9 MUST-HAVE EXPERIENCES FOR 2019

Covering land, sea and sky, Virtuoso has named the top experiences for savvy travellers for the coming year.

The Virtuoso Luxe Report is a great starting point for inspiration, launched hot on the heels of Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch’s presentation at ILTM (pictured above).

In his presentation, Upchurch underlined the fact that there are 62 new members of the network in Europe, which is now present in 50 countries. Over the past five years, growth in membership has been at a rate of 126%. Over the past year, hotel bookings through Virtuoso have risen 29%.

Meanwhile, through Virtuoso’s annual survey, a noted trend predictor within the industry, the global luxury travel network tapped into its elite force of 17,500 travel advisors from around the world to share their top selections for next year’s most compelling peak experiences.

Virtuoso’s nine must-have experiences for 2019:

  1. Skydive in New Zealand, consistently named one of the world’s top places to jump out of a plane. Skydivers will marvel at stunning views of glaciers, mountains, rainforests, and bodies of water such as the Pacific Ocean, rivers and lakes.
  2. Cruise the Norwegian fjords to the North Cape to mark the summer solstice on June 21. In the same year, cruise the Chilean fjords to the South Cape on December 21, enjoying endless daylight in both hemispheres.
  3. Travel by luxury rail from Paris to Istanbul on the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. The 10-night journey aboard the restored Art Deco train winds through some of Europe’s most captivating cities, transporting passengers back to the Golden Age of travel.
  4. Savor an incomparable culinary experience in Barcelona by dining at Tickets, helmed by the Adrià brothers of El Bulli fame. Travelers wishing to sample Tickets’ playful modern tapas must book two months in advance.
  5. Visit the beaches of Normandy in northern France on a river cruise to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. See where Allied forces landed during the World War II invasion and learn about the heroic operation that led to the liberation of German-occupied France.
  6. Take in a Rugby World Cup match in 2019 host country Japan. The timing of the six-week tournament coincides with opportunities to view stunning fall foliage, with leaves changing into vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow.
  7. Explore the undersea world by submarine at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, the first to feature DeepFlight Adventures. Encounter vividly colored fish, turtles, sharks, dolphins and rays in the Maldives’ only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  8. Experience absolute totality in a destination with a landscape as close to the moon as you can find on Earth. View the 2019 solar eclipse July 2 with a glamping experience in Northern Chile, then cap off the trip by heading south to wine country.
  9. Call on Croatia’s coastal communities from the comfort of a private yacht. Time visits to popular ports such as Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar Island for late afternoon, when crowds from cruise ships have dwindled.

PHOTO TOP OF PAGE – COPYRIGHT Ximonic (Simo Räsänen) NORWEGIAN FJORD