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Unique Accommodations Around the World

Sure, the top suite at a hotel is glamorous. But it still has four walls and a ceiling, just like every other room you’ve stayed in, right? Unless you’re watching fish and rays swim by in one of the underwater suites at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai or the Underwater Room at Manta Resort on Tanzania’s Pemba Island, that is. Maybe you have a pretty state-of-the-art aquarium at home and that’s still a little too domestic for you. No worries, there are plenty of unique accommodations that can take you out of your comfort zone while still making you feel warm and cozy.

An inflatable bubble

Iceland’s Bubble bills itself as a “5 million star hotel” and is a perfect spot for viewing the Northern Lights. Most bubbles are fully transparent, but privacy is not a problem, as trees separate each from bubble from the next. The hotel doesn’t even tell you where it’s located until you book, so there aren’t a lot of gawkers milling around. The bubbles are temperature controlled and wired for electricity, with bathroom, shower and dining facilities in the service house. In winter, the bubbles make for a personal IMAX theater with the Aurora Borealis playing often. In summer, you can enjoy outdoor activities late into the night and see the last rays of the midnight sun fade away. Virtuoso-preferred destination management company Iceland Encounter can help with the arrangements and help you select which bubble is right for you.

A yurt

Virtuoso-preferred tour operator Remote Lands has a special relationship with Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia, where the guest rooms are 30 yurts, or gers, covered with felt and canvas with wood-burning stoves supplying the warmth. The lodge also utilizes solar and wind energy with an eye toward environmental and cultural sustainability. One of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, Three Camels is a great base for excavating dinosaur fossils under the tutelage of a paleontologist or camel-trekking through the Gobi Desert. The meals are traditional and served in an over-sized ger, and in the Dino House lounge you can learn Mongolia’s favorite game: shagai (played with the ankle bones of sheep and goats) while enjoying a drink from the Thirsty Camel bar.

A cliffside pod

The mountaintop view overlooking Peru’s Sacred Valley and Urubamba River is one you won’t forget. Especially if you spend the night in a pod hanging over a cliff, gazing up at the stars and down at the heartland of the Inca Empire, experiencing the sort of connection the Incas had with the heavens. Booking your place at Skylodge through Virtuoso-preferred Metropolitan Touring is easy. Getting to your room is more of an adventure. Guests climb about 1,300 feet of Via Ferrata (metal handholds and footholds in the rock face) or do a combination of hiking and ziplining to reach the pods. Once you’re there, a gourmet dinner with wine awaits as your reward. Pods contain a bed and sitting, and, yes, there is a separate bathroom.

A treehouse

“The ultimate bush bedrooms,” the treehouses at Virtuoso-preferred Lion Sands private game reserve will bring the sights and sounds of the South African wilds into your living quarters. You arrive at sunset to a gourmet picnic and observe as the diurnal wildlife scampers off to sleep and the nocturnal animals take over. A field guide drops you off and offers a tutorial on what to expect, and remains on call should things go bump in the night. Among the sounds you’re likely to hear are hippos honking, lions roaring, leopards calling and hyenas cackling. With three locations (Chalkley Treehouse in the Sabi Sand, Kingston Treehouse in the Sabi Sand and Tinyeleti Treehouse in Kruger National Park), there are distinct options for couples and families, with a varying range of amenities depending on how much you want to rough it.

An ice hotel

About 125 miles inside the Arctic Circle stands the small village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, once frequented only by the reindeer-herding Sami people and those trading fur with them. Since 1989, though, it has been home to Icehotel. Not all the rooms are made of ice, and the hotel actually recommends that you spend most of your nights in a “warm room.” But the real attraction are the “cold rooms,” which are rebuilt every year once the weather is right. It’s a good idea to spend either your first or last night in a cold room, where temperatures can be as low as 23 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll need to bring your own long johns, but Icehotel supplies outer clothes and thermal sleeping bags that are warm enough for temperatures between 10-15 degrees below 0 Fahrenheit (it won’t get that cold). Hot lingonberry tea and trips to the sauna are also provided so you can snuggle in. Virtuoso-preferred tour operator 50 Degrees North has activity packages available to fill your days, and Icebar is open until 12 a.m. for a nightcap.

