After recently visiting Australia and Africa, Ken Fish,
president of Absolute Asia/Africa/South Pacific, said he was
happily surprised that, despite the uncertainty in the world,
“people are continuing to travel.”
Fish’s clientele, however, are not your ordinary vacationers,
looking for a McDonald’s along the Champs-Elysees. They are wealthy
and independent, who insist on personalized service, luxury
accommodations and sophisticated touring all the while immersing
themselves in the culture that they visit.
Fish said his overseas guides say Absolute’s clients are “among
the most inquisitive, curious and thoughtful travelers they have
encountered.” Its success is, obviously, a result of offering tours
that keep these lucrative clients coming back.
Among Absolute South Pacific’s new products this year are four
“Introduction to Australia” tours, an in-depth Aboriginal
experience, three family vacations, and two tours focusing on
specific regions of Australia.
With the 11-night Introduction to Australia package, clients
visit Sydney, Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Daintree Rainforest and the
Great Barrier Reef. A longer, 14-night version of this tour,
Classic Australia, adds Melbourne, Alice Springs and the luxurious
Hayman Island Resort. Prices are $5,440 and $7,460 per person,
double, land only, respectively.
The most comprehensive of the introductory tours is the 23-night
Australia Explorer package, which travels from Sydney to Tasmania,
then takes in Melbourne and Adelaide, the Red Center, Darwin,
Kakadu National Park, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier
Reef. Cost is $11,850 per person, double, land only.
Clients can absorb the country’s Aboriginal history, culture and
belief systems in a 12-night program. “Aboriginal Experience”
includes Sydney, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Uluru, Darwin,
Bathurst Island and Aboriginal Arnhemland, which is a deeply
spiritual region for the Aborigines. Cultural art lovers will have
an opportunity to inspect ancient rock art, visit modern galleries
and collections, and browse shops selling works by prominent
A highlight of the tour is a stay at Longitude 131 the new,
exclusive, lodge-based retreat in the outback. Cost is $6,260 per
person, double, land only.
Families visiting Australia with Absolute can enjoy an 11-night
program, which includes dinner in the desert with a live soundtrack
provided by a didgeridoo player; a camel ride to breakfast in the
outback, which concludes with a lesson on Aboriginal “bush tucker”
(food); snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef; and a Skyrail ride
over a rain forest. Cost is $5,400 per person, double, land
Besides Australia, Absolute South Pacific also offers
multicountry tours to New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti and Papua New
Absolute Asia was established in 1989, adding Absolute South
Pacific in 1997 and Absolute Africa in 2001. Based in New York, the
company is a Virtuoso and ASTA member.