Want to escape Aussie shores this Christmas? Why not reward yourself for the year's hard work, take the hassle out of the big day and let someone else take charge. Luxury travel company, Abercrombie & Kent, has five enticing ideas to whet your appetite.
Picture the onion domes of Moscow's St Basil's Cathedral with a dusting of snow, rugging up for a troika ride through Pavlovsk Park, fur hats and ice skating, vodka and lashings of caviar. All this plus ballet and opera performances, ice sculptures and a beautiful winter wonderland. Join in the festivities of the Orthodox Christmas which is celebrated on 6th January and get cosy in Moscow and St Petersburg's finest hotels.
A&K's 9day 'Jewels of Russia' journey from $9,355 per person. Christmas and New Year supplements apply.
Petra and Beyond
Jordan has a colourful history and a warm and welcoming culture. Famously home to Petra, the country's most famous archaeological site, it has a wealth of other fascinating attractions. The Australian summer is also an ideal time to visit when temperatures are at their most comfortable and on A&K's week long private journey guests visit old Roman cities and crusader castles plus dramatic landscapes and the mineral-laden waters of the Dead Sea.
A&K's 7-day 'Highlights of Jordan' journey from $4,037 per person. Christmas and New Year supplements apply.
Ecuador for the New Year
With a remote location 960kms off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands reward the inquisitive with a dazzling array of plant and animal life with many species found nowhere else on the planet. Famous as the inspiration for Darwin's 'The Origin of Species', the place is a living laboratory best explored with expert guides on board small luxury cruise vessel MV Eclipse.
A&K's 12-day 'Sail the Enchanted Isles' itinerary includes a 7-night cruise on MV Eclipse with family departures in December and January priced from $12,020 per adult. Christmas and New Year supplements apply.
Close to home, Vietnam is a top choice for a luxury Christmas abroad with the family. Though Buddhism is the dominant religion there, the festival commemorating the birth of Christ is still observed with great vigour and you'll find so much to offer: bustling cities, beaches, mountains, an iconic river, temples and lush countryside as well as several UNESCO World Heritage sites. Hotels are world class and a junk trip on Halong Bay one of the highlights. The cuisine is world famous with chances to participate in cooking classes or street food tasting.
A&K's 13-day 'Vietnam: A Family Adventure' journey is priced from $4,476 per adult and $3,612 per child under 12 years. Christmas and New Year supplements apply.
Enchanting Sri Lanka
Blessed with a wonderful tropical climate and a go-slow attitude, Sri Lanka is one of the most alluring destinations on the planet, and one of the most happening. The island nation boasts an extraordinary number of fascinating historic sites including the ancient cities, temples and fortresses of the central plains plus a variety of landscapes from high mountains and fertile plains to white sandy beaches and thick jungle and terraces of tea and natural harbours. The food is simple and delicious and there are beautiful boutique hotels dotted throughout the island and a level of service which is surprising.
A&K's 14-day 'Enchanting Sri Lanka' journey is priced from $6,205 per person. Christmas and New Year supplements apply.
A South Africa Safari
For a spectacular Christmas that the whole family will remember, head to South Africa. With its stunning blend of dramatic scenery, exciting wildlife, world class food and wine and an easy going vibe it's one for the bucket list. A&K recommends combining the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve with a stint at Lion Sands Game Reserve where you'll be waited on hand and foot and see inspirational wildlife up close. In between, a stay in Cape Town offers a fun and active urban experience with biking, walking, a cable car ride up Table Mountain and a penguin colony visit. The weather is perfect there at that time and there's plenty to do - horse riding and surfing, gallery visits and shopping, fine dining and wine tasting, mountain biking and walking safaris.
A&K's 12-day 'A Family Adventure in South Africa' journey from $8,338 per adult and $5,917 per child under 10 (based on family of 4). Christmas and New Year supplements apply.
To book your A&K itinerary today or to enquire further please contact Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 590 317 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.au