit the Grand Mosque – not only the largest active place of worship in Riyadh, it is one of the largest mosques in Saudi Arabia and seats up to 17,000 worshippers.
  • Explore Dheera Souq – located in the old part of the city, this market has a plethora of little shops arranged in rows along narrow streets selling carpets, gold, silver, souvenirs, antiques, traditional clothes, accessories and even furniture. Most of the shop owners here speak English and welcome good hagglers.
  • Stop by the Dukhanah and Athomairy Gate
  • Dinner and overnight in Riyadh

Afternoon

  • Lunch in town
  • Visit the National Museum of Saudi Arabia – first opened in 1999, the design of this museum was inspired by the form and colours of the sand dunes of the “Red Sands” located outside Riyadh. The museum showcases 14 pre-Islamic Arabian kingdoms that had existed in the Arabian Peninsula from 5 BC till 700 AD.  It also includes a unification hall which shows the establishment of modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud after he captured Riyadh. A hand written Quran is also in display.
  • Stop by the Al Muraba Palace – the former home of King Abdul Aziz.
  • Visit Kingdom Centre Tower and go to the highest observation deck – this building is a 99 stories, 302 metres tall and the countries fifth tallest tower. Below is one of Saudi’s most popular malls.
  • Dinner and overnight in Riyadh

Monday October 11th – Riyadh – Edge of the World

Morning

  • Early wake up and breakfast at hotel
  • Begin our two and a half hour drive to the Edge of the World – an unexpected and dramatic geological wonder within the rocky desert northwest of Riyadh. This area got its unique name because from atop the escarpment, you have an uninterrupted view of the horizon.

Afternoon

  • After lunch we’ll continue to where it all began at Diriyah – this area was the original home of the Saudi royal family, and served as the capital of the Emirate of Diriyah under the first Saudi dynasty from 1744 to 1818. It is now recognised as a UNESCO heritage site.
  • Return back to Riyadh
  • Dinner and overnight in Riyadh

Tuesday October 12th – Riyadh to Jeddah

  • Depart on our flight to Jeddah, the second largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a port city on the Red Sea.
  • On arrival check into our hotel and head straight out to explore Jeddah, taking in the city centre and old Jeddah – al Balad.
  • Explore the old city gates and traditional markets 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.

Afternoon

  • Lunch in town and continue to the most famous architecture are Jeddah’s coral houses, these 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

Wednesday October 13th – Jeddah – Ta’if

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Drive 2 hours to Ta’if located within the Mecca region and one of the oldest towns in Saudi Arabia – famous for its rose production
  • Visit the Al Katib and Kaaki House – The house boasts its architecture, which combines Roman style with Islamic motifs.
  • Drop by the Bin Abbas Mosque and then explore the local souq

Afternoon

  • Lunch in Ta’il
  • Tour the Al Gadee Factory and learn how roses are distilled to produce rose water and oil
  • Visit 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

Thursday October 14th – Jeddah

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel and begin drive back to Jeddah
  • Optional extra – snorkelling in the Red Sea!

Afternoon

  • Jeddah city tour
  • Overnight in Jeddah

Thursday October 14th – End of tour!

 

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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 you recommend travel insurance?

Yes! These days you can never be sure. After years of trying everything we recommend going with G1G insurance.

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 accommodations for 6 nights
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Riyadh to Jeddah flight
  • All transport to complete the tour
  • Admission fees
  • VAT

Price exclusive of:

  • Transport/International flights to begin and end the trip
  • Visa fees
  • All meals
  • Drinks and personal spending



Interested in joining us for Saudi Arabia?

6 + 9 =

Sudan & South Sudan

November 16-25, 2021

Khartoum

Old Dongola

Kerma

Soleb

Karima

Meroe

Mundari Villages

Juba



Sudan & South Sudan

November 16-25, 2021

Tuesday 16th November – Khartoum

Morning

  • Up early for breakfast at hotel before we start the day with a city tour of the Sudanese capital city.
  • We’ll visit the national museum, which contains various objects dedicated to Nubian history. This Nubian area of the southern Nile was home of Africa’s earliest ancient civilization.
  • We’ll also take in the beautiful temples saved by UNESCO from lake Nassir and rebuilt entirely inside the museum.
  • Visit the Ethnographic museum. Sudan has 597 different ethnic groups that speak over 400 different languages and dialects, we’ll get a taste for the incredible diversity here.

Afternoon

  • Cross the White Nile for a trip to technically Sudan’s second largest city – Omdurman. We’ll have a short stop at the Mahdi tomb and tour around the Khalifa house museum. The house served as the HQ of the Mahdist state. This was a short-lived religious and political movement that ruled Sudan until the British reconquered in 1898.
  • Lunch stop in Omdurman.
  • Visit Omdurman’s beautifully colourful market before making our way back to Khartoum.
  • Dinner and overnight in Khartoum.

Wednesday 17th November –  Khartoum – Old Dongola – Kerma

Morning

  • Breakfast at our hotel and begin our journey to Northern Sudan.
  • We’ll travel 500km north of Khartoum. On the way we’ll stop at Old Dongola, the capital of the Christian kingdom of Makuria. Today its a deserted city with the population having moved downstream in the 19th century.

