When it comes to traveling the world, few do it with more passion or panache than our founder Denis Pagé. This Canada-born, New Zealand based adventurer has a résumé most modern explorers would die for: from diving with whales in the Pacific and supporting researchers in Antarctica, to searching for shipwrecks on the treacherous west coast of Vancouver Island. Along the way, Denis has worked with the Cousteau Society and the BBC, worked as an underwater and nature photographer with some of his work published in National Geographic, Time, and numerous books. But for all these accomplishments, Denis is happier in his quieter moments of achievement with one of his many repeat guests: reaching a remote mountaintop temple in Bhutan, floating in a balloon over the pagodas of Bagan, or ‘discovering’ a 12th century mural in a Gobi Desert cave.
Denis has been at the very forefront of the arrival of luxury travel in Asia and the South Pacific. After fifteen years of guiding and designing exclusive journeys in the Middle Kingdom, he now owns and directs Longitude 80, offering some of the finest ‘couture trips’ in the Asia and Pacific regions. His long standing ground contacts enable him to arrange magical journeys that are simply not available to others: like flying the Silk Road by private jet, traversing three countries on a private boat on the Mekong River, or coming cheek to cheek with Xian’s terracotta warriors in the off-limits ‘museum pits’.
Denis himself began life as a marine archaeologist, logging over 3,000 hours of dives during fourteen years of excavating shipwrecks and filming marine life for the Canadian Parks Service. It was an exciting life but a risky one too, and in 1992 Denis made a ‘sea change’ and moved to Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island - where he lives today surrounded by penguins and albatrosses. For the next ten years, he served as Asia director of an exclusive tour company pioneering adventurous new routes through China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam and the then largely ‘closed’ countries of Bhutan, Laos and Myanmar and guiding photography trips across Asia.
So was born a passion for the Orient, the Greater Mekong and the South Pacific that has guided much of Denis’ own life since. Today, he focuses on designing and leading highly personalised multi-country journeys, using his incredible ‘black book’ of contacts to open unique windows onto the ancient history and monuments, the contemporary culture and politics, of some of the world’s oldest civilisations.