Tailor the perfect holiday itinerary with these recommended short tour options
Read time: 13 mins
If you want to be able to choose your own type of travel experiences, a tailor-made holiday will allow you to do just that. From North America to Africa, the Far East and destinations in between, these bespoke tours are sure to make for the trip of a lifetime.
While Africa is famous for its wildlife safaris, there’s a whole lot more to this continent than its exotic animals, though viewing them is surely the highlight. Watch wildebeest and zebra migrations, feeling the vibrations of their thundering hooves underneath your feet, witness lions stalk their prey and even an elephant feeding her baby. But you can also discover beautiful beaches, picturesque vineyards, diverse cultures, rich traditions and so much more.
Taste of Kenya 4 X 4 Safari + Msambweni Beach House
The 4-night Taste of Kenya 4 X 4 Safari tour will bring you to the best of Africa’s renowned wildlife, with stays in Aberdare, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara national parks. Aberdare is home to lion, elephant, leopard, East African wild dog, olive baboon and several types of monkeys, while Lake Nakuru brings the chance to all the big safari animals other than elephants. Its especially known for its black and white rhino as well as its two million flamingos that linger around the lake’s shoreline. In Masai Mara, experience a real life ‘Out of Africa’ scene where every year during the great migration an estimated 2.5 million creatures make the trek through the Serengeti ecosystem, crossing through this national reserve. The annual spectacle features wildebeest, zebra and gazelle that stampede across the plains searching for greener pastures.
Combining a safari with a stay at the Msambweni Beach House is an ideal way to round out this African holiday. It boasts its own private stretch of beach in Kenya, offering luxury and seclusion with stunning views of the Indian Ocean from its clifftop location.
Taste of Tanzania + The Residence Zanzibar
This excursion includes five nights in Tanzania, a place filled with natural wonders from Serengeti National Park to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and beyond. It includes luxury tented camp stays and luxurious lodges and the chance to see the Big Five: African elephants, leopards and lions; black rhinoceros and cape buffalo. Visit the Ngorongoro Crater, often said to be the best spot on Earth for viewing the most wildlife in one, spectacular compact wildlife venue. From the very first jaw-dropping sight of the crater and the thrill of the descent down its inner walls, here you’ll get a true sense of what Africa is all about.
Add a stay at The Residence Zanzibar on this tailor-made holiday and you’ll be able to spend your days basking in the sun on the sandy beach, kayaking and snorkelling, sipping cocktails and enjoying refreshing dips in the glass-walled pool. You’ll have your own lavish villa to return to, complete with stunning ocean views and a personal butler, as well as mouth-watering dining options.
Northern Kruger Safari + Blue Train & Cape Town Self-Drive
Kruger National Park in South Africa boasts the greatest variety of wildlife on the continent. It’s home to over 140 mammal species, including the Big Five and a host of others, from wild dogs and crocodiles to cheetahs, giraffes, parrots and hornbills. The Northern Kruger Safari includes five nights here at two different luxury lodges. Expect upscale accommodation, game drives and walking safaris along with delicious cuisine and decadent spa treatments.
Combine your safari with the Blue Train & Cape Town Self-Drive which takes in many of the delights of South Africa over six nights. The Blue Train is considered one of the most luxurious sleeper trains in the world and you’ll get to enjoy the 2-night journey from Pretoria to Cape Town, taking in the one-of-a-kind views of the savannah and Karoo desert along the way. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy Cape Town too, perhaps exploring the nearby Winelands and taking the cable car to the top of Table Mountain as well as Boulders Beach, famous for its penguin colonies.
The Middle East is a vast area with a very diverse group of nations stretching all the way from the border of Pakistan, across the Arabian Peninsula, to the eastern countries of North Africa. It offers many unforgettable sights and attractions that can’t be experienced back home, including endless golden sands for the ultimate Arabian experience.