Afternoon

  • We move onto the cemetery of the Sofi holy men and stopping for lunch on the way.
  • Take the ferry across the Nile and drive for a further 40km arriving at Kerma, a 3800 B.C archaeological site.
  • Overnight in a traditional Nubian house with a wonderful local feast.

Thursday 18th November – Tombus – Soleb 

Morning

  • Early rise to visit the site of Tombus – here there are many Egyptian inscriptions and a huge granite statue dedicated the famous black Pharaoh – Taharqa.
  • Continue 50km to the north where we stop to take in the amazing panoramic view of the rock art from the prehistoric period at Wadi Sebu.

Afternoon

  • Stop for lunch at a local tea house
  • Cross the Nile to the west bank and drive two hours up to Soleb – an ancient Nubian town home to a vast necropolis of which we can visit the tombs which haven’t been destroyed by colonial “archaeologists”
  • Dinner and overnight at a traditional Nubian house.

Friday 19th November  Soleb – Karima

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel and begin our journey back south driving for 320km before reaching the city of Karima, the location of ancient Napata.
  • We visit the holy mountain of Jebel Barkal (Together with Napata, a UNESCO heritage site)  and the numerous temples at the foot of Jebel Barkal and lunch on the way

Afternoon

  • We then visit the impressive Kurru, the royal necropolis of Napata. Here we go deep underneath the pyramid to see the amazing painted tomb of the black Pharaoh Tanutamani. You won’t find such vivid painting anywhere else!
  • Dinner in a local restaurant.
  • Overnight at Merowe Tourist Village hotel.

Saturday 20th November –  Nuri –Meroe 

Morning

  • Early morning visit to the nearby Nuri pyramids. There are over 60 burial places here.

Afternoon

  • We continue crossing though the Bayuda desert up to Meroe. We’ll pass through and stop at desert settlements such as Ad-Damer before reaching the famous Meroe pyramids. A perfect setting to witness the sun go down.
  • Trip highlight – Dinner and overnight camping in tents near the Pyramids!

Sunday 21st November – Meroe – Khartoum

Morning

  • Rise and shine for an early morning visit to the royal city of Meroe.
  • Set off on an off-road/on-road adventure to visit Mussawart. This is a complex of temples dedicated the local god Apedamak – the lion god. This was the biggest construction in the history of Nubia.

Afternoon

  • After a local lunch we continue up to Naqa 20km from Mussawart. This was once a vital trading post between the Mediterranean world and Africa. It houses a wonderful collection of buildings dated to the first century AD.
  • Visit the Roman kiosk, which represents the intersection of various cultures both European and African.
  • Visit the Among temple.
  • We hit the road back to Khartoum 150km from Naqa.
  • Dinner in Khartoum in none other than the Corinthian Hotel also known as the Gaddafi Egg. This hotel was financed by Libya and is one of the fanciest hotel of the city. They have a mean buffet!
  • Overnight in Khartoum

Monday 22nd November – Khartoum

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Board our flight to Juba (not included in the price of the tour, you can either take the direct flight with a local airline or take the more reliable Ethiopian airlines red-eye flights from Khartoum to Addis to Juba).
  • Our local partners will greet us once we are through immigration.
  • Check into hotel and begin exploring Konyo Konyo – South Sudan’s largest market. It is an incredible place where the immense ethnic diversity of South Sudan mix.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at the Da Vinci Lodge
  • Visit the Presidential Palace – the residence of South Sudan’s leader, easily recognised with his distinctive cowboy hat, Salva Kiir Mayardit.
  • Stop by the John Garang Mausoleum – John Garang lead the revolution as well as promoting the concept of Sudanism, an ideology that all Sudanese should go beyond the divisions of the people (Animists, Christianity, Islamic, Arabs, Blacks) and embrace all cultures of South Sudan and unify under one Sudanese.
  • Explore Jubek Tomb – Jubek is one of the most important figure of the Bari people and his history is linked to lots of underlying tensions. Jubek is highly regarded in the country hence the capital being named after him.
  • Visit Juba University – founded in 1975 in response to the need for higher education in southern areas of Sudan. Here is a great chance to meet South Sudan’s sharpest students.
  • Finish up the day by exploring Juba’s Craft Market
  • Dinner and drinks by the Nile at the AFEX camp
  • Overnight at the Royal Palace Hotel

Tuesday 23rd November – Mundari Villages

Morning

  • Breakfast at hotel and early departure from hotel to Mundari camp – approx 4 hour drive
  • On the way stopping at small villages or for photo opportunities

Afternoon

  • Stopping for lunch at Naivasha Restaurant located within a Mundari settlement named Terekeka village. Terekeka is already a world apart from Juba, and we’ll go for a stroll around the local market. Locals are more open to photography here than compared to Juba.
  • Continue onwards to a Mundari settlement where you will be introduced to the village chief so that he personally grant you further access to the local tribe.
  • Trip highlight – By sunset, the herders will return to the village with their livestock in masses and start preparing them for the evening stay. The mist created by the smoke the Mundari prepare to repel mosquitoes will create a unique atmosphere.
  • Dinner prepared by our very own cook
  • Evening of games with the Mundari people
  • Overnight camping

Wednesday 24th November – Mundari Cattle Camp 

Morning

  • We recommend waking up early to see how the Mundari people wake their cattle up, truly living in symbiosis with the animals. For Mundari, cows are the most important possession as the cows provide meat and milk for the tribe but are also used as currency and as a status symbol amongst other members of the tribe.
  • The milking process of the cow is rather unique as the Mundari technique involves adding pressure into the backend of the cow by blowing air into the cow’s… well, you’ll have to see it to believe it.

