Whether you’re going on African safari for the first time, or making the annual pilgrimage to the ski resort in the Alps where your family has cut its teeth for generations, the fastest, most comfortable and yes, admittedly expensive, way to arrive is by private jet. But, oh, the memories it will create.
We’ve curated a roundup of the world’s best private jet holidays, designed to delight travelers whether they’re looking to escape the cold in the tropics or embrace the slopes.
From the rich, varied wildlife of Mara Plains in Kenya, where lions, cheetahs and zebras roam the vast wilderness, and hippos and crocodiles bathe in a creek outside your luxury suite, to a private tour of the Sydney Opera House, to a Buddhist cleansing ritual in Bali, these once-in-a-lifetime adventures are all connected by private jet.
Around-the-World Safari, Abercrombie & Kent
At the end of next month, Abercrombie & Kent is bringing guests on a wildlife safari through its Private Jet Journeys program. Travelers will see Bengal tigers in their largest remaining wild habitat, a feeding of Borneo’s proboscis monkey, and an endangered mountain gorilla hosted by one of the veterinarians helping the species survive. The chartered Boeing 757 is comprised exclusively of First-Class lie-flat seats for guests to catch up on sleep between stops. The trip takes off on January 31, for a 24-day journey that stops in Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Madagascar, Rwanda and Kenya. The trip is limited to 48 guests, from $159,950 per person.
A Stay at the Jahazi Suite in Kenya, Great Plains + Victor
Great Plains offers multiple types of safaris in Kenya, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Its exclusive new two-bedroom Jahazi Suite in Mara Plains Camp, Kenya, is the apex of the luxury safari experience. It’s located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, one of the most concentrated wildlife destinations in the world. The luxury bungalow, tucked under a canopy of trees, offers immediate access to more than 100,000 acres of an exclusive private preserve as well as an entry to nearly a million acres of the Maasai Mara Reserve.
Lions, cheetahs and baboons roam the plains nearby, while an adjoining creek is filled with hippos. During the Great Migration from June through September, thousands of wildebeest and zebras cross the Mara. The Jahazi Suite includes four staff members, a library, art collection, glamping options and private dining—not to mention day and nighttime wildlife drives through the bush. Nightly prices for the suite start at $10,973 during the high season, while there are less expensive options for the Mara Nyika Camp and Mara Expedition Camp.
To get there and back, London-based Victor, billing itself as the world’s leading sustainable business-aviation firm, can provide a roundtrip private flight aboard a long-range business jet from London to Nairobi, starting at around $190,000, depending on number of guests and aircraft.
A Ski Trip in Chambery, France, WheelsUp/Air Partner Group
Ski season is under way in Chambery, with the greatest demand from the end of January through the end of March. Get there with Wheels Up subsidiary Air Partner Group, which flies into Chambery Savoie Mont Blanc airport, the ideal spot for accessing French resorts in both the Southern and Northern Alps. Air Partner Group also plans seamless roundtrip transportation—including helicopter transfers—between the airport’s private terminal and the region’s Three Valleys Ski Resorts: Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens. For clients looking to go resort-hopping, the group arranges transportation between multiple ski destinations, including Chamonix and Val D’Isere. Air Partner Group says that most clients are families, so the most common aircraft are midsize business jets like the Citation XLS. Pricing depends on the specific itinerary.
A Stay at The Abaco Club in the Bahamas, Wheels Up
Wheels Up members can also access the farthest reaches of the Bahamas this winter and spring, with Tropic Ocean Airways providing the “last-mile” connection. Fly with Wheels Up into Florida, where you’ll then board a smaller aircraft for the Abaco Club, an exclusive, family-friendly resort accessible only by yacht, seaplane or, in this case, a private charter that lands at a nearby FBO. The Abaco Club provides something for everyone in your party: scuba, snorkel or swim in the beach’s crystal-clear waters; charter a deep-sea fishing boat or go flats-fishing; or hit the renowned Scottish-style tropical links favored by PGA pros. Or you can lather up the sunscreen and relax on the white-sand Bahamian beach with beautiful aquamarine waters calling for a swim.
A Beachfront Stay at Kisawa Sanctuary in Mozambique, VistaJet’s Private World
VistaJet’s Private World program is taking travelers to Kisawa Sanctuary, a 740-acre sanctuary on the southern tip of Mozambique’s Benguerra Island. This oasis off the eastern coast of Africa boasts untold stretches of forest, beach and sand dunes for ultimate seclusion. Each of Kisawa’s 11 furnished residences comes with its own beachfront, private infinity pool and day area with an outdoor kitchen, cabana and dedicated service team. The property’s Natural Wellness Center provides traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic therapies. The Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies, a sister property on the island, serves as Africa’s first permanent Ocean Observatory. Pricing will depend on the customized itinerary.
Costa Rica’s Peninsula Papagayo, Four Seasons + Magellan Jets
Costa Rica’s Peninsula Papagayo is a wonderland on the country’s Northwest Pacific coast that includes the Four Seasons resort, the Hyatt Andaz resort, a superyacht marina as well as 2,300 acres of forests, trails and exceptional beaches. The Four Seasons’ 53 private homes are also a way to make the most of this tropical paradise. The 6,300-sq. foot, six-bedroom Casa Las Olas, with rates up to $45,000 per night, is luxurious and spacious enough to accommodate a multi-generational family, with Instagram-worthy photo ops. Located on a cliff at the tip of the peninsula, it has a lush courtyard, stunning garden, and 180-degree ocean views. Magellan Jets can fly different-sized families or groups of friends from the US to the private jet terminal at Liberia International Airport, or later in 2023, to the new private airport at Guanacaste, nearer the resort. Guests can also arrive to the resort’s front gates via helicopter. Flight prices will depend on point of embarkation.
Villa Wake Up on St. Barths, VistaJet
VistaJet’s Private World program is also flying members to Villa Wake Up on St. Barths, a new residence with direct access to Anse de Flamands, one of the island’s rare palm-tree lined beaches. The 18,000-square-foot property boasts six bedroom suites with sweeping sea views and a swimming pool. A butler, housekeeper and private chef provide round-the-clock service so that guests can kick back and relax. Flamands Beach, a pristine sanctuary located on the northwestern tip of the island, is one of the French-speaking Caribbean island’s most picturesque spots. The program will run all winter long, transported by Vistajet’s fleet, ranging from the transoceanic Global 7500 to its regional Challenger 350. Pricing will depend on the customized itinerary.
Four Seasons Jet ‘Timeless Encounters World Tour’
All aboard The Four Seasons Private Jet Experience, considered one of the most wide-ranging and luxurious collection of trips based around its long-range business jet. The itineraries will range according to interest and season, but the company’s longest-running journey is its “Timeless Encounters,” which will take off in April. The 24-day itinerary includes trips to Oahu, Bora Bora, Sydney, Bali, Chiang Rai, the Taj Mahal, Dubai, Florence, and London, with exclusive stops in each destination. Guests will fly in the hospitality behemoth’s own state-of-the-art A321neo-LR, outfitted with 48 lie-flat business-class seats and meals prepared on board by a Four Seasons Executive Chef. On the ground, guests can partake in bespoke experiences, like getting an inside look at the Sydney Opera House, gaining a cleansing ritual in Bali, and diving with giant rays in Bora Bora. Prices start at $182,000 per person, based on double occupancy.