Adventure Travel: Abercrombie & Kent,

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By George Alpizar

Haute Living discovers a multitude of challenging travel packages for CEOs that offer an environment where the regular rules of business no longer apply.

In the 1920s, George Mallory was famously quoted responding to a reporter’s question of ‘Why climb Mount Everest?’ by replying, “Because it is there.” Those who have climbed the world’s highest peak describe an immense feeling of fulfillment, placing themselves in the category of only a handful of people who have conquered the summit.

While climbing Mount Everest may sound perilous to the average person, the successful CEOs of today seek out challenging trips to fulfill a sense of adventure, which correlates to the exciting nature of running a successful business. Days filled with intense meetings integrated into a rigid schedule followed by downtime on a cruise ship is not always as enticing as partaking in a true African safari or exploring South American ruins.

Elite travel companies are offering adventurous vacation packages that give businessmen the opportunity to participate and experience new challenges away from the office without sacrificing an element of luxury. The sentiments of these daring businessmen can be summed up with what Wilfrid Noyce wrote in his Everest account, claiming that it was a “conquest of rebellious bits of myself.” Between balancing appointments, meetings, and business dealings, CEOs are finding excitement by challenging themselves while away from the rigors of the office.

An Explorer’s Antartica
Geographic Expeditions
Antarctica: from $3,500

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What else dictates adventure like traveling to the most deserted and mysterious place on earth? Only available for exploration for five months out of the year, Geographic Expeditions offers clients a true glacial experience while still providing amazing amenities on different voyages to Antarctica.

Based on the date of the chosen trip, departures takes place from either the southern tip of Argentina or New Zealand. Travelers board ships capable of navigating through the ice-infested waters. The luxury liners are appointed with bars, lounges, and libraries for clients. For those that are not yet able to wholly detach themselves from the office, the vessels are equipped with satellite telephones and fax machines. During the course of the voyage, travelers can partake in discussions with naturalists who describe the native wildlife. Those onboard can also expect to travel through Anvers Island, King George Island, Port Lockroy, and Le Maire Channel, among other polar locations. All trips to Antarctica feature bountiful time for hiking, exploring, observing, and photographing the breathtaking scenery and wildlife amid the frigid temperatures.

Conquering the Final Degree
Abercrombie & Kent / Extreme Adventures
The South Pole: from $42,595

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 Ice, wind, and snow await trekkers as they journey through Earth’s most desolate region; this journey is considered to be a supreme test of a person’s ability to demonstrate strength and perseverance.

If simply reaching Antarctica isn’t enough, Abercrombie & Kent is willing to take you one step further. A leader in world travel, A&K recently launched their “Extreme Adventure” packages that allow people to test their limits by literally going to the edge of the world.

Thrill-seekers can trust this trip to Earth’s final frontier will be a grueling one, with the travel company labeling this venture as severe, with prolonged strenuous activity in the most inhospitable place on earth; superior mental and physical condition is a must to participate. The initial two days of the 18-day adventure are dedicated to helping travelers adjust to the extreme climate after which a 69- mile march to the South Pole will commence. Ice, wind, and snow await trekkers as they journey through Earth’s most desolate region; this journey is considered to be a supreme test of a person’s ability to demonstrate strength and perseverance. After reaching the South Pole, a ski plane will take travelers back to the base camp in Patriot Hills to celebrate the completion of the expedition.

Man & Machine Extreme
Abercrombie & Kent / Extreme Adventures
South Africa: from $12,225

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Jetting at supersonic speed and diving with sharks awaits those who decide to join A&K on their trip to South Africa. Characterized as seeking the ultimate thrill, this trip will appeal to those who feel the need for speed.

Clients will arrive to Cape Town for a briefing on the 10-day trip’s exhilarating activities, which includes hopping into a fighter jet to fly at 50,000 feet, navigating through the high dunes in all-terrain vehicles in the Namib Desert, and swimming mere inches from deadly sharks. During this time, visitors will stay at luxurious Cape Grace Hotel, which boasts tranquil waterfront views on one side and breathtaking mountain landscape on the other.

Described as a demanding excursion by the travel company, clients can expect daily trips to remote areas in South Africa to partake in these thrilling adventures, including driving at speeds of 100-plus miles per hour in genuine racing cars.

Gorilla Encounter
Abercrombie & Kent / Extreme Adventures
Uganda: from $4,445

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Forget typical African Safaris; A&K’s 5-day trip to Uganda gets travelers up close and personal with one of the most intriguing and elusive animals on the planet: the Mountain Gorilla.

