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The Future of Everything: Exploring Global Innovation by Private Jet
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24 days

from $153,660 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($92,795 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

Ultimate trip_detail hint icon

Ultimate expeditions feature sweeping, themed itineraries that cover great distances using a specially configured private jet. These itineraries are fully planned and comprise private performances, special access to sites, and visits with local experts. Services include travel by private jet, a team of National Geographic experts, local guides, a dedicated flight staff and expedition manager, world-class meals and accommodations, and ground transportation.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Gain unique perspectives on advances in science and technology—from brain science to climate change—with insights from National Geographic experts and Wall Street Journal reporters and editors.
  • Explore colorful bazaars and stunning architecture in Samarqand, and discuss the impacts of the Silk Road revival with archaeologist and National Geographic editor Kristin Romey.
  • Join Wall Street Journal deputy chief news editor Gráinne McCarthy to discover Tallinn, one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Europe and a hub for the future of cyber technology.
  • Document astonishing landscapes—from Mount Fuji to the Mongolian steppe—alongside National Geographic photographer David Guttenfelder.
Itinerary

Join a team of world-renowned experts from National Geographic and The Wall Street Journal on an epic journey to centers of creativity and innovation across the globe, from Seattle to Samarqand and beyond. Experience the convergence of ancient traditions and modern advances with visits to secluded temples and cutting-edge research facilities, and meet local leaders pushing the fields of science and technology from Seoul to Helsinki. Witness firsthand the consequences of climate change on business, security, and everyday existence in the far north as you meet with local business owners or hike with reindeer herders. While exploring the world alongside archaeologists, artists, and entrepreneurs, gain unprecedented insight into “the future of everything.”

Days 1-2: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, U. S./ CROSS THE INTERNATIONAL

Arrive in Seattle and meet National Geographic and Wall Street Journal experts, as well as your fellow travelers, for a private welcome gala at Chihuly Garden and Glass. The next morning, board our private jet bound for Tokyo and cross the international date line, losing a day in transit.

Days 3-5: HAKONE AND MOUNT FUJI, JAPAN

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The Future of Environmental Conservation

Touch down in Tokyo and transfer to Hakone near the base of Mount Fuji, where we’ll settle into traditional ryokan Japanese inns. Begin exploring the future of environmental conservation and urban expansion with Yumiko Ono, the Asia digital editor for The Wall Street Journal, and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Arthur Huang. Hear how Arthur’s company Miniwiz has become a global leader in post-consumer recycling technology by launching innovative architectural projects throughout Asia and around the world.

Venture to the slopes of Mount Fuji to visit Fujiyoshida Sengen Shrine and attend a blessing ceremony with a Shinto priest. Explore the extraordinary legacy of the textile artist Itchiku Kubota at a museum dedicated to ancient silk-dyeing techniques. After a lunchtime panel with our experts, visit a textile workshop or enjoy a tasting tour of sake breweries.

The following day, choose to hike part of the 400-year-old Tokaido road or visit the Hakone Open-Air Museum, home to works by Picasso, Henry Moore, and other notable artists. Opt to accompany a geologist to the Hakone GeoMuseum for an interactive introduction to the area’s volcanic activity. Gather for dinner at the Venetian Glass Museum, featuring an extraordinary collection of glassware displayed in a picturesque garden.

Days 6-7: Seoul, South Korea

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The Future of the Brain

Fly by private jet to Seoul, the cosmopolitan capital of South Korea. Seoul has rapidly attained prominence as an economic, political, and cultural hub following the so-called “miracle on the Han River”—a period of exponential economic growth during the second half of the 20th century. The metropolis boasts a 15th-century UNESCO World Heritage–listed temple, as well as countless marvels of modern architecture.

Ascend to the top of N Seoul Tower for an unparalleled view of the vast city skyline. Then venture into the busy streets below and check in to our hotel for a panel discussion with Wall Street Journal technology reporter Timothy W. Martin and Jay Lee, Executive Director of the National Geographic Society in Asia. We’ll learn about the research that is leading the way for global advances in our understanding of the human brain.

