May 31, 2017 | Jules Verne
Innovative tour operator Jules Verne (www.vjv.com) has launched 24 special edition itineraries to mark its forthcoming ruby anniversary in 2018. Covering departures from January 2018 to February 2019, options range from a circumnavigation of Great Britain and a luxurious rail journey through Spain to escorted tours of far-flung destinations as diverse as Africa, Australia and Antarctica.
In creating this comprehensive selection of travel arrangements to celebrate 40 years of Jules Verne, the company has chosen some of its all-time favourites, blending these with countries not usually offered. Focusing on the ‘Golden Age’ of travel means that wildlife, rail journeys and cruising are key features of the anniversary tours, with history and culture a thread that runs through them all. Each itinerary is special in its own right – many featuring unique and exclusive experiences not accessible to regular travellers – whilst a single departure date for each itinerary has been carefully selected by Jules Verne to ensure that its clients travel at the optimum time of year for their chosen destination.
Founded in 1978, both to open up the then-untapped market to China and to offer passengers a different style of travel and holiday experience, Jules Verne has continued to innovate, becoming the highly-regarded specialist company that it is today. Offering innovative small group escorted tours to all seven continents, Jules Verne offers authentic travel with a twist for people who love to see the world. Packed with special touches and little extras, its expert guides show clients the true character of a destination, taking them beyond the norm, whether the trip is closer to home or far flung.
A contemporary version of Jules Verne’s first-ever itinerary – The Central Kingdom Express overland journey from London to Hong Kong – forms the centrepiece of the 40th anniversary brochure. It has been created by a member of the Jules Verne team who worked on the original tour, which departed on 28 February 1979, and who still works for the company today.
Unquestionably one of the world’s great railway journeys, this tour sets off from London, heading by Eurostar to Paris before carrying onwards to Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow on scheduled trains, then across Siberia by special train (private sleeping compartments) to Ulan Bator in Mongolia. The group then continues south across the steppe by scheduled train (first-class carriages) to Beijing and through China in high-speed trains to Xian and Shanghai, completing this journey-of-a-lifetime in cosmopolitan Hong Kong. Departing 18 February 2019, this 28-night holiday costs from £8,995 pp*.
In a further nod to its origins, Journey to the Centre of the Earth takes inspiration from the famous 1864 novel by science fiction writer Jules Verne, after whom the company is named. Combining an incredible seven-night small ship expedition on the MY Callisto, travelling to dramatic Icelandic landscapes virtually untouched by human civilisation, with two nights in the vibrant Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, and one night in remote Reykholt, this is a wonderful way to explore the Land of the Midnight Sun, and in considerably more comfort than that experienced by the book’s characters, Professor Otto Liedenbrock and his nephew, Axel! Departing 27 June 2018, this 10-night holiday costs from £3,995 pp*.
Tempting travellers to visit all four corners of the globe during its anniversary year, Jules Verne’s special edition itineraries also include:
Circumnavigate Great Britain – including several of her island outposts – on The Great British Voyage, sailing on the MV Aegean Odyssey with en-route visits to historic houses, gardens and castles, complemented by daily lectures from on-board guest speakers. Departing 22 July 2018, 14 nights cost from £2,550 pp*.
Take a musical journey through Austria and Hungary in the company of Dr. Josef Wallnig, Professor of Opera Interpretation at Salzburg’s Mozarteum, on Mozart and the Blue Danube. After two nights in Salzburg, join the MS Victor Hugo for a five-night cruise that visits Melk, Dürnstein, Vienna, Esztergom and Budapest. Departing 18 June 2018, seven nights cost from £1,795 pp*. Add a further two-night, five-star stay in Budapest from £325 pp.
Experience Italy’s unrivalled cultural heritage – from Pompeii, Imperial Rome and the Holy Vatican to the rolling hills of Umbria and the treasures of Tuscany – on An Italian Journey. In Assisi, visit the home of a local private art collector before enjoying a 40th anniversary special dinner at Palazzo del Cardinale, a 13th-century palace. Departing 18 May 2018, 13 nights cost from £2,995 pp*.
