OARS Adventure Vacations Something for everyone: The thrill-seeker, the naturalist, the not-exactly-athletic, the first-time camper and the seasoned boater.

Angels Camp, California – For almost 40 years, OARS (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists) has been a leader in the adventure travel industry.  The California-based, eco-conscious organization provides exceptional, award-winning customer service, friendly, experienced and safety-conscious guides, comfortable and clean camping equipment, undeniably delicious and hearty meals and an ideal environment for a traveler to experience the outdoor vacation of his or her dreams.

OARS trips have positively affected the lives of over 400,000 travelers due to their ability to meet the diverse needs of their broad spectrum of clientele:  they offer more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide. More than half of their guests experienced vacations with children in tow.  Trips vary in price, making adventures accessible to families, professionals, students and retirees.

Some vacations include catered camping and rafting excursions through one of six national parks, lodge-based outings with comfortable beds and hot showers, multi-week expeditions, half-day escapes, weekend retreats close to home or private chartered trips specifically and uniquely designed for a given client’s needs.  Various organizations and publications have repeatedly proclaimed OARS adventures as the “Best Trips on the Planet.”

OARS was established in 1969 by George and Pam Wendt and with a goal to help people of all ages enjoy “the best outdoor experience of their lives.”  The company was selected as the first exclusively oar-powered rafting company in the Grand Canyon, and Wendt has since been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).

The company runs first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport (rafting / sea kayaking / hiking / biking / horseback riding) trips in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Utah as well as in Canada, Baja, Fiji and throughout South America, rendering them a diverse and accommodating force in adventure travel.

Borrowing from John Muir, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks,” OARS long ago discovered the enduring magic of classic rivers, stunning scenery and mesmerizing companionship.  The organization continues to offer trips on some of the country’s finest rivers:  the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, Idaho’s incomparable Middle Fork Salmon and Alaska’s spectacular Tatshenshini.  In addition, OARS specializes in family adventures with notable vacations on Utah’s Green River through Dinosaur National Monument, Oregon’s Wild and Scenic Rogue River and Idaho’s Lower Salmon River.

In addition to family-friendly journeys and classic river trips appropriate for travelers of all ages, OARS offers epic whitewater rafting for thrill-seekers on California’s North Fork American, Tuolumne and Upper Klamath rivers, as well as Canada’s Chilko River.  Other adventure options, designed for travelers with specific interests, include trips which highlight archaeology, wine tasting, gourmet cooking, photography, as well as trips for the solo traveler, hiking enthusiasts and trips for women only.

New to OARS’ vacation menu in 2008:  rafting on the Apurimac River, the source of the Amazon and lodge-to-lodge trekking to Machu Picchu, 15 or 16 days.

OARS was the first, and only, North American rafting outfitter to be 100% carbon neutral through an innovative partnership with NativeEnergy Travel Offsets.  They are in their third year of off-setting all energy used in their California-based office and all domestic adventures.  OARS swapped the motors on their gear boats for new four-stroke engines, reducing fuel consumption significantly, and they provide on-site employee housing in most destinations, sparing guides and staff from potentially lengthy, carbon-emitting commutes.  Additionally, 20% of the fuel used in their Grand Canyon gear vehicles is now bio-diesel.

Recognized as an authoritative resource for environmentalists, conservationists, politicians and eco-celebrities, OARS was selected to support MacGillivray Freeman Films and Teva in their production of a cutting-edge water conservation film, “Grand Canyon Adventure” 3D IMAX ®.  The film, featuring Robert Kennedy, Jr. and anthropologist Wade Davis, and their daughters, premiers on World Water Day, March 28, 2008.  The film will undoubtedly raise water conservation awareness worldwide.

Since 1969 OARS has been setting the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destination and unparalleled experiences on over 35 rivers and coastlines of the world.  OARS caters to active travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide, including one-day and weekend escapes.  For more information on OARS eco-friendly adventures, including a free 84-page color catalog, call OARS at 1-800-346-6277, email the company atinfo@oars.com or visit www.oars.com.