Toto Tours News ~ January 2023
Message from the President
How is the new year going for you? At times it seems like there’s nothing but a world of trouble out there – with atmospheric rivers flooding the west, new covid variants on the upsurge, China drowning in a sea of infections, uprisings in Brazil and Peru and Iran, the devastation of Ukraine by Russia causing untold hardships and world-wide economic tumult, a dysfunctional government at home – the list goes on and on. If I focus on the negative, existence becomes bleak and I only see heartbreak and struggle. Why should I leave my safety zone? Why not shut down Toto Tours and stay home in my comfortable bubble with my good friends and loving husband? But that is not the story I choose to write for my life!
I choose to focus on the positive, knowing from experience that whatever I focus on becomes more apparent and increases. The more I seek out the positive elements of life, the more I discover and the more enjoyable life becomes. When I vibrate in harmony with the eager desire of all of us to get back out there to experience the beauty of our incredible planet and the wonders that its peoples have produced throughout the ages, I discover the strength to continue creating opportunities for us to share incredible adventures together. I know that this – more than accumulating money or possessions – is what makes life worth living.
From my personal perspective 2023 is off to a fantastic start. I had a clear CT scan at the 1.5-year mark following my cancer surgery. That news alone makes other troubles fade away to insignificance! On the heels of a wonderful expedition with 17 amazing humans in Morocco last November, I’m about to head off to India with a group of 19 Toto adventurers. Enroute to India I will be spending a week in Bangladesh scouting its highlights for a possible new tour destination. Our subsequent tours in 2023 are selling beautifully. I announced our Cinque Acque tour to the Italian Lakes just a few days ago, and within hours the reservations were pouring in. We are holding just 14 rooms at our lakeside hotels and they are sure to sell out quickly, so don’t delay if you want to share in this experience. Let me brief you about other tours that are in the works.
Join us on an exclusive safari in the land of the Maasai and the “Big Five” November 3 – 18, 2023 (counting fly days). We begin in Arusha, Tanzania, and head off to the Ngorongoro Crater – truly a world wonder! Game drives in Tarangire and Amboseli National Parks are followed by explorations of Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmenteita and Lake Naivasha. While in the Maasai Mara and the Northern Serengeti we cross into Kenya, ending our adventure in Nairobi. Click here to read the details in advance of their being posted on our website. Save the dates! We’ll be accepting reservations soon.
Fragrant tea grows in abundance on the lush slopes of Kerala. Just as the leaves settle towards the bottom of the pot when brewed to perfection, it seems like the most flavorful elements of Indian cuisine, culture and spirituality have settled in the southernmost regions of the country in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Experience all the most colorful and interesting facets of the region during our “World Apart” tour one year from now, January 10 – 23, 2024. Receive a blessing from a holy elephant at the colorful Sri Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, where we also observe the Pongal Festival giving praise to the Sun God following a bountiful harvest. Luxuriate at a lush tea plantation and at a spa resort set amidst the placid backwaters of Kerala. We first explored this region in 2009, and again in 2015. We can’t wait to return! Let us take you to another world. Your own will never be the same again. Click here to read details prior to their publication on our website.
Join us for a classic journey to experience the wonders of Indochina. Experience the beauty and character of several magical kingdoms during this highlights tour of a region the French once called Indochine. Luxuriate in lavish hotels, spend one night on a deluxe “junk” on Halong Bay, experience the swirl of Saigon and the French colonial feel of Hanoi, savor the sights and sounds of the Mekong Delta, enjoy the mystical quietude of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and revel in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang in Laos. Toto Tours continues its tradition of offering exciting, exotic destinations that provide a feast for the senses. Click here to read pre-launch details of the tour as it is currently developing.
In the southeastern corner of Europe lies the Turkish Republic—a land of beauty, abundance, great cities, quaint villages, fertile mountain valleys, and azure seas. It is the home of the Turks, a proud people with a great heritage, a deep history, and a smile for every visitor. Turkey is part of Europe, but it is hardly like the rest of Europe. It has a special place in world geography, history and commerce. For centuries, the fertile peninsula called Anatolia or Asia Minor, has been a land bridge linking Europe with Western Asia. In Istanbul you can actually walk across a great bridge from one continent to the other. We invite you to cross that bridge with us, from the Western world you have always known to a land of mystery and romance. Join us where the mysteries of the East, the beauties of nature, and the pleasures of modern living are blended in fabulous ways rarely experienced by “The Occidental Tourist.” Click here to read a sneak-peek of the itinerary as it is currently in development.
