This year, a Chinese student and an Italian businessman will both part ways with £1 million to embark on a two-year package holiday visiting more than 150 countries. The trip – billed as the ‘world’s most expensive holiday’ – was launched last year by VeryFirstTo.com, a website specialising in bespoke experiences. Unfortunately the holiday is no longer on offer but here are some alternative million dollar outings, should that cash be burning a hole.
1. The Million Pound Stag-Do
If you’re looking to go all out before tying the knot, this exclusive stag party is the way to go. The once in a lifetime celebration includes travel in private jets and first class flights to several of the world’s most decadent destinations, as well as a trip on a multi-million dollar superyacht. The worldwide jaunt will whisk ten lucky friends from Scotland to Las Vegas, Miami, Barcelona and the Caribbean, and includes a stay in a 16th-century castle as well as a lavish private island.
With staff on hand through every moment, stags will enjoy racecar driving in Monaco, diving with sharks in the Caribbean, courtside NBA tickets and a private box for the Spanish soccer. Should they be feeling a little lacklustre upon return to the UK, they’ll be treated to the world’s most expensive burger before being dropped back to the Mrs-to-be in a limousine.
2. Space Tours
Though only the Russian Space Agency has been able to provide tours to date, trips to outer space have become the pinnacle of exclusive travel, with only seven people in the world currently holding the title of “space-tourist.”
Space Adventures offers a range of spaceflight experiences including voyages to the International Space Station and even trips to the moon. Adventurers travel aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and while it’s not for the faint hearted, it’s definitely the adventure of a lifetime. Though missions have been on hold since 2010, they will resume this year, with the next Space Station visitor set to be international recording artist, Sarah Brightman.
Space Adventures packages range from US $20 million to $52 million.
3. Journey to Nature’s Edge
Hailed as ‘the $1m philanthropic journey,’ this exclusive voyage takes wildlife enthusiasts in search of nature’s most endangered species, whilst contributing to their survival. Spanning 18 species and 12 locations, the itinerary is a three-month quest with no expense spared. Travellers are provided with the ultimate luxury accommodations, while transport includes high-end transfers and multiple helicopter trips.
Expect to take in the sights of Antarctica, Canada, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil, the Galapagos, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Rwanda and Tanzania, where you can gaze upon rhinos, lemur, bears, sea turtles, big cats and endangered birdlife, to name but a few.
4. Spend a week on Calivigny Island
Without a doubt one of the ultimate private island getaways, Calivigny lies just a short boat trip off the coast of Grenada. Spread over 80 lush acres with two sandy beaches and sweeping views of the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans, this ultra exclusive isle, at US$140,000 per night, is more than twice the price of Richard Branson’s Necker Island.
As well as five luxury villas that can house up to 50 guests, the island comes equipped with a hair and beauty salon, a fully staffed gourmet kitchen, a gym and even a boathouse containing its own submarine. Designed by Oscar de la Renta and Richard Frinier, almost every inch of the majestic residence is decked out with marble flooring, vaulted Balinese-style ceilings, Persian tapestries, leather couches and elaborate furnishings.
5. Charter The Serene
A favourite toy of the world’s richest man Bill Gates, the vessel is owned by Stolichnya vodka entrepreneur Yuri Scheffler, and is currently the third most expensive yacht in the world. This mega-ship includes two fully equipped gyms, a duo of helicopter landing pads, multiple swimming pools and its own beach club. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are cinemas, bars both in and out of the water, sundecks, hot and cold Jacuzzis, children’s play areas, an underwater viewing room and an indoor climbing wall, so you can rest assured that boredom is not an option. With a ratio of 52 staff to 24 guests, it seems likely you’ll barely need to lift a finger.
Bill Gates reportedly paid around US$5m a week for the vessel, though you can knock a few million off the price tag if you want to take her out in low-season.