x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Ask the expert: Memorable holiday experiences

Our travel expert gives a couple advice on a memorable location for their 25th wedding anniversary.

My husband is an avid collector of experiences. It is our 25th wedding anniversary this year and I would like to book a truly memorable trip. Do you have any suggestions?


Holidays are seldom just about relaxation these days: doing something different is definitely in fashion and many tour operators are catering to this trend. The tour operator Black Tomato (www.blacktomato.co.uk; 00 44 207 426 9888) invites experience junkies to browse its website "by need". Click on "a purpose" and there are two standout, outlandish even, trips on its books: hunting with eagles in Mongolia and personal ninja training in Japan.

If hunting with one of nature's finest predators takes your fancy, your Mongolian adventure starts with a shock to the senses in the capital Ulan Bator.

Then, it's off to Ulgii, only 40km from Kazakhstan, where you'll gain more of an insight into the country's culture, stopping here briefly en route to meeting Sailau, a local eagle hunter, to stay with his family. After training sessions to brush up your eagle-handling skills, you'll trek into the Altai Mountains for a hunt either on horseback or on foot. The week-long trip costs from £2,899 (Dh16,477) per person, land only, based on two people sharing and includes accommodation and transfers.

If your husband has an interest in experiencing other cultures, Japan is a rewarding destination. The hook here is the opportunity to practise karate with a master at his private dojo and to have an introduction to more gentle skills such as flower arranging and calligraphy. But the seven-day visit to Tokyo, staying in the five-star Park Hyatt in Shinjuku, also allows you to experience this Goliath of a city with its museums, temples, tearooms and neon-lit streets. The trip costs £2,499 (Dh14,178) per person, land only, based on two people sharing and includes accommodation and transfers.

As far as experiences go, witnessing the unique landscapes of the Antarctica does not require a hard sell. The Ultimate Travel Company (www.theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk; 00 44 207 386 4646) is organising a trip from February 1 to 16 in the company of explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison and the travel journalist Graham Boynton. The once-in-a-lifetime trip starts on the shores of Beagle Channel and includes a 10-night cruise aboard a polar adventure ship equipped with kayaks and zodiac boats for excursions, as well as five-star accommodation in Recoleta, Buenos Aires. The trip costs £7,600 (Dh43,118) per person based on sharing a twin cabin, including accommodation, meals, guided excursions and suitable clothing, an on-board lecture programme and domestic flights.


Do you have travel questions or queries? E-mail them to us at travel@thenational.ae