Outrageous proposals and superyachts: How the wealthy journey for love



While you’re a finance tycoon, oil baron or inheritor to the household fortune, the usual romantic gesture gained’t do. The ultrarich require ultra-opulent tokens of affection.

Enter the ultraluxury romantic trip.

These lavish adventures rejoice love and lust at obscene prices, akin to million-dollar proposals and six-figure anniversary journeys.

The formulation is commonly easy: Take a universally beloved journey expertise (a visit to Rome, an African safari, a sundown cruise) and inject it with tons of of hundreds of {dollars} to get a model match for the 1 p.c (the Vatican to your self, a non-public island off Madagascar, a superyacht for 2).

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“It’s this mixture of entry to the inaccessible and luxurious at its best,” mentioned Barnabas Carrega, co-founder and CEO for GR8 Group, a “international expertise company” that caters to mega-wealthy clientele.

Simply how inaccessible and splendid? Properly, for starters, Carrega’s firm not too long ago shut down the Palace of Versailles to rearrange a non-public dinner for a pair celebrating their 10-year anniversary. That’s only the start. In honor of Valentine’s Day, right here’s a style of how the world’s richest folks journey within the title of affection.

A yellow diamond in a clam shell off Madagascar

For the son of one in all her wealthiest purchasers, Julia Carter, founding father of Craft Journey, pulled out all of the stops to coordinate an over-the-top proposal to his longtime girlfriend on their journey to Africa. They began with an ultra-luxe safari in Botswana, then flew non-public to Madagascar (just below $100,000 spherical journey) the place they caught a helicopter ($3,200 spherical journey) to Miavana, a non-public island dwelling to about 100 species of lemurs the place villas run $7,000 per evening for 2 company.

Carter organized a diving tour for the scuba-enthusiast couple, after which they returned to their non-public boat. There, the shopper requested his girlfriend to open a clam he’d “discovered” throughout their swim. Inside was a Graff yellow diamond ring. The girlfriend mentioned sure, and the couple toasted the event with classic Ruinart Champagne bottled the yr the bride-to-be was born. They’re now contemplating renting out the complete Miavana property for his or her marriage ceremony, which might value about $100,000 an evening.

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A customized play carried out on a non-public jet

When you’ll be able to afford to purchase something on the planet, subsequent comes “the will for one thing that isn’t out there on the mass market,” mentioned Matteo Atti, chief advertising and marketing officer for the non-public jet firm VistaJet and a luxurious enterprise growth professor on the Worldwide College of Monaco. “It’s showcasing love by showcasing how a lot effort you set into making issues occur,” he continued, “not nearly shopping for one thing off the shelf.”

One such demonstration of this ethos was the shopper who requested a customized play to be written for his spouse — and carried out onboard their non-public jet. “His spouse loves theater, and he mentioned, ‘I’ll fee a bit,’” Atti mentioned. “We discovered a bunch that may carry out in small areas, … they usually designed and created a bit only for her that solely the 2 of them ever noticed.”

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$25,000 value of fireworks for a superyacht birthday

One romantic journey stands out probably the most for Carl Sputh, ​a constitution dealer for Northrop & Johnson and former yacht captain (suppose the “Triangle of Disappointment” sort) who has 30 years within the yacht trade. Whereas captain of the Starfire, a 178-foot superyacht, Sputh helped a shopper prepare a fiftieth birthday shock for his spouse throughout their journey across the Los Roques archipelago off Venezuela. “After I say it was in the midst of nowhere, I imply actually in the midst of nowhere,” Sputh recalled.

The crew covertly put collectively a dinner on the seashore of a non-public island, bringing in fireworks and a pyrotechnician by seaplane, transporting furnishings, meals and decorations to the seashore by barge at evening. They pulled off the shock, which included 25 minutes value of fireworks (about $1,000 a minute). Between the $280,000 for every week on the yacht, $75,000 for the seashore dinner, plus $80,000 for normal bills, the birthday journey totaled close to a half one million {dollars}.

Proposing midair throughout a skydive over Mount Everest

Why get down on one knee when you’ll be able to suggest whereas skydiving greater than 5,000 toes over Mount Everest? For roughly $80,000, the posh Asia journey firm Distant Lands organized one such proposal, adopted by a Champagne breakfast at 13,000 toes.

