Smithsonian Journeys offers a unique way to learn while you travel and experience what the world has to offer. Our tours by private jet allow you to see the world’s top sites with top experts and unparalled access. Our experts answer the most frequently asked questions about private jet tours for you here:
Q. There will be 78 people onboard the jet – won’t this experience have a crowded “group tour” feel?
A. The jet is a Boeing 757, originally designed to accommodate about 233 travelers, but for our expeditions, is specially configured to generously accommodate only 78 travelers. So travelers on our expedition will enjoy a very spacious and comfortable interior. And the crew-to-traveler ratio is 1 to 5, so the service onboard the jet is highly personalized, Once on land, travelers break up into small groups, rarely touring with more than 15 others, and often much less than that – and are always accompanied with a dedicated, very knowledgeable guide. And there are multiple alternate and optional touring opportunities to further personalize the experience. When visiting a monument like the Taj Mahal, for example, all groups start in different locations to avoid the “group tour” feeling. The only time you are with the entire group is on the jet and at gala meals – which become a celebratory experience with everyone sharing highlights of their touring for the day.
Q. I have food allergies and special dietary issues. Can the staff accommodate these concerns?
A. Absolutely. We invite all travelers to provide detailed personal information prior to departure so that we may address any issues. We travel with a private chef aboard the jet who makes sure all food preferences are accommodated while on the private jet. We also have expert “advance” staff on the ground in each country working with all restaurant and hotel staff to further ensure all special requests are taken care of. You are in good hands.
Q. Do the seats on the jet lie down flat?
A. No. None of our flights are at night and all of our sleeping is done in the very best hotels available. Our seats are plush, leather, VIP-style “cradle” seats with ecomfort™ foam support which lean back 45 degrees; and have adjustable leg rests. The, seats resemble very comfortable La-Z-boy™ recliners so if a traveler wants to, they may enjoy a nice nap onboard.
Q. How strenuous is this trip?
A. It is as strenuous as you want it to be. One or two of our small daily touring groups are for “slower-walker” groups, who have the opportunity to see and do what everyone else does, only at a more relaxed pace. In addition, we have options for the “go-getter” group, that wants to hike to the top of the mountain and see and do everything. We create these trips for you, for you to customize in the style and manner in which you prefer.
Q. I’m concerned about getting all of the necessary visas for this trip as I travel a lot. Can you help me with this?
A. Yes! We use an excellent Washington, DC-based visa service, which provides a detailed visa kit complete with all forms, instructions, and even sample pages so all you have to do is “fill in the blanks.” The visa service can also obtain additional pages for your passport or procure a second passport for you if you are traveling close to the trip departure.
Q. There are so many different countries on these trips, what about packing and vaccinations?
A. We will send you detailed instructions on everything you need to know about preparing for your journey, including vaccinations, expected weather, packing list, shopping suggestions, and a detailed reading list to help you learn about the adventure before departing.
We’re now accepting reservations for our Fall, 2011 and 2012 Private Jet tours. Click for more.