velvet | luxury holidays
train-canadian-rockies-mt-robson-photo

The diversity of Canada in photos

Canada, the second largest country in the world, is a land of great diversity; from the icy emptiness of the Arctic north to the vibrant metropolises of Toronto and Montréal, and from the vast expanse of the Prairies to the impressive peaks of the Rocky Mountains. I’ve been to six Canadian provinces/territories: Ontario, Quebéc, British […]

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Belmond

Luxury Myanmar river cruise – and the art of giving back

I met Janice and George Mucalov, two travel writers, on an Alaska cruise in 2011 and we’ve stayed in touch ever since, following each other’s travels via social media. Janice, George and I enjoy travelling in the same manner, i.e. comfortably, or rather… the ‘velvet’ way, so when Janice approached me with an idea for […]

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phinda-cheetahs-photo

The magic of Phinda

We’d just passed the main gates of the &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve when we spotted something moving stealthily through the tall grasses. Someone in the van yelled “STOP” and the driver hit the brakes. We trained our eyes on the patches of tall grass that lined the road, alert for any movement. Several moments […]

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Viking Cruises on the Rhine River.

A Rhine Getaway with Viking Cruises

The Rhine is one of the most famous rivers in the world. From its source in Switzerland, the river winds its way into France, where it forms the border with Germany, before continuing into Germany and finally the Netherlands where it reaches the North Sea. I’ve driven the length of the Rhine from the Netherlands […]

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kerry-cliffs-ireland-photo

Driving the Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is regarded as the “world’s longest defined coastal touring route”. Stretching 2,500km from County Donegal in Ireland‘s far north to County Cork in the south, it sure is long but aside from its length, the Wild Atlantic Way is without doubt one of the most epic drives I’ve ever done. Along […]

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Sunset in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

Sabah – where I was born

Sabah is a Malaysian state that occupies the northern corner of the island of Borneo. Blessed with superb white sandy beaches and coral islands, and large tracts of virgin tropical rainforests, Sabah is a nature lovers paradise. Sabah is also the home of Mount Kinabalu, at 4,095 meters, the highest peak in Southeast Asia; the […]

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penha-willemstad-photo

Exploring Curacao

I stepped out of the airport and immediately felt the warm breeze. It was one of the first things I discovered about Curacao (map) when I visited the island many years ago: it’s always breezy. It took a while to finally return to this beautiful island in the Caribbean but feeling that breeze again brought […]

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le-st-geran-mauritius-photo

Five dreamy luxury hotels in Mauritius

Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located east of Madagascar (map). Everyone has visions of what paradise is like, most of which involve tropical islands with white sandy beaches, palms swaying in the soft breeze and crystal-clear water. Mauritius ticks all these boxes with ease. With its blinding white beaches and breathtaking […]

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sea-lion-gardner-bay-galapagos-photo

The magic of the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are famous the world over for their huge number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle. To be honest, despite my dream to visit this ecological paradise in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, I harboured some doubts. These doubts rested on […]

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alcazar-palace-seville-photo

Ten things to do in Seville

Sevilla, or Seville, is the fourth largest city in Spain and the largest city of the region of Andalusia in the south of the country. The city was founded as the Roman city of Hispalis in the 8th century A.D. on the banks of the Guadalquivir river and through the centuries, was occupied by a […]

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