“It’s the best mountain on the earth. There’s nothing extra superb,” mentioned Catherine Heald, the corporate’s co-founder and CEO. Along with the death-defying soar, the American couple — already seasoned skydivers, thank God — additionally spent three days trekking in Nepal, and time at one in all Kathmandu’s most luxurious motels, Dwarika’s.

An elopement within the Serengeti

With a limitless finances and every week to plan, Hillel Spinner, luxurious journey adviser at Embark Past, was tasked with discovering a “distinctive and romantic” vacation spot for an ultra-high-net-worth shopper to elope. They selected Tanzania, renting out a number of One Nature Nyaruswiga luxurious safari lodges within the coronary heart of the Serengeti for the couple and their two younger youngsters.

They employed a neighborhood Maasai chief to officiate the ceremony and 20 Maasai dancers to carry out after. The youngsters have been then flown dwelling, and the newlyweds continued to Santorini, Greece, for every week, the place they fell in love. Spinner says the couple was thrilled with the journey, which totaled properly over six figures.

Truffle looking in Tuscany for a buried engagement ring

Because the co-founder of Roman & Erica, a “way of life administration firm” for the ultrawealthy (annual membership dues begin at $100,000), Erica Jackowitz is used to catering to a shopper’s each whim. Lately, she was given carte blanche to plan a proposal for a shopper throughout his upcoming journey to Italy.

She booked them a three-day, roughly $50,000 journey to Florence with a keep at a set on the 4 Seasons Lodge Firenze. Jackowitz labored with a staff of stylists to plan outfits that matched every second of the itinerary. The journey culminated with a helicopter experience to Val d’Orcia in southern Tuscany the place the couple went truffle looking at a non-public property within the city of San Giovanni. The day journey was sophisticated: Permits to land within the valley, a UNESCO World Heritage web site, have been “outrageously costly,” plus Jackowitz organized for the ring to be buried and found by a truffle-hunting canine. The shopper mentioned sure.

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A ten-year anniversary (and proposal) expedition to Antarctica

To meet a bucket-list dream for the girlfriend of a shopper, Scott Dunn journey curator Rachael Mendizabal organized a visit to South America and Antarctica. The journey — which value between $250,000 and $300,000 — started within the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, the place they hiked, cycled, wine-tasted and even stargazed with a famend astronomer.

The journey continued with a flight to Antarctica’s King George Island, the place they boarded a luxurious expedition yacht outfitted with its personal helicopter and submarine. They explored with the late mountaineer and writer Edward Webster. On the couple’s 10-year anniversary, they helicoptered to the emperor penguin colony on Snow Hill Island, then to a tubular iceberg the place the shopper lastly proposed. She mentioned sure, they usually toasted with a bottle of classic Champagne from the yr they met.

The Louvre to themselves for a proposal

After years of his girlfriend dropping hints that Paris was her favourite metropolis, a shopper got here to Adrijana Primary at Kensington Excursions to assist him plan a proposal journey. As a result of the girlfriend was an artist, Primary privatized the Louvre for the event. Securing the museum requires a “donation” of not less than 30,000 euros.

Following the Parisian portion of the journey, the couple flew by non-public jet to the French Riviera to remain on the Lodge du Cap-Eden-Roc’s Villa Eleana, which prices about $14,000 per evening. The journey ended with a cruise across the Côte d’Azur aboard the Lionshare, a 130-foot luxurious yacht.

A virtually $1 million ‘White Lotus’ journey for a double anniversary

For a pair of {couples} each celebrating their anniversaries, GR8 Group not too long ago organized a three-week journey by way of Sardinia, Greece and Sicily on a 180-foot megayacht. Whereas the tour got here with an almost $1 million price ticket, it blended a mixture of high-end and native experiences.

For instance, they shut down Sicily’s historical Greek Theatre of Taormina so the {couples} may have a non-public dinner and opera efficiency. One other day, they discovered to make bread with a household who’s been in enterprise for greater than 100 years.

“As a result of on the finish,” Carrega mentioned, “we don’t need somebody to stroll away and say, ‘Oh, I spent a bunch of cash for all these luxurious providers, however was it actually enriching for me?’”


A earlier model of this text incorrectly acknowledged photographer Paul Nicklen joined a pair on a visit to Antarctica. Scott Dunn, the journey planner, included Nicklen in a possible itinerary, however he was not on the journey. The article has been up to date.