Mark Darbyshire

9 Years of experience

To travel is to explore new and exciting experiences–Mark is dedicated to empowering his clients to do just that.

Mark’s passion for travel was ignited as a young man on skiing and sailing holidays with his parents. He began his career in the aviation industry which gave him the chance to experience his first overseas trips including Italy as a solo tourist, the Greek Islands, and small ship cruising. While travelling, he met a group of people who regularly holidayed at Antiparos–an untouched island in the Cyclades Island group. This same group of people connected Mark to Starclippers which run a fleet of three four masted schooner barques built as cruise ships. In the years since, he has sailed with them all over the Mediterranean, Thailand, Indonesia, and Tahiti enjoying a boutique luxury way of travelling coupled with outdoor sports such as scuba diving, skiing and sailing.

A relocation to London for a few years with his partner then gave Mark a chance to enter corporate hospitality servicing very discerning clients. This role enabled him to travel even more extensively throughout Europe where his passion of earlier years, skiing, was re-ignited by some of the best ski spots the world can offer. As he gathered these experiences, friends and family would say that they wish they could have the unique adventures Mark was collecting, but they wouldn’t know where to start to plan them. This prompted him to start his own travel concierge business combining his travel knowledge with the service standard achieved throughout his many years in hospitality. Mark looks forward to bringing his unique perspective and expertise to trips for his clients as a part of the SmartFlyer network.

What is your most memorable travel experience?

My partner and I experienced Egypt in the post 9/11 period when not many we traveling. We had our guide around Cairo and were able to have experiences unheard of at the time! These included being able to stand in front of the magnificent solid gold Mask of Tutankhamun on our own as well as being the only ones being led through the Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara and the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. The trip to Cairo was followed by Abercrombie & Kent cruise down the Nile with a very knowlegeable guide.

Which destinations are you looking forward to visiting and why?

Apart from Egypt, Africa is one continent I have not explored as yet–and in the post COVID world especially–it’s a place where social distancing can be easily observed. Companies like Singita offer a range of luxury lodges that allow environmentally friendly safari access to the African wildlife. They have a wonderful 100-year purpose to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations which has me eager to visit myself and experience these conservation efforts first-hand.

Travel Tip

  • Unless you have a personal valet, don’t overpack!