River Cruising on 5 Continents

As river cruises have exploded in popularity in recent years, more and more ships have hit the water and more companies have entered the market. It is also being marketed to all generations with special family themed departures for kids from 4 years on up and hip, new U-Cruise ships designed strictly for the millennials. It’s a great way to get around to several destinations on the same trip without having to figure out transportation and hauling luggage around. Plus, there are a lot of inclusions, from excursions to meals and even drinks in a lot of cases. Typically, when people think of river cruises, they think of Europe. There are certainly a lot of great itineraries there, but it’s important to note that Virtuoso-preferred lines are operating river cruises on five continents. All those options can be overwhelming, so let’s break it down.


This continent’s rivers are still by far the most heavily trafficked. No fewer than nine Virtuoso-preferred companies offer river cruises in Europe. Some itineraries are unique. For example, Uniworld is the only line with cruises on the Po River in Italy and is also launching cruises aimed specifically at millennials in 2018. Some are off the beaten path. French Country Waterways, Abercrombie & Kent and Belmond offer barge cruising in France. Viking has a Kiev to the Black Sea journey through Ukraine. Crystal is new to river cruising after many successful years on the ocean, and its river product rivals Uniworld’s in terms of most-inclusive. Both include gratuities and alcoholic drinks throughout the ship at all times. Ama Waterways is building another ship for its always-sold-out Douro itineraries in Portugal. Past travelers with Tauck can receive the Gift of Time, one complimentary hotel night on either end of cruise. It’s also putting loft spaces into lower-deck cabins so passengers can open their windows above the water line. Avalon Waterways’ Panorama suites are designed to maximize space, with uniquely shaped bathrooms and beds facing large windows so you can see the river as soon as you wake and have an open-air sitting area inside the cabin.

Most lines include excursions in each port plus beer and wine at meals. Several have optional excursions for an additional fee, and some even have bicycles onboard if you just want to go for a ride and take in the sights yourself. Among the most popular itineraries are Christmas Markets, Tulip Time in the Netherlands and Belgium, and Danube cruises between Prague and Budapest. Special interest sailings such as wine-themed and Jewish heritage abound.


Experience India from along the Ganges, China along the Yangtze, Myanmar along the Irrawady
or Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong and visit some of the most breathtaking sites in the
world. Uniworld’s 13-day India’s Golden Triangle & The Sacred Ganges itinerary visits bustling
New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur before a 7-night cruise starting and ending in Kolkata. Belmond and
Avalon’s Irrawady itineraries open up the “Golden Land” of Myanmar, from shimmering
pagodas to possible spottings of the rare Irrawady dolphin. Ama is adding itineraries on the
Ganges and Irrawady in the next few years. Viking’s three itineraries in China range from 14 to
19 days between Beijing and Shanghai. All three feature the beautiful Wu Gorge and Xi’an, and
the Roof of the World spends two days in Lhasa, Tibet. Uniworld’s three China itineraries range
from 11 to 18 days, one stopping in Tibet and another ending in Hong Kong. The Mekong is quite
popular thanks to such gems as Angkor Wat and Siem Reap. Ama, Avalon, Aqua Expeditions,
Viking and Uniworld all operate all the river.


Ama’s 28-passenger Zambezi Queen does four-night itineraries on the Chobe River brings the wildlife to you as you’re floating along a primary water source. The journeys built around the cruise include options for exploring Cape Town, going on safari, seeing Victoria Falls and a luxury train ride through Zimbabwe and South Africa. Uniworld and Viking each have 12-day Egypt journeys that begin and end in Cairo. The Nile cruises feature ancient temples in Luxor, the Aswan High Dam, the magnificent Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and of course the Great Pyramids of Giza. Uniworld deploys the 82-passenger River Tosca along the Nile, while Viking uses the 148-guest ms Mayfair and its own 48-passenger Viking Ra.

North America

As its name implies, UnCruise Adventures does things a little differently. UnCruise goes places other lines don’t go, and its itineraries through the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers do not disappoint. On the 88-passenger S.S. Legacy, a replica of an 1898 coastal gold rush steamer, UnCruise has three themes: Legacy of Discovery, Rivers of Wine and Rivers of Adventure, all roundtrip from Portland. The Legacy of Discovery traces the path of Lewis and Clark, delving into the culture and history of the area. Rivers of Wine features winery tours and tastings in five American viticultural areas: Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla, Red Mountain, Columbia Valley and Willamette Valley. Rivers of Adventure offers white-water rafting on the Deschutes River and water sports in Palouse Falls State Park. Don’t worry, you get to drink wine and see Multnomah Falls on all three options.

