Go beyond the main itinerary with your choice of personalized excursions in each destination. Whether you wish to take a cooking class, visit a local school, or explore off the beaten path, simply ask and your itinerary will be custom-tailored especially for you. Whatever the reason, whatever the request, we are committed to ensuring your experience is extraordinary.
September 14. Depart your hometown independently on a commercial flight to Seattle. Meet your fellow travelers and the expedition staff during a welcome dinner at the hotel.
September 15. Board our private jet and fly across the Pacific, crossing the International Date Line. We lose a day en route and arrive in Japan the following afternoon.
September 16, 17 & 18. Land in bustling Tokyo, where the ancient heritage of Japan coexists with a culture of ultramodern innovation and design. Enjoy your choice of many activities: Explore Asakusa and the Sensoji Temple, the oldest in Tokyo; visit the world’s largest fish market with hundreds of unique species; see futuristic designs at the Panasonic Living Showroom; or learn to make sushi with a master chef.
HANGZHOU & WEST LAKE, CHINA
September 19 & 20. Fly to Shanghai and take a two-hour drive to Hangzhou, the ancient city that epitomizes traditional Chinese beauty. Enjoy a cruise on serene West Lake—edged with pagodas, bridges and temples—and savor a banquet at the Hu Mansion. At the Mei Jia Wu Tea Plantation, home of the area’s famed Dragon Well tea, observe how tea is dried and processed, and sample several varieties.
September 21 & 22. Speed from Hangzhou to Shanghai in just 45 minutes via bullet train, and stay in dynamic Pudong, the city’s booming financial hub filled with distinctive skyscrapers that create one of the world’s most photographed and ever-changing skylines. Visit the beautiful Suzhou-style Yu Yuan Gardens and the bustling bazaar nearby; the narrow winding streets of Old Town; and the Bund, the stately European-style waterfront.
September 23, 24, 25 & 26. Fly to the Maldives, a sprawling archipelago of pristine tropical beauty, where coral islands, verdant gardens, turquoise lagoons, and a friendly Maldivian culture await you. Arrive on the island of Malé and take a short boat ride to the tiny island of Kuda Huraa. We’ve made our mid-journey stay extra-long so you can take full advantage of this tranquil, tropical retreat. Swim or snorkel among delicate corals and the colorful creatures that inhabit them.
September 27 & 28. Fly by private jet to Istanbul—the last stop in Europe and the first stop in Asia, a fusion of age-old glories and a sophisticated, contemporary culture. Visit the colossal Hagia Sophia, a sixth-century Byzantine masterpiece whose dome has influenced architecture around the world for 1,500 years. Stroll the Grand Bazaar, brimming with jewelry, pottery, carpets, and spices.
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
September 29, 30 & October 1. Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great—who wanted his city to surpass the grandeur of its Western counterparts—St. Petersburg offers a treasure-trove of architectural and cultural riches. Visit the lavishly restored Catherine’s Palace and the Amber Room, and examine the superb art collection—including the famous Golden Treasury—at the Hermitage.
NEW YORK, U.S.A.
October 4. This afternoon the private jet flies to New York, where we share a gala dinner, making our farewells as we celebrate the end of an extraordinary journey.
October 5 - Homeward. Following breakfast, transfer to the airport to connect with your regularly scheduled commercial flight home.