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Elegant Traveller

Top Bucket List Travel Experiences for 2021

schedule10 Minute Read

Laura Jones

Tick the world's greatest travel experiences off your bucket list...

As we look ahead to 2021, it's always best to begin with a plan. Some may have a list of destinations, but we have delved deeper to bring you otherworldly experiences, authentic encounters and new ways to travel that promise to reignite your passion for travel and inspire your bucket list for years to come...

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventure; join knowledgeable guides, local experts and an intimate group of like-minded adventurers as you climb to the roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. The carefully tailored trail will take you through verdant rainforest to meet the residing wildlife, including Colobus Monkey, leopard and buffalo, before continuing your trek through every climatic zone in the world to reach the epic summit at 5,895m, the highest point of Africa. Along the way, stop at several, authentic camps where you'll dine by moonlight and recharge your batteries. This luxury a year - or a decade - to remember!
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Celebrate Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Featuring extravagant parades, over-the-top costumes and week-long street parties, Brazil's Carnival has earned its place as one of the world's biggest festivals. Beginning 40 days before Easter every year, the country celebrates on a mammoth scale, and travellers are invited to join in! Grab yourself a caipirinha - Brazil's national cocktail - and immerse yourself in the festivities, where you'll find everything from steel bands and mouthwatering local delicacies, before heading to see the perfectly choreographed parade at Rio's Sambadrome! For an authentic experience, why not spend the day at a local Samba School, where you can finesse your skills in style?

Witness the Great Migration in Tanzania

The annual Great Migration is one of the greatest wonders of the natural world, where over two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle move through the Serengeti and Maasai Mara ecosystems in search of green pasture and water. At the heart of the Serengeti, award-winning Sayari Camp is Tanzania's most stylish setting for game-viewing. This conservation-conscious camp provides the perfect position to try and spot the annual phenomenon, and with a prime location near the Mara River, you may also see a photo-worthy view of the animals as they make a dramatic water crossing if you're lucky - make sure you keep your camera close, just in case!
Great Migration
Great Migration

Support Sustainability and Eco-tourism in Bhutan

Already the world's only carbon-negative country and set to become the first fully organic nation by the end of 2020, this royal kingdom landlocked by the mighty Himalayas is not only enchanting, but enviously eco-friendly. Most of the country remains unspoilt, covered in natural landscapes including lush pine forests and the towering mountain ranges, overflowing with adventures to keep intrepid explorers intrigued. Pay a visit to the legendary, cliffside Tiger's Nest Monastery, try your hand at the national sport of archery, or join an expert to seek out the country's elusive wildlife species, including red pandas and snow leopards.

Cruise the World with Regent Seven Seas

Cruising can truly take you anywhere, so why settle for just one destination? Alongside their annual 'Navigate The World' voyage, Regent Seven Seas Cruises has an enviable collection of worldwide voyages. Travel the coast of the USA and the Caribbean for 68 nights on the Grand Cape Horn adventure, stopping in Peru, St Lucia and Florida, or sail the Grand Spice Route and take advantage of over 200 shore excursions, comprising a traditional Omani dhow cruise, a visit to Phuket's largest Buddhist temple and following in the footsteps of the 'Lord Of The Rings' with a tour in Wellington, New Zealand.

Admire An Orchestral Sunrise on the Amalfi Coast

Southern Italy's famous coastline is a destination of Hollywood glamour with an undeniable air of romance, but catch this luxury location before sunrise and you'll truly be swept off your feet. Part of the annual Ravello Music Festival, take your seat in Villa Belvedere's outdoor stage for the eagerly anticipated Dawn Chorus, which commences at 5am on the 11th August. As the orchestra serenade the sunrise, take in the indescribable view of daybreak across the tranquil coastal waters, a vision which promises to be embedded in your memory forevermore.
Dawn Concert
Monks in Bhutan
Compass Rose Restaurant Dining on the Seven Seas Explorer
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Travel Russia by Rail onboard the Golden Eagle

As the largest country on the planet, it can be difficult to decide how to explore the country's historic cities and artistic landscapes all in one trip. Stepping aboard the iconic Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express will make taking in the immensity of Russia seem easier than ever. Travel in style through scenic landscapes and culture-filled cities, savouring onboard luxuries including en suite cabins, a sophisticated Bar Lounge and culinary masterpieces, in a setting like no other. Along with stopping to relish guided tours throughout Russia, your rail journey could take you across the border into Mongolia too, where you can explore Ulaanbaatar, a city surrounded by intriguing attractions, from the Gandan Monastery to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.

