Seattle | A Warm Welcome
Arrive in Seattle and transfer to your accommodations at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, where you meet your tour leadership team and fellow guests over cocktails and dinner.
Japan | Land of the Rising Sun
Set off on your private jet for Osaka, Japan (crossing the International Dateline en route), and transfer to Kyoto. Spend a morning taking in the sights of Kyoto and enjoy a guided Zen meditation session, a Japanese tea ceremony and a walk through peaceful bamboo groves. Choose from several inspiring Design Your Day options, including a lesson in samurai swordsmanship; a guided shopping excursion and food tour; a sake brewery visit and tasting; and a visit with an indigo dye maker. In the evening, dine at Nijo Castle — reserved exclusively for you — where you are welcomed by samurai warriors in armor. A morning visit to Nara begins with a stroll through Nara Park, famous for its habituated semi-wild deer, followed by a stop at eighth-century Todai-ji Temple. This afternoon, experience the ancient art of kimono wearing, as a traditional tailor visits to outfit you for tonight’s gala dinner event. Dinner is accompanied by a private geisha performance, followed by a thrilling taiko drumming demonstration at Kiyomizu Temple.
Mongolia | Where Nomads Roam
Your private jet today brings you to Mongolia, where families of nomads still roam the plains on horseback as their ancestors did centuries ago. On landing at Ulaanbaatar, board a local charter flight for the Gobi Desert, which lies between the Siberian wilderness to the north and the Tibetan Plateau to the south, and features Bactrian camels, mountain sheep, golden eagles and many endemic reptiles. Settle in at your comfortable ger camp, a luxurious take on a traditional nomadic dwelling and reserved exclusively for your group. The night sky here is awe-inspiring and an astronomer is on hand to lead an evening of stargazing. During your stay, attend a special presentation of the Naadam Games, traditional contests of archery, wrestling and horsemanship that speak to Mongolia’s deep military history. Also visit the aptly named, red sandstone Flaming Cliffs, accompanied by a local paleontologist who teaches you about the extraordinary dinosaur finds (including the first dinosaur eggs) made in this area. Your time here includes a dazzling range of Design Your Day activities, including a camel ride and visit with a nomadic family; a private calligraphy lesson; meditation instruction with a Buddhist lama; a chance to practice archery with an expert tutor; and a hike in an ancient river valley.
Nepal | Heart of the Himalaya
On arrival in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, you are welcomed by a special panchakanya ceremony, said to bring good luck. Attend a lecture presentation by a Mount Everest summiteer and hear a firsthand account of the determination it takes to summit the world’s highest peak. Your talk serves as a prelude for an amazing helicopter flightseeing excursion to Everest. Take in spectacular views of Everest Base Camp and the mountain itself, as well as other peaks such as Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Also view the Khumbu Glacier, which begins on the Western Cwm near Everest; its icefall is the first major obstacle climbers face in making for the summit. At Boudhanath, the world’s largest Buddhist shrine, make a butter lamp offering at the stupa; witness sacred Hindu rituals at Pashupatinath, a sprawling complex of temples and shrines; and meet in private with a heritage and architecture expert at Patan city as you explore the ongoing reconstruction of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Bhutan | Buddhist Heritage
Board a local charter flight bound for Paro, Bhutan. Visit the National Museum of Bhutan, housed inside an ancient watchtower and containing some of the finest specimens of Bhutanese art gathered from different parts of the country. Continue to Paro Dzong, one of the most impressive and well-known dzongs (Buddhist palaces) in Bhutan. A short drive then takes you to Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. Gain fascinating insights into Bhutanese culture with a visit to Buddha Point. Hike to breathtaking Taktsang Monastery, the unofficial symbol of Bhutan, also referred to as the Tiger’s Nest. Experience Bhutan your way with the Design Your Day activity of your choice: Hike to the fortress-like monastery of Zurig Dzong, enjoy cycling or meet with a local astrologer for a personal fortune-telling session. Your Bhutanese experience culminates with a private tshechu festival put on just for you. The tshechu brings together an entire community to share ritual dances that illustrate events in the life of eighth-century Buddhist master Guru Rinpoche, and is one of the most vibrant and colorful spectacles a visitor to Bhutan can witness.
