Coming up The National Geographic Society has teamed up with UK tour operator Titan HiTours to launch National Geographic Journeys.
It's time to get moving on your exciting adventures for the new year
The National Geographic Society has teamed up with UK tour operator Titan HiTours to launch National Geographic Journeys (www.ngjourneys.co.uk) with a variety of escorted trips including a two-week trip to China with VIP access to the dig still unearthing its terracotta warriors. The visit to Xi'an, now famous for its 6,000 strong army, ends in a meeting with the Imam of the Grand Mosque of Xi'an to learn about the country's Muslim heritage. The tour also visits Beijing's traditional neighbourhoods to find out about feng shui, a walk along a section of the Great Wall, a three-day cruise down the Yangtze river, the modern city of Shanghai and the canals of Suzhou. The trip costs from US$3,573 (Dh13,125) per person, land only and full board, including a National Geographic expert on hand to answer your questions and entrance fees to the attractions. Tours depart on June 22 and September 7, 2010. To book, call 0044 800 988 5173.
Forget mooning about under twinkling stars, the Soneva Fushi Six Senses resort in the Maldives is offering guests the chance to gaze at a solar eclipse on January 15, with an astronomer on hand to explain what all the fuss is about. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon covers the sun in perfect alignment causing the sun to appear as a bright ring in the darkened sky. This January's event will be visible in a narrow, 300km-wide band across central Africa, the Maldives, south Kerala, northern Sri Lanka and parts of Burma and China. It will only be visible in the Indian Ocean for approximately 11 minutes at 1.30pm, so time your trip to the buffet with care. A two-night stay from January 13 to 15, half board, including some alcoholic beverages, stargazing tutorial, a spa treatment and eclipse cruise, costs $1,848 (Dh6,788) per person staying in a standard double room (www.sixsenses.com; 00 960 660 0304).
This week in another gloriously inviting part of the world, Krabi in southern Thailand, Ritz-Carlton opened Phulay Bay, the first of its boutique, Reserve-brand hotels. Set on the shores of the Andaman Sea, Phulay Bay has 54 secluded one-bedroom villas as well as an ESPA spa, and promises to indulge the whims of its guests from cooking lessons to meditation sessions with local monks, elephant trekking and seaplane tours of the local islands. A resort pavilion with tropical garden views, outdoor tub and terrace costs from $697 (Dh2,557) per night, including taxes. To book visit www.ritzcarlton.com or call 00 66 7 562 8111. The Fairmont hotel in Abu Dhabi still has availability for its New Year packages, which include two nights' accommodation and dinner on New Year's Eve. Deals cost from $979 (Dh3,595) for two, including taxes. Visit www.fairmont.com/babalbahr or call 02 654 3333 for more details.
Anyone wanting to spend the New Year in Dubai can take advantage of a low opening room rate at the new Media One Hotel in Dubai Media City. The funky hotel has 250 "hip" and "cool" rooms and 10 "calm" and "chill out" suites. The rooms combine cutting-edge design with practicality and facilities include Wi-Fi internet, a pool and sun deck, a gym with men's and women's steam and sauna rooms, two bars, three restaurants and a business centre. From now until January 10, the hotel is offering double rooms from Dh510 per night including tax and breakfast, and New Year guests get free access to pool parties and the New Year's Eve White party. Visit www.mediaonehotel.com or call 04 427 1000. For anyone wanting to hire a vehicle over the New Year period, Holiday Autos UAE is offering cars In Abu Dhabi, the Fairmont hotel still has availability for its New Year packages, which include two nights' accommodation and dinner on New Year's Eve. Deals cost from $979 (Dh3,595) for two, including taxes. Visit www.fairmont.com/babalbahr or call 02 654 3333 for more details.
Royal Caribbean's inaugural 7-night "Dubai cruise", on the 2,501-passenger ship Brilliance of the Seas, will depart from Dubai on January 18, calling at Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, before returning to Dubai. Inside cabins are priced from $719 per (Dh2,640) person, based on two sharing an inside cabin and excluding taxes and gratuities. Cruises depart every week until April: for more details visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call 001 866 562 7625.