When a company announces to the world that it will begin offering air tours on a Boeing 777 that will be more luxuriously appointed than most private jets, it almost goes without saying that the itineraries for such tours should be equally, if not more, awe inspiring than the lavish plane.
The company in question in this case is Crystal. And it has done just that with the recent, much anticipated release of the global itineraries for its soon to launch Crystal AirCruises.
The journeys aboard Crystal's new private Boeing 777, which is currently being customized to meet the company's standards, will range from 15 to 29 days and include visits to some of the world's most coveted, exotic and remote destinations such as Easter Island, Polynesia; Lhasa, Tibet; Mauritius, East Africa; Siem Reap, Cambodia and Gan Island, Maldives, to name a few.
AirCruise travelers will spend an average of two to three nights in each destination, rather than quickly being herded from one place to the next.
And while in each location, travelers will bunk in the finest hotels, resorts, safari-lodges and eco-villages available, according to Crystal, (although the names of the specific properties have yet to be released).
Perhaps most interestingly, each AirCruise itinerary can be endlessly customized to include curated activities each day focused on the individual traveler's interests and tastes - whether that be a culinary theme, history focus, adrenaline based activities or even more exotic requests.
"Within each itinerary there's about 100 options," Crystal CEO and President Edie Rodriguez explained during a recent telephone interview. "You don't have to be with the group of 84 travelers. Readers should not think, 'I'm going to be in a herd with all of these other people.' Not at all. This is intimate and exclusive."
On one trip, for instance, there are more than 300 activity options travelers can choose from, Rodriguez continues.
If all of those choices still aren't enough, the AirCruises concierge will organize whatever the traveler desires as part of a "Designed by You" option, which allows for the creation of completely unstructured activity programs.
But perhaps more importantly, says Rodriquez, what will make the trips so memorable is the way Crystal presents each destination, something the company has extensive experience doing thanks to decades of running Crystal Cruises (which have developed a devoted fan base of well-heeled travelers who enjoy the combination of over the top luxury the cruises deliver in conjunction with often cutting edge destinations).
"It's about seeing things differently or getting our guests access to places the average person might not even know exists," says Rodriguez. "A lot of things we don't want to talk about, because we don't want to give it away."
The Crystal AirCruises itinerary themes, meanwhile, include such focuses as Savoring the Winelands; Around the World: Iconic Sites & Legendary Locales; Exotic Adventures; South Pacific Explorer; and finally Sacred Sites, Seashells & Safaris.
The Savoring the Winelands itinerary for example is designed to expose travelers to an impressive list of the planet's best wine growing regions during the course of 16 days, allowing participants to globetrot from Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina and then on to Cape Town South Africa; Tuscany, Italy and Bordeaux, and Champagne, France.
"Wine lovers need not choose just one exceptional winegrowing region, but can immerse themselves in several of the most acclaimed areas with the benefit of our luxury aircraft to whisk them easily to the next destination," says Rodriguez. "Likewise, travelers need not limit their exploration of the world's ancient icons due to distance, as Crystal AirCruises provides the ability to contextualize the history and significance of many in one vacation."
The 22-day Sacred Sites, Seashells & Safaris itinerary will take travelers from Tokyo, Japan to Yangon, Myanmar; and then on to Gan Island, Maldives; Agra, India; Victoria Falls, Zambia; Cape Town, South Africa; and finally Vienna, Austria.
The inaugural Crystal AirCruises journey will begin on Aug. 31, 2017, and be a 27-day trip offered in partnership with the The Peninsula Hotels.
Named "The Peninsula Grand Inaugural Crystal AirCruise," the trip starts in New York, and includes stops in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, China; as well as Manila, Philippines; Bangkok, Thailand and Paris, France. In each location, travelers will stay at a Peninsula hotel and will be treated to exclusive events designed to showcase the city.
In China one such event will be a private party and dinner on the Great Wall; while in Paris there will be a journey to the Champagne region for an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes and a private lunch at a famed Champagne house.
Booking has already begun for the various Crystal AirCruises itineraries. Prices for the inaugural journey start at around $159,000. Prices for the others vary.
No matter which trip you choose, Rodriquez promises it will be worth every penny.
"Besides the fact that it's all wrapped in a bow for you," she says. "You are traveling with people like yourself, that can afford this, who have been around the world perhaps, but want to see it in this wonderful crystallized way, and you don't have to worry about your personal assistant putting it all together for you."
And there you have it, your personal assistant gets some time off as well.