Travel & Adventure

Useful gadgets, unique vacations, and ultimate experiences to excite the wanderlust-prone.

By Mark Ellwood
Sonoma Ballooning & Blending Package

The Sonoma Ballooning & Blending Package combines a balloon ride over the rolling countryside of Sonoma, California, with a trip to Meadowcroft Wines. Taste a range of intensely flavored reds then let the winemaking team help you create, label, and cork your own bottle to take home, blending the winery’s Bordeaux-style vintages of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot. $380/person;

TCS World Travel’s Week in Whistler

TCS World Travel’s Week in Whistler package includes accommodations at Four Seasons Resort Whistler as well as a private helicopter flight to a secluded ice floe, a trip by snow machine to a series of natural ice caves capped by a mountaintop lunch, and a trek with a dog team under tutelage of a pro musher who’ll share the secrets of key sled commands. All that plus an evening of s’mores around a firepit deep in the mysterious Vallea Lumina. $17,250/person for four people, double occupancy;

Jaguar and Land Rover Ice Academy

Spend two days and three nights finessing extreme driving skills at the Jaguar and Land Rover Ice Academy, where participants get behind the wheels of a Jaguar F-Type, Land Rover Defender, and Range Rover Velar to learn the art of drifting and how to power slide. Extracurricular activities on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Arjeplog, Sweden, include husky sled riding or skating around a frozen lake. $5,275/driver;

Hawaiian destination spa Sensei Lanai's Guided Experience'

Hawaiian destination spa Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort on billionaire Larry Ellison’s island of Lanai, offers the Guided Sensei Experience, a customized program for couples that can include everything from guided hikes to spa hale treatments, and baseline health assessments of body composition and hydration levels. From $1,760/night/couple;

Aerin x Colefax & Fowler Luggage Stand

The limited-edition, highly patterned Aerin x Colefax & Fowler Luggage Stand comes in two prints: Eloise (floral) and Seaweed Leaf (light green). The piece results from a new collaboration between the British firm of socialite Sibyl Colefax (aka Lady Colefax), who founded her namesake interiors firm in the 1930s, and American beauty mogul and social swan Aerin Lauder (Estée’s granddaughter), who juggles a role with her family cosmetics firm and her own fashion and furniture line. $600;

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

Launched in May, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver is a contemporary reimagining of the Royal Oak Offshore Scuba. Powered by the new Calibre 4308 movement, the timepiece thrives at depths up to 1,000 feet and has a 60-hour power reserve. The quick-change straps are ideal for extreme conditions; swap them out with a simple click and release. $25,900;

Massimo Bottura on Satori

Book the Massimo Bottura on Satori experience to enjoy a seven-course meal for 10 people on a chartered sailing yacht. When the chef is on board, the ship’s open kitchen allows face time with the Michelin-lauded mastermind behind Osteria Francescana—repeatedly named the world’s best restaurant. It’s an exclusive experience available only to guests of Tuscany’s Borgo Santo Pietro, a medieval pilgrimage site rebooted as an ultra-luxury hotel and worth a couple nights’ stay itself. In lieu of a tip, consider a donation to Bottura’s Food for Soul program that upcycles donations from local supermarkets to feed the homeless in cities including London and Milan. Price upon request;

Legendary Castles Experience in Ireland

The Legendary Castles Experience includes stays in two castles-turned-luxury-hotels that are among Ireland’s fanciest bolt holes. But their approach to luxury is drastically different from each other. Dromoland feels like a home away from home, where the Irish staff hopes to make you forget it’s a hotel. Ashford Castle, the world-class, five-star resort, ensures that no request goes unfulfilled. Both offer golf and falconry, among other activities, in beautiful countryside settings. From $2,785/four nights, including breakfast;

Silversea S.A.L.T. immersive culinary program on the high seas

For gourmands who want to experience a region’s culture through its cuisine, the Silversea S.A.L.T. program is the most immersive culinary program on the high seas. The acronym stands for Sea and Land Taste, and it represents the ultra-luxury cruise line’s most ambitious effort yet to provide a cruising experience like no other. Offered on the newest ship in the fleet, Silver Moon, three onboard venues supplement shore excursions. S.A.L.T. Kitchen serves regionally inspired dishes with a menu that changes at every port to reflect the local gastronomy. S.A.L.T. Lab offers hands-on cooking classes with visiting chefs and cookbook authors. The mixologists at S.A.L.T. Bar experiment with regional wines and spirits to serve up unique cocktails. On shore, visit farms and restaurants off the beaten path from tourist-laden venues. No two adventures are the same. Price based on cruise itinerary and stateroom booked;

Africa’s Greatest Marine Migration Expedition

Each June, along the east coast of South Africa, the Sardine Run sends teeming shoals of fish through the waters and lures their predators, including sharks and dolphins, to assemble in throngs. Dive among this extraordinary underwater seascape during Africa’s Greatest Marine Migration Expedition under the auspices of safari specialist andBeyond and expedition host, Oceans Without Borders’ program manager, Dr. Tessa Hempson. From $15,355/person;