Staff listed from left to right: Top Row: Nicole, Lucas, Betina, Jason, EJ, Alyssa; Middle Row: Jody, Ana, Andrea Berger, Elisabeth, Jeannine;
Bottom Row: Amy, Linda (with Reese), Andrea Berkeland, Elspeth; Not Shown: Melody, Daphna, Suzanne
In This Issue
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If you have not already done so, please take this 30-second survey to let us know which of our destinations interest you. This allows us to send you information about only the destinations in which you are interested. Thank you in advance!

March 31 - April 10, 2018
$3,400 per person
Last day to register is January 10th
Hosted by Asia Director
Daphna Stromberg
November 7 - 17, 2018
$5,560 per person
Early Booking Discount of $200 per person through March 31st
Hosted by Africa Specialist
Andrea Berger

December 1 - 6, 2018
More information coming soon!

March 1-15, 2019 
From $13,934 per person
Early Booking Discount of $1,500 per person through December 31st
Hosted by Managing Director
Linda McCormick

What is your position at Borton Overseas?
Scandinavia Specialist  
What is your background?
Growing up in Saint Peter, MN, I was surrounded by Swedish traditions and influence, due in part to Gustavus Adolphus College being just up the hill! Visiting family friends in Sweden cemented its place in my heart. Then I attended Saint Olaf College, where I fell in love with Norwegian traditions. My love of Scandinavia and travel brought me to Borton Overseas; I always wanted to work in the travel industry, and helping clients plan their dream trips is so gratifying! 

What is your favorite thing to do on vacation?   
I am an aspiring foodie, so trying new/local culinary dishes is a must - the foods people eat offer a unique perspective on their day-to-day lifestyle, and it is fun to try something new! I also love outdoor activities that explore a new place, like biking, hiking, or walking around sightseeing.

What are you most looking forward to this
holiday season? 
I am looking forward to spending time with my family and enjoying our holiday traditions - we typically enjoy Scandinavian specialties like lutefisk, Swedish meatballs, and lefse and blast a lot of Christmas music throughout the house. Also, my hometown friends and I celebrate "Friendsmas" together, spending an evening catching up and exchanging gifts.  
What is your favorite vacation destination a nd why?  
It is impossible for me to pick a single destination! There are so many incredible places around the world and my travel wish-list is long! But if I have to choose...having most recently visited Norway & Denmark, I would have to say they are both fantastic, and I definitely plan to return to both! Norway's nature is beautiful, and the spectacular scenery of the fjords are unforgettable. My Norwegian Highlights tour included the Hardangerfjord, the Geirangerfjord, and Bergen. Traveling by ferry on the fjords is a delightful way to soak up the gorgeous surroundings. Copenhagen is a lively, cultural city to spend a few days exploring - Denmark's capital is easy to discover on foot or bicycle, and there are a lot of attractions, like Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace, and Nyhavn Canal, to name a few. There is plenty to do, see, shop, and eat in cosmopolitan Copenhagen!
What travel tips do you have for our readers?  
READ through your travel documents, and brush up on information about your destination. You'll feel more prepared, and reduce the on-site stress. 
Any interesting hobbies/facts about yourself you want to share?
I grew up on a farm, complete with a menagerie of dairy goats, sheep, cows, chickens, a few rabbits, lots of cats, and (usually 2) dogs!
Stocking-Stuffers for the traveler on your list as recommended by our staff
1. A journal where they can document their travels and experiences. 
R ecommended by: Jody
2. A mini travel humidifier to help them with those dry hotel rooms and a range of travel allergies.   
Recommended by: Alyssa
3. Global Entry to help them beat the security lines at the airport. (In this case you would need to gift money to be used toward signing up for global entry as you cannot purchase it for them.)  
Recommended by:  
4. A luggage scale so they will never need to stress about overweight luggage again! 
Recommended by: Nicole
5. Luna Bars or their energy bar of choice. Fill their stocking with yummy snacks for long plane rides, layovers and for fighting jet lag cravings.
Recommended by: Ana
6. A passport wallet to help protect all their personal information.
Recommended by: Lucas
7.  A large scarf is easy to pack, keeps them warm on a cool plane, provides cover from the hot sun and adds style as well.
Recommended by: Jeannine
8. A SteriPEN will give them access to safe drinking water anywhere around the world. Combine this gift with a travel water bottle. Just remind them it needs to be empty as they go through security.  
Recommended by: EJ

