At Tropical Sails Corp, we believe traveling should be a distinctively unique experience of adventure, beauty and inspiration. The story of our company began in 1990 in El Paso, when Dan Oppliger, who was working as a tour operator, received an unusual request.
A client was interested in a tour down the Mexican Baja peninsula for the total solar eclipse in July 1991. Dan’s boss informed him that they do not go to Baja in the summertime, but Dan took the “I can do that” attitude and decided to go for it on his own.
He ran ads in Astronomy Magazine and 35 rigs totaling about 89 people signed up for the Baja Peninsula solar eclipse trip in no time. Dan used his expertise to make all the arrangements. The entire party ended up watching the total solar eclipse from a gorgeous beach southeast of La Paz.
The word spread and a few years later, in 1994, we had some clients for the annular solar eclipse in El Paso. Dan made himself a name in town, supplying some 100,000 pair of “Eclipse Shades” to schools, businesses, radio stations and individuals.
People simply loved the new approach. It was just a matter of time until someone came up with the idea to charter a Windjammer Barefoot tall ship for the solar eclipse in February 1998, in Guadeloupe. It was then when the company ended up with the Fantome, Polynesia, Legacy, Mandalay and also the new Star Clipper ship. From that moment on, the company added cruises to is offerings, including the Dawn Princess and a Royal Caribbean ship.
The year of 1999 we organized our first travel to Turkey. For two weeks, 33 people enjoyed sailing in private yachts past the Ephesus, the Dardanelles and Bosporus into the Black Sea. From this success, we moved onto another and organized our Sailing the Route of St. Paul tour for church groups. The jouney was so well-received that the Istanbul Star published a full page spread about our solar eclipse sailing into the Black Sea and we also got the cover page of Weekend Bodrum.
But our story continues. Shortly after seeing Turkey, we wanted more, so we reached Africa. With a small start-up Safari company, we took 3000 miles over southeastern Africa, passing 5 countries. The highlight of the trip occurred early as we entered the Okavango Delta on mokoro dugout canoes.
After this, by the end of 2001 we landed in Australia with a small group. We sailed on the Yankee Clipper tall ship in 2006. In 2004, we had a group in Polynesia, for the Venus Transit.
As you can see, in no more than 10 years since Dan Oppliger took the first step to create our company, we could already pride ourselves in having made connections and organized journeys in most parts of the world.
In 2008, we had large groups in China for the Silk Road Eclipse. We saw many wonders during that journey, including the Yellow River, White Pagoda Hill, Iron Bridge, Jiayuguan, Dunhuang, Mogao Grottoes, Hami King Mausoleum, White Stone scenic area and many sites around the Tianshan mountains. But we didn’t stop there, we wanted to provide our clients with a genuine experience of the local culture, so we mixed activities including Chinese Opera camel rides, bicycle rentals, zip-lining and dancing.
We liked China so much, that in 2009 we returned to repeat the experience from 1991 with the Baja Eclipse Saros cycle, only now we have moved over the globe. Besides the extensive touring of Beijing, Xian, the Yangtze Cruise, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong, we took advantage of the Xian Bicycle Ride and a fantastic dinner show. Let’s say the only thing as better as these was an afternoon on top of the TV tower in Shanghai.
Dan returned to China with a small group to tour Yunnan. After a stop in Shanghai, the tour went to off the beaten track Dali, Lijiang, Shangrila, Kunming, a cruise on the upper Mekong and then touring northern Thailand. Just amazing!
2010 sailed us around Tahiti on Aranui II, a freighter cruise. 2012 led us to the Australia Eclipse Cruise, from Sidney. And we can’t wait to see what is still ahead of us!
During all this time, Dan has been in 60 countries. The company has very good arrangements with suppliers all over the world. We developed ourselves as solar eclipse travel specialist. We are China and Turkey specialists and we offer only our best services for tall ship cruising, ocean cruising, river cruising and touring by land.
River cruising is big in Europe and elsewhere today. Tropical Sails helps consumers sort through the maze to get the best value for their vacation. Tropical Sails has earned its Avalon River Cruise Specialist designation.
Whether you are interested in journeys for large or small groups or for individuals, our agency will provide you with extraordinary flexibility. We are always opened to combine and adjust everything as necessary to create a travel itinerary that best works for you.
Tropical Sails Corp is committed to offer its service to the highest degree. There will be no confusion or uncertainty when working with us. Our service is impeccable and we do everything to create a special and unique experience for each of our clients.