Extraordinary Journeys by Private Jet
Exploring by private jet with National Geographic is one of the most exciting ways to travel, whether you're circumnavigating the globe or encountering the world's legendary wildlife. On our private jet trips, you're whisked to one fantastic place after another, reaching far-flung destinations with ease and exploring places that have long captured the imagination. Our team of top-notch experts brings a wealth of knowledge about the peoples and places we encounter, and we meet with National Geographic's researchers in the field wherever possible. Our Boeing 757—specially configured with VIP-style seating for just 76 passengers—affords us unmatched flexibility and is ideally suited for these remarkable expeditions. Fly in exceptional comfort in the care of our expedition staff and flight crew, and stay in world-class accommodations at each destination.
Circle the globe with top National Geographic experts on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Traveling in the comfort of a private jet, encounter legendary places from Machu Picchu and Tibet to the Taj Mahal and Marrakech. Experience natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Serengeti Plain, and the island paradise of Samoa.
A world-class team of experts will accompany each expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life. Listed below are some of the experts and the departure date(s) they will be joining.
Sisse Brimberg has produced more than 25 stories for National Geographic magazine over the last three decades. Her work ranges from documenting the life of fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Anderson to her latest National Geographic project chronicling the Viking culture. Brimberg won first prize for “Picture Story of the Year“ from the National Press Photographers Association for her story on migrant workers. Born in Denmark, Brimberg established and managed her own photo studio in Copenhagen after attending photography school. Her photographs have been exhibited around the world in Germany, Greece, Brazil, Mexico, New York City (International Center for Photography), and Washington, D.C. (The Newseum).
Don Belt has traveled to some 80 countries over the past three decades, working as a writer and editor for National Geographic. As foreign editor of the magazine from 1998 to 2010, Don helped to guide the Society's coverage of topics ranging from weapons of mass destruction and terrorism to the geopolitics of Water and the legacy of colonialism in the Middle East. Don has authored major National Geographic articles on Lawrence of Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Arab Christians, Russia's Lake Baikal, Israel's Galilee, Petra, Sweden, Baja California, the Jordan River, the World of Islam, and Cold War science in the Russian Arctic. Since retiring in 2011, Don has continued to write for the magazine while teaching Journalism at the University of Richmond. He also serves as University Outreach director for the Out of Eden Walk, presenting workshops for educators on this National Geographic-supported global journalism project.
A 28-year veteran of the National Geographic Society, Rob Hernandez began as a senior editor for National Geographic magazine and later founded its International Publishing division, which publishes magazines, books, and other media in more than 35 languages. Raised in Cuba and Spain, Rob spent his early career doing ecological field research and documenting the wildlife and culture of the world’s more remote places. He filmed a television special on lions in Namibia, explored the wilderness of New Guinea, journeyed to rarely visited corners of South America, and circumnavigated the Indian and Pacific Oceans in a small sailboat for 2 years. So far, this inveterate globetrotter has made multiple visits to nearly every destination on our Around the World itinerary.
Geographer, educator, and author Stephen F. Cunha spent ten years as a national park ranger in Yosemite and Alaska. Now a geography professor at California’s Humboldt State University, he studies diverse landscapes around the world and has visited most of the destinations on this trip. He is the author of more than 80 publications, including National Geographic’s Our Fifty States and How to Ace the National Geographic Bee: The Official Study Guide. He recently received the California State University system’s highest award for exemplary contributions and achievements in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Service.
Archaeologist William Saturno is a National Geographic Explorer specializing in early civilizations. He has received numerous grants from the Society to support his ongoing excavations of ancient Maya murals in Guatemala. His breakthrough discovery at San Bartolo of the oldest intact Maya murals yet found became the focus of the National Geographic magazine articles "The Sistine Chapel of the Early Maya" in December 2003 and "The Dawn of Maya Gods and Kings" in January 2006. The June 2012 issue described his recent unearthing of murals at Xultún. Outside of Mesoamerica, Bill has conducted archaeological research in the American Southwest, Bolivia, Cambodia, and most recently on the North Coast of Peru. He has taught university courses that encompass major archeological and historical sites all over the world.
