Explore France from the Comfort of a Family-Friendly Villa

Villa Calvi

If you’re still mulling over a summer destination for your family, look no further than France. Picturesque landscapes, fascinating castles and cobblestone streets abound in the country’s medieval villages, making them a worthy addition to your bucket list. Add to that the countless activities available for all ages and interests, whether you want a hiking trip in Provence or to soak up sun at a beach on the Cote d’Azur.

Read on for inspiration planning your next holiday in France, with activities sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Côte d’Azur

Villa Soraya Eze to Monaco Coastline

The breathtaking French Riviera offers families ample opportunities to experience the country’s culture, relax in the sun or chill both on and in the water. We suggest canoeing between the Bay of Cannes and the Lérins Islands. It might seem like an impossible task at first, seeing the islands in the distance, but it is actually easier than you might expect, even for a beginner. Due to boat traffic, the route to the islands is clearly marked and supervised by an instructor. 

Taking a stroll through the streets of Saint Paul de Vence is always an adventure. The narrow cobblestone roads wind up the hill that this medieval town is perched upon and art galleries are found on both sides of your path. The kids will enjoy the ice cream shops at the corner, as well as artisan sweet stores that sell fabled nougat. For the full French experience, join locals for a game of pétanque on the boules court at the entrance of the Old Town. 

For an indulgence, the Confiserie Florian at Tourrettes-sur-Loup is the place to go for all sweet. Guided visits are offered and end with a tasting of the local treats, such as crystalized flowers, candied fruit and chocolate. 

Recommended Villa:

Villa Soraya
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat | Bedrooms: 8 | Sleeps: 16
From $54,905 per week

Villa Soraya Saint Jean Cap Ferrat Continue Reading ›

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Stories from Antarctica: Nothing Compares to This Family Vacation

Antarctica Family Zodiac

As told by A&K guest David Jacobson

Jacobson Family in AntarcticaWhen our boys were seven and nine, my wife and I took them on a seven-month trip around the world and visited 21 countries and six different continents. Antarctica was the only one we didn’t hit. We recently got back from A&K’s Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands with our now 13- and 16-year old boys and consider it one of our best trips ever — in the top two to three for sure.

The driving force to go wasn’t really about Antarctica being our seventh continent, but more about the chance to experience the novelty and uniqueness of this place that we imagined in our minds — and that proved to be true. Antarctica is so different than anywhere else we’ve been. None of us had seen an iceberg or a penguin up close. And then we went and saw penguins, and realized the experience is so much richer than that. It reminded me of the plains of Africa in that it’s one of those places that make you feel like you’ve punched through to an alternate reality.

Whale Sighting from Zodiac

One of the best moments happened on New Year’s Day, when we were approaching the Antarctic Peninsula on a Zodiac and came across five or six humpback whales. They were bubble-net feeding and, I mean, just right there in front of us. Our naturalist driver turned off the motor so we could watch and listen as they blew bubbles and jumped up. It was a bright sunny day, so we could see them clearly, plus we could hear everything. It was an amazing, full-sensory experience. Continue Reading ›

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Why Your Kids Will Love Antarctica

Artboard 1

A Lot of ‘Wow’ Moments Sailing the Southern Ocean

By Eileen Ogintz from ‘Taking the Kids’

“Wow!” exclaimed ‘Le Boreal’ Captain Etienne Garcia when he’d get on the loudspeaker to alert the passengers that they should grab their cameras and head on deck.

“Wow,” there are humpback whales right next to the ship!

“Wow! A lone Emperor penguin! I haven’t seen one in three years,” he declared.

The 34 kids and teens on board the 200-passenger ‘Le Boreal’ for Abercrombie & Kent’s family holiday trip to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands had many wow moments during the 17-day trip:

Walking on “fast” floating sea ice 3-feet thick on New Year’s Day. The kids were served juice while their parents had champagne. “I’ll always remember this,” declared Olivia Gembarovski, 10, from Melbourne, Australia. “You don’t see people walking on ice in the middle of the ocean every day.”


NekoSnowSlide

Sliding down a slushy hill on their backsides, no sleds needed, at the bottom of the world in Neko Harbour on the Antarctic Peninsula, and trudging back up in the sunshine to do it all again.  “The best day of my life and that’s only a little exaggeration,” said Conrad Kistler, 12, from Orange County, California. Continue Reading ›

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Stories From Antarctica: Why You Should Go to Antarctica Now

Day_9_Port Charcot_Salpetriere Bay-102

Antarctica is unparalleled, otherworldly, and powerfully moving in a way that is almost impossible to describe. But we’re going to try. A&K is excited to introduce a series of first-hand stories — dispatches, moments, eye-openers — by our guests and Expedition Team about their experiences across the Southern Ocean.


As told by A&K climate change expert and marine biologist Dr. James McClintock from his current research site, Palmer Station in Antarctica

I’m in Antarctica now, and it has me thinking that there is no good reason that anyone who hasn’t been should put off a visit. It is the quintessential trip of a lifetime and I can say with great experience and confidence that it will change you — and in a better, enriching way.

For me as a marine biologist, Antarctica is always about the wildlife, which is remarkable and unreal in so many respects. Just last month, I was along the Antarctic Peninsula on a research expedition and we counted 65 humpback whales in just a few hours time. We saw many feeding and several breaching (leaping from the water). I had never seen such a large concentration of whales.

12 Jan Whale-6127These high populations of animals take some getting used to. One of my favorite experiences is going ashore and being welcomed by tens of thousands of Adélie or gentoo or chinstrap penguins, and discovering the penguins have not read the regulations for keeping their distance. I call it the Disney element; because the wildlife have no history of predation by large animals, they have no fear of us. It’s surreal. Whether for me as a scientist or an A&K guest making their first landing, it’s like being a kid in a candy store.

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5 Amazing Family Adventures to Celebrate National Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day

September 13, 2015, marks National Grandparents Day and the chance to honor some of the most important people in our lives. The best way to celebrate? Give the gift of family travel with one of these five A&K Family Journeys, perfect for delivering all-ages family adventure and lasting memories in the world’s best destinations.

1. Spot “Big Five” Wildlife on an African Safari

TRIP TO BOOK: Family Tanzania Safari (8 days) or Family Kenya Safari (9 days)

WHY GRANDPARENTS LOVE IT: Electronics and gadgets be gone! In the African bush, all ages are completely captivated by extraordinary wildlife, prehistoric craters and the tribes that protect it. Stays in luxurious camps and safaris led by Resident Tour Directors in A&K-owned vehicles mean jaw-dropping sights in total safety and comfort.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR KIDS: Seeing lions, elephants and the rest of the Big Five in their own wild environments; adventures like market scavenger hunts; meetings with local tribesmen; and visits to animal sanctuaries. Continue Reading ›

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Video: A Family, a Camera and One Amazing Tanzania Safari

On an A&K safari in Tanzania, one family handed off the video camera to their two young boys, who came back with this fun montage of Africa.

Shot on location during their luxury Tanzania safari, Toby (age 13) and Jake (age 12) took family vacation video-making into their own hands and captured everything from big cats to luxury tented camps — even the mind-blowing knowledge of A&K Resident Tour Directors (read: coolest teachers ever).

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