As experiential travel continues to be a huge draw for the luxury traveler, Abercrombie & Kent will add three new, immersive itineraries for 2019, traveling to Vietnam, Ireland, and a combination of Machu Picchu and the Galápagos Islands.
The new Small Group Journeys, with an intimate group size of no more than 18 guests, cater to luxury travelers’ desire for cultural immersion, with insider access experiences such as a visit to the Book of Kells in Ireland without the crowds during a before-hours tour of the Old Library at Dublin’s Trinity College, and private tours of Jameson’s Distillery and Bantry House. The nine-day "Ireland: Splendors of the Emerald Isle" itinerary also includes a visit to a local chocolatier; a Guinness and Galway Bay oyster pairing and dinner at renowned Ballymaloe House; and a home-cooked lunch at a traditional dairy farm.
In Vietnam, the new 12-day journey takes guests to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and on a cruise to less-frequented parts of Ha Long Bay. They will also venture off the beaten path to explore the rural countryside and meet local hill tribes of Mai Chau.
Abercrombie & Kent's third new Small Group Journey for 2019 is the "Wonders of the Galápagos & Machu Picchu." It starts off with a four-night cruise aboard an expedition vessel in the Galápagos Islands, with twice-daily shore excursions including nature walks led by certified naturalist guides. In Machu Picchu, guests can explore the ruins with an expert local guide and stay at the only hotel on-site. They also learn about centuries-old traditions in the Sacred Valley and meet farmers and their children.
According to Abercrombie & Kent, the company has seen double-digit growth of its luxury Small Group Journeys this year and into 2019. The tour operator is also expanding some of its current itineraries, including adding Luang Prabang, Laos, to "Images of Indochina & Angkor Wat," based on its popularity as a pre-trip extension, as well as a change in the routing for more time to explore Ho Chi Minh City. In South America, Iguazu Falls and Rio de Janeiro were added to the "Wonders of Chile, Argentina & Brazil" itinerary.