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Retiring from work and starting a new chapter is a monumental moment in everyone’s life. It can mean different things to different people, from celebrating the high points of a varied and hard-earned career, to a sense of escaping the daily routine, or simply an acknowledgment of a transitional moment when life changes gears.
A getaway to remember is perfect for celebrating this new chapter and to help you on your way we’ve rounded up the best retirement vacations for you to do it in style.
Whether you retire early, late, or on time, it is an event that marks the beginning of a new chapter in life. A dream vacation is the perfect way to appreciate and remember this significant life event, whether you are traveling with a partner, your child, friends or alone.
A retirement vacation could be about something you’ve always wanted to try, such as: B. a river cruise or a train holiday. It could be a far-off place you’ve always wanted to visit but never found the time to explore, like Japan’s vibrant cities, the US Deep South, or even the remote beauty of Antarctica.
The best thing about retirement vacations is that you don’t have to rush back to work, which means lengthy getaways of 10 days or more. It’s also an excellent way to add meaning to your escape.
Perhaps a retirement vacation is your chance to learn something new to kickstart a gardening or cooking hobby? Or maybe it’s the ideal moment for an extended trip to really get to know a country’s culture. If you’re looking for ideas for an unforgettable retirement vacation, you’ve come to the right place.
Find all the inspiration you need to start planning a retirement vacation for this year or next.
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Visit New Orleans and board an authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River
Retirement certainly calls for adventure, and boarding the world’s largest paddleboat, the sleek American Queen, promises a wealth of new experiences. Travel north from colorful and cultural New Orleans along the sensational Mississippi River, exploring the Deep South and stopping at fascinating port towns along the way to mingle with locals and visit historic mansions.
Dance the night away after feasting on delicious local fare each night aboard the American Queen. Disembark in Memphis, where you’re free to explore the birthplace of blues, rock ‘n’ roll and soul at your leisure—perhaps paying homage to the King himself with a visit to Elvis Presley’s beautiful Graceland estate.
Admire the delicate cherry blossoms in Japan
Japan may not have opened its borders as quickly as other post-Covid nations, but planning a major trip in advance means building a wonderful sense of anticipation.
A vacation to this wonderland should be well timed to make the most of one of its most sensational spectacles – the appearance of the powder pink cherry blossoms. Book ahead for 2024 voyage to Japan aboard the sleek ocean liner Celebrity Millennium and spend nearly two weeks exploring the highlights of Japan including Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Kyoto, among others. It’s worth the wait.
Take an epic steam train ride across Scotland
Experience a wonderfully nostalgic feeling with a steam train journey through Scotland aboard the legendary Jacobite, known as one of the most beautiful railways in the world. The 84-mile round trip takes in cinematic landscapes and shows that you don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful scenery.
The train itself may be reminiscent of scenes from The Railway Children, and crossing the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan Viaduct (made particularly famous by the Harry Potter films) adds to the star-studded appeal of this famous journey.
Sashay around the Italian lakes
Few destinations can match the sensational Italian lakes for a sense of romance and escapism. Start your retirement relaxed by traveling by train from London to explore villages, villas and lush lakeside gardens, including the beautiful Villa Carlotta.
Relax with a deliciously chilled glass in a hotel on the shores of Lago d’Orta, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy. Shop in Milan’s Via Montenapoleone, or opt for a more cultural experience and climb the magnificent Duomo for expansive views of the city.
Start your gardening hobby with floral inspiration in Holland
If a lot more time in the garden is on your retirement plan, you can kick-start it with a cruise to Holland and Belgium in the company of a landscape architect and architect world of gardeners Presenter Adam Frost.
During the delightful cruise Adam will not only answer horticultural questions but you will also visit the inspiring Appeltern Garden in Dordrecht. This ‘garden ideas’ park offers practical suggestions for enhancing your garden, including choosing exquisite blooms for color and fragrance, or transforming your garden into a garden with sustainability in mind.
Reconnect with nature and spot wildlife in the Hebrides
Deserted beaches can usually conjure up visions of palm-fringed and tropical shores, but beaches don’t have to be sun-kissed to be absolutely mesmerizing.
We believe that few coastlines can quite match the Scottish Isles and by cruising you will see the best of the coast and have the opportunity to spot a diverse range of bird and wildlife, possibly even minke whales. Cruising these waters is the ideal way to hit the reset button and reconnect with nature—especially when retirement means the end of office work.
Slow down on a gourmet cruise along the Rhone
Retirement might mean slowing down the pace of life, so start how you want to move on with a leisurely river cruise along the Rhone. Make it extra special by choosing a trip with unforgettable moments, such as: Take a cooking demonstration from TV favorite James Martin, for example, and learn tips and tricks to take home to your kitchen (and put to the test with your newfound time!).
An autumn holiday in the south of France combines plenty of time to relax and unwind with local wines with exciting adventures like canoeing, hiking through the vineyards and a visit to the Arles Amphitheatre.
If antique hunting is more your thing, you can join TV’s Paul Martin and Hilary Kay on a cruise down the Rhone that includes visits to flea markets and antique shopping advice from celebrity experts.
Experience the ultimate adventure in the Arctic or Antarctic
Perhaps your retirement calls for the ultimate bucket list adventure: a trip to the Arctic or Antarctic. Cruise south from Argentina to experience the rugged natural beauty of Antarctica on a state-of-the-art expedition ship, the MS Roald Amundsen.
Venture into the icy waters of the Drake Passage to disembark at sites in the southern Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula to spot orcas, humpback whales, seals and penguins. This truly remarkable and once-in-a-lifetime experience is sure to be the ultimate retirement vacation.
To see polar bears and experience the midnight sun, you must travel north from Norway to the Arctic, passing fjords, wildflower-strewn tundra and vast glaciers. Your expedition team will scan the landscape for polar bears from a safe and respectful distance aboard a highly specialized vessel.
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