Our Gift Certificates can be customized to any occasion and are available in any denomination.
Borton Overseas Staff Travel Journal

Daphna - India


Andrea Berger - Uganda


Linda - Norway
Ana - Norway
Andrea Berkeland - Iceland  
Elisabeth - Iceland
Linda - Galapagos  
Daphna - Vietnam  
Nicole - Norway  
Andrea Berkeland - Estonia, Latvia 
Happy Holidays!
We've had a rewarding 2017 at Borton Overseas, and we'd like to THANK our clients, partners in travel, and our suppliers around the world!
This year our clients traveled to destinations all over the globe, and we received wonderful feedback about their experiences, adventures, and dreams fulfilled! There is nothing more gratifying than receiving a letter, email, or photos from clients excited to share their journeys with us.  
Please enjoy this holiday-themed newsletter filled with information about holidays around the world. 
Best wishes from all of us for a wonderful 2018!
Linda McCormick
Managing Director
A Very Merry Christmas - African Style
Christianity is widely practiced throughout Africa with roots dating back to the first century, and Christmas is celebrated all across the continent. In many places this holiday is a two-day celebration of Christmas Day and Boxing Day (a leftover from British colonial rule). While the exact form of these holiday celebrations vary widely by both country and community, it is overall a time spent with family and friends, and infused with merriment!  
To Learn more about Christmas in Africa we recommend reading this article from Trip Savvy:
How to say Merry (Happy) Christmas in Africa:
Shona (Zimbabwe): Muve neKisimusi 
Afrikaans (South Africa): Geseënde Kersfees 
Zulu (South Africa): Sinifisela Ukhisimusi Omuhle 
Swazi (Swaziland): Sinifisela Khisimusi Lomuhle 
Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya): Kuwa na Krismasi njema 
Amharic (Ethiopia): Melkam Yelidet Beaal  
Fun Fact:
Although many people think that Kwanzaa is an African holiday, it is actually only celebrated in the US by the African American community! 
Songkran - The Asian New Year
If you are looking to celebrate a holiday while visiting Asia, look no further than the Buddhist Lunar New Year. Songkran, as it is called in Thailand, is celebrated based on the lunar calendar so it doesn't actually fall on our New Year's (January 1st). Instead, it is celebrated mid-April and can last anywhere from three days to a week in the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.
Songkran, also called the Water Festival, is celebrated out in the streets. People spend the days singing, dancing, and splashing each other with water. The splashing of water signifies the cleansing of misfortune from the past year so you can meet the new year with a fresh start. The streets are filled with people using water pistols, buckets, really anything they can to douse each other and wash away each others' sins! As they splash you with water, you are sure to hear them yell Sawadee Wan Pee Mai (Happy New Year in Thai)!   

This year Songkran will be celebrated April 13-15 making it an ideal extension to our Vietnam through Local Eyes Signature Journey. We would be happy to put together an extension for you to Thailand or other locations in SE Asia to partake in the New Year's celebrations.    
Celebrating The Chilean New Year
Throughout Latin America, Christmas means gathering with family and spending quality time together. As in many places, this is often spent in the kitchen and in the dining room as food is prepared and shared. And in these modern times when family members can be spread out throughout a region or country, this gathering has even greater significance.
New Years, on the other hand, is a great big, loud party. Valparaiso, Chile, on the coast not far from Santiago, perhaps does this best. Thousands gather on the waterfront to watch a huge fireworks display. The colorfully painted houses of Valparaiso give a nice backdrop to the spectacular fireworks display.

