Private Jet Flights To The Old World: Europe

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Nothing compares with the variety and fascinating wealth of Europe. Europe is a long, long way away. It takes the best part of a day to fly to, playing havoc with your body clock. Getting there - and staying there - isn't cheap, either. The exchange rate between the Euro and the Australian dollar is worse than with the greenback and you can have an all-inclusive package holiday to Bali for the cost of a return airfare to the continent. So why do we bother with Europe at all? Well, let us count the ways.

The History: Pondering the wisdom of Socrates and Plato while trekking up the Athens Acropolis. Indulging your inner gladiator at the Roman Colosseum. Getting lost amid the labyrinthine, cobblestoned Old Town of Prague. Stretching from Lisbon to Istanbul, Europe is crammed with sights and streets that have been shaped by more than 3000 years of human civilization. This is a continent that lets you bed down in fairytale castles. Walk hand-in-hand along ancient city walls and aqueducts. Take a pew in a mighty medieval cathedral. Roam the windswept beaches where the world wars played out. Tramp around myth-drenched villages that pre-date the pyramids of Giza. As more than one Australian has been overheard saying, "Wow, you can almost feel the history".

The Cities: London. Paris. Barcelona. Berlin. Europe is home to some of the world's greatest cities. The brilliant thing about them is that they never stand still. New fads and fashions - and a constant influx of immigration - mean these dynamic metropolises are always reinventing themselves. Visitors will naturally make a beeline to the iconic sights - after all, what's Barcelona without Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia or Paris minus the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre? However, inner-city zones that, not so long ago, were derelict industrial wastelands or down-and-out 'hoods are now increasingly appealing to tourists. London's evolving East End, and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg (where you'll find the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall) are two examples of hip and happening districts brimming with creativity, while you may be surprised to discover cutting-edge street - or guerrilla - art stenciled across the renaissance city of Florence.

The Trains: You can now fly from the chilly tundras of Scandinavia to the sun-baked Spanish costas for less than $50. But most of the time, traveling around Europe is better by train. The continent is criss-crossed with rail tracks, spanning everything from chugging cog-wheel alpine lines to super-sleek ones that carry Frecciarossa and TGV trains at speeds approaching 360km/h. Window scenery is diverse and often spectacular - especially through mountainous nations like Switzerland and Slovenia, or along coastlines like the French Riviera. Another thrill of European rail travel is crossing borders, and encountering a different language, culture and (sometimes) currency, within an hour's journey. As well as the regular services, there's an raft of special trains, such as heritage steam locomotives and the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, a paragon of opulence that runs from London to Venice.

The Rivers and The Canals: Long before the advent of trains, planes and automobiles, Europe's waterways played a pivotal role in its development from Stone Age hinterland to the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution. While no longer the vibrant veins of trade of a few centuries ago, the continent's rivers, fjords and canals have emerged as booming leisure cruise destinations. Popular routes include Vienna-Budapest on the Danube, Europe's second longest river (after the Volga in Russia), and Basel-Cologne on the Rhine. Some cities - notably St Petersburg, Bruges, Amsterdam and, of course, Venice - are synonymous with canals, and romantic canal trips, while some countries - particularly England and France - have extensive inland canal networks. Fancy hiring, navigating and sleeping on a narrow boat? You can do that here.

The Islands: Historic harbors rim Europe's coastlines, with the likes of Cadiz, Marseille and Genoa absorbing ports of call for ocean-going cruise liners. Others are springboards for memorable island-hopping adventures. Take Piraeus, the port near Athens - from which you can board ferries to dozens of exotic Greek islands, including Crete, Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes. Once you've tired of the wonderful walled old town of Dubrovnik, you can sail around Croatia's majestic 700-island archipelago. Other seductive island-hopping gateways include Palma de Mallorca (for the Balearics), Valletta (for Malta) and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (for the Canary Islands).

The Food: Europe is jam-packed with tantalizing foodie experiences. Think: devouring warm, melt-in-your mouth croissants and pain au chocolate purchased from a boulangerie in a chocolate-box-pretty French town. Enjoying an alfresco seafood feast beside a crystal-clear Mediterranean bay speckled with colorful fishing boats. Tapas bar crawling in Madrid or San Sebastian. Licking a gelato while gallivanting across a piazza in Rome (or munching a mozzarella-drenched pizza in the scooter-strewn streets of Naples). A European adventure is also about sampling the local favorites. You may find yourself addicted to boreks (a flaky pastry snack) in the Balkans, or pierogi (dumplings), which are served in dozens of flavors, sweet and savoury, in Poland.

