V&J Bucket List 2021
The year of 2020 caught us all by surprise and created a year full of challenges and changes, making us aware of certain etiquettes. This does not mean that we cannot continue to dream and start looking towards 2021 as the year to travel more consciously, carrying more for the destinations we are visiting, the local communities we are engaging with and the exceptional wild environments we are experiencing.
We are excited to present our 2021 bucket list of unique adventure destinations, each one of them offering life-enhancing experiences.
Join our founders for a road trip of a lifetime, from Amsterdam (in the Netherlands) to Monte Carlo (in Monaco). Discover these legendary automobile destinations, explore the infamous Auto Bahn and lap the Hockenheim ring in the latest Porsche GT3 RS together with a former Formula 1 driver. Drive the spectacular and challenging roads through the mountains of Switzerland, following these magnificent roads through Lake Como (in the beautiful green hills of Italy) downwards to Nice (in France). Witness the most famous Formula 1 Grand Prix in the world, experiencing the F1 adrenaline from the paddock. Live the legendary and unforgettable parties during the weekend.
São Tome & Príncipe Islands
At 225 kilometres off the coast of Gabon you will find a remote two-island and eco-friendly São Tomé & Príncipe, known as the African Galapagos. The islands were once the world’s largest producers of cacao and also where Sir Arthur Eddington first demonstrated Einstein’s theory of general relativity, during a 1919 solar eclipse. Today covered with rich tropical jungles, these Island are host of pure unexplored wilderness and endemic wildlife. Although palm trees decorate the beautiful sandy beaches, these deep blue waters rupture with tropical marine life, a true UNESCO biosphere. Join marine biologists for sea turtle research and conservation; dive into the majestic blue waters where lively coral reefs host tropical fish, rays, moray eels and an abundance of green turtles. Engage with the local community and learn about their culture and African heritage. Explore the lush green, volcanic slopes of Pico do Cão, the islands highest peak, rewarding you with sensational panorama views. These extraordinary islands are appearing as a very interesting new frontier in ecotourism with lodges offering the highest comfort together with unexplored wilderness.
Are you looking for a destination where few have been and where nature still rules with her forces? So, Greenland is the place to go. A country covered by Arctic ice together with an enormous wildlife activity and fascinating Inuit culture. We offer several ways to travel around Greenland, providing you with unique perceptions into this fascinating and wild environment. One of our options is to sail with our Yacht Expeditions – let us take you out of your comfort zone and into an unchartered world of snowy mountain tops, unforgiving tundra, valleys and ocean depths, fjord systems that team with marine life, and picturesque villages made up of colourfully painted houses. Join our specialists and step in your Big-Bo 4x4 to explore abandoned missile-detection stations like the DYE2 hidden deep into the snowy landscapes. Go heli-skiing under the beautiful sights of the midnight sun; paddle through soaring icebergs; experience Greenland’s majestic landscapes from the perspective of a dog sled that snowmobiling simply cannot match; or just go “arctic char fishing” in remote mountain valleys, accompanied by pristine fast-flowing rivers. Greenland is made for those discerning connoisseurs who want to experience the wilderness.
Antarctica & Total Solar Eclipse 2021
Embark on the ultimate adventure to Antarctica, known for its breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife and the opportunities it provides for scientific research, conservation and discovery. On December 4, 2021, this extraordinary stage is set for a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon: a total solar eclipse. Join your fellow guests on the deck as the luminosity of Antarctica changes into darkness, stunning does not even begin to cover this experience. We have several fantastic cruise voyage options that will let you experience this incredible phenomenon in great grandeur with Voyages & Journeys way.
We also offer the option to view this exceptional polar eclipse aboard your private yacht with our Yacht Expeditions, letting you be awe-inspired as you relax in complete splendour. Joined by a professional photographer to assist you to take the perfect shot while listen to an astronomic scientist that highlights the eclipse, a truly extraordinary experience. Sail to Enterprise Island in search for humpback whales and orcas, embark the helicopter for skiing down the mountains above the beautiful views of the fjords. Dive into the deep blue waters of Paradise Bay with your submersible and be amazed by the underwater paradise of Antarctica or visit the old whaling stations and shipwrecks left behind. Fly to Mount Shackelton to savour a sundowner while watching a one-of-a-kind sunset or visit trinity Island, home to various penguin colonies, witness how they flourish. Make your 2021 an experience of a lifetime, while combining the White Desert with a spectacular total solar eclipse.
Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is packed-in an astonishing array of jaw-dropping scenery, eco-diversity and warm, friendly people offering unique experiences in one of the most remarkable countries in the world. It has an extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, montane rainforest and sweeping plains. Head north and explore the natural wonders of unspoiled rainforests, make acquaintances with silverback and mountain gorillas within the lush jungle of the Volcanoes National Park. To the south lies the Nyungwe National Park – this mist-swaddled rainforest is alive with 13 species of primate and 300 species of bird, including the exquisite ruwenzori turaco. More to the east you will discover the savannah of Akagera, a varied terrain shelters wildlife such as elephants, lions, and hundreds of bird species, such as the rare shoebill stork. Rwanda really does have it all.
