Credit crunch or not, the rich are still taking luxury holidays, remaining largely unaffected by the late booking trends hitting the rest of the market.
Their savings won’t be earning much interest, so they might as well spend them on the holiday of a lifetime. Try pitching one of these dream trips…
Go walkabout in Australia
With the opera house, the harbour, and Bondi Beach, there’s no better place to start a tour of Australia than sun-drenched, super social Sydney.
Clients can cruise the waters, catch a show and lunch at celeb haunt restaurant Icebergs before checking in at the deluxe Shangri-La. Next, hire an Aboriginal guide to walk them around the base of the Red Centre’s Ayers Rock, before sending them up to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef.
Check clients into the Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa for some pampering before exploring the surrounding rainforest. End with a few days’ relaxation on the empty white sands of Lizard Island (above) just off the coast.
Sample product: Kuoni offers 14 nights covering this itinerary from £11,870 per person twin-share departing in November. The price includes first-class flights with Qantas from Heathrow and domestic flights in economy class, in-resort transfers and a mixed meal plan. kuoni.co.uk 01306 747 008
Hike the Inca Trail
Trekking the classic Inca Trail in Peru is a once-in-lifetime experience, but there’s no reason to slum it on the way.
Hiking over the high mountain passes to Machu Picchu (above) takes four days, and top-end operators will throw in porters to carry your clients’ baggage, good food and comfortable tents.
After the trip, why not tick off another must-see by sending them to spend a few days in a luxury lodge in the Peruvian Amazon.
Sample product: Cox and Kings offers an 11-night Inca Trail trip from £2,795, including flights, and time in an Amazon lodge. coxandkings.co.uk, 020 7873 5000
Cross Canada by rail
Let the train take the strain as clients make their way from the Pacific to the Atlantic, visiting all of Canada’s most beautiful sights en route.
They can check out vibrant Vancouver before unpacking their things into a deluxe-class cabin on The Canadian and speeding up to the Rockies.
After exploring the mountains, it’s back on the train to cross the plains through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, spotting elk and moose along the way.
Then on through the forests of the Canadian Shield to Toronto for sightseeing and a trip to Niagara Falls. City tours of Montreal and Quebec follow, before clients board the luxury train the Ocean, which winds it way up through Atlantic Canada to Halifax.
Sample product: Great Rail Journeys offers a 17-day Canada Coast to Coast (above) itinerary from £3,735 including flights, transfers, most meals, excursions and a tour guide, departing September 2. greatrailuk.com, 01904 521 936
Trek to Everest base camp
Send adventurous clients to the top of the world in Nepal. Offer an 18-day tour starting off in Kathmandu and heading up to the Everest (above) base camp for some views of the world’s highest mountain that will stay with your client forever.
Sample product: Uncover the World offers an 18-day tour from Kathmandu up to the base camp, staying in good quality lodge/tea house accommodation while trekking, and in former royal palace the Shanker Hotel in Kathmandu. The price, including internal flights and most meals, is from £825 per person. uncovertheworld.travel, 0845 130 4849
Cruise the world
Go to sleep in one country and wake up in another. That’s the unique selling point of cruising and has to be the most relaxing way of seeing the planet.
Tell your client to put aside about 118 days, and prepare to visit French Polynesia, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, the Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Barbados and the British Virgin Islands.
Book the Regent Seven Seas Voyager World Cruise and clients get free unlimited shore excursions and free first-class flights.
Sample product: Regent offers its world cruise (above) for early bookers at £42,600 for a deluxe suite. rssc.co.uk, 023 8068 2280
The ultimate safari
Few sights are more stupendous than the annual migration across the Serengeti, Tanzania. Millions of zebra and wildebeest sweep across the vast plains to the verdant grasslands where they give birth to their young.
A trip to Tanzania between December and March gives clients the chance to see this phenomenal journey.
Suggest that they also visit the Ngorongoro Crater and the Manyara National Park for the ultimate safari experience, where they can see tree-climbing lions, elephants and rhino.
End their journey on the nearby island of Zanzibar, where miles of white-sand beaches await.
Sample product: Audley Travel offers a 15-day itinerary visiting Manyara, Ngorongoro, the Serengeti and Zanzibar from £5,500 including flights, transfers by road and air, full board and all activities on safari and half-board accommodation at the beach. audleytravel.com 01993 838 500
Live it up in Vegas
A jaunt in Sin City is the ultimate chance for clients to live it up.
As well as flirting with Lady Luck on the gaming tables – recommend they gamble at the Bellagio or the Wynn for glamour – book them great seats at a headline show; Bette Midler and Cher are both due to perform in the next few months.
After a helicopter flight into the Grand Canyon, bookable through the likes of Keith Prowse and Attraction World, make them reservations for dinner at the Top of the World – this revolving restaurant at the top of Stratosphere has stunning views down the Strip.
Book them in to a luxurious suite at the Wynn – it’s Vegas’ highest rated luxury hotel, and home to the most exclusive nightspot, the club Tryst.
Sample product: Virgin Holidays offers five nights in a parlour suite at the Wynn (above) from £1,263 per person including flights and car hire. Upgrade to premium economy from £325 per person each way. Valid for departures in November. virginholidays.co.uk, 0844 557 3859
Suggest a fortnight in the depths of Indochina where clients will wander through the ruined temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and explore the history of the country’s capital in Phnom Penh.
In Vietnam, guests can cruise in a traditional junk boat through the stunning Ha Long Bay, explore Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the Cu Chi Tunnels, where the Vietcong hid during the Vietnam War.
Then it’s on to Laos, visiting Vientiane’s temples and the mountainous Luang Prabang, home to saffron-robed monks.
Sample product: Bridge and Wickers offers a 15-day Indochina highlights tour from £4,690 per person including all domestic flights, 14 nights’ accommodation, transfers and local guides. Flights to Hanoi start from £650 per person. bridgeandwickers.co.uk, 020 7483 6555
Stay at the George V in Paris
The George V, now owned by The Four Seasons, has hosted the great and the good through the ages, from presidents to celebs. Your clients could bump into regulars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on a decadent weekend at the ultimate Parisian glamour hotel.
It’s just off the Champs-Elysées and feels like a palace with its three-star Michelin restaurant and exquisitely furnished bedrooms.
And, if they can bear to venture outside, the breathtakingly historical sights of the city await.
Sample product: Kirker Holidays offers two nights at the Four Seasons George V between November 11 and December 24 for £1,191 per person. Price includes airfare or first-class Eurostar seats, private transfers from the hotel, a Seine river cruise, metro tickets and Kirker guide notes. kirkerholidays.com, 020 7593 1899
Chill out in the Antarctic
Tell your customer to pack the long johns and get ready for a trip that will make them feel more intrepid explorer than holidaymaker.
From Buenos Aires, Argentina they will take a flight to Ushuaia. There they will board an ice-rated ship and cruise the Beagle Channel to explore the southern region of the Antarctic. The aim is to head as far south as possible, to the circle and beyond.
Clients will navigate through some of the most astoundingly beautiful waterways, gliding through brash ice and colossal towering icebergs as they spot penguins, whales and basking elephant seals.
A highlight? The Lemaire Channel, with majestic glacial walls towering on both sides.
Sample product: Exodus offers this trip from February 7-24 2010 for £6,905 per person. Price includes all flights, all meals on ship and breakfast at hotels. exodus.co.uk, 0845 863 9600
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