Afternoon

  • Begin our drive to Nyikabor village to visit another Mundari tribe where we’ll have lunch prepared for us in a traditional South Sudanese way.
  • We’ll spend this afternoon and evening being shown around by the Mundari people, introduced to their families, have local rituals and their traditions explained to us, and to get to know the villagers as their particular lifestyle could not be any different than what you are used to back home let alone nearby tribes. What makes this opportunity unique is that very few visitors have been introduced to this tribe. Photos are permitted by the tribespeople.
  • Dinner by the campfire and overnight in tents at Nyikabor village

Thursday 25th November – Juba

Morning

  • Breakfast by the campfire and the time has come to bid farewell to the Mundaris with whom we have spent the last two days with.
  • Begin car journey back to Juba where we’ll expect to arrive around late afternoon

Afternoon

  • Once arriving in Juba we’ll check into the Royal Palace Hotel so you may freshen up, use the WiFi, grab a cold one from the bar, or explore more of Juba.
  • Dinner and drinks at Royal Palace Hotel
  • Later in the evening we’ll further explore Juba’s nightlife by heading to Bedouin Lodge, a popular outdoor club for the locals
  • Overnight at Royal Palace Hotel

Friday 26th November – End of Tour!

  • Tour concludes with airport drop-off arranged according to your flight details

 

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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 you recommend travel insurance?

Yes! These days you can never be sure. After years of trying everything we recommend going with G1G insurance.

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:

  • Invitation letter for visa on arrival and all necessary permits
  • Airport transfers
  • Hotel accommodation in twin-share accommodation and camping where specified
  • Air conditioned 4WD cars 3 persons in a car
  • YPT tour leader and English-speaking local guide
  • Transportation to complete the itinerary in South Sudan
  • Breakfasts and meals outside Juba
  • Entry Permit (for visa on arrival) and all required permits for travel
  • Camera permit for 1 camera body (phones do not count)
  • Domestic Flight from Kapoeta to Juba

Price exclusive of:

  • Transport/International flights to begin and end the trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplement (available when not camping $220) in Sudan
  • Visa application fees (YPT can assist you with the process)
  • Lunch and Dinner in Khartoum
  • Tips for local guide and driver
  • Drinks and souvenirs
  • Personal spending
  • Flights in and out of Juba
  • Visa fees ($100)
  • Single supplement (on hotel nights: $240/$300) in South Sudan
  • Drinks and meals in Juba
  • Personal spending
  • Tribute to the tribes we visit (to purchase animal medicine, amount discretionary)



Interested in joining us for Sudan/South Sudan?

9 + 15 =

West Africa

Part 1: The Gulf Of Guinea

Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria

TBD

Abidjan

Grand Bassam

Cape Coast

Kumasi

Accra

Lomé

Ouidah (Porte du Non Retour)

Porto-Novo

Badagry

Lagos



West Africa

Part 1: The Gulf of Guinea

Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria

TBD

  • Day 1: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Day 2: Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire
  • Day 3: Cape Coast, Ghana
  • Day 4: Kumasi, Ghana
  • Day 5: Kumasi & Lake Bosomtwe, Ghana
  • Day 6: Accra, Ghana
  • Day 7: Lomé, Togo
  • Day 8: Ouidah, Benin & Porto-Novo, Benin
  • Day 9: Badagry, Nigeria & Lagos, Nigeria
  • Day 10: Lagos, Nigeria

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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 you recommend travel insurance?

Yes! These days you can never be sure. After years of trying everything we recommend going with G1G insurance.

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 accommodations
  • All transport to complete the tour
  • Admission fees

Price exclusive of:

  • Transport/International flights to begin and end the trip
  • Visa fees
  • All meals
  • Drinks and personal spending



Interested in joining us for West Africa 2020?

15 + 11 =

Saint Lucia & Martinique (Yacht Week)

January 2-10, 2022

 

Marina du Marin

Anse d'Arlet

Rodney Bay

The Pitons

Marigot

Pigeon Island

Sainte Anne

St. Lucia & Martinique: Yacht Week

January 2-10, 2022

We don’t always go off the beaten path; sometimes we like to balance our hardcore monsooning with some much needed R&R especially in a special collaborative partnership with The Yacht Week.

Explore two of the Caribbean’s most vibrant cultures. From the French chic of Martinique to the carnival vibes of St Lucia. Hike up the world famous Pitons and dive down to coral reefs teeming with tropical sea life. Celebrate the arrival of 2022 in TYW style at Marigot Bay to the calypso sounds of the Caribbean.

January 2 – Arrival

  • Meet your fellow monsooners and future friends for life. Explore the town and take it all in on solid land before a week on the water.

