I would like to share my gratitude for what the past year has offered us. Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we at HE Travel have run tours to 16 countries on 5 continents (6 if you count Jordan as part of Asia). And if all goes well, we will add India and Antarctica early in 2022 to return gay travel to all seven continents!
HE Travel Team
We especially offer gratitude to the clients who have trusted us to help them navigate the unique requirements of each destination. This would not be possible without an amazingly resourceful team of colleagues at HE Travel.
Here’s a big shout-out to Trisha, Zach, Greg T, Robert, Greg B, Biagio, and Jeff. They carefully cut the jigsaw that become our tours. And I also offer great thanks to Andrew, Cary, Darin, Peter, Pierre, Charly, Ron, Walter. These are the professional tour directors who connect the pieces together to make sure our tours run smoothly.
We work closely with our partners around the world. Some of them have been creating unforgettable experiences for our clients for almost 50 years! I am personally grateful for the hospitality shown to me, as well as our clients, for gay travel on all 7 continents! Here are some of our long-standing partners.
In 1973, our founder Hanns Ebensten had the audacious idea that a group of gay men would enjoy a week of camping in the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon Expeditions agreed to give it a try, and the concept of “gay travel” was born. Half a century later, GCE remains our partner for several “Splash!” trips a year!
In the 1960s, Hanns helped create the first adventure tours for Lindblad Travel, including to Easter Island. Hanns worked with Juan Edmunds Rapahango and his wife Maria Reina for his first groups. Their son Ramon and his wife Josie continue to host our groups today, staying in their intimate family home.
Australia & New Zealand
When Southern World invited me to New Zealand and Australia, I told them I wanted to see the iconic sites like the Sydney Opera House. But even more important was to add stops that most visitors do not see. They have since been great partners for our cultural tours as well as creating unforgettable personalized tours for our travelers.
Asia & the Middle East
HE Travel ran a tour to WorldPride in Jerusalem in 2006. Russell Lord of Kenes Tours helped create that unique tour and continues to create gay travel tours for us to Israel and Jordan. Russell’s marriage was the first gay marriage recognized by Israel, and he has deep connections in the gay communities of his region.
In the 1980s Hanns sailed the Nile on simple felucca sailing vessels. In the 1990s, our Spring Tours partners bought the ss Karim, the only paddle-wheel steamer on the Nile. We then switched to that boat, the former royal yacht. Last week we continued Hanns’ long tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving on the Nile, in Style (complete with local turkey!).
Hanns also pioneered travel to Antarctica. We proudly carry on that tradition with Oceanwide Expeditions. Their small ships allow all passengers to make several shore visits. Antarctica was my seventh continent, and the Southern Ocean was my fifth ocean.
HE Travel 7-Continents Club
Finally, I would like to thank our clients and tour directors who have joined me in the HE Travel 7-Continents Club! David & Bob, David, Jack, Cal, Andrew, and Jim, you help us all keep our travel dreams alive!