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I Went on a $75,000 Luxury Air Cruise for 22 Days. Here's a Peek Inside the Over-the-Top Travel Experience Unlike Any I've Had Before. I wanted to do something epic to celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary with my wife.

By Amanda Breen Edited by Jessica Thomas

Key Takeaways

  • Jim Tobin read a Travel + Leisure article about Safrans du Monde's air cruise offering last year.
  • He and his wife took the 22-day Grands Classiques trip; tickets cost $75,000.
  • With no planning required and everything taken care of, the experience was stress-free — and one he'd recommend.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Jim Tobin, a 57-year-old entrepreneur. Tobin is based in Raleigh, North Carolina and has run a social media marketing agency for 17 years.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Jim Tobin. Tobin and his wife in front of the Taj Mahal.

I first learned about Safrans du Monde, the luxury French tour operator and travel agency, from an article in Travel + Leisure that came out last spring. When I first saw that article, I sent it to my wife, sort of along the lines of This is ridiculous, who could do this. This is epic but so over the top. We laughed about it and thought how cool it sounded, then sort of forgot about it. Then, about six months later, I realized our 30th wedding anniversary was coming up, and maybe we should do something big because 30 years is a long time she's been suffering with me, and that article came back to mind.

Related: Wealthy Travelers Are Flocking to a New Luxury Cruise Ship With a Rolex Store, Crystal-Infused Water, and a $190 Tasting Menu. See Inside.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Safrans du Monde

I was drawn to it because it's such an interesting and painless way to cross off so many items on your bucket list at once. The trip we went on was the Grands Classiques, so we saw Machu Picchu, Easter Island, the Taj Mahal and so many other iconic places. At one point a few years ago, we looked into getting to Easter Island, and just getting there is no small feat. And that was just one of the stops that you could do on this 22-day excursion. We had been to Sydney twice before because my brother lived in Australia for 15 years, but otherwise all of the destinations were new. Seeing the Taj Mahal was just so impressive and a little surreal to suddenly be there, particularly when we had been in Cambodia the day before, and witnessing that as the sun rose was incredible. It's something I'll never forget. From a destination standpoint, I was also struck by Bora Bora and just how beautiful it was.

Related: The Young Founder Behind a $100 Million Luxury Travel Business

Image Credit: Courtesy of Safrans du Monde

Tickets for our trip cost $75,000. There were 52 passengers total on our vacation, and there was a French-speaking group and an English-speaking group. Our sort of subgroup was about 15 English-speaking people, and we had our own guide who stayed with us the entire time. She was on the plane from day one until the end and took care of everything — from visas and collecting passports before we went to certain destinations to letting us know what was happening next. We had a local guide for just our group who met us at each destination and stayed with us from the time we arrived until they dropped us back at the airport. The ability to have all of these experiences with no planning on our part and very little thinking about what we needed to do — hotels, transportation, meals — was remarkable and stress-free.

Related: People Sold Their Homes to Board a 'Never-Ending' Cruise Around the World. But the Ship Will Never Set Sail — Here's How the Big Dream Sank.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Safrans du Monde

The plane itself had plenty of room; you have your own seat for the entire 22 days. You have the same flight attendants, the same pilots, the same chef. It was a little inverse of a normal trip where the plane flight could be sort of taxing. Getting to the destination was very relaxing, but you did have to hustle a little bit to see things on the ground. My wife and I joked a little bit that it was like the Amazing Race: One morning, we're looking at the Easter Island statues, and that afternoon, we're landing in Tahiti. But they did have a nice break scheduled in French Polynesia. We were there for four days, and it was much less planned, so we could relax a little bit more. There is a lot packed into that trip in a fairly short period of time, and I was grateful that we did it at a point where we still had the energy and mobility to do things like that.

Related: Going on a Family Vacation? This Popular U.S. Destination Is the Most Expensive in the World.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Safrans du Monde

It's not an inexpensive trip, but when you look at the value provided, it's completely worth it. The logistics of getting to these places are very difficult when you fly on commercial airlines and have to make various connections. So logistically, it was so much easier. It was so much more pleasant not having to think about all of the planning and just be well taken care of the entire time. It made it both more cost-efficient and more enjoyable when you add up all the things you got to see.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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