Angels Camp, California – January 12, 2009 – O.A.R.S. (Outdoor Adventure River Specialists) has been setting the standard in first-class rafting, sea-kayaking and multi-sport vacations since 1969. The eco-friendly organization caters to travelers of all ages and abilities with more than 75 unique itineraries worldwide. O.A.R.S. guests routinely experience world-class adventures with first-class treatment.

With rafting and kayaking journeys ranging from 1 to 19 days, from North America to exotic locations such as Fiji and the Galápagos Islands, it is no surprise that National Geographic Adventure Magazine honored O.A.R.S. for a second year in a row as “The Best River & Sea Outfitter on Earth.” The editors surveyed 248 adventure travel companies representing paddling outfitters, trekking guides, safari specialists and companies spanning the globe that offer a collection of adventure travel experiences. According to Adventure, the feature represents “a comprehensive ranking of the world’s best outfitters – surveyed, sorted and scored.” In analyzing the leading adventure travel specialists, Adventure considered factors such as environmental awareness, sustainability, reliable service, local knowledge, safety practices, spirit of adventure, client satisfaction and other variables in ranking the travel providers. National Geographic Adventure also recognized O.A.R.S.’ “Grand Staircase: Wind & Water on the Colorado Plateau” as one of their “25 Best New Trips in the World” for 2009.

“We are honored to receive such recognition. We would have never guessed in 1969 that our humble operations would evolve into what is now the largest and most geographically diverse river company in the West,” commented George Wendt, Founder and President of O.A.R.S. The California-based tour operator has led travelers to some of the most beautiful places on earth, never losing sight of one of their foremost goals:  to make the joys of the wilderness accessible to everyone – no matter how experienced. The adventure travel outfitter offers timeless trips to such places as the Grand Canyonand Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River, in addition to continually seeking out new journeys.

O.A.R.S. was the first exclusively oar-powered rafting outfitter permitted to run the Colorado through the Grand Canyon in 1969. For 40 years they have provided superior personal service, hired the best guides and maintained the highest quality equipment. Because of their unparalleled reputation, Forbes Traveler recognized O.A.R.S.’ Upper Navua River trip in Fiji as one of the “World’s 10 Best Rafting Trips,” and in August 2008, Concierge.com listed the O.A.R.S.’ Grand Canyon trip on their “Bucket List of Ultimate Adventures.” In 2008 SmarterTravel.com rated the company’s Rogue River whitewater rafting trip as their “Best Adventure Bargain” and Sunset Magazinenamed O.A.R.S.’ Cataract Canyon trip as one of their top “10 Earth-Friendly Spring Flings.”

As testament to O.A.R.S. Adventure Consultants and office staff, who have a combined experience of more than 100 years in the adventure travel industry and more than 900 river trips among them, Condé Nast Traveler recognized Reservations Manager, Mindy Gleason, as one of its “Top Travel Specialists” for the second year in a row in 2008.

Since 1969 O.A.R.S. 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.  O.A.R.S. 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 O.A.R.S. eco-friendly adventures, including a free 84-page color catalog, call O.A.R.S. at 1-800-346-6277, email the company at info@oars.com or visit www.oars.com.