Top Luxury Travel DestinationsTop Places to Travel in 2014 - Antarctica
Good For: Couples, groups of friends, families with adult children and adventurous single travelers looking to check off a major bucket list item.
Why Now: Antarctica is and always will be a bucket list destination. It makes our 2014 list because of the rush of luxury boats that have recently made the voyage to Antarctica part of their cruise offerings. We covered Antarctica in 2013, and it’s as remote, vast and unforgiving as ever, making it the Holy Grail for adventure travelers. From those who have taken the plunge and braved the Drake Passage, the trip has categorically been a life-changing experience. How’s that for deserving on a travel wish list?
The Scoop: Logistics are key to getting to Antarctica. Most people embark on the journey by boat, though White Desert, part of the Mantis collection, will bypass the treacherous waters and fly you from South Africa to base camp—aluxury base camp, that is, with private chef. Short on time? No problem. White Desert can make it a day-trip excursion for you. Orion Expeditionsruns Antipodean voyages, which trace the historical journeys of Shackleton, Scott, and Mawson across the Southern Ocean and the Ross Sea. These 100-person ships are decked out with five-star service and spacious ocean view suites and cabins. On the other side of the world, departing from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, are shorter journeys with a day or two of sea crossing. These voyages can often cram in more landings, wildlife, and iceberg sightings due to shorter distances. Quark Expeditionsruns a dozen or so journeys along the Antarctic peninsula on an adventure-ready cruise ship, while the Norwegian Hurtigrutenoperates several journeys aboard its modern expedition cruiser, the MS Fram. These trips often include visits to Subantarctic areas like South Georgia, South Orkneys, and the Falkland Islands. Regeant Cruises has also thrown their hat into the luxury cruise to Antarctica ring.