What a Week! Chic Italian Hotels, Posh Irish Castles, Cute Polar Bears…and Great Trains!
We’re just back from Virtuoso Travel Week, luxury travel’s biggest pow-wow of the year, hosting almost 5,000 travel professionals from all over the world.
Here are some goodies from our take-home bag, soon to appear on our website. Email me, and I’ll update you as news becomes available.
ITALY: Our popular “Romantic Italian Holiday” will be even more over-the-top when you upgrade it with Belmond’s “Grand Tour of Italy” package. The package price is starts at 3,780 Euro (currently about $4,300) per couple for seven nights at a minimum of two of Belmond’s iconic Italian properties (there are six in all).
You have 30 days to complete your hotel stays. Blackout dates apply, but the price includes daily buffet breakfast. (Our agency’s “Bellini Club” status earns guests even more; please call.)
Add a fanciful train ferry twist if you stay at either of the company’s Sicilian retreats (that’s right; Italian Railways still operates a train ferry to Sicily for the 30-minute “voyage” to the island). Click here to ask for more info.
- JAPAN: We organized a custom tour that includes the “impossible-to-get-a-ticket-on” Kyushu Seven Stars luxury train.
Kyushu dazzled the luxury train world two years ago when it debuted this artwork on wheels. And the Japanese love it — so much so that it’s almost impossible to get space on the 30-passenger train.
We’re working with a Virtuoso partner in Japan to finalize a deluxe rail tour that will include the Seven-Stars’ four-day trip. We’ve already got the train reserved. November, 2016. Click here to ask for more info and to get on our “first notification” list.
- IRELAND: Add an extended stay at magical Ashford Castle, voted last week as Virtuoso’s “Hotel of the Year.” It’s a perfect add-on to the new Belmond Grand Hibernian luxury train or to Lindblad/National Geographic’s 2016 Orion cruises, which will visit Ireland on two trips: June 12-19 or June 19-26. Click here to ask for more info.
- EUROPE: The good ship Orion’s 2016 Bergen-Glasgow cruise also offers tantalizing add-ons to the Belmond Royal Scotsman, whose Edinburgh terminus is just 30 minutes by train from Glasgow by ScotRail. The Lindblad/National Geographic cruise, dubbed “Norway and Scotland: Fjordlands to the Inner Hebrides,” runs July 17-24 and 24-31. We thought this would be a grand combo. Click here for more info.
CANADA: Polar bears up close and personal: that’s what you’ll get when you travel with adventure specialist Natural Habitat. There’s convenient VIA Rail Canada service to the tour’s jumping-off point, Winnipeg. The tours run in October and November. We love NatHab, voted “Most Sustainable Tour Company,” at Virtuoso Week. Click here to ask for more info.
EUROPE, ASIA, N. AMERICA: National Geographic specialists accompany luxury rail tours for in-depth explorations. Among the offerings are “Swiss Trains and the Italian Lake District,” “India by Rail Photo Expedition” and “Norway’s Trains & Fjords.” Click here to ask for more info.
INDIA: Deccan Odyssey luxe train upgrade: luxury travel specialist Cox & Kings now supervises off-board AND on-board services, which is a blessing to the discerning traveler.
Its classic 12-day, 11-night Mumbai-Delhi itinerary includes visits to the monuments of Vadodara, the lakes and palaces of Udaipur, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the tiger reserve at Ranthambore (where tigers are making a comeback) and the Pink City of Jaipur.
A new 11-day, 10-night trip, the “Hidden Treasures of Gujarat,’ includes a search for Asiatic lions in Gir Forest National Park, a visit to Modhera’s Sun Temple and an exclusive tour of one of the country’s best wineries. Click here for more info.
AFRICA: The romantic Blue Train might not seem the most likely venue for kids, but it can be a financial boon to parents. One child aged five or under can travel free with mom and dad–so long as he/she shares the same compartment (OK, maybe sometimes not so romantic). Children aged 6-12 pay 50% of the rate. Click here for more info.
The above travel suppliers are some of our top Virtuoso partners. See something you’re interested in? Email us, and let us know what trip interests you, when you want to go and who is traveling with you. We’ll respond ASAP!
The Society of IRT is a proud member of Virtuoso, and also of the Belmond Bellini Club. What does this mean for our guests? Call us: 800-478-4881. Our web site: https://www.irtsociety.com.