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Pelorus 2023 Travel Bucket List
Travel has changed and so have we: this is 2023. The Pelorus team is here to design your once-in-a-lifetime travel or yachting experience, going above and beyond to help you to truly discover a destination and transform the way you see the world.
Read on for our handpicked selection of the top destinations to discover this year, and the most epic experiences to uncover season-by-season, and get in touch with our team now to discuss planning your dream holiday.
1. Glide across the Svalbard archipelago by snowmobile
When to go
Discover the Arctic wilderness in its purest form as you go off track snowmobiling across the glacial landscape of Svalbard. An outpost from civilisation, spring is the best season to see this wondrous landscape and sight polar bears, foxes, puffins, and reindeers under the midnight sun.
Get as close as possible to nature with a night camping in the heart of the Svalbard archipelago, before ending this incredible journey in Huset. Here, you will delight in flavoursome food from the best restaurant on the island, as well as one of the largest and most celebrated wine cellars in northern Europe.
WHERE TO STAY – Funken Lodge’s sumptuous suites are perfectly located as a hub from which you can actively explore your surroundings, while Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel is a radio station that was originally built in 1933, but has since been converted into a modern hotel with unique character.
2. Weave together Japan’s ancient rituals and modern life
When to go
MAR-MAY / SEPT-NOV
Japan may appear ultra-modern on the surface, but a Pelorus trip will take you to its core as a truly timeless destination: a place where ancient traditions are fused with contemporary life as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Visit in springtime to see the iconic cherry blossoms that make Japan so picture-perfect, and autumn for rich foliage and pleasant temperatures.
Connect with the country’s traditional culture as you travel along ancient pilgrimage routes to shrines and temples, stopping to take a dip in the healing waters of the hot springs at Kii mountain range. Participate in an authentic Samurai experience and visit an ancient teahouse on your mission to get right to the heart of the destination.
WHERE TO STAY – As part of your trip, stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) on a private island, sleeping on futons and tatami mats, and padding through well-worn wooden halls to the bathhouse, or in temple lodgings where you will meditate with monks and learn how to live a sparser and more spiritual life. Benesse House is a haven for contemporary art lovers, while Aman Kyoto offers luxury like nowhere else and a setting with garden and forest views. Kumano-Bettei Nakanoshima is a unique property whose inspiration is taken from the wood, rock, fire, and water found along the sacred Kumano route of pilgrimage – its private island location allows for a background soundtrack of gentle waves lapping on the shore.
Many destinations have miles of pristine, white coral sand and balmy turquoise seas, but few compare to the Maldives. Here, adrenaline junkies can discover one of the final frontiers of surf exploration. Pelorus and Foil-X have partnered up to turn dreams into reality and bring you on a unique and exhilarating experience that involves jet ski assisted tow-foiling with long rides and powerful breaks, rare in a surfer’s world where line ups are becoming increasingly crowded.
In between foiling, swim alongside hammerhead sharks and whales in divine coral atolls or help track manta rays, dine underwater in some of the world’s most iconic restaurants and join local tribes as you learn a traditional Maldivian performance called the Boduberuu, together.
WHAT TO CHARTER – SURI is the gateway to adventure, with an impressive selection of water toys, so if you’re itching to get back in the water after a day’s foiling, you won’t run out of things to do.
Discover majestic nature and awe-inspiring wilderness in North America’s most immense state: Alaska. Summer is the best time to discover Alaska’s undomesticated wildlife and myriad of complex river systems, a place without borders where you’ll come face to face with walrus colonies and brown bears alongside expert trackers.
Fly south over the black and white peaks of the mighty Aniakchak volcano, and then touch down to see the epic landscapes up close as you traverse active volcano craters and open tundra on foot. Voyage to salmon-rich rivers for phenomenal fishing opportunities with an expert guide or take a floatplane to the best spots in the region for adrenaline-fuelled river rafting you won’t forget any time soon.
WHERE TO STAY – Alaska boasts a number of luxury lodges secluded in the heart of the wilderness, yet replete with the level of luxury you’d expect. Tordrillo Mountain Lodge is set in the heart of the Tordrillo mountain range, where you can bring home your fresh catch of salmon to eat together. Ultima Thule Lodge is ideally positioned for exclusive access to glaciers and mountains 100 miles from the nearest road. Or, the beautiful Tutka Bay Lodge, a wilderness lodge with a Cordon-Bleu trained chef and the opportunity for cooking lessons in the rustic kitchen.
Take safari to the next level in 2023 on a multi-destination experience in South Africa and Mozambique. Join a conservation team on a mission to assist with rhino registration and identification procedures, embark on morning and evening safaris in your private vehicle, and get involved with Pangolin conservation research on the Phinda Reserve.
Bring this enriching time to an end in the WWF marine protected areas of the Benguerra Island in Mozambique, a 300-hectare sanctuary with some of the richest and least explored subtropical ecosystems in the Indian Ocean. Relax on Kisawa’s private beaches, dive in secluded and protected areas, and help tag marlin and sharks with top scientists.
