once-in-a-lifetime trips for a once-in-a-lifetime moment
Ring in the new millennium with a sonic boom. Aboard the Concorde, on Intrav's Ultimate Trip, you and 95 other passengers will hop your way around the globe in 18 days, touching down in Honolulu, Sydney, Delhi, Nairobi, and Cairo. You'll tour the sights, stay in first-class hotels, and dine at the world's best restaurants. New Year's is spent in Hong Kong. Luxury like this comes at a price: $75,000 per person, to be exact. 800/825-2900.
No place typifies throwing caution to the wind better than Monte Carlo. Maupintour offers round-trip air travel and six nights on the French Riviera at the Loews Monte Carlo Hotel, with a gala New Year's Eve dinner. Also planned: excursions to the Musée Océanographique, French country villages, and the Italian Riviera. Rates to be determined--or take your chances and reserve now with a $500 deposit; 800/255-6162.
Geographic Expeditions cordially invites you to its New Year's Eve Mughalai Feast, based on the cuisine served in the court of the Indian emperor Akbar. Rise early and watch the dawn of the new century from the foot of the Taj Mahal. Over 16 days, you'll also stop at Katmandu, Varanasi, Jaipur, and Delhi. $5,495; 800/777-8183. Among the nautical highlights of Travcoa's 14-day Orient tour are a river trip past Bangkok's Temple of Dawn and cocktails aboard a junk in Hong Kong Harbor. Landlubbers can recover on the two-night Orient Express journey from Bangkok to Singapore. $8,995; 800/992-2004. On Distant Horizons' 16-day tour of Indonesia, led by Dr. Jan Fontein, who headed the restoration of Borobudur, you'll spend quality time on Sulawesi and Bali, and a full five days at Amanjiwo, the delicious new Amanresort in Java. $6,990; 800/333-1240.
David Anderson Safaris' 21-day package includes a stay at a Masai Mara camp in Kenya, a lecture by anthropologist Richard Leakey, New Year's Eve on the Serengeti Plain, Dom Pérignon with the elephants, and three nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. $20,000; 800/733-1789. A meeting with another Leakey, Philip, is part of Micato's 17-day Millennium Safari in Kenya and Tanzania. $9,999; 800/642-2861.
If your resolutions include getting in shape, take Butterfield & Robinson's eight-day walking tour of New Zealand's Otago Peninsula, led by marine archaeologist and photographer Denis Pagé. You'll hike at the base of Rob Roy Glacier, shear sheep, and go bungee jumping. Price to be determined; 800/678-1147. Backroads' 11-day multisport trip includes biking in the Ecuadoran highlands, sailing and kayaking off the Galápagos, and snorkeling with dolphins. Price to be determined; 800/462-2848. Or go climb a mountain--Kilimanjaro, to be precise--on REI's 18-day adventure. $4,595; 800/622-2236.
Party like it's 1999--b.c.--at Abercrombie & Kent's 14-day Egyptian Pyramid extravaganza. Tours start in Cairo, head to Luxor, and then cruise down the Nile. You'll dine and dance in the shadow of the Pyramids; a palm reader will tell you what to expect in the next century. Price to be determined; 800/323-7308.
Marine Expeditions is running the first-ever seven-continent around-the-world cruise, one that hits 22 countries in 114 days. $11,940, including airfare; 800/263-9147. Aboard Silversea's Silver Cloud, you'll be the first to inaugurate the next century: the ship is scheduled to be on the International Date Line at midnight. The 15-day trip from Tahiti to New Zealand gives you the double thrill of celebrating again on the other side of the Line. $30,195, including airfare; 800/722-9055. You'll have company: Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony will also be on the Date Line, in the South Pacific, making its way from Auckland to San Francisco in 17 days. $8,975; 800/446-6620. Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 (23 days; price to be determined; 800/528-6273) and Seabourn Cruise Line's Seabourn Pride (16 days; $14,190; 800/929-9595) will skip the crowds and hang out in the Caribbean. Or put the champagne on ice with Abercrombie & Kent's 14-day Antarctica cruise. Bring a tuxedo so you can compete with the penguins. Price to be determined; 800/323-7308.
This is only a sampling. Most operators have other trips as well, so give them a call if none of the above catches your fancy. If they're sold out, ask to be put on the waiting list. Prices are subject to change.