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Hinsdale Living Magazine Feature

Cruise Control

Americans have a love affair with traveling. But it can be challenging to decide where to go, how much to invest, and how to personalize your experience. With the precious little time we have to escape everyday life, we want to have the most memorable and enjoyable experience when traveling. That’s why working with the experts at Kelly Cruises & Tours is the choice of smart travelers.

It’s no coincidence that Kelly Cruises opened its doors on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1987. “With the last name of ‘Kelly,’ a little Irish luck never hurt,” laughs Susan Kelly, owner of Kelly Cruises & Tours. “My mom, Nancy, started the company and we are proud to be a second-generation family-owned business.”

Over the past 30 years, Kelly Cruises has evolved to include “& Tours” in their title as they have expanded their specialties beyond cruises to land tours and much more. “We’ve grown to be recognized as a leader in the luxury travel industry,” says Kelly. “Whether you are looking for a custom itinerary to Ireland, a romantic anniversary cruise through Tahiti, or a bucket list adventure to Galapagos, we have a specialist on staff to help you.”

Travel is ever changing and evolving. “What’s trending today in travel is customization and personalization,” says Kelly. “Clients want more than an off-the-shelf product, they want a unique experience. Whether it’s biking to a small winery while on a river cruise, or a sunrise balloon adventure over the Serengeti, there isn’t much we can’t do. With our partners throughout the world, we create amazing memories and still offer value for the clients.”

Perks include exclusive amenities with partner cruise lines such as Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, and more than 900 of the finest luxury hotel and resort properties throughout the world. “Private car and driver touring, onboard credits, and room upgrades are examples of the value we add,” stated Kelly.

Several times a year, Kelly Cruises & Tours hosts exclusive travel events to educate and inspire those looking for their first adventure as well as those with a well-worn passport. “We want our clients to be current on the newest developments with our cruise and tour partners. It also allows us to connect with our clients, many of whom are now second and third generation travelers with us. They are just really fun events,” says Kelly.

Those events have inspired a growing number of hosted adventures by Kelly. These like-minded travelers enjoy special events and private touring within a small group. Destinations include Africa, Asia, Alaska, and throughout Europe. “It has really grown and expanded,” says Kelly.“It’s just a really wonderful way for clients to freely explore yet enjoy the comfort of a small group.”

Whether you wish to travel by land or sea, Kelly Cruises & Tours is happy to accommodate. “Our travel specialists provide value, access, and expertise. In this day and age, vacations are a precious commodity. Our goal is to make sure that clients aren’t just satisfied, but that they are thrilled, and have created memories to last a lifetime,” says Kelly. “People have a yearning to travel, to cross things off their ‘bucket list,’ they want to experience all the world has to offer and we are proud to help them do that.”

November 15, 2016 / by / in ,
South Africa “Trip of a Lifetime” February 2017

Kelly Cruises & Tours ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Safari Option

14 Feb 2017 to 25 Feb 2017 11-night land safari including….

  • 3-night stay in Cape Town with sightseeing
  • 4-nights at Londolozi Safari Camp near Kruger National Park 
  • 1-night in Johannesburg with visit to the Apartheid Museum
  • 3-nights at Phinda Safari Camp
  • Escorted by Connie & Jock Dix from Kelly Cruises & Tours, in Cape Town and at Phinda Safari Camp

Tuesday, 14 Feb 2017

Welcome to Cape Town! A Micato Safaris representative will greet you on arrival and escort you to your hotel. Your home here will be the Cape Grace Hotel, situated on the West Quay of Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront with Table Mountain as its majestic backdrop.

This elegant luxury hotel’s architecture reflects the strong French historical influence on the Cape. Furniture of the finest design and quality grace the public and private rooms. Each room has lounge areas, walk-in dressing rooms, bathrooms with separate showers and double vanities, so as to cater for the privacy and individuality of its guests. All rooms have French doors opening to exquisite views of Table Mountain, the yacht basin, or the working harbour. Other hotel facilities include a contemporary and private restaurant. Just beyond the doors of the hotel, the V&A Waterfront provides a choice of international cuisine, a range of boutiques, arts and crafts centres, and the aquarium.

