Climb to the top of the world, then bike at sea level
Choose from three last-minute winter escapes by Gap Adventures. The fortnight-long Antarctica Classic cruise departs from Argentina for the Antarctic Peninsula and the rugged, remote South Shetland Islands of the south Atlantic, home to some of the most impressive winter landscapes and wildlife (penguin rookeries, seal colonies, orcas and whales). The trip departs December 21. Prices start at £3,479 (Dh20,523) per person (flights not included), with accommodation on board the M/S Expedition, local transport, all meals, breakfast at hotels on overnight land excursions, return flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, a tango show and dinner in Buenos Aires, educational programmes, waterproof boots and a guide book.
Its 15-day Everest Adventure starts with a journey to the base camp in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal, with trekking along the "steps to heaven" route that is lined with thick forests, Sherpa villages and glacial moraines. The trip departs December 12. Prices start at £649 (Dh3,828) per person and include accommodation, local transport, the services of a CEO or "chief experience officer", English-speaking trekking staff and porters.
For a glimpse of the world's wildest landscapes, book the 15-day End of the Earth trip to Patagonia. A challenging two-week adventure package, it includes expeditions to Torres del Paine National Park, the Perito Moreno Glacier in Glacier National Park, and ends with a stay at a luxury campsite in the hills. The trip departs December 13. Prices start from £1,539 (Dh9,080) per person and include accommodation, local transport, meals listed in the itinerary, guides, day excursions, a two-night hiking trip in Torres del Paine National Park, a trip to view the penguin colonies of Otway, and a cruise down the Beagle Channel and Lapataia River. To book or for more information on Gap Adventures, call 00 844 272 2040 or visit www.gapadventures.com.
Stay with a maharaja in India
Embark on a village tour of Rajasthan with Wild Frontiers' 15-day India in Slow Motion package.
Highlights of the tour include a night at Bijaipur castle as the guest of Maharaja Narendra Singh of Bijaipur, visits to the villages in Chittorgarh, an overnight stay in a luxury camp by Pangarh Lotus Lake in Athana, a hike in the Sorsan Wildlife Sanctuary in Bundi, expeditions to the villages of Baran and Maheshwar, and three nights at the Ahilya fort resort in Indore, where the trip ends. Prices start from £1,710 (Dh10,000), land-only. The trip is on a full board basis and includes government permits, entrance fees and all transport outlined in the tour itineraries. Visit www.wildfrontiers.co.uk to book.
Row a boat in Vietnam
Travel Indochina's 12-day Hotpot tour of Vietnam will have you biking through the streets of the Old Quarter in Hanoi, sailing in Halong Bay on an overnight cruise, exploring the tunnels of Cu Chi and learning how to row a boat through the canals of Hoi An.
The trip includes an overnight stay in a fishing village in the Mekong Delta. Land-only prices start from £1,055 (Dh6,224) per person, and include eight-nights hotel accommodation and one night on a train (soft sleeper; four-berth), all breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners, an overnight homestay, an overnight boat cruise, all local transport, all sightseeing as specified (excluding entrance fees), English-speaking guides and round-trip airport transfers. Departure dates are December 18, January 8 and April 9. Visit www.travelindochina.com for more information.
Bike around Cuba
Exodus's two-week cycling tour is a great way to experience Cuba - from the music and beaches to striking architecture and exciting history. The route, which follows quiet inner roads, starts with two days in Havana before heading for Matanzas province. Then ride east to Zapata's Peninsula and colonial Trinidad, a World Heritage Site, before leaving for Sancti Spiritus and Camaguey. The trip includes a hike in the Sierra Maestra and stops in Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and Mayajigua, before returning to Havana via Remedios and Santa Clara. The tour departs on January 9. Prices start from £1,299 (Dh7,663) and includes accommodation in hotels, all breakfasts, 11 lunches and six dinners. Visit www.exodus.co.uk for more information.
Published: November 27, 2010 04:00 AM