With the UK now in lockdown and with cruise lines having suspended the majority of sailings due to the coronavirus outbreak, it may be some time before many of us have the opportunity to set sail in search of exotic, far-flung destinations.
However, while it may not be quite the same sipping a cocktail in your living room as it is on a deserted beach in Thailand, it is still possible to experience the wonders of the world from the comfort of your own home.
To help get us through these dystopian times, we’ve compiled our top 10 travel films that will expand your horizons (both literally and figuratively) and ignite your wanderlust during your coronavirus self-quarantine.
1. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Set in Jaipur, India, an eclectic group of British retirees takes up residence in what they believe to be a restored, luxury hotel, only to find out it’s not quite what they expected. The City Palace of Jaipur and Amer Fort, located just outside of the city, are just two of the stunning film locations showcasing the rich architecture and history India has to offer intrepid travellers. This feel-good film is the perfect choice during coronavirus self-quarantine and goes to show you’re never too old for life, love and adventure.
2. Into the Wild
This iconic indie film takes viewers on a journey of some of the US’s most awesome landscapes, navigating the mighty Colorado River and breathtaking Grand Canyon as we follow in the footsteps of protagonist Christopher McCandless, who has given up everything in search of ultimate freedom. This journey is one that will touch your soul and leave you in awe of this stunning, and dangerous, wilderness.
3. Hector and the Search for Happiness
The bright lights and futuristic skyline of Shanghai serves as one of the first mesmerising locations the film’s eponymous protagonist visits. Hector, an eccentric psychiatrist, realises his patients aren’t getting any happier and his life appears to be going nowhere. After finding himself at a crossroads in life, he embarks on a global quest to discover whether happiness truly exists. An uplifting, funny and poignant story, you will be swept along in Hector’s pursuit of happiness as he travels the world from London to LA.
4. Encounters at the End of the World
A documentary film set in the mysterious and stunning polar landscape of McMurdo, Antarctica, a place that is home to a hidden society. Filmmaker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station, capturing the continent’s beauty and the people and animals that reside there. Capturing landscapes and wildlife found nowhere else on earth, this documentary highlights why this icebound territory should be on every cruisers’ bucket list.
After a personal tragedy that sent her world spiralling out of control, a troubled young woman embarks on a solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in the US. A journey that is not just about the beautiful destinations, but also the path of self-discovery and healing, Wild makes for a thought-provoking story that has beauty, courage and a bag full of inspiration.
6. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Although this film covers a diverse range of destinations, many of the scenes are in fact shot in Greenland and Iceland, thereby offering lots of inspiration for cruisers. With his job prospects looking bleak, Walter takes action and sets off on a global journey that turns into an extraordinary adventure. A light-hearted jaunt that visits a whole host of destinations, this film will ignite your thirst for travel and leave you wanting to embark on your next adventure as soon as you can.
7. The Beach
After a strange map rumoured to lead to an exclusive, tropical beach comes into his possession, Richard travels in search of Thailand’s paradisaical island, but finds more than he bargained for. Showcasing stunning scenery from the tropical shores of Thailand, this film will definitely leave you wanting to go and discover your own secluded paradise.
8. Eat Pray Love
After a painful divorce, Liz finds herself with a new appetite for life and realises she needs a change in direction. Taking action, she heads off on a round-the-world passage in search of great food, meditation and true love. From Italy to Bali via India, this uplifting and adventure of one woman’s search for life will have you eager to start planning your own journey of self-discovery. A foodies’ delight, the film commences in Italy, capturing the stunning architecture and staple cuisine of Rome and Naples, before heading east to Delhi, India, and Bali, Indonesia.
9. The Bucket List
Two terminally ill men (played by the exceptional Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) escape from their ward and head off on their own worldwide adventure, determined to cross off every last item on their bucket list. A film full of inspirational destinations, it also serves as a reminder to live life to the full.
Robyn Davidson treks across the awe-inspiring landscapes of Western Australia with only four camels and her beloved dog to keep her company. A film that ensnares the senses and showcases the beauty of Australia, it will leave you in no doubt that a trip to the Australian outback is a must at least once in your life.
Visit gov.uk for the latest coronavirus travel advice.