In 2013 Normand Schafer paused his life for a year to sail from California to Australia. If that’s not adventurous enough for you, try this: he tackled the voyage with his wife and seven children, ages 1 to 18.
“I’ve been working in the travel business for 23 years, but that trip changed my focus. I fell in love with the South Pacific.”
Schafer considers himself a travel designer, not a travel agent. Through his business Far and Away Adventures he organizes fully customized vacations for travellers who are looking for unique experiences in comfortable, spectacular locations.
“Some people come to me with a specific destination in mind, and will ask me what trips I offer. I like to back it up a step and ask: What experience do you want from this trip? That way they come back from the trip having the experience they wanted.”
Unique small ship cruising
Far and Away Adventures organizes excursions around the world, but these days Schafer is particularly inspired by small ship cruises to remote tropical islands. And he’s not the first to fall in love with the South Pacific.
Do you remember the tale of the HMS Bounty, the British ship whose crew refused to leave Polynesia and set their captain adrift in the open sea? The mutineers settled on Pitcairn Island, and Schafer recently returned from one of two voyages he offers to this island paradise.
“I work with nine unique small ship cruise companies in the Islands of Tahiti alone, offering different options for different styles of travel. There’s the Aranui 5, a 250 passenger deluxe freighter, the 32 passenger Haumana motor yacht in idyllic Bora Bora, the twin masted 164 foot Panorama II motorsailer or your own sailing charter, to name a few. Each experience is very comfortable with ensuite bathrooms, common lounges, private cabins and a variety of activities,” he says.
Schafer loves designing trips that match his clients’ needs, whether that’s a remote excursion to the site of Mutiny on the Bounty, a snorkeling and scuba diving trip to the world’s largest marine protected area, a comfortable cruise on a glass-bottom boat, or the perfect blend of adventure, activity and luxury. What kind of traveller are you?
Around the world and right next door
Schafer has a global network of savvy travellers, tour operators and hotel owners who help him build perfectly customized adventures for his clients. He’s been designing travel experiences for globetrotters for decades, but the majority of his clients reach him remotely via phone or email.
“I love helping people over the phone, but there’s something nice about the face-to-face connection,” he says. “I know there are people on the Peninsula who want a different type of holiday, who are searching for unique and comfortable travel.”
Visit Schafer at the Far and Away Adventures office at 2407 Bevan Ave in Sidney to start planning your adventure today! Go to farandawayadventures.com to take a look at your options, or get more information by calling 250-385-3001 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.