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Cruise the World in Four Seasons’ Lie-Flat First Class Seats

Cruise the World in Four Seasons’ Lie-Flat First Class Seats
Jackie Reddy

Long-distance sailing is great for those who have the time, but for those who really want to see the world in a hurry, an air cruise is a handy option. While they may be on the pricey side, a handful of companies are now offering passengers the chance to circumnavigate the globe in just a few weeks.

Earlier this autumn, Viking Cruises launched its “Ultimate World Cruise”, a 245-day excursion that offers guests the chance to circle the globe and visit 112 different destinations. But, sea cruises don’t appeal to everyone, especially those that don’t have 245 vacation days to spare. That’s why a small handful of air operators are packaging air cruises geared toward cash-rich travelers who don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to sail the high seas.

What, Exactly, Is an Air Cruise? 

It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a cruise to several different ports of call, except your traveling by plane via airports. And they’ve actually been around for quite a while. English outfit Abercrombie & Kent ran its very first private air tour back in 1989 and now, they offer a range of small group tours, all of which are limited to a maximum size of 50 persons. Guests can tour the world in a Boeing 757 that has been privately chartered and comes fitted exclusively with lie-flat, first-class seating.

These 25-day itineraries are primarily focused on global culture and wildlife excursions. Depending on the tour they choose, guest booking for 2020 can see snow monkeys and cherry blossoms in Japan, watch lemurs frolic in Madagascar, sample Hanoi’s famous cuisine, or party like a local in New Orleans.

But it will cost you. Prices for air cruises can range from $140,000 to $160,000.

Fly With the Four Seasons

While Abercrombie & Kent has been doing air cruises for quite a while, Four Seasons – yes, the company behind the famous hotel chain – entered the market back in 2015. The hotel chain flies “the hotel industry’s first fully branded jet,” a striking black Boeing 757 bearing the logo of Four Seasons. Inside, the 757 has been retrofitted to reflect the kind of experience that guests associate with the high-end hotel: just 52 lie-flat seats in the cabin in a 2-2 configuration. In 2021, they’ll be adding an Airbus A321neo to the fleet which will feature 48 lie-flat seats.

But where can air cruisers on Four Seasons go? From Rwanda to the Seychelles, Angkor Wat and the Caribbean – that is, pretty much everywhere. A selected list of itineraries is available to view here and prices start at $145,000.

Image Source: Crystal Cruises

Bespoke Itineraries and an Onboard Lounge

Next up, there’s Crystal Cruises, which offers private tours on its Boeing 777, the Crystal Skye. A bit more high-density in terms of passenger load compared to Abercrombie & Kent and Four Seasons, its craft is fitted with 88 lie-flat seats but also has a bar and lounge area.

Rather than offering a range of set itineraries, the company is offering would-be guests the chance to design the air cruise of their choice. More details are available here, but according the CNN Travel, prices start at an eye-watering $60,000 an hour.

Consider Flying Coach for A More Affordable Option

For those after something a bit more affordable, the outlet notes that Australia-based company Constellation Journeys offers global tours for anywhere between $15,000 and $50,000. The company uses Boeing 747-400 craft that has been wet-leased from Australian flag carrier Qantas.

The carrier also provides crew members for these tours, and while the craft still has Qantas’s own three-cabin service, Constellation offers a variety of seats, layouts and meal options.

For 2020, it’s offering an 18-day tour that takes in Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Petra, Chichen Itza and Tahiti. This air cruise is an annual affair and begins in Sydney.

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