Leveraging more than 50 years’ experience, luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent is raising the bar for small group travel by introducing new places and experiences, while keeping prices the same or lower. A&K’s 2014 Luxury Small Group Journeys showcase more than 40 inspiring itineraries, featuring enhanced guest favorites and 15 newly-designed programs including new destinations such as Tibet and Sicily. The company’s signature African safaris have been recreated to offer us greater flexibility in choosing the right safari experience, at the best price.
“By examining what has resonated most with our past small group and private travellers, we developed Luxury Small Group Journeys that truly offer guests the ‘best of the best’ ways to explore each destination,” says Abercrombie & Kent USA President Phil Otterson. “And while adding to the overall richness of the experience, we’ve kept prices the same or less than last year on most journeys.”
Building on a tradition of innovation, Abercrombie & Kent has added two new features to most 2014 journeys to further provide the local insight we value most: Ride Like a Local and Chef’s Table. Imagine seeing Mumbai from one of India’s ubiquitous three-wheeled tuk-tuks or taking in the sights of Ho Chi Minh City from a pedal-powered cyclo, surrounded by locals travelling the same way. Sample the local flavor while an Israeli chef demonstrates cooking middle-eastern cuisine in her home or learn from a South African sommelier how to expertly pair local wines with your meal.
“To many of our guests, the cuisine is an important way to experience the destination, with new flavors to be explored and savored,” adds Otterson. “That’s why we are introducing ‘Chef’s Table,’ a chance to dine at a well-known restaurant where the chef personally welcomes A&K guests with a culinary demonstration or custom-designed menu.”
Each A&K Luxury Small Group Journey includes the best rooms at the best hotel at every stop – whether a modern, five-star haven, a royal residence turned hotel or a boutique, eco-friendly wilderness camp. For 2014, A&K will be decreasing the group size to 12-18 guests, including cruises. This smaller group size makes it possible to feature intimate, upscale lodgings and sites that are not available to larger groups. Every detail is taken care of, from private airport transfers to gratuities, from Travelling Bell Boy® service to complimentary Internet access. And every trip is guaranteed to operate with a minimum of two guests, with a local A&K Tour Director from start to finish.
NEW PROGRAMS FOR 2014 A sampling of A&K’s 15 inspiring new journeys:
The Great Migration Safari in Style – Follow the route of this ancient, annual spectacle on a seasonally adjusted itinerary that takes you through the greatest game reserves in Kenya and Tanzania. Personalize the safari by choosing from two styles of accommodations:
· Luxury Lodge Edition features secluded, eco-friendly luxury lodges and permanent tented camps. 14 days priced from $12,995.
· Under Canvas Edition lets you hear the sounds of the African night in luxury tented camps.14 days priced from $13,995.
Myanmar & the Ayeyarwady – Travel back in time, from bustling Yangon, to tranquil Inle Lake, spiritual Mandalay and Bagan. Float along the Ayeyarwady River on a three-night cruise aboard ‘Road to Mandalay.’ Soar above the 2,000 pagodas and temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon. Discover one of Bagan’s less-visited monasteries and sponsor a meal for the resident monks. Enjoy a special dinner overlooking an ancient temple while watching local musicians and dancers. 11 days from $8,395.
China, Tibet & the Yangtze – Discover Potala Palace, the former winter residence of the Dalai Lamas, on a three-night stay in Lhasa. Enjoy a private tour of the Terra Cotta Warriors with an on-site archaeologist. Visit the Panda Research Center to learn about this iconic animal and its natural habitat. Take a private boat in Leshan to see the largest stone-carved Buddha in the world. A three-night cruise transports you down the Yangtze River. 17 days from $8,995.
Botswana & Zambia: River Safari & Cruise – Explore the natural wonders of the Okavango Delta, Chobe, Victoria Falls and South Luangwa, some of Africa’s last remaining wilderness areas. Relax on a three-night cruise aboard the elegant ‘Zambezi Queen’ on the Chobe River, known for its vast herds of elephant. Search for wildlife on day and night game drives in customized 4WD vehicles, by mokoro (dug-out canoe), and even on foot. 13 days from $9,695.
Costa Rica: Nature’s Riches from Coast to Coast – Explore the varied habitats from the Pacific to the Caribbean. Meet an original Quaker settler and learn about the country’s history firsthand. Learn about how coffee and chocolate are grown and taste the results. The Family version of this journey offers entertaining and educational activities designed to engage even the youngest travellers. Nine days from $3,895.
Sicily: From the Mountains to the Sea – Experience all that Sicily has to offer on this comprehensive journey from one side of the island to the other. Learn the history and elaborate process to create Marsala wine. Visit a traditional Sicilian puppet maker. Ascend to the lunar-like landscape of Mount Etna, taking in stunning views along the way. Enjoy a private chocolate making demonstration and tasting. Explore some of Europe’s most interesting archaeological sites. 10 days from $7,595.
Ten Family Journeys featured in A&K’s Luxury Small Group Journeys portfolio offer adventures for all ages. Designed with families in mind, they take place over holidays and school breaks, include entertaining and age-appropriate activities such as scavenger hunts, cooking and craft lessons and wildlife encounters, and feature a dedicated Children’s Activity Coordinator on many departures. A small group size of just 24 allows guests more individualized attention and interaction with the guides.
More than 50 years of experience and offices from Nairobi to Cape Town make it possible for Abercrombie & Kent to take us beneath the surface, away from the safari crowds, into a world known only to locals. For 2014, Abercrombie & Kent has rethought the safari experience to provide us with a personalized adventure. A choice of itineraries designed to suit each safari-goer’s interests and budget, gives them the most flexibility in a small group journey.
“New flight schedules, improved roads and infrastructure have enabled us to completely redesign some of our classic African safaris, offering new boutique properties and more convenient routing, ensuring a more relaxed pace and more enjoyable experience,” says Otterson.
TRAVEL THE WAY YOU WANT
Not every date works for every traveller, so A&K offers us the ability to ‘Take This Journey Private’, guaranteeing the same seamless A&K service from arrival to departure on an independent journey. Expert local guides, private airport transfers on arrival and departure, deluxe accommodations and enriching sightseeing are all included – often with access to places only available to A&K clients.
Following the success of the guaranteed group extensions introduced last year, A&K is expanding the choices for 2014. Specially priced and selected to complement each small group journey, these extensions, all of which are guaranteed to operate, provide guests the ability to further personalize their adventure.
This level of innovation has made Abercrombie & Kent the choice of travel professionals year after year, voted “World’s Leading Luxury Tour Operator” at the World Travel Awards, “Best Luxury Tour Operator” by Travel Weekly and Luxury Travel Advisor, “Best Worldwide Tour Operator” by Porthole, along with “Best Tour Operator Africa/Middle East” by readers of TravelAge West, Recommend and Agent@Home.
To discover a world of inspiring travel that only Abercrombie & Kent can deliver, please visit online to view A&K’s 2014 Luxury Small Group Journeys, call 800 554 7094 to speak with a travel consultant.