Highlights of Oman Tour + Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa
The Highlights of Oman Tour includes four days and three nights for a fabulous taste of Arabia in this small country that juts out into the Sea of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Arabian Gulf. You’ll visit a sultan’s palace, explore a fascinating museum and embark on a 4 X 4 tour starting at the Grand Mosque, one of the world’s most famous religious buildings. The trip will also take you through the sand dunes on a 4 X 4, to view greenback turtles on the beach and swimming in the Bima Sink Hole - a limestone crater filled with intense blue waters, and much more.
A stay at the luxurious Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa offers a magical way to complete this Arabian holiday with its sweeping views of the Gulf of Oman against a backdrop of rugged mountains. One of the most exclusive properties in Muscat, spend five nights feeling as if you’re royalty, enjoying the private beach, enticing infinity pool, tranquil spa and outstanding dining options, from Spanish fare to Omani, Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine.
There are few more postcard-perfect images than a pristine white sandy beach framed by strikingly clear azure waters, which is what you’ll find in an Indian Ocean holiday. It’s filled with lush islands, wildlife and opportunities to relax in a hammock, with the gentle breeze and the ever-present sunshine kissing your skin.
Sri Lanka Leopard Safari + Cinnamon Bey Beruwala
The 2-night Leopard Safari in Sri Lanka brings opportunities to view a variety of wildlife and gorgeous scenery, staying in spacious South African-style tents with king beds set deep within the wilderness near Yala and Wilpattu national parks, complete with al fresco dining. It includes activities like two game drives a day, wildlife walks, cooking and photography lessons as well as fabulous meals. Just some of the animals you might spot in addition to leopards includes elephants, sloth bears and mugger crocodiles.
After your unforgettable safari, enjoy a 7-night stay at the all-inclusive Cinnamon Bey Beruwala which enjoys dazzling sea views near the historic settlement of Beruwala. Choose a suite on the top floor and you’ll have a balcony with your own private plunge pool. The property features three swimming pools, a spa, a wide variety of dining options, opportunities for water sports and excursions.
Far East & Asia
This region is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with crystal-clear turquoise waters for swimming, snorkelling and diving in places like Thailand, along with lush greenery, to-die-for cuisine and rich culture, history and traditions.
Overnight at the Float House River Kwai + Wonders of Thailand
Start your explorations of Thailand with a bang, staying at the Float House River Kwai which includes a 2-day private guided tour from Bangkok. You’ll head to Kanchanaburi, just two hours away from the capital city to explore the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre Museum with its fascinating World War II artefacts, survivor accounts and more. A short boat ride will take you to the Float House, made up of individual floating villas connected by a boardwalk and surrounded by verdant jungle.
After returning to Bangkok join the 12-night Wonders of Thailand tour where you’ll discover many of the country’s highlights. You’ll tour the city by long-tail boat, visit elephant sanctuaries for close encounters with Asian elephants, meet the locals in rural villages, explore Doi Inthanon National Park with its mountains, cascading falls and caves, and ancient temples in Chiang Mai.
Sapa Mountain Retreat + Luxury Vietnam & Cambodia
Explore two fantastic Southeast countries while enjoying plenty of luxuries by combining the Sapa Mountain Retreat and Luxury Vietnam & Cambodia tour. Spend three nights in north Vietnam near the border of China in the mountain town of Sapa which overlooks a lush valley with stunning rice terraces. You’ll stay at the lavish Victoria Sapa Resort and Spa and enjoy a private tour with an expert driver guide, venturing into the highlands. Enjoy walks through magnificent scenery and opportunities to meet the locals for an authentic slice of life, including visits with the friendly Black H’mong and Red Dao people.
Return to Hanoi for the 10-night Luxury Vietnam & Cambodia itinerary, a trip popular with honeymooners and others seeking to celebrate a special occasion. Explore the buzzing capital of Hanoi and its Old Quarter lined with centuries-old businesses to get a glimpse of local life, gazing at impressive Asian and French colonial architecture. Sample mouth-watering cuisine in the restaurants and visit the city’s fascinating collection of museums. You’ll enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience, cruising Halong Bay with its incredible collection of limestone islands, cliffs and some 2,000 karst outcrops. Visit Chinese temples in the ancient riverside town of Hoi An and cap off the trip with a visit to Siem Reap and its famous temples and ruins of Angkor Wat, a place that truly looks like a painting come to life.
