As well as each member of our team having their own niches geographically (just ask Kendall about Hawaii or Shanna about the USVI to experience a flow of info as strong as the lava that often spews out of Kilauea), we also have the opportunity to join Virtuoso Communities. These are built around niche groups within the travel industry including adventure, cruise, culinary, family and celebration, ultraluxe, and wellness travel. The groups offer us advisors the opportunity to connect with each other as well as preferred partners to build relationships, share experiences, learn about new travel offerings, and become even more engaged with specific types of travel. For 2022, four of us have each picked a Community to join and somehow I'm going to turn this into this weeks Top 5!
Top 5 - J5Travel Communities
Kanise is our cruise person for both oceans and rivers and we were so lucky that she decided to join us from luxury cruise line Silversea. By engaging in the Virtuoso Cruise Community we have access to specific partners exclusive benefits layered on top of the already existing extra amenities. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises would be a prime example. The moment you step onboard any of Uniworld's luxurious, one-of-a-kind floating boutique hotels (see River Empress photos above and below), you’ll experience the care that went into the beautiful design. With outstanding service that comes from the heart, a choice of personalized and exclusive excursions, delicious farm-to-table cuisine, and a choice of inspiring destinations throughout world—every element is included, and is as unique and special as each guest.
With the whole team being very committed foodies, there was hot competition for who was to join the Culinary Community. My suggestion that we had a tiddlywinks tournament to decide was not received well, and somehow Kendall ended up with this tough assignment. This community is the perfect pairing of advisors and partners who have a shared passion for epicurean travel, featuring activities that go beyond traditional dining with well-rounded culinary experiences that are immersive, interactive and educational. From popping bottles in a Champagne cave to foraging through the countryside with an award-winning chef and then cooking with them (above), these Virtuoso hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, on-site tour connections, and destinations take culinary travel way beyond the dinner table.
Yes, Ultraluxe is mine!
What's Ultraluxe? Think: most elevated, one-of-a-kind travel destinations and experiences. This exclusive portfolio includes primarily private travel services - jets, yachts, islands, villas, and more - all with superior exclusivity. Virtuoso has curated partner participants based on strict, by-invitation-only criteria that will fulfill the desires of our most discerning clients. Kokomo Private Island, Fiji (above and below) is just one of over 65 travel suppliers offering us extra benefits and enabling us to customize trips down to the finest personalized details.
Click on either of the photos for a Virtuoso article on Ultraluxe and to view all the amazing supplier possibilities.
Shanna on the team is an absolute natural for the Adventure Community with a passion for the great outdoors. This Community brings together advisors & partners with a shared love of adventure and active travel experiences, including those focused on nature, exploration of unique cultures, and physical activities. With 73 preferred suppliers in this category, there is no lack of Adventure options the world over.
Take Rapa Nui for example (above and below). Rapa Nui (Easter Island) is a tiny island stranded in the infinite Pacific Ocean, yet it’s safe to say that never has a single place puzzled the world as much as this one. A miniscule triangle born from the eruption of three volcanoes, the outmost border of the Polynesian triangle sits 2,180 miles off the South American continent and is surrounded by the clearest waters on the planet – the very definition of ‘remote’ and yes, adventure. Explora Rapa Nui is the partner here, a luxury lodge with adventure activities available nowhere else on the planet.
We did not quite have the bandwidth to also join the Sustainability Community this year, but with plans to expand the team further in 2022, believe me, this is very important to everyone here. Virtuoso’s vision for sustainability in the travel and tourism industry has three pillars:
- celebrate culture
- support local economies (above)
- protect the environment (below)
We support this wholeheartedly and there has been a huge shift in thinking within the industry especially in the last 2 years to make this the norm rather than the exception. Sustainability is the biggest trend in the industry currently and we hope that doesn't change any time soon.
Over 350 Virtuoso travel suppliers have signed up for this program, with a targeted and genuine commitment to make all our travel more sustainable. Please let us know if sustainability is important to your travels, and in the future you will likely hear us try to influence you with more planet-conscious trip ideas.
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I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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