New York, New York
Arrive in New York and transfer to your hotel. This evening, gather with your tour leadership team and fellow guests over cocktails and dinner, sharing the anticipation of the adventures ahead. The next morning, take an exclusive tour of The New York Times Building, followed by brunch attended by the publisher, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr.
After your brunch at The Times Building, board your private jet and begin your people-to-people exchange in Cuba, joined by longtime Times correspondent Alan Riding. With the recent shift in Cuba-U.S. relations, Cuba has become both more accessible and more intriguing. Meet Hannah Berkeley Cohen, a Havana-based Times contributor, for on-the-ground insight. Get a closer look at Havana on a tour through the old city with an architectural expert. Meet a local artist or talk — and possibly play — baseball with locals. Gather for a private Buena Vista Social Club-style concert and meet the musicians. Talk with a Foreign Services Scholar about U.S.-Cuban relations and learn how both nations are working to overcome decades of mutual mistrust. See the whimsical studio of José Fuster, a renowned Cuban painter and ceramicist. Visit a cigar factory and discuss workplace issues, learn about local dance with a salsa instructor and stop by Finca Vigía, the former residence of Ernest Hemingway, and talk with local Hemingway experts.
Board your private jet for the flight to Bogotá. Once a dangerous country riven by drug and guerrilla wars, Colombia has become one of the fastestgrowing nations in South America, and Bogotá a safe, modernizing city. Your visit includes a meeting with Julia Symmes Cobb, a freelance journalist who has covered the region for numerous news organizations, including The Times. Visit the Museo de Botero, followed by a private dinner in the Casa de la Moneda complex. The next day, discuss emerging Colombian artists in Bogotá’s Art District with local experts. The next morning, Design Your Day® with one of several cultural excursions: Take a guided visit to the presidential palace’s surroundings; taste exotic fruit at the Paloquemao market; privately tour the former home of Simón Bolívar; or attend a Colombian music lecture with salsa and cumbia lessons. Have a private dinner in a closed area in the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral with a colorful folkloric performance.
Easter Island, Chile
Fly 3,000 miles to remote Easter Island, known for its hundreds of moai — human figures carved between the 13th and 16th centuries — and today threatened by climate change. The New York Times Op-Ed columnist Nicholas Kristof joins you for the next few days. You are welcomed by your Rapa Nui hosts with a sunset cocktail and Hotumatua ritual, a celebration of the island’s mythic founding. Visit the Orongo ceremonial village, site of the island’s “birdman” rituals, an annual race to deliver the first sooty tern egg up the dangerous cliffs. Lunch on the beach is accompanied by native dancers performing in front of the row of moai facing the blue sea. Afterward, choose from activities including Polynesian rowing; an excursion to the historic wall paintings of the Ana Kai Tangata cave; a visit to the sustainably built Toki Music School; or a hike along “the way of the moai” to see many of the island’s extraordinary monoliths. In the evening, enjoy a special umu (earthcooked) feast in a Rapa Nui home.
Note: Your flight to Easter Island crosses the International Date Line, resulting in you “adding” a day en route.
Your Pacific voyage continues with a brief respite in Samoa. On arrival you are greeted by a colorful dance troupe, followed by a welcome drink at your resort.
Board your private jet and fly to Sydney, Australia, a nation facing many of the same issues of immigration, race and class as the United States. Celebrate your arrival with dinner overlooking Sydney Harbour. Embark on a harbor cruise on board a privately chartered yacht, and disembark midmorning for a multistop culinary experience. With a wine expert at your side, taste cultural delights that only well-informed Sydneysiders know, from suburban hideaways to a pop-up restaurant created especially for you, where a well-known Australian chef creates something special for you. The next day includes a chartered helicopter flight over the Greater Blue Mountains to the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, a 4,000-acre wildlife and conservation reserve offering an Aussie bush experience. Design Your Day® with optional activities, including a trail ride on horseback; wine and cheese tasting; a guided 4x4 excursion to see kangaroos, wallabies and wallaroos; or a spa visit. Return to Sydney for a relaxing private dinner in the Green Room at Quay, with panoramic views of Sydney Harbour.