January 3 – Marina du Marin

  • Welcome to Martinique. Meet your skipper at the marina and get comfortable aboard your yacht. Pick your cabin, meet your crew and head on down to The Indigo Factory to make introductions. Tonight is about new friendships. Welcome to TYW community!

January 4 – Marina du Marin to Anse d’Arlet

  • Escape into the open sea as you leave the marina for your first full day of sailing. Get your skipper to show you the ropes in a sailing lesson. It’s a short but beautiful sail to Anse d’Arlet. Stop for lunch and a swim stop on the way before sailing into a wide sweeping bay surrounded by typical red-roofed houses. Explore the picturesque town before heading to the beach for a sunset session.

January 5 – Anse d’Arlet to Rodney Bay

  • Sleep in while your skipper sets the sails for St Lucia. Once underway join the crew on deck for some exhilarating sailing down wind to St Lucia. On arrival, grab a cocktail by the pool in Rodney bay while your skipper takes care of the passport formalities. Grab your swimwear because it’s time for a pool party at The Harbour Club.

January 6 – Rodney Bay to The Pitons

  • Cruise down the west coast of St Lucia admiring the scenery as it grows dramatically to The world famous Pitons. Step ashore and embark on your own adventure to climb to the summit of one of these extinct volcanoes. The view from the top will make the tough climb absolutely worth it. Tonight we celebrate our aching limbs at The Old Mil for a party in the jungle.

January 7 – The Pitons to Marigot

  • Today we set sails for Marigot Bay, often described as ‘the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean’. Rent a kayak or hobie cat and explore the beauty of this natural bay or head ashore for a cocktail and admire the view. Tonight we gather on Roots Beach to dance until dawn.

January 8 – Marigot to Pigeon Island

  • After a night to remember, today we rest up at Pigeon Island with a raft to share stories in the tranquil waters. For the adventurous, this is an ideal opportunity to take an excursion into the islands interior for waterfall hikes, rainforest tours and zip lining. For those requiring more recovery time grab a floatie and soak up the sun.

January 9 – Pigeon Island to Sainte Anne

  • It’s our last day but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it! Sail back to Martinique and the town of Saint Anne. Spend the afternoon wandering the streets with their faded colonial charm and stock up on souvenirs. Tonight we toast new friendships and reunions at Bao Beach for the closing party.

January 10 – Sainte Anne to Marina du Marin

  • The end of the week is just the beginning. Welcome to Day 8… where the memories and friendships from your week live on. It’s your family away from family. One that keeps growing and inspires you to see, do and experience new things with the best of the best.

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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: https://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:

  • Yacht rental
  • Lodging & accommodations on the yacht (2 people per bedroom) for 7 days
  • Towels & Bed Linen
  • Professional Skipper – meet our skippers!
  • Professional host/chef – meet our hosts! (cooks all breakfasts, lunches, 2 dinners, snacks, and is the occasional bartender)
  • Tailored itinerary
  • Mineral water
  • All Access Pass to exclusive The Yacht Week events
  • Yacht equipment
  • GPS & nautical charts (if you like to nerd out on that kind of stuff)
  • On Board Sound System with Cockpit Control
  • Final cleaning of your yacht
  • WIFI (sometimes – it is the ocean after all!)
  • Port fees
  • Mates and memories that’ll last a lifetime

Price exclusive of:

  • Transport to and from Sardinia to begin and end the trip
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Dinners for 5 nights
  • All optional day trips and activities
  • Alcohol, drinks and personal spending
  • Groceries for onboard meals
  • Yacht fuel, water, shore power
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Water Taxis



Interested in joining us for St. Lucia and Martinique?

3 + 8 =

Syria

TBD

Beirut, Lebanon

Damascus, Syria

Palmyra, Syria

Homs, Syria

Aleppo, Syria

Sednaya, Syria

Maaloula, Syria

Crac des Chevaliers, Syria

Bosra, Syria

Deir Mar Musa, Syria

Syria

2022

Sign up deadline for USA Passports: TBD

Sign up deadline for non USA Passports: TBD

We’ve debated the ethics of this opportunity for a while and after multiple private off-the-books research trips there the past 3 years, we feel that the benefits outweigh the risks. We also welcome any thoughts and opinions via private message to help us process this further… We confidently report from the ground that most parts of Syria (especially Damascus, Palmyra, and Aleppo) are now completely safe, actively rebuilding, and that the Syrians want to get back on their feet more than ever.

That said, we will NOT be visiting active war zones as we condemn visiting Syria for the purposes of “war tourism” or “dark tourism”, where people come just to gawk at the horrendous. This is not what we will travel for — we don’t seek turmoil, but rather to humbly witness the rebuilding of a proud and rich society in the face of global inequity. Before the war, Syria was once regarded as a beautiful country for tourism with the most hospitable people. Now Syria has become internationally notorious all for the worst reasons: Dictatorships, rebellions, Daesh, rebels, crushing sanctions, war, and destruction. However, it does not have to be this way.

