While a lot of guess work remains as to how the path of future tourism will be shaped, I am convinced that small group and private "bubble" travel will be a very important trend and is really going to encourage those ready to explore again to start knocking off their bucket-list items. Unless the news/situation takes a different turn, I am going to focus over the next several weeks on 2021 and 2022 opportunities hopefully to both inspire and surprise.
I would like nothing more than to have the reaction...well, I didn't know you could do that!
Let's start off with the theme of island-hopping, and I have a
Top 5 list, all of which could be on everyone's bucket Iist!
Top 5 - Ultimate Island-Hopping Itineraries
1. Ritz Carlton Yachts - Greek Islands (above)
All set to debut in early 2021 (hopefully), Ritz Carlton will enter the ultra-luxury small ship/yacht category and have some wonderful cruise itineraries to choose from. Their Greek Isles schedule over 7 nights includes lesser known ports that will help you see the true nature of an untouched Greece, along with a little bit of Turkey. Ports of call with roundtrip from Athens are:
- Bodrum (Turkey)
- Nafplio - one of the most romantic, historic and beautiful towns in the whole of Greece (photo below)
2. Remote Lands - Maumere to Ambon (Indonesia)
Experience Indonesia in secluded style with this luxurious 14-day cruise on board your private schooner (map above). Start the tour off by sailing to the picturesque island of Kumba. Here, you’ll snorkel off its shores and discover an underwater world full of beautiful coral gardens. Continue to Wetar and relax in the soothing waters of local hot springs. Next, visit the remote volcanic islands of Teun, Serua and Nila and be captivated by the scenic landscape that surrounds you. Finish the tour in the Banda Archipelago, a region bursting with spectacular sea gardens, tropical beaches and rugged volcanic mountains. Here, you’ll visit the famous spice islands and learn about Indonesian history. A few incredible highlights:
- Dive under the sea and take a look at alluring coral reefs and exotic schools of fish in Kumba
- Meet welcoming locals in Moapora and learn about Indonesian culture and customs
- Hike the volcanic islands of Teun, Serua and Nila and be captivated by the natural beauty
- Discover historic fortresses and ancient plantations in the hauntingly beautiful Banda Archipelago (below)
3. Aman - Komodo Islands (above)
Yes, I'm going to feature Indonesia 3 times in the Top 5 and for good reason.
It's the largest archipelago in the world consisting of 5 five major islands and about 30 smaller groups. There are total number of 17,508 islands of which about 6,000 are inhabited, and the vast majority are spectacular.
This particular itinerary is with Aman, who you may have heard of through their portfolio of ultra-luxury resorts. Well, they also have a sailing boat and have a 7-night itinerary on the Amandira (below) which can be chartered privately with your own chef, waitstaff, and a PADI-certified diver on board. Track and photograph the fabled Komodo dragon in its Unesco-protected homeland, while diving and snorkeling the world’s most biologically diverse and acclaimed underwater sites. Komodo National Park is a wonderland of natural beauty, and the surrounding Nusa Tenggara archipelago is renowned for some of the best diving in the world. These expedition itineraries can be tailored to suit your personal preferences.
4. G Adventures - Dalmatian Coast, Croatia and Montenegro
As featured last week, G Adventures will not burst the budget and yet can still offer private charter sailing expeditions for up to 8 passengers in some of the most beautiful seas on the planet. You can do this at real leisure on this 15-day itinerary slowly making your way along the spectacular coastline (below) and hopping in between the 718 islands dotted around. What's more finish in Dubrovnik and explore the rich history behind this storied Old World region. Local food and wine are in abundance, giving you delicious homegrown flavor that’s impossible to forget.
5. Remote Lands - Remote Indonesian Islands (map above)
Indonesian island-hopping itinerary #3 features endless white sand beaches, turquoise waters and shockingly magenta reefs. Ternate, Halmahera, Northern Loloda Islands, Morotai Island, the Raja Ampat (below), Aketajawe, Waigeo, Wai, Gam and Sorong are among the many small, Eden-like remote islands you will visit on this 11-day itinerary. Snorkel, swim and search for the Red Bird of Paradise in this adventure and relaxation packed holiday.
A few more incredible highlights:
- Spot porpoises lounging placidly in the calm sea
- See Pacific War remnants from when Japan had a small base on Morotai Island
- Explore an active volcano on the shores of Halmahera
- Sample fresh coconut at Cape Leelai after visiting one of the many coconut plantations
If you might be ready to "Book Your Bubble" please hit the button below.
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