If you can dream it, and you have the money, you can do it. Once only a select group of elite travelers were privy to ultra-luxury trips, with private jets and helicopters, opulent accommodations and a personal concierge to ensure every need is met. These days, any intrepid traveler with deep pockets can find exclusive packages through tour operators, hotels and cruise lines.
Abercrombie & Kent sets the bar high, starting with 50 handmade, first-class leather seats on its privately chartered Boeing 757, centerpiece of A&K’s Private Jet Journeys. In 2016 and 2017, the company will offer tours such as Around the World by Private Jet: Islands, Savannas & the Amazon — a 26-day trip (starting at $117,000 per person) to some of the most remote places on Earth. Stops include the Amazon River, Easter Island, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Bali, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Kenya and Monaco.
With flight times of eight hours from Nairobi to Nice or 10 hours from Easter Island to Samoa, the private jet offers a home in the sky with seats that recline a full 180 degrees into a completely flat 6.5-foot-long bed, plus an onboard executive chef, a fully stocked bar and individual iPads loaded with entertainment options.
A&K’s The Tropics to the Arctic journey takes participants stargazing in Mongolia and attending a private concert and fashion show in Uzbekistan. Other stops include Colombia, Easter Island, French Polynesia, the Solomon Islands, the Philippines, Russia and Iceland. The 26-day adventure costs $129,000. The Cuba & South America by Private Jet tour takes guests south from Miami on a 23-day odyssey and visits six countries, starting at $99,500 per person.
On a new selection of A&K luxury journeys branded Wings Over the World, groups of 14 to 16 board privately chartered smaller aircraft such as a Gulfstream G450 to explore exotic destinations not easily accessible by major carriers. Wings Over India starts at $28,995, and Wings Over China starts at $27,995.
For $79,950 per person, you can join National Geographic Expedition’s Around the World by Private Jet, a 24-day luxury global odyssey to Machu Picchu; Easter Island; Samoa; Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; Angkor Wat, Cambodia; Lhasa, Tibet; the Taj Mahal; the Serengeti Plain; Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan; and Marrakech. A team of National Geographic experts travels with you on a Boeing 757 configured for 75 passengers. Plus, you meet researchers and grantees in the field.
Already visited one of the places on the itinerary? No problem. An alternate stop or activity can usually be arranged.
IfOnly, a San Francisco company, packages one-of-a-kind trips that also benefit worthy causes, meaning you may score an extra deduction come tax time. The Ultimate Golf Getaway at Sea Island, Ga., rings up at $100,000 for three duffers and includes four nights at the Lodge at Sea Island. Play on three championship courses, including a round with PGA legend Davis Love III, whose Davis Love Foundation is the beneficiary. Hone your game with lessons at Sea Island Golf Learning Center, be fitted for a new set of custom clubs and outfitted by Nike and Peter Millar. Enjoy an in-room massage, private bourbon tasting and cigar rolling session, shooting lessons or a fishing expedition, airfare stipend and a private car and driver for your threesome during your stay.
For those who want to circumnavigate the globe but unpack only once, the Full World 2017 voyage aboard the Queen Mary 2 sails more than 37,000 nautical miles. The 132-night roundtrip from New York City takes in 40 ports in 23 countries, 33 UNESCO World Heritage sites, nine maiden calls and three overnight stays. QM2 features five duplex apartments, each with its own exercise area, marble bathroom with whirlpool tub and private library. Of course, the accommodations include a butler and exclusive access to the Queens Grill Restaurant and the Grills Lounge. Fares for a duplex start at $84,198 per person, double occupancy; but if you want the 2,250-square-foot Grand Duplex Suite (and what high roller wouldn’t?), it will set you back $270,799 per person.
Elegance at a leisurely pace describes a 22-day private train tour of the Silk Road via Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. Follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo, crossing Russia and China as well as some of the remotest former Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Travel 6,800 miles across five countries and six time zones, the bulk of your trip spent on board the Golden Eagle and the Shangri-La Express. Tour operator MIR Corp. can book your spot for $24,595 per person.
Hotels are bundling their own ultra-high-end experiences. AKA Times Square touts an Ultimate Broadway offer, including a seven-night stay in a one-bedroom suite, seven nights of Broadway show tickets and VIP dinner pairings (preferred seating). For example, attend “An American in Paris,” with dinner at Alain Ducasse’s Benoit for an authentic Parisian bistro experience. Rounding out this $10,000 itinerary for two: a designated fashion stylist helps you pull together your look, a backstage tour of a Broadway show and a LiveIt! experience such as dance classes through Alvin Ailey Dance Theater or trapeze lessons.
Five luxury hotels that form The Quintessential Collection Vietnam devised a discriminating offer to help travelers traverse the country in style, with transfers in Bentleys and Rolls-Royces. Costing $19,358, the trip starts in a Panorama Suite at The Reverie Saigon. In Nam Hai, a local artist uses a photo sent two weeks before your arrival, then an in-person session, to finish your portrait before you leave the beachfront resort. During your stay in Hue, take guided tours of tombs, pagodas and a citadel that served as the seat of Vietnamese power from 1802 to 1945 while luxuriating at La Residence Hotel & Spa. Venture on to Hanoi and the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel for two nights in a Legendary Suite and a half-day city tour in a BMW 7 series sedan.
Exclusive Emirates is a nine-day itinerary with daily departures offered through Artisans of Leisure. It includes stays at One&Only The Palm and the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai and Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, as well as two nights in a private tented bungalow at Al Maha among the sand dunes of the Arabian Desert. A private guide and driver and customized activities such as a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa or testing your falconry and archery skills can be yours for $13,090 per person.
Luxury tour operator Remote Lands partners with Aman, proprietor of 30 resorts, hotels and private residences worldwide, for a Pan Asia jet trip through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines and Japan. For $58,888 per person, up to 16 guests fly on two Gulfstream private jets. Helicopter over Angkor Wat and land at a lost temple in the jungle for a gourmet picnic lunch. Participate in a traditional Lao baci ceremony performed by a Buddhist monk and get an insider’s view of the Asian contemporary art scene at some of Tokyo’s top galleries. Each couple has its own private car, driver and guide on each touring day. Guests gather at night for cocktail parties, dinners and, presumably, to swap stories of the day’s adventures and map out their next money-is-no-object vacation.
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
To allow visitors to safely and responsibly enjoy their trip to Barbados, the island announced streamlined port entry protocols. Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness released the following protocols for all travelers planning on coming to the island.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
Mar Del Cabo launched a new luxury beach fishing experience with an interactive paella workshop for guests. The Los Cabos-based hotel offers guests an immersive experience that takes them through the journey of creating paella, starting with a fishing session.
COJE Management Group raised the bar when it comes to cuisine and cocktails. The Boston-based group, founded by Chris Jamison and Mark Malatesta, offers guests the ultimate dining experience with old-world hospitality and an array of cuisines for every guest to enjoy. With culinary director Tom Berry incorporating the cuisines he encountered during his travels to South America, Cuba, Japan, Southeast Asia and France, each restaurant has distinguished itself as a must for anyone visiting Boston and each is designed exclusively in-house using inspiration from different regions and countries around the world.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.