Craving the extraordinary in 2024? Buckle up, jet-setters, because we’re about to embark on a whirlwind journey with Kensington Tours’ Vice President of Yachts and Villas Edita Sgovio.
Forget cookie-cutter itineraries and tourist traps. Award-winning global luxury tour operator Kensington Tours specializes in creating unforgettable, tailor-made experiences across seven continents that prioritize all things extraordinary. From swimming with dolphins off the beaches of Costa Rica and yachting through the Greek Islands to popping up next to penguins in Antarctica, the Destination Experts at Kensington Tours are adept at unlocking a world of unparalleled luxury and adventure.
In addition to its top-tier repertoire of global excursions, the company offers a series of ultra-VIP Black Book itineraries that give clients insider access to high-profile events as well as behind-the-scenes experiences not typically open to the public. Think up-close, in-the-pit hangouts with Formula 1 racing teams at the Monaco Grand Prix and access to exclusive parties at Miami’s Art Basel — all paired with transport via private jets, helicopters, yachts and lodging at villas with full concierge service.
Plus, The Agency’s exclusive partnership with Kensington Tours allows our clients to access the company’s exceptional suite of travel experiences across air, land and sea.
Ready to rev up your wanderlust? Read on for Edita’s take on this year’s most exciting destinations — and here’s to making 2024 your most epic travel year yet.
What are a few locations that you are most excited about for travelers in 2024?
In Europe, we’ve seen Greece be very hot over the past two years. When it comes to yachting, it’s an attractive destination because you can access different islands and get a nice mix of clubs, restaurants, beaches as well as local culture and history. Greece gives you so much opportunity and variety.
The next destination we’re seeing a lot of demand for is Croatia. I’m betting on Croatia being a big draw for this summer. It offers the best of both worlds. You’ve got beautiful beaches as well as hidden coasts and remote islands you can only access when you charter a yacht. There’s also a beautiful culture to enjoy on land — amazing landmarks and wineries. The food is a vibrant fusion of Mediterranean and Slavic cuisine. Plus, hospitality and service in Croatia is really five-star.
Islands in the Caribbean
I’m also seeing a trend of travelers wanting to go somewhere where people haven’t been before — venturing off the beaten path. In the Caribbean, there’s more interest in experiencing something more naturally wild and less touristy. Like St. Lucia and the Grenadines, Mustique and Petit Saint Vincent.
We’re also seeing Costa Rica as a new, up-and-coming yacht destination. The boating and water-centric recreation possible in Costa Rica are honestly just magical. You can literally swim with a full school of dolphins right next to your yacht. I think Costa Rica will be a hot destination this year.
Indonesia is a destination we’re seeing a lot more interest in, and it’s one of my personal favorites. Beyond relaxing on a secluded beach or at a tranquil villa, you can explore the smaller islands on a more traditionally styled wooden yacht that is truly off the beaten path. You can see the dragons on Komodo Island, dip into some of the best diving spots in the world, and see humpback whales and whale sharks up close. Indonesia is a place that offers an environment unlike anywhere else in the world.
Any winter destinations you think will be popular in 2024?
In the winter, avid skiers are drawn to Courchevel in southeastern France and Telluride in the U.S. — those are the top spots. But travelers are interested in branching out. In terms of winter experiences, the Dolomites in Northern Italy are gaining traction among high-end travelers. Northern Italy is less impacted by the ski crowds compared to Courchevel and is overall a bit more relaxed. It balances great slopes with that incredible, iconic Italian hospitality and amazing food. Kensington Tours also has some amazing Dolomite ski lodges in our repertoire that I’m very excited about.
Antarctica is also a unique destination clients have been requesting more frequently. You can do Antarctica on a cruise, but my team does the trip a little differently. We have clients fly into Cape Town in South Africa, then we fly them via private jet from Cape Town to Antarctica and they get to stay at a lodge there. The environment there is otherworldly — glaciers and sea ice and penguins and sky. People who have been there say it feels like you’re on another planet. Antarctica is a real bucket list kind of destination.
How do you go above and beyond to offer next-level experiences and service?
For us, the most important part of the trip planning process is getting to know the clients, honing in on what they will enjoy and matching them to an experience that fits them perfectly. We pay attention to the smallest details—from the style of the yacht or villa they book down to the content of the activities and excursions.
This process takes time — it’s not just one phone call, it’s building a relationship. Our job is really rooted in getting to know our clients very deeply to be able to create something memorable. That level of care and customization is a key ingredient to what sets us apart.
Plus, these are not usually one-person trips. They often consist of multi-generational families or a few couples — and we want to hear from everybody! The grandparents might like something that the kids will not, so we customize different aspects of the trip to accommodate different people who are on it. Our method is based on connection and collaboration. We want to ensure everyone on the trip feels included, heard and seen.
Written by Carolyn Meers.