Post-Pandemic Travel Planning: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Photos courtesy of White Desert

It would be an understatement to say that the coronavirus pandemic has throttled the travel industry, but the luxury sector is resilient and coming back strong! As you plan safety-minded meanderings into and throughout the summer, here are a few great options for perennial favorite modes of jet set travel.

Travel to the Bottom of the Earth

Premium private jet company Magellan Jets is working to keep its guests as safe as they are satisfied. The company has compiled a toolkit to help travelers stay healthy while navigating flu season and the continuing coronavirus crisis. Magellan Jets’ curated collection of guides and expert tips outlines best practices and safety measures people should remember before taking their next flight. The healthy travel toolkit covers topics such as what travelers can do to prevent contracting the coronavirus, steps professional pilots take to ensure they don’t get sick while flying, as well as other helpful resources. Additionally, readers can learn how booking private jet travel for leisure or business can significantly decrease the risk of exposure to the coronavirus and other illnesses.

Should this inspire you to get out of Dodge, consider a trip to the bottom of the Earth! Magellan Jets is now working in partnership with the industry-leading International Yacht Company (IYC) and White Desert to offer guests the trip of a lifetime to the South Pole to see the emperor penguins. This luxury, eight-night adventure takes 12 guests at a time into the heart of Antarctica before venturing off to the South Pole.

 Magellan Jets will fly guests to Cape Town, where they will spend the night at One & Only prior to departing for Antarctica with White Desert on a plane equipped with the latest avionics and ski-equipped for landing on snow.

In Antarctica, guests will stay in state-of-the-art sleeping pods at Whichaway Camp, where their experienced team of chefs, hosts and guides will take care of every detail, allowing you to relax and enjoy your surroundings. At the beginning of the adventure, guests fly two hours along the coast to an emperor penguin colony of over 14,000 breeding pairs and their newly-hatched chicks. Tourists rarely visit this colony and, as a consequence, witnessing these birds in their natural habitat is one of the most surreal experiences on earth.

As you fly from Antarctica to the South Pole, you will experience a true sense of remoteness, for as far as the eye can see, the white horizon meets the pure blue sky. At the designated marker, there is no more east, south or west on the planet — only north. You will be able to walk around the world in just a few paces!

Then, you will fly back to their wilderness camp at 83ºS to overnight and join the select few who have ever spent a night in the beauty of the high polar plateau. You will be well-looked-after as you experience camping in one of the wildest places on earth.

After a night spent as a true explorer, you will fly back to the main camp and celebrate your momentous journey. With up to only 12 clients on each adventure and professional polar explorers as your guides, the day’s itineraries are tailored to each individual. Make your choice from gentle treks and picnics overlooking the ice waves to more adrenaline-fueled activities.

After the trials and confinement of COVID-19, there is perhaps be no better place than Antarctica to escape, reflect and reignite your passion to explore. With limited group size, strict bio-security measures and the naturally inert landscape, Antarctica is one of the safest places to visit in 2021 and beyond.

Travel Back in Time

Oenophiles rejoice! Despite the pandemic, Napa Valley is open and welcoming visitors. While in this revered region, do yourself a favor and book a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train. This isn’t so much a mode of transportation as a time machine transporting passengers back to an era when the journey was as scintillating as the destination itself. Particularly well-suited for couples seeking quality together time, this excursion offers an elegant sojourn through the heart of Napa Valley in a refined, history-rich atmosphere befitting the lush countryside through which it passes.

Duly complimenting the gorgeous vistas are gourmet victuals and varietals-a-plenty. The train itself is a wonder to behold. The expertly-restored and -maintained antique Pullman cars gleam with brass and Honduran mahogany while etched original glass and swanky armchairs evoke the early 20th century spirit of luxury travel.

One of the few active historic passenger railroads remaining in the United States, the Napa Valley Wine Train offers a tempting variety of tours, events and packages, including gourmet dining experiences for both lunch and dinner. As goes without saying, the wine offerings on the Napa Valley Wine Train are ample and impressive given the space restraints. Passengers can also bring their own bottle on board.

The Napa Valley Wine Train isn’t just a train ride — it’s an institution that echoes the glory days of train travel, with fine dining service, multiple course meals cooked to order, Napa Valley scenery and ultimate relaxation aboard an exquisitely-restored vintage rail car.

Luxe Chauffeur Service

Safety-minded travelers are loving Blacklane’s global chauffeur service, which brings travelers peace of mind across 50 countries. The crew’s health, safety, reliability and technology gives guests door-to-door, stress-free travel.

Blacklane chauffeurs clean vehicles and disinfect all points of contact before and after rides. It offers guests hand sanitizer, has chauffeurs wear masks and provides masks to guests who need them. Chauffeurs also check their temperature daily and air out vehicles between rides. Blacklane travelers receive fair, fixed and all-inclusive rates, and all rides are carbon-neutral.

Plus, all Blacklane chauffeurs are commercially-licensed and insured. Airport pickups include flight tracking, meet-and-greet service and up to one hour of free chauffeur waiting time.

Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA, is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. She is the founder, executive editor and producer of “The Luxe List,” as well as host of the nationally-syndicated “Savvy Living” TV show.

Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above may have been provided or arranged at no cost to accommodate, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.

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