Here's the good news for jet setters wanting to see the four corners of the world in one aircraft. It's finally here.
The bad news? It's likely to set them back about six figures. A few adventure packages cropped up in 2019 offering international junkets that would take up to three weeks to complete, roughly less than a tenth of what it would take seafaring Viking Cruises to complete the same task.
However, some bargain-basement options are cropping up, offering similar global excursions for as low as $15,000.
At the extreme end of the expense spectrum is global cruise specialists Abercrombie & Kent, which has been at it for 30 years, at one point using the supersonic Concorde in its itinerary. These days, the company has a Boeing 757 at its disposal for its three annual worldwide junkets. The aircraft, originally designed for more than 300 passengers, but has had its interior redesigned for 80 people, with lie-down seats and other bells and whistles. For the amenity-minded, seat prices are as high as $160,000.
Meanwhile, the Four Seasons hotel chain in Canada has decided to go the more mobile route, with its own slate of air cruises, with seven of them scheduled over the next two years. One of them, International Intrigue, takes off from Seattle and eventually lands in Paris with stops in such locales as the Serengeti and the Maldives. Later trips will likely be on board the spanking new Airbus A321neoLR, which commercially lifts off the tarmac in 2021. For now, the Four Seasons is using a Boeing 757, revamped for 52 filthy rich consumers parting with up to $147,000 for the trip.
But of late, those friendly skies suitable for the well-off are starting to get a bit more frugal for others. Enter Crystal Cruises, which has a Boeing 777 dubbed the Crystal Skye that seats 88 and comes complete with a lounge hangout and a fully-functioning bar. However, the service only does charters, so if you have 87 friends in the same income bracket, you can book a flight for roughly $60,000 an hour for a worldwide trip.
If you're willing to jet down to Sydney Australia to be at the starting point for Constellation Journeys, you can take advantage of the flight that has options from $15,000 t0 $50,000. What's cheaper about this package, which includes stopovers in spots ranging from Iceland to Tahiti, is that all the flying is done by older Boeing 747 jets they rent from Qantas. But be forewarned, the prices may not be that low after 2020, when those jumbo jets are scheduled to be decommissioned.
Even with the price disparity between these services, what's guaranteed by each company is first-class service. That's a promise they'll be forced to keep since there are no options for economy-class passengers.