O.A.T. travelers are not only among the most experienced world travelers in the country, they’re also the most loyal. On any given adventure, you’re likely to encounter people who have taken trips with us not just once, but multiple times.
We truly appreciate your support, and to show it, we developed the Sir Edmund Hillary Club for our very best travelers. Your benefits begin when you reserve your third trip, and increase after you travel with us five and ten times.
Why Sir Edmund Hillary?
A note from Harriet Lewis
Alan and I first became acquainted with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1992, just after we established our non-profit Grand Circle Foundation. While most people know of Sir Edmund as the climber who finally conquered Everest, we knew him first and foremost as a humanitarian. In fact, right up until his death in 2008, he displayed a brand of heroism that was in many ways even more inspiring than his ascent of Everest.
After his famous climb, Sir Edmund devoted the rest of his life to giving aid to the Sherpas of Nepal, the people of his climbing partner Tenzing Norgay. Through the organization he founded, the Himalayan Trust, he built schools, hospitals, and even airfields for the underprivileged people living in Everest’s shadow. Sir Edmund knew what values were most important in life: “There’s no doubt,” he said, “that my most worthwhile things have been the building of schools and medical clinics. That has given me more satisfaction than a footprint on a mountain.”
While the extent of Sir Edmund's humanitarian work certainly spoke for itself, there was something more about him that particularly spoke to Alan and me. We were immediately struck by his humility and modesty; for all his achievements, his demeanor seemed more suited toward the unassuming beekeeper that he once was than the world-famous mountaineer he had become.
Over the years, Sir Edmund Hillary became a close personal friend of ours. And he was an honorary board member of Grand Circle Foundation. It was Hillary’s unselfish capacity to move beyond his celebrity to focus on the less fortunate that inspired us to put his name to our Sir Edmund Hillary Club.
We began this club not just to reward the well-traveled, but to recognize those travelers who reflect the same generous nature and adventurous spirit of a very special individual—someone who also just happened to be one of the greatest adventurers of the 20th century.