The need to check in and unpack only once, it’s been said, is why god created cruises—as well as private jet and train journeys. We could not agree more. If you like nothing more than having every gnarly logistical detail taken care of for you while you traipse around the world, consider these trips.
Think of a journey with the private jet travel company TCS World Travel as the highest-end group trip possible, with every effort made to customize whatever you desire. The jets are leather-seated A321neos (operated by Titan Airways) custom-configured for 52 travelers (in lie-flat comfort) and 18 staff members (including lecturers, a chef, and a doctor). The plane touches down in often distant and difficult to link places for two- to three-night stays (in top hotels and lodges).
You have eye-opening local experiences, scouted and refined by expedition leaders starting two years prior to departure. And every detail—paperwork, customs, tipping, even your hand luggage—is taken care of for you. The new 15-day World Less Traveled journey (ideal for this age of overtourism) visits five destinations in Africa, South America, and the Arabian Peninsula. Included: the millennia-old desert city of Alula, Saudi Arabia; the tiny West African nation of Togo; Tunisia; Senegal; and Salvador, Brazil. All you have to do is show up.
Few modes of travel are more soothing (and border logistics–free) than a luxury train. The South African company Rovos Rail’s new 15-day trans-Africa itinerary, Trail of Two Oceans, traverses the continent from the Indian Ocean (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) to the Atlantic (Lobito, Angola). There are off-train guided expeditions on the way: a visit to the Selous Game Reserve, the largest in Africa; an excursion to the rock pools beneath Chishimba Falls in Zambia; a tour of a mine in one of the world’s largest cobalt and copper areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mid-journey, you’ll leave the train for a two-night safari in Zambia’s wildlife-rich South Luangwa National Park.
But it’s just as satisfying to simply take in the scenery through the train’s huge picture windows: the forests of baobabs in the Rift Valley or the dramatic, jungly peaks of the Udzungwa Mountains. Royal suites take up half a carriage, with private lounge areas and Victorian baths. Excellent South African wines are served. And there’s time travel, too: You’ll be dressing up for dinner.
Or by ship.
The need to check in and unpack only once, it has been said, is why god created cruises. Word has been spreading: The longer the cruise, it seems, the sooner it sells out (all those adventurous work-from-homers?). Act quickly to score a cabin on the Cunard line’s Queen Mary 2’s historic 117-day 2023 Centenary World Voyage. No effort will be spared on this roundtrip from New York sailing (January 3 to April 30). There are the stops including, after the UK (take a deep breath): Lisbon, Crete, Egypt (with a Suez Canal transit), Oman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Mauritius, South Africa, Namibia, and Spain. Then there are the liner’s over-the-top parties, VIP access to sites, and “your wish is our command” service.
If you’re planning way ahead, consider Silversea’s recently announced “Controtempo World Cruise 2025,” which travels to 59 destinations in 30 countries, starting in Tokyo in January, when it’s off-season and off the beaten path. No better way to see the world anew without lifting a finger.
India’s most extravagant train, the Maharajas’ Express, makes journeys a breeze in this daunting-to-navigate country. The seven-day Indian Panorama itinerary hits the essentials, and tours are punctuated by spa treatments at top hotels and theatrical meals. (Departures October to April)
This story appears in the October 2022 issue of Town & Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW