Adventures of your Lifetime
Flashback to those wonderful childhood vacations… These memories, often fallen between the cracks of time, are often of great adventure and discovery. Why not rekindle that long-lost sense of wonder and naïve enjoyment, lost or languishing for too many adults. We look at seven super exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime holidays that promise adventure and excitement enough to match those magical holidays of your childhood, if not your dreams.
All Thrusters Go
In the 1997 movie The Fifth Element, Bruce Willis travels to the space liner Phloston Paradise, an enormous ship with luxury suites, a vast dining room, and floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the cosmos. While such a cruise would certainly be memorable, it probably won’t be possible for the next century, at least.
Starry-eyed travelers, however, will soon be able to escape their earthly bounds for a couple of hours with Virgin Galactic‘s commercial space service, which is now being flight tested and is expected to be ready for passenger service in 2011. A USD200,000 ticket gets you to sub-orbital space aboard the world’s first manned commercial spaceship, where you can experience weightlessness and take in astonishing views of the earth below.
A three-day training programme helps space contenders ready themselves for the flight, which promises “sensory overload”, and make the most of their time in zero gravity.
Somewhere in the States, venture capitalist Alan Walton impatiently continues his five-year wait to be among the first 100 ‘Founder’ astronauts to head into space, having been among the first to place a deposit. He’s a spry 73 — and Virgin Galactic reckons the “vast majority” of people are fit enough for the flight.
The company, which bills itself as the world’s first space line, plans to offer one flight a week, but reckons demand might eventually push the frequency up to one, or even two daily flights. Space cadet aspirants can book tickets now at www.virgingalactic.com.
Diamonds and Ice
Canada’s northwest is a place of mystical beauty, with limitless forests of spruce, pristine lakes, and great diversity of wildlife, including grizzly bears, caribou and wolves.
During the long winter nights the aurora borealis lights up the polar sky. Many of the intrepid souls who have ventured through the Northwest Territories’ wilderness have been too preoccupied with survival to enjoy their surroundings, but a private jet, luxurious lake lodge and gourmet dinners by the hearth can do wonders for one’s perspective.
The Winter Ice luxury adventure for couples, organised by Canadian boutique travel firm Horizon & Co., promises to make the territory one’s home for a six days — and also provides the perfect diamond shopping trip.
The top package on offer costs USD160,000 for two, and includes a 25-hour private jet card that covers your trip deep into the remote territory, where a personal chef and a luxurious prospector’s tent await. Over six days, you can learn all there is to know about diamonds, and take the stone of your choice to the polishers. Yes, USD 10,000 in Canadian diamonds is part of the package —a door gift that the ladies would definitely appreciate.