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Luxury travel: The $1.5 million travel gift

Posted by Melanie Nayer  December 20, 2013 08:33 AM

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taj-majal-flexjet_1.jpgPhoto courtesy of Abercrombie and Kent
'Tis the season for giving, and better way to show you care than with the ultimate in luxury travel gift. It's the gift of all gifts for the luxury traveler in your life, and it will cost you a cool $1.5 million.

Passport to the World, the newest collaboration between private-jet company Flexjet and luxury travel outfitter Abercrombie & Kent, is providing a premier opportunity to see the world by private jet in 14 days.

The trip takes you and seven of your closest friends to seven cities onboard a Challenger 605 aircraft. You'll pick the people you travel with and the dates you travel - no pre-set itineraries or people you don't know (save for the captain and crew, who I'm sure you'll become close with within minutes onboard this luxury aircraft).

Your business jet features roomier seats that transform into beds, state-of-the-art audio and video systems, and global Wi-Fi. Your seven stops include cities in Japan, China, Turkey, France, and India. You'll dine at Michelin-star restaurants, shop at one-of-a-kind designer boutiques, enjoy private sunset cruises, after-hours access to art museums, and so much more... all you have to do is ask.

Here's a suggested itinerary from the Abercrombie & Kent website:

Osaka / Kyoto, Japan (two nights) – Following a quick stop in Anchorage to refuel, the group lands in Osaka and continues to Kyoto, home of the famed Toji Temple, which was built in the year 826 and at 187 feet is the tallest pagoda in Japan. Travelers enjoy exclusive access to Toji’s Five Story Pagoda as well as the emperor’s private retreat, both of which are closed to the public. No trip to Kyoto would be complete without a visit to Arashiyama Kitcho, often described as one of the best Japanese restaurants in the world, with food “almost too beautiful to eat,” as distinguished by its three Michelin stars. Travelers savor this feast accompanied by geisha dancing, music and games. Following an afternoon Japanese Tea Ceremony, return to the Ritz-Carlton Osaka, located in the prestigious business and shopping district of Nishi-Umeda.

Beijing, China (three nights) – From hutongs, narrow alleyways that date back to the Ming period and earlier, to the “Birds Nest” and “Water Cube,” two stunning architectural highlights from the 2008 Olympics, travelers encounter 3,000 years of history firsthand in Beijing. Travelers also visit the Temple of Heaven, one of the great monuments built during the reign of the Ming emperors, where a resident master gives a special lesson in Tai Chi beneath the grandeur of the magnificent temple. Visit the Joyongguan section of the Great Wall, one of the vast structure’s most scenic stretches, for a Champagne toast and white-cloth picnic lunch atop the wall itself. Travelers spend their nights at The Peninsula Beijing – a graceful melding of the grandeur of the past and the luxury of the present – ideally situated near the city’s historic heart, the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.

Hong Kong, China (two nights) – Guests bid farewell to Beijing as they travel to Hong Kong, the dazzling jewel of the Far East. Travelers board a privately chartered Peak Tram car – Hong Kong’s oldest means of public transport – for a trip to the top of Victoria Peak, where cooling breezes, picturesque vistas and verdant foliage greet them, followed by a sunset cruise around Hong Kong’s famed Victoria Harbor. At Man Mo Temple, the most revered Daoist temple in the territory, guests have the opportunity to draw a joss stick and have their fortune told by the temple priest. An authentic dim sum lunch at Lung King Heen, Hong Kong’s only three-star Michelin restaurant, is followed by a restorative session in Zu Di An Muo, traditional Chinese reflexology used to treat any ailment. Travelers stay at The Peninsula Hong Kong, one of the world’s legendary grand hotels born in the glamourous 1920s.

Agra, India (two nights) – Travelers arrive in Agra to the palatial Oberoi Amarvilas hotel, where they are welcomed with showers of rose petals and given a red-powdered bindi on their forehead as a mark of respect. Travelers visit the Taj Mahal in both the morning and the evening, seeing for themselves the unforgettable way in which the monument seems to change hues with the colors of the day. A private Mughal-themed dinner with Kathak dancers caps an incredible visit to India.

Istanbul, Turkey (two nights) – Istanbul embodies the meeting of the East and West, and is the only city that was an imperial capital for 1,700 years. Visitors enjoy private openings of Hagia Sophia, one of the most extraordinary creations in the history of architecture; the Topkapi Palace Complex, the center of Ottoman government from which the Turks ruled most of Europe and the Middle East; and the Chora Church, considered the richest repository of Byzantine interior wall decorations. Dine with the owner of a stunning 18th-century wooden mansion of an Ottoman royal, and witness a demonstration of Whirling Dervishes. Accommodations are at the Ciragan Palace Hotel Kempinski Istanbul, which combines the architectural grandeur of a palace on the Bosphorus with the comforts of a modern deluxe hotel.

Paris, France (two nights) – On their first evening in Paris, guests dine overlooking the City of Lights at the Jules Verne restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower. Travelers make their Paris visit their own by choosing from an extensive list of exclusive activities including private, after-hours access to the permanent collections on display in the world-famous Louvre Museum; the Hidden Versailles Tour, featuring the private quarters of Louis XV and Louis XVI; and a walking tour with a Parisian restaurant critic and food expert, introducing some of the most delectable food in Paris. Travelers reside at Le Meurice, ranked among the most elegant hotels in the world for almost two centuries.

Intrigued? More details are available at

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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