Sheltered beneath the familiar shape of Table Mountain, Cape Town is the birthplace of modern South Africa as well as a historic port with a vital role in overseas trade between Europe and the East. Perhaps the most picturesque city in all of Africa, the city presides over a coastline of stunning grandeur, mountains rising above the seashore, and romantic, outlying vineyards whose proprietors have been practicing the art of winemaking since the 18th century.

Cape Town is home to the best of everything – museums, restaurants, hotels, and natural beauty. The recent addition of a convention centre, film studios, a theatre, and a number of new business establishments are evidence of the tremendous expansion the city has undergone in the last few years. And thankfully, such progress hasn’t tarnished Cape Town’s old world appeal.

Overnight at Cape Grace Hotel.

Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017

After breakfast, depart on a full day tour of the captivating Cape Peninsula. We drive to Cape Point—the southern extremity of the Peninsula—affording us views unrivalled anywhere in the world. The reserve has a variety of wildlife including baboons, grysbok, rhebok and the hard-to-spot eland. For birdwatchers, there are many fine species to observe, and the coastline itself offers drama worthy of being called “Nature’s Greatest Show”. The reserve comprises over 17,300 acres of indigenous fauna and flora.

After exploring these environs, we ascend by funicular to the topmost viewpoint and the Lighthouse, enjoying the spectacular vistas offered by what is perhaps South Africa’s most scenic park. See the Atlantic and Indian Oceans crashing together at this landmark lookout – breathtaking! Some say the ghosts from centuries of shipwrecks actually inhabit these shores. And, even though you’ll feel as if you’re at the tip of Africa, that mark of distinction actually belongs to Cape Agulhas, about 100 miles to the southeast. Be sure to bring your camera and a jacket for this jaunt, as both the views and the winds here are tremendous.

Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 (continued)

After lunch continue to the Boulders Penguin Colony, part of the Cape Peninsula National Park. Almost 3,000 African (jackass) penguins, so called because their call resembles the bray of a donkey, reign supreme amidst rounded rocks and fish-filled False Bay. These endangered, flightless birds are free to roam the seas and return to their private haven – Foxy Beach at Boulders. Although set in the midst of residential area, it is one of the few sites where this fascinating bird (Spheniscus demersus) can be observed at close range, wandering freely in a protected natural environment. Newly constructed boardwalks take visitors to within a few metres of the penguins.

Next it’s off to historic Simonstown with its unique Victorian architecture. In addition to its charming buildings, Simonstown has Jubilee Square, a dockside plaza that serves as the town center, and the newly-built Simonstown Waterfront Centre with a crop of modern shops and restaurants.

Overnight at Cape Grace Hotel.

 

Thursday, 16 Feb 2017

Prepare yourself for some of the most beautiful – and bountiful – countryside anywhere in the world as you depart for a day of wine tasting and estate touring through the Cape Winelands, just a 45 minute drive from Cape Town. The key ingredient for enjoyment here is to go at your own pace as you explore vast vineyards and grand manor houses, with a gourmet lunch at one of the vineyards. You will also tour the charming village of Stellenbosch with its Cape Dutch, Georgian, and Victorian architecture that have remained seemingly untouched for hundreds of years.

After a tour of Stellenbosch, drive further in to the Cape Winelands to another village, Franschhoek. Spectacular vineyards cover the mountain slopes settled 300 years ago by the Huguenots, who brought the French wine and food culture with them. Most of the farms bear their original French names. Enjoy another session of wine tasting.

Your return drive through the graceful surroundings of the Winelands, with its valleys and mountains peppered with gabled buildings, brings you straight back to your well-appointed waterfront hotel in Cape Town.

Overnight at Cape Grace Hotel.

Friday, 17 Feb 2017

The morning you will be transferred from the Cape Grace Hotel to the Cape Town Airport to meet your scheduled flight:

South Africa Airways #8663 from Cape Town CPT to Mpumalanga Airport MQP 10:00am-12:35pm

Upon arrival at Mpumalanga, you will be transferred to the Londolozi Airstrip where a Federal Air chartered plane will take you to the Londolozi Varty Camp, located in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve near Kruger National Park.

