December 20th, 2023

December 2023

Conservation-led luxury travel company andBeyond has partnered with Quark Expeditions to expand their operations to a fourth continent. Together, the partners have created A Taste of the Wild Life; A Masterclass with Kris Tompkins. Brought to you by andBeyond and Quark Expeditions, with Kris Tompkins, the 18-night land and sea adventure gives travelers an intimate glimpse into what is being done to protect the exceptional landscapes and wildlife inhabitants of Chile and Argentina, as well as the Antarctic Circle. The trip also offers an opportunity to gain first-person insight into the events described in the documentary A Wild Life, which tells the story of Kris and Douglas Tompkins and the contributions that they have made towards nature conservation in South America.

The trip will be accompanied by Kristine (Kris) McDivitt Tompkins, president and co-founder of Tompkins Conservation, an American conservationist, and former CEO of Patagonia, Inc. Kris and her late husband Douglas Tompkins have protected approximately 14.8 million acres of parklands in Chile and Argentina through Tompkins Conservation and its partners, making them among the most successful national park-orientated philanthropists in history. Throughout the trip, Kris will share personal stories of the work that has gone into protecting and rewilding large swathes of the Patagonian wilderness. These will include a presentation on the efforts involved in the creation of a national park. There will also be a screening of the Wild Life documentary, followed by a Q&A session with Kris on her story.

“We are thrilled to be working closely with other organizations that reflect our own values,” says Pedro Barraza, andBeyond Managing Director South America. “andBeyond has a long-standing relationship with Kris Tompkins and her teams, with our conservation experts from Africa having provided advice and support to both Rewilding Chile and Rewilding Argentina in preparation for their wildlife reintroduction projects. We also relish the opportunity to partner with Quark Expeditions, whose Polar Promise principles reflect our own motto of Care of Land, Wildlife and People.”

“This new partnership aligns perfectly with our commitment to go responsibly in all that we do,” says Thomas Lennartz, Vice President of Sales and Client Experience at Quark Expeditions. “We look forward to working with andBeyond to deliver awe-inspiring guest experiences in Patagonia and Antarctica, and Kris Tompkins’ expertise will be an incredible complement to the best expedition team in the industry.”

The Masterclass itinerary kicks off in Chilean Patagonia at the Torres del Paine National Park, where travelers will immerse themselves in the work being done by the Cerro Guido Foundation to reintroduce and protect Chile’s most endangered species. Staying at the historic Estancia Cerra Guido, guests can not only learn the way of the land from local gaucho, who care for the farm’s livestock, but will have the unique opportunity for a first-hand glimpse of the conservation work being done to preserve the area’s rich flora and fauna. Accompanied by expert puma researchers and trackers, they will immerse themselves in activities that form part of this groundbreaking project.

Those keen to learn more about the surrounding landscapes can also opt for a scenic overland excursion through Torres del Paine. Those in search of more physical activity can explore the region on horseback or spend the day fishing, while history buffs will enjoy the opportunity to tour an authentic Patagonian ranch, discovering ways of life and traditions that go back hundreds of years.

Leaving Patagonia, the itinerary continues to Cabo Froward (Cape Froward), where travelers can explore the mountains, glaciers and forest of this exceptional landscape, as well as enjoy a taste of the rich and vibrant culture of Punta Arenas. Travelling on to Ushuaia, the erstwhile explorers are introduced to the Ultramarine, a vessel specifically built for exploration of the polar regions. Departing via the Beagle Channel, travelers will have the opportunity to photograph the area’s beautiful landscapes and sea birds before heading into the vastness of the Southern Ocean. Over the next three days there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the facilities offered by the ship and join in captivating presentations on photography, wildlife, glaciology, and history. Explorers can while away the time by planning which of the included activities they would prefer to try first, from sightseeing from a scenic flight above the vessel to Zodiac cruises, hiking among some of the world’s most untouched landscapes, sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and more.

As guests finally come close to landfall on the Antarctic Peninsula, Zodiac boats will whisk them away to explore majestic bays and channels, exploring penguin rookeries, scanning the horizon for humpback and minke whale, or keeping an eye out for leopard seals. Travelers can select from a vast array of additional adventures, all under the oversight of the dedicated Expedition Team, and drink in the magic that surrounds them, from crackling iceberg and glaciers to isolated research stations and vast, pristine expanses. Should conditions be conducive, the group will cross the Antarctic Circle and witness the midnight sun casting its ethereal glow on the icy landscape.

Heading back across the Drake Passage, guests will enjoy some time to reflect on their once-in-a-lifetime experiences and on the new understanding of this largely unknown and unexplored region. There will also be plenty of opportunity to listen to more enthralling stories shared by Kris and the Expedition Team on board the vessel.

A Taste of the Wild Life: A Masterclass with Kris Tompkins runs from 25 February to 15 March 2025, and is available at a cost of USD 34,400 per person sharing with a minimum of eight guests and with a maximum of 14 guests. The itinerary cost includes a group contribution of USD 10,000 made in support of the Tompkins Conservation Project Fund at Re:Wild. For more information visit or speak to your preferred travel provider.


T +27 11 809 4300 | F +27 11 809 4511


Established in 1991, andBeyond strives to leave our world a better place through the delivery of extraordinary travel experiences and our care of the land, wildlife and people. We are bespoke tour operators for sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, South America and Antarctica. We also own and manage 29 extraordinary lodges and camps across three continents. We positively impact 75 communities and directly conserve our primary footprint of 1 million acres. Our 2030 vision is to scale our impact through partnerships to support the conservation of an associated 40 million acres of key biospheres and to double our 2020 impact investment, while offering discerning travelers a rare and exclusive experience of the world as it should be.


