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Crampons and caviar

Crampons And Caviar
© John Borthwick / Lonely Planet Images
Palawan Province, Philippines

The country's largest province is also its last frontier: a protected archipelago of 1,768 islands, located between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. Intrepid travelers can discover its unique wilderness by swimming across the Danao, a volcanic lake, and boating along Puerto-Princesa, the longest underground tributary in the world and one of two UNESCO World Heritage sites in the region. The 18-day journey costs $4,600, airfare not included. Future adventures include Mozambique and Mongolia.

Crampons And Caviar
© Doug McKinlay / Lonely Planet Images
The Sahara, Libya

Isolated for 36 years, the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is back in the international fold. This 13-day journey with Mountain Travel Sobek, a northern California-based firm, takes visitors from the capital, Tripoli, along the Mediterranean to the 2,000-year-old city of Sabratha, and then into the cinnamon-colored Sahara. There are six departures in as many months starting in November at $5,030 per person, not including airfare.

Crampons And Caviar
© Glenn van der Knijff / Lonely Planet Images
Les Cerniers, Switzerland

Located on top of a glacier-topped couloir at an altitude of 4,921 feet in the Swiss Alps, Whitepod is a ski resort unlike any other. No more than 10 guests at a time stay in a smattering of ecochic geodesic domes high above the ski resort of Villars. There's no running water or electricity, but plenty of luxe creature comforts: wood-burning stoves, sheepskin rugs, 14-tog duvets, Tilley lamps and iPod speakers. While Whitepod's expert guides and instructors help guests cut first tracks into the powder, owner and host Sofia de Meyer whips up champagne fondue and hearty pot à feu for guests above. Rooms (including guides, instruction, meals, ski passes and transfers from Geneva) from $265 per night.

Crampons And Caviar
© Graham Taylor / Lonely Planet Images
Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Take three days to explore the country's southernmost province, a panorama populated by Bactrian camels, Argali mountain sheep, and saker falcons. You'll sleep in traditional-style tents called gers and wake up to skies that would put Montana's to shame. The rest of the 15-day itinerary with International Expeditions ($3,798 per person) includes visits to Mongolia's largest lake, Lake Hovsgol, located amid serrated mountains and a coniferous taiga forest.

Crampons And Caviar
© Michael Gebicki / Lonely Planet Images
The North Pole

Since 1991, Quark Expeditions has been leading a half-dozen Arctic adventures each year, the pièce de résistance being the 16-day journey from Murmansk to the pole aboard the Russian nuclear icebreaker, the Yamal. The $18,995 trip (airfare not included) entitles passengers to a twin cabin ($24,995 for the suite) and a host of luxuries: a heated indoor swimming pool, exercise room and sauna. The journey includes a day-long crossing of the Barents Sea, three days of travel through the Polar Ice Pack and a day at the pole before the return journey through Franz Josef Land, where spotting polar bears, Arctic fox and beluga whales is a breeze.

Crampons And Caviar
© Paul Bernhardt / Lonely Planet Images
The Seven Seas

Forget sailing the Eastern Shore, the Long Island Sound or the Great Lakes. To do something truly unforgettable and liberating, join 17 others for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. At more than 35,000 miles, the race will take some 10 months to complete. And considering that fewer people have circumnavigated the globe in a yacht than have climbed Mount Everest, you can be a part of an elite group with those rarefied bragging rights. The entire journey -- which starts in southern England, goes to South America, around the horn of Africa, through Asia, across the Pacific, through the Panama Canal and across the Atlantic -- costs $56,193. But you can also opt for each of the seven legs, which cost anywhere from $6,379 to $7,805 (plus $5,533 for training and kit). Among the ports of call for the 68-feet yachts are New York, Durban, South Africa, and Singapore.

Crampons And Caviar
© Paul Bernhardt / Lonely Planet Images

After decades of war, this former Portuguese colony is firmly back on the map -- at least for intrepid travelers. Five-star hotels and lodges abound, and these are the perfect places from which you can launch a journey to the Quirimbas archipelago, an unspoiled paradise of wildlife on the island nation's northeast coast. Jakera Adventures offers 12-day journeys led by wildlife photographer Paul Kerrison, first by kayak or traditional dhow through this astonishing waterscape dotted with pristine coral, and then by four-wheel drive through the savanna, speckled with 112 species of birds, including mangrove kingfishers and Madagascar bee-eaters. The journey costs $7,350, including meals, lodging and equipment but not airfare.

Crampons And Caviar
© Ralph Lee Hopkins / Lonely Planet Images

Discover the island aboard an Icelandic SuperJeep: a specially modified Ford Excursion with a six-liter, 400-horsepower engine, 44-inch partially inflated studded tires and the latest safety and navigation equipment -- which despite weather, will safely bring you face-to-face with this island's dramatic landscapes, including the Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall and the amazing Blue Lagoon. The three-night SuperJeep Weekend Safaris start from $1,187 and include airfare between the U.K. and Keflavik as well as three nights accommodation in rooms with private facilities; entrance to the Blue Lagoon; two guided 8-10-hour SuperJeep excursions and airport taxes.

Crampons And Caviar
© Simon Richmond / Lonely Planet Images
Silk Road, Central Asia

Follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo as you discover Central Asia's five ex-Soviet 'Stans: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. The 18-day journey ($8,980 without airfare) begins in the steppes of Kazakhstan and moves west to the shores of the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. Since the region was virtually unexplored, you'll see everything from Kyrgyzstan's Saka petroglyphs to Kazakhstan's Zenkov Cathedral and Uzbekistan's Bibi Khanym mosque. While the trip does have a city-hopping flavor, there are plenty of opportunities for naturalists to explore, especially Kazakhstan's Aksu River and Kyrgyzstan's Ala-Archa Gorge, native land of the increasingly rare snow leopards.

Crampons And Caviar
© Jon Armstrong / Lonely Planet Images
Somerville, Tennessee

How about sky diving? Not the regular variety from a couple of thousand feet -- a 30,000-foot jump. That's exactly what Incredible Adventures peddles. The firm, which organizes outrageous daredevil lunacies like flying MiG jets over Moscow, swimming with sharks and air-combat scenarios, offers thrill seekers HALO: a high-altitude, low-open 30,000-feet dive from its base outside Memphis. The $3,495 tandem outings (travel and accommodation not included) are the highest civilian dives ever

1 commentaires:

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silk road central asia