Friday, 17 Feb 2017 (continued)

The Sabi Sands is South Africa’s premier private game viewing destination. It was here that the southern African safari began and today this famous reserve offers exceptional game viewing and equally exceptional accommodations. Two perennial rivers, the Sabi and the Sand flow through this Game Park, sustaining the diverse fauna and flora of the area.

The success of leopard viewing within the Sabi Sands is legendary. Elephants, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species can be closely observed in their natural environment.


Situated in the heart of the world renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Varty Camp’s campfire has burned for over 86 years making it the symbolic heart and soul of Londolozi. This beautifully appointed camp has eight chalets and two superior chalets with décor that echoes the tones of the owners’ private homes and their continuing love affair with the earth. You will enjoy your private swimming pool framed by timber decks that overlook the riverine bush. Your living space is raised off the ground and shaded under a cathedral of trees. With a pleasingly down-to-earth quality, the camp has great emphasis on family heritage meaning that children are always welcome here. We also have a boutique, fitness room, original Sparta Camp and massage treatment room on site.

Overnight in a chalet at Londolozi Varty Camp, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, including all meals, local beverages, house wines and sparkling wines, Londolozi activities, transfers to and from the Londolozi airstrip, laundry and wi-fi access where applicable.

Saturday, 18 Feb, Sunday, 19 Feb and Monday, 20 Feb 2017

Did you know?

* Londolozi means “protector of all living things” in Zulu which epitomises our ambitious conservation ethic. We are internationally recognised for our far-sighted and progressive management of land and wildlife rehabilitation as well as productive community involvement.

* We are completely stand-alone and family-run and have 86 years of family history here.

* Londolozi is considered to have the best leopard viewing in the world.

* We have exclusive traversing rights in this concession and therefore a very low density of vehicles.

* Londolozi offers specialised photographic safaris in a fully equipped photographic Land Rover.

Saturday, 18 Feb, Sunday, 19 Feb and Monday, 20 Feb 2017 (continued)

With over 16 000 hectares of traversing wilderness, no two game drives are ever the same. Trackers sit up at the front of the Land Rover looking for fresh animal tracks, while rangers drive with astonishing skill through ravines and thickets in pursuit of elusive animals, all the while wowing guests with their outstanding knowledge and unforgettable stories.

Many of the rangers and trackers at Londolozi grew up living off the land and therefore have an incredible knowledge of the area and deep cultural connections to the fauna and flora. In addition Londolozi’s rangers specialise in photographic safaris and, where possible, will position the vehicle for the guest to get the best angle for photographic purposes.

Overnight in a chalet at Londolozi Varty Camp, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve

Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017

After breakfast, you will be driven to the Londolozi Airstrip to board your Federal Air chartered flight operating directly to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport. Upon arrival in Johannesburg, you will be transferred to your hotel, the Saxon Boutique Hotel.

The Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa

The Saxon Boutique Hotel, Villas and Spa prides itself on being the world’s leading boutique hotel, located in the tranquil and secure suburb of Sandhurst with its tree-lined avenues. As a guest, let the Saxon treat you to personalized, discreet service and unparalleled South African hospitality. The Saxon’s contemporary African interior is light, airy and spacious, leaving a lasting impression of stately elegance interspersed with novel Eastern influences and African artifacts. Originally designed in 1990 as a private residence for Douw Steyn, a leading captain of commerce, the Saxon is a quiet retreat from the outside world that offers panoramic views over the indigenous gardens towards the city skyline beyond our ten acre gardens.

Did you know?

* Nelson Mandela chose these serene surroundings to edit his best-selling autobiography, A Long Walk to Freedom.

* Many discerning travelers, including royalty, statesmen and Nobel prize-winners have returned time and again to experience the Saxon’s world renowned qualities.

* Three tastefully decorated Villas nestling in the lush gardens are ideal for families. Each has its own private terrace and heated plunge pool and two also have a private spa suite.

