5 Over-the-Top Bucket List Trips

From luxury rail lines to private jets, discover splurge-worthy trip ideas.

By Gwen Pratesi, ContributorJan. 26, 2018
By Gwen Pratesi, ContributorJan. 26, 2018, at 12:31 p.m.
U.S. News & World Report

5 Over-the-Top Bucket List Trips

Successful business woman traveling by plane and looking through a window

Start plotting your trip aboard a luxury train, opulent private plane or private yacht for the ultimate bucket list-worthy vacation.(Getty Images).

If money were no object, where would you go for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation? Imagine traveling aboard one of the world's most beautiful ships, luxury rail lines, chartered jets or private yachts, and waking up to well-appointed accommodations with butler service and curated experiences you won't soon forget. If you're looking to take the trip of a lifetime, here are five over-the-top vacation ideas to spark your inspiration.

Board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

On this legendary train, with its famed Wagons-Lits carriages, you'll feel as though you've traveled back in time as you travel from Istanbul to Paris. This itinerary, offered just once a year, departs in August 2019 (this year's itinerary is already sold out) and features three nights onboard the Orient-Express train, overnight hotel stays in Bucharest and Budapest and excursions to Peles Castle in Bucharest. The itinerary also includes a Danube river cruise in Budapest.

For the ultimate luxury train travel experience, reserve one of their three Grand Suites, which includes private transfers to and from the train, a personal cabin steward, endless flutes of Champagne and private en suite dining. Each suite also features double beds and a living area, private bathrooms with showers and glamorous '20s-themed art deco style. This suite is available for approximately $56,000 per person (based on double occupancy).

Take the Four Seasons Private Jet

Join 51 other like-minded guests aboard Four Seasons' private Boeing 757 jet for a tour around the globe. The 24-day air and land World of Adventures experience departs from Seattle in October and explores four continents and eight countries with overnight stays in Kyoto, Japan, Bali, Seychelles, Rwanda, Marrakesh, Bogota, Colombia, and the Galápagos Islands. The customized itinerary features top-notch amenities and exceptional accommodations and dining experiences in-flight and on the ground. Best of all, luggage handling is taken care of, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy pampering aboard the flight as you wait to arrive in each exotic destination. On the journey, you can visit some of the world's most stunning and secluded beaches along the Indian Ocean in Seychelles, excite your senses shopping in the colorful souks in Marrakesh and travel with your private guide to see the elusive mountain gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. The all-inclusive luxury vacation is offered at $138,000 per person (based on double occupancy).

Cruise from Copenhagen to Stockholm in Luxury

If you're sailing aboard Regent Seven Seas' Seven Seas Explorer, the journey is as memorable as the destination. Book the Regent Suite, a lavishly appointed 4,443-square-foot suite, which includes a 1,417-square-foot balcony, and enjoy a seven-night sailing through Northern Europe in July. The suite features two bedrooms, a private en suite spa with a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi and inviting indoor and outdoor living spaces. Entertain guests on your Steinway piano while enjoying aperitifs before dinner in the glass-enclosed sitting area overlooking the ship's bow.

As an added bonus, guests in this suite can enjoy an all-inclusive cruise package with Regent Seven Seas as well as business class air, a private butler, exclusive access to The Library, a private dining room, and a private car to explore ashore. The Regent Suite is available for select seven-night Northern Europe sailings this summer, starting at around $72,000.

Travel by Private Jet

If you want to fly in style on a luxurious private charter jet, consider booking Crystal Skye. As part of the Crystal Cruises brand, the VIP Crystal Skye private jet, is the world's only privately owned tour jet and was designed with the luxury amenities of Crystal Cruises' ships in mind. You can even bring up to 87 of your closest friends and family members on the opulent Boeing 777 luxury jet, which is equipped with 88 fully reclining flatbed seats. The plane also boasts a bar and social lounge, a state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, an executive chef preparing international cuisine in two professionally equipped galleys and an impressive wine cellar.

You can create a tailored flight itinerary or enjoy a customized tour like the six-night Wonders of Africa Safari Adventure – Chinese New Year AirCruise. Starting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the trip includes luxury hotel accommodations in Nairobi, Kenya, a stay at the Governor's Camp at Maasai Mara Game Reserve and a Chinese New Year reunion dinner outdoors with the beautiful savanna in the backdrop. This all-inclusive package is offered at $28,000 per person (based on double occupancy), and includes a captain and crew, flight attendants and a chef. Crystal Skye is also available for private charter or the company can craft a tailored itinerary at a client's request.

Cruise the Mediterranean on a Private Yacht

If you prefer to travel by small ship, plot your next trip on Satori, an elegant 135-foot handcarved schooner and sailing yacht designed by the owners of Borgo Santo Pietro, a 20-room luxury resort set on 200 acres in Tuscany. An extension of the property, Satori was designed to feel like an intimate boutique hotel and puts an emphasis on service, style and cuisine. The yacht has five luxurious cabins with marble bathrooms, several lounge and dining areas, three sun decks, a spa suite or gymnasium, Wi-Fi, an outdoor cinema and an air-conditioned wine cellar. What's more, the kitchen invites guests to become immersed in the culinary experience as onboard chefs prepare Mediterranean-inspired meals. In the evenings before dinner, sip Negronis on the deck while watching the sunset. Satori is available for private charter in the Mediterranean, with custom itineraries starting at $118,000 per week.


10 Life-Changing Trips to Cross Off Your List in 2018

Gwen Pratesi, Contributor

Gwen Pratesi is a James Beard Finalist in Journalism, award-winning food and travel writer, ...  Read more

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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