WHERE TO STAY – Generous hospitality and palm thatched bungalows hidden on the southern tip of Benguerra Island at Kisawa, or intimate stone suites with dramatic valley views at AndBeyond Rock Lodge.
6. Journey along jagged coastlines in the Faroe Islands
When to go
Tucked between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean, this Danish archipelago is a land of unrivalled natural beauty, with majestic waterfalls, windswept mountains, and jagged coastlines. Set sail on a vintage schooner and cruise alongside towering cliffs of the breathtaking Kalsoy Island, best known for its dramatic portrayal in the James Bond movie, No Time To Die.
Spot endearing puffins as you hike to Trøllanes, a blissfully remote village in the north of the island, where you’ll also meet the people who call these islands home and learn about ancient folklore. Swim in arctic waters, exploring underwater kelp forests, and trade in your wetsuits for mountain bikes as you discover the islands from all aspects.
WHERE TO STAY – Hotel Føroyar is the ultimate stay for those into Danish architecture, with a heavy influence from its surrounding nature. Impressive white house, Havgrím Seaside Hotel 1948, an ideal base from which to see the fjords, mystic waterfalls and awe-inspiring viewpoints of this volcanic landscape.
Experience Italy and its rich history, delightful cuisine, and awe-inspiring nature on a multi-region, James Bond-inspired discovery. Our Travel Designers will design an unforgettable voyage taking you from the snow-topped mountain peaks, fertile meadows, and sparkling blue lakes of Italy’s Dolomites to the quintessential streets and narrow canals of Venice.
In the Dolomites, traverse meadows and soar over passes by mountain bike, absorb panoramic views and spot hidden lakes and waterfalls. Tuck into an exquisite picnic set up for you privately on the shores of a remote and enchanting lagoon before river rafting or paragliding over the dramatic mountain ranges. Next, make your Bond-inspired descent from the mountains in supercars as you race across the countryside to reach the floating city of Venice. Here, you will traverse the city in gondolas and climb across the rooftops in true Bond style for a unique look at the famed landmarks and to explore the flooded crypts below numerous churches.
WHERE TO STAY – White Deer Lodge was originally a 16th-century hunting lodge in the Dolomites and has been transformed by its wonderful owners, Stefano and Giorgia, into the alpine cottage of your dreams. It comes complete with spa pool overlooking jaw-dropping views, a fully-stocked wine cellar, and its own private helipad and 18-hole golf course.
For the Venice portion of your trip, look no further than Aman Venice, which boasts spacious suites, opulent dining venues, extravagant Italian interiors, and private gardens – rare in the city of canals.
8. Explore Ecuador through science and snorkelling
When to go
Situated on the west coast of South America, Ecuador is bursting with colour and culture. Home to the largest known population of manta rays in the world, these waters offer an unparalleled opportunity to take part in scientific and conservation efforts.
Assist scientists as they attach, use, and monitor acoustic and satellite tags as well as witnessing the data they have collected since the project’s inception. From your base aboard your luxury yacht, dive alongside mantas and get up close and personal to their marine environment to gain a better understanding of the risks they face. Due to Ecuador’s close proximity to the Small Galapagos Island, this will take you face to face with giant stingrays, whale sharks, marine turtles, and unique species. Venture into the jungle on foot at night with expert guides and by day, explore waterfalls and lagoons while feasting on organic local produce.
WHAT TO CHARTER AND WHERE TO STAY – The ultimate base for exploring the marine-filled waters off the Ecuador coast is a luxury yacht such as Kontiki Wayra, from which you can access the inaccessible. Mix up your trip by venturing inland to awe-inspiring scenery in the heart of the rainforest and staying at private reserve Mashpi Lodge, which boasts panoramic views from above the canopies and chance to sight abundant wildlife from the comfort of a luxurious lodge.
9. Discover northern Kenya’s remote regions on a heli-safari
When to go
Perhaps you’ve been on safari in Kenya, sighting Africa’s Big Five on game drives through breathtaking landscapes that you’ll want to come back to time and time again. This is your chance to see Northern Kenya’s spectacular landscapes from new perspectives on a unique heli-safari, soaring from the rocky summits of Mount Kenya to the vast deserts of Turkana.
Kenya’s landscapes from above are virtually empty of visible life, yet scattered with small groups of traditional people and desert adapted wildlife that roam these plains freely. Go rhino tracking and quad biking before flying into the Huri Hills to meet the semi-nomadic Redilie tribes.
Image credit: Claire Jones
WHERE TO STAY – Soak up unforgettable sundowners with a view of Mount Kenya from the prime viewing spot on the wrap-around veranda at 100-acre private property, Soames Hotel. Or, swap the plains for the ocean and stay aboard Tusitri Dhow, with its relaxed atmosphere and possibility of star gazing from bed. If you’re after standout luxury accommodation, venture slightly further south towards Arijiju, an authentic family home-turned-architectural haven set in the heart of the Borana Conservancy with a passion for wellness and conservation.
