Vacation Architect

Gina Bach

Senior Director of Exclusive Journeys

Age: 37

Home: Denver, Colorado

Joined Exclusive Resorts In: 2005

Just Back From: San Sebastian, Spain

On the Itinerary: Members-Only Mediterranean Cruise

1

Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto and Hakone

"What sets Exclusive Journeys apart is our insider access. It’s really second to none and that showed more than ever on our trip to Japan. This is a destination that can seem impenetrable if you don’t have the right connections. Our guests spent time with geishas, who are usually quite mysterious. We also arranged a meeting with a man who makes kimonos for the emperor, as well as celebrities such as Elton John."

2

Alaska: An expedition by Land & Sea

"Normally when you visit Alaska you choose between a hotel to hotel land program or a cruise. Exclusive Journeys wanted to do both. We were aware most of our members are working professionals who can’t take 14 days of vacation, so we hired our own boat for three weeks and used it for four separate trips. We weren’t doing the usual tour bus stuff. We had active adventures, like glacier hiking and spotting bears via kayaks. Highlights included a helicopter landing atop Denali and having a local fisherman deliver fresh-caught fish to the boat via float plane."

3

Kenya: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy & Maasai Mara

"Kenya has a reputation for great game viewing but because we are in a private reserve you aren’t restricted to a Jeep. We experienced the wildlife by horseback so we were trotting alongside giraffes. As incredible as the animals are, the most memorable moment of this trip was visiting a local school where Exclusive Resorts members participated in a soccer match with the kids. There are two things that transcend a language barrier: sports and a smile."


4

Turkey: Istanbul, Cappadocia & Ephesus

“On our Turkey journey we were able to arrange private tours of Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace for our members before normal opening hours. Later in the day when we saw the long lines we all appreciated having these famous museums all to ourselves. In Cappadocia, we had a meal in a family home. The ingredients were picked straight from the garden and the food was of the highest quality, but the best part was listening to how recipes get handed down from generation to generation.”

5

Antarctica Expedition: Exploring the White Continent

"Antarctica marked that seventh continent bucket list check for many of our 100 members on this 11-night journey. It was certainly special to be in a place so remote and silent, but the highlight for me was when we drilled the ship into an iceberg so the passengers could all walk onto the ice. The crew attempted to drill down many times so it seemed like a miracle when we stuck. Everyone got off the boat at 11 p.m. to take a group photo. An impromptu snowball fight broke out and it was this special moment of feeling like you are a kid again in this amazing setting. That’s a moment that bonds strangers for life."