Ancient Empires of the Balkans Tour
A Private Jet Expedition
Travel the crossroads of civilizations on an in-depth exploration of the Balkans, from the cosmopolitan capitals of Pristina, Belgrade and Sarajevo to the artisan traditions of Ljubljana. Sample the cuisine of Croatia’s Adriatic Coast, soak in the serenity of Lake Bled and discover Albania, once one of the most secluded nations in the world.
Visit 6 Legendary Destinations
Temperature 75F/60FRainfall 0.6 inchesCurrency EuroTime Zone GMT +3
Your journey begins in historic Athens.
Meet fellow guests, your expert trip leaders and dedicated guest services staff for a festive welcome dinner at the hotel. We depart for Belgrade the following day.Athens to Belgrade 1H 40M
Temperature 74F/55FRainfall 2.3 inchesCurrency Serbian DinarTime Zone GMT +2
Encounter a stunning array of cultures in Serbia.
Arrive in Belgrade, one of Europe’s oldest cities, where the remnants of Habsburg glory stand adjacent to Ottoman architecture, and Soviet-style buildings mix with modern sky scrapers.Belgrade to Mostar 45M + to Sarajevo 15M
Temperature 68F/47FRainfall 0.8 inchesCurrency Convertible MarkaTime Zone GMT +2
Uncover the Ottoman treasures of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Survey remnants of the region’s Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman eras, displayed in splendid architecture, arching bridges and graceful minarets. Memorials like the Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum commemorate the Bosnian War while celebrating the region’s path toward peace.Sarajevo to Ljubljana 1H
Temperature 67F/45FRainfall 2.0 inchesCurrency EuroTime Zone GMT +2
Experience Slovenia, from lively Ljubljana to tranquil Lake Bled.
Couched between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Ljubljana is a vibrant city centered at the crossroads of several cultures. Escape into the surrounding Alpine landscape and unwind beside jewel-like lakes.Ljubljana to Istria 40M
Temperature 69F/52FRainfall 2.2 inchesCurrency Croatian KunaTime Zone GMT +2
Sample the slow food culture of Istria.
Croatia’s heart-shaped peninsula is a gourmand’s dream, renowned as a global center for truffles, a highly-prized delicacy. Encounter medieval villages, Gothic castles, Roman outposts and fishing ports as you take in the colorful flavors of the Adriatic Coast.Istria to Pristina 1H 30M
Temperature 69F/47FRainfall 2.7 inchesCurrency EuroTime Zone GMT +2
Introducing Europe’s newest nation.
A self-declared independent country, Kosovo was once the center of a medieval Serbian empire before coming under the power of Ottoman rule. Considered part of Serbia until 2008, this small, land-locked country in the heart of the Balkans is home to an eclectic mix of Muslim Kosovar Albanians and Eastern Orthodox Serbs, who peacefully coexist today.Pristina to Tirana 45M
Temperature 73F/54FRainfall 5.7 inchesCurrency Albanian KekTime Zone GMT +2
Discover Albania, once one of the most secluded nations in the world.
Isolated by communist rule until 1991, Albania has emerged as a destination brimming with untouched treasures and well-preserved traditions. Uncover medieval monuments, ancient cultures and iconic works of art in its capital and historic Berat.Tirana to Athens 1H 10M
Temperature 75F/60FRainfall 0.6 inchesCurrency EuroTime Zone GMT +3
Recap your journey around the Balkans with new friends.
Return to Athens for a farewell dinner, then catch your independent flight home the following day.
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Our Dedicated Staff and Knowledgeable Experts
An experienced team takes care of all the logistics before, during and after your trip. Your dedicated guest services manager prepares you for your trip of a lifetime and a veteran team of expedition leaders travels with you, taking care of all the details throughout your journey. We also invite knowledgeable lecturers and local experts to join us on our expeditions to bring each destination to life with real-time insights into culture, history and daily life.
The Private Jet Experience
The moment you board the private jet, you can breathe deep and leave your worries at the door. The hidden costs of international travel, such as transit time and airport delays, cut into quality vacation time. Flying direct to most destinations reduces overall travel time, maximizing the time spent exploring each iconic destination.
Throughout your flight, you’ll have highly trained staff and crew at your service. They’ll know your name, likes and dislikes, so you can have the most personalized experience possible. All inflight meals and beverages are included, as well as a selection of beer, wine and spirits. In addition, we can accommodate your food allergies or special dietary requirements.
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200ER
Number of seats: 52
Type of Seats: Flatbed (180-degree recline)
Features: In-seat power outlets, USB ports and personal storage ottoman
Amenities: Noise-canceling headphones and onboard tablet, WiFi where available
Relax, discover and explore on an expertly curated journey, meticulously produced by a passionate team of seasoned world travelers. Learn more about the services we offer—before, during and after your trip, as well as what to expect on our expeditions.
