POLARIS II DESTINATIONS
Click destinations to learn more about each
Average high in January: 84°F
Surfing, diving, beaches, volcanic mountains, jungle, beautiful temples – in short, paradise. Bali has some of the most iconic island scenery in the world, and backs it up with everything from solid nightlife and restaurants to forested retreats that help to escape the hustle and bustle. If that weren’t enough, the locals are known to be some of the friendliest and most colorful personalities anywhere, tempting anyone to stay for longer than they intended. Not that long ago, Bali was primarily reliant on agriculture for survival. Now, tourism has largely replaced agriculture as the main source of income for the Balinese. A well developed arts community – local crafts, leather, metalworking, and more – has grown in conjunction with a burgeoning media industry as well; the Indonesian International Film Festival annually takes place in Bali.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Average high in February: 90°F
Situated where the Tonle Sap, Bassac, and Mekong rivers collide, Phnom Penh is the vibrant, bustling city of Cambodia. Many consider it to be one of the friendliest capitals in Asia. The Khmer temples and monuments found here are some of the most stunning examples of Buddhist architecture and art in the world. Once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh’s light was dimmed by the war and revolution. But the city has since risen to take its place among the hip capitals of the region and offers a world-class café, bar, and foodie scene.
Average high in March: 77°F
Known as Australia’s sporting and cultural capital, there’s more to do here than catch the latest tennis stars at every year’s Australian open in January. With a longstanding reputation as being the ‘cool’ city down under, Melbourne brings plenty to the table in terms of arts, culture, food, and events. A diverse and multicultural city with plenty of shopping and a bustling business center, it’s no wonder it ranks high on every visitor to Australia’s list. Melbourne has a highly diversified economy, primarily in the services sector, and is home to five of the top ten corporations in the entire country.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Average high in April: 72°F
Buenos Aires is a mix of old world and new. The plazas and architecture would look right at home in Europe, but there is no mistaking the South American flavor of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city. Whether you’re shopping for a new look in Palermo, learning a few sultry Tango steps, or sipping a local malbec while you enjoy some of Argentina’s famous steak, there’s plenty to keep yourself entertained year-round. But more than just a hedonist’s playground, Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in South America, and is the center of Argentinian commerce. A large port, manufacturing and shipping still play large roles in the industry of Buenos Aires. However, the services sector – Finance, Real Estate, and advertising in particular – have largely taken over as the mainstays of the local economy.
Average high in May: 73°F
Known locally as Floripa, Florianopolis is a juxtaposition of beautiful beaches, lush forests, and the bustling industrial city across the bay. A favorite spot of surfers world wide, the area offers plenty of activities for those less athletically inclined as well – waterfalls, snorkeling, and laying out with a caipirinha to name a few.
Floripa is rated as one of the highest qualities of life among Brazilian cities; the local government successfully balancing a booming economy with the need to preserve natural flora and fauna. Although tourism certainly provides a decent chunk of local jobs, the growing IT industry is vying to position itself as the Silicon Valley of Brazil (with a view!)
Average high in June: 83°F
With lush forest peaks stretching out in every direction, Medellín is half metropolis and half natural resource. A bustling commercial center, Medellín is also a famous university city – with the commensurate levels of energy and innovation. The city seems more European than Latin American in its sophisticated charm and style. Headquarters to many Colombian enterprises and companies, Medellín is also the fashion center of the country. Other prominent industries in the region include steel, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and – strangely enough – flowers.
Average high in July: 83°F
The second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is the tourist capital of the country and also the largest city on the entire Mediterranean. Top rate tapas, cheap high-quality wine, clubs open past sunrise – the capital of the Catalonia region of Spain is a worldwide nightlife capital for good reason. Wander down vivacious Las Ramblas over to Sagrada Familia – Dali’s famous cathedral; Barcelona has something for everyone’s taste.
One of the richest regions in the European Union, Barcelona is a hub of trade, education, entertainment, fashion, and media. A major conference and trade fair location, the city has become famous for its prominent industrial design enterprises. Tourism and manufacturing are key components that round out this balanced metropolis’ commercial activities.
Average high in August: 82°F
With cobblestone walkways and ancient ruins covering Lisbon’s trademark seven hills, your camera arm will be busy while here. A foodie’s paradise, Lisbon is also famous for its rowdy and vivacious nightlife scene – check out Bairro Alto of an evening. Snap some photos from the famous miradouros (terrace viewpoints) and enjoy wandering the alleys and walk-able streets. A historic port and trading center, Lisbon is still one of Europe’s wealthiest and most impactful economic influences. Still the country’s chief seaport, the city has grown rapidly recently and is a hub for the media, technology, finance, and manufacturing industriesPrague employs over 1/5th of the entire country’s population, and is the home to many international company’s European headquarters. Service industries dominate the country’s economy – with finance, trade, and commercial services taking top spots. Prague is consistently ranked at the top of cities for business in Central and Eastern Europe.
Prague, Czech Republic
Average high in September: 78°F
Bohemian art and architecture, a plethora of castles and old squares, and some of the best beer in the world – what’s not to like? The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is one of eastern Europe’s most diverse and desirable cities. Explore narrow medieval streets, or check out one the famous gardens or museums scattered across the city. Prague employs over 1/5th of the entire country’s population and is the home to many international company’s European headquarters.
Average high in October: 70°F
The largest coastal city in Croatia, Split is both the region’s center of trade and a popular jumping off point for the Dalmatian coast’s many islands. With soaring coastal mountains as a backdrop, Split has everything from Roman palaces to famous seafood from the Adriatic to keep locals and tourists busy. Even better, dozens of islands of all sizes are short ferry rides from the city’s central location. A truly ancient city, Split’s modern economic impact is primarily in the realms of tourism, manufacturing, trade, and the fishing industry. The city’s rampant growth in recent years have contributed to it’s suburban sprawl, and provided a stable base for many new ventures – both domestic and foreign.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Average high in November: 86°F
Perched in the mountainous northern region of Thailand, Chiang Mai is the northern capital of the country and maintains a decidedly laid-back atmosphere compared to the wildness of the southern cities. Plan on visiting plenty of temples, as monasteries and stupas abound in the historic city center. Drive outside of the city to experience the green countryside of northern Thailand, or hike up to one of the many waterfalls or hot springs in the region. Despite it’s calm demeanor, Chiang Mai is positioned to grow into a major player in industries both local and foreign. Tourism remains the mainstay for much of Thailand, but the northern capital’s mission is to increase its already growing infrastructure of IT, digital content, and other creative industries in coming years.
Average high in December: 70°F
An interesting blend of east and west, enjoy the Chinese and French influences while you explore the capital city of Vietnam. Relatively unscarred despite decades of war and seclusion, Hanoi is currently enjoying a booming economy and robust development surge. Find your way past the honking scooters and trinket vendors to the old city where you can enjoy a noodle snack and bargain with some vendor on local handmade wares. One of the fastest growing cities in the world, Hanoi’s main industries include real estate, manufacturing, and banking.
12 Month Reservation fee: $5000
Monthly fee: $2000
(Last month free for 12 month program)
The reservation fee varies for trip lengths shorter than a full year. Monthly prices are the same regardless of trip length.
*Itineraries are subject to change