Cheap Tickets Canada.com and Far and Away Adventures.com owners Normand and Kirsten Schafer aren’t ones to stay at the office listening to customers experiences in far-off places.
Over the years they have done their own share of travelling - not just on their own but more often than not with their seven children in tow.
The couple has trekked up the Andean Mountains to Machu Picchu, explored the Galapagos Islands, and a few years ago the family went on a six-week trip to French Polynesia including a trip to the Marquesas on a small freighter/cruise ship. Closer to home, in 2008, they completed a two-month cross-Canada marketing campaign in their motor home.
This April the family will begin their most adventurous trip ever: sailing with their family of 9 on a year-long adventure to the South Pacific. With only the most basic knowledge about sailing and how to get the boat moving without using a engine “we know virtually nothing” says Normand.
"We would like to highlight the great adventure destinations of the South Pacific that are still relatively untouched by commercial tourism,” Normand says. “We will also focus on the benefits and considerations involved when travelling as a family."
In an effort to show travel opportunities within the South Pacific, the Schafers plan on working the high tech component into their trip while visiting French Polynesia (including the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Tahiti) along with possible visits to other remote archipelagos such as the Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu, before ending up in Australia.
"We will promote travel destinations through online blogs, YouTube, social websites such as Twitter and Facebook and by posting our route and GPS-mapped photos and videos on Google Maps and Google Earth," Normand says.
The Schafer family will be guided by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) as they voyage through the tropics and SPTO Chief Executive Officer, Ilisoni Vuidreketi acknowledges that the promotion of their journey online will help educate international travellers on what the South Pacific islands have to offer.
"People will be able to track the Schafer’s route and may be able to interact with them as they go and the family will be armed with GPS-enabled video and digital cameras and ham radios outfitted for voice and email communication" say Vuidreketi.
Normand Schafer has travelled all over the world but says that "this will be our biggest and most perilous adventure yet. We hope to have over a million subscribers to our blogs in the coming months as we share our South Pacific adventure,"
Visit www.FamilyAdventuring.com for more information about this voyage.
(Source: SPTO Press Release 12 April 2013)