Along with your latest Melissa Odabash swimsuit, does your Louis Vuitton holiday holdall contain some chewed-up rawhide and a Ralph Lauren dog coat? If so, then your international playboy pup is clearly a continental campaigner to be reckoned with, spending the winters sunning himself abroad in Paw-tofino and the summers in St Tro-paw. Welcome to part three of our travel guide, bringing you your travel options for luxury international capers with your canine. Glass of champagne, anyone?
To start with, your precious pooch will need to be a fully-paid, passport-carrying traveller before you can explore Europe – take a look at our advice on getting a pet passport for more details. Pets aren’t allowed on the Eurostar, so the easiest option is to load fido into the Ferrari and cross by Eurotunnel. Dogs can also travel on ferries, but may have to stay in the car during the crossing. If you can’t trust Rover not to crash the Rolls when your back’s turned, check out your preferred ferry route beforehand to see if they offer a pet-friendly cabin.
If fido likes to make an entrance, then how about a plane ticket to adventure? Interestingly, a number of main air carriers including Air France and KLM allow small dogs to travel in the cabin. The maximum weight limit is around eight kilos, though, including their carrier, so bigger dogs would have to travel in the hold, which they may find well beneath their dignity!
The poshest of pooches charter a private jet, and arrive at their destination fed and rested after a little Michelin-starred fine dining. For a six star experience when travelling abroad with your dog (five star is so passé, darling), Lunajets, NetJets and PrivateFly all offer a pet-friendly service – in fact, NetJets say they’ll treat your dog like royalty, so presumably fido can expect to dine on roast swan while wearing a crown.
If a private jet is not on the cards, or indeed, if your pup prefers to woof Jeeves and recline in the comfort of a luxury salon while watching the fields pass by, look no further than Dog-A-Porter. The the ultimate dog chauffeur service, if your pup can’t accompany you in the main cabin and you’re not able to take the road, this bespoke service will whisk your beloved pup to any destination around Europe, travelling in the manner of their choosing in their very own Mercedes 4×4.
For transatlantic trips, Cunard liner the Queen Mary II now has top class digs for dogs so they can join you on your cruise. These are the only floating kennels in the world, so salty sea dogs will feel right at home. There are 24 luxury kennels, special QM2 dog coats, a dedicated kennel master and even a choice of a lamppost or a fire hydrant for en suite facilities, depending on which side of the Atlantic hounds hail from. As fido’s personal assistant, you’ll need to be organised though – kennels are available on the Southampton/New York transatlantic route only, and are booked up months in advance.
If you really fancy getting away from it all in style, you may be able to charter a private yacht, some of which accept dogs by prior arrangement. It’s easiest to go through a charter company, such as Princess Yacht Charter, who’ll do all the paw-work necessary to find you the right vessel. Fido will need a doggy lifejacket (with his personal monogram on it, of course), and if he’s a novice sailor it’s worthwhile making a practice trip beforehand to make sure he’s not going to get seasick. Canny canines also pack puppy house training pads for onboard use for…er…those visits to the poop deck.
Now all that’s left to do is lie doggo and enjoy those Dog-mopolitans…while keeping an eye out for the pup-arazzi.
For hints and tips on travelling around the UK, take a look at part one of our travel guide to travelling with dogs. Urban hounds should keep their ears to the ground for part two of our guide about travelling in London.