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Nine luxury trips to tempt your clients with today

Rules are ever changing, but try tempting clients with some of these ideas to keep them engaged and inspired to either travel on a last-minute escape now, or plan a big trip for 2021

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Encourage clients to start thinking about big trips for 2021
Encourage clients to start thinking about big trips for 2021

As everyone working in travel has now come to realise, things can change very quickly when it comes to shifts related to Covid-19 and quarantine, but there are still some trips you could be planning for clients seeking a luxury getaway soon, or into 2021 and beyond.

 

From starting the conversation about planning a polar cruise in 2021, talking about the need to book ahead for the Great Migration next year – when operators say capacity at the best lodges in Kenya and Tanzania is sure to be stretched due to pent-up demand, or even just suggesting a London break, keeping ideas flowing and communication going is crucial for client engagement.

Polar planning

Polar planning

Expedition cruising is likely to have remained high on the bucket lists of wealthy travellers, who will have used lockdown to continue researching such an epic trip. Voyages in the Arctic depart mid-May to October when the weather is at its warmest and wildlife is most active.

 

Meanwhile, Antarctica’s short season from November to March, the small size of the expedition vessels and the restriction on numbers of people allowed to disembark are key drivers to securing bookings for those with polar plans.

 

And it is also worth flagging that Abercrombie & Kent founder Geoffrey Kent will be leading The Northeast Passage: Across the Russian Arctic, a 25-night cruise with an expedition team next year (27 August-21 September), sailing onboard Le Boreal. Meanwhile departing 16 July 2021, Silversea’s Silver Cloud will embark on its first-ever 63-day Arctic Grand Voyage, taking in seven countries.

  • How to book it: A&K’s Northeast Passage cruise costs from £33,290pp based on two sharing (full board while on the ship), excluding flights, abercrombiekent.co.uk

Ocean mission

Ocean mission

The Maldives has consistently been reported as remaining in high future demand, given its promise of idyllic islands, remote escapism and privacy.

 

Most resorts will have reopened by the end of October, but for now, the country has not yet managed to make it onto the FCO’s exemption list.

 

However, operators report bookings are continuing and, despite high prices and minimum-stay requirements over the Christmas and New Year period, the best rooms in top resorts are being snapped up early, with A&K highlighting Gili Lankanfushi and Soneva Fushi as popular.

 

Planning for an all-inclusive stay will also allow clients to see ahead of time the full cost of a trip, and the boutique island of Milaidhoo (pictured) is one place where this is possible, with great savings to be had on travel next year.

  • How to book it: Elegant Resorts offers seven nights in a Water Pool Villa at Milaidhoo Island Maldives on an all-inclusive gourmet plan from £5,795pp (incorporates a 40% room rate reduction, 40% reduction on the gourmet meal plan, and 40% reduction in shared seaplane transfers) including flights and seaplane transfers. The offer is valid from 11 January to 31 October 2021, but this price is based on 10 June departures, elegantresorts.com

Culture club

Culture club

A visit to London without some of the usual crowds of international tourists can be used as a rare hook – when else would you have the space at galleries and museums?

 

Or palaces, for that matter – a new exhibition of 65 masterpieces that would usually hang in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace will be brought together in an exhibition for the first time.

 

Including works by Titian, Rembrandt – including his piece, The Shipbuilder and his Wife: Jan Rijcksen (1560/2-1637) and his Wife, Griet Jans, pictured here – Vermeer, van Dyck and Canaletto, Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace will be at The Queen’s Gallery from 4 December 2020 – January 2022.

  • How to book it: Adult tickets cost from £16 (book via rct.uk). Match with a stay at one of the new hotels in the capital including Middle Eight, opening in October in Covent Garden; The Guardsman, a more intimate option opening this month in Buckingham Gate; or The Londoner, a bold addition to Leicester Square in spring 2021; all members of Preferred Hotels, which offers agent commission, preferredhotels.com

Into the wild

Into the wild

Discussing a dream wildlife-focused trip for 2021 is one way to maintain an active role in clients’ planning for next year, and they will welcome the advice to book early while they can.

 

A&K says some of Africa’s favourite camps are already reporting high occupancy, with people having rolled over bookings. Kenya and Tanzania are already looking busy for July/August, the operator says, with families, for example, transferring plans to see the great migration in 2021.

  • How to book it: A&K offers a 12-night Ultimate East Africa safari in 2021 – combining the great migration in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater and safari in Tanzania’s Serengeti – from £6,550pp, including flights, abercrombiekent.co.uk

Caribbean castaways

Caribbean castaways

Many Caribbean countries have travel corridors under the government’s suggestions, but of course, there may still be some entry measures to consider.