The global leader in polar adventures for more than 30 years. The most passionate and seasoned team in the industry, taking explorers to the ends of the earth. Going where few ever dream, and walking where few ever will. Delivering extraordinary experiences and enriching lives through travel, Quark Expeditions is a Travelopia specialist company.

Where to Go: February 2024

December 18th, 2023

From riding a luxury train through Malaysia to cruising the Peruvian Amazon during high water season to relaxing in a villa in the Maldives, here are our top choices for places to travel in February:


Eastern & Oriental Express, A Belmond Train will make its much-anticipated return to the rails in February 2024 with restyled interiors and new journeys. Belmond will launch two new seasonal journeys departing from Singapore and traveling through Malaysia’s ever-changing landscapes and vibrant cities: the Essence of Malaysia (November to February) and Wild Malaysia (March to October). The Wild Malaysia journey was devised in collaboration with global tiger conservation organization, Save Wild Tigers, to bring Belmond guests to a new destination for the brand – the Taman Negara National Park. One of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world formed 130 million years ago, the Taman Negara National Park is home to hundreds of species such as tigers, leopards, and Sumathran rhinos. Travelers will embark on a variety of excursions including meeting with local volunteers in Merapoh about the safeguarding of the critically endangered Malayan Tiger to a foraging experience in the jungle.

Zurich, Switzerland

In February, Zurich emerges as a premier destination with its magical winter atmosphere. Snow-covered streets, glistening lakes, and breathtaking mountain views create a wonderland for visitors to enjoy. Whether it’s strolling through the charming Old Town, exploring the famous Bahnhofstrasse shopping street, or taking a boat ride on Lake Zurich, the city is transformed into a scene that is straight out of a fairytale. Zurich Carnival occurs from February 16-18 and allows locals and visitors to gather to celebrate with parades, colorful costumes, and lively music. Another highlight is the Sechseläuten, a traditional spring festival dating back to the Middle Ages, featuring the famous burning of the Böögg, a snowman effigy. For travelers looking to delve deeper into the city’s artistic and cultural offerings, La Reserve Eden au Lac Zurich, right on the shores of Lake Zurich, offers a variety of exclusive experiences for its guests including free admission to Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland’s largest art museum and home to one of Europe’s most extensive art collections, including masterpieces by renowned artists such as Monet and Van Gogh.


The Paramount Pictures film, Bob Marley: One Love, will hit theaters on February 14, 2024. Starring Kingsley Ben-Adir and produced by Ziggy Marley, the biopic will provide a look at the legendary musician’s rise to fame. A household name, Marley put Jamaica on the map. Today, the reggae superstar’s influence as the country’s greatest musician, spiritual icon and righteous revolutionary leader – is still present. Throughout Jamaica, music echoes from local jerk shacks and his portrait is splashed across storefronts. Travelers can retrace his life with a visit to his Kingston home, which has since been converted to a museum; partake in a tour through Trench Town, known for being the birthplace of reggae; and or attend an event at the location of Marley’s Historical 1978 Peace Concert – which is also the main focus of the film. Book a stay at Chris Blackwell’s Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains. Blackwell not only signed Marley to his Island Records label, but also brought him Strawberry Hill to recuperate after his 1976 attempted assassination. Today many artists and visionaries continue to return to mountaintop retreat for revitalization and renewal.

Peruvian Amazon

February is an ideal time of year to visit Peru, especially for travelers planning to visit Machu Picchu (best time to avoid the usual tourist rush) or those who want to experience notable festivals (including the Carnival of Cajamarca from February 10-14, 2024). For those who want the ultimate adventure in Peru, Aqua Expeditions announced additional seven-night Amazonia departures in February 2024 on the 20-suite Aqua Nera. There are also options for three- and four-night sailings. February is part of the high water season in the Amazon, meaning guests can get closer to the jungle tree canopy and explore the rainforest mainly on water, bringing monkeys, birds, and turtles closer to the naked eye. Since 2021, Aqua Nera, best described as a floating boutique hotel, has been taking guests to some of the most remote parts of the Amazon with their private military grade skiffs. Days are structured much like those of land-based safaris with naturalist-led twice-daily excursions ranging from jungle walks and piranha fishing to exploring hidden lakes and lagoons and spotting exotic wildlife. While on board, guests can expect world-class cuisine curated by acclaimed Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, SpaceX’s high-speed Starlink satellite internet, a river-facing gym, outdoor plunge pool, and more.


With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sands, the Maldives offers a picturesque setting for a winter escape. The weather in February is at its best, with 10 hours of sunshine per day and minimal rainfall.  Underwater visibility is also at its prime – up to 130 feet in depth – ideal conditions for snorkeling and scuba diving among the kaleidoscope of colorful reef fish and moray eels. The Maldives is known for its year-round whale shark sightings, but February is a particularly good time to spot these gentle giants. This month is also nesting season for turtles, making it a great time to witness them laying eggs on the beaches or hatchlings making their way to the ocean. Many resorts in the Maldives actively engage in ocean conservation and education programs to protect these fragile ecosystems. At Gili Lankanfushi’s new marine biology center, guests can get involved in a myriad of ocean-focused initiatives, including the Coral Lines project. The program – the first of its kind in the Maldives – was founded nearly a decade ago to protect and replenish the island’s reefs while increasing biodiversity. Guests can make their own coral line or join a guided snorkeling tour with the in-house marine biologists.


December 12th, 2023

DECEMBER 2023 – Launching in June 2024, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe will travel to the Ligurian coast for the very first time in its four-decade history, connecting the two iconic destinations of Paris and Portofino. This new, annual overnight journey will see the train winding through the French countryside and along the coastline of the Mediterranean Riviera, concluding at Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino, where guests will reside for two nights. Steeped in history and glamour, Splendido offers a cinematic escape perched in the hills overlooking Portofino. Here, Jean Imbert, the legendary train’s renowned Michelin-starred chef, will host a special culinary evening with a bespoke tasting menu – a gastronomic ode to this new voyage. The three-night experience, June 20-23, 2024, will start at £7,920 (approx. $8,525.09 USD) per person based on double occupancy.


As the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express departs Paris on Thursday, June 20, guests are invited to step aboard and soak up the Art Deco ambiance of their accommodation of choice. With the recent addition of eight new Suites, the train now offers a trio of cabin categories to suit every traveler: the Historic Cabins where a daytime lounge magically transforms into cozy upper and lower berth beds; lavish new Suites offering twin or double beds with marble ensuite bathrooms; and Grand Suites — six vast private suites, each taking inspiration from Europe’s most alluring cities: Paris, Venice, Istanbul, Vienna, Prague, and Budapest. After settling in and enjoying a French goûter in their cabins, guests will gather in Bar Car ‘3674’ for handcrafted cocktails and live music by the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’ resident pianist. As the train winds past the cities of Dijon, Lyon and Avignon, a new summer menu by Michelin-starred chef Jean Imbert will be served in restaurant cars Côte d’Azur, L’Oriental, and Étoile du Nord. Accompanying each course are handpicked wines from the train’s extensive collection, an homage to Europe’s finest appellations. After dinner, it’s back to the iconic livery of Bar Car ’3674′, where drinks will flow and The Uppertones – an energetic three-man-band of trombone, vocals, piano, and drums playing Swing, Boogie and Calypso tunes, will play long into the night.

The next morning, an indulgent continental breakfast will be served in the privacy of the cabins, to the backdrop of spectacular coastal views as the railway connects France with Italy, moving past the famous towns of Cannes, Nice, and Monte Carlo. As the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express crosses the Italian border, guests can admire the vibrant cities of Ventimiglia, Savona, and Genoa — the former capital of one of the world’s most powerful maritime republics. In this final leg of the journey, a delicious brunch will be served before arriving in Santa Margherita Ligure where the train experience ends and the Italian sojourn continues at Splendido.


A former 16th century Benedictine monastery perched in the lush Ligurian hills, Splendido offers the perfect continuation of this summer sojourn. From Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23, guests will indulge in the ultimate Villeggiatura — soaking up the sun at the hotel’s recently redesigned salt-water swimming pool, with unrivalled views of the Gulf of Portofino. These vistas can also be admired from the glamorous rooms and suites inspired by the noble Palazzos of the region; the terraced gardens surrounding the hotel; as well as the two resident restaurants – the newly launched Splendido Grill and the renowned open-air, La Terrazza.

On Friday, guests will be treated to a five-course tasting menu by Chef Jean Imbert at La Terrazza, specially curated in celebration of the new journey, followed by after-dinner drinks in the cocktail bar, inviting guests to step into the footsteps of legends such as Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart and Liza Minelli.

For the grand finale of this three-night experience, guests are invited to experience the cinematic soul of Portofino with a private film screening under the stars on the iconic “Piazzetta” — the very heart of the port town, surrounded by the vibrant tapestry of colourful fishermen houses, and where Splendido’s sister hotel, Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino, resides.

Prices start from £7,920 per person (approx. $8,525.09 USD) based on two guests sharing a Historic Cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and a Garden View Room at Splendido. The price includes an overnight journey on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (24h steward service; all meals with sommelier’s choice of wine and unlimited soft drinks), two nights at Splendido on B&B basis, a bespoke dinner by Chef Jean Imbert at La Terrazza, and transfers in Paris and Portofino. For more information, please click here.



Belmond was born from a passion for connecting discerning travellers with the world’s most remarkable properties, locations and journeys. From hotels and trains to river cruises and safaris, Belmond curates incomparable experiences and crafts unforgettable stories. With a legacy spanning over 45 years, since the acquisition of Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, Belmond has grown into a global collection of 47 properties spread across 28 countries and territories. Exceptional destinations connected by legendary journeys are the very soul of Belmond, where the path that brings you to a place is as important as the destination itself. A pioneer of slow travel, Belmond has been operating the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express since 1982. The group later expanded to include pristine beach resorts, such as Maroma on the Riviera Maya, historic hideaways such as Villa San Michele in the Florentine foothills, urbane icons, such as Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, and gateways to UNESCO world heritage sites, such as Hotel das Cataratas in Brazil’s Iguassu National Park. As proud custodians of storied properties, Belmond is committed to building on the past to create a new legacy: the heritage of the future. Working with communities and local talents, together with the world’s most respected chefs, designers and artists, Belmond continues its purpose of perpetuating the legendary art of travel. Since 2019, Belmond has been part of the world’s leading luxury group, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton).




December 12th, 2023

December 2023

Conservation-focused luxury travel company andBeyond has reopened one of its most iconic lodges, Phinda Forest Lodge, situated in andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, after an extensive and exciting rebuild. The property, which was lauded as one of the first true eco-lodges at the time of its original construction, has now been reimagined within the context of the contemporary luxury safari, while retaining subtle references to its original ‘Zulu-zen’ décor with a new elegant and minimalist interior design.

“andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge was originally built in the early 1990s,” recalls Kevin Pretorius, andBeyond Managing Director for South Africa Lodges. “Back then, the lodge’s innovative and progressive design made a huge statement on sustainability, as it was sensitively constructed within the ancient sand forest with minimum impact at the heart of the project – and this rebuild has followed those same founding sustainable principles.”

Pretorius continues, “Phinda, which started as an amalgamation of denuded farmlands in 1991, has grown into an extensive conservancy at the cutting edge of conservation, a modern example of Care of the Land, Wildlife and People. What was only our second owned and operated lodge following the birth of the company at andBeyond Phinda has now been reborn.”

Interior designers Fox Browne Creative, who have previously worked on the refurbishments of the other five lodges on the reserve, partnered with architectural designer Jack Alexander to reimagine and bring to life the new Phinda Forest Lodge in a design that will offer past guests the comfort and familiarity of one of their most loved lodges while also providing exciting improvements in room flow and functionality. Nestled inside 2,471 acres of Africa’s last remaining dry sand forest in thenorth of andBeyond Phinda, the lodge embodies a commitment to minimize the impact on the environment. Its iconic rooms were built in perfect harmony with the existing flow of the forest and their design has stood the test of time. As such, the existing room structures have been used to redefine the new lodge in a way that will continue the legacy with which it was originally built.

“The sand forest is one of Phinda’s most distinctive and delicate habitats. It occurs on deep sands, the leftover fossilized dunes of an earlier coastline,” explains Pretorius. Many of the plant species encountered in sand forest can be found nowhere else on Earth. Normally shy mammals such as the red duiker, suni and Tonga red squirrel are often encountered in sand forest, and the area is also rich in birds, with several species restricted solely to this habitat.

Due to the sensitivity of the habitat, the lodge refurbishment has utilized existing lodge and room structures to minimize impact associated with an entire rebuild, while also updating the architectural design and taking care not to detract from the essence of the lodge design and its original ‘Zulu-zen’ concept. Throughout the rooms and main guest areas, the interiors have been reimagined with new fixtures and finishes drawing inspiration from the surrounding sand forest, blending aspects of Japanese minimalism with an ode to local culture.

Elements of the natural forest and Zulu culture have been brought into the room through the use of tactile textures and natural materials such as woven matting, textured grass cloth wallpaper, and hardwood floors, with natural stone tiling in the bathrooms. The rooms have been reconfigured within the existing structures, creating a more comfortable layout that better utilizes the existing space, while maximizing the connection to the forest through wide open views.

Phinda Forest Lodge has always provided andBeyond guests with an exclusive, private experience immersed in the sand forest, and this has now been further enhanced through the redirection and reduction of pathways to and from the rooms. In order to assist with the rehabilitation of the old pathways, we established a nursery which cultivates sand forest tree species that have been planted along the trails.

Major structural additions include a family suite, a library and lounge, a walkway with central fire pit linking the main area to the library, a newly reshaped and tiered pool, and significant upgrades to the main dining and bar areas. In keeping with the other lodges in andBeyond’s portfolio, the family suite now comprises a contemporary designed and decorated standard suite linked to a newly built second bedroom, which can be accessed privately or through an additional linked passageway.

A new purpose-built building contains the library and sitting room, centered around a reading table and double-sided fireplace with surrounding areas for guests to relax. Timber sliding doors lead to an outdoor deck with its own shaded spaces, nestled among the trees with views of patches of forest and the wetland areas. The interior of the library and sitting room combine elements of traditional Zulu culture with cozy minimalist elegance. A wooden walkway seamlessly connects the library to the new pool area, which includes a reshaped and tiered swimming pool designed to maximize the scenic setting and timeless beauty of the sand forest. An all-new massage sala has also been constructed next to the pool.

Other innovative additions include a central fire pit that is located between the library and main area, cast out toward the wetland, and offering guests the opportunity to indulge in a fireside chat before and after dinner.

“We are excited about the reopening of one of our most loved lodges, and we are thrilled to be welcoming guests back to Phinda Forest Lodge,” says Pretorius.

“Phinda was where andBeyond’s vision and impact model were born,” he recalls. “Over the years, we have curated a set of unique, immersive experiences born out of this ethos, which guests at Phinda Forest Lodge will continue to have access to. These include experiences focused on the conservation of species such as white and black rhinoceros, as well as Temminck’s ground pangolin, and a unique Zulu Village Tour which allows guests to ethically immerse themselves in traditional Zulu culture.”

Phinda is also uniquely positioned to offer other extraordinary adventure activities like diving or ocean safaris at nearby Sodwana Bay. Depending on the season, guests may also be able to enjoy expeditions to admire turtles nesting along the Indian Ocean coastline.

With such a wealth and diversity of unique offerings, combined with the newly refurbished and reopened Phinda Forest Lodge, andBeyond are excited to continue bringing their guests experiences that go beyond the expectation of average luxury to leave our world a better place.


+27 11 809 4300 | F +27 11 809 4511


Established in 1991, andBeyond strives to leave our world a better place through the delivery of extraordinary travel experiences and our care of the land, wildlife and people. We are bespoke tour operators for sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, South America and Antarctica. We also own and manage 29 extraordinary lodges and camps across three continents. We positively impact 75 communities and directly conserve our footprint of 1 million acres. Our 2030 vision is to scale our impact through partnerships to support the conservation of an associated 40 million acres of key biospheres and to double our 2020 impact investment, while offering discerning travelers a rare and exclusive experience of the world as it should be.


