Butterfield & Robinson presents the start of a new trip series
Toronto, Canada – Butterfield & Robinson’s newest program is proof positive that the active
travel experts are in a state of constant innovation. Destinations at Risk trips veer away from
the company’s traditional model to focus on educational travel experiences that highlight
species, cultures or habitats at risk. The trips are designed to be balanced learning
adventures, offering insider views of the changing world in order to build awareness. On-trip
experts will be key influencers and authorities in the field, and may include scientists,
environmentalists, native leaders, politicians, naturalists, top educators and business leaders.
The series’ inaugural departure is both close to home and internationally relevant. The
Athabasca Oil Sands 2008 Discovery Trip will be hosted by George Butterfield himself, and
will feature special guest Ed Burtynsky. This renowned photographer, who famously captures
human-altered natural landscapes in magnificent, thought-provoking works, was recently the
subject of the award-winning documentary, Manufactured Landscapes. On-trip, the artist
will present a slideshow of his work on Fort McMurray and the Athabasca region.
George Butterfield has long been involved with numerous philanthropic organizations,
including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). He comments: “I just think there are a lot of
travellers out there who, like me, are increasingly interested in learning more about the world
around them-about really connecting with it and educating themselves so that they can
actually effect change.”
The exclusive Athabasca Oil Sands Destination at Risk Trip will be limited to 14 guests, and is
slated for August 20-22, 2008. The objective is to shed light on the opportunities and
implications of the ongoing development of the Alberta oil sands, which are said to comprise
the second largest reserves in the world. Controversially, the low-grade bitumen also requires
significant energy to extract and refine, while social and environmental costs of the project
continue to mount.
Guests on the three-day exploratory trip will be exposed to all angles and
opinions, with scheduled presentations from Suncor Energy Inc., water experts, a wildlife
biologist, provincial governments, a local WWF project manager, and representatives of First
Nations communities. Activities include a 1.5-hour helicopter flight that offers aerial views of
various mines and refineries. The three-day trip begins in Calgary and finishes in Fort
McMurray. Accommodations are at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary and the Radisson Hotel
in Fort McMurray.
“These trips are really about fostering a dialogue,” says researcher Tom Abraham. The longtime
B&R guide and B.C. native feels passionately about the project, and will lead the
inaugural departure. Additional Destination at Risk trips are in the works, with future
possible destinations including the Amazon and Rwanda.
For more information on Edward Burtynsky, please see www.edwardburtynsky.com.
3 days/2 nights
Start/Finish: Toronto/ Toronto
Dates: August 20-22, 2008
Price: from US$3200 per person ($300 single supplement)
Butterfield & Robinson offers more than 90 innovative itineraries in 60 destinations
worldwide. Their motto since 1966 remains “Slow down to see the world.” Imaginative trip
design, exquisite service and a tireless pursuit of the world’s most fascinating places
continue to make B&R a leader in active travel for all ages.