First Choice Expeditions, parent company of INTRAV, today announced the sale of the Clipper Odyssey and Clipper Adventurer expedition ships to International Shipping Partners, A move “that reflects the development of our business and growing number of experientially minded travelers who are the mainstay of INTRAV,” said Randy Durband, INTRAV’S president.

Since the 1995 merger of INTRAV and Clipper Cruise Line, the two companies have operated together, as if they were a single entity. Now, with the sale of the Clipper ships, the two companies will diverge, “allowing INTRAV to focus all of our energies on the immersive travel experiences and products which are increasingly popular among our clientele,” Durband noted.

While INTRAV will go on operating deluxe small-ship cruises worldwide, “the sale of the ships frees us to focus on our acclaimed luxury river voyages, our land and safari journeys, our newly expanded ‘Wings Over’ series and our customized ‘Inventing’ travel desk programs. This new strategy more closely reflects INTRAV’s pedigree and essential DNA, The very qualities and in-depth destination programs that truly distinguish us in the marketplace,” Durband said.

In effect repositioning the company as a result of the Clipper sale, “INTRAV will go right on fulfilling travelers loftiest travel expectations with personally transforming experiences the world over and carefully selected Clipper itineraries. Essentially, we’re returning to our roots as one of the pioneers of immersive travel in some of the greatest destinations on earth by virtually any and all modes of transportation,” he said.

The New INTRAV…After Clipper

With the sale, INTRAV will operate its scheduled Clipper Adventurer departures through February 2008, and will charter the vessel for Antarctica expeditions for the next five years. INTRAV will operate its Clipper Odyssey sailings through September 2007.

“Our relationship with Clipper has been extremely rewarding over the past 20 years but now is the right time for us to reach beyond these experiences so we can do justice to the full range of our exciting products worldwide, allowing us to expand our popular ‘Wings Over’ and ‘Inventing’ desk offerings and giving us the flexibility we need to innovate and keep pace with changing traveler demands.  As we were in the beginning, an innovator, so shall it be again,” Durband noted.

Continuing to provide exceptional travel experiences, INTRAV’s new focus includes:

Small-ship cruising to Antarctica aboard 122-guest Clipper Adventurer plus other worldwide voyages such as the 62-guest Monet sailing the Dalmatian Coast. New itineraries will also be on offer in 2008 and beyond.

European river cruising featuring the exclusive charter of the Sound of Music, among the most luxurious vessels sailing the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers. The longest running US operator of European river cruises also has additional deluxe voyages in the offing including Russia and Portugal’s Douro Valley.

“Wings Over” series, featuring air and land travel, expands from the Nile, Kilimanjaro (Kenya/Tanzania), and Southern Africa programs to also include Turkey and Australia/New Zealand in 2008.

Land and safari journeys to exotic destinations including Africa, India, China, and Morocco.
Custom-made travel experiences, expanding beyond the popular “Inventing Southern Africa” desk to include “Inventing Turkey and Greece” and other regions of the world in 2008.

Since its founding in 1959, St. Louis-based INTRAV has built a formidable reputation as an innovative designer and operator of worldwide river cruises, land and safari journeys and small-ship expeditions.  With operational experience in more than 90 countries, INTRAV offers more itinerary choices to more destinations around the world.  For additional information about INTRAV call (800) 456-8100 or visit