South America

With capacities of 44 and 32 respectively, the Delfin III (Avalon) and Aria Amazon (Aqua Expeditions) take guests down the Peruvian Amazon in comfort. Aqua’s seven-night Expedition Cruise, four-night Explorer Cruise and three-night Discovery Cruise all start and end in Iquitos, with different itineraries depending on water level. The long you cruise the more opportunity there is for piranha fishing, jungle trekking and glimpsing pink dolphins. Avalon’s itineraries, ranging from 11 to 20 days spend four days on the river with journeys Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, the Nazca Lines and even a second cruise in the Galapagos possible.

The Best of the Best at Spring Savings - this week only!

Don’t miss out on these amazing offers for outstanding travel opportunities!! 

This week only….. How many of these places are on YOUR Bucket List?

When you travel with A&K, you experience the best of the best.


Save up to 50% on Your Favorite Summer Destination Today
Save up to 50% on Your Favorite Summer Destination Today

April 16 marks the beginning of A&K’s Spring Savings event, where you can save up to 50% on independent journeys to 13 of our most popular destinations. Join us beginning today at 8 a.m. CDT to choose your summer journey. SpringSavings continues until Friday, April 20 at 5 p.m. or while journeys last, so don’t wait to book your departure to one of these inspiring places.

India Thailand Moscow Vienna
11 days, from $1,595
8 days, from $1,595
5 days, from $1,895
6 days, from $1,945
China Peru St. Petersburg Madrid
8 days, from $1,980
6 days, from $1,995
St. Petersburg
6 days, from $2,195
6 days, from $2,195
Jordan Berlin and Dresden Isreal Morocco
8 days, from $2,195
Berlin & Dresden
7 days, from $2,545
8 days, from $2,845
8 days, from $3,325
To book your Spring Savings Journey, call
10 days, from $4,145

Prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability. International air not included. Bookings are non-refundable and savings may not be combined with other discounts and promotions. Other restrictions may apply.

Your Next Amazing Travel Adventure is Here!

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Trisha Iannazzi, CTC, MCC -Iannazzi Enterprises,an affiliate of
Largay Travel, Inc.

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Fares, schedules, Virtuoso exclusives, events and amenities are subject to availability and blackout dates and may change without notice. All offers may not be available in all markets. Unless otherwise stated, prices are in U.S. dollars, per person and based on double occupancy. Restrictions may apply. See your Virtuoso travel advisor for more details and applicable restrictions. Virtuoso is not responsible for any errors in pricing. The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50 360010 02/12

See the Best of Morocco!

See the Best of Morocco From Just $2,380
See the Best of Morocco From Just $2,380For thousands of years, Morocco has been the destination for the consummate traveller for its peerless architecture, unique culture, rich history and unsurpassed hospitality. Never has there been a better time to explore its most significant capitals of culture than on A&K’s newest program, Morocco: Imperial Cities. From French-colonial Casablanca, medieval Fez, Moorish Rabat and breathtaking Marrakech to even more ancient cities such as Meknes and Volubilis, this journey reveals essential Morocco for only $2,380 per person.
Morocco: Imperial Cities Highlights

Casablanca: Visit the impressive Hassan II Mosque before exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Meknes and Volubilis.
Fez: Meander through medieval souks and squares of this city built in the Middle Ages.
Rabat: Explore the capital’s lively Oudaya kasbah and the 12th century Hassan Tower.
Marrakech: Discover this glorious city’s ancient medina and the fabled Djemaa el-Fna square.
Morocco: Imperial Cities Highlights

Celebrate the Holidays in Style!


Lake Placid LodgeLake Placid, NY
Be Thankful at Lake Placid Lodge
Enjoy a special feast and daily activities this Thanksgiving.
Starts at $500
Cristallo Hotel Spa & GolfCortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
A Magical Christmas Offer
Spend 4 magical nights at Cristallo this holiday season.
Starts at €950
Ponta dos GanchosBrazil
Christmas with the Family in Brazil
Don’t miss this opportunity to bring the family along!
Starts at BRL 7,020
Hotel Fouquet’s BarriereParis
Celebrate Christmas and New Years in Paris
Spend an enchanting Christmas and New Year in the City of Lights.
Starts at €1020
Micato Safaris
Safari in Style This Holiday Season
Have a grand adventure with the World’s Best.
The Legian Bali
The Ultimate in Holiday Indulgence
Spoil yourself this holiday season at The Legian.
Starts at $2,700
Castiglion del BoscoTuscany, Italy
Christmas in Tuscany
Experience a traditional Italian Christmas
Starts at €1,730
Hotel Plaza Athenee, New York, New York
Classic Holiday Package
Enjoy the holiday sparkle of New York City this season.
Starts at $2,540


Book a Last-Minute A&K Fall Trip Today and Save


Subject to availability. All prices are per person based on double occupancy. Not combinable with any other promotion or discount.


