Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) is known worldwide as a luxury tour operator that brings visitors to Africa for an authentic travel experience on land without compromising comfort. Since it’s founding in 1962 by the Kent family, the company has grown from a modest beginning to the world’s largest network of luxury destination management companies, with 51 offices and 2,500 employees on the ground in 26 countries. We will be traveling with Abercrombie & Kent at the end of the month on a European River Cruise, exploring not only destinations along the river but just what makes an A&K experience so unique. They call it the Abercrombie & Kent Difference and if the final travel documents I received today are any indication, we are in for quite an experience.
Enclosed in a leather tablet-size case, the A&K document package includes a flight itinerary in a heavy duty, breast pocket-sized Important Documents folder with room to spare for boarding passes and receipts picked up along the way. Multiple, sturdy luggage tags with wire fasteners carry the A&K logo. There is room for passports and other important documents as well. Providing great detail on the Abercrombie Connections itinerary, a nicely bound, tabbed booklet gives information on each stop we will make, a checklist of pre-travel information, Destination Information, two Contact lists (one to take with, one to leave at home) and information on A&K’s Philanthropy efforts. Also included, a small drawstring accessory bag the size of the document case. Very nice.
Abercrombie & Kent may have their beginning in the world of safari, but today’s A&K takes travelers in many different directions. From Luxury Small Group Journeys delivering the best in comfort and service in the world’s greatest destinations, to Private Jet Journeys, Adventure Cruises, Luxury Train Travel, Family, and Solo Travel, A&K covers a lot of ground. Just considering their menu of Inspiring Experiences could fill a bucket list with ease.
“For explorers at heart who refuse to skimp on inspiration and enrichment, Connections journeys offer something never before possible: a chance to discover the world in the company of unmatched local experts, at an unbeatable value.”
Connections Group Journeys
Titled The Great Rivers of Europe our itinerary is an A&K Connections Group Journey described as “one-on-one connections with the world’s most intriguing places and cultures.” Planned travel begins with an overnight in Munich, followed by a sailing on Amadeus Brilliant that stops in Nuremberg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Wertheim, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam where we overnight before returning home.
Below is the expectation set by Abercrombie & Kent for the experience they will provide those along on the journey. Cross referencing these claims with details received in the final document package, this promises to be a unique travel experience, one I’m sure you’ll want to follow along on.
Fifty years after pioneering the modern luxury adventure, Abercrombie & Kent introduces a new approach to group travel.
2014 features an expanded portfolio of journeys that reveal even more great destinations at a terrific value. A&K is offering journeys to ten new destinations, including South Africa; Great Britain and France; Turkey; and Australia and New Zealand, as well as the brand-new line of inspiring European River Cruise Journeys that we will be sampling aboard the Luftner’s Amadeus fleet. On these nine new journeys, travelers will visit vibrant cities along the great rivers of Europe, experiencing exclusive Onshore Connections with an A&K Tour Director.
To bring A&K travelers closer to the countries they visit, included are a variety of what they call “Local Connections”, featuring authentic marketplace and neighborhood excursions that encounters local musicians, artisans and culinary experts. On any travel experience, that would be a good day. What jumps off the brochure page as unique is an element that includes “experiences that reveal the spiritual dimension of a people and their culture.” That could be epic.
For example, one Onshore Connection will take is to Kloster Bronnbach, a former Cistercian monastery, dating back to the 12th century that includes a wine tasting of wines from the Tauber Valley.
Unmatched A&K Service and On-the-Ground Expertise
Backing every Connections journey is the foremost team of travel specialists in the world. Working out of 50 offices worldwide, A&K experts know each destination inside and out – often because they have lived their entire lives there. Their expertise comes not from the Internet, but from decades of dedicated, firsthand exploration.
In Nuremberg, we will have a private tour of a World War II art bunker, built to conserve irreplaceable art for future generations. Pre-cruise documentation gives a full bio of our Tour Director. Nice to know in advance.
Great Value from Beginning to End
Connections travel delivers what you value most in a vacation: a true understanding of your destination’s culture, history and natural beauty, with an authentic local expert leading the way. Our commitment to great value shines through in every aspect of your journey, from the hotels hand-selected by our local experts to the Tour Directors who make sure you get the most from every stop on your itinerary.
Typical of all cruise vacations, and especially river cruising, this journey also includes complementary wines with meals and, compared to a similar itinerary on land, offers an outstanding value.
Intimate Groups of Just 24 Guests
Our journeys are created to connect you to your destination. That’s why Connections journeys are limited to just 24 guests on all journeys. Stay in intimate upscale lodgings or aboard stylish modern river cruise vessels and explore sites that are closed to larger groups, while enjoying more interaction with your A&K Tour Director.
This is a group cruise on Amadeus Brilliant. A&K is in the tour business, not the cruise ship business so they let someone else handle the mechanics of the journey while they focus on the experience.
Hotels Selected by A&K Experts
Your accommodations are more than a place to lay your head at night: they are an important way of experiencing the character of your destination. Ranging from spacious resorts to boutique lodgings, the hotels and lodges on Connections journeys are chosen by A&K experts for their amenities, local character and proximity to the places that make your destination unique.
Irresistible Dining Opportunities
To a dedicated traveller, a new cuisine is like a destination unto itself, something to be explored and savored. Connections journeys offer a balance between planned meals at restaurants rich in local flavor and history – not to mention festive welcome and farewell dinners –and meals left free to allow you to explore the local fare on your own. Not sure where to start? Ask an expert: your A&K Tour Director is ready with suggestions to satisfy any palate.
Meals on Amadeus Brilliant are described as three-hour, five-course affairs of fabulousness, not to be missed.
We will get more into the details of preparing for this adventure, being there and returning over the next few weeks. To stay up with the latest, look right here or on our LIVE EVENTS/IN PROGRESS page for all the details.