* Our Leading Spa and Studio offers a variety of Signature Treatments as well as complimentary use of the hydro facilities.

* Fine dining, prepared by our international chef, is usually paired with wines from our private collection by our world class Sommeliers.

Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 (continued)

Private Half Day Apartheid Museum

This tour provides a great opportunity to take a closer look at South Africa’s turbulent past with a visit to the Apartheid Museum. Regarded as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th-century South Africa, at the heart of which is the story of apartheid, the Museum opened its doors in 2001. Here you will embark on a historical voyage of discovery, a personal exploration of the past that examines apartheid right up to the first democratic elections held in 1994. The tour of the museum lasts approximately two hours.

Overnight in a luxury suite at the Saxon Boutique Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa including breakfast, complimentary full mini bar and snacks, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi , complimentary in room entertainment, use of Spa hydro facilities, 24 hour butler service & Sparkling Wine on arrival

Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017

Private transfer provided from the Saxon Boutique Hotel to O.R. Tambo International Airport to board your chartered flight to Phinda. Check in at Phinda Mountain Lodge and enjoy lunch and some time to settle in before you venture out on an afternoon game drive.

Each of the private suites at Phinda Mountain Lodge is air-conditioned and features spacious en suite bathrooms, sitting areas and spectacular viewing decks with wrap-around views. Each suite also has a private plunge pool where one can cool off during the heat of the day.

At Phinda, you will find seven distinct habitats sheltering an abundance of wildlife, including Africa’s Big Five and over 380 bird species. Listen to the African Fish Eagle’s call as it swoops above the river, the magical sounds of African Nightjar and White-faced “whistling” Ducks and the raucous noise of Hadeda Birds flying overhead. In the soft light of dawn or dusk there is ample opportunity to photograph these birds at close quarters around their roosting sites.

Overnight in a suite at Phinda Mountain Lodge including all meals, game drives and transportation.

Phinda Mountain Lodge, South Africa

Thursday, 23 Feb and Friday, 24 Feb 2017

Phinda Private Game Reserve is situated in the lush Maputaland region in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and comprises 43,240 acres of prime conservation land.

Phinda is home to an incredible diversity of mammals. Predators like cheetah, leopard and lion are tracked on a daily basis and visitors stand extremely good chances of seeing them. The territorial white rhino favor waterholes and wallows. Herds of elephant and buffalo move throughout the reserve and are easily spotted. Impressive nyala antelope feed alongside impala and warthog. Nocturnal aardvark, bush-pig and greater bushbaby may be encountered on exciting night game-drives. Mountain reedbuck dwell on rocky slopes, while common reedbuck favor palmveld and wetlands.

Between exciting game-drives, observe the serenity of the South African wilderness from your private deck, surrounded by the indigenous trees and shrubbery of the pristine Zululand bushveld.

Thursday, 23 Feb and Friday, 24 Feb 2017 (continued)

Delicious cuisine is enjoyed in the dramatic boma (outdoor dining area) illuminated by dozens of candles and lanterns, or served to you in a spectacular clearing in the bush under a star-studded sky.

In addition to twice-daily game-drives, nature walks, riverboat cruises and canoe trips along the Mzinene River are on offer.

Overnight at Phinda Mountain Lodge

Saturday, 25 Feb 2017

After a final breakfast in this beautiful setting, bid farewell to your ranger as you are driven south to Durban Airport (a three-hour drive). A short flight will bring you to Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport to connect with your international flight to the USA.**

We believe that you will now see why South Africans have historically paid tribute to their stunning homeland with such elegance and affection: “If Nature here wishes to make a mountain, she runs a range for five hundred miles; if a plain, she levels eighty; if a rock, she tilts five thousand feet of strata on end; our skies are higher and more intensely blue; our waves larger than others; our rivers fiercer. There is nothing measured, small nor petty in South Africa…”

(Olive Schreiner, Thoughts on South Africa, 1892.)

**Please schedule your International flight to depart Johannesburg after 5:30pm to USA.

August 16, 2016 / by / in , ,