Luxury Travel Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025
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Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Retreats Similar to a self guided tour but staying in one location only with activities and day outings included as a part of the stay.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
Attractions & Cities Visited
Activities & Interests
Flexible schedule A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full schedule For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Balanced schedule You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Flight & Transport Inclusions
Rivers & Seas Visitied
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
- Osaka: Explore the fascinating Osaka Castle, a famous landmark that was pivotal in the reunification of Japan during the 16th century. Marvel at the variety of cultural artefacts showcasing the history of Osaka.
- Osaka: Visit the top of the Floating Garden Observatory in the Umeda Sky Building for incredible city views.
- Experience traveling like a local as you ride the high-speed bullet train. Catch views of snow capped mountains and quaint Japanese towns as you journey between each city. This feat of modern engineering brings new joy to train rides.
- Hiroshima: Spend some quiet moments in the emotive Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and see the A-Bomb Dome, the only structure left standing.
- Kyoto: Wander around the famous Giouji Temple, where the bamboo trees and green groves inspire relaxation. This tiny temple with the thatched roof entrance is a sanctuary and one of the most scenic temples you’ll see in the city.
- Kyoto: Join your Travel Concierge for an orientation of Gion neighborhood, known as Kyoto's geisha district. See well-preserved wooden machiya houses and perhaps experience the electric ambiance of a local bar or restaurant.
- Kyoto: Visit the stunning Zen Buddhist temple of Kinkaku-ji, with its glittering Golden Pavilion and hear about its intriguing history. Then, explore the vibrant Gion neighborhood, where you may spot a Geisha or two.
- Tokyo: Take a sightseeing tour of Tokyo with your Travel Concierge to spot many places of interest in this bustling capital city.
- Matsushima Bay: Take in views of the many pine clad islets in Matsushima Bay on a private cruise. Hear about the many haikus featuring the bay describing it as a place of love and wonder.
- Matsushima Bay: Meet the owner of a traditional Japanese inn set in the dazzling Matsushima Bay, which has inspired poetry over the centuries. Hear more about her life and local traditions in the pine covered islands as you cruise between them.
- Hirosaki: Learn about the meticulous care and nurturing of cherry blossom trees from a specialized cherry blossom doctor who ensures that each one, from sapling to mature tree, is healthy and thriving during the beautiful season each April.
- Tsugaru han Neputa Village: See the colorful decorations, which take a year to create, being prepared for the summer Neputa Festival by local craftsmen. Witness a private musical performance of Tsugaru Shamisen and Taiko, a traditional style of Japanese guitar and drumming.
- Oirase Gorge: Take a gentle walk along the Oirase Gorge in the Hachimantai National Park. Each season brings its own color palette while unique rock formations and the burbling river is a pleasure to follow.
- Tokyo: Pay a visit to the Sensō-ji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo and the site of a large late spring festival, which many international visitors attend. This significant place of worship is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion.
- Tokyo: Wander down one of Japan's oldest shopping streets, Nakamise Street, which dates back to the 17th century. If you're feeling peckish, visit Kappabashi, the back street that is also known as the foodie hub of Tokyo.
- Optional - Mt Fuji: Visit the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, where you’ll enjoy its unique architecture, wander the serene gardens and marvel at its collection of beautiful kimonos.
- Optional - Mt Fuji: Ride the Kachi-Kachi Ropeway cable car to fully embrace the breathtaking views of the lake and the mountain.
- Optional - Tokyo: Participate in a private sushi-making class in Tokyo and discover why it takes ten years to perfect this 2000-year-old Japanese art from a master sushi chef. Afterwards, enjoy a freshly prepared Highlight Lunch where you can marvel at his culinary brilliance.
- Optional - Tokyo: Join a Local Expert and head to the Omotesando and Harajuku neighborhoods known for their fashion, art and design before indulging in lunch.
- Hiroshima: Experience a truly poignant travel moment, as you meet a survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima atomic bomb, which destroyed most of the city during World War II and changed world history forever.
- Hawke's Bay: Ease yourself into the day at your own pace with a morning at leisure in Hawke’s Bay. Grab an artisan coffee at a local cafe, stroll about the Village Green, wander Keirunga Gardens, or pop into some of the charming boutiques.
- Napier: Climb into a luxury vintage car with a discerning local guide for your personal tour of Napier. Uncover the highlights of this world-famous town’s 140 art deco buildings and sculptures from the comfort of your luxurious vehicle.
