Pharmacy Small Group Tours

2016 Program
 
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Who and what are Pharmacy Small Group Tours?


Pharmacy Small Group Tours is an initiative conceived by Mike Lazarow and pharmacist colleague, Dipak Sanghvi. Whilst as a senior executive at a large pharmaceutical company one of Mike's responsibilities was the organization of overseas conferences for the pharmacist clientele. This gave him wide experience in organising and escorting large groups to overseas destinations. After retiring from the Company in 2002 it soon became apparent that there remained a strong demand from a number of pharmacists who had enjoyed the group travel experience to continue the initiative but with a far smaller group and to destinations that larger groups might not be able to access.

The key to our success is to also offer a Business Program on each tour from which pharmacists can earn CPD credits. Delegates attending sign an Attendance Register and are given a Certificate of Attendance. Delegates may choose to offset part of the cost of attendance as a legitimate business expense however we strongly advise that this be discussed with their financial advisor.

Who May Attend?

Although the tours are marketed under the title of Pharmacy Small Group Tours they are open to anyone in the pharmaceutical industry, their friends or friends of the industry. Accountants, lawyers, medicos and engineers have also attended in the past. The only limitation is on the overall number attending.

Where Have They Been Already?

 

  In 2005, the first Colours of India Tour traveled to the Golden Triangle of India viz, Rajasthan, visiting Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur and Samode. In 2006 this same itinerary was repeated as the demand was so high and overall numbers were always limited.

In February 2007 a group was taken to Southern India visiting Mumbai and then heading south to Cochin and Kumarakom and the Kerala Backwaters.   

Click here to see the group photo from Colours of India Tour

  In September 2007 a Pharmacy Small Group Tour titled Dynasties of China headed to China for the first time. The itinerary included Beijing, Xian, Yangtze River Cruise, Shanghai, Guilin and Hong Kong.

Click here to see the group photo from Dynasty of China Tour
  In October 2008 the Croatia & Beyond Tour travelled to Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro

Click here to see the group photos from Croatia and Beyond Tour

 
In September 2009 the Drums of Africa Tour visited Namibia as well as Kenya (Samburu and Masai Mara).

Click here to see the group photo from Drums of Africa Tour
  In September/October 2010 the Footsteps of the Cossacks Tour traveled to Istanbul (Turkey), Bulgaria, Romania then Ukraine and all around the Crimean Peninsula.
The tour cruised up the Dnieper River to Kiev before flying to Moscow and visiting St Petersburg as well.

Click here to see the group photo from Footsteps of the Cossacks Tour
  In September 2011  the group travelled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos on the Rice to Riches Tour. The tour also included a memorable wreath laying ceremony at the site of the Battle of Long Tan

Click here to see the group photo from Rice for the Riches Tour
  In February 2012 the group travelled to Argentina first visiting Iguazu Falls for a few days as well as Buenos Aires before heading south to Ushuaia. There they boarded the MS Expedition cruising the Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea.

Click here to see the group photo from the Antarctica – the Last Frontier Tour

In August 2012 Fire and Ice Tour travelled north to Oslo before flying to Svalbaard and boarding the MS Expedition and sailing into the Realm of the Polar Bear. The group sailed in the Arctic Sea reaching 82°N. Spotting wild life such as whales of all types, arctic fox, polar bear , walrus and many bird species. The group then headed to Iceland and Greenland to experience life in a totally different environment. Also visited Copenhagen before heading home. 

Click here to see the group photo from the Fire and Ice Tour
Click here to see pictures taken by the delegates

  In February 2013 Drums of Africa headed back to Africa. This time to witness the Migration of the Wildebeest in Tanzania before flying to Victoria Falls, travelling on the luxury Rovos Rail from Victoria Falls to Pretoria before extending on to Cape Town, South Africa.

Click here to see the group photo from the Drums of Africa Tour
Click here to see pictures taken by the delegates

Many thanks to Gerard and Ethe Stevens, Anne & Gary Borgna, Sue & Rory Milne, Lynette Brown and Tony Sellars, John and Donna West, Michael & Lisa Graydon and Mike Lazarow for submitting their photos to be included in this Drums of Africa Tour Selection.
  The Golden Bear Tour took place in Aug/Sept 2013. The tour began in Helsinki then travelled throughout the Baltic States visiting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The group visited Tallinn, Riga, Hill of Crosses, Klaipeda, Rundale Palace, the Curonian Spit, Kaunas, Trakai and Vilnius and all points in between.

Thereafter we flew to Moscow where we boarded the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express for a 14 night rail journey across 7 time zones and a third of the circumference of the planet all the way to Vladivostok on the east coast of Russia. Travelling through Siberia plus a visit to Mongolia were highlights but surely the diversion to Lake Baikal was for many, a stunning experience. Lake Baikal is the largest and deepest fresh water lake in the world and holds over 20% of the world’s entire supply of fresh water. A stunning experience  and one to cross off a personal bucket list.

 Click here to see the group photo from the Golden Bear Tour 

  In Feb/March 2014 a tour group visited Jordan and Israel for 15 days. Key highlights in Jordan were the visit to Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, the Dead Sea region and actually swimming in the Dead Sea as well as the sensational Crusader ruins at Jerash. Inspiring was the opportunity that several ladies took to be baptised in the River Jordan.
In Israel the tour had a range of jaw-dropping experiences visiting the fortress mountain of Masada, seeing Jerusalem from every vantage point including the unbelievable Western Wall tunnels, the Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and much, much more.
The tour then moved on to Caesarea, Akko and then Haifa . Highlights were a visit to a Druze village and the Sea of Galilee.
Finally we arrived in Tel Aviv where modern Israel was observed as well as an understanding of what the country went through to obtain their independence.

