It's one thing to tour a cave. It's another thing to be among the first to tour a cave. And it's even better to be among the first to tour the world's biggest cave. Starting next year, these seven-day, six-night Son Doong Cave Tours will allow you the opportunity to explore one of the true natural wonders of the world — one that lay undiscovered until 1991, and unexplored until 2009. After rappelling nearly 200 feet into the enormous cave — it reaches a maximum depth of 490 feet, and is over five miles long — you'll find a river, waterfalls, a jungle — built up where the roof collapsed in one area — and other-worldly sights few have ever seen. Just be sure to book early — only 220 permits are being issued per year.
When it comes to Irish tourist destinations, alcohol is king. Guinness ranks #1 in the nation, and coming in at #2 is The Jameson Experience. Located in Midleton, Cork, this grand tour of the Jameson distillery turns out to be almost as balanced as their line of delicious whiskeys, featuring large sections of rich history paired with a brand new modern installation, The Garden Stillhouse. The new arm of the distillery sits a short walk from the buildings that serve as elder statesmen, boasting some impressive new pot stills and a promise that Jameson has plenty of work yet to do. Tourist or native, it's an experience not to be missed.
As if you needed an excuse to book a stay there, The St. Regis Aspen Hunting Clinic provides you with one. This exclusive experience sees you receiving a custom-tailored, progressive clinic that takes into account your skills and areas of need, with guidance and instruction provided by the Aspen Outfitting Company. The package also includes includes transportation to the hunting sites, daily lunch, ammunition, the use of fire arms, and three nights at the world-class hotel, which itself offers excellent service, multiple eating and dining options, a spa, and a heated outdoor pool. On second thought, perhaps the hunting is just an excuse to get you to venture off the grounds.
World War II was horrific enough. But add a healthy dose of the undead, and you've got a real problem. Set during WWII in the tunnels below London's Waterloo Station, Zombie Blitz 1940 pits you and your group of Allied companions against an oncoming Nazi zombie army. With vintage costumes, authentic military equipment, and confined, nearly pitch-black spaces, it's as close as you can come to reliving the horror that thankfully never was.
You don't have to be rich to drive a Lamborghini. You just need to sign up for the Lamborghini Academy. Available year-round, this unique experience includes the Track Academy, which has you hitting the pavement at tracks like Silverstone, Imola or Hockenheim alongside instructors, the Winter Academy, which teaches you to push the all-wheel drive systems to the max across snow and ice, and a Race Academy featuring V10 Super Trofeo race cars. Any of the three are available as one- or two-day programs, but no matter which you choose, you're sure to emerge as a better driver — even if you're arriving home to pull a Prius out of the garage.
Sea kayaking is a lot of fun, but to do it, you normally need, you know, a sea. Luckily for midwesterners, Lake Superior, with its wind, waves, and extensive coastline, does the trick just fine — which makes these Apostle Islands Kayaking Trips into far more than serene trips across the water. Offered during the summer months, these adventures range from half a day to a full week in length, allowing you to explore more of the 22 islands the longer you go. With six historic lighthouses and tons of fantastic sea caves to visit, there's more than enough to keep you busy.
What better way to hone your off-roading skills than in a vehicle with legendary off-road cred? Land Rover Experience Driving Schools are courses in which you learn the basics of off-road driving, such as navigating steep ascents and descents, managing side tilts, and maintaining control in adverse condition. The offerings range from one-hour beginner classes to full-day experiences, with the prices going up accordingly. Based in four luxury resorts across the continent — The Equinox in Vermont, Asheville's Biltmore Estate, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello in Canada, and Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA — you're likely to have one not too far from you.
Are there any of us that didn't want to be a fighter pilot after we saw Top Gun? Air Combat USA offers you real air combat instruction, so you'll be ready as you take the controls alongside an instructor pilot in a Marchetti SF260 fighter — which you fly up to 90 percent of the time — and engage in realistic dogfights that emulate real combat using an electronic tracking system. The entire experience is also recorded, so you can discuss your performance in the debriefing. And don't worry if you can't make it to Ar Combat HQ — they also offer deployments at a variety of sites across the country.
There are plenty of ways to explore the French countryside surrounding Paris. You could do it on bike, or by car, or even by boat, assuming you stayed on the Seine. But perhaps the most impressive way to see it is from the air. These Paris Airship Tours give you a chance to do exactly that. You'll leave from Paris-Pontoise Airport on the far northwestern corner of the city aboard a 12-person dirigeable, with one of four itineraries in mind. There's the 30 minute first flight, a one hour flight to La Roche Guyon Castle, a one hour to the Chateau of Chantilly, and a 90 minute air tour of the Palace of Versailles. Whichever you choose, it's guaranteed to be a memorable trip.
It's one thing to sit on the couch watching Shark Week. It's something totally different to actually get in the water with the beasts. Shark Diver's Great White Shark Diving packages let you do exactly that. Stationed off Isla Guadalupe, this premium six-day experience limits each trip to 16 divers, and includes U.S. shark and vessel crews, all the necessary diving permits, wet suits, on-board accommodations, meals, snacks, transfers from the San Diego airport, cages to keep you from becoming dinner, and unlimited beer and wine — to help you build up some courage, of course.
We love ninjas, pirates, robots, and zombies here at Gallivant, but there's only one of those that we'd actually consider becoming. Cloud 9's Private Ninja Lessons can help you on your way to becoming a stealth assassin or just improving your self-defense skills. The 90-minute sessions — held in Yonkers, NY — are led by an actual Shidoshi, and include history, tradition, and philosophy lessons before the ninjutsu-based self-defense, awareness, and combat strategy practice begins, possibly including some weapons training, but most likely not teaching you how to effectively throw a ninja star.
It's not unusual for river rafting trips to be accompanied by some beer — but something about having the people that brewed it rafting along with you makes the whole experience more rewarding. Brews with Views gives you an opportunity to learn from the brewmasters themselves as you and 19 others make your way through scenic outdoor landscapes. There's a trip coming up on August 15-18 in Oregon that will have you join Double Mountain Brewery owner Matt Swihart for a trek down the Rogue River — he's even brewing a special batch just for the trip — that will feature plenty of beers as well as Nectar Creek mead. And don't worry if you can't make that trip — Sierra Nevada is on board for another one at the end of the month.