“Bond, James Bond.”
Those three words, first uttered from the silver screen 60 years ago, began an era of intrigue and fascination with the 007 franchise, as well as the allure of global adventure travel.
I remember the first time I saw a James Bond movie, which I watched at home with my mom, a huge fan of the franchise, on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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Roger Moore played Bond in “The Spy Who Loved Me” fighting Jaws, the towering, metal-mouthed villain. He used an array of teched-out vehicles, including an amphibious sports car that dove into the ocean and then shot a helicopter out of the sky, and ingenious weapons (hello, ski pole gun) he picked up back at spy headquarters.
More than the incredible-for-the-time special effects, it was the destinations that mesmerized me — the snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps, Egypt’s ancient sites and the beaches of Italy.
Although I might not have known exactly where all of these locations were at the time, they resonated with me. How awesome would it be to visit those places in the lavish style of Ian Fleming’s literary spy brought to life?
For anyone who’s ever dreamed of racing sports cars through the streets of Monaco (“Casino Royale”), water skiing on Lake Como (“License to Kill”) or diving into the aqua waters of Jamaica (“Dr. No,” the first film in the franchise, which premiered Oct. 5, 1962), the Bond film franchise’s 60th anniversary brings a number of new travel itineraries to immerse fans of film and travel alike into the world of the beloved franchise.
AERIALVISION_IT/JAMES BOND INDICIA © 1962-2022 DANJAQ AND MGM
For example, Black Tomato — the official travel partner of EON Productions (the British film company that produces the James Bond film series) — just announced a limited, ultra-glamorous, multi-country European itinerary that will bring 007 to life.
Just 60 private, immersive European Bond-centric adventures are available to book as groups or individuals. A special website just debuted in time for the anniversary. The trips will take place in March 2023, and more details, including prices, will be released at a later date.
These luxe adventures will explore all things 007. Highlights include a Lake Como setting ripe for a daring adventure. From the private jetty of your hotel, take inspiration from James Bond in “License To Kill” and water ski along the Moltrasio shoreline, before jumping aboard a private seaplane to continue your expedition.
Then take to the skies above the picturesque towns of Bellagio and Varenna on their way to “SPECTRE” agent Mr. White’s infamous lakeside home, Villa La Gaeta. The thrills continue as you touch down, met by an iconic Bond wooden Riva boat and a bottle of 007’s favorite, Champagne Bollinger. Speed off in style to the iconic Villa del Balbianello from “Casino Royale” to stroll the terraced gardens before enjoying a private villa tour with exclusive insights into how they transformed the location for the film.
Then it’s on to France and picturesque Chantilly, home to Europe’s oldest equestrian center, Château de Chantilly. Bond fans may remember it from “A View to a Kill” as the lavish estate of villain Max Zorin. Then saddle up for a horseback riding adventure through Chantilly Forest to the Château de Chantilly for a deeper look at a Bond villain’s lair.
Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco. BUMBLE DEE/JAMES BOND INDICIA © 1962-2022 DANJAQ AND MGM
Although Black Tomato is the official partner for the film’s anniversary, there are other ways to immerse yourself in the world of 007 and turn on-screen adventures into real-life trips during the 60th anniversary and beyond.
Special Ops training with EMBARK Beyond
Yacht broker Northrop & Johnson has launched what they call the ultimate Bond-inspired getaway, with curated itineraries in the Caribbean and Mediterranean in partnership with bespoke luxury travel agency Embark Beyond.
First, you’ll choose one of two six-stateroom yachts to charter — either the Skyfall or the Casino Royal — and then it’s time to create a truly big screen-worthy itinerary.
Participants can loop in with more of the espionage and intrigue part of James Bond, with opportunities to jump out of a helicopter or skydive with a Special Ops agent from Servius (a security company that employs elite U.S. Special Operations personnel), attend luxury car road rallies in Monaco or go horseback riding along the beach in the Bahamas to the Albany House, which played residence to one of the film’s villains in “Casino Royale,” before jet skiing and hydro-foiling in the sea.
Those interested in booking the experience work with Embark Beyond to customize the itinerary and with Northrop & Johnson to select the charter that best fits the journey (prices available upon request).
Scene from “No Time to Die.” JASIN BOLAND/AMES BOND INDICIA © 1962-2022 DANJAQ AND MGM
Stay and play like 007
You don’t need to book a luxury itinerary to immerse yourself in the world of Bond.
Going back to my first and favorite Bond film, “The Spy Who Loved Me,” you can book a stay at the Luxury Collection’s Hotel Cala di Volpe, in Sardinia, Italy, nestled on the shimmering turquoise bay of Costa Smeralda, where scenes from that movie were filmed. Award nights are available from 90,000 points per night.
The Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa is an homage to James Bond creator Ian Fleming with villas perched on stilts in the rainforest and over the ocean, some of which have private infinity pools. Award nights here are bookable from 90,000 points per night.
Related: The best bucket list points trips to beach destinations
If you really want to live large in super spy, or supervillain, style, you can rent entire villas that were used in Bond films. Two stand-out options are part of StayONE, Mandarin Oriental’s Luxury Homes collection.
In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, travelers looking to visit the birthplace of Bond can stay in an oceanfront villa with room for 12 on the island where Fleming wrote his James Bond novels and where scenes from “No Time to Die” and “Dr. No” were filmed.
And in Corfu, Greece, in the estate where For Your Eyes Only was filmed. It boasts stunning views of the Ionian Sea and is roomy enough for 18 super Bond fans.