Award-Winning Trip of a Lifetime Through the Red Sea

Trip of a Lifetime with Guest Speaker
Jordanian Senator Akel E. Biltaji

Zegrahm Expeditions logo

Voyage through the Red Sea: Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan & Eritrea

November 6, 2011 • 17 days
Aboard Clipper Odyssey

On Zegrahm Expeditions’ inaugural Voyage Through the Red Sea, enjoy the exclusive opportunity to attend a special lecture by His Excellency Senator Akel E. Biltaji, Chairman of the Tourism & Heritage Committee in Jordan. Senator Biltaji worked for oil companies and airlines before becoming Jordan’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities. In 2005 His Majesty King Abdullah II appointed him a member of the House of Senate, where he currently serves as Chairman. He is also a member of the Foreign Relations, Health and Environment, and Education House committees.

Senator Biltaji is one of Jordan’s strongest public speakers, and can offer valuable insight on issues relating to the country’s image, its holy sites, and their protection of heritage. He also happens to be an exceptional singer, serenading Hillary and Chelsea Clinton in 2009.

Travel with Zegrahm cofounder Jack Grove and director Jonathan Rossouw on this unforgettable journey to one of the world’s earliest civilizations. Explore the rose-colored city of Petra, cruise along the Nile in a felucca, snorkel and dive in Eritrea’s Dahlak Archipelago, and so much more.

Contact IANNAZZI ENTERPRISES today to be a part of this tour of a lifetime.

Did you know?

When you travel with Zegrahm, virtually everything is included in the cost of your trip, such as: All gratuities, from porters and ship’s crew to tour guides • All accommodations, including pre-voyage hotel nights, as well as hotels in Luxor and Asmara • Welcome dinner and orientation briefing • Daily activity options • Top-notch lecture and expedition team • All meals • Transfers on group arrival and departure days • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear and reading materials • Comprehensive packet to prepare you for your trip • Medical and emergency evacuation insurance • Dedicated Zegrahm program manager and air coordinator to answer all your questions

Voyage through the Red Sea: Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan & Eritrea

Gorilla Trekking - An Amazing Adventure!

Last Minute Gorilla Permit Availability! 

Gorilla permits for the summer months of 2011 have been almost completely sold out for many months now, but our associates at Volcanoes Safaris have some permits available for last minute bookings on the following dates both in Uganda and Rwanda!

Do not miss out on this unique opportunity of trekking the gorillas during June, July and August 2011! All safaris to Volcanoes Lodges booked with these dates will benefit from last minute booking discounts!!!

Available dates:
June 11th, 24th
July 22nd, 24th
August 26th, 31st

June 11th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 22nd, 26th 27th
July 26th, 27th


Your Insider Access to Stunning South Africa

Discover the sights, sounds and stories of South Africa as you visit Cape Town, Johannesburg, Soweto and other cities. You’ll be treated to sightings of exotic animals one day and learn the influential stories of locally-born heroes the next. It’s an extraordinary adventure you won’t soon forget, so contact us today!

A South Africa Family Adventure
Presented by African Travel, Inc
9 Nights • Available April – October, 2011

Cape Town (3 nights) • Knysna (2 nights) • Port Elizabeth • Eastern Cape (3 nights)

Experience Includes:
• Nine nights’ accommodations including a stay at an eco-award
  winning private reserve
• Two full days of custom sightseeing in Cape Town including a local
  drum making workshop and lesson
• Visit the primate center, and elephant sanctuary and a haven for
  exotic birds
• Choose from activities along the Garden Route including a sundowner
  cruise on Knysna harbor or a visit to Bayworld Museum
• Meet the local people at township and village visits, and participate in
  the “Safari with a Sole” project