Follow the Journey of Kings on a Spanish adventure that travels from Santiago de Compostela to Seville on board the luxury Al Andalus Express, a genuine railway classic said to be the most exclusive train in the world. Step back to the Golden Age of the Belle Époque, relaxing in elegant saloons complete with large picture windows, that were once used by members of the British Monarchy. Departing 23 September 2018, eight nights cost from £5,395 pp*.
Explore The Balkans by Private Train, travelling through Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia on the Continental Classic Express. Discover the region’s rugged beauty and learn more of the history of its once-mighty empires. Departing 17 May 2018, nine nights cost from £3,895 pp*.
Retrace the remarkable trading routes of ancient civilisations along the legendary Silk Road by private train, travelling on the Orient Silk Road Express through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Departing 16 October 2018, 13 nights cost from £4,995 pp*.
Follow In the Tracks of Marco Polo on an unforgettable railway journey on board private train, The Persian Explorer. Uncover the mysteries of ancient Persia and the fascination of modern Iran, travelling from Tehran to the colossal gates of Persepolis and the lush gardens of Shiraz. Departing 10 April 2018, 13 nights cost from £5,195 pp*.
Tracing colonial pathways, Passage Across India travels from the heart of the Raj to the soul of India and to the lesser-visited ancient cities of the eastern states, finishing in the evocative ancient quarters of Hyderabad. Enjoy a 40th anniversary special dinner at Khajurgaon Palace in Lucknow, attended by a member of the Hindu Royal family. Departing 14 February 2018, 16 nights cost from £3,145 pp*. Add a three-night extension to Mahabalipuram and Chennai from £645 pp.
Go In Search of Shangri-La on a visit to Burma’s Golden Land, the Yunnan Province and ancient Shangri-La. Explore spectacular landscapes, rich culture and ancient trading routes, travelling to a corner of China forgotten in time. As well as superb sightseeing, experiences include a Bagan Candlelit Dinner, a ‘Soon’ Offering in Mandalay, a private Arrival Ceremony in Lijang and a Sichuan Farewell Dinner. Departing 15 April 2018, 19 nights cost from £5,095 pp*. Add a three-night pre-tour extension in Beijing for £425 pp and/or a two-night post-tour extension in Shanghai from £495 pp.
Travel across the Roof of the World to meet the Mountain People of the Himalayas and visit the Land of the Thunder Dragon on Three Kingdoms, an escorted tour that encompasses China, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and India, visiting Bhutan during the Thimphu Tshechu Festival. Departing 7 September 2018, 19 nights cost from £5,995 pp*.
Set on Chindwin River, Nagaland is a place of folklore, inhabited by 16 major tribes, that evokes a sense of mysticism and awe that is intensified by the remoteness of its geographical location. Explore these Burmese Jungle Waterways on an adventurous itinerary that includes a seven-night cruise – chartered exclusively for Jules Verne clients – on the RV Kha Byoo Pandaw. Departing 5 September 2018, 14 nights cost from £4,195 pp*.
Visit Vietnam and Cambodia, travelling from Hanoi to Saigon and the temples of Angkor, on Voyage en Indochine, a Far Eastern odyssey featuring delightful French colonial and five-star accommodation throughout. Departing 2 March 2018, 15 nights cost from £3,495 pp*.
Journey through the Nubian lands of Sudan to Egypt on Khartoum to Cairo, a ‘Pyramids to Pyramids’ adventure that includes a 12-night Nile cruise on board the five-star Mövenpick MS Darakum. Departing 5 March 2018, this 20-night holiday costs from £4,995 pp*. No Single Supplement on cruise (subject to availability). Add a two-night, five-star stay in Cairo from £195 pp.
Witness Africa’s most spectacular, naturally-occurring wonder, The Great Migration, on an escorted tour to Kenya, staying at luxury camps and lodges. Visit Amboseli, the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha and the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve. Departing 21 August 2018, nine nights cost from £4,895 pp*. Add a ten-night ‘Secret Seychelles’ extension from £2,395 pp.
Holiday Under an African Sky on a tour combining South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, with a three-night river cruise on the RV African Dream and a three-night rail adventure on the 1950s vintage-style ‘Pride of Africa’ train amongst its many highlights. Departing 10 April 2018, 16 nights cost from £6,595 pp*. Add a two-night pre-tour extension (two nights in Cape Town and two aboard Rovos Rail to Pretoria) from £995 pp; and/or a post-tour extension, Miracle of the Okavango (three nights) from £1,395 pp.
Boasting vast desert landscapes, white sandy shores, world-class wineries and wonderful wildlife, Iconic Australia has something for everyone. After a stylish two-night stay in Dubai at the five-star Taj Hotel, head Down Under for a tour that takes in Adelaide, Darwin, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney as well as an overnight journey on Australia’s iconic Ghan Train. Departing 29 October 2018, 22 nights cost from £6,695 pp*.
Discover Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud, on an escorted tour of Mystical New Zealand that ticks off Auckland, the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Napier, Wellington, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Franz Joseph, Queenstown and Mount Cook as it explores the islands from North to South. Departing 6 November 2018, 23 nights cost from £5,975 pp*.
Experience The Great White Continent from the comfort of Ocean Atlantic, an expedition vessel capable of venturing into some of Antarctica’s most isolated fjords. This unforgettable holiday also includes two nights in Buenos Aires. Departing 21 January 2018, 13 nights cost from £6,595 pp*. No Single Supplement on cruise (subject to availability). Add an extension in Mendoza Wine Country (three nights) with one night in Buenos Aires from £945 pp; add two nights in Iguazu Falls, with one night in Buenos Aires, from £695 pp; and/or a four-night Brazilian Amazon Jungle Experience, from £1,595 pp.
Follow the Flight of the Condor – an enduring icon of South America, representing wealth and power – on a journey through Peru, Bolivia and Chile: from Machu Picchu across Lake Titicaca and along the Andes to the world’s largest salt flats and the dramatic Atacama Desert. Departing 9 May 2018, 22 nights cost from £5,995 pp*. Add a four-night Easter Island extension from £1,395 pp.
Soak up the essence of the USA’s Old South on Ol’ Man River, a step into authentic southern culture and living history that blends short stays in Memphis and New Orleans with a seven-night cruise of the lower Mississippi on board American Queen, a fabulous steamboat evoking the opulence of the American Victorian era. Departing 10 March 2018, 12 nights cost from £3,995 pp*.
A Canadian Affair journeys through the majestic Rocky Mountains and across the Prairies, travelling from Vancouver to Montréal, taking in unforgettable scenery. Four nights of this itinerary are spent on The Canadian: redolent of the first railway era, it features original 1950s steel coaches from the Canadian Pacific Railway. Departing 1 October 2018, 14 nights cost from £5,995 pp*.
‘Kaffemik’ (a traditional get-together of coffee, cake and storytelling with a local family) is among the experiences awaiting travellers on Glorious Glacial Greenland as it ventures to the Arctic Circle, one of the world’s last unspoiled wildernesses. Combining Iceland’s volcanoes and Greenland’s glacial landscapes, spend three nights in Reykjavik and seven nights on board the Ocean Diamond, its strengthened hull and size making it perfect for sailing in the ice-laden polar seas. Departing 31 July 2018, ten nights cost from £4,495 pp*.
*Prices are based on two people sharing and include flights, rail or sea travel, accommodation (hotel, train and/or boat) and meals as per the itinerary, and the services of a Tour Manager, guides and local representatives.
Jules Verne clients who are also celebrating a special anniversary in 2018 will receive a complimentary Surprise Anniversary Package, as well as an invitation to the company’s celebratory 40th anniversary event in 2018.
Fully ABTA and ATOL bonded, and winner of many travel awards, Jules Verne’s expert staff organise every detail, ensuring that clients can book in complete confidence. This commitment is further reinforced by Jules Verne’s 100% Price Guarantee; the holiday price is fixed when clients book and will remain so, even if Jules Verne’s costs increase subsequently.
For more information or a copy of Jules Verne’s 40th Anniversary Brochure, call 020 3553 3722. Details of Jules Verne’s anniversary tours and its selection of Worldwide Journeys – escorted tours to all seven continents, including many with No Single Supplement – can be found at www.vjv.com.