Deciding where—and how—to celebrate New Year’s Eve is no easy task. It is, after all, one of the most important nights of the year. Architectural Digest made a list of the most extravagant ways to ring the New Year. There were so many fabulous ideas of celebrations that I had to share a couple with you.
Make sure to vote for your favourite at the end of this post. - Marie Trepanier
VENICE: ROYAL TREATMENT ALONG THE CANALSThe normally sleepy off-season city is wide-eyed and fully awake for New Year’s Eve, however, featuring a preview of the forthcoming Carnevale festivities in the form of a huge fireworks display over Piazza San Marco. Italian luxury-vacation specialists Bellini Travel can pull out all the stops for the celebrations, securing the two dozen seats in the Royal Box of Teatro La Fenice—Venice’s recently reopened opera house and one of the most famously beautiful theaters in all Europe—for the annual New Year’s Eve concert, preceded by Champagne and canapés and followed by a private, after-hours tour of Basilica di San Marco. Then it’s on to a private dinner, performances by Fenice musicians, and fireworks-watching at one of the canalside palazzi.
REYKJAVIK: NATURE’S FIREWORKS BY HELICOPTERFireworks are well and good on New Year’s Eve, and there are plenty of places to see spectacular displays. But for the northern lights—nature’s own pyrotechnic extravaganza—you’re a bit more limited. Thankfully, some of the world’s best views of the aurora borealis (expected by NASA to be more impressive this year than at any time in the last half-century) are just a quick chopper ride from the rich social scene in Reykjavik.
VIENNA: HAVE A BALL IN HIGH AUSTRIAN STYLE
Are those the romantic strains of a waltz? Vienna’s classic Kaiserball may be kicking off a new chapter this year—it’s being renamed “Le Grand Bal”—but it remains a highlight on the international New Year’s circuit. As ever, it will be held in the magisterial Hofburg Palace—the former home of the Habsburgs and now the seat of the Austrian republic—parts of which date back some 600 years. The luxury central and eastern European travel experts at Exeter International can secure custom access to this black-tie-only event, including a ride to the ball in one of the horse-drawn fiacre carriages for which the city is famous, a red-carpet reception, and a gourmet dinner before the event officially opens to the general public.
ANTARCTICA: BLACK-TIE TIMES CRUISING THE FROZEN CONTINENT
Black tie? Check. Five-course dinner? Check. Giant icebergs, calving glaciers, six types of penguins—plus seals, dolphins, and whales? Check, check, check, and . . . check. This 12-day journey combines the wonders of wildlife-watching and some of the most extraordinary natural vistas in the world with the kind of first-class luxuries for which Silversea is renowned. On New Year’s Eve itself, as the coast of Antarctica comes into view from the ship’s deck, guests will enjoy a gourmet meal, prepared by the Silver Explorer’s Relais & Châteaux–partnered restaurant and served on tables set with silver, crystal, china, and sparkling candles, followed by music, dancing, and a countdown to 2013.