Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Fri December 18 2015

Travel for a Cause: Introducing ExploringCircle

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | December 18, 2015

Travel for a Cause: Introducing ExploringCircle

PHOTO: As part of a cruise focused on rising sea levels, ExploringCircle will offer trips to Antarctica. (TravelPulse file photo)

Some of the most exotic and engaging travel destinations – the ones that top bucket lists and best-of lists – are also some of the most endangered and delicate ecosystems. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to travel to these places and experience them and, at the same time, be able to give back to the environment, creating a sustainable tourism experience for others? It sounds idealistic, but it’s one that the Seattle-based company has made it a reality.

ExploringCircle, headquartered in Seattle, is engaging travelers around environmental and social issues by introducing them to far-flung destinations and environmental issues associated with such places. The company in turn “pays it forward” by donating up to 5 percent of client fees to a cause actively working to ameliorate such issues.

“ExploringCircle is an inspired alchemy, where caring for people, places and our planet transforms the world into a better place,” explains founder and director Kristy Royce.

Exploring Circle founder and president Kristy Royce is on a constant lookout for enriching travel opportunities and she brings more than 20 years of adventure travel experience to ExploringCircle along with a passion for environmentalism and social justice.

The company believes in investing in people, places and the planet. They listen to their clients and use the knowledge and contacts that they have developed over the years to realize their travel dreams.

“In doing so, we fund hope,” Royce said.  “Leave No Trace Behind, while a great ethic, is no longer enough.”

ExploringCircle combines the joy of travel with a social consciousness built upon three primary principles: To send people on amazing trips; to engage people around important environmental and social issues; to direct funds to groups actively working on those causes.

Water, the Elixir of Life, is ExploringCircle’s first Pay it Forward theme. Issues include clean water and sanitation, plastics in water, vanishing ice and sea level rise. These causes will lead ExploringCircle guests to Alaska, Amazon, Antarctica, Arctic, Baja, Galapagos Islands, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands, Peru and Central America.

As part of this campaign, Exploring Circle will give 5 percent of the trip cost to an organization that assists in alleviating environmental problems that are affecting water. At the time of booking, guests select one of the causes that are part of the campaign and Exploring Circle’s partners receive the money.

Until Dec. 31, the company is offering a $1,500 on travel to Antarctica, including their journeys to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island & Antarctica and The Antarctic Peninsula.

The Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island & Antarctica departs from Buenos Aires and travels onboard the newly renovated Hebridean Sky through the Southern Ocean to the Falkland Islands where guests will be able to see their first of many species of penguins. South Georgia Island offers an even more in-depth experience with the penguins as well as a colony of elephant seals. The journey culminates with four full days exploring Antarctica. Activities along the way include Zodiac tours, photography, birding and kayaking.

The 22-day journey starts at $13,995.

For more information on Antarctica

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