Planning to take a year RTW in Aug/Sep 08 with my boyfriend - looked at many websites but can't work out which one is best suited to include all these destinations - have tried a few route planners but prices coming out around £2,500! Wanted to spend around £1,500 on the ticket per person.
Want to include a few overland sections in each continent too.
We live in UK - not sure if cheaper to depart from Europe e.g Amsterdam, Paris?
Willing to leave out Canada, US and Australia this time, currently more interested in travelling through non-westernised places/cultures..
Perhaps we are trying to fit too much in?
Which way should we travel this route? (don't want to start in too-culture shocking place if possible), was thinking start in S Africa?
Any expert advice is much appreciated!
The only alliance which offers the South America - New Zealand connection (without going through North America, which'd be a massive amount of extra miles, or an additional continent - both costly) is One World. For the OneWorld Explorer ticket (continent based), you're looking at five continents (Europe, South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa), which'll cost £1,829 (Aug/Sep is peak season for leaving on a RTW ticket iirc) (plus ~£200 in taxes). For the Global Explorer ticket (miles based), you're unfortunate in that One World doesn't have an airline which has good connections from India to Africa, which means there's going to have to be a certain amount of backtracking involved, which means the miles will rise, and the cost will go right along... Africa really is the main problem - I see a Hong Kong Johannesburg connection, but that adds a tremendous amount of miles due to the extra north-south movement.
So yeah, a route like London, Lima, Santiago de Chile, Auckland, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London clocks in at ~32K miles (a bit more the way the airlines calculate it), which means you'd need a tier-3 ticket, resulting in the same £1,829 cost. Adding a back-and-forth to Delhi would even bring you to tier-4, costing an additional 200 pounds.
Probably your best bet is to not include Africa on this RTW ticket (which'd mean you'd end up with four continents, or < 29,000 miles, both costing £1,449 plus taxes), and see if you can get a separate "cheap" return flight from India. (I have no idea if those exist.)
Where you depart from should make absolutely no difference for the cost of a RTW ticket, and London is good, in that it has a whole lot of possible connections. Where you buy it could make a minor difference, though - if mostly for currency conversion reasons.
If you have one nearby, I'd try dropping by a travel agency specializing in RTW tickets; they'll charge a huge commission if you book through them, but the people there should be very much aware of all possible connections and thus know the most efficient ways to string them all together.
Alternatively, try finding the route maps for all airlines in the one world alliance, and match them up to see if and how you could include Africa.
edit: Ooh, or you could do London, Lima, Santiago de Chile, Auckland, Perth, Johannesburg, London, at roughly 28K miles. That's the same £1,449 plus taxes, but a cheap return flight to SE Asia and/or India should be much easier to arrange from Australia.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 8, 2008, at 10:59 AM by Sander ]
Thank you so much for giving us this info - it's really helpful!
Africa is my number one as far as the whole trip is concerned so maybe something else will have to give...I'll definately have a look at the options you suggested.
We will be going to a RTW specialist soon just want to have some background knowledge before hand. I'll be sure to reply with my findings should anyone else be thinking about a similar trip..
A general comment - this website is the most informative I've found so far in my many hours of trawling the net!
Thanks again for your help!
I read in a travel industry publication that Emirates are now flying from Sydney direct to South America (Sao Paulo) every few days and I know that Malaysian fly in to Buenos Aires from Johannesburg (only every few days), so it is possible to get around the world without going via North America by other means than using the one world fare but you've just got to be lucky with the dates.
A RTW ticket that your travel agent could look in to for you is titled "MH/KL WORLD JOURNEY". This isn't one that would normally be a first choice like a Star Alliance or a One World alliance, but is one worth checking out more closely (or that most travel consultants would have even heard of for that matter). I know that I got an email telling me about the fares and it looked like a pretty good one other than its limitations with flights within South America. It allows use of most services on AIR PACIFIC, AIR EUROPA, AIR CALEDONIA INTERNATIONAL, AIR VANUATU, AIR TAHITI NUI, ALASKA AIRLINES, COPA AIRLINES, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, EMIRATES AIRLINES, JET AIRWAYS INDIA, KLM ROYAL DUTCH AIRLINES, KENYA AIRWAYS, MALAYSIAN AIRLINE SYSTEM, MALEV HUNGARIAN AIRLINES, NORTHWEST AIRLINES, SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS, SRI LANKAN and last of all POLYNESIAN AIRLINES.
Using that fare it is cheaper than a One World fare and this also has more airlines to get you flights in Africa compared to the One World alliance which is terrible for Africa but good for South America. If South America is a high priority then maybe getting a continent based one world fare would be a better option and just making yourself a very extensive itinerary which would most likely include huge amounts of backtracking with Africa being an important part.
An itinerary such as London-Buenos Aires-(overland in South America but depart again from Santiago de Chile)-Easter Island-Papeete-Auckland-Sydney-bangkok-delhi-honk kong-johannesburg overland to some other place in Africa like Nairobi-London would probably work out to being a valid itinerary. http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=LHR-EZE%2Cscl-ipc-ppt-akl-syd-bkk-del-hkg-jnb%2Cnbo-lhr&RANGE=&PATH-COLOR=&PATH-UNITS=mi&PATH-MINIMUM=&SPEED-GROUND=&SPEED-UNITS=kts&RANGE-STYLE=best&RANGE-COLOR=&MAP-STYLE= shows that an itinerary like I have just typed up would amount to 35471miles but a bit more with how the airlines calculate it so it would probably just fit under the largest mileage bracket. The taxes on this itinerary would be huge, but you would have some pretty amazing trip!