12 April 2018
With exquisite décor, impeccable service, gourmet cuisine and luxurious touches (helicopters and fridges filled with your favourite tipple!), cruising holidays offer an extraordinary way to see the world.
If you’re new to cruising or are looking to try a new ship or route, here are a few ideas to inspire your next holiday…
A voyage by tall ship
Modern cruise ships offer an incredible array of facilities and destinations but there’s something incredibly romantic about a ship on the sea with those giant sails billowing, isn’t there? And you’ll still be treated to more than a little luxury, too!
As well as those huge sails and gleaming wood, expect dining rooms, swimming pools, libraries and even a lounge with glass portholes that are under the water so you can peep out into the deep blue sea!
Wondering what a voyage on a tall ship is really like? Travel Counsellor Sue set sail on Royal Clipper and said it was fabulous, with a laidback atmosphere for the "discerning holiday maker who just wants to sit back, relax and go with the flow". Sue also had this to say about the tall ship she sailed on: "Grand but compact in size, The Royal Clipper gracefully manoeuvred us into ports that other larger cruise ships cannot access. Our cruise took us from the beautiful city of Venice to majestic Rome calling in at the wonderful little harbours of Rovinj and Hvar, gliding us onwards to the marvels of Dubrovnik, Kotor, Corfu, Naxos, Taormina, Capri and Ponza. All in all, I would definitely take another Star Clipper cruise and would highly recommend the experience...I think the Caribbean or French Polynesia beckons next!"
An adventure cruise around Kimberley, Western Australia
Australian Travel Counsellor Julie recommends cruising around Kimberley, in Western Australia - it’s an area of spectacular beauty, with a varied landscape of miles of coastline, rugged cliffs, and deep green vegetation.
And UK Travel Counsellor Julie agrees, "There are an impressive 2,633 charted islands off the Kimberley coast. Set in tropical waters they offer secluded beaches, ancient rock art, and mangroves. Highlights include Bigge Island, home to the world’s oldest known indigenous rock art, the Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings; the Montgomery Reef, which appears to rise out of the ocean as the tides retreat; and the Horizontal Waterfalls. Beach fans should head for picture-postcard Silica Beach on Hidden Island while wildlife-lovers will be in awe at the Lacepede Islands, where they may spot birdlife including roseate terns, Australian pelicans, frigate birds, and egrets, plus green turtles, which often nest here."
Julie recommends sailing around Kimberley on one of the smaller vessels because you can explore more of this beautiful area. You don’t have to forego luxury on these smaller ships though. Expect gourmet cuisine, elegant cabins, and an on-board helicopter to whisk you away to explore!
All-inclusive luxury: Excursions, speciality dining, and more!
If you’re hoping for a luxury cruise that includes fine wines, haute cuisine, an elegant suite, and even shore excursions, step on-board a Regent Seven Seas Cruises® ship.
These incredibly luxurious ships offer a sumptuous cruise experience, and (almost) everything is included in your journey, from fine dining in the speciality restaurants to evening entertainment to shore excursions. There’s a delightful series of lectures and on-board events, and the captivating itineraries can take you all over the world.
Travel Counsellor Helen set sail on Seven Seas Explorer: "This is all-inclusive luxury cruising at its best. Once you have paid your fare there is little else to budget for, your dining, drinks, entertainment, a selection of excursions, and gratuities are included. The staff on-board do not expect tips and they do their job beautifully, looking after your every need and remembering your favourite tipple!"
Helen also thoroughly enjoyed the excursions during her cruise holiday: "Regent Seven Seas Cruises offer a programme of included excursions which clients can select from a few months before they sail. These can range from a short 2-hour walking tour, to a full-day highlights tour. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and professional and all excursions we experienced were excellent."
Set sail around the world
Always wanted to explore the world? Instead of zooming from spot to spot, slow down and set sail from port to port!
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 leaves Southampton, England, and visits 22 fascinating countries over 120 nights, with ports of call including Australia, New Zealand, China, South Africa and Vietnam.
You can join the ship at a number of ports if you aren't able to travel for the entire round the world journey, as Travel Counsellor Kerrie did. Kerrie joined Queen Mary 2 in Adelaide, Australia for a short trip: "A few places bear special mention, such as the glass window behind the bridge that allows you to see inside and watch the general running of a ship. And an appearance by the captain is exciting especially when he waves to you! I was most impressed by the library - 8,000 books make this the biggest library at sea. Not just a bookshelf on a wall in a room but a full mini library with rows of books on a loan system the same as a normal library."
Queen Elizabeth, another of Cunard’s exquisite ships, leaves Southampton for a 122-night, 25-country voyage, and the exciting itinerary includes Mexico, Japan, Sri Lanka, and Australia. Of the Queen Elizabeth, Travel Counsellor Anjie says, "As you would expect from Cunard, this ship takes you back to traditional cruising, lots of art deco touches and romance mixed in with Hollywood glamour. It's the epitome of grandeur and elegance."
As well as the incredible scenery you’ll witness, expect glamorous evening balls, a brilliant enrichment programme with a host of renowned speakers, and even afternoon tea accompanied by the dulcet tones of an orchestra!
Tempted to set sail for your next holiday? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to discover even more luxury voyages!