“Travel is one of the most enjoyable ways that we broaden our horizons and no matter how much we travel, we always seem to have more places we want to check off our list,” said Roger Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network. “Our Bucket List 2020 Vacations include exotic, breathtaking and inspiring destinations where travelers can fulfill lifelong dreams. We’re thrilled to profile these once-in-a-lifetime trips travelers can add to their bucket list; and hopefully cross them off soon.”
Six of the nearly two dozen bucket list destinations recommended for 2020 include:
A Slice of Europe: France
AmaWaterways’ 7-day river cruise on the La Gironde river is the ultimate vacation for anyone interested in the best of French culture, lifestyle, wine, and food. Travelers experience the iconic châteaux, timeless vineyards and distinctive flavors only found in this region of the world. Destinations include picturesque towns in the legendary 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 an exclusive wine festival with live French music and dancing. Travelers also get to sample Libourne’s colorful open-air market, a gateway to one of Bordeaux’s most elite wine regions. There are departures March through November 2020, but a special October 2020 sailing booked through Travel Leaders includes the services of a Distinctive Voyages host, a private welcome reception, and an exclusive shore event.
Australia – an Epic Adventure
On an unforgettable immersive, two-week adventure, travelers can experience the wonders of 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, 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 take in hiking and later snorkeling. One can even hike to the top of the Kings Canyon and later visit Uluru / Ayers Rock, the large sandstone rock formation in remote central Australia that is revered by the area’s Aboriginal people. Don’t miss 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, to see the distinctive white sail-shaped shells of the Sydney Opera House. Travelers can book this epic Australia adventure until November 2020.
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. Feast like royalty during a “Tastes of Slovakia” tour of Bratislava, which is known as the “Coronation City of Kings.” Marvel at the Gothic and Baroque architecture during a walking tour in the city of Passau, Germany and sample local wines at a vineyard in Dürnstein and again at wine reception in the 500-year-old Greinburg Castle. A Distinctive Voyages hosted cruise on the AmaMagna, departing October 4, 2020, sails from Vilshofen to Budapest, just in time for Oktoberfest celebrations.
North America: Nature Unbound
Alaska presents a tapestry of majestic natural splendor all year long, but June to August is an ideal experience. 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 Tracy Arm and Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan and the Misty Fjords, and Glacier Bay, with a National Park Service ranger aboard.
Holland America is one of the few cruise lines permitted to enter these pristine waters, which means the ship gets closer to the spectacular scenery. Exclusive to Travel Leaders guests on this cruise are Distinctive Voyages amenities, which include a host and a private welcome reception, as well as a shore event in Juneau.
Cruising is the best way to explore the Mediterranean’s many spellbinding destinations and ports. Travelers who book this 9-night Silversea adventure on an intimate all-inclusive, ultra-luxury, limited passenger ship can soak up the iconic deep-blue ocean experience from the deck or spacious suites with butler service and in-suite bar. Plus, they experience the cuisine, culture and history of nine coastal and offshore ports, including Monte Carlo, Malaga, Barcelona, Gibraltar and Valencia. Travelers who book and pay in full by February 28, save 10 percent on the cruise fare.
The Middle East – Dubai
Dubai is a dazzling portrait of opulence and 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.
Travelers seeking additional once-in-a-lifetime vacation ideas can browse the Travel Leaders 2020 Bucket List brochure or go to TravelLeaders.com to find a Travel Leaders Network travel advisor who can guide them to destinations near and far.