Planning a trip for next year? Travel Leaders Network has released its pick for six “bucket list” destinations that are worth checking out in 2020, as recommended by the organization’s destination experts.
A Slice of Europe: France
AmaWaterways’ seven-day river cruise on the La Gironde river is a good bet for anyone interested in French culture, lifestyle, wine and food. Travelers experience the châteaux, vineyards and flavors only found in this region of the world. Destinations include picturesque towns in the Spanish Basque country and France’s wine capital, Bordeaux. There’s a stop in Saint-Émilion, named after a miracle-working Benedictine monk, and the medieval village of Bourg, for a wine festival with live French music and dancing. Travelers also get to sample Libourne’s open-air market.
Australia – an Epic Adventure
On a two-week adventure, travelers can experience Australia, home to the world’s largest coral reef system, comprising 130,000 square miles, as well as lush green mountains and flourishing rainforests. On a visit to the Gondwana rainforests of Northern Australia, guests will learn how they are thought to be a living link to the vegetation that once covered the ancient subcontinent of Gondwana. At the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains or the Great Barrier Reef, they can take in hiking and later snorkeling. One can even hike to the top of the Kings Canyon and later visit Uluru, the large sandstone rock formation in remote central Australia that is revered by the area’s Aboriginal people. Another can’t-miss site is the 36 sacred ochre-colored rock domes of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), which take on a magical glow at sunrise and sunset. A trip to Australia is not complete without a culinary tour and sailing in a yacht on Sydney Harbor, home to the distinctive white sail-shaped shells of the Sydney Opera House.
The Danube: A River’s Journey
A journey along the Danube River allows one to travel the path that has inspired generations of artists passing through Austria, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia. From the hills that come alive with the sounds of music in Salzburg and Vienna to the architecture in the capital cities of Budapest and Prague, there is something unique to explore in every corner. Guests can feast like royalty during a “Tastes of Slovakia” tour of Bratislava, which is known as the “Coronation City of Kings,” or experience Gothic and Baroque architecture during a walking tour in the city of Passau, Germany. Guests can also visit a vineyard in Dürnstein and later sip more at a wine reception in the 500-year-old Greinburg Castle.
North America: Nature Unbound
Alaska is an ideal place to experience nature from June to August: there are cobalt-blue glaciers, primeval fjords, breaching orca whales and otters at play. Bald eagles soar above and black bears forage across immense landscapes. Among the highlights of a Holland America Line 14-day cruise leaving from Vancouver are the awesome sculpting power of the ice surrounding several fjords and glaciers, including the Tracy Arm Fjord, the Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan and the Misty Fjords and Glacier Bay. Guests can enjoy the view as they learn about these wonders from an onboard National Park Service ranger.
Cruising is the best way to explore the Mediterranean’s many destinations and ports. Travelers who book a nine-night Silversea itinerary can experience the cuisine, culture and history of nine coastal and offshore ports, including Monte Carlo, Malaga, Barcelona, Gibraltar and Valencia.
The Middle East – Dubai
Dubai is a destination for those who want to feel as if they are a celebrity or among the top rich traveling in style. It is home to skyscraping buildings and mammoth megamalls where visitors can go downhill skiing inside the world’s largest mall. In this glamorous city one can even purchase a solid gold brick from a vending machine and watch the policemen ride by in Lamborghinis.