Now that cruising is back, here is a reminder of just why it is such a great way to travel!
There is so much to love about cruising. We all know that you only have to unpack once, but, when you haven’t done it for a while, only having to unpack once is so convenient and easy. Dining, entertainment, adventure, seeing the sights, spa treatments, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets over the rippling ocean. All interspersed with doing … nothing. It is absolutely blissful. Here are 11 reasons why you should book a cruise soon!
A cruise can take you anywhere. From pristine fjords to mesmerising rivers, from iceberg dotted seas to verdant tropical islands, and from bustling cities to rugged, wild places where the landscape and its wildlife are the attraction. There are so many incredible places to explore. The bright lights of New York City – with the cruise up the Hudson an unforgettable sight. The jewels of the Mediterranean, from historic walled cities to spectacular islands. Icy landscapes that are the domain of seals, penguins, whales or polar bears. And you can go in the comfort of a luxury ship, in a beautiful cabin with everything laid on. What’s not to love?
The lavish suites
The accommodation on board luxury ships is lavish and a beautiful calming space to come home to after a shore excursion to discover the delights of your destination. King size beds, luxe bedding, ample cupboard space, bathrooms – some with bathtubs, desks, sitting areas and balconies that are perfect for a leisurely dine-in breakfast or for just taking in the show of the ocean rolling by. Your home-away-from-home will be supremely comfortable, with cabin attendants or even butlers to look after your every whim. Some cruise lines have all-suite accommodations on their uber-luxe ships.
The incredible food
The food. Oh my, the food. Luxury cruising opens up a world of fine dining or casual by-the-pool eateries that serve quality food. World-class chefs like Alain Ducasse, who has been working with PONANT for six years, and Thomas Keller (chef and proprietor of such famous restaurants as The French Laundry and Per Se), who has a partnership with Seabourn, have raised the bar, ensuring similar quality at sea, as what you might expect in their award-winning restaurants.
Then you have Silversea’s S.A.L.T. (Sea and Land Taste) – designed in collaboration with culinary expert and journalist Adam Sachs, integrating food, culture, and destinations, allowing guests to engage with the people and flavours of each place they visit. Then there is Oceania Cruises, known to have the finest cuisine at sea, with one of their popular offerings The Dom Pérignon Experience, where you can experience amazing food with your favourite drop. Oceania Cruises was the first to have a hands-on cooking school at sea. If this sounds like you, cooking schools are available on Marina, Riviera, and Vista.
The all-inclusive experience
Many luxury cruise lines make life so easy for you onboard. Depending on which cruise line you choose, you can have everything included in your fare. All food, with specialty restaurants either extra or included shore excursions – some with a cap and some unlimited – gratuities, Wi-Fi, beverages – some include premium beverages – and some offer a valet laundry service. Knowing everything is included means you can totally relax and just order another cocktail.
Rolling on the river
River cruising adds another layer to an on-water adventure with small ships able to dock in gorgeous towns – sometimes right in the centre of town – immersing you in the destination as soon as you arrive. For a quarter of a century, Viking has led the way on river cruises and now has the largest river fleet in the world, sailing all the major river cruising grounds, including the Rhine, Rhône Seine and Douro in Europe, the Mississippi in the USA, the Nile in Egypt and the Mekong that meanders through Cambodia and Vietnam. The award-winning fleet of identical Viking Longships carry only 190 guests. Oh, and their ocean and expedition ships are just as spectacular.
Take your experience to the next level … literally, onboard the ultra-luxurious Scenic Eclipse Discovery Yachts. For an extra cost, you can soar above some of the world’s Antarctica’s most spectacular wild scenery on one of two state-of-the-art Airbus H130-T2 helicopters (a tip – helicopters cannot operate in South Georgia), or discover what lies beneath the surface on an unforgettable underwater adventure on the ground-breaking submarine, Scenic Neptune, custom-built to submerge to depths of 200 metres. Talk about exhilarating.
You’ll know you’re not in Kansas anymore when cruising in the polar regions, with glaciers and icebergs and the array of wildlife that comes with them. In the past expedition cruising meant less luxury afloat, but not anymore. It is luxury all the way onboard PONANT’s 11 ice-rated vessels, including the world’s first luxury icebreaker – Le Commandant Charcot. These vessels deliver authentic expedition experiences but with a high level of onboard luxury and service.
The ‘me’ time
Cruising is the ultimate holiday for combining relaxation with visiting a number of destinations. Want to laze by the pool with a good book? You can do that. Or you can find a number of other nooks and crannies, on quiet decks or in lovely lounges or libraries to read. Sea days add even more opportunities to do whatever you want to do, from various educational sessions on board, to listening to a band, or even just lazing in your cabin or suite and ordering room service. The service on luxury ships is next level, but not in your face or pushy. Take Seabourn for example. Seabourn has a fleet of intimate ships with a private club atmosphere. They have one of the highest space-per-guest ratios in the industry, as well as the youngest and most modern fleet.
Sunrise yoga, Pilates, jogging tracks, massages, fitness centres … you can stay fit when on a luxury cruise. Sure, you will be overindulging with the incredible cuisine on board, but you can offset that – at least a little – with a fitness program that suits you. Sign up for spin classes, or don’t. Jog around the walking track, or not. Book a personal trainer and sweat it out. Or chill – really chill – in a snow grotto before warming up in a sauna or hot tub. Speaking of hot tubs, it does feel so decadent to sit in a hot tub in a beautiful location while drinking a cocktail. But hey, why not! A cruise is whatever you want it to be.
All new luxury
There will be a new European luxury lifestyle brand at sea in 2023. Explora Journeys is redefining the luxury ocean experience for travellers who want to sail differently. The first ship, EXPLORA I, will carry 800 guests in 461 ‘Homes at Sea’, ranging from Suites to Penthouses and Residences. The number of dining choices is akin to what you would expect at a luxury resort, with a sophisticated collection of 18 restaurants, bars and lounges.
Art at sea
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has collaborated with Fabergé to create a rare, one-of-a-kind treasure – a hand-crafted Fabergé x Regent Seven Seas Cruises Egg Objet. This beautiful creation – ‘Journey in Jewels’ – will anchor the ship’s new multi-million-dollar curated art collection and will be the first Fabergé Egg Objet to reside permanently at sea. Art lovers will also be able to join two exclusive ‘Spotlight Voyages’ which will immerse guests and art enthusiasts into the world of Fabergé and provide exclusive access to Fabergé experiences and experts onboard.
Our recommended luxury cruise partners:
- Explora Journeys
- Oceania Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
New luxury ships coming in 2023
- Scenic Eclipse 11 – (April)
- Seabourn Pursuit – (October)
- EXPLORA I – (July)
- Oceania’s Vista – (May)
- Seven Seas Grandeur – (November)