With the war essentially over, Syria is now at a unique point in its history. Although a trip here may be not as hunky dory as a postcard from France, the next few years will be remembered as an integral part of their story and shouldn’t be ignored. While I still contemplate the mental hurdles of returning to Syria, I’ve been consistently reassured by folks currently there that our presence will show that the world is not against them, that there are people outside their borders that don’t regard Syria as an evil place of war and death, and that our patronage for their local-run restaurants and hotels will help them rebuild. Most of all, recent (responsible) tourism in the region already have helped some feel like normal people again and accepted back in the world. Without question the local Syrian people are eager to step back onto the world stage in a positive light and show off their rich culture, to demonstrate their once-famous hospitality, and to stop being stereotyped as the place you’ve only read in the news about Daesh.

So how can I argue against the belief we must develop own own opinion, especially if we can travel there with a minimal footprint? Let us know what you think, and if you are interested in joining us, send us a message.

Damascus

  • Meet at your hotel in Beirut
  • Drive to Syria across the Lebanon/Syrian border
  • Azem Palace, with the vestige of Damascus costumes and life
  • The Saladine Mausoleum
  • Omayyad Mosque
  • Straight Street
  • Chapel of Saint Ananias
  • The Saint Paul Window
  • Afternoon stroll down the famous covered souk
  • Return to Damascus at end of 8-day trip (rest of itinerary below), ending with farewell dinner, overnight, and morning transportation back to hotel in Beirut

Bosra

  • Full day excursion to visit the ancient city of Bosra
  • The great Theater
  • The Nabatean ruins, a city which built with the black stone

Sednaya

  • Visit the convent of the blessed virgin

Ma’aloula

  • One of the most scenic villages in Syria and is of particular interest as the only place in the world where Aramaic; the language spoken by Christ is still used as a living language
  • The word Maaloula means entrance in Aramaic. It’s situated at an altitude of more than 1500 meters; with its little houses cling to the face of an enormous rock; making it look suspended in mid-air
  • Saint Serge Monastery
  • Saint Tecla Convent

Crac de Chevaliers

  • One of the best known sites in Syria, situated in the mountains towards the coast
  • It is part of the Crusaders’ past in this region and has been beautifully restored

Homs & Palmyra

  • Full day visit of the destroyed city of Palmyra
  • Temple of Bel reuins
  • Arch of Triumph
  • The Great Colonnade
  • The Theatre
  • The Agora
  • The Tombs

Aleppo

  • The ancient city Aleppo (itinerary withheld due to safety reasons)

Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi

  • Monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, is a monastic community of the Syriac Catholic Church located near the town of Nabk

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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: https://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 50% 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:

  • Transfer Beirut to Damascus back to Beirut
  • Accommodation at the mentioned hotels or similar on B.B basis
  • English speaking guide during tours
  • Transportation as mentioned
  • Entrance fees to all sites as mentioned
  • Donation at churches and mosque
  • Tips for porters at the hotel
  • Visa permission if we get your passport scan copy before 50 Days for USA citizen
  • Permission for Palmyra

Price exclusive of:

  • Visa fees / to be paid directly at the border (~$160 USD for Americans)
  • Lunches and dinners.
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance (20 USD per Person) not obligatory
  • Departure tax 2500 SYP per person ($5 USD)
  • Optional Single supplement ($380 USD extra to have a single room, no roommates)
  • Optional Farewell dinner (if we have a group larger than 12 – $35 USD per person)

Interested in joining us for Syria?

15 + 4 =

Polynesia, Tahiti Route (Yacht Week)

April 22-30, 2022

Raiatea

Huahine

Taha'a

Bora Bora

Polynesia, Tahiti Route: Yacht Week

April 22-30, 2022

We don’t always go off the beaten path; sometimes we like to balance our hardcore monsooning with some much needed R&R especially in a special collaborative partnership with The Yacht Week.

Let’s get lost together in a South Pacific dream as we bring The Monsoon Diaries and Yacht Week vibes to the tropical Tahitian islands. The perfect trip for our daydreaming explorers – experience turquoise waters with live reefs filled with the most extraordinary underwater creatures and coral, nourish your soul with the song and dance of the ancestral traditions of the Tahitian people, and of course – turn it all the way up with new friends at our one-of-kind signature parties.

April 22 – Arrival

  • Meet your fellow monsooners and future friends for life. Explore the town and take it all in on solid land before a week on the water.

April 23 – Raiatea

  • Meet your skipper at your starting marina and then head into town to pick up some of the freshest produce we have ever seen and tasted! Mix and mingle with your fellow Yacht Weekers over evening drinks at a spectacular Polynesian beachside bar.

April 24 – Raiatea to Huahine

  • Escape into the open sea as you leave the Raiatea lagoon for your first full day of sailing. Get you skipper to show you the ropes in a sailing lesson. Dinghy into Plage Hana It on the island of Huahine for the afternoon. Later that evening head back to your yacht and select the perfect spot to anchor drop; we’ll be rafting together in traditional Yacht Week party style.

April 25 – Huahine

  • Adventure day – Activities can include visiting a pearl farm, discovering the backcountry on horseback, embarking on a traditional outrigger canoe for a lagoon tour, or exploring some of the sacred temples hidden throughout dense vegetation of this spectacular island. Make sure to save a some energy for tonight’s party at Huahine Yacht Club!

