Travel is all about new experiences; extraordinary moments that break away from the everyday. At Exodus, we want those experiences to be unique; the kind that stops you in your tracks and creates life-long memories. Providing you with the ultimate guide to goosebumps; read on to discover 5 jaw-dropping experiences that you need to add to your travel bucket list in 2022.
1. Enjoy whale watching in the Antarctic
Cruising the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, where towering icebergs reflect dazzling colours from effervescent turquoise to moody, dark indigo is a breath-taking experience in itself. However, on our Antarctic Circle Quest tour, our knowledgeable local guide will lead the way to discover the most magnificent wildlife in the region. Imagine catching a moment when the tranquil surface of the ocean breaks as a majestic humpback whale lifts its 30 tons of body mass out of the water with such powerful grace it leaves nothing but starstruck spectators in its wake and a tingling sensation on the arms.
For an extended exploration of the Antarctic, our Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia trip will take you to some of the most remote places on the planet, where true wildlife flourishes in the absence of humans. Here, you’ll find the vast area at Salisbury Plain covered by seabirds, nesting in their thousands, surreptitiously watched by the neighbouring fur seals. The beaches are crowded with tens of thousands of Gentoo penguins and King penguins, with flashes of gold on their heads creating a stunning spectacle. For nature at its most raw, look no further than the Antarctic.
2. Catch glimpses of snow leopards in the wild
Why not embark on a trek to one of the most remote and mountainous regions of Central Asia with the main goal of spotting the enigmatic snow leopard. Notorious for being one of the most elusive mammals in the world, we begin the search for him as he steals his way down the snowy slopes, away from the extreme cold at high altitudes. Your chances of encountering this elegant big cat are high with our team of expert wildlife spotters on our In Search of the Snow Leopard tour acting as your guide to exploring this formidable terrain. As an area full of endangered species, including the Tibetan Ibex, Bharal (Blue Sheep), Wolf, Red Fox, Ladakhi Urial and Lynx, wildlife sightings throughout this trip will uniquely thrilling.
3. Grab a front-row seat to the Northern Lights
It is not only spectacular wildlife that can be selective about making an appearance, nature’s own magnificent light show – the Aurora Borealis, also seeks out particular conditions that attracts thousands of viewers every year.
On our Finnish Wilderness Week, we stay overnight in the remote Riisitunturi National Park, far away from any light pollution, where the chances are good to enjoy a front-row seat to one of nature’s most spectacular light shows. In this stunning location, there are also opportunities to; go dogsledding through the untouched, snow-kissed forests; enjoy cross country skis across the lakes and zip across the wintry landscape on a snowmobile. Book a trip between September and late April and with a clear night, this otherworldly, dancing light show is sure to give you goosebumps.
4. Seeing a Hindu ceremony take place on the Ganges River
Take our Highlights of Northern India and you could be treated to one of the most resplendent cultural ceremonies in the world. The River Ganges is considered sacred and spiritually pure by Hindus. Performing a ritual at its waters edge is considered to purify sins and wipe away physical ailments.
At the beginning of June, the festival of Ganga Dussehra attracts pilgrims to the Ganga and the waters become abundant in colour, as devotees take part in this spiritual experience. From this deeply moving experience, our trip continues with a smorgasbord of sensory delights, taking in the serene Taj Mahal, the splendour of the Maharaja’s Palace in the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur and the vibrant market stalls that entice you with their aromatic cuisine.
With an extended visit to the area on our Delhi to Kathmandu tour, after taking in the buzzing Indian cities, we transfer to the tranquillity of the high mountains of Nepal; not only a pilgrim site for Buddhists, but also one of the few places to catch a glimpse of the vulnerable, yet mighty, Indian one-horned rhino.
5. See Polar bears hunt on ice floes in the Arctic
On our epic Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic, you’ll journey beyond the Arctic Circle to 80 degrees north towards Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago. Here, you’ll find polar deserts, immense glaciers and towering fjords. Your expedition team will use their keen expertise to guide you towards areas thriving with Arctic wildlife, where you may come across lounging walruses, reindeer and huge 200,000 strong colonies of auk.
With no fixed itinerary, each expedition is unique, but places you may visit include, the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Strait, which is often the best spot for viewing wildlife. One of the most exhilarating moments on the trip that’s bound to give you goosebumps is catching sight of Polar Bears on huge ice flows as you glide past on your expedition vessel. The Svalbard archipelago is one of the Polar Bears preferred hunting areas, so your chances of viewing these magnificent creatures are greatly enhanced with the route our team takes.
Providing you with your ultimate guide to goosebumps, we offer sightings of the most captivating wildlife, soul-stirring cultural events and exhilarating adventure rides which stir up emotions that will last long after you come home. If this has inspired you to book an exhilarating adventure for 2022, take a look at our guide to goosebumps collection here.