Out of this world

Make your heart beat that little bit faster with our pick of amazing travel experiences across the globe

Man Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday…
Bush and beach go together like a good G&T and, for those who want them, there are plenty of those on offer on the luxury safari/sand experience from Oetker Collection. Six nights at a Singita lodge in Africa, an overnight in Nairobi’s Giraffe Hotel, then four nights at the prestigious Fregate Island Private makes this one of the most indulgent ways to combine the African wilderness and the Indian Ocean. An hour-long helicopter transfer from Mahé is the indulgent icing on the cake. oetkercollection.com

The way to Manta Ray
June to November is manta ray season in the UNESCO protected Baa Atoll, where these gentle giants can weigh up to two tonnes yet eat nothing more than microscopic plankton.  Watch them in action at the world’s biggest manta feeding station at Hanifaru Bay, just 12 minutes by speedboat from boutique resort Milaidhoo Island. milaidhoo.com

Arctic on track
This epic private train journey to see the Northern Lights comes with a pair of Siberian felt boots in your cabin – and you’ll need them. The 11-night itinerary goes north from St Petersburg inside the Arctic circle to Kirkenes in Norway where you can experience the Aurora Borealis and overnight in the Snow Hotel. It then heads back south, through Murmansk, Vladimir & Suzdal, and Petrozadovsk to finish in Moscow, where you can take in St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin on terra firma. Next departure date 29 December. goldeneagleluxurytrains.com

High fliers in the kitchen
Top an exhilarating day on the slopes with a cracking bespoke dinner cooked in your Scott Dunn ski chalet  by a world-class chef. We’re talking Pierre Koffmann, Monica Galetti, Sat Bains or one of the other culinary heavyweights who fly in especially on the new  Flying Chefs programme. scottdunn.com

Pining for the fjords
Dubbed the Norway of the Middle East – without the Scandi temperatures – Oman’s Musandam Fjords are spectacular, especially from the deck of Zighy Bay’s three-cabin traditional dhow Dhahab. There’s a butler too, and an on-board cinema, but who needs movies with a landscape this dramatic? sixsenses.com

Go ape in Africa
In 1988, Sigourney Weaver put the gorillas of Rwanda centre stage in Gorillas in the Mist. She was playing zoologist Dian Fossey, who famously quipped; ‘the more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people’! Those magnificent gorillas still have a starring role, this time in an epic 18-day safari that also takes in the Ngorongoro Crater, the leopards of the Serengeti and the Victoria Falls. Mix in a supporting cast of hippos, elephants and crocs for an experience that is almost too fantastic to be real. naturalworldsafaris.com

Hunting for authenticity (above)
Momentum Adventure doesn’t do packages – each trip is bespoke in the truest sense of the word. Founder Matthew Robertson has spent years, as he puts it, looking under stones and around corners in some of the world’s most interesting locations to source the most talented guides, the most authentic places to stay and the most challenging activities. From Iceland to Indonesia, a select number of tailor-made itineraries are put together specially for clients (Gwyneth Paltrow commissioned culinary-inspired trips to the Komodo archipelago and Tuscany). Stay in a lighthouse on a private island in Norway or thunder along the Paris-Dakar rally trail in Morocco in a Predator X-18 dune buggy. Basically, if you want the experience, they can make it happen. momentumadventure.com

A taste of Vietnam
From savouring street snacks in HÔi An to sharing a family meal on the Mekong Delta, Vietnam has a rich culinary landscape that more than warrants this 12-night journey of discovery. And after a day of mastering a variety of regional dishes, a cool glass of local bia-hoi beer will go down very nicely. exodus.co.uk

Shine a light
Using lights designed to maximise bio fluorescence (blue light) and a special mask filter, you can discover a whole new world beneath the Indian Ocean. Watch marine life change colour before your eyes at Baros Maldives, where fluo night diving is done in small groups with a qualified instructor. baros.com

There be dragons
The volcanic islands of the Komodo National Park are home to 5,700 komodo dragons, along with abundant marine life and stunning beaches. Tiger Blue is a motor sailing yacht that sails the Indonesian archipelago so you can witness these majestic creatures up close. Private charters or set itineraries available. tigerblue.info

Mine’s the Ferrari
The Ferrari Tour of Italy by Red Travel, doesn’t just rent you an amazing vehicle. You get your own Ferrari Tour Director too, to ensure your car is filled with petrol, hand-washed daily and your bags are transported separately from one five-star hotel to the next. All you do is put your foot down and enjoy the ride. red-travel.com

Tip of the iceberg
Whales, seals, penguins… just some of the attractions on this 24-day cruise in the Antarctica, Patagonia and South Georgia. Kayaks launch directly from the ship’s fold-out watersports marina, while digital photography workshops ensure you capture every high-definition moment. Departs 20 December. seabourn.com