10. Unearth the unexplored as you traverse Saudi Arabia
When to go
One for the intrepid traveller, uncover a country that has seldom been explored. Be among the first to see Saudi Arabia from an angle that few have before in this brand new experience with Pelorus in 2023.
Learn about the rich history of this intriguing country as you venture out into the desert on a unique horse safari, along with an expert historian to show you the way, before getting your adrenaline pumping as you speed through vast, dusty canyons on quad bike.
WHERE TO STAY – Stay in luxurious mobile camps that immerse you into a remote area, moving between different desert locations such as the extraordinary heritage sites of Al Ula, innovative hub Neom, lush forests and valleys in Al Baha, and the rocky Sarawat Mountains – to name but a few. These remote camps are built just for you, allowing for ultimate flexibility and seclusion, and true comfort, even in the heart of the desert. Or for swimming pool, wellness centre, and experiential rooms, Habitas AlUla lies amongst dramatic sandstone cliffs and the archaeological remains of Hegra.
11. Set foot on Earth’s southernmost point in Antarctica
When to go
Venturing to the southernmost point on Earth is no easy feat, but Pelorus can make it possible. Cross into the seventh continent by plane into a barely touched, desolate world of 24-hour daylight and unparalleled scenery, setting foot the furthest south any human has been before as you land at the South Pole.
Sight Emperor penguins in their clusters, learn to ice climb and explore a maze of ice tunnels as you venture to the literal ends of the earth. Discover vast, empty landscapes with a series of action-packed activities, from fat biking to skiing and even abseiling. This is Antarctica.
Image credit: White Desert
WHERE TO STAY – The newly-opened Echo Camp is inspired by the seminal age of space exploration. This luxury camp is made up of six secluded and luxurious pods in the midst of the snowy desert, branded as the closest you can get to feeling like you’re off the planet without leaving Earth. Retreat in the evening to feast on an exquisite six-course tasting menu, designed to take you on a sensory adventure.
Escape down under in search of the Aurora Australis, Australia’s answer to the Aurora Borealis – perhaps less famous but no less beautiful. The island state of Tasmania is Australia’s most remote region, made up of epic wilderness, far-flung waterways and serene channels, as well as the home of famed food and festivals.
Beginning your Pelorus experience in Hobart, one of Australia’s oldest cities, set out in discovery of Tasmania’s diverse and untouched landscapes – best seen from the deck of a yacht. Fly inland and embark on an immersive bushwalk across Bruny Island’s craggy clifftops, sighting abundant and exotic wildlife that call this treasured part of Australia home. From here, take flight over Tasmania’s largest national park, stopping for exquisite wine tastings along the way.
WHAT TO CHARTER – DARDANELLA, an explorer yacht designed with the whole family in mind. She sleeps up to 12 in her six stylish cabins and features an extensive entertainment system and swim platform.
13. Discover New Zealand from the sky and from the sea
When to go
New Zealand is back and better than ever. Explore the country that best celebrates the Great Outdoors on a unique experience that takes you across water, over land and into the air, allowing access to parts of the country that few get chance to explore.
Take in native bush-clad hills, steep pumice cliff, and hidden bays as you travel from north to south, immersing yourself in Māori culture along the way. Hunt and gather your own food alongside a local chef, hunter and guide in the Kaimanawa Ranges, before preparing your own meal for a truly unforgettable experience. As you get further south, soar over mirrored lakes and lush green islands in the breathtaking Fiordland National Park, touching base on a floating helipad before transferring to your private vessel for a day of fishing, discovery, and wildlife watching.
WHERE TO STAY – Take some time to relax after an adventurous and action-packed day with a stay at deluxe homestead Mahu Whenua, an escape into the wilderness with a private helipad for easy access into the surrounding nature. Alternatively, go for the lakeside in Eichardt’s Private Hotel located in Queenstown. With an air of exclusivity and privacy, this hotel will whisk you away into chic interiors where impeccable service and outstanding cuisine awaits. The stunning Fiordland Lodge sits on Lake Te Anau’s shores and looks out over one of New Zealand’s most strikingly beautiful regions of World Heritage status.
Costa Rica is the country that has it all. Boasting astounding volcanoes, vibrant jungles, freshwater pools, and incredible marine life, you can rest assured this is a must-see for every traveller.
Take to the skies and soar over volcanoes so impressive that you’ll be able to hover above and witness the smoke rise from their simmering craters. With two feet back on solid ground, journey into the unique cloud forest ecosystem, pausing to see monkeys hanging from the trees and to take a swim in the freshwater pools and waterfalls. As the sun sets, prepare to witness an extraordinary natural phenomenon as you swim in the bio-luminescent waters of Golfo Dulce. Dive below the surface to witness various shark species, manta rays, turtles and schools of large exotic fish residing amongst the coral reefs.
WHERE TO STAY – Lapa Rios Lodge, in the heart of Central America’s last remaining tropical lowland rainforest, with its expansive views over the Golfo Dulce. Alternatively, Hacienda Cabo Velas is a hidden paradise on the coast that’s perfect for outdoor exploration and adventure.
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