When cruises are bargains and luxury villas look like good deals, what does it take to blow real money on a holiday?

! t is a God-given truth: not everyone wants a year's supply of beer or even a family car. But everyone wants "a luxury holiday for two". Or do they? The winner of the luxury holiday in Australia described on the front page of this section seems to have had a moderately good time, though not as good as you might have hoped. Was his holiday not expensive enough?

I've been wondering what I would do if I was forced to take the most expensive holiday in the world. A cruise perhaps? How about a ride on a ship called the Crystal Symphony, due to set off on a 104-day journey next January from Los Angeles to Southampton via Asia and Africa? The brochure price is given as "from" pounds 25,000. Plenty of money - but still only pounds 240 a day. The amazing thing about cruises is how disappointingly cheap they can be. A 127-day cruise on the Ocean Explorer I, travelling over the millennium, starts from a mere pounds 7,455, which (at less than pounds 60 a day full-board) sounds little better than a poor-house.

A rather quicker way to get through the same amount of money would be to rent a luxury villa on an island like Mustique in the Caribbean. Glancing through brochures, I have found a nice looking place called Frangipani with an 18-metre swimming pool, four acres of landscaped gardens, "unparalleled" views over the Caribbean Sea, four cars and a staff of six. The rental price in high season is around pounds 15,000 a week which is slightly less than the purchase price of a small cottage in Wales.

But even this strikes me as surprisingly modest - after all, the villa has seven bedrooms and can house up to 14 people. If you have a large family, this brings the price down to only just over pounds 1,000 per person per week. I've probably been on holidays as expensive as that.

To move into the super-league of really expensive holidays, do you then have to move away from luxury and get more into the expeditionary line of holiday? I've just received an extraordinary brochure from a company called Adventure Network (tel: 01494 671808) which offers holidays to the South and North Poles.

It may sound like a bad joke at the expense of Captain Scott, but it is even possible to book a holiday which involves travelling on skis all the way to the South Pole from a base camp known as Patriot Hills. The trip lasts about nine weeks, takes place under the midnight sun, and is apparently quite safe given the availability of instant relief from light aircraft which can land anywhere on the ice.

According to the brochure, smoked salmon, chocolate mousse, Mexican tacos and Roquefort spinach ravioli are all on the menu, as well as fresh fruit, vegetables and "excellent local wines" flown in from Chile. The price? Well blow me down with a 60-knot wind. Even this extravaganza will only cost about pounds 28,000 (starting and finishing your journey in Chile). Barely more than a cruise.

To spend more than this it looks as though you would have to risk your neck climbing Mount Everest or being blasted into space. I think I would rather take a luxury holiday for two.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

    £7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea