|A. C. T. Tours tailors itineraries to the specific interests of farmers. Interesting visits to farms that are novel in their approach to various business challenges. Our Agri-Cultural Tours may be tailored to a specific interest such as dairy, sheep, cattle, specific crops or general overview of farming in a specified area.
Agri-Cultural Tours will customize itineraries for pre-formed groups both for travel by Canadians wanting to visit farms or for visitors to Canada.
Agri-Cultural Tours is a founding member of ATOI (Agricultural Tour Operators International) with members throughout the world.
|103rd Calgary Stampede |
|Fri, July 10-Transfer from Calgary Airport (YYC) to our hotel (Hampton Inn or similar)for a two night stay. Evening of excitement with nine heats of incredible action at the birthplace of chuckwagon racing; 4 drivers, 16 outriders and 32 horses in each heat dash for the finish line. As the sun sets, the outdoor musical extravaganva will capture your imagination with performances including the The Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede and concluding in a magnificent, award winning fireworks finale.|
Sat, July 11- We have reserved seats for the crown jewel of the rodeo world. This afternoon see the world's top cowboys in a head to head tournament style competition. Calgary Stampede offers excellence for agriculture with over 40 world-class agricultural events. The Stampede Midway includes live entertainment on stage featuring today's hottest music and Indian Village with its vibrant colours and sounds. (B)
Sun, July 12- Travelling the Trans-Canada Highway we head west into the Canadian Rockies to Canada's first National Park, Banff. A tour of the Banff area includes a photo stop at the HooDoo’s, Bow Falls and scenic lookouts. Take in beauty of Lake Louise along with the impressive Chateau built on its shore We spend 2 nights in Banff. Our evening entertainment is a comical musical of Canadiana. (B,D)
Mon, July 13- Ride the gondola to top of Sulphur Mountain for stunning views of the mountain ranges. Walk along the boardwalk to the many lookouts. Return to the base of the mountain and travel a short distance to the lake. Take to the water with a cruise showcasing 'the water of the spirits' through tales of history, native folklore and geology. Lunch at Banff Springs Hotel is always magnificent. Enjoy some free time in Banff. (B,L)
Tues, July 14-Transfer to Calgary Airport to continue your onward journey. (B)
|Mon, Dec 1:DEPART FOR TOKYO Arrive Los Angeles by 8a.m. Direct flight to Tokyo. Meals: Meals on plane|
Tue, Dec 2:TOKYO Arrival Tokyo. Continue to hotel check-in. Dinner at hotel. Meals: Meals on plane, Dinner
Wed, Dec 3:TOKYO/HANOI
Morning city tour of Tokyo to experience the bustling metropolis. Ascend to Seaside Top, an observatory on the 40th floor of the World Trade Center Building offering a panoramic view spanning 656 feet. See the Tokyo cityscape and Shinkansen bullet trains as well as enjoy a sweeping view of Tokyo Bay with its numerous ships traversing, and on a clear day you can see Mount Fuji. Continue on a 40 minute cruise on the Sumida River. See Nakamise Street, a shopping arcade running from Kaminarimon Gate to the Buddhist temple Senso-ji lined with around 90 shops. Its history goes back to the latter half of the 17th century, and its rows of shops selling uniquely Japanese souvenirs such as fans and kimonos as well as traditional foods such as rice crackers offer a truly grand spectacle. Lunch included. Continue to airport for flight to Hanoi. Arrival to Hanoi late evening. Transfer to hotel for check in. Moevenpick Hanoi or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Meals on plane
Thu, Dec 4:HANOI After breakfast, embark on a city tour of Hanoi, the oldest Southeast Asian capital city. Unique to Hanoi is its original architecture without the influence of modern skyscrapers and structures. See temples and pagodas, winding alleyways, lakes and parks. Visit the One Pillar Pagoda built in 1049, The Temple of Literature built in 1070 in honor of Confucius and the serene Hoan Kiem Lake. Continue the exploration on a cyclo (three wheeled pedicab) and by foot. Lunch included. Return to hotel mid afternoon for rest or exploration on own. Dinner at hotel. Moevenpick Hanoi or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fri, Dec 5:FARM/HANOI Travel outside the city to visit small scale farms. Meet the growers and see their communal farming system including poultry, fish and fruit production. Learn about their vertical integration and cooperative among farmers. Continue to the Ha Thai Village, an ancient village famous for its lacquer crafts. Lunch included. Return to Hanoi and visit the John McCain Memorial and the Hoa Lo Prison, better known as the “Hanoi Hilton.” The prison was built by the French in the late 1800s. The French colonized Vietnam (then known as Indochina) in 1862 and ended in 1954. This evening we will explore the influence of the French culinary tradition for dinner. Moevenpick Hanoi or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sat, Dec 6:HALONG BAY CRUISE Following breakfast, transfer three hours to Halong Bay. En route we will visit a small cattle farm. Arrival Halong Bay and board our modern junk boat via tender boat. Set sail for overnight cruise starting with a seafood buffet lunch. Sail past exquisite rock formations, islets and spectacular greenscapes. The junk will make several stops for swimming, village visits, climbing to vantage points and cave visits. Other options include cooking class, late night squid fishing, spa treatments and morning Tai Chi. Sit down dinner this evening. Victory Cruise or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sun, Dec 7:HALONG BAY CRUISE/HANOI Continue cruise through scenic Halong Bay. Brunch served and arrival at pier 11am. Return to Hanoi late afternoon for overnight. Moevenpick Hanoi or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mon, Dec 8:DA-NANG/HOIAN Transfer to airport for morning flight to Da Nang, a major Vietnamese port city on the South China Sea. The city enjoys a spot at the mouth of the Han River. Da Nang was home to a strategic air base with one of the Vietnam Conflict’s busiest airports for the United States and South Vietnamese air forces. After a short visit to see the spectacular 2nd Century rock carvings at the Cham Museum, we will continue to Hoian. En route a short stop at the well known Non Nuoc Beach, known during the Vietnam Conflict as China Beach. China Beach was a common retreat for R&R for American troops. Travel through the Marble Mountains enjoying the spectacular scenery of its marble and limestone outcrops. Ironically, the Viet Cong had their field hospital in the mountains, within earshot of China Beach. Arrival in Hoian, a historic town with charming cobbled streets and with a once thriving international port between the 17th and 19th Centuries. See the Chinese Assembly Halls and the fascinating ancestral home, some of which have been occupied by the same family for fifteen generations! Explore the popular riverside market. Hoian Hotel or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tue, Dec 9:HOIAN Visit Tra Que Village, known for its high-quality vegetable production such as leafy vegetables, cabbage, herbs. They enjoy a mild climate and rich soils. There are over 200 families in this cooperative growing over 125 kinds of vegetables and herbs. One of their main fertilizers is seaweed. Join the farmers in their fields and discover their produce and herbs. Lunch at the village. Return to Hoian. Hoian Hotel or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wed, Dec 10:HOIAN Half day tour to visit World UNESCO Heritage Site My Son ancient ruins. Pass through rice paddies, cassava patches and vegetable gardens shaded by casuarinas and eucalyptus trees. Between the 4th and 13th centuries a unique culture which owed its spiritual origins to Indian Hinduism developed on the coast of contemporary Vietnam. This is graphically illustrated by the remains of a series of impressive tower-temples located in a dramatic site that was the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom for most of its existence. Return to enjoy rest of day for relaxation and exploration. Lunch and dinner on own today. Hoian Hotel or similar. Meals: Breakfast
Thu, Dec 11:FLY to HO CHI MINH CITY Take one hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals. Visit the Reunification Palace, the former capitol building of South Vietnam, where the command center for the Vietnam conflict was housed. This was also the place of the largest helicopter evacuation in history, known as Operation Frequent Wind in 1975. Also visit the War Museum about the Vietnam conflict. Also see the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Saigon Post Office and Ben Thanh Market. Saigon Palace Hotel or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fri, Dec 12:HO CHI MINH CITY / DEPART HOME After breakfast depart to My Tho to experience the Mekong Delta. Take a boat trip through the Bao Dinh natural canal, which is lined with stilt houses and fruit plantations. Proceed to Tortoise Island and enjoy lunch. Continue on a leisurely boat ride through Tan Thach natural canal in Ben Tre, cruising under the shadows of the water coconut trees. Visit a small family farm fruit plantation. Return to Ho Chi Minh City for farewell dinner. Time at hotel until check out in the evening and transfer to airport for overnight flight to Tokyo. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sat, Dec 13:ARRIVE HOME Morning arrival Tokyo. Opportunity to use the day rooms at Tokyo airport to refresh. Lunch on own. Depart Tokyo around 3pm and arrive Los Angeles at 8am on same day (due to crossing of International Date Line). Meals: Meals on plane
|Argentina & Chile 2015|
|Tue, Jan 13:DEPART FOR SANTIAGO Please arrive to Miami by 5pm. Depart on evening flight to Santiago. Meals: Meals on flight|
Wed, Jan 14:SANTIAGO, CHILE Morning arrival in Santiago, the capital city of Chile, home to some 6 million people. We transfer to our hotel in the pleasant mixed commercial and residential area of Providencia. We have some time to rest in the afternoon before we “go out on the town” in the evening for a mixed grill dinner and a show of Chilean music and dancing. Hotel Torremayor or similar. Meals: Meals on plane, Dinner
Thu, Jan 15:SANTIAGO We take time to visit the major points of Chilean history on a tour of the city, visiting the San Francisco church - constructed in the early 17th Century in Spanish mission style, the Moneda – the former royal mint when Chile was a Spanish colony and now Presidential offices, the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art – a fine, diverse collection of arts and crafts of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans, the Plaza de Armas – the lively city center, the “Sanhattan” district – the new economic center with glass sided high rises, and the Los Dominicos crafts center – in the back gardens of an old mission church with an eclectic array of crafts on sale. Hotel Torremayor or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Fri, Jan 16:SANTIAGO-PUERTO VARAS Travel to the Maipo River Valley, famous for its wonderful red wines. Visit a fruit producer who exports his nectarines, plums and grapes to the USA and Europe and a small research station which is working on a variety of nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios and even a few pecans). A country-style lunch is followed by a visit to one of Chile’s major wineries where we can see the entire system from a walk among the vines, through the processing plant, the barrels in storage and, of course, a sample of the final product. Later, we are off to the airport for the 90 minute flight to Puerto Montt, leaving behind hot, dry Central Chile and entering the cooler, damper South. Transfer to the lakeside resort of Puerto Varas for a two night stay. Hotel Bellavista or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Sat, Jan 17:FRUTILLAR/PUERTO VARAS If the weather cooperates, we have a gorgeous day in the green pastures of South-central Chile, admiring the snow covered volcanoes on the far side of crystalline lakes. We visit the village of Frutillar, famous for its old German-style shingles houses with pretty gardens along the beach front. Continue to a typical local farm, where the descendants of German colonists of the 19th Century (about the same time that our ancestors were coming to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa) for a look at present day dairying on year-round pastures and a local barbeque lunch. Return to hotel for the afternoon to enjoy the village and hotel. Hotel Bellavista or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Sun, Jan 18:LAKES CROSSING TO BARILOCHE We bid good-bye to our Chilean guide as we begin a long day of buses and boats which will take us on glacial lakes over the Andes to the dry Patagonian plains and the resort city of San Carlos de Bariloche. Transfer to our resort hotel. Dinner at hotel. Hotel Inacayal or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mon, Jan 19:BARILOCHE Free day to enjoy the National Park in Bariloche, partake of the numerous activities – fishing, horseback riding, hiking, rafting, scenic tour, ski lift to top of mountain - or enjoy the hotel facilities for a relaxing day. In the early 1900s, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid out at a nearby ranch. Bariloche is known as the Little Switzerland of South America and has played on that role with Alpine-esque architecture, chocolatiers, breweries and St Bernards. At the foothill of the Andes Mountains, the city is located on the majestic Nahuel Huapi Lake. Hotel Inacayal or similar. Meals: Breakfast
Tue, Jan 20:FLY TO BUENOS AIRES After breakfast, flight to Buenos Aires (2 hours). Short city tour of Buenos Aires visiting the most important highlights of this cosmopolitan city, known as the Paris of South America. See sights such as La Boca and San Telmo, Puerto Madero, Recoleta & Palermo neighborhoods, including Plaza de Mayo. Check into hotel for refreshment. This evening enjoy dinner and tango show at one of the amazing tango houses in Buenos Aires. Taste the sumptuous local cuisine, highlighting the Argentine steaks and excellent wines. End the evening with the passion and charm of tango. Hotel Broadway All Suites or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Wed, Jan 21:BUENOS AIRES / PERGAMINO Depart after breakfast to visit South America’s largest livestock market, where 8,000 head of cattle (mainly Aberdeen Angus and Hereford) are sold daily. Depart Buenos Aires northwesterly visiting C.I.A.L.E., an artificial insemination institute, the leading company devoted to the development and improvement of Argentina bovines. Lunch en route. Continue to Pergamino, an important city established in the 1600s for the trade route between Cordoba and Buenos Aires. Dinner at a local restaurant. Hotel Terrazas or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Thu, Jan 22:PAMPAS After breakfast, early departure to visit a family farm producing no-till crops (wheat, soybeans and corn). Lunch on the farm. Continue into the famous Pampas region to the Santa Fe province with its spring fed aquifers and rich soils. This afternoon visit a dairy Farm with a Holstein herd. See the cattle, pastures and their milking barn. Return to Pergamino. Dinner at the hotel. Hotel Terrazas or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fri, Jan 23:PAMPAS/ROSARIO Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for a full day touring in the Pampas region including a visit to a fully integrated farm, with a full cycle cattle operation and crops (corn, soybeans and wheat). Lunch on the farm. In the afternoon, continue travel to Rosario. En route visit a local grain elevator and a large dairy cooperative. Once in Rosario, see the grain shipping terminals on the river that can be compared to our Mississippi River terminals. Dinner at the hotel. Hotel Savoy Esplendor or similar. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sat, Jan 24:ROSARIO/BUENOS AIRES/HOME Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Buenos Aires airport for flight back to the US. Meals: Breakfast, Meals on Plane
Sun, Jan 25:ARRIVE US Arrive Miami early morning. Please book connecting flight at least three hours after arrival to allow time to pass through customs. Meals: On Plane
|Southern Brazil 2015|
|Sat, Jan 24:DEPART FOR RIO Arrive to Houston by 4pm. Depart Houston en route to Rio. Rio is 2 hours ahead of Central Standard Time. |
Meals: Meals on flight
Sun, Jan 25:RIO Arrival Rio. Meet your specialist bi-lingual tour manager and professional motorcoach driver. Lunch included. Transfer to hotel to enjoy the sugar white sandy beaches and local flavor. Visit to shipping container terminal to learn about Rio’s natural port and its significance to Brazil. Depart early evening to ascend Sugarloaf Mountain – the natural symbol of Rio de Janeiro that can be seen at the entrance to Guanabara Bay - for a breathtaking view of Rio. Dinner. Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Mon, Jan 26:CURITIBA City tour – see Old Rio with its historic buildings and bustling streets. Take a cog railway up to Christ the Redeemer Statue – one of the most majestic spots of the city, 2,330 feet above sea level and providing a sweeping panoramic view of sea and mountain, a world famous vista. The mountain is crowned with the statue of Christ, 98 feet high with a 26 foot pedestal. Lunch. Flight to Curitiba. Dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tue, Jan 27:TIBAGI The State of Parana, with its favorable climate and advanced colonization, has some of the largest agricultural and livestock diversity. The area produces wood products, beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, wheat and barley, pomes fruits, coffee, sugarcane and soybeans. Soybean mass production began about 40 years ago. Presentation on the significance of Brazilian agriculture and its relations with the US. Lunch. Continue to Tibagi for overnight. Typical Brazilian Barbecue Dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wed, Jan 28:TIBAGI Morning farm visit to small scale farm growing soybeans and corn. They also raise swine and have a biogas production plant. Lunch. In the afternoon, visit a 25,000 acre soybean and corn farm. The state of Parana produces about 27% of all corn in Brazil. Dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Thu, Jan 29:TIBAGI-LONDRINA Morning visit to a farm that produces grains for human consumption and animal feed. They also raise 2,500 sheep. This farm also has a large sheep operation in Sao Paulo state with an extensive AI program. Learn about reforestation efforts on their farm. Lunch.
Travel to Londrina. En route visit to a seed producer, Bela Agricola. Arrival Londrina, a town of 700,000. This quickly growing city is surrounded by many farms. The major crops include soybeans, corn, sugar cane, coffee, wheat, rice, tomatoes, beans and some cotton. The area produces a lot of cattle for beef, chickens and eggs. Dinner Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fri, Jan 30:LONDRINA Tour Embrapa Soybean, the National Soybean Research Center. Forum on soils and soybean varietals in Brazil. Learn how Embrapa developed varietals to withstand the tropical climates of Brazil to transform it into a soybean production powerhouse. Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of soybeans. Since 2000, the states of Mato Grosso and Parana together grow on average over 49% of all soybeans in Brazil. Visit research fields. Lunch. Continue to Cascavel. Visit to beef cattle farm enroute. Dinner at hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sat, Jan 31:CASCAVEL Tour the largest agricultural cooperative in Brazil See orange juice production and ethanol production. Cooperatives are a necessity in the risky Brazilian grain markets. Learn how farmers hedge themselves against losses. Lunch. Dairy farm visit this afternoon. Continue to Foz do Iguacu. Dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sun, Feb 1:FOZ do IGUACU Tour the Itaipu Dam, the largest operating hydroelectric facility in the world. Lunch. Continue to Iguacu Falls and Bird Park. The Falls are a sensational site. The Falls consist of 275 waterfalls cascading over a precipice into the Paraná River situated at the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Dinner. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mon, Feb 2:RETURN HOME Breakfast at hotel. Depart to airport for flight home. Meals: Breakfast, On Plane
Tue, Feb 3:ARRIVE HOME Arrival Houston. Please book connecting flight at least three hours after arrival to allow time to pass through customs. Meals: On Plane
|Mon, Feb 9/ Tue, Feb 10:DEPART FOR SYDNEY If booking own flight, please arrive to Los Angeles by 8pm. Depart Los Angeles on flight to Sydney. Cross the International Date Line. You will regain the lost day on the return trip home. Meals: Meals on flight|
Wed, Feb 11:SYDNEY Arrive Sydney International Airport – where you clear customs and meet your tour manager, who will accompany you for the duration of your tour Down Under! You are transferred to hotel located in the heart of the city. The balance of day is free to relax. Regroup in the evening for Welcome Drinks and a light supper – where your Tour Manager will give a short overview of the journey ahead. Grace Hotel (or similar) Meals: Dinner
Thu, Feb 12:SYDNEY A city and beaches tour this morning, taking in the historic `Rocks' area at the southern end of the Harbour Bridge, the fashionable Eastern Suburbs, and the South Heads of Port Jackson. On returning to the city you are taken for a luncheon cruise on the magnificent Sydney Harbour. This afternoon is free for you to explore the city on your own – perhaps a walk around the world famous Opera House, or a shopping spree in the gracious Queen Victoria Building. Dinner on own. Grace Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Fri, Feb 13:TAMWORTH Travelling north, leave Sydney on the Newcastle Expressway before turning westward into the fertile Hunter River Valley, noted for bloodstock, dairy, beef and wines. Lunch en route The afternoon is spent travelling north crossing the Great Dividing Range and enter the Liverpool Plains. This is an area of extensive grain and cotton production. There will be opportunities to inspect and discuss the innovative moisture and soil conservation practices, zero till and controlled traffic farming, being undertaken by progressive farmers. Arrive later in Tamworth, the 'Country Music Capital of Australia', for overnight stay. Powerhouse Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Sat, Feb 14:ARMIDALE
Monday is ‘Sale Day’ in Tamworth and first thing this morning you will visit the weekly fat cattle sales to get an idea of livestock values this side of the Pacific. Later you travel north onto the New England Tablelands and into the rich sheep and beef cattle country of the Walcha district, where you visit a historic sheep and cattle station. Lunch is with the family in the homestead, and is followed by a detailed inspection of the activities on such a property, which is well noted for its Merino sheep and Poll Hereford cattle. Later you travel on to the picturesque university city of Armidale for your overnight accommodation. Dinner this evening will be with invited guests from the surrounding farming community. Abbotsliegh Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sun, Feb 15:TOOWOOMBA Travelling north this morning - visit a leading Angus breeder involved in the practical application of ‘Breedplan’, the genetic evaluation system developed by the Agricultural Business Research Institute of the University of New England. Continue through magnificent Tablelands Pastures travelling north on the New England Highway. Lunch at the Queensland wine center near Stanthorpe. Visit a major Charolais breeding herd, near Warwick –arguably the most successful stud stock exhibitor across all breeds within the last 20 years. Continue to Toowoomba, the principal city of the fertile Darling Downs region and check in for two nights. Burk & Wills Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mon, Feb 16:TOOWOOMBA
Today is spent on the Darling Downs, a world famous cropping area that is also now becoming the center of the Australian feedlot industry. The visit this morning will highlight one of these feedlot operations, which is preparing cattle for both the domestic trade and export markets. The visit will be selected to show a variety of management techniques; including pen design and layout, ration mixing and handling, shade, effluent control and pad maintenance. Lunch at the historic Jondaryan Woolshed for an insight into how the early Australian pioneers lived and worked. During the rest of the day you will see some of the intensive cropping and irrigation practices which have made this area of Queensland famous. Crops such as cotton, soybeans, maize and sorghum are grown utilizing innovative water harvesting and production techniques together with the latest technology in farm machinery and processing equipment. Burk & Wills Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Tue, Feb 17:CAIRNS An early morning visit to one of the top milk producing dairies where Holstein/Fresians graze on irrigated pastures. Travel east to Brisbane, the sub-tropical Capital City of Queensland. Visit Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with the opportunity to `cuddle a koala'. Afternoon flight north to Cairns, the tropical city in Far North Queensland. Transfer to resort hotel, on the Esplanade adjacent to the Reef Casino and within walking distance of the city center. Lunch and dinner on own. Pacific International Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast
Wed, Feb 18:CAIRNS Take the renowned ‘Sky Rail’ across the tropical rainforest to the village of Kuranda in the mountains behind Cairns. After lunch you are taken on a tour of the Atherton Tablelands. This area has a sub-tropical potato industry and a visit will be arranged to one of the largest growers who is also involved in maize and peanut production. Later you travel on the Gillies Highway, through heavy tropical rainforest, past lakes and waterfalls returning to the sugar cane belt near Cairns once again. The evening is free for you to enjoy the laidback tropical environment. Pacific International Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Thu, Feb 19:CAIRNS Wonderful day of excitement on a cruise to one of the marine wonders of the world. A short walk from the for the Great Barrier Reef Cruise, aboard the luxury sailing catamaran, `Ocean Spirit' Under-water coral viewing, snorkeling, lunch all included. A marine biologist is aboard to answer every question. Scuba Diving available for those qualified. Later return to Cairns and your accommodation – where there will be a Farewell Dinner. Pacific International Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fri, Feb 20:RETURN HOME Breakfast at hotel. Depart to airport for flight home. where you will cross the International Date Line and arrive before having left Australia! Please book connecting flight at least 3 hours after arrival to allow time to pass through customs. Meals: Breakfast, On Plane
|New Zealand 2015|
|Thu, Feb 19/Fri, Feb 20:DEPART FOR AUCKLAND If booking own flight, please arrive to Los Angeles by 8pm. Depart Los Angeles on flight to Auckland. Cross the International Date Line. You will regain the lost day on the return trip home. Meals: Meals on flight|
Sat, Feb 21:AUCKLAND Arrival Auckland, New Zealand’s largest and most cosmopolitan city. After checking in and freshening up after the flight, a chance to explore the “City of Sails” taking in the harbors and beaches, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter and the America’s Cup yachting venue. This evening enjoy a “Welcome to New Zealand” dinner at your hotel. Sky City Hotel, Auckland (or similar) Meals: Breakfast on Plane, Dinner
Sun, Feb 22:ROTORUA Depart south to the productive province of Waikato – known as “the milk bowl of New Zealand”. Dairying is now the leading agricultural industry and principal driver of their export based economy. This morning visit a family dairy farm milking around 600 cows and which typifies pastoral dairy farming in New Zealand. As you travel on further east pass other farm types including deer, horse, beef, sheep, kiwifruit, nurseries and other crops. Rotorua is an interesting thermal region and a center of native Maori culture. On arrival, visit the Te Puia Whakarewarewa thermal area and Maori village where boiling mud pools and spouting geysers can be seen. An enjoyable way to end the day is with the native Maori Hangi (feast) and concert - a great night’s entertainment! Holiday Inn Rotorua (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Mon, Feb 23:ROTORUA This morning visit local sights including the Agrodome, an entertaining and informative show about our sheep and wool industry and showcasing a variety of breeds farmed in New Zealand. Next visit nearby Rainbow Springs where you can view native New Zealand flora and fauna, including our rare Kiwi bird. Next we visit a fascinating deer farm owned by a talented farmer and artist. Deer are farmed in New Zealand for their antler velvet and venison meat, most of which is exported to Europe. Enjoy lunch with your farm hosts before departing to visit a leading polled Hereford Beef Stud on fertils soils. Return to Rotorua and enjoy the evening at leisure. Holiday Inn Rotorua (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Tues, Feb 24:CHRISTCHURCH This morning visit a sheep and dairy bull enterprise set in a spectacular position overlooking Lake Rotorua. More than half of New Zealand’s beef is produced from livestock originating in this industry. This is an efficient and profitable farming option for many of our farmers and this farm is a good example. Depart Rotorua to fly to the South Island. Arrive into Christchurch, the “Garden City”, so called due to the lovely private and public gardens the city has to offer. Take an orientation tour of the city and enjoy a little free time, perhaps strolling through the Bontaic Gardens, shopping in the city or simply relaxing before dinner. Copthorne Commodore, Christchurch (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Wed, Feb 25:CHRISTCHURCH This morning meet with a local guide to show you some of the sights of Christchurch. Enjoy time in the “pop up” mall with its specialty shops and galleries and perhaps take a stroll through the beautiful botanical gardens. Enjoy the rest
of the day and evening at leisure in Christchurch. There are many optional activities on offer such as a wildlife harbor cruise, a visit to the seaside village of Sumner, the Antarctic Center, an impressive attraction near the Airport including live penguins, Willowbank wildlife centre perhaps shopping in the city. Copthorne Commodore, Christchurch (or similar) Meals: Breakfast
Thu, Feb 26:MACKENZIE COUNTRY This morning depart south across the vast Canterbury Plains with its patchwork farming tapestry of livestock and crop farms. Next visit an arable farm in mid-Canterbury where grain, pulse and small seeds crops are grown. Travel through the rolling farmland and of Geraldine and Fairlie and over Burkes Pass to the spectacular but desolate Mackenzie Country - named after Jock Mackenzie, a Scottish shepherd who used this secret route to move sheep he had stolen! Travel past the aqua blue hydro lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki from which, on clear days, there are wonderful vistas of our highest peak, Mount Cook (Aoraki), and the surrounding mountain ranges. Enjoy the evening in the heart of the Mackenzie Country region. Mackenzie Country Inn (or similar ) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fri, Feb 27:QUEENSTOWN Travel south this morning through Omarama and over Lindis Pass into the spectacular Central Otago countryside, renowned historically for gold mining, but in more modern times, for its vineyards, fruit orchards and Merino sheep. Near Lake Hawea visit a large high country Merino sheep, deer and cattle station – a chance to gain as insight into the management of this rugged country in a climatically harsh but beautiful environment. Continue on via the spectacular Kawarau River gorge with a visit to a winery in the Gibbston Valley vineyard to sample the Pinot Noir and other wines for which this region is becoming well regarded. Continue on to beautiful lakeside Queenstown - one of New Zealand’s most beautiful visitor destinations of New Zealand. Tonight you are free to choose from the many eateries on offer in central Queenstown. Novotel Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Sat, Feb 28:QUEENSTOWN This morning we ride the gondola up Bob’s Peak overlooking Queenstown. After time taking in the breathtaking lake and mountain beauty that surrounds you, we continue to the historic gold mining village of Arrowtown. We also make a stop at the site where bungy jumping was born – a chance for daredevils to take the plunge 150 feet towards the Kawarau River attached only by a giant rubber band! This afternoon you are free to choose from the many local activities on offer such as jet boating, bungy jumping, paragliding or zip-lining, a cruise on the historic steamer “Earnslaw - Lady of the Lake”, a round of golf, shopping or just relaxing by the lake. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner. Novotel Hotel (or similar) Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sun, Mar 1:RETURN HOME Breakfast at hotel. Depart to airport for flight home. where you will cross the International Date Line and arrive before having left New Zealand! Please book connecting flight at least 3 hours after arrival to allow time to pass through customs. Meals: Breakfast, On Plane
|Greece & Turkey 2015|
|Mon, Mar 2:DEPART FOR ISTANBUL Arrival to Houston by 5pm. Depart on overnight flight to Istanbul. Meals: Meals on flight|
Tues, Mar 3:ATHENS
Arrival Istanbul. Transfer to flight to Athens arriving in evening. Transfer to hotel. Welcome dinner. Meals: Meals on plane, Dinner
Wed, Mar 4:ATHENS
Morning farm visit to small scale farmer producing fruits and nuts. Lunch included. Afternoon tour of Athens, passing by the most important ancient and modern monuments of Athens: City center - Syntagma (Constitution) Square - Panathenian Stadium - The House of Parliament (ex Royal Palace) - National Park (ex Royal Gardens) - The memorial to the Unknown Soldier - The Academy - National Library - Presidential Palace - Change of the Republican Guards (Evzones) - Zappion Congress Hall - Temple of Olympic Zeus - Hadrian's Arch - Herod Atticus Odeon. Dinner show with traditional Greek dances. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Thurs, Mar 5:ATHENS Morning guided tour of the Acropolis site and the New Acropolis Museum. After lunch at a traditional taverna, visit an olive producer. Learn the growing process of olives and visit an oil refinery. Continue to the spectacular Temple of Poseidon. After paying respects to the God of the sea, take the seaside route to Piraeus, the main port of Greece and indeed one of the biggest in the world. Dinner with freshly caught seafood and fish. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Fri, Mar 6:IZMIR Free morning for leisurely breakfast. Transfer to airport for flight to Izmir, Turkey. Izmir, strategically located on the Gulf of Izmir in western Turkey, has been a port on the Mediterranean for thousands of years whereby most of its industry is related to the port and trade. The city has a recorded history of more than 3500 years. Transfer to hotel in Kusadasi for check in and dinner at hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sat, Mar 7:EPHESUS Visit Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The city played a very important role in Christianity: St. Paul preached here, St. John and Holy Mary lived here. Walk through the impressive ruins, see the theatre, Marble street, the Celsus Library, the church of Holy Mary, the Agora- the market place, the Odeon and many other fascinating buildings preserved for thousands of years. Continue to Sirince, a lovely village up in the hills above the ancient city. The local houses are fascinating. Enjoy a wine tasting where wine has been traditionally made for many generations. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Sun, Mar 8:KUSADASI / PAMUKKALE Around 40 percent of Turkey’s land area is arable and offers a large range of products such as grains, cotton, pulses, oil seeds, fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, poultry, milk and dairy products, fishery, honey and tobacco. Crop production, livestock and fishery/forestry account for 67 percent, 26 percent and 7 percent of the total agricultural production respectively. Turkey is one of the few self sufficient countries in the world in terms of food. The country enjoys fertile soils, abundant rainfall and a mild Mediterranean climate. Today’s route travels through one of the most fertile valleys in Turkey. Cotton has been one of the most important products for thousands of years. Turkey ranks 5th internationally in cotton production. Visit a cotton producer. Continue to Pamukkale, the “Cotton Castle.” It is a natural wonder. Hot, chalk rich thermal springs have created terraces that resemble a frozen waterfall. Dinner and overnight in Karahayit. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Mon, Mar 9:PAMUKKALE / BURSA Today, visit Sardis, where one of the Seven Churches noted in the book of Revelations stood. You will be fascinated by the excellent excavation done by American archeologists. On our way to Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, visit one of the largest dairy producers in Turkey. Dinner and overnight in Bursa. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Tues, Mar 10:BURSA / ISTANBUL
Continue to Istanbul. Visit a cattle farm en route. Istanbul, located at the end of the historic Silk Road, straddles the European and Asian continents and is on the Bosphorus River, the inlet to the Black Sea. This strategic point has served a violent but also at times peaceful segway to international relations. On a short panorama tour, see the main sites such as the Grand Mosque, the Green Mausoleum and the Bazaar. Dinner at hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Wed, Mar 11:ISTANBUL One of the most unique cities in the world, Istanbul - formerly Constantinople, awaits to be explored. We will be visiting the famous Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Underground Cistern (also known as the Sunken Palace). Lunch included near the Grand Bazaar. In the mazes of the former “shopping center” of the Sultans and the storage for the valuable Silk Road goods, the famous Grand Bazaar, spend time discovering the many traditional handicrafts, jewelry, clothing, rugs and much more. Afternoon free. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Thu, Mar 12:ISTANBUL At the center of the former Ottoman Empire and residence of many Sultans, the Topkapi Palace, be fascinated by the rich collections of art and treasury. Like the Sultan, enjoy a relaxing boat tour on the Bosphorus between the European and Asian continents, seeing many historical buildings, the spanning bridges, fortresses, beautiful villas and the modern skyline of the city. Afternoon free. Farewell dinner at a typical Turkish restaurant on the Bosphorus. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Fri, Mar 13:RETURN TO USA Transfer to Istanbul Atatürk airport for flight home. Arrive home on same day. Meals: Breakfast, Meals on plane.
|Beef Australia 2015 PRE TOUR|
|Wed April 29- After arriving in Brisbane, you will make your way to the hotel, centrally located in the heart of the shopping and tourist precinct. This evening there will be Welcome Drinks & Dinner- Where your Tour Manager will give a short overview of your journey ahead.|
Thurs April 30- After a short sightseeing tour of this sub-tropical city, you will begin your journey inland, through the Lockyer Valley to the garden city of Toowoomba and beyond onto the renowned cropping area of the Darling Downs, a world famous cropping area that is now the centre of hte Australian feedlot industry. During the afternoon you will visit a feedlot that which prepares cattle for domestic as well as export markets. The visit selected will show a variety of cattle breeds being sourced for various markets. We'll arrive late afternoon in the town of Dalby for overnight.
