By extending the length of your adventure you can live the places you visit, instead of just seeing them. Here are some of the best long trips to take in 2020 and 2021...
Soak up Antarctica’s scenic coastline on Discover the World’s Antarctic Semi-Circumnavigation month-long expedition.
As hungry albatross and floating icebergs stalk your ship, you’ll float through the famous Drake Passage and Lemaire Channel to land on Pléneau Island, conquered by fur seals and gentoo penguins.
Take a helicopter ride over Taylor Valley, where conditions are closer to Mars than Earth – and wrap up your voyage by inspecting the Campbell Island’s diverse wildlife.
Who? Discover the World (01737 887143)
When? 13 Jan 2020; 16 Feb 2020
How long? 32 to 34 nights
How much? From £22,273 (excluding int’l flights)
Take on Mongolia: The Grand Tour with Goyo Travel and experience all of the highlights of the country’s changing landscapes – from the Flaming Cliffs in the vast Gobi Desert to steppe, hot springs and alpine lakes.
Meet local nomads and stay in traditional ger camps, before heading to a Naadam Festival, where you can expect horse racing, wrestling matches and taste-bud-tickling cuisine. An authentic encounter with rural culture at its best.
Who? Goyo Travel (01869 866520)
When? 27 June 2020; 8 August 2020
How long? 23 days
How much? From £3,500* (excluding int’l flights). P.S. You can get 10% off using quote GTWander10, when ordering your trip until 31 December.
Venture away from the tourist trails on All Points East’s Unexplored: The Far North, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam trip.
Explore the border markets, ancient cities and opium museum of Thailand’s Golden Triangle, before crossing the Mekong to trek through the mountains and forests of Northern Laos.
Journey past limestone caves, rice terraces and traditional hilltop tribes, then see how ancient history and modern culture collide to create a beguiling new world in the timeless UNESCO-listed cities of Luang Prabang and Hanoi.
Who? All Points East
When? Monthly departures
How long? 22 days
How much? From £2,100 (excluding int’l flights)
Looking for an adventure without taking to the skies? Take your time on Planet Rail’s tailor-made Grand Arctic Circle and Scandinavia Overland Adventure and ride the rails from London into the magical world of northern Europe.
Board Europe’s only boat train and discover the Scandi-chic delights of Copenhagen and Stockholm. Pass by museums, markets and mountains as you travel down the Norwegian coastline into Oslo, where you can explore its 1,000-year-old history, sculpture parks and 40 islands in the fjord.
Who? Planet Rail (01347 825292)
When? June to August 2020 recommended
How long? 21 nights
How much? From £3,495 (including rail journeys)
Wonder at Chile’s vast wilderness on Pura Aventura’s lengthy Route of Parks Uncovered self-drive trip.
Coasting down the Southern Highway, you’ll come across a dozen national parks, where you can walk by some of the oldest trees on Earth, before white-water rafting and sailing along the Fú and Cochrane Rivers.
If that’s not enough, you can also hike through Valdivian rainforests, watch the sun set over the Patagonian steppe, spot Magellanic penguins and set foot on Cape Horn – and that’s just scratching the surface.
Who? Pura Aventura (01273 676 712)
When? October to April 2020
How long? 45 days
How much? From £14,430 (excluding int’l flights)
Journey to Remote Atlantic Islands (Hebridean Sky) with the Small Cruise Ship Collection.
Begin your thousand-mile voyage in the Falkland Islands, then cross over to South Georgia to admire its snow-covered peaks and hang out with fur seals and king penguins.
Pass through the world’s most remote archipelago, Tristan da Cunha, see where Napoleon was exiled in St Helena and get a grounding in different communities across the Atlantic from expedition experts, too. End with a splash in the warm waters off Senegal.
Who? Small Cruise Ship Collection (01432 507 280)
When? 11 March 2021
How long? 35 days
How much? From £11,995 (including int’l flights)
May the winds be your friend as you get on board the Starling for Rubicon 3’s ambitious 27-day adventure, Sailing in the Whitsunday and Great Barrier Reef.
Join sailors on the fifth leg of a round-the-world rally, hopping on and off the yacht as you please to snorkel through the clear waters off the Whitsunday Islands, admire Lizard Island’s giant clams and manta rays, before navigating the Arafura Sea towards Darwin, with stop-offs to explore Aboriginal outback settlements and the ruins of a former 19th century British settlement on your way.
