Best Round-the-World Trips
By boat, plane, bike, or foot, these grand tours let you take in breathtaking sights as you circle the globe.
You don’t have to be Jules Verne to find the idea of circumnavigating the globe enchanting. And you don’t even need to spend 80 days doing it—although if you had the time and resources, you certainly could.
These days, there are myriad ways to experience a round-the-world trip, from swanky private jets that touch down in some of the world’s most exotic locales to bicycling journeys that chart a leisurely course through stunning scenery. You can opt for a whirlwind global jaunt from London to Sydney on an Embraer Jet, or indulge in old-fashioned slow travel on one of the world’s best cruise lines. Adventurous types can even opt to ride the rails on a cross-continental journey aboard the Trans-Siberian railway.
Geoffrey Kent, the founder of luxury outfitter Abercrombie & Kent, decided to reintroduce the company’s Around the World by Private Jet experience for 2014, after clients who had been on private jet trips in the past clamored for more. “They appreciate that time is the ultimate luxury,” Kent says of his globe-trotting clientele, “and arriving and departing when it makes the most sense, instead of according to airline schedules, allows more time to explore. Under ordinary circumstances these remote places are difficult—perhaps impossible—to visit on a single itinerary. But a private jet brings all these experiences within reach.”
Similarly, TCS and Starquest Expeditions recently teamed up with Four Seasons hotels and resorts to offer guests an unparalleled round-the-world experience that includes stops in iconic destinations like Marrakesh, the Maldives, Machu Picchu and Tokyo. Inaugurated in 2012, the Four Seasons Around the World trips proved so popular that the company plans to continue the expeditions in 2013 and 2014. Like many of the trips on our list, these journeys are highly personalized, with perks like a concierge office on the jet and a consultant who liaises with guests before departure to accommodate personalized excursions and requests.
Of course, being pampered in glamorous surroundings might not be everyone’s cup of tea. For those who yearn to battle the elements while seeing the world, there’s the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, an 11-month-long, 40,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe. The race is open to anyone—even novice sailors—provided they bring a strong stomach and a well-honed sense of daring.
Whichever round-the-world experience on our list you choose, one thing is guaranteed: bragging rights for life.