Abercrombie & Kent Expands Luxury Expedition Cruising with Cultural Cruises
Luxury and adventure travel pioneer Abercrombie & Kent has taken intrepid travellers to Antarctica, the Arctic and around the world on more than 300 expedition cruises since 1991.
In response to growing interest from past travellers in more immersive cultural experiences, A&K has curated a new portfolio of Luxury Expedition Cruises that includes Japan, Greece, and — new for 2019 — Italy Cruise: Hidden Treasures from Florence to Venice. The focus is on combining A&K’s expertise in planning seamless expeditions with more in-depth land touring than found on traditional cruises.
“A sense of discovery was our guiding inspiration when searching for experiences along the coast of Italy as we brainstormed ideas for this new itinerary,” explains Bob Simpson, Abercrombie & Kent’s Vice President, Expedition Cruising.
“Our research team spent time in working ports and little-known locales to develop the most rewarding shore excursions, as well as find expert local guides who serve as cultural interpreters. We complement these onshore experiences with onboard briefings by our Expedition Staff to provide the historical context needed to understand the significance of these places.”
A&K offers a choice of included shore excursions each day, ranging from outdoor adventures to discussions of history, art and architecture; as well as hands-on experiences and tastings at local restaurants and vineyards. Active adventures include hiking or taking a 4 x 4 excursion on Mount Etna and rowing the canals of Venice. Walking tours reveal how the art and architecture of Palermo and Florence reflected the revival of interest in classical learning against a backdrop of political stability and growing prosperity.
Cooking classes, vineyard visits, and food-and-wine walks in small villages offer a distinctly local flavor. Repeat visitors to Italy will be charmed by sights further off-the-beaten path, such as the dramatic coastline and giant yews in Puglia’s Gargano National Park or the chance to stroll from the port through the Old Town of Bastia on the French island of Corsica.
NEW FOR 2019
Italy Cruise: Hidden Treasures from Florence to Venice (Aug 18-30, 2019)
Embark on a voyage along the coast, beginning with two days in Florence, the home of the Renaissance, before cruising to treasures from iconic Rome and Venice to exoticSicily and the paradisal Aeolian Islands, as well as Puglia’s Gargano National Park, UNESCO-protected Urbino, and French Corsica. Cruise in intimate luxury aboard brand-new ‘Le Bougainville,’ a luxury yacht with occupancy limited to 150 guests. 13 days from $12,995 per person, double occupancy. Book early to save $1,000 per person in stateroom categories 1-3.
Wonders of Japan Cruise (May 30-Jun 12, 2019)
Discover Japan by small ship, visiting unique ports and off-the-beaten-path wilderness areas. Spend two nights in culture-rich Kyoto, staying in the historic heart of the city.Visit Gyeongju, South Korea, ancient dynastic capital and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Reflect on Japan’s turbulent history and witness its miraculous resurgence at Hiroshima. Set out on incomparable art experiences, perhaps visiting the Chichu Art Museum, O’Hara Museum of Art and the Adachi Museum of Art. Witness a private performance by the world-renowned Kodo taiko drummers. Cruise aboard luxurious ‘Le Soleal,’ with no more than 199 guests for optimal comfort. 14 days from $15,995per person, double occupancy.
Cruising the Greek Isles (Oct 16-25, 2019)
Following this year’s sold-out inaugural cruise, we begin with two nights ashore in Athens, followed by a seven-night cruise through the islands, with access to rarely-visited, vibrant Symi, uninhabited Delos and Syros, where we enjoy a private performance at the Apollo Theater. Discover the palace of Knossos on Crete, medieval Rhodes and whitewashed Mykonos.
Enjoy exclusive evening events in Athens and Rhodes, featuring unique venues, local cuisine and live entertainment. Privately visit an organic farm in Crete, where you participate in a cooking demonstration and sample fresh ingredients at their source. Taste fabled Santorini wines with a wine expert. This sailing is aboard the exclusively-chartered ‘Le Bougainville’ for no more than 150 guests. 10 days from $9,999.
All-Inclusive Luxury Exploration, the A&K Way
By chartering the best small ship for each itinerary, A&K is able to offer the most comfortable way to experience each destination with all-balcony staterooms, supported by an Expedition Staff selected for their expertise in that particular region. In Italy and Greece, guests sail aboard the brand new ‘Le Bougainville,’ the first ship with an underwater “sensory lounge.” The larger ‘Le Soleal’ is the perfect size for exploring the Sea of Japan and the country’s four main islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Both ships offer yacht- like ambiance and the utmost in luxury, complete with butler service in all suites (an A&K exclusive) and a 1 to 1.3 staff-to-guest ratio. When it’s time to unwind, guests may choose from a sensory-driven underwater lounge as well as a spa, salon and fitness center with a hammam; a heated outdoor infinity pool; and a marina with hydraulic platform and Zodiac boats.
Enhancing the all-inclusive experience is A&K’s ability to anticipate guests’ every need. New for 2019, this includes complimentary Wi-Fi and Traveller’s Valet® laundry service – exclusive A&K amenities. Arrival and departure transfers, port charges, as well as all crew and staff gratuities are also included.
Gourmet Dining Aboard, Local Fare Ashore
On the ship, a fresh menu inspired by French culinary heritage encompasses everything from lavish plated and buffet entrees to carefully-selected cheeses and freshly-baked pastries that rival those in France. With a selection of restaurants, no formal evenings, and 24-hour room service, guests may dine as they wish. During enriching days ashore, off-ship lunches at local restaurants are included, letting guests savor local culinary specialties.