Explorers have been known to navigate the world in ships to discover hitherto unexplored territory. For today’s jet-setter, nothing less than the most comfortable flight on board a private aircraft will do, to visit countries around the world. With this in mind, Aman, known for its luxurious destinations and penchant for privacy, has just launched an exclusive Private Jet Expedition with the world’s foremost luxury travel designer, Remote Lands, from 15 April to 6 May 2018. This extraordinary journey will see just 16 guests journey in consummate comfort aboard an Airbus ACJ 319 to nine countries in 22 days, to discover their rich cultures and outstanding natural beauty. Destinations include Aman Tokyo in Japan, Amanyangyun in China, Amanoi in Vietnam, Amanpuri in Thailand, Amankora’s Paro and Thimphu lodges in Bhutan, Amanbagh in India, Amanzoe in Greece, Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro, and Aman Venice in Italy.
The Airbus, originally designed for 126 passengers, has been refitted for just 16, offering living rooms with sumptuous leather seats that fold completely flat, bedrooms, and bathrooms with showers. While time in the air is swift and cosseting, days will pass languidly amid drifting cherry blossoms in Japan, swimming in Phuket’s Andaman Sea, trekking in the Himalayas or floating dreamily down Venice’s Grand Canal. Nights will be spent in unrivalled opulence at a selection of signature Aman destinations, with elegant cocktail and dinner parties throughout the adventure, providing opportunities for guests to mingle. Every couple or solo traveller, however, will have their own private car, driver, and guide for all transfers and excursions, ensuring privacy and solitude whenever needed during the trip.
This journey begins on 15 April, with three nights in Tokyo, amidst Sakura season (with its cherry blossoms). From the Aman Tokyo housed atop the Otemachi Tower, guests will enjoy sushi-making classes, lessons in the sword-fighting martial art known as laido and tea ceremonies, as well as private guided tours of the Tsukiji Fish Market, Asakusa restaurant, and the Imperial Palace Gardens. Then come two nights in Shanghai, where one can admire the Yu Gardens, and stay at Amanyangyun, set on 100 acres amidst giant camphor trees. Its graceful contemporary structures including 24 suites and six dining venues designed by Kerry Hill complement 26 Antique Villas. These historic Chinese houses were saved from the waters of Liao Fang Reservoir when they were moved stone by stone from Fuzhou, 700 km away.
In Vietnam, a remote shore of the East Sea, Vinh Hy Bay, houses the Amanoi and tiny fishing villages. Next is Amanpuri is Thailand on Phuket’s west coast, with access to Koh Phi Phi and the Similian Islands for diving. Bhutan calls, via two G2000 small private jets, across snow-capped peaks, to an intact culture with stays at two of Amankora’s five lodges in Thimpu and Paro. A meeting with spiritual master, His Eminence Neyphug Trulku Rinpoche, is one of the trip’s highlights. Then comes India, with a stay at Amanbagh in Rajasthan, with a jaunt to Jaipur and tribal village Ajabgarh.
Leaving India, now head to Greece, and stay at Amanzoe (a helicopter ride from Athens) in the hills of the Peloponnese, with archaeological sites in Olympia (with lots of olive and wine tasting!). During the two night stay, cruise the Argo-Saronic Gulf to the island of Spetses, and explore the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens. Up next is Montenegro’s iconic islet of Sveti Stefan for a two-night stay. Incorporating a once fortified fishing village dating back to the 15th century on an islet, Villa Milocer – the former summer residence of Montenegrin royalty, a free-standing Aman Spa and multiple pink-hued beaches, Aman Sveti Stefan lies close to many of the country’s premier attractions. These include Skadar Lake, the historic towns of Budva and Perast, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor. The final two nights of the expedition brings you to Venice, Italy, to a 16th century palazzo on the Grand Canal, home to museum-quality treasures like Tiepolo frescoes, Sansovino fireplaces, gilded ceilings, and centuries-old leather wall coverings. An expedition of a lifetime.