Born and raised in Italy, photojournalist Massimo Bassano has published his work in National Geographic Traveler and on the National Geographic website, as well as in numerous European publications. He regularly teaches National Geographic photography workshops in Tuscany and Venice. His acclaimed photography book The Color of Silence detailed the 12 weeks he spent in a little-known Italian monastery. Massimo has also traveled and photographed extensively in Europe and Africa. A veteran of numerous Around the World by Private Jet trips, Massimo frequently joins photography and other expeditions for National Geographic, and is a favorite with the Society's travelers.
Nevada Wier is a multiple-award-winning photographer specializing in documenting the remote corners and cultures of the world. Her journeys have taken her to many of the planet’s deserts, mountains, and urban jungles. Nevada’s work has appeared in National Geographic magazine, as well as Geo, National Geographic Traveler, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Smithsonian, and numerous other publications. She is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and a member of the Women’s Geographic Society.
Jack Daulton is a popular lecturer on the cultural history of non-Western civilizations and has been an expert on trips to more than 50 countries. His research has focused on the art and architecture of Asia and Africa as well as the study of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. Jack is also an attorney with a focus on international law relating to the preservation and conservation of the world’s cultural heritage. In a widely reported 1995 federal case, he recovered a thousand-year-old sculpture that had been stolen from a temple in Southeast Asia.
National Geographic Society Explorer Gregory Anderson is a linguist and head of scientific research for the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, which documents endangered languages and cultures around the world. Gregory is an experienced fieldworker, and has worked on-site with speakers of languages on every inhabited continent. He has authored ten books and more than 75 academic articles and was featured, along with National Geographic Explorer David Harrison, in the acclaimed documentary film The Linguists.
National Geographic photographer Michael Melford has produced more than a dozen feature stories for National Geographic magazine and more than 30 for National Geographic Traveler, including eight covers. Some of Michael’s recent assignments have focused on Russia, Israel, and North America’s national parks. He has produced photography for eight books for National Geographic, including three on Alaska, his favorite being Treasures of Alaska, for which he spent four months traveling to every corner of the state. When not shooting for National Geographic, Michael enjoys giving seminars and workshops on photography and sharing both his love of nature and his extensive knowledge.
Anthropologist and linguist David Harrison is a National Geographic Fellow and a co-director of the Society’s Enduring Voices Project, which documents endangered languages and cultures around the world. He has done extensive fieldwork with indigenous communities from Siberia and Mongolia to Peru, India, and Australia. His global research is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Linguists, and his work has been featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, USA Today, and Science.
A Fulbright fellow and a gifted educator, Kirt Kempter has spent most of his career as a field geologist, studying volcanic provinces in North, Central, and South America, as well as Iceland. He has published numerous articles and geologic maps, and participated in the geologic training of NASA astronaut candidates. He has also led educational expeditions to places all around the world, from Antarctica to the high Arctic. He looks forward to sharing his insights on the stunning destinations and landscapes we will visit, including the Andes, the Pacific Islands, the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayan mountains, and East Africa’s Rift Valley.
We begin this extraordinary adventure with a welcome reception at National Geographic Society headquarters, followed by dinner at our hotel.
The Hay-Adams, Washington, D.C. (D)
This morning, our private jet takes us to Lima, where we take a local flight to charming Cusco (11,200 feet). Explore the imposing cathedral in the Plaza de Armas, considered by many to be one of the finest combinations of Spanish Renaissance style and legendary Inca stonemasonry. Marvel at the treasures of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, where we will meet with National Geographic grantee and master weaver Nilda Callanaupa, who works with traditional weavers throughout Peru to preserve the rich textile arts.
Discover the remains of the great fortress Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cusco, where enormous blocks of stone—some weighing more than 200 tons—were used to build the walls. Assembled without the use of mortar, the blocks fit together so tightly that a knife blade cannot be inserted between them.
Then travel on the Hiram Bingham, our privately chartered train, to Machu Picchu, passing through the spectacular Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Still clouded in mystery, Machu Picchu was abandoned by the Inca and lost to history until it was rediscovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911 and excavated with support from the National Geographic Society. Examine the artfully cut stone altars, temples, foundations, staircases, and terraced gardens that make this one of the world's most extraordinary archaeological treasures.
