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Top 50 Adventures
We’ve scoured the globe to compile our ultimate list of adventures. From helicopter rides to the top of the world to nocturnal glow-in-the-dark diving in the Indian Ocean, there’s something to suit all explorers
Impromptu Sailing in Mexico
The 164-ft, family-friendly Impromptu is based in the Sea of Cortez, where waters abound with sea life, including whales, dolphins, sea lions and rainbow-colored fish. The joy of chartering a superyacht is that every step of your itinerary can be customized, and we recommend jet skiing around Isla Carmen, or taking the yacht’s small sailboat if the wind is blowing in your favor. See if you can spot a brown pelican or scissor-tailed flycatcher as you circumnavigate this Unesco-protected island. Don your diving gear in Cabo San Pulmo; it is the only North American hard reef and home to over 6,000 species including elusive sea turtles and rays. Or surf the breaks off Costa Azul Beach — there are three to choose from that cater to all levels of expertise. There is a JetSurf board in the toy garage, too. Back on board, sun loungers surround the raised Jacuzzi on the upper sundeck during the day, and the deck offers a fantastic party centerpiece come evening.
Dive Down to See the Titanic
An extremely rare opportunity is on the horizon — the infamous Titanic shipwreck, submerged approximately 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, around 12,500 ft under the sea. Exploring this historical site is an experience that certainly won’t be around forever, as, according to a 2016 study, the remains of the ship are disintegrating and could disappear within a decade. Plus, the logistics behind a trip to the ship’s resting place mean that only a few people have visited the site since it sank in 1912, and the majority of those visits have been for scientific purposes. Now, Quintessentially Travel is offering an incredible chance to a lucky few to be some of the first to explore the shipwreck with a deep-sea dive. The nine-day excursion includes helicopter underwater egress training, vessel orientation, briefing sessions with the pilot, lectures and discussions with deep-sea ocean explorers and scientists, and a post-mission briefing. The dates available are June 15 to 22; June 22 to 29; and June 29 to July 6.
Shark Diving in South Africa
Great white sharks are one of the most feared creatures of the sea due to their ferocious hunting abilities and menacing size. These expert predators are often misunderstood, but getting face-to-face with one is certainly a startling experience. Marine Dynamics specializes in shark tours and, importantly, they always keep the animals’ welfare in mind when conducting dives, as well as studying these great beasts and contributing to their conservation. You’ll board Slashfin, a custom-built aluminum boat (named after a 10-ft male shark with a unique fin) and head out to Dyer Island with a marine biologist who will show you where the sharks hunt, hide, feed, breed and breach. The boat has a secure stainless-steel cage (with no sharp edges, to keep the sharks safe) that is firmly attached to the boat at all times, so you can easily get out of it whenever you wish. The crew will bait the sharks to come closer to the cage (but will never feed them) so you can get up close to these mysterious animals. Stay in Cape Town’s newest and most chic hotel, The Silo — the views of Table Mountain from the penthouse are divine.
Take a Dip in Devil’s Pool in Zambia
You’ve probably relaxed in your fair share of infinity pools overlooking a beautiful vista, and felt calm and content. Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls is not that type of infinity pool. Instead, it is a natural rock pool formed from thousands of years of erosion that teeters right on the edge of the Falls, but with a natural rock lip that prevents daredevils from going over the edge. Enjoy an exhilarating swim across the Zambezi River before venturing into Devil’s Pool and witnessing the sheer drop off the 338-ft edge of the falls. Expert guides are with you every watery step of the way, and your safety is their number-one priority. Afterwards, head back to The Royal Livingstone for an outdoor massage on the banks of the Zambezi River.
Surf’s Up in Morocco
The medinas and riads of Marrakech are a big draw in Morocco, but for a different pace, head to Oualidia. Facing a saltwater lagoon, this small village can be found on the Atlantic coast, far away from the crowds. The village is famed for surfing, oysters and the flocks of pink flamingos that reside in the lagoon. Stay at the secluded and intimate La Sultana Oualidia — it sits directly on the water and only has 12 guestrooms. Try a private surf lesson in one of the world’s best surfing spots (with options for both beginners and advanced surfers), or journey to a hidden beach for a private picnic of fresh seafood, followed by a visit to the oyster beds of Oualidia.
Traverse the Equator in Indonesia
Off the tip of Bird’s Head Peninsula, West Papua, over 1,500 wild, forested islands and cays sit amid cerulean waters home to coral reefs rich in marine life. This beguiling region is so isolated that exploration is limited to sailing yachts and the new phinisi Prana by Atzaró is one of the most luxurious on the water. The ship’s crew includes a dive instructor to guide you through its most bewitching reefs — Cape Kri’s cornucopia of sea creatures includes Wobbegong sharks, pygmy seahorses and barracudas. As the wind catches the sails, cross the equator with giant manta rays, snorkel over volcanic vents, explore wild coastlines by kayak, or paddleboard across deserted lagoons. Back on board, unwind in the Anne Semonin spa, join top-deck yoga classes and indulge in fine fusion cuisine under the stars.