December 8th, 2023

Among PONANT’s 40 sailings on offer for the 2024-2025 winter season, six new itineraries have been unveiled. There’s something for everyone— island-hopping in Southeast Asia to a rare discovery of Guinea-Bissaus’s Bissagos archipelago, and so much more. Here’s what’s on the horizon:

Polynesia Expedition

Discover the nature treasures and ancient history of French Polynesia on this brand-new, 14-night expedition cruise around the archipelagos of Society Islands, the Tuamotus, and the Marquesas. Zodiac outings and myriad adventures—from diving and horseback riding to hiking—will immerse travelers in the region’s most spectacular landscapes, like the UNESCO-listed Fakarava Biosphere Reserve, the world’s second-largest lagoon.

Dates: 10/8/2024 to 10/22/2024

Rates start at $11,900 per person

Islands, Cities, and Volcanoes of Indonesia

The world’s largest archipelagic state is a vibrant tapestry of ancient temples, modern cities, majestic volcanoes, historic towns, and idyllic islands. Experience it all on this 14-night sailing beginning in Bali and ending in Singapore, with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Borobudur, Ujung Kulon National Park, and the historic city of Malacca—plus an excursion to the majestic Mount Bromo volcano.


-10/31/2024 to 11/13/2024

-12/28/2024 to 1/11/2025

Rates start at $10,010 per person

Curious Islands from the Seychelles to Madagascar

Experience the islands and atolls of the Seychelles and Madagascar in all their splendor on this 10-night sailing aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville. Travelers will discover iconic sights such as the Anse Source d’Argent beach on Seychelles as well as lesser-known gems such as Madagascar’s Diego Suarez—a brand-new port of call—which is known for its deserted beaches, preserved coral reefs, and idyllic marine parks with vivid underwater life.

Dates: 11/28/2024 to 12/8/2024

Rates start at $7,640 per person

Multicultural Discoveries from Malaysia to Thailand

Set sail from Singapore on this eight-night itinerary through Southeast Asia. Guests will develop an appreciation for the region’s rich fusion of Asian, Portuguese, and Dutch influences in the vibrant cities of Penang and Malacca. Rounding out the trip are plenty of opportunities to relax in nature—think: the powdery beaches of Thailand’s Ko Rok Nok Island or the jungle scenery of Malaysia’s Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve.

Dates: 12/20/2024 to 12/28/2024

Rates start at $5,850 per person

Mythical Sites & Islands of Southeast Asia

Explore Southeast Asia in all its diversity on this 15-night sailing along the coasts of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Staggering natural landmarks like the Mount Bromo volcano and the Langkawi Island will contrast with the dazzling metropolises of Malacca (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Singapore, and the cosmopolitan city of Semarang, which blends Chinese, Indo-Arabic and European influences.

Dates: 2/10/2025 to 2/25/2025

Rates start at $11,350 per person

Adventure in Bissagos

Spanning some 88 islands and islets off the coast of Guinea Bissau, the Bissagos archipelago—a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve—is one of the world’s best-preserved natural paradises. This 8-night journey aboard Le Lyrial will offer the rare chance to travel into the heart of 10 of the archipelago’s islands to discover traditional villages, meet the Bissagos people and take part in traditional ceremonies and explore lush, biodiverse landscapes home to vervet monkeys, turtles, dolphins, and other exotic creatures.

Dates: 4/7/2025 to 4/15/2025

Rates start at $5,820 per person


PONANT’s “Explore to Inspire” mission is centered around exploration to better understand, learn, share and protect. For more than 35 years, PONANT has been committed to more responsible tourism and voyages of exploration which have meaning. The French-flagged fleet comprises 13 small capacity ships equipped with state of the art environmentally friendly equipment. With PONANT, exploration is refined, authentic and a source of inspiration. The company sails to the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as in the Atlantic and North Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East, Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, Asia, Oceania and South Pacific, the Caribbean, North, Central and South America. For more information, visit or call 1-844-747-2873 or contact your travel advisor.

Beyond the Ski Slopes, Zermatt is Sizzling as a Culinary Destination

December 7th, 2023

Tucked amid the snow-capped peaks of the Swiss Alps, Zermatt is known as an all-seasons adventure playground. But in recent years, the idyllic mountain town has emerged as one of Switzerland’s hottest dining destinations, with a trendy new champagne bar, a Michelin Green Star brasserie, Zermatt’s first seafood restaurant, and a new fusion spot that melds Peruvian and Asian flavors. Let’s dig in!

La Muña

Zermatt’s iconic Schweizerhof hotel offers an unexpected (and uber-luxe) spin on a traditional ski lodge. Yes, there are common spaces done up in cowbells and quilts, as well as a traditional Valais restaurant and an eatery serving a dozen styles of fondue and raclette. But the hotel is also home to one of the town’s most innovative kitchens. Named after the name of a medicinal plant in the Andes, La Muña is a creative fusion of Peruvian and Asian cuisine, with dishes ranging from homemade gyozas and vegan ceviche to yuzu salmon with lime and coriander. The cocktails are just as inventive — try the Red Caipirinha with pomegranate.

Le Restaurant

Mont Cervin Palace has been welcoming guests since 1852, but the hotel’s newest dining hotspot is new for 2023. Zermatt’s first seafood eatery, Le Restaurant serves French-Mediterranean specialties like bisque de homard and Navarin lobster in an elegant oak-clad space with glittering chandeliers. Don’t sleep on the 34-page wine list, which spotlights Riesling, Chasselas, and other regional grape varieties.