The Countryside: Europe's cities hog the headlines, but it's the countryside that many travelers fall in love with. Carpeted in snow and ski bunnies in winter, and abundant with lush green, floral-rich scenery in summer, the Swiss Alps are a dream for lovers of the great outdoors. So, too, is Cinque Terre, where a trail traverses five fabulously photogenic towns, perched on clifftops overlooking the Mediterranean. Inland, the great Italian lakes never fail to enchant, while you may wish to live out your daydreams under the Tuscan sun, sipping a glass of Chianti and reading your Frances Mayes or Elizabeth Gilbert on the terrace of a renovated stone farmhouse. Alternatively, rent a cottage amid the lavender fields of Provence which made such an impression on van Gogh. Or chase Santa Claus and the Northern Lights in far-flung Lapland.

The Hidden Gems: One of the joys of travel is finding a hidden gem. Europe is full of them. It is 25 years since the Iron Curtain fell, and former Soviet cities like Tallinn and Krakow are firm favorites on the tourist trail, but other picturesque central and eastern European spots are still off most travelers' radars. The historic towns of Kotor (Montenegro), Maribor (Slovenia), Olomouc (Czech Republic), Pecs (Hungary), Sibiu (Romania), Torun (Poland) and Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) are all enticing little city break destinations; the lakes of Ohrid (Macedona) and Bled (Slovenia) are utterly bewitching and do you know which country has arguably Europe's most gorgeous coastline? That'd be Albania. A jumble of olive groves, sheer cliffs and turquoise seas, the Albanian Riviera, as it's known, is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

The Festivals: Incomparable: The entrance to a castle in Germany's Moselle River valley. Photo: Getty Images Europe has an extraordinary calendar of festivals. Many - such as the Semana Santa holy week in Seville - ooze centuries of tradition. Others, such as Sonar in Barcelona, flaunt cutting-edge trends and sounds. A few, like the annual Cheese Rolling competition in Gloucestershire, England, revel in their Monty Python-esque absurdity. Across the continent, you can mingle with like-minded souls at music festivals, film festivals, comedy festivals, arts festivals, food and wine festivals, beer festivals and festive - OK, Christmas - festivals. One thing's for sure: come to Europe and you'll find your kind of festival.

The Pubs: Bouncing through Europe, you're bound to work up a thirst. While you'll find scores of vineyards and wine cellars, it's the old pubs that often generate the most vivid - or blurry - memories: quaffing pints of Guinness with affable punters in taverns across the Emerald Isle (Ireland), sipping real ale in the creaking, timber-beamed olde-worlde pubs of England, sinking steins served by dirndl-clad waitresses in the beer houses of Munich, or trying 1001 different tipples in a Brussels back-street bar. Your idea of a beer drinker's heaven may be the Czech Republic. Here, you'll rarely pay more than $1.50 for a half-liters of the planet's finest pilsner. Prefer a caffeine hit? Europe is a land of pavement cafés; perfect for watching this endlessly fascinating continent go by.

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Our Private Jet Aircraft Fleet

Light Jets: 8 Passengers

A light jet is a category of small jets seating anywhere from 4 to 8 people (depending on configuration) and often with a maximum takeoff weight of under 10,000 pounds. Light jets are considered the lightest business jets and are approved for single pilot operation. Light jets are ideal for shorter trips for business meetings or family getaways.

Midsized Jets: 10 Passengers

Midsize jets – also referred to as mid-size jets, are great for long distance travel such as transcontinental flights or trips requiring larger passenger capacity (depending on configuration). Unlike a light jet rental, Mid-size private jets are incredibly versatile private aircraft, combining the comfort and space of larger personal planes, with the speed and agility of small private jets. Private jet speeds help the aircraft travel a range of over 5,000 nautical miles and typically seats 7 to 10 passengers.

Super Mids: 16 Passengers

Super mid-sized jets are designed to comfortably accommodate from 8 to 16 passengers (depending on configuration) - with substantial baggage space. Super mids can be chartered for international, non-stop transcontinental or mid-range travel with an average flight range of up to 9 hours of flight time - or 4,500 miles - in optimum conditions.

Large Jets: 16 Passengers

Large cabin jets have a cabin height of over six feet. Cabin width varies from nearly seven to over eight feet, while cabin length can range from 28 feet to nearly 50 feet. With endurance of 8 to 10 hours, many large cabin jets - like the Falcon 900 - are also designed for longer range flights such as New York to Paris. Large cabin jet cabin amenities can include WiFi, private lavatory, PlayStation video games, satellite phone, cabin attendant and a full galley.

Turbo Props: 10 Passengers

What sets turbo props apart is their versatility. Unlike other private jets, planes with a turbo prop engine don’t need a full runway for landing and take off; a short grass airstrip is more than enough. Which makes them perfect for taking the route less traveled. Made for short to medium journeys, turbo prop planes can land on grass airstrips and short runways. Turboprops are an economical way to fly, with room for eight to ten passengers.

Helicopters: 13 Passengers

While there are many reasons to take a chartered helicopter flight - the fact that for most it is a once in a lifetime experience is probably the most prominent. Helicopter flight in itself is an adventure that most people find thrilling. Making use of helicopter flights is also a great way to mark a special occasion and create new memories that will make a special day even more special.

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