Tour Anthology Royal Wedding - Luxury Travel Magazine

Tour Anthology Royal Wedding

By: Prudence McKendry, Issue 46 – Autumn 11
(London, France, China, Western Australia, Mexico, Cambodia, Spain, Portugal, Korea)

Your invitation didn’t arrive? Never mind. Here are two London royal wedding tours that will have you joining in the celebrations on the big day.

In A Royal Tradition

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park has long been a favourite of Britain’s Royal family. Queen Mary was a regular visitor, Queen Elizabeth II learnt to dance in its ballroom and Princess Anne and Prince Charles were often taken there for high tea as children.

The century old hotel has announced a tour to coincide with Prince William and Kate Middleton’s nuptials on April 29. The tour begins when you check into a deluxe room and meet your fellow guests at a welcome dinner on Tuesday April 26. Over the next few days you’ll tour Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill’s family home since 1924 in Kent; Spencer House; the British Museum; the King’s Gallery in Kensington Palace and Althorp, Diana Princess of Wales’ family ancestral house since 1508 in Northamptonshire. You’ll dine at an undisclosed member of the royal family’s London townhouse, at the homes of other friends of the royal family and at the venue of The Wallace Collection, which is home to some of Europe’s finest art, with a visit from the collections’ long-time director Dame Ros Saville. The climax of the itinerary is, arguably, a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art on the day of the wedding. Your party will have exclusive access to the roof terrace with clear views of the royal wedding parade and crowds below. You’ll toast the newlyweds with champagne before settling into a three-course meal at the venue. The day after the wedding you’ll visit Westminster Abbey, the setting of the wedding as well as countless other weddings, coronations and burials before.

Date: April 26 – May 1
Price: £11,300 (about a$18,105) for one person and £18,800 (about a$30,120) for two people in the same room.
Includes: accommodation in a deluxe room at the mandarin oriental hyde park; all meals and all admissions to site seeing.

Royal Wedding In Luxury

Kensington Tours’ eight-day London Royal Wedding In Luxury tour offers an itinerary which takes in London city and some royal landmarks. The private guided tour begins with a chauffeured transfer from Heathrow airport to the five-star Hyatt Regency The Churchill in London’s West End and near to some of London’s highlights such as Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. The first day of the itinerary allows guests to recover from the flight. On day two they are taken on a private guided tour of London’s streets. Stops include Royal Albert Hall, Marble Arch, Hyde Park, Harrods in Knightsbridge, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

Highlights of the tour include a four-course dinner followed by live entertainment on board a boat sailing down the river Thames and a private viewing of the crown jewels outside of visiting hours. Tour participants will take in panoramic views of London on board the London Eye with a glass of champagne, priority boarding, exclusive use of a capsule and a waiter; visit the sight of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s 1981 wedding, St Paul’s Cathedral, on a private tour in the evening; and venture out of London by chauffeur to visit the mysterious Stonehenge and take a guided tour of Windsor Castle, which is one of the official residences of Her Majesty the Queen. There’s also enough free time to visit the high-end shops in the West End, stroll through the 120-hectare Kew Gardens while in full spring bloom and check out London’s fine dining scene. On the big day (the wedding day on April 29) guests can make their way to Westminster Abbey to take part in the celebrations.

Date: April 23 – 30, 2011
Price: us$8,176 (about a$8,152) per person twin share
Includes: seven nights accommodation; airport transfers; some meals and admissions to activities in the itinerary



Art Tour Of France

Known for high cuisine, couture and art, France is the place to go to indulge a passion for beauty and fine things. This private, flexible tour aims to maximise the traveller’s experience of France’s rich artistic history. The tour begins in Paris, where you’ll stay in the heart of the city at the Park Hyatt Place Vendome. Each day your personal driver and guide will take you to your choice of museums and cultural sites.
Once you’ve explored Paris and Versailles you’ll set out on a four-night trip to the Cote d’Azur in the South of France where you’ll stay at either the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc or the Chateau de la Chevre d’Or overlooking the Mediterranean. There is much to see in the region such as Roman ruins, markets packed with regional specialties, local antique stores and ancient towns built into mountains or dotted along the country side.

DATE: Nine-day private tour departing daily.
PRICE: US$16,635 (about A$16,481) per person twin share
INCLUDES: Accommodation, airport transfers, private guide, driver and luxury vehicle while in Paris, a gourmet dinner cruise and daily breakfast.


