Four knockout trips to take once in a lifetime

Laura Birtles

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We have 30-plus years’ experience designing extraordinary itineraries. After more than a year of being unable to explore, we want to inspire you with a selection of knockout trips that we think, if possible, everyone should take once in a lifetime.

From an epic voyage in Antarctica and an incredible adventure in Ecuador and the Galápagos to the ultimate safari in East Africa and an unforgettable boat expedition in Indonesia, below are four phenomenal journeys that you should book now.

AN EPIC VOYAGE IN ANTARCTICA

With its wild, dramatic landscapes, its mesmerising sounds and hues and, of course, its astonishingly diverse wildlife, Antarctica is like nowhere else on the planet. With visits here limited to the Southern Hemisphere’s summer months (from November to March), it remains little-travelled and unspoilt. Undoubtedly, the best way to explore the Great White Continent is onboard one of our favourite boats and, for a short amount of time, we have special access to a number of awe-inspiring voyages in 2022 and beyond at a much reduced cost for cazenove+loyd clients. 

We work with an amazing selection of hand-picked expedition boats, all world-class small ships with stylish and comfortable communal areas and cabins. All are accompanied by an incredible team of specialists and expedition leaders, made up of ornithologists, marine mammal experts, geologists, photographers and historians. 

Our itineraries here include travelling across the infamous Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting stunning bays and channels, encountering incredible wildlife, cruising among glaciers and icebergs, and stopping off at active scientific bases and historical sites along the way. If you are keen to forgo the Drake Passage, we can arrange for you to fly down to King George Island in the South Shetlands. For wildlife lovers, we recommend extending your time and continuing to South Georgia and the Falklands. On many trips, you will also have the opportunity to go sea kayaking with expert guides, an exhilarating experience during which you may be joined by playful penguins or seals.

penguin photogrpahy at Port Lockroy, Antartica

 We can hold these spots only for a short amount of time, so speak to our polar regions expert, Jenny, and reserve your cabin. 

AN INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE IN ECUADOR + THE GALAPAGOS

Ecuador is a year-round destination but from June to December the weather is driest. We can design an unforgettable adventure here for you, whatever your interests are. 

Beginning on the mainland, wildlife lovers should travel north-west from Quito to Mashpi Lodge, deep in the glorious cloud forest, an unexpected oasis within an incredible biodiverse protected area. We also recommend staying at one of our favourite jungle lodges in the Amazon Rainforest for a few days. For adventurous types, we can arrange a fantastic hiking and horse riding expedition in central Ecuador’s Avenue of Volcanoes, staying in charming haciendas along the way. 

Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador

After two weeks on the mainland, we recommend finishing off your trip with a week exploring the Galápagos Islands aboard Origin or Theory, two incredible yachts both available for charter. This is slow travel at its best. Please get in touch to find out more.

THE ULTIMATE SAFARI IN EAST AFRICA

For the ultimate East African adventure, we suggest combining two of the greatest wildlife experiences on Earth – encountering mountain gorillas and witnessing the great migration – with a breathtaking beach retreat on the Kenyan coast. 

gorilla-rwanda

We can craft a matchless trip, starting at a stunning lodge in Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans tracking mountain gorillas, then continuing on to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve to watch the jaw-dropping annual great migration and spot the Big Five, and ending at one of our favourite Indian Ocean hideaways for some post-safari R&R. 

Bisate Lodge

The best time to travel is in September or October when the migration is still in full swing but crowds have dissipated a little and hiking conditions are easier in Volcanoes National Park. We suggest spending as long as you can in both Rwanda and Kenya in order to really get under the skin of these two amazing countries.

Africa offers so many bucket-list journeys and all our trips are entirely tailor-made, so speak to Claire or one of the Africa team to start designing yours.

AN UNFORGETTABLE BOAT EXPEDITION IN INDONESIA

We have a superb opportunity to take a cabin on an exclusive seven-night boat charter in Indonesia this November, which is a wonderful time of year to go. Travel from Ambon to the Spice Islands aboard the stylish Aqua Blu

AquaBlu Indonesia

The Spice Islands, now named the Moluccas, were once at the heart of the spice trade, and remnants of colonial forts still remain today, surrounded by the oldest nutmeg plantations on Earth. You will witness age-old local traditions and snorkel or scuba-dive in the pristine waters of the Coral Triangle, an area that harbours the world’s greatest concentration and diversity of marine life. 

Indonesia coral

From picnics on deserted beaches to kayaking adventures around far-flung isles, the itinerary brims with memorable experiences led by specialist guides who will enlighten you on the region’s captivating natural beauty, history and