4 March 2020 by Emily Newton-Smith
No-fly holidays are becoming increasingly popular for global travellers. With a growing awareness of the environmental impact of travel, and the desire to minimise stress wherever possible, the concept of going flight-free is certainly appealing to many. If you're planning your next trip, here are five reasons to consider a no-fly vacation.
1. You'll skip the airport queues
We all know how stressful airports can be, from expensive car parking and the need to arrive extra early, to winding security queues. Travel by rail, ship or car, and avoid the airport altogether. With high-speed rail links and ferries to Europe, and cruise ports such as Southampton and Liverpool servicing the UK, there's really no need to fly if you don't want to.
We suggest: Hopping on the train at London Victoria for a once-in-a-lifetime round trip to Venice on the famed Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. You'll enjoy indulgent onboard dining, water-taxi transfers and a luxury stay in a Venetian palace when you get there.
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
2. You'll improve your carbon footprint
In the last few decades, the low-budget airline boom has led to many of us flying everywhere we want to visit – even within the UK. Unfortunately, taking just one return flight generates more CO2 than some people produce over an entire year. Re-thinking holiday plans to be kinder to the environment is something we all need to consider, and there are plenty of greener travel options on offer.
We suggest: Exploring Switzerland by rail, from Zurich to the Alps and beyond. You'll take in the UNESCO-listed Bernina Express railway and the world's slowest express train – the Glacier Express. It's impossibly scenic and bookended by high-speed Eurostar links from London.
The Glacier Express, Switzerland
3. There's plenty to choose from
Even if you're not a fan of rail travel, there are so many options when it comes to no-fly holidays. Perhaps you'll wind your way through the vineyards of Spain on a historic self-drive. Or, circle the Bay of Biscay on a luxury cruise ship, direct from Southampton. Follow the trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie on the Queen's cruise ship, or make the ultimate voyage to the snow-capped mountains and picturesque fjords of Iceland. From the indulgent to the truly adventurous, there's something for everyone.
We suggest: Exploring at your own pace on a scenic self-drive among the lush countryside and iconic cities of Northern Ireland. Highlights include the UNESCO-listed Giant's Causeway, the emerald Glens of Antrim and mighty Belfast.
Giant's Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
4. You'll pay attention to the journey
As many an old saying suggests, travel shouldn't only be about the destination. While flight-free journeys take longer than the alternative, there's something to be said for soaking up the scenery on the way through. You'll see things you would never see from a plane – unique wildlife for example, peaceful rivers, deep valleys or coastal views.
We suggest: Gaining a new appreciation for the beauty of the Scottish Highlands with a luxury rail journey on Belmond's Royal Scotsman. Cross the iconic Forth Railway Bridge, try fishing or clay-pigeon shooting at a country estate, and sample whiskey at one of the world's oldest working distilleries.
Belmond Royal Scotsman
5. You can experience true luxury
Skipping the airport doesn't mean giving up the conveniences and amenities you might expect from your holiday. In fact, the no-fly itineraries our clients love most are particularly luxurious – picture yourself sipping champagne in the bar car on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, or enjoying a multi-course gourmet meal on an all-inclusive cruise ship. It's all infinitely more glamorous than jumping on a plane.
We suggest: Upgrading to a Grand Suite onboard the Venice Simplon Orient-Express (there are a number of no-fly itineraries available via different routes). Aside from the Murano glass detailing, plush silk furnishings and marble accents, each one comes complete with en-suite bathroom and a personal butler.
Vienna Suite, Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
If you're considering a no-fly holiday, browse our suggested itineraries here. Alternatively, call and speak to a specialist on 020 7590 0610, or enquire below.