In August the Canadian Meetings + Incentive Travel Magazine mentioned Dragonfly Expeditions in a Miami feature in its print edition as well as on Meetingscanada.com. This article resulted from a visit by editor Lori Smith in May of 2013. At the request of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau Charles J. Kropke took Lori around the city to immerse her into Miami’s hidden places. Based on the commentary in the article, we think Charles succeeded in convincing the writer that Miami really is more than beach. Continue reading
“Miami isn’t just about the beach – it’s also a place where cultures collide to spectacular effect,” says travel writer Susan Morrell in an article published in the Irish Sunday Business Post in April 2013. Her impression of the Magic City is not so different from the sense of place Dragonfly Expeditions strives to express during our Miami tours. Morrell joined us on a Miami Magic City – Bus and Walking Tour back in January. Her article is a personal account of her visit to Miami; she describes everything from how out-of-place yet welcomed she felt in Little Havana to the type of dessert she had in South Beach. Morrell calls Miami a “unique cultural mosaic” and elaborates on every neighborhood she was able to visit during her trip. Keep reading (or click on the image and zoom in) for “Miami Nice” by Susan Morrell. Continue reading
Brazilian journalist Christine Engelberg joined us on our famous Everglades Backwater Tour in the fall of 2012. The article she wrote about her experience was published in the March issue of TOP Magazine; click on the photo below and zoom in to read “Miami through Clyde Butcher’s Lenses.” For all non-Portuguese speakers, here is a little summary: As she asks in her article, “How about getting to know Miami from a different perspective than do most of the tourists who visit the city?” Engelberg agrees with Condé Nast Traveler and National Geographic when they recommend the Everglades Backwater Tour as one of the most interesting eco tours available. She considers it an excellent option if you want to learn about the biodiversity of this wild ecosystem. The cypress trees and wild birds made Engelberg feel in touch with nature while trekking through the swamp. Impressed by the beauty of Clyde Butcher’s photography, which she viewed in the Big Cypress Gallery as part of the tour, she chose one of his images to illustrate the article.
As those of us who live in the Miami-Dade area are well aware, each and every one of the neighborhoods that make up Miami has its own special flavor. Quaint Coral Gables could not be more different than saucy Little Havana, laid-back Coconut Grove, or sexy South Beach. Dragonfly Expeditions’ city tour, Miami Magic City Bus and Walking Tour, introduces guests to several of Miami’s communities and shares the stories behind each neighborhood’s drastically different development. Paul De Windt, publisher of a newspaper called The Daily Herald, joined us on a city tour last September. The Daily Herald, which is distributed in several places throughout the Dutch Caribbean, featured De Windt’s article in the “Business, Culture, & Leisure” section. De Windt’s work provides a snapshot of each area to which he was exposed during his visit to Miami. In addition, his closing sentence evinces the fact that our tour clearly imparts a true sense of place to a visitor, which is one of Dragonfly Expeditions’ most sought-after goals. Keep reading to see De Windt’s article.
German journalist Johanna Rüdiger joined a group on our popular Everglades Backwater Tour in the fall of 2012. Expert guide Bob Nesmith led an adventurous troop through waist deep water, immersing everyone in the plant and animal species as they snapped photos and tried to keep their cameras dry. In the article below, Johanna recommends that – out of all the things to do in and around Miami – visitors should make sure to visit the Everglades. Her article reflects how she was captivated by the natural beauty and wild virginity of this one-of-a-kind ecosystem and her gratitude that Dragonfly Expeditions was able to introduce her to the Big Cypress swamp. Johanna considers her experience a real adventure full of discovery; much better than a simple airboat ride during which she would have only seen the most commonly-visited areas of the Everglades.
The article was published in Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, the local daily newspaper of the city of Cologne, Germany in January. If you understand German, click on the image below and zoom in to read!
South Florida has had a bad reputation as a cultural wasteland for a long time. Part of Dragonfly Expeditions’ mission is to change that perception and to show our guests the different aspects of South Florida culture. Therefore we were happy to see a different kind of message on The Cultural Voyager. This is a website that strives to bring to its readers the latest news about world travel and maintains the belief that cultural exploration should be the focus of any vacation. If you pull up the website, you will be greeted by an assortment of brilliant images accompanying articles about topics such as the world’s most famous mummy, an artist in Cornwall, and a cultural celebration in Amsterdam. But the image at the top of the page looks familiar; that’s because it’s a shot of Miami Beach.
