Is your list of dream trips growing exponentially? What if we told you there was a way to knock them out in one fell swoop?
Enter the around-the-world private jet journey.
On these trips, guests travel in groups to the most famous destinations in the world, accompanied by a full staff that usually includes a tour manager, a private chef for the flights and a doctor, plus on-the-ground travel managers.
It’s not entirely unlike like a high-end cruise or a land tour — except the transportation is by private jet, of course.
Travelers spend a few days in each destination, choosing from a list of excursions — or, in some cases, charting their own course with a private driver or local guide organized by the tour operator. At night, guests enjoy lodging at luxury hotels, save for a few red-eye flights.
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“For many of our clients, the most finite resource is time, and the around-the-world private jet journeys are a great way to ‘check the boxes’ of some of the most popular attractions without extending their stay in a destination in which they might not be as interested,” said travel advisor Maggie Jones of KK Travels Worldwide, a Virtuoso member.
“Since the pandemic, a fair amount of our clients are coming to us and wanting to complete their bucket-list trips sooner rather than later, and it has been incredibly special to be able to present this type of travel as an option for them.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, these experiences do have a pretty hefty price tag, but can you put a price on having one company handle all your travel arrangements to some of the world’s most legendary sites? And that’s not to mention the benefit of avoiding commercial air travel. Plus, these journeys are frequently all-inclusive, so everything from meals to lodging to excursions is included with the rate.
Whether you’re more interested in historic sites like Chile’s Easter Island or wildlife-centric ones like Tanzania’s Serengeti, there’s a private jet journey out there that will speak to you.
Four Seasons Private Jet Ancient Explorer
The Four Seasons private jet stops at archaeological sites from Easter Island to the Taj Mahal. FOUR SEASONS
For the history lover, this private jet journey offered by Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts makes nine stops at some of the world’s most incredible archaeological sites: Chile’s Easter Island and Egypt’s Great Pyramids of Giza, to name two. But the journey also includes stops in bustling metropolises like Mexico City and natural wonders like Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert valley. Guests travel in the Four Seasons’ own Boeing 757, outfitted with 52 lie-flat business-class seats and a steam oven so the jet’s executive chef can prepare gourmet meals on board. The itinerary includes stays at Four Seasons properties around the world, of course. The 24-day itinerary can be booked from $190,000 per person, and there are typically one or two departures a year (the next journey kicks off on Sept. 29). (Now, if only Four Seasons had a loyalty program.)
Abercrombie & Kent Private Jet Journeys Wildlife Safari
Abercrombie & Kent’s Wildlife Safari is a must for all animal lovers. ABERCROMBIE & KENT
Going on safari is a must for animal lovers, but a private jet safari takes things to the next level. Abercrombie & Kent’s Wildlife Safari checks many wildlife bucket list items, from whale sharks in the Philippines to tigers in India and gorillas in Rwanda. And, yes, the experience includes a stop in Kenya to see the Big Five (African elephants, lions, Cape buffalo, rhinos and leopards), as well as cultural experiences like learning calligraphy in Japan. For the eight-stop journey, A&K charters a Boeing 757 with all lie-flat, business-class seats, which includes an onboard chef and free Wi-Fi where available. You’ll spend your nights in luxury accommodations such as The Peninsula Tokyo and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Rwanda. This 24-day journey starts at $159,950 per person, and there’s only one departure a year. The next one leaves on Oct. 6.
National Geographic Expeditions: Around the World by Private Jet
National Geographic will take you around the world with historians, anthropologists, and photographers to 10 different UNESCO World Heritage Sites. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS/FACEBOOK
Travel with National Geographic experts, including historians, anthropologists and photographers, on an incredible private-jet journey that visits 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The adventure begins in Washington, D.C., and includes stops at ancient sites like Machu Picchu in Peru, Easter Island in Chile and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Sprinkle in a few warm-weather stops in the Pacific throughout this first leg, then you’re off to the Himalayas. Up next is the Taj Mahal in India, followed by a trip across Africa and the Middle East. National Geographic’s Boeing 757 has spacious leather seats for up to 75 guests, though they’re not lie-flat. They do, however, recline 45 degrees, which is reasonable enough given that you’ll be spending most nights in luxury hotels around the world, including La Mamounia in Marrakech, Morocco, and the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania. Similar to other itineraries, this expedition spans 24 days and starts at a cool $94,995 per person. Approximately six National Geographic Expeditions are available every year, with the next one departing on Sept. 29.
