Exclusive Resorts, a membership-based vacation club, in existence since 2002, and has provided many thousands of international and US-based travel experiences to its members. Recently, the club has expanded into unique expeditions, called Once In A Lifetime Travels. These are the most bucket-list-worthy, and rare, and as within all the OIAL trips, have deeply memorable, experiential highlights. Recently, Exclusive Resorts have included eight more experiences: they are outlined below.
Antarctica: Explore and Ring in the New Year – December is arguably the best month to visit Antarctica, with fewer crowds, longer daylight hours, and abundant wildlife. And what better way to ring in the new year than watching migrating whales and calving icebergs from your private balcony aboard the brand-new National Geographic Resolution ship. “If you’re someone who likes being in a Zodiac (an inflatable rubber boat) more than sitting by the hotel pool, this trip is for you,” says Gina Bach, VP of The Experience Collection at Exclusive Resorts. “Antarctica,” she continued, “ is a dream destination for photographers and wildlife lovers as well as explorers. National Geographic’s team of experts including undersea specialists, local naturalists and National Geographic photographers who provide members a truly immersive experience.”
Kenya: Wildlife Safari – Kenya is Africa’s undisputed wildlife capital. In addition to visiting two very different game parks—Tsavo West National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve—and staying at Abercrombie & Kent’s Sanctuary Olonana, guests will have the opportunity to participate in philanthropic endeavors throughout their Journey. Members will safari in their own dedicated vehicles in search of the “Big Five”—lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino—and can opt to share an immersive experience with the Maasai people, learning traditional songs and hunting techniques. One major trip highlight is to feed baby elephants at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi.
Australia and New Zealand: Adventure Awaits –This itinerary combines New Zealand and Australia, with stops in cities like Sydney and Queenstown, with beautiful wild places like the Great Barrier Reef and Fiordland National Park. A major trip highlight: boarding a former America’s Cup racing yacht for a hands-on private sailing experience on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
India and Nepal: This itinerary reads like a checklist of iconic experiences but executed in Exclusive Resorts style. The trip begins in Nepal with a flight around Mount Everest followed by brunch with a mountaineer who has summitted the world’s highest peak. Then on to India, where Members will feel like royalty staying at hotels including the Taj Rambagh Palace and Oberoi Amarvilas and experiencing exclusive access to attractions like the City Palace in Jaipur. Trip Highlight: A sunrise visit and guided tour of the Taj Mahal, with a photographer.
Around the World by Private Jet –Alongside a team of National Geographic experts, embark on a globe-trotting expedition featuring numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites and bucket list locations including Egypt and the Maldives. “Our 2022 trip includes all the stops the 2020 Journey had to miss, plus some really unique, awesome additions,” comments Ms. Bach. “Of all the incredible locations visited, Jordan stands out where members will be able to explore the sites and ruins of Petra, followed by a festive dinner accompanied by a Bedouin folklore performance. Trip Highlight: hiking to Bhutan’s famed Tiger’s Nest along with a National Geographic photographer who will capture every moment.
Ski Japan –This itinerary visits three different ski resorts in the Hokkaido region, known for their powder conditions, and also incorporates a traditional Ryokan stay and experiences ranging from experiencing tea ceremonies to hot springs. Trip Highlight: Exclusive Resorts has bought the Iwanai ski resort for a day, meaning members will have exclusive use of lifts and cats.
Uruguay, Mendoza and Buenos Aires – “This itinerary is the ultimate South America trifecta,” comments Ms. Bach. “It includes three unique, complementary stops in Uruguay, Mendoza and Buenos Aires. “This is the first time Exclusive Resorts is visiting Uruguay, which is really exciting.” In José Ignacio Uruguay, guests will stay at stylish Bahia Vik, a boutique hotel on the beach with a fantastic art collection and activities –local wine tastings and horseback rides along the coast. A short flight takes members to Buenos Aires where they’ll be treated to private Tango lessons in the birthplace of Tango. The trip ends in Argentina’s famed wine country, Mendoza, where guests will experience tastings at some of the wineries producing the region’s acclaimed Malbecs. Trip Highlight: enjoy dinner at Uruguay’s most famous beachfront restaurant, La Huella.
Seabourn Alaska Cruise – “Imagine an African safari that requires a quarter of the travel,” says Ms. Bach. “Alaska offers an Africa-worthy wildlife experience closer to home. And the Seabourn Odyssey is chartered exclusively for members so it’s like being with your friends on your own private safari vehicle.” Explore Alaska’s glaciers and remote islands by kayak, zodiac or catamaran on exclusive Venture Days. Bach says this trip is great for multi-generational families as they can participate in different activities throughout the day then regroup for lunch and dinner. Trip Highlight: experience oyster farming first-hand in Ketchikan.
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