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Seven reasons to look forward to travel in 2021 and beyond

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Here’s what to look forward to in the world of travel…

2021 might be off to a bit of a bleak start, but there are plenty of reasons to keep smiling.

Exciting new opportunities to explore are popping up all over the world, so whether you’re an animal-lover, thrill-seeker or Titanic fanatic, this year has something that will inspire you.

Live like a King for the night in France, or join to the jet-set in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The first permanent snow leopard-spotting camp will open soon

Can you spot the leopard? (Picture: Behzad J.Larry )

Seeing the elusive snow leopard will become much easier in December 2021, when the first permanent leopard-spotting camp in Ladakh’s Hemis National Park is unveiled in India.

Ladakh is one of the best destinations to spot the big cats and the camp will be operated by Voygr Expeditions, which offers conservationist-led tours.

Find out more here.

Exploring the Baltics will be much easier

A new train link will put Vilnius on the map

Travelling between certain European destinations is a breeze – a train will take you from Zurich to Vienna, or from Paris to Stuttgart, in a matter of hours. Northern Europe, however, has always felt slightly excluded – until now.

Construction recently started on the massive Rail Baltica project, which will not only provide better train connections between Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and the rest of Europe but will also transform rail travel between these countries. The first trains take to the tracks in 2026.

Find out more here.

You’ll be able to spend the night at the Palace of Versailles

Marie Antoinette who? (Picture: CRT IDF/Tripelon-Jarry)

Living in the Palace of Versailles might sound rather lovely but don’t be deceived. For starters, there are 2,143 windows and 1,252 fireplaces, all of which need regular cleaning. Our advice? Consider simply spending the night there instead.

Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle (try saying that after a mouthful of macarons) opens at the palace this year and rooms will start at around £1,174 per night when bookings open.

Situated within a converted building in the grounds, it’s an explosion of Louis XVI-style grandeur, with 18th-century chandeliers, fabric-draped four-poster beds and more antiques than you can shake a brioche at.

Find out more here.

The world’s first all-electric seaplane fleet will take flight

(Picture: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It’s time to reconsider the theory that water and electricity don’t mix because we’ll soon see the launch of the first electric seaplane fleet. Canadian airline Harbour Air will start offering the flights later this year.

Vancouver and Seattle will serve as hubs, and flights will service British Columbia destinations such as Victoria and Whistler.

Find out more here.

Getting around Japan will soon take much less time

Full speed ahead in Japan (Picture: EPA)

Got a need for speed? You’ll love the Alfa-X Shinkansen, the world’s fastest bullet train.

Although you’ll have to wait a few years to ride it (it’s expected to begin public service in 2030), there will be regular trials, with the most recent one taking place in October.

The Alfa-X (above) has a top speed of 248mph, along with another cool claim to fame – its 22m-long nose is the longest of any bullet train.

Find out more here.

You’ll be able to explore the Titanic on a submarine

A journey to the heart of the ocean comes with a big price tag

If you suffer from claustrophobia, this next experience probably isn’t for you – but then again, at £96,000 a ticket, it’s not for most people.

This year, US-based OceanGate Expeditions will offer the first submarine tours of the Titanic.

Guests on the week-long tours will descend to the wreck site, 3,800 metres below sea level, where they will watch scientists take laser scans to create a virtual 3D model of the 1912 shipwreck.

Find out more here.

St Vincent and the Grenadines will become more accessible (and affordable)

(Picture: Jeremie Tronet)

A beautiful chain of palm-fringed islands, many of which are privately owned, St Vincent and the Grenadines has long been a (slightly snooty) hangout of the rich and famous.

All this will change in June, when Virgin Atlantic launches the first direct flights to the Caribbean destination.

Another sign of its increased accessibility is Sandals Resorts’ announcement that one of its family-friendly Beaches resorts will open there.



Where we want to go next, by Metro’s award-winning Escape writers

Laura Millar: Mykonos

(Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

As a beach bunny, I want to lounge by, and splash in, the Mediterranean at Paradise Beach in Mykonos before heading out to eat, drink then dance like a maniac at Jackie O’s.

Richard Mellor: African safari

(Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

I especially miss wilderness and wild animals so it’ll be an African safari for me — to somewhere uncrowded, wonderful and particularly desperate for tourist income, such as Zambia.

Stuart Kenny: Finland

(Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

I’m dreaming of a log cabin in Arctic Finland. I was meant to go in snowy March but I’ll happily trade skis for hiking boots and foraging if it’s possible to travel this summer.

Tracey Davies: St Tropez

(Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

I’m excited about going to St Tropez to hoover up pale Provençal rosé and fresh oysters outside Le Club 55 on Pampelonne Beach, like a slightly haggard, budget Brigitte Bardot.

Tamara Hinson: Peru

(Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

I can’t wait to return to the research centre in Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve. It’s one of South America’s most remote ecolodges and there’s no better place to disconnect.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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Credit: Original article published here.

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