Partner feature with Tropical Sky
Special occasions call for special holidays and if you’re looking forward to a significant birthday, a big anniversary, or maybe starting a new era as a retiree, you may already be thinking how best to celebrate. But who will organise it for you? When you’re dipping into the piggy bank for a trip to remember, you want to be sure you’ll remember it for all the right reasons!
This is the time of life when many Silver Travellers put the dog in kennels, cancel the newspapers, and head off on that long haul trip they never had time for when they were working. And whether you fancy South America or South Africa, the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean, Silver Travel Advisor partner Tropical Sky and its sister companies can help you create your dream getaway.
With one significant birthday just gone and a major wedding anniversary on the horizon next year, celebration holidays are high on my agenda right now. If this sounds like you too, make a cuppa, put the phone on silent, and have a browse through some of the tempting itineraries below.
Epic road tours
If you’ve an independent spirt and enjoy getting behind the wheel, a 22-night Grand New Zealand Self-drive could be the perfect way to celebrate your personal milestone. You’ll pass plenty of tangible milestones too on your journey from the top of North Island to the mountains, glaciers and wineries of South Island on this trip.
Freedom of the road but not got so long to spare? Then look at some of Tropical Sky’s South African itineraries. On a 10-night or 11-night self-drive trip out of Cape Town, you can combine one of my favourite cities with a scenic road trip along the Garden Route to the Winelands, the Eastern Cape or maybe the Kruger.
Travel to the other side of the world and the best way to get the most from your destination is on a tour with a local guide. But most of us want to explore at our own pace too. Guided tours and free time dovetail neatly on Tropical Sky’s Enchanting Japan, an 11-night itinerary that includes cultural experiences, World Heritage sites, and a ride on the world-famous bullet train.
I fell in love with both the people and the places of Vietnam and Cambodia this year. If you fancy discovering Southeast Asia too, have a look at Tropical Sky’s Classic Cambodia and Vietnam holiday. This 19-night small escorted tour covers the length of Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, plus Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and the temples of Angkor.
High on my personal hit list is South America, but there are so many different landscapes and lifestyles to choose from. Independent travellers can take in the highlights of Argentina, Chile and Patagonia on an itinerary that includes internal flights, guided tours, and free time in which to enjoy buzzing cities, lakes, mountains and glaciers.
Or how about Magical Peru & the Amazon, starting in Lima and taking in such iconic sites as Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon rain forest? Decisions, decisions!
Always been an armchair Attenborough but never seen exotic animals in the wild? Then a big birthday or anniversary celebration is the perfect excuse to make it happen. I’ve watched European brown bears in the forests of Finland, but polar bears are still high on my bucket list, so I’m sorely tempted on a trip such as Canadian Sky’s Tundra Buggy Lodge and their Polar Bear Photo Safari.
Or should I head back to Africa for a safari and stay in a lodge where I can watch evening wildlife from the veranda with a drink in my hand as the sun sets on my special occasion? The10-night Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls itinerary would tick several of my wish list experiences at the same time – the chance to see Africa’s Big Five as well as one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls.
And the treats just keep on coming on the Luxury Northern Tanzania Highlights and Zanzibar that includes a game drive in the Serengeti, the magnificent flamingos in Lake Manyara, and the rhinos and lions of the Ngorongoro Crater, followed by a tropical beach resort on the Indian Ocean.
Cruising with a difference
Then of course there’s cruising. Many Silver Travellers have already fallen in love with life afloat – unpack once and the world comes to your window whilst you enjoy the food, entertainment and relaxation of being at sea. If you’re a cruise fan already, why not not try a sailing ship for your special celebration? Tropical Sky choices include a stay in Bali and a Star Clipper Cruise; a Seychelles beach stay with an island cruise; and Barbados with a Caribbean island tour aboard the Royal Clipper.
Or do what I did for one of my big birthday holidays and combine a week in Canada with a week cruising the coast of Alaska. Canadian Sky offer an irresistible combination of majestic mountains, the iconic Rocky Mountaineer train, and stylish Vancouver before setting sail for the glaciers. Glorious!