3 Travel Experiences That Are The Last Word In Luxury And Exclusivity
Touring the world on a private jet
We can obviously see the appeal of private jet tours: Going to exotic places in a private jet beats having to wait in a crowded airport waiting for your flight to be called. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? For many, jet tours are a reward for your success. After all, you’ve worked hard all your life, why not indulge in the best travel experiences on offer? Karen Ledwin, VP of Program Management, Smithsonian Journeys, agrees.
“It’s the ultimate reward for a successful life,”
she says. “[For our clients], it’s an enriching, quality experience visiting the world’s greatest treasures while enjoying a high level of service with a respected institution.” Smithsonian Journeys puts a great emphasis on immersive travel and bills its tours as travel for “the intellectually curious, worldly, and adventurous life-long learners.” Ledwin says those who typically book with them are “well-educated, curious thinkers. These are professionals who have run companies. Now they have time to do something for themselves, catch up on the travel that they postponed and experience a broad swath of the world in a relatively short period of time to learn which types of places they enjoy most and will travel to next.”
As more and more people define luxury with immersive and personal experiences, Ledwin is confident that this type of travel will just get stronger. “I am predicting double-digit growth [for the company for 2020 and beyond],” she says. “Because people are increasingly valuing enriching experiences and time well spent with loved ones, over more possessions.”
Around the World by Private Jet
Smithsonian Journeys’ trip around the world spans 24-25 days and takes you to some of the planet’s most legendary sites – from the wonders of Macchu Picchu to Easter Island, the pristine beaches of Samoa and Australia, magnificent Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Taj Mahal and magnificent palaces in India, the stone city of Petra, Jordan, the sights and sounds of Marrakech and a safari in Africa. All in all, the journey provides a variety of immersive, trip-of-a-lifetime experiences.
The Ultimate African Safari
In two departures for September 2019, &Beyond’s Private Jet Small Group Journeys takes you to the ultimate African safari – 11 nights and 12 days to some of the most iconic destinations in Africa. Ideal for families or an extended group with friends, the tour only takes four to 12 guests every time, so you’re assured of privacy, flexibility, and authentic experiences. The tour uses a Bombardier 350 or a Pilatus PC12 to take guests to Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa, with an option to extend to Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda or Uganda.
What to expect on this trip? Luxury all the way – from the private jets to exclusive and knowledgeable guides and iconic stays. For instance, in Nairobi, you’ll be staying at the iconic Giraffe Manor, where guests have the chance to interact with a herd of Rothschild giraffes. These extraordinary creatures visit the manor in the mornings and evenings, interrupting guests during mealtimes by poking their heads and necks into the manor windows.
In Kenya, guests stay at the andBeyond Bateleur Camp at the Masai Mara Reserve. The exclusive camp brings back the ambiance of the Kenyan safaris of the 1920s and ’30s. Activities include a hot-air balloon safari or interactions with the Maasai.
In Tanzania, get to see the world’s oldest intact caldera at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Included here would be candlelit dinners and sundowners with awe- inspiring views, and game drives into the conservation area. You’ll even get to have a bush banquet on the crater floor.
World of Adventures
As the idea of luxury travel gets redefined, hotel groups have upped the ante in their offerings to attract well-heeled travellers. Luxury names in the hotel business have also began offering private jet tours, among them Four Seasons.
One of their unique offerings for the year is the 23-day World of Adventures tour, which takes travellers to eight exotic locations around the world. Highlights of the trip include exploring the remote Galapagos Islands to swim with sea lions, island hopping in the Seychelles, a trek through the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda for a glimpse of endangered gorillas, a souk shopping excursion in Marrakesh, a spiritual cleanse in Bali, and private salsa lessons in Bogota, Colombia. Taking you through these places is the Four Seasons Jet, which comes with a host of amenities including a round- the-clock personal concierge, dedicated luggage concierge, on-board executive chef, dedicated travel planner and a well-trained Four Seasons crew.
The journey gets better. Recently, Four Seasons announced that it has acquired an all-new Four Seasons Private Jet. Set to take to the skies in 2021, the new jet is part of the Airbus NEO family of jets and is being fully customised by Four Seasons. Built to replace the current aircraft, the new Four Seasons Private Jet will offer an even more modern, enriching and interactive flight experience.
With only 48 custom handcrafted seats designed by Optimares, with leather from Italian producer Poltrona Frau, the spacious interior will also allow guests to socialise more easily while seated. New purpose- built personal ottomans at each seat will encourage interaction and comfortable face-to-face connections. Lavatories are also being expanded for added comfort and flexibility, reflecting a more residential style.