Explore the Reefs and Ruins of Belize
Divers know how brilliantly diverse Belize is — 400 islands, the longest barrier reef in the Western world and the immense Great Blue Hole. This Pelorus itinerary lands you in Belize City before sailing off to one of the islands for a nighttime dive. The next day, you’ll heli-jump into the Great Blue Hole. This underwater sinkhole is around 1,000 ft across and 400 ft deep — and a must-do on any serious diver’s bucket list. It’s home to a bounty of marine life, including parrotfish, angelfish and some shark species. You’ll investigate dark caves and impressive stalactites using a diver propulsion vehicle. The trip continues with more reef dives and spearfishing — cook up your catch for lunch on a hidden beach. Back on dry land, stay in a jungle lodge and hike through thick forest, following jaguars with an expert guide. Visit ancient Mayan ruins and canoe down a creek through cave systems to visit a Mayan ceremonial and burial site, stopping off at waterfalls along the way. The best time to visit is March to July.
Explore Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago
Located off the far south coast of Myanmar, the Mergui Archipelago is made up of hundreds of tiny, castaway-style islands. Picture pristine beaches with swaying palm trees, thick jungle, clear seas and colorful marine life — all unspoiled and mostly uninhabited. The archipelago receives very few visitors, so you can be sure of complete privacy, especially as you’ll be on board the sailing yacht of your choice. Choose from the eight-person, 85-ft Meta IV or, for more intimate trips, the six-person, 72-ft Scame. Naya Traveler can customize your itinerary, but we recommend sailing to Great Swinton Island, where you can visit a local Buddhist monastery and, come night, witness the magical bioluminescent plankton, or journey to the small village on Nyaung Wee Island and meet the local tribes. The inhabitants are called the Moken, a community who live off — and on — the sea. They lead a traditional, semi-nomadic lifestyle and, over generations, have adapted to their environment and developed skills for a life lived partly underwater. Moken divers often descend to depths of more than 65 ft without oxygen tanks, and have incredible underwater vision. Sail onwards to Ohway Island for snorkeling and fishing, then head to Jar Lann Kyun and drop anchor in the giant fjord.
Cruise Canada’s Northern Passage
Unleash your inner polar explorer with a 23-night cruise on board Ponant’s expedition vessel Le Boreal. From Montreal, fly to Kangerlussuaq on the edge of the Greenland ice sheet, a gargantuan body of ice that is home to native wildlife including falcons, eagles and arctic fox. You’ll then board Le Boreal and traverse icy waters past iceberg-strewn fjords to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. In Western Greenland, explore Inuit culture and meet a dogsled team in Sisimiut; discover ancient huts made of whale bones and see traditional leather-tanning workshops in the Uummannaq Fjord; spot narwhals and polar bears in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; see the Smoking Hills of Franklin Bay where, when the jarosite-covered cliffs interact with cold air, a thick smoke, akin to a volcano eruption, is produced. As you head into Alaska, keep your eyes peeled for the Northern Lights above. When you reach Little Diomede between Russia and Alaska, you’ll board a Zodiac inflatable watercraft and visit the Ingalikmiut people, who still hunt and fish these waters according to ancient customs and use the hides of seal, walrus and polar bear for clothing and currency. While on board the vessel, you can learn more about these ancient cultures by attending expert-led lectures, and a photographer will be on hand to help you capture that perfect shot.
Deep-Sea Diving in the Maldives
The vivid turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean are home to an abundance of marine life such as turtles, nurse sharks, dolphins, manta rays and bright coral. Of course, you can snorkel through the warm waters and spot these creatures as you skim along the ocean’s surface, but to get closer to the action, you’ll need to go deeper undersea. Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru has just the thing — DeepFlight’s first three-person Super Falcon 3S is its most advanced model. You’ll board this high-tech submersible and descend to a depth of 120 ft to explore the Maldives’ only Unesco Biosphere Reserve in the Baa Atoll. The submarine’s design was inspired by the aerodynamics of flying, so it can effortlessly glide over reefs and cruise alongside marine life. As our marine ecosystems are so delicate, the Falcon’s electric and acoustic emissions are minimal so as not to disturb the underwater life, and it will never land on the seabed or reef. During your deep-sea exploration, the pilot will explain the workings of the marine ecosystem.
Around the World in 146 Days
Seabourn, known for bringing the height of luxury to the sea, has won multiple awards for its all-oceanfront-suite ships and for accessing smaller ports that larger ships can’t. Setting off from Miami on January 4, 2020, Seabourn’s Sojourn will glide through six continents, 62 ports and 36 countries throughout a 146-day cruise. It’s Seabourn’s first world cruise in six years and covers Cape Town in South Africa, Singapore, Sydney, Dakar in Senegal, Mombasa in Kenya, Hong Kong, Nosy Be in Madagascar, Hamilton Island and Brisbane in Australia, Honolulu and Manele Bay in Hawaii. You’ll see an incredible array of Unesco World Heritage Sites along the way, including the Island of Mozambique, luminescent caves in Puerto-Princesca and the Great Barrier Reef. If the full 146 days at sea are a bit too much for you, there are shorter voyages available.