Hotel Monasterio or Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, Cusco (B, L, D daily)
Alternative: Instead of visiting Cusco and Machu Picchu, head to northern Peru to visit the temples of Trujillo and Chiclayo, where the richest burial chambers in the Americas were discovered. See where the ancient Moche and Chimu peoples lived, and explore Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in the world.
Libertador Trujillo (B, L, D daily)
Fly to Easter Island, located 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile. Scattered with mysterious, colossal stone statues called moai, the island is an open-air museum of the ruins of a lost culture. The island has been a subject of debate since it was first seen by Europeans on Easter Sunday in 1722. How did its native people first arrive? What transpired over the centuries? What do the tall, brooding statues mean? Learn the hidden stories of the island's wonders with renowned archaeologists, and marvel at the many moai that dot the island's windswept landscape. Along the way, discover the ancient ceremonial centers, volcanic craters, petroglyphs, lava formations, and fascinating clues to the Orongo birdman cult. Then enjoy a splendid performance by the Kari Kari Rapa Nui dance troupe.
Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa (B, L, D daily)
From Easter Island we continue our voyage across the Pacific, crossing the international date line. We lose a day en route and arrive in Samoa the following evening. (B, L, D)
Samoa is one of the few places where pure Polynesian culture remains essentially intact—tribal rituals and hierarchies are little changed from ancient times. This beautiful island world is well known for its hospitality, traditional ceremonies, and distinct communal customs (known as fa'a Samoa, or "the Samoan way"). Enjoy a fia fia—a colorful performance of Samoan dance and song.
Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Resort (B, L, D)
Fly to Cairns and transfer to the charming seaside town of Port Douglas. Explore the Great Barrier Reef, the largest known coral reef in the world and home to an exceptionally rich variety of marine life. Snorkel among rainbow-colored corals with schools of unicornfish, surgeonfish, bumphead parrot fish, and sea turtles.
Or discover the natural wonders of the Daintree, a rain forest that is approximately 90 million years older than the Amazon rain forest. Go on a Dreamtime walk in Mossman Gorge with an aboriginal guide, a member of the Kuku Yalanji, who will share his people's legends and take you to sacred sites.
Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa (B, L, D daily)
Fly by private jet to Siem Reap, our base for exploring Angkor, the heart of the ancient Khmer Empire. Delve into the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex, one of humankind's greatest architectural triumphs; and discover the massive towers, carved murals, colonnades, and courtyards that exemplify classic Khmer architecture. At Angkor Thom, explore the Bayon Temple and the Terrace of the Elephants. Then set out on a cruise to nearby floating villages on Tonle Sap lake (water levels permitting), or explore the temple of Ta Prohm, still tangled in the thick roots of banyan trees. In the evening, enjoy a classical Apsara dance performance during dinner at our fine hotel.
Alternative: Instead of Angkor Wat, explore the lost jungle temple of Beng Mea Lea (water levels permitting), among the largest Khmer temples, and the ninth-century Roluous temple complex of Hariharalaya, the first capital of the Khmer Empire, which predates Angkor Wat by some 300 years.
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor (B, L, D daily)
Today, fly by private jet to Chengdu, China, where we will see the area's giant pandas at the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. Then enjoy dinner and a night's rest before departing for Tibet.
(B, L, D)
This morning, take a local flight to Lhasa, Tibet's capital, located on one of the world's highest plateaus. Once a "forbidden city," this Himalayan center of Buddhist pilgrimage—with the spectacular Potala Palace dominating its skyline—still retains a mystical atmosphere. Visit the Jokhang Temple, the region’s oldest and most revered; and explore the colorful Tibetan markets, known for their finely crafted ornaments, rugs, religious paintings, and carvings. The next day, venture into Potala Palace, a highlight of our time in Lhasa. The palace, with its hundreds of rooms, lavish decor, and labyrinthine corridors, was once the winter residence of the Dalai Lama and served as the seat of the Tibetan government for more than 300 years. Stop by the nearly 600-year-old Sera Monastery, where we may see monks in the debating courtyard. You may also visit the Tibet Museum or a local nunnery.
