Once again, travel leaders Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent are redefining the luxury landscape. Both are offering escorted tours using private planes to exotic destinations.
Crystal is branding their product AirCruises, not because you actually get on one of their cruise ships. But to invoke the Crystal experience which is most clearly associated with cruises. Crystal AirCruises uses the privately owned Crystal customized Boeing 777 to travel to iconic destinations. This Crystal product is in direct competition with the Abercrombie &Kent Private Jet Travel, which uses A&K’s expert tour managers and a privately chartered Boeing 757 equipped with first-class, fully lie-flat seats to travel to exotic destinations.
Both AirCruises and Private Jet Travel trips start at $90,000.
Not surprisingly, the most impressive offering is from A&K Private Jet. It is a 26-day journey starting Feb 8, 2018, with the New York Times called Around the World by Private Jet: Cultures in Transformation (2018).
- Travel with four distinguished Times journalists including Alan Riding, Nick Kristof, Elaine Sciolino, and Elisabeth Bumiller
- Enjoy the utmost in comfort and style on A&K’s chartered Boeing 757, with 50 first-class, fully lie-flat seats, a dedicated flight crew and an onboard chef
- Go behind the scenes at The New York Times on an exclusive visit, and dine with its publisher, Arthur O. Sulzberger
- Discover emerging Cuba through comprehensive people-to-people encounters
- In Colombia, dine in Bogotá’s Salt Cathedral, and hear insights from a veteran journalist
- Visit Easter Island’s Orongo ceremonial village and learn how this island struggles with climate change
- Experience authentic Australian cuisine and culture in Sydney and the Australian bush
- In Myanmar, attend an exclusive cocktail party with a former personal assistant to Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
- Explore the Iranian city of Isfahan and visit the Friday Mosque
- Camp in luxury in the desert in Morocco and explore a bustling souk in Marrakesh
- Discover Iceland’s geothermal pools and learn how climate change is affecting the land of fire and ice
This trip will cost $135.000. Too much. Well, Abercrombie & Kent has a newer product Wings over the World, shorter trips to specific destinations via private chartered planes. Pricing start at $25,000.
If I was paying over $100,000 for a trip, I would choose Abercrombie & Kent over Crystal. Crystal Cruises is known for great onboard entertainment and service. It is not known for great shore excursions. This is what Crystal AirCruises is really selling. The new offering is a huge change for them and I would stand back and watch prior to plunking down $100,000 for a trip that may not live up to expectations. Abercombie & Kent is known for escorted trips and luxury. They do exotic and Africa best. The only caveat is if you are an American citizen, you may not be able to travel exotically in 2018 so get travel insurance.