Luxury adventure travel company Cookson Adventures has launched a series of private, ‘door-to-door’ escapes to remote locations that minimise the chance of travellers catching Covid-19 abroad. Erica Jamieson reports
Earlier this month, Cookson organised its first post-lockdown “isolation vacation” (a term Globetrender coined in its latest report on Travel in the Age of Covid-19) to Iceland, with guests flying in by private jet charter for an eight-day escape, landing at a quiet airport near their private lodge.
The company’s new “door-to-door” trips guarantee to minimise the chance of catching coronavirus either en route or on the ground, with staff involved undergoing Covid-19 testing and the use of helicopters, for example, to get around.
Cookson says that the Iceland trip took three weeks to design because of the heightened security measures involved. Activities included laser tag, surfing, white water rafting, ATV rides along black-sand beaches, ice caving, snorkelling alongside humpback whales and al fresco dining.Iceland opened to tourists from all EU and Schengen countries, including the UK, in mid-June, with the option of getting tested for coronavirus upon arrival, instead of a mandatory 14-day quarantine. From July 1, passengers will pay £90 (ISK 15,000) for a single test.
Here are six more door-to-door escapes from Cookson Adventures…
1. Laucala, Private Fijian Island
Visitors to Laucala, a private Fijian island ringed with coral reefs, will be able to take part in jungle hikes, horseback riding, scuba diving, as well as afternoons on an 18-hole golf course. The island’s marina houses 14 boats, and each private residence comes with a buggy and torch-lit infinity pool. Guests can choose from 25 thatched villas either set on the beach, nestled in the cliffs, or atop Nawi mountain. Customs and immigration clearance can be arranged on the island’s private airstrip.
2. Bespoke Antarctic Camp
Antarctica is the only continent on Earth to have no cases of Covid-19. Cookson can arrange stays at a bespoke Antarctic camp that offers a combination of polar exploration with luxury accommodation, including six-course tasting menus, fire-lit lounges and fully upholstered beds.
Inspired by founder Henry’s Cookson’s own expedition to the Pole of Inaccessibility, visitors can take part in ice climbing, wildlife spotting, snowmobile adventures and more. The camp is also home to Antarctica’s only private runway, and visitors can charter a Basler ski plane to the South Pole.
3. Torres del Paine, Patagonia
Declared a historic monument in 1996, the Singular hotel (pictured top) is housed in the century-old Bories cold warehouse, and has a museum dedicated to the site’s legacy. Floor-to-ceiling windows in every room overlook the region’s dramatic mountains, rivers and glaciers. The neighbouring airport and helipad connect visitors with Torres del Paine National Park, a popular site of natural beauty for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and kayaking.
4. Nukutepipi island, Polynesia
Located 6,000km from the nearest land mass, Nukutepipi atoll is available for exclusive hire for groups of up to 50, and features a cinema, observatory, hammam and Nordic bath spa, basketball and tennis courts, and a fitness and yoga studio. Surrounded by deep blue waters, the watersports center provides access to underwater exploration, a trend highlighted in Globetrender’s Future of Luxury Travel Forecast.
5. Exclusive Spanish Estate
With a private runway suitable for long-range aircraft, Cookson Adventures’ exclusive Spanish estate is easily accessible to visitors from Europe, America, and further afield. On the property, 15 classically decorated rooms open onto 6,000 acres of Spanish countryside. Guests can explore the region by horseback, mountain bike and four-wheel drive, or relax in the infinity pool.
Crucially, the estate has its own private runway, suitable for long-rage aircraft. It’s both convenient for North America and within a few hours door-to-door of most European cities.
6. Sail the Scottish Highlands and Islands
Guests can take part in bespoke “jet-to-yacht” tours around the Scottish Highlands, where visitors can sail between the Hebridean Islands, sample whisky from some of the oldest distilleries, or jump in a helicopter to visit historic castles and golf courses. Yachts can be arranged to meet guests at any of Scotland’s coastal airports.
Founded in 2009, Cookson Adventure trips are carbon neutral. The company commits to leaving destinations as they were found and engages in projects to restore human impact on natural environments.
“What fuels this business is an eagerness to explore all the beauty and extraordinary wonders of this planet, and the creatures that inhabit it. We want to create an environmental benefit because nature is at the heart of this company,” explains Henry Cookson.
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