TCS World Travel: World Less Traveled
TCS WORLD TRAVEL/FACEBOOK
For travelers who have already seen many of the world’s top highlights and want to try something a little different for a grand around-the-world trip, TCS’s World Less Traveled private jet itinerary to five of the most intriguing “emerging destinations” is a must-book. The trip starts and ends in London and stops in Dakar, Senegal; Salvador, Brazil; Lomé, Togo; AlUla, Saudi Arabia; and Tunis, Tunisia. Of course, none of these destinations are new — in fact, many have been around for thousands of years — but they are often less visited by travelers. This trip is particularly suitable for art lovers, as both ancient and contemporary art plays a big role in each of the destinations. The journey is flown on an Airbus A321neo-LR with 52 lie-flat seats. Book your spot on the once-a-year, 15-day trip from $150,000 per person. The next tour leaves on Feb. 11, 2023.
Road Scholar: Discover the World by Private Plane
Another itinerary that starts and concludes in London, Road Scholar’s private jet trip hits many of the world’s most iconic sites: England’s Stonehenge, Jordan’s Petra and India’s Amber Fort in Jaipur among them. But we also applaud this itinerary’s slightly more off-the-beaten-path stops, including the Jantar Mantar observatory (also in Jaipur) and the Mutrah Souq in Muscat, Oman. The airborne part of the journey takes place in a Boeing 767 with 54 lie-flat seats, while the landside journey includes stays at lauded luxury properties like The Oberoi in New Delhi and Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort in Siem Reap, Cambodia. One of the bonuses with this itinerary is that there’s no single supplement for solo travelers, and there are often deals for business-class airfare to and from London. Spots on the 21-day expedition, which is held three times a year, start at $62,999 per person. The next trip kicks off on April 17, 2023.
Aman The Grandest Tour
Amanoi is one of the destinations apart of The Grandest Tour with Aman. JOHN W. MCDERMOTT/AMAN
If you’re a fan of the luxury hotel brand Aman, this around-the-world journey is the best way to experience some of its top properties — and the incredible destinations in which they’re located. This tour begins in Japan before traveling to several destinations in Southeast Asia, followed by Bhutan and India, with a conclusion in Europe (the specific destinations change each trip). While most around-the-world private-jet journeys are not actually all that private, Aman ensures its program is: Just 18 guests can join each trip, cohosted by Remote Lands, and each group on the tour has its own driver for excursions. As such, you might not find it too surprising that Aman’s aircraft isn’t an all-business-class commercial jet but a true corporate one. More specifically, it flies the Airbus ACJ3189, the business counterpart to the A319, which has a lounge configuration. The Grandest Tour from Aman spans 21 days, and the next trip departs on Oct. 12. The cost per person is $152,888 ($305,776 per couple, or $196,776 per single for a solo traveler with a single supplement).
Smithsonian Journeys: Around the World by Private Jet: A Classic Journey
The Smithsonian Journey will take you on a private jet to historic and cultural sites from Machu Picchu to Petra. NICK BRUNDLE PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES
Leave it to a travel company founded out of the iconic Smithsonian Institution to create a nine-stop, around-the-world private jet journey that combines the best of history, culture and nature in a single trip. You can expect to visit all the heavy hitters in the archaeological world (Machu Picchu, Easter Island, the Great Pyramids, Angkor Wat and Petra, among them) as well as natural hotspots like the Great Barrier Reef and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. Smithsonian Journeys utilizes two aircraft for these journeys, depending on the specific itinerary: an Airbus A321 and a Boeing 757, each of which is outfitted with 52 and 48 lie-flat seats, respectively. Smithsonian’s around-the-world itineraries last for 24 days, generally take place three or four times a year and start at $109,950 per person.
Art in Voyage: 28-day Magellan Odyssey World Tour
One of the rescued and adopted elephants that roam the grounds of Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle. GILLIES & ZAISER PUBLIC RELATIONS
As you’ve probably ascertained, most private-jet world tours visit the same destinations. And while those stops are all magnificent, what’s special about Art in Voyage’s month-long journey is its somewhat alternative stops. That includes Chile’s Atacama desert (one of the best places on Earth for stargazing); New Zealand for adventure activities such as helicopter rides, catamaran tours and white-water rafting; and Bordeaux, France, for a culinary immersion and a ride in a vintage Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini or Ferrari. The 10-stop itinerary does include some of the more typical main attractions, too, such as Petra and Tanzania’s Serengeti. It’s really the blend of destinations that makes this itinerary stand out. While Art in Voyage hasn’t yet selected an aircraft for this journey, travelers can expect to be on a private, all-business-class aircraft. Spots on the 28-day itinerary, which departs on March 10, 2024, can be reserved from $105,611 per person.
Featured image courtesy of TCS World Travel/Facebook.