From space travel to mountain climbing, there is a world of
high-end travel products available that cater to a growing
With the baby-boom generation approaching retirement, and many
of them with the means to travel first-class, more people are not
only taking extraordinary trips, but trips that are custom-made
just for them.
The number of people coming to Geographic Expeditions
(www.geoex.com/), a San Francisco-based tour operator specializing
in luxury and adventure travel, for customized travel packages is
increasing, according to company president, Jim Sano.
“They come to us with ideas, sometimes that we never thought of
operating as trips, and start developing them,” he said. “Then we
may use those as part of a new tour.”
Clients of Geographic Expeditions include corporations,
universities, and even travel agencies.
The company has designed a range of elaborate excursions
including a 480-day trip for one family as a part of a new concept
of “road schooling” where parents take their children out of school
for a time to travel the world as a part of their education.
The family, from Tulsa, Okla., traveled the entire world
experiencing the trip and curriculum that Geographic Expeditions
designed for their four children. The trip came with a price tag in
the mid-six-figure range.
Other travel arrangements made by the company include relocating
luxury yachts to obscure parts of the globe and getting permits
from governments to land private aircraft on isolated
Sometimes travel agents will come to the company for help on
requests for unique travel, such as cultural tours with professors
from prestigious universities or other countries.
“It’s all about customization at a high level,” said Sano.
Anastasia Mann with Los Angeles-based Corniche Group
(www.corniche.com) said private villas are increasingly popular
among her clients, not only in more common locations such as
Tuscany, Italy, and Provence, France, but all over the world.
Many are as extravagant as they come. The Villa Arabesque in
Acapulco, Mexico, is a nine-bedroom beachfront villa that rents for
$10,000 a day and comes with a staff of more than 50 people.
A client might also rent a Gulfstream jet at the going rate of
$6,000 an hour, keeping it on hand to visit the Mayan ruins.
Corniche also boasts a tour operator in Tanzania that, in
addition to tours, makes everything themselves for their guests
including the tents and clothes.
For those who harbor dreams of climbing the highest peaks in the
world, there are a number of tour operators who have begun
specializing in mountaineering. Seattle-based tour operator, Alpine
Ascents International (www.alpineascents.com/) leads a number of
expeditions each year.
On the company’s “Seven Summits” expedition, clients climb the
highest peaks on the seven continents.
A trip up Mount Everest in Nepal alone can cost $100,000. But it
is recommended for only the most skilled mountaineers.