Call for Guides to Lead Historical, Ecological, and Cultural Tours

By Megan Fries, August 26, 2013

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Contemno, et orno: mente, manu - “I divide and order with mind and hand”Dragonfly Expeditions is putting out its yearly call for guides and speakers.  Due to the growth of our company, we are continuously adding knowledgeable guides to our core staff to interpret the history, ecology and culture of South Florida.  We are looking for articulate leaders who are passionate, excellent interpreters, have a flexible work schedule and are willing to learn.

Dragonfly Expeditions has been on the forefront of sustainable tourism in South Florida since 1992.  Our day journeys are designed to create a sense-of-place for our visitors while focusing attention on many of Florida’s most unique and endangered places. (more…)

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Meet Our Partner – The Loxahatchee River Historical Society

By Uwe Doeringer, July 16, 2013

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Jupiter Inlet LighthouseAn important part of Dragonfly Expeditions’ mission and approach to sustainable tourism is the support of local not-for-profit organizations that are instrumental to the preservation of Florida’s ecological, historical and cultural resources.  Most people are not aware that for many of our tours, a percentage of revenue benefits a particular charity thematically related to the tour. From the very beginning of the company, a built-in donation for each sold tour was an integral part of our business practice. It still holds true that there is no such thing as “free;” even if Dragonfly Expeditions as a commercial entity in many cases doesn’t have to pay an entrance fee to visit and see natural areas or historic buildings freely accessible to the public, that doesn’t mean that dedicated people and organizations haven’t committed time and money to preserve those things. Without their effort, there would be nothing for us to show. This post featuring the Loxahatchee River Historical Society begins a series that will highlight the various not-for-profit organizations we support (you can see all our not-for-profit partners listed in the side column of our monthly newsletter).
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Margaritaville Travel Adventures Announces Next Three Departures

By Charles J. Kropke, June 18, 2013

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MTA 1The inaugural Lost Shaker of Salt Adventure offered by Margaritaville Travel Adventures in October 2012 was so wildly popular that we are offering three trips during the 2013-2014 season. Margaritaville Travel Adventures, one of Dragonfly Expeditions’ sister companies, is the travel arm of singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Holdings and allows fans, for the first time ever, to enter the world of Jimmy Buffett through travel. (more…)

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The Travel Channel Features Dragonfly Expeditions

By April Kuhlman, May 21, 2013

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The Travel Channel recently aired a special about the Everglades called “Park Secrets” in which they featured our popular Miccosukee Indian Heritage Airboat Tour. Appearing in the short clip is John Tigertail, a long time friend and partner of Dragonfly Expeditions. His family of the Miccosukee’s Panther Clan takes our guests via airboat to a hunting camp and a family camp. Participants explore the two tree islands, learn about the Miccosukee way of life, and have a chance to see and interact with the various animals (like alligators and turtles) kept on the islands for release. Charles Kropke, also speaking in this segment, brings up the little-known fact that the Everglades is not actually a swamp, but an immense, slow-flowing river. Click the image above to watch the Travel Channel clip!

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The Other Dragonflies

By April Kuhlman, February 5, 2013

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With its prehistoric appearance, extraordinarily flying abilities, and intriguing name, the dragonfly has forever been a popular symbol in art and culture that has represented everything from courage, happiness, and summer (in Japanese culture) to swiftness and water (in Native American culture). In Europe’s Middle Ages, this dazzling insect was called the “devil’s darning needle” not only because of its long, slender shape but also because it was believed to be a servant of the devil. In Portugal, folks call it the “eye-snatcher” and in Wales, the “adder’s servant.” With its endless associations and meanings, it’s not surprising that many companies have included the word “dragonfly” in their titles or have used the creature as a mascot. In Dragonfly Expeditions’ younger days, we received occasional phone calls asking if we were related to or a part of similarly-named companies in Puerto Rico or South Africa. Although Dragonfly Expeditions does have several sister companies – for example, Green Heron Gifts and Windjammer Sailing Adventures – none of them have the word dragonfly in their title.  The confused callers piqued our interest, so we did our homework on these other Dragonfly companies. And since I have been working with Dragonfly Expeditions, I have noticed even more dragonflies flitting about. Click below to unravel the mystery of the other dragonflies! (more…)

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What’s it Like to Have an Office Inside the Biltmore Hotel?

