Exceptional natural history expeditions, safaris
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2018/2019 Expeditions

  Australia & New Zealand
  Central & South America
  Europe, Russia & the Arctic
  North America

Bruges, Belgium

Brabo Fountain, Antwerp

Lily pond, Kew Gardens, London

Descent from the Cross by Reubens, Antwerp Cathedral

London Telephones



Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites from London to Bergen
and featuring an exclusive lunch at EDINBURGH ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS

May 12–22, 2019

Dear Traveler,
The British Isles, Belgium, and Norway in springtime are lovely, verdant places, and this voyage is carefully designed to showcase the very best they have to offer. As we sail from London into the North Sea, we pause along the way to explore the remarkable gardens of both shores.

British Isles, Belgium, and Norway voyage map

Our first special engagements occur before we even step foot onboard ship. Pre-embarkation, spend the day at Kew Gardens, London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site with the most diverse collection of living plants in the world. Before transferring to Le Boréal, your five-star vessel that hosts no more than 264 guests, we’ll also visit Chelsea Physic Garden, tucked away in an almost secret location beside the Thames and the oldest botanic garden in London.

In other ports along the way, excursions with a focus on gardens, art, and history will be available. From Ostend, you may travel to Kasteel van Oostkerke to explore the garden designed by Mien Ruys. Norway’s Stavanger is home to the exotic gardens of Flor og Fjære as well as a fascinating maritime history. But the highlight of our voyage lies at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. In late spring, the Garden’s lilacs put on a magnificent display, its rhododendrons are bursting, and the star of the show is the Syringa tomentella from western China. As we take in this lush world of color and scent, we’ll sit down to an exclusive gala luncheon on site, hosted by the Garden staff.

Our traveling companion and expert guide to this rich horticultural experience will be Holly Shimizu, recently-retired director of the U.S. Botanic Garden. The fertile shores of the North Sea are the perfect backdrop for her discussions on European gardening. Join Holly and Toronto Botanical Garden in May 2019 on an enlivening journey.


Margaret M. Betchart
President, Betchart Expeditions Inc.
For AAAS Travels, ACS & Sigma Xi Expeditions

Starting at $5,390 plus air

Brochure (Requires an Adobe pdf reader to view)



Le Boréal sailing into London
All Photos Copyright © Ponant




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