Everyone has a slightly different idea of what constitutes the perfect holiday. For some people perfect means complete relaxation; lying by the pool and being served drinks without having to move a muscle. For others it is not a proper holiday if it doesn’t involve lots of adventure and activities – whether it’s action sports, climbing mountains or just cramming as much sightseeing into each day as is physically possible.
This post covers the holiday preference spectrum, contrasting holidays for every taste. We start with the ultimate in relaxation and indulgence on a luxury cruise, step it up into the world of alternative breaks with a trip to the Ice Hotel and then take it home with the ultimate survival getaway in the dense Amazonian rainforest.
Cruise ships are an age old way to see the world, and typically popular with people who like to put their feet up on holiday while also getting the chance to visit exciting faraway destinations. The last word in fancy cruising is arguably had by luxury cruise provider Cunard. As one of their concierges puts it (on this page), “we look forward to anticipating your requests, fulfilling your every wish and exceeding your expectations.”
Cunard’s cruises are classy affairs, where casual means not wearing a tie with your blazer, and black tie dinners are a regular feature. The ships offer spa treatments, massages and amazing food and drink with highly trained waiting staff. Entertainment comes in the shape of top class performances by musicians from the Julliard School and RADA trained actors (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). Cunard also regularly brings guest speakers aboard to give talks and lectures; past speakers have included explorers, politicians, scientists, historians, academics and experts from many other fields.
There is a whole world of top-shelf relaxation and entertainment on board the ship, with the shore excursions adding to the experience by giving passengers a chance to visit some of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the world. Possible stop off points include Sydney, New York, Reykjavik, Cape Town, Athens, The Bahamas and Mumbai. So if you’re looking for the ultimate in service, relaxation and luxurious travel, a Cunard cruise could be just the ticket.
ICEHOTEL, Sweden is the original ice hotel and an impressive feat of architecture, art and engineering. Every year during the winter months, a different group of artists will come together to sculpt original and unique art for the beautiful hotel which is made entirely from sparkling Scandinavian ice. Visiting ICEHOTEL is an incredible experience, though not one for the fainthearted. You sleep on a bed of ice with no heating in the room, in a thermal sleeping bag and underneath fur throws to keep warm.
The ICEHOTEL concept was developed in the early 1990s, inspired by the river Torne which flows through Jukkasjärvi – the home of ICEHOTEL to this day. The hotel and now famous ICEBAR started attracting visitors from all over the world, and it remains one of the most unique ways to spend a holiday.
During the day you can keep busy with exciting activities in the incredible setting of snow covered Sweden, including river rafting and the chance to try out ice sculpting for yourself. There’s also the chance that you’ll see the incredible Northern Lights, an unforgettable experience for anyone who is lucky enough to see them. This is definitely a holiday for someone who is after a very unique experience, but who definitely isn’t looking to lounge by the beach or expecting to come home with a sun tan to show off to their friends.
Jungle survival in the Amazon
If a hotel made entirely of ice is still too vanilla for your holiday tastes, perhaps a survival course in the Amazonian rainforest will satisfy your urge for adventure. Bushmasters arranges trips to the Amazon which are about as far from a traditional break as you can get. In fact, they’re pretty darn hard work – but perfect for those who want to truly get out of their comfort zone.
On a two week trip you’ll spend the first week being trained to survive in the jungle with nothing but the clothes on your back and a machete. You’ll build your home for the week, and get to work learning how to hunt wild game, catch piranhas, make a fire, find water and build up lots of other essential skills. Once you complete this intense training stage, you will be taken to an isolated part of the jungle (on your own or with a partner) and left to fend for yourself for several days. This is a true test of your ability to thrive under extremely challenging conditions and get by using just your skills and intuition.
For a pair of GlobetrotterGirls, we are always open to new and different types of travel experiences, though we might leave the fending for yourself in the jungle experience to the real pros!
Which of these sounds like your travel style? How do you like to escape the everyday? What is your ultimate vacation?