The next day, visit a brain research center and hear directly from scientists about their current projects and potential breakthroughs. Later, choose to explore South Korean culture and history at a cooking class in the thousand-year-old Buddhist temple of Jingwansa or at a demonstration on Hanbok, traditional South Korean ceremonial attire. Dine on the grounds of Samcheonggak Temple, a former meeting place for representatives from both North and South Korea, which is named for the three purities: water, mountains, and humanity.

Days 8-10: Shenzhen, China and Hong Kong

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The Future of Health and Medicine

Arrive in Shenzhen on China’s southern coast. Formerly a small fishing village on the Pearl River Delta, Shenzhen was designated as China’s first Special Economic Zone in 1980, making it a testing ground for market-driven capitalism. The city has since transformed into an epicenter of global entrepreneurship and innovation. In tonight’s panel discussion, examine breakthroughs in the understanding of well-being and traditional Chinese medicine’s modern applications—with National Geographic magazine senior editor Peter Gwin and Wall Street Journal reporter Natasha Khan.

After a city tour the following morning, visit centers of innovation to understand how Shenzhen’s scientists and entrepreneurs are moving into the future. Venture into the city’s bustling center, and witness how recent urban growth has stimulated a flourishing art scene. Explore a chengzhongcun “village,” a densely populated area of cooperatively owned land that has remained intact—and underdeveloped—during decades of urban expansion; or visit a traditional village of the local Hakka ethnic group.

The next day, opt to cross the border into Hong Kong. Stand atop Victoria Peak, offering spectacular views of the city and neighboring islands, and stroll the tranquil beach of Repulse Bay before enjoying a traditional dim sum lunch. Travelers who wish to stay in Shenzhen may continue to discover the city’s remarkable cultural and economic diversity with a local guide, who will lead us through ancient quarters and artist workshops.

Days 11-13: Ulaanbaatar or the Gobi, Mongolia

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The Future of Natural Resources

Board our jet bound for Ulaanbaatar, founded centuries ago as a gathering place for nomadic princes, and now the cultural and financial heart of Mongolia. Take a charter flight to the Gobi and arrive at Three Camel Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. Settle into traditional ger tents and enjoy a presentation in which Wall Street Journal reporter Patrick Barta discusses the ways a mining boom is transforming the Mongolian steppe, and renowned author and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Emeritus Jared Diamond shares insights on the future of cities.

During our stay in the Gobi, explore a desert landscape of steep red plateaus, following in the footsteps of Genghis Khan. Explore the mesmerizing Moltsog Els sand dune, then meet a nomadic family for tea. Hike between the towering canyon walls of Yol Valley, ride horseback across the steppe, and learn how to construct a ger. Participate in a demonstration of Naadam, a traditional sporting festival, and head to the famed Flaming Cliffs—where Mongolian paleontologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Bolortsetseg Minjin is working to establish a dinosaur museum—and take a photo walk with our National Geographic photographer at sunset.

Alternative: Instead of the Gobi, travelers may choose to explore Ulaanbaatar and Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. In Ulaanbaatar, examine the collections at the National Museum of Mongolia and visit the Gandantegchinlen Monastrey. Then travel to Gorkhi-Terelji National Park and check in to our hotel. Explore the park's rolling hills and rocky outcrops on hikes and horseback rides. Experience a traditional Buddhist shaman ceremony, and enjoy a traditional musical performance. On your return to the city, view the 130-foot Genghis Khan Statue and take a tour of its museum.

Days 14-15: Samarqand, Uzbekistan

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The Future of Trade

Depart Ulaanbaatar for Samarqand, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. For centuries, Samarqand was one of the most important stops along the legendary Silk Road—the trade route connecting China and the Mediterranean. Present-day Samarqand is a remarkable crossroads of culture that UNESCO has recognized with World Heritage status. Visit the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, burial place of the conqueror Timur—also known as Tamerlane—and explore the elaborate madrassas on Registan Square. Meet the next generation of Uzbekistan’s artists at a performance by a youth dance troupe. In the evening, gather for cocktails and a panel discussion in which we examine the impact of the historic Silk Road on urbanization in Europe and Asia. Discuss what the future might hold for regional and global trade with archaeologist and National Geographic editor and writer Kristin Romey, Wall Street Journal editor Thorold Barker, and Wall Street Journal reporter Jeremy Page.

