Are you looking for some fun-in-the-sun time on a private island that also has a flock of flamingos, lemurs, giant tortoises, turtles, birds and iguanas around? On Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island all the Balinese-inspired houses boast a beautiful view and if you are looking for a well-known tennis and or kitesurfing expert for lessons, this is your spot.
Here is a video of the highlights of my stay and a look at a few of the gorgeous homes on the island. It is a great place for singles, couples and or families to come together for a celebration trip!
If you don’t want the island for exclusive use, you can book a room during one of their Celebration Weeks.
Are you looking to celebrate a special occasion in an estate on a private island? If so, Moskito Island in the British Virgin Islands is an amazing spot for it! I recently returned from an educational trip at Sir Richard Branson’s private islands, Moskito and Necker. Seclusion, turquoise water, magnificent views, delicious food, watersports, wonderful staff, tennis, exclusivity-Moskito Island checks all of these boxes.
Here is a video of the highlights of my stay and a look at a few of the breathtaking estates on the island. Moskito Island is a 10-minute boat ride from Necker Island and close to Virgin Gorda. It is a great place for singles, couples and or families to come together for a celebration trip!
We all have that big adventure we’ve really wanted to go on but have put off for one reason or another over the years. The opportunity will always be there, we tell ourselves. If there’s one thing we know after seeing life abruptly come to a halt, it’s that things can change in a hurry and nothing is truly guaranteed. Once it’s safe to travel again, it’s time to take that adventure. And the time to start dreaming about it and planning it is now.
As part of our “Travel Dreaming” series, Dr. Travel himself Paul Largay spoke with three people who know their way around an adventure: Lesa Bain of Lindblad Expeditions, Don Martinson of Natural Habitat Adventures and Ashish Sanghrajka of Big Five Tours & Expeditions. They’ve always specialized in going off the beaten path to seek out what there is to discover in the remote areas of the world. With those places soon to be more sought out than ever, they’re the ones to turn to for an authentic and sustainable adventure. There’s no better time to get started with the planning and settle on the dates when more is certain. As Dr. Travel put it, “What coronavirus has not stopped is our curiosity, our need to know and, most importantly, our desire to dream.”
With that, our guests shared some of their favorite adventures, from polar bear viewing in Manitoba to gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda to getting up close and personal with Adelie penguins in Antarctica. Whatever your definition of adventure, these companies can accommodate it while making you feel comfortable at the same time.
Expeditions are not, “eating borscht and sleeping on a wooden pallet,” Bain said, Lindblad trips offer the opportunity to go on an exerting hike then have a great glass of wine when you get back. Martinson stressed the abundance of options on a Nat Hab trip. There are always activities for those who want them, but no one is left out if not feeling up to the challenge. For instance, on Nat Hab’s Yellowstone wolf quest photo adventure, participants have the option to snowshoe to Old Faithful or ride to the iconic geyser in a coach. Sanghrajka noted that on the same trip in Colombia, guests can paraglide then do a rum tasting with the mayor of Cartagena’s son. “It’s the stuff you can’t script that speaks to me,” he said.
While as Martinson said, if you walk across a football field unassisted, you can go on most of these trips, you might want to ease yourself into adventure, especially if you have young kids. The Galapagos is a great place to dip your toe in the water. “Each time you go, it’s a different experience,” Bain said. “It’s great for kids and a good precursor to Africa.” Martinson also recommends the Galapagos, along with national parks and Costa Rica for getting kids hooked on adventure and science. Sanghrajka relayed that he first took his kids to Guatemala, where the roasted marshmallows in steam from an active volcano before watching another spew lava from deep within the earth. “When your teacher asks what you did for summer vacation, you’re gonna win,” he told them.
As the kids get older and your family works it way up the adventure rung, you can discover places such as East Greenland, “a place that made me feel smaller than I’ve ever felt before” as he kayaked around huge icebergs and waterfalls in a transformative experience. While the guides are world-class and the accommodations comfortable, some places are hundreds of miles from the nearest five-star hotel. “It’s not about the thread count, it’s about the animal count,” Martinson said. If you’re an avid diver exploring the waters of the South Pacific, Bain noted, that’s where true luxury lies, in making a dream come true.