Icons Of China By Private Jet

See China with ease on board Captains Choice Icons of China Tour to see China’s historical landmarks. Only 44 seats are available on the private jet, which takes you from Melbourne to the scenic inland town of Guilin to begin an 18-day fast-tracked trip across the vast nation. Visit the stunning Lijiang River and the Stone Forest in Kunming. Play with the giant pandas in their two-hectare panda house in Chongqing before boarding the three-day cruise of the Yangzi river on board the Yangzi Explorer. Next stop is Xian, one of China’s oldest cities and home to the world famous Terracotta Army. Over four days in Beijing, guests tour the Great Wall of China, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Fly from Beijing to Shanghai for the last leg of the journey. A full-time Australian doctor accompanies the entire journey.

DATE: 18 days from September 11 or by request
PRICE: A$27,990 per person
INCLUDES: Private flights aboard an A319 Jet from Melbourne, five-star accommodation, three-night cruise, all sightseeing, all meals travel insurance, tipping and taxes.


Wa | South West Wineries & Karri Forest

This self-drive tour gives you the convenience of an organised tour but the power lies in your hands. More specifically, the power of a luxurious classic S1 Bentley, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or a Lexus LX470 4W. Over seven days and six nights, travellers explore the vineyards and stunning scenery of the South West of Western Australia from behind the wheel. A personal guide will drive you to the best Margaret River wineries where you’ll be able participate in a private barrel tasting and tour a working winery. You’ll spend a couple of nights at Cape Lodge, set in a private vineyard. Then it’s your turn behind the wheel as you drive to Pemberton to visit the Karri Forest and on to coastal Albany. Visit an old whaling station before driving back to Perth through Stirling Ranges.

DATE: Seven days over flexible dates
PRICE: A$2,268 twin share
INCLUDES: Seven-day car hire of S1 Bentley, Rolls Royce Silver Shadow or Lexus LX470 4WD, five-star accommodation, breakfast daily, driver for one day, admission fees and wine tastings.


Mexico Luxury Golf Vacation – West Coast Splendour

Mexico is known for its sandy beaches but LPGA star and former world number one, Mexico’s own Lorena Ochoa, has put the country’s golf scene firmly on the map. Over 13 nights play eight rounds on the best and most exclusive golf courses in Mexico including Lorena Ochoa’s home course; Guadalajara Country Club. When you’re not working on your swing on Guadalajara’s two best courses, you’re free to explore the culturally rich streets. Next stop is the seaside Balneario resort city Puerto Vallarta and the Four Seasons Resort. Guests arrive at the last stop of the tour, the secluded and exclusive El Tamarindo Resort at Costalegre, via an overnight cruise on luxury private yacht. If desired, Luxury Golf Escapes will arrange a private jet to get you there and back.

DATE: Private tour for individual groups with flexible dates.
PRICE: from US$21,900 (around A$21,693) per person
INCLUDES: 13 nights five-star accommodation; golf at six different golf courses; all transfers; choice of spa treatments at two hotels.



Cambodia is well known for its temples, lush landscapes and rich history. Urbane Nomads’ six day/five night tour is designed to show guests Cambodia’s wonders as well as a snapshot of Thailand. The journey begins in Siem Reap at the luxury Amansara, an ideal place from which to explore the temples in the surrounding Angkor region including the 12th century ruins of Angkor Wat as well as the intricate temples of Ta Prohm and Angkor Thom. Travelling off the beaten track guests will visit the lesser known Banteay Chhmar region and spend the night among the ruins of a temple in a luxury tent with a private chef, guide and hot water showers. The tour then crosses over the border to Thailand, with the first night spent in a luxe colonial-style tent with a private spa/jacuzzi. Next is Thailand’s bustling capital city Bangkok to spend the last night of the tour Mandarin Oriental.

DATE: Private tour with flexible length and dates
PRICE: US$3,745 (about A$3,709) per person twin share
INCLUDES: All accommodation, all breakfasts, domestic transfers, all transport via 4WD or private car, all admissions


Spain And Portugal Tour

Tauck’s Spain and Portugal tour compares the distinctive cultural and historical personalities of these European neighbours. This journey along the Iberian Peninsula begins at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon and while in Portugal you’ll visit many World Heritage Sites including the Tower of Belém, the 14th century Royal Palace of Sintra and the medieval walled city of Evora. Even the lodgings are full of history. While in Evora the tour will stay at Convento do Espinheiro - a 15th century convent-turned-luxury hotel and spa. On day four of the tour bid adieu to Portugal and head into Spain. Stay in many of Spain’s great cities; Seville, Marbella, Granada, Córdoba and Madrid. Enjoy national traditions such as Flamenco dancing, tapas and bullfighting. There is a lot packed into the tour over 14 days, however guests will have flexibility to explore cities on their own throughout.

