Short List – Refined Travel Experiences
From capturing the sounds of Alaskan wildlife using specialized microphones to being cosseted by your personal butler on an expedition cruise in Bali, luxury travel has reached a whole new level of sophistication. Cruise lines are taking their all-inclusive mantras on shore and suite living to another dimension, while small-group journeys lead you beyond the beaten path to go behind the scenes and inside the local culture. Here are four ways to raise your travel experiences in 2015.
Abercrombie & Kent
Today’s sophisticated travelers want more than just to see a destination — they want to fully engage with its people and culture. Which is why Abercrombie & Kent created Connections, an exclusive portfolio of worldwide, small-group journeys that offer authentic experiences in more than 30 countries. Personal relationships garnered over 50 years provide unrivalled insider access so you can, say, tour Colombo’s vibrant Pettah Bazaar with a local resident or sample the catch of an oyster fisherman in Croatia. A new series of family journeys finds you backstage at the Moscow Circus, painting carnival masks in Venice and searching for clues on a scavenger hunt in a Madrid museum.
From $3,495. Book any Connections journey by January 31, 2015 and save $150 per person.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
While “all inclusive” is all the rage these days, Regent Seven Seas Cruises truly delivers — and in the most luxurious way possible. Spacious, smartly appointed suites with personalized bar set-up and welcome bottle of champagne. Always-open bars and specialty dining. Even round-trip airfare and pre-paid gratuities are included. Perhaps most impressive: guests enjoy unlimited shore excursions in every single port of call. So you can go deep-sea fishing off Grand Turk, taste fine wines at a family-run estate in Tuscany and take a tango masters class in Buenos Aires. Book a Concierge Suite or higher and receive a complimentary pre-cruise hotel package, as well.
From $3,499 Per Person. Enjoy an Experienced Host, Cocktail Party, Private Shore Event or Shipboard Credit of $100 per suite; ask for details when you call.
Imagine meeting villagers on a remote Micronesian island, sharing fresh coconut milk while visiting their homes and watching master woodcarvers at work. Later, you return to your stylish suite, where your butler has drawn a scented bath so you can freshen up before a Relais & Châteaux-inspired repast. Welcome to life aboard Silver Discoverer, Silversea’s newest expedition ship. Designed for adventure seekers with discerning tastes, the 120-guest Silver Discoverer spends her time navigating isolated ecosystems across the Asia-Pacific realm. Join a team of expert naturalists for informal talks and small-group explorations ashore using a fleet of Zodiacs. Back onboard, every creature comfort awaits, including a pool deck, fitness and massage centres, and free-flowing wines and spirits at open bars and elegant lounges.
It’s time to get a little wild in Alaska, to meet Iditarod-winning sled dogs and hike around shimmering mountain lakes. Catch your breath while flightseeing around the snowcapped peaks of Denali National Park, and get up close to puffins and porpoises on a day cruise along Kenai Fjord. Tauck has teamed up with BBC Earth to create a number of small-group journeys that introduce you to remote, less-visited places while providing you unprecedented access to gadgets used by professional wildlife photographers and filmmakers — which means you can utilize equipment like thermal imaging, camera traps and shotgun microphones as you watch for whales and brown bears. Exclusive on-tour films produced by BBC Earth further deepen your experience.
The Silver Discoverer lead-in fare is $9,250 per guest.
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