Ristorante Capri

Located on the fourth floor of Mont Cervin Palace with breathtaking views of snow-covered Zermatt, the one-Michelin-starred Capri restaurant is a sophisticated environment in which to try chef Vincenzo Tedeschi southern Italian cooking, with particular inspiration from the traditions of Campania and the flavors of the Mediterranean. Highlights include the crunchy lobster with green apple, basil and fennel, and the taglioni with red prawns, burrata, sea asparagus and lemon.

Brasserie Uno

This newcomer to the scene has been shaking things up with creative dishes that star local, seasonal produce (think: chanterelles, radishes, and red berries), some of which is sourced from the restaurant’s three gardens. The brasserie earned a Michelin Green Star for its commitment to sustainability: food waste is recycled, food is served on vintage bowls and plates, and menus are described by the waitstaff as opposed to being printed off. Opt for the six-course surprise tasting menu.

Elsie’s Wine and Champagne Bar

Opened in 2019 in the heart of Zermatt, this wood-paneled wine and champagne bar channels the spirit of the golden twenties. First-class wines and Champagnes are complemented with a small, refined selection of international and Swiss delicacies, like escargot with homemade herb butter, mouth-watering bison filet, and the best lobster spaghetti in the Alps.


The passion project of three female entrepreneurs (all of whom hail from the same family), Manud is a warm, welcoming addition to the Zermatt culinary scene. The café-style eatery serves breakfast and Asian-inflected lunch and dinner, with options like tom kha curry, Thai cabbage salads, and tofu banh mi. The homey space is also stocked with items to go, like natural wine, coffee from Zurich’s Blasercafé, and Swiss gin.

Aroleid Restaurant

This community-centric restaurant is located right next to the ski slopes, making for easy eats on powder days. But it’s not just about the food: this remodeled bi-level chalet also brings together a ground-floor ceramics studio, an on-site coffee roastery, and community programming ranging from yoga classes and live music to weekend BBQ feasts. And while you’ll be tempted to try their 14-day cured pastrami salad or their crispy confit duck leg, Aroleid also has a strong selection of vegetarian and vegan options.


December 6th, 2023


Leader in luxury travel forges ahead with long-term strategy encompassing selective expansion, exceptional experiences, and a laser-focus on its brand, environmental and social initiatives.

End of 2023 marked with the acquisition of Hacienda Katanchel, a 17th century estate in Yucatán

DECEMBER 6, 2023 – Belmond, a visionary leader in luxury travel, has outlined the blueprint for what it expects to be a “year of transformation” in 2024. Marking the close of 2023 with the acquisition of a 17th century estate in Mexico, the brand is announcing plans for 2024 that include the selective expansion and enhancement of its portfolio with heightened focus on train travel, the development of new exceptional experiences and a deeper focus on its environmental and

social responsibility.

Dan Ruff, CEO, Belmond, said“Long before experiential travel became a buzzword, Belmond, through our diverse portfolio of hotels, trains, boats and safaris, has offered one-of-a-kind experiences that are rooted in authenticity.

With our purpose to perpetuate the legendary art of travel, we will continue to push boundaries. 2024 will be a year of transformation as we further seek out remarkable properties, exceptional journeys and experiences, especially to cement our leading position in train travel. We will celebrate local culture, launch new experiences that connect our guests to the art of travel, curate contemporary culture and go even deeper with our environmental and social responsibility efforts.”



Reinforcing its cluster in Mexico, Belmond has acquired Hacienda Katanchel, formerly a hacienda dating back to the 17th century situated near Merida, Yucátan. In the Mayan language, Katanchel translates to “‘where one asks for the arch of heaven,” a name that alludes to the site’s past as an astronomic observatory. With an expanse of 220 hectares, the extraordinary estate is home to a cenote (underground river), a sacred well, native flora and fauna, and the remains of an ancient Mayan pyramid, in addition to the historic hacienda. The rich and lush vegetation, the property’s history and the many vivid cultural expressions of the Yucátan peninsula all come together at Katanchel to create the setting for what will become Mexico’s one of the most beautiful hacienda hotels. Katanchel, A Belmond Hotel, is planned to open in 2027 with 35 independent suites upon completing a comprehensive restoration program.

The acquisition of Katanchel strengthens Belmond’s commitment to Mexico, joining three other distinct properties: on the Caribbean coast, Maroma, A Belmond Hotel, Rivera Maya, re-opened in August 2023 following a complete renovation; in the country’s heartland, Casa de Sierra Nevada, A Belmond Hotel, a former convent built in the 16th century in San Miguel de Allende; and on the Pacific Coast, Milaroca, A Belmond Hotel, Riviera Nayarit, that will open in 2025 after being conscientiously and sensitively built from the ground up.


Belmond continues to strengthen its presence in Italy, where it operates ten iconic properties. In 2024, Belmond will expand to Sardinia with Romazzino, A Belmond Hotel, Costa Smeralda. Sardinia’s original beach hotel will offer 100 guest rooms including suites and villas, two shimmering blue pools, an array of exceptional restaurants and new experiences that invite guests to experience villeggiatura set in the heart of Costa Smeralda’s most picturesque coastline.

The multi-year renovation of Splendido, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino, designed by Martin Brudnizki Studio, will complete its second phase and re-open for the 2024 season with new guestrooms, joining the swimming pool, Splendido Grill restaurant and the Baronessa Suite that have been revealed in 2023.


