The Explorer's Club Dinner: For the Truly Obsessed Traveler

by  Karen Gardiner | Feb 28, 2014
Gourmet meal
Gourmet meal / triocean/iStock

What travel fan wouldn't want to be a member of The Explorers Club? Founded in New York City in 1904, this illustrious organization is dedicated to scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space. It supports research and education in the physical, natural, and biological sciences, and members include Neil Armstrong, Roald Amundsen, and Edmund Hillary – people who have been responsible for a series of famous firsts: first to the North and South Poles, first to the summit of Mount Everest, to the deepest point in the ocean, and to the surface of the moon.

As you would imagine, the club's gatherings are normally a close-knit affair, but next month, everyone has a chance to dine with the adventurers at their annual dinner. If you're feeling particularly brave – particularly when it comes to your wallet – you can join them.

On March 15, the 110th Annual Dinner, will be held at the Waldorf Astoria. It is a black tie fundraising affair, and thus does not come cheap: ticket prices start at $375. For your investment, however, you do get to indulge in some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, like hobnobbing with this year's honorees: the Apollo F-1 Search and Recovery Team, oceanographer Professor Walter H. Munk, NASA Astronaut Hall of Famer Franklin Chang-Diaz, planetary researcher Maria Zuber, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and internationally acclaimed photographers Pat and Rosemarie Keough.

On top of partying with adventurers, oceanographers, and astronauts, there will also be over 70 silent auction items up for grabs, including a private SpaceX rocket factory tour for up to 10 guests, a one-week trip for two to North Korea, a trip for two to the Cannes Film Festival, a guided climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a luxury South African safari for two, and astronaut training for two on the Centrifuge.

Last but not least, this year's dinner will continue the tradition of serving up "exotics" for hors d'oeuvres. The exact menu isn't finalized yet, but last year's included alligator, ostrich, beef spleen, bull rod, crickets, scorpions, muskrat, roast pig, goat meat, goat penis, pork tongue, rattle snake, dried shrimp, beef kidneys, and jellyfish. If that sounds exciting (and not terrifying) to you, then you'd be right at home in The Explorers Club. After all, when in the company of people who have traveled to the ends of the earth and beyond, it would be a shame not to not just try a bug or two.

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