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Ten bucketlist trips for a special occasion

While we can't get away right now, many of us are starting to think about how we might celebrate big upcoming occasions – or catch up on ones we’ve missed. Here are ten once-in-a-lifetime trips to mark that special occasion.
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Island retreat in paradise

Maldives

What better way to celebrate that special milestone than escaping it all and taking time to relax and refresh in paradise. See the spectacular atolls of the Maldives from a different perspective on our Maldive Dhoni Cruise. Rather than basing yourself on one island, travel  between lesser-visited atolls on a traditional dhoni boat. Read aboard the boat, sunbathe or stargaze, and nap between island and reef stops. Whether you're snorkelling amid the reefs and their colourful fish or meeting the locals, and enjoying their traditional folk dances after an evening's fresh fish supper, this trip is the perfect escape.
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Polar expedition

Antarctica

Discovering the last true wilderness of Antarctica is a life-long dream for many, and it's not hard to see why: the abundance of wildlife, the sheer scale of the icy scenery, and the feeling of tranquillity stirred up by this remote, pristine wilderness. Spot whale from the viewing platform of a luxury ship, watch albatross soar above the deck, and see penguin dive from ice floes into the depths of the waters below... This is the ultimate adventure – creating memories that are bound to stay with you long after you return home.
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Wildlife encounters

Safari in Tanzania

There's nothing quite like the exhilaration of spotting wildlife in its natural habitat. Tanzania's Serengeti is one of the world's greatest and most iconic wildlife hot spots. Here you might gaze straight into the eyes of a lioness as she lazes in the trees or watch a herd of elephants march towards the watering hole. At the end of the day, recount tales of the day's encounters as you watch the light change over the beautiful landscape, sip a cold Serengeti beer and relax by the camp fire under starry skies.
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Sail around the Galapagos

The unique ecosystem of the Galapagos archipelago gives rise to an extraordinary combination of animals living side by side. Here you can swim with sea-lion and penguin, or walk alongside giant tortoise, iguana and blue footed booby. It's a true wildlife lover's paradise and staying aboard the Monserrat will give you the best vantage point to appreciate all the beauty around you.
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World wonders

The Taj Mahal, India's Golden Triangle

Watching the sun set over the Taj Mahal is a pretty spectacular way to celebrate a special occasion. The ivory-white marble mausoleum takes on the golden glow of the sun in the morning and evenings - a majestic site that really leaves an impression. On our moderate-grade cycling tour through northern India, you'll not only see some iconic sites, including Jaipur's Palace of the Winds and Amber Fort, you'll also get a real sense of Rajasthani village life, and get the chance to take game drives in Ranthambore National Park in search of the elusive tiger. A captivating experience all-round.
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The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Egypt has a special magic that it's difficult to understand until you arrive. The epic scale and unique history of sites like the pyramids at Giza, Karnak and Hatshepsut's temples and the Valley of the Kings are sure to give you goosebumps. At the end of a busy day tracing the footsteps of the ancient Egyptians, relax with a sundowner as you cruise the calm waters of the mighty Nile.
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Challenges

The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu

It's not just the altitude of the Inca Trail that will leave you breathless. From the moment you first set foot on this ancient pilgrimage path, the sanctity and beauty of it really take your breath away. With no more than 200 hikers allowed on the trail each day, you have time and space to explore the ruins that line the route and take in the spectacular and varied scenery - from wide sweeping valleys beneath soaring peaks, to bubbling streams in lush cloud forest. The journey culminates at the impressive Machu Picchu - this is truly a trek to remember.
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The roof of Africa - Mount Kilimanjaro

Another must-do trek, taking on Africa's highest peak, is Mount Kilimanjaro. At 5,895m this is no small undertaking, but the rewards from the spectacular ever-changing views and the sense of achievement make it all worthwhile. From the sight of the summit looming over Shira's lava-bomb strewn plateau, to the Milky Way-filled sky in the utter silence of the campsite after bedtime; these are experiences that truly heighten your appreciation for the earth's natural wonders and your own capabilities. End your week, and celebrate your achievement, with a few days on the golden beaches of Zanzibar or in search of Tanzania's beautiful wildlife on safari.
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Epic sights

New Zealand's spellbinding scenery

It's little wonder that New Zealand is often the backdrop for fantasy films; the landscapes vary from soft rolling hills, white-sand coastlines, smoking volcanoes and sprawling cities in the north, to soaring  peaks capped with glaciers, lakes smooth as mirrors and one of the most beautiful fjord lands in the world. Whether you're tasting some of the world's wines in Napier, discovering traditional Maori hospitality or watching fur seals play among the rocks of the Otago Peninsula; there's a wealth of delights in this wild and spectacular country. A perfect spot for a special occasion.
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Northern Lights in Iceland

Travel to Iceland in winter for a good chance of seeing the magical aurora borealis. These shimmering curtains of light cast an eerie glow over Iceland's spectacular landscapes, and with snow on the ground the whole scenery takes on their hue. By day, there's plenty more to take in - from dramatic waterfalls, the continental divide at Thingvellir National Park or Strokkur geyser erupting boiling water; all of which can be seen up close before heading back to the comfort of your cosy, traditional yurt in Iceland's beautiful countryside.
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