By April Kuhlman, January 22, 2013

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“What’s it like to work in an office inside the Biltmore Hotel?” is a question we are almost always asked by first-time visitors to our office. The Biltmore Hotel is a truly unique place to work. After all, the building appears on the National Register of Historic Places, boasts a spiraling Moorish Giralda tower, houses a pool that was unrivaled in size for many years, and is rumored to be haunted. Walking into the main lobby, visitors are greeted by amicable bell boys, two small aviaries, and soaring, barrel-vaulted ceilings complete with hand-painted frescos. The interior also features travertine floors, marble columns, elaborate leaded glass fixtures, and carved mahogany furnishings. As a company that believes strongly in preserving important Miami landmarks, it seems only fitting that Dragonfly Expeditions’ office should be located inside one of them. Below are some examples of what we and some of our neighbors think about walking into the Biltmore Hotel each morning for work.

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Cookie & Peaches

By April Kuhlman, December 6, 2012

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As the Dragonfly Expeditions team sits around the table during our weekly meeting on Monday mornings, it’s not uncommon for us to feel something small brush past our ankles. It’s not a mouse. It’s the tail of a Chihuahua; or to be more specific – two Chihuahuas. We are proud to introduce the most recent additions to the Dragonfly Expeditions family: Cookie and Peaches. Our two newest friends wasted no time in making themselves at home in the Biltmore Hotel. When Stephanie, intern for our sister company Windjammer Sailing Adventures (located in the office next door), moved to Miami from Germany, she didn’t come alone. She arrived in the US with two little and loveable dogs in tow. It took some getting used to, but now we can’t imagine the workday without Cookie and Peaches frolicking between our two offices. Read more to find out which dog is a mother of five and which dog weighs less than six pounds! (more…)

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Margaritaville Travel AdventuresTM – the Inaugural Trip

By April Kuhlman, November 13, 2012

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Just last month, Margaritaville Travel AdventuresTM successfully ran its first excursion, the Lost Shaker of Salt AdventureTM. The week-long trip began with a bang in South Beach and took a group of Jimmy Buffett fans all the way south to Duval Street in Key West. This diverse and enthusiastic collection of Parrot Heads had the opportunity to live the iconic island lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett while exploring hidden corners of the Florida Keys, kayaking, participating in a scavenger hunt, making new friends, and of course, relaxing! Participant feedback included quotes like “Unless you’ve already found paradise – this is the next best thing – trying to find it with a great bunch of people!” “It was an adventure, not a tour, yet we experienced very interesting sites and also had a blast with the other members of the group. Group size was perfect and a great mix of personalities!” and “Parrot heads forever! The staff was incredible! Locations fun and funky and the group was the perfect blend of friendliness and crazy off-beat humor and fun!” But the journey wasn’t just enjoyable for the guests. Mo Fries, the Tour Director, had the experience of a lifetime; read more to find out why.

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Still-Speaking Shipwrecks

By April Kuhlman, November 2, 2012

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The year is 1966 and it’s about 4:00am on New Year’s morning. A magnificent schooner cuts through the waves off the coast of Florida, the moonlight reflecting off her polished teak deck and illuminating the name Mandalay painted in script on her side. Twenty-some passengers are on their way back from a luxurious cruise to the Bahamas – but everything was not shipshape on this ship. The sleeping passengers wouldn’t have guessed that someone’s miscalculation from the night before had put them more than 15 miles off course and on New Year’s Day 1966, the cruisers were rudely awakened as a violent shudder ran through the ship’s timbers. As the Mandalay ground to a halt and began to tilt precariously, pajama-clad passengers rushed out of their cabins to see what was happening. (more…)

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Introducing Windjammer Sailing Adventures – our Sister Company

By April Kuhlman, October 15, 2012

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Captain Mike Burke established Windjammer Barefoot Cruises over 60 years ago. For landlubbers everywhere, he offered a world of rekindled childhood, the spirit of carefree pirates, and the experience of sailing on a tall ship. The world of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises consisted of rescued schooners, salt spray, turquoise Caribbean seas, pristine anchorages, far-flung ports, and of course bare feet. But dreams are fragile things, and in September 2007, this Captain’s dream was on its way to Davy Jones’ locker. Windjammer Barefoot Cruises went bankrupt, its remaining assets were auctioned off, and all who were a part of that world mourned. But the unique world of Windjammer never really died. (more…)

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