We can arrange a trip to Chile for the festivities, but we will need to plan early because space goes fast!
A Scandinavian Christmas Experience! 
December is a magical time of year in Scandinavia and the Nordic countries, when candles decorate homes, and thousands of lights brighten the streets. Santa's workshop in Rovaniemi, Finland, is busy getting the sleigh filled with gifts, boys and girls of all ages celebrate with candles and sing songs about St. Lucia, and the Yule Lads are causing mischief all around Iceland. Nisse and Tomte (elves) pop up throughout Norway, Denmark, and Sweden, and Christmas markets are everywhere!
We offer a Christmas Experience tour to Scandinavia as part of our Signature Journeys series, and our past trips have been to Denmark, Sweden and Norway. These special, staff-hosted trips take place in early December and have been very popular with our clients. They are a great way to get into the holiday spirit, and participate in each country's Christmas traditions. In addition, exclusive activities are included such as cooking classes to make traditional holiday delicacies, attending the Nutcracker Ballet, enjoying special tours, and of course, experiencing the Christmas Markets!  
Consider joining us in December, 2018, for our Finnish Christmas Experience tour featuring Helsinki and northern Finland. You'll see Helsinki all dressed up for Christmas, and have an option to dogsled, chase the Northern Lights, and visit Santa's workshop up north!
Click the photo below to view a slideshow for a sample of our past Christmas experiences!

How to say Merry Christmas throughout Scandinavia:
Norwegian (Norway): God Jul
Swedish (Sweden): God Jul
Icelandic (Iceland): Gleðileg Jól
Finnish (Finland): Hyvää Joulua
Danish (Denmark): Glædelig Jul
Faroese (Faroe Islands): Gleðilig Jól
Greenlandic (Greenland): Juullimi Pilluarit
Estonian (Estonia): Häid Jõule
Last Chance to save $1500 per person if you book by December 31st
March 1 - 15, 2019

Not your average Antarctica Cruise...
While a trip to White Continent could never be ordinary, with its pristine mountainous landscapes, magnificent icebergs and curious penguins, our Signature Journey to Antarctica takes this extraordinary experience to the next level. PLUS, there are extraordinary savings for booking early! Don't miss this opportunity to take the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime trip...
What makes this trip special? 
  • March is an exceptional time to see the marine wildlife, and this sailing will have a special focus on these species.
  • Learn about Antarctica's eco-system from noted experts in marine biology.  
  • Participate in citizen science programs for major research organizations.
  • Peter Neill, Director of the World Ocean Observatory, and renowned expert in maritime history, art, exploration, marine environmental issues, and international policy and governance will be Borton Overseas' featured lecturer on this journey!  
  • Our ship, the MS Island Sky, holds only 100 passengers, and with fewer passengers, you'll spend more time on shore.
Don't miss out on these special savings!

Ireland's Hope
As individuals and as a company, we are dedicated to leaving a positive impact on our destinations and the people who call them home. HEARTBEAT is our way of raising awareness and endorsing organizations that are making a difference in our destinations and our local community. It is our heartbeat heard around the world, and your invitation to learn about and engage with these organizations....and to get your heart beating!
Ireland's Hope is a non-profit organization located in Minnesota that is dedicated to increasing organ donor awareness across the United States and sending the message of HOPE to all the families currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.    
Ireland's Hope was inspired by a spunky 8-year-old girl named Ireland Larson, who was born with an underdeveloped right ventricle. She had spent her young life in and out of the hospital undergoing surgery after surgery. In 2015, after 10 months spent in the hospital waiting, she was finally given the gift of a new heart. Ireland's aunt founded Ireland's Hope with the goal of increasing organ donor awareness and registration in the United States, and also to provide financial support to families who have a child who is undergoing or  recovering from a pediatric heart transplant.
Ireland's Hope exists for all the brave young warriors in need of HOPE and we proudly support their efforts! Join them this April at their 2nd annual Angel Heart Gala at the Profile Event Center in Minneapolis.  
To learn more about Ireland's Hope and organ donation or to make a tax deductible donation click here.