St. Regis Lhasa Resort (B, L, D daily)
Alternative: Instead of visiting Lhasa, fly from Chengdu to Xi’an, China by local air and enjoy a two-day excursion in this former Chinese capital. View the famous 7,000-strong army of life-sized terra-cotta warriors; and visit the Ming dynasty walls, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the impressive Yangling Tombs of Emperor Liu Qi and Empress Wang.
The Westin Xian (B, L, D daily)
Return to Chengdu by local flight and continue on our private jet to Agra. Discover the iconic Taj Mahal, built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. A masterpiece of the Mogul empire, the monument soars majestically above the banks of the Yamuna River. Wander the site, admire its form among the reflecting pools and gardens that surround it, and examine its intricate mosaics made of precious stones. In the afternoon, you may explore the imposing sandstone Red Fort of Agra, where Mogul emperors lived in splendor. Or you may choose to venture into Kachhpura, a village in Agra inhabited by the Harijan people, otherwise known as "untouchables." Meet with local families and visit a school. If you wish, rise early to join our National Geographic photographer to capture images of the Taj Mahal at sunrise.
Alternative: Instead of visiting the Taj Mahal, explore Fatehpur Sikri, Emperor Akbar's crowning architectural achievement, an exquisite red-sandstone city that served as the Mogul capital from 1572 to 1585. Stroll through well-preserved pavilions, courtyards, tombs, and palaces—most notably the emperor's private quarters, a "palace of dreams" richly decorated with Persian calligraphy and murals.
The Oberoi Amarvilás (B, L, D daily)
Fly by private jet to Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to a smaller aircraft for the flight to Serengeti National Park. In the local Maasai language, Serengeti means "extended place"—an appropriate name for this vast wildlife sanctuary, which is one of the most complex and least disturbed ecosystems on Earth. Go deep into the savanna to witness Africa's greatest concentration of wildebeests and zebras, as well as lions, cheetahs, and leopards.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti (B, L, D daily)
Alternative: Instead of exploring the Serengeti, descend into the Ngorongoro Crater to observe the permanent population of almost 25,000 animals in one of the largest unbroken calderas in the world. Along with herds of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras, we may also see the "big five" (rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, elephants, and buffaloes). Spend your nights here at a well-appointed lodge perched on the crater's rim. During our stay, travelers will have the opportunity to meet either Meave or Louise Leakey, both National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence whose family of renowned anthropologists has discovered many important fossils in the area.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (B, L, D daily)
Situated between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, Petra was settled by the enigmatic Nabataean people in 312 b.c. and became an important crossroads between Arabia, Egypt, and the Levant. The Nabataeans disappeared mysteriously, but the nomadic Bedouin civilization remains to this day. Half built, half-carved into rose-red sandstone cliffs, Petra is undoubtedly one of the world’s most impressive architectural achievements.
Step back in time 2,000 years as you stroll this ancient city, and learn why these enigmatic people built their capital in such an inaccessible spot. Enter the Siq, a dramatic opening in the brilliantly hued bedrock; and arrive at the Treasury, Petra’s most exquisite edifice. Discover many other elaborately decorated buildings and tombs chiseled from sheer rock walls, and observe up close the superb blending of Eastern traditions with Hellenistic architecture. On our last evening, gather for a festive Bedouin dinner.
Mövenpick Petra, Jordan (B, L, D daily)
Alternative: Instead of exploring Petra, travel to Wadi Rum, a beautiful desert landscape made famous by T. E. Lawrence and the film Lawrence of Arabia. See the spectacular rock formation known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and enjoy a traditional mansaf meal prepared by local Bedouin villagers.
