The Telegraph
| Sunday, March 24, 2013 |


Here 'n' There

Published on Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:58:32 IST

Grand getaways

You've been there and done that. Hobnobbed with Maoris and dived with the sharks. And now you're looking for something new and out of the ordinary - yet again. Well, fret not. There are loads of offbeat - and exclusive as exclusive can be - adventures awaiting you. All you have to do is to sign up.

So how about a romantic world tour in a private jet or would you rather explore the Arctic islands on a super-luxury liner? But if you want something completely out of this world then take your family on an adventure that will give them a taste of space! You can hop on to a special aircraft and take them on a flight in which they can experience space-like weightless for a few minutes.

Oh! But just ensure that your pockets are fairly deep for these adventures. Read right on...

  • Stephen Boxall -

The ZERO-G Weightless Experience ™

Do you want to flip, float and soar as if you're in space? Sign up for the world's only commercial flight that will let you achieve a degree of weightlessness without actually going into space.

US-based space adventure and tourism company, Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G), is offering the ZERO-G Weightless Experience ™ from New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles and Florida on fixed dates between April and June.

You'll be taken into a specially modified Boeing 727, which will be flown by trained pilots. They'll perform aerobatic maneuvers at 34,000ft to create weightlessness inside the aircraft. Of the five-hour adventure, you will experience around seven-minutes of reduced gravity.

Starting from $4,950 (approx. Rs 2.6 lakh) per person, the experience includes pre-flight orientation, the in-flight suit, video recording of your experience, certificate of weightlessness, breakfast and post-flight refreshments. Everything else will cost extra.

The nearest dates are April 6 from New York and April 13 from San Francisco, and you can hop onto the flights provided you already hold a US visa. Return airfares to New York ex-Calcutta are around Rs 76,500 and to San Francisco around Rs 1.34 lakh. Visit .

Around the world in a private jet

Going around the world is on your bucket list, right? US-based travel company, Smithsonian Journeys (a wing of the historic Smithsonian museums) has an Around the World by Private Jet tour going. The 23-day tour aboard a luxury 78-seater Boeing 757 will begin and end in Orlando, Florida, and will take you through tourist hotspots in Peru, Chile, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Tanzania, Egypt, and Morocco.

You'll also visit 12 world heritage sites that include Easter Island in South Pacific, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Great Pyramid of Giza and more.

Starting at $67,950 (around Rs 37 lakh) per person on double occupancy basis, the guided tour includes luxury accommodation, meals, air and surface transfers, sightseeing as per itinerary, insurance and more. The trip begins on October 29 this year but book your seats now as visa and other formalities will take a fair bit of time. Ex-Calcutta return airfares to Orlando start at Rs 64,500 approximately. Visit .

Three Arctic islands tour

If the idea of a polar adventure gives you an adrenaline rush, pack your bags for what could be the most exciting 14 days of your life. Travel group TUI India is offering the Three Arctic Islands tour cruise to Iceland, Greenland and Spitsbergen on a voyage spanning 13 nights and 14 days aboard a luxury ship. The tour will start from Spitsbergen Island, Norway, and end in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Steer through glaciers and icebergs to spot walruses, polar bears, reindeers, puffins and more. Visit the ancient remains of the Thule (local whaling tribe) settlements in Greenland and take a tour around the volcanic town of Heimaey in Iceland. That's not all - bird watching and whale watching from the deck while you down icy cocktails will add to the fun.

Starting from $6,995 (around Rs 3.8 lakh) per person, the tour begins on August 3 this year and includes accommodation on the ship, meals, sightseeing and more. Return airfares from Calcutta to Oslo start from around Rs 33,000 and Reykjavik to Calcutta at around Rs 57,100. Go to .