Who? Rubicon 3 (020 3086 7245)
When? 5 August 2020
How long? 27 days
How much? £4,750 (excluding int’l flights)
Pack your bags and saddle up for a long trip on Wild Frontiers’s Silk Road: The Five ‘Stans of Central Asia.
Lose yourself in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s white-marble capital, then cross the great Oxus River into Uzbekistan, where you’ll spend time wandering its famous cities: haggle in Bukhara’s bazaars, explore mosques in Khiva and hit Samarkand’s Registan Square.
After wondering at Tajikstan and Kyrgyzstan’s alpine scenery and ancient walnut forests, heading to your final ‘stan and witness Kazakhstan’s ancient falconry traditions first-hand.
Who? Wild Frontiers (020 3504 9073)
When? 17 May, 20 September, 27 September 2020
How long? 29 days
How much? From £5,895 (excluding int’l flights)
Write your own odyssey on Tucan Travel’s epic Eastern Europe Discovery trip, which takes you on a two-month journey from Moscow to Istanbul through the continent’s most iconic vistas and rarely visited gems.
You’ll see a little bit of everything, here – learn more about Europe’s bloody history, artistic culture and friendly people on guided tours through storybook castles, cathedrals and citadels, with sunny Mediterranean islands, mosques, museums and mountain ranges also filling up your agenda, and see how this continent has risen from the ashes.
Who? Tucan Travel (0800 804 8435)
When? April to September 2020
How long? 66 days
How much? From £8,179 (excluding int’l flights)
Marvel at Vancouver and Victoria’s highlights on a bespoke Great Western Canada self-drive expedition from Audley Travel.
Track bears in the wilderness of Vancouver Island, spy whales on a trip from Victoria and hop on a 15-hour cruise through the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert Island, where you can spy dolphins, whales and eagles.
Ride the rails and admire British Columbia’s wild scenery, before taking on a four-hour hike through Banff’s wildflower meadows and alpine lakes.
Who? Audley Travel (01993 838700)
When? May to October 2020
How long? 25 days
How much? From £5,295 (including int’l flights)
Test your mind, body and soul on KE Adventure Travel’s Tibet, Mount Kailash and the Saga Dawa Festival trip. Travelling alongside Tibetan pilgrims, you can trace the origins of Lhasa’s UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, as well as ancient monasteries in Gyantse and Shigatse.
Face off with the mighty Mount Everest, then head over to Darchen for the annual flagpole-erecting ceremony at the Saga Dawa Festival and trekking the ancient pilgrimage path – the ‘kora’ – around Mount Kailash. A trip to take your breath away – literally.
Who? KE Adventure Travel (01768 615002)
When? 19 May 2020
How long? 23 days
How much? From £3,895 (excluding int’l flights)
Take a very modern pilgrimage the ghosts of medieval wayfarers at your side on CaminoWay.com’s Camino Frances five-week walking trip.
Trek more than 800km from St Jean Pied de Port in the French Pyrenees to the vineyards of La Rioja and the tiny (literally) mountain village of O Cebreiro, before ending up at the Galician cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the alleged burial place of St James.
On the way, enjoy tapas and strike up lifelong friendships with fellow travellers. Don’t forget your pilgrim passport!
Who? CaminoWays.com (020 3467 1516)
How long? Up to 35 nights
How much? From £3,279 (excluding int’l flights)
See the wonders of Japan and Russia on Jules Verne’s From the Tail of the Dragon trip. After enjoying Nagasaki’s hot springs and lunching in Japan’s oldest Chinatown, hurtle through technicolour cityscapes to Tokyo and Kyoto, where geisha-occupied gardens and vermilion torii gates offer a quiet space for reflection.
Then immerse yourself in Siberian culture on the Original Trans-Siberian Express. Visit villages off Lake Baikal and explore Irkutsk, the elected retreat for exiled Russian royalty in tsarist times. Finish in style in Moscow, with the Kremlin grounds, Red Square and opulent underground on the agenda.
Who? Jules Verne (020 3553 3326)
When? 7 May 2020
How long? 22 days
How much? From £10,595 (including int’l flights)
Free wheel through America on the ultimate USA Road Trip with Flight Centre.
Get right to the heart of rural and urban America as you cruise down the iconic Route 66, dance to Memphis’s lively beat and admire the towering red sandstone buttes of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, home to the Navajo people.
Make sure to check off all the classic sights on your way, too – get lost in Times Square, explore Hollywood and test your luck at Las Vegas’s ritzy casinos. Time to rack up those miles!
Who? Flight Centre (0808 250 9622)
How long? 26 days
How much? From £2,099 (including int’l flights)
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