- Huka Falls: Witness the awe-inspiring power of nature at Huka Falls where nearly a quarter of a million litres of thundering water per second are funnelled from Lake Taupō and dropped eleven meters into the Waikato River below.
- Rotorua: Visit Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the world’s youngest geothermal system, formed after the eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886. Discover the world’s largest hot spring, volcanic crater lakes and the most incredible flora and fauna that have been untouched by man.
- Rotorua: Stand eye to eye with giant redwoods on the Redwoods Treewalk. Immerse yourself in the serene majesty of these 118-year-old trees from your 20-meter high perspective. Cross swing bridges and platforms on your elevated path through Whakarewarewa Forest.
- Rotorua: Meet the kiwi at National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa as you are invited to step behind-the-scenes at a working nursery and hatchery for New Zealand’s intriguing national bird. Seek out skinks, geckos, and incredible trout amidst the thick foliage of the park. This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience helps to fund the Hatchery and directly contribute to kiwi conservation. The hatchery has grown to become the largest and most successful kiwi hatching facility in the world, successfully incubating and hatching brown kiwi eggs, helping the North Island population considerably.
- Waitomo Cave: Enter the subterranean Waitomo Cave where you’ll be guided through the extensive network and meet the local residents, glow worms. View these fascinating glowing creatures as you glide quietly on a private tour by boat through the underground cave.
- Auckland: Discover the landmarks of New Zealand’s largest city on your afternoon tour. See the diversity of the city from bustling Queen Street and the rejuvenated Viaduct harbor to the historic buildings around the city’s university and the striking Auckland harbor Bridge.
- Optional - Wellington: Discover the stunning waterfront and the hidden laneways in the bohemian area of the heritage Cuba Street precinct. Once dimly lit back alleys, these newly rejuvenated laneways are now home to some of the country’s funkiest bars, boutiques, and breweries. Admire panoramic views of the city from the Wellington cable car.
- Optional - Wellington: Learn more about native flora and fauna on a guided walk through Otari Wiltons Bush, the only botanic garden in New Zealand, dedicated to native plants. The walk starts at the ‘Waharoa’ and heads through the Fernery and then down to the creek, where you are likely to spot some Tuna. It’s also a haven for native birds including the Kereru and Tui. A highlight of the walk is a Rimu tree estimated to be over 800 years old.
- Auckland: Raise a glass to your unforgettable journey as you enjoy your Celebration Dinner with a former member of the All Blacks rugby team. Hear stories of the world’s leading rugby team, his personal victories and how passionate Kiwis are about their national sport.
- Ho Chi Minh City: Join a Viet Cong veteran to visit the underground Củ Chi tunnels and learn more about this complex network originally built in 1948. See where many thousands of troops trained and lived under difficult conditions during the Vietnam War.
- Ho Chi Minh City: Experience the vibrancy of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, as you visit its most iconic attractions, including the Central Post Office, designed by Alfred Foulhox.
- Mekong River Delta: Board a private vessel for your Mekong River Cruise, taking you down the most important waterway in Southeast Asia. Gain a fascinating insight into coconut processing, one of the major industries for people who live along the river.
- Mekong River Delta: Enjoy a ride on a tri-motorcycle through the tropical scenery of the Mekong delta, passing limestone mountains and rows of neat rice paddies. Arrive at a rustic rice noodle factory to see how the favored breakfast meal of Vietnam is produced.
- Hue: Cycle through rice fields to Thanh Toan village, admiring the green countryside as you pedal by. Visit the lively local market, bargain along with the locals and see traditional houses. Soak up the agricultural way of life, a suitable contrast to the city.
- Hoi An: Explore the Ancient Old Town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see well-preserved buildings that date back several centuries. See the 18th-century Japanese covered bridge with its elaborate carvings and spot many colored lanterns along the way.
- Hanoi: Take a spin on a nifty electric cart for a fun way to get around Hanoi. See the main sights of the city, including the beautiful French neoclassical Opera House, the center for cultural and historical events in Vietnam.
- Halong Bay: Board a luxury junk boat for a special cruise around the magnificent Ha Long Bay, famous for its emerald waters and thousands of limestone islands dotted with rainforests. Explore mysterious caves and marvel at a memorable sunset over this scene.
