November 12, 2008 – OARS (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists), the eco-savvy adventure travel outfitter and National Geographic Adventure Magazine’s 2008 “Best River and Sea Outfitter on Earth”, announced today that they will begin accepting reservations for their 2010 whitewater rafting season on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  Currently, only a scarce few spaces remain available for the company’s 2009 Grand Canyon season.

The Grand Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world, offers what is arguably one of the most sought after adventure travel vacation experiences in the country.  MSNBC, Good Morning America, Condé Nast Traveler, Town & Country Travel, Outside Magazine and National Geographic Traveler have all recently recognized OARS’ Grand Canyon rafting trip as one of the “Best Trips” on the planet.  This year the journey is brought to life on the big screen in MacGillivray Freeman Films production of Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk, a film for IMAX Theatres and IMAX 3D Theatres.

OARS is able to provide outstanding value on the dollar for consumers facing a tumultuous economy and a collective tightening of the belt.  Adventure vacations offer inexpensive alternatives to other vacation options, as they are typically all-inclusive providing meals, sleeping arrangements, educational, historical and interpretive discussions, as well as exciting activities and invaluable time spent with family, friends and loved ones in the outdoors.

George Wendt, President and Founder of OARS, whose infatuation with Desert Southwest river canyons ultimately led to the establishment of his company, recently stated, “These river canyons hold a quiet mystery within their steep canyon walls:  narrow side canyons, silent eddies, famed rapids, waterfalls, caves, pictographs, petroglyphs and side hikes that take you into the heart of the canyon.  These are the places I return to time and again to rejuvenate my soul.”

Indeed, OARS passengers agree.  Kathleen & Ralph Dodge had this to say about their recent experience with OARS.  “We want to take the time to tell you what a great job your Grand Canyon team is doing and to thank you again for giving us one of the best and most intensely meaningful experiences of our lives…OARS. Grand Canyon journey simply can’t be beat as the most extraordinary river trip on the planet.”

“The majority of our Grand Canyon guides have decades of rafting experience – not just in the Canyon – on other rivers around the world as well.  Some were born into the river rafting business.  Their expertise provides adventurers with a resounding travel experience generally not afforded to other travelers,” Wendt stated from the OARS headquarters in Northern California.

In 1969, OARS became the first exclusively oar-powered rafting outfitter permitted to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.  Both OARS and its sister company, Grand Canyon Dories, offer 4- to 18-day trips between Lees Ferry and Lake Mead, floating up to 277 river miles through billions of years of geological time reflected in the Canyon’s steep, vibrant colored cliffs.  All OARS. Grand Canyon trips incorporate daily hikes to Native American sites and interpretive discussions of everything from archeological remains, ancient fossils, early explorers, the history of the West’s water management and conservation policies, to the history of running famed Colorado River rapids, as well as deciphering a night sky completely unencumbered with urban obstacles.

Passengers on a Grand Canyon rafting vacation may opt to ride in non-motorized 18’ inflatable rafts or sleek 17’ hard-hulled dories.  Both types of vessels, rowed by experienced guides, hold up to four passengers.  Each provides an exciting adventure, with the major difference being in how they ride in large whitewater.  Rafts ride on top of the water, and they have a certain amount of give to them.  Therefore, when a large wave hits them, they tend to flex a little and roll over the rapids.  A dory provides a more pronounced, up-and-down ride through the whitewater.  Traditionally, dory trips take a more leisurely pace through the Canyon, providing more time for side canyon exploration.

Only 16 commercial outfitters are permitted to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and OARS offers 33 unique itineraries from April into November each year.  Non-motorized trips offer a slower, more intimate canyon experience, in which each rapid is savored and the sounds inherent to the Canyon may be heard from the boat.

Since 1969 OARS has set the standard in first-class rafting, sea kayaking and multi-sport vacations, with destinations 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 at info@oars.com or visit www.oars.com.