Private Tours | Classic Journeys Blog
  • Tourists Hiking Coast of Normandy, France

    Private Tours: Your Wish is Our Command

    A few months ago, a lifelong band of friends came to us with a regal request. We all want to go on your <a href="" target="_blank">Ireland </a>trip, but our fantasy is to only stay in castles and posh country manor houses. Can we do that? They could ... and they absolutely did on the stately <a href="" target="_blank">p</a><a href="" target="_blank">rivate trip</a> we created for them, based on our <a href="" target="_blank">Emerald Isle itinerary</a>. <br><br>You may know how they felt. You discover a trip, and the experiences it offers really speak to you. Except that it doesn’t begin and end on dates that match your calendar. Or you’d really jigger the plans so that you could visit the old world village named for your family or satisfy an unquenched urge to sip the Brunello of your dreams at the very vineyard where it’s grown. Our advice: Ask us how we can make it happen for you. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BeA" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Since our very first month in business 23 years ago, travelers like you have been asking us to curate itineraries just for them with departures on special dates. We do that all the time—but even better, we can kick the experiences up a notch with bespoke details inspired by your particular interests and tastes. You could end up like the quartet of sorority sisters who were determined to celebrate their milestone birthdays together at <a href="" target="_blank">Stonehenge</a>—which we made happen with a champagne toast right among the megaliths while the legendary site was closed to the public. <br><br>Last summer, we drove family members right up to the <a href="" target="_blank">Norwegian </a>farmstead on the shores of a remote fjord where their grandfather was born. You’re forgiven if you envy the group that claimed all the rooms in a <a href="" target="_blank">luxury villa-hotel</a> on the <a href="" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a> for a week of what they describe as ridiculous amounts of fun. We’ve even pulled off surprise fireworks displays perfectly timed to cap dinner on a terrace overlooking the sea. Believe it or not, we’ve arranged a private visit to the Sistine Chapel where the guests were invited to lie on the floor for a head-on look up at Michelangelo’s legendary ceiling. <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFo&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BeF" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Your trip could start with a vow to eat at as many <a href="" target="_blank">Michelin-starred restaurants</a> as can be fit into a week. If you’re bird watchers, ask us to arrange a <a href="" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a> trip for peak migratory season. <br>But you don’t need a theme either. It’s enough to ask for our usual handcrafted visit to the <a href="" target="_blank">Galápagos </a>or <a href="" target="_blank">Iceland </a>on a trip departure just for you, your family or your group of friends.  <br><br>Putting together a <a href="" target="_blank">private trip</a> is simpler than you probably imagine. It starts with a phone call on which our experts listen to you brainstorm, daydream and lay out your wish list of places, activities, <a href="" target="_blank">hotels </a>and the like. Then we put together a complete program including all of the land arrangements—so you don’t need to juggle hotel communications, track down guides or scratch your head over how to make transfers. Pricing is based on the amount of customization, but prices are often less than you would pay for other companies’ standard tours. <br><br><u><b>2 WAYS TO GO PRIVATE </b></u><br>  <div style="margin-left: 40px;"><a href="" target="_blank"><b>1 - Handcrafted Originals </b></a><br><i>READY FOR YOU TO BOOK </i><br>Pick any <a href="" target="_blank">original Classic Journeys itinerary</a>. Then just name the date when you would like your vacation to begin. It’s the simplest way to arrange a <a href="" target="_blank">private vacation</a>. Bonus point because you can align your trip to a special occasion.  <br><br><a href="" target="_blank"><b>2 - Custom Crafted</b></a><br><i>EVERY MOMENT DESIGNED JUST FOR YOU </i><br>The sky’s the limit with a Custom-Crafted trip. A candle-lit dinner in the heart of <a href="" target="_blank">Angkor Wat</a>... two weeks in <a href="" target="_blank">Peru </a>and the <a href="" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>... or a summer-long tour with your extended family. If you can wish it, our team can make it happen.</div> <div><br>If you dream it, you can do it ... and it doesn’t cost anything to find out how. To begin your journey, call us at <a href="" target="_blank">800.200.3887</a> or fill out the <a href="" target="_blank">private journey request form</a> online. </div>

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  • Lake of the Poas, Costa Rica,

