Abercrombie & Kent’s founder, chairman and CEO Geoffrey Kent, who has devoted his life to travel and spends more than two-thirds of the year exploring new destinations, shares the latest travel intel on destinations that will take your client’s Instagram feed to the next level in 2019.
7. Israel & Jordan
Why go now: With a rich history tracing back to biblical times, it’s not about what’s new in these ancient lands. It’s the dramatic increase in interest from culturally curious travellers.
How to go: Explore the intertwined histories of these two countries, visiting historic sites and cruising on the Sea of Galilee. Discover Petra and take a four-wheel-drive excursion through Jordan’s Wadi Rum, a desert of otherworldly proportions. Bathe in the buoyant, mineral-rich Dead Sea. Experience the contrast between ancient and modern Israel with visits to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jaffa and Tel Aviv. Ancient Wonders: Jordan & Israel (13 days from $8,495).
GK Travel Tip: “Jordan is a playground for active adventurers and now there’s a new way to explore the 400-mile Jordan Trail. A&K Philanthropy teamed up with Working Bikes to send donated bicycles to Jordan. When each shipping container arrives, it is converted into a bike shop staffed by locals who have been trained to repair and rent out bikes along sections of the trail.”
Why go now: It’s difficult to find anywhere in Europe where it’s possible to escape the crowds. This is one example, especially when you travel off-season, to see a more authentic side of Scandinavia.
How to go: Sample an extraordinary range of winter experiences including a cruise on an icebreaker, overnighting in an ice hotel and sleeping under a glass dome to watch for the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed. Northern Lights of Lapland (9 days from $8,395).
GK Travel Tip: “I led an expedition above the Arctic Circle earlier this year and everyone described it as ‘the trip of a lifetime.’ Pictures simply do not do justice to the experience of losing yourself in this vast landscape.”
Why go now: Luxury travel has arrived in Rwanda with high-end lodges, camps and hotels opening. One&Only Nyungwe House, located on the edge of the Nyungwe Forest in the mountainous southwest, opened in October 2017 alongside ancient rainforest, within the lush green expanse of a working tea plantation. One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is scheduled to open in this fall. Located near the village of Kingi, it is in the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range. In addition to a gorilla trek, guests can also see golden monkeys and visit Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Camp. Singita Kwitonda Lodge is set to open in August 2019 on the edge of Volcanoes National Park.
How to go: Travelers are drawn by the chance to see critically endangered mountain gorillas in the cloud forests of Parc National des Volcans. But there is much more in Rwanda. The chimpanzees and canopy walkway in Nyungwe Forest are not to be missed. And Lake Kivu is one of the most peaceful and tranquil places in East Africa. Tailor Made Rwanda: Gorilla Trekking Adventure (8 days from $10,595).
GK Travel Tip: “Rwanda is where the abundant wildlife and verdant landscapes of the West African jungle meet the East African savanna.”
Why go now: The Iberian Peninsula reveals the many influences that the Moors, Jews and Europeans had on the history, culture and cuisine of this region.
How to go: Spain & Portugal: A Journey Across Iberia explores northern and southern Spain as well as Portugal. Taste the region’s culinary specialties on a tapas tour of Madrid. Enjoy a privately guided tour of the Prado Museum, as well as two nights at the Gehry-designed Hotel Marques de Riscal before visiting the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Roam the medieval streets of Cordoba’s Jewish Quarter and view the stunning interior of the city’s Grand Mosque. (14 days from $10,995) For travelers short on time, customize your trip to Portugal on Tailor Made Portugal: Inspiring Iberia (7 days from $6,295)
GK Travel Tip: “Don’t miss the National Tile Museum, housed in the 16th century Convent of Madre de Deus, to see some of the finest examples of the beautifully detailed painted tiles for which Lisbon is renowned.”
Why go now: Brazil is abuzz with new luxury hotel openings, including the Anantara Marau Bahia Resort, opening in July next to the Bay of Camamu on the Marau Peninsula in Bahia; the Juma Amazon Lodge, a luxury hotel in downtown Manaus, and the Four Seasons Hotel Sao Paulo at Nacoes Unidas, due to open at the end of 2018 in one of Sao Paulo’s fastest-growing and most desirable areas.
How to go: Immerse yourself in the intoxicating spirit of Rio as you toast the sunset atop Sugar Loaf Mountain, take in the Carnival Winners’ Parade, and cruise Guanabara Bay. Be part of a Carnival street experience and see an encore performance of Carnival champions at the Winners’ Parade. Continue on to historic Salvador, exploring the sounds and flavors of the vibrant Bahian culture. Brazil: The Essence of Carnival (8 days from $6,595).
GK Travel Tip: “A party unlike any other, Rio’s Carnival should be at the top of your list. We had an amazing time at the Samba parade—over 80,000 people all singing, dancing and having such a joyous time. If you haven’t been, I strongly recommend you go. This is a memory you will never forget!”
2. Gobi Desert, Mongolia
Why go now: Rugged Mongolia is an adventurous destination where travelers can experience nomadic life in a vast landscape still relatively untouched by modern life. The country offers an authentic look at life “off the grid.”
How to go: The Gobi Desert lies in the remote area between the Siberian wilderness to the north and the Tibetan Plateau to the south. However, travelers will not sacrifice luxury for adventure on Cultural Treasures: Around the World by Private Jet (23 days from $129,000). Settle in at a comfortable ger camp, a luxurious take on a traditional nomadic dwelling. The night sky is awe-inspiring and an astronomer will be on hand to lead an evening of stargazing. Visit the Flaming Cliffs, accompanied by a local paleontologist who describes the extraordinary dinosaur finds (including the first dinosaur eggs). A choice of Design Your Day options includes a camel ride and visit with a nomadic family; a private calligraphy lesson; meditation instruction with a Buddhist lama; archery with an expert tutor; or a hike in an ancient river valley.
GK Travel Tip: “Nothing rivals the Naadam Games, the traditional contests of archery, wrestling and horsemanship that reflect Mongolia’s military history. Local experts recreate this thrilling experience for our guests.”
1. Northwest Passage
Why go now: Few areas on earth are as remote and untouched as the Northwest Passage. Steeped in history, and rich in wildlife, a voyage to the Canadian Arctic offers an once-in-a-lifetime adventure very few people have experienced.
How to go: Travel alongside experts on the history of exploration, marine mammals, ornithology, geology and native art, as well as a Photo Coach. Learn from Zodiac drivers who are experienced field naturalists with close-up views of wildlife and geological wonders. Guests cruise aboard exclusively chartered, all-balcony Le Boreal. The Northwest Passage: From Greenland to the Bering Sea, Aug. 26-Sept. 18, 2019. (24 days from $32,995, early booking: $29,995).
GK Travel Tip: “Think of this as a semester at sea with university-level courses in history, marine biology, geology, and much more, offered in the field from the comfort of a luxury expedition ship. The opportunity to visit remote villages and meet local Inuit people is so rewarding. Observing their traditional way of life and learning how they survive in the often-harsh Arctic environment is unforgettable.”
For more information, visit abercrombiekent.com.