In a move aimed at delivering discerning travelers luxury, unique experiences, and value all backed by Abercrombie & Kent, one of the true pioneering leaders in luxury travel for the past fity years, Geoffrey Kent Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Phil Otterson USA President were on hand in New York recently to meet with leading media to celebrate Connections by Abercrombie & Kent, their new group travel product.
In describing Abercrombie & Kent as “the Bentley” of tour operators and the new Connections by Abercrombie & Kent division as a “baby Bentley” Kent wants travel agents to know that high quality and service levels that they have come to expect from the company will still exist. The Connections by Abercrombie & Kent portfolio of 17 new itineraries that span six continents will offer travelers an authentic, intimate connection with the world’s most intriguing places and cultures, combined with the same service on which A&K has built its reputation — all at a never-before-seen value.
“Today we are launching a new tier of A&K travel that delivers an incomparable local experience at a price point that makes A&K-style travel accessible to a broader range of travelers,” explains Abercrombie & Kent USA president Phil Otterson. “Priced on average at 30 percent less per diem than our Luxury Small Group journeys, Connections by Abercrombie & Kent provides the same expertise and support for which A&K is known — at an unexpected price.”
Like Abercrombie & Kent’s award-winning luxury small group and private itineraries, Connections journeys are designed and backed by the on-the-ground experts at A&K’s 50 offices around the world. These itineraries were created with experience and value in mind, giving the traveler a deeper understanding of a destination’s culture, history and natural beauty, without the extra amenities that make up a traditional luxury journey. Group size remains small at no more than 24-28 guests
The authentic and surprising personal encounters that define a Connections journey transform the traveler’s experience of a destination. While anyone can attend a symphony performance, A&K’s local connections include a former violinist for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, who provides a unique firsthand perspective on Vienna’s incomparable musical heritage. In China, guests are welcomed into the home of a family living in one of Beijing’s last surviving hutongs and taught how to make traditional dumplings by the family’s matriarch. A local fisherman in Croatia shows guests how to harvest oysters and describes why they are considered to be among the best shellfish in the world.
Spanning the globe, Connections by Abercrombie & Kent takes guests beneath the surface in destinations on six continents, including Italy, France, Eastern Europe, Croatia, China, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Australia, Tanzania, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, Peru, Canada and the western United States. “These journeys are designed by A&K’s local staff, men and women who have spent decades, and in some cases lifetimes, getting to know the people and places guests will encounter on their journeys. Their contacts and insider knowledge are what make Connections journeys so memorable,” explains Otterson.
Ranging from spacious resorts to luxurious boutique lodgings, the hotels and lodges on Connections itineraries have been carefully selected for their amenities and proximity to the places that make each destination unique. “We’ve chosen hotels that represent the unique character of a place, a blend of boutique hotels and familiar names including Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt Regency, Inter-Continental, Le Meridien, Marriott, and Sofitel,” explains Otterson.
Guests who travel on a Connections itinerary will sense the balance between planned meals carefully chosen to represent the flavors of a destination, combined with the freedom to explore personal preferences and indulge in local discoveries. A&K’s festive welcome and farewell dinners remain. “Abercrombie & Kent has and will continue to set the standard for luxury adventure travel, bringing five-star comfort and legendary service across the globe,” explained Otterson.
This commitment to service encompasses every aspect of the journey. When guests arrive at the airport, an A&K representative is on hand to welcome them – a preview of the personalized service they can expect throughout their journey. In addition to arrival and departure transfers, most taxes and gratuities are covered in the trip price, with no hidden fees or surcharges, beyond what is clearly listed in the itinerary.
Connections journeys by Abercrombie & Kent include:
Croatia: Jewel of the Coast – Explore Split’s Mestrovi Gallery as its curator opens its doors to you for a private guided tour. Meet a local fisherman and sample his harvest of Croatia’s famous oysters. Attend a private talk in Dubrovnik with a local resident who relates her experiences during the Balkan War. Meet traders and craftsmen of Dubrovnik. Immerse yourself in Croatia’s musical heritage during a local brass band performance. Nine days from $3,675.
India: Spiritual Splendors – Experience both sunrise and sunset at the Taj Mahal. Enjoy an elephant safari on a private Rajput farm. Witness the evening Aarti ceremony on the Ganges, complete with chanting prayers and mantras, drums and bells. Marvel at an unforgettable sunrise boat ride on the sacred river Ganges. Take an exciting rickshaw ride through the colorful shopping district of Chandni Chowk. Visit the Deepalaya School for local underprivileged children. 11 days from $3,990.
Peru: Land of the Incas – Enjoy two opportunities to explore Machu Picchu, including a sunrise visit. Meet a local family who welcomes you into their home in the Sacred Valley. Visit a private residence with an impressive collection of Incan and colonial artifacts. Meet an internationally-renowned weaver who introduces you to this traditional craft. Delight in an Andean musical presentation by Tito Leon, regionally-famous musician from Cusco. Nine days from $4,185.
North America: Canyons of the Southwest – Stay inside some of America’s great national parks, leaving more time to explore. Discover Monument Valley in the company of a local Navajo guide. Explore Rainbow Bridge on foot, an adventure most visitors to the area never experience. 10 days from $4,845.
East Africa: Tanzania & Kenya – Experience East Africa with the company that pioneered the modern safari adventure. Meet with a Maasai village elder, who welcomes you into the community. Pay a visit to a local school, one of the few that educates special-needs children. See how an organic garden has transformed a coffee farm and lunch on the delicious results. 11 days from $5,195.
Australia: Adventure Down Under – Learn how to live in the bush at a family-run sheep ranch. Marvel at the size and beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with insights from an expert marine biologist. Follow a local indigenous guide down tribal paths through the Daintree Rainforest. Enjoy a personally-guided tour of the Sydney Opera House. 10 days from $5,350.
A video introduction of the new Connections product line is available on the company’s website.
Connections by Abercrombie & Kent, 800-554-7094, www.ak-connections.com