Sail the Polar Regions with Scenic

Venture off-the-beaten-track by boat for in-depth exploration of breathtaking locations including the Arctic and Antarctica. Cruise brands are now taking travellers deeper than ever before into the snow-swept wilderness to observe wildlife, sail lesser-known waters, and even assist with scientific research, accompanied by a team of experts. For the ultimate Polar experience, step aboard the World's First Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse. Equipped with a fleet of exploratory Zodiacs, kayaks, helicopters, and even a specialist submarine, this daringly designed ship is undeniably the most luxurious way to travel unchartered waters, with ten dining experiences to choose from and even a 500-square-metre spa, for pure indulgence at sea.

Ski by Starlight in Switzerland

Boasting some of the world's best skiing and snowboarding experiences, Switzerland has a harmonic blend of quaint alpine resorts, amazing après-ski and adrenaline-fuelled runs - everything required for the ultimate winter adventure. Head to the slopes of St Moritz in 2021 and you really can ski all day long! Every Friday evening from December until April is 'Snow Night' on Switzerland's longest floodlit slope in Corvatsch, with the snow freshly prepared and wood ovens fired up to serve delicious pizzas for a tasty, post-ski treat. Once it's finally time to take off your snow boots, return to the boutique, 18th-century buildings of Hotel Giardino Mountain to wind down with an aperitif or a balancing, Ayurvedic spa treatment.
Northern Lights
Northern Lights

Chase the Northern Lights in Iceland

The 'Land of Fire and Ice' is famed for the spellbinding ballet of multicoloured light that graces the skies, courtesy of natural phenomena, Aurora Borealis - otherwise known as the Northern Lights. Peak viewing season is usually between September and March when the nights are longer, but there's plenty to do in this snow-swept country while you wait for the dusk to fall. Spend your luxury holiday to Iceland exploring the galleries and boutiques of characterful capital Reykjavík, touring the natural wonders and geological marvels of the Golden Circle, or relishing a geothermal detox at the famous Blue Lagoon.

Get close with Gorillas in Rwanda

This innovative, eco-conscious destination is becoming more accessible than ever, aided by the opening of luxury properties One&Only Nyungwe House and Magashi Camp in 2019. Amongst the dramatic, emerald green landscape of the Volcanoes National Park, follow in the footsteps of rare mountain gorillas and golden monkeys with expert trackers for wildlife encounters that will leave an ever-lasting impression, or immerse yourself in some of this caring country's eco-tourism initiatives and enriching community projects, for a purposeful, yet picture-perfect trip to Africa.
Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda
Baby Mountain Gorilla

Take Camping To New Heights In Canada

Set 4,500ft above sea level on British Columbia's Ursus Mountain, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort has designed a luxury mountain refuge that towers above the rest - literally. A five-minute helicopter flight from the main lodge will take you soaring into the skies to the top of a staggering 1,500ft cliff, where you'll discover the remote, yet luxurious Cloud Camp. While you may simply wish to indulge in blissful solitude, there's plenty to do for the adventure seekers; kayak across the lake, take a refreshing swim or join a hiking guide to explore the area, before heading to your personal dining tent, where a chef will indulge your senses with a freshly prepared five-course meal.
Stargazing in Utah
Stargazing in Utah

See the stars in the USA

Forget celebrities - if it's a natural spectacle you're hoping to witness in 2021, head to one of Utah's 15 International Dark Sky Parks and relish some of the world's best stargazing on your luxury holiday to the USA. Up to 15,000 stars are regularly visible in this unique geographical zone making for a magical view, with or without a telescope. Hidden amongst the dramatic craters of Canyon Point, Amangiri is the state's most exclusive desert oasis, indulging you in the brand's hallmark luxury and unparalleled privacy, while also boasting easy access to secluded spots with clear skies, perfect for spotting sparkling constellations.

