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Sometimes the best way to experience a place is to go with the experts. Travel outfitters, with their extensive knowledge and on-the-ground connections, work tirelessly each year to craft trips that showcase the best of a destination. We collected the most exciting itineraries and then asked our readers to vote for their favorites. More than 79,000 AFAR travelers weighed in. The result? Your top trips of the year.

Enjoy classic elegance on the E&O Express with Goway.
BEST CULTURAL TRIP
Bangkok to Singapore Luxury Train Experience” with Goway

Embrace the romance of train travel on Goway’s trip on the Eastern & Oriental Express. As the train curves south from Bangkok through the Malay Peninsula to Singapore, take in the scenery from the window of your private cabin, or in the bar car, serenaded by its resident pianist. The 1,200-mile route connects some of the most legendary cities in Southeast Asia (including Langkawi, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Malacca), and guided tours at two stations along the way allow you to travel beyond the tracks. Various dates.

FINALISTS:
Highlights of Haiti” with G Adventures
British Royale” with Luxury Gold
Iran: Treasures of Persia” with Mountain Travel Sobek
Captivating Cuba Coast to Coast” with Wildland Adventures

Feel the wind in your hair as you cruise through Croatia and Slovenia with Backroads.
BEST BIKE TOUR
Croatia and Slovenia Bike Tour” with Backroads

Trade the confines of a car for the freedom of a bike on this road trip from Ljubljana to Trieste. No windows will separate you from the sights of the Julian Alps, the scents of southern Slovenian vineyards and river valleys, and the feeling of the wind and sun on your skin as you ride toward the Adriatic Sea. Various dates.

FINALISTS:
Cycling the Bolivian Salt Flats and Hiking the Amazon” with BikeHike Adventures
Switzerland Journey Bike Tour” with DuVine
SingleThread Cycling Trip” with Trek Travel
Bicycling France: Normandy and Brittany” with VBT

Get a taste of France on a Rhône River cruise with Tauck.
BEST CULINARY ADVENTURE
Savoring France: Paris, Lyon, and Provence” with Tauck

Indulge in a leisurely 10-day trip through France, including a cruise down the Rhône on the MS Emerald. First, develop your kitchen skills with a Parisian pastry class. Then, as you float from Lyon, France’s culinary capital, to Provence, you’ll have ample time to sip regional wines, savor local specialties, and enjoy a chef’s demonstration at a gourmet cooking school in Valence. Various dates.

FINALISTS:
A Culinary Journey Through India” with Cox & Kings
Vineyards of South America from Buenos Aires to Santiago” with Globus
Armenia and Georgia Food Expedition” with Intrepid Travel
Savor South Australia” with Swain Destinations

Immerse yourself in Vancouver’s stunning scenery with Country Walkers.
BEST HIKING AND WALKING
British Columbia: Vancouver Island” with Country Walkers

Lace up your hiking boots to walk Vancouver Island’s wide beaches, rocky headlands, and old-growth forests on a six-day adventure from Pacific Rim National Park to Victoria. After all that trekking, rest your feet during a ferry trip to the island of Newcastle and a Zodiac boat trip to get a look at black bears. 2018 dates: Sept. 16–21, 23–28.

FINALISTS:
Climb Kilimanjaro: Summiting the Machame Route” with Abercrombie & Kent
Oman Walking” with Butterfield & Robinson
Jordan’s Dana to Petra Trek” with KE Adventure Travel
The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu” with Mountain Lodges of Peru

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Give back to Machu Picchu with REI Adventures.
BEST TRAVEL FOR GOOD
Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation” with REI Adventures

Its years as one of the world’s top destinations have taken a toll on Machu Picchu, but you can help preserve the enchanting Incan citadel for future visitors. On REI Adventures’ volunteer vacation, mix a little goodwill with an adventure that would make Indiana Jones proud: Assist with archaeological restoration, clear invasive species, and make repairs to the Inca Trail. 2018 dates: Oct. 31–Nov. 9.

FINALISTS:
Classic Antarctica” with Abercrombie & Kent
Culture, Villages, and Wildlife of the Mara” with Audley Travel
Malawi Grassroots Change and Unique Adventures” with Elevate Destinations
Journey Through Southeast Asia: An in-depth look at the link between poverty and human trafficking” with GoPhilanthropic Travel

Gaze at the sky from a glass igloo on Collette’s Northern Lights trip.
BEST PHOTOGRAPHY EXPEDITION
The Northern Lights of Finland” with Explorations by Collette

The bewitching, otherworldly aurora borealis lures curious travelers to far northern latitudes to gaze at the sky. Make your pilgrimage to Finnish Lapland, the land of reindeer, dogsledding, and Santa Claus. By day, get to know the culture; at night, lounge in a glass igloo and capture the dancing lights on camera. Various dates.

FINALISTS:
East Africa Photographic Expeditions” with &Beyond
Patagonia Hiking Adventure: ‘Condor’” with Active Adventures
Yellowstone: Ultimate Wolf and Wildlife Photo Safari” with Natural Habitat Adventures
Art Expedition Larapinta” with World Expeditions

Pal around with blue-footed boobies and sleep ashore on the Galápagos Islands with Classic Journeys.
BEST WILDLIFE ENCOUNTER
Galápagos Island Adventure Tour” with Classic Journeys

Get up close to marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, and Galápagos penguins; explore freshwater lakes and volcanic calderas; and mingle with island residents. You’ll stay in boutique hotels on this seven-day trip to three of the Galápagos Islands, and when the day-trippers get back on their boats each evening, you and the locals will have the animals and landscapes to yourselves. 2018 dates: Sept. 2–8, Oct. 7–13, Dec. 28–Jan. 3, Dec. 30–Jan. 5.

FINALISTS:
North Spitsbergen—Polar Bear Special 2018” with Borton Overseas
Bird Watching in Costa Rica” with Costa Rica Experts
Patagonia Puma Tracking Tour” with Quasar Expeditions
Namibia: Giraffe Conservation and Safari” with Wilderness Travel

Navigate the Sea of Cortez with O.A.R.S.
BEST RAFTING AND KAYAKING
Sea of Cortez Island Hopping” with O.A.R.S.

Paddle between more than ten islands on a nine-day marine adventure in the Sea of Cortez off Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Small boats are ideal for getting close to dolphins, mantas, sea lions, and a variety of whales, and slowing down to a leisurely pace makes it much easier to see them. 2018 dates: Oct. 13–21, Oct. 27–Nov. 4, Nov. 10–18.

FINALISTS:
Dark Sky Stargazing Trips” with Holiday River Expeditions
Deluxe Rafting through India’s Grand Canyon—The Zanskar Gorge” with Ibex Expeditions
Rogue River Rafting” with ROW Adventures
God’s Pocket Wilderness Resort Kayak Tour” with Sea Kayak Adventures

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Hop a private jet and circle the globe with TCS World Travel.
BEST OVER-THE-TOP EXPERIENCES
Around the World: A Private Jet Expedition” with TCS World Travel

Be a true jet-setter and travel around the world on a 24-day extravaganza. You can explore ancient ruins and sacred sites in Peru, Jordan, and Cambodia; dive in coral reefs and walk in rain forests in Australia; make local connections in Chilean villages; and witness the wonder of Tanzania’s wildlife. Luxury hotels are your home away from home in the 10 countries where you touch down. 2018 dates: Sept. 27–Oct. 20. 2019 dates: Jan. 24–Feb. 16, Sept. 29–Oct. 22.

FINALISTS:
Art in Africa: Galleries, Murals, and Private Collections” with GeoEx
Skeleton Coast Flying Safari” with Journeys by Design
Discover Greenland: The Natural Habitat Experience” with Natural Habitat Adventures
Indonesia’s Cultural and Natural Highlights by Private Jet and Yacht” with Remote Lands

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