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National Geographic's World's Greatest Trips

Amanda Gerardo

National Geographic's World's Greatest Trips

Amanda Gerardo

Aug 2012

Are you wanting to get away from it all, but don’t know where to go? National Geographic’s "Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips" is the perfect inspiration for choosing the ultimate destination for your next adventure. The 400-page coffee table book offers page after glossy page of National Geographic’s favorite spots and journeys from all over the world. Whether you dream of exploring the wilds of Patagonia, scouting for lions in Botswana, or cruising the pristine waters of New Zealand’s Milford Sound, this book has it all, and we’ve narrowed it down to our top six picks here.

The Journey: Seattle to Alaska
Travel 900-nautical miles from the Emerald City to Alaska’s Inside Passage, a journey that will take you from city scape to temperate rainforest and then into a fantastical world of ice and snow-covered mountains. Imagine bearing witness to the creaking and crashing of ice as it breaks from its hold on the cliff and disappears with a quick gulp of the sea below. Indulge in wildlife sightings beyond belief: brown and black bears fishing for dinner, moose stretching their gangly legs along the coastline or perhaps a bald eagle swooping above.

Our Pick: Alaska Cruise: Juneau to Seattle (or reverse)
Aboard the Safari Explorer
The Safari Explorer, a 36-passenger luxury yacht, is an ideal home base for those who want an intimate exploration of North America’s full-length Inside Passage, but also want the comforts of home.

The Journey: The Amazon River
Exotic wildlife abounds along the Amazon, the largest river in the world. As you glide over the numerous tributaries and channels on a traditional riverboat, you will be enchanted by the species that emerge from the folds of the rainforest like colorful characters from a children’s storybook: macaws, dolphins, howler monkeys and piranhas, just to name a few. But wildlife is not the only enchantress of this magical forest; villages dot the water’s edge, and the curious children that come out to greet the riverboats are a warm welcome into a culture steeped in ritual and folklore.

Our Pick: Greatest Amazon Experience
Aboard the La Amatista
Experience the magic for yourself on a 10-day expedition along the Peruvian Amazon onboard La Amatista, a 28-passenger riverboat featuring the diverse Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.

The Journey: Antarctica, The White Continent
If pristine landscapes and a sense of disconnect from the world are what you seek, a trip to the frozen continent will do the trick. The chilly yet inviting paradise of Antarctica is truly a unique destination and never fails to amaze. One of the biggest draws is the close encounters with penguins, which are as playful as puppies and as mischievous as toddlers. Sit amidst a penguin colony, with massive glaciers as your backdrop, and icebergs floating by and you’ll never be the same again.

Our Pick: Antarctica Cruise – The Peninsula
Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
Embark on an epic journey to the End of the World on a 148-passenger ice-class vessel with kayaking, an underwater dive master, outstanding naturalists, and a National Geographic Photographer.

The Journey: The Torres del Paine
It’s no wonder some of the world’s largest and most magnificent birds choose to swoop and soar above the “Blue Towers”, or Torres del Paine, with a view so majestic the clouds seem to float close just to get a piece of the action. Located in the Chilean Patagonia, this national park encompasses lakes, glaciers and mountains that have been sculpted into nature’s monuments by glacial erosion. Sunsets here take on hues of purple, pink, blue and orange that even the most skilled painter would envy.

Our Pick: Photographic Journey through Atacama-Patagonia
Land-based Expedition
Capture those surreal sunsets and spectacular landscapes on a photography trip with National Geographic Photographer Wolfgang Kaehler to Patagonia and the Atacama Desert in Chile.

The Journey: Cruising Milford Sound
That beauty could hover in such a small patch of earth as the Milford Sound is astonishing. New Zealand is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and take-your-breath away splendor, and Milford Sound epitomizes those characteristics. Impressive cliff faces, crowned by tufts of lush rainforest tower above visitors cruising the blue and green waters, while mountains painted white with snow soar in the distance. A visit here will only whet your appetite for the other grandeurs that New Zealand has to offer.

Our Pick: Exploring New Zealand’s North & South Islands
Aboard the Oceanic Discoverer
Experience all New Zealand has to offer aboard the 68-passenger Oceanic Discoverer: unique wildlife, a blend of fascinating cultures and landscapes of cascading fjords and marine volcanoes await you.

The Journey: Stalking the “Big Five”
While the sun is still tucked away under its blanket of dawn and the insects have yet to begin their buzzing, a jeep maneuvers expertly across the floodplain, embarking on a scavenger hunt of epic proportion. A game drive at Chobe National Park in Botswana is underway in search for the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino) and those lucky enough to be along for the ride will soon reap the benefits of their early morning efforts. A day on safari means witnessing wildlife moments of movie-caliber: mother elephants bathing with their babies in the river, hundreds of zebra racing elegantly across the plain and lions deviously stalking their prey.

Our Pick: Classic Botswana
Land-based Expedition
Discover the best of Africa with grand wildlife sightings by day and luxury tented camps by night on a 17-day Classic Botswana safari.

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To order your copy of National Geographic’s “Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips,” visit Longitude Books.