Travel Insider Geoffrey Kent on Where to Go Next
Eight Must-Visit Destinations for 2014Safaris were the original form of experiential travel, a life-changing opportunity to meet people and see and do things that are truly extraordinary. Luxury adventure travel company Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) is known for bringing that same focus on authenticity to destinations around the world thanks to founder, chairman and CEO Geoffrey Kent. “Despite criss-crossing the globe 250 days a year, my intense curiosity about the world hasn’t ebbed,” explains Kent. “In fact, the desire to connect with other cultures in ways that challenge my understanding is what keeps me going. And the majority of our guests feel the same way. That’s why each year our planners fan out around the world to find the next ‘must-see’ destinations – and the most rewarding ways to explore them.”
Where to Go Next?
Following are 8 must-visit destinations for 2014, chosen by Geoffrey Kent and Abercrombie & Kent’s expert planning team:
Interest in travel to Myanmar has increased dramatically since the National League for Democracy, founded by Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, began to welcome responsible tourism. A truly spiritual destination, the Burmese countryside is largely untouched by the influence of Western civilization. “The rivers take you deep into the heart of Burma, almost to the border of China or India. Travel in style on a spacious boutique river cruiser, the new Sanctuary Ananda, through stunning landscapes that have changed little in 1,500 years.” - GK
The best way to experience the breathtaking landscapes and the wildlife of the Arctic -- untouched by the presence of humans -- is on an adventure cruise aboard MV Le Boreal, which Condé Nast Traveler likens to a “Gold List” hotel. Discover polar bears in their natural habitat on the Svalbard archipelago; explore the Kejser Franz Joseph Fjords and Scoresby Sound in Greenland; and walk through one of Iceland's first villages (Grundarfjördur), followed by views of the extinct Snaefellsjokull volcano, setting of Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. “The small size of Le Boreal enables it to get close to fjords, glaciers, and bays bigger ships can’t reach. And our outstanding expedition team brings it to life right before your eyes.” – GK
3. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has seduced travellers for centuries. Successive waves of Indian, Arab and European traders flocked to its palm-fringed shores, attracted by rare spices, precious stones and magnificent elephants. Ancient cities, tea plantations and hill stations vie for attention alongside amazing wildlife, temples and golden beaches. “We have just opened an office in Sri Lanka to ensure our guests experience the country in comfort and A&K style.” – GK
Mongolia’s landscape is striking and rugged, dotted with timeworn Buddhist monasteries and crystal–clear lakes. Experience the stunning Gobi Desert riding a Bactrian camel through towering dunes to the Flaming Cliffs explore this stark, sparsely populated land which feels unchanged from the days of the great warlord Genghis Khan. “Don’t miss the annual Naadam Festival, where the nation’s best athletes compete in archery, horse racing and Mongolian wrestling.” – GK
Stroll through history from the opulence of the czars to the echoes of the Cold War, from Red Square and the onion-shaped domes of St. Basil's Cathedral to the Kremlin and the State Armory, home of artifacts that date back to the 14th Century. In St. Petersburg, a city built by Peter the Great as a tribute to himself, visit Petrodvorets, his opulent summer palace designed to rival Versailles. Wander the great halls of the Hermitage Museum and see its amazing objects d'art. “As you walk through Red Square, it appears that nothing has changed since my first visit in 1982. Yet the rest of the country has changed dramatically.” - GK
6. Southern Africa by River and Rail
Experience the great rivers of Africa in Botswana and Zambia. Float down the Chobe River on the luxurious ‘Zambezi Queen’ watching vast herds of elephant come to the river to drink and bathe. Enjoy game drives in open four-wheel-drive vehicles, ride an elephant along the river, soar above Victoria Falls in a helicopter and relive the golden age of train travel aboard the elegant Edwardian Rovos Rail. “The tiger fishing on the Zambezi is not to be missed!” - GK
Rich in art, archaeological treasures, history, folklore and breathtaking Mediterranean scenery, the island of Sicily has been at the crossroads between Europe and Africa for centuries. “You may think you’ve ‘done’ Italy, but Sicily is not to be missed. Explore the enchanting land where Archimedes taught, St. Paul preached and Mount Etna made history.” - GK
Separated from mainland Australia, Tasmania has always been known as a place of wild and beautiful landscapes. The recent opening of the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has thrust it into the middle of the international art scene. MONA houses an extraordinary collection that ranges from ancient Egyptian mummies to some of the most infamous and thought-provoking contemporary art. “MONA’s subterranean design and owner David Walsh’s unconventional and challenging curatorial approach make it a must-see.” - GK
Abercrombie & Kent travel takes guests beneath the surface, away from the crowds, into a world known only to locals. Recognized by travel agents for having knowledgeable and experienced guides, Abercrombie & Kent is voted “Best Luxury Tour Operator” year after year at the World Travel Awards and by readers of Luxury Travel Advisor, Travel Weekly, Recommend and TravelAge West. Call 800 554 7094 or go to www.abercrombiekent.com for more information.