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December 2013

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Entries in Egypt (4)


Abercrombie & Kent Tours

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.


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.



A&K Family Holidays

It was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” For parents and educators this quote begs the question: is it better to read about the ancient Egyptians in a text book or see the sun rise behind the Great Pyramid, touch the 2,000-year-old stones of the Temple of the Kings and hear stories of the young king Tutankhamen while standing in the crypt where his sarcophagus was unearthed? Where better to learn about nature than on an African safari, the Romans on a tour of Italy or Darwin’s theory of evolution than in the Galapagos Islands? For parents who see travel as an education, Abercrombie & Kent has 11 family travel itineraries guaranteed to feed the curiosity of any young mind.

“The focus right now is on experience and engagement,” explains Geoffrey Kent, founder, chairman and CEO of the luxury travel company. “At A&K we know there is no better way to engage your family than on a vacation that has a learning component. Our family itineraries take you to places where the learning happens naturally, and our expert guides seek out experiences beyond the reach of the average traveler. The only thing that we don’t provide is the ‘where did you spend your vacation?’ essay when your kids get back to school.”

A&K escorted family travel guarantees expert local guides, private airport transfers on arrival and departure and the trademark support of A&K’s top-notch staff around the world. Children’s Activity Coordinators lend a hand to organized child-friendly, fun and educational experiences for all ages. Best of all, they give children the chance to meet other young travellers and return home with new friendships as well as with treasured memories.

Below are travel suggestions that take academic subjects out of the textbooks and into the world:

School Subject Inspiration: Natural Sciences / Environmental Education

Summer Vacation Recommendation: A&K Kenya Family Safari

“Teacher’s Notes” from A&K Managing Director Peter Ngori: The wildlife viewing on an A&K Kenya safari is second to none, but watching tweens and teens learn about the animals and their role in the environment in a meaningful way can really change lives. One of the first things we do visit the Giraffe Center, home to the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Children can offer them food, watching as they gently take it from your hand with their long, blue tongues. At Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage see young animals being cared for by attentive keepers until they are ready to return to the wild. Each morning elephant calves bath in a mud hole and are bottle-fed by human surrogate “mothers.” The safari adventure is only beginning is as we gather with the other families that will share these special moments throughout your safari experience including the special hands-on Adventure Centre which has a rich variety of ‘wild edutainment’ activities, games and competitions, tribal excursions, and special children’s game viewing facilities. 

Departure Dates / Prices: July 5, July 8, July 15, July 29 (from $6,695/adult; $4,695/child) Child policy: minimum age of 5


School Subject Inspiration:  Art History Summer Vacation Recommendation: A&K Family Italy: Emperors & Artists

“Teacher’s Notes” from A&K guide Michael Digby: The most unique parts of this Family Journey are the interactive activities we plan for the kids (and adults!). Play the role of a Roman soldier at a gladiator school. Learn how to toss pizza and make gelato together as a family. One highlight for families is the drive to Bologna, where guests learn the secret of making tortellini. Of course, the “Eternal City” of Rome is a must, where families can witness over 2,000 years of history at every turn. We visit the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel where your young budding artists will gaze up at the frescoed ceiling and learn how it took Michelangelo four years to paint - one of the most renowned artworks of the Renaissance.

Departure Dates / Prices: July 8, July 22 (from: $6,895/adult; $4,695/child) Child policy: minimum age of 6


School Subject Inspiration: Biology / Ecology Summer Vacation Recommendation: A&K Wonders of the Galapagos

“Teacher’s Notes” from Country Manager Margarita Sanchez: There’s nothing like the face of a child making a discovery for the first time – from observing sunbathing sea lions and skittering Sally Lightfoot crabs to tangles of marine iguanas, penguins, finches, terns and blue-footed boobies. 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands are a haven for wildlife. It was this diversity that first led naturalist Charles Darwin to propose that species evolved in response to their environment. Our kid-friendly lectures aboard the M.V. Eclipse expedition ship explain everything from wildlife to geology.

Departure Dates / Prices: July 5, July 12 (from $7,295/adult; $5,995/child) Child policy: minimum age of 4 on specific Family Galapagos departures


School Subject Inspiration: Foreign Language / Social Studies Summer Vacation Recommendation: A&K Family China

“Teacher’s Notes” from A&K Managing Director Patrick Macleod: The best way for kids to understand and appreciate a new culture is by exploring with all five senses. On our Family China journey we explore the Terra Cotta Warriors then let the kids hand make their own miniature version out of clay. On the three-night Yangtze River cruise, kids learn to listen for the nuances of the Mandarin language during lessons designed just for them. Families taste China’s culinary treats during a dumpling-making and noodle throwing demonstration, while a walk through local markets, introduces them to the fragrant teas, oranges, herbal medicines and spicy chili peppers prevalent in this region.. Finally, we go to see a family-friendly Sichuan Opera, the famous face changing performance and one of China’s oldest art forms.

Departure Dates / Prices: July 19, Aug 2 (from $6,295/adult; $4,795/child) Child policy: no age minimum


School Subject Inspiration: History

Summer Vacation Recommendation: A&K Family Egypt

“Teacher’s Notes” from A&K Managing Director Amr Badr: One of the advantages of travelling with A&K is our deep-roots and long-established relationships in Egypt. We have our own private docks on the Nile River at Luxor and Aswan to save time and hassle from the crowds. One of our favorite things to do with children is explore the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, home to many of the  treasures of King Tutankhamun, and pay a private visit to the famed Mummy Room. We also assemble an Egyptian-themed costume party - complete with local cuisine, music and dance and send families on a treasure hunt through the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar.

Departure Dates / Prices: July 9, July 23 (from: $4,595/per person) Child policy: minimum age of 6

Sometimes group departures, specific dates or destinations may not work best for your family. In that case, A&K has 50 years’ experience customizing private journeys that suit the personal interests of each traveller. A Tailor Made family vacation to Europe, or anywhere around the globe, will be carefully crafted by A&K’s destination private travel specialists. Travelling independently offers advantages that particularly benefit a multi-generational family: the freedom to design an itinerary that meets everyone’s approval and the chance to pursue unique interests. With A&K’s Tailor Made Family Travel, our experts around the world have prepared their best suggestions for family-focused itineraries combining sightseeing, wildlife encounters, active and culinary pursuits. Choose to reserve them exactly as they are or let your imaginations go to work.

For more information on educational and entertaining travel experiences included in Abercrombie & Kent’s Family Holidays — or help planning a tailor made family vacation this summer — call 800 554 7094 or visit   


Fairmont Africa & Middle East

Savvy travelers, like us, know that Fairmont Hotels & Resorts likes to reward us who stay social with the brand and its properties on Facebook and Twitter.

But for those who aren’t in the know, Fairmont is running a Weekend Special that includes 50 percent off a second night or second room through February 24, 2013 with a booking code that is only accessible by becoming a fan on Facebook.

At select properties in the Middle East and Africa, you can either stay two nights during the weekend and enjoy 50 percent off your second night, or book two rooms for one weekend night and get the second room at half price.* Available for weekend stays now through February 24, 2013, participating properties include:

    Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi

    Fairmont Dubai

    Fairmont Heliopolis & Towers, Egypt

    Fairmont Nile City, Egypt

    Makkah Clock Royal Tower, A Fairmont Hotel, Saudi Arabia

    Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Kenya

    Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Kenya

    Fairmont The Norfolk, Nairobi

    Fairmont Zimbali Lodge & Resort, South Africa

The booking code for this special offer is only available when you LIKE the brand at, or LIKE any of the individual property pages of the hotels listed above. And while this offer is available through February 2013, stay tuned for more special promotions, rewards and perks throughout the year on Facebook and Twitter (@FairmontHotels). You can also follow the brand on Pinterst at and don’t forget to sign up with Fairmont President’s Club as it’s all about you!

* Offer valid for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Discount will be applied upon check-out.


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, which arrives in destinations as diverse as Jaipur, Kyiv and Manila in 2012, is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand’s distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information or reservations, please call 1-800-441-1414, visit, or contact your local travel professional.

Become a fan of Fairmont. Join the online communities at,,, and For career opportunities, visit


Sonesta Collection of Hotels

The Sonesta Collection of hotels, resorts and cruise ships offers upscale accommodations to savvy travelers in select locations throughout the world. When you travel to any of the locations, you will find they have let the outside culture in. Sonesta have taken the best kept secrets of each area and made them our own.

You don’t need to step outside to feel like you are part of the local culture. Each of the hotels captures the mood and spirit of place they inhabit. Hallways are art galleries, grounds are gardens and the cuisine is locally inspired and artistically created. The dedicated and long- standing staff will ensure your visit is more than just a stay, but a genuine travel experience.

Uncover the secrets which make Sonesta more than a chain but a collection of truly distinct properties.


The Sonesta College Club offers discounts on parking and overnight accommodations, maps and information about area colleges, lists of area resources for students, and preferred reservations options for graduation dates for its members throughout our hotels in the U.S.


Sonesta Hotel & Suites is located in the heart of Coconut Grove, just steps from the cafes, boutiques, entertainment and galleries that make the Grove one of Miami’s most fashionable neighborhoods!
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Explore Boston, one of America’s great cities! The Royal Sonesta Boston offers a variety of getaways and the best views of the Charles River and the city’s dramatic skyline. Whether for romance, shopping or family fun, we have a vacation package just for you!
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Experience Southern charm and European elegance at our grand hotel in the French Quarter. Choose one of our Royal Sonesta Package’s for a true taste of New Orleans!
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Your visit to Egypt is not complete without a stay in Luxor, where the country’s ancient tombs and temples abound. You will discover the mysteries of past civilizations and remember your visit forever - it’s a ‘must-do’!
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The Sonesta Posadas del Inca, our collection of city inns and country lodges, are located near all of the important tourist sites throughout the country. Visit the birthplace of ancient Inca civilization.
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The Sonesta Beach Resort & Casino Sharm El Sheikh offers a private oasis stretching across the sands of Naama Bay and overlooking the Red Sea. Bask in the sun on our private beach or enjoy a swim in one of the resort’s seven swimming pools.
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