This once-in-a-lifetime trip is the perfect way to spend quality time with your partner or to treat yourself to an adventure you’ll never forget. Adults of all ages take our trips, sometimes with a companion and sometimes by themselves. You will meet fellow guests with a curiosity about the world and come away with unforgettable memories and special friendships. It can also help you memorably mark a special occasion, whether it’s an anniversary, birthday, retirement, honeymoon or other milestone.
The minimum age to take our expeditions is 12, but we will consider younger guests on a case-by-case basis.
Shortly after booking, your guest services manager will mail you more details about your trip. This dedicated professional will be your main point of contact. He or she will provide you additional information leading up to your departure and is available to answer any questions via phone or email.
Prior to departure, you will receive a set of amenities for your trip. These may include a wheeled bag, a backpack, packing cubes and other useful travel items.
Our trips are a unique opportunity for like-minded travelers who are interested in learning and exploring to come together. The strong friendships forged on our trips continue long after guests return home and open the door to more travel adventures.
On expeditions with 50 or more travelers, daily activities will be divided into intimate groups of 6 to 12, so you never feel like you’re part of a crowd. On all trips, we offer numerous activity options at each destination such as: guided small-group sightseeing, curated shopping, and exclusive visits to museums and landmarks. Other examples include more active options like hikes or snorkeling, as well as unforgettable moments like an intimate guided exploration of Angkor Wat and our hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti.
TCS World Travel is committed to maintaining the quality and safety of the expedition for all participants. Overall, our trips give you the freedom to set your own pace. Each destination on every itinerary offers a variety of options with different activity levels. In some, you may only be walking for short periods of time and have more downtime between excursions, while in others, you may spend the entire day touring or walking over uneven terrain. You may, of course, choose to have a day off and relax at any location.
On all our expeditions, you can expect the following:
- Uneven ground/frequent walking up to one mile at any given time
- Walking up the steps to the jet, as many foreign airports do not have jetways
- Trip pace—only one to three nights in each stop with some late-night activities and early-morning departures
- Time zone changes
- High altitude (some expeditions)
- Changes to your ‘normal’ routine: unique cuisine, frequent packing/unpacking
We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate participants with special needs; however, we cannot accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. If you require a slower pace, extra assistance, or the use of a cane or walking stick, arrangements can be made for private touring at each destination. Any extra cost for such arrangements will be the responsibility of the participant.
Trip Pace Definitions
These icons refer to the overall pace of the trip and not to specific activities at each destination. For example, an expedition classified as moderate or relaxed in overall pace can still offer active options such as hiking or snorkeling.
- Active Pace: Almost every day fully scheduled, and/or longer flight durations; expedition crosses multiple time zones
- Moderate Pace: Downtime opportunities every three or four days, and/or shorter flight durations; crosses fewer time zones
- Relaxed Pace: Many opportunities for relaxation, and/or three-night minimum stays in most destinations
Before TCS travels to any destination, we vet it for safety. We and our consultant medical advisors, Dr. Thomas Burke and the BostonMD team, closely monitor all health situations. We monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), the US Department of State, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other third-party destination experts, and are consulting with our trusted local suppliers to evaluate travel to all locations featured on our expeditions.
The beauty of private jet travel is the ease of pivoting. If we need to change an itinerary for any reason, we can use our contacts in countries worldwide to assist us with making alternate arrangements for our group. These changes could be made well in advance of arrival or even while we are in the air en-route to a given location.
On many expeditions, a trip physician will be available to consult with you at your request about general medical health issues such as upper-respiratory infections or gastro-intestinal upsets, which are not uncommon on this type of trip. Should you become seriously ill en route, the trip physician will be able to liaise with local physicians at your request and, if necessary, your medical providers back home, to assist in determining what further care you may require.
On-Trip Activity Level
This is an active program which requires a serious health assessment. There will be walking excursions at nearly every location, and you will need to climb stairs at some of the sites, as well as when you board and disembark the aircraft. There are some airports where you will be responsible for transporting your small wheeled overnight bag. We will have some early-morning departures and late-night activities, and may travel through multiple time zones.
To help counterbalance the carbon footprint that results from flying, TCS World Travel offsets carbon emissions for all flights. TCS has partnered with Sustainable Travel International, a global non-profit organization with 15 years of experience developing successful carbon offset programs for the travel industry. Sustainable Travel International has calculated the carbon footprint of all TCS jet trips starting in 2019 and purchases highly vetted carbon offsets equivalent to that amount.
Our luggage allowances are based on the type of aircraft on which the expedition is offered. On the custom Boeing 757 or Airbus A321 planes, luggage typically is limited to two checked bags: the wheeled bag we mail you and one additional large suitcase of your own. On expeditions on smaller aircraft like the Fokker 70, guests are allowed the wheeled bag we mail you and one additional smaller bag due to weight restrictions. Bags will be stored in the hold of the jet during our flights, but you will be allowed to take your backpack and another small personal item, such as purse or camera bag, along with you in the cabin.
