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Visit wonders of the world on 3-week, $67,950 journey

By McClatchy News Services


ORLANDO, Fla. » Ever dream of a round-the-world vacation? One luxury-travel company has a trip leaving from Orlando this fall that features a sacred citadel, Indian palaces, ancient mummies and more.

Just as remarkable as the 23-day itinerary is the price tag: $67,950 a person, based on double occupancy.

The tour organized by TCS & Starquest Expeditions begins Oct. 29 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando at Grande Lakes with a four-course dinner, an overnight stay and an optional 18 holes of golf on the hotel's par-72 Greg Norman Signature course.

The reason the luxury trip starts from Orlando: The group's 78-person private jet is operated by Thomson Airways, a British air charter that regularly serves Sanford-Orlando International Airport. The first stop from Sanford: Peru, home to Spanish Baroque palaces and the mountaintop Inca site of Machu Picchu.

And few other package tours include a personal physician.

In this case, your money gets you to the stone statues on Easter Island, the Pacific paradise of Samoa, and the underwater coral of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (though if snorkeling isn't your thing, you can tour that continent's Daintree rain forest with an Aboriginal guide).

From there, it's on to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, where you can join monks for a blessing ceremony, and to the Taj Mahal in India, where you'll stay in a former maharajah's palace and be greeted by painted elephants and festooned camels.

On safari in Tanzania, guests stay in a lodge on the rim of a collapsed volcano. You'll visit the pyramids and sail the Nile, as well as see the mosques and markets of Morocco, before heading back to Orlando.

Think the travel company has a hard time selling a $68,000 vacation? Apparently not. TCS & Starquest Expeditions says it runs the round-the-world itineraries out of Orlando four to five times a year, targeting well-educated travelers between 55 and 70 years old.

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