WHY IT RATES: Abercrombie & Kent has launched two new journeys in Northern Italy and Portugal, with each cruise being an all-inclusive itinerary with stays in smaller boutique hotels in major cities and guided visits to must-see destinations. – Mackenzie Cullen, Editorial Associate
Travelers who really want to get to know a destination don’t take the word “experience” lightly. Neither does Abercrombie & Kent. With nearly 60 years of experience providing experiential travel, A&K’s Connections Boutique Group Journeys offer deeply immersive experiences — the kind that take guests beyond the guidebook. For 2020, Abercrombie & Kent is introducing two new journeys in Europe that explore the cultural and culinary splendors of Northern Italy and Portugal, transporting guests from the shores of Lake Como to the heart of Emilia-Romagna or from Lisbon to the scenic Douro Valley.
“To enable our guests to connect with the local cultures and people in a very personal way, our Connections journeys focus on a particular region – whether it’s two countries that complement each other, like Poland and Prague; a deep-dive into one country like Croatia or Iceland; or a variety of journeys that explore different parts of one country, like Italy,” explains Abercrombie & Kent President Keith Baron.
With an intimate group of no more than 24 guests, every Connections Boutique Journey is led from start to finish by a Resident Tour Director®, who has lived for decades, if not their entire life, in the destination. This makes an important difference in providing intimate access to places and experiences not available to larger groups. Stroll through Venice with a local guide to visit their favorite bácari (wine bars) or meet a viscountess to explore her family’s historic estate and learn the nuances of cooking with the original wood-burning stoves.
NEW for 2020
Abercrombie & Kent continues to develop new itineraries that offer authentic connections and unrivalled local access in the places travelers most want to visit. These new journeys complement a portfolio of twelve land-based journeys across Europe, the Canadian Rockies and Morocco, as well as five European River Cruise Journeys.
Italy: Jewels of the North
From the shores of Lake Como and the fishing villages of Cinque Terre to the Most Serene Republic of Venice, experience the charm and magic of Italy’s elegant northern provinces. Savor delicious meats and cheeses on a foodie tour in Parma. Explore Lake Como on a private boat cruise to the village of Bellagio and past the picturesque villas that dot the lakeshore. Go behind the scenes on a tour of La Scala and its workshops. Join a local family in their olive grove to learn the art of making traditional local pesto. Discover Turin, once the royal capital of Italy, and its renowned Egyptian Museum. Ten days from $6,995.
Portrait of Portugal
Discover the charms and rural traditions of Portugal, from the bustling capital of Lisbon and scenic countryside to the idyllic Douro Valley and charismatic Porto, experiencing wonderful cultural and culinary heritage unique to each place. Enjoy a cooking class with a viscountess in the kitchens of her family estate and savor the results for lunch. Sit down to a private dinner and fado performance in Lisbon, to experience the iconic and expressive folk genre. Dine in Nazaré, one of Portugal’s most picturesque traditional fishing villages. Cruise the scenic Douro River, admiring the dramatic landscape of steep hills and vineyards. Nine days from $5,495.
Every journey is anchored by stays in one-of-a-kind hotels that put travelers in the heart of the most desirable neighborhoods. Accommodations are carefully selected for their local character with preference given to smaller properties – often less than 100 rooms – that are locally or family-owned. These include memorable hotels like the Grand Hotel Portovenere in Italy, amonastery-turned-waterfront property situated on the Gulf of Poets that overlooks the romantic fishing village of Portovenere, and an exquisite 18th-century palace in Portugal that is now a charming hotel.
European River Cruising, A&K Style
A&K’s European River Cruise Journeys provide the same boutique ambiance as the Connections land journeys. These expertly curated itineraries explore the most scenic rivers in Europe — and deliver an inclusive, small-group river cruise experience aboard stylish river ships steeped in legendary Old-World hospitality.
Cruising Holland & Belgium in Bloom: Includes memorable excursions to a local tulip grower, Keukenhof Gardens and the Kröller-Müller Museum, home to the world’s second largest Van Gogh collection. Nine days from $5,295
Prague & the Blue Danube: Attend a concert at the Kursalon in Venice, privately tour a World War II art bunker in Nuremberg and trace Kafka’s footsteps through Prague. Eleven days from $7,595.
Switzerland & the Rhine: Cruise the most beautiful part of the Rhine through four countries. Includes the world’s largest flower auction in Aalsmeer, the majesty of the Swiss Alps and tastings of local beer, wine, cheese and chocolate. Eleven days from $8,995.
Paris, Burgundy & a South of France Cruise: Cruise through the picturesque countryside on the Saône and Rhône Rivers with seven meals ashore that highlight authentic local cuisine, including lunch at a Provençal farmhouse and dinner in Avignon. Eleven days from $9,495.
Christmas Markets Along the Danube: Visit traditional Christkindlesmarkts along the river, historic Melk Abbey and the Imperial Treasury in Vienna. Nine days from $5,495.
Each River Cruise Journey includes privately-guided experiences alongside an A&K Resident Tour Director to experience the energy – and flavor – of local life. All sightseeing and dining is included and exclusive to A&K, including specially selected meals ashore in local restaurants. Best of all, each cruise is a comprehensive itinerary that includes stays in smaller boutique hotels in major cities and guided visits to must-see destinations and off-the-beaten-path gems.
Experience the world beyond the guidebook with Abercrombie & Kent on 2020 Connections Boutique Group Journeys. Book with confidence knowing that each departure is guaranteed to operate with a minimum of two guests.
Call 800.554.7094 to speak with an A&K Travel Consultant, go to https://www.abercrombiekent.com/small-group-journeys/connections-boutique-group-journeys, or contact your travel professional to learn more.
SOURCE: Abercrombie & Kent press release.
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