On many trips, a dedicated expedition staff member handles your luggage throughout the journey. In many destinations, our staff will transfer your luggage directly from the plane to your hotel room. In others, you may be required to walk your bags through customs before handing them over to our staff, but we take over from there. Secure vehicles accompanied by a dedicated expedition staff member are used to transfer luggage between the airport and the hotel on arrival and departure. Often times, your bag is in your room by the time you’re checked into the hotel.
We suggest you bring comfortable clothing that can be layered. One of your most important items is a pair of comfortable shoes for walking. Our guests generally dress up a little for the welcome and farewell dinners, but this is their choice and is certainly not required. Also, you will find slightly more formal dining options at many of the hotels where we stay. For this reason, you may want to bring a few nicer outfits. A more detailed packing list with specific clothing recommendations will be sent to you closer to the departure date. While you’re packing please keep in mind that laundry services are available at most of our hotels. We also recommend you leave extra space in your suitcase to bring home souvenirs of your journey.
TCS World Travel is committed to safeguarding the security of its guests on every expedition. The company has implemented a set of security processes throughout the journey – from before guests depart to when they touch down in a destination. These processes have been fine-tuned over two decades and more than 300 private jet expeditions and thousands of custom trips to help ensure peace of mind for everyone involved.
All guests must have valid passports to participate in this program. Passports must be valid at least six months beyond the end date of your expedition. If visas are required for the expedition, a visa kit will be sent to you approximately five months before departure. We work with an expediting service that helps make getting your required visas easier. Although you’re still required to fill out your visa forms and cover the application costs, they will review the application to make sure it’s complete and liaise with the necessary consulates and embassies to process your visas.
We pre-fill your customs and immigrations forms at every stop—all you have to do is sign. Where possible, our guests enjoy special privileges, such as expedited customs and immigration formalities. We may have a dedicated customs counter for our group and are occasionally allowed to go through without individual clearance.
The price of your expedition incorporates large items like the jet, hotels, transportation and meals, but it also includes many other things, such as activities, top-of-the-line guides, private dinners in restaurants, beverages and every single tip (guides, restaurants, hotel staff, drivers, etc.). In addition, we give you some “walking around money” in the local currency at each stop. We also supply you with all the bottled water you can drink all day every day. We even provide you with postcards that we mail for you—all you have to do is write.
Your expedition includes:
- Travel on a privately chartered jet
- First-class accommodations
- Ground transportation
- All meals and beverages, including select beer and wine
- All sightseeing activities, from guided small-group excursions and private shopping to more active options such as snorkeling and hikes
- Special events and private access
- Top local guides and/or on-trip experts
- A veteran expedition team who handles all logistics
- On some itineraries, a trip physician who accompanies you throughout your journey
- All gratuities
- Luggage handling
- Bottled water
Your expedition does not include:
- Commercial airfare between your home city and departure/arrival destination
- Optional and additional accident/baggage/cancellation insurance
- Passport and visa fees
- Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone and fax fees
- All beverages not mentioned above as included
- Hotel minibar charges
- Meals not scheduled by TCS World Travel
- Inoculation and medication costs of any kind
To reserve your place on the expedition, complete and sign a reservation form and return it with your deposit. The deposit can be made by check, wire transfer, or by a major credit card such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard. If you pay your initial deposit by credit card, it is fully refundable until you sign the reservation form. Subsequent payments are payable by American Express, check or wire transfer, made out to the secure escrow account for each expedition.
If you cancel your reservation or change your plans, your right to receive a refund is limited, as set forth in the trip payment schedule. All cancellations will become effective as of the date of the postmark or email receipt. All requests for refunds must be sent to TCS World Travel in writing via mail, fax or email.
If you are traveling solo and prefer the privacy of your own room, you will be charged a solo traveler supplement. This ensures that individual travelers will get the same type and size rooms as our double occupancy travelers.
The Jet tour is operated by TCS World Travel, dedicated to delivering immersive, worry-free travel experiences for the globally curious and modern luxury traveler. The aircraft is operated by Titan Airways, an IOSA-certified airlines with over 30 years of experience in bespoke air charter travel.
We strongly recommend purchasing insurance to protect your travel investment. We offer a best-in-class trip insurance program available exclusively to guests on our group jet expeditions. Our program provides unique benefits that you won’t find anywhere else in the insurance market, including:
- Insurance for your entire trip cost in a single streamlined plan
- The ability to purchase the plan and waive pre-existing conditions any time up until final payment
- COVID-19 coverage, with the option to cancel before your trip departs
- Flexibility to pay in installments and insure your trip as you go
Our insurance program also includes these additional benefits for your peace of mind:
- No-risk guarantee allowing you to cancel your plan within 10 days and receive a full refund
- Coverage for trip cancellation/interruption, baggage loss, emergency dental and more
- Option to add on Cancel For Any Reason ("CFAR") coverage for up to 75 percent of your trip cost
If you would like a personalized quote, or have any questions about our insurance program, please contact our Guest Relations team at 800.454.4149.