Peter Morrell, editor of the website, visited Miami in December 2012 and participated in one of our most popular activities: the Cuban Heritage Tour. Morrell’s stay in Miami prompted him to write “A Cultural Odyssey in Florida,” an article that was recently published on The Cultural Voyager. It is the first of a series of articles he is writing about Florida culture. Morrell’s piece was also published on About My Generation, a website that aims to inspire, inform, and motivate readers over age 50. The caption at the top of Morrell’s article resonates with Dragonfly Expeditions’ idea of Florida: “Peter Morrell finds that there is a lot more to the Sunshine State than beaches and theme parks…”
Click here to read Morrell’s article about his visit to the Magic City and keep in mind that Dragonfly Expeditions offers several experiences that focus on Florida’s diverse culture and art.
A central part of Dragonfly Expeditions’ target audience is made up of corporate groups; companies of all sizes use Miami as both a destination for corporate events and incentive travel. Donna Carter is a Cobourg, Ontario-based freelance writer who had the opportunity to visit Miami as part of one of these groups.
In the following article, Carter presents Dragonfly Expeditions and shares her opinion about what in particular makes Miami one of the most popular US destinations for corporate gatherings. Her work was published by MeetingsCanada.com, which helps meeting planners in learning about and contacting potential partners for events and promotions. Carter’s article was published in the company’s magazine Meetings+Incentive Travel. In addition to focusing on the world’s most popular destinations for meetings and incentive travel, the magazine also features articles on topics such as hotels, venues, convention centers, marketing and finance, health and safety, business trends and research, and daily news.
Read more to discover why Miami is one of the best locations for corporate events and incentive travel and how Dragonfly Expeditions brings out this destination’s real sense of place. Continue reading
Maeve Hosea (click here to visit her on Twitter) is one of many to whom Dragonfly Expeditions has had the pleasure of introducing South Florida’s wild side. This freelance journalist from London had the opportunity to wade through the swamp with us on our Everglades Backwater Tour. Hosea’s article appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine and touches on all of Dragonfly Expeditions’ passions; it provides a refreshing break from the publications typically expelled by the Magic City (you know what I mean – the ones that focus on glamorous celebrities and the rumors that follow them). Hosea shares her swamp walk experience by writing about culture and ecology. In addition, her article goes into detail about several projects Miami has undertaken to promote a more sustainable lifestyle for the city’s visitors and inhabitants. Read below to learn why she calls Miami a “collision of the natural and manmade world” and what made her appreciate the effort required to transform a huge swamp into a tourist’s paradise.
Richard Varr is an author and member of the SATW (Society of American Travel Writers). He participated in an architectural tour with us earlier this year during which we introduced him to several Miami neighborhoods, including the Miami Modern (MiMo) and Wynwood Art Districts. With more galleries opening, distinguished artists appearing, and more unique and striking graffiti appearing day by day, the Wynwood Art District is garnering an increasing popularity throughout the state, the country, and the art scene in general. Continue reading
The following article was written by Jerry Luciani, a staff writer for TravelGuys who experienced the Cuban Heritage Tour led by Charles Kropke. We wanted to share Jerry’s article with you because it provides a different and very detailed perspective on one of Dragonfly Expeditions’ most popular tours.
Read the full article here:
“A look at the real Miami, from Miami Beach to Little Havana”
Miami, it’s the place where the rich and famous go to play. The place where fancy cars and beautiful people are outdone only by the glorious buildings done up in soft pastels and glowing neon. But there’s more to this city in the sun than Ferraris and fashion. A short drive from the beach will take you to another world: Little Havana, epicenter of the Cuban culture that has become as much a part of the city’s character as the art deco hotels lining Ocean Drive.
Following is an excerpt of an article from Meeting News’ Florida Green Guide: Recreation and Teambuilding. Author Heidi Waldrop Bay describes how corporate responsibility, team building and sustainable tourism can come together in Florida’s natural areas. She illustrates through the testimonial of a meeting planner how even for a well-traveled audience, a familiar destination can offer something different.
“Eco Tourism: Everybody’s Doing It
Florida-bound groups are jumping at the opportunity to get back to nature
(…) Protecting Florida’s natural bounty is not just the responsibility of the tour operator. Planners can do simple things that make a big difference in the experience for the group and also help the environment. “We encourage people to turn off their cell phones, because sounds like that amplify and it is hard for people to enjoy the wilderness,” said Charles Kropke, owner of Dragonfly Expeditions, in Coral Gables, FL. Also, planners should designate a group leader to carry a simple trash bag and pick up things the participants don’t. “You don’t have to make a big deal of it,” emphasized Kropke, “but it demonstrates to everyone how seamless caring for the environment can be.” (…)
Even though the following article on “Experiential Awards” went online on IncentiveMag.com awhile ago, we wanted to share it with you because it is still relevant for our destination management partners and corporate group clients. Incentive is the only publication devoted exclusively to motivation and performance improvement through the use of incentive programs and consumer promotions. The article summarizes how domestic experiential tours like our Miccosukee Indian Heritage Tour are a great value as an incentive reward for top producing employees without the cost of going abroad. To that extent, all of our tours stay true to the word “expeditions,” which can be found in our company name. It is our goal to provide clients with the type of experience they would have abroad – but without leaving the U.S.
