JUST OVER 100 years ago, the first round-the-world passenger cruise set sail from New York City on a 130-day voyage to Japan, Singapore, Egypt, and India. Carrying just 450 passengers (about 1,800 less than the typical capacity), the journey set a new standard in leisurely luxury travel — until 1947, when the first scheduled round-the-world passenger flight took off from San Francisco. Offering an overall shorter travel time, the plane stopped in Honolulu, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Delhi, Beirut, Istanbul, Frankfurt, London, and New York. Passengers could disembark anywhere they pleased and remain until the flight returned, so long as they completed the loop within 180 days.
Even with major engineering and technology advances, today’s options for circumnavigating the globe remain limited. A selection of cruise lines capture the spirit of that original six-month-long 1920s voyage, albeit on ships with 2,000 fellow guests. Flight options are generally limited to airline alliances and require painstaking research in terms of stays and excursions. Enter TCS World Travel, whose signature Around the World Tour ushers the milestone adventure into the future with a private jet, unparalleled service, and special experiences in 10 destinations across six continents — in just over three weeks.
Since 1991, TCS has offered exceptional all-inclusive group jet expeditions traversing specific continents, regions, and the entire world, as well as private custom travel. The jets cut travel time by flying direct to most places and, like cruises in the sky, come with premium amenities (think lie-flat seats, Bose noise-canceling headphones, L’Occitane products), delectable in-flight cuisine, and highly trained staff. From guiding your packing list and hauling your luggage to completing finicky customs forms for you, TCS handles every little logistic, freeing you up to bask in the jet’s cushy comforts, chat with on-trip experts, and savor cultural experiences like after-hours gallery tours, private live performances, and more.
The flagship expedition brings you face-to-face with an astounding 14 UNESCO World Heritage sites, condensing many bucket-list adventures into one all-inclusive pilgrimage. A sample itinerary typically starts in Orlando, Florida, then heads to Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru. Easter Island in Chile follows before a rejuvenating stop in Nadi, Fiji, en route to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Then comes Angkor Wat, Cambodia, as well as Taj Mahal and Jaipur in India. Next up, Tanzania’s Serengeti Plain; the Lost City of Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan; Marrakech, Morocco; and back to Orlando. The entire journey takes 24 days — a Goldilocks-like length of time thanks to TCS’ pampering, as well as the best-in-class Airbus A321, which collectively maximize your exploring time.
The remarkable aircraft, which features the largest cabin by height and width of any single-aisle aircraft, is custom-designed for ultimate comfort with just 52 first-class flatbed seats. Eighteen experienced, dedicated staff and crew travel with you, including an expedition leader, on-trip experts, a physician, two pilots, an onboard chef, and seven flight attendants who strive to anticipate your needs. When you’re not in the clouds, TCS sets you up with an elegant room at superior stays from the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes and Nayara Hangaroa in Rapa Nui to the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, and La Mamounia in Marrakech.
At each destination, TCS curates a menu of insider experiences to immerse you in local culture. In Peru, for example, arts lovers can venture to the Andean village of Chinchero for a weaving demonstration led by the renowned master Nilda Callañaupa. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish a rainforest walk, smelling exotic fruit trees and observing local wildlife, with an Aboriginal guide of the Kuku Yalanji people in the Daintree Rainforest in Australia. Jaipur offers an authentic polo match for sports fans. There’s a thrilling game drive through Serengeti National Park that serves up glimpses of zebras, buffalo, lions, cheetahs, gazelle, and wildebeest. And in Wadi Rum, Jordan, you can traverse the desert in a 4x4 SUV before stopping for tea in a Bedouin tent.
The itinerary is astounding, its approachable three-week length is alluring, and that jet realizes all of our first-class dreams. But it’s TCS’ extraordinary service that elevates the Around the World Tour, making it today’s indelible opportunity for couples celebrating a landmark anniversary, families seeking bonding time, or even first-time travelers. So, we ask, when are you going?
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