Over the past months there has been much talk of “travel bubbles,” or agreements between countries to have a reciprocal opening of borders. With recent encouraging news about vaccines, such arrangements may become of decreasing importance. However, in the short term, “private travel bubbles “provide a way to venture abroad with the maximum degree of safety. For example, the well-regarded company &Beyond has organized secure journeys to the Galápagos Islands and South Africa. The Galápagos trip is for just 12 people, who must first check into a hotel in Sarasota, Florida, for compulsory COVID testing, followed by two days of quarantine. The travelers then board a private jet, a Bombardier Global Express XRS, for the flight to Ecuador. On arrival, their paperwork is processed in a VIP facility and they are then transferred to a private yacht for a weeklong cruise.
The vessel in question, Infinity, was launched in 2018 and has two staterooms and eight suites, a hot tub and a solarium. The journey is not inexpensive at $49,800 a person, but you will be relieved to hear that (according to the brochure) the snorkeling equipment is complimentary. The trip to South Africa is a little pricier at $51,000, but it is slightly longer and you do get to cross the Atlantic in a customized Boeing 777. Given the widespread desperation to reengage with the world, perhaps the time of the private travel bubble has come.