If you’re planning a milestone trip and budget is no option, private jet journeys should be on your 2015 radar. Big name brands such as Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts have gotten in on the trend of multi-stop, round-the-world itineraries that lets jet-setters see the world from the comfort of a private plane, often with add-ons like VIP experiences, jet-to-hotel transfers and full concierge service. Here are five itineraries that are quite the departure from your typical vacation.
TCS World Travel deals exclusively in journeys by private jet, and its new Select Escapes program utilizes a seat configuration on a Boeing 757-200ER aircraft to give lie-flat beds for just 52 passengers, down from the 78 that travel on the classic Signature Expeditions. Beyond the comfortable beds, perks include global Wi-Fi connectivity, on-demand in-flight entertainment, complimentary iPads, and stays at high-end luxury hotels while on land. This year, travel across Africa for 23 days in May and June, popping over to places like Seychelles, Zambia’s Victoria Falls and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park ($84,950; double occupancy) or golf around the world in places like Kona, Fiji, Chiang Mai, Dubai and Málaga, Spain for a 24-day adventure ($78,450; double occupancy). Other trips include “History’s Lost Cities,” which offers stops in Uzbekistan and Tibet, and two “Around the World” itineraries.
Around the World in 24 Days
Luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent’s name has been synonymous with opulent journeys and private jet travel for the past three decades. Never resting on its passport-stamping laurels, the company has made some great updates for 2015, including new lie-flat seats on its privately chartered Icelandair Boeing 757-200ER. These 50 custom-designed Italian leather thrones are equipped with a personal massage system, four-way adjustable headrests, lumbar support and more than six and a half feet of legroom. Onboard, guests partake in an open bar and delight in having a private chef and concierge-style flight crews. Plus, traveling bell boys make sure luggage gets from your room — the itinerary includes stays in spots such as Park Hyatt Sydney and Marrakech’s La Mamounia — to the plane in style. Abercrombie & Kent’s Wonders of the World itinerary for fall 2015 includes stops everywhere from Machu Picchu to Easter Island, with dinner and a private show at the Sydney Opera House, tours of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern when they are closed to the public, and a night sleeping under the stars in the Sahara Desert tossed in the 24-day trip ($108,000; double occupancy) for good measure.
Explore India’s rich blend of diversity and culture on Geringer Global Travel’s new 18-day voyage ($42,930) that takes guests from Mumbai to Delhi. Amenities include an early morning 4×4 game drive and nature walk with a Rabari herdsman from the local tribe in Rajasthan, a private elephant safari in Jaipur, a personalized wellness program at the Ananda retreat in the Himalayas and a rickshaw tour of Delhi. And that’s on top of ultra-luxury hotel stays with brands like Oberoi and The Taj Mahal Palace, spa services and meals. The best part: this tour is custom, meaning only a minimum of two guests need attend.
Four Seasons’ New Private Jet
The Canadian-based hotel made waves last year when they became the industry’s first hospitality brand to offer a private jet experience. The company has offered these trips for more than three years, but this year marks the first time that the hotel has its own branded jet presence, a 757 with both an interior and exterior designed by the hotel’s team. Onboard highlights for this 52-seater consists of global Wi-Fi, lay-flat beds and concierge service. Itineraries for this year include a 24-day, nine-destination trip ($119,000) around the world that starts in L.A. and ends in London; an arts-focused 16-day spin ($69,000) with performances at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Prague Estates Theatre and a private gala in the Pavlovsk Palace outside St. Petersburg; and another time-zone-hopping jaunt ($119,000) that hits the brand’s first African safari (Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti), Beijing and the Maldives before ending in New York. And, of course, Four Seasons properties provide accommodations for all of the stops.
Coast to Coast in Florida
Don’t care to leave the country, but still want to travel in style? Florida’s Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa and The Resort at Longboat Key Club have partnered with Aura Jets to create the ultimate “Coast to Coast” vacation for Sunshine State visitors. Start with a two-day trip to Jupiter Beach, and then hop on a private seven-passenger Cessna Conquest for the 45-minute flight to The Resort at Longboat Key Club for two more days. The package ($10,500) also includes suites at both hotels, dinner for two one night at each resort, limo transfers and a return flight.