It's that time of year to start looking at where travel can take wanderlusts in 2020. Audley Travel, a leader in providing completely tailor-made journeys to Asia, Africa, South America, and other worldly destinations around the globe since 1996, recently identified a list of the top destinations that are a must visit for the new year.
Audley Travel’s predictions are based on consumer demand, popularity, country growth developments and insight from the company’s Country Specialists; they have spent a lifetime gaining first-hand knowledge of the best routes, guides, food, lodging, and local secrets in one specific corner of the world.
Egypt — Audley Travel has seen a significant uptick in travel to Egypt since 2018 – but why is 2020 the year to go? A new Nile River cruise will soon be available from Mayfair Cruises starting in late 2019. Tripling their offering of boutique Nile cruise cabins, the Mayfair Cruise portfolio is a great addition for those traveling to Egypt and looking for service, quality and comfort as they travel the Nile between Luxor and Aswan. Additionally, after delaying the opening for the last couple of years, the long anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum is finally planned to open in Q4 of 2020.
- Audley’s Recommendation: Closed for visits since 1965, the interior of the Bent Pyramid of Dashur was re-opened to visitors in July of 2019. Built some 4,600-years ago for Pharoah Senefrou, it is an example of one of the earliest pyramids at a time when they were still perfecting the design. Audley Travel can arrange for travelers to have a private guided tour of the pyramid in order to gather further insight into its fascinating history. Audley recommends their 7-day Highlights of Egypt itinerary for more reasons why one should opt to explore this dynamic destination in 2020.
Austria — April 1, 2020, marks the 55th Anniversary of The Sound of Music release, a perfect opportunity to travel to Salzburg, and through the Austrian lakes district, to visit where the hills came alive 55 years ago. Also, worth noting, is that Audley Travel will be expanding its portfolio into this region come 2020!
- Audley's Recommendation: Travel to Salzburg and through the Austrian lakes district and explore the city that the real Von Trapp family called home. Travelers can tour the Trapp home as well as other locations where iconic scenes were filmed. Audley Travel can arrange for visitors to have a private guided tour to the Salzkammergut lakes region to see where some of the more iconic scenes were filmed, including Julie Andrews’ famous “Hills are Alive” musical number.
Ireland — Head to Ireland’s most northerly county, Donegal, for its long, sweeping beaches, heather-clad mountains, precipitous cliffs and network of ancient monuments. The destination received a €5 million investment this year in an effort to boost tourism at the Slieve League cliffs in Donegal (fun fact: the cliffs are three times the height of Cliffs of Moher!) and the Donegal Airport received a €1 million funding for expansions of the runway, allowing for more routes and tours to be added. 2020 is also the 1500th Anniversary of St. Colmcille, one of Ireland’s patron saints who shares distinction with St. Patrick and St. Bridget, so destination-wide celebrations are sure to drive visitation.
- Audley's Recommendation: Ireland’s best kept secret won’t be a secret for long, as more and more people traveling to the country seek to get off-the-beaten-path and away from the swarms of visitors. Trade the crowds of tourists and buses along the "Wild Atlantic Way" for the unspoiled scenery of County Donegal, just a 25-minute plan ride from Dublin. Audley’s specialists recommend the 9-day Northern Ireland itinerary, where travelers can visit and learn about traditional Irish life at the Glencolmcille Folk Village, in tandem with the upcoming anniversary, and explore the Antrim coast including Giant’s Cuaseway and the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.
Cambodia — Cambodia has long been one of Indochina’s forgotten destinations, but new direct flights from Bangkok to Sihanoukville are launching this January, making it a must-see for 2020.
- Audley’s Recommendation: Cambodia's magnificent temples are the country's most famous attraction, but venture beyond Angkor and travelers will be rewarded with a far more enriching experience. Audley’s specialists’ first-hand knowledge of the country means that they can arrange for travelers to see lesser-visited places such as the remote northeast with its bucolic way of life, and the glorious south coast. Avoid the overcrowded beaches of Thailand and enjoy the undiscovered beaches in Cambodia instead with Audley’s 18-day Grand Tour itinerary. Best of all, the new flights will make the trip a lot easier as travelers will no longer have to make the long journey back to Phnom Penh for their flight.
Antarctica — A visit to Antarctica is challenging and rewarding in equal measure, however, the dramatic landscapes and superb wildlife-viewing opportunities are simply like no other place on Earth. Expedition cruises to Antarctica are the simplest, most effective way to explore this beautiful, barren continent, which is why a new ship launch from Aurora Expedition in Q4 2019 will be a game changer for 2020.
- Audley’s Recommendation: Educational and exhilarating, these rewarding boat voyages offer access to penguin colonies, thermal pools and historical settlements. Audley specialists recommend setting sail on the newest ship from Aurora Expedition, the Greg Mortimer. The new state-of-the-art vessel is set to sail this October 2019 and will be recommended within a number of Audley Travel itineraries on offer for 2020 trips, including this 15-day Antarctic Peninsula itinerary. Highlights include kayak and trek tours through untouched areas, iceberg expeditions, whale watching, and visiting a penguin colony.
Myanmar A new five-star experience arrived in the mysterious and remote region of Myanmar this summer 2019. The new Rosewood Yangon, which will debut later this year, offers travelers signature Rosewood service with unique colonial-styled accommodations.
- Audley's Recommendation: Audley specialists recommend travelers stay at Rosewood Yangon, originally the New Law Courts for British Burma, to enjoy elegant and contemporary amenities while also basking in the history of Myanmar — whether that is having a cocktail in the courtroom turned bar or having a cigar in what previously was the judge's chambers. Adding to the destination intrigue, Myanmar’s temple city, Bagan, was just awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Take a look at Audley Travel’s 14-day Grand Tour itinerary for more reasons why the region is a must-visit.