As 2019 draws to a close, perhaps you’ve started thinking about your 2020 travel bucket-list? To help inspire, we’ve picked out the very best travel experiences for next year, whether you’re after a luxury rail journey or Arctic adventure. Discover our top picks below.
Italy & the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
We all know the Orient Express for its iconic blue-and-gold carriages, and since its maiden journey in 1883, it’s long been up there among the world’s most coveted travel experiences. What’s more, 2020 will see the launch of three brand-new Grand Suites, named after three of its iconic destinations – Vienna, Prague and Budapest. We particularly like the no-fly option, where you can travel from London Victoria to Venice and back again, all without stepping foot in an airport. The rest of Italy also offers world-class dining, clifftop villages and oh-so-glamorous hotels, and with other destinations including the likes of glamorous Lake Como and historic Verona, why not celebrate 2020 in style?
Thailand and the Eastern & Oriental Express
The sister journey of its European counterpart, a journey on the Eastern and Oriental Express will see you immerse yourself in South East Asia’s sky-high cities, golden beaches and jungle-framed countryside. Start by speeding through Malaysia’s rice paddy fields before relaxing on Thailand’s aqua-framed shores, ending with futuristic Singapore or buzzing Bangkok. Plus, with a range of ultra-luxury properties to stay at in between, it makes for an ideal luxury holiday if you’re celebrating a big birthday, anniversary or honeymoon in 2020. We particularly like Singapore’s Raffles Hotel as well as Thailand’s Six Senses Yao Noi for sea-view infinity pools, a luxe spa and gourmet dining.
The Galapagos & Silversea’s Silver Origin
2020 will see the launch of Silver Origin – Silversea’s first destination-specific ship built specially to sail the Galápagos islands. Unsurprisingly, it’s all about the environment, with the lowest possible carbon footprint and state-of-the-art technology that protects the seabed and wildlife. Billed ‘the most elegant ship’ to ever sail Ecuador, each suite will even feature a freshwater purification system to limit plastic bottle usage as you spot everything from marine iguanas to giant tortoises, as well as the chance to snorkel among sea lions and discover lava tunnels. Naturally, it’s all done alongside fine dining and ultra-personalised service.
The wild tiger population in India has risen 33% in just four years meaning 2020 is an excellent time to head to India and spot the ‘king of the jungle’. Tiger safaris take place in three of India’s leading national parks – Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Pench, before you come back to luxury lodges that offer campfire-side sundowners, multi-course dining and spas. It’s best combined with exploring the Golden Triangle, where you’ll do everything from watching sunrise over the Taj Mahal to discovering the buzzing markets of Delhi.
No time for a long break in 2020? The ICEHOTEL is ideal for a shorter sojourn to the ice-covered reaches of Swedish Lapland, as you snuggle up at -5°C among ethereal ice-carved rooms under reindeer hides, waking to a sauna and a glass of hot lingonberry. And, with 2019-2020 its 30th season, you can expect more spectacular ice suites than ever before. It’s all done alongside classic winter adventures like snowmobiling, husky sledding and spotting the Northern Lights – or even during the summer for kayaking and forest walks under Midnight Sun.
Dave Warne is Product Director at The Luxury Holiday Company. The Luxury Holiday Company offers completely bespoke holidays designed to deliver unrivalled luxury, arranged by specialists who have more than 200 years of collective travel experience.