April 26 – Huahine to Taha’a

  • Today we sail to the west coast of Taha’a, and check out the “Jardin du Corail”. This coral garden is the most renowned snorkelling spot of Tahiti. Let yourself drift over colourful corals and be mesmerised by brightly coloured fish and great giant clams sunbathing right under the surface of the sea! And as if that wasn’t enough already to keep us all high on life, we’ll all meet up at the end the day for a very special gathering of friends!

April 27 – Taha’a to Bora Bora

  • Get dressed with your crew in your very best and very wild regatta outfits for a contest like no other, as you dance your way across the sea to the mythical island of Bora Bora. Surrounded by a giant turquoise lagoon, this island truly lives up to all the hype. Grab some tiki cocktails to relax and enjoy the views at our Sunset party hosted by the Bora Bora Yacht Club.

April 28 – Bora Bora

  •  This breathtaking island deserves more than one day to capture all it’s beauty. The island is filled with adventure – snorkel with stingrays and black tip sharks, check out the sea turtle sanctuary, rent a 4×4 for an off road experience, cruise the island in a “fun car” for two, or just take in all that white sand and blue water with a cocktail in hand. As the sun goes down, meet up with your fellow Yacht Weekers for a South Pacific themed party at the Bloody Mary’s and dance someplace truly different.

April 29 – Motu Mahaea

  • It’s our last day but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it. Sail back towards a translucent lagoon surrounded by coral to the tiny island of Taha’a. Enjoy a traditional Polynesian dancing feast and share one last dance with all your new best friends on a the Motu. We say “Nana” (bye/see you later in Tahitian) for now, but don’t worry because we’re already planning our next adventure together.

April 30 – Raiatea

  • The end of the week is just the beginning. Welcome to Day 8… where the memories and friendships from your week live on. It’s your family away from family. One that keeps growing and inspires you to see, do and experience new things with the best of the best.

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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: https://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:

  • Professional Skipper – meet our skippers!
  • Accommodation for 7 days
  • All Access Pass to exclusive The Yacht Week events
  • Dinghy & outboard engine
  • All onboard breakfasts, lunches, and 2 dinners
  • Professional host/chef – meet our hosts!
  • Mineral water
  • Yacht equipment
  • GPS & nautical charts (if you like to nerd out on that kind of stuff)
  • On Board Sound System with Cockpit Control
  • Final cleaning of your yacht
  • Towels & bed linen
  • WIFI (sometimes – it is the ocean after all!)
  • Mates and memories that’ll last a lifetime

Price exclusive of:

  • Transport to and from Martinique to begin and end the trip
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Dinners for 5 nights
  • Groceries for onboard meals
  • All optional day trips and activities
  • Alcohol, drinks and personal spending
  • Port fees
  • Yacht fuel, water, shore power
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Water Taxis



Interested in joining us for Polynesia?

11 + 9 =

Svalbard

June 20-29, 2022

Svalbard

June 20-29, 2022

Longyearbyen

Barentsburg

Nordenskiöld

Raudfjorden

Hinlopen Strait

Seven Islands

Spitsbergen

Forlandsundet

Svalbard: Soviet Frontier Arctic Cruise

June 20-29, 2022

Third time’s the charm! Join The Monsoon Diaries, Young Pioneer Tours, and Oceanwide Expeditions on a bespoke tour in the northern reaches of the world on a cruise around Svalbard visiting Russian settlements and abandoned coal mining outposts turned ghost towns! It’s not that usual we are this excited about something more than 18 months from now, but this tour has got our tastebuds tingling.

Not only will we be on an arctic cruise on the m/v Janssonius – the most advanced vessel Polar Class 6 cruise ship which exceeds all the latest green requirements of the Polar Code, but you’ll be in one of the most inspiring natural environments on the planet, as well as ticking off most MD/YPT boxes on this trip.

We begin your adventure in the main town of Longyearbyen where you’ll get a feel for the kind of people who live amongst reindeer and polar bears, before setting sail to the Monaco Glacier, a 5 kilometre long (3.1 miles) wall of ice that you can hear groaning and cracking as it slowly slides into the sea. Named after the first Prince Albert of Monaco, the base of the ice is a common hunting ground for polar bears.

You’ll then reach the northernmost point of your voyage with us within the Seven Islands. Here you will reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the North Pole. Along the journey you’ll have the chance to spot mink whales, bowhead whales, blue whales, bearded seals, ringed seals, arctic foxes, and various seabirds.

On our return we’ll stop and disembark at Barentsburg, an old Russian mining settlement still populated by about 500 people. Here even though we’re still officially in Norway we’ll see the northernmost statue of Lenin in the world and grab a drink at the northernmost brewery! We’ll then finish the voyage back in Longyearbyen with farewell drinks onboard.

