My wife Lita and I have decided to go on, what is for us, a huge adventure in our retirement. We have signed up for a Four Seasons private jet tour starting in Seattle in April of this year and traveling to different countries with our final stop Boston after 24 days of travel. We will be traveling on a private Boeing 757 jet under the sponsorship of the Four Seasons. At each destination we will be staying in a Four Seasons Hotel. The jet has been configured for flat bed seating and is limited to 52 guests with 6.5 feet of personal space in an aircraft originally intended for 250 passengers. Overhead bins modified to increase the storage space. Seats are equipped with individual power connections to recharge batteries, onboard Wi-Fi plus onboard entertainment. An experienced crew of 15 accompanies the passengers on the entire trip including a physician, three pilots a chef, travel concierge and a crew of flight attendants. Passengers are provided Boise earphones, an I-Pad and a toilet kit. All food and drinks are included. Destination breakfast, lunch and dinner plus the hotel at every stop are part of the tour package. The aircraft will be able to land and take off with shorter runways avoiding some of the complications of commercial sites. We will have the benefit of luggage handling with customs and immigration services provided. Transportation to and from the aircraft is also included. A selection of tours at each destination is offered.
Here is our travel agenda:
1. Seattle 4/14
We start on Thursday, April 14t with a welcome dinner at the Chihuly garden and glass display at the Seattle Center. After spending the night at the four seasons Hotel in Seattle we leave for our first destination.
2. Tokyo 4/16
We arrived in Tokyo on a Saturday in the afternoon where there is an arrival dinner. Optional tours are offered including a visit to the neighborhoods of Tokyo, the gardens of the Imperial Palace, a train trip to the city of Kamakura, art museums, tea ceremonies and a Tokyo Giants baseball game. On Monday the tours include a visit to the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market, the world's largest and busiest fish market, where the famous tuna auction occurs. Other choices include a sushi making class and a samurai sword lesson. Given the 17 hour time difference I doubt that we will be very active on this stop.
we arrive in this famous China city on Thursday. Here the options include a walking tour, the exploration of temples, a visit to Tiananmen Square and the forbidden city, a Lake cruise and, of course, a visit to the Great Wall of China.We intend to see the Great Wall for sure.
We arrive on a Sunday and experience a beach dinner. The next day we are offered a number of activities involving the beautiful ocean surrounding these islands, including a dolphin cruise, snorkeling water sports and a variety of other activities unique to this important group of islands. I suspect we will relax here on the sunny beaches.
We began our visit to Tanzania on Wednesday with a dinner in the African bush and a visit that focuses upon the wildlife found in this part of Africa. Every day game drives and wildlife safaris are offered while we're there. A professional photographer will also be available for assistance. There are walking safaris and hot air balloon safaris during our visit. For Lita and I this will be our fourth or fifth Safari and we are greatly looking forward to it.
6, Florence 4/29
Originally this stop was to be a stay at Istanbul,Turkey. However, due to the terrorist activities and the unstable situation, the destination was changed to Florence Italy. For some I suspect that will be a disappointment, but for Lita and I it was a very welcome change. My father was born in Italy and we have made numerous trips to Italy over the years. Florence is one of our favorite cities in Italy. So, for us, this was a blessing. We arrive Friday and have a number of choices including a tour of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori, the city walking tour, a visit to the leaning Tower of Pisa and a private viewing of Michelangelo's David. Lita has, however, already signed up for the Tuscan cooking class which runs most of the day.
7. St. Petersburg 5/1
We arrive on Sunday with a welcome dinner and the opportunity to visit Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage Museum, a market shopping tour, the Faberge museum, an evening at the ballet featuring Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and other tours. We have already decided to attend the ballet. We're told this is a very beautiful part of the world and not having been there, we are looking forward to seeing it.
8. Marrakesh 5/3
We arrive in Marrakesh, Morocco on a Thursday where we start with a gala dinner. We are offered a horse-drawn carriage to a square where there are a number of activities including snake charmer's acrobats and magicians. A mule ride through rugged hills is offered along with private shopping tours. Beautiful garden tours are one of the options as well. I very much suspect that neither Lita nor I will be interested in the mule rides into the hills. This is not an area of the world we have traveled to in the past and we are curious to see it.
9. Boston 5/6
We end our world tour in Boston on Friday, May 6 where there is a farewell dinner. Our plans are to spend a few days in Boston before returning home.
I wonder if our dog Valentino will remember who we are and if our house will be standing after that long a trip. It also is a challenge for us physically as we have never been on a trip this long. It is a trip that I suppose should be listed as a "bucket list" trip. The trip moves forward with enough activity that I am unsure of my ability to maintain a travel blog about our experiences, but I'm taking my computer in the hopes that I can make reports.