From the Editor: Private Travel Bubbles


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.

By Andrew Harper The editor-in-chief of Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report has spent his life traveling, visiting more than 100 countries on every continent. If pressed, he cites Italy as his favorite place in the world, but he is also strongly drawn to wilderness areas, especially in the Himalayas and southern Africa. He has lost track of the number of safaris he has taken, but the total is probably close to 50. In addition to wildlife, his passions include fly-fishing and hiking. After working with the founder of the company for five years, he took over as his chosen successor in 2007.
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