Themed travel, as opposed to general globetrotting, will be the big thing this year. Buzzwords include 'babymoons' (that last trip before an impending birth); 'mancations' (one for the lads); and the self-explanatory 'procreation vacations'. But whether you want to shop, party or 'do something meaningful' - perhaps tippling your way around a vineyard with a master of wine or horse-riding across remote parts of India delivering books to schools - there's a wealth of opportunities waiting beyond the confines of our city. 1. Natural born killer Fancy getting up close and personal to a killer whale - or even snorkelling right next to one? From the Norwegian town of Tysfjord, in the Arctic Circle, Orca experts Tiu Simila and John Stenersen mount expeditions aboard inflatable dinghies to observe whales rounding up herring and stunning them with their tails before feeding. Donning a wet suit to swim in the icy waters next to the giant marine mammals is an optional extra. Weather conditions permitting, the aurora borealis provides nighttime entertainment. More at www.discoveryinitiatives.co.uk . Closer to Hong Kong,the company runs orang-utan study tours in Borneo. 2. Retail rarity No mean shopper herself, and a 15-year veteran of the fashion industry, Normandy-born, London-based Nathalie Beurg runs personalised VIP shopping trips in Paris, Barcelona and the British capital. Trips are tailored to individuals and destinations, and Beurg will meet clients before a spree to gauge their lifestyle, desired look and budget. As she explains: 'There are no rules to looking good but customers need to bear in mind the three Cs of dressing - choice, customisation and couture. Choosing clothes that suit you, altering clothes to your personal shape and style, and having clothes made specially for you make anyone look good.' Browse www.senstyle.com for more information. 3. Tours de force Travelling with an expert, instead of a tour guide quacking facts and figures through a microphone, adds verve and style to foreign travel - and there's no shortage of choice. Celebrating 20 years in the tour business, Lynette Arblaster and Tim Clarke ( www.winetours.co.uk ) lead wine lovers to vineyards in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, California and Chile, conduct wine cruises around Italy and guide walking tours from chateau to chateau in the Rhone, Mosel and Rioja regions. Former police officer Ian Alexander's specialist battlefield tours ( www.battlefieldtours.co.uk ) take in Singapore, the 'Bridge on the River Kwai' and other notable sites from both world wars. More exotically, Carlos Celdran ( www.celdrantours .blogspot.com) waltzes round Manila in a tribute to the Philippines' most famous shoe shopper on an expedition called Living La Vida Imelda. 4. I do - phew Thrill seekers and happy couples take note. The Skywalk ( www.grandcanyonskywalk.com ) is a semi-circular glass bridge set 1.2km - about three times higher than Two IFC - above the Colorado River, which flows through Arizona's Grand Canyon. Conceived by Shanghai-born tourism guru David Jin and the Hualapai tribe, the Skywalk - which is bolted to the rock with 94 steel rods bored 46 feet into the cliff face - opens this month. Bookings are being taken for weddings on the Skywalk, the star attraction of a development embracing a Wild West-style ranch, river rafting and a luxury lodge. 5. Fiesta, fiesta In one form or another, there's somebody kicking up their heels somewhere nearly every day of the year around the globe. The Java Jazz Festival ( www.javajazzfestival.com ) runs between March 2 and 4 in Jakarta while Glastonbury ( www.glastonburyfestivals.com ) rocks again - following a break last year - between June 22 and 24. Culture vultures can take their time at the Venice Biennale ( www.labiennale.org ), which stretches from June to November. If all this sounds too mainstream, and the idea of a traditional Christmas holiday palls, try the annual camel wrestling championships in Selcuk, Turkey, which are held every December. 6. Less is more Paying good money to be fed on little more than herbs and water for a week, with the slightly dubious extra of a daily colon hydrotherapy session, may seem like less than an ideal holiday, but those who have experienced an extended fasting session at the Atsumi Healing Centre (www. atsumihealing.com) in Phuket, Thailand, rave about it. Participants can expect to lose a kilogram a day and experience emotional and physical benefits encouraged by morning yoga or meditation sessions at this small and ultra-relaxed resort. Studio and villa accommodation is available, and guests are offered a range of activities in which to take part. 7. Food, glorious food First it was cooking classes in Thailand; then the rest of the world caught on. Now you can become a pasta master in Italy, make a stellar paella in Spain, whip up a curry in a hurry in India and experiment with something more than Murphys in Ireland. Other destinations include Australia, France, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco and Vietnam. While much time is spent cooking and eating, gastro holidays offer ample time to explore and absorb some of the local culture. More lip-smacking stuff can be found at www.holidayonthemenu.com . 8. Luxury deluxe Away from the milling hordes, surrounded by inspirational design, cosseted by exceptional cuisine and service, entertained by a variety of hi- and lo-tech accessories, the lap of luxury is endlessly comforting, even if it comes at a price. Lower-case, upper-crust design hotels ( www.designhotels.com ) provides more than 140 solutions, from the Theoxenia in Mykonos to the Unique in Sao Paolo, united by arresting architecture and a dedication to hospitality. 9. Charity begins at home on the range Granting more of an insight into local life than just a chip filled with digital photos, Responsible Travel ( www.responsibletravel.com ) involves travellers in projects that are fun and worthwhile. For example, in February, a 15-strong group will spend a fortnight riding horses to five villages in Rajasthan, delivering goats to farmers and books and other educational materials to schools, and assisting a Red Cross medical team. Participants can expect to ride up to 40km a day through beautiful countryside and sleep in desert forts or tents. Three meals a day are included. Other trips with Responsible Travel include marine conservation in Madagascar and tsunami relief projects in Sri Lanka. 10. Out of town Moganshan, north of Hangzhou, is enjoying a second golden age as a rural retreat from the Shanghainese hinterland. Founded in the late 19th century, the mountain-top village's picturesque villas and alpine trails are attracting modern city dwellers just as they did foreign merchants in days gone by. There are several small hotels but for sage advice, superbly brewed coffee and an instant introduction to the community, stop by the Moganshan Lodge ( www.moganshanlodge.com ), which also serves the village's best breakfasts and dinners. Moganshan is part of the new Old China, with, as a 1936 newspaper headline put it, 'the skies of Italy, the verdure of Japan, the grandeur of the Rockies'.