- Halong Bay: Visit the spectacular Tien Ong cave with its immense stalactites and stalagmites, resembling various forms, including one called “the fairy godfather.” Sail to Cua Van floating village, amid the towering rocks, where fishermen have lived for hundreds of years.
- Hanoi: Meet a renowned local scholar during a special visit to the famous Temple of Literature, built in 1070 to honor the great philosopher, Confucius. Learn more about the culture of Hanoi and Vietnamese architecture before touring the picturesque grounds and seeing the Well of Clarity.
- Optional - Ho Chi Minh City: Meander through the streets of Ho Chi Minh and hear more about the local street-side café culture, which sprung up when many French lived in the country. Discover the art of making the perfect cup of Vietnamese coffee before trying one.
- Optional - Ho Chi Minh City: Continue with your exploration about the troubled past of the country at the War Remnants Museum.
- Optional - Hue: Meet the headmaster of the Vietnamese Royal Martial Arts Academy and hear about the rigours of training for each martial art. Afterwards, watch at a live performance by the martial artists, admirably demonstrating their skill and discipline.
- Optional - Hue: Take a boat ride to the private museum of Tran Dihn Son, whose great-grandfather was a high ranking mandarin during the Nguyen Dynasty and see the vast collection of rare antiquities collected by him and his ancestors.
- Optional - Hoi An: Visit the peaceful and cozy essential oil workshop, and learn how each smell and oil has a different use and effect on the mind and body. Create your personal mix, a ‘one-of-a-kind’, essential oil.
- Mekong River Delta: Meet Mr. Sau Tuong, a former soldier, at his home and see how he and his wife make a living making rice paper. This quiet existence is in stark contrast to the four years he spent fighting the Khmer Rouge, who terrorised Cambodia in the 1970s.
- Hue: Enjoy a VIP visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Imperial Citadel before it opens to other travelers. Hear more about Emperor Gia Long, the first ruler of the Nguyen Dynasty, who made this the center of a unified Vietnam.
- London: Your passionate Local Expert will lead you from Westminster to Piccadilly Circus as they recount fascinating tales of London and its famous landmarks. Pass by the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square as you explore the English capital.
- London: Step through history at Horse Guards Parade, the ceremonial grounds of St James Park in the shadow of Buckingham Palace. Discover the secrets of a cavalryman’s uniform in the Household Cavalry Museum before trying on the royal clothes yourself.
- Stonehenge: Visit the mysterious circle of upright stones, the best known prehistoric site in Europe. Experience the lives led by Neolithic builders 3,500 years ago and admire the selection of archaeological treasures that have been unearthed in this place.
- Bath: Be taken through the grand historic sights of Bath with a private orientation tour. See the majestic Royal Terrace, the inspiring architecture of Bath Abbey, and, the stately Pulteney Bridge, completed in 1774.
- Bath: Join a Local Expert for an insightful tour revealing the town's history.
- Cotswolds: Journey through the Cotswolds, one of the most quintessential and unspoiled regions of England, famous for gentle, rolling hillsides known as ‘wolds’, green river valleys and historic market towns, where time has stood still for over 300 years.
- Stratford-upon-Avon: Fans of the famous playwright, William Shakespeare, will love exploring this vibrant town where he was born. This cultural center still has many rows of attractive half-timbered houses that date back to the 16th century.
- Ullswater: Enjoy a scenic cruise on one of England's most beautiful lakes.
- Alnwick Castle: Join a Local Expert for an in-depth exploration of the 11th century castle, with its striking medieval architecture and see why it was featured in the Harry Potter films.
- Edinburgh: A Local Expert guides you around magnificent Edinburgh Castle, perched on a black basalt outcrop. Discover the site’s 900-year history and take in the spectacular panoramic views over the city’s most famous landmarks.
- Edinburgh: Wander along Princes Street with your Local Expert, past the Gothic Sir Walter Scott Monument, and continue down the old-world Royal Mile to the gates of Holyrood Palace, the principal residence of Scottish royalty since the 16th century, and the Queen’s official Edinburgh lodgings.
- Edinburgh: In true Gaelic style, meet a fabulously entertaining bagpiper, playing pipes passed down since 1888. Hear fascinating tales from the time he played for the Queen Mother, to riotous nights at Edinburgh Castle.
- Edinburgh: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before beginning your first-class train journey to London. Travel cross-country and enjoy sweeping views of the English countryside, from the rolling hills to moody lakes, before you reach the luxurious Rubens at the Palace for your London stay.