Delve deeper into this cultural mecca with a visit to Siab Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest open-air markets in Samarqand. Tour an archaeological site, hike through traditional villages in the Gissar foothills, or meet master craftsmen and take part in a paper-making workshop. As the sun sets over Samarqand, celebrate the riches of the Silk Road with a traditional feast in the courtyard of a majestic madrassa, accompanied by Central Asian music, dancing, and bread making.

Days 16-17: Tallinn, Estonia

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The Future of Digitized Society

Since emerging from the shadow of the Soviet Union after the peaceful Singing Revolution, Estonia has become a world leader in digital development and e-Government. The establishment in the 1990s of Tiigrihüpe, or the Tiger’s Leap project, initiated substantial investment in digital infrastructure and information technology education, which has situated Estonia at the forefront of modern cyber technology. Arrive in Tallinn for an evening reception at a historic building in the old town, and discuss the impact of digital communication and imaging on society with Sarah Leen, director of photography for National Geographic magazine, and Wall Street Journal deputy chief news editor Gráinne McCarthy.

Journey through Estonia’s fascinating history the following day on a city tour. Visit the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre for a centennial celebration show in a new concert hall, or attend a lecture at Tallinn University of Technology. Tonight, experience Estonia’s gastronomic revolution at one of the top restaurants in the country.

Days 18-20: Helsinki and Lapland, Finland

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The Future of the Arctic

Embark a fast ferry for the crossing to Finland, where we’ll focus on climate change and its implications for business, security, and natural resources in the Northern Hemisphere. Arrive in Helsinki and gather for lunch aboard an icebreaker ship anchored in the harbor. Hear stories from the intrepid crew about working and living in polar regions and the everyday consequences of climate change. At our evening reception, learn how global warming is creating a new “cold war” in the far north with documentary filmmaker and National Geographic magazine contributing photographer Louie Palu and Wall Street Journal reporter Ann Simmons. Afterward, enjoy dinner on the waterfront under the ethereal light of the midnight sun.

In the morning, explore the important sites of Finland’s capital. Head to a historic brewery for lunch, then choose to sail through Helsinki harbor to the 18th-century sea fortress of Suomenlinna. Take a private tour of this stronghold and delve into tunnels and corridors normally off-limits to the public.

The next day, continue your exploration of Helsinki, choosing from a range of activities including a culinary tour or a sauna experience. Or board our jet for a flight to Ivalo, gateway to the Arctic landscapes of Lapland. Here, the local Sami people have herded reindeer through the deep forests and snow-covered plains for thousands of years. On this overnight excursion, explore Sami culture at the Siida Sami Museum or while hiking alongside Arctic husky dogs.

Days 21-23: Reykjavík, Iceland

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The Future of Alternative Energy

Reconvene for our private jet flight to Iceland, a world leader in alternative energy. Tour Reykjavík, where historic neighborhoods blend with modern architectural marvels, and go behind the scenes at the Harpa concert hall.
Our evening panel discussion focuses on the future of renewable energy, with commentary from former National Geographic magazine executive environment editor Dennis Dimick and Wall Street Journal energy editor John Simons.

Explore Iceland's active geology and its ancient history on a tour of the Golden Circle. Visit Thingvellir National Park, home to the oldest democratically elected parliament still in operation; glimpse thrilling eruptions at the Geysir geothermal area; and take in the stunning view of Gullfoss waterfall. Later, enjoy a soak in the Blue Lagoon. Alternatively, set out on a snowmobiling adventure atop a glacier this afternoon.

The next day, experience Iceland's natural wonders from a new perspective, via snowmobile, across Langjökull, Iceland’s second largest glacier. Choose to venture into the mouth of the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano and descend alongside expert guides to the floor of the vast magma chamber. Alternatively, visit an Icelandic horse farm and learn training techniques before heading out on a trail ride over the vast rolling hills outside of Reykjavík. Afterward, join the farmers for lunch and share stories over home-cooked Icelandic fare. On the final night, gather for a farewell gala dinner at Harpa Concert Hall.

Day 24: Boston, Massachusetts

Board our jet and fly to Boston to connect with your commercial flight home, or enjoy a complimentary overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor.