India | The Romantic Taj Mahal
Fly to Agra, India, and arrive at your hotel to a festive welcome befitting a maharajah. Settle into your room and take in the view from your private balcony at The Oberoi Amarvilás facing the Taj Mahal. This evening, enjoy an exclusive Mughal-themed dinner, along with a performance of Kathak dance, a pantomime-like art with roots dating back to the nomadic bards of ancient India. The dance form was introduced to India through the imperial courts of the great Mughal emperors. Their patronage transformed it from a simple devotional art form to a classical discipline known for its grace and evocative steps. Begin the next day with a visit to the Taj Mahal itself. No photograph does the monument justice — it looks as if it were painted onto the sky and is both strikingly simple and graced with fine details, particularly the pietra dura (inlaid stonework) of the cenotaph. Witness for yourself the way its luminous marble skin takes on the pink and orange hues of the sunrise. Return to Agra’s airport and rejoin the crew of your private jet.
Abu Dhabi | A Desert Interlude
Arrive in Abu Dhabi, a modern city with a strong sense of Emirati cultural heritage and a force on the world stage. Begin your sightseeing at the impressive Grand Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, with a capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24-karat-gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. Explore the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum of its kind in the Arab world: a universal museum bringing together global cultures to shine fresh light on the shared stories of humanity. The next day is yours to experience as you like on the Design Your Day activity of your choice. Visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital to explore nature’s most awe-inspiring bird of prey; tour the facilities of the Yas Marina Circuit, one of the world’s most advanced Formula 1 circuits; spend a full day in the beautiful garden city of Al Ain exploring the old palace of the Emirate’s ruling family and the historic fort; or discover Dubai by land and air, and then participate in an exciting camel polo match. Later, set out into the desert for a sunset cocktail reception and dinner in an encampment in the dunes set up exclusively for you.
Jordan | Nabatean Treasures
Fly to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, a country with outstanding ancient history and beautiful desert landscapes. Explore Wadi Rum, known as Valley of the Moon, the largest — and most magnificent — of Jordan’s desert landscapes. Enjoy an exhilarating 4x4 experience as you explore the rose-tinted mountains where Bedouin tribes still camp. Discover Jordan’s most iconic treasure, the ancient city of Petra, built between 800 BC to AD 100 by the Nabatean Arabs. Explore alongside an archaeologist and enjoy a private lunch in a cavern on the site. On your last evening here, enjoy a special candlelit dinner at “Little Petra” (Siq el-Barid), among the temples, enhanced with dramatic lighting and traditional music. Siq el-Barid is a classical temple that stands guard outside the miniature siq, which appears to have been an important suburb of the city of Petra. The narrow file, only some 380 yards long, is crammed with tombs, temples, houses, water channels and cisterns. Return to Aqaba’s airport and rejoin the crew of your private jet.
Sicily | Mediterranean Jewel
Spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain, Taormina, Sicily, offers a vibrant taste of Sicilian dolce vita. Experience the atmosphere of a 19th-century Sicilian wedding during a private welcome party in one of the town squares, complete with folk dancing and music, entertainment and traditional delicacies. Take in the nearby artisan villages as you drive your own vintage Alfa Romeo or Fiat 500, stopping to see a traditional opera dei pupi marionette performance, play a traditional mouth harp, and visit a local Sicilian cart decorator workshop. Meet a local historian, who delves into the history and realities of the Mafia in Sicily. Explore the ancient Greek theater of Taormina, built in the third century BC, during an exclusive visit. Discover the charming town of Taormina during a privately guided walking tour, and then journey to the heart of Mount Etna volcano in 4x4 vehicles, exploring the lava flows, craters and grottoes created by this force of nature. Enjoy exclusive access to the Etna Observatory to enjoy an aperitif at sunset. Finish your time in Sicily with a gala farewell dinner at the Palace Duchi di Santo Stefano, opened privately for you. The next morning, board your private jet for the flight back to Boston, U.S.A., where you bid farewell to your private jet crew and connect with your homebound flight.