DATE: 14 days departing various dates from April to September including April 8, 22, 29.
PRICE: from US$4,290 (about A$4,249) per person twin share.
INCLUDES: All accommodation, experienced Tauck director, airport transfers, 27 meals and admission fees to scheduled activities.


Food, Wine & History

Cultural & Culinary Traditions - Seoul, Gyeongju

This private, eight-day tour offers an opportunity to experience Korea through its cuisine and cultural history. You’ll learn Korean cooking, visit fresh produce markets and participate in culinary demonstrations. You’ll also visit some of Korea’s cultural landmarks in and around the capital city Seoul. While in Seoul you can stay at either the Park Hyatt Seoul, Shilla Hotel or the Grand Intercontinental. Highlights of the tour include trips to the 13th century palaces Gyeongbok and Changdeok and visits to pottery villages to see Korea’s world famous porcelain and pottery being crafted. There’s also a side trip south to visit the ancient city of Gyeongju, known as a “museum without walls” due to its history as the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, its architectural treasures and ancient sites. The tour also stops by Hahoe folk village providing another invaluable glimpse into old Korea. This is a highly flexible tour. Korea’s rich history means that there’s a long list of historical sites, some UNESCO listed, in Seoul. Guests can pick and choose what, where and when they want to go with the help of tour company Absolute Asia’s team.

DATE: Eight days, dates are flexible.
PRICE: from US$7,420 (about A$7,350) per person twin share
INCLUDES: all accommodation; regional flights; meals as specified in itinerary; transfers; surface transportation; admission fees.

Air, Road & Rail

Korea, Russia, Mongolia & The Trans Siberian Railway

Travel across the top of Asia by air, road and rail during this 20 day tour of Korea, Russia and Mongolia. Glimpse North Korea in a tour of the DMZ – the demilitarised zone – which acts as the border between North and South Korea. The tour then turns to Korea’s ancient history with stops at Daegu, the ancient city of Gyeongju and Korea’s second largest city Busan. A short flight brings the tour to Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator in time to catch the Naadam Festival. Adventure seekers can spend one night in a “ger camp”, a traditional Mongolian nomadic tent or yurt. From Ulan Bator guests will spend eight nights aboard the Golden Eagle Express train in ensuite cabins with power showers, LCD televisions and individual air-conditioning. The Trans Mongolian and Trans Siberian Railway journey to Moscow passes through the city of Novosibirsk and by Lake Baikal. Spend the night in Moscow before flying back to Seoul for an overnight stopover and then home to Australia.

DATE: July 5 - 24
PRICE: From A$23,750 per person twin share
INCLUDES: business class flights aboard a Korean Airlines Jet from Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney; all transportation; five-star accommodation; eight nights on The Golden Eagle Express; all sightseeing; all meals.

Private Tour

Gyeongju Private Escape

Between 57 BC and 935 AD the Korean Peninsula was home to the Silla Kingdom, one of the longest sustained dynasties in Asian history. The streets of Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Silla, are rich with historical treasures and Adventure World’s Gyeongju Private Escape tour provides guests with an intimate introduction to old Korea. Guests begin the trip with views of the Korean countryside from onboard the Saemaul train from Seoul to Gyeongju for approximately four hours. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to the Hilton Hotel for a two-night stay. On the second day you’ll meet your fellow guests on a guided tour of some of Gyeongju’s most spectacular historical remains. The tour will visit ancient Buddhist sites such as Bulguksa temple and Seokguram Grotto at Toham Mountain. In the afternoon the tour will visit Gyeongju National Museum The museum is home to Korea’s 29th National Treasure; the massive bronze Bell of King Seongdeok. Lastly visit the Tumuli Park Belt to see 23 royal Silla tombs, some hidden under mounds of grass-covered earth.

DATE: dates are arranged upon request
PRICE: from A$854 per person
INCLUDES: two-nights accommodation at the Hilton Hotel; return train tickets; private transfers; a full-day private sightseeing tour; some meals.

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