Columbus is named the UK's favourite explorer

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Columbus is named the UK's favourite explorer

  • But most would prefer to follow in the footsteps of Capt James Cook
  • Call Saga Holidays on 0800 056 5880 to embark on your journey of a lifetime

New research by Saga Holidays has revealed that Christopher Columbus is the UK's most admired explorer. One in three people said they felt his discovery of America was the most important out of a list of the world's most famous explorers.

Sir Francis Drake - the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe, is the second most admired with 30 per cent of people saying his was the most significant exploration. While Captain James Cook, one of the first people to explore Australia, completes the top three with 14 per cent.

However, when asked which explorer they would most like to follow in the footsteps of, most people want to visit Australia (24 per cent), followed by emulating Darwin's exploration of Argentina and the Galapagos (18 per cent). The third most popular explorer's footsteps the UK public would like to retrace is Columbus.

The research also shows that the desire for exploration and discovery still thrives amongst the UK population whatever the age. Thirty-eight per cent of over-50s say they like to go on holiday "somewhere off the beaten track" - just two per cent less than the national average. Meanwhile, fewer over-50s want to have a poolside holiday than any other age group. The survey found that only 36 per cent of over-50s said poolside holidays appealed to them, compared to the national average of 43 per cent.

For over-50s wanting to emulate some of the nation's favourite explorers, Saga Holidays has several superb options.

Dr David Livingstone opened up the heart of Africa during the middle of the 19th century and discovered Victoria Falls 'the smoke that thunders' in 1855. Saga's 'In the footsteps of Livingstone' 12 night tour* takes passengers on a packed itinerary including a walk beside the falls, a sundowner cruise on the Zambezi, a rhino safari, a five night stay in Botswana's Chobe national park to spot the rest of the 'big five' and excursions to the Okavango delta and Namibia's Caprivi strip.

Zambia and Botswana both feature in the 12-night In the Footsteps of Livingstone escorted tour, featured in Saga's new Travellers World brochure. The lead-in price is 1,919.

Earliest departures are on July 9, with further departures on August 6 and 20, September 17 and October 1, 15 and 29. Clients wishing to extend their holidays are offered a seven-night add-on stay in Cape Town, South Africa, for as little as 399 per person.

During the 1830s, Darwin set out on the Beagle mission, which took him around the around the world, past Cape Horn and to the Galapagos, which enabled him to develop his theory on evolution 'origin of the species.'

Saga's 'In the footsteps of Darwin' 15-night** tour of Argentina and Chile, retraces the historic Voyage of the Beagle through the Patagonian channels and fjords. Cape Horn hasn't lost any of its fabled mystery - looking out over the Drake Channel feels as adventurous as it must have during Darwin's journey in the 1830s. The journey will also revisit some of the waters covered by Saga Insurance-sponsored Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and the rest of the Velux 5 Oceans Fleet on the second leg of the prestigious round the world race.

"The land-based part of our 'In The Footsteps of Darwin' itinerary is pretty spectacular," says Andrew Goodsell Chief Executive of Saga, "but the three-night cruise is one of those unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It brings home the character and courage of those early round-the-world navigators who didn't have the comforts of a luxury cruise ship to enjoy!"

The first of Saga's 2007/2008 departures is on September 27, when the 15 night** holiday price starts at 2,699 per person. Subsequent departures are on September 27, October 11, November 8, January 3 and 31 (2008), February 14, March 13 and April 10.

Or, for those wanting a Columbus themed holiday, why not try Saga's 'Viva Cuba' tour, which includes a visit to Bariay Bay where Columbus with his three Caravelles first caught sight of the New World on October 27th 1942. This tour offers an interesting insight to the event from the point of view of the native Carib tribes. Prices for the 14 night* 'Viva Cuba' tour start from 1269 per person, departures are available throughout March, April, May and June and then continue for the winter season from September.

For further details on Saga Holidays please call 0800 056 5880 or visit


Editors Notes:

* includes two nights aboard aircraft

** includes one night aboard aircraft

Saga holidays are exclusively for people aged 50 and over, a travelling companion may be aged 40 or over.

Saga holidays are only available direct and not through travel agents.

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771118.

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