Arrive in Myanmar, formerly Burma, a nation still racked by ethnic strife despite its increasing progress toward democracy. You are joined by Richard Paddock, Southeast Asia Correspondent for The New York Times. Gather for an exclusive cocktail party with Ma Thanegi, former personal assistant to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a dissident kept under house arrest for years, winner of a Nobel Peace Prize and now a leader of the government. Visit the National Museum and its bejeweled Lion Throne, and participate in a blessing ceremony at the Reclining Buddha Pagoda. After lunch at Rangoon Tea House, explore the bustling Scott Market or visit Yangon’s important Heritage Buildings, and then view work from artists throughout the country. At sunset, help to light the oil lamps at the magnificent, jewel-encrusted Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred of all Buddhist pagodas. Dine at Le Planteur, set in a beautiful mansion overlooking Inya Lake.
Fly to Tel Aviv, Israel, via Amman, Jordan, where you meet the Editorial Director for New York Times Global, Jodi Rudoren, as your Times Expert in this destination. Transfer to your accommodations at Jerusalem’s historic King David Hotel, where you mark your arrival with a private dinner in the Ambassadors Hall, where state dinners and receptions are held; additional local Times correspondents may join you for dinner and conversation. Over the next two days, explore Israel your way with a variety of guided excursions and activities. Immerse yourself in the city’s Jewish heritage with visits to Archaeological Park, the Western Wall and the Rabbinic Tunnels running beneath it; visit Bethlehem and the Palestinian settlements, accompanied by expert local guides; explore the city’s Christian sites, including the Way of the Cross and the Garden of Gethsemane; tour the world-class collection of the Israel Museum, covering 10,000 years of human history; or view the powerful exhibits at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, among many other options.
Er Rachidia & Marrakesh, Morocco
Arrive at Morocco’s Er Rachidia airport. Mount a camel for a ride up the famous Erg Chebbi sand dunes to your private tented camp. Enjoy an unforgettable night in the Sahara, complete with a traditional performance by Gnaoua tribesmen. The next day, fly over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh, one of Morocco’s imperial cities, where you meet the Washington Editor of the New York Times, Elisabeth Bumiller, as well as Carlotta Gall, senior Times correspondent for North Africa, who has covered conflict in many regions of the world. Arrive in time for lunch and an exclusive demonstration of Arabian horsemanship. Soak in the bustle of Souk Smarine, a maze of stalls bursting with textiles and handcrafts. Visit the Ben Youssef madrassa and the Bahia Palace, and experience lively Djemaa el-Fna Square, a kaleidoscope of activity. Take a carriage ride to the Majorelle Gardens, known for their vivid cobalt-blue buildings. Gather at A&K’s exclusive Palm Grove camp for a lavish Berber feast.
Leave Morocco for Iceland’s scenic and charming capital, Reykjavik. Known as the land of fire and ice, Iceland is learning to cope with climate change, adjusting as its ice sheets melt and precipitation increases. Head to Thingvellir, where the Vikings established the first Parliament in A.D. 630. Thingvellir is also a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. At Almannagja, walk the tectonic plates between two continents. Visit a working farm to watch the famous Icelandic horses, and then have a private lunch in the greenhouse with the farmers. Explore the Geysir area’s geothermal pools and see an eruption at Strokkur, which occurs every eight to 10 minutes. Visit Europe’s second largest glacier, Langjokull, for a Champagne toast inside an ice tunnel; that evening, after it closes to the public, marvel at the sight of the Blue Lagoon, a spring-fed pool of mineral-rich blue water, watching for the spectacular northern lights. On your final day, stop for a private showing at The National Museum of Iceland before heading for the airport. Board your luxury jet for your journey back to New York.