After arriving in Entebbe and meeting with the guide for briefing, travelers will fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and settle into accommodations at Gorilla Forest Camp, a luxury tented camp deep in the mist-filled rainforest. Time is given for exploring the park’s natural habitat, including nearby Munyaga Falls and Mazabajuro Loop trails. Excursions focusing on the native bird population are also available.

The next days are dedicated to tracking the rare mountain gorilla. With a worldwide population of only 700, permits will allow visitors to follow and observe gorilla family groups that tolerate human presence.

The Adrenaline Adventure
Abercrombie & Kent / Extreme Adventures
New Zealand: from $14,405

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Exciting outdoor activities await prospective travelers in New Zealand. This excursion is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast; during the 11-day adventure, travelers can expect whitewater rafting, hiking, and fishing, among other activities.

After arriving at the trips’ first destination, Rotorua, fishing awaits along with time for relaxation at Hot Water Beach, where the sand is heated by thermal springs. Camping and rafting take place in the New Zealand forest, where clients arrive by helicopter. A 10-mile hike provides travelers with breathtaking scenic views, including stellar views of active volcanoes. A visit to Queenstown gives travelers the opportunity to bungee jump; visitors jump Bob’s Peak high above the town, choosing either the mild jump or the more extreme plunge of more than 15 stories. Travelers are also treated to an unforgettable helicopter ride through snow-covered peaks. The trip winds down with fly-fishing and off-road driving.

When not sleeping in overnight camps, guests will be housing at Huka Lodge, an award-winning hotel that features park-like gardens, flower borders, tennis courts, and hot pools. To really appreciate the peaceful scenery around the hotel, ample time must be taken to explore the pristine area.

Cruise the Galápagos Islands
Mountain Travel Sobek
Equador: from $4,095

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West of South America in the Pacific Ocean lie the Galápagos Islands, described by Moutain Travel Sobek as “a secret world where an amazing assemblage of wildlife reigns in a peaceable kingdom.” Mountain Travel Sobek, the oldest and most reputable adventure travel company in the U.S., offers an 11-day land and sea adventure that will offer guests close encounters with area wildlife.

Adventurers can expect an active itinerary that will lead them deep into a natural haven. Nature walks will bring travelers up close with exotic creatures, such as the blue-footed boobies. Tropical fish, Galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and sea lions await travelers on their snorkeling adventures.

Travelers can follow the same water path as Darwin did 150 years ago, except Darwin was not be able to enjoy water travel on state-of-the-art yachts. The ships cruise among the “Enchanted Islands,” offering guests a chance to partake in adventure amidst the familiar comforts of luxury.

Flying Safari
Geographic Expeditions
Southern Africa: from $16,000

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A modern day luxury safari with Geographic Expeditions means traveling across Southern Africa by private air. Although travelers will spend 15 days traveling to seven sites, including to Victoria Falls and Windhoek in Namibia, clients can expect to explore the vast African landscape on other forms of transportation, such as four-wheeling by the Shashe River. More primitive modes include biking, horseback riding, and trekking on foot alongside an expert guide to help navigate through these diverse and stunning regions.

Accommodations in the Lower Zambezi region will be at Chiawa Camp, a top 10 safari camp that includes superb game viewing and scenery, bountiful activities, attentive staff, and expert guides. While the trip seems to border on an expedition, it will be a pleasant one, courtesy of the convenient and comfortable private plane usage with an attentive crew onboard.

Around the World in 80 Ways
The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
Global: $1,000,000

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While revered as a popular novel and movie, traveling around the world is not only a wonderful dream; today it is a reality. One of the most inventive vacation packages available gives travelers the means to travel the world in the spirit of the 19th century novel with the comfort and style of today.

Travelers begin their journey in London before jetting off to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mumbai, and other posh locales, with stays in a dozen cities. At each of these locations, exciting adventures await, such as a camel safari in Dubai, dinner at the Le Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and a traditional tea ceremony in Tokyo.

Travelers will experience international hospitality at its finest. For 28 days, travelers can mimic the fantasy journey from the novel and movie while staying in luxurious hotels and resorts in each destination, a 21st century twist to an old-fashioned premise.

INFO

Geographic Expeditions
1008 General Kennedy Avenue
Thoreau Center for Sustainability
San Francisco, California 94129
415.922.0448
www.geoex.com

The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.
212.515.5704
www.lhw.com/80ways

Mountain Travel Sobek
1266 66th Street, Suite 4
Emeryville, California 94608
510.594.6000
www.mtsobek.com

Extreme Adventures Experiences
1520 Kensington Road, Suite 212
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
630.954.2944
www.akextremeadventures.com

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