SEATTLE – At the core of every REI Adventures trip is a local guide who flawlessly handles all the details so that travelers can have an unforgettable, perhaps even life-changing, vacation. As the global leader in guided active adventure travel, REI Adventures annually honors its top guides who deliver exceptional experiences. Seven talented experts representing five countries have been named 2013 Top Guides.
“Whether it’s their first or fifth REI Adventures trip, our guests frequently tell us that our guides are masters at highlighting a destination’s natural and cultural riches, and creating life-changing experiences,” said Cynthia Dunbar, REI Adventures manager. “The 2013 awards mark the tenth anniversary of our tradition of recognizing our top guides who are a powerful extension of the REI brand around the world.”
The Best of the Best
The seven guides named as a 2013 REI Adventures Top Guide are:
- Christopher James Anderson, USA – Southwest Hiking, Backpacking and Cycling Trips
- Brian Jump, USA – Signature Camp and Hiking, Bryce Canyon and Zion
- Stephanie Jurs, Italy – Tuscan Hilltowns Hiking
- Matija (Matko) Kruhan, Croatia – Croatia Multisport, Dubrovnik Hiking and Kayaking
- Dimitrios Papageorgiou, Greece – Greek Island Hopper Hiking
- Hoang Trong Phat, Vietnam – Vietnam Cycling, Saigon to Angkor Wat Cycling
- Robert (Gates) Roll, USA – Coastal Carolina Sea Kayaking
REI Adventures’ Top Guides are chosen annually based on guest feedback, ability to represent REI’s values and brand, and partnership with REI in strengthening its travel offerings around the world. REI Adventures is the only adventure travel company that posts independent customer reviews. Praise for the 2013 Top Guides includes:
“There are no words to adequately convey how stellar Chris is as a guide. He was spectacularly patient, knowledgeable, fun, energetic, professional, medically astute, and psychologically motivating. He was so knowledgeable that you immediately realized he was removing all risks so that you could enjoy an adventure without fear of your children getting hurt. He was constantly showing us how and where to jump, and then automatically being available to help every child swim or navigate the water, just in case.”
“Brian is probably one of the best guides I've seen. He was able to connect with all the guests. There was opportunity to be frustrated, but he did not show it. He demonstrated genuine enthusiasm. Brian willingly shared his knowledge of the region, Bryce & Zion.”
"Stephanie loves to share her joy exploring the Ligurian coast, and she knows how to pace the group and choose activities so all get maximum satisfaction. We all agreed she made the trip a great experience for us and appreciate her as a gifted guide who cares about the personal satisfaction of each member of her group. She shares her enthusiasm for Italy with delight.”
“Matko always looked for opportunities to show us more about Croatia and really treated us like we were his guests. He had excellent knowledge of where we were going and made everything run seamlessly. He always had answers to our endless questions or he sought out answers immediately. He related with us very well; always professional, but at the end of the week it felt like we were all friends.”
“Dimitrios is an excellent guide in every way. He is professional, well informed, communicates well with a variety of people, has a great sense of humor and did a wonderful job looking out for us.”
“Phat was exceptional. We loved his easy going style and how much care and concern he had for our well-being. His knowledge and the way he shared it with us was appreciated and appropriate. He was totally focused on us and shared and adapted to our family's sense of humor.”
“Besides being incredible in the technical arena (gourmet meals appearing out of thin air, [an] expert kayaker, incredible naturalist, logistics guru) [Gates] understands people! It was an amazing experience, due to [Gates]. I am certain that [his] knowledge of the South Carolina coastal region cannot be matched. [He] made the trip seamless, so that all we had to do was enjoy. Thank you for letting us play, learn, be challenged, interact, grow, and relax - such an amazing gift!”
About REI Adventures
Award-winning REI Adventures has been a global leader in worldwide guided active adventure programs since 1987. The company offers unique itineraries focused on sustainable, human-powered outdoor adventure including: hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing and more. Guests will experience iconic destinations as guides take them off the “beaten path,” and provide opportunities to explore a destination, get to know the local people, their culture, the flora and fauna and discover things they would not be able to duplicate on their own or with another travel company. REI members receive a special discount price on most trips. For more information, full itineraries and trip reviews provided by guests, visit http://www.rei.com/travel.
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than 5 million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 131 stores in 33 states, as well as REI.com and REI.com/outlet. Anyone may shop with REI, while members pay a one-time $20 fee to receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund. REI membership also includes special promotions and discounts on REI Adventures trips and REI Outdoor School classes.