Along the Equator, where the Atlantic Ocean clashes on the western coastline of Africa, Gabon is in a prime position for an abundance of natural beauty. With 80% covered in dense forest, 13 national parks with exceptional biodiversity, where beautiful mangroves meet the expansive 900 kilometres of coastline, maybe you will even spot surfing hippos while strolling on the beach. Gabon offers a spectacular range of wildlife in its dense rainforests and open savannah. Head to Loango National Park, an exceptional place even to the most jaded safari hand, the Ramsar wetland site, where buffalos and gorillas graze the banks, and elephants spray bath in these rich waters. Visit the Mitshogo and Punu communities and observe a unique initiation ceremony of the Bwiti belief system, that undergo a spiritual discipline using the root bark of the Iboga plant in the rites of ancestral worship, to conjure hallucinogenic visions, while musicians play harps and drums. Be amazed by the rhythm and movement covered by occultism. It is truly an experience that you will never forget. Join our specialists on a journey through the highlights of this beautiful country.
Costa Rica (Coco Island)
Located 550 kilometres away from the coast of Costa Rica you will discover Cocos Island, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. This untamed island covered by tropical rainforest, it was the unofficial inspiration behind Jurassic Park, with towering waterfalls gushing down from a barrier of mountains. Coco Island is a World Heritage site with no official inhabitants other than the National Park rangers. As it is roughly a 35-hour sail from the mainland, most of the island visitors live in the deep blue waters surrounding the Island. These waters are considered the most shark populated on Earth, giant manta rays, sailfish and the world’s largest aggregations of the near-threatened silky sharks. We offer extraordinary ways to explore this gem, by joining a research vessel or with our Yacht Expeditions onboard a private yacht. Search these waters, alongside our marine guides, for some of the most beautiful predators to roam the ocean, descend on the onboard submersible where you will be surrounded by thousands of scalloped hammerheads and manta rays cruising the currents. In visiting these types of extraordinary environments, we always try to incorporate conservation into your adventure, such as, your deep-sea dives information could help scientists to learn more about this rare ecosystem.
Oman – The silent deserts
Visiting Oman, you will be introduced to one of the oldest and most traditional civilizations in the Arabian Peninsula. Hiking through Northern Oman is a wonderful way to explore some of the region’s most stunning scenery and fascinating geology. Drive into the Eastern Hajar mountain area and explore the Salmah Plateau located 1500 / 2000 meters above sea level. Explore Oman’s highest mountain – Jebel Shams (mountain of the sun at 3009 meters) – best known not for its peak but for the view into the incredible deep Wadi Ghul alongside it. Learn about the galaxies, nebula, clusters and supernova remnants and see the treasures of the night sky. You will get to know how to set up a telescope correctly before peeking through the lens and then photographing some of the magnificent sights. Visit the birthplace of Islam, Nizwa, the country’s ancient capital. Once at the centre of trade, religion and art, lose yourself in the local souks and team up with a local chef to taste the traditional Oman dishes. Head into the Empty Quarter, the largest contiguous sand desert in the world to experience the breathtaking silence that inhabits this landscape, visiting UNESCO world heritage site Wadi Dawkah along the way. Overnight in a private tented camp packed with splendour, far away the nearest tourists in isolation and silence, your Bedouin hosts will share their knowledge and teach you how to “read” the desert, uncover the secrets of the Omani desert.
Australia – The Land Down Under
The Australian landscapes come with time. This extraordinary continent contains exceptional biodiversity that provides unique experiences across regions. Each destination has signature experiences and activities to showcase the special aspects of its region – pristine natural landscapes, wildlife, indigenous heritage, nature, food and wine and many more. These experiences define Australia’s extraordinary diversity. The journeys we create are completely focused on delivering a sense of the destination you are travelling through and connecting you to their region. It is not about how much similar are the regions, but how different, and how they reflect the authenticity of the Australian experience – whether it be coastal, desert, reef, island or wilderness, luxe outback camps, vineyard retreats or culinary destinations. Our adventures are curated with great appeal for the often time-poor, experience-seeking travellers for whom time-out and a genuine, memorable, often life-changing experience is the real luxury.
The ancient landscapes of the Maori Aotearoa are possibly the world’s largest concentration of extraordinary natural wonders. Join us for a journey of pure adventure and leisure; get released 1500 meters above Lake Taupo and take control over your glider; enjoy thrilling white water escapades amongst incredible lush scenery; meet the Tangata Whenua (the people of the land) as Maori know themselves and experience the Powhiri; or simply just wander off the beaten track and venture down the paths less travelled. Explore the native trails that wind through pristine ancient forest and immerse yourself in the pure tranquillity of the wilderness.
For those that want a little bit less adventure and more leisure, New Zealand has exceptional access to prestige vineyards, where you can spend your day tasting world premier wines, combined with delicious seasonal cuisine, lovingly crafted, and indulge in a dining experience that both nourishes and sustains you... body, heart, and soul. Carved over millions of years by the once fierce glacial waters of the Ahuriri River, the valley is now a tranquil, yet comfortingly rugged slice of paradise in New Zealand’s South. Embark your helicopter and let him take you on a scenic flight with stunning views of the snow-capped mountains and glacier fed rivers, find the perfect spot to land, to allow you to relax in the serene alpine landscape and take in the dramatic vistas and setting sun – the perfect evening with a glass of local premier cru.
The world known America’s Cup Regatta will take place in Auckland in 2021. Join Yacht Expeditions and head to Auckland on your private yacht charter. Watch the exciting races of the 36th America’s Cup from your deck, before sailing down the extraordinary coastlines of New Zealand to explore the country that overflows with culture, wildlife and beautiful environments.