Live like a cowboy in Montana

One of America's greatest unspoilt treasures, Montana is the perfect place to live out your adventure holiday dreams. In a landscape where the sky goes on forever and the mountains chain together, you'll find the real American West - the home of cowboys, their cattle and their ranches - where the history of the frontier and cowboy culture comes alive every day. At The Resort at Paws Up, the magnitude of experiences promises to bring out your wild side; grab your boots and go horse-riding, or take a seat round the fire for an authentic, chuck wagon dinner accompanied by the melodies of a local banjo player.

Sip a Singapore Sling at Raffles Singapore

First created in 1915, the classic Singapore Sling cocktail is nearly as iconic as the hotel itself. Traditionally served in the two-storey Long Bar at Raffles Singapore, the tropical drink - containing gin, pineapple juice, lime juice, curaçao, bénédictine, grenadine and cherry liqueur - has been drawing guests to Singapore's landmark hotel for over 100 years. During your time in the city, tear yourself away from the culinary offerings and pay a visit to the futuristic, yet culture-filled attractions including the Supertree Grove at Gardens by The Bay and the quirky, boutique-filled district of Kampong Glam.
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Sling Shaker Machine
Lofoten Islands, Norway
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Hop Between New Zealand's Islands

A land of seismic beauty, world-class wine and unique Maori culture, exploring New Zealand should be high on any travel bucket list. Highlights on North Island include the geothermal wonders of Rotorua and Lake Taupo, the charming cities of Auckland and Wellington, and Hobbiton, the scenic setting for the Lord of the Ring's trilogy. There are also several stunning islands to hop over to from North Island, particularly the vineyard-rich Waiheke and the subtropical Bay of Islands. The adventures continue on South Island, where you can soar over the mighty Milford Sound by private helicopter, and sample the superb Sauvignon Blanc produce in the Marlborough Region.

Discover Norway with a National Geographic Expert

Join a small group of like-minded adventurers to delve deep into the natural delights of western Norway. This trip of a lifetime is led by an expert from National Geographic Expeditions, who will share their unparalleled knowledge and passion for the area, and arrange exclusive experiences not available to other travellers. Ride the famed Flam Railway through valleys and beside waterfalls, learn more about rural life as you meet local cheesemakers and cobblers, and discover the area's rich seafaring history while cruising across World Heritage waterways and striking fjords.

Drive The Roads of California

Discover the many personalities of the 'Golden State' on a classic Californian road trip, cruising down the famous Route One Highway, past ever-changing scenery and the mighty Pacific Ocean. With your own wheels, you can decide the perfect itinerary and savour the delights of California at your own pace. Whether you choose to see the sights of San Francisco, sample wine in the Napa Valley, kayak along the marine-rich coast of Santa Cruz Island, or soar over Los Angeles by helicopter; get ready for a bucket list-ticking, road trip of a lifetime.
Venice Beach, California
Highway 1, California
Napa Valley, California
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Get Away From It All on a Private Caribbean Island

The term 'bucket list' often recalls adrenaline-pumping activities and non-stop adventures - but who said it can't include a little relaxation too? Feel the indescribable magic of staying on your own private island, indulging in complete exclusivity and some pretty impressive scenery to match. Picture the most breathtakingly beautiful Caribbean scene you can imagine, with the whitest sand and clearest sea... Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson's island in the British Virgin Islands, surely tops it! Expect staff members that make you feel like you've returned to old friends, a population of cheeky Madagascan lemurs, and whacky yet wonderful dining experiences - try the floating kayak filled with sushi!

Laura Jones

Digital Content Executive

From my home in picturesque North Wales, my travels have taken me from the idyllic Greek Islands to the bright lights of New York - always with a very full suitcase, of course!

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