Luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent is delighted to release the third in its striking portfolio of travel compendia for 2012.
The new India, Orient & Europe brochure is instantly identifiable by the handsome peacock on its cover. Within is a comprehensive collection of handpicked holiday ideas finessed with A&K’s customary style.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, A&K has perfected the art of delivering seamless and inspiring travel experiences the world over. The company’s evolution from its early days outfitting safaris in the African bush to the sophisticated global travel business observed 50 years on, has seen it become synonymous with excellence and reliability, which means peace of mind and security for guests – A&K’s most important commodity. Each journey is personally tailored to suit the individual and enhanced by unique Insider Access opportunities, all of which is made possible by the collective wealth of knowledge and experience inherent in its team of over 2,200 staff and 60 offices worldwide.
“50 years ago, A&K was present only on the African continent”, says Sujata Raman, the Managing Director of A&K’s Australia operations. “Today I am proud to report that the company has a presence on all seven continents. India, the Orient and Europe are all fast growing destinations for A&K and we have a well-established network throughout each region, and with an average of 25 years’ experience in each one. This portfolio presents not just our perennial favourites and best-selling journeys, but also some new adventures along with some of our new product streams including family travel, small group journeys and ideas for the solo traveller.”
A&K has identified multi-generational travel as an increasingly dominant trend. In response, this year the company is pleased to release family friendly journeys to China and Vietnam. Educational and experiential, these well-paced holidays will delight travellers of all ages. Specially selected activities like kite making, pottery, biking and cooking will keep even the youngest adventurer engaged.
A&K’s 12 day ‘China: A Family Adventure’ from $6995 per adult and $5695 per child (based on family of 4).
Mongolia, one of the world’s most remote and rarely visited destinations, is the focus for one of A&K’s exclusive small group journeys. With its famous Naadam Festival, wild horsemen, nomads, yurts and dramatic landscapes, the country is full of evocative images and fascinating attractions. A day at the festival is included with archery, horse racing, dancing, wrestling and musical performances.
A&K’s 12 day ‘Mongolia: Naadam Festival & the Gobi Desert’ from US$9235.
Solo travellers are catered for as well in the new portfolio, with luxury rail and cruise experiences a must. From the renowned Orient-Express stable, routes such as the Road To Mandalay in Myanmar, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Europe and The Royal Scotsman in Scotland all enable solo guests to travel at no additional cost to the regular twin pricing and each provides wonderful on board camaraderie.
A&K’s 4 day ‘Road To Mandalay’ from $2500.
In a country famous for its tea culture, A&K releases its Darjeeling Extension itinerary. Based at charming Glenburn Tea Estate overlooking the Kanchenjunga mountain range, this short stay provides guests with a luxurious and relaxing introduction to India’s ‘tea story’ against the backdrop of some of the country’s most iconic hill stations.
A&K’s 4 day ‘Darjeeling Extension’ from $1135.
Also in India, the dazzling temples of Orissa in the east of the country are a new highlight. Sprawled across the Deccan Plateau, the most famous is Hampi – a vast World Heritage listed collection of temple complexes and shrines some dating as far back as the 15th century, which offers up a fascinating contrast to the beguiling delights of Kolkata, India’s cultural capital.
A&K’s 7 day ‘Jewels of the East’ from $1995.
Travelling for health and wellbeing is firmly in vogue and India is synonymous with meditation, yoga and spirituality. With that in mind, A&K launches a 4-day retreat at the award-winning Ananda Ayurvedic Spa in the Himalayas where a specially tailored programme is included for guests. In addition to wellness experiences and treatments, also on offer are Ayurvedic cooking classes, river rafting and golf.
A&K’s 4 day ‘Escape to Ananda’ from $1770.
Six Senses Con Dao is the perfect antidote for those seeking rest and relaxation and the sanctuary of one of the world’s most idyllic beachfront resorts. Just a short flight from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, this stunning hideaway offers guests a wealth of things to do – or not depending on their inclination, and combines perfectly with A&K’s popular ‘Highlights of Vietnam’.
A&K’s 4 day ‘Con Dao Extension’ from $1585.
Laos remains one of Asia’s most charming and unspoiled destinations, and even more so in the south of the country where the rural existence remains little changed in centuries. The experience includes visiting minority villages, Khmer ruins and the vast riverscapes of the 4000 Islands region.
A&K’s 4 day ‘Southern Laos Extension’ from $925.
A&K’s Italian offering features two new entries for 2012. The first combines a visit to the beautiful towns and villas of Italy’s celebrated northern lakes with its stunning Riviera coastline. Another journey focuses on Tuscany’s rich gastronomic traditions and includes special culinary experiences, wine tasting and cooking lessons.
A&K’s 8 day ‘Tuscany Food & Wine’ from $9845.
Europe’s central European capitals also provide a new focus, with a new itinerary incorporating the contrasting cities of Berlin, Dresden and Prague. Carefully restored post-war Dresden provides a tranquil contrast to dynamic Berlin and its famous monuments, while Prague’s Old Town offers up stunning medieval laneways and architecture alongside undeniably cosmopolitan attractions.
A&K’s 8 day ‘Cities of Central Europe’ from $7450.
Guests visiting Moscow might consider a short side trip to explore the ancient towns to the northeast of the Capital. Essentially open-air museums, villages feature unique and picturesque monuments of Russian architecture from the 12th to the 18th centuries.
A&K’s 3 day ‘Golden Ring Extension’ from $3725.
New hotels & experiences
India has seen a profusion of luxurious boutique hotel openings over the last year. A&K’s favourites include Tree of Life Resort and Spa just out of Jaipur. Featuring just 14 spacious sandstone villas, the Resort offers a highly personalised experience, with tailored activities to suit each individual guest. In the heart of Jodhpur’s old walled city is Raas, a unique property which is a stylish blend of new and old. Understated luxury is the key here and the views of Mehrangarh Fort dominating the skyline are unforgettable.
A&K recommends incorporating these properties in a luxury journey to Rajasthan.
Another adventure recommendation when visiting Rajasthan is to take to the skies in a hot air balloon. Hour-long flights are available in Jaipur, Ranthambore, Pushkar or Udaipur, with highly experienced international pilots at the helm.
In Vietnam, A&K partners with the beautiful Nam Hai, a cool, contemporary beach resort to the north of Hoi An, incorporating one of Asia’s top spas. A 3-night stay here is included in A&K’s Highlights of Vietnam itinerary.
Also featuring is the new beachfront Fusion Maia Resort near Danang, Vietnam’s first all pool villa property in the area, which offers its guests a variety of complimentary spa treatments within the tariff.
In China, A&K welcomes the St Regis Beijing to its portfolio. Centrally located, with elegantly appointed guest quarters, lovely views and a butler on hand, it is a fitting base for Platinum guests travelling on A&K’s ‘Highlights of China’ journey.
A&K has also partnered with a small collection of luxury European hotels in 2012. These include the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, Lake Como’s Villa d’Este, Chateau de Bagnols in South-East France, the Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg and Brown’s Hotel in London. All are easily incorporated within a private journey through Europe.