Fly by private jet to Marrakech where we explore this fabled city, located in an oasis of palm and olive groves, and steeped in ancient Berber tradition. See the Koutoubia Mosque, Ben Youssef Madrasa, and the grand Bahia Palace. Wander through the medina, a jumble of colorful suqs; and stroll the Djemaa el Fna, a lively square where snake charmers, acrobats, and magicians enchant the passsersby. If you wish, immerse yourself in the lush blue-and-green paradise of the Majorelle Garden, a delightful combination of traditional Moroccan architecture, Islamic art and artifacts, rare plants from five continents, and North African birds. On our last evening, celebrate our adventure at a farewell banquet with traditional entertainment.
Alternative: Instead of exploring Marrakech, spend the day in the spectacular Atlas Mountains, the highest mountain range in North Africa. Visit a Berber village, share tea with a village elder and his family, and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. In the evening, rejoin the group in Marrakech for our farewell dinner.
La Mamounia (B, L, D daily)
Following breakfast, board our private jet and fly to Washington, D.C. Upon arrival, you may connect with your commercial flight home, or, if you wish, we will provide complimentary accommodations at the Hyatt Dulles Airport Hotel for the night. For the January, March, and December departures, which end in Orlando, complimentary accommodations will be provided at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Hotel for one night. (B, L)
Bitte beachten Sie, dass je nach Auswahl der hier aufgeführten zusätzlichen Ausflüge weitere Reisetage notwendig sind.
Alternativ können auch die im Reiseprogramm inkludierten Standartausflüge entsprechend ersetzt oder gekürzt werden.
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On this expedition, we will stay in some of the world's finest accommodations. Each one has been chosen for its fine amenities and prime location. In remote areas where choices are limited, we have selected the very best available accommodation to ensure your comfort. Below are several of the accommodations featured on this expedition.
This resort was built in 2005 and is nestled amongst 224 acres of tropical gardens along a stretch of white sand beach with its own blue turquoise lagoon. In keeping with Aggie Grey’s legacy, it is a warm, relaxed, and friendly place. Enjoy the extensive spa, fitness area, tennis courts, outstanding food at the Fale (Beach) Restaurant, and a staff whose hospitality is characteristic of the island. Each air conditioned room is situated to take advantage of the view of the white sand beach and nearby islands.
Aggie Grey's Lagoon Beach Resort & Spa
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor has all the modern comforts to complement the grandeur of the destination. The nearly 15 acres of gardens provide a spectacular setting with formal, lotus, temple, and river-styled gardens. The hotel features four bars and restaurants that include an international buffet at the Café d’Angkor, fine dining at Le Grand Restaurant, and delicious snacks at the Poolside Terrace. Each room in the hotel has been tastefully restored and refurbished to the original architectural style.
Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor
Port Douglas, Australia
Opened in the summer of 2006 and set on almost 10 acres of tropical beachfront at the southern end of Four Mile Beach, Sea Temple Resort & Spa combines luxury and first class service to create a haven of privacy and relaxation. With the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and Cape Tribulation all on your door step, Port Douglas is the gateway to a magnificent display of Australia’s natural beauty.
Sea Temple Resort & Spa, Port Douglas
Just minutes from the Taj Mahal, this world-class, luxurious hotel has been designed to offer views of the Taj Mahal from every guest room. Attention to detail throughout the hotel is reflected in room design, elaborate gardens, terraced lawns, fountains, and reflection pools. Dining options at the Amarvilás include The Bellevue, an all-day restaurant; Esphahan, serving specialty Indian cuisine; the pool snack bar; and 24-hour room service. Several bars and lounges offer a wide variety of beverages, fine teas, coffee, and snacks.
The Oberoi Amarvilás, Lobby
Leicht angepasste Alternativ-Route
Hinweis: Preise pro Person
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $8,650 in 2015 and $8,950 in 2016 and 2017. Transportation by private Boeing 757 jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary, is included in the expedition cost.
Airfare to/from Washington, D.C. or Orlando, Florida is not included in the expedition cost.
Our specially outfitted Boeing 757 is ideally suited for this extraordinary expedition. Its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports afford us unmatched flexibility. We set our own schedules, flying direct and avoiding layovers, which allows us the freedom to make the most of our adventures on land. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s interior has been customized and refitted to accommodate just 75 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating.
For your protection, all payments are secured in a bank escrow account. See special terms and conditions for these expeditions.
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