Affinity Travel Operators


Educational institutions have the opportunity to bring an added dimension to group travel through the supplemental content provide by academic expertise. Alumni travel with their school for both the additional information and the social bond of traveling with friends. An institution can also build community by offering specialized trips for purposes such as service, singing, donor cultivation, or cultural appreciation. Yet, most institutions do not have the expertise or resources to plan alumni trips so they turn to operators specializing in affinity travel. Here is some information to help you decide which operators might be most helpful for you.


 Academic Arrangements AbroadAHI TravelImmersion Journeys LLCLindblad ExpeditionsMIR CorporationCriterion Travel, Inc.Far Horizon Tours Pvt LtdDistant HorizonsRoyal AdventuresAcademic Travel Abroad, Inc.Via Antiqua Travel GmbH
Banyan ToursAcademic Travel AbroadVia Antiqua
Departures/year100 - 5001000+100 - 500500 - 1,000500 - 1,0001-1001-100100 - 500100 - 500100 - 5001-100
Other tripsFITFIT/groupFIT/groupFIT/groupFIT/groupFIT/group
Service travelAvailableService learning if requestedComponent of tripsFoundationService learning if requestedService learning if requestedAvailableService learning if requestedService learning if requestedAvailablePossible
DestinationsUnited StatesItalyEast Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda)GalapagosRussiaAfricaIndia - North/South/East/WestAfrica (Ethiopia, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia)Latin AmericaEurope, U.K., allItaly
CubaFranceSouthern Africa (S. Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique)AntarcticaCentral Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, TurkmenistanAntarcticaBhutanAmerica (Cuba, Colombia)Australia & New ZealandEurope, France, allFrance
EuropeIrelandWest Africa (Ghana, Senegal, Benin, Togo)ArcticIranAsiaNepalAsia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Five Stans, India, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Mustang, Nepal, Pakistan, Sikkim, Silk Road, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tibet)ItalyEurope, Italy, allGermany
Latin AmericaGreat BritainSouth Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal)AlaskaSouth Caucasus: Georgia, Armenia, AzerbaijanAustraliaSri LankaEurope (Caucasus, Russia, Turkey)IcelandEurope, Czech Republic, allAustria
AsiaEuropean Waterway River CruisesSouth America (Argentina, Peru, Chile, Ecuador)- under a separate brand/ entityBaja CaliforniaBelarus, Ukraine, MoldovaEuropeBangladeshMiddle East (Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, OmanSpainAsia, China, allSuisse
AfricaSouth AfricaCosta Rica/PanamaBaltics: Estonia, Latvia, LithuaniaNorth AmericaBurmaSoutheast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam)Asia, Japan, allGreece
AustraliaEast AfricaPacific NorthwestBalkans: Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia and HerzegovinaOceaniaTibetAsia, India, allNetherlands
Southeast AsiaAmazonChina, Mongolia, Tibet, DPRKSouth AmericaMaldivesAfrica, Morocco, allGreat Britain
South AmericaSouth PacificCentral/East Europe: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, RomaniaAfrica, Jordan, allBalkans
River cruisesYYYYOccasionallyYYYY
Ocean/sea cruisesYYYOccasionallyYYY
Luxury train tripsYYYYYYY
Single location, immersion tripsYYYYYYYY
Private JetYY
Customized departuresY and Private yachtsWithin existingYMinimalYVIPs, donors, trustees, board member tripsEducational trips,Adventure trips and Service learning programsYY, inc Walking tours and Inca Trail3-6 week student tripssailing tours
<5 daysYYYYYYY
Longest trip1828 days15 days25 days75 days184820161714
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We are a small privately held and financially stable New York Corporation. We are fully insured and staffed by experts both in the office and on tour. We care about the quality of each trip and the care for each traveler.AHI Travel—Statement of Purpose Travel and discovery go hand-in-hand with learning and scholarship. Our client partners are institutions of learning and culture, of immense worth to society, who believe in the value of smoothly delivered experiential travel in furthering their goals and building engagement among their membership. Our singular mission is to help grow the standing and reputation of our clients, while strengthening the affinity their members feel towards them. We do this by promoting and delivering inspirational cultural and educational travel programs that delight travelers, and connect them to the world, to each other and to their sponsoring organization. See general company description below: Award-winning Immersion Journeys was built on the foundation that every traveler must EXPERIENCE their destination. We provide highly immersive, authentic experiences in Africa and South Asia which do just that. More than the sites, it’s the experience… At Immersion Journeys the team members are either from one of the host nations we service or have travelled extensively and regularly to the destinations. Our emphasis is to ensure that the experience remains authentic – it should be as close to a coming home for you as it would be for us. We ensure that a personal touch goes into every itinerary by working individually with all of our clients, recognizing that each traveler – individual or group — has a specific agenda. We firmly believe that travel is about more than the sites you see – it’s about the experience. Every travel company strives to offer their best and brightest – at Immersion Journeys we let the client be the judge of our expertise. Our ships are equipped with tools for exploration—to get you out there for up-close forays, or to let you see deeper into the marine or terrestrial. Our ships are equipped with Zodiacs, kayaks, Paddleboards, hydrophones, Undersea cameras, bow and ship cameras, video microscopes and more!MIR has been providing meticulous made-to-measure travel experiences at the crossroads of Europe and Asia for over 30 years. Since 1986, MIR has built a reputation as a pioneer in travel to destinations considered obscure, exotic, remote, difficult and even controversial – from Tibet to Tehran and everyplace in between. MIR – from the Russian word meaning both “peace” and “world” – specializes in bringing people together to discover more about the world and, consequently, about themselves.Criterion Travel is a tour operator specializing in expert-led travel. We work with top U.S. affinity organizations to create and operate customized group itineraries worldwide with a strong educational focus. Our core group of 12 staff have been doing this work together for over 20 years.Curating experience and ensuring high standards of quality ratings with an overall excellence of 87% and above We are a trip leader driven company and organises regular training to assign the best people for our groups/FITs Royal Adventures has been in business over 25 years working almost exclusively with alumni associations and museums. We deliver an excellent execution of an educational travel program. We customize and can work closely with the organization and faculty to create a unique experience. We keep long relationships with our clients who can count on us to offer quality, unique and detailed itineraries not easily found with other companies. We have vast experience in the affinity market and in the destinations we offer. We personally scout all destinations and have many personal contacts and connections that we can call upon. Royal Adventures can make any program special which reflects well on our clients. Our tour directors are carefully chosen for a fully integrated experience. Our company also specializes in high donor and art museums trips in addition to alumni programs.We have a long history and an executive team with great longevity and experience in the field of educational travel. We are experienced risk managers in this volatile world and can always be counted on to do the right thing by our customers. Half the company focuses on international education programs for college students. We live and breathe immersive, educational travel experiences.
For 40 years our only focus has been on supporting our not for profit clients in developing and operating exceptional programs that enrich participant's lives through educational travel.Our 55 year history of working with affinity partners to deliver unique experiences that connect travelers to the destination, to each other and to the sponsoring association.We are very hands-on and specialists in regions that we serve. Most trip programs are custom curated to meet the sponsor requirements and it's a very collaborative effort. Our fleet of ships, in partnership with National Geographic, brings us to the planet’s most extraordinary places in the company of world-renowned scientists, naturalists, photographers, and researchers to explore stunning natural environments alongside skilled specialists using state-of-the-art exploration tools.We are uniquely positioned to support any organization interested in planning travel to the corner of the globe we specialize in. No other company offers the combination of 30 years of travel-planning and logistics expertise solely focused on where Europe and Asia come together; an experienced Seattle-based sales/marketing office staffed with individuals with tremendous first-hand field experience and destination knowledge; plus on-site affiliated operational field offices across Russia, Central Asia and Ukraine.We are willing to adapt as needed to meet the needs of our sponsoring organizations and their travelers.Given the opportunity to experience the living and Natural history of India and its sub continent through its people, rivers,deserts,mountains,jungles, villages and festivals. A well executed program and responsiveness.We are unique in that we bridge two worlds: academia and travel. This results in creative programs that have real educational depth.


Here is a list of affinity travel operators for reference while we gather more information:


Academic Arrangements AbroadClassic EscapesGo AheadMIRThomas P. Gohagan
Academic Travel AbroadCriterion TravelGoNextOdysseys UnlimitedThomson Adventures
AHIDiscover EuropeImmersion JourneysOrbridgevia Antiqua
Alaska Wildland AdventuresDistant HorizonsInternational Seminar DesignRoyal AdventuresWorld Wide Trekking
Black Sheep AdventuresFar HorizonsLindblad ExpeditionsSpecial ToursZegrahm
China Advocates


You can learn more about affinity travel at the Educational Travel Consortium website:


Inclusion in this list is not an endorsement by Impactrics or anyone connected with Impactrics. It is provided solely for reference.

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