Borneo Jungle & Orangutans Jungle Lodge + Borneo Experience
Malaysian Borneo is one of the ultimate rainforest destinations for wildlife and unspoiled natural lands. Begin this magical adventure with a 2-night stay at the Abai Jungle Lodge which enjoys uninterrupted jungle views as well as opportunities to spot crocodiles in the river and long-tailed macaques and proboscis monkeys in the trees. With luck on your side, you might even glimpse a pygmy elephant or an orangutan. Dine on delicious meals made with fresh, local produce in the riverfront restaurant and overnights in wooden chalets linked by boardwalks.
The 7-night Borneo Experience combines time on the beach, water sports, pampering at a spa and the opportunity to visit one of the last remaining rainforest destinations that’s home to the endangered orangutan. The highlight is the Sepilok Nature Centre, the world’s largest rehab centre for orangutans. Visit the outdoor nursery, home to 25 young orphaned orangutans and view an orangutan feeding.
The United States and Canada cover 7.6 million square miles, from colourful rugged canyons and fiery red rock deserts to soaring mountains, remote wilderness areas and cosmopolitan cities. With so much to offer, it’s easy to create a customised holiday here whether you hope to experience some of the region’s most magnificent scenery, wildlife watching and outdoor adventures, cultural attractions and historical sites, top-notch shopping and dining or a combination of all the above.
Bear & Wildlife Watching at Spirit Lake Lodge + Encounter BC – Vancouver & Victoria Twin Centre
For those who hope to be one of the rare few to spot the elusive ‘Spirit bear,’ officially known as the Kermode bear along with lush, rainforest scenery and experience British Columbia’s two most popular cities, consider combining these two unforgettable excursions. Spend four nights at Spirit Lodge in the Great Bear Rainforest, where you’ll be led by an expert for the opportunity to view one of less than 400 of the rare bears that remain in the world today. You’ll immerse yourself in First Nations culture and watch for other creatures from marine life like orca and humpback whales to wolves, mountain goats, Sitka deer and cougars. As this tour begins and ends in Vancouver, it makes it easy to get a taste of B.C.’s coastal cities.
A bespoke Encounter BC 5-night itinerary, you’ll take in some of the best of Vancouver’s food and drink, including a foodie tour of Granville Market, and explore some of its top museums while enjoying the spectacular surrounding mountain and water scenery. Hop on a ferry to Vancouver Island, watching for whales along the way, before walking through the Victoria’s world-renowned Butchart Gardens, the reason B.C.’s capital is often referred to as the “City of Gardens.” Stay at the Fairmont Empress, with its historical grandeur that offers a glimpse back into another time - its doors opened well over a century ago. Sip Afternoon Tea, shop on Government Street and dine at the beautiful Inner Harbour with its exciting food and craft cocktail scene. Just minutes from downtown you’ll find countless parks, beaches and ancient forests to explore as well.
Ottawa Winterlude City Break + a Luxury Stay in Montreal
Ottawa makes for an ideal quick escape anytime of the year, but in winter it’s truly magical. There’s no better time to go than during Winterlude, an 18-day festival that celebrates the season with a wealth of activities starting on the 1st of February in 2019. It features snow and ice sculpture competitions, skating and sporting events, snow playgrounds and more. Visiting at this time also brings the chance to glide across the 4.8-mile-long Rideau Canal, the world’s longest naturally frozen skating rink, sipping hot chocolate and indulging in ‘beaver tails,’ tasty pastries topped with cinnamon and sugar, along the way.
