Intrepid Travel has launched a range of more than 70 new "premium" tours designed to offer more sustainable tour options at the higher-end of the market.
The operator’s premium range, developed over the past six months and shaped by the coronavirus crisis, includes hand-picked accommodation, private transport, a greater focus on rail, and signature stays and experiences exclusive to premium tours.
More than 40 countries will host premium tours, with departures from January 2022.
Signature stays include the Orient Star, a former madrasah in Khiva, Uzbekistan; the eco-friendly Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge; and the Splendid Cave Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey, where hundreds of hot air balloons light up the sky every day.
Signature experiences, meanwhile, include a sand dune dinner under the stars in the Indian town of Pushkar, and a stay with Peru’s Ese Eja people, an indigenous rainforest community.
Premium tours will be led by Intrepid’s most experienced tour leaders and destination experts.
The majority of accommodation offered on premium trips are locally-owned, and make use of renewable and alternative energy sources.
A number of trips will visit social enterprises working to promote gender equality, animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and economic empowerment, said Intrepid.
All trips are 100% carbon offset, and are designed to have a low environmental impact and positive impact on local communities.
"We identified many of our customers were seeking a higher-end product with purpose,” said Intrepid chief executive James Thornton.
"As we continue to prepare for a gradual and sustainable recovery, we saw premium as an opportunity to build a new style of tour that ensures local communities truly benefit from high-value tourism.
"We wanted to show that a premium product can also deliver on a premium purpose."
Intrepid added its premium product would "strongly align" on its focus on rebuilding responsibly from the pandemic.
All trips operate under WTTC Safe Travels protocols and are covered by the operator’s new flexible booking policy.