A trailblazer in slow travel experiences with a legacy of leadership spanning over four decades since the launch of Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in 1982, Belmond will propel its pioneering approach as it introduces new routes, new suites and new experiences across its six trains and seven barges in response to growing demands for more Belmond slow travel journeys around the world.

Southeast Asia’s legend of the rails Eastern & Oriental Express, A Belmond Train, announces the appointment of Chef André Chiang as its new chef. Having worked in some of the most decorated restaurants in the world, including his two-Michelin-starred eponymous Restaurant André in Singapore, Chef André will elevate and devise every aspect of the dining experience including the ambience and atmosphere of the two on board restaurants, Adisorn and Malaya. Eastern & Oriental Express is set to return in February 2024 with two seasonal routes out of Singapore that take in the beautiful landscapes of Malaysia.

For the first time in its history, the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, A Belmond Train, Europe will embark on a new journey connecting two iconic destinations: Paris and Portofino; the sojourn will continue at Splendido where the train’s Chef, Jean Imbert, will host a Gala Dinner. Due to popular demand, the legendary train will also add a second Paris to Istanbul return journey, in addition to its regular August itinerary. Its first alpine journey will head to the French Alps on December 21, 2023, and it will be repeated in December 2024. Following the huge success of the introduction of Grand Suites and Suites onboard the train, eight new Suites will join the rake in 2024, bringing a total of 16 Suites and 6 Grand Suites to the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

The Royal Scotsman, A Belmond Train, Scotland, will also see the launch of two new Grand Suites designed by Paris-based interior designer Tristan Auer in May 2024. The brand-new Grand Suite experience on board Royal Scotsman will include a pampering spa treatment per person in the lavish Dior Spa, which was unveiled in April 2023.

The iconic British Pullman, A Belmond Train, England will elevate its dining offering with the launch of The Carriage Club Dinners in May 2024, a series of immersive evening journeys combining decadent dining, fine wines and entertainment.

In Peru, the two Belmond trains, namely Hiram Bingham and Andean Explorer, the country’s first and only luxury sleeper train, along with Monasterio, A Belmond Hotel in Cusco welcomed Peruvian-born Jorge Muñoz as Executive Chef. In 2024, Jorge will unveil new culinary creations that tell the story of an exploratory journey through the coast, highlands and jungle of Peru. Hiram Bingham, the iconic train which has been taking guests on exquisite journeys from the Sacred Valley to the ancient city of Machu Picchu, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

The official launch of Coquelicot, A Belmond Boat, Champagne, in April 2024 will welcome guests to the latest addition to its fleet of river boats gliding across the scenic canals of France. Designed by French architects Humbert & Poyet, this intimate river boat features three cabins, an indoor salon with a bespoke champagne bar, and an extensive outdoor deck with open-air kitchen and dining area. Coquelicot will partner with Maison Ruinart to offer exclusive experiences. These include a four-hand private lunch by Maison Ruinart’s Chef In Residence, Valérie Radou, and Coquelicot’s Head Chef as well as a private guided tour of the historic Taissy vineyard.


Belmond has spent the last few years building stronger property brands across its portfolio. With each property’s legacy deeply rooted in the destination, the property-first strategy respects their distinctive identity, allowing them to honor their past and celebrate their contemporary culture. 2024 will see more milestones being celebrated as Cape Town’s iconic pink hotel Mount Nelson commemorating its 125th anniversary as well as the 40th anniversary Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons,  A Belmond Hotel, Oxfordshire. Belmond will also continue its global brand campaign “Belmond Legends” showcasing fourteen of its iconic properties through a contemporary photography series as seen by acclaimed artists.

In parallel, Belmond is committed to deepen its commitment to the culture and arts communities around the world, whilst enriching guest experiences. The brand will launch a third edition of MITICO, a contemporary art installation series in partnership with Galleria Continua. The new edition of MITICO will see large-scale in-situ works by globally renowned French

conceptual artist Daniel Buren on the captivating grounds of six Belmond hotels; Copacabana Palace, Mount Nelson, Hotel Cipriani, La Residencia, Villa San Michele and Castello di Casole.


With environmental and social sustainability serving as a key foundation in Belmond’s strategic plan, Belmond will accelerate its rigorous efforts as it sets ambitious goals to reduce its impact and reliance on natural resources while driving positive change. The brand will launch a pilot program at ten properties which will create tailored and actionable roadmaps for them to meet the rigorous LVMH Life 360’s sustainability targets. In parallel, it will implement three flagship projects that focus on increasing the use of renewable energy, drastically reducing freshwater withdrawal and creating a Gastronomy Academy to guide its work in reducing impact in food and beverage.

In the meantime, through a global partnership with EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism, all eligible Belmond properties are set to receive EarthCheck Silver certification by the first half of 2024. This robust benchmarking and auditing process will establish baselines that will be used to measure and improve our performance across energy, water and waste.