Afterward, head to nearby Montreal in Quebec for a luxury stay at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal hotel, one of the finest hotels in the country. Located in the heart of the city, you’ll be able to stroll the cobblestone streets of the French-influenced Old Montreal Quarter - absolutely stunning in winter with a dusting of stone. The scene is idyllic for horse-drawn carriage rides, with the chill adding to the atmosphere as frost blurs the bistro windows and snowflakes sparkle against the skyscrapers. If you want to get more active, you can ride snowmobiles, go ice fishing, ice skating or cross-country skiing, all within the city limits. After a day of play, relax at the hotel’s indoor pool, sip Champagne or cocktails at the Dom Perignon bar and dine at the Michelin-star Maison Boulud.
Experience St. John’s, Newfoundland + Fogo Island Inn, a Journey to the End of the World
St. John’s, Newfoundland is a relatively short flight across the Atlantic from both the U.K. and Ireland, making the Experience St. John’s, Newfoundland tour ideal for those who have a limited amount of time, but if you want to see more, why not add one of the world’s most unique hotels to your tailor-made itinerary?
Start with a 5-night stay in this small, colourful capital that packs a punch when it comes to things to see and do. Take a guided tour of the city and its surrounds, including Cape Spear, the easternmost spot in the western hemisphere and home to the Cape Spear Lighthouse, the oldest surviving lighthouse in the province, flashing since the mid-1800s as an iconic symbol of its mariner history. There will be plenty of other opportunities to enjoy the incredible coastal scenery, including hiking and a boat tour, to possibly spot whales, puffins and icebergs along the way. One of the must-dos here is to take in the local live music along George Street which boasts the most bars and pubs per square foot of any street in North America.
Add a stay at on Fogo Island and you’ll have the chance to step into what feels like a lost time. Far off the beaten path, it’s often referred to as the “end of the world,” as one of the four corners of the so-called “flat Earth.” The island is best-known for its scenic hiking trails, art studios and galleries, as well as the famous Fogo Island Inn. This luxurious property put Newfoundland in the spotlight, attracting a number of celebrities, with every room boasting walls of windows that perfectly frame the stunning sea views where in late spring and early summer, blue-hued icebergs often float by. Throughout the summer, humpback whales are frequently spotted too. There is a huge soaking tub and fireplace or woodstove in each room and guests also have access to a rooftop spa and sauna. Fine dining in the onsite restaurant includes dishes using as many local ingredients as possible, such as partridge berries, caribou, lamb, lobster, and scallops.
Alaska & Kenai In-Depth Small Group Tour + Celebrity Alaskan Fly Cruise
This trip provides an in-depth look at America’s largest state by combining the Alaska & Kenai In-Depth Small Group Tour with the Celebrity Alaska Fly Cruise, for the chance to experience it by air, land and sea.
Begin with the 5-night small group tour of the Kenai Peninsula from Anchorage to Homer, including one of North America’s most breathing drives along the Seward Highway. You’ll embark on a seaplane flight to see bears that feed on thousands of salmon along the shores of Lake Clark, take a wildlife cruise on Resurrection Bay to spot orca and humpback whales, sea lions, otters and more. The itinerary also includes one of the state’s most impressive hikes leading from Exit Glacier to Harding Field and paddling a kayak across Kachemak Bay as bald eagles soar overhead.
A flight to Vancouver will take you to the Celebrity Alaskan Fly Cruise departure point where you’ll spend seven nights on the Celebrity Eclipse, sailing through the Inside Passage. See and hear the magnificence of Hubbard Glacier, where massive glaciers regularly crash into the Gulf of Alaska, and visit the ‘salmon capital of the world,’ Ketchikan where you’ll embark on a seaplane excursion to the 2.2 million acres of wilderness in Misty Fjords.
Yellowstone & Teton In-Depth Small Group Tour + Play Cowboy at Brush Creek Ranch
The 5-night Yellowstone and Grand Teton tour will bring you through two of America’s most incredible national parks where you’ll be mesmerised by neon-coloured hot springs, mud pots and geysers, including famous Old Faithful in one of the most geologically active areas of North America. Wildlife is abundant in both parks, including the largest wild bison herd on the continent, and the country’s biggest collection of elk, moose, grizzlies, wolves, bears and m any other creatures. The scenery is jaw-dropping, including dramatic mountain peaks, sparking lakes and pristine rivers that meander through golden meadows.