    Introducing Coast-to-Coast Travel in Costa Rica

    <h2>Atlantic to pacific, the diversity is off the charts.</h2>   <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">soundtrack of a day in Costa Rica</a> is a crazy mash-up. The macaws caw in a different key than the howler monkeys that are totally out of tempo with the tree frogs. But somehow, all of the twitters, raspy roars, buzzes, hoots, whirrs, howls, soprano trills and chuffs work just fine together until — as if somebody flipped a switch — they fade in unison at dusk.</p> <p>That’s the sound of biodiversity, and there’s more of it in this West Virginia-sized country than anywhere else on earth. That’s what makes <a href="" target="_blank">coast-to-coast travel in Costa Rica</a> so amazing. After all, this is a nation where a “transcontinental” flight takes about an hour. It’s a land with Afro-Caribbean culture and cowboys. Don’t even try to count the keeled-bill toucans, orchids and river otters or the surprisingly different habitats where they live.<br><br><img alt="Toucan" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lV&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rBm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Coast-to-coast is how we took in Costa Rica’s diversity on our latest trip,</a> and now we’ve transformed our gee-whiz week into the newest Classic Journey. We start on the Caribbean side at Tortuguero National Park, a coastal landscape laced with freshwater creeks and lagoons. On a single kayak ride, you could spot white-faced Capuchin monkeys, caimans, tiger herons and … well, you get the idea. The local beach is one of the world’s most important nesting sites for sea turtles. In season, you may see the hatchlings emerging from the sand and making a break for the waves. In an isolated village (no cars, no streets), we hang out with the locals, visit their school and learn about their Afro-Caribbean heritage.</p> <p>Even a quick morning flight comes with a built-in geography lesson like no other. From the window, you get an egret’s-eye view of the rainforest and a trio of volcanoes … and you appreciate in a way no textbook ever taught you just how skinny Central America is. By early afternoon, you’re in a raft on the Tenorio River near the continental divide, ready to take on Class III/IV rapids or taking a walk to Llanos de Cortez waterfall. By dinner, you’re <a href="" target="_blank">in a Pacific-view room at a resort in Guanacaste National Park</a>, on one of the country’s most pristine beaches.<br><br><img alt="Whitewater rafting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7lV&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002rBr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Up there in Costa Rica’s northwest corner, the climate’s a little dryer, and ranches stretch toward the Nicaraguan border. In season, we check out the cowboy and rodeo festival. In these parts, we go for a<a href="" target="_blank"> guided walk near the volcano in Rincon de la Vieja National Park</a>. The forest is ideal for a quintessentially Costa Rican zipline ride through the treetops. And this is habitat for a full cast of monkey species, sloths, tapirs, collared peccaries and even jaguars and pumas. Just in case you haven’t already racked up enough unique experiences, we’ll also head out for a catamaran-based snorkeling trip or, alternatively, you can go for a surfing lesson on Pacific waves.</p> <p>Sound like fun? Here’s a bit of news that will make you even happier. Every activity on the trip is included in the price you pay upfront; you won’t run into a single surcharge or equipment rental fee the way you do on cruises or some other tours. We’re also offering the trip two ways: as a <a href="" target="_blank">Luxury Eco-Adventure</a> and as a <a href="" target="_blank">Multisport Family Journey</a>. <a href="" target="_blank">Coast to coast, Costa Rica has more than enough variety</a> to spice up your life like no vacation ever has!</p>

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  • Villa le Barone in Tuscany, Italy

    A Family Meeting in Italy

    <h2>…the best way to ensure 100% attendance!</h2>   <p>For Scott and Gina Phelps, a family meeting around the dining room table wasn’t going to work. With daughter Victoria traveling in Europe and son Zachary away at college, together time was getting harder to negotiate. Last summer, with their 25th anniversary coming up, the Phelps’ turned to Classic Journeys to arrange a private departure just for the four of them. Italy, it turns out, is an excellent way to guarantee 100% attendance!</p> <h3><a href="" target="_blank" title="Private journeys">CALL US TO ARRANGE YOUR PERFECT FAMILY JOURNEY AND LEAVE THE DETAILS TO US!</a></h3> <p><i><b>IN THEIR WORDS</b></i></p> <p>We’re experienced travelers, but when we began planning the trip it was stressful trying to include everything we wanted to do.</p> <p>We admired how Classic Journeys structured its tours, so we worked with them to weave together elements of their <a href="" target="_blank" title="Discover Tuscany">Tuscany &amp; Cinque Terre </a>walking adventure and their <a href="" target="_blank" title="Rome &amp; Tuscany">Rome &amp; Tuscany</a> family journey into a customized itinerary just for us.<br><br><img alt="Man and woman in front in Cinque Terre" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002roK" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Once we hooked up with our Classic Journeys guide, we didn’t need to do a lot of thinking other than enjoying the people and places the guide introduced us to each day. The flexibility was also nice. If the weather changed, for example, the guides adapted quickly and everything ran seamlessly.<br><br>We had great rooms with great views every place we stayed, and we ate in some fantastic restaurants. But when we reflect on the trip, one thing that really stands out is how our guide, Luciano, incorporated history into everything we saw and did it in an interesting way. We’d see a painting or a building and he’d tell us how it tied into the same historical period we’d discussed earlier, for example. It brought perspective to the trip, and our kids adored Luciano and our driver. In fact, Zachary will be traveling abroad during school and plans on reconnecting with Luciano in Italy. That really speaks to the kind of people that make up the Classic Journeys team.<br><br><img alt="Luciano" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7mN&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002roP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></p> <br> 

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