October 5u marks 60u anniversary of James Bond’s film debut, ‘Dr. No” featuring a little-known but undeniably charismatic Scotsman in the title role. For many people, Sean Connery is still the ultimate Bond, and with the series on hold while producers figure out what to do with it, the final 007 has yet to be named. But with a series of private trips debuting next March from UK/US luxury travel company Black Tomato, travelers can fill the void by imagining what it’s like to be Bond by visiting iconic locations from the film and attempting some of the actions (not the lethal ones, obviously) from the plots. To celebrate the anniversary, 60 trips will be offered.
“We are incredibly honored to be working with the James Bond team on this first-of-its-kind travel partnership for the 007 brand,” explains Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato. “It’s part of Black Tomato’s DNA to be inspired by other cultural phenomena outside of the traditional travel space and to have the opportunity to work with arguably the biggest film franchise of all time is a huge privilege and a special milestone for the company. Curious by nature, it was important for us to take a quirky approach to this collaboration and bring the world of James Bond to life, and we look forward to introducing this original bold and exciting new ride to customers and discerning fans. ”
The first trips, developed in coordination with the film’s location scouts, will take place in Europe. Full schedules will be released in March, but a few initial locations have been revealed. The beginning is in London, possibly in Q’s lab to be given diabolical weapons, but probably not. Paris is next with a side trip to Chantilly and the Château de Chantilly featured in 1985’s A View To A Kill as the estate of master butcher Max Zorin. Bond researched Zorin’s horses there, as did travelers with a private tour of the Horse Racing Training Center where 2,500 thoroughbreds are trained each day. The following morning, private access is allowed to the Les Aigles track to watch the horses exercise and interact with riders and trainers. This is followed by a horse ride through the Chantilly Forest and then a guided tour of the Château where various plot actions took place.
Next up is Italy’s Lake Como, where travelers can re-enact a scene from 1989’s License To Kill by stepping off the hotel pier and water skiing along the Moltrasio coast before hopping on a private seaplane to explore the towns of Bellagio and Varenna, the location of Agent SPECTER Mr. White’s lakeside home, Villa La Gaeta. The journey continues as the plane lands and is met with a classic Riva wooden boat and a bottle of 007’s favorite Champagne Bollinger to speed to the Villa del Balbianello featured in Casino Royale (2006). There, visitors can stroll through the terraced gardens before enjoying a private villa tour with exclusive insight into how they transformed the location for the film.
It seems like it would be a good idea to pack a tuxedo for another stop in Monaco and a visit to the Casino de Monte-Carlo (although really, it’s not as formal as when James Bond was there in GoldenEye in 1995 or when Sean (Connery performed his last turn as Bond in the unofficial 007 film Never Say Never Again.) Guests will have access to private gambling rooms not normally open to the public and receive a gaming lesson of their choice, possibly Pierce Brosnan’s choice. in GoldenEye, Baccarat. However, no tempting spies will be provided as opponents.