Understated yet luxurious, and adopting a laidback Rocky Mountain inspired style, Cheyenne Mountain Resort is a beautiful retreat in Colorado Springs that offers ample opportunity to hike, white water raft, play tennis and splash in the three outdoor pools.
We feel this resort is best suited to those with an adventurous flair, whether it be a couple looking for a romantic retreat somewhere completely unique, or a family looking to get outside and get back to nature for a short while.
Yosemite & Lake Tahoe In-Depth Small Group Tour + Enjoy San Francisco & the California Winelands Self-Drive
Spend six unforgettable nights on the Yosemite & Lake Tahoe In-Depth small group tour which provides a taste of San Francisco, before travelling to the Monterey Peninsula for a whale watching excursion on the bay. You’ll head inland to the grand Sierra Nevada Mountains, home to Yosemite National Park with its world-renowned peaks, granite cliffs and waterfalls. Abundant wildlife can be spotted here, including over 80 mammals like mountain lion, mule deer and black bear as well as more than 200 bird species, like great grey owls, endangered peregrine falcons and bald eagles. Head to America’s second deepest lake and arguably its most impressive, Lake Tahoe where you’ll embark on a Champagne catamaran cruise at sunset and hike the beautiful shoreline. The adventure is capped off with a stroll across the Golden Gate, which is sure to leave you wanting for more.
You won’t have to go just yet by adding the 7-night Enjoy San Francisco and the California Winelands Self-Drive tour. Enjoy more fun in the City by the Bay, like a ride on a trolley car or a boat trip out to infamous Alcatraz Island before enjoying the state’s legendary wine country in Napa and Sonoma. Look forward to sampling the region’s famed wines along with cheese and local produce. Don’t miss the chance to hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train which features gorgeous views and more delicious tastes with delectable wines and multicourse meals.
To cap off the trip, why not consider a stay at Post Ranch Inn. This beautiful retreat is perched in the hills of Big Sur, offering a scenic escape that feels good for the soul. If you're hoping for a romantic break in California, in a place that feels secluded and luxurious, this is the place to be.
South America covers nearly 7 million square miles, featuring diverse landscapes that include the highest mountain range outside of Asia, the world’s tallest waterfall, the largest rainforest and the longest river on Earth, vast deserts, beautiful beaches, and remote and mysterious islands. While the climate varies depending on the region, tropical temperatures are enjoyed in most places throughout the year other than Patagonia, famous for its glaciers.
Best of Chile + Easter Island Adventure
The 10-night Best of Chile tour starts and ends in the vibrant city of Santiago, encircled by the snow-capped Andes and the Chilean coastal range. The cosmopolitan epicentre of the country, you’ll discover countless eateries, interesting museums and lush parks along with plenty of nightlife hotspots. Art enthusiasts will find some of the best works by wandering the cobbled streets in the older barriers and in the modern cultural centres like Estacion Mapocho. After taking in the city you’ll explore some of Chile’s most pristine wilderness areas, including waterfalls, lakes and volcanoes in Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt. The highlight may be Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia where you’ll have the option to hike and horseback ride through breathtaking terrain. The granite pillars of Torres del Paine tower for more than 6,500-feet over the landscape in what’s frequently called the finest national park in all of South America.
After your grand journey through Chile, embark on the 3-night Easter Island Adventure. Remote Easter Island is situated some 2,300 miles off the coast, home to one of the greatest unsolved mysteries. There are nearly 900 massive Moai rock statues, with the lightest weighing nearly 80,000 kilograms. Believed to have been built by the Rapa Nui, no one really knows how they were able to move them around the island, but we do know that they’re the last link to the demise of this isolated Polynesian culture. You’ll visit the first site to be restored and learn more about the legendary statues and also enjoy opportunities to swim in the warm azure waters that frame Anakena Beach and take a trek up a volcano to view glistening lakes and huge craters.