WILMINGTON, DE--(Marketwire - Mar 20, 2013) - Experience the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel afterhours alone with expert private guide. Walk through Voltaire's private library or tour St. Petersburg on a private excursion led by Dostoevsky's great grandson. These are just a small selection of the rare experiences offered by award-winning tour operator Kensington Tours on its new 'Elite Collection' of European tours.
"Each of the itineraries in Kensington's Elite Collection features private tours led by renowned historians, museum curators, master chefs and even descendants of important European figures," confirms Phil Sproul, President of Kensington Tours. "Travelers will spend nights at palaces, ancient citadels, famous vineyards, on private yachts and in the same hotels as Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Queen Elizabeth and Hollywood greats."
Hand-crafted by Kensington's Team of Senior European specialists, these private tours are designed for explorers seeking behind-the-scenes access, extraordinary experiences and deep cultural connections. The Elite Collection is carefully calibrated to deliver moments that are both unexpected and truly one of a kind.
Kensington's Elite Collection premiers with its Europe itineraries. View the complete collection here -- http://www.kensingtontours.com/tours/exclusive-access -- or sampling below.
Afterhours Vatican, Ferraris & Private Yacht
Italy Elite - Rome, Florence & Amalfi
14 Days from $45,185 pp
Unveil the secrets of the Sistine Chapel during a private afterhours tour of the Vatican. Experience "la dolce vita" behind the wheel of a Ferrari and in the caverns of exclusive wine cellars. Discover the stunning Amalfi Coast during six days on a private yacht. Meet local artisans, wine connoisseurs, master chefs and museum curators as you tour Rome, Naples, Procida, Ischia, Capri, Amalfi, Positano and Tuscany. Soar over Florence in a hot air balloon, be pampered at hotels frequented by monarchs and bask in the glow of bygone ages during expert private guided tours of everything from the Colosseum to the Uffizi Gallery.
Haute Cuisine, Couture & Châteaux
France Elite - Paris & Bordeaux
7 Days from $18,750 pp
Immerse yourself in the country that gave the world Chanel, champagne and Michelin-class cuisine with this itinerary designed to showcase France's art, fashion and gastronomy. Experience "joie de vivre" as you tour Paris, Bordeaux and St. Emilion and rest your head in style at castles, royal châteaux and an age-old monastery turned wine estate. Blend wines under the tutelage of an expert, enjoy a private collection at a fashion house, create your own scent at Guerlain, the world's oldest perfumery, make macaroons at Lenôtre and sip your way through exclusive wine cellars. Fused together with historian-guided tours, personal shoppers, chauffeured Rolls Royce and Michelin restaurants, c'est très chic!
Jewels Of The Crown
Russia Elite - Moscow & St. Petersburg
9 Days from $15,487 pp
Delve into Moscow and St. Petersburg in a style fit for a Tsar with private guide, chauffeur, caviar and champagne. From cocktails at St. Peter and St. Paul's Fortress, a private choral performance at St. Nicolas and a backstage tour of the Bolshoi Theatre to an afterhours Hermitage visit, special access to Voltaire's library, a tour led by Dostoevsky's great grandson, and impossible-to-access restaurants, this is Russia at her richest. At night enjoy the finest hotels where Pavarotti, Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikovsky have also rested their heads.
Lords of the Manor & Literature Greats
7 Days from $15,487 pp
Private tours of aristocratic homes led by the Lords themselves. Behind the scenes at the Queen's beloved Windsor Castle. An in-depth Stonehenge experience led by a famed Oxford archaeologist. The chance to bypass a three-year waitlist to visit Prince Charles' gardens at Highgrove. These are but a few of the rare experiences carefully woven together in this itinerary designed by our most knowledgeable Anglophile. Michelin-starred meals, chauffeur, world-class shopping and a stay at the former guesthouse of Buckingham Palace perfect this escape. Designed for travellers with a thirst for in-depth cultural and historic insight, privileged access and thoughtful touches at every turn, this bespoke experience has no match.
Royal Beaches & Island Hopping By Yacht
Croatia & Montenegro Elite
12 Days from $15,195 pp
Long established as a haven for A-listers, the playground of the Adriatic makes for a sophisticated oasis when it includes embellishments like your own stylish private yacht, curator-led tours of national museums and sunbathing on golden beaches once reserved for royalty. From the moment you step off the plane you'll receive VIP treatment as you're greeted by private guide, whisked through security and chauffeured to the first of a collection of stunning properties including the former summer residence of Queen Marija Karadordev. Discover the treasures of Zagreb, Split, Hvar, Korčula, Sveti Stefan and Dubrovnik in true luxury. Sightsee and island hop in high style as you tour the birthplace of Marco Polo, indulge in a diamond massage, savor fine wine, gastronomical delights and more.
About Kensington Tours
Kensington Tours offers custom and private guided tours to over 90 countries worldwide. The flexibility of Kensington's offerings results in tailor-made journeys that are carefully handcrafted to deliver personalized adventures like no other company. Kensington Tours was named to "World's Best Awards 2011" by Travel + Leisure Magazine and named one of the "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth," by the editors of National Geographic Adventure Magazine.