Virtuoso rates from $4,095 per adult, from $2,895 per child

Complimentary fourth night in Cape Town, and visits to Born Free Foundation Big Cat Rescue and Shamwari Animal Rehabilitation Center in the Eastern Cape
South Africa Biking
Presented by Butterfield & Robinson
7 Nights • Available September 27 & November 1, 2011

The Cape Peninsula • Franschhoek (2 nights) • Montagu (2 nights) • Hermanus (2 nights)

Experience Includes:
• Seven nights’ accommodations including Cape Grace, Le Quartier
  Français, and Birkenhead House
• All breakfasts, seven lunches and six dinners, including wine
• Butterfield & Robinson guides, local guides and vehicle support
• Bike ride through the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve in
  The Cape Peninsula
• Wine tastings and vineyard tours
• Bike through the Cape Winelands in Franschhoek, the Robertson
  Wine Valley and Montagu
• Sea kayaking at Hermanus and watch for dolphins, penguins and
  southern right whales
• All airport transfers

Virtuoso rates from $6,995 per person

Welcome bottle of wine
South African Sojourn
Presented by Monograms
9 Days • Available through December 31, 2011
Book by April 5, 2011

Experience Includes:
• All accommodations
• American breakfast daily, some lunches and dinners
• Experienced driver/guide
• Local host service
• Sightseeing and game drives

Virtuoso rates from $2,729 per person (land only)

Receive $250 off per person on any Exotics vacation when booked air-inclusive or on any Monograms Exotics vacation of three cities or more
South Africa: An Elegant Adventure
Presented by Tauck
11 Nights • Available through December 26, 2011
Book by June 30, 2011

Cape Town (3 nights) • Sabi Sands (2 nights) • Kruger National Park (2 nights) • Tinga • Johannesburg • Soweto • Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Experience Includes:
• 11-nights’ accommodations including stays Cape Grace and
  The Victoria Falls Hotel
• 11 breakfasts, six lunches and nine dinners
• Private game drives with skilled rangers and trackers in or near
  Kruger National Park
• Visit to Cape Town’s Robben Island, a World Heritage Site
• Ferry ride across Table Bay with views of Table Mountain with
  guided tour of island
• Exclusive cultural discoveries in historic Soweto, including visits to
  the homes of Winnie Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
• Enjoy a dance performance at a Youth Center in Soweto
• Savor a wine-pairing dinner in the Cape Winelands
• Visit to an elephant sanctuary and a private sundowner river cruise in
  Victoria Falls
• Airport transfers

Virtuoso rates from $6,090 per person, double occupancy

Complimentary $100 MasterCard gift card per booking
Comfort for the Long Haul
Presented by South African Airways
Available through July 31, 2011

South African Airways, “Africa’s Most Awarded Airline” and a preferred airline for Virtuoso, offers the most service from the U.S. to South Africa. Daily flights are offered from New York-JFK Airport and Washington, DC-Dulles Airport to South Africa, with connections to over 40 destinations throughout Africa. It is no wonder that South African Airways has been ranked as the most comfortable and convenient way to South Africa for discerning travelers.

Experience Includes:
• Award-winning Premium Business Class, 180° fully flat-bed seats
  with large pillow and fluffy duvet
• Extensive menu of entertainment options through on-demand
  audio and video programming
• Gourmet meals to delight any palette
• Excellent wine selection from some of South Africa’s finest vintages

Virtuoso exclusive Business Class rates from $4,750 per person, roundtrip

Awe-Inspiring Attractions

  • Come face to face with the “Big 5” in Kruger National Park including lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo
  • Learn about the local culture first hand by participating in the Safari with a Sole project
  • Travel by bicycle through the Cape Peninsula where you’ll be treated to dramatic vistas and other stunning scenery
  • Visit the homes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Winnie Mandela in historic Soweto
  • Discover the story of the South African freedom fighters and see where Nelson Mandela was held for decades
  • Catch glimpses of everything from cheetah and giraffe to hyena and wildebeest in the private game reserves

Off-the-Beaten Path

  • Have a swim with a few dozen penguins in Cape Town’s False Bay
  • Sample delicious vintages at local wineries throughout South Africa
  • Stroll through an Elephant Sanctuary and enjoy the opportunity to feed, touch and ride these magnificent animals
  • Hike through the lush landscape of Knysna Forest, the largest in South Africa
  • Shop for handmade goods at the many markets that line the coastal roads
  • Enjoy a hot air balloon ride above Hartbeespoortdam or the Winelands