A series of tours aimed at science enthusiasts will allow guests to track snow leopards in the Himalayas, explore dark matter at CERN in Switzerland and even cruise to Hawaii with Richard Dawkins. Anthony Pearce reports

New Scientist, a leading science and technology magazine, has launched new Discovery tours for 2020, which are based around astronomy, wildlife, volcanology, space travel and particle physics.

Guests will be joined by New Scientist editors, science specialists, academics and authors. According to the magazine, travellers will have the opportunity to engage with them as they share their extensive scientific knowledge during each uniquely curated trip.

Kevin Currie, director of New Scientist Discovery Tours, told Globetrender: “The new Discovery Tours provide a mix of popular tourist sites and off-the-beaten-track experiences. It is the combination of our uniquely curated itineraries, access to science specialists and limited spaces available on the tours that gives the overall experience a ‘special’ feel and makes them different from other tours in the market.”

“We support local communities by working with numerous guides who are based in the destinations including Art Taylor on our Whale-watching in Baja tour and Madagascan super-guide, Charles Randrianantenaina on our Wildlife of Madagascar tour. Some of the tours include donations to local conservation charities.”

Among the tours is a cruise around the islands of Hawaii led by evolutionary biologist and author, Richard Dawkins (eight days from £8,495pp, departing on 22 October 2020, excluding flights). Participants will explore sites including the Volcanic National Park and observatories on Mauna Kea, as well as attending seminars from Dawkins.

Another trip allows guests to track the elusive snow leopard in the Himalayas (12 days from £5,995 per person, departing on 22 March 2020, excluding international flights). The expedition works with the Snow Leopard Conservancy Trust India in Ladakh and is accompanied by naturalist, trekker and guide Jennifer Nandi.

Guests can also join the Ancient Caves, Human Origins, Bilbao and Santander tour in Spain (seven days from £2,099pp, departing May 16 and September 12, 2020, excluding flights).

On the tour, people will have the opportunity to see the oldest known cave painting in the world at El Castillo and experience the wonders of Las Monedas, La Peña Cave, El Pindal and Tito Bustillo in small groups by torchlight.

The tour will also include visits to the beautiful towns and cities of Bilbao, Santander, Santilla and Oviedo followed by a trip to the Guggenheim Museum and Rioja wine-tasting with a local expert.

Currie said that the tours are suitable for anyone who has an interest in science. “The Discovery Tours are great for people who are not necessarily wanting an intense science-based holiday but want to travel to and learn about a destination in a unique way by interacting with science experts,” he added.

Other science-based adventures include visiting Virgin Galactic’s Spaceport America, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN and seeing the total solar eclipse in Argentina in 2020.

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