22 December 2016
The start of the year is a perfect opportunity to create a travel wish list. The destinations you’d like to visit. The things you’d like to see and do during the year.
You might not tick everything off your travel wish list this year but simply creating it is a fun way to start planning where you might go and what you might see.
To help you make your travel wish list, here are 5 ideas to inspire your adventures in 2017...
A voyage to Antarctica
Towering blue-white ice twinkling as far as the eye can see. Penguins waddling across the snow. Whales dancing in and out of the icy water.
Is there anywhere as spectacular as the bright white landscape of Antarctica?
Hurtigruten, Seabourn, Silversea, and Holland America Line all sail through the icy waters to this southernmost continent. And the Antarctic Peninsula is filled with many breathtaking sights, from wildlife to working research stations.
Travel Counsellor Emily set sail from Argentina for her Antarctic cruise: “Our first landing was at Cuverville Island where there was a small area to wander amongst Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins. The penguins were as intrigued by us as we were with them. A truly memorable experience happened next as we took a Zodiac cruise back to the ship. As we cruised around the spectacular bay we were surrounded by five humpback whales that breached to have a look at us!”
A great railway journey
Travel is often so fast-paced that there’s never a moment to stop and take in the actual journey, is there? This year, try slowing down and making the journey part of your holiday with a great railway adventure.
Train travel is a magical way to see a country – and you don’t have to forego luxury or squeeze against the windows for a dramatic view either.
The iconic Rocky Mountaineer has domed carriages so you can see the incredible scenery of the Canadian Rockies as you travel through. There’s even an open air vestibule so you don’t miss the mountain air!
Belmond British Pullman’s exquisite steam trains evoke the glamour of the 1920s with art deco touches, bespoke tableware, and an on-board champagne reception to welcome passengers. And with the new Belmond Andean Explorer launching in 2017, travellers can experience some of Peru’s spectacular sights, including Lake Titicaca and charming Cusco.
This year, settle into your seat, tipple in hand, and watch as those sweeping landscapes roll past…
A skiing holiday in Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
Seeking sky-high, snow-covered peaks? Crisp mountain air? Incredible après ski? Try Whistler Blackcomb.
A mere two hours north of Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb covers 8,171 acres and has over 200 marked trails. The huge range of terrain makes Whistler Blackcomb perfect for everyone from novice skiers to seasoned snowboarders. And adrenaline junkies can test their nerves with Whistler Heli Skiing.
There are designated areas for families and plenty to occupy little ones off the snow, including ice skating and outdoor adventure playgrounds.
And for après ski? Head to Whistler Village. Pedestrian-only, this buzzing area is home to shops, restaurants, and the bars and nightclubs that make up Whistler’s infamous nightlife.
Travel Counsellor Karen has skied every year for over 20 years and says: "Whistler has great slopes for most abilities with a combination of high open bowls and woodland trails, and feels every bit an alpine resort. If you can manage to tear yourself off the slopes for an afternoon or morning, I would really recommend you try the Ziptrek Bear Tour. You need a head for heights and a sense of adventure! I would also recommend that you consider twining a Whistler ski holiday with a few days in the city of Vancouver. It is a vibrant city with fantastic shopping on Robson street, a wonderful waterfront, great bars, restaurants and amazing hotels."
A jaw-dropping view
Most of us have a favourite view. One that has stayed with us over the years. Perhaps it’s from standing atop a mountain looking across that never-ending view. Remembering peering down at the bright blue water, nose pressed against the window of the seaplane. Gazing at the bright orange, yellow, blue and red lights as the city buzzes against the night sky...
A jaw-dropping view makes everything else drift away, doesn’t it? And stays with you long after you’ve returned home.
Whether you’re happiest looking at cityscapes or surrounded by rainforest, don’t forget to find somewhere with a view in 2017.
A few favourites to add to your list: Bagan, Myanmar, from a hot air balloon. The Whitsunday Islands National Park (and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park) from a seaplane. New York City from Top of The Rock Observation Deck. Lake Louise, Canada, from a canoe.
An underwater adventure in Australia and Belize
Hidden inside those bright blue waters is a magical underwater world. And if you’ve never tried snorkelling before, make 2017 the year you pull on your mask, pop in your snorkel, and squeeze your toes into those flippers.
Gently floating through the turquoise water of Australia's Great Barrier Reef and spotting brightly coloured fish swimming beneath you is a breathtaking experience – don’t forget a waterproof camera!
Visiting the Great Barrier Reef was on Travel Counsellor Karlo's wish list and he visited in March 2016: "The Great Barrier Reef had been on my wish list for as long as I can remember, so when I left London Heathrow for Queensland, I was particularly excited! I went into the underwater submersible and went scuba diving - I saw a huge variety of corals (in an amazing range of colours), thousands of fish, a big jellyfish and - swimming along without a care in the world several feet down - a sea turtle."
PADI-qualified scuba diver? Push diving the Great Blue Hole in Belize to the top of your list. An underwater sinkhole, the circular Great Blue Hole measures more than 135 metres deep (450 feet) and 300 metres across (1000 feet).
The world’s largest natural formation of its kind, this deep, inky blue hole is a mesmerising underwater adventure for scuba divers. Expect to come across stalactites (the formations were once above the water), reef sharks and the occasional hammerhead shark.
In 12 months’ time, what do you want to have ticked off your travel wish list? For more travel wish list ideas, get in touch with your Travel Counsellor.