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WHY JOHN GRAY?

RIGHT TRIP SELECTION

How to Select the right Trip for you

SeaCanoe International operates in five different countries - four in South-East Asia and one on the South Pacific. By coincidence, we also offer five styles of experience. There is certainly an option for you, but please read this Selection Guide closely to guarantee that you get the trip you want. We want to understand which trip is perfect for you and your budget.

Our Market

"I've had at least two paddling partners cry while I was paddling them in inflatables", Caveman remembers: The first was a 93-year old lady I took surfing off Waikiki. We rode a six footer 200 meters. When I asked about the tears she said "I watch those surfers every day from my top floor condo, and I've always dreamed of riding a wave. I knew it was impossible, but I just did it." The second was a quadriplegic. I tied him in and we paddled the Windward side. I watched him carefully, and noticed the tears. I asked if he had salt spray in his eyes. "No, it just that I've been in a hospital room the past 12 years and this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

There are hundreds of mind-bending stories like these two. They all prove that there's a SeaCanoe experience just for you. We appeal to big wave surfers and non-swimmers, general adventurers, naturalists and folks who have never been camping. We have high-action for seasoned adventurers who have never been paddling, top quality bungalow stays for the sedate and budget minded, and if you can't travel, there are expedition videos for armchair adventurers. We've taken people into their 90's, several paraplegics and even a quadriplegic. Our youngest customers were both 11 months - one went caving and one went surfing in his mother's arms - both laughed their entire trip.

There's a One-Of-A-Kind Limited volume Millennium expedition that is US$ 5,000, kayak camps that cost almost nothing, and rentals for experienced kayakers. The one thing they all share is Excellent Value for Money. Because we build a Family of repeat business via word-of-mouth, we invest in your trip instead of expensive promotions and brochures. And because SeaCanoe is a Labor of Love, and we take Pride in sharing our experiences with our friends - that's you.

Why Different Countries and Options?
Quite simply, we keep developing new trips for those of you who did all the rest.

Even before you finish your first trip, you want to do another SeaCanoe adventure - usually a different trip in a different country. Several members of our "O'Hana" ('Hawaiian for "family') have done most of our trips - starting with Hawai'i in the 80's. After sixteen years, our very first customer finally did the Phuket overnight trip - after doing almost all the others first!

We also have personal reasons - remember, it's a Labor Of Love. Our staff want an international perspective; and visit their co-workers from different countries. We all want to experience new cultures as much as you do. And Caveman runs charters because he enjoys small, intimate travels to the coastlines and islands he loves - or has never visited.

Most importantly, we are an Eco-development demonstration that introduces environmentalism and enlightenment into developing economies. That's why we left the comfort of Polynesia for the Environmental Battles of Asia. SeaCanoe belongs to more than just one country.

PRICING PHILOSOPHY

An archaeologist did a SeaCanoe overnighter for our staff education program. "How refreshing - a company that isn't out to maximize profits." In his four days with our staff he discovered that Nature, Quality and Staff really do come first at SeaCanoe.

Our goal is to get you and your children excited about Nature Conservation and our shared "Family of Man". When we design a product, we ask ourselves 'Is this worthwhile, rewarding and good value for a family?" We want to make our natural history experiences accessible for all, so we offer different styles and standards. The one thing they all have in common is "value for money'.

Unfortunately, remote adventures don't come cheap. Quality is often expensive - so is getting it there. And a boat - kayak or escort boat - is just a hole in the water that we pour money into. Three days in Phang Nga trip is US$550, four-days in Ha Long trip is US$700, and most two-week trips are over US$2,000 - below the industry standard, but still a bit of change.

Where we can, we offer bungalows, kayak camps or rentals. It isn't the same standard, but the experience, quality and value is still there.

Our Products

Charters - Our staff become your friends, and many people return for a private trip with their favorite guide. We enjoy running them, so to make them accessible, we charge only basic costs, but remember our normal pricing is based upon a minimum of four. Single-person service, or couples, is obviously more expensive, and our overhead is reflected in our surcharge schedules. We don't charge extra if you request a specific guide (unless you take Caveman away from his computer), but do expect to pay their transportation costs to get to your trip.

Expeditions - These comprehensive 10-14 day trips cover natural history, culture and a variety of sites with a single lead guide. They may be single or multi-country, such as Ha Long - Lao - South Thailand. We understand most folks want a good overview of the destination, and we feel we deliver better cultural insights than most folks get on normal "Discovery" itineraries - especially of unspoiled remote village life. Several expeditions are self-paddle down extremely remote coastlines.

Escort Boat Trips - Reasonably priced, comfortable, and in calm water, these are our most popular trips. In Thailand and the Philippines, we run 3-day trips with Sunday and Wednesday departures; and 6-day trips with Sunday departures. Ha Long is 4-, 6- and 8-day trips because of the drive from Hanoi and the size of the Bay - for now, Ha Long has open departures. Because we use a small Banca, the Philippine trips are less than the comparable Thailand trips with their large escort boats (with shower and toilet).
Some guests prefer to sleep on deck, but even with the escort boat, expect beach camping. Anybody who is up to camping can do these easy trips. Non-swimmers are welcome, but must wear a life vest.

Self-paddle trips - These trips are designed for sea kayakers and other physically active folks. They visit many of the same locations as escort boat trips, but spend a lot of time paddling between sites. All camping, cooking and personal gear is packed into the kayak and there is no support boat. These trips are a bit less, but not for everyone.

Bungalows and Kayak Camps - We offer these products with thanks to two great bungalows, in Phang Nga Bay and one at the End of the Earth in Fiji. They are small volume programs - Nawa Nawa has a capacity of four unless you camp - but they are excellent experiences that offer high standard room and board with motor launch support paddling to our overnight sites. If you can book them, Nawa Nawa and Ta Kow offer unbelievable value for money.

Day trips - Most folks book our day trips on-site in Coron, Hanoi or Phuket/Krabi. Day trips are popular with SCUBA diver on the day before they fly, so we do accept international bookings by credit card, but there are terms. Although there is almost 24 hours on the water, we consider our 2-day Ha Long trip as a day trip.

Rentals - If you have proven sea kayaking credentials and a credit card, we rent our sit-on-top kayaks. Open and easy to snorkel from, Scupper Pros are good long range touring boats, and the high volume Scrambler XE is even popular. We don't recommend inflatables for long range touring, but they are great if you are doing a lot of birding or camera work. We used to have some decked boats, but they never got any use. If the demand is there, we can buy some more. Despite shipping costs and customs duty, rental prices are comparable with Hawai'i and the USA West Coast.



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©2005 John Gray Sea Canoe Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
124 Soi 1 Yaowarat Rd., Taladyai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Tel. (66-76) 254505-7 | Fax: (66-76) 226077
E-mail: info@johngrayseacanoevietnam.com