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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A&K's Top Travel Picks for 2015 including Destinations, Adventure and Cultural Experiences

As the founder of luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent and a pioneer in experiential travel, Geoffrey Kent certainly knows the best destinations to recommend for adventure, authentic experiences, and unique cultural interactions – places that will change the way you look at the world.

Having travelled around the globe and consulted with A&K destination experts, here are his top picks for the best travel experiences for the year ahead.

Rivers of Southeast Asia

Why do it? Travelling along these historic rivers offers a comfortable way to explore remote regions and glimpse into the daily lives of the local peoples. Cruising along the Mekong River reveals remarkable landscapes, stilt villages, incredible birdlife, wing-tipped pagodas and remote Buddhist monasteries. But for a glimpse of old Indochina, there is no more eye-opening destination than Myanmar, and no better way to experience the romance of a bygone era than by cruising the Irrawaddy River aboard the new all-suite Sanctuary Ananda.

How to do it? A&K’s Journey on the Mekong itinerary (10 days from $10,545 per person twin share); A&K’s Myanmar in Style itinerary (11 days from $7,335 per person twin share).

GK’s Travel Tip? Rise early to visit the fascinating Cai Rang floating market in Vietnam…and bring your camera, this is the place to capture brilliant photographs of daily market life.

India

Why do it? India stirs your senses from every direction, and there are several distinctly different ways to explore the country. You can view the magnificence of the Taj Mahal, then venture deeper into the heartland of rural India. You can combine culture with rich wildlife viewing, from elephants and rhinos to lions and the true king of the jungle, the endangered Bengal tiger. Or you can take in the highlights travelling in comfort by private jet, ending in Hyderabad with a gala three-day festival of gourmet dining, local entertainment and five-star hospitality hosted by Geoffrey Kent at the legendary Taj Falaknuma Palace.

How to do it? A&K’s Splendours of Rajasthan itinerary (14 days from $9,355 per person twin share); In Search of Tiger itinerary (8 days from $4,233 per person twin share); India by Private Jet (15 days from US$28,995 per person twin share; includes Gala Chairman’s Event with Geoffrey Kent).

GK’s Travel Tip? India is one of the most consistently rewarding places to visit in the world and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than in a manner worthy of the maharajahs of old.

Southern Africa

Why do it? Combine outstanding wilderness experiences in Zambia when you visit the South Luangwa, home of the 'walking safari' and widely considered one of Africa's finest and most unspoiled wildlife reserves, and two of Botswana's richest game viewing areas - Chobe National Park and the Okavango Delta. You'll see game from safari vehicles, get up close on foot and float gently past herds on a river cruise. Unspoilt natural beauty and abundant game make these two countries an ideal southern African safari.

How to do it? A&K’s Best of Zambia and Botswana itinerary https://www.abercrombiekent.com/travel/?tid=6018(12 days from $10,594 per person twin share).

GK’s Travel Tip? To relax in complete comfort after a day filled with adventures, listening to the sounds of the bush and seeing the spectacular starry sky – that is one of my favorite things.

China

Why do it? What better way to get the next generation to understand another culture than by exploring with all five senses? Climb the Great Wall by cable car…then ride down by toboggan. Visit the Terra Cotta Warriors and ride a bike along the old Xian city walls, and see gorgeous baby pandas, an experience is not to be missed. Hands-on experiences include a kite-making factory, a lesson in kung fu and the chance to ride (or pedal) a pedicab through the winding alleys of Beijing's hutong district.

How to do it? A&K’s China: A Family Adventure itinerary (12 days from $9,708 per adult; $8,388 per child (under 12)).

GK’s Travel Tip? Adults and kids alike will delight in seeing pandas in their natural habitat. The Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center has just been awarded the prestigious “Global 500” honor by the United Nations.

Egypt

Why do it? A bucket list destination for centuries, there has never been a better time to travel to Egypt. Not only is the country buzzing with renewed optimism, but its many fabled sites are free of crowds and open to in-the-know travellers. Discover the secrets of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities with your expert Egyptologist. Relax on a scenic four–night Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan aboard an award-winning Sanctuary Sun Boat, stopping at off-the-beaten track Denderah, Edfu and Kom Ombo. Enjoy guaranteed entry into one of Egypt’s legendary pyramids, which you literally explore from the inside out.

How to do it? A&K’s Nile in Style journey (9 days from $5,325 per person twin share).

GK’s Travel Tip? The experience for tourists in Egypt right now is as welcoming and upbeat as I’ve ever seen it, plus the ability to see the pyramids without crowds won’t last long.

Peru

Why do it? World famous for its ancient ruins, spectacular scenery and colonial architecture, Peru can now add cuisine to its international appeal. Voted “Best Culinary Destination in South America”, Peru can also claim Lima as the continent’s culinary capital. Sophisticated and inventive, the Peruvian culinary scene is one of the world’s most exciting. Guests can sample the country’s remarkable local produce, scour markets with a local chef and take part in a cooking class, as well as taste local specialties like ceviche. Or venture beyond Lima to the Amazon rainforest, the source of so many of the local ingredients found in this innovative cuisine.

How to do it? A&K’s Taste of Peru journey (9 days from $8628 per person twin share); Cruise the Amazon (4 days from US$3,165 per person twin share).

GK’s Travel Tip? Explore the upper reaches of the wild Amazon in luxury on a cruise. What better way to understand the local cuisine than to see where so many of the indigenous foods come from.

Japan

Why do it? Though steeped in tradition, parts of Japan are stylishly modern. Tokyo is as cosmopolitan a city as you’ll find with its skyscrapers, neon lights and fashionably dressed citizens. But travellers can still glimpse ancient cultural traditions, from kimono-clad geishas in Kyoto to Shinto shrines. There’s incredible architecture, fascinating history and world famous gardens. Leading the country into the new millennium are cutting edge art installations on Naoshima Island and amazing hi-tech hotels. Then there are those cherry blossoms…

How to do it? A&K’s Ancient and Modern itinerary (10 days from $12,675 per person twin share).

GK’s Travel Tip? A visit to Kyoto is like travelling back in time. Founded in the seventh century, it is home to so many of Japan’s national treasures. Marvel at the 1,001 statues of the Goddess of Mercy at Sanjusangendo Temple, visit Kodai-ji for a lesson in Zen meditation, or take part in a tea ceremony.

Wonders of the World… in one extraordinary globe-spanning journey

Why do it? Machu Picchu, Easter Island, the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, Istanbul. These are some of humankind’s most enduring achievements, places that have drawn travellers for centuries. Join 50 privileged guests on a privately chartered Boeing 757-200ER with custom-designed Italian leather lie-flat seats. End the journey in Marrakech with A&K founder Geoffrey Kent.

How to do it? A&K’s Wonders of the World by Private Jet journey (24 days from US$108,000 per person twin share).

GK’s Travel Tip? Ride a camel through the pristine Erg Chebbi dunes to A&K’s exclusive desert camp. The handcrafted caidale-style tents once welcomed dignitaries in Moroccan palaces. Watch the sun set over the dunes and enjoy an unforgettable dinner under the stars with a traditional performance by local tribesmen.

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
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