The folks at WLRN-TV are creating a series of small segments entitled “Slices of Life” featuring local residents’ careers and businesses. A small group of friends and I were invited to come along with the crew to interview Charles J. Kropke. I was thrilled to join upon hearing that the filming was to be conducted in Big Cypress National Preserve. This, however, was not going to be the passive outing that most people witness- high and dry. Our guide’s ominous recommendation was to “make sure to bring a change of clothes and shoes”.
On Saturday, February 25th, 2012, it became clear to me that people from all walks of life in South Florida still do care. Only a few weeks earlier I had called for action for an environmental restoration workday at Broward County’s Deerfield Island Park. The call went viral and 199 volunteers RSVPed. 176 showed up. My appeal was the following.
“This is something that I rarely do but I am requesting it now, I need your help. Saturday, February 25th at 10 am, I am gathering everyone we can muster at the dock that services Deerfield Island Park in Deerfield Beach. I am responding to a plea from my longtime friend Pat Howell on a project that is dear to both of our hearts. The gopher tortoise habitat on the island is facing a de-listing as a critical wildlife habitat by the Fish & Wildlife Commission because invasive exotic plants are choking out the area. I am trying to mobilize an army to eliminate the invasives and prevent the critical wildlife de-listing. Because it is a large task and we only have one day, I need as many volunteers as humanly possible.
The November 2011 issue of Alaska Airlines Magazine featured Dragonfly Expeditions’ “Tour de Grass” (a bike tour in the Shark Valley area of the Everglades) and our “Half Moon Archaeological Snorkeling Tour”. Seattle-based author Crai Bower emphasizes the unique opportunity of having both very urban and ecological experiences when staying in Miami. The following is an excerpt highlighting the tours:
As part of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau’s effort to present Miami as an increasingly eco-friendly destination, Dragonfly Expeditions several times has hosted journalists on our “Great Discoveries on the Bay – A Kayak Journey” to allow a glimpse into the area’s history and ecology in the middle of the city’s urban core. The following excerpt is from the recently published article in the German daily newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine:
Dragonfly Expeditions would like to thank renowned British travel blogger Yves de Contades for mentioning us in his world travel blog. It looks like Yves had a great experience on our kayak tour “Paddling the Oleta-Miami’s Last Free Flowing River”.
“…The next morning I started my exploration of Miami with a kayak tour along the Oleta River through the mangrove swamps with Dragonfly Expeditions. It was Homeresque, we paddled out into the wild Mangrove swamps unarmed apart from a large double bladed paddle and two guides. We were instantly besieged by Great Blue Heron, Egrets, Ospreys (Eagle like birds) and Jumping Mullet that leapt out of the water. Turkey Vultures swarmed overhead, wonderful gliders with their outstretched wing feathers riding the thermals. Little Blue Heron, Ibises, Kingfishers and three Brown Pelicans flew overhead in the classic 3 birds on a wall formation a foot away from me. Do not miss out on the Everglades if you want to see manatees, dolphins, alligators, birds, and turtles or go air boating in the flat bottomed boats with a giant fan on the back…”
The AroundTown Magazine is a monthly issued calendar-magazine dedicated to South Florida’s rich cultural tapestry. Since early 2011 Charles J. Kropke has been writing a column named “Charles’ Corner” for AroundTown where he talks about cultural events and institutions in South Florida.
For the June/July issue he was given the opportunity to introduce Dragonfly Expeditions and one of our tours: the Everglades Backwater Tour:
Since February 2011, Charles J. Kropke’s book “South Beach – Stories of a Renaissance” has been the bestseller at Books & Books in Coral Gables and South Beach! We are now delighted that Charles’ book has been chosen by the Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL) for their new program MDPL Reads which encourages everyone to read the same book leading up to the next annual Art Deco Weekend in January of 2012. In their press release below, MDPL details the events leading up to October 5th, 2011 with a trivia contest through their facebook page.
MDPL Reads is meant to bring attention to great books about South Beach and the Art Deco Historic District. The first event will take place on October 5th, 2011 at 7pm at the Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Drive. The book chosen for the October event is South Beach – Stories of a Renaissance, by Charles J. Kropke and Eleanor Goldstein, who will be signing and discussing the book at the October 5th event. Leading up to the MDPL Reads event in October, MDPL will be launching a 10 weeklong trivia series related to stories taken from the book via the MDPL Facebook page. Prizes will relate to each question and include museum passes, freebies at local restaurants, posters, and more! All the prizes were donated from people and places mentioned in the book. You can purchase the book at the Official Art Deco Gift Shop or online.
Charles Kropke recently hosted several journalists on a familiarization tour for the Dutch airline KLM and in the following article is being lauded for his superior knowledge of the area and story-telling abilities – and he doesn’t even speak Dutch!
