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(2023 - Spring/Summer Issue)


When you think of eco-friendly transportation, luxury yachts probably don’t come to mind. Until now. Vacation company Dream Yacht Worldwide and designer/builder Fountaine Pajot have joined forces to create a fleet of electric-powered catamarans. The first model, Aura 51 Smart Electric, was available for charter in Italy in April. The Aura’s efficient engines provide enough power to cruise for hours or dock at anchor up to a week without any emissions. The partners expect to add 10 electric catamarans and 12 electric yachts to the Dream Yacht fleet by next spring. Dreamyachtcharter.com

The Canary Islands is celebrating the first 25 years of an expected 40-year project to create an ecological park around a rare, endangered Dragon Tree growing in the midst of an urban area. The 1,000-year-old tree is considered the last of its kind on the archipelago. Three Spanish architects behind the project, working with botanists and biologists, have persevered despite criticism for removing a road near the site to further protect the tree. They’re now constructing a new visitor’s centre. About a million people a year visit Parque del Drago, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. webtenerifefr.com

Thanda Island, a speck of sand in the Indian Ocean 30 minutes by helicopter from Tanzania, is considered one of the world’s most exclusive getaways and has been repeatedly voted by the World Travel Awards as the “World’s Leading Exclusive Private Island.” Opened in 2016, it takes just 15 minutes to walk around this Tanzanian island paradise. From the stunning villa, head to the private marine sanctuary for a lesson in conservation. Snorkel past floating nurseries where coral fragments are grown for six to 12 months, attracting many tropical fish. At this Leading Hotels of the World property, you can even join resident marine biologist Rianne Laan as a coral gardener and help transplant these fragments into a reef under restoration. Thandaisland.com

Be the first to explore Colombia’s Magdalena River between Cartagena and Barranquilla aboard one of AmaWaterways’ two new luxury cruise ships. Starting next spring, choose from two seven-night itineraries, Magic of Colombia or Wonders of Colombia. Highlights en route include a private Carnaval celebration in Barranquilla, a historical walking tour of UNESCO colonial town Mompox, dancing in Palenque and birdwatching tours to spot a few of the country’s more than 1,900 species. The 60- or 64-passenger small ships offer spacious accommodation with twin balconies, locally-inspired cuisine and sweeping views of the Magdalena basin, which harbours plants and animals not found anywhere else on the planet. AmaWaterways.ca

Hike the spectacular beaches and coastal rainforests of Vancouver Island on Wildland Trekking’s challenging West Coast Trail Backpack trip. The rugged, 75-kilometre route navigates around boulders and driftwood, takes seasoned hikers up 70 steep ladders, across suspension bridges and hovering in cable cars. As a reward for your effort, enjoy scenic campsites, stunning sunsets, fascinating history and opportunities to spot wildlife like otters, seals, sea lions, orcas and whales. The seven-day trip, which begins and ends in Victoria, includes expert local guides, top-of-the-line gear and delicious backcountry cuisine. For more information, visit wildlandtrekking.com/trips/west-coast-trail-backpack.

Passengers aboard Emirates Airline flights are munching the freshest, most sustainable greens possible thanks to Bustanica, the world’s largest hydroponic farm, which grows food in a controlled environment without soil. A joint venture between Emirates Flight Catering and Boston-based Crop One, the project feeds into Emirates’ commitment to food self-sufficiency in the United Arab Emirates. The Dubai farm is expected to save more than 250 million litres of water a year and produce more than a million kilos of produce, such as kale, spinach, arugula and mixed greens, free of pesticides and chemicals. Millions of data points collected daily determine the exact amount of light, water and nutrients each plant needs for maximum growth. emirates.com

Long known as a luxury honeymoon destination, the Maldives island chain in the Indian Ocean has something for everyone. To meet the demand for large multi-generation families and vacationing groups of friends, Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences has super-sized its eight beachfront Residences with four, six and eight bedrooms. Wander the lush gardens, catch sunset views from your palatial villa, BBQ outdoors, e-bike around the island, enjoy direct access to a turquoise lagoon and experience the underwater wonderland of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Amilla.com

In a Maharaja’s palace nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, a team of specialists awaits to infuse your life with harmony, well-being and good health. Newly renovated Ananda in the Himalayas, a destination spa and wellness retreat in India, offers several new programs. Ayurvedic treatments boost immunity, while a customized treatment and exercise program aims to relieve chronic pain. Ananda has also launched a post-Covid program to nourish and revitalize all your body’s systems. The resort’s new restaurant offers weekly cooking classes guided by Ayurvedic principles, while deluxe villas with private pools and balconies overlooking gardens or the Ganges River Valley add to a sense of complete relaxation. Anandaspa.com

Planning a dream trip to Southeast Asia? Add Avana Retreat to your list. A 3.5-hour drive from Hanoi, the property is set deep in a tropical forest, its 36 thatched-roof mountainside villas built by local craftsmen. Along with a spa and yoga studio, the new centrepiece is Hidden Spring Lagoon, a private natural pool fed by a waterfall—nature’s answer to a plunge pool. Relax by the pool during the day and enjoy a candlelit multi-course gourmet dinner overlooking the water at night. Avanaretreat.com

Ditch the gym and travel to the new car-free beach town in Guanacaste on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Las Catalinas is an outdoor paradise for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers and yogis of all levels. Think bodybuilding on the beach led by a top Miami trainer, or mountain biking along 42 kilometres of single-track trails with stunning coastline views. Las Catalinas is flanked by two of Costa Rica’s best beaches, making the area a haven for water sports enthusiasts from body surfing and boogie boarding to paddleboarding and sea kayaking. lascatalinascr.com

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