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Orbridge 10th Anniversary

Orbridge Celebrates 10th Anniversary


Educational travel specialist excels with focus on experience and relationships; anniversary year brings new destinations to Asia, South America, and Europe

Orbridge is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Headquartered on Bainbridge Island, Wash., the company is a premier provider of educational group travel featuring programs and experiences in destinations around the world.

Founded in 2008 by Jim Staples (a 20-year educational travel veteran), Orbridge, from its inception, has focused on offering unique, educational-based travel programs that provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Home-hosted meals, chef-led local market tours, top lecturers, and local experts help to define Orbridge’s engagement mandate. The company has taken guests to more than 40 destinations on six continents with itineraries that feature small ship voyages in Alaska and The Galapagos Islands, food and wine forays across Europe, expeditions through America’s national parks, and adventures by rail across Canada.

“While our product is the travel experience, our service is really about relationships—with our partners, the destination properties, and the operators with whom we work. Of course, the relationships with our guests are our most valuable. We recognize the trust they put in us to create the kind of experience they’ll cherish and want to share with others,” said Staples from the company’s satellite office in Lake Forest, IL.

Orbridge built its business working almost exclusively with alumni associations, and they are proud to partner with more than 140 such groups from colleges and universities across the U.S., and more recently with zoos and aquariums. Over the past few years, however, Orbridge has experienced an influx of independent travelers seeking alternative vacation options.

“In this day and age, there are more options than ever for people to plan their own vacations, but it can get overwhelming quickly. I think this is why we’ve seen a marked increase in the number of people reaching out to us; we take the stress out of planning and provide an experience that would be difficult for a traveler to replicate on their own,” said Staples. “Our principal mission is to surpass guest expectations every step of the way—from the reservation and pre-departure process, during the program itself, and through the guests’ returning journey home. The memory of the journey is one of the most important parts of the overall experience. We provide access to photographs and videos taken during the program and ask for any thoughts or improvements our guests would recommend.”
After every departure, Orbridge guests provide evaluations, which are essential for the enhancement and expansion of the company’s offerings. The company weighs guest feedback more heavily than any other factor in improving tours and in offering new destinations.

“We take guest feedback seriously, and guests are asking for additional destinations,” said Staples. “We are excited to further enrich our current travel programs as well as steadily grow our portfolio by developing new itineraries to other exciting locations. We owe our growth to our guests. We take any feedback or comments they have to heart."

Currently, Orbridge offers 20 travel programs with multiple departure dates throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. Travel experiences include The Wolves & Wildlife of Yellowstone, Toronto to Vancouver by Rail, Astounding Antarctica, Discover Egypt & the Nile Valley, and Tanzania Wildlife Safari.

New to the portfolio: a journey along the famous Trans-Siberian Railway and two additions to Orbridge’s popular Flavors series. Flavors of Chianti and Flavors of Chile & Argentina join existing Flavors programs that visit Catalonia, Northern Italy, and Sicily—each emphasizing local, award-winning (and often family-owned and -operated) vineyards, wineries, restaurants, and artisan shops that help define the essence of that region. Flavors itineraries, which continue to receive accolades from guests, provide one-of-a-kind, immersive experiences—from cooking classes led by celebrated chefs who share their own family traditions and recipes, to winery and farm explorations guided by vintners, olive and balsamic oil producers, farmers, and owners who are often the latest of several generations to run the family business.

“This anniversary year marks an exciting time for the company,” said Meg Rice, Orbridge’s Director of Marketing. “We are enthusiastically expanding our reach into social media channels that provide access to new audiences, while simultaneously enhancing our website to feature exceptional video and photography assets that further help illustrate our travel programs.”

A complete listing of Orbridge travel experiences including full program details is available at Those interested in available travel dates and placing a reservation should call (866) 639-0079.

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