Options, access and personalization highlight 2020 packages

King Tutankhamun’s tomb, private tours of which are included in the two Egypt itineraries Tauck is adding for 2020.
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Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

With luxury travelers increasingly seeking more personalized and private experiences, travel companies are building in more VIP access and increased excursion options to their 2020 itineraries.

Tauck and Luxury Gold, for instance, both have new Egypt tours offering after-hours access to key sites.

Tauck is launching two new itineraries there next year - its first since 2011 - which will feature an exclusive after-hours, private tour of the Valley of the Kings that includes a visit to the  tomb of King Tutankhamun. Each of the two new tours will also include a multiple-night cruise and exploration along the Nile aboard a luxury Oberoi riverboat.

Tauck CEO Dan Mahar says the special access Tauck will provide in the Valley of the Kings, which can see daily visitation top 4,000 people, is transformative.

"Tutankhamun's tomb lay basically undisturbed for more than 3,000 years," said Mahar. "It's far easier to reflect on the sheer magnitude of the history you're experiencing if you're with a small, intimate group, after everyone else has left for the day. It elevates an already memorable visit to a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Luxury Gold, meantime, is offering a new 10-day land and river trip that includes an after-hours visit to the Temple of Luxor, among other things.  

In addition to opportunities to sightsee away from the crowds, luxury tour operators, like  river cruise operators, are increasingly offering guests more choices when it comes to daily, included excursions.

On a recent Luxury Gold Italy, trip for instance, guests who had already seen Michelango's David in Florence had the choice to instead spend the morning on a "foodie" tour that included a trip to the farmer's market and an olive oil tasting.

And in 2020, Abercrombie & Kent just announced it will offer a "Design your Day" option for all of its Luxury Small Group Journeys. Guests will have a choice of at least three excursions, including at one active option such as a bike or walking tour.

It's a program that the company first introduced on its private jet journeys. And one we will likely see grow across the touring space as travelers look for the new and unique in both private and guided travel.

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