By Laura Manske
During this still-pandemic-aware summer, vacation planning — especially for momentous, bucket-list escapes — can be tricky. If you’re seeking the best of the best guidance to navigate, illuminate and smooth your way, consider stellar tour operator Abercrombie & Kent. Looking ahead to 2023, it has just released a deftly curated, fresh lineup of Luxury Small Group Journeys and Limited Edition Marco Polo Journeys, adding 15 new itineraries to Africa, Argentina and Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Namibia, Nepal and Tibet, the Peruvian Amazon and Southeast Asia. These far-flung flings — A&K’s most diverse portfolio yet — are more enticing than ever. Travel with a select group, limited to 18 people (yet typically averages fewer), led by an A&K resident tour director, who handles all on-the-go logistics as well as unlocks doors to insider-access experiences. Included are private arrival-and-departure transfers, ace accommodations, luggage transport among hotels, gourmet meals, breakfast-in-bed (on some leisurely mornings), complimentary mid-journey laundry service, personalized design-your-day activities and unique niceties matched to each locale to make these getaways a winning choice. Key: Every A&K Small Group Journey is guaranteed to run if it has a minimum of two guests. A group of family members or friends can also create their own private itinerary. Here, highlights of my three favorite horizons for 2023.
Luxury Small Group Journeys
Germany: Berlin to Bavaria, 10 Days. This fascinating deep dive into Germany’s history and culture is powerfully enlightening. Hear riveting stories about World War 2 — as you traverse Berlin’s notable Reichstag Building, Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie (the infamous border-crossing between East and West Berlin), the Boros Bunker and the Stasi Museum (revealing details about East Germany’s secret police). Gaze, too, at this city’s now dynamic arts scene. Appreciate its youthful edgy vibe. Berlin bustles with creative buzz. A local artist shares insight about the Berlin Wall. Sample classic food specialties, such as currywurst (popular sausage dish).
Then switch gears into the countryside to be delighted by the storybook-style city of Meissen, where world-renowned porcelain is produced; attend a private concert. Visit Proschwitz Castle and its vineyards for an exclusive wine-tasting. It is Saxony’s largest private winery. Back to an energetic metropolis, Munich promises lively Bavarian culture. In its Old Town, on the Marienplatz, watch the huge Rathhaus-Glockenspiel clock turn, with its 32 life-size figures and 43 bells, as it reenacts scenarios about 16th-century Bavaria; each show lasts 15 minutes. Partake in Munich’s culinary revelry on a foodie quest, brewery toast and traditional beer hall dinner. Eat a schmalznudel (Bavarian-style doughnut). Next, wonder aplenty on your guide-led wanderings in eye-opening Dresden, where its post-war reconstructed buildings and treasure-filled museums again dazzle. Enjoy the mighty music of Leipzig, where legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach lived for decades. Picturesque landscape of southern Bavaria — dotted with fairytale-like castles, Alpine lakes, Baroque-flourished buildings — astonishes. As is often said in Germany, Gute reise! (Good trip!)