- Optional - Bath: Visit the historic Roman Baths, which draw from Britain’s only natural mineral springs and gave the Georgian city its name. This remarkably preserved historic site was once a gathering spot for Romans to bathe and socialise over 2,000 years ago.
- Optional - Bath: Visit the immersive Jane Austen Center dedicated to the writer who lived here in the early 1800s and used the city as a setting for two of her novels. Learn about her life, her works and the Regency period from entertaining actors.
- Optional - York: Embark on a leisurely guided tour to the grand York Minster, an excellent example of Gothic architecture.
- Optional - York: Get active and follow a Local Expert as you walk on the 13th century city walls and you soak up the spectacular views of River Ouse and the Old Town.
- Optional - Edinburgh: Visit the 17th century Mary King's Close with a Local Expert, walk in the footsteps of former residents and unlock fascinating stories from Edinburgh's sometimes dark past.
- Optional - Edinburgh: Try a wee dram of whisky as you embark on a tasting experience of this Scottish staple.
- London: You’re invited to the Tower of London to experience the Ceremony of the Keys, the oldest practiced military ceremony in the world. At your special after-hours visit you’ll get an inside look at the 700-year-old tradition that stood the tests of even the most tumultuous times.
- York: Feeling like the star of a period drama, you’ll enter the 18th century mansion for a private tour of the house.
- Christchurch: Experience the striking natural landscape of the South Island as you travel on the TranzAlpine. Famous as one of the world’s great train journeys, you can enjoy the remarkable scenery from the ice-fed Waimakariri River to the magnificent Canterbury Plains.
- Hokitika: Visit the coastal town of Hokitika, where you’ll find stunning scenery and a cool, arty vibe. Hear about its rich history, from the discovery of New Zealand jade through the many tales from the gold rush in the 1860s.
- Franz Josef: Experience the mighty natural wonder of the Franz Josef Glacier and what the ice age must have felt like. The sheer enormity of these giant ice puzzles will leave you spellbound as you explore the area with your Local Expert.
- Makarora: Visit Makarora, a great base point to explore the beauty of the Southern Alps. Your Travel Concierge will take you on an orientation of the town where you can admire remarkable scenery and hear more about its history.
- Haast River: Enjoy the unique blend of thrilling speed and calm comfort on a Haast River jet boat safari. Zip past untouched forests and snow-capped mountains in your fully enclosed cabin while you hear beguiling tales of the wilderness communities of the valley.
- Milford Sound: Immerse yourself in nature with a guided walk along a stunning section of Milford Track, one of the most breathtaking walks in the world. Learn about its wildlife and heritage while you traverse beach forest and bubbling rivers as you pass along its route.
- Fiordland National Park: Embark on a serene cruise on Lake Manapouri where you can marvel at plummeting waterfalls and see countless coves and beaches dotted along its shore. See the magnificent scenery of the Fiordland National Park with its forest-clad mountains and islands.
- Dunedin: Sample exquisite botanical spirits made from surplus bread and bakery products in an effort to reduce landfill waste. Witness how owners, Jenny McDonald and Sue Stockwell, do it as they take you through the process of turning bread into spirits.
- Christchurch: Explore the dynamic city of Christchurch and learn how the city has reinvented itself in the past decade. See how the unique Cardboard Cathedral and Container Mall juxtapose with the older landmarks of Canterbury Museum and New Regent Street.
- Optional - Queenstown: Take part in a scenic bike ride on the Arrow River Trail and cross the famous Kawarau suspension bridge, home of the the world's first bungy jump.
- Optional - Queenstown: Embark on a boutique wine tasting tour in the heart of the Central Otago wine region.
- Enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of energetic Tokyo
- Visit to most famous Buddhist temple - the Senso-Ji Temple
- Enjoy tales of Mt Fuji's spiritual significance
- Enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Ashi
- Experience a coach journey to Kyoto, cultural and artistic jewel
- Discover historic city of Nara and admire the Todaiji Temple
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Top Luxury Travel Attractions & Experiences
Top Luxury Travel Experiences
Experiencing all that Africa has to offer in comfort with private guides
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Exploring Italy in comfort learning history, and getting to know the culture, food, and wine at a leisurely pace
Sailing to the remote lands of Antarctica via small ship cruise
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3,984 Luxury Travel Tour Reviews - Summary 98% Recommend
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