Let me start by saying I am not a cruise person. I haven’t been on one, so I can’t really criticize them that much. But they certainly don’t appeal to me either. The typical cruise liner tries to take all the amenities of land with it, making lots of sacrifices in terms of space and comfort. The benefit is supposedly that you get an opportunity to visit more than one destination on the same trip.
When I shared the Business Traveler auction a couple days ago, Julian pointed out that one of the prizes is an “air cruise.” What the heck is that? I looked into it further, and it seems the deals offered by Mauiva AirCruise have a lot of the same advantages without the inconveniences of a traditional cruise.
Anyone can visit more than one destination on a single trip. I’ve often done it, but it’s still a grueling experience to fly to more than two cities in the same week. Then once you add in the travel time required for airport security, flight delays, and connections, it really doesn’t make much sense.
Air cruises use regional turbo-props and take advantage of smaller non-commercial airports to avoid most of these hassles. I should know–I have experience flying around with my dad. As he pointed out in a guest post, he has the freedom to stop in multiple cities, using airports close to town and without going through security checkpoints. It’s really as simple as parking, walking through the FBO terminal, and out to the tarmac where your plane awaits.
Mauiva AirCruise flies into private terminals where you won’t be uncomfortable for the sake of safety. All you need is your government-issued ID and/or passport/visas and you are clear to go from tarmac to private plane. To check your bag, simply label it with a Mauiva AirCruise sticker and it will be taken care of. Then relax and enjoy complimentary fresh-baked cookies, coffee and cozy couches.
By combining this simplified version of air transportation with a more typical hotel and guided tour vacation package, the air cruise was born. You get faster transit between “ports,” more comfortable lodging, and also the opportunity to cruise to landlocked destinations like Yosemite.
Package prices range from about $1,600 to $2,200 for comprehensive deals that include transportation and some other extras, but can be as low as around $1,100 if you opt for a package that requires you to drive yourself. Different itineraries of 6 to 7 days are available to tour the East Coast, the Southwest, or the Caribbean.
So what do you think? Is this really a new form of travel, or just a way of repacking a lot of other offers already available. I mean, nothing stops you from chartering your own private plane to take you to a few nearby cities. I’m not exactly a guided tour fan either, but the prices seem pretty fair to me. Is this something you would do?