Upper class

The people who have skyrocketed their way to the top of your organisation should be rewarded with a breathtaking trip that matches their ascent. Here are five spectacular experiences designed to deliver the ultimate head rush to your best staff.

1. Conquer the final frontier

WHAT? Aspiring astronauts listen up: you don’t have to be a NASA astronaut to rocket up to Space. Civilian space tourism is now a reality. So if you’re looking to organise an incentive that’s literally out of this world, arrange for your best people to experience weightlessness and look back on the earth. 

WHERE? Those based in Asia don’t have to look too far for planning assistance. Thai-based travel company Khiri Voyages was recently appointed to organise civilian space tours with the Space Expedition Corporation (SXC). As can be expected, such an experience comes at an astronomical price tag of USD$135,000 per person. This covers the training mission to The Netherlands, which includes a flight in a L-39 Albatross jet after a ride in the Desdemona simulator, where passengers experience g-forces of up to 3.3 gs. The space flight takes off in the Mojave Desert, California, or Curaçao, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea. The flight itself will take passengers 103km from Earth, and although classified as a ‘sub-orbital’ flight, Space officially begins at 100km. It’s at this height that for six glorious minutes, people become astronauts, experiencing full weightlessness and viewing the curvature of the Earth from a vista shared by less than 500 other people in history. 

The package includes business class flights from Bangkok to California or Curaçao, transfers, and deluxe accommodation. Additional modules of pre-flight training, such as zero gravity flights, are available at extra cost. 

WHO SHOULD GO? Aspiring astronauts and sci-fi enthusiasts.

CONTACT: For more information, email sxc@khirivoyages.com


2. Stand at the top of the world – literally

WHAT? For most people, The North Pole is less a place and more a far away concept and few actually consider visiting this remote, beautiful spot situated on shifting sea ice in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. For those who’ve had the chance to visit the place where every direction is south, it delivers bragging rights like almost no other incentive trip could. 

WHERE? A fun way to access the North Pole is to embark on a cruise from Russia’s Murmansk in the country’s extreme northwest via transfer from Helsinki and spend five or six days traversing the Arctic Ocean before heading 90 degrees north. Upon arrival, participants can celebrate with champagne against a backdrop of majestic ice formations then spot polar bears and walruses as the ship heads back down south. The round trip cruise lasts 14 days.

WHO SHOULD GO? Those with a penchant for uncharted territory.

CONTACT: Book the ultimate arctic adventure with polar trip experts Quark Expeditions.



3. Land on a giant ice cube

WHAT? There’s something about glaciers that’s just really cool. What’s sub-zero, however, is flying above them then landing on the summit for a trek. While this is certainly not something that many would experience on a company trip, it’s relatively easy for an incentives team to arrange from the Asia-Pacific region.

WHERE? The Tasman Glacier at Mount Cook in Aoraki delivers an ice-cool incentive getaway. Located on New Zealand’s South Island, it is the country’s longest glacier, floating in the centre of the Aoraki National Park. The experience begins with a flight to Christchurch followed by transfer by car to Mount Cook airport. Here, you take a plane with the Mount Cook Ski Plane company, the only company licensed to fly in the park and land on the glacier. Once airborne, the team will witness miles of snow-capped landscape and the spectacular Hochstetter Icefall. For a bonus, take a longer flight over the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. 

After the plane lands on one of these three giant ice cubes, the engine is turned off and participants can bond during 45 magnificent minutes in the midst of this glacial wonderland.

WHO SHOULD GO? Those who love chilly weather and adrenaline-pumping adventures.

CONTACT: Make reservations for your own tailor-made charters through info@mtcookskiplanes.com


4. View landscapes from a flying balloon

WHAT? Few experiences can compare with the heady exhilaration of a hot air balloon ride, and the feeling of awe that comes from floating wherever the wind takes you. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to pack some creature comforts for the ride – some champagne perhaps – and don’t forget your long lens camera to capture the view.

WHERE? Head to Alice Springs and soar high above the Australian outback with Outback Ballooning. Watch the sun crack the red horizon whilst kangaroos skip through the bush below. A serene, yet exciting experience open to groups of up to 20 people at a time. WHO SHOULD GO? Adventurous delegates with photography and romantically-tinged travel among their obsessions.

CONTACT: Book via outbackballooning.com.au


5. Dizzying heights

WHAT? When the Burj Khalifa in Dubai appeared in the movie Mission Impossible 3, Tom Cruise wowed cinema-goers by scaling the world’s tallest manmade structure (it’s 828.8m up) in his role as super spy Ethan Hunt. Since construction was completed in 2010, it has dwarfed the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota – the tallest structure ever built – by some 200m and other tall structures like Toronto’s CN tower and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur by a third or more of their height. Hotel options at the tower include the Armani Hotel, which incorporates spa, retail and dining options in addition to chic meeting facilities.

WHERE? Right in the heart of downtown Dubai, this colossus of a skyscraper is a self-contained entity for any meeting or convention and has all the special touches needed for a really magnificent incentive getaway. Flying staff to the Middle East already sets the tone for an exotic escape, and the indulgent suites at the Armani Hotel exemplify the designer’s luxurious yet minimalistic philosophy. 

WHO SHOULD GO? Those who appreciate the finer things in life.

CONTACT: For assistance in organising an event to remember, get in touch with events@atthetop.ae 


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