The Great Wall of China is usually packed shoulder-to-shoulder with visitors, but on this afternoon, the view of the ancient fortification was unobstructed.
Mary Jean Tully and her staff were hosting a private luncheon for passengers on a 2016 world cruise from Tully Luxury Travel. The massive wall, which crosses the country’s northeast for thousands of kilometres, sees more than 10 million visitors a year, according to Travel and Leisure.
“The best part was that we were the only ones there. As far as my eye could see, it was only our group for miles and miles. I’ve been to the Great Wall four times but nothing compares to this spectacular experience,” Mary Jean Tully said in a statement sent to Yahoo Canada Finance.
This is one of the perks afforded to passengers on Crystal Cruises’ world cruise, which is offered through Tully Luxury Travel. The travel agency also offers other similar voyages around world through Holland America Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Cunard Cruises and Princess Cruises.
Besides the private meal on the Great Wall, Tully Luxury Travel cruises also offer other exotic stops, including a private tour of Ayers Rock in Australia or Angkor Watt in Cambodia, a hot-air balloon ride above Cappadocia, or cocktails by the Taj Mahal.
Experience doesn't come cheap
While passengers onboard Tully Travel’s cruises may be soaking up the sunshine and enjoying a life of luxury, it is their wallets that will feel the burn.
Passage in Crystal Cruises’ highest category next year, on its 94-day world cruise costs about US$200,000 per person. Other categories range from $32,000 to $200,000.
That hefty pricetag includes airfare, luggage shipping and private transfers, as well as luxury perks like onboard spending credits, gala events, and gifts of fine wines and spirits.
Passage on the more affordable Princess Cruises starts at $23,000 per person for inside-cabin accommodations.
The capacity of the ships varies, hundreds of passengers to nearly 2,000.
When asked why travelers should opt for a world cruise instead flying to destinations, Tully Travel said its voyages save them time, money, as well the stresses of packing and unpacking.
So if you have deep pockets, you too could start checking off that 'Wonders of the World' checklist.