Er is meer in Miami
door Ron Peereboom Voller
Wie aan Miami denkt, ziet zon, zee en luxe voor zich. Door klassieke televisieseries als ’Miami Vice’ en hedendaagse tegenhangers heb je een beeld voor ogen van snelle jachten, dure auto’s en luxe hotels. Maar Miami heeft meer te bieden dan dat, ontdekte onze verslaggever.
Dragonfly Expeditions was featured in the Puerto Rican publication – Revista Balance :
Organiza un fin de semana súper prendido y realiza actividades que quizá nunca hayas hecho. Miami tiene novedades fit y ecológicas que te pueden sorprender. ¿Que tal caminar sobre pantanos en compañía de crocodilos? ¿O recorrer Lincoln Road en bici? Te organizamos una propuesta para que te diviertas al máximo.
DIA 1: FITNESS Y RELAX
El nuevo puente en South Beach te invita a pasar todo un día en el disfrute del calor húmedo y sus playas. Puedes caminar, correr o patinar sobre el Cualquiera de las opciones será mejor hacerlas temprano, para evitar el castigo del sol. Si lo tuyo es el yoga, no olvides tu mat para colocarlo debajo de una de las palmeras en los sugerentes jardines. Haz tu práctica de una hora y media y reúnete con tus acompañantes en la entrada de la playa. Ahora si, la tender las toallas y a relajarte.
Puedes terminar el día en un spa con un masaje o un facial. Te recomendamos Palms Spa by Aveda, inspirado en la medicina tradicional india –el ayurveda-, o el Exhale Spa, que ofrece el equilibro perfecto para mente y cuerpo.
Dragonfly Expeditions’ own Charles J. Kropke was recently quoted in The Miami Herald, our local daily newspaper, speaking about our efforts to promote outdoors activities. The following article appeared in the February 24th 2011 publication.
Click the image below to read the article in its entirety:
(If you can not view the .pdf, you may need to Download Adobe Reader)
At long last, the book South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance has arrived and is now available for purchase! This is a very exciting time for Dragonfly Expeditions and Charles J. Kropke especially – Charles is an accomplished storyteller and now a published author with his first book showcasing the great resort we call South Beach!
The launch party for “South Beach: Stories of a Renaissance” is on February 17th, 2011 at 7pm, at Books and Books, 927 Lincoln Road, on Miami Beach. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase that evening. Please join us as we congratulate Charles for a job well done! Continue reading
After 2 ½ years of personal interviews with some of the most influential entrepreneurs and dreamers of building a world class resort, Charles J. Kropke has completed his book, South Beach: Stories of A Renaissance. With a beautiful teal and yellow cover that represents the Art Deco South Beach, Charles has found the back stories of some of the more iconic venues and people that, in their own way, have transformed this once mangrove, mosquito infested area into the most recognized international resort in the world!
For more information about the book,
contact Tim Jefferson at email@example.com
Here is an excerpt about the design of the Holocaust Memorial: Continue reading
“Confession time: I lived in South Florida for more than 15 years before I ever visited the Florida Everglades. Shame on me — especially since no other excursion has been as wild or ecologically dazzling.
To those of you considering a Florida vacation, consider this: 99.9 percent of the people visiting the rugged, subtropical landscape will never leave the road or boardwalks, let alone get in the water. But the little adventurer in me overcame these fears recently…”
As previously announced on our blog, “The Labor Day weekend of 2010 brought an exciting opportunity to Dragonfly Expeditions: Our company was selected by NomadsLand among several contestants to have a professionally produced video shot and edited…”
We are very proud of NomadsLand’s production of “The Vision of Dragonfly Expeditions.” We hope you enjoy (and share!) the video embedded below.
~Thanks to NomadsLand and Davin Hutchins~
Over the summer Dragonfly Expeditions hosted several familiarization tours for the media. One of these was an introduction to Miami offered in conjunction with our partner the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. It was recently written about and published by our friends across the pond at Business Traveller magazine. The group, accompanied by Megan Fries and Cristina Mestres of Dragonfly Expeditions, had an excellent day exploring Miami via the “Miami Magic City – Bus and Walking Tour” – Dragonfly Expeditions’ overall city tour which uncovers some of the hidden treasures that Miami’s neighborhoods have to offer. The following article was released in the September 2010 issue of the magazine.
Click the image below to read the article in its entirety:
Dragonfly Expeditions was recently honored by Salzburger Nachrichten, an Austrian daily newspaper, in regards to one of our most popular tours, the Cuban Heritage Tour. In May, Charles and Uwe provided the experience for a group of media representatives hosted in Miami by Thomas Cook and Condor Airlines. The following article appeared in the June 19th, 2010 publication.
Click the image below to read the article in its entirety: