• Abercrombie & Kent’s new Extreme Adventures
Collection. Earlier this year, A&K launched a new collection of 18 adventures, which combines its signature
high-end product and services with a taste for danger.
Departures began in fall 2008, but 2009 will be the program’s first full year in operation.
The Extreme Adventures range from sledding with
dogs and reindeer in Norway to flying on a supersonic
fighter jet in South Africa or camping out in a gorilla
park in Uganda.
The trips are pricey. Climbing to the Mount Everest
base camp is priced at a minimum of $5,315 per person, not including air. A trek to the South Pole is more
than $40,000 per person, not including air.
Who doesn’t want to retrace the steps of Lawrence of
Arabia by camelback?
• Globus’ vignettes tours. Globus is reinventing product for the first-time Europe tour-goer with its new vignette program.
Vignette itineraries offer a twist on the classic “If It’s
Tuesday” panorama tours. They include two-night stays
in most cities and incorporate much more free time.
They also include at least one rail connector for a break
from the motorcoach.
The four itineraries are The Best of Italy and France;
Highlights of Italy and Eastern Europe; Enchanting
Europe, a tour through Western Europe; and Europe’s
Golden Coast, from Rome to Madrid.
• More rail tours. In 2008, motorcoach heavyweights
Trafalgar and Globus launched programs that include
rail travel in Europe.
In the U.S., GrandLuxe Rail Journeys closed down its
vintage train operation in 2008. But now, a new operator has jumped in to fill the void. Trainshares is launching the Train’Shares brand, a timeshare and train-vacation business that will begin offering rail journeys
throughout the U.S. and Canada on the restored vintage cars in April.
• Uniworld’s two new ships. In March, Uniworld will
launch the 410-foot River Beatrice in Europe, the operator’s longest Europe-based river ship to date. It will
have 15 suites and 65 staterooms, 80% of which will
have French balconies, all with Uniworld’s signature
boutique design, and is scheduled for 33 departures on
Uniworld’s Enchanting Danube itinerary.
The River Tosca, to debut in April, will be Uniworld’s
first company-owned ship sailing Nile itineraries.
The 84-passenger, all-suite River Tosca will feature a
swimming pool with cabanas, a whirlpool spa on the
sun deck and a rooftop bar. Most suites will be more
than 300 square feet, and two presidential suites will be
more than 650 square feet, with adjoining private terraces.
The River Tosca will run three itineraries, including
the 11-day Ancient Wonders of Egypt & the Nile, which
starts in Cairo and, after a flight to Luxor, runs from
Dendera to Philae Island.
The 13-day Jewels of Egypt, the Nile & Lake Nasser,
runs from Cairo to Abu Simbel and back. The 13-day
Splendors of Egypt & the Nile will offer a similar itinerary that runs to Lake Nasser and includes Sakkara and
• Victoria Jenna. When Victoria Cruises’ newest ship
on China’s Yangtze River sets sail for the first time in
April, it will not only be the largest river cruise ship on
the Yangtze, but possibly in the world.
The 378-passenger vessel surpasses Victoria Cruises’ most recent build, the 2006 Victoria Anna, by 70
passengers. Victoria Jenna will sail various one-way
and roundtrip itineraries between Chongqing and
The Victoria Jenna will offer 149 standard cabins, 35
junior suites, three deluxe suites and two Shangri-la
Suites, all with private balconies. It will also feature two
dining rooms, a single-seating main dining room and
an a la carte restaurant.
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Trafalgar used France’s TGV rail system in the Cote d’Azur on its Contrasts of France train itinerary in 2008. Train travel could pick up steam in 2009.