Image can be downloaded here

Click here to find out more about Belmond’s 2024 Hot News

For more information, please contact:

Alice Marshall Public Relations


Belmond was born from a passion for connecting discerning travellers with the world’s most remarkable properties, locations and journeys. From hotels and trains to river cruises and safaris, Belmond curates incomparable experiences and crafts unforgettable stories. With a legacy spanning over 45 years, since the acquisition of Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, Belmond has grown into a global collection of 47 properties spread across 28 countries and territories. Exceptional destinations connected by legendary journeys are the very soul of Belmond, where the path that brings you to a place is as important as the destination itself. A pioneer of slow travel, Belmond has been operating the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express since 1982. The group later expanded to include pristine beach resorts, such as Maroma on the Riviera Maya, historic hideaways such as Villa San Michele in the Florentine foothills, urbane icons, such as Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, and gateways to UNESCO world heritage sites, such as Hotel das Cataratas in Brazil’s Iguassu National Park. As proud custodians of storied properties, Belmond is committed to building on the past to create a new legacy: the heritage of the future. Working with communities and local talents, together with the world’s most respected chefs, designers and artists, Belmond continues its purpose of perpetuating the legendary art of travel. Since 2019, Belmond has been part of the world’s leading luxury group, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton).

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Nantucket’s Cottages at the Boat Basin to Unveil a Complete Renovation for 2024 Season

December 4th, 2023

Nantucket’s Cottages at the Boat Basin to Unveil a Complete Renovation for 2024 Season

Nantucket’s Cottages at the Boat Basin, overlooking the famous harbor, will unveil a six-month multi-million-dollar renovation in April 2024. Drawing on Nantucket’s rich seafaring past and Quaker influence, Nantucket-based designer Audrey Sterk will infuse new life into the 29 Cottages, which occupy an enviable perch along the slips of the award-winning Nantucket Boat Basin.

Located 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, the island of Nantucket continues to retain the historic charm lingering from its days as the world’s whaling capital in the 19th century. The Boat Basin’s storied history spans over 300 years beginning in the late-1720s when the island was the busiest whaling port in the world and its wharves were flourishing with boat-building ships, sail lofts and candle factories. During that time, 15-20 whale ships would be anchored in the harbor and stacks of oil casks lined each wharf. In 1830, the California Gold Rush played a role in the whaling industry’s collapse on the East Coast, but by 1920, Nantucket entered a new era of tourism with travelers arriving by steamboat from posts across the Northeast. By the mid 1960s, the waterfront, which became known as the Nantucket Boat Basin, developed into a fisherman’s community and artist enclave with more than a dozen galleries lining the wharves. The Cottages, as we know it today, officially arrived on the scene in 2002 when the accommodations became part of White Elephant Resorts.

Checking into The Cottages is the closest thing to staying on the water, without being on a boat, nautical soundtrack included. The setting is reminiscent of a seaside village. The individually styled accommodations with names like Sea Syren, Essex and Orion, are inspired by the names of the great  whaling ships of the 1700s. A collection of 12 accommodations, dubbed ‘Woof Cottages’ will continue to be available for those traveling with pets. Ranging from studio cottages to split-level three-bedroom lofts, every inch of the historic accommodations, particularly the bedrooms, living spaces and bathrooms, will be revamped without altering their original architecture. Original details including vaulted ceiling beams and individual floor plans will remain. All cottages offer full kitchens and most feature private outdoor decks.  The accommodations will feature a color palette of inviting tones of deep ocean blue, misty gray and stark white.  Caged lighting, nautical charts of Nantucket, brass barometer instruments, rope and jute detailing in the furnishings and carpet, and woven fixtures will inject a dose of contemporary maritime charm while the humble, functional materials hark back to the island’s whaling roots.

An extensive collection of artwork, including 3-D pieces of framed mariners knots, along with other works hand-selected by the hotel’s owners will also be displayed throughout the accommodations. A focal point of the cottages will be a mural that’s handpainted by Sterk and digitally modified to fit in each space. The floor-to-ceiling seascape—which took nearly eight months to create—will stretch across an entire wall and depict a “First Nantucket Settlers” scene, with large-masted sailboats, lighthouses, a distant hamlet, and coastal vegetation brimming with native plants and animals. The mural tradition is deeply woven into the fabric of the island: in the 1800s, owners of whaling ships commissioned murals for their homes.

Amenities will include complimentary access to Priority Bicycles and kids’ fishing rods, reels and nets. Guests are also steps from town and can take advantage of complimentary shuttles to the beach. Pets receive the VIP treatment with beds, a welcome basket of treats and toys, and personalized pet tags. For recommendations on the island’s most pet-friendly activities—including the best places to run free and play fetch, guests can email local insider Bailey, a black lab/Brittany Spaniel mix at

To celebrate the renovation, The Cottages is offering a special opening rate starting from $310 per night. High season rates start at $1,250 per night. Starting rates are for one-bedroom Cottages. For more information, visit:

About White Elephant Resorts

White Elephant Resorts is a collection of premier hotels and resorts on Nantucket, MA and in Palm Beach, FL that specialize in bringing their award-winning combination of service, design, and amenities to today’s discerning traveler. Properties include The Wauwinet, with access to both bay and ocean beaches and home to award-winning TOPPER’S restaurant; White Elephant, the iconic hotel located right on Nantucket Harbor with the Brant Point Grill; Jared Coffin House, a historic hotel in Nantucket Town and its restaurant, Tap Room; The Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin, private waterfront cottages; and Nantucket Boat Basin, a 240-slip full-service award-winning marina. White Elephant Palm Beach debuted in November 2020 in Palm Beach, FL with Nantucket-favorite LoLa 41 restaurant.  In 2023, The Wauwinet, White Elephant Nantucket, and White Elephant Palm Beach were ranked in Travel + Leisure’s T+L 500 awards, and both White Elephant Nantucket and The Wauwinet were recipients of Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. TOPPER’s is AAA’s only “Five Diamond” restaurant on Nantucket and has been a recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Grand Award” for 27 consecutive years.