A&K Unveils Connections Boutique Small Group Journeys
New Focus on Boutique Hotels & Experiences; 12 New Journeys to the Baltics, Bavaria, Britain, France, Southern Italy, Iceland and China
August 09, 2016
For 2017, Abercrombie & Kent has reimagined Connections small group journeys to focus on boutique experiences, from one-of-a kind hotels to intimate local interactions, designed to reveal each destination and fully immerse travellers in local life. A&K is expanding the Connections portfolio to feature 12 new journeys such as cultural explorations of lesser-visited regions of Europe including Latvia & Lithuania, Cornwall & the Cotswolds, Burgundy & Loire Valley and Sicily & Puglia. Active adventures in Iceland – including a new Family journey – complete the offerings.
“These journeys are designed to connect our guests to interesting places, local cultures and people in a very personal way. For 2017, we have worked closely with our offices around the world to curate boutique hotels, selecting smaller properties that are locally or family-owned, and reflect the distinctive character of the destination through their history or style,” explains A&K President Phil Otterson.
Connections Boutique Small Group Journeys feature intimate groups of no more than 24 guests, led from start to finish by a Resident Tour Director® that has lived for decades, if not their entire life, in the destination. This makes an important difference in how guests experience a journey.
“The boutique concept is also reflected in the choice of activities,” says Otterson. “Sightseeing is not just looking, but experiencing, gaining deeper insight into the culture and having an authentic encounter – what we describe as ‘Boutique Connections.’ Dining is also an important part of the experience, featuring vibrant restaurants favored more by the locals than by tourists.”
Boutique Connections can range from introducing guests to the crafts and produce markets where locals gather, such as the Mercato Centrale in Florence, to bringing to life a locale’s culture and history, such as a private tour of Badminton House, the country estate of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. Guests may sample the local flavors of Burgundy’s most famous white wines, meet the brewer of a family-run Bavarian brewery, or try their hand at Icelandic fishing and let a chef prepare their catch for dinner. Join an Estonian sculptor for a master class at his gallery work or enjoy private performances with local musicians such as an exclusive violin concert at the Salzburg Museum.
New 2017: Connections Boutique Small Group Journeys:
The Baltics & Helsinki – Visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites and tour the Rundāl Palace, an architectural gem. Explore Riga's National Opera House during an exclusive backstage visit. Enjoy Nordic walking and a Finnish sauna. Accommodations include a historic hotel opposite Helsinki's Esplanade Park and a hotel in Tallinn's Old Town, decorated in favorite pieces from the owner's Italian art collection. 11 days from $4,695.
Bohemia & Bavaria: Munich, Salzburg & Prague – Explore the Bavarian Alps, including Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein Castle and Oberammergau. Discover the region’s World War II history, paying visits to Hitler’s wartime getaway, the new Documentation Centre in Munich and the Mathausen Concentration Camp Memorial. Accommodations include a Benedictine abbey set in the Salzkammergut lake district and a former 16th-century Jesuit abbey in old Cesky Krumlov. 10 days from $4,495
Britain: Cornwall, Wales & the Cotswolds – Stroll the streets of Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its Georgian architecture and Roman baths. Accommodations include a 12th-century former monastery in Coventry’s countryside, a stylish Victorian-era townhouse in buzzy South Kensington, and a reimagined historic home just outside the gates of Windsor Castle. 10 days from $5,995
Sicily, Puglia & the Amalfi Coast – Savor a private tasting with a cheesemaker and a cooking class with a Puglian chef. Step back in time as you explore Sicily’s incredible Greek and Roman ruins and the mountain-carved city of Matera. Visit — and sleep in — several UNESCO World Heritage sites. 11 days from $6,595
Iceland: Geysers & Glaciers – Drive on Europe’s second largest glacier before descending into man-made ice tunnels. Drop into an extinct volcano. Cruise the northern coast to spot myriad whale species. Accommodations include an eco-friendly hotel with geothermal baths, a historic landmark next to Parliament and Reykjavík Cathedral and a modern wilderness lodge. 11 days from $8,995
Iceland: A Family Journey – Explore by mountain bike and Super Jeep, and swim in natural geothermal pools. Watch a craftsman fashion traditional knives as the Vikings once did. Drive atop the Langjökull Ice Cap. Ride native Icelandic horses along a black sand beach. 11 days from $8,995; child savings of $400 for children under 12.
Classic China - Discover the capital of Beijing, ancient Xian and spectacular Shanghai, with stays in a curated collection of modern high-design hotels. Walk atop the less-visited, well-preserved Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. View the incredible Terra Cotta Warriors with an archaeologist. Take a walking tour with a local historian along the Bund in Shanghai. 9 days priced from $3,995
Experience the world more intimately than ever before with Abercrombie & Kent’s Connections Boutique Group Journeys. Call 800.554.7094 to speak with an A&K Travel Consultant, go to www.abercrombiekent.com , or contact your travel professional to learn more.