Monday 20th June – Longyearbyen

  • Arrival into Longyearbyen which has flights from Oslo or Tromso
  • Longyearbyen is the main town in Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, and the northernmost settlement in the world.
  • Meet at 6:00pm at our hotel for dinner and pre-tour meeting where you can get to know your fellow travellers and YPT/MD guide
  • Relax at Barentz Pub, the world’s northernmost bar. Fortunately being tax-free, a pint in Svalbard is way cheaper than the Norwegian mainland!
  • Overnight in Longyearbyen Coal Miners’ Cabins

Tuesday 21st June – Longyearbyen and the Beginning of the Voyage

  • After breakfast head out to explore Svalbard, we may bump into reindeer but it’s not advisable to leave the town centre without a rifle because of polar bears!
  • Head first to the Svalbard Museum which delves deep into the human history and rich natural history of the archipelago
  • Lunch in Longyearbyen
  • Visit the northernmost church in the world, Svalbard Church
  • In the late afternoon we make sure we have all our provisions for the voyage
  • Early evening departure on the m/v Janssonius from Isfjorden
  • Look out for whales or just take in the scenery as dusk approaches
  • Dinner and overnight on the ship

Wednesday 22nd June – Raudfjorden

  • Breakfast on the ship
  • We’ll continue our course to the north of Spitsbergen, taking in the expansive fjord spilling with glaciers where we’ll be scanning the waters for ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.
  • Lunch, dinner and overnight on the ship

Thursday 23rd June – Monaco Glacier

  • Breakfast on the ship
  • Trip highlight – Providing that the weather holds up well, we can further set sail to Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5 kilometre long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a popular feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes.
  • The base is a common polar bear hunting ground. If the ice conditions on this day prevent us from sailing here, we’ll take an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen.
  • Lunch, dinner and overnight on the ship

Friday 24th June – Hinlopen Strait

  • Breakfast on the ship
  • We continue our voyage to Hinlopen Strait – home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears.
  • At the entrance to the Strait we may also have the chance to spot blue whales.
  • After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya for those who sign up for our Zodiac option you can get closer to view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots.
  • Lunch on ship
  • Once we arrive at the east side of Hinlopen Strait – here we’ll disembark at Nordaustlandet where we may spot reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses. If weather does not permit us to disembark we may take an alternate route into Hinlopen.
  • Dinner and overnight on ship

Saturday 25th June – Seven Islands

  • Breakfast on ship
  • We’ll reach the northernmost point of our voyage which is north of Nordaustlandet within the Seven Islands. Here you will reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the North Pole.
  • Today will be spent spotting polar bears as they inhabit this specific region. The ship will sit still for a few hours among the packed ice before wheeling around west again.
  • Lunch, dinner and overnight on ship

Sunday 26th June – Continental Shelf

  • Breakfast on ship
  • As the ship begins to retrace our route west, we can keep our eyes peeled for the Greenland (bowhead) whales.
  • About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, we’ll set sail to the edge of the continental shelf where fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones caused by the cold, nutrient-rich water from below the sea’s surface. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, we’ll have a good chance of sighting more minke whales.
  • Lunch, dinner and overnight on ship

Monday 27th June – Barentsburg

  • Breakfast on the ship
  • We’ll be scanning the waters for whales and other creatures but also taking in the atmosphere in this remote part of the world
  • Lunch on the ship
  • If the waters are in our favour we’ll visit Colesbukta, a former Russian coal mining settlement long since abandoned
  • Trip highlight – we arrive in Barentsburg, the only Russian settlement in Spitsbergen still inhabited with a population of about 500 people, almost all of Russian or Ukrainian descent
  • Explore this old mining town and meet its very friendly Russian locals, we’ll even head to the Russian consulate – the northernmost diplomatic mission of any kind in the world
  • Visit the Barentsburg Pomor Museum, a Soviet era museum from the 1960s. The museum mainly deals with the Pomors – Russian settlers from the Novgorod region – but has great sections on the Second World War and Soviet Era as well as local history. Barentsuburg is named after the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz, who discovered Svalbarg in 1596, though the Russians claim it was Pomors who got there first.
  • Get your kit off and swim in the heated seawater swimming pool
  • Spot the Communist Star and Slogan “Peace to the World” on the hillside above Barentsburg
  • This may be officially Norway still, but we’re still YPT/MD and so we pay our respects to the statue of Lenin! Never will you see a statue of Lenin looking out over a fjord with the colourful Scandinavian style houses in the background.
  • Grab a couple of drinks at the northernmost brewery in the world, the Red Bear
  • Back aboard our ship for dinner and overnight

Tuesday 28th June – Forlandsundet

  • Breakfast on ship
  • Our last stop before our vorage comes to an end is at Forlandsundet where walruses are well known to be. Alternatively, we may sail to St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Here, seabirds nest on nearby cliffs, arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation.
  • We’ll arrive back into Longyearbyen later in the evening.

Wednesday 29th June – Longyearbyen

  • End of tour with YPT and MD able to arrange extra activities like hiking or snow mobile expeditions for those who want more of a taste of Svalbard or airport transfer and onward transport.

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 newest ship the m/v Janssonius. Sample pictures & layout of our cabins: Cabins aboard m/v Hondius.

Do I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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 you recommend travel insurance?

Yes! These days you can never be sure. After years of trying everything we recommend going with G1G insurance.

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:

  • Accommodation in twin share in Longyearbyen and on board our ship in twin porthole
  • All transport and zodiac excursions to complete the tour
  • Breakfast in Longyearbyen and all meals on the ship
  • All meals throughout the voyage onboard the ship including unlimited snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities

Price exclusive of:

  • Transport to and from Longyearbyen
  • Visa fees if applicable (Svalbard is generally visa free though)
  • Lunches and dinners in Longyearbyen on shore prior to cruise
  • Single Supplement in Longyearbyen prior to cruise, not available on ship (€100)
  • Alcoholic drinks and personal spending



Interested in joining us for Svalbard?

