If the thought of “group tours” evokes visions of long queues shuffling onto a Greyhound bus, think again. Read here from the WSJ how, for only tens of thousands of dollars, you can travel like a billionaire on a private Boeing 757. From Abercrombie & Kent, to Four Seasons, to National Geographic Expeditions, guided tours have never been as creative and luxurious—or as expensive.
THE TERM “group tour” doesn’t connote glamour—unless, that is, the group is traveling on a private Boeing 757, along with a personal chef.
More and more travel companies are offering private-jet tours, which combine the just-sign-up approach of guided trips with luxurious lodging and billionaire-style transportation. And pampering isn’t the sole selling point. Though such tours can cost tens of thousands of dollars, they can save time, aggravation, even money.
“To recreate our Around the World trip…flying first class and staying at the same hotels, would take you twice as long and cost over twice as much,” claimed Scott Leviton, director of guest relations at Seattle’s TCS Expeditions. It’s a hassle to organize guides and lodging, some destinations can be challenging to reach by commercial flight and delays are all but inevitable.
With these five trips, the work is all done for you—albeit at a price.
AFRICA FROM ABOVE
Abercrombie & Kent didn’t just pioneer the luxury safari—25 years ago, it offered a private around-the-world journey via Concorde. It relaunched its Private Jet program this March with an African itinerary designed by founder Geoffrey Kent. For next year, he’s created a 19-day, seven-country journey that includes gorilla-tracking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a dinner accompanied by fire spinners in Namibia’s dunes and a stint in A&K’s mobile camp in Tanzania’s Serengeti. The ride is a chartered Icelandair Boeing 757-200ER, configured for just 44 passengers and upgraded with custom leather seats that lie flat and have built-in massagers. An in-flight chef cooks up dishes using ingredients sourced en route, and the open bar is stocked with each guest’s preferred tipples. Feb. 20 to March 10, 2015, from $82,995 a person,abercrombiekent.com