Fri May 1- Travelling west today following the WARREGO Highway into the Maranoa District once covered in a Brigalow Scrub, now cleared for cereal crops (wheat and barley) and sheep and cattle. Larger herds of cattle can be inspected. Most cattle in this area are British or European breeds (Bos Taurus) with some producers cross breeding with Bos Indicus infusion.
Sat May 2- Before travelling north this morning, we will visit the Roma Saleyards- Australia’s largest livestock selling complex. The saleyards are both NSQA and EU accredited and offer a modern, safe and fully maintained facility that is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, sited on almost hectares. Mid-morning we continue into the Arcadia Valley, arguably the best cattle country in Australia! You will inspect the detailed grazing management involved with the Brigalow county of central Queensland, where mostly Brahman Cross cattle are run on improved buffel and green panic pastures. Lunch will be enjoyed with leading producers, offering an ideal opportunity to inspect their operation and question them about management decisions. Continuing north later in the day to the town of Springsure for overnight accomodations.
Sun May 3- This morning we will travel east along the Capricorn Highway towards where you will inspect the detailed grazing management involved with “Cell Grazing” (Short duration/high density grazing systems), as well as see some very well managed cattle herds. During the day you will also learn about the grazing management of leucaena (a brows tree). Later in the day you will arrive in Rockhampton, the Beef Cattle Capital of Australia and host city for the triennial Beef Expo. Held every 3 years, the beef expositions have become a signature event for the Australian beef industry and aim to facilitate and strengthen networks within the global beef business. On arrival, you will continue into the city and be taken to your selected hotel for the remainder of your stay in Rockhampton.
|Beef Australia 2015 POST TOUR|
|Sat May 9- Today you travel north from Rockhampton and visit one of the most prestigious Brahman cattle stations in Australia and have the opportunity to view champion stud animals. Another interesting inspection will be the visit to a cattle property where many hundreds of acres of man-made swamps have been developed and thus extending the cattle grazing potential in the dry season. The management of hymenachne, para grass and aleman grass as ponded pastures will be discussed. Later in the day you continue to Mackay, one of the major sugar cane growing regions. An explanation on the industry will be given as you travel through the fields.
Sun May 10- The day is spent with visits through the Mackay hinterland. Visits will feature prominent cattle properties and innovative grazing management. The cattle will be mostly high grade Bos Indicus breeds, and the value of selected cross breeding will be discussed. The use of sub-tropical pasture grasses and legumes will be seen. Later continue north into the Whitsunday region, where you check into Coral Sea resort for the final two nights of your tour.
Mon May 11- Full day cruise to one of the marine wonders of the world- the Great Barrier Reef. You are taken to the jetty at Shute Harbour where you board the very stable catamaran “Fantasea” and travel via a number of the Whitsunday enroute to Hardy Reef where Fantasea’s Reefworld pontoon is permanently moored. Under-water coral viewing, snorkelling, and lunch are all included. A marine biologist is aboard to answer every question; Scuba diving is available for all those qualified. Later, return to Arlie Beach and your accommodations. A farewell dinner is provided for your last night.
Tues May 12- Free time is available before being transferred to Prosperine airport to commence your journey home.
|Western Canada Agri-Culture Tour|
Day 1, Wednesday, Central Alberta (L) -
Arrive Edmonton airport around noon.. Upon arrival drop off at Edmonton Mall, the world’s largest indoor mall for lunch and time to browse. Overnight Edmonton,
Day 2, Thursday, Central Alberta (B, L) -
Depart to see beef ranch of central Alberta, a buffalo (bison) ranch,. and elk ranch. Lunch planned at ranch. Proceed to Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies.
Day 3, Friday, Calgary (B, L) -
Follow the Icefield Parkway, claimed by National Geographic as the most scenic highways, along the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies, observing any wild life and the natural beauty. Stop at Columbia Icefields to ride the Sno-Coach over 1,000 feet thick moving glacier. Check-in to Calgary hotel. This evening have reserved seats to Chuckwagon Races and awarding winning Grand Stand show.
Day 4, Saturday, Calgary (B) -
With our C-train pass (Calgary rapid transit) we may browse, shop or explore downtown shopping areas, Heritage Village Park or come and go to the Stampede Grounds with reserved seats at Rodeo.
Day 5, Sunday, Banff (B, L, D) -
We head to Banff visiting scenic highlights such as Lake Lousie, Emerald Lake, Morraine Lake on our tour. Tonight a special dinner theatre performance of ‘Oh Canada eh!’ a comic look at Canada and its history.
Day 6, Monday, Banff (B, L) -
Ride the Banff gondola, enjoy the 1km walkway. Lunch cruise on the largest lake in Banff National Park, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Free time in Banff this afternoon.
Day 7, Tuesday, Central British Columbia (B, D) -
Follow the Trans-Canada Highway through the Rocky Mountains, crossing the Continental Divide we enter Yoho National Park, stop at Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/rogers/visit/visit2.aspx , whose architecture replicates the structure of an 1880’s railway snow shed, for theatre and exhibits about railway history, avalanches and wildlife Continue through Glacier National Park www.pc.gc.ca/glacier and Revelstoke National Park www.pc.gc.ca/revelstoke Overnight.
Day 8, Wednesday, Central British Columbia (B, L, D) -
Visit to farms in the morning, such as large apple orchard where they also make ice apple cider, and hazelnut farm. Continue on to Harrison Hot Springs for mid-afternoon check in around 3PM.
