Annual “best places to travel” lists are like bonbons for travelers. They’re so fun to read and so full of eye candy that you can devour a bunch of them in one sitting…and then not feel satisfied at all. We won’t deny that dreaming of beautiful destinations has its own appeal, but what’s really helpful for serious travelers is to know which places should be on their radars now, and why. By conferring with our Trusted Travel Experts, who live and work on the ground all over the world, we’ve selected a dozen destinations that are not just worth visiting anytime—they’re worth visiting specifically in 2016. In other words, these are the trips sophisticated travelers should start planning now. Next year, everyone else will be following in your footsteps.
A polar bear crosses blue water in the Arctic.
Greenland and the Canadian Arctic
If you want to get away from it all and be awed by nature, the Arctic is the ultimate place to do it. “On the heels of the Paris Climate Talks, and with increased media attention on the effects of climate change, the desire for people to explore and find solace in remote and less populated places is an emerging trend,” says Ashton Palmer, our Trusted Travel Expert for expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. The spots to put on your radar this year: the Canadian Arctic and Greenland, which are often combined on the same itinerary. For better or for worse, because sea ice has been melting more rapidly in the summer over the past few years, exploration and tourist expeditions have been able to increase—to the point where 2016 will see more exploratory voyages than ever before. “These one-off itineraries may not be repeated,” Ashton says, “so for those who want a truly unique trip there are some great opportunities. For example the Extreme Greenland expedition aboard the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov will attempt the first full circumnavigation of the island.”