Click here to see the group photos from Footsteps of the Prophets Tour 

  In Aug/Sept 2014 we travelled to Colombia and Ecuador including the Ecuadorian Amazon as well as the Galapagos. This was a superb tour with a full complement of participants.
Colombian Highlights included the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira, the capital city of Bogota and the Caribbean City of Cartagena. A favourite was the authentic 300 year old town of Villa de Leyva. The coffee triangle was a wonderful experience and much coffee was consumed.
In Ecuador clearly the adventure into the Amazon Basin and Sacha Lodge was a standout. Quito was brilliant as was our visit to the true equator.
Driving down the Avenue of the Volcanoes was stunning as was the scenery. The drive along the Avenue of Cascades near Baños was wonderful. Visiting the home of the Panama hat in Cuenco was a great experience
The Galapagos must be on everyone’s bucket list and what an experience it was. Those giant tortoises, blue footed boobies and the opportunity to snorkel with turtles and sea lions was a real privilege.

Click here to see the group photo from Straddling the Equator.
 
 
In Feb/Mar 2015 we returned to the location of our very first tour, viz Rajasthan India. However this time we did the Golden Triangle in the luxurious confines of the Maharajas Express,
This is one of the best trains in the world and provided a memorable experience. We visited Agra (Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort), Ranthambhore Tiger Sanctuary where most of the group had a tiger siting
as well as Jaipur where we dined at the City Palace and experienced a game of elephant polo. Then it was back to Delhi before flying to the Blue City of Jodhpur as well as staying a few nights in a Camel Camp close to the Thar Desert.
Then we flew to Colombo, Sri Lanka for a wonderful 10 days exploring the growing of tea in the idyllic hills of Nuwera Eliya. Our tour also took in Dambulla, Kandy and Bentota. I can sincerely recommend Sri Lanka as a brilliant destination.

Why Small Groups?

The key to our success is the relatively small number attending. Usually about 30 - 50 travellers in all and never more than 60 in total. In this way everyone is treated personally and each person is treated as more than just a number. We use luxury coaches and a group of 50-60 would be spread out over 2 coaches allowing ample room to spread out and for hand luggage.

Traveling in a group as small as this allows us to consider destinations that the larger pharmacy overseas conferences cannot consider.

Travel Rationale

Invariably delegates will want to add on to their tour either pre or post the main tour. Using the expertise of Impact Travel and their senior travel consultants, we can assure delegates that their individual travel requests and needs are totally catered for. We always travel with an accredited travel agent in the group so that if an emergency arises whether to an individual or the group as a whole, we can respond to the need immediately. Small Groups such as this can also move quite quickly and if circumstances change, can be very flexible.

On the issue of our itinerary, we always undertake a thorough site inspection before the tour and review everything that the group will experience. Attention to detail is our hallmark and is what differentiates us from other tour operators. We also negotiate hotels and suppliers very keenly to ensure we deliver the very best value for money. Delegates never cease to be amazed at the value for money offered on our Pharmacy Small Group Tours.

Interesting Destinations

Whilst we started off traveling to India on 3 occasions, we have now travelled quite widely. We will consider any destination provided the destination itself can offer value for money and our hard core of supporters wish to travel there. We are always open to suggestions. Our destinations of Namibia, Vietnam and Antarctica were recommendations from regular supporters. If you have any suggestions, please email them to us.

Future Tours

   Aug/ Sep 2015
Cuba and Mississippi
Rhythym & Rum meets Jazz & Blues.
One of my personal “bucket list” items has always been a Mississippi River Cruise.
Starting in New Orleans with a few days soaking up the music, food and culture of the south followed by a 7 night luxury cruise by paddle steamer up the Mississippi. Our river cruise takes us to Oak Alley, Baton Rouge, Natchez, Vicksburg and finally, Memphis where we will experience a land-based tour of the home of Elvis and surrounds. Our tour then takes us to Nashville.
Key features of our tour will include:
•    All shore excursions
•    Country club-casual ambiance. No formal attire necessary
•    Daily lectures by the riverlorian, an on-board history and culture expert
•    Acclaimed entertainment worthy of Broadway. Jazz and Blues
•    Fantastic cuisine and wines included.
This will be +- 12 day experience preceded by a 10 day tour to Cuba.
Towns to be visited include:
Havana, Vinales,Trinidad, Santa Clara and much more.
Dates: 21 Aug 2015 – 16 Sep 2015

   Oct 2016 In October 2016 we will be visiting Myanmar as well as an opportunity to visit the magical Kingdom of Bhutan.
Our 18 day tour of Myanmar included 14 days sailing up the Irrawady River visiting interesting town and immersing ourselves in the Burmese culture. 
We will also visit Inle Lake and our trip coincides with the annual Boat Race ceremonies. Something to treasure.
Our optional 6 day extension to Bhutan offers the opportunity to experience a totally different culture.
To see all the details click here to download the brochure
REMEMBER WE CAN ONLY TAKE 34 DELEGATES IN TOTAL DUE TO THE SIZE OF OUR SHIP.


For further information, expressions of interest or suggestions for future tour destinations, please email lazarow@netspace.net.au

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