In a previous newsletter I mentioned that we are planning a cruise aboard a luxury hotel barge in France in September 2024. Better dates and a more convenient routing have become available since then. We’ll enjoy three nights in Paris starting September 1, 2024, and then board our barge on September 4 to commence a six-night / seven-day cruise beginning in Paris. That means that we can enjoy seeing the romantic “City of Lights” during a night cruise on the day we come aboard. Our itinerary brings us gently from Paris to the edge of Burgundy, docking at the towns indicated on the map. We’ll pass the beautiful forest of Fontainebleau—once the hunting grounds for French royalty and a natural inspiration for many artists. Discover prestigious monuments and famous sites. Travel back in time at the Vaux-le-Vicomte and Fontainebleau castles. You'll fall in love with Barbizon, the timeless painters' village. The architectural treasures of Provins—a medieval city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site—and Sens unfold before your eyes. We provide a transfer from Sens to the Paris airport at the conclusion of our cruise. Stay tuned for more details.
Jan 27 – Feb 10, 2023
Closed - Sold Out
INCREDIBLE INDIARajasthan & desert festivalDetails
March 14-22 (or 26), 2023
Full - Waitlist Open
River of the PharaohsLuxury egypt (plus Jordan)Details
April 20 - 30, 2023
PERUVIAN PARADISEAndean highlightsDetails
June 12 – 21, 2023
BRAZILIAN BRIOPride (9-12) ~ Regions ~ Rio (21-23)Details
September 1 – 10, 2023
Open - Guaranteed
CINQUE AQUAEItaly Lakes (+Cinque Terre)Details
PANDEMIC POSTPONED Tours
April 17 – May 1, 2020
IllyriaAlbania ~ macedonia ~ kosovoDetails
May 7 – 15, 2020
ANIMAL KINGDOMBotswana fly-in safariDetails
June 6 – 13, 2020
Lisbon Ext. June 3 - 6
Atlantic ArchipelagoThe azores (plus Lisbon)Details
June 25 – July 5, 2020
Incredible IndonesiaSingapore ~ Bali ~ FloresDetails
July 29 – August 9, 2020
Spice IslandFlavors of Sri LankaDetails
October 9 – 20, 2020
Orissa Extension to October 24
BENGAL BAYKolkata, Sundarbans, Andaman IslandsDetails
December 7 - 19, 2020
Last ContinentAntarctica CruiseDetails
Toto Tours has been serving the LGBT community since 1990. We have the distinction of being the only gay tour company in existence which has been operating with the same ownership and management for such a long span of time. We are dedicated to creating exciting travel opportunities that enable our community to explore the wonders of the world in comfort and safety while having the time of our lives. Our clients come back year after year to travel with friends they met on previous trips, meet new people, and explore different parts of the world. We constantly develop new adventures to appeal to everyone, from those venturing on their first international trip, to even the most experienced and frequent world travelers. Our name is derived from the Latin word meaning "all-inclusive." The rainbow colors of the gay flag weave through the word TOTO to symbolize our connections to each other, our communities, and the world. Welcome to Toto Tours, where gay men, lesbians, their close friends and adult family members are invited to travel together to discover all the delights this world has to offer -- "in Toto."
KEEP HOPE ALIVE
In this difficult time we have created a short video message (at the right) to offer encouragement, and to remind everyone that this pandemic will someday be a memory. We might feel helpless right now, and unable to do all the things that we love (like exploring the world), but we can use this time to take an exciting inner journey to explore more about who we are and what we believe. We could very well emerge from such an adventure as more centered humans who are better able to cope with unexpected situations, and grateful for all the good things we have. This is the Toto Spirit. We support you on this inner journey and look forward to the day when we can once again travel together! -- Dan Ware, Founder
Blog posts from Recent Tours
Words cannot describe the beauty of Africa -- seeing wildlife in their natural habitat along with the beauty and landscape of the Namibian desert. I had such a great time that I returned for my second Toto Tour (to the Balkans) one year later!
Grover Hartt & Charles Foster
The meticulous arrangements, including knowledgeable and accessible lecturers with comfortable and luxurious accommodations, impressed us a lot during our incredible trip to Antarctica.
Nick Barrett and Piero Bonino
Our Normandy tour with Toto in 2016 was fascinating, with a brilliant local guide who had an encyclopedic knowledge of French History, Customs and Culture.
I had an excellent time with the Toto Tours family for our Antarctica cruise. Dan is always making sure everyone is taken care of and included. I would encourage people to give Toto Tours a try because it is awesome!
I am a retired illustrator, and I enjoy traveling all around the world with Toto Tours. I've gone with them to Costa Rica, Newfoundland, Germany, Turkey, and most recently to Tanzania where we saw incredible wildlife! I love meeting new friends on Toto Tours, and hope I will meet you on a future tour -- somewhere in this beautiful world!
While creating lifelong memories, tour members also snap incredible photos which we share at the end of every tour. Here are a few wonderful moments out of thousands.