 

Always a winter-sun favourite, Antigua has its fair share of luxury options; currently, all passengers (12 years and older, arriving by air) must provide evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than seven days before arrival (a State of Emergency is also currently in place until 31 October, but nothing that would deter a normal holidaymaker from enjoying a trip).

 

Once there, Oetker Collection’s Jumby Bay Island (pictured) is one idyllic option, where with the amount of personal space per guest – the island is 300 acres – they needn’t worry about even seeing another soul; the resort is also looking extra fresh after a refurbishment.

  • How to book it: Jumby Bay Island opens from 7 November and Carrier offers seven nights from £18,730pp (based on two adults sharing; departs 4 December) all-inclusive, including British Airways Club World flights from Gatwick, private airport experience and return private airport transfers, carrier.co.uk

Dose of Cyprus sunshine

Dose of Cyprus sunshine

An early autumn break could be just the ticket for those who missed out on a summer trip overseas, and Cyprus is a favourite for this.

 

The island is on the green list, but clients will need to get a Covid-19 check beforehand (read about one agent's experience and tips on travelling to the country) and show a negative PCR test on entry.

 

Options once there could include a stay at boutique hotel Casale Panayiotis (pictured) in the Troodos mountains, offering a taste of the rural Cypriot lifestyle. This can then be matched with a coastal stay on the island at the Columbia Beach Resort on the two kilometre-long Blue Flag beach of Pissouri Bay.

 

  • How to book it: A seven-night twin centre in Cyprus with Sovereign costs from £1,135pp (12 October departure), including four nights at Casale Panayiotis and three at Columbia Beach Resort, easyJet flights to Paphos, private transfers and breakfast, sovereign.com

Big in Japan

Big in Japan

Accommodation, trains and tours have historically booked up way in advance for Japan’s cherry blossom spring season (starting in the south in late February and flourishing last in the north in May), and pent-up demand from this year could mean a similar rush in 2021. In theory, the Olympics should also take place in Tokyo from 23 July to 8 August 2021, but the jury is still out on that.

 

Either way, availability could be tricky, and Japan was high in the popularity stakes before the virus hit; there’s no reason to believe our love affair will abate in the long run. Japan is currently on the FCO list of open corridors, but it’s not reciprocal, with UK citizens not yet allowed access.

 

Looking ahead, though, planning a classic tour could inspire clients to include Tokyo and nearby Hakone national park, the imperial city of Kyoto, time in the city of Hiroshima, and the picturesque island of Miyajima (pictured) with its celebrated torii gate.

  • How to book it: Cox & Kings’ 10-night Japan’s Cultural Treasures group tour costs from £6,295pp based on two people sharing, or can be made a private tour for £9,840pp based on two sharing; this includes flights, transfers, guiding, accommodation and most meals, coxandkings.co.uk

Greece is (still kind of) the word

Greece is (still kind of) the word

Despite initial confusion on advice variations over quarantine in different parts of the UK, some of Greece is of course still open for Brits, excluding seven key islands.

 

Planning to stay open until 31 October is MarBella Collection (pictured) in south-east Corfu, where families might like to consider the Signature Suites package that includes one day’s complimentary car hire and beach picnic on stays of seven nights.

 

But for those who prefer a child-free break, Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort in Corfu, is a great all-round adults-only option with its own slice of private beachfront.

  • How to book it: Carrier offers seven nights half-board at Domes Miramare from £6,870pp, including easyJet flights from Gatwick, private airport experience and return private airport transfers, carrier.co.uk

Scenic Scotland

Scenic Scotland

For those who still might not feel like travelling to far-flung places, but are keen to rekindle their passion for cruising while exploring the wild shoreline of Scotland, suggest booking a summer cruise on the super-sleek Scenic Eclipse.

 

Highlights of the Wild Scotland & the Hebrideans cruise include exploring Orkney, featuring the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae and a local beer tasting; a photography tour in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull; and a search for wildlife on a guided nature walk of Iona’s sandy beaches with the ship’s naturalist.

 

  • How to book it: The 12-day Wild Scotland & the Hebrideans departs 29 August 2021, originating in Bergen, with flights to the city included in the overall cost. Priced from £7,745pp (including an early payment discount of £250), this also includes door-to-door chauffeur, dining experiences and shore excursions including Zodiacs and kayaks, scenic.co.uk

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