What remote adventures are on the horizon for when we can finally escape and get back out into the world? Bain recommends the Russian Far East and Northeast Passage from Norway to Nome. Martinson is keen on small-group and private excursions in America’s national parks. Sanghrajka is excited about northern Peru. “Kuelap is 1,000 years older than Machu Picchu and sees about 100 visitors on a busy day,” he said. “The third highest waterfall in the world is there. I can’t wait to get up there.”
We know we can’t wait to get out into the wide open spaces again and take the road less traveled. We’re thrilled to have partners who have blazing trails in these remote areas for years. “When you people say we’re going to want to get out of the box, I say we’ve been waiting for you. What took you so long?”
Do you like medieval villages? Do you like beautiful views? If so, you will love Civita di Bagnoregio.
On our way to Tuscany, we made a stop to visit Civita di Bagnoregio, a hilltop medieval village and UNESCO World Heritage Protected Site. It is 75 miles north of Rome. The village is accessed via a pedestrian bridge. There are only 11 people who live here! We stopped for lunch at Osteria Al Forno Di Agnese, sat on a lovely terrace and ate a delicious truffle porcini pasta. We admired the beautiful views from here.
With Daniele from outside of Venice and Stefany’s dad from Rome and mom from Cassino, Italy, being Italy Specialists comes natural to them. To start planning your Italian dream trip, contact Stefany at: firstname.lastname@example.org and or email@example.com.
Italy, Travel, DMC Travel Tailor, Civita di Bagnoregio, Medieval Village, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Luxury Travel, Luxury Travel Advisor, Italy Specialists, Osteria Al Forno Di Agnese, Virtuoso, Virtuoso Travel Advisor, Group Trip, Largay Travel
Largay Travel held its annual retreat last week — virtually, of course. And while the distance toned down the usual revelry, if only slightly, it was wonderful to get together with friends and colleagues. Of course, we’ve all been meeting up regularly for Friday night dance parties and Meditation Mondays, it was oddly freeing to sit down and talk business with our supplier partners. And the overall message was a resounding one: Travel will be back
When it returns, travelers will be seeking remoteness and getting back to nature.
“These kinds of trips that are off the beaten path, more isolated, this is going to become the new normal,” Big Five Tours & Expeditions president Ashish Sanghrajka said in highlighting the company’s President’s Picks itineraries. One, the 13-day Morocco Mysteries & Mint Tea, includes a night at the exclusive Ghazala Camp in the southern part of the country. The camp’s six tents are set well apart from each other and deliver an authentic desert experience.
“The key word is private,” Abercrombie & Kent’s Norma Spadola said. “Private activities and insider access will be more in demand. If you’re going on a ship, it’s going to be a smaller one.”
Speaking of smaller ships, Paul Gauguin Cruises will launch two new 230-passenger luxury expedition vessels in 2022. Crystal Cruises will place more of an emphasis on remote expeditions with Zodiac landings in rugged landscapes with exotic wildlife and the 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor taking guests to the end of the earth in style and comfort.
Out of the way places will be highly sought after, with polar regions, Patagonia and African safaris seeing renewed popularity as travelers look to avoid crowded cities. Nordic specialists 50 Degrees North are ready, with itineraries featuring Arctic Bath, a floating hotel on the Lule River in Swedish Lapland. The wellness oasis aims to leave behind a minimal environmental footprint, and sustainability — already a point of emphasis in luxury travel — will be even more popular moving forward.
50 Degrees North tours in Norway showcase Hurtigruten’s hybrid-electric ships that have reduced emissions and can cruise silently through the country’s famed fjords. Big Five’s GIB 5.0 virtual assistant matches travelers with the sustainability project that best matches their personality: Jetwing Youth Development Program in Sri Lanka, Awamaki women’s project in Peru or Africa Wildlife Foundation Kidepo Project in Uganda. A year after their trip, they get an update on the project they helped support. Viking ocean cruisers have the opportunity to participate in climate research onboard. Paul Gauguin Cruises new ships will explore the South Pacific while operating smokelessly at anchor, in port and in environmentally sensitive areas.
Wherever and whenever you’re looking to go next, you’ll want to book early, as demand for later in 2020 and for 2021 is high and space on smaller tours and in remote places is limited. With such uncertainty and farther afield destinations, it helps to have excellent partners on the ground to provide real-time updates to keep travelers safe and happy. When you’re ready, we’re here for you.