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Meet the M/Y Legend, the world’s first mega yacht built to venture into the globe’s coldest, farthest-flung corners. With her 77 meters and gadgets like a mini-submarine, snow scooters, and a Eurocopter, she’s the ultimate way to explore waters that are tricky to reach even with expedition ships. During an endless, soft pink summer night when the sun never sets, with a view of Mount Français, the highest mountain in the Antarctic Peninsula, and a group of killer whales in the distance, I raise my glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc to being here in one of the most hard to reach regions on the planet. Read more »

dog sledding in Laplanddog sledding in Lapland Our expedition leader Johan Väisänen has the looks of a Viking with the vigour of Ben Hur. The latter also refers to the sled on which he skilfully balances while zipping through a cold and silent, white landscape. Johan is a modern charioteer, with the only difference that the carriage is a wooden sleigh pulled forward by six hyperkinetic husky dogs. Read more »

Pyongyang at Sunset, North Koreaat Mansudae Grand Monument statueStep with an open mind into one of the most closed and unknown countries in the world. North Korea is not only wonderfully interesting, but also surprisingly accessible. In 2013, the curious traveller who wants to experience one of the last Communist dynasties should book a ticket to Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) aka North Korea. Exclusive travel is an understatement here because less than 5000 western tourists visit this little known Asian country annually. If you are the kind of traveller who likes to come home with original stories and photos that nobody else could have taken then put this destination high on your hotlist. We answer five questions on how to do it. Read more »

Triple creek ranch, MontanaHigh School Rodeo, Montana In dreamy Montana, heaven knows no end. This quiet corner of America’s Northwest is the territory of America’s last, genuine cowboys. Montana is also famous for its Big Sky, endless and ever changing. The best way to experience this state is to stay in comfortable guest ranches like Triple Creek Ranch, owned by Craig Barrett, the former CEO of the American IT company Intel. Read more »

Ski Jumping hill Bersigel by Zaha HadidInnsbruckOn the skis in the morning, in the afternoon some serious shopping and when evening comes, relaxing with a Spritz or Hugo in a cosmopolitan bar. Why stay in a boring and artificial resort if you can be in Innsbruck, the urban ski mekka of the European Alps? Every visit to Innsbruck really should start (and end) in the 360° bar. Order one of the favourite cocktails of this region, the Italian Venetziano (aka Spritz) made with Aperol and prosecco and enjoy the view over the city surrounded by snowy mountaintops. Read more »

Close encounter with a bowhead whale at Nunavut Arctic CanadaBowhead Whale Nunavut Arctic CanadaI am wearing three pairs of socks, two thermals, three shirts, a sweater and an expedition jacket, but I am still freezing. The arctic wind slashes against my face as we ride east on qamutiks, or komatiks, authentic Inuit wooden sledges pulled by snow scooters, to base camp. For five hours our small group swishes over the frozen ice of Eclipse Sound and along the shores of the majestic Sirmilik National Park, part of Baffin Island. I am burring my head deep into the warmth of my fluffy but colossal parka, hiding from the icy wind. Read more »

fly antarctica and cruisefly Antarctica and cruise Bet that Shackleton and Amundsen would never have dreamed of this. Fly the Drake and cruise Antarctica. Yes you heard it right, skip the feared Drake Passage and go directly to the White Continent. Until recently, only scientists and researchers used the back door to get into Antarctica. Not by ship, but flying from Chile. Why sail across the Drake if in just three hours you can be standing with both feet on the Last Continent, safe and well.  Read more »

Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, Austriathe cow symbol on top of Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaJagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaJagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg - Kühtai, AustriaCheck into the enigmatic and historic 800 year old Jagdschloss Hotel of Count Stolberg-Stolberg and discover Kühtai, a tranquil skiing village high in the mountains of Austrian Tyrol. When Franz Joseph I, the former Austrian Emperor and husband of the captivating empress Sisi, came here to hunt deer and chamois, he had no idea that his beloved Kühtai would one day be one of the most charming ski resorts in the Alps. Nevertheless, until now Kühtai has remained a closely guarded secret. Read more »

Wiesergut - Salzburgerland, Austria
Salzburgerland, AustriaWhat was once a family-run guesthouse hidden in a simple building has three years ago been transformed into one of the most talked about design hotels in the Alps. Standing in front of Hotel Wiesergut it seems almost inconceivable that a 14th century building is hidden inside the tightly modern architecture. It’s also hard to believe that the stylish owners, Martina and Sepp Kröll, were once farmers, and actually still are. Sepp still has his cows alongside the alm high up on the mountain. Read more »

Flying Safari with Ultima Thule Lodge - Alaska
Bush Planes lined up at Ultima Thule Lodge
The best way to explore a vast and almost inaccessible national park in Alaska is to hop on a bush plane and fly along. My rendezvous with the wilderness is somewhere in a forgotten corner of Alaska, around six in the evening. That is, as long as the weather holds. It’s the end of June and the sun never sets in the evening. “Park alongside the log cabin and wait, but stay away from the stretch of ground beside the car park.” were the instructions in the email. I am in tiny Chitina, population 150 people. Read more »

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