11 + 9 =

Wales

Rescheduled due to COVID-19 Restrictions

Wales

Rescheduled due to COVID-19 Restrictions

Manchester

Conwy

Caernafon

Portmeiron

Rhossili

Swansea

Cardiff

Penarth

Cosemeston Medieval Village

Caerau Fort

Llandaff Cathedral

Castell Coch

Tintern Abbey

Stonehenge

London

Wales

Rescheduled due to COVID-19 Restrictions

In a follow up to 2019’s incredibly successful road trip around the Isle of Man and Belfast in Northern Ireland, many of the same monsooners are returning to the area for another epic road trip around lesser visited but equally beautiful Wales, including an optional pitstop to legendary Stonehenge and London!

We are waiting for the hammer to drop; after our 3 week domestic road trip across the USA and a recent group monsoon to Cyprus, we are more than prepared to take the next step towards travel again in the era of and after COVID-19. With the country still reopening after what seemed an eternity combating the pandemic of COVID-19, the dropping infection rates in NYC, and our successful 3 week trip across the USA (twice!) overland without causing any infections, casualties, or hot spots, we now take the next responsible step in returning to a life of travel while minimizing our exposure and negative impact on public health.

During the virtual world premiere of Raubern’s film, our public audience had encouraged us to travel sooner than later with a domestic road trip this August. What seemed like an errant statement of hope soon materialized within our community: we determined if we keep a trip in small, contained cohorts of COVID-negative travelers, we could both travel on an epic adventure without negatively impacting the world around us. And given our previous experience leading a southwestern national road trip on the famed Route 66 from NYC to California 5 summers ago, it had seemed perfectly appropriate to take the northwestern route this summer from NYC. We always follow the signs. And then that trip happened.

Confident that if we plan correctly and responsibly, as well as going with the right people, we are more than ready to take YOU on the next trip abroad once things open up again.

And that time is now.

  • Aug 6: Arrive in London
  • Aug 7:Stonehenge, Tintern Abbey
  • Aug 7 night: Arrive in Cardiff for overnight
  • Aug 8: Penarth, Cosemeston, Caeru, Llandaff Cathedral, Castell Coch, Cardiff Bay
  • Aug 8 night: Cardiff for overnight
  • Aug 9: Brecon National Park, Rhossil, Swansea
  • Aug 10: Wales Coast, Portmeiron, Caenarfon
  • Aug 11: Conwy, end in Manchester by the afternoon
  • Aug 12: optional stay into Manchester

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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 you recommend travel insurance?

Yes! These days you can never be sure. After years of trying everything we recommend going with G1G insurance.

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 Accommodation & Lodging (Top rated hotels and apartments, no hostels this time)
  • All transportation/road-tripping
  • Local Guides
  • Intracity taxis during city & walking tours
  • Rental car fees + gas
  • Airport transfers

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to begin and end the trip
  • Visa if required
  • Meals, drinks and personal spending
  • Optional excursions
  • Nightlife
  • Tips for the local guides

Interested in joining us for Wales?

3 + 4 =

Kaliningrad

TBD (COVID)

Lithuania

TBD (COVID-19)

Kalininigrad

Curonian Split

Vilnius

Trakai

Kaliningrad & Lithuania

TBD (COVID)

Heading way way off the beaten path again.

At the end of World War 2, the German city of Konigsberg was captured by Soviet forces and renamed Kaliningrad. It has been since regarded infamously as the ‘most militarized zone in Europe’: The Russian Baltic Sea Fleet and its numerous nuclear silos have called this place home since the days of the Cold War. And because of that distinction the exclave of Kaliningrad was a strictly walled off top-secret military zone throughout for decades, until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Now Kaliningrad has become a pleasant summer destination for Russian travelers and one of the few places on Earth where you can see both the remains of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union in the same place. From Nazi command bunkers, Soviet nuclear submarines, the former frontline of the desperate German defense to hold the city, Prussian forts, natural wonders and forbidden military cities, we bring you a travel opportunity like no other.

After a few days here, we then take a bus ride for a return trip to Vilnius, Lithuania. There we take a break back in familiar territory with possible optional activities such as our favorite gun range, the micronation of Uzupis, and a day trip to the castle of Trakai!

  • Day 1: Arrive into Kaliningrad
  • Day 2-4: Kaliningrad, Russia
  • Day 4-5: Vilinius, Lithuania

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 I need to show proof of vaccination from COVID-19?

Yes. I don’t think you’ll be allowed into the destination without one.

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

A 40% down payment is needed to secure your spot on the trip. We accept credit cards, cash (in person), PayPal, Zelle, Revolut, Square, Cash App, 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 have 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?

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: https://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 Accommodation & Lodging
  • All transportation/road-tripping
  • Local Guides
  • Intracity taxis during city & walking tours
  • Rental car fees + gas
  • Airport transfers

Price exclusive of:

  • International Flights to begin and end the trip
  • Visa if required
  • Meals, drinks and personal spending
  • Optional excursions
  • Nightlife
  • Tips for the local guides

Interested in joining us for Kaliningrad and/or Lithuania?

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