Day 9, Thursday, Vancouver Island (B) -
Time to relax and enjoy a hot springs pool before departing mid morning for Vancouver Island taking ferry to Victoria. Check into hotel
Day 10, Friday, Victoria (B, L) -
Tour of Victoria area. Lunch followed by entrance to Butchart Gardens with time to visit this 130 acre floral extravaganza carved out of an old limestone quarry. Free evening in Victoria
Day 11, Saturday, Vancouver (B, D) -
Depart for ferry to Vancouver, lunch on own. City tour of Vancouver with evening farewell dinner.
Day 12, Sunday, Vancouver (B) -
Free time in greater Vancouver before transferring to the pier for your Alaska cruise or to the airport for onward flights
All farm visits are subject to change based on availability of the hosting farm.
Visit to the world’s largest indoor mall (Edmonton)
Reserved seats at Calgary Stampede to Chuckwagon Races and Grandstand Show
Day passes on Calgary Rapid Transit, C-train
Reserved seats at Calgary Stampede to Rodeo
Ride and guide on Sno-Coach at Columbia Icefield glacier
Ride on Banff Gondola
Cruise with guide on Lake Minnewanka (Banff)
National park entrance fees (Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Glacier, Revelstoke)
Farewell dinner in Vancouver
Tour of Vancouver
Tour of Victoria
Entrance fee to Butchart Gardens
All coach parking and other coach associated fees
Services of A.C.T. guide
Accommodation taxes and imposed charges at time of quote
Meal gratuities and taxes at time of quote.
Any imposed changes in taxes by governments
Any imposed fuel surcharges
Any items not included above
Any items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, alcohol drinks
Tips the tour director, step-on guides and driver
|Eastern Canada Agri-Cultural Tour|
Day 1, Wednesday, Southwest Ontario -
Arrive at Toronto Pearson Airport evening; met by A.C.T.Tours, load coach with luggage, stop on way for meal (on own) going to the hotel.
Day 2, Thursday, Southwest Ontario (B, D) -
Option to walk across the road to one of largest farmer’s markets in Canada, and if operating, view livestock auction with its overhead catwalks.
Depart for Niagara Falls with time to explore the many tourist sights included on your pass such as “Maid of the Mist” (boat ride up to the Falls), a Journey behind the Falls (take elevator to tunnels behind the Falls, White Water Walk (boardwalk along category 6 rapids), Fury (newest animation) and all-day free transportation around the Falls. We have dinner with a view overlooking Niagara Falls. Return to our hotel.
Day 3, Friday, Southwest Ontario (B, D) -
Tour maple syrup operation, after which we visit a ginseng farm operation along with other crops such as tobacco, maize and Soya beans. Today we will also visit a diary operation and/or with time permitting another livestock such as sheep, goat or elk as we travel through Canada’s richest agricultural land.
Day 4, Saturday, Southwest Ontario (B, L, D) -
Visit beef cattle operation, followed by cash crop operation including a non-GMO program. After lunch visit large dairy farm. Dinner at local area country hotel.
Day 5, Sunday, Eastern Ontario (B, L) -
Tour of Mennonite Country, discussing their history, culture and ways. Visit as group to Canoe Museum which illustrates Canadian history through water transport from First Nations, through fur traders to the settlers/pioneers. Overnight Ottawa
Day 6, Monday, Ottawa (B, D) -
City tour of Ottawa including parliament buildings, prime minister and governor general residences and the UNESCO Rideau Canal including changing of guard, restrictions permitting. Free time in Ottawa to browse or take in one of the fine museums or art gallery.
Day 7, Tuesday, Montreal (B, L) -
Visit to Parc Omega where animals roam free, with 10 km driving path that we journey along in special bus (to allow windows to open so we may feed the animals carrots) seeing black bears, buffalo, wapitis (elk), deer (red & fallow), We depart for Montreal airport stopping on the way for lunch at Quebecois Sugar Shack for lunch.
Day 8, Wednesday, Montreal (B) -
Transfer to Trudeau Montreal Airport or continue with onward journey
All farm visits are subject to change based on availability of the hosting farm.
Tour of Mennonite Country
All day pass at Niagara Falls including free transportation between venues
City tour of Ottawa
Visit to Parc Omega (drive through where animals roam free)
All coach parking and other coach associated fees
Services of A.C.T. guide
Accommodation taxes and imposed charges at time of quote
Meal gratuities and taxes at time of quote.
Any imposed changes in taxes by governments
Any imposed fuel surcharges
Any items not included above
Any items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, alcohol drinks
Tips the tour director, step-on guides and driver
|Royal Winter Fair|
Day 1, Tuesday, Ontario (D) - Arrive Toronto, meet your guide, proceed to hotel for check in and after freshening up have dinner. Overnight next two nights Waterloo/Guelph.
Day 2, Wednesday, Ontario (B, L) - We will visit beef feedlot, robotic dairy, cash crop arable farm, sheep finishing operation and time permitting beef cattle farm.
Day 3, Thursday, Ontario (B, L) -
Visit farmer’s market (see the morning livestock auction if available). View Mennonite mixed farm with maple syrup production, apple orchard and livestock. After which we have lunch on the way to Royal Winter Fair. (Based on past schedule the “Sale of Stars” National Holstein Show will be around 5PM) Overnight Toronto next three nights.
Day 4, Friday, Ontario (B, L) -
Full day attendance at Royal Winter Fair, National Holstein Show, Senior Calf to Mature Cow Classes with Holstein Grand Champion Parade late afternoon.
Day 5, Saturday, Ontario (B, L) -
City sightseeing tour of Toronto in morning, followed by lunch at CN Tower. Free time to enjoy downtown Toronto or return to RWF (admission not covered).
Day 6, Sunday, Ontario (B, L) -
Proceed to Niagara Falls, lunch at Skylon Tower. Depart for onward journey, continue stay in Ontario or proceed to Toronto airport.
Farm visits and schedule of Royal Winter Fair is subject to change. We will endeavor to adjust itinerary if changes occur
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