Virtuoso highlights nine must-have experiences in 2024

From slow safaris and private islands, to dark sky tourism and legendary train rides

Virtuoso has released details of nine must-have experiences of 2024 stemming from the luxury travel network’s recently released annual survey, the 2024 Luxe Report. Those experiences include:

1. Discover dark sky tourism with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Norway or Iceland to witness the mystique of the Northern lights, a phenomenon that has fascinated humanity for thousands of years. Stargazers who prefer a warmer climate can view the total solar eclipse on 8 April in Northern Mexico.

2. Set off for a slow safari that grants an unhurried view of Africa’s stunning landscapes and quieter inhabitants, providing the ideal counterbalance to the more adrenaline-inducing wildebeest migration and lion hunts. According to the Luxe Report, wildlife conservation is a top priority for sustainable tourism in 2024. Whether gorilla trekking in Rwanda or bird watching in Botswana, travellers can maximise the effect of their spending on conservation and environmental programs with the help of a professional travel advisor.

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3. Seek solace from the stresses of daily life in the happiest country in the world or the Land of Smiles. Bhutan’s fresh mountain air and warm-hearted locals provide sanctuary for visitors in search of authenticity and enlightenment. Another optimal wellness destination, spiritual travellers are turning to Thailand for more than the traditional Thai massage. Aside from well-known areas like Chiang Mai and Koh Samui, Thailand offers an array of tranquil beaches and hidden oases for relaxation and renewal.

4. Behold the ephemeral beauty of Japan’s springtime Sakura or consider a winter visit when ski season is in full swing and Mount Fuji’s summit is blanketed in snow. Japan’s unique culture coupled with incredible cuisine captivates travelers, making it the Luxe Report’s top reemerging destination in 2024.

5. Explore a rare and remote wilderness on an expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Galápagos Islands. Exhilarating and customizable, adventure cruising is one of the leading travel trends for the coming year and allows nature lovers unparalleled access to some of the most stunning and pristine landscapes on Earth.

6. Journey from Paris to Istanbul aboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train. Departing in late August, this unforgettable voyage across Europe features a guided tour of Budapest, lavish four-course meals and a live pianist in the evenings. Arrive in Paris ahead of schedule to attend the 2024 Olympics, taking place 26 July to 11 August, or simply to enjoy the famed City of Light – the epicentre of exquisite art, dining, shopping and sophistication.

7. Pursue pastime passions in a brand-new setting. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a must-see for gardening enthusiasts, while the Strahov Monastery in Prague is a remarkable haven for bookworms. From set-jetting in New Zealand to sambaing at Rio Carnival, endless possibilities await travellers inspired by their special interests.

8. Savour generations of tradition, artistry and love in a single bite that evokes a sense of place. Cultural cuisine provides invaluable insight into a destination’s history and way of life, while also directly supporting the local community. Sample Peruvian picarones at the Mistura Food Festival, indulge in delectable street food in Slovenia or arrange a hands-on cooking class with a family in Vietnam.

9. Charter a private island and revel in the freedom of absolute seclusion with no timetable except your own. Dive with endangered species, explore underwater caves and secret waterfalls or refuse to leave the comfort of your own pristine, white-sand beach – all paths lead to paradise.

More than 2,000 travel advisors from Virtuoso-affiliated agencies in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East took the Luxe Report survey, drawing on their extensive knowledge, professional experience and client requests to offer insight into 2024’s top trends.

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