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light\/moderate; travelers should be in good health; comfortable climbing stairs and walking or standing for extended periods; and prepared for multiple hours of activity on some days. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to historic or cultural sites, or nature walks, with options for more physical activities such as hiking and biking. A signed medical form from your doctor will be required for participation in certain activities. Alternative destinations or activities can be arranged if necessary. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment should be reported when booking so accommodations can be made.

Accommodations
We stay in world-class or best available hotels throughout the expedition.

Expedition Team
A top-notch team of experts will accompany each expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Well suited for this incredible journey, a Boeing 757 provides unparalleled flexibility with its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports. Flying direct and avoiding layovers, we are able to maximize our time in each destination while delivering a superior travel experience. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s interior has been customized to accommodate just 75 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating. You’ll enjoy excellent access to experts and staff, who provide informative briefings and lectures throughout the expedition.

1 /5

The VIP-configured Boeing 757 private jet provides:

• 75 passenger seats in a customized 2x2 configuration, instead of the standard 233 seats.
• Comfortable VIP-style leather seating with adjustable leg and headrests and a 45-degree recline.
• Roomy cabin with plenty of legroom and convenient storage for personal items.
• Plush, sleek interior design.
• A seasoned and specially-trained flight crew — including three pilots, an expedition chef, a catering officer, multiple flight attendants, an engineer, and a dedicated luggage handler.
• A dedicated expedition physician who accompanies the group on the jet and on land.
• In-seat power outlets and storage space for laptops, digital cameras, and other personal devices.

2 /5

The VIP-configured Boeing 757 private jet provides:

• 75 passenger seats in a customized 2x2 configuration, instead of the standard 233 seats.
• Comfortable VIP-style leather seating with adjustable leg and headrests and a 45-degree recline.
• Roomy cabin with plenty of legroom and convenient storage for personal items.
• Plush, sleek interior design.
• A seasoned and specially-trained flight crew — including three pilots, an expedition chef, a catering officer, multiple flight attendants, an engineer, and a dedicated luggage handler.
• A dedicated expedition physician who accompanies the group on the jet and on land.
• In-seat power outlets and storage space for laptops, digital cameras, and other personal devices.

3 /5

The VIP-configured Boeing 757 private jet provides:

• 75 passenger seats in a customized 2x2 configuration, instead of the standard 233 seats.
• Comfortable VIP-style leather seating with adjustable leg and headrests and a 45-degree recline.
• Roomy cabin with plenty of legroom and convenient storage for personal items.
• Plush, sleek interior design.
• A seasoned and specially-trained flight crew — including three pilots, an expedition chef, a catering officer, multiple flight attendants, an engineer, and a dedicated luggage handler.
• A dedicated expedition physician who accompanies the group on the jet and on land.
• In-seat power outlets and storage space for laptops, digital cameras, and other personal devices.

4 /5

The VIP-configured Boeing 757 private jet provides:

• 75 passenger seats in a customized 2x2 configuration, instead of the standard 233 seats.
• Comfortable VIP-style leather seating with adjustable leg and headrests and a 45-degree recline.
• Roomy cabin with plenty of legroom and convenient storage for personal items.
• Plush, sleek interior design.
• A seasoned and specially-trained flight crew — including three pilots, an expedition chef, a catering officer, multiple flight attendants, an engineer, and a dedicated luggage handler.
• A dedicated expedition physician who accompanies the group on the jet and on land.
• In-seat power outlets and storage space for laptops, digital cameras, and other personal devices.

5 /5

The VIP-configured Boeing 757 private jet provides:

• 75 passenger seats in a customized 2x2 configuration, instead of the standard 233 seats.
• Comfortable VIP-style leather seating with adjustable leg and headrests and a 45-degree recline.
• Roomy cabin with plenty of legroom and convenient storage for personal items.
• Plush, sleek interior design.
• A seasoned and specially-trained flight crew — including three pilots, an expedition chef, a catering officer, multiple flight attendants, an engineer, and a dedicated luggage handler.
• A dedicated expedition physician who accompanies the group on the jet and on land.
• In-seat power outlets and storage space for laptops, digital cameras, and other personal devices.