On the road with R. Crusoe.

This fall, R. Crusoe & Son has been on the move with several special interest groups. Where have we been, and what have we been up to?

Mid-October found us in Southern Africa with the IHG Owners Association Chairman’s Trip (see pictures of the journey here) whose members are a group of international hotel owners. They’ve traveled with Crusoe quite a few times before.

  • Came across this pair of cheetahs. We're not really fans of house cats, but these big cats in the wild are a wonder. #Botswana #rcrusoe #rcrusoeandson

After most opted to tour Soweto and nearby Pretoria in South Africa, the entire group headed to Botswana for magical safaris in Chobe National Park and Moremi Wildlife Reserve in the Okavango Delta.

Wrapping up days of magnificent animal encounters (including, for some, two leopard sightings, which are hotly anticipated but never guaranteed), the group continued to Zimbabwe for a quick look at Victoria Falls. The sun was out, and so were the rainbows.

Cape Town, South Africa, was next. Here, our travelers split their time between the city proper, the historic Cape Winelands, and the gorgeous Cape Peninsula.

From Cape Town to Johannesburg. Since R. Crusoe was in the neighborhood, we flew over to Madagascar to confirm arrangements for another special interest group.

R. Crusoe had been asked to develop a journey for friends of The Field Museum of Chicago (see pictures of the journey here) through southern Madagascar. This was quite a special tour, as the group traveled in the company of Dr. Steve Goodman, an American field biologist for the museum who for decades has been living and researching in Madagascar. He kept the travelers well informed on the significance of all they saw (and people they met) in this fascinating country. The national parks are chock full of flora and fauna that few Americans have ever seen.

Around the world to Japan, next, with a group of patrons from the Boston Symphony Orchestra (see pictures of the journey here). They, too, have traveled extensively with us, following their beloved musicians on tour.

  • #Kinkaku-Ji, the Golden Pavilion. Were so wowed by the site that we missed on this photo. Should have taken one step to the right. Oops. Still beautiful... # Kyoto #rcrusoe #rcrusoeandson

The patrons began with a pre-tour in Kyoto. A samurai castle. A tempura dinner overlooking an exquisite Japanese garden. A fascinating lecture on Zen Buddhism by a monk at Tenryuji temple and garden (a UNESCO site). A walk through a bamboo forest. And an insider’s look at the spectacular I.M. Pei-designed Miho Museum.

The group continued to Osaka, where Peter Grilli, Japan Society of Boston President Emeritus, organized an exclusive backstage tour for patrons and a performance at the National Bunraku Theater, famous for its traditional puppet shows.

One of Japan’s most famous geishas, Mineko Iwasaki, taught the patrons about the history of geishas followed by a private performance. Ms. Iwasaki was the source and inspiration for Arthur Golden’s best-selling novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, which fictionalized her life story. During her visit, Ms. Iwasaki presented the BSO patrons with beautifully signed copies of her autobiography, written to set the record straight.

After seeing two temple treasures in the historic city of Nara, it was on to Tokyo.

From Japan’s capital city, the group day-tripped to Kamakura and entered a private home to view—with the resident collector—an exceptional array of ancient screens.

In Tokyo, the group learned about Noh theater from a legendary Noh master, and they even played parts in a brief performance, which allowed them to understand the subtleties of this unique art form.

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kazuyo Sejima designed Tokyo’s new Sumida Hokusai Museum, our next stop. It tells the story of the life story of Hokusai, the famous ukiyoe print artist. Patrons also got an insider’s look at the building and its design in the company of the project architect Kota Fukuhara, who led the patrons on a private tour.

All of these experiences were topped off by experiencing fabulous BSO performances. It’s always exciting to hear the reception that top American orchestras receive overseas.

Do you know a group that enjoys unusual international travel with behind-the-scenes